Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The value of life.

So many people put a monitory or material value on life, why? The value we have in life should be based on the failures we have had, the growth that we do because of those failures and the choices we make to not fail a second time. 

Some failures cannot be foreseen, God has placed things in our path to draw us to him, to rely on him and to give him the power to guide us, we need to trust him and the choices that he has made for us in our lives. Sometimes he gives us things only to take them away, why?! Sometimes we may never know, sometimes it takes a while to learn his ways and occasionally we have that, "ah ha" moment shortly after. Each of the stepping stones he gives us, is to better ourselves and grow into him and concrete the values that he has taught us since conception. 

Lots of times when I tell people that I am going to school to be a nurse, they LOVE the idea. Most people who REALLY know me, know I am first and foremost a giver. I love giving time to people, gifts, making meals for my family and friends, basically anything that I can do for someone, I will. I value the people in my life and how I show them the value I have for them, is to give to them. So becoming a nurse just amplifies that nature I have, the values that God has instilled in my heart and soul. 

When I go on to tell people I want to specialize in Neonatal, they first ask what it is, most people don't realize there is a whole speciality just for little humans. Premature babies or those full term ones that need extra special medical attention for whatever reason. Then they ask WHY? "Oh, that would be so sad... Don't most of them die?" -- did you know that some experts will stand by the statistic that 70% of pregnancies end in miscarriage?! Did you know that the likelihood of a baby living born at 24 weeks gestational age is less than 10% and even less of a chance that they will not have major medical issues and mental delay. -- why would I want to fight along side these horrible odds? Why would I want to stand over these tiny humans and watch their parents make life altering decisions? -- WHY? Because I have lived, I have been at those appointments when your OB tells you that your child MIGHT have a major medical issue, I have lived through the specialist visits and the amniocentesis, I have lived through the unknown, I have birthed a child, a healthy, beautiful child. A child who brightens my worst days and reminds me why I take each breath. And because I have lost, I know the feeling of despair and the loss you feel when losing something that is part of you. There is nothing on this earth that could make you feel that helpless and lost. Because I VALUE these outcomes both good and bad, these are what make each of us individual. I VALUE the experiences that these parents are going through -- I may not have the personal experience of going through EVERY situation that some of these parents go through, but I VALUE their emotions, the confusion, the guilt, the pure desperation that they feel. I want to be able to be that rock that they need, the person who will tell them, "I am doing EVERYTHING in my power to help YOUR CHILD. Because if it was my baby, I would need someone to do the same for me." -- because as a parent sometimes you just need to grieve about the situation, regardless of the final outcome. In the moment of unknown you don't always need to be strong but someone does and that is the person who is taking care of your child, the one who is taking time away from their family to help yours. 

I know there will be times where I hate the job I decided to do but I know that the times when I see those parents pick their baby up and TAKE THEM HOME; I will know that the career I have chosen was made for ME. God has placed this career on my heart, the career chose me, I didn't choose it. So next time you ask someone why they are doing something that seems so hard, look at THEM, the values that they have, the purpose in life that has been given to them by our Lord. 

The value of life isn't based on anything other than life itself. If we aren't living we are dying, there is no getting around it. God has designed it this way for a reason. Value those around you, value your own life, your own journey, the one that God has given you to walk. One day your walk will end, you will be done trying to find your way. Whether it is before birth or at 110, each of us has an end to our journey. Does it make the value of our life any less because it ended sooner than another's? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life decisions...

So many people have asked Luke and I if we are going to have a sibling for Ford... This question always makes my heart beat fast, makes my throat start to close and makes me nauseas. Not because I don't want one, but exactly the opposite. 

For the last year-- yeah, it took a while to get baby fever after Ford-- I have wanted nothing more than to get pregnant again and have a second baby. As I see everyone around my posting pregnancy and birth announcements, I always get envious and think about what it would feel like to be doing the same thing. I am so great full to be surrounded by such wonderful women, who are so blessed to create such amazing life as all the kids I know are all truly amazing in their own ways. -- you can really see God's work in these kids-- But it hurts my heart to not have the commonality between the other women I know, a commonality I will probably NEVER have. 

I will most likely never be able to compare pregnancies and births, growth rates and firsts between my children because I have come to terms with only having Ford. I would not change him for anything in this world -- as he giggles next to me trying to "eat" Daddy-- He has been and always will be my #1 and will probably remain MY ONLY... It seems so final putting it in words, not that we couldn't decide to try in the future but the truth is.........

I'm being as unselfish as I can be by making this decision. Yes, I am making this decision so that I do not have to postpone school, so that I can get MY degree(s) -- hopefully a masters or PhD in the long future-- BUT these reasons are also completely for Ford, to give him stability, security, freedom, to give him the time he deserves and the attention that all kids long for from their parents. I want to be able to provide for him, the things that I did not have, to do the activities he wants and yearns for, I want Ford to be able to grow up knowing that his parents worked hard, even after he was born, to become people who were part of society, made a difference and so can he, that he has the power to change the world in anyway that he chooses too. I want him to know that with ambition you can do anything. 

Having kids should not kill your dreams, but fuel them. You should want to create a better life than you could have ever gained for your child. That starts with being a joyful and happy person (yes, those are two different things)... I have not been happy, I have been missing something, I have been missing a piece of me and that was being an individual, not just a mom and wife, but being Amanda. I am learning who I am now and what I want out of life....

Do I want another baby YES, would it ruin my plans, NO... Which is funny because it seems like an oxymoron from what I have said above. I believe that everyone can adapt and overcome... Situationally things get stressful but you can always make it through. However, I know it would postpone our plans of school (both Luke and I) for a while and then slow down the process, which with me going into nursing I cannot take time off, I cannot only take a class or two, it is a pre established two year program, followed by another predetermined two years of classes for my bachelors degree. 

NO, I WILL NOT HAVE KIDS 10 YEARS APART! Thanks for asking.... It makes my blood boil when people act like this is not a HUGE deal. It is! You are going back to square one with a 5th (ish) grader... I do not want to be in my THIRTIES having a child (sorry ladies who are older than me, you are stronger than I) ... I think it is unfair and irrational on so many levels! It would be like raising two only children, no matter what you say, I will NOT be swayed on this topic... It is MY OPINION! 

Did we try? --- yup, we did in the sense that IF it had (yes, past tense) happened we would have been happy... I cried almost everyday for a week after all of the Christmas announcements because so many people I know are expecting and I felt like I should be able to have the same  happiness in my life too.... But then I realized, maybe God could only give us one because Ford is too special... Maybe he is all I will ever need! 

The last few weeks I have been able to pull out and go through all his old clothing, decided what we are keeping and what can be sold -- So if you're having a boy, let me know! -- without many (just a few) tears. 

I'm hoping slowly, I will come to terms with the fact that I will never be pregnant again, I will never to endure labor again or have sleepless nights. Most would be like SIGN ME UP, but unless you are already a parent -- especially a mother-- you do not understand that sacrifices like not having your body to yourself for ten months, not sleeping and not having alone time, are THE MOST REWARDING THINGS YOU WILL EVER HAVE IN LIFE! There is nothing like being a mom, NOTHING! 

Now I just need to come to terms that while everyone else is baby shopping and will have stories, milestone updates and sibling love, we will not.