Sunday, April 28, 2013

That Time I was Supposed to Run 13.1 Miles...

I'm a fair-weather "athlete" at best.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  I'm not an athlete as much as a very slow runner.  Either way, my running game was put to the test once Sam entered this world.  Pushing your 20-pound child through your hilly neighborhood just isn't fun.  Before Sam, I enjoyed working out a few times a week.  I was even peer-pressured into doing sprint triathalons, 5Ks, and a half-marathon.  The half-marathon was my favorite, first and foremost because it was at Disney World.  And, the Magic Kingdom is something to get excited about, even if I'm running through it.  I also enjoyed the rewards of pushing myself physically and seeing results.  I was running 5-6 times a week and could actually run 12-13 miles (a huge feat for someone who could who dreaded running a mile in PE).  Shortly after I completed the 13.1 miles, running came to a stop once I found out I was pregnant.  And, I've really never got my running game back since. 

But, game or no game, I one of those people who can't commit to the training until I've signed-up.  Meaning, I find no reason to train for a half-marathon unless I'm invested financially and mentally.  I need a date on my calendar and a training calendar posted on my fridge with days to cross off.  This is how I functioned before Sam, so I assumed the same to be true after Sam. 

My friend Lauren and I signed-up in January to run the Nashville Rock n' Roll 1/2 Marathon this Spring.  When was it?  Yesterday...Saturday, April 27.  And where was I?  Sitting with a cup of coffee while enjoying a view of mountains and Lake Rabun.  Apparently, even I'm financially invested, that doesn't mean my body and mind is as committed as my wallet.  Once Lauren and I started training, we both realized the challenges of trying to find the time to train with toddlers.  It became evident that as April approached, we were not in any condition to run this race.  We finaly both admitted that we messed this one up and embraced a relaxing weekend at the lake as a more reasonable training needed for that!  This plan definitely beat packing-up our house, husbands and children to wake up way too early to run a race our hearts weren't invested in.  Instead, my family enjoyed a weekend with friends and doing absolutely nothing which is a nice break to our hectic schedule. 

Marc and Sam throwing rocks off the boat house

Ellie took a cat nap during dinner
Sam and his buddies Ellie and Brynn (and yes, he's constantly surrounded by girls since the majority of our friends have girls..he's committed to many arranged marriages...we have time to figure that one out)

I have to admit, I didn't miss running it one bit (finding out it was cold and rainy in Nashville made it even easier).  Yes, I would like to run a half-marathon again, but there's a time for everything.  And right now, I'm enjoying the time with my family. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sam's Arrival...Part Two

The usually crowded interstate is rather empty and quiet at 3:00 a.m.  We drove to Northside Hospital as I continued having contractions.  The doors opened to the Women's Center and we were surprisingly the only ones there.  We checked-in, and despite already filling out paperwork ahead of time, there were still more forms to complete...and even more once I was checked-in to my delivery room.  Marc was a wonderful secretary that morning since I didn't care two licks what the fine print said as my contractions kept coming.  The midwife I had seen at my 40-week appointment a few days prior visited me and said, "I knew you weren't going to make it to your next appointment."  She checked me and confirmed that yes, I was in labor.  I was not being sent back home...hallelujah...but now it was time to deal with this pain.  Where is my epidural?  I assumed it would be waiting for me, but no, I was told it would take up to two hours to get it administered.  WHAT?!  They do NOT tell you this in birthing class or in your "What to Expect" book.  I conveniently didn't listen about how to deal with pain and even laughed as Marc and I practiced breathing exercises and positions in our birth class.  The midwife suggested some drug that would take off the edge, and I protested at first saying I didn't want to over-drug my baby since I was already having an epidural.  She looked at me as I cringed through a contraction and gave the ease of mind I needed to be ok with having some medication while I waited for the epidural.  I could almost feel the drug enter my blood as the nurse administered it through my IV...all of a sudden, the pain slowed down and my eyes grew heavy.  That was some good stuff, and gave me about two hours of relaxation and sleep.

