Unwed Pregnancy, the Stigma Needs to Stop

I recently read an amazing blog post by one Chad Ashby that moved me very much and I feel called to discuss it. His article, entitled “Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy is not a Sin” is about as on point as one can get. I urge each and everyone reading to click his link and read his powerful and ever so true words. This thought process is a huge flaw in the pro-life movement and in the mindset of many people in general.

When I was pregnant with AG, my birth-daughter, I was young, alone, afraid, and not ready for the world to know I was pregnant. Raised in a very religious household and within a very strict community I knew what people would think, or say, no matter what was actually the truth. Once people started to find out the whispers began. And it wasn’t outsiders that whispered, it wasn’t members of my town or strangers. No, it was people I had once called friends, it was family, it was the congregation at church. It was easier to shun me and call me names than dare accept me or the child in my womb. And yet each one of these individuals called themselves “pro-life”.

I was chastised on a regular basis for being joyful about my pregnancy despite its struggles and difficulties. This was unfathomable to me. Why wouldn’t I be joyful? It’s a life. And yet I had people around me telling me to not be happy, that things were horrible, that I was horrible.

It was this point in my life where my faith was truly tested, and quite honestly it was at this point that it started to first crack. I saw around me, constantly, members of my church, people of my faith openly condemning me for my pregnancy and my choices in that pregnancy. I struggled to rectify beliefs with the actions of the people I was surrounded by. It was in this darkness, feeling utterly and completely alone and abandoned that I found my safe haven.

The Nurturing Network gave me hope again. Pairing me with a peer counselor, helping me make doctors appointments, and reminding me that I was worth it and that my life would be okay and so would my child’s. Mary and Ann helped me beyond measure and through them and my counselor I met the women my daughter would call mom.

I had many people tell me what I should do, what I needed to do, even commanded of what I had to do. But through the support of the Network I was able to make those decisions for myself. It wasn’t easy, but my knowledge of child development, life, and my ability to see where I was at in it I knew in my heart that adoption was the best possible thing I could do for my child. I was unsure of how it would work but through the support of the family and the Network I am blessed to have an open adoption and the ability to see my first daughter grow up every day.

I am blessed beyond measure to have found an outreach that reminded me that unwed pregnancy isn’t a sin and that I had no reason to allow myself to be cast aside or treated as infected. If one is going to preach “pro-life” in any capacity one must know truly what it means and how to advocate for it. Because if we condemn a mother for being pregnant we condemn that child inside her and there is nothing pro-life about that.

Mr. Ashby had a very good line in his article stating

When we overlook sexual immorality but condemn unwed pregnancy we spread Satan’s lie: “Fornication is fine, but babies are bad.”

How true that statement really is.

It’s time the the “Pro-Life” community, and the Catholic community especially realize that unwed pregnancy isn’t a sin and that by continuing to operate under that overly pious belief and react in manners that tear down unwed pregnant women or make them feel ashamed, you contribute to the destruction of life. And therefore have no right to call yourself “Pro-Life”.  Additionally in that condemnation you pull people from the faith. It is our job as as Catholics, as Christians, to lift up people. To make them feel the love of Christ, a Savior born to an unwed mother himself. Perhaps it’s time to look back on that fact my Catholic brothers and sisters and see the grace, the humility, the love, and the reaction we are supposed to be giving these women.

For Elizabeth said unto Mary “Blest is the fruit of your womb” Luke 1:42

Not what the hell did you do? What were you thinking? How could you? How dare you? For shame? What are we going to do with you? Get out. Not let’s hide you away so no one knows. But “Blest is the fruit of your womb” … with open and loving arms Elizabeth met the unwed Mary. And with open and loving arms so must we meet every pregnant mother that comes our way, wed or unwed. For it is in that we spread the message that life is Scared. Valued. And Irreplaceable.

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And Then There Were Four

It’s a BOY!!!

We are very pleased to have welcomed our newest edition Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 5:18pm. Mini Mister as he is referred too by many weighed in at 7lbs, 12oz and was 19 1/2 inches long and was born via a very successful VBAC!

Right after MMs birth.

Right after MMs birth.

I want to give a multitude of thanks to my amazing doctor, Dr. Meltzer, who I know I wouldn’t have been able to do this without. For helping me through this entire pregnancy, which was not easy by any means, and through my birth, always encouraging me that my VBAC was possible! The amazing hospital staff at Valley Medical Center for all of their care and support, and of course my fantastic Sexy Czech Medic who came off an 8hr graveyard shift to come home and take me back to the hospital to sit with me through an all day labor and my parents who watched LM while we were in the hospital.

