Archive for the 'Maternity' Category


Amara Christian Becker

I wrote this memorial story about 6 weeks ago for our family blog, but I wanted to put it here as well because I’ve had some follow-up/miscarriage related posts running through my head that I wanted to put here and I thought I’d start with the story of our miscarriage.

“Could we hear our children speaking to us out of heaven, they would say, ‘Weep not for us who are happy; we lie upon a soft pillow, even in the bosom of Christ. The Prince of Peace is embracing us and kissing us with the kisses of His lips. Be not troubled at our preferment… You are in the valley of tears, but we are on the mountain of spices. We have gotten to our harbor, but you are still tossing on the waves of inconsistency.’ ” -Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment

Yesterday we began to grieve the death of our third child, Amara Christian Becker. He was with us for a seemingly short while, but the impact of his death will remain with us forever. We do not grieve a loss, because we have not lost her. Rather, we grieve a delay in the day when we will be able to hold her and rejoice with her. We will never hover over him as he works to take his first steps next winter, but we rest in the comfort that he is already walking with God in heaven, and for this we are endlessly grateful. We will never get to hear her first words, but she is already singing praises in heaven that put Handel’s Hallelujah chorus to shame. I will never get to hold him in my arms and smell his sweet baby skin, but he is being cradled by the arms of our Father, whose love is perfect and far surpasses what our own could ever be. We named our child Amara, which means unfading and eternal, and Christian, which means follower of Christ and is also a family name.

This is not a private loss to us. This is not “retained products of conception”. This is the loss of our son or daughter, a Child of God, made in His image. We invite our friends, family, and church body to grieve with us, as we have grieved with you in your losses and rejoiced with you in your blessings. Our eyes are red and puffy, but we do not despair. We do not weep for our baby, because our baby has been blessed. We weep for our own loss, the end of the dreams that we had for our child here on Earth. We weep because we just have to wait that much longer to see our precious little one. God has not abandoned us, but rather He is drawing us closer to Him in this.

I went in for my first appointment and after getting reacquainted with my doctor, he began the ultrasound to confirm that everything was going well. As he began to sweep the wand across my belly, I caught my first glimpse of our baby. I had been nervous already about the appointment, so seeing the baby was comforting. Then he took a measurement of the baby, and she was small. She was smaller than Eva had been at her 8 week appointment, and this one was supposed to be 9 1/2 weeks. He spent a few more minutes in silence looking around, and I could tell that the baby was small and wasn’t moving. He then asked when I had gotten my first positive pregnancy test, and at that point my worst fears were confirmed. Our baby was measuring two weeks behind, and he could not find a heartbeat. He spent about 20 minutes with me talking about it, going over our options, answering questions, and giving comforting advice. I was very thankful to have the same doctor who had delivered Eva and who is a Christian and could share in our grief and our comfort.

I would like to take a second to thank our family and close friends who have stood by us and prayed with us over the past two days, but particularly my amazing husband. Andrew’s attitude, sacrifice, and constant attention have always served to make my post-partum period an absolute dream for me, and he has been an incredible blessing in this situation as well. While some husbands would hide their pain and pretend to brush it off, leaving me to grieve alone, Andrew has supported me and grieved with me and prayed with me. After all, Amara was his child just as much as she was mine. I am so thankful to God for providing me with a husband who so wonderfully models the unconditional love and care of our Heavenly Father.

Our sweet baby was greeted by aunts and uncles, great grandparents, and other children who would have been friends and classmates in heaven who have gone before us. Our child is surrounded by family and resting in the arms of God.


Japanese Weekend OK Waistband

I picked up a pair of Japanese Weekend’s OK Waistband slacks at The Storm Cellar about a month ago. Although I was lucky enough to find them on consignment, I’m here to tell you they are worth the full price!! Generally, I have a hard time finding maternity pants that fit,  in the past Gap has been my best bet, but these are oh so comfortable and look great! They do run small and long, though. I’m usually a size 6 maternity pant at Gap, and the Large fit from Japanese Weekend (plus, I have to wear my big girl heels or hem them).


on why to ignore the nesting urge sometimes…

I so frequently hear women say, “Childbirth is what our bodies are designed for. Just sit back and let your body take over – you don’t need no stinkin’ doctors or drugs.” I agree that childbirth is one of the things that our bodies are designed for, but I also believe that we are living after the Fall. God cursed childbirth and gave us much pain and hardship in it, just as he cursed the ground and gave our husbands pain and hardship in their duty to tend the earth and provide for us.

So I am not one of those women who likes to “just listen to my body” all the time. Sometimes I need to ignore my body. For example, on Saturday I got the urge to get down on my hands and knees and scrub my kitchen floor and then polish it. This was undeniably the result of some unwelcome pregnancy hormone because as any close friends or family can attest, this is not a normal urge for Betsy. My kitchen floor usually has a random coffee bean and probably a bit of dried spaghetti somewhere in the corner under a cupboard. But I gave in to the urge on Saturday. Now my floor is very pretty, but I am in pre-term labor. I’ve had multiple ridiculous nesting urges over the past two weeks that have brought me to this point. And now here we are, fighting what my body is trying to do in order to keep my baby inside so she can be born healthy and closer to term. I do need my doctor and I do need my drugs because my body is very confused.

