Making a Baby

infertility, Motherhood

I thought I would republish the journey of motherhood on my new site. Here you go.

So this is not about the act of making a baby ūüėČ This is about God’s plan in the development of our child.

I always knew that I wanted children, so in all seriousness I had no problem getting started with this process the moment Ramon and I got married. We were married August 25, 2007. I was on birth control for health reasons and we prayed about me getting off of it. We didn’t feel it was necessarily right plus we wanted to have children and we knew that my body would have to adjust to being off the meds in order for that to happen. Coming off of the contraceptive would mean that I “risked” having major health issues. Well, we took a leap of faith and came off of it in February of 2008. My body had no reaction! Praise the Lord.

For two years Ramon and I didn’t necessary “try” to conceive but we did not prevent. We wanted to put our children in the Lords hands. Well, that was easier said than done. All along Ramon is pretty calm and patient and is trusting our Father that it will happen while I on the other hand was wondering whats wrong with me.

September of 09 -After¬†conversations with my OBGYN¬†they set up an appointment for me to have some die pushed into my fallopian¬†tubes(for lack of the original term). Boy was that painful. The result was that one of my tubes was completely blocked and no egg was able to be released due to polycystic¬†ovarian syndrome(PCOS). So, as devastating as that was at the moment they reassured me that I only need one fallopian¬†tube in order to have a baby. So, I’m good. However they did refer me to an infertility doc…oh joy!

So at this point we decide to wait it out. This process was emotionally heart wrenching. This was the most difficult time for me. Everything bothered me. If I saw or heard of a pregnant teen or someone unwed getting pregnant I would lose it. Because Ramon and I decided to wait until our wedding night, I had this false sense that I’d done everything right(A bit self-righteous when I think about it). By no means was I perfect but Ramon and I had made a commitment to one another and we wanted to start our relationship off right. As hard as it was we obeyed the Lord in saving ourselves until our wedding day. I wondered why. I had always wanted to be a mother. Heck, I wanted five children but I’ll take just one. why, Why, WHy, WHY!?!?!? was the question I had for God.

January 2010 Ramon and I visited a church in our community. It was early January because he was off of work and hadn’t¬†seen any of the Fortress kids in a while. As we are walking in and finding a place to sit a little boy comes up behind us that he recognizes from Fortress. He was only about five. After asking him a few questions we came to the understanding that he is there all alone. He just strolled into church. Ramon left with him to see if his mom knew where he was. They returned and we were sitting there like a cute little family with the little boy between us. After about 10 minutes three more youth show up. So, Ramon scoots¬†on down. Praise and worship¬†is in full effect and two more children show up. At this point we have six children sitting between us. Some we know and some we don’t. I’m¬†in tears. No…I’m bawling. I considered this scene that was happening before my eyes a huge revelation. I wasn’t crying the oh woe is me tears. I was crying because I saw our future. If this wasn’t a sign of what God had planned for us then I¬†don’t know what it was. All I know is that He taught me something that day.

In February of 2010 Ramon and I decided to see the infertility doc. We both had to go through a series of tests. Um it sucked. I had a sonogram and I was so nervous at this point because so much had already gone wrong.

I lived in Fort Worth while my doc was in Frisco. We were on our way to the appointment and the verse Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans of good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.
I had in my mind that God wants to grant us the desires of my heart…so …why isn’t¬†it happening? It took a 45 min drive for my eyes to be opened to Gods will for my life. He had been waiting on me to surrender my will to Him. He had been waiting on ME to desire HIS will for my life. At that moment I knew that although my desire for children where valid as a woman, God wanted me to truly seek, honor and trust Him with my LIFE. He wanted me to get to a point of COMPLETE TRUST. Because of this I had to come to grips with what He may allow me to go through even with the results of the sono.
I had to put the worst scenario in my mind in order to fully cope with this.

This is my scenario. In my mind the worst thing they could say is that I would have cancer. Sitting there in my car I came to the understanding that if that was so then God has a plan not only for me but for many others. I felt an overwhelming peace over me that simply gave me all the confidence I needed to walk into that doctors office¬†and say “bring it”. And that’s exactly what I did.

My sono¬†turned out clear and I was told I was healthy however, do to the results of Ramons¬†test and with the combination of my having PCOS which caused me not to ovulate and having only one functioning fallopian tube, our only option was to go through in-vitro¬†fertilization. He offered no other option to us and made it clear that this was the only way we would ever conceive. As the doctor looked at us expecting us to hop on board with this new-found¬†news Ramon and I held hands and knew that it was not an option for us. We decided to truly let God have this. We were done with the doctor visits and tests. We also knew that doctor did not have the final say in our life or the life of our child. We walked out of that office with confidence that the Lord had given us our answer…not yet.

