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Posted on Aug 25, 2016 in Fertility, Health, Love, Marriage | 11 comments

Baby Wyse #3

Baby Wyse #3

Rick and I are so happy to let you know that Baby Wyse #3 is on the way! The baby is due to be born on March 16, 2017. We are soon to be out-numbered!

After Charlie was born, I decided there would be no more pregnancies for me. Pregnancy and I didn’t get along very well, and I had my son and daughter. My hands were incredibly full with a 15-month old and a newborn, so the idea of another baby made me feel like suffocating.

But the kids are now 3 1/2 and 2, much more self-sufficient and getting along great. I considered returning to work, but the options in our rural area are limited. After exploring those options without success, Rick and I decided that another baby might be a good thing. I was still terrified of pregnancy from my two previous experiences, so I began exploring alternative health options to see if I could have a different experience in the future.

I found a wonderful chiropractor who helped with the energy deficiency I couldn’t seem to shake. She introduced me to a local naturopath who ran some tests and provided hope that I could get some deep-seated health issues resolved and have a better experience. I had excruciating pain in my knees, in spite of having lost 20 pounds and following a diabetic diet to keep my blood sugar healthy. My primary care physician, chiropractor, naturopath, and the massage therapist I’ve been working with for several years all told me the same things: 1) This is a reaction to stress. Go on vacation and get your mind off your recent disappointments. 2) You need an anti-inflammatory diet. Meat, vegetables, fruit. No more bread and sugar.

I heeded their advice. I began taking the remedy the naturopath gave me (one bottle, not hundreds of dollars in various supplements). Our family rented a beautiful cabin in the mountains of Gatlinburg, and we brought our babysitter along. For the first time in about four years, Rick and I slept through the night without interruption for 8 nights in a row. I cannot minimize how much that helped me. A lack of sleep for that many years had really affected me. During that vacation, I took a complete break from social media and things came back into perspective. I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, and I simply enjoyed them.

Following that vacation, I started The Whole30, which I’ve written about before. I used that eating plan to help find a good balance for my body, and while I’m not where I want to be yet, I am confident that I’m headed in the right direction. As my diet changed, anxiety fell off me. My knee pain all but disappeared. I lost more weight. I began exercising again, and as summer came around, I began enjoying gardening and the warm, fresh air.

Strange things began happening, like instead of falling asleep after over-eating, my body screamed at me to MOVE. I started jogging a little, doing jumping jacks, and even (shock…) craving vegetables! I began to have healthy, normal responses to hunger and satisfaction. My hormones balanced out and the naturopath could find NO vitamin/nutrient deficiencies when she tested me.

Baby Wyse 3As I worked on my health, Rick and I decided to let nature take it’s course to see if we might conceive, but nothing happened. We thought it was possible that we had reached the end of our biological clocks and were okay with that. We are so content and blessed with our precious children. But I’m not very good at “going with the flow”, so after almost a year of seeing what might happen, I got serious. I began tracking and testing and was very pleasantly surprised to find that IT WORKED! The first month! Whoa.

Within an hour of getting that positive pregnancy test, I went to work. I made a list with the title, “Preparation for Armageddon”. I listed all the things I needed to do in the next one to two weeks to prepare for the sickness I’d had with the other two. I cooked up a storm and filled our freezer to the brim. I organized and planned and prepared. I had boundless energy and I used it!

When week five hit (the first time I threw up with Eliana), I still felt great. Relieved, I scurried around more, doing fun things with the kids while I could, making lists, and working in the yard and garden. I was intent on meeting my “step goals” on my fitness tracker and did so every single day that week.

When week six hit (when I really got sick with both kids), low-level nausea made it’s appearance. It was no big deal. I didn’t throw up, I wasn’t couch-bound, I even felt a little better if I went for a walk! So I walked and gardened and kept on cooking. One day we had a family fun event and I was pretty tired of feeling nauseated, so I took some anti-nausea medication. The rest of the day was great and I had no issues at all.

The days since then have been a combination of feeling pretty good (except for very, very tired) and feeling yucky/nauseated. I haven’t thrown up. On the days when I’m extra-tired, I take a nap with the kids. My energy comes back within a few days and I make up for the days before. I’ve been spending more time indoors and not getting many steps in, but I’m giving myself grace for that.

