Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Choice

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook earlier this week. It was printed in the New York Times. It is about a woman who found out she was having twins, one of whom had a genetic defect. Please take the time to read the article before finishing this blog post. It is very well written, I assure you.
My Abortion at 23 Weeks, by Judy Nicastro
After reading this article, I felt sad. What a terrible thing to happen to a woman! I know...

At the same time, I felt that I had to share the other side. My side. My choice. I felt like I had to defend my choice for my daughter. My choice to let her live out all of her days. Both of those days. 

Just like Mrs. Nicastro, we were worried, terrified, and distraught when we found out our baby wasn't as perfectly formed as we had hoped. I know the thoughts that crossed her mind: I'll do anything to protect this child. How can I raise someone like this? Why us? What are our options? How will this affect my other children? 

We were given many of the same options that she was. We were both looking for guidance. The difference between us is our reaction when abortion was placed on the table. 

Here's where I want to be clear. I am by no means saying that I am better than her. I am not saying that she is a terrible person for what she did. I am not saying she is a bad mother. 

I am saying she needs the hope of the gospel.

Hope is what she lacked for her unborn baby. She knew that if both of her twins survived birth, her new son would need oxygen and life support. His organs were pushed up past his diaphragm into his chest, not leaving enough room for his lungs to develop. She worried, as I did for my girl, about her baby's quality of life. How long could they live like that? What kind of pain would they be in? How would they learn? How would other children and adults treat them, and us as parents? It's terrifying and heart-wrenching. 

She chose to end her child's life rather than have him face that kind of life. 

When abortion was suggested to me (more than once by more than one doctor) I shoved it aside. I do believe abortion is murder, so that was my initial reason, but it's not the only one. 

I chose to not end my daughter's life because her life belonged to God. 

God created my child, the same way he created the author's. If a child lives for an hour, a day, five years, or a hundred, the date of that child's death is still in God's plan and who am I to negate from that number?

My daughter was born weighing two pounds, and only lived for two days, but we used those two days to love on her and show her Christ's love. Yes, those days were painful, yes we miss her terribly, and yes she struggled to live those two days. But God used those days and the months previous to literally touch hundreds of lives. We were candid about what we went through, and so were our family and friends who shared our baby girl's story. 

I could face that awful time because of the hope I had in God. Her Father is in Heaven, ready for her in His time. Christ died on a cross for her sins, inherited or otherwise (I have no delusions that someone who lived only two days didn't have time to sin). The Holy Spirit interceded to teach her the love God has for her, because although her eyes and ears were not whole, her soul is. I have faith that she is with the Lord now, and no longer suffering. 

I made a different choice than the author of this article, and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. 

Again, I am not writing this to condemn Mrs. Nicastro. I am writing to share my side. She wrote her article as a defense for keeping abortion legal into the second and even third trimester. I am writing in hope that other mothers who face the same decision that she and I faced will trust that their child's life is not in their own hands. I am writing to let others know that abortion is not the only option for a child with birth defects, or a frightening diagnosis. Pray for hope, pray for trust, pray for faith, pray for healing. God doesn't regret even one baby being born. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Growing Things

Our little avocado is growing. Since its roots got too big for the mason jar it's been thriving in a pot my husband put in the backyard. 

In just a couple of weeks it went from this:
 To this:

 Look at those healthy leaves! I'm so proud :)

I also have my lilies growing back.

White and purple Easter lilies, several months late.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dresser Preview

I've been in the process for several months of redoing a hand-me-down dresser. It's been a long process of finding the right materials, scraping, rubbing, painting, gluing, sanding, and time.

It's still not done, but it is in the final stages. I've been wanting to share it on here, my process of getting it done. for now here's my little preview.

This dresser has gone from this:
White, sticky glossy drawers. 
To this:
Colorful, pretty, fabric-lined drawers :)
Still working on some finishing (anyone know where to get some center drawer runners?) but I'm feeling really good about this project.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Losing the Baby Weight

One of the issues with having a teeny tiny baby in your first pregnancy, at least in my case, is that you try to do the correct thing to a fault. What I mean is, I was trying to gain weight at a normal rate for a baby who wouldn't grow much bigger than 2 pounds. In a normal pregnancy a lot of the baby weight comes off naturally (and hey, you lose about 10 pounds automatically when your child is born). Unfortunately, I discovered that a lot of the weight I'd put on was just weight, not baby weight.

Anyway, six months after the fact, I've finally decided to buckle down and get back to my pre-Penny weight. It's time. Besides, I'd like to have a habit of a healthy diet and an exercise routine before I try to get pregnant again. Maybe the weight won't be too bad to get rid of next time if it's more healthy poundage...

Loving the Zumba classes at LA Fitness!
This got kick-started when my husband came home telling me his work is sponsoring their employees to start a gym and diet program. That was ideal, because we could both do it together. Not that he needed to loose weight; he's mostly doing to diet to support me, and using the gym to build muscle. He has a gym buddy from work, and I have one in my mom. She and I don't always do the same exercises, but we car pool since getting there is the hardest battle. So, exercise - check!

Me, lacking carbs.
Then there's the diet. I've never been on a specific diet before (unless you count the no-money-college-student diet), so it's been difficult. It's mostly a ketosis diet, which means lots of protein and green vegetables. It also means no sugar or carbs. Now, cutting out sugar in itself was easy, I haven't missed that as much as I thought (besides baking. I miss baking cookies and cupcakes and things as a hobby.) But bread, oh, lovely bread! That I miss. And I get grumpy when I miss it. And looking at all those great meals on Pinterest to make don't help either. Anyway, I''m powering through it, mostly...with some cheat meals...but I'm mostly doing well.

The scale says I'm doing well anyway.

I'm hoping to keep up the gym even after my husband's work isn't sponsoring it anymore. As for the diet, well... I'm hoping to keep up the moderation I'm learning. We've eliminated the sugary juice drinks from our fridge, and snacking on more healthy foods. Maybe I'll continue making meals with less emphasis on carbs. In time we'll see. However, my intentions are healthy!