Of These 100 Days: Days 29-20

This is a countdown post that I'll be updating daily with a highlight. I know that few babies ever come on their due date, but it's fun to pretend :) It's going to be written to him because that's just how I roll. Plus it's more adorable that way :) Enjoy checking in once a day!

Day 20 - February 11, 2011
I just realized that today would have been an awesome birthday for you--2/11/2011. Nice. 

Anyway, I'm so tired I can hardly breathe, let alone type. It's really late and I've been busy all day. I tried to rest but then the large collage picture frame with stock photos seemed to be staring me down. And I got a bunch of awesome clothes for you from someone and was itching to get them washed and ready. And then I figured I should just do all of the laundry so it would be done and over with. And then I started thinking that if I want ladies at my shower tomorrow to make index cards for your book then maybe I should get it ready with the ones we already have, so they'd have an example of what they're contributing to. Add in general cooking and cleaning, plus a spending the first 5 hours of my day running a bunch of errands around Ballard because I had an OB appointment and now I'm just utterly wiped out. 

You, of course, are very awake and alive at the moment! I seriously think you like hearing the sound of the computer keyboard. Maybe it's because I've done so much transcription throughout this pregnancy--upwards of 2,000+ audio minutes worth by now, probably, which translates into at least 100 hours of me working. Add in all of this blogging, Facebook, e-mails, and you're quite familiar with the sound of typing :) Maybe that means you'll like it when Mama puts in her 10-15 hours a week of transcription after you come, huh? We'll see :)

Anyway, I'm too tired to say much other than I can't wait for you to be here. I mean, I can. I pray you'll make it until March. I especially pray you wait until at least next weekend is over so your daddy is done with school. But man, it's getting so real that you'll be here soon! Tomorrow we're into the teens! Seriously, this long, long journey is wrapping up and an entirely new one is about to begin! For now, though, you seem to think my bladder is a fun punching / headbutting bag so I need to go ensure that there's nothing in there for you to expel! Don't you love knowing that? Ha :)

I love you, Roger! And good-bye to the 20s!

Day 21 - February 10, 2011
Today was another sad day, Love. Mama had a LOT of errands to run; one errand was to get the tires on the car balanced and rotated at Costco. Now, if you're old enough to read and understand this then you're old enough to quickly identify that Costco is one of your mama's most favorite places on earth! But there was a super sad incident there today.

There was a point, while I was wandering around the warehouse killing time, where I heard a woman speaking very sharply to someone. To be honest, I thought a wife was arguing with her husband. To my shock as I came around the corner, it was a grown woman (I think a mother, possibly a grandmother, but probably the mother) stopped in the middle of the aisle and chewing out a 2 year old boy who was standing next to the cart just staring at her. I didn't catch much of what she said, but she kept repeating to the boy that he had made her look very bad. My shocked look was noticed by the woman but I didn't say anything or feel it was my place to intervene. I felt incredibly awkward but went on with my shopping. 

A few minutes later, as I realized that I just had to get the amazing meatballs and Yoshida's sauce that Andrea made at the shower on Saturday, I was headed back to the freezer section when I heard a child screaming. Not crying, Rog--screaming so loud I could hear him from about 6 aisles away, and at Costco that is a LONG way. It just so happened that where I needed to go for the meatballs is where that woman was; the boy was up in the cart where children sit but he was on his back with half his body hanging over the edge of the cart, clearly upset and trying to get away from the woman, who was shouting at him in a foreign Asian language, and as he was crying she just pulled her hand way back and slapped him in the face so hard that I could hear it clearly and I was about 50 feet away from them.

I was so angry that I began crying. The woman stood there, still yelling at the boy in a language I didn't understand, and huge, fat tears were rolling off his cheeks to the concrete floor. I had to walk past them to get my stuff and I so wanted to say something but know from experience in my childhood that if someone else says anything then the parent gets even more angry at the child, blaming them that they, as the adult, "lost it" because of the child's behavior, and their humiliation at being seen acting that way in public is taken out on the child even more forcefully once they get home. I did ask when I checked out if there was anyone I could report the woman to, but the only real option would have been to follow her to her car, get her license plate, and call the police to try and get her information reported to CPS. 

