Monday, December 14, 2009

Lessons in Imperfection (and why I won't give up this Blog...)

So I'm slowly (very s..l..o..w..l..y) learning to give up the idea of "perfection." Ha! Even writing that sentence makes me laugh! It really is silly this notion that I have had in my head of everything being "just so" and put together. (I am a mom now, right?) Why this novel thought process?

You see I have been thinking about giving up this blog all together. I'm one of those Type A people that is bothered by not giving 100% at all things. And as you can see, October 22nd was the last time I gave this blog any attention. In my "perfect world" I'd be the girl that can actually keep up with something she's started! And this would mean weekly posts, at least! So I texted my best girlfriend and let her know... the blog was going to go. She basically told me that I shouldn't be so hard on myself and update it as I can, for Emme's sake! For posterity! Funny that she wouldn't just "let me off the hook." She made me tackle again something I've been musing about for the last few weeks....

Why should a little thing like a Blog bother me so much? Maybe the issue is bigger than a Blog.

This started me on a chain of thinking that I had to put down into words (where better but on my Blog, right?) I have started reading a book called The Heart-Connected Life by Susan Cottrell. I've been blown away by the concepts it shares. And even more so how it has related so well to my own life experiences.

If I looked closely at the pattern that God has established in my life I would see that He created me as a person that likes to maintain order, plan ahead, see what is coming, do/be the BEST at everything possible, and of course keep everyone at peace and liking me in the process! Keep looking, and I see that though God created me uniquely with this rather rigid personality- He continues to ordain the course of my life in ways that would pull and stretch me away from MY course. To be more like Him? Yes, I hope so. But what I have started to realize is that I often find myself struggling against it rather than pressing into Him to mold me into His likeness.

I guess it is Emme that has truly made me think so much about this idea of being what GOD wants me to be, rather than some cookie cutter image of what I think things should be. You see I read all of the books on motherhood and "what to expect" and how to give your infant the best start at life. I followed those directions as much as I could, and you see --- my child has yet to really be one of those kids from the books! I am not bashing the books, trust me there have been many concepts that I have been able to apply for the greater good. But I'm learning (and my friends and family will confirm)... Emme isn't a black and white kiddo! I've given up on the equation method: "If you do this... it will produce such-and-such-result." As much as I would love to have clear cut answers, wouldn't I rather have to dig a little bit, get to know MY baby- and do what is best for her? Yes there are standards that aren't to be compromised, but I'm learning that the journey to that point is just that, a journey.

I want Emme to know the heart of her Heavenly Father. And I have to model that for her. Even now I want to do what is best for her- but I'm asking God to show me what that is. Will books or advice sometimes give me a good solution, yes! But first and foremost I need to go to the Lord and ask of HIS wisdom. So that I can give Emme, not perfection, not a cookie cutter mold, but the mold that God would give me for her- that she might eventually come to know Him in a personal way.

I don't want Emme to know a Mommy that needs things to be perfect, but a Mommy that will embrace her "imperfections" so she can grow as the Lord would have her. I'm going to try and stop looking for that "Perfect" child, so I can get to know the beautiful baby I've been so graciouslly given. Aren't I glad that God did this for me? That He wants to know me personally, faults and all, sin and all, so I can become more like Him?

"God gave us all unique, wonderful children. When he endowed our precious children with all their great potential, He never intended for us to make that happen. God gives us the opportunity to facilitate our children's dreams as He leads us; we cannot become God no matter how hard we try. Even if we succeed beyond our wildest dreams in achieving success for our children, If we are not submitted to God, we missed it. "

"We control our children when we have unreachable expectations or offer conditional acceptance. We think this will inspire them to do better. But unreachable expectations do not inspire anyone to greatness. No one drew near to the heart of God by keeping the law. And no one drew near to the heart of their parents by meeting their standards. The law drives us to defeat. After all, that is the purpose of the law."- The Heart-Connected Life

So I'm praying that God will help me to better embrace my imperfections, love my family, and become more like Him in all of these things.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Milestones

Seems as though Emme has grown up SO much since my last post! I can't believe how big she is getting, and how much fun she is. I will be the first to admit that we had a VERY challenging first 8 weeks or so! Poor Em had a lot of digestive issues, and so there was a lot of crying involved for Mommy and Baby! It is like the fog has started to lift and Ben and I are enjoying our Little Bit so very much. Every day it feels like she is learning something new and showing us more and more of her smiles, coos, and happy heart. She is sleeping through the night (most nights!) and wake time is becoming play time! Naps are even getting more consistent with each day that goes by. I want to encourage all new moms out there that Motherhood just keeps getting better and better. You never know what challenges may be headed your way when you step into this new role, but there is grace for every day--- and the milestones that are ahead of you make the first few weeks so completely worth it. Here is just a sample of the precious time I've been enjoying with Emme lately! I can't wait to see what is next!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Can't Wear Pink Everyday!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wisconsin Trip Update

