Friday, September 28, 2012

Grace - Max Lucado and a God Moment

Hello all,

It's been an interesting week. For me personally, I've no doubt that God is walking through a journey to my heart. Last Friday, as I sat with our former youth director and his wife, we were discussing many things, one of which being ACCEPTANCE.

This man is about to accept his first church as a senior pastor, and I know he's ready. He's excited and he's ready to take on any challenge God puts before him.
I was telling him about being with this group or that group and not feeling accepted, "I stick out like a sore thumb." 
Upon hearing, he asked me just a simple question that really caused me to stop and think.....
" Why do you feel a need to be accepted?" 
I've pondered over that all week, I'm still pondering over it. The same thoughts were carried over into my Sunday School lesson last Sunday,
This is not our home. We are aliens in the land ( 1 Peter 2:11-23 NIV)
The fact is, we're not suppose to fit in and it's o.k. to stand out.

perhaps, because you do things differently or "stand out,"
perhaps that will cause someone to ask,"why, what do you have?'
perhaps they will desire what you have in the way that you are content or at peace or joyful.....
perhaps, because you "stand out" the door will be open for you to share with them what it is you have
the gift of Grace, God's love, Jesus
It's o.k. to be different.
Be yourself.

Each one of us must choose for ourselves what we will do and not do. It's not for us to judge one another, but love one another.
Our new pastor has been telling us that over and over for weeks.........
"You don't have to like them, but you have to love them."
I struggle with that one.
What does it really look like to really love someone?
What does it look like and how do you "love" someone and not necessary, "like" them?
God's been working on my heart with this one.
How do you love your enemies?
How do you love those who are different from you or don't agree with you?
How do you learn to love everybody?
How do you learn to forgive and to love?

Yesterday, I had a God moment that I so want to share.  I was listening to Max Lucado and he was speaking on God's Grace that others try to be our conscience, but the only one that should be our conscience is the Holy Spirit and let His grace and mercy and love lead you.

The main discussion was from Max Lucado's new book "Grace."
He was covering the story from John 8:1-11, about the woman brought to Jesus caught in adultery. Here is what Max said. ( Click Here)

As I was listening to this message, I began to understand, maybe for the first time in my life, what love, unconditional love really means. It was truly a God moment for me.

God is working on me and my heart in so many ways.
Is he working on yours?
I hope so.

May you find peace as you walk with the Lord in whatever He is leading you or calling to do, and don't listen to the other voices that condemn you or judge you for choosing what you feel is right between you and the Lord.
Keep your eyes on Him.
He loves you.

1 John 4:7-12 NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Do You Really Believe? What's in Your Heart?

This past Sunday, I pondered this question.
If God blesses me with #6 and I qualify for Maternity Medicaid, should I apply or should I expect God to meet my needs through other means?
I have chosen to leave my family planning in God's hands. 
Life and death are His choice, not mine
So, if I find myself expecting baby #6, then I trust God will provide for it, (and He does)
but do I consider qualifying for maternity medicaid as a way God provides for His blessings, or is that wrong to assume that?

Yesterday, I posted about Gov Assistance, Should it Exist?
I used Gov Assistance with baby #2 and #5.
I feel like God provided for us through the maternity medicaid program.
However, others are quick to tell me they think differently.
So, I ask you What do you really believe? What would you do and what's the condition of your heart?
Think long and hard before you answer......... Are you willing to change things? Are you willing to step up, get involved and make a difference?

I lost 2 babies in a 6 month time period, Aug 2009 and Feb 2010.
Both I feel were gifts from God. Yet for whatever reason, God gives and God takes.
If I had not gone through those miscarriages, I would not be able to relate to women who have, and through those experiences, God is now using me to help, comfort, support and encourage other women in their calling to motherhood and sometimes through the journeys of loss, miscarriage and infertility.