*sigh* I felt so helpless. That said, it's no mistake that Jesus had my path be so oddly wound so that I saw this happen, because I prayed for the boy. I prayed for the mom, too, but to be honest I was so angry with her that I could only ask Jesus to intervene because I wanted to slap her in the face. 

Sweetheart, you know the discipline methods we employ in our home. You know how we appeal to Jesus, and though it breaks my heart, I'm sure that when you're old enough to understand these words you'll have experienced me sinfully choosing to get angry and I've probably said harsh words to you. I pray that I am always softhearted and repentant and seek Jesus' and your forgiveness when I mother you according to my flesh and not according to the likeness of our heavenly Father. But Roger, I pray that you never, ever know what it is like to be slapped or hit in any way out of anger or frustration at the hands of your daddy or myself. 

I know parenting will be hard and though in my heart I just know you'll be the happiest, sweetest, cutest boy I've ever seen, I know you'll also test me, press my buttons, and your sinful heart--which I am to shepherd and instruct toward Jesus so you can learn how to be humble and repentant--will clash with mine and we'll have rough moments. But by the grace of God I pray that the enduring theme of our relationship is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are the fruits of the Spirit, per Galatians 5:22-23, and I believe Jesus that by His grace as He works on my heart to cleave to the Holy Spirit then I'll mother you with those fruits and by His grace all the more you will learn your own reliance on the Holy Spirit. Jesus, I ask you for this good gift in my relationship with my son!

I love you so much, Roger. I pray neither of us, nor your daddy or any siblings you may have, will ever take for granted that I should be that mother. I should be angry and entirely self-centered and based on my own upbringing I should resent my children and at very least expect them to make me more comfortable. But Jesus had better plans for my life and instead of being the product of my upbringing I am a product of Jesus' redemption because His blood shed on the cross covers my sins and I get to be free as His daughter to learn a better way. Praise God!

Finally, sweet boy, today marks 3 weeks to go! We're almost into the teens. I'm still praying you'll make it to March, but my instincts tell me that you'll definitely be here by or before March 3. Oy! Suddenly we're so close, after this long journey. I love you so much and think that you and I are going to have a very sweet, special relationship. You have an amazing daddy, too; I am excited to see our family become a trio :)

I love you, Roger.

Day 22 - February 9, 2011
Your mama's heart is a bit heavy today, Rog. There's a sweet, beautiful little girl named Kate McRae who has cancer; they thought it was cured but it came back. Reading her mama's words of anguish and heartache of facing the possible death of her precious daughter just broke my heart.

For a little while, after reading that it's been confirmed that the cancer is definitely back and the treatment options are slim to none, I felt guilty for being excited that my baby--you!--appears to be healthy on every front. I felt awful that our biggest issue is that you seem to be a bit too healthy, in that you're a really big, robust, healthy boy. I felt like I shouldn't be excited that your life on earth is about to begin when Kate McRae's parents are dealing with the very real possibility that her time here is far more limited than any parent would ever want to face. 

Then Jesus softly spoke to my heart. It's ok to ache for the McRae family. It's welcome that I would cry out to Him for her healing and that He would generously pour out His grace and peace on the entire McRae family during this extremely painful time. It's also completely desired by Jesus that I would pour my heart out to Him about all of this and it's ok for me to keep asking Him that you will be healthy, that cancer will never touch your body, and that you'll live a long life filled with worshiping Jesus. 

Guilt is an ugly thing, Roger. I see that more often than not it's rooted in accusation from Satan, the enemy whose sole intent is to kill, steal, destroy, and make our lives devoid of joy in Christ. I remember being so excited that I was pregnant with you, but then I immediately felt guilty because your daddy and I didn't have to try to get pregnant with you, yet friends whom I love have been trying literally for years to have a baby and still don't have one. I felt guilty for wanting to be pregnant so badly and yet your daddy didn't think it was time yet so I thought God might punish me with a miscarriage. I just felt icky, like I was bad and wrong, dirty somehow. 