Well thank you to all of you that prayed for safe travel and a good time with my parents in Wisconsin. Emme and I had a fabulous visit that included to relatively painless airplane rides! The only drama of the entire week occured on the flight back to DFW! The flight to Milwaukee was truly a breeze. Emme slept the entire time and didn't make a peep. The ride home was a little more interesting- but not because of Little Miss... because of a major mommy mishap!

Apparently my flight was scheduled to leave at 4:05 pm... not 4:35 pm. This makes a HUGE difference in the flying world. We arrived at the airport an hour before my "supposed" flight- since this airport is super easy to navigate and never takes more than a couple minutes to check in and get through security. Needless to say there were tears involved and I was RUNNING down the hallways to catch my flight. Relief set in when I actually made it on the plane! Praise the Lord (and my bag even arrived in DFW- which I did not foresee would have been a possibiltity given the amount of time I didn't have!)

I have to give kudos to my AMAZING baby who took all of this stress in stride, even having to eat 30 minutes late, in the very back seat of a plane- after her mother practically carried her by her neck to make it to the gate! After eating and a quick poopy diaper change (they do have changing tables in the super small bathroom!) Emme was asleep for the rest of the flight.

Our time in Wisconsin was priceless. We enjoyed time in the dowtown Cedarburg area- which is a lot like Mayberry- circa Andy Griffith. We visited local coffee shops and checked out an apple orchard. Our visit also included many naps for both mommy and Emme- and much needed downtime. The weather was beautiful and we really enjoyed the time with Grammy D. and Papa John. Emme started smiling so much this past week. She is changing every day it seems. Here are a few pictures from our visit.














Monday, September 14, 2009

Leavin' On A Jet Plane...

Tomorrow is a big day! Emme and I are leaving early in the morning to visit Grammy and Papa John in Wisconsin. I have to say I am definitely nervous about taking my 5 week old though the flight process. Since Ben is busy bringin' home the bacon (thank you, Honey!) I am making the trip alone. And I am so used to doing these sort of things with my man by my side- taking the lead in stride! I guess I am most fearful about the limited space I have to keep her occupied during the 2 1/2 hour journey. I am planning to follow advice I have heard from others about feeding her during take off and landing, and then hoping and praying that she will sleep during the majority of the flight. Wish me luck, and say a prayer if you think of us! I will update next week with a report from our trip up North!

Monday, September 7, 2009

One Month Birthday!

One month ago today I was having a different sort of "labor day." Ha! But today we are celebrating one month with our beautiful Emme Lou. She is such a blessing to us and we just treasure every second with her! I leave you with a few pics of our little lady...











Friday, August 28, 2009

First Trip to Walmart...

I must start by saying that I would call my first solo trip to Walmart with Emme a total success. Considering that the Denton Walmart has quite the reputation for being, let's call it, "interesting" at times- and I had no way to predict how baby was going to handle the outing, I really feel quite satisfied with my experience! Emme slept the entire time, including the car ride home- so no complaints here!

I do have a few things I must share though. I know that Emme is absolutely the most adorable baby- and can draw quite the fan club in public (which I don't mind!) But is it absolutely necessary for perfect strangers to touch random children? Especially when they are clearly newborns, covered with a blanket, and happily sleeping? I had a well meaning woman come up to my cart today and start touching Emme's toes and the blanket I had over her lower half. She didn't appear to be dirty or sick, but really? I felt the sudden need to disinfect my child as well as her clothing, pacifier, and car seat--- I was already nervous about her just setting foot in a Walmart for Pete's sake! I just never know how to handle people... you just want to blurt out, "You can look, but you can't touch!" :)

And one more funny thing- the guy that was checking us out was full of conversation and had lots of stories to tell. As I am about to pay and leave, he mentions that his wife is expecting and they just had an ultrasound to find out the gender of the baby. I replied, "Oh that's nice- boy or girl?" He responds, "It's a girl... pause... I mean, it's a boy! Crap!" Just made me laugh, and I wanted to say "Don't worry I won't tell you're wife... and you have a few more months to work on your response to that question." Funny stuff. Good times at Walmart...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Matters of the Heart

