My Family

My Family
-Cozumel 2014

Friday, November 19, 2010

Expecting My First Baby

     My First Pregnancy

  I just stood there in the bathroom staring at the stick. I couldn’t believe it! Me! Me! I was pregnant! A little baby was forming in my tummy, how is that possible? I couldn’t feel anything, yet everything at once. I was numb from shock, yet in my head I was too excited for understandable words. I stepped out of the bathroom, it was early in the morning and Nubun was still asleep. My throat was dry and my voice was squeaky as
I blurted out his name.
“Nuuuubun!”  It may have been the tone in my voice, or maybe it was his ‘man’ intuition, maybe it was just his imagination, but before his eyes popped open~ he knew. Yeah. He knew what I was Nubun-ing him about. He smiled real big as I showed him my stick with two pink stripes, I waved it in the air back and forth like a well earned trophy.
    Nubun, jumped out of bed and after looking at it, he grabbed my hand and led me into the living room where we bowed down on our knees in front of the couch and thanked the Lord for His amazing little blessing.




   The following 38 weeks was a lifetime lived in a few short months. My first symptom was this awful metallic taste in my mouth that lasted about 2 weeks. I had to constantly be eating something to mask the horrible taste in my mouth. Then I started getting tired, and then the dreaded nausea came. There is no way to describe it but like this. If you have ever been on a boat and got sea sick, you can come close to understanding. I was on a boat in Thailand once, got nauseated and threw up again and again in the wet little moving toilet. I was miserable, but at least loosing my lunch helped a little with the nausea but I was glad to land on shore and get off the floating misery. I dreaded getting on that boat again, just thinking about it made me sick to my stomach.  Well, my pregnancy was so many more times worse then that, in so many different levels that it is too hard to explain without sounding like I am exaggerating! Around 5 to 6 weeks into the pregnancy I started throwing up, if I went anywhere I would usually have to stop and use the ‘utilities’ at a gas station or Whataburger or so. The throwing up was bad enough but unlike when I was sea sick it did not relieve my nausea. I was ‘sea sick’ 24 hours a day for almost 7 months. There was NO RELIEF AT ALL. There were around three months where I only ate boiled potatoes, cheerios, and Ramon noodles and bland starches like that. Although I would throw them up, too, at least I could keep them down for 30 minutes or more and get some nutrition out of them. Everything else would come up even before they landed in my stomach. I couldn’t drink anything but Gatorade, and boy did I drink it! Around 2 to 3 gallons a day!!
   During and after I ate my meals I would have to sit very still and concentrate on not gagging. I tried hard to keep my food in for as long as I could because my baby and I needed a little more nutrition other then sports drink.  I couldn’t read books, magazines; my Bible or anything, reading made me more nauseated!  When Nubun would leave to go to work, I would cry every single time. I was left alone. I was lonely, alone and nobody came to visit. That, in part may have been my fault because I was vain. My house was a mess, I didn’t feel like cleaning it up and I didn’t invite anybody over because I was ashamed of the mess. But I missed human contact. I didn’t talk much on the phone, first of all I was so unimaginably miserable I didn’t FEEL like being cheerful and talking like a normal person, and when people would call and ask how I was doing all I wanted to do was cry and blurt my misery out on them. Someone even said that I wasn’t sounding very grateful to be pregnant because I wasn’t very happy. That hurt and cut me deeply.
  Tell somebody who is sick at sea, as they are hanging their head over the side of a boat with stomach acid propelling out of their mouth every time a wave hits. “You don’t look very happy” And see what their response is.
   I would brush my teeth, and that would gag me and make me throw up. So I would vomit, brush my teeth and vomit again. It was a vicious cycle, that didn’t last long. I was throwing up around 20-30 times a day. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING! I counted a few days just to see. I couldn’t brush my teeth that much so I constantly had that stomach acid taste in my mouth. And it DID hurt my teeth; the acid ate away at the enamel of my 8 front teeth. They got de-calcified, with ugly yellow holes in them.  I was constantly drinking sweet Gatorade which also didn’t help my pearly whites, yet that is what saved me from getting dehydrated.
   We were not doing very good financially at that time either, we were going through a very very rough time. I no longer worked and Nubun's over time got eliminated at that time. So we went down to 25% of our usual income. We could barely even afford the Gatorade. Nubun didn’t say much, never complained, but a couple of times he did mention selling our RX300, which was the only family friendly car we had. I would get really down in the dumps; I would even say I was in a dark place in my life. I was excited to be pregnant but the first half of my pregnancy I didn’t FEEL pregnant I only felt sick, so I had trouble BELIEVING it. I know that sounds strange but it was true. The Lord was my strength, and Nubun was by my side as much as he could. He would hold my hair back as I would be bent over the toilet. He would clean up the mess when I didn’t quite make it to the bathroom. He always listened to my vocal sobs. He was my best friend, my companion, my nurse maid. He would sneak out at night while I was sleeping and go to Wal Mart to get me a variety of different foods to try and find something my tummy could handle. I, to this day, still thank the Lord for my husbands help and understanding during those rough months.
   When I was growing up my Mother had intestine problems. Sometimes I would lie in bed crying helplessly as I would hear her moan all night long suffering from nausea and intestine pain. Several times during the night Daddy would help her to the bathroom where she would throw up again and again until she would have nothing but painful dry heaves left. She told me several times afterwards that she would most always prefer pain over nausea. I didn’t understand then. But later on as my belly grew bigger and bigger, and I would find myself looking at the inside of the toilet more often then not. I understood. And just as my Mom, my tummy would be empty and have nothing left to give but painful dry heaves. When that would happen I would reach over with a trembling hand for my jug of water and I would gulp down as much water as I could so that I would have ‘something’ to throw up besides dry heaves. When I would get through with a round I would sit back on my heels and breathe, then I’d pull my hair back and clean the toilet. Then I would stand up and rinse my mouth out with water wishing I could brush my teeth but not daring. Sometimes I would just lie down on the bathroom floor waiting for the strength to get up; sometimes it wouldn’t come so I would crawl back to my bed or the couch.
    There was a point where my tears would dry up, I had cried them all, my misery was too much for me to handle, and there was not a break in my morning sickness. I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t lean to the side, because it felt as if my lungs were collapsing, and I couldn’t breath.  My chest was burning to the touch; I had to keep ice packs on my chest to calm down the fever. And what got me the most, more then anything is that I didn’t have a friend to get through this with, a girlfriend, and one that had similar symptoms that could truly and whole heartily understand. I felt alone. To this day I don’t think anybody could understand what I went through those long hard months, and sometimes I long to hear somebody tell me they understand, they went through the same thing, it is OK! Yes, Evie is 2 and a half and I still long to hear somebody say that. Not that I have to have somebody’s approval but maybe just their understanding? Maybe just an:  “I was there I know how you felt”

