This post is sponsored by Mormon.org, all opinions are 100% my own.
As Easter approaches this year I have been trying to turn my thoughts and energy towards the true meaning of Easter and not towards the Easter bunny and candy (oh the Easter candy... it's soooo good). Some years I get so worked up on trying to make fun crafts for Easter and then doing all the festive things with the kids I forget to focus the holiday on Christ. There's nothing wrong with doing all the fun things with the holiday but it's about trying to find the balance so it is not just one sided. Luckily for me and for you, the LDS church has set up a calendar for the week leading up to Easter that gives a theme and a simple activity to make sure that this Easter season is filled with the Prince of Peace.
• God's Word/Scripture
I thought that I would get a little personal today and share with you a time that I needed to feel peace and needed to feel closer to the Savior and so I turned to prayer to get me through the time. And it seems every Easter I think about this "trial" because it was my sweet Easter baby, Koy.
Here's a little back ground of the story so it will make a little more sense to why things were a little harder for me and why I had to turn to prayer so much during my pregnancy with my boy.
In August of 2012 we moved to a place called Ashby, Nebraska. When people think of Nebraska they will think of Lincoln or Omaha, well Ashby was in the other side of the state, in the Sandhills. Two days after we had moved in I found out I was pregnant with my 5th child, so not only was a dealing with a move in a completely new place, I was dealing with the hormones of pregnancy. Also we moved to a cattle ranch where we were in the middle of nowhere. Our nearest neighbors were 2 miles away, we were 20 miles away from the town of 200 that our kids went to school, 45 minutes away from a town of 8,000 that had a grocery store and 2 hours away from a town that had a Walmart. This move was a major cultural shock for me because I have always lived in a town that had enough shopping to get by. Here is the view from our deck, just to give you an idea of the area.
So the first part of my pregnancy went pretty well and I was feeling pretty good, I didn't get sick very often. My only complaint was that I was tired and grumpy but that's pretty normal for a pregnant lady. So since we lived so far away from everything my OB doctor was in a town that took 2 hours to drive to. And of course it wasn't on interstate roads, it was on very small highways that no one ever drives on. So whenever I had to go to the doctors I had to take my 2 year old and almost 4 year old with me, without my husband. We had gone to a couple of appointments and they were fine and then when I was about 20 weeks I tried to convince the nurse practitioner to give me an ultrasound that day so I wouldn't have to come back in two weeks for one, since it wasn't easy to get there. She agreed and I went into the room to get an ultrasound.
I was super excited to get my ultrasound and of course I wanted to see what the gender of the baby was. The beginning of the pregnancy really felt more like my daughter's pregnancy compared to my boys' so I really thought that I was going to have another girl. You see I had three boys and then finally a girl and when we were thinking and praying about having another baby I really felt like if we did have another baby we would have another girl. And since I wasn't very sick in my first trimester I really thought that it was going to be a girl. And I went into that room thinking it was a girl and had no feelings other wise (when we were getting the ultrasound for my 3rd boy, both my husband and myself had an overwhelming feeling when we walked into the room that it was going to be a boy, not a girl , I did not get that this time....). Anyways so I got the ultrasound and the doctor said, do you want to know what it is? I of course said yes and then he started typing this words onto the screen, it's a boy.......
My heart sank. I already had three boys, I didn't want, I didn't need another boy. My hopes for my daughter to have a sister were shattered because we knew that this was our last child. The ultrasound went on and another hit, I had placenta previa and the next appointment I would have to get another ultrasound. The doctor left me and my two kids in the room to get ready to go. I held it together pretty well, got us together and got checked out and got the kids in the car. I called my husband, because of course he wasn't with me because he had to work and then I completely lost it. I was just shaken up. I finally got myself together and then headed to the store because when you live two hours away from a decent store, no matter what you go to the store when you're near it. And since the next time I would be at the store would be in a month, I had to stock up. And of course my 2 year old and almost 4 year old weren't behaving great. Here's just a little glimpse of how those shopping trips went. And yes both of them are crying.
So we finished at the store and then of course we had to drive home. It was getting late and dark and I some how had to get home even though I was bawling. Luckily my two kids feel asleep and so I didn't have to deal with their screaming. All I had to do was deal with my emotions and my thoughts, which were not happy and pleasant. Some how we got home in one piece... and that is because of prayer.
When I got home from doctor, I was exhausted from my eight hour day, so I immediately went to my bed and cried and made my husband deal with the groceries and the kids. The next day I went into a deep depression, I didn't leave my bed all day and my husband had to take off work. I know this might seem trivial to some people, all because I found out that I was having another boy but it was really, really hard on me. The fact that my hopes for my daughter to ever have a sister were gone and that broke my heart. I grew up with 4 sisters and I couldn't imagine not having them. My depression was bad and I was even thinking about suicide and trying to figure out ways to do it. I was really down for awhile, just going day to day. I hated the feeling and then I turned to prayer to try to snap me out of it. Luckily after about a month of praying hard the will to live came back and I was able to move on with the days. I was still in denial and still hoped that maybe I would get a girl.
