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Posted on Dec 28, 2012 in Devotional, Fertility | 15 comments

My God has Answered…

My God has Answered…

When I suddenly found myself jobless in May of 2010, I knew what to do.  I had actually taught classes on getting into the job/career you were made to do.  I had also worked in the Career Services office at my graduate school.  I had a great resume and future ahead of me.  But instead of jumping into an aggressive job search, I did the exact opposite.  I stayed home and prayed.  But I didn’t even pray for a job.  Instead, every time I opened my mouth to ask God for a job, what came out instead was a deep cry for a husband, children, and a home of my own.  The closest I could come to praying for a job was to pray for provision.  I half-heartedly sent out resumes and responded to job openings, but I did none of the things I knew to do to get the good job I was educated and experienced to do.

I ended up working for a friend, helping her take care of her large home and family, all the while paying off my graduate school student loans and trying to keep down the inward groan.  I loved her children and was thankful for financial provision, but struggled at times to deal with the humbling nature of the work.  I often reminded myself that this was the best training I could ask for if I truly wanted to be married and have a family.  I learned an incredible amount of hands-on, practical skills for family life during that time.

My friend had books of baby names that she used to as references in the name search for her many children.  The meaning of each child’s name was as important to her as how it sounded and what others might think of it.  One day I was flipping through one of her books and I decided to just look at what each name meant, looking for something that might mean something to me.  As I searched, I ran across one that stopped me suddenly.  “My God has answered.”  My heart was gripped.  It was a promise that took my breath away.  I had been begging God for a child, and to be able to name that child, “My God has answered,” would be amazing.

I looked over at the name, nearly wincing.  What name might match with this meaning?  I was afraid to look.  But then I saw the name and my heart did a little leap.  Beautiful!  I loved it, even though I didn’t think I’d ever heard it before.

Eliana – my God has answered my prayer.

Sleeping HandsEliana.  Eliana.  Eliana.  (El – ee- ah – nah)  The name rolled off my tongue, making me smile.  It was similar to my mother’s name, Elaine.  For days I walked around smiling and repeating the name, getting used to it.  And then one day I realized with a laugh that I have a cousin who named her daughter by the same name.  I had  heard it before, but it hadn’t registered in the same way.  I decided I was okay with giving my grandmother a second great-grandchild named Eliana.  If I ever were given the gift of a daughter, I would do my best to convince my husband that the best name for her would be Eliana.

When Rick and I discussed it, he liked it too.  We agreed to honor his mother by giving her the middle name of Rose, his mom’s middle name.  Eliana Rose – My God has answered with a beautiful flower.

When the doctor said, “It’s a girl!”, we already knew her name.  My heart swelled with thanksgiving to God for the blessing of this child, this daughter.  She is our answered prayer.  And I have a feeling we’ll be correcting people for a long time.  No, it isn’t Elaina (Ee – lay -nah).  No, it isn’t Ellie.  Please call her Eliana.  Please give the honor back to God every time her name is spoken aloud.  She is our precious answer to years of hopeful and heart-felt prayers.  Our beautiful flower.

The song that I find going through my mind repeatedly these days is the Edwin McCain song, “I Could Not Ask For More.”  I could not ask for more than this time together/ I could not ask for more than this time with you/ Every prayer has been answered/ Every dream I have’s come true/ And right here in this moment is right where I’m meant to be/ Here with you here with me…

“For this child we prayed, and the Lord has granted us our petition which we made to Him.”  I Samuel 1:27.

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Posted on Dec 26, 2012 in Fertility | 0 comments

It’s a Girl!

It’s a Girl!

2012-12-19 18.59.49I’m so happy to finally be able to announce the arrival of our precious daughter on Wednesday, December 19, 2012.  Eliana Rose Wyse was born at 2:15 p.m., weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long.  She has a head full of dark hair and the most beautiful little face I’ve ever seen.  I know I’m the mommy, so that’s a natural response, but really…  She’s absolutely perfect.

The doctor decided to induce labor, due to my high blood pressure.  Thankfully, she was born via natural delivery and no c-section was needed.  While I cannot write that I enjoyed the process of labor and delivery, I’m thankful to write that it was a breeze compared with pregnancy.  I was terrified of the experience that was before me, but on the day I kept hearing the comforting voice of the Lord assuring me that He was already in every part of the experience to come and would be with me.  I felt such peace and calm during the process and was thankful for the presence of the Lord I felt in the room.

