Exhausted…but content

I’m grateful that for my girls and the joy that they bring to our lives. 

I have never experienced so much heartache and joy all at the same time. They make me cringe and laugh everyday. I cringe from all the tantrums, fighting over toys for the millionth time, cleaning up crumbs and spilled milk, cleaning up poo in random places, and oh the drama – so much emotional drama. 

But then there’s much laughter sprinkled throughout the day – enough to rejuvenate me in an otherwise impossible situation.

Annelise said to me the other day – “Mommy, why do you have white hair?” I laughed and told her, “It’s because I’m getting old.” She said, “Oh…you’re getting tired?” (I had told her previously that old people get tired) Haha! Yes, I’m exhausted. My right leg is completely sore from holding Katelynn (who is 30 pounds) when she was sick the other week. Yes, I’m utterly exhausted but so content.

I’m thankful that we survived two HG pregnancies – the road to bring the girls here was certainly far from easy but so worth it in the end.

I feel that way about bringing Ethan home. The waiting is, at times, so painful. But I have to say I’m so thankful that I don’t have to endure another HG pregnancy. Compared to hyperemesis, this adoption waiting should be a piece of cake! Mostly, I’m honored that I get to be Ethan’s forever mommy. 

Mother's Day 2015

Bringing Ethan Home

I have some very exciting news to share! Last November, we started our application process to adopt a boy from Korea. We found out on Friday that our home study was approved – this means that we are officially approved to adopt! If you want to follow us on our adoption adventure, you can go to bringingethanhome.wordpress.com.

Why did we decide to adopt a boy from Korea?

1) I had two nightmare pregnancies due to a rare, debilitating pregnancy disorder called Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  HG occurs in about 1-2% of pregnant women and causes excessive nausea and vomiting which leads to dehydration, fatigue, malnutrition, and a general inability to function. I lost 15-20 pounds with each pregnancy and endured home IV treatment for one to two months.  After much thought and prayer, we decided not to get pregnant again due to the high probability that I would get HG again. If you’d like to read more about my journey with HG, you can go to prisonerinmyownbody.wordpress.com

2) God has convicted us to live out the gospel in a very concrete way by addressing the plight of orphans and foster children in this world.

We hope to inspire you to seek the Lord and to do your part in making the world a better and safer place for our needy children!

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Blessings,

Mimi

adoption announcement

The Joys of Mothering Toddlers

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s a great time to reflect on the blessings of being a mommy to two active toddlers. Our days are hectic and filled with lots of drama (aka fighting between my daughters) and it can be so easy to grumble about how tired I am or how difficult it is to raise my little ones who are only 18 months apart (or how many diapers I have to change).

But I know that despite how exhausted I am, at the end of the day I am a very blessed mother. It’s such an honor and privilege that we shouldn’t take for granted, especially as I think about my friends who have been waiting to get pregnant for quite some time. Furthermore, I know that God truly had mercy on our family by granting us healthy daughters as I battled hyperemesis with both my pregnancies.

Here is my list of the top ten joys of being a mama to toddlers:

  1. Hearing them say, “I love you.”
  2. Receiving hugs and slobbery kisses from them.
  3. The way they eagerly imitate everything you do (from the way you eat & drink to the way you scold the dog).
  4. Knowing that you are their security in times of distress.
  5. The privilege of training them to obey the Lord
  6. Losing yourself joyfully in sacrificing your body, time and energy to these little ones because they are so needy
  7. The complete and genuine joy in their faces when you come home…from a short trip to the grocery store.
  8. Hearing them say the darnedest things like – “Mommy, don’t worry.”
  9. Having a little shadow with you all day – they follow you even into the bathroom.
  10. Witnessing their amazing milestones – walking, talking, climbing, spinning, engaging in pretend play, making friends, saying their own prayers.