When we found out we were pregnant with #5, Kaitlyn, even though our doctor does not accept medicaid, we qualified and she accepted it. We have private insurance that would pay 80-90%, but she wanted us to have the best care possible, and whatever might come up, testing, procedures, hospitalization; whatever it took to bring Kaitlyn home, she wanted it cover by all means possible. So, the doctor took both our insurance and maternity medicaid. 
Sure enough, at 33 weeks, my water broke and I spent only 11 days in the hospital. I was very blessed that God gave us Kaitlyn at 34 weeks, healthy, 5 pounds and we went home without NICU. However, those 11 days resulted in a $37K bill. If we had only had insurance, we would have paid about $4K out of pocket. We would have eventually done it, but it would have put a huge financial stress on this family and that was only for 11 days! What about the sweet mommas who are hospitalized for months in order to bring home the babies God gives them? Would you expect them to not accept what they qualify for and expect them to slowly pay out 10-20% of $100s of Thousands of dollars? Would you help them pay or would you point them to medicaid? Could it possibly be that in some cases, God does provide by providing Gov assistance because we can't help everybody or we won't help those in need?

I had a lady come visit me in the hospital. She had no idea I was on medicaid. I was telling her about a mom who delivered a baby at 22 weeks. Her first question to me, ( and this woman was a church going woman), her first question to me was, " Is this woman a black woman on medicaid?" 
I was mortified!!!
I didn't know and it didn't matter.
I was praying for the baby to live and for momma who delivered her.

This woman made a gross general assumption that most people in the system are black and most people in the system are in it because they are lazy or feel the government owes them something. It was horrible to hear those words come out of her mouth. This is a woman I highly respected. She's one of the women in our community who  promote the Right to Life, Anti-Abortion movement, but here she was practically telling me that these black women get pregnant on purpose to stay on welfare and let us and the gov pay all their bills.

I lost respect for her that day. What's the condition of her heart? What does she really believe?
Is pregnancy a gift or a choice? and would she be willing to pay my bills if I got pregnant again and could not? Would she consider my baby a gift or a choice? 
Would she willing to pay my bills to keep me off the system? 
These things I ponder...... 
If life and death is really in God's hands and we should be helping one another.... would she consider the Wingfield's as being foolish if we were pregnant with #6 and then found it hard to pay bills and make ends meet? 

That's what I wonder. That's my challenge. What do you really believe? What's really the condition of your heart? 
What would you be willing to do? Do you really believe all you say you believe and are you willing to do something about it? or are you just going to be critical and judge people. 
Would she be quick to tell me I shouldn't have any more, I should be on birth control,or get my tubes tied? and yet stand on street corner and protest on Right to Life Day? 
What Would Jesus Do?
What Would You Do?
It's all or nothing. 
Where do you stand?
What's in Your Heart?
Think. Pray. Do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Government Assistance - Should it Exist? WWJD? A Challenge for all Christians

This morning Chris Jeub has posted a comment on his family blog about Gov Assistance and I'd like to post this out to all of you for open discussion. Chris Jeub, father of 16, and I sometimes discuss issues that effect families, and this one is a big one. Gov Assistance - Should it Exist? or should we solely depend on God to provide through other means? I asked Chris the question, "if God blesses you with #17 and you find yourself in a situation like The Duggars where the baby needed hospitalization and NICU and the amount would cause to go bankrupt, or let's say a child needs a life saving surgery and you qualified for Medicaid, would you accept, knowing in your heart that this was God's way of providing for you? I understand there are those who take advantage of the system, yes, but as you said God provides for His children..... I believe sometimes in the form of temporary assistance...... think about it" Let me say, I will never ask taxpayers to pay for birth control. Those that know me, know exactly where I stand on that issue, and I do not believe we should pay for anything optional or that one could pay for on their own through actually working for it. However, there are those times when the needs far exceed what we as individuals can provide. If you want to completely do away with Gov assistance.... would you willing to personally help pay for someone's maternity care if God blesses them with a child? Would you be willing to pay for the cancer treatments of that sweet teacher in your Sunday School class? Would you be willing to help pay for the nursing home or assisted living for your friend's mother? See, that's what we would have to do. WWJD? What would Jesus do? What would you do? The Bible tells us to love, care and provide for one another just as God loves, cares and provides for you, and if you want to see an end to Gov Assistance and all the UGLINESS you see in this world, ARE YOU WILLING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? Are you willing to step in and provide in the name of the Lord? We're quick to judge, condemn and speak out about the " Government" and the " System" and those " people who use food stamps or welfare." You don't like it. CHANGE IT! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  Open your hearts and your wallets! Spread the love of Jesus by first sharing who He is. Give people Jesus.Secondly, do what he would do....... and if you are not willing to do that and someone you know needs maternity care, medical care, etc, and they qualify for Gov Assistance- Don't you say a word against them, because in my opinion, that is God's way of providing for them where you didn't. - If you need help, don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for it in all forms and don't be ashamed to accept it in all forms that God may provide........ and We as Christians, I again repeat the question to you, you want Gov Assistance to end????? You see it as something ugly? abused? not needed? WWJD? What would Jesus do? What would you do? The Bible tells us to love, care and provide for one another just as God loves, cares and provides for you, and if you want to see an end to Gov Assistance and all the UGLINESS you see in this world, ARE YOU WILLING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
I'm opening the flood gate. Feel free to comment. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Be Content and Enjoy Every Moment

