The missing mom

It's not just the deadbeat dad. What about the missing mom? Sometimes I can go through phases where I stare at my phone for a while. Then others I only look at it quickly three times a day, almost oblivious to it. But lets talk about the times when I am actively choosing the alternate reality of some other moms Instagram story over building lasting memories with my own children. 

Let's honestly ask ourselves ... Are we present or are we missing out ? 

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Glimmer of grace

She sits there in my lap. Eyes peering the landscape before her. No worries or to-do lists roaming in her mind. Just love and satisfaction is what I want to believe. 

She is my glimmer of grace. A wavering light. Every unstable movement, wobble, tremble, and fall. Remind me of grace. Her very life is dependent on us loving her and providing for her. No communication except her cries, noises, and signs.  And yet. God rich in mercy and abounding in grace provides for our every need when all I can do at times is just cry out to him. He is never shaken. Wavered by nothing. Just as our little glimmer of grace is dependent on us to meet her needs, she never seems to doubt. Oh how much I have to learn from her. She makes me question my trust in the Lord for that I am grateful. 

Growing up, grace was a concept I struggled to grasp. I couldn't freely accept something I knew I didn't deserve. Yet grace, God's grace is receiving what I don't deserve. An unconditional love based on Christ righteousness, not of my own doing. I look at her every day and see light and hope. I see life happening before my eyes. And I am blessed to watch her grow and develop. 

Ephesians 1:3-14 

Birth story of Audrey Cate

July 2015 was the most interesting and humbling month my life. The 5th of July we met our little one.  

                                Audrey Cate Kovacs. Born at 1:18 a.m. 7 pounds 8 ounces. 21 inches long.

                                Audrey Cate Kovacs. Born at 1:18 a.m. 7 pounds 8 ounces. 21 inches long.

The day was approaching when we would meet our little one. What was to be a day of redemption and joy came closer and closer. So different would this experience be from our experience with David and so it was.

                                                  Joy exuded in every way possible.

I awoke around 4 am to a small trickle. My water had broke and the birth of Audrey Cate was on the way. Excitedly I told Joe and then we fell back asleep. Sleep was something many loved ones had informed us that we needed. So we took the opportunity to sleep in. When we woke up that morning around 9 am we carried on with our day as normal except there was an overwhelming swelling of excitement and joy that I had never experienced before. So much had I longed for this day and we were quite positive I was in labor. We texted our midwife and doula just to double check if the signs were right and then took the morning to confirm if this was really happening. It was! 

Around noon things had picked up. My mom came over to help me pack our hospital bag and spend some time with us. Pawpaw and Mawmaw were downstairs with my dad. All throughout the house you could smell the chicken and andouille gumbo simmering on low, while small contractions were starting to take place. We walked down the street dreaming about what our little one would look like and wondered when we would meet him or her. Finally around 4 pm, we were timing contractions as I walked the hall upstairs and would sit on our ball. We wanted to stay at home as long as we could. 5:15 pm we drove to the birthing center. So far the day had been going so smoothly, but soon enough things would get a little bumpy.  

When I say the month of July was one of the most humbling I really mean it. I think every woman envisions meeting their little one a certain way. Ours looked like a healthy mama and a healthy baby which ultimately happened, but the means to that end did not happen in the way we had thought.

                                                              And that was okay.  

I wanted immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, and a water birth, none of which were able to happen but in the moment none of that mattered. What mattered was this beautiful moment happening before our eyes; the birth of our daughter. How often the Lord gives us desires and meets them while He directs the path. He was in total control of July 5th 2015 not me and that was freeing.

Our time in the birthing suite will always be regarded as special. Things were peaceful, focused, and calm. Our staff was literally amazing. Our Midwife, Mel, had the most experience I had ever heard of and had the most respectful bedside manner. Joe and Krista (our doula, from Baby Love Doulas) were such a great support team. I could not have achieved a natural unmediated birth without their love and guidance. Things continued to progress at a steady pace, and the baby looked great on the monitor. However I had started bleeding.

This was concerning for Midwife Mel and Krista yet the atmosphere had not changed. We remained focused and calm but I was starting to experience more pain as the contractions were coming fast and strong. I wanted to get in the tub.  The first unexpected news came, I couldn't get in. Instead we spent an hour or so in the shower. I was thankful for that. Later we found out the reason behind why. I was experiencing a placental abruption (a rare serious pregnancy complication in which the placenta detaches from the womb before delivery, potentially depriving the baby of oxygen and nutrience. Fewer than 200,000 cases per year. Usually an immediate c-section is enforced.) Thankfully due to our location, staff, and determination, that wasn't enforced. God was near in protecting our baby and keeping my mind and heart focused on bringing her into the world. 

