A New Dawn, A New Day…


NewDawn2

Welcome to my new blog! Tony designed it for me in secret and surprised me with it a few weeks ago.  Seriously, how amazingly awesome is my husband?! I’ve still got some work to do around the site, but I just couldn’t wait to share it with you all.  I am a little nervous to be writing again since it’s been a year, but I can’t just let this beautiful blog sit idle now can I!?  It’s been long enough and you know I’ve got something to say, so let’s get started, ya’ll!

I am 34 weeks pregnant today.  There are days that I look down as my growing belly jumps this way and that way as my little one plays, and I still can’t believe it.  I’m pregnant.  With a baby.  A baby that will soon be making his grand entrance into the world.  It’s amazing, really.

I am a mom.

Our little man isn’t the only thing that has been growing and changing around the Alicea household.  I can honestly say that I am not the person that I was just 8 short months ago.  God and I have been busy.  He has given me so many gifts over this time of transformation and change and I want to share some of them with you in the hopes that you will be encouraged or at least feel understood whether you are pregnant or not.

Much to my chagrin, the first thing that God wanted to work on with me was my intense desire for control. I’m an expert at control.  I am a control ninja.  I’m so good at it that others and even myself don’t know I’m doing it.  Basically, I haven’t wanted Jesus to take the wheel like Carrie Underwood suggests. Heck, I wanted to wrap my entire body around the wheel and cat scratch anyone that tries to get near me. But you see, there is this unavoidable, beautiful, scary thing that happens with pregnancy….you lose control.

At some point in the first trimester as my body and I were adjusting to all the hormones and the new life growing inside me, I reached a point where realized that I am not in control.  Like, at all.  I mean, 2 days after finding out I’m pregnant I find myself crying and laughing at the same time and then 10 minutes later I am fast asleep with half a donut in my mouth.  Out. Of. Control.  I would find myself needing to eat all the time so I don’t get sick and yet all I feel like I could stand to eat is a pretzel sandwich from Sheetz and they don’t have Sheetz in Florida!  For the love of Pete, why aren’t their Sheetz down here!?  I’m still pretty upset about it.

Clearly, I was going to have to face the fact that life was changing quickly and my need to slow it down, stop it, or control it was only going to wear me out.

At the time, this didn’t seem like much of a gift, but after I finally reached out to Him and surrendered, God gently and patiently helped me peel each white knuckled finger of the steering wheel and hand each moment of every day over to Him.  Even though sometimes I still grab for the wheel (I’m just such a good driver, you guys!), I have been able to find so much more rest and freedom in this place of letting go.  That Carrie Underwood was onto something after all.  (I still prefer her song about smashing someone’s headlights in, but it didn’t seem to appropriately fit this particular point I’m trying to make).

Another amazing gift that God gave me was to realize that not only can I trust Him and His voice, but I can trust myself and my body.  I’ve always been in tune with my body, which has come in very handy for navigating the learning curve that comes with pregnancy.  Even for women that have been pregnant before, every pregnancy is as unique as the little life growing inside.  I have had to slow down and pay attention for what my body is telling me it needs and when I do that I am so much better off.  I have been very gentle with myself over these last 8 months.  If I’ve felt like I needed rest, I rested.  I felt like I needed to shop for three days straight to find the right lamp for the babies room, I did it (Nesting…it’s a real thing, ya’ll).  I felt like I need to eat, I ate no matter where I was or what was going on (even if I had to settle for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel instead of a Sheetz pretzel.  Still so upset).

I spent many years of my life working myself into the ground because I had something to prove to myself, others, and I thought, even to God, but God has been working with me on this for awhile now and I am finally at a place where I put my health and the health of my baby before anything else.  Pregnancy is not a disease or illness, but there are times that you genuinely need to slow down and I encourage you mommies out there to do so when you feel it’s right.  Don’t waste even one moment comparing yourself to other women.  You are unique and so is your pregnancy.  Trust yourself and the health care provider of your choosing and don’t worry about the millions of opinions out there.

When I first found out I was pregnant I was really apprehensive about telling anyone.  Not because I was afraid we would lose the baby, but because I was really wanting to avoid the “advice”.  You know what I’m talking about.  That helpful “advice” you get from well-meaning (mostly) folks who want to help “prepare” you for the road ahead, but instead makes you feel like you are being prepared to compete in the Hunger Games or The Running Man (for you 80’s kids out there).  It’s similar to the “advice” we got when we told people we were getting married.  “Have all your fun now, because when you’re married…blah blah blah”.  I learned to trust myself and to just say no to unhelpful comments and advice even if it made the other person or me uncomfortable to do so.

Even though my little man isn’t out in the world yet, I am already his mom and I will do or say anything I need to in order to protect myself and him.  It may sound a little extreme to say that I need to protect myself from negative advice as if it were an actual threat, but what God showed me is that it is an actual threat.  It is a threat to my thought life that I need to be fiercely guarding.  As someone who has struggling with anxiety and depression for most of my life, I do need to treat negative thoughts and unhelpful words as a threat to all the hard work that God and I have done to gain back the ground that had been covered in darkness.  In Philippians 4:8 Paul writes: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”.  Instead of focusing on things I can’t control, I focus on living in the moment.  When my little man kicks, I stop and I put my hand on my belly and I live in this moment I’ve been gifted where I get to feel his little body moving inside me.  What a miracle!!  I don’t want to miss these moments by living in a scary future in my mind that will most likely not come to pass.