Emme's cardiologist appointment went very well today. Thank you for your prayers! After an EKG and and Echo, the doctor determined that she has 2 small holes in her heart, one towards the top, and the other towards the bottom. (Not even going to attempt the medical terminology!) He said that in 99% of cases the holes will close before the child reaches 1 yr. old. But even if they don't- he said that if the wall of her heart were to represent 100%, the holes would represent only 5%- and wouldn't be cause for operating. Those words were such a relief to hear! At the most, she will have to take antibiotics before surgeries and dental procedures to prevent infection. Emme and I are both worn out from our day's events-- but it is great reassurance to know that her little heart is pumping just fine. I know the Lord is caring for her each day... the Great Physician.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2 Week Check- Up

We had our 2 Week visit on Friday and Emme is growing wonderfully!

Here are the stats:
Height- 20 3/4 inches (75 %)
Weight- 8 lb 8 oz (75%)
Head Circumference- 36 cm (50%)

Praise the Lord she is so healthy! It was a busy day considering I had my 2 week check up, we got Emme's PKU done (2 pricks--- no fun at all!!!), and then went to see the pediatrician all in about a 4 hour time span!

One thing the doctor did notice however was that Emme has a heart murmur. He checked her femoral pulse though, and she is getting 100% flow. So Dr. Goff said no worries, but we need to get everything ok'd through the cardiologist. So we have an appointment to get an echo tomorrow and see for certain. Most likely it is a small hole that will either close over time, or just be a benign, "unique" thing that Emme has. I feel very at peace that everything will be ok- but please be in prayer for wisdom for the doctors and continued protection and good health for our little Em.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New Mother's Prayer

I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou bless├Ęd Son.

Annie Hawks the author of this hymn wrote:
One day as a young wife and mo­ther of 37 years of age, I was bu­sy with my reg­u­lar house­hold tasks. Sud­den­ly, I be­came so filled with the sense of near­ness to the Mast­er that, won­der­ing how one could live with­out Him, ei­ther in joy or pain, these words, “I Need Thee Ev­e­ry Hour,” were ush­ered in­to my mind, the thought at once tak­ing full pos­sess­ion of me.

After writ­ing the lyr­ics, Hawks gave them to her pas­tor, Ro­bert Low­ry, who add­ed the tune and re­frain. The hymn was first pub­lished at the Na­tion­al Bap­tist Sun­day School Con­ven­tion in Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio, in No­vem­ber 1872. Some years lat­er, af­ter the death of her hus­band, Hawks wrote:

I did not un­der­stand at first why this hymn had touched the great throb­bing heart of hu­man­i­ty. It was not un­til long af­ter, when the sha­dow fell over my way, the sha­dow of a great loss, that I un­der­stood some­thing of the com­fort­ing pow­er in the words which I had been per­mit­ted to give out to others in my hour of sweet se­ren­i­ty and peace.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Baby Story (Emme Edition)

So I am finally sitting down to document the big day... August 7, 2009... a much anticipated day in the Oehlschlaeger household. It brings tears of deepest joy to my eyes just to think back upon the journey- so really I think that I have to back up a bit in order to make the story come full circle.
To really relish the amazing act of God's mercy and kindness that Emme's birth is to our family. I'm sharing it because I believe it is a true testimony of God's faithfulness and His ultimate Hand of Provision in our lives. A timeline, a testament of God's glory in all circumstances.

Praise the Lord- "thankful" is truly not a big enough word...

April/May 08'- Begin the process of "trying"

August 08'- We learn that we are expecting a baby in April 09'

September 08'- 1st ultrasound at 8 weeks shows us a heart beat and baby living in my womb

October 08'- 13 Week appointment determines that our baby has gone to be with Jesus, having no indication that anything was wrong- I have a D & C- as my body has not miscarried naturally.

Thanksgiving 08'- After a period of grieving, searching, and praying- Ben and I take a fabulous trip to the Smoky Mountains. We enjoy time in nature, and relaxing in God's creation. We also get to visit with our family at my brother's house in TN. A beautiful time of healing and peace for us as we really laid the experience to rest as a couple and move forward.

December 08'- Head to the doctor as my hormone levels are having trouble leveling off. Lots of labs, tests, and questions.

January 09'- Praise the Lord, we learn that an amazing miracle has occurred... I am pregnant! Multiple tests and ultrasounds confirmed doctors suspicions, and a heart beat ultimately determines that my due date is August 13, 2009.

January 09'-August 09'- A true walk of trust and seeking the Lord's hand of protection. For me every day was an act of CHOOSING to believe that no matter the outcome, God was for us.