And then, it wore off.  Marc was passed out on the couch but I woke him up as the contractions started coming back with force.  The anesthesiologist finally came into my room with a gift from God...the epidural.  There was a lot more drama getting prepared for the epidural than having it administered.  My bed was raised, a lot of instructions were given, a lot of stuff put on my back but the actual epidural was over before I could ask, "Is this going to hurt?"  As quick as it was, Marc held on tight and kept his eyes locked on mine.  Marc couldn't have been more supportive, encouraging, and calm throughout this process...he was my rock that day.  

It finally time to share the news to our family and close friends.  Throughout the morning and early afternoon, our support group trickled in.  We are blessed with some of the most amazing family and friends.  They sat in our oversized delivery room and kept us entertained as we waited for "go-time."  The hours passed as my body labored beneath the effects of the heavenly epidural.  As my body dilated to 10 centimeters, I got hot and pressure grew...down there.  The room started feeling smaller as I began sweating.  We said our goodbyes to our support group who took up residence in the waiting room. 

The time Marc and I had in the delivery room before Sam arrived was precious.  Even though I was at 10 centimeters, the nurses wanted my body to "labor down" for about an hour...essentially letting my body do the pushing before I did.  My body was hot and I still felt a lot of pressure.  Marc sat right next to my bed...holding my hands, brushing back my hair, talking with me, laughing with me, praying for me and playing music for me.  It was such a sweet moment, and the last we would share as a family of two.  

I was so relaxed that I actually fell asleep.  By this point, we were both exhausted after not getting but a few hours of sleep that night and morning.  The midwife and nurse entered the room and after checking me, confirmed that "go-time" was here.  Once there was a green light, the delivery room completely changed.  A few additional nurses entered the room and began pushing in carts and arranging blankets.  Bright lights came over my head, the doctor adorned her blue scrubs, Marc was one side and the main nurse on the other.  A side note about the main nurse who attended me during the day and through Sam's delivery...she was amazing.  She cared for me in such a nurturing way.  As we prepared to start pushing, she shared with me one of her favorite verses - Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Like I said, amazing.  

The moments leading up to Sam's delivery was not what I had pictured at all.  Surrounded by my midwife, nurse, and Marc, we talked, I received coaching on how to push, I pushed, sometimes I apologized at not pushing at the right time to which my nurse laughed at me, and I pushed some more.  It was all surreal and surprisingly very calm.  I would squeeze my eyes shut as I pushed, and finally Marc said, "Cris, open your eyes."  When I did, I laid eyes on our son, Samuel Wesley Hunt.  I could barely connect that I had just birthed this child I was staring at.  But, at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, Sam entered the world.  

Marc and I stared at him in wonder as they laid Sam on my chest.  There were no clear thoughts my mind was racing so fast, but one thought that stopped long enough for me to remember was, "He is so big and long!"  And, he was.  Sam was born 21 inches long and 8 pounds, 3 ounces.  Can I just say hallelujah again for the epidural.  He came into the world, bigger and longer than I could have imagined.  Enough so that I had some internal bleeding.  Enough so that another doctor needed to come into the room to try to stop the slow bleeding.  Enough so that these precious, quiet moments I had envisioned having with my new family of three slipped away as nurses, the doctor and midwife crowded around me trying to fix the bleeding.  Marc stayed by my side as they performed the initial tests and screens on Sam on the other side of the room, but I kept telling him to be with Sam.  The peace I had before Sam's arrival filled with anxiety.  I was now cold and shaking.  My sweet nurse stayed by my side to rest my worries, and every so often the doctor would look up and reassure me.  It felt like an eternity before they were finished. 

