GUEST POST: Preemie Perspective

I am only able to write from my own experience; so from time to time I like to bring in guest writers to share on topics I don’t have experience in.  

The day after my son was born, my friend Stephanie delivered her gorgeous, preemie princess. 

Motherhood is HARD, and every story is different. This is Stephanie’s. 

-The Modern Homemaker

 

My dear friend from childhood asked me to write a blog about being a first time mom and my experience with having a preemie baby and what a different life it is from the expectations that come with a full term baby.  
 

When I was first approached to write this blog I was honored and excited. As the days passed and I mulled over in my mind what I wish I would have read in other preemie mother’s blogs, I began to realize why so much was left out. As a new first time mom, especially a mother of a preemie, the last thing you want from people is pity. You bring it upon yourself all on your own. You also don’t want people to think you’re complaining or depressed or that you’re not loving every single moment with your child. Because while there are so very many difficult and challenging times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve always lived my life with a very open, raw look at things and this blog will certainly not be any different. I won’t cover the NICU, because that alone deserves a separate monologue. Through this journey I have become friends with several fellow NICU mothers. I know that not one preemie road is the same. Each of us has had struggles and continue to struggle with different things. I have learned that through watching these other moms wrestle with the realities and nightmares that follow a preemie long after the NICU, there are no words to describe my love and admiration for them.
 

Before I jump into it, I want to briefly explain what the complications were with my daughter and what caused her to be premature. My pregnancy alone was a long difficult journey even with it being cut short. At twenty weeks into the pregnancy, at the usual anatomy scan that every baby gets, Harper-Ensley was measuring small. As time went on, her growth began to slow drastically and we were diagnosed with IUGR which stands for intrauterine growth restriction. In addition to this, her doppler flows began looking diminished. Dopplers measure the flow of blood to and from the placenta and the baby; when it is reduced or reversed it means the baby is not receiving the nourishment it needs to grow and survive in the womb. There were also times the flow was reversed. At one point she nearly had to be taken out at 28 weeks. I was admitted at that point into the hospital and we managed to make it miraculusly to 34 weeks. This time in Antepardum was filled with daily ultra sounds, Doppler flow readings and NST’s. Two days before her day of birth, we were told she had dipped below the tenth percentile and needed to come early. The doctor felt she would thrive better outside of me than in. (This is where the self-inflected pity and guilt come into play) The truth is, that her head was measuring at 15% while the rest of her body was at less than 1%. A baby at 34 weeks is usually 4 3/4 – 5 1/4lbs. On February 1, 2017, my daughter Harper-Ensley Rowan Nelson was born weighing 3lbs 10oz via c-section because she was too fragile and couldn’t handle a vaginal birth. My husband and I got to see her and her tiny body briefly before she was rushed up to the NICU. 


I’ll never forget seeing her little self for the first time on the baby scale just to my left. I vividly remember how confused I was as to why her skin looked so dark. It was later brought to our attention that she was looking blue-ish grey because of the lack of oxygen she was getting. After 3 weeks in the NICU, which involved oxygen tubes in her nose, feeding tubes down her throat, wires stuck all over her body, an IV in her arm, purple toes for a week, a 3 day stint under blue biliruben lights, and living in a plexiglass box for nearly her entire stay we were able to take our little baby girl home.

 

The first few days after giving birth to Harper-Ensley my hospital room was filled with beautiful congratulatory flowers and stuffed animals, some were even sent to our house. Some very special people to Jason and I from out of town bought us a sushi dinner that we were able to squeeze in late one night after a NICU care time. Two people offered to make us dinner to bring by the house but we weren’t able to take them up on it because we were always at the hospital. When we finally got her home, she was like our newborn baby. She was actually our tiny 4lb newborn baby! Our house was completely void of flowers, gifts, or pre-cooked dinners. To the rest of the world our baby wasn’t new. She was 3 weeks old, yet still 3-5 pounds smaller than full term newborns. Jason and I were able to spend 2 days together and then he needed to go back to work because he had taken time off right after her birth and extra hours here and there to spend care times at the hospital. (Care times in the NICU happened every 3 hours and were the only times we were able to hold or interact with our baby. The nurses kept the interaction times very limited even during care times.)