Mother’s Day & HG Awareness Day

This Mother’s Day, I am so grateful to be a mom of two, healthy HG miracle babies. Annelise is almost 22 months and Katelynn just turned 4 months! One of the things I learned when I underwent hyperemesis is that we cannot take our health for granted and that it is truly a blessing from the Lord to be healthy. I’m still so amazed that despite my 15-20 pound weight loss with each pregnancy, Annelise and Katelynn are both so healthy…and so big!

May 15th is HG Awareness Day. If you have the means, please consider giving the gift of a donation to an organization near and dear to my heart – the Hyperemesis Education Research (HER) foundation. www.helpher.org

I hope and pray that we can one day find a cure to this devastating disease so that pregnancy does not have to turn into a nightmare!

ImageImageImage

Easter, HG, and the Cross

It’s been ten years since I made the decision to become Christian as a junior in college. The Lord has been so faithful these past ten years – through many up’s and down’s, He has been gracious and has blessed me with so many things. I feel blessed to have endured and suffered hyperemesis twice because it has given me a greater appreciation for the cross which Jesus had to endure. The very physical and visceral suffering of Christ has been made all the more real because of my own experience with physical suffering. When Christ said, “I thirst”, I can imagine how utterly tired and dehydrated he must have been because I’ve experienced severe dehydration to the point of needing daily IV treatment. What I can’t imagine is having nails pierce the skin of my hands and feet. I also have caught a glimpse of how lonely the cross must have been and how betrayed Jesus must have felt that all of disciples fled when He needed them the most. HG is a most isolating and depressing disease and I have felt that deep sense of betrayal and abandonment from loved ones as well. The amazing thing about the cross is that Jesus knew how bad his physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering would be and yet He chose to endure the pain because it was the Lord’s will and because He knew his suffering had a higher purpose to bring salvation to all of humanity. To bring spiritual life to those who choose to believe in Christ. And in that sense, HG sufferers are called to suffer for a higher purpose as well. That without the pain of HG, the birth of a child would never happen. And this is the glory of suffering for others. This is the beauty of the cross.

Katelynn’s First Moments – DIY Newborn Photo Shoot

My second daughter Katelynn was born early this year on January 8th at a hefty, healthy 9 pounds, 4 ounces! The fact that she is so healthy is truly a miracle and a blessing because I lost a total of 21 pounds due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum. If you’d like to read about my pregnancy journey, you can visit prisoner in my own body. Danny and I decided to set up our own newborn photo shoot to celebrate Kate’s precious first moments. We covered our boppy pillow with a baby blanket and used that to prop up Katelynn on her tummy for the photos. We decided to shoot her naked (so cute!) with just an adorable headband on. We covered her with another blanket so that she wasn’t too cold. We shot the photos in the morning, using natural sunlight as well as some extra lighting from our bedroom lamps. Of course we had to include our first daughter Annelise (18 months) in the photos. We encouraged her to pat and kiss her baby sister and we got some wonderful shots of sweet sisterly love in action. I love how our DIY newborn photo shoot turned out!

IMG_1350IMG_1310IMG_1349

What inspires me?

I am a two-time HG survivor. Social worker by profession but for now a full-time baby buncher.

What inspires me? Many things, but first and foremost, it’s Jesus.

Last year, I underwent my second HG pregnancy – it was, without a doubt, the hardest thing life has thrown at me thus far. After surviving hyperemesis twice, I am grateful to be alive and to be gaining my health back. I want to start off this year by praising God for his faithfulness as He was the one who kept me and the baby safe through a very difficult pregnancy.

My key verse for this year is John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There is so much darkness in this world that it can be overwhelming to even breathe at times. But Jesus tells us that we can have peace in Him! My prayer for this year is that I may find peace in Jesus despite the troubled circumstances life often hands each one of us.

Last year, I was in much physical turmoil and emotional darkness due to HG. This year, I hope to cherish life’s blessings and embrace the beauty and bliss in the little, day-to-day things. In addition to being a mommy blog, this blog will be an eclectic collection of things that inspire me daily – faith, family, food, fashion, art, and whatever else sparks my soul.

Hope to inspire you along the way,

Mimi

Image