What I realized is that my story is mine and it won’t be like anyone else’s.  Sure, there are many things that are similar about pregnancy and labor and we mom’s can learn from each other, but when you are pregnant the most important thing to learn is that you were made to do this and you CAN DO IT no matter how you decide to do it or what obstacles may come your way!  You are in charge of the information you want to learn about pregnancy and childbirth and you have the right to say no to unhelpful, negative, cynical, sarcastic, or harmful information that makes you feel scared or overwhelmed.

When we guard our hearts, we are also guarding the well-being and growth of our babies who are physically and spiritually connected to us.  Along these same lines, I have limited the information I have decided to read or take in regarding pregnancy and childbirth.  There were so many different opinions and so much information out there that my head would spin and the overwhelming thoughts of a future I can’t control became too much to bear.  It’s okay to listen to yourself when you feel like you are experiencing information overload.  Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, but the society we live in now wants us to feel like pregnancy is horrible and just a time to rush through and labor should be feared and this just didn’t sit right with me at all.  I thank God that He has helped me to stand strong in what I feel is right for me, my baby, and my family and I ask that all the mommies and daddies out there that have been through pregnancy and labor please be wise about what you share with whom and when.  Unless someone specifically asks you for your opinion or your story, please remember that people experiencing something totally new have tender hearts and minds and need encouragement more than preparation.

Each day, no matter what has come my way, has been a gift whether I realized it at the time or not.  I look back to the day Tony and I looked at the positive pregnancy test with our jaws on the ground and since then each day has been full of opportunities for change, restoration, healing, growth, refinement, and immense joy.  Pregnancy can legitimately be very difficult for some moms to no fault of their own, but it was not designed as a punishment or a thing to make you suffer.  Labor is clearly not a walk in the park, but it is not something to fear.  Every moment is perfectly designed just for you as a gift from your Daddy who loves you.  Even the days you can’t get out of bed you are learning and growing.  God has done so much in mine and Tony’s hearts and our marriage as well over these months and I know that there was no other way to get here but through the new life of our little man.

As I approach the last days and weeks of my pregnancy I can say with all honesty that I have loved being pregnant.  Just because I love it doesn’t mean that everyday is like skipping through fields of Skittles and puppies (Mmmmm Skittles! I wants!).  But something doesn’t have to be effortless and easy for you to love it.  In fact, when you think about it, the situations and people you love the most are the ones that you work for, sacrifice for, and work through the tough times.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you because I am so proud of what God, Tony, baby boy, and I have accomplished over these months of growth and we are just getting started.  The path I am walking now is where the story of my life and the story of my son’s life meet.  As we travel together for as long as God sees fit I will continue to see each step as a blessing and a chance for growth for our whole family.  I won’t let the world tell me that my little one will ruin my life or be an inconvenience.  Again, this won’t be easy and some days I will fail, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t work to keep that perspective. I pray that you are encouraged whether you are pregnant or not.  We are all “pregnant” with something at some point in our lives.  We all get the opportunity to give birth, whether it be dreams or babies.

My advice is simply to not let what anyone else says or does allow fear into what God is doing for you and the unique purpose of your life.

Love,

Mama Bear Katie

Comments

  1. This post was incredible! I almost cried from happiness- the tears were right there! Thank you for sharing your heart and equipping those who are walking this journey 🙂 you’re amazing!

  2. Heather says:

    Love!!!

  3. Great. Now I’m craving a Sheetz death dog. And they don’t have Sheetz in Missouri either.

  4. Welcome back, Katie! What a great post! I’m so excited for you and Tony and your little baby. Having a child absolutely changes your life, but it changes for the better (the so much better), not the worse. It’s always confused me why negative nelly’s think it necessary to regurgitate a bunch of useless info. It’s like we reach this place where we’re more comfortable finding our connections of familiarity with each other through negative means rather than positive ones, and that’s just messed up!

    Here’s a couple of things I will tell you about what’s to come (and I don’t really consider this advice…more like observations…so don’t get mad at me, ok? :o).

    You may feel like you love your little dude now…but I promise, once you see him face to face, you will be amazed at how quickly and how fiercely that love grows. You’ll wrap his little hand around your finger and everything will just be different, Katie….and something else…when you hold your little guy…you’re gonna know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is real. Any small minute doubt that’s ever crept into your mind concerning God’s existence will fade quickly away as you look at this precious gift He has been creating for 9 months.

    This is truly an exciting time for you and Tony and I’m praying for God’s continued blessings in your life. Love you guys!

  5. Nanna Bear says:

    Kate, It is great to see you writing again. I love the site updates that Tony did too. Love you.

  6. Bethany says:

    YOU ARE BLOGGING AGAIN! That makes my heart soar. What an insightful and inspiration blog. You are going to rock Mommyhood. I have something headed your way shortly! Love from the River Road and WV! Thanks Tony for making her this new blog to begin a new chapter in your blessed life!

Speak Your Mind

*