 Upon discharge, the doctors and nurses told us to maintain these care times and that holding her and interacting with her more than that (approx 30 minutes) could cause her to not gain weight due to stress from overstimulation. So here we were beyond thrilled to have our preemie princess home but completely overwhelmed with no outside help from anyone. There were no dinners brought by, which meant Jason needing to stop and pick up fast food on his way home from work or he would have to cook when he got home, and my lunches consisted of whatever I could scrounge up within 2 minutes. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining or ungrateful for the thoughtful gifts the days after she was born, but it’s just one of the dozens of things people don’t understand about having a preemie.  
 

I think that those first few nights with the baby home for any new parent are pretty frightening and stressful. I know I’m not alone in feeling the need to check if my baby was still breathing every 10 minutes while she was asleep. I’m told its normal. As a preemie mother we learned that your best friend in the NICU is that monitor that sat next to her isolette always worrying you but giving you comfort with it’s non stop beeping. You stare at it for hours upon hours every day, watching your baby’s respiration rate, heart rate and saturation levels. There becomes a sick sense of comfort you find in the beeps and dings. Standing beside her crib at home is terrifying because you have no reasurrence that she is getting enough oxygen, or if her respiration rate is at a good level. All you have is your husband who is silently just as frightened as you, and your faith and the constant prayers to God that He has become all to familiar with hearing.
 

I was “fortunate” enough to know that we were going to have a preemie and I knew that having a preemie would mean having to stay on house arrest, being addicted to hand sanitizer and doing all we could to keep her healthy. Even being extremely cautious, even making visitors shower and change into clean clothing before seeing her, she has had one round of antibiotics and has gone 5 weeks straight with a low grade fever. Her doctor took her blood during the last sick visit and said her platelets were up. Since she had already been on antibiotics, we had to let her body just ride it out. Preemies don’t have the ability to fight off illness like term babies because of many factors. It’s not just because of their early arrival and minimal amount of antibodies, but it’s also their lack of body fat. Anything that makes our baby girl burn more calories than needed is critical to her health. So it’s this battle of letting her body get stronger, but not pushing it too hard to where she suffers. Even now, she still suffers from fevers on and off. 
 


During pregnancy, I was dedicated to breastfeeding. I had read up on how terrible it is at first and painful it can be but I knew I wanted to do it. I knew I could do it. When we knew around 20 weeks she would come early, I was extra committed to it because the antibodies in my milk were vitally essential to her growing up as strong as possible. In the NICU, we got to work on breastfeeding and she was actually really amazing at it. But the doctors limited her to 10 minutes max and only once a day. It was so disappointing to hear that after 10 minutes she would be burning more calories than she would be taking in. Within 2 weeks of being home from the NICU, I went to pumping exclusively. Pumping in and of itself is miserable. What’s worse, is having to do it every 3 hours, and not being able to console your crying baby if you’re hooked up. My ideal of this sweet, amazing, skin to skin bonding with my baby felt like it was not only taken from me, but my cuddle time during the day with her is limited due to the necessity of pumping after EVERY FEEDING. Often times I won’t hold her or let her fall asleep on me because I know I’ll have to put her down to pump. She is now a bit over nine and a half pounds and I’ve tried to breastfeed her just to see if maybe we could make it work. She screams and cries in frustration because she can’t get enough milk quick enough and that broke my heart to tears. Two weeks ago I was so blessed to receive about 4,000 ounces of breastmilk from a donor because my celiac disease symptoms started coming back with a vengeance and I needed to get back on my medication. Unfortunately I can’t feed Harper-Ensley my milk while i’m on it. I am proud to say I exclusively pumped and provided for my daughter for 5 full months! Regardless of how difficult it was, it was worth it and I would do it again.