Not yet? What does that really mean? It means that despite what the doctor said, He our Savior has the final word and if we are meant to have children then it will come whether from my own womb or from another. I have never felt more comfortable with the answer “not yet” before in my life.

Did I share that in two years I had only had four cycles total? Every year in January and September.

Well, in April of 2010 I had one and I had one for every month after that until July. I do not think I was EVER more excited to have a period. I would text Ramon and some of my close girlfriends every month it would happen. The Lord answered my prayer. I had been praying that the Lord would just restore my body to its natural order.

During this time Ramon and I were researching adoption. It was already something we wanted to do and something we still desire so we looked into the “foster to adopt” program. The organization that we went through eventually didn’t settle well with us so we decided to research other avenues.

So, August comes around and…nothing….I didn’t worry about it because after the last four months of things going well I considered it another skipped month. It wasn’t until I started craving pinto beans and cheese and my girls swelling that other people started wondering hmm are you pregnant? I denied it up and down. I have had every symptom of pregnancy known to man when I didn’t have my period before, so this did not raise a flag for me. Plus, I said that I was not going to take another test unless I knew. The more people raised questions and the longer it went by without me starting a period the more curious I became.

I woke up early September 14 (the day before my birthday) and took a test. It came out positive. I didn’t¬†believe it…no seriously, I really didn’t believe it. I went to the store and bought a digital test. Took two and they where both positive. I called my friend Michelle to see where I could go to get a blood test. I finally just calmed down and I knew that I was pregnant. OMG!

I woke up Ramon and took him to a park that my dad use to take me to as a child. We laid out a blanket and began to talk about our future…our life…what God is doing with us. At this time keep in mind that Ramon had been laid off and I had not been working. We still chose to trust God in where we were. At that point I asked Ramon if He believed God has a plan for us and that His timing is perfect. His response of course was Yes. Well, and then I lay the tests on his chest. It was such a sweet moment. We knew that God had been working it all out and that despite us being unemployed and living with my parents, He had something big around the corner.

This child is a blessing, a gift that we are giving right back to our Savior. A child that doesn’t really belong to us to begin with. A child on loan to teach, train, rear in the knowledge of Christ. The baby is just part of our story. One chapter in our life. We have many more to tell. Until then…

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Ramon, Cessilye and Peanut

 

2016

Birth, blacklivesmatter, corruption, Faith, Food, God, health, hope, hurt, institutionalracism, Jesus, Motherhood, pain, Parenting, race

What comes to mind when you think of 2016? Is it the Presidential election, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, senseless deaths….Haiti? Is it social media, bathroom rights, Cosby, Kanye, The Kardashians, and Katherine Jenner? How about mommy wars, breastfeed shaming(to cover or not to cover), GMO’s, Vaccines and all those holistic dr. deaths being suspect. ¬†What about police brutality, riots, Dallas, the New Jim Crow, Flint and …the wall.

I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking….damn.

Some of you are probably wanting to stop reading right now, but wait.

I know that this year has bene rough to say the least.  I personally left tha book(you know what I mean) right before the election. I needed to. As much as I wanted to change the world for my children the world was wrecking me.

I’m an empath. ¬†Google it….With that said this year has been a tough one.

I initially thought that this blog entry would be about how amazing 2016 had been. Because when it’s all said and done there is a laundry list of things that I am so thankful for. It’s been a whirlwind but a good one. The tough times have brought me to a place of self reflection and healing.

The thing is…I want to encourage you. Instead of marinating on the brutality of this past year or wishing for it to be over I want you to close your eyes for a while and peel back all the thick layers of hurt and pain until you come to something…beautiful.

Keep peeling….

Peel it off…

keep on going…

almost there….

Have you found it?

Now once you’ve found it I want you to reflect on it. Go deep. See if anyone else could have possibly been affected in a positive light. After that I want you to go searching for more. It should get easier. Pretty soon you just may be focused solely on just how amazing 2016 has been. Notice I didn’t say “was”. Because 2016 is not over. You still have a few more days to make incredible memories.

Can I share something beautiful with you?