That's how Satan works. Sometimes it's real sin that we haven't confessed, so he preys on the fact that we aren't cleansed from it. Other times there is no sin at all, but if Satan can convince us that there's something wrong but keep us too preoccupied in our guilt to figure out what it is, then we just spin out. We feel ick, we don't talk to Jesus, and nothing is resolved. You know what? That's just gross.

Don't live that way, Roger. I exhort you to take everything to Jesus, even the stuff you don't understand. He's faithful to search your heart and show you if there is sin to be confessed and repented of. When there isn't sin and it's purely empty accusation from the enemy, we get to choose to believe Jesus and cling to truth. Either way, we are free, we are clean, we have joy, and our hearts are knit to Jesus. He is good, kind, and faithful. Cling to Him! And when someone is hurting, like the McRae family is right now, lift them up to Him. Petition the Holy Spirit on their behalf for healing. Battle for them in prayer. But always know that God is sovereign and you aren't bad because Jesus' goodness to you is tangible in ways that allude them at present. Plus, His goodness is all over them, it's just harder to see when they're in the midst of painful circumstances.

Ok, your mama's heart is hushed now. I love you, sweet boy. Tomorrow is 37 weeks--officially "full term", meaning you could come at any time and be considered a full-term pregnancy. Oy! So excited to meet you, my sweet son. I love and adore you, Roger Nehemiah!

Day 23 - February 8, 2011
Hello my sweet boy! Nothing too deep happened today, and the thing that stands out that I just have to tell you is pretty funny business. I'm feeling really dizzy and ick in the head, so I couldn't go to community group. I'm not sure if I'm coming down with something, but there are so many kids there that I don't want to risk it. I tried to rest since your daddy went without me, but I couldn't sit still so I sorted through all of the clothes we have for you (people have given us a lot of hand me downs) and put them into bins labeled according to size to pull out as you grow.

So here's the thing--your glider came today (yay!) and so I sat in your SUPER cozy glider while sorting. Next to the glider is a little "nursing station", replete with an iPod and speakers, so I listened to music as I went through your clothes. You weren't really moving much, but then Chris Brown's Forever came on and you went nuts, my boy! I thought maybe it was coincidence, but then the song changed (Handlebars by The Flobots) and you became still. So I skipped to the next song after about a minute. It happened to be Lady Gaga busting out Alejandro and wouldn't you know it? Little man, you went CRAZY in my belly! I was watching my tum roll and bulge under my sweatshirt, feeling your moving and shaking ways all over my abdomen.

I can only tell you this--I know your daddy loves me, but I have ruined your musical taste from the womb!

Love you, Rog :)

Day 24 - February 7, 2011
The coolest thing happened today! For one, I think I found your pediatrician. Praise Jesus!  Secondly, it is one ridiculously stressful task to try and find someone to ensure that your car seat is correctly installed 'round these parts! Either you have to be a resident of a certain city, or it's a class that filled up months ago, or there are no openings... blurg! But let me tell you a little story about how great Jesus is and how He provided for us today.

There is a woman named Sue Emery who isn't just a bona fide car seat expert, but she's amazingly generous! She's coming to our apartment on Saturday (yes, just a few days from now! Not months away!) and not only will she show us how to install your car seat properly, but she'll also give us great advice on what seat to get next when it's time for you to move up. And most amazing of all is that she's free! Now, we plan to give her a very generous tip, but seriously--she loves what she does so much that she refuses to charge a fee and then have people be unable to utilize her services due to price. So I'm feeling super blessed right now!

Ok, I want to say more but you are digging into my ribs and it's taking every ounce of effort not to cry out in pain! I love you, Rog!