August 7, 2009- I am induced! We could not believe this day had finally arrived!!! Excitement is an understatement!!!

6:30 am- Arrive at the hospital 3 cm. dilated, 80 % effaced after having contractions for about 1 week- but not severe enough to spark active labor.
7:30 am- Receive cervadil to help labor progress
Early afternoon- 5 pm- Start pitocin, about 5 cm. dilated
5:30 pm- Dr. Walsh decides to kick it into high gear and break my water!
5:31 pm- WOW!!!! The party gets started and it is clear that Emme is on the way!
6:30 pm- Decide to get pain meds and epidural, since progress is slow...
8:00 pm (ish)- Receive the epidural and am able to rest for about 2 hours- thank you, Lord! 10:00 pm- Begin pushing! Yeah!!!
11:05 pm- Emme enters the world. Praise the Lord!

What a miracle Emme is. Great is Thy faithfulness....




Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gearing up for the Big Day!

So tomorrow is the day! The last month has probably felt like the longest of my life! Ben and I are both so ready to meet our little girl. We have talked so much about our anticipation and have decided that it feels like the ultimate Christmas present. It is so close, and yet feels so far away all at the same time. And it is a strange feeling to know that your life is about to change so completely just in less than 24 hours. We are beyond thrilled at the thought of finally have Emme in our arms. She has already been such a blessing to us. We have grown in our faith and trust in the Lord so much, and we pray that she will come to know the Lord early in a very personal way. When I look back on our journey the past year I can see the hand of God beginning this good work in us--- and we pray His mercy as it is continued to completion.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

10..9..8..7...

So our countdown is officially beginning. I marked 30 weeks this past Thursday, and am amazed that baby Emme will be in our arms in just a couple short months! It has been strange how pregnancy seems to move in phases of really long... then really fast.... then the cycle repeats!

Since the whirlwind of teaching has come to a close, things don't seem to be slowing down any time soon. We are getting the room together and I have a shower on Saturday. Then Ben and I have a week planned in Austin at a resort. And before we know it, it is going to be July!

Wow! I feel so blessed to be at this point in my pregnancy. I think that Baby Emme is a miracle in every sense of the word- and I thank God and pray for her protection every day. Here is a little update on what our sweet pea is up to!

---Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. ---

30 WEEKS

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's a girl!

We found out last Thursday that we are having a little girl! What a treat! Both Ben and I were SO excited. This is the first girl to be born in the Oehlschlaeger family for over 100 years! She broke the mold!
We are going to name her Emme Lou Oehlschlaeger. Her name means "loved, hard working, brave." I know she will be all of those things and just pray every day that the Lord will give Ben and I wisdom to raise her as He would will. Here are a few pics of our 18 week ultra sound. We just praise God that she is growing healthy and strong, and pray that by His mercy He would continue to allow her to develop day by day!














Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Everything Rides on Hope...

Heard this song on the radio and it just so well encompasses the Christian walk. There are so many ups and downs in life, and so many opportunities for us to see God's grace, and His hand in everything. That is my prayer.

If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of?
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
When my life is like a storm
Rising waters- all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

You've become my heart's desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free

Hope Now by Addison Road

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Reasons to Praise!

We are rejoicing once more! Yesterday we went for our 12 week appt. and were so blessed to hear a strong heart beat from our little one. I am daily amazed at God's gracious love towards us. Throughout this journey, the Lord has just reminded me over and over how much He cares for His children. All I can say is, "Great is Thy Faithfulness!" We are grateful for every prayer that goes up for Baby O. We will keep everyone updated.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Life... more abundantly...


10 Week Pics of Baby O... praise the Lord as we continue to pray for his/her growth in the coming weeks!




Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year Brings New Life




Where do I begin? We praised God as we walked into the sonographer's office yesterday and greeted the new year by saying hello to our 8 week old baby! It was the sweetest sound to hear the pounding of our child's heart, and I was reminded of the gracious love of my Heavenly Father.


I feel beyond blessed to have this gift in my life. It is an amazing thing to truly feel God has reached down and seen me in my depths. It is as though He has made His heart evident to me.


It sounds so cliche, but while I do not know what the future holds, I do know Who holds the future. He comforts me, and gently reminds me of His love. I'm not trusting in science, or doctors, or my own ability (ha!) to keep this baby alive... with the power of my Savior I am hoping in Him. He is the one who numbers the days of our children, and allows their protection. With an open hand, I pray God's blessing for our little one, whom we hope to hold in early August.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we take this new walk of faith and gratitude.