This all happened in December of 2012. As the pregnancy went on the placenta previa started to move up and getting better but then towards the end of pregnancy he was breech and then small and so for every appointment I had to get an ultrasound to see if he was doing okay, and I got lots of conformation that he was a boy. After one appointment I checked the forecast to see what the weather was going to be like. It was the winter in Nebraska, so of course there was going to be snow and bad roads. Well this one day I remember hurrying at the doctor's and at the stores to try to beat the storm because I did not want to drive in snow. So that day I just remember praying non stop that it wouldn't start snowing until we got home. I also know that my husband was praying for us too. Well we took off driving and the roads were clear and the weather was holding off. And then as we were turning onto our road to our house it started to snow. The snow had waited until we were home! Our prayers were answered and it was a huge blessing because when we got to our road it really started coming down and by the time we had made it home (it was a 10 minute drive from the highway) there was already a half inch of snow on the ground. We had some pretty decent storms that year while I was pregnant, here is a picture of our sliding glass doors and no those are not frosted glass, that is a sheet of ice on the window. There was a time that I was 35 weeks pregnant and I did not step outside the house for 3 days because of an ice storm.
Towards the end of pregnancy things started startling the doctors so every time I went to the doctors I had to get an ultrasound (to make sure he was growing and to see if he would flip) and then I had to do a non stress test. And from 35 weeks on they wanted me to come back every week.... and of course being two hours away it wasn't easy going every week.
Then there was one time that I was really nervous about heading to the doctors, I was 37 weeks and I didn't want to miss the appointment but I knew it was supposed to snow that day and my husband was headed to another town, in another direction (it was also two hours away), to take the third test of his CPA exams. So the day before we prayed that the roads would be good to travel on. The roads were clear for my husband but as I was headed to the doctors, I got about an hour out and it started to snow. It was on a road that no one is every on and is VERY narrow. I remember pulling to the side and saying a prayer for safety and immediately got the feeling that I shouldn't go any further. So I turned back and went home. Later on I checked the weather and it was a good thing that I didn't go, so we rescheduled my appointment.
When I was 37 weeks I went to the doctor on a Friday to talk to a doctor about being induced so I wouldn't go into labor and then all the sudden have to drive to the hospital in a winter storm or not being able find someone to watch my 4 kids and having to go to the hospital by myself without my husband (I was seriously mentally preparing myself to have a baby by myself and drive while in labor). The doctor appointment did not go well.... the doctor wouldn't set up a date for me because I was only 37 weeks and because the baby was small (even though all of my babies were small and they wouldn't believe me when I told them that). So after that appointment I turned to prayer again for peace to make sure that it would all be okay that this little boy would be delivered in a hospital and not on the side of the road.
As we went through the weekend I felt pretty good (all things considered) and we went about our weekend as normal. The whole weekend I was praying non stop that they would induce me (I had another appointment on the following Tuesday) and then on that Sunday I naturally went into labor. It was perfect timing because it was early in the morning so I could get my kids' stuff packed to bring to a friends and the fact that it was a Sunday meant that our friends would be home for the day and not working and the weather was still good (it snowed the following day). So we packed our bags, packed the kids up. Went to church (it was on the way) and while I was playing piano in Sacrament meeting, the contractions started to get harder and more real. So after church we left our 4 kids with our friends at church and headed to the hospital (at least it was only 1.5 hours away from the church). I checked in and of course I was only at a 2... my body loves being at a 2 for hours/days/weeks and they didn't want to admit me because I wasn't in active labor. I pleaded with them to not let us leave because we lived so far away and of course prayed hard that the many contractions I was having would progress me so I could be considered in active labor. Once again our prayers were answered and I progressed. And the labor was my easiest for all of my kids and it was actually pretty pleasant experience, after having the epidural I wasn't in much pain and my husband and I were just watching shows and enjoying ourselves. At one point the nurses were coming in and getting all the delivery stuff ready and I thought they were crazy because I usually am in labor for quite some time and thought I had several hours left. One nurse said to me, "We know girls like you, once you really start progressing it will happen so fast." and I seriously looked at her and laughed and said, "not me". Sure enough they broke my water and 20 minutes later I had a baby with just 1 1/2 pushes.
After such a long pregnancy with a lot of emotions and craziness and a whole lot of prayers, we had a beautiful baby boy. He was born on April 21, so during the Easter season I always think about this experience that I had with him and how I turned to my Heavenly Father and Jesus for help. And through prayer I was able to feel peace and feel closer to my Savior because of it.
Koy has been such a blessing in our lives and has brought so much joy to our family.
Here is my cute boy now, almost 4 years old and full of life and personality!
If you want to have your Easter season more spiritual, here is the calendar for the Mormon.org campaign to help you find peace and to draw you closer to Christ.