Olivia’s Birth Story

In the morning around 7 am three years ago today, I felt contraction activity going on.  I got up to look in on the kids, then went into the bathroom where my husband was shaving.  I leaned over and rested on the chest and told him that I was pretty sure that these were the real deal.  He turned to me, put his hands on my belly and prayed.  He then declared that I was having the baby on this day.  He told me to go and lay down.  I called my mom; while he called Kelly (our awesome midwife). She asked were they Braxton-Hicks or the real deal; to which I responded “the real deal.” She told me to time the contractions; which I did for a little over a half hour. They were 2.5 – 3 minutes apart. Kelly called back and I reported the information. I got up and cleaned myself up; and then got the kids ready for the day.

Kristen (our amazing RN/birth assistant) arrived; and she and my husband began setting up for the task at hand. I went downstairs to prepare breakfast. Just as I’d begun, my mom arrived and took over. I went and sat on the couch; and then Kristen came and checked my blood pressure and pulse.  She, my husband and I sat in the living room making sure that the paperwork for the birth was in order. Kelly then arrived and checked me out. As we all sat engaged in conversation, I slipped off to the upstairs bathroom….probably since I’m an introvert and needed to be alone for a few minutes. Kelly came to check on me about 5 – 10 minutes later. We both returned downstairs; and she massaged my back to ease the contractions as they continued to come. Kristen then took over the massaging.

I went into the downstairs bathroom to be alone for a while and breathed through every surge.  Kelly had me come out so that she could check me. She said it wouldn’t be long; and that as soon as my water broke, the baby would come. I went back into the bathroom and wondered how much longer; which lead to my thought about the metaphor of the pregnancy and birth process, as it relates to life. We are all pregnant with dreams and visions; but when the intensity, pressure and discomfort to birth these things come into play, we may want to give up, or take something to relieve the discomfort. However, if we persevere, at the right time we will receive a blessing (Galatians 6:9). I continued to think on this in between contractions; as well as: I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

All of a sudden, I became aware of the voices of my mom and kids playing in the dining room; as well as the conversation between my husband, Kelly and Kristen, right outside of the bathroom door. I then had THE most intense contraction that knocked me to my knees. The space in between the surges definitely became next to non-existent. I must’ve yelled or groaned, because at that moment, all conversation ceased. I heard my husband say: “that’s it!”  The bathroom door opened and they found me on hands and knees on the side of the toilet. Kelly asked if I could make it to the bed, so that they could help me.  I responded no; but began crawling towards the bed; and asking God to help me. I could hear my hsband cheering me on: “Come on Yonk! You can do it!” I could see the expression on mom’s face,  wishing that there was something that she could do. I could also see the faces of my other three babies watching intently from the entrance of the dining room. As I continued crawling, Kelly and Kristen were right there with me.  I felt my water break; followed by the undeniable urge to push. So with everything in me, I pushed! I then felt Olivia’s head come through; and the rest of the body slid right out. She made her grand appearance at 1:47 pm. I collapsed to the floor with a since of relief, accomplishment and gratitude.

I finally made it to the bed and was given Olivia. She was so little and precious. I birthed the placenta, and my husband cut the umbilical cord once it ceased pulsating.  He put the heating pad on me and wrapped me in a comforter and blankets to ensure my warmth. Olivia was wrapped in towels and her dad loved on her. My other babies and mom came in to meet our newest addition.  The boys were delighted with Olivia; however, Hannah wasn’t too thrilled that Papa was holding that baby.  She did get over it later on that night though. I rested for a while; and then went upstairs and showered (which was heavenly). I laid in my own bed; while Kelly and Kristen measured and dressed Olivia. The kids all came and hung out in the bed with us and Olivia. It was another great home birthing experience; and I’m grateful once again to Kelly & Kristen for a job well done; and for honoring all of my wishes. I’m also super grateful to my selfless mom who spent the entire day taking care of my babies, cooking and cleaning to ensure that the process went as smoothly as possible. Of course, I’m still grateful yo God this day for His presence with me; and for the gift of Olivia. She’s the most joyful person that I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. She also loves on nearly everyone she meets.

Wellness Wednesday

A few years ago, I had been in the fitness industry for over 15 years; as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Health & Wellness Director/Manager and National Trainer to fitness professionals. I began having questions and a dissatisfaction for what I was seeing in the industry. I wondered why apparently healthy people (the super-lean ones, who could run forever; and ate super-healthy diets), could have major heart attacks or drop dead in the middle of a workout. I thought about all of the conflicting diet and nutrition information that left people all kinds of confused. I wondered why this industry could have a multi-billion dollar worth; with such a poor track record. I remember reading some statistics a couple years ago that said that 90 percent or so of people in the U.S. make New Year’s resolutions (with the vast majority including weight loss goals); but 80 percent fail to attain their goals. To me, that’s a travesty.