Day 25 - February 6, 2011
Welp, yesterday's entry was deep, meaningful, and hopefully something that you'll treasure for a long time. Today's is... of a different vein but almost as awesome:

The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl! Translation: the Pittsburgh Steelers lost the Super Bowl! Woo-hoo!

You know this: we are not Steelers fans in this home. We are super pro-Seattle teams, your mama has a special place in her heart for Boston teams, your daddy has some love for Denver and any Montana (though not pro, since they have none, but collegiate) team, we love Gonzaga, we prefer UW over WSU but generally like to see the Pac-10 (soon to be Pac-12... weird!) win, and then there are lots of "meh" teams that we just sort of go one way or the other usually for abstract reasons. 

But we ALWAYS like to see the Steelers and Yankees lose. ALWAYS. And the Steelers have yet to win a Super Bowl (or any important game, really) in the modern era that doesn't have some (or many) ridiculously controversial call that totally went their way when it shouldn't have that makes you seriously wonder if the refs haven't been coerced somehow. Tonight, though, even with a call that was bull, they still lost and it was GREAT! 

Plus, Green Bay is pretty cool. The town owns the team, it's a city that no one beyond Wisconsin would have ever known about save for the Packers, and they have existed forever. They're respectable and it's pretty rare to hear about any of them whining in the press. So it's fun to see them win and get to celebrate. 

So yep. Good day :)

Now your tired mama needs some sleep! Love you, little man digging into my hip bone and making me want to cry :)

Day 26 - February 5, 2011
Today was so lovely and wonderful, Rog. Your daddy and I had a family-themed shower where we were able to celebrate the gift you are with many people whom we love and adore! The lovely, wonderful, and incomparable Andrea A. did a great job hosting and she had help from the equally superb Chrissy H. Others pitched in to bring food and it was a great spread! We liked the idea of a family theme, where daddies and kids were welcome, because so many showers are just about the mom but I think becoming a dad is every bit as important as becoming a mom! My favorite part was that we had a time of prayer where people laid hands on us and lifted us up to Jesus. It was very powerful, beautiful, and sweet!

You got a lot of presents, which you can read all about in your baby book some day (a project your nesting mama is super excited to work on!). That was really fun! But my second most favorite part of the day was when your daddy and I got home. See, I had this idea to send out index cards with the invitations that people could fill in however they want with some sort of encouragement to your daddy and me and also anything they might want to say to you. I'm going to compile it into a book that we'll read with you and that will be yours to keep as you grow older. So, it was really sweet to snuggle up in bed and read the things people shared. It just blessed your mama's heart to no end.

It's really incredible, Roger. I didn't grow up knowing what it's like to have a tender environment where deep emotions and expressions of love in a vulnerable way was safe. To be surrounded by people whom I love, admire, and respect and to realize that they love us--really, truly love us and support us and want to take time and money and effort to show us how they feel about us? That's just the most incredible thing to me. It humbles me, and even my fear of being joyful about receiving gifts was something our sweet Jesus used to show me today that it brings people joy to love our family, and by letting them I encourage their worship of Jesus. 

Isn't that beautiful? It's very, very humbling. I was taught that it's only good to be independent and strong and self-sufficient and to never need anyone. Vulnerability was not only bad, but it was unacceptable. That's not how Jesus works in His kingdom. He is most glorified when we are most filled with joy at receiving Him, recognizing we're helpless and desperate for Him. On days like today, it's through allowing Jesus' people to just love us and celebrate this wonderful, sweet gift--you and impending parenthood--that God is glorified and we get to worship Him.

So yes, my heart is overflowing. I treasure every word people wrote, every picture people drew, every verse, every prayer. I am honored to belong to the body of Christ and specifically to have people that love us and love you. It's on a couple of the cards, but you are one very loved little boy. I rejoice in that. I rejoice that you will grow up not just able to read these words but, by God's grace, your daddy and I will be able to tell you every day how much you are loved by Jesus, who died for you, and your daddy and me, and so many others who see your life as a good, wonderful gift that our good, wonderful God has given.

So excited to meet you, my son. I love you, Roger.