...... for we know not what our future holds but who holds our future. Live life to the fullest. Be content and bloom wherever God has planted you. As a mom, as I watch them grow, I realize...the time with our children and our lives are gifts, both go so quickly, enjoy every moment of it. Cherish it all.

Friday, September 14, 2012

What We Mean By Quiverfull by Chris Jeub ( Father of 16)

Several years ago, I was on a website called the Quiverfull Digest. Once upon a time, long before the age of Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., most of us as stay at home moms and home-school families connected through other resources at the time. Do you recognize some of these? Above Rubies, Yahoo Groups and the  Quiverfull Digest. At the time, it was a wonderful way to bring hundreds of people together from all over the world who shared similar beliefs. It was a place to receive encouragement, support and love. Sound familiar?

Is that not what we are expected to do each and everyday as Christians seeking to follow by example the life of Christ?

The Quiverfull Digest is gone now, but it allowed me to meet some amazing people whom I still stay in contact with today. One such family is the Jeub Family. Wendy and Chris Jeub are the proud and happy parents of 16 children. Like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, they were discovered by the media several years back, and I'm sure what the media attempted to use as a ratings booster of, " look at the freak show we found," God intended and has used for good. After that first TLC airing of " Children by the Dozen " (2007), the Jeub family went on to write books, start multiple family businesses and daily encourage, support and love everyone they meet. They are an inspiration and I enjoy following the journeys they share on their Jeub Family blog. This past week, they have listed a series of informational blogs that I would like to share with all of you.

As a large family, (and we are only a family of 7), many people tell us, " I don't know how you do it."
It's not that hard. We simple trust God, love each other, and take everything one step and one day at a time. We know God is with us. He loves us and He provides for us. Just as parents love and provide for their children, so God loves and provides for us. Do you as parents want your children to love and trust you? Why should we be any different with God?
Anyway I thought I would share with you today's post from Chris Jeub, " What We Mean by Quiverfull," and I put links to two others at the bottom.
Thank you Chris and Wendy for sharing your lives and your journey.

What We Mean by Quiverfull

6 Years of Blogging. This article really stirred up a lot of controversy, but it was warmly received by thousands. Here’s some recent feedback:
I met my husband while we were both serving in the Army. He came from a non-Christian background, but gave his life to the Lord as a young adult. A few years ago my husband and I found the blog post that your husband had written on what you mean by Quiverfull. God had placed on my heart to allow Him to have full control of every aspect, including the number of children we have, but my husband was weary. After reading that blog post and reading the scriptures, God placed it on his heart to fully make the commitment to allow God full control of our family.
What may have started as our attempt to explain the choices we’ve made in our family has become a validation for countless number of couples. A version of this article made it in our book, Love Another Child. Originally published July 22, 2009.

Photo by Rick Wilking, Copyright (c) Reuters, Inc.
Photo by Rick Wilking. Copyright (c) 2009 Reuters. Used with permission.
Some words come loaded with connotation. I think of deep words like Christian or love: the words themselves seldom do the meanings justice. They are better understood by observing–by showing, not telling. “Quiverfull” is one of these words.
It is no surprise that shows like TLC’s John & Kate Plus 8 and the Dugger Family Show have done so well. Viewers are allowed a glimpse into the quiverfull life, to observe the claims in action.
We finished our Reuters and CBS interviews last week. The picture above was taken by Rick Wilking who will also be doing the article on what it means to be “quiverfull” (view slideshow here) CBS plans to have a show (maybe even a few shows), the Jeubs being one of the families featured.
These two media opportunities attempt to answer the question: What does “quiverfull” mean? I suppose a show is much better than an essay, but the question still deserves a rhetorical answer. This article will attempt to explain the quiverfull idea, at least what it means for the Jeubs.