The crazy thing was,  Joe and I were not aware of the seriousness of what was going on. I honestly didn't find out until weeks later that was the cause of bleeding. That is how calm and collected the environment remained. The second unexpected news came, the baby had passed meconium before delivery so that meant they would immediately have to clear the baby out in case he or she had swallowed it. No immediate skin to skin. And No delayed cord clamping. Yet again in the midst of what could have been dissappointments the Lord was near and comforted me. I found myself saying Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on you for it is trusting in you." This was exactly what had to happen. I was at peace with how the day was going and so thrilled and happy to just hold our little baby. 

When she came, everything lifted! We found out who she was and she was beautiful. So alert. So precious and treasured is this life. Our little Audrey Cate.

Even in the midst of things not going my way, He still granted such a wonderful birth experience. We were able to have a healthy baby and mama without medication or intervention. To have your child born is one of the most amazing feelings. My world changed that day. It was the most interesting, freeing and humbling day - to not be in control. 


Expecting in Faith

Today marks 25 weeks and 1 day since David. Life continues.

We look back at that day and remember all the things the Lord has brought us through with thankful hearts. I will say, the journey has been steep at times, and at others, a walk in the meadow with the sun beaming down wrapping me in warmth. 

I'll take you back a bit. After David left us, I started to doubt the Lord's faithfulness in regards to blessing us with children again. To the point where I had put up such a wall around my heart to say I did not want little ones anymore. This was a complete defense. Instead of allowing myself to let in feelings of hope and love for a potential child, I became hardened to the idea. I would have rather felt emptiness instead of joy. This seemed easier in all honesty. This dream of mine, a growing family and being a loving parent with Joe, was quickly put into a box and sealed tightly with only One who could undo the barred lock. 

And the One did.

On October 6th 2014, I started reading 1 Samuel. This was two weeks and 2 days since we held our little David. Chapter 1 and 2 were difficult to get through. The chapters display Hannah beautifully crying out to the Lord for a child, which He gives her, and then she gives him back to the Lord. I saw myself in Hannah. The difference though, I lacked such faith. My beliefs in the Lord blessing us in this particular way, were almost obsolete. I admired her fervent prayer and trust in the Lord to answer her, when I could not muster the faith to even believe He would ever want the same for us again. I could not even ask. 

1 Samuel 2:21 says,

The Lord saw her great need and blessed her with three sons and two daughters.

I broke. I wept when I read this. Here is Hannah after bringing her son, Samuel, into the presence of the Lord, just as we had with David, and yet the Lord saw her need and blessed her! I fell to my knees asking the Lord to grow my faith.

Here I was feeling so small and empty, yet at the same time the stone wall that surrounded my heart, began to crumble. All I could say was, "Father, please, my faith in you is so small but I ask you would bless us with 3 sons and 2 daughters. I am struggling to believe you would desire that for us and desiring that myself . But I am just going to pray in my unbelief asking you to grow my faith, expecting you to grow my faith." 

Weeks passed on the journey; there were good days and not so good days. The Lord was faithful. My faith was growing in regards to being open to having children again. I was able to listen to others dream for us in talking about our "future growing family," and in time the thoughts and desires came back to the point where I was able to say to Joe,

"When we have little ones, lets...."

On November 10th 2014, we discovered we were expecting once again, which was truly unexpected to our fearful yet hopeful hearts!  Ten days later we had our first appointment. Last time we were in such a place we heard silence . This time was different. We heard the sweet beat of a precious heart of 7 weeks of life. Oh even when I was faithless the Lord was faithful!  

As of today I am 23 weeks pregnant with this sweet little miracle moving all around. We hope to meet our little one face to face at the end of June or early July (EDD 7.5.15). He is faithful. 


our beloved

Words seem so limited in a time like this. Joe and I have been overwhelmed with your prayers for us. Thank you would not be enough. The Lord is so near to us. I have never felt His presence and comfort like I have through this. It is a beautiful manifestation of His Spirit who is carrying us in our weakness. It honestly is strange in the best way possible. 

Friday we went to see the midwife for 4:30 at North Oaks. We were so excited to see our baby again to hear the precious and strong heart. It had been a little over a month since the last time. I was 18 weeks and 1 day. We went back and the nurse did the Doppler. She couldn't find anything and said the pregnancy test was faint but positive. She left the room. Fear and devastation over came me. Then the midwife came in comforted me by trying again. Nothing. We showed her the last ultra sound. The baby's heart was so strong and steady. How could this be, I internalized. She tried again since she saw the ultrasound and the baby looked so healthy then. Now we were up to three times where we had heard nothing. No sweet sound of our baby’s heart. She sent us to North Oaks Labor and delivery. Our appointment turned into a 6 hour event. Again, two more times were added to hearing no heartbeat. We were up to 5 now. Each time I wanted a sound of hope, just a beat. but nothing. Empty. Lifeless. Then we did ultrasounds, three actually, again with dopplers, so now 8 times. And 3 times visually seeing our precious little one not moving not kicking like before. All the other times the baby moved and nothing, no movement. The baby was just there. Not even a flicker of hope. The baby looked so different than last time. This was hard, so hard. This couldn't have been real. This had to be a awful dream.

