So as I’m sure anyone reading this already knows, we welcomed Miss Evangeline Mikeina into the world on March 11, 2016 at 3:43am (6 pounds, 19 inches)! I’ll have to document her birth story soon as I think I’ve already forgot a good number of the gruesome details for good reason (haha jk… sort of! But really it wasn’t THAT bad)!
April 11th marked one month of life with beautiful Miss Eva! I find myself loving this babe more and more every day. And yes, sometimes it’s hard, really hard, but overall this first month of motherhood has been a whirlwind of excitement, newness, awe… more than words can describe. I’m constantly finding myself in need of God and His grace, and also finding myself constantly marveling at His goodness in giving us this precious little life to shepherd for however long He would have us do so.
My constant prayers this month has been “Lord, help her know she can trust You and trust us” and “Lord, help me entrust her to you.”
I know I’ve posted a bunch of these a million places, but here’s my favorites of Eva from this past month:
Things I love and want to treasure/remember:
- Personality: Steph said Eva looks “spunky” and I think that’s the perfect word for her right now! She’s very active, a little feisty/bossy, and as she spends more and more time awake, so much fun! She loves moving her little arms and legs when she’s excited and hearing all her little noises melts my heart! I affectionately call her my baby bird because that’s what she reminds me of! I think the fact that her hair sticks up since we washed also helps add to the “spunk” haha.
- Likes: sleeping, eating, stretching with either one arm or two especially when making a diaper :), having her arms free and putting them up next to her face when sleeping and awake, Kiki the elephant toy, being carried, Rock N Play, flashing a half smile during/after eating
- Dislikes: sleeping without being carried (though I’m guessing this is all babies?), changing clothes or diapers, getting burped, and baths… those are the absolute worst (and so like the responsible parents we are, we’ve only been bathing her once a week…)
- Size: Eva is the absolute perfect size for cuddling right now! If one of my biggest complaints is that she wants to be held all the time… then that’s not much of a complaint at all! God’s helping me re-frame the “hard” parts of motherhood and to realize the blessings in each of them
- Paternity Leave: It was sooo nice to have Kenny home and off for 3 weeks with one week being Spring Break. Yay teacher life!! My husband is so thoughtful and sweet. While he was home he made poke bowls (on that note I LOOOOVE not being pregnant anymore!! Hello, sashimi!!), smoked salmon omelets, and kim bap among other things. Eva loves her silly Daddy and how he is always talking to her and playing with her.
- Community: All the support from our family and friends. Especially loved having my mom here every day during Kenny’s first week back at work! For the longest time our silly girl would sleep whenever we had visitors and no joke would wake up often within minutes of our visitors leaving! I think all the commotion puts her to sleep. Also so thankful for our Seeds fam. Itching to go back to church and introduce Evangeline to everyone!
Anyway, not gonna lie it’s been hard spending time with God this month. Funny thing is every time it hits 4am though I take heart knowing that Ms. A is probably awake and praying… and often times I hope to God she’s praying for me haha. Those night watches aren’t easy!!
I think I’m operating at 50% brain capacity right now with the sleep deprivation, so a lot of times the most I can do is cling to a few verses the Lord’s given me:
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
I think this verse was from the first week. The struggle is real at times, especially when not only are you taking care of the baby, but are also still recovering from labor and delivery. And on that note, we spend so much time talking about giving birth, but very little time talking about the recovery!! Birth was hard, but it’s only one day or less! Recovery was by far more difficult/painful/traumatizing in my opinion haha. Also I was so hormonal that first week. Definitely had a few middle of the night cries while feeling helpless, inadequate, and just plain tired!
This verse reminded me to call on God in each moment, knowing that He supplies all we need. Even if it’s just help to get a good latch or grace to be kind to your husband when kindness is something your tired heart is lacking in the moment, He supplies us richly.
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I wanna say this verse was in weeks 2-3. I think I hit bottom at the start of week 3 and it got significantly better after that. This kept things simple.
Rejoice always. There’s so much to rejoice over, but it can be easy to lose sight. All the difficulties are so minute when you remember they’re all due to the fact that you have this beautiful, wonderful baby!!
Pray without ceasing. Honestly it’s hard sometimes to rejoice, which is why prayer is essential because sometimes you just can’t find it in your heart to rejoice! Also even though it’s been hard to spend time with God in the ways I would before, I’ve been reminded that spending time with God is so much more than just doing a daily devo. I want to be in constant communion with God through prayer and truth is I really need it!