Where the Term Comes From

The term comes from one of the most poetic books of the Bible, the Psalms (or “songs of God”). The subtitle in the header of this Web site is taken from the same Psalm and is a reference to the quiverfull idea. Here are the verses in full (New International Version):
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
One of the shortest chapters in the Bible, but one of the most poetic. Poetry, as defined by one of my college professors, is “condensed thoughts.” Wendy and I have found these verses to be incredibly encouraging as we walk in faith in what God is calling us to do. These verses validate our risks, they galvanize our trust. We’ve applied these verses to the actions in our life, and I can honestly attest that it has led to a most adventurous one.
One small side note on that: the more profound verses from Scripture are misunderstood and often avoided. This is too bad, really. If you are not a Christian, or if you don’t believe the Bible to be genuinely from God, you may end up struggling with these “condensed thoughts.” Sure, you may find this article interesting, but the real depth and understanding comes in applying the principles. These are verses of faith, of walking the walk. We are people of faith, and, truthfully, I can’t imagine applying these verses without a solid faith.
Anyway, back to Psalm 127 and the principles of our quiverfull lifestyle.

Letting God Have Control (versus 1-2)

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
The metaphors of the first two verses illustrate that Psalm 127 wants us to put God in control of our home building. Our home is our heritage, our family, the things that matter most. I could have likely built my family without God in my life, but I would have most likely done a lousy job. The picture you see above is awesome, and I have to say it is because God has been with us every step of the way.
Surrendering your life to God isn’t the easiest thing to do–it may appear to some as a bit foolish–but it is most daring. I have seen miracles happen in areas of my life that I would have otherwise thought hopeless. Here are just three examples: finances, employment and relationships. When I surrender my financial life to God you’d expect poverty, but I am blessed with much more than monetary wealth. I trust God with my employment, and I receive the joy of self-employment. I have given my relationships up to God, and I have discovered profound love. These were steps of faith where the results would have logically led to harmful consequences, like a blind man walking into a wall. Instead, the consequences have been beautiful. I’ve found this to be the way God works with me: he wants my faith, then he takes care of the results.
The same goes for our reproductive life. Wendy and I believe God wants us to trust Him in our family planning. The results are his to deal out. We’re more than just fine by that. We areamazed at how incredible the blessings have been. I almost have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I look at the picture above and think, “Can life be so good?”
I suppose that picture could be seen as a bit scary. The remaining verses challenge us to rethink how we see children.

Children Are Blessings (verse 3)

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
How have modern couples gotten into their minds that children aren’t a blessing? Oh, I know, few would come right out and say that, but their actions sure show it. I’ve witnessed parents in earshot of their children rant and rave on how difficult parenting is. In our book Love in the HouseI tell of a mom who tried to convince a couple of snow-boarders how awful parenting is:
I recall sitting with three of our kids on a shuttle bus at a ski resort in Colorado when a mother sitting with two children struck up a conversation with a couple of college-aged men. This mother (within earshot of her kids) proclaimed: “Enjoy your life while you can! Once you have children, everything gets so difficult. What I would give to be young again!”
I remember this so well because the two students–whom you might expect to chime right in and complain about children–brushed off this mother’s advice. One long-haired snowboarder said, “I believe children are a blessing.” His friend agreed, “Yeah, I look forward to having a family.” So much for stereotypes.
This gets a little dicey when I challenge parents to rethink what they’ve been told all their lives: “Have perhaps one or two children, but then stop.” Having more than these token children are seen as selfish or irresponsible. Like the mother on the bus, the joys of youth were much more enjoyable than the agony of parenting. Why prolong the pain?
Truth is that these same parents would never admit that there one or two children aren’t blessings. Even this mother on the bus–if pressed–would have admitted she loved her children. Why, then, would you predetermine the next child as some sort of curse?
Imagine for a moment you and God having a conversation. God says, “I want to bless you with $15 million.” You return, “No thanks, God. Sounds like agony to me. I’ll just put up with the few bucks I can manage on my own.”
Take another look at Rick’s photograph above. You know what? My life is really, really good. Granted, it hasn’t all been so peachy, but who can claim a life that is? I can’t imagine life without any one of those blessings–and two adult children not pictured, plus a grandson. God had a fantastic plan in store for Chris and Wendy Jeub when he laid on our hearts to let Him have control of our blessings. The idea that any of these children pictured are not blessings is a ridiculous idea. Actually, it’s kind of sinister, and only a demented parent would claim such a thing.
We take that a step further. We have 15 children, but why would we say that #16 wasn’t a blessing? Or #17? Or #18?
Let me rewind time and put some names to this quiverfull idea. When we had Isaiah 13 years ago (my first son, 5th child), the conventional logic was to stop having children. I had four daughters and now a son, why go on? If I would have followed this course, I wouldn’t have Micah, Noah, Tabitha, Keilah, Hannah, Josiah, Havilah, Joshua, Priscilla or Zechariah.
God convicted Wendy and me to continue having children. Perhaps God convicts couples to restrict pregnancy, but truth be known, I haven’t met any. Most people give me all sorts of reasons why they stopped having children, none of which include, “God told me to stop.” Instead, reasons include “I can’t handle anymore children,” “What would my neighbors think?”, “I can’t afford it,” etc., etc. In other words, “Another child would not be a blessing.”
Verse 3 nips this fallacy in the bud, and the remaining verses blossom the “quiverfull” metaphor.