It is such a desire in my heart to shift to YHWH/God culture in the fitness industry. It’s not all about getting a certain look, getting super lean, or looking good in a swimsuit. It’s about being a good steward of this temple that the Father has blessed us with. It’s about being connected with the Most High through our spirits; prospering our souls, by renewing out minds with the word of God; so that we can have good health (Romans 12:2 & 3 John 1:2).

I’ve started a new YouTube channel, entitled: Good Thing Fitness to begin a movement in that direction. Every workout will begin with prayer and a declaration; and will be posted twice a week (Tuesdays & Thursdays). I would love to incorporate Christian, Gospel and Worship music; but the rules for this is a bit different from using music in a live in-person class. I know there’s a way; and I’m certain that my vision will come to pass. Please feel free to check out the Good Thing Fitness channel and subscribe. Have an excellent rest of your week and I’ll be “seeing” you!

Yonka

Judah’s Birth Story

Seven years ago today, my precious Judah-pooh graced the earth with his presence. It was a Monday, and I had an appointment to visit the birthing center, where my husband and I had planned on having him. I went to my sister’s home (which was two blocks away from the birthing center); to get my hair done. She’s both an educator and licensed cosmetologist; and was very adamant about “not going to the birthing center looking busted.” So, I arrived at her home and was in labor; but I didn’t know it. My baby wasn’t due for another two weeks; and I was scheduled to teach my fitness class after my appointment. Also, my water broke first with my first son; and then I went into labor. So in my mind’s eye I was fine, since my water had not broken. I continued on with my day not knowing.

I rang her doorbell. When she opened the door, she asked if I was alright. I responded yes; I just need a moment to breathe. She asked: “Are you having contractions?” I said, “No, I don’t think so.” So I entered her home; and she proceeded to do my hair. As I sat there, the contractions became a little more pronounced; so I started to time them. They were two minutes apart. I called my husband (who was at work a half hour away) to let him know. We talked and laughed for a bit; and we decided that I should call the midwife; and call him again when the contractions dropped below two minutes. I called the midwife and told her that my contractions were two minutes apart and she told me that I needed to get to there “like yesterday.” As soon as I hung up the phone with her, out comes baby Judah.

My mom came just in time to catch and welcome him. My sister tied the umbilical cord; once it stopped pulsating. She then called the ambulance (who were right around the corner from her home); and they were there within minutes. They took me to the birthing center; where my husband met us there. We were there for a few hours and went home. Needless to say, I didn’t teach my fitness class that evening; but all of my students were so delighted. It was a wonderful experience and I’m so grateful that both my mom and sister got to share in it.

Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday will be a little bit different. Since I’ve just started a new fitness channel on YouTube, I will be sharing a link to one of the workouts for the week; which also includes a prayer and declaration. This week’s declaration is based on Jeremiah 29:11 and is: God has great plans for my life; to bless and prosper me, and give me a hope and a future. The workout includes kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles; as well as wall squats to strengthen the lower body. God bless you and have an excellent rest of your week!

Yonka

Startling Statistics: Politics And Religion — BeautyBeyondBones

There was a very interesting article that was released over the weekend by Pew Research entitled, “8 Facts About Catholics and Politics in the U.S.” Now first – Pew Research is not some “pew”-as-in-church-“pew” religious organization. No, it is Pew, as in the “nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and…

Startling Statistics: Politics And Religion — BeautyBeyondBones

YHWH/God is good right now

YHWH/God is good!I often take moments throughout the day to connect with the Most High; and reflect on His goodness. Many people might regard this year as the most challenging year ever….when looking from a natural or physical perspective. However, I see something totally different. Throughout my life, whenever pressure came, it would bring about such a focus in me. It didn’t matter if it was playing basketball, having to complete a project at work, home or whatever. This year has been no different. I think it has, if nothing else, brought about a focus in the body of Messiah/Christ to consistently seek YHWH/God like never before.

I thank Him for His comforting presence and peace that has and continues to flood my life. I thank YHWH/God for all of the intercessors and prayer warriors standing in the gap for our nation, other nations, President Trump and all leadership, the unborn children, lost souls and everything and body in between. I’m thankful for the five-fold ministry leaders who are boldly teaching, preaching and declaring YHWH/God’s truth. I’m grateful for the families who are the salt in their neighborhoods and communities. I’m so very thankful for the families who have accepted the call to train their children up in the way that they should go; so that we will have generations of people and leaders whose hearts are inclined to the heart and will of the Most High.

YHWH/God is so good. He’s so just and he loves us all (sinners and His own children) more than we could possibly ever imagine. The future is bright! The best is yet to come! Praise Him NOW!!!