      Our Baby Shower

What we sent out as thank you notes for the gifts from the baby shower
 

   One day when I was around 6 months pregnant I woke up and I felt, nothing. As I am writing this I have tears in my eyes thinking of that morning. I felt NOTHING, no nausea, no chest burns and pain, no lung collapsing feeling, I felt ….normal. I jumped up out of bed and over on Nubun.
  “Nubun! I feel good, I FEEL GOOD! Get up! Let’s DO SOMETHING before the ole MS comes back! Come on!!” I was smiling and dragging him out of bed. I put on a pretty maternity outfit and we went to the Botanical Gardens where he took cute pictures of me. I was so happy! Even when ole morning sickness started calling I was in a rosy mood. We were in the rose garden when it hit me and I told Nubun, he helped me up, I had trouble walking, and even though I was nauseated again, I couldn’t quit smiling. What a beautiful gift God had given me that day, the gift of RELIEF. 



   I had a healthy pregnancy, all my morning sickness was not a bad thing. For some women it is just something they have to go through. If you are a woman and have been pregnant before with no or very little morning sickness, be thankful. And me, I am thankful for being able to get pregnant and have healthy kids.
   My pregnancy was not all bad, it was also wonderful and awe inspiring. When I could start reading books and started looking at all the pregnancy information out there I was so excited! We would go shopping and buy little baby clothes, it was such a precious time in our life. When we first heard her little heart beat, mine would start beating a little faster with the growing excitement. And I would look at the pictures of how my baby looked like that week and I couldn’t wait till one more week so she would look more and more human and less alien, and every week on Friday I would be proud of myself that I was a week further in my pregnancy, and my baby was a week older. And when I started feeling her move and kick, around the 17th week I finally FELT pregnant!  At week 21 I found out we were having a baby girl and there is no feeling in the world like that! And when I saw her little face in that black and white sonogram I felt like a mother, finally!
  Something funny, when I was around 7 months pregnant I could finally drink milk. And BOY did I!! I drank (and have a picture to prove it!) a gallon of whole milk a day, EVERYDAY for a very long while. Yep. I gained 9 pounds that month. One time in my third trimester I was in the kitchen getting ready to blend up something in the blender, and when I turned it on Evie jumped in my tummy at the loud noise! I turned the blender off and looked at my tummy. Really? I couldn't believe it so I called Nubun and he came in there and put his hand on my tummy and I turned the blender on again and she jumped again! We got a kick out of that, and till the day she was born she would jump at any loud noise, so I would try to shield her from loud noises I didn't want her coming out all nerve racked!
   On December 6th, we went to go get a sonogram to see what gender my baby was and we got it all on video. It was so wonderful the feeling I got when I found out she was a girl! And she looked so cute in that sonogram! And then as an added bonus that evening after the sonogram, Nubun felt her for the first time! It was such a sweet time and so very euphoric!
  It was very fun and entertaining to have a moving, living, growing being inside me! I remember the first time Evie got the hiccups; I wasn’t sure what it was for a while but after a few days I figured it out and it was so cute! I would lie down in my bathtub as well as I could, because my tub was small and I would just stare at my hiccup ping tummy and smile. Then as she was getting bigger I felt like I had a watermelon inside me that kept on deforming my middle, it was weird for me, it cracked me up every time I’d look down at my biggie sized bellybutton. There were times of the day she was more active then others and when she would start getting active I would sit down on the sofa, uncover my belly and just watch it move as Evie got her ‘exercise’ in. It was very entertaining! Nubun would call me from work and ask how I was doing and I would say: “I’m sitting on the couch watching the greatest show on earth! And Evie is doing gymnastics!” and then it would usually follow with a “Well, she just did some jumping jacks on my bladder so I got to go…”