Blessed Is the Man Who Has His Quiver Full (verses 4-5)

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
These two verses are written with military terms (e.g. arrows, warrior, quiver, enemies). I don’t read this literally. I read this as a metaphor, representative of our walk through life. Whatever life throws at you, a solid family brings strength, stability, preparedness. Paraphrase: “As a warrior entering a battle with a quiver full of arrows, so is a father with a houseful of children.” Whatever the enemy throws at you, you can withstand.
People err in thinking “quiverfull” as some contest to have as many children as possible. I know quiverfull-minded people with just a couple kids; they are content with their two and they are fine if God gives them more. Likewise, I have corrected people who cry out to God for as many children as the Jeubs (I guess you can call them quiverfull wannabes. Believe it or not, they’re out there!). Such is not the quiverfull mindset. We’re not on a racetrack; we are merely letting God have control of our family numbers. This is a walk of faith, not a race to a finish line.
You see, having a “full” quiver is a relative term. That could be 15 children for Chris and Wendy Jeub. I’m not going to manipulate that number. This area of our life–that of so-called family planning–is in God’s hands. We’re refusing to manipulate that.
I can’t begin to tell you how freeing this walk is. It really is! We have been so blessed by our children, our extended family has been blessed, our children bless each other…there is so much blessing going around that I can barely stand it! This is freedom, a good life, an abundant life.

The Quiverfull “Movement”

I’d be fooling you if I were to say this is just my personal conviction. While Wendy and I have acted on faith, I believe God is working on a lot of couples’ hearts. Vasectomies may be #1 unneeded surgery in the world, but do you know what is #2? Reversals. I believe that the quiverfull mindset is moving through the hearts and minds of young couples.
This is more than a hunch. refers to the quiverfull movement taking popularity around 2004 in international media. It references an article from The Nation(hardly sympathetic to quiverfull people) that claims the movement is in the thousands to tens-of-thousands. I find these low numbers hard to believe, but no worries. The multiplying factor make these numbers seem huge (10,000 to the 10th degree equals a lot of people).
Every movement that pushes against the tide of the status quo will have its failures. Most viewers, I gather, are saddened at John and Kate’s separation, and more saddened for their children. Life would have been grand for their beautiful–now broken–family. For me, this doesn’t hinder what God has laid on my heart, nor should it hinder you. Move forward with faith, and let God handle the results.
Word count: 2,017 words. Quite an attempt to define the loaded word “quiverfull.” It falls short of the true quiverfull experience, the idea and what it truly means. For the Jeubs, we are who we are, we confidently apply Psalm 127 to our lives, and we open our home to media like CBS and Reuters as means of explaining ourselves.

Other Jeub blog entries: Bible Verses for the Blessings of Children
How Do We Budget for Christmas?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why I Feel Called to be Momma

This is my story.A story of love, loss, faith and grace.
Always know, you are never alone.
God is always with you.
He loves you.
God is love.

So many of you out there are like myself.
You love being Momma.
There's nothing like feeling a baby's first kicks within the womb,
(and of course the "conceiving" with your husband is nice too!)

But I love the whole experience!
Time with my husband
First heartbeats
First kicks
The flood of joy when the baby is delivered!
And holding that new baby...........
Watching them grow, change, learn and live!
It's the best job in the world!