Outside in the waiting room felt like an eternity too.  Our family and friends knew the news of Sam's arrival, but only through text.  Marc had not visited the waiting room with photos to share because he was too busy running between me and Sam.  My mom was burdened with the same anxiety and worry even though were separated by many rooms and hallways.   Finally, almost two hours later, the flurry was over and family was welcomed into the room.  We had initially planned for family to meet Sam first, but any kind of organized plan was thrown out the window with the chaos that ensued after Sam's delivery.  Instead, in some order, Sam was taken to the nursery (which I don't even remember), Mom visited to check on me, Marc left to take the rest of the parents to the nursery to see Sam, and Mom left to rejoin the rest of the family.  At some point, I was all alone in the delivery room and it didn't take me long to invite our sweet friends who were still at the hospital to my room to keep me company. 

Finally, and again, I'm not quite sure how, but Sam and our entire support group of friends and family piled into the delivery room to meet and hold Sam for the first time.  Sam started crying, and I'm fairly certain the overwhelming feeling of, "Now what?"  entered my mind.  It was a chaotic.  It wasn't long before Marc, Sam and I sat in the room alone.  It wasn't exactly how I had imagined those moments would be, but so far, nothing about Sam's delivery was what I expected.  I was surprised from the very first contraction.

Sam came into our lives with such force, in almost every way.  I think that's just a small glimpse of the man God created him to be.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sam's Arrival...17 Months Later

Despite my erratic blog posting behavior, I do enjoy reminiscing on past posts, especially the ones during pregnancy.  I have a terrible memory, so rereading posts about my pregnancy with Sam brings those precious and what-seems-like-forever-ago moments back to life.  I did a great job of recording the first 12 months of Sam's life on a Shutterfly website along with way too many pictures, but I've never gotten around to writing Sam's arrival into this world and into our lives.  So, on this beautiful day while both Sam and Marc are napping, I figured why not remember that crazy, amazing day. 

As you can read from this post, I made it to my due date - November 12, 2011.  I was frustrated thinking I would carry this baby forever.  No matter how many fears you have about actually delivering the baby, you definitely come to a point in your pregnancy that you really don't care how this baby comes out, but that it's time.  I was there.  It was a Saturday afternoon, and I figured since I made it to my due date, that I would most likely be induced sometime later in the week.  So, I may as well celebrate by getting out of the house.  It was the UGA v.. Auburn game, and I made plans to watch the game at our friends' home on the other side of the city.  Marc was not on board.  For once, the tables were turned and my husband was being the worrier of the family.  But, I assured him that Sam had no plans to come today and that even if I did go into labor, which I was certain would not happen, we would have plenty of time to get back to the house to collect our bags and head to the hospital  By the way, we had this heated discussion in some random aisle at the grocery store as I bought a few items to bring to Michael and Lauren's house.  As far as I was concerned, I was the one who was 9-months pregnant...if I wanted to go watch a football game at their house, I was going.  

And, we did and had a great time.  I remember not really watching the be honest, I can't remember even who won, but I do remember eating ribs, zucchini chips and laughing really hard all night.  Lauren kept touching my belly asking I was having contractions to which I always responded with a shrug, "I have no idea."  Up to this point, I had no idea what contractions felt like and figured I would find out when it was time.  

Which is exactly what happened as we drove home around 10:00 that night.  As Marc was having a recap of the game with his parents, I started feeling this intense cramp.  And, then it happened again.  I grabbed the "oh shi*t" handle above my window (I'm sure these handles have a more appropriate name, but that's what I always have called them, and this night, that was exactly how I was feeling).  As these cramps aka contractions kept coming and causing me to double over, I remember Marc telling his parents, "No, she's doing great.  I don't think Sam is coming tonight."  At some point he looked over at me and realized maybe that was not the case.  We made it home and what happened over the next few hours was a blur, or at least that's how I remember it.  But, Marc started timing contractions and they were maybe 5-7 minutes apart.  I tried to sleep - because that's what "they" tell you to do, but whoever "they" are is crazy.  There was no sleeping this pain off.  So, I then, watched tv, took a bath, walked around the house freaking out, finished packing my bag and when we (meaning I) couldn't take it anymore, we decided the hospital was the next stop...but not before I took a shower (A practical piece of advice from my friend Lauren since I didn't know when I may be getting my next shower).  I was pretty sure that I was in labor, but I had this nagging fear that they were going to send me home once I arrived at the hospital.  Despite this lingering fear, we loaded our bags and my freshly showered, laboring self into the car to drive to Northside Hospital around 3:00 a.m...not realizing that when we returned, we would be bringing home our son..... be continued