 

Our baby has never been good at burping, still isn’t. She also never spits up,which is kinda awesome. Approximately ten days after being discharged, she suddenly started having hours of non-stop screaming especially in the early evening. This would lead my husband and I to passing her to and from each other, bouncing, singing, rocking, trying anything to comfort her. Bath times, which she used to enjoy suddenly became a scream fest. What happened to our “perfect chill” baby? She began clenching and straining and would go days and days without pooping. I knew that often times preemies have tummy problems, yet this was a new thing. My husband and I were just praying that it wasn’t the all-dreaded colic. I called the doctors office and the nurses didn’t seem too concerned with the non pooping. Finally, when she had gone ten days without pooping and after many many calls to the doctor we got an appointment. Her pediatrician (who we love) said she has silent reflux. While she doesn’t burp or spit up, the gas just burns her esophagus causing her pain. He also recommended that we use suppositories if she goes 5+ days without pooping and prescribed Lactulose to help stimulate her bowels naturally. She is now on medication twice daily for the reflux and three times daily for her lack of bowel movements. Even on Lactulose we still have to give her suppositories every now and then. Seeing your tiny baby in pain is miserable, and shoving medicine down her throats daily isn’t much better. It is something that needs to be done, and we are thankful it was nothing more serious or that required more than just medication to treat.
 

Our 3lb 10oz baby at birth is now a whopping 9-ish pounds!!. She is 5 1/2 months old, and her adjusted age is 4 months. Her doctor said that if she was actually 4 months old, she still wouldn’t be on the growth chart. So even if she had made it to term, she would be tiny. There are babies who were born pounds less than her that are close to catching up with her already. Because Harper-Ensley was an IUGR baby her growth has always been slow and behind so even outside of the womb she will continue to trend that way. She is absolutely adorable, but her cute small size leads to everyone asking how old she is. My answer of 5 1/2 months always leads to explaining that she was a preemie which then leads to more questions because they always comment that she must have been really early or really tiny. While she was early and tiny, she really wasn’t all THAT small or THAT early. Of course, everyone is very kind with compliments on how cute she is and strangers tell me “she will catch up before I know it”. Um, yeah I know she will, I wasn’t really concerned about her size. Im just thankful she’s mostly ‘healthy’, but thanks…I think? Sometimes I just want to be a normal mom in the crowd. I want to pretend I’m not completely exhausted from having a baby that still wakes up every 2.5-3 hours nightly because she’s still the size of a newborn. I don’t want to have to explain why she came early, because our pregnancy and NICU stay was really emotionally challenging. Strangers are so invasive and ask if I’ll have another child or if my body will always have these “problems”. I’ve been asked if there is anything I could have done differently through my pregnancy to prevent this. Even just writing this gets me choked up. If people only knew how many doctor appointments we went to. On a daily basis throughout our pregnancy, I had to count kicks, because if she wasn’t moving enough, it could mean that she wasn’t getting nutrients. To make it worse it was up to my discretion to decide based on her ‘ activity” levels if she was alive and ok. If there was ANYTHING I could have done to help her, I would have. But sometimes the body does what it wants and God said this was our path. I’m 28 years old, newly married, healthy and yeah I wanted more than one child. The odds of me having a normal pregnancy are slim to none, so this question hurts. It really does. Not only because I don’t think I could handle going through this again, but my husband doesn’t think he can either. We are so blessed and thankful for the baby we have because many times IUGR babies don’t make it at all.  
 
The last thing I’ll touch on is milestones. We all know there’s all these awesome amazing apps about what milestones you can expect your baby to hit around what age. Even if we use Harper-Ensley’s adjusted age, they still don’t line up. She can do some things, other things she can’t. We know it will take her 2 years to fully catch up but watching all of our other friends babies and even her NICU buddies hit milestones that she hasn’t is sometimes very difficult. She’s come leaps and bounds, is the happiest baby, but I would be lying if I said that its always just easy and hunky-dory. 
A word to preemie mothers; keep your chin up. You are strong and you are more than enough. God chose YOU to be a preemie mom. Why? I can’t answer that, because I often ask that myself. But He chose you, because He knew you had the patience, the grace, the endurance and the strength to make it through this time. 
A word to regular newborn mothers; try your best not to give advice to preemie mothers. They have inner and outer struggles you can’t understand. Their baby is nothing like your normal baby. Preemie moms spend hours and hours trying to figure out what is best for their baby’s condition and needs. They have seen the peditration more times than your child has in the past few years combined. The best thing you can do is be understanding and up lifting. When they tell you how something is and must be, its true and leave it at that.
A word to those of you who aren’t a mom; being a mom, be it to a preemie or a full term baby is a lot of hard work. It’s an amazing, rewarding job that I know none of us would trade for the world.  
In conculsion, being a preemie mom is nothing like I expected. But I can also say that being a mom period is not what I expected either. Being a preemie mom is much more difficult than anyone leads on. But being a mother is beyond incredible and amazing and brings more happy tears to my eyes and joy to my life than I even thought possible. The love I have for my precious, beautiful baby girl is so strong and rewarding thats its impossible to describe. 