I'm called to be Momma and I love it!
Even on those days that seem so long, I realize how blessed I am to have five beautiful healthy children.
Thank you Lord for the blessing of my children.

In Scriptures Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV)
My story does have a happy ending

When it comes to my health and monthly cycles, I'm usually consistent.
Every 28 days, that visitor knocks on my door.

However, back  in the Spring 2009, this family had some big changes.
We moved into our new home, and at the same time there were some extended family issues that combined with all that was going on with the move and settling in. It made life extremely stressful for me.

I should have given all that stress to God. I should have laid it all at His feet and walked away, but  I didn't do that.
I let it get to me......and my health suffered.
In May, my cycle was only 26 days.
In June, 25 days.

I wanted more children. 

I was 37 years old
I wasn't ready for this peri-menopause, pre-menopause.
I wasn't  ready to shut that door.

So, I did what probably most of you do. I began looking for answers and ways to fix things.

I knew I wasn't ovulating. I do sell and use ovulation tests
First thing I did was make an appointment with my OB/GYN to see what was going on. however, I couldn't get in for almost two months.
This was June and I couldn't get in to see my doctor until July 24.
I struggle with patience." No! I want it fixed now!"

Patience has never been one of my virtues.

So I turned to ever faithful internet and forums and groups for answers.
Here's what I found, and what I did.
I bought vitamins and started taking
Prenatal Vitamins
Folic Acid

I also read about Vitex/Chasteberry, a supplement to help improve fertility. I was taking it on days 1-14,
and then to to top it all off, I read about using natural progesterone cream on days after ovulation to extend the fertile period. So, I was doing that too. I'd stop the Vitex on day 14 and start using the cream on all my pressure points day 14-21, but I would stop using the cream on day 21 to wait and see if a cycle would come or to see if I was pregnant. I was determined to get back to normal 28 day cycles and get pregnant again!

What joy I experienced July 10, 2009 when my pregnancy test read postive!!!!!
Yea!! Thank you God! #5! Oh my goodness!!! I was elated!
It worked!
I was healed!
I was pregnant and all was well!

I continued to take the vitamins but no longer used the Vitex or progesterone cream. I didn't need it anymore. I was pregnant.

I didn't know........

On Saturday night, August 8, 2009, I began spotting. 
I had never experienced this before, but I knew what it was.
I was 8 weeks pregnant.
Maybe I had just over done it that day. Maybe if I slow down and rest............
After church Sunday, things began to get worse.
I called the doctor. They told me to go to the ER.
I spent the afternoon in the ER. They examined me, took blood, ran sonograms.

The sonogram showed a sac at 5 weeks, not 8 weeks, no heartbeat.
Monday night, God allowed everything to happen naturally.

Tuesday, as I began sharing with all of you on groups and forums,
some of you knew what I did not..............

If you use progesterone to help regulate your cycles and you become pregnant, you must CONTINUE using progesterone until week 14 of your pregnancy. At that point, the body should begin making the progesterone on its own. I DIDN'T KNOW!!!!!!!!! I DIDN'T KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was my fault.............

I was being so selfish, so determined. I didn't leave it in God's hands. I took it into my own hands, and my lack of knowledge...................... I caused this.......................

The grief, at first was overwhelming.
If I had just waited for God or maybe the doctor and God working together.
I should have never taken the Vitex or used the cream. I had no business trying to do this on my own!

Some of the facts I've learned.......
Progesterone is the hormone that helps build, nurture and establish the Uterine wall for implantation of an egg. Each month, after ovulation, your body slows the production of progesterone. If you are pregnant, normally the levels will stay a little higher and begin increasing. If you are not pregnant, the levels continue dropping until a monthly cycle occurs.

If you are using progesterone creams or supplements and abruptly stop, your body receives a signal that it's time for a monthly cycle, pregnant or not, your body registers that progesterone production has stopped, and it's time for a cycle.

This is also what happens with birth control pills. Days 1-20 of birth control pills contain a level of progesterone, but days 21-28, when you take the placebo or no pill at all, the body is signaled that it's time for a cycle. YOU CAN GET PREGNANT ON THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL!!!!!

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar talk about this in their book, " Twenty and Counting." After they had Joshua, they decided to wait awhile before having more children. She conceived while taking the pill and had a miscarriage. they too, were informed the truth about the effects of progesterone. 