I imagine that before the Fall there wouldn’t have been such a thing as pre-term labor (someone please correct me if my theology is off). But here we are, laboring away under the curse. But God is kind and this labor is not in vain, nor are we doing it without His guidance and strength. Sometime in the next two weeks our Evangeline will be in our arms rather than in my belly and we can laugh heartily in the face of the serpent. God is good, and He does not abandon us.


contraction master

I’ll preface this by saying that when I first heard of this site, I laughed. Who uses a website to help time their contractions, I mean really? How hard can it be? A contraction at 6:45, another at 6:51, another at 6:57 and 7:03, and your contractions are coming every six minutes. That’s all you need, right?

Well, a few weeks ago when I started having regular braxton hicks contractions I decided to try this thing out, and it landed me in the hospital. Without it, I wouldn’t have noticed that my contractions (which came every 8-10 minutes) were lasting more than a minute, and that’s the part that worried my OB (I got some terbutaline and everything was/is fine).

So as silly as it may seem, maybe bookmark for the next time you’re nearing the end of a pregnancy because you never know when it might come in handy! Oh, and you can get it for your iPhone or iTouch as well (which would be super handy!).


review: Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing

This is the Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing.

This swing was given to me about 3 1/2 years ago by the wonderful ladies who I worked with at Crossroads Nursery. I hadn’t originally planned on getting a baby swing (all I knew of were those wind up ratchety things that creak and sway in old church nurseries), but I was more than willing to take this one as a gift! My boss said that her niece swore by this thing, so I figured why not give it a try. After all, it looks pretty cool and cozy and I know I sure wouldn’t mind curling up in one if they made it in my size!

The good stuff.
We started using this swing for B the day after we brought her home. She loved the gentle rocking motion, and it really does cradle babies oh-so-cozily. We could swaddle her up and tuck her in between the cushy headrests and not even bother with the buckles (but we would leave it on the lowest setting, just to be safe). So for the first week we kind of thought of it as a fun place to put her. After the first week, when Andrew went back to work, I began to see it as The-Most-Important-Thing-I-Owned. As an infant, B insisted upon behind held all the time, and greatly preferred it if we held her while we were walking around. As you can imagine (and as some of you probably know from experience), this can be a bit problematic especially when one wants to take a shower and is the only adult home. So for those times when I simply had to put her down (usually just for my shower and the putting on of make-up) this swing came to my rescue. She could lie here contented for a good half hour and that was just enough time to get done what I needed to.

The speed settings worked well, although we really just left it on the lowest one for the first few months because she was so light that that would get it going fast enough. As she got bigger we probably bumped it up a notch or two.

The music isn’t bad, but B never really got into it.

The mirror on top for the kiddos to look at was a hit, as were the spinning birds, butterflies, and leaves (we had the Nature’s Touch version). B loved to stare at herself in the mirror as she’d swing side to side…I think we even got some fun videos of that when she was little.

The not-so-good stuff.
I have two complaints with this swing. First, it runs on batteries. It would be so much nicer if one could just plug it into the wall (they may have remedied this in the past 3 years). That said, in the 8 or so months that we used it I think we only replaced the batteries once or twice and as you may have gathered from what I wrote above, we used it a lot. Secondly, the base is a bit large. The legs spread out quite far in order to steady the swing and this makes it a bit difficult to tuck the swing into a corner. So if you live in a smallish apartment (or a house of a smaller scale), be prepared for the swing to make quite a dent in your floor space.

Final thoughts.
For me, the pros waaaayyyy out weigh the cons. I would have this thing sitting in the middle of my kitchen if that was the only way I could fit it into my house, and I would give up my Starbucks for a week (yes! even as a new mother!) to buy the batteries. Fortunately, these are so popular now that they can be fairly easily found on Craigslist or other resale places for about half of what they cost new. But even with a price tag of anywhere from $110 to $280 (depending on which design you get), it’s a fantastic investment in my opinion. I can’t wait to pull ours out in a few weeks and get it all set up for Baby E!


baking things

I’ll start off with this slightly misshapen loaf of banana bread that was oh-so yummy. I got into a little baking spree last week and this was the first of my endeavors. The recipe is courtesy of Dani Callihan in Hot Providence.
Best Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
3/4 cup milk (I substituted a little buttermilk for fun)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the butter, sugar, eggs and bananas well. Combine the milk and lemon juice. Add this to your creamed mixture, alternating with the flour, baking soda and salt. Pour into a well greased loaf baking pan and bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes (mine took more like 60-70 minutes). Do the toothpick test to make sure it’s done. Slather it up with some butter and enjoy!

In other news, here’s my other ‘baking’ project. Little Eva is growing steadily and quickly, and I can’t believe we’re down to two and a half months!


makes me want to squeal!

I am in love again. Well, again and again. First, we found out yesterday that we’re having another little girl, Miss Evangeline Audrey (Eva). So first of all I’m in love with her, and the idea of two girls. I am, however, a little scared of the idea of “sisters” because I never had sisters and the whole relationship just kind of freaks me out. I have no experience with the “sister dynamic” and all sorts of scenarios are running through my head along with a bunch of preggo emotions and making me want to faint. But hey, all that is a long way off and I’m sure that God will equip me for it when it shows up. So that’s taken care of. Sisters. Check.

Second, I just checked out Anna Maria Horner’s new fabric line, and it just makes me all giddy inside! This fabric, combined with a little girl due at the beginning of summer just brings to mind all sorts of lovely cheery things to be made. I want blankets, dresses, sheets, curtains (for our new house up in Spokane, have I mentioned that yet?), and tablecloths galore out of this stuff. These prints are just plain cheerful. Now I just have to get my hands on some….