I hope this helps someone find the strength to continue on and answers a question or two along the way. Feel free to follow my blog mrsnelsonsnotes.wordpress.com or contact me at musiclover215@yahoo.com if you are having struggles or questions about your preemie challenges and I will do my best to answer what I can or point you in the right direction if I can’t. 

God Bless every mother out there and their wonderful families.
❤️

Advertisements

To My Fellow Mothers.


I tried with all my might to stop the tears of sleep deprivation from flowing, but I could not. Perhaps I would have better luck had I tried to stop the raging waters of Niagra Falls from crashing into the lake below.  

My dinner lay cold on the counter, awaiting the witching hour to pass. 

I rocked and I bounced and I sushed; I simultanously filled my two year old’s milk cup for the third time since she woke up from nap. 

I don’t need much. I don’t want much, either. 

However, sometimes I would like to take a shower that I don’t rush through in fear of being needed; where I don’t feel as though I have to choose between shaving my armpits OR my legs- heaven knows there’s never time for both, and many times neither. 

Sometimes it would be nice to eat a hot meal from start to finish, and not have to share it with my sweet toddler (though I must admit I’m lucky that she’ll eat ANYTHING we are eating too). 

Sometimes I would like to pick up and go someplace I want to go, when I want to go. No loading and unloading of children into car seats, no checklist of snacks (bribes), milk cups and diapers to be grabbed for the diaper bag, and no waiting or rushing to accomodate nap times, nursing sessions and meltdowns. 

And then there’s the guilt. Did I mention the guilt? There he is, crying in the infant swing while I get my eldest her dinner. It’s only a few minutes, and I know he’s fine… Yet my heart aches because I know he will never have the same amount of undivided attention that my daughter received for two whole years. 

On the other hand, he is just a tiny newborn whom requires a majority of my attention and relies on me for nourishment. I don’t quite grasp just how much attention I’ve given him until I hand him to someone else, only to have that sweet daughter of mine practically run into my arms the second she notices they’re empty. She clings to me so tightly during these times, and my heart shatters when I realize she misses me, despite being around me all day long. 

This is motherhood. And it’s the hardest, sweetest, most important responsibility I’ve ever been entrusted with. 

Through the tears of fatigue and self doubt, I find myself overwhelmed with joy and unworthiness. How did I get so lucky that I get to raise these precious beings? I wouldn’t trade this job for the world. 

After several weeks the fog of this new season lifts and we start to find our rhythm. Old challenges are put to rest and new challenges will continue to rise as each stage quickly comes, and even more quickly passes. 

They say life is but a vapor. If this is true, then you can imagine how quickly just this fragment of that vapor disappears. 

In the days of weariness, there is joy. What better gift does God give us on this earth aside from love? 

My gosh- love. The love I have for my children is a love that makes my heart literally feel as if it might burst. 

Surely this feeling- the feeling of my heart overflowing and yet moments where I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry because this job is just too hard and I am not enough; surely that feeling is relatively universal.

I meditate on these moments of overwhelming love in the midst of the all encompassing responsibility, and I find a deeper appreciation for my own mother.  I’m more aware of how she loves me without abandon; how I’m sure her heart ached for me when I experienced hurts of all kinds over the years; how I frustrated her and wore her down; the fatigue and and tears I’m certain I caused; of the times she felt like maybe she wasn’t enough- and how she loved me all the more through it all. 

I assume these things are true, because I am experiencing them firsthand. 

To all of the moms out there- biological, adopted, mothers who have lost, and mother-figures… there is no one this side of heaven that loves the way you love. In the moments that the tears fall, that patience thins, and that failure roars it’s ugly head- know this:

This Mother’s Day, we celebrate you; tears and failures and all.  You are more than enough, and your unconditional love deserves to be acknowledged. I pray you are blessed and filled with joy immeasurable in the seemingly mundane moments of motherhood, and that you know that YOU. ARE. AMAZING. ❤️

Mommy Has A Sweet Tooth

Transparent moment: aside from the forbidden, I don’t give myself many eating rules while pregnant. Don’t get me wrong- I do eat healthy things; but if baby wants fries or sugar, baby gets fries or sugar. Being pregnant is hard enough- so I enjoy the little things. 