You can get pregnant on the pill, but even if you get pregnant, as soon as those progesterone levels drop below a certain level, you are going to have a cycle, pregnant or not. ....... 

My story continues, my dr told me to try again, " You'll be pregnant again by Christmas." 

I started the regiment again, Vitex on days 5-9, I got pregnant again in December, this time the dr put me on Prometrium. 
10 weeks later, I had a healthy baby.
The doctor said to come off the Prometrium, 
I hesitated....... Everything I had read said at least 17 weeks. 
He was so confident, he said, " I could take out your ovaries and you'd still be pregnant. Trust me." 

2 weeks later 2-13-10, we lost Baby Grace at 12 weeks and that doctor refused to take any responsibility. He had not done any blood work or progesterone monitoring. He thought he knew it all, " These things just happen," He said, and he refused to do any testing......... 

In March 2010, as my cycles returned, I personally do not believe in using birth control and I was not going to lose any more babies.
I believe God has Called Me to be Momma and He expects me to keep my body in optimal health to do whatever He has called me to do.

I called a doctor in a nearby town, a woman this time. She heard my story,( all of it) and had me in the office the very next day to begin testing. 
Two  months later, I was fully diagnosed with low progesterone. Had the other dr completed any blood work, he would have found that out. At times my progesterone levels were a -1 out of a normal range of 15-17 for conception.
I did 4 months of Clomid, but the numbers never got higher than 12 on Clomid.
So, I stopped and decided to go back to natural therapy, vitamins, vitx, progesterone cream, healthy diet.
As month after month passed, I was 38 years old and nearing 39. Perhaps God was telling me, "No more. This is it."
I mourned on Christmas Eve 2010. I had been pregnant twice in a year and lost 2 babies in a six month time period.
Baby #1 would have been born in March 2010. Baby #2 was due in September 2010. I should have had a new baby to hold this Christmas. This should never have happened...........
" Lord, what do you want from me?"

And then..... just as I began to accept God had closed the door........
I found out we were expecting Kaitlyn on January 17, 2011.
Guess who got pregnant for New Years!!!!

This time would be different. I couldn't lose this one. I had to fight.
My new doctor, the one who had done the testing, put me on progesterone suppositories everyday for the first 20 weeks and closely monitored my blood work and sonograms every week to 2 weeks. I also spent the majority of Weeks7-17 in bed. We were not going to lose this one.

At 20 weeks, the doctor told me I could slowly wean off the progesterone, but I was scared to death. If I delivered 2 weeks from now at 22 weeks, Kaitlyn would not survive. The doctor understood my fears and allowed me to slowly wean off the progesterone at my own pace. 

I quit taking the progesterone at 31 weeks and at 33 weeks, on August 8, 2011, my water broke. We were experiencing a huge Texas heatwave last summer and the doctor doesn't believe it was the progesterone dropping that caused the water to break early. One train of thought is that it was probably due to dehydration, but I have to admit, I wish I had stayed on the progesterone a few more weeks.
It was a scary week in the hospital, but I delivered a perfectly healthy baby, Kaitlyn,a week later on August 16, 2011. She weighed 5 pounds even and we went home 3 days later. God is so good.

Remember, at the beginning of this story,  I quoted Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."(NIV)

I'm in a very good place right now. As much as I didn't want any of the heartache to happen. As much as I wish I had not had two miscarriages, God took something very bad in my life and turned it into something good and beautiful.
You see in the midst of all the struggles,I learned God never leaves me. He's always here and He loves me and He is my best friend.
What a friend I have in Jesus.

If none of these things had happened, I wouldn't have Kaitlyn and I wouldn't be where I am today.
You see God led me to a new doctor, a new church home, new friends, and a new life..... not just for me, but for my entire family. My whole family is happier and more complete now than they were before all of this happened.
While going through the testing, I was introduced to a infertility group on Facebook, and that has opened the door for me to be an older mom and mentor to others who struggle with infertility or have had miscarriages. My experience taught me how to relate, support, encourage and love in ways I was not equipped to do before all of this happened.

Lastly, I now share my story and what I've learned so that my mistakes can be learned from. Perhaps the information I have learned will help someone else prevent a miscarriage or overcome infertility.

I've known since I was a little girl, that above all things, I wanted nothing more than to be Momma. I am Called to be Momma.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

God took something very bad and very ugly and made something beautiful out of it.
This is why I do what I do.

God loves you.

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