Friday, April 5, 2013

His Love is Relentless

I have really been enjoying Hillsong's latest album, "Zion."  I'm usually a fan of anything Hillsong-related, but this new album is a little more 80s-fied with syntheziers so it took me a minute for it to grow on me.  Syntheziers and all, I'm a fan now. 

It's been playing in the background of my days at home, especially during Sam's nap.  Each song seems full of His truth that I need right now, and God is certainly speaking to me through the lyrics.  

A lot has been going on with Sieara (that's another post for another time), but her situation has thrown me on my knees looking to Him - asking, pleading, and begging for help.  I have been humbled more than I care to admit  and my need for control has and is being refined.  And, in case you wanted to know, the refinement process is PAINFUL.  Just the other day, I was frustrated with Sieara and just wanting to throw my hands up.  I wanted to rattle off every thought going through my head.  As I was getting more and more heated in my thought process, I heard these words playing: 

You carry us
Carry us
When the world gives way
You cover us
Cover us
With Your endless grace
Your love is relentless

And, I stopped.  I was reminded of what my BSF teacher told us recently - Jesus' economy is backwards, upside down....the last will be first, the first will be last, the low will be lifted high and the high will be humbled.  His love and grace for me is relentless, so that's how He calls me to love Sieara and others who don't deserve it.  I can easily say Sieara doesn't deserve any more chances, but then I remember the grace Jesus has for me when I don't deserve it.  I'm so grateful of His truth piercing my heart before my tongue could speak.  His love is relentless...for me, for my family, for Sieara.  And I know I won't get it right every time, but I pray that I will be a vessel of His unrelenting grace and love. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Simplicity of His Love

In the dawn of our Savior's resurrection, the world around seems to be birthing new life.  I notice it all around me in ways I haven't before.  The dogwoods and azaleas in our front and back yards are teeming with new life that are just days away from bursting forth with blossoms.  It seems appropriate that even the Earth has waited to bloom after Easter.  What a way to celebrate our Creator.  

This Easter has been especially meaningful this year.  My weekly Bible study, BSF, of Genesis along with watching the Bible series has opened my eyes to see that Christ's death on the cross for our sins and His resurrection was God's plan all along.  God's hand was in every detail, mistake and promise of Genesis.  In the beginning, God was already making arrangements to sacrifice His son to atone for our sins.  Almost every detail in Scripture points to the culmination of the Cross.  Even though the people He created were messing up, He was already preparing a way to save them.  Maybe now that I'm a parent, I realize just a fragment of the sacrifice God made when He allowed His Son to die on a cross for us.  Even more, that He allowed His Son to be born, nursed and raised by the very people who forgot Him, ignored Him, and crucified Him.  It's when the magnitude of this truth settles into my heart that I realize just how simple it all is. 

Peter must have understood this when Jesus beckoned him out of the boat and into the stormy sea in Matthew 14.  And, Peter walked on water as he gazed at Jesus.  I love the immediacy of Peter getting out of the boat to meet Jesus.  He didn't sit and make a "pros" and "cons" list, he didn't ask for the disciples' opinion of whether or not he should meet Jesus, he didn't wait to master his swimming skills, or look up the weather to see when the storm would be over.  He jumped out of the boat to meet His Savior.  And, just like Peter, it's when I take my eyes off Jesus that I sink.  And, I have sunk, will sink and continue to sink as long as I'm on this Earth, but I hope in the wake of Jesus' death and resurrection for me and all of humanity, that if Jesus says, "Come" that I will race to meet Him.  No matter how many times I sink and no matter how many storms there are.  That I will run after Him in impossible situations, in uncomfortable places, or wherever else He may call me. 