The only HUGE flaw with this is that those foods are ridiculously addictive. 

I’m also a breastfeeding mom, so my appetite is unsatiable. Guess what’s easy to eat? 

These two things make losing baby weight less than ideal. It struck me that I needed to make a change when my natural weight loss plateaued (normal), then I gained 5lbs in less than a week (not normal). 

I’m just not about deprivation. Deprivation leads to binging, in my case. I COULD try a supplement that promises to kick my cravings, and it may actually work- but sometimes I like my cravings. 😉 

That, and I tend to stick with what I know. 

SO- I switched up my indulgences a bit. They aren’t necessarily free of sugar, nor are they all gluten free or vegan; I’m not that crunchy and I don’t have any health reasons to go that route… BUT take a look at my five favorites; one just might work for you!! 

*Stating the obvious here, but you don’t have to be pregnant or breastfeeding to enjoy these alternatives. 

**Some of these are from previous posts: click the links to see the recipes! Others aren’t even original to me, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the basics. 

  1. Oatmeal Banana Cookies – Three ingredients. Loads of yumminess. [Recipe]
  2. Decadent Greek Yogurt – This is my current favorite. I eat it almost every night! One serving of coconut greek yogurt (I like Simply Balanced brand), fresh or frozen strawberries or blueberries (or whatever fruit you want), and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Dark chocolate is my favorite, but Hershey’s also has a simply 5 line that only has five ingredients. I’m drooling. I wish I was kidding. 
  3. Trail Mix – This is pretty straightforward and basic, but we make our own simple mix pretty often. It’s a sweet and salty way to get some nuts and dried fruit into our diet and I still get to enjoy some chocolate. Toss it all together in a ziplock and grab a handful whenever convenient. 
  4. Kettle Corn– Popcorn is low calorie and is full of fiber, whole grains and antioxidants. I like kettle corn, specifically, because it’s both sweet and salty. (Note that unlike plain popcorn, sugar and salt are added- I mean, it IS still a treat). 
  5. Protein Bites – So easy and versatile to make, much like trail mix. I love that I can mix it up using whatever I have on hand, which keeps it from getting boring. Check out this pumpkin spice variety I made last fall! [Recipe]

I always love a new idea- what’s your go-to (mostly) guiltless indulgence? 

Husband of the year 


You may have read our son’s birth story a few posts back (check out the link if you haven’t!); but the story isn’t over. 

As it turns out, my husband is the gutsiest person you could ever meet. And I, the most amazing wife.

*insert patting of own back, here*

Let me tell you the story… 

We were sitting in triage, awaiting the midwife to check my dilation and decide whether or not to send us home. My husband was killing time on social media. As he’s scrolling through Facebook, he notices a post in our neighborhood group about a dog that needs to be rehomed. As an added bonus, it happens to be a purebread Doberman puppy (with papers) and the rehoming fee was minimal. 

He began to converse with the people rehoming the dog and is quickly smitten with the idea of adopting the fur baby. 

He, being the wise man that he is, tells me all about what he has found and expresses his desire to adopt this puppy; in between my contractions, of course. 

OH WAIT. Did we forget about that already?! 

Yes. This conversation is happening WHILE I’m in labor. 

I sincerely wish I was kidding. I still can’t believe this was even a conversation. 

Anyway…

As the waves of excruciating pain come and go, I communicate that he has obviously lost his mind since we are having our second child that very day, and will have a newborn and a toddler at home within another two days.  

He argues that our current dog will need a playmate, and wouldn’t it be great if each of our kids had their own dog?

Oh! Well when you put it that way…

NO!! 

Along with making a few death threats, I warn him to drop the subject and focus on the task at hand. 

So of course he heeds my warning and starts suggesting names for the dog. 

What a catch. 

If looks could kill, the ones I was giving him would kill a cat. All nine times. 

Then the bartering begins. He tells me I can have anything I want. I won’t lie- this intrigues me. Permission to manipulate? Might as well explore the possibilities. Then again… I would still have to let him get the dang dog. 

I am now in the late stages of labor, and he’s still talking about it, despite my terrifyingly harsh and descriptive demands that he stop. 