So far, this pregnancy is pretty normal. I remind myself that nausea isn’t that big of a deal and repeat out loud how grateful I am that I’m not throwing up. I can go for walks (with Eliana, extreme motion sickness made walking impossible), work in the garden, pick peaches with my husband, and cook meals. My meals aren’t spectacular right now, but they’re often hot and nutritious.

We’ve decided to wait until the baby is born to find out the gender. Once the baby gets here and is big enough to sleep in a crib in his or her own room, we’ll evaluate where the older two are with their maturity level and decide how to arrange the kids’ bedrooms. We have lots of ideas, but no solutions right now, and are hoping it becomes obvious to us when we need to decide.

I’d like to have a different birthing experience this time. The epidurals didn’t fully take either time before, and last time led to a horrific spinal headache that negatively impacted Charlie’s birth and my health for a while afterward. I’m planning to fully educate myself on non-epidural pain-relief methods, utilize a local midwife, and plan for a midwife-attended hospital birth. I take medicine for a headache, so I see no reason to go through labor and delivery completely un-medicated. However, the epidural is off the table. Thankfully, with the last two, the birthing process was actually the “easy” part. Not really, but so much easier than the pregnancies themselves.

We’ve told Eliana and Charlie and they’re thrilled. They have all kinds of fun and interesting questions. I have an app on my phone that shows an illustration of the size of the baby each week. Eliana LOVES to look at it and asks me almost every day to show her how big the baby is right now. Some questions I’ve had so far include:

“When the baby gets big enough to come out, will your belly just POP?” (A basic anatomy lesson followed that question and seemed to satisfy her concerns.)

“Do I have a baby in MY belly?”
“No, sweetheart. You’re too little to have a baby in your belly. That won’t happen until you’re more grown up.”
“Like Kristina?” (our 18-year old babysitter)
“Well, yes. You have to be at least as grown up as Kristina to have a baby in your belly.”

One day when I was particularly nauseated and tired and laid on the couch most of the day…
“Is the baby in your belly still sick?”
“No, Charlie, the baby isn’t sick. But because the baby is in Mommy’s belly, Mommy’s belly is a little upset today.”
“Oh, okay. Can you walk?” (Well, shoot. I guess I’ve been particularly lazy today. After that, I got up, took a Zofran, and got some things done.)

“If you throw up, Mommy, will you throw up the baby?”


I’ve always wanted a large family. Maybe we’ll stop after three and call that “large enough.” Maybe we’ll test nature a little more and see if four is possible. Rick looks at me like I’m crazy when I say that, but these kids will keep us young! 🙂 Our babysitter’s mom told me she had four more after she was my age, so it’s possible that if I keep myself healthy, I have plenty of time left…

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Posted on Apr 5, 2012 in Marriage | 8 comments



A few weeks after Rick and I were married, we were told by one of the elderly women in the community that we are fourth cousins.  HUH?  There had been some joking around before our marriage regarding our relation to one another because his sister is married to my uncle, but we didn’t have any idea of an actual family connection.  I tried to look through family books, spoke with my 91-year old grandmother, and tried to get to the bottom of this “relation.”  I didn’t have the patience to make the connections through our family books, so I finally joined to see what I could discover.

Within a couple hours of getting on the website (the first hour was dedicated to figuring out what I was doing), I had discovered it was true.  A few hours after that, I discovered that we’re also sixth cousins through another branch…  I thought it was kind of funny.  The ancestor who connected us had moved to another state to marry and only the oldest family member remembered the connection.  If not for her, we probably would’ve never known.

Great Aunts - Emma and Eliza Roth

In addition, I’ve also been told a little-known family secret that one of our ancestors was “a full-blooded Indian.”  This information has fascinated me, imagining some ancestor who went against all societal norms and married a Native American.  I was given this photo as proof of the ancestor.