LM thinks that her baby brother is just the best and most novel thing in the world right now. She loves kissing him and checking on him. She always talks about him and asks if he is okay or “oh so happy.” She giggles when he makes noises and is always very quick to alert us if he is crying. It is a very precious thing to watch. Her anticipation to hold him is always so adorable. She is a wonderful big sister.

Anticipation to hold her brother.

Anticipation to hold her brother.

1557134_10202451194734476_2124848790_oI am so happy that MM is finally here and now we are a beautiful family of four. I am looking forward to seeing our family grow and develop and learn, to see the bond continue to form with LM and MM and between all of us as a family. We are very blessed.

Mini Mister 12 hours old.

Mini Mister
12 hours old.

Final Stretch

In many ways I can’t believe the final stretch of my pregnancy is here and in others I feel as though I have been pregnant forever, either way, here we are. It’s official I have no more than 9 (8 on the East Coast by now) days left of this third and final pregnancy.

The single digits have finally arrived, and I find myself more nervous that with my other two pregnancies. I am more than ready to meet the baby, to see what the baby looks like, and how LM does. I am ready for our family to be complete and for the new adventures that life will hold for us after this journey ends. At the same time despite my readiness I am an over planner and I worry about the logistics of everything, and having everything in order, despite knowing babies have a way of mixing all that up I still try.

We are hoping that babe comes on his/her own very soon but if not my final appointment in Wednesday, and we will make arrangements for me to be induced on Saturday the 8th. An induction is never something I had planned in the beginning, but it gives me still a very good shot at the VBAC we are planning and not a repeat C-Section. My body is dilating and responding already the way it should be and babe is very feisty to get out as contractions have been steady and hard just not quite labor hard, yet. An amazing Cranial Sacril Therapy appointment helped position baby even better this morning, and I can tell a progression for sure. I am starting to really feel labor ready in my body not just as a desire.

24hr photo difference. 37w4d & 37w5d. The difference in positioning, baby, and my body alignment after my cranial sacril appointment. AMAZING!

Here is to hoping that babe continues her/his rocking and rolling and labor decides to start up on it’s own in a more active fashion in the next couple of days, that birth goes smoothly and without trauma, that babe is happy and healthy, and that the weather holds out. Who knows, maybe we will have a Super Bowl baby.

 

How did your birth plan change as you neared your due date? What, if any, unexpected turns did it take and how did you cope with it?

Four Years Ago Today…

Four years ago today I woke up early in the morning realizing that 5 days late one very special little girl was about to finally make her entrance into this world. To the hospital at 5am and she was out and crying by the afternoon. An easy and quick birth for an emotional event. Four years ago today I gave birth to my amazing first daughter, my birth daughter. I can’t believe how much she has grown and what the little lady she is today. She may not reside in my home, but she will always be my first little girl and I am blessed to be her first mommy.

The emotional ups and downs of her pregnancy and birth are many and the struggles and decisions that led me to what I did are also numerous but I don’t ever hold a single regret for choosing to give her the life I wanted her to have and the chances and dreams and opportunities I knew I just couldn’t provide for her at that time in my life. I am beyond blessed and thankful for the open adoption and amazing relationship that we as a family hold with her family. I am grateful every day that we are all able to be a part of one another’s life. It is truly a blessing.

Happy 4th Birthday to my Angel Baby and I hope it is a fantastic day for you my darling. ❤

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Ah- 3rd Trimester Insomnia

Well 32 weeks is here, and all the frustrating parts of my 3rd trimester are here as well, the biggest one being insomnia. It’s after midnight, 3 days until Christmas Eve, a million and one things to do that I can’t seem to remember so I sit frustrated and awake while the rest of the house sleeps soundly.

Tomorrow, or I suppose rather, later today, will be a challenge to stay awake and productive and find entertainment for LM as I am sure Dada will get called into work. With the snow fall that hit yesterday and no snow tires on my van nor desire to attempt to navigate the slick streets with my toddler we will be having a day at home. Home days can get a bit hard for LM and I as we both get a little stir crazy being cooped up. I am hoping in my insomniac state I can think of a good activity for us for tomorrow. Nothing has come to mind as of yet though.

I think the “stall” has finally happened in my brain in terms of my progression this pregnancy. I feel like this is just never going to end, and even though I know it will my emotional gauge has been all but level lately. I find myself all over the emotional map during the days and nights, something that I didn’t experience my other pregnancies. I am feeling drained and have been in more pain lately than I swear I was in giving birth to my first. My hips, back, and pelvis have felt a special kind of pain this last week that I am sure like many other fun symptoms will continue until this baby is born. I definitely feel like this pregnancy has made me a bit crazy.

I know it is still early to say it, but I really am just so ready to be done. I am trying to remind myself just a wee bit longer, just a little bit more, so here is to one day, one moment at a time as we move into this weekend.