I yell for his attention and assistance in coping through labor, and he shows me a video of the dog playing. 

*pause for blank stare and dramatic effect*

Oh? What’s this? They just want her to go to a good home so they’re waving the rehoming fee? Lovely. 

We are now within minutes of it being time to push. The anticipation is high and my body is tense; we are ready to have this baby!!

He interrupts- “Hey babe? I just need to let you know that they need an answer by tonight, and that we would need to bring her home by the end of the week”.  (This is at 6:30pm. So yeah… We’ll come up with a decision as our baby slides out of my body. No big deal). 

The visions I had of what I wanted to do to him at that moment… Are violent. 

You just can’t make this stuff up. 

But here is what I will say:

I decided to let him get the dog. 

Call it crazy. It is. 

But I let him. Sometimes you need to let a man be a man and make his own mistakes. 

We brought her home the day after we brought our son home. To be totally honest, I absolutely loved her. She was the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet and would have been a great fit for our family; but only if the timing was different. 

Unfortunately we had to find a different family for her within four days. It was quickly realized by all that the training the puppy still needed took far too much time away from our newborn son (we all know the newborn stage goes by quickest of all), she was relatively terrified of our toddler, her care wasn’t practical with hubby’s work schedule; and ironically our current dog TOLERATED the pup, at best. Not exactly the playmate we thought she wanted- turns out we’re the only pack she needs. 

Moral of the story? Don’t question your wife on ANYTHING while she’s in labor, and don’t adopt a dog the same week you bring home your newborn. 

On the bright side, I got to hear my favorite phrase…

“You were right” 😊

*for what it’s worth, my husband DID read and approve this post. I’m not horribly mean. 😉 but it’s a 100% true story*

Wrong Worry

When I was pregnant with my son, I felt bad that he was lacking the attention that my daughter got when I was pregnant with her. I began to worry and feel the guilt of all the attention he would not experience, being that he was our second child. I thought about all of the constant snuggles and cuddles I got with my daughter as an infant, and how I wouldn’t have the time to give him the same. I worried he wouldn’t feel the same amount of love that she felt. 

Fast forward nine months. As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry so much about him- I fell instantly in head-over-heels-love the second I saw his face, exactly as I did with my daughter. I wasn’t worried about having enough love for both of them, though. I could not (and still can not) get enough of him. Believe me when I tell you, he gets A LOT of cuddles. I guess I did not need to worry about him getting enough attention, afterall. 

What I did not expect was that my daughter would be the one pining for my attention. Talk about a shattered mom-heart when your first born is begging to be held by you all day long. 

So of course, I begin to worry about how the attention I’m giving him, as a needy newborn does require, is effecting HER. The tables have turned. How can I explain to a two year old that I still love her just as much as I did before? Will she understand that this phase will pass and things will even out? I worried that SHE no longer felt the amount of love that I have for her. 

I read a blog post on Boston Moms Blog (shared by Twin Cities Moms Blog) that said everything I was feeling better than I could- you can read it here. (I am not affiliated with TCMB or BMB and am not compensated for sharing this post- it just REALLY resonated with me and reassured me). 

This was a turning point for me. I cut myself some slack and reflected on those first several weeks of being a mom of two. What I found in that time of reflection was major conviction. I realized that as a Christian, my worries for either child were wrong to begin with. 

It was wrong to worry.  

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Philippians 4:6-7  (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Umm. HELLO, SELF!! I know this! Yet why is it that it’s so easy to forget- and even harder to apply? 

In my church life group, we’ve been talking a lot about obedience to God, and how blessings will overflow when we’re abiding in it. This surely applies in this situation. 

See- if I had been obedient to God’s command that I should not fear or be anxious, then I would not have wasted so much time and energy trying to make sure each child felt equally loved. Instead, I could have quieted my mind, given my worry to HIM, and let my immense love for my children flow naturally and without stress; I could have set control aside and allowed and trusted God to fill the depths of their little hearts when I inevitably fall short. 

How often do you worry and stress about things that you ultimately have little control over in your own life? How much love each of my children feel is hardly the only area in my life that I am guilty of not letting God do His thing. 

Know this:

He loves you. 

He loves the people you love. 

He knows your cares. 

He knows your worries. 

Give it to Him. 

He will take care of you. 

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”


Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

❤️