Suddenly obsessed with our history, I began digging.  I traced my father’s father back to 1498 before the information ran out.  1498!  Isn’t that crazy?  I discovered that our ancestors had to flee religious persecution because they were Anabaptists, which is how they eventually ended up in America, traveling via covered wagon.  After weeks of searching, I have yet to encounter anyone Native American. We have a lot of German, French, and Swiss, and no explanation for the darker skin of the woman in this picture. I guess there’s only so much you can learn from reading…

But I’m not writing this blog to give you my personal family history.  In digging through record after record after record, I’ve discovered a theme.  Every single family all the way back (1498-about 1930ish) had an enormous amount of children by today’s standards.  Each family easily had 10-15 children and in my family line, there are about 25-30 names that are used over and over.  The same is true of my husband’s family as well.  Every once in a while a new name will pop up, but it doesn’t happen often and the “new” name is often a biblical name like Moses or Deborah.  Lastly, another theme I’ve observed is one that saddens my heart so much.  After having babies every year or every other year for two decades, a wife often died, leaving many young children.  Every time, the man remarried the very next year.  And who could blame him?  How is a man going to raise that many children alone?

I couldn’t help but think of the children that will someday look back at our records and wonder about us.  If the Lord tarries, in five hundred years I think our ancestors will look back at THIS time in history and say – Whoa!  What happened there???

Suddenly our families are much, much smaller.  (I would feel very bad for any family I ran across in my search who had less than five children.  I’d wonder what happened to them.)  Our names are different – names we think sound nice rather than those that honor our ancestors or biblical characters.  In the span of about 50 years, we have become drastically different people.  Those who still remain from the oldest generation, like my previously mentioned grandmother and my 92-year old WWII vet grandfather, must feel completely lost in this new generation.

Obviously, I am excited about technology and the way we can now communicate to vast audiences from our living rooms.  I’m excited about all the options available to me as a woman – job possibilities, travel, education, knowledge about health and fertility, and so much more.  I breathe a huge sigh of relief to know that I am not now forced to be pregnant or nursing until my body no longer allows it.  (Most of my ancestors were married by age 20 and had babies until their mid-40s.)  When I do have children, I have access to thousands of names, their meanings, and their origins.  I’m looking forward to choosing just the right name.  It is hugely relieving to me to be able to marry for the first time in my mid-30s, having completed my education, had a career, and seen much of the world.  I am healthy, well-rested, and capable of supporting myself.  There are tremendous benefits to the world we live in today.

I guess I’m just wondering what we’ve lost with all this newness.  Why is a family with six children stared at and questioned with things like, “You know how that happens, don’t you?”  Why are families like the Duggars (“19 Kids and Counting”) criticized for having their older children help with the younger children?  Isn’t that the way it was done for thousands of years?

We complain that “the kids these days” don’t have respect, they don’t follow through, they are spoiled, take things for granted.  Well, why not?  What real responsibility have they been given?  We want our kids to be able to be kids and not have to grow up too fast, but when they break their latest toy, we go out and buy them something even better to replace it.  How would “the kids these days” be different if they ever had some real responsibility – like the charge to make sure their little brother or sister is safe (a very important task when caring for a baby/toddler)?  How would they be different if they had known the hard work that goes into growing food, harvesting or butchering it, and preparing it without a microwave?  That the food that has been grown and processed must be shared with the fifteen other people in their family – and in order to get more, more must be grown and processed?

For the first twelve years of my life, I lived in the rural farming community I have returned to now.  My parents had a huge garden and my mom based many of our meals off what we grew, canned, and froze.  We didn’t buy steam-bag broccoli like I do today; we went down to the basement to get a jar of canned green beans; green beans that we had grown ourselves, canned ourselves.  We woke up early in the morning in the heat of summer to pick strawberries and raspberries.  I was regularly sent out to the garden to dig up some carrots and onions for dinner.  My sister and I sat on the back porch to shuck corn and shell peas.  We carried in fire wood for the stove that heated our house.  Even so, our life was a breeze compared with the way my dad was raised.

The other day I called my mother-in-law because a recipe I was making called for one more onion than I had purchased at the store the week before.  Rather than run out to the store, 10 miles away, for one onion, I checked with her first.  Oh my goodness!  She couldn’t believe I was BUYING onions.  She still had a stash left over from the summer AND there were some still in the ground in her garden.  She brought me a bag of them.  Hmmm…  I wondered if I could use summer onions in March?  Sure thing – they worked great.

