I shared her birth, but to really understand the depth of Magnolia’s story we have to take it back to the beginning. The very early beginning…
When I told my husband that I wanted to share about our little one’s conception he went “uhh do people need to know about that?” (Haha to be clear that’s not what I’m going for here.)
With everything else in my life, this entire experience is wrapped up in the goodness of God and how He works in our lives, and that’s why I want to share it.
After Emery was born and I processed her birth I knew we’d have at least one more baby. It was never the right time, however. I had gotten a word from the Lord that we’d be having another baby, and so many signs of confirmation kept popping up, but it still wasn’t the right time.
Then we hit some hard times financially and emotionally. I was working at Starbucks, my husband was working, and when I wasn’t working he was out driving for Uber to help us make ends meet. We were just surviving and never saw each other, family nights were few and far in-between. It felt like I’d never get to have this baby I knew in my heart was waiting for us. In this time I also had our third miscarriage, and it all felt very lonely and hopeless.
At one point during that season I was worshipping during church, completely burnt out and exhausted by this time in our lives. As I sang I heard the Lord tell me that a season of rest was coming, by Fall things would be different and I’d no longer be working so I could be home with my family. It felt foolish to put hope in that! Where we were at then, there was no possible way I could stop working and be at home with the girls. But I wanted to believe it could happen, so I timidly allowed myself to hope and pray for it.
For the rest of the year it just didn’t seem like it would happen, but I clung to my hope desperately and kept pushing forward. And I prayed. Very hard. Sometimes joyfully, sometimes begrudgingly. Til one day my husband had a very unusual and incredible situation happen (another story for another time) and was blessed with a phenomenal raise. It was the answer to so many prayers, and finally I could see how maybe what the Lord told me could actually happen. I had been so stressed about working nights and weekends and still homeschooling my oldest and making it to our co-op after closing the night before, volunteering, etc… I felt like I was going to drown.
See, I can sometimes forget my Lifeguard always has my best interest at heart. He had a plan all along.
Justin and I talked about planning a pregnancy at some point in the future now that we felt secure but tabling it for now, and that was fine for me – it was feasible and I could plan for something.
Our church had a summer picnic and I was catching up with an old friend, she was sharing her heart and some things the Lord told her He’d be doing in her life – also big, can-this-come-to-pass things. As she was talking she mentioned something dear to her that God asked her to give to Him and as she said that time paused and I clearly heard God say “can you give your pregnancy to me?”
Inside my brain I was a deer in headlights. Cause see, I had a plan. I like to plan things and have a sense of control of what’s happening in my life (let’s all just lean back and laugh at that) and He was asking me to give that up. If all went accordingly I wanted to plan for a January, maybe February pregnancy. So I could have an Autumn baby and postpartum time. I had all these things lined up just so and God asked me “can you trust Me and My timing with this?”
Um. Gulp. What was His timing though? Earlier? Later? How much later, like a few months or a few years? Well, if my friend could step out in faith… I could too. So I said okay. I went home and talked to Justin about it and he agreed… We’d put our future pregnancy in God’s hands and trust His timing for our next baby.
During this season I had started practicing FAM, the “fertility awareness method” of taking my temperature every day to document where in my cycle I was. I have had ovulation pain all my life but I’d noticed that I’d have ovulation pain and then not actually ovulate. My body was trying, but I wouldn’t get the temperature spike to confirm that ovulation had taken place. I was really downtrodden thinking I wasn’t going to get pregnant anytime soon.
Another thing heavily on my mind was that I would likely have HG again. Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Morning sickness on steroids that became a Demigorgon. It was horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’d been hospitalized for it during both my previous pregnancies and if you have it once you’re more likely to have it with each subsequent pregnancy. I was terrified of dealing with HG on top of parenting and homeschooling.
The Lord asked me to give Him that too. My worry, the possibility, and I heard Him say “what if I take it from you? You’ll have a pregnancy free from that.”
It definitely felt stupid to believe for that. Yet, I was reminded that God doesn’t live in the statistics. Do I really believe He is supernatural and capable of anything? So again I timidly began to have faith that I’d have a normal pregnancy.