    What a blessing, right before I had Evie, God answered our prayers and Nubun got a raise at work, for us it was a rather large one and all in God’s timing. Praise the Lord! He took care of us!
   A lot of times I would talk to other women about their pregnancies and many of them had perfectly breezy pregnancies, No morning sickness, (or just the first three months) no mind boggling, ever ending nausea, no feverish chest pains, or any of that. They could sleep lying down like a normal person. (I had to sleep sitting up from 6 weeks on) They could carry on with their life as usual, some would even say that the only thing different about them was their big belly. This would always get me down emotionally, and even though I had no control over it sometimes I felt as if something was the matter with me. Like if I was the only one in the world that suffered like that while with child. And in turn it would make me lonely. My first pregnancy brought me to my knees, it humbled me, it amazed me, and it frustrated me. But God had a reason for letting me go through all that, and now I know, as I look back, I understand, I learned to rely on Him, I needed to learn that. I also learned to be more understanding for others suffering, God tenderized my heart, now I can see people suffering and I can truly FEEL for them, especially now, a lot more then before. I have a more tender heart because of it.



 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalms 127:3
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14
   ....thou art my God from my mother's belly.
 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Missionary

    It was easy to be a missionary ‘kid’. I was born there in Mexico, raised down there and didn’t know any better. But it is not easy to be a ‘missionary’. I am talking about friends and family that I know of and have talked to, who are missionaries to foreign countries. It is hard to grow up in the luxuries and comforts that America provides and to have to leave all that, leave your family, friends and church that you love to go to a place that is different and far, especially if you can’t speak the language and have totally different customs and way of life. God provides for their needs, emotionally, physically and spiritually, but it still is not a piece of cake.  
   It wasn’t easy for my Mom to leave her family and go to a foreign country of the which she couldn’t even speak the language. Perhaps it was even a little harder on her then what it was on my Dad. But they both obeyed, they went. As so many other missionaries around the world have, and still are. For some missionaries it is easier then others, each case is different. For Mom and Dad it was a blessed time on the mission field, even fun sometimes, but more then anything it was a laboring time. There are very few people I have higher respect for and appreciation for- then missionaries.
   I want to be a blessing to the missionaries I know, and maybe to those I only know of. When I was a kid growing up on the mission field every once in a while we would get a package in the mail with gifts inside for the whole family. It was so wonderful! Such a blessing! That probably wasn’t too hard of a task to do for the people up here who’d send it, or maybe it was, but all I know is that it would bless us, bless my Mom and Dad beyond your wildest imagination!  Sometimes, my parents funds would get low and we wouldn’t know where our next meal would come from or how we’d pay rent or utilities. But God would use a dear soul up hear in the States, or a church, and we would receive a love offering that would supply our needs just in the nick of time. Such a blessing! We never missed a meal and we never got kicked out our home from not paying the bills, and we never had to borrow. God supplied our needs. 
   Remember it is not easy being a missionary and my point in writing all this is do not forget your missionaries during these difficult times. The American economy will affect them just as well, or even more then it does you. Pick one or more of the missionaries you know and pray for them daily, and also open up your wallet and your heart and give. You never know how much of a blessing you could be to them and in return how God will bless you.
  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7