In the Summer of 2014, Henry and I were both busy but we decided that we would actively start trying for a baby. [Click here to read Our Baby Story—Part 1] We didn’t put any pressure on ourselves to be pregnant by a certain time, but we knew we wanted to start a family soon. In September I remember having a conversation with my girlfriends about this whole thing. They encouraged me to get checked out to make sure everything was okay. Honestly, I didn’t want to get checked out because I didn’t want to deal with the possibility that perhaps something was wrong with me. So I made a promise to my friends that if by the end of August I wasn’t pregnant, I would make an appointment to get checked out.

The last weekend in September was extremely busy for us. We had two weddings to attend in one weekend. Needless to say we were tired!! But the Monday after that weekend, I noticed that I was a lot more tired than usual. I also noticed that I was short of breath. Something told me to google “the signs of pregnancy” and sure enough those were listed. So I decided to take a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE!! I took two more to make sure I really was pregnant and sure enough… I was PREGNANT!!  I was sooo excited I didn’t know what to do with myself. Henry wasn’t home at the time but I told him to hurry and get home ASAP that I had something to tell him. As soon as he got home I told him and he was ecstatic!! We couldn’t believe it!! I was so relieved and happy!! I was so glad that I didn’t have to get checked out after all!! 🙂 We didn’t share our news with anyone for a little while because we were nervous about what happened the last time. We wanted to wait until we were further along before we shared our exciting news.

We went to our first appointment in October and we got to hear our little peanut’s heartbeat. It was THE MOST AMAZING sound I had ever heard. I couldn’t believe that I could hear the heartbeat at only 8 weeks! I remember that day as if if was yesterday!

We were so excited to share the news with our family and closest friends. Everyone was so happy for us. Shortly after, the morning sickness hit and it hit me HARD!!! I was so sick and missed so much work… I lost 17 pounds, and I didn’t have 17 pounds to lose! I was pretty uncomfortable but was sooo happy that we were finally pregnant!

During the month of May, one of the ladies from church came to me and shared that she had been led to pray against any complications during delivery and that we would have a safe delivery. She said that the enemy was going to try to attack the baby during the delivery but that we would pray against it. Usually when someone would say something like this to me, I get really anxious… but this time around I had such peace. I knew that everything was going to be just fine.

On May 21 (her real due date) my water broke at 3 am. We got to the hospital at 4 am and waited for the arrival of our sweet girl. I tried to go as long as possible without epidural but the pain was too much!! I ended up getting an epidural and some good sleep!! After a while, the doctor came and said that the contractions were not moving like they needed to and so she wanted to give me some Pitocin to help move labor along. Henry being the researcher that he is looked up the side effects of Pitocin and was hesitant about me getting it.  We were worried about the side effects that it could have on the baby.  I ended up getting the Pitocin and it worked.  After about 16 hours of labor it was time to push… and push I did… for 2 hours!!! That was THE HARDEST thing I’ve ever had to do in life. It was also a pretty scary experience because every time I pushed, Rissy’s heart rate dropped and the doctor and nurses would get concerned. They had me on oxygen and were watching and monitoring EVERYTHING!! They even had two NICU nurses in the room on standby in the event that trauma occurred. Altogether we had two NICU nurses, four labor and delivery nurses and a doctor all in the room ready to work on the baby just in case something went wrong. It was really scary to have all those people around and I knew that something wasn’t right.  Later on I found out that the cord was wrapped around Rissy’s neck and that every time I pushed the cord got tighter and that’s why her heart rate would go down.  Thankfully everything worked out and the doctor was able to get it off quickly and in time. Thankfully Rissy was fine. All of the prayers that were prayed for Rissy’s safety were answered. God is AWESOME!! I remember after she finally arrived… all I could do was cry tears of relief! I was so happy she was here but also so tired from all the pushing. That moment was one of the most amazing moments I have ever experienced  in life. I will NEVER forget that moment!

Here we are 18 months later… and we are learning to juggle parenthood and all that comes with it. Even though having Arissa was the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life… It is my greatest accomplishment! My heart swells when I hear her say “mommy” and I melt when she hugs and kisses me. She is truly a gift and I’m so grateful for the joy she has brought to our lives. She is a precious gift and I will do my best to care for her and raise her to be the mighty woman of God that He has called for her to be!

8 Weeks: Hearing the heartbeat for the first time. Wasn't expecting that!

8 Weeks: Hearing the heartbeat for the first time. Wasn’t expecting that!

7 months pregnant. She was so active in the womb!

7 months pregnant. She was so active in the womb!

Mommy and baby napping after a loooong night :)

She’s finally here! Mommy and baby napping after a loooong night 🙂

My heart <3

My heart <3

Love that smile!

Love that smile!

She walks JUST like her daddy :)

She walks JUST like her daddy 🙂

Can't get enough of her :)

Can’t get enough of her 🙂

It's the little things :)

It’s the little things 🙂

One thing that really stands out to me about our baby story is that the Lord’s timing is PERFECT! We had Rissy right before our 8th anniversary. The year of “new beginnings”. And a new beginning it was! A verse that really sticks out to me when thinking about my baby story is James 1:17 which states: “ Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Rissy is truly our “perfect gift” from God who came right on time!

For those of you who are waiting and praying for the husband God has for you and for your future children, you are in for a treat! Marriage is a wonderful thing and when you add children into the mix, you are adding a whole new level of fun!

For those of you who are expecting for the first time, you are in for one of the best experiences of your life. Holding your baby for the first time will be a moment you will never forget. It’s AMAZING!! Enjoy the journey and enjoy every moment as it comes!

For those of you who are expecting your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.  you’re AMAZING!! I have been through delivery and I know how strong you have to be to push a baby out. Like I’ve said before, women are so strong and amazing… what can we NOT do??

For those of you who are praying, waiting and trying for a baby… stay encouraged. The Lord is in control and His timing is perfect. Henry and I were married for seven years before we even conceived. We had Rissy one month before our 8th wedding anniversary. There are even other couples who waited longer and it happened for them.   It’s NEVER too late!! The Lord knows your desire, hears your prayers and is faithful to His word. Be encouraged!

So dear friends… thank you for taking the time to read my story. I haven’t really shared much of it with many people… until now. Thank you for your interest and for stopping by! Please feel free to leave comments or questions and I’ll be sure to respond.

Gr8fully Yours,