Rick handled the entire process as I fully expected he would, with grace and calm and support.  He was beside me the entire time, doing whatever he could to help.  From the time I received the first medicine until the time she was born was around 23 hours, but active labor only lasted around four hours.  I did opt to receive the epidural, but due to the fast way I progressed at the end, I didn’t have the benefit of the full effect of the medicine.  It did take the worst of the pain away though and allow me to make it through delivery in a fairly calm way.  (You’ll have to ask Rick if I was really as calm as I think I was…)

When the doctor announced, “It’s a girl!”, I was shocked.  I really thought it was a boy, and although I had prepared for either option, my mind took a while to adjust to a girl.  I was absolutely thrilled though, thinking of all the sweet little dresses and all the girly things she and I will do together.

Rick’s parents live close by, so they were able to visit within a few hours of her birth.  My parents drove in from Virginia on Sunday and have been with us all week.  We are expecting plenty of other visitors over the next several months and looking forward to introducing her to every one of them.

Mommy and BabyShe is a good baby so far, eating and sleeping wonderfully.  I’m thankful that she doesn’t have colic or reflux or any number of other problems.  We are truly, truly blessed.

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Posted on Dec 13, 2012 in Devotional, Fertility | 5 comments

Waiting…

Advent is a season of waiting.  The whole world seems to hold it’s breath in anticipation of the birth of our Savior, preparing for the holy night with decorations, parties, gifts, baking, and family gatherings.  We put up Christmas trees and lights, make special treats, and shop for the gifts we hope will thrill our loved ones.  This year, in the middle of all these preparations and celebrations, Rick and I wait for a child of our own.  Advent seems like a very fitting parallel to our time of waiting.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been more full of expectation and hope – waiting for pain.  As Braxton Hicks contractions begin again this evening, I wait to see if they will increase in intensity.  Will there finally be pain with them this time?

It’s interesting to me that the thing I feared for so long during this pregnancy, the pain of labor and delivery, has become the thing I most want  (sort of…).  I certainly hope that it’s pain I can tolerate well.  I’ve done all I know to do to prepare myself for the big event; but it is pain that I’m looking forward to, nonetheless.

Mary was a young girl who had ridden a donkey for miles, guided by a husband she had not been intimate with.  She didn’t have her mother or sister with her when she went into labor.  She had no place to go to give birth to her child.  (It puts into perspective my feelings about the few things I have left undone in the nursery!)  When they finally settled into a bed for the night, it was in a dirty stable, a barn, with animals and hay.  There were no fetal monitors or nurses to attend to her.  She didn’t have an epidural, a spinal, or even a Tylenol.  She gave birth to Jesus, laid herself bare, with this man who had never touched her.

Yet Mary knew that the child in her womb was the Son of God.  How must that have felt?  She knew that the pain she endured, the lack of facilities, the lack of even a crib or bassinet, was all a part of how God was choosing to bring His child into the world.  Did she feel the arms of God wrapped around her as she labored?  Did she feel that tremendous sense of peace that only comes through His presence?  Did she long for delivery in the same way I long for it?  Oh, just to meet this child and see that sweet face?  And how much more, knowing she was looking at the greatest miracle of all?

These thoughts are tugging at my mind as I wait for my own little miracle.  The questions about if we’ll make it to the hospital on time or if I’ll have all the things I “need” with me when the time comes seem to lose their edge in light of what she went through.  Come quickly, sweet baby.  We are really looking forward to meeting you and holding you in our arms.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Posted on Dec 1, 2012 in Fertility, Marriage | 3 comments

Mine

Mine

I have a little confession to make.  I’ve allowed myself to indulge in a bit of fantasy over the years, dreaming of the day when I’d have a family of my own.  Becoming dependent on a man for everything never appealed to me so I wanted a career I could rely on if I ever needed to take care of myself, but I also wanted to get married and be a dedicated full-time mom to a house full of children.  (Talk about conflicting ideas in one head!)  I guess the only way I could get both things was to do what I did – focus on education and career, then get married and have babies later.

I couldn’t just want my family without having an idea of what I was getting into and how exactly I could be THE BEST mother and wife possible when the time came.  Strange as it may seem, I began reading books on parenting and marriage while I was still in high school.  I listened to radio programs that centered on healthy family dynamics.  I watched other people – how they handled their marriages and children – and made mental notes:  do this, do NOT do that, research that option further…  I went to counseling and learned what family systems I had grown up with that were healthy and unhealthy.  I worked hard to become someone who could have thriving relationships with others, free from insecurities and false notions of what normal family life is.  By the time I was in my late-20s, I felt like I’d gathered enough information to do a pretty decent job and had come to the conclusion that every parent and spouse messes up in some way so I could pretty much count on that too.

