With Christmas coming up there is so much to think about and get done before the big day.  Now that I am a mom my focus has shifted from myself to my kids and those around me.  I could care less about receiving one gift because the look of excitement on my kids faces when they open their gifts is priceless.  Another view of Christmas that I never stopped to look too hard at until I was a mom was the perspective of Mary’s birth story of Jesus.  When I really stop and think about the circumstances in which Mary gave birth to Jesus I can’t help but think “Mary gets me!”  Mary’s story of birthing Jesus in a manger with smelly animals around and no bed to lay on but hay makes my birth stories seem so small yet they have one thing in common….the element of surprise and faith in God.

Meet, Ellie, my oldest child and our big “surprise” as we found out I was pregnant only 9 months into marriage.  
 
Ellie’s middle name is Joy(like me) and she is just that…so full of joy and she brings joy to everyone around her. 

When I was pregnant with Ellie I had only happy thoughts about how it all was going to go down…I would go into labor naturally(a few days early of course), all while having makeup on, hair done and a nice easy trip to the hospital then out would come baby!  No c-sections, no complications, everything exactly as I had planned.  Wow was I wrong.

I did not take care of myself like I should nor did I do any research or think I had any say in the decisions made for the birth.  I began to develop pre-eclampsia the last few weeks of my pregnancy so one day before my due date my doctor had me induced.  The induction did not go well and they gave me an epidural(strike one against my “plan”) and the epidural completely stopped my labor. The doctor came in and gave me the news no mother longs to hear…I was having a c-section.  I remember bursting into tears.  All my hopes and dreams of natural childbirth crushed.  Yet despite it all I had my beautiful and healthy Ellie Joy in my arms.

My recovery from my c-section was hard physically and emotionally.  I could barely walk up stairs or stand upright without feeling like my scar would re-open for a few months after I had my daughter.  I remember hearing stories of other moms who had such easy vaginal deliveries and I would just crumble on the inside.  I struggled with questions like “What was wrong with me that my body couldn’t deliver my baby naturally?  Why God?”

When Ellie was a little over a year old I became pregnant with our second child.  Meet Olivia Grace:


 

Olivia Grace is just that….full of grace and such a sweet spirit.  She has the softest, sweetest voice you have ever heard and she has such a nurturing spirit.

When I was pregnant with Olivia my husband was in chiropractic school and we learned more about our options in regards to natural child birth.  I was told I could not have a vaginal birth after my c-section by all but one doctor.  When God lead me to Dr.Cummings I knew it was confirmation that He was going to give me the desire of my heart, a vaginal birth.  I took better care of myself with that pregnancy, I prayed, stood on scripture and believed for a vaginal birth.  Because I was doing a VBAC(vaginal birth after cesarean) my doctor would not induce(nor did I want to be) and I went 10 days past due.  My beautiful Olivia Grace was born in the hospital and I did it completely drug free.  The Lord had given me the desire of my heart.

After our second daughter was born my husband felt the Lord tell him we would have a son.  I became pregnant and felt better than ever in my 3rd pregnancy.  Until I started bleeding at 14 weeks pregnant and ,to make a very long story short, was taken to the hospital because I had passed out on my sisters bathroom floor and was unresponsive.  It was by the grace of God that I was at my sisters home whose husband is a doctor and who knew what to do for me until the ambulance arrived.  I remember waking up in the ER with doctors talking around me about how to get the bleeding to stop…I just remember thinking there was no way this was happening to me because I would never have a miscarriage.  I was surprised and heart broken all at the same time.

The next few weeks after my miscarriage I felt very distant from God.  Wondering why He allowed it to happen when He could have stopped it and really just feeling sorry for myself.  I even questioned if what He had spoken to my husband about having a son was true. Until one day God spoke to my heart and reminded me that He was grieving with me and that He wanted to redeem what had been stolen from me.  

Meet Ezekiel Wayne:
Ezekiel means “strength of God” and he is just that….strong in both body and spirit.  

After I prayed that day for God to redeem what was lost, I became pregnant the next month with our first son(though we did not know it because we did not find out the sex of the baby). I went 10 days past due and went into labor and had my second VBAC. My first and only son was born on my birthday(my birthday boyfriend).  It was a sweet sign of Gods redeeming love.

So what does my c-section, VBACs and miscarriage have to do with my talk of Christmas and Mary at the beginning of this post?  Just like Mary did not plan to become pregnant with Jesus before she was married and definitely didn’t plan to have him in a stable, we also have things in our lives that we did not plan. Mary was taken by surprise with the birth of Jesus but God sure wasn’t.  I did not plan a c-section or a miscarriage but God redeemed both of those things with beautiful gifts.  I had a c-section with Ellie but I still received my gift of a beautiful baby girl.  I may not have planned my miscarriage but God used what the enemy intended for evil and turned it for good.

I could write several points on how to find God in the hard times or how to encourage someone walking through an unplanned c-section or miscarriage but I felt the Lord wanted me to focus one simple thing….God is a redeemer.  He is so many other things but in this story He is a redeemer.  And he longs to be one in your life too.  Do you have an area of your life you need redeemed?  Give it to Him and allow Him to restore all that has been stolen from you.

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