And lastly, give thanks in all circumstances. As I mentioned earlier, God is helping me re-frame every “difficulty” from a standpoint of thankfulness. Yes, there are sleepless nights. But how beautiful is it that this tiny human being is so dependent on me right now? And what a beautiful picture of how we need God and of all He does for us!? Yes, sometimes her cries stress me out. But what a wonderful chance to show her she can trust me and as much as I’m able I’m going to be there for her! (On that note, I swear we had a “moment” on night 3 when we looked into each others eyes and I could see her brain coming to a realization that hey maybe I can trust this lady!) Even engorgement, which oh my gosh SUCKS! I realized through it God was helping me in my attachment to Evangeline because you’re in so much pain, and it’s this tiny baby who’s going to help you not be in pain anymore. Isn’t God so brilliant in how He designed things!? Like how perfect that breastfeeding can suck (lol sorry bad pun) but He helps you learn to enjoy it by having it help relieve the engorgement pain!?
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
This verse has been on my heart more recently, probably in week 4. The first part I understand, but I’ve been dwelling on the latter part of the verse. What does it mean that hope does not put us to shame? I think it means that as Christians we can always have hope and we will never be put to shame for having it, because our hope is enduring– it is based on the constant truth that God’s love is lavished upon us! We have so much hope because we have a God who loves us!!
So that’s what God has been putting on my heart lately.
The nice thing is, this week things have gotten substantially easier! Someone at work had told me after week 3 it gets better… and it did slightly. Then Kenny’s cousin told us after week 6 it gets better so I was trying to hold out until then. But the past few days have been vastly improving in terms of the difficulty level! And I’m actually feeling like getting out of the house, which tbh for the first 3-4 weeks I had very little desire to do (again, they should prepare you better in anticipating the difficulty of recovery!).
I am so in love with Miss Evangeline. I love her more and more every day. It’s interesting, I don’t know how much I attached to her right away. After labor and delivery, I think I was so tired (I didn’t sleep the previous night and she came into the world at 3:43am) I just had very little emotion in me and was a bit concerned when they put her on my chest and I didn’t feel like my world had just exploded and didn’t break down in ugly crying like I had anticipated. My thoughts were really just “Who does she look like?” “Why is she screaming her head off? It’s so loud!” and “Why don’t I feel utterly and completely in love with her like I should, or like Kenny so clearly is?”
But I think in those moments God was saying “It’s okay. There’s so much grace. Rely on me. I’ll teach you to love.”
And somehow it’s true! Maybe the first day or two and in the midst of those difficult nights I’d have to cry out “Lord, teach me to be selfless! Teach me to love!” but God has grown my love more and more and now I think I’m getting a clearer picture of that unconditional mother love and how I would do anything, anything!!, for this precious baby girl.
Lastly, I do want to capture though that it can be hard at times. I told Kenny yesterday it’s just tiring because there is almost always something she needs from you. And in the times when she is sleeping, you’re on call and just waiting for the next thing she needs.
And it’s funny. Steph asked me if I have a lot of free time. And the answer is yes and no. It’s complicated. You have all the time in the world. But also no time at all. I’ve been telling people that when you have down time, you get to choose one or maybe two of these things: eat/drink, sleep, personal hygiene, clean. You might get to do one of these and on a rare occasion two. But good luck with anything else! And the sad truth is a lot of times i waste my down time with Facebook or mindless internet browsing! And just when I’m settling in to nap/eat/go to the bathroom, BAM! 30 minutes are up. She’s crying. Pooping. Needs a feeding.
But I know all this will change and it’s already getting better because hey look! I’m blogging! It’s only a season. And for now I want to savor the fact that she does so desperately need me. She loves to be close. She wants to be held all the time. She needs to know I’m always just a cry away.
And she’s already growing up! Yesterday when I realized her shoulders now are almost bare and no longer Wolverine-like and covered in hair it almost made me cry. And she used to always open one eye first to peek out at the world before deciding whether to wake up and she pretty much never does that anymore (sob!).
So anyway. There’s no good way to end this. But this first month has been fun, exhausting, amazing. Kenny and I discussed how there are SOOO many sermon illustrations you can pull from having a baby haha. I’ll have to list more of them out some time, but the biggest one I can see right now is just how much God does for us. We are like tiny little babies. We need Him for everything! Yet, how terrible is it that we act as though we can operate independently of Him? Or after He’s done so much for us, we choose to disobey Him, reject Him, not spend time with Him? We need God like this little baby needs her Mommy and Daddy. And the wonderful thing is sometimes Mommy and Daddy just don’t get it, we mistake the “I’m wet!” cry for “Feed me!” But God is the perfect parent. And He will always richly and perfectly supply everything we need.