Day 27 - February 4, 2011
So I'm super tired because it's way late and I've been doing an art project for your room. I'm way excited about it, though :) 

I just want to share a cool story with you for today. I've still been a bit stressed about money. I just have numbers rolling around in my head--how many minutes of transcription do we need to do to make ends meet? How many will I do? How many will your daddy do? When will we do them? Will I be able to be a good mama to you or will I ignore you in order to work? Can I trust daddy to work hard and not try to carry the burden of providing under the premise of "helping him"? I've been a worrying mess... I do turn to Jesus sometimes but then I still struggle with turning back to my attempts at planning it all out in my head.

So, today I needed to do finances. I'll be honest--I put them off for a few days because I've just felt sick about everything. I was nervous but Jesus was so sweet to me, and told me to pause, pray, and trust Him. I did that, and then on a whim just did a little work on our budget. The long story short is that when I doing exercising my Excel wizardry I realized that somehow I messed up and underestimated our income by about 800. We went from being projected to be upside down 350 a month to having a surplus of 450 a month. That gives us room to look at insurance and figure out how to go about figuring out the best insurance option for our family. 

I started crying almost immediately. I have been praying, asking God to provide, but also asking Him to help me trust Him, to believe that it is His delight to provide for and take care of us. I sure didn't expect that to come by me having some random, nonsensical number in the place that should have been an autosum of our various income sources each month. But He did do that and my heart is just so blessed to know, belong to, and love Jesus. Still want that for you, but too tired to gush about it tonight :)

Love you, little guy who is currently making my ribs ache! 

Day 28 - February 3, 2011
I'll try not to be too verbose, but there's some heart-honesty stuff that needs to be put pen to page (virtual pen, ya know) today.

Not only are we 36 weeks today, but I had a very good and informative appointment with my (amazing!) OB. Basically, you were in the 99th percentile at your last ultrasound--not the 90th, like I thought, but essentially off the charts. My OB assured me that she's very happy with my minimal weight gain and that I've done everything possible to not pig out and grow a monster baby due to ridiculousness. That helped me feel better, that she is very happy with how I've done :)

But here's the rub: if you don't come on your own before then we'll do an ultrasound on Friday, February 25th. If you are under 11 pounds (and since we've been tracking you we have every reason to believe that the measurement would be pretty accurate) then we'll wait another week and see if you come on your own; depending on how big you are depends on how long we'll wait. If you are over 11 pounds then she recommends that we schedule a C-section. It wouldn't be considered elective; due to your size and mine you would be extremely high risk for, basically, getting your shoulders stuck and the long story short is that it could lead to permanent paralysis for you. The chance is very small, but it's there and due to all factors involved it would be in the best interests of your health and mine to do a C-section.

Daddy and I had a good conversation tonight, and I actually feel a lot of peace. The hardest part is truly grace to me--going through this has shown me that I thought I held how you enter this world in an open hand, but I didn't. Jesus showed me pride in my heart, where I didn't want to be like "those" women who either are so into natural birth that they hurt other women with their narrow view but then neither did I want to be like "those" women who desire but don't get a natural birth and have all sorts of "I got robbed" / "I'm not a real woman because I didn't have a vaginal birth" issues. On both ends my heart was proud and trying to control not only how you enter this world but how others perceive me. My old, familiar pet sin of trying to be strong and essentially crowding God out of having any authority in my life was running wild yet I was putting Jesus' name on it and thought I was surrendered to Him.

So. My heart is sad to see my sin, but Jesus has been so sweet to me today. He loves me, He loves you, He forgives me (I have repented and asked Him to be my helper in continually trusting Him and resting in Him), and He's given me the most wonderful pastor-husband in your daddy. Your daddy has been so patient, sweet, and gracious with me. I pray you are like your daddy in so many ways, Roger. He's an amazing man. But, aside from gushing about your daddy, I have much more peace. 

