Sunday, November 22, 2009

what's in a name

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned (called) you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
I love this verse. the part about being redeemed and the part about being called by name and the part about being His.
I continue to be flabbergasted by the fact that we have the privilege and power to name someone. That's just crazy to me. Adam and I decided on a girl's name way before we even knew we were having a girl. We also decided to keep the name secret, which turned out to be fun b/c that's all people really wanted to know. There is something about our names. They become our identity. Well, here is how we chose Charis Root.

Charis is grace in Greek. We both love the concept of grace and the fact that we have been redeemed by God's grace. Other definitions of the word charis is "that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness." And I hope all those words will be words that our little girl will be identified by throughout her life.
Root. Well, I could just say that Adam and I are hippies at heart. Maybe a little true. But, it started because we liked the idea of using a concept from scripture for a middle name. Root comes from a passage in Ephesians 3 (v.17) that says "being rooted and established in love." Another part of the meaning of Root comes from Adam's love of trees and the image of trees throughout scripture. The root system of a tree is it's foundation; it's what nourishes the tree and keeps it grounded. Root is a reminder to us that we are rooted in Christ's love.
We do hope she likes her name, but we also realize that her name is a reminder to us. Each time we look at her and hold her we are reminded of God's redeeming love in our own lives.

Monday, November 16, 2009

the first week

As I sit to write this Charis is nestled close to Adam as they nap on the couch. It is so fun and so sweet to see my snoring (I like to call it heavy breathing) baby napping on her daddy.

in the Moby with daddy
This first week (and a few days) as a new mom has been amazing. The story of my pregnancy and journey has been remarkable. The main message I feel like new moms get is "just wait." In fact, we got it today from a waitress at the Charlotte Cafe. Just wait for what? I assume it's just wait til you are sleep deprived...frustrated...worn out...spent...exhausted, or just wait til they aren't this cute...and talk back. I'm really not sure what I should be "just waiting for." So instead I am soaking up and enjoying these moments. My whole pregnancy I heard about how fast this time goes. I feel like I heard someone say "the days are long but the years are short." This scares me. It makes me sad to my core. I am making a conscious effort to enjoy every single moment with Charis. When I'm nursing, when she's fussing, when she's sleeping, when I change her for the 10th time, when she's screaming, when she's starring up at us...I'm trying to soak up every moment with her now.

just the sweetest sight
I'm sure everyone thinks this, but we do have a great baby. She has weathered lots of visitors, which we love. She is eating great...starting to see that super cute baby double chin. She sleeps like a super star. Really. She's lasting sometimes 6 hours at night. I am so thankful for that sleep. I have yet to learn how to nap during the day while she is napping. But, I think I will start soon. Just a few "firsts" for her...she's slept in her crib for the first time, she's enjoyed her bouncy seat for the first time, she found her thumb for the first (& only) time, and she hung out in her Moby wrap. It's funny how the smallest things become so amazing!

45 seconds of pure bliss!
I'm not lying when I say I'm not exhausted. I may still be on some adrenaline high from last friday. I am thankful for the big and small moments. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed at how much I love this little lady Charis Root. My love for my husband has grown deeper over these past 10 days. And my love for and awe of our Abba Father has increased. I am humbled. I am so thankful. I am hopeful. I am in awe. I am overjoyed. I am constantly reminded of God's ridiculous love for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What a Story!

I have been wanting to do this post, but am at a loss for words. How does one put into words the feelings that come with the birth of their child? I will try to share a glimpse of the incredible happenings...starting with the beginning.
the birth story
As I had posted before, it was my hope and desire to give birth naturally. On Friday, 06 Nov. there was just something in my heart that knew it was THE day. The day we would finally meet our little girl. We decided to go on a long walk that day (it had become our daily activity) at Freedom Park. Then, I took a nap b/c you need lots of rest "just in case." After I woke up my water broke. I wasn't experiencing contractions at the time and from what we had read and researched we had plenty of time. I talked to our Doula, Brooke, who said the same. So, we went to Mac's for dinner. At some point during dinner I started to experience some contractions, so we went back home. At around 7:30 I talked to Brooke again b/c my contractions were so close together and pretty intense. (we were still thinking we had a long time ahead of us) I did my best to rest between, and Adam was the best coach ever...constantly encouraging me, rubbing my back, doing whatever needed to be done. At this point I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Just before 10pm we called Brooke back b/c nothing changed...they continued to be intense and close together. Since we were delivering in Concord, Brooke said she'd feel better if we were closer, so we decided to head to my sister's since she lives up there. Adam packed up the car and we were on our way. The moment we pulled out of the driveway I felt the urge to push. And we still had the trek up 85...with hazards on and going about 80 we were on our way to my sister's. With each contraction, though, I wanted to push. We had Brooke on the phone with us, and decided that we needed to go straight to the hospital. We pulled up and I told the lady at the desk that I needed to push (not register). The nurses took me back to check me and I was "complete" (i.e. 10 cm and ready to push). I knew this!! So, they took me to a room and I was ready...except we had to then wait for the doctor before I could push. Brooke got there just when we did. My sister and mom were there to take care of the registering so Adam could be with me. Once the doctor was there I was ready to go! I pushed through a few contractions and then decided I wanted to use a squatting bar. This was the best! After 2 contractions with the bar, Charis was born.

minutes after birth...LOVE her!!
I was so proud of myself. I really did it. I really just gave birth to this amazingly beautiful girl without drugs! I did it with the amazing support of my husband (he was the best and most perfect coach). We did it with the amazing support of Brooke. And I would say that the pre-natal yoga and research was helpful. But, ultimately, I had let go of what I wanted and the desire to prove myself, and trust that God was in control.

a picture of the new family!
Adam and I both realized that this feeling you get when you have a baby doesn't necessarily come instantly. There is no "way" it's supposed to feel. But that it's very individual and very amazing. When she was born, I was just overwhelmed. I knew I loved this little girl instantly and I just couldn't believe how much God loved me to give me this little lady to love. I'm still pretty overwhelmed. I just want to look at her and kiss all over her. I am definitely doing my best to enjoy these moments...I am. I am loving every moment of this.

I just love this picture...she was bobbing her head

Sunday, November 1, 2009

a quick break

Tomorrow I officially start my maternity leave from work. I am looking forward to having some time off and a break. Even though that break will include taking care of a new baby and beginning a new journey into parenthood.
I am very fortunate because I love my job. I love that I get to care for other YL staff and hang out with some fun high school kids. It has been easy for me to hand things off in both the office and on my YL team b/c I have some great folks helping me out. But, it also feels a little weird to not be working. I think I'll be okay though. :)
I remember when I told kids that I was pregnant. They have been incredibly excited from the beginning. They have loved me and my belly baby for these past 6 or so months. I have gotten to share with some of them what God has been teaching me in this process and that's been the best part. I love these kids. I want more than anything for them to not only encounter Jesus, but to want to follow Him. My hope for them is to know just how much God loves them and desires to be in relationship with them. I am so thankful God chooses me to be used by Him to reveal Himself to them.

me and my super fun friend, Elizabeth
I have been getting texts and facebook messages lately from girls asking about the baby. I can't believe how excited they are and I can't wait to share this new journey with them. It's going to be so fun watching these girls love on my little girl. In the process, I also get to learn a little bit about teenage girls.

a group of CCDS friends at our shower!