• Baby Berry,  Family,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    It's a Boy! (dammit)

    So. I’m pregnant. And full disclosure: I really wanted another girl. I wanted our eldest to have a sister to relate to, I loved the idea of my two boys being bookmarked with a little less testosterone, but mostly? I wanted another little girl to share in the thing my mom and I had. She used to buy this terribly amazing ice cream that had actual Butterfinger swirled into it. It was like our emergency fire extinguisher: we broke the glass for mean girls and stupid boys and post-fight-make-ups and really bad period cramps. Two spoons, one tub, no shame. We’d sit in her bed with our comfort food and…

  • Baby Berry,  Family,  Homebirth,  Motherhood

    Preamble to an Explanation: Unmedicated Birth

    I plan on writing a post about why we’ve chosen the out-of-hospital birth route {and now even homebirth – woo, boy!} as a part of my Folk Tales series, but before I do I wanted to make this so clear: if you choose to “do birth” another way, I support you! I read the beginning of Redeeming Childbirth when I was carrying Eli and one thing she talks about early on is this great divide among women – specifically Christian women – about birth. You have the mainstream, epidural crowd on one side of the chasm and the radical, homebirth bunch on the other side. To me, it seems like…

  • Baby Berry,  Family,  Friends,  God,  Home,  Homebirth,  Jesus Christ,  Love,  Motherhood

    Eli's Birth Story

    Oh, how we do not know for what we ask! When I asked God to help me to labor well – to glorify Him and worship Him in the midst of suffering – I imagined the foggy storm of transition and pushing. I was seeking His help to get through the violence and terror. I didn’t realize I would need it so much in the calm mundane of this waiting period. I couldn’t have predicted being pregnant in mid-June because everyone thought the birth would be early like Raychel’s. When I had contractions on May 24 we thought, “this is it!” with good reason. The only contractions I felt with…

  • Baby Berry,  Community,  Food,  Friends,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    Baby Berry 2's Baby Sprinkle

    So, I kind of have the best friends. Sorry. Yours are probably cool, too. A few of them {Tessa, Krista & Hannah} got their sweet and thoughtful heads together and came up with the PERFECT baby shower for Baby Berry and I. Seriously. Perfect. With little touches that made you say, “Awwww” {unless your clothespin said you weren’t allowed to} and unique games that brought wide smiles and tons of giggles. And then some of the loveliest ladies showed up with joy and excitement for this little love. They told birth stories, laughed at the word “sperm” {which I feel was used unusually often}, and just overall relished in this…

  • Baby Berry,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy,  Worship

    Preparing for Labor Day

    Raychel was born like a southern storm. Surprising, powerful, terrifying, and absolutely, breathtakingly beautifully. Labor with RJ was jolting in many ways: it went so much faster than I had anticipated, it hurt in a way I couldn’t have expected and the place my mind went to was unlike any other. Like many initiations mine into Motherhood was both a shock and a joy. And honestly, I remember it as the best day of my life. I have lamented that I wasn’t really present with God {or anything} and I have looked back and wished that were not the case, but… I trust God was there. And perhaps my first…

  • Baby Berry,  Christian Living,  Home,  Love,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    An Attitude Adjustment

    On Sunday Brent Harris delivered a great message on love. He even sang a line of the Beatles. As he talked about what real love looks like he mentioned that while we can’t control our feelings toward someone, we need to align our attitudes and our actions with what is true. No matter what kind of person we are dealing with, they are loved by God and deserve from us the same grace we were given undeserved from the Father. That dichotomy began to itch me: feelings vs. attitude. When I was a kid my dad would warn whiney or pouty me to “Fix the attitude.” He would never say,…

  • Baby Berry,  Christian Living,  Family,  God,  Motherhood

    “Children are brave!”

    Yes, I watch The View. Moving on. I don’t know that I have heard such a clear and honest articulation of childhood. Children are brave. Any mother who has watched her baby take those first trepidatious steps can attest to his fortitude. Determined with his shaky, unreliable feet he fixes his attention, puts his fear behind him and walks. Falls. And invariably, at some point, tries again. Adults don’t usually have that courage. Children are on their own in a big and mysterious world. I love watching RJ explore. She takes delight in things that to me have lost their luster. This morning she was dancing and laughing at her…

  • Baby Berry,  Family,  God,  Love,  Motherhood

    Pain in Childbearing

    Giving birth is daunting. “To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.'” {Genesis 3:16} It was physically the most exhausting work I have ever endured. It was the most emotionally draining. It was the least pleasurable experience of my life. It was by far the most painful. Yet here she is. “In pain you shall bring forth children.” In pain you shall bring forth Raychel Joye. For all intents and purposes, God told me well ahead of time that the daughter I so desired would not come to be without suffering. I suffered. She is worth it.Every moment…

  • Baby Berry,  Beauty,  Christian Living,  God,  Motherhood

    Body Image

    I stumbled across a support website about women’s bodies recently. Along the same thread of thought that provoked my first post on beauty, I am inspired to think and write about how we view our bodies. Bear with me as I work through my thoughts with a keyboard. The female body is sensual. God designed men to be inherently attracted to its curves and motion. There is decent reasoning behind some cultures’ decision to cover their women up in loose-fitting garments and probably better reasoning behind the sex industry covering very little. Our creator knew what he was doing when he came up with the template for our bodies. They are…

  • Baby Berry,  Beauty,  Christian Living,  Motherhood

    A Double-Take

    “Beauty is fleeting,” they say. And to some extent that is true. People become less and less attractive as they age; liver spots, sagging skin, wiry gray hair, calluses… Not the most appealing things in the world. But on another level, truly beautiful people only shine brighter with age. My mother was voted “class flirt” (sorry mom!). She was that girl in school; everybody loved her and she was pretty to boot. The kind of girl the rest of us think “not fair!” about. She is getting older, as is naturally expected, and some of the things that got her onto the most popular list back then are gone now. What remains,…