I don't know how you are coming, or when. I don't want a Cesarean, to be sure, and I can still ask Jesus for my heart's desire to have a natural birth, but I really mean it now when I say that I have peace about whatever happens. I fully trust our doctor (I was blessed today by just how incredibly amazing she is; Jesus has been so faithful to send me to doctors who are super awesome at their job time and time again, and I praise Him for that grace!) and feel comfortable with how things will go and the decisions we will make along the way. 

Finally, I feel so freed up--no matter what anyone else says (to me or about me) or thinks, I am accountable to Jesus, to your daddy, and to you. If we do end up choosing a Cesarean I need not consider what "granola" moms who have home births will think of me, because I am not them and our situation with you was not their situation. Even when they say that it's Jesus' best for them in such a way that implies that it's Jesus' best for everyone to have a home birth, I don't have to feel bad or threatened.  I get to rest in Christ. Truly, this is His grace to me after so many months of others' passion about how they think natural birth is best nagging at my mind, as though I'm not a good woman and/or Jesus-trusting Christian if I don't go au naturale. 

The hardest part is that my desire is to have a vaginal birth without an epidural and, though many don't realize it, it will be sad for me to not get that desire (and that's ok!) and the women who get super gung-ho on natural birth don't realize how hard it is for women who wanted that but simply couldn't have it for true medical reasons to feel like they are being put down in some way for circumstances far beyond their control. I wanted to avoid those bad feelings, but instead I can be honest that they're there, pray for those who might be (even unintentionally) making me feel bad and pressured, and ultimately I can ask Jesus to deal with my heart and how I respond regardless of anyone else.

Jesus is a good God, Roger. He's been so sweet and faithful to me today, and I'm honored to be His beloved daughter. I pray that you'll know and love Him in a deep and intimate way, that when He shows you that you have a proud and wicked heart that you will rejoice in the grace that it is to see your sin and have the opportunity to rely on Jesus for the ability to repent and be set free. I pray you would repent quickly and never protect your sin, because our Father is so good. I can testify to you--I have been miserable trying to control all of this natural birth / no Cesarean business. Now, after going through the pain of seeing how wicked my heart was, I am free, forgiven; I have joy now, and I possess a peace that doesn't make sense, that "surpasses understanding", if you will. My deepest fear was a Cesarean and now I feel total peace that if I have one it's all good because our God is good and I trust Him. 

I want you to know that freedom and joy, son. I ask that Jesus' Book of Life has Roger Nehemiah Hagglund written in it, and I ask for the good gift of you knowing, loving, and trusting Him in a pattern of repentance from a very young age. Ultimately, I ask that you learn this pattern of repentance by studying your daddy and me, seeing how we live out our faith in Jesus.

For now, I must sleep. I adore you, as always, and just care that you're healthy and that I get to know and love you in person for a good long life, no matter how your entrance into this world happens. I love you, Roger.

Day 29 - February 2, 2011
I can hardly believe it, bud--we're in the 20s. How did that even happen? I'll be 36 weeks tomorrow, which means we'll be one week away from considered "full term." Crazy town. 

You know what's funny? I remember when I was 5, 6, 7 weeks pregnant, right at the very beginning. I would look at the "your baby this week" features on my various iPhone apps that are all about you. It felt like March 2011 was an entire lifetime away (and, in some ways, it kind of was) so I would look at the little picture in the upper right hand corner, showing roughly what you looked like at that point. I was fascinated by how you changed from week to week, to be sure, but I was rather discontent that you looked like a glorified tadpole--sorry, monkey moose, but it's just true; to be fair, we all start out that way!--so I would skip ahead and sigh wistfully when I got to the mid- to late-30s and the baby was a chunky little full grown guy just waiting to be born.

And now... those weeks are the weeks that pertain to me, to you, to us. You're basically a full grown baby (especially you, big guy!) just getting chunky, maturing that brain and those lungs, and waiting for Jesus' timing for you to enter this world. It's pretty amazing. We're closerthanthis to meeting face to my, my love, and I'm increasingly ready for you. I love you, your daddy adores both you and me, and I'm pretty excited to become our full-fledged family of three!