It wasn't. We went home so hurt and confused but yet comforted at the same time. We tried to wrap our heads around this unexpected tragedy. Joe read 2 Samuel 12:16-23.  I am so blessed to have Joe as my husband no one could lead me selflessly like Christ other than Christ himself. David's son was sick and he pleaded and fasted before the Lord for his life. Ultimately he died. What David does afterwards is remarkable. He gets up and worships the Lord. Regardless. He worships in the midst of such tragedy. That’s what we wanted. Regardless of the pain and hurt of losing our first child we want to worship the Lord who created our baby because ultimately He is good. We found so much comfort in vs. 23  "Can I bring him back again? I’ll go to him, but he will never return to me.” Through Jesus we will go to him. What a beautiful thing!

Saturday morning at 5 am was the most difficult day to wake up to. Nothing was as it should have been. Nothing. This should be happening in February, with a cute tummy, with a baby kicking and moving ready to meet us. I should have felt prepared for labor and delivery. I should have been at home so excited to pack a bag and bring our first born child home to all the things we had prepared for him. But it wasn't. It wasn't so. We woke up to something that was supposed to bring joy and life in the midst of the pain of labor and delivery. The ultimate motivation of meeting your child and seeing them interact with you and touch you and wrap their sweet little fingers around one of yours lacked. Completely. That just wouldn't be the case. There was no internal motivation to rid my body of something that I have cared so deeply about, have held so close to my heart. But it had to be done. We accepted it. Labor and delivery was painful but there was again, this overwhelming comfort and strength that only the Lord provided. He, in my weakness, enabled me to press through.

Our baby was born at 2:37 pm on September 20, 2014. A sweet, sweet little boy.

We were able to spend precious time with him that will always be a treasure in our hearts and a beautiful snapshot in our minds. If this was all we were able to spend with our baby, these past five months or so and labor and delivery were worth it.

He was worth it. Our little beloved, our David.

As we admired the work of the Lord we could not help but to worship, to worship Him for His creation. So intricately made was David. His little fingers and toes. His ears and eyes and nose. His little bitty arms and legs were so beautiful. He even had a sweet smile on his face. The Lord wrapped all three of us in his loving arms knowing the parents of David were hurting but felt His love and comfort. We prayed for a while just the two of us with our beloved David in our arms. This was worth it. He was worth it and we, like David in the bible, wanted to worship the Lord knowing that one day we will see our David again.

I will not say things have been easy, because they have not been. We have mourned the death of our son. And still are. But there is an unexplainable love, peace, and comfort from the Lord. He is manifesting His presence within us. It is so overwhelming in a good way. The other night I was praising God for His goodness, for the blessing of David. Praising Him that he never had to endure the hardship of this world. That David is in the arms of the Lord which are far greater than mine could ever be. That David is with his Father in heaven worshiping the Lord. There is no greater thing to do.

As I was thanking the Lord, I started to cry. I wanted to hold our beloved David. I wanted him there in my arms again. Both emotions so strong and real. Joe held me. We cried. We prayed. Then I asked Joe what do you think David is doing right now? We both said He is worshiping our Father in heaven. Philippians 3:10 I had put to memory the week before. I have meditated heavily on it this week. My goal is to know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death. Jesus knows our suffering. He suffered.

Our Heavenly Father knows our pain, His Perfect Son died so that we would have fellowship with Him. Through Jesus, who understands our humanity and hurt, we have access to the throne room of the Lord of Lords. Oh how Joe and I have been standing in the outer courts being content with that. Not so anymore. Why would we stand in the outer courts when we can see the face of God and be in his presence! Jesus died so we can do that very thing.  So what is David doing right now? He is in the presence of the Lord. He is looking at the face of our Lord. We can do the same thing. Of course there is a physical separation now but spiritually there doesn't have to be. We are able to fellowship with David by worshiping our Father. What beauty. What hope. What comfort there is in Him. I feel so close to both our beloved David and our Lord being in His presence. I never want to leave.  

Things will continue to be hard for us, probably for a while. But that is okay because we have hope and we know the Lord and we have fellowship with Him in our suffering. At times, we are sad and need comfort or time to process and at times we just want to have fun and be silly. Both have joy and both have hope. Thank you so much for your love and prayers. We feel them all around us.