This was a bizzare time for my faith. My human, logical side was definitely at war with my spiritual side. There were times I’d doubt if I was really hearing from the Lord or just making stuff up to make myself feel better. But, that’s the thing about faith. Believing and trusting in what you can’t see and doesn’t seem logical sometimes. So when I had a “feeling” I’d be pregnant soon my logical brain told me “girl you don’t even know the last time you ovulated ha!”
I was fighting against inner dialogue constantly. Making decisions out of a place of faith instead of obvious surety is scary. But it’s where we grow. So when God said I’d be pregnant soon and it would be time to leave my job it was bittersweet and terrifying. I loved my job, my store, my co-workers and my boss. My manager was THE best, and I genuinely enjoyed working there. But I gave my notice with a deep breath and honestly in tears. My boss even told me, you’re not leaving for something stupid or because you hate it here, you’re leaving for very good reasons and always welcome back.
Around this time, my church hosted a women’s conference and a friend blessed me with a ticket to go. The first night was an incredible freeing night of worship and speaking and I left feeling so light. Renewed and hopeful and content, even with waiting for another baby.
The next morning I woke to a temperature spike. If it stayed up, I’d have confirmed ovulation. GULP. Did we just conceive??
Later that day during the afternoon session of this conference, the speaker felt led to pray over women who were trying or had been praying for pregnancy and asked us to stand to receive prayer and BOYY was I scared. That was going public haha. Yet I did it. And women prayed over me and my womb with words straight from the Father’s mouth. As they prayed I felt something spiritually shift. I was in denial but I really believed this was it.
Then that Sunday during a worship a dear friend asked to pray over me because she felt led to pray against HG if I had another baby. What!
Y’all. God was everywhere. I was certain that we conceived and all these confirmations were coming from every direction. Like another woman who spoke at church that day prophesying there were women in the crowd who were pregnant and they didn’t know it yet.
As the days passed my temps continued to stay high, a possible sign of pregnancy. I started cramping in the window of implantation and knew this was it. I just had to wait to test!
While in Georgia to meet some family I got motion sickness driving through the mountains and I knew. I decided to confide in my cousins and they were ecstatic. I got to test and find out with my family, such an exciting moment I treasure – I was pregnant!
My Grandma Cathy gave me a sweet Georgia Peach onesie that I used to tell Justin once I got home. He was so excited!!
We were thrilled to tell our family. But then some unfortunate circumstances came about that put a damper on our exciting news.
My first trimester was hard. Physically it was average, exhaustion and morning sickness, but we were going through some very tough emotional situations with people and I was a mess.
Truly I was not in a good mental space. This was supposed to be a season of joy and rest and it was just nothing but it was almost entirely awful. In some aspects I’m still processing those hurts as different triggers come up. It was a rough time for me and my husband as we were trying to help each other through this situation. There was truly a spiritual battle going on.
The spiritual battle continued as my morning sickness kicked in. HG was traumatic and every time I felt nausea come on I’d have flashbacks and anxiety. There was a moment where I heard the Lord told me this wasn’t His plan, and I could accept it, but I didn’t need to receive HG. So I prayed against it. Every time I felt nausea I prayed and fought the lies in my head that it was finally kicking in.
I am so pleased to report that after two hard HG pregnancies I had very mild morning sickness with Magnolia! My nausea would subside usually by evening and I just puked once a day, in the morning when I woke up with an empty stomach. After puking more times a day than I could count and needing medication and IV fluids, this was so wonderful!
This pregnancy was an answer to prayer in so many ways. After two that were so physically hard on me this was so easy! I could see why people keep having babies haha.
Yet it has been my hardest emotionally. The hardship we experienced the first trimester, difficulty in the second, and Covid-19 quarantine during the third trimester. It has certainly been tumultuous! I feel like I need a vacation haha.
We are so blessed by this sweet girl, her conception and pregnancy and birth have taught so many lessons. Even though there was difficulty there was so much bliss too. We are ready for the rest of our lives with Miss Mags. 😍