  1. It's wonderful to know we have grace in these open handed issues of birth, child rearing, doctors/midwives and everything in between. This was a great reminder for me today of how God's will is written and I should have peace in what is to come, rather than controlling all the little pieces in the puzzle.

  2. Tami, I am so glad that you feel freed up and at peace with all of this! Birth is such a crazy, wonderful, terrible thing and you should not feel guilty or judged about your decisions by anyone.

    At the same time, I would ask that you reconsider your words toward those granola moms who have homebirths. I have had two out-of-hospital births, one at a birth center and one at home, and I do think that was Jesus' best for me, but saying so doesn't mean that I am trying to make you feel bad or threatened or that I am trying to imply it is Jesus' best for everyone to have a homebirth. Obviously, there are countless situations in which that is absolutely not the best way to go for the health of the baby or the mama. I like doing things naturally when I can, but I'm not judging mamas who choose not to or have medical reasons that they can't.

    I encourage mamas to be informed about their decisions, and you are obviously that. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing and saves the lives of many, many babies and mamas every day! You are a good woman and a good Christian and a good mama. Don't feel judged! But at the same time, in your desire not to be judged, please don't sweep away the rest of us granola moms categorically and assume that none of us are sincere when we say that we understand homebirth or natural birth is not the best thing for every mama.

  3. Muri - Thank you! It was really hard yesterday. I cried many tears, because I really hoped to do things naturally and it's hard to accept that circumstances simply may not allow for that no matter what I do. But Jesus has given me such peace that His plan is good and I can trust him!

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  6. Tami... believe me... I get what you are saying. Every mom does things differently. I have carefully and extensively thought through every.single.thing that we do with and for our children, yet there are others who have done the same and who have arrived at different conclusions. Like you said in your post, our responsibilities are to our Lord, our husbands, and our children. There will always be people who disagree, but a big part of being a mom is learning to be confident in our decisions.

    My previous comment was not because I felt personally singled out or because I disagreed with you, but rather than I felt judged categorically by your statement, as if simply having a homebirth made me judgmental and closed-minded. Does that make sense? Your words "Even when they say that it's Jesus' best for them in such a way that implies that it's Jesus' best for everyone to have a home birth, I don't have to feel bad or threatened" made me feel like I couldn't encourage you without you feeling that my encouragement was false or that I would be secretly judging you. I didn't think that you were thinking of me when you wrote those words, but I was still hurt by them. That's all I was trying to say... not whether home birth is good or not, but just that those who have gone that route could be hurt by the categorical description of their perceived judgmentalness.

    Anyway... our God is good! And His plans for you and Jason and Roger are good. I know you know that, but I am looking forward to hearing the story of how God enables you to bring your sweet little (big!) son into the world. You're almost there!

  7. Ah, that makes so much sense! I'm glad you said that, because I didn't mean it categorically. Like, any mom who says she loves home birth and it was amazing for her I don't immediately assume is judging me. And when it's personal--like if you were to personally talk to me about how it was wonderful for you--I wouldn't think you are judging me.

    It's more when someone is either doing like I shared in the previous example, or when someone does start getting really soap-boxy and going on and on about "how could anyone NOT choose this" or "if you really love ____ (Jesus, your baby, your family, the Bible, etc) then you'll ____ (have your baby at home, never get an epidural, only use a midwife... and more--homeschool, do / not do Babywise, cloth diaper, coupon, etc.)."

    It's like the sermon clip--it's great to have a cause and even to have it be a cause you feel Jesus has laid on your heart (I mean the royal you, not you personally!) but ultimately Jesus is the only cause that matters and for open-handed things it's crucial to be careful not only of how we present our causes to others but also in how we receive others presenting their cause to us!

    I'm glad you want to love and encourage me and I've been super encouraged by God's work and grace in your family, too, so praise Jesus for his church body and the internet that allows us to follow one another's lives in spite of the distance!