I spent a lot of time taking care of other people’s children.  I worked part-time as a nanny for an agency, meeting many different families.  I babysat for the children of my friends, deciding to love the children God had put into my life and enjoy the love I received in return.  And for about 18 months before Rick and I got married, I helped a dear friend take care of her six children and run her large household.  I filled my empty heart with the love of these dear friends and it made the loneliness much more bearable.

Part of my indulgence in fantasy included pretending like the kids were mine when I was out with them in public – driving, shopping, playing at parks.  For a little while, I’d allow myself to pretend like I was the mom, allow the strangers around me to believe what they wanted, and think about what my life would be like if it were true.  Car seats, French fries ground into the carpet, toys everywhere, germy little fingers – all of it!  I imagined they were my responsibility, not children I had borrowed for a few hours but ones I had nurtured from the beginning.  And most of the time I was happy to give them back at the end of the day or the outing, allowing their parents to deal with the long nights without sleep and the difficult discipline issues.

Much of the joy and wonder of this pregnancy has been eclipsed by the way my body has rebelled against it’s intruder.  All the love I have for this unborn child has somehow not been picked up by my digestive system, which has fought us every step of the way.  Surviving the next day has become a bigger concern than dreaming about what’s to come and there have been very few fantasies about my life after the baby arrives.  Instead, I’ve faced a lot of fears.  Why was I so confident that I’d be good at bringing children into the world?  I’m not nearly as tough as I thought I was.  What if this baby is as difficult to manage as this pregnancy has been?  Can I ever handle another pregnancy again?  What if I lose this baby after everything I’ve gone through?

As the end of the pregnancy has neared, my fears have calmed significantly.  It’s easier not to be afraid when constant vomiting and nausea aren’t your daily companions.  Much of my energy has returned and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Even if the baby were to come at this point, the pregnancy is viable and the baby appears to be thriving in my womb.  We have nearly everything done to our home in preparation, and the joy of this long-awaited Christmas season is starting to sink in.

120312131207Yesterday I was able to drive myself into the nearby town to drop something at the Post Office – a pretty exciting outing for this bed rest mommy.  As I got out of the car, I noticed the infant car seat strapped securely into the back, just waiting for it’s occupant, and I had to stop to catch my breath.  Tears sprung to my eyes as I realized that anyone passing by would assume – and rightfully so – that the baby seat is for MY baby.  It isn’t pretend any more.  I don’t have to give this child, this car seat, back to the woman whose been blessed to call this child her own.  I am the one who has been blessed!  Never again will I face that awkward moment when the child calls out to me by a name other than “Mommy” and those around us realize that I’m the aunt or the babysitter.

I remember once when my nephew was just a tiny baby, someone confused him as my child in front of my sister.  She was thoroughly annoyed and quick to correct the offender.  I was a little taken aback by her reaction until she explained.  She said after everything she went through to bring him into the world, all the pregnancy discomforts, plus the sleepless nights and countless dirty diapers, she wanted all the credit for him.  She did not want to share it with anyone else.  I get it now.

I’m grateful to God and to Rick for giving me the opportunity to be a mother.  I’m also grateful for all the research I did in a time when I had the energy and focus to do it.  The day that Rick and I actually put our new baby into his or her car seat for the first time and drive home will probably be one of the best days of my life.  I’m so excited about this new little person who I will have the privilege of calling my own.

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Posted on May 26, 2012 in Fertility | 54 comments

Big Announcement

Big Announcement

To my subscribers: you’re getting this post a day before it will be advertised on Facebook.  You’re the first to know.  Thank you for subscribing! 

During our wedding, I chose Psalm 40:1-5 as one of the verses we wanted to be shared with the congregation.  To me, it is a song of praise to God who has worked out marvelous things in our lives.  Today, as I get ready to share even more exciting news with you, I want to quote it again.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man who makes
the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
      You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
              your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

God has truly multiplied His wondrous deeds toward us. I am more aware of this fact than ever before in my life. Today Rick and I are ready to share with the world that God has granted us the desire of both of our hearts – a baby!
Our baby is due to be born right around Christmas.  I have had every pregnancy symptom the books mention, right on schedule.  Rick is as excited as I am, matching my own desire for children with his own.  We had to laugh when we realized our plans to celebrate our one year anniversary with a return trip to our honeymoon cabin in Gatlinburg will have to be scrapped – unless we want to bring a newborn with us!

I was afraid because it took us so long to find one another.  I feared pregnancy would be as elusive as marriage had been for us.  My heart swells with joy at the relief I experienced when we discovered in our fourth month of marriage that the miraculous had happened!

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

Psalm 103:1-5, 8-10

Here’s the first picture of our little peanut – at 8 weeks and 2 days old…

                       

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