When my family left the country and moved to the city, I was so relieved.  I promised myself that when I grew up I would NOT have a garden.  I would buy my food and not get all hot and sweaty and bug-bitten trying to grow and harvest it.  I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up and do exactly what I wanted.  But here I am, back in the farming community, and I can’t help but think about how nice it would be to be able to go out back and dig up some potatoes and onions for supper.  As for the sweating part, well, it’s amazing how well that burns calories, clears the pores, and keeps a person healthy.  Maybe our ancestors knew something after all?

One last comment about all the information I’ve discovered regarding our ancestors…  When I lived here as a child, I didn’t think we had any relatives in the area.  I felt our isolation on holidays when others went down the road and had meals with huge, extended families.  We tended to invite friends who also didn’t have families close by and made the best of it, which was fun.  But doing this research has shown me that my great-grandmother was born in the town I live in today.  I have many relatives in this area.  For some reason, finding that out makes me feel even more like I’m where I belong.

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Posted on May 15, 2011 in Before Marriage Blog, Spiritual Life | 6 comments

Boot Camp

Boot Camp

May 15, 2011

On this day last year, I found myself unemployed.  The church that had funded my full-time ministry determined that it could no longer carry the financial burden of the number of employees it had.  The leaders decided to downsize by 25%.  Although I felt that God had been preparing my heart for the change for nearly a year prior to the layoff, I was stunned.  I had not imagined the change would come in that form.  Surely what God had planned was tremendous blessing without any pain, right?

The swirl of emotions that followed was not unusual, but it was difficult.  I have wrestled with feeling like a failure, rejection and fear.  God sustained me during the worst of the down times.  I had a sense of peace in the middle of the storm that I could only attribute to His presence.  My emotions were reeling, but as long as I kept my eyes on Jesus, the storms soon passed and I was able to keep my peace.  Instead of being swallowed up by the negative emotions, I allowed myself to feel them, gave them to the Lord, and moved on.  That is one of the best testimonies I could ever give to the faithfulness of my Father.  With the wind and rain pounding around me, I was sheltered, safe and secure in His arms.

There is another very tangible blessing that I see as I look back over this year.  As a single woman, no one else is here to help me carry my financial responsibilities.  No, I don’t have a family to support, but I also have no one supporting me.  I had barely scraped by while I worked full-time at the church.  I had no idea how I was going to make it without my salary.  With no choice but to trust God as my provider, He proved to me that I was not alone after all.

I was given six weeks’ severance pay.  I felt in my heart that God would provide a new job and I didn’t need to hit the pavement, searching high and low.  But I didn’t want to completely freak my family and friends out by not applying for jobs, so out of respect for them I applied and applied and applied.  I sent out hundreds of resumes and I didn’t get one interview.  Not one.

During that time, I needed to buy new ink for my printer.  That stuff is expensive!  I sat in my desk chair, looking online at prices, looking at my bank account balance and the bills coming in, and not knowing what to do.  I had the money to buy the ink, but with no more money coming in I was afraid to spend it.  I needed the ink.  As I wrestled with what to do, I felt like God said, “Get what you need.  Whatever you spend will be covered.”  I knew with certainty that this wasn’t a license for irresponsibility, but that God would take care of what I needed.  I spent the money for the ink and the next day a man at church handed me the amount I had spent.  He had no idea of my need, just said God told him to give it to me.

My family had scheduled a vacation to the beach around the time my severance was ending.  I hadn’t committed to it because I thought I’d be starting a new job and wouldn’t have the vacation time.  But as the days neared and I still had no job and money was running out, my prayers grew louder.  I continued to hear God’s voice assuring me that it would be okay.  I felt like He told me to go on the vacation, enjoy myself, not worry about work, and He would take care of everything.  He wanted to bless me with the vacation.  I went.  As I drove to the beach that hot, summer day, I played a song over and over in my car – What’d you say to taking chances?  What’d you say to jumping off the ledge?  Never knowing if there’s solid ground below, or a Hand to hold… 

I took a chance on trusting God, gave up the job search, and thoroughly enjoyed my family.  On about the fourth day of the trip, my fear took over and I allowed myself a pity party.  Of course, I missed out on a really fun day with my family while I sat alone and sulked!  I picked myself up that afternoon and placed my fears back into God’s capable hands.  On the final day of vacation, I prayed all the way back to Nashville, begging God to intervene.