In Oct. I found myself on the verge of a mental breakdown. My husband and I were not speaking each others love language, I was overwhelmed being at home all day with three kids under five. I was always tired, I missed being fit and dancing like I use to, I was sad. Sad because my family life is not how I imagined it would be. Sad because of all the tragedy in the word and my eyes being opened to oppression and institutional racism. People of color feeling hopeless and babies dying in the womb because women feel they have no way out and a government that keeps people trapped into an oppressive mindset and way of life. I could go on and on at the things that were plaguing my mind but let me get to the good stuff.

The good stuff is that I know for sure that I needed help. I’ve suffered with depression on and off for years. And post partum depression can develop anywhere from a few weeks to a year after delivery. Is it possible that if you have your babies every 2-2.5 yrs like me, that you never fully kick it? Maybe, all I know is that with a little help from some natural supplements(I’m not talking about the ganja ūüėȬ† Although, that stuff has some amazing properties if you can get it legally(obey the laws of the land ya’ll).

Anyways supplements helped me and dare I say it(to all my agnostic and heathen friends, don’t tune me out) Jesus. I’m serious ya’ll. If there is one thing that has remained constant in my life it is Christ. The one that saved me. The one that listens even when I may not feel He is. The one that keeps me going. The one that I will always and forever give glory to. I’ve joined a local BSF where we study the Word. Not devotional, no….BIBLE STUDY. It’s been amazing. But most importantly, my relationship with God is growing. I’m grounded or shall I say rooted.

I encourage you to give up the desire to be “tha man or woman” and lay your burdens at the cross. Just lay it out. Everything……then wait. Wait for His direction and be prepared for whatever that is. Sometimes it is in line with what you want and then sometimes it reminds you that your desires aren’t His desires. People often misquote Psalm 37:4

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

They usually take out the first part of that sentence and say “Girl you know God will give you the desires of your heart”…………..WRONG……but right. Who or what do you delight in? If you aren’t delighting in the Lord then……marinate on that for a minute.

My husband teaches our children this saying. “I am what I am by the grace of God, by the grace of God”. Now repeat that. ¬†Rap that piece. Add a little shoulder bounce and beat to it. I’m here to remind you that “You are what you are by the grace of God, by the Grace of God”.

So if you don’t take away anything from this year, take away that…and carry it into the new year.

Romans Road –¬†Romans 3:23, 3:10, 5:12, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 10:13, 10:17

John 3:16

Ashe,

Cessilye

#RECESS

r-e-c-e-s-s-1482471990537

Motherhood

Faith, God, health, hope, Motherhood, Parenting

When we say we want to be mothers do we see what all that entails? Did you look past the glamorous pregnancy, beautiful baby and sweet children? I know I didn’t. ¬†LOL!

I always knew I wanted children. I wanted five. A part of me still does(did I just type that?).

Motherhood is not for the weak. I say this because it’s truly the hardest thing I have ever done. I mean, loving my children is easy. ¬†It’s the dying to self, remaining patient and self care that is not.

I believe motherhood is one of the most selfless things that you can do. You literally have to die to self daily. What do I mean when I say that? Well, just imagine your children’s lives if you did everything you wanted to do with no regard to what they want or need? ¬†Do you need some examples?…..ok

Think about what you would drink. How about what you would listen to or watch. Want to be spontaneous and go to a concert or movie at midnight? How about sleeping in or staying out as late as you want? Double date anyone? What if you just want to sit in silence and read a book?……….I’m laughing at the thought of silence in the middle of the day.

Get the picture? When you are in the middle of it, it’s easy to get lost, to lose your identity, to be overwhelmed with the privileged responsibility of nurturing the little munchkins until they are mature, responsible adults. It’s a lot of responsibility for just one child yet alone three or six!

But we are capable.

All of this reminds me of the daily battle of crucifying my flesh so that I may live in Christ. Peeling off that sinful nature so that I may live! The struggle is real. Selfishness is real. But I am a new creature and I know that the more I reach for Him the more ammunition I have to fight the flesh. I pray the Lord prunes us all so that we can produce more fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. РGalatians 5:22-23

Look at that fruit! Every single one of those delicious, nutritious and life giving fruits are detrimental to child rearing. Don’t think of a home where these fruits are absent. Think of a home that is lacking in just one! It’s amazing how just one affects them all.

Motherhood teaches us that just as a child is 100% dependent upon us from the womb. WE are 100% dependent upon our Lord every.single.day. ¬†Even when we think we are doing good, when are we truly ever not in NEED of CHRIST?….NEVER. For it’s in those moments when we think we are good that we may become tempted to be self-righteous. Hence out dependency upon the Savior.

Listen sisters, I am the first to say that this role is tough but let us not lose hope. Let us remember that He has called us for such a time as this(Check out the calling on Esthers life in Esther 4).