Kipper’s Day 16, 17, & 18

I have not been feeling so great these last few days so I have been horribly slacking in both Kipper and his activities as well as posting about them. Ah the joys of the third trimester.

Kipper’s Day 16

elf16Monday I was feeling pretty sick and was laid up in bed so Daddy handled Kipper for the day. Kipper didn’t have an activity because he was too busy floating away with LM’s birthday balloons. LM did find it quite hilarious that Kipper was holding her balloons, and she spent the afternoon carrying them both around. I think LM’s biggest activity on Monday was getting in some good Daddy time which has been hard to come by lately between work and finals.

Kipper’s Day 17

elf17So Tuesday I really just didn’t have the energy so Kipper was found curled up in a blanket “taking a break”. He was a tired Elf and needed a day off. LM was very happy to see him resting and gave him her MagnaDoodle so that he could draw and rest. We all spent the day resting as my leg and pelvic pain has been beyond painful and moving around is excruciating lately and LM was more than willing to do nothing all day.

I am grateful that she is so understanding when I forget about Kipper or things get hectic. I think it is hilarious that she gets more excited about him doing silly nothings than some of her activities and I love that it just all fun for her. It warms my heart to see her get so much joy out of one silly little Elf.

Kipper’s Day 18

Today Kipper was found in quite the position. He was all tied up in the baby monitor cords, something LM found to be beyond hilarious.

elf18

 Even after she unwrapped him she spent the afternoon wrapping him back up and laughing the shouting “oh noes Kipper stuck”. It made me giggle.
elf18.2So, why was Kipper wrapped up in the baby monitor?

Well, LM trusty monitor broke the beginning of the week, and we have been trying very hard to find a new one that worked as well as our last. Kipper was wrapped up in monitor purchase #2 which sucked even more than monitor purchase #1 of the week. LM’s activity today was to help Mommy find a new simple audio only baby monitor that didn’t have feedback and didn’t pick up the neighbors house. Finally a Graco monitor was found that looks like it will do the trick. We are trying it for the first time tonight but so far – no static feedback so that is already better than the other two! YAY!

Though the activities that LM and Kipper do aren’t always Christmas related and sometimes don’t even happen at all she always has fun with him and enjoys seeing him and finding him everyday and to me, that makes it all worth it.

Milestones

It’s official, I am 30 weeks pregnant! That means that I have really only one milestone to look forward to, and that is BIRTH!

The best milestone of them all is nearly upon me. As I sit and reflect on that fact that I have a maximum of 12 weeks left being Belly Baby’s incubator I realize that I am far more nervous this go around, baby number three, than I have been with my others. I am feeling less prepared this time in an organizational sense, I am feeling much more wiped out this time in a physical sense, in a mental sense however I am very ready to be finished with this pregnancy and finally be able to hold belly baby in my arms and see LM’s reaction to her new sibling.

The 30 week mark seems to be the point in pregnancy where the days start to drag by, and the weeks seem to never get any further. That point where you swear you might be pregnant forever. Every week your “number” goes up, but you are still so pregnant, often so miserable, and it commonly feels as there is no end in sight.

That dragging feeling is something I experienced with both my girls. With ODBD I think it was heavier because I was due on Christmas. The holidays drug to closeness and then she was 5 days late on top of that. I have the grumpiest Christmas pictures from that year, let me tell you.

With LM it drug because again I was approaching the holidays for being due and on top of that I was having complications. With her I was in labor for 4 days before anyone would shut up long enough to listen to me about it and why it meant something was wrong. Talk about MISERABLE!

This time around though I am due AFTER the holidays, well the biggest ones at least, and that has helped put me in a slightly faster mindset. At least for now. With LM’s birthday on Friday, then Christmas, then New Years, I am realizing that Valentine’s Day is not that far away and that just so happens to be the day before my official due date. Realizing all that I have left to do, how quickly the holidays will fly by, and how busy I will be, albeit slow in the physical sense I am feeling like belly baby’s arrival is much much closer than I had been realizing.

I can barely walk around without feeling like my hips are going to fall off, or that my belly might explode from being so tight. My breathing is much more difficult than it was even last week, and I anticipate will only get worse. I don’t move at a fast pace these days, or even very often. I commonly feel miserable, exhausted, and downright delusional but I am feeling that being able to slow down around all the fast this time of year is actually helping me focus better than trying to speed up in all the slow like I have done in the past. I am hoping I maintain the ability, through all my frustration and pain to keep with the quickness and the peaceful and finish out this final pregnancy on a good note.

30weeks

How did you feel once you entered your home pregnancy stretch? What helped you combat the negative, the challenging, and the painful?