A few days after I got home, I went to a friend’s house to hang out.  As we talked, she mentioned that her nanny/housekeeper was unavailable.  She shrugged her shoulders and asked me if I’d want to help her out.  I’d helped with her kids before and loved them, but had never considered making a job out of it.  I didn’t need to pray about it.  I quickly answered, Yes, please.  She told me what she paid and the hours she needed.  I agreed.  It was extremely part-time – 13 hours a week – but it was something.

That was my job interview.  That job soon turned into about 20 hours a week – a low-stress, physical job where I get to care for 5 beautiful children who I adore.  Besides that, I get to help out a good friend with her home.  Ministry just took on a new meaning. 

God also provided a new living situation for me.  I moved in with an elderly woman who needs someone to be present overnight to help her out a little.  Free of typical housing expenses, I had enough money to pay my bills if I lived very frugally.

It seemed that every time an expenditure came up that wasn’t within my budget, someone would hand me the money I needed or I’d get an extra babysitting job.  I have not had one bill go unpaid.  I worked approximately 20 hours a week for six months and in that time I continued to repay debt as scheduled, and I had everything I needed.

As I was only working part-time, I had a lot of time to nurture the new relationship that sprung up unexpectedly.  I spent hours every night on the phone with my new love interest, received visits from him, visited him, and didn’t have to miss work to do so.

My family was concerned about how I would continue to survive financially and urged me to apply for anything I could find so I could have at least another part-time job.  I prayed about it and spoke to my boyfriend about it, asking what he thought.  Together we decided that I needed to be free to travel throughout the holidays (he and all of my family are located in different areas of the country), so I would hold off on finding a second job until after Christmas.  In January, I could start looking.

I worried about how I’d afford Christmas presents for my loved ones.  (I love giving gifts!)  Because of all the holiday parties and events, I was needed to care for the children on nights and weekends.  The extra hours provided all the money I needed to buy gifts.  I felt so blessed.

Right before I left for Christmas vacation, I got an email from the church, asking if I would consider a part-time job at the receptionist desk.  Although I was over-qualified, they knew I needed additional income.  I was able to work out the schedule and left for Christmas knowing my financial needs had again been met.  While on Christmas break, my friend asked if I wanted more hours at her house.  She is pregnant again and needed some extra help.  Between the two jobs, I suddenly had 40-hours a week, plus free living expenses.  When I added up the income of the jobs and added in what I was saving in living expenses, I’d gotten a raise!

Over the last several months, I’ve been able to pay extra on my debt and I even put a little money in an emergency fund.  I still have 3 days off each week, so travel arrangements are fairly easy to accommodate.  And the home I’m living in now has separate guest quarters that make it possible for Rick to stay here when he visits and still have his own space.

I am thankful.  My God has supplied my needs.  He has given me peace.  He has brought romantic love into my life and the joy that comes with feeling loved and accepted by someone I love and treasure.  God has allowed me the dignity of seeing my debt go down, down, down, and my savings go up.  And God is putting me through a new school these days – that of learning how to run a large household and care for many children.  I now know things I could have never learned in books – like how to put a gleam in the eye of a child who feels a little left out.  I’d like to think I know why He is putting me through this training, but I have discovered that what God does is never quite what I thought He was doing.  He is sneaky.  And while there are times that I feel rubbed raw by the hands that are shaping my life, I am delighted by the outcome.

I asked God to put me through a sort-of boot camp, quickly teaching me the things I need to know to get where I’m going faster.  Quit dragging it out a little at a time, Lord, and just give it all to me at once.  As long as it’s by Your hand, I’ll be okay.  I can handle it.  I knew it was a dangerous prayer.  I knew I might have times where I really regretted it.  And there have been times where I’ve cried out, Enough!  I didn’t know what I was asking.  Please stay Your hand for a minute so I can catch my breath.  But He is beyond faithful.  He gives grace.

I see this last year of my life as that boot camp.  God has humbled me, then humbled me again, and then humbled me again.  He has shown me clearly that I can do nothing without Him, and that my pride (I didn’t know it was such a problem) is an offense to Him.  He has proven to me that He will not give His blessing until I put Him first.  And yet He has given me such joy and hope as I explore the beauty of romance.

…He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.  (Isaiah 61:3)

One year later, I stand in awe of the blessing of the Lord.  Thank You, Jesus.

Psalm 63: 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

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