Let us remember that….

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17

Lean on Christ, breath and make sure you take care of yourself. ¬†I know that those kiddos can do a number on our mental health so ¬†don’t be afraid to get on some supplements. They have helped me in more ways than I can count. Get up before everyone, workout even if it’s 15min, watch your eating. I guarantee you will feel better when you eat better and sleep more. I know, I know. There is a laundry list and literally laundry to be done but you know what? It will get done….eventually. Close your eyes and realize the treasure that you have been given and always remember that in order to have healthy children mama must first be healthy. How will you commit yourself to good health? Mental, spiritual and physical health. Today’s a new day.

To MOTHERHOOD! Now, grab you sword(bible), supplements, coffee and sometimes wine.

We got this.

#RECESS

my-three

It’s a Date

Motherhood, Parenting

Ramon and I realized a while back that we must have 1 on 1 time with are munchkins, so we make it a point to do that. The thing that Emmanuel(5yr) and I enjoy doing together involves a trip to The Dallas Farmers Market. This is where we pick out local veggies and meat raised humanely along with local honey narrowed down by zip code(gotta stay on those allergies). Emmanuel enjoys every second of our date. There are two things that we most look forward to. Checking out the garden and Pudding On Smiles banana pudding. Support your local #BOB #puddingonsmiles

As we headed out on our journey to the market we pass through a nursery. This nursery is very big and there are lots of areas to explore. Being a mom that is always on the move I had my mind focused on getting to the market, picking out our goodies and leaving. But no.

Emmanuel had a different plan. ¬†He saw something. He saw lot’s of things. Trees, bushes, flowers, archways, beautiful shaded areas and he says “mom can we go down there?”. At first I said, “well we have to go get our veggies”….you know me….eyes on the goal. But then something in me said, STOP. Listen to your son, relax, take your time and enjoy this moment. How often do you find the time to stop rushing so you can see what your passing? Or better yet, how often do you look through your peripheral vision to expand your vision?

I gave in to the pulling, let the control in me go and simply enjoyed my son. I asked him if I could hold his hand. “Yes” he replied and we nearly held hands the entire outing. At one point he says “Mommy, I like it when we have private time”. In fact he said it about five times while we were out and about.

He didn’t have to share me and I didn’t feel pulled in two, three or four different directions. For moments throughout our date it felt as if he were my only child. That is until he insisted on introducing everyone to Ezra who happened to be on my back.

I share this experience with you because parenthood is full of… everything. ¬†But get this. Moments like this are what it’s all about. Take time to follow your child’s lead. Look through your peripheral. You will be amazed by how much of the world you once missed out on. And they will always remember their parents spending time with them.

#RECESS

dateday2

Why R.E.C.E.S.S?

Birth, Faith, Food, Homeschool, Motherhood, Parenting, Uncategorized

Well, R.E.C.E.S.S. consists of every member of my family. Ramon, Emmanuel, Cessilye, Ezra and Sarai Smith. All of us. This blog is not only about my family and all that that encompasses. But in this world we live in, my family, my thoughts, my little space is just that…Space.
A recess is a small space created by building part of a wall further back from the rest. This is my space apart from the rest of the world. This is where I type my views on the rest of the world and invite you (the rest of the world) in.

In this little space there will be a myriad of topics. From Homeschooling, parenting, marriage, natural living and healthy sometimes bad eating, to birth, civil rights, feminism, faith and fitness. Just to name a few.

As most of you know I am passionate about so much. Doula work, Childbirth education, pro-life advocacy, natural everything from vaccines to what we allow in and on our bodies, gardening and family. I enjoy empowering women and encouraging others as they desire to become #woke to the very real problem of systemic oppression facing people of color.

I say all this because although all of the things listed are amazing things, there is nothing that comes close to my roles of servant of Christ, wife of Ramon and mother of Emmanuel, Sarai and Ezra. ¬†I have had to pull back, re-evaluate how I spend my time and figure out how and when the Lord wants me to pursue my passions. Although I cannot possibly be all things to all people(nor do I want to be), ¬†I do believe I can at least have an outlet during this season of mothering. Yes, that’s the season I am in… Mothering. Although I will always be a mother, I believe I have found myself in a season where my focus must be on rearing up little children to grow up with strong ethics, character, morals. The ability to be independent thinkers and learners with the hope that they may some day choose to follow and serve Christ.

In school children get on average 20-30min of recess per day. Not mine.

Welcome to….R.E.C.E.S.S.