The Cross is a beautiful sight, not only because of the love that poured from it but the new life that sprung from it.  And as I watch the world bring forth the blossoms of spring, I am thankful I have a new life in Him.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" - 2 Corinithians 5:17

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine 

- "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)," Hillsong United 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rainy Day Confessions

It's a rainy Friday afternoon which has prompted Sam to take a longer than usual nap leaving me with some time to write.  I am realizing that blogging is probably the last on my "to do" list during nap time trumped by housework, Bible study, phone calls, Facebook, mindless TV, and a quick snooze (yes, my first confession is that sometimes I nap too..).   So, being that my time to stop in here and write is random at best, these confessions hopefully give you a honest glimpse into my life here in the Hunt household.....

  1. I am a neat freak.  My heart is happy and content with a clean and organized home.  This is however to a fault.  (Marc is somewhere yelling out an "Amen!")
  2. Dog hair is my greatest nemesis to #1 and why I have to vacuum once a week.
  3. I don't just eat desserts, I conquer them.  If there are sweets in the house, I consume them ALL.  Take in point the box of Thin Mints that made it a few hours in our house before they were done (and I think Marc had 3 or 4).
  4. I hate brushing and flossing my teeth.  This combined for my unhealthy love for sweets is the reason I have cavities ALL the time.  I once had 10 cavities at a dentist appointment shortly after college.  Luckily, Marc was already committed to marrying me so he couldn't back out once he realized that my mouth was going to be more expensive than seminary. :)
  5. I have a constant need to check Facebook and the point I find myself scrolling status updates and photos at stop signs and lights.  Which is why I am limiting this addiction over Lent hoping (and praying) it starts better habits.
  6. I have glasses with the slightest prescription (like barely any at all) after I started squinting while trying to decipher words from far away.  Except, I like to wear my glasses just for fun in meetings.  
  7. I snort when I laugh.
  8. If I'm near a calculator, I type in 9227952 without thinking.  It was my first telephone number.
  9. It took me 2 1/2 weeks to watch all three seasons of Downton Abbey....and my heart is still broken from the last episode.
  10. It doesn't take much to make me cry. (Publix and Hallmark commercials...I'm lookin' at you.)
  11. Sometimes I want to just get pregnant again so I can wear maternity clothes again rather than trying to fit into my pre-Sam clothes.  
  12. Speaking of...I am signed-up for a 1/2 marathon
  13.  I like Taco Bell...enough said. 
  14. When I run, I listen to rap....and smile at the contradiction of running with a stroller while listening to T.I. 
  15. My definition of online shopping is putting a lot of stuff in my cart just to see how much I would spend and then never actually buying anything.
And last confession before the weekend gets started...This post has taken me all day to write.  But, Sam is now in bed, chores have all been done and I'm about to enjoy an evening of relaxation with my husband!  

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuning Out

It's been one of those days where nap time is extending longer than my list of to-dos.  If I'm completely honest, I usually rush through that list, including my Bible study, so I can have a few moments to "tune out."  I wish I could say that involves some beautiful quiet time of reading or deepening my faith, but if I'm completely honest, tuning out means watching the latest "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" or "Glee" episode...or as of recent "Downton Abbey" (yes, I now understand why everyone has been raving over this amazing show.  I am just now in Season 2...).  The point is, there are plenty of episodes on our oversized tv that I could watch to "tune out" my brain.  

Isn't it funny though as I ended my Bible study this afternoon, I wrote out these questions..."What are God's promises to me?  What is God commanding me to do?  What are You calling me to?"  And as soon as I finished writing out these questions, I hopped up to pour some ginger ale on ice and turn on the tv as if a reality show or British show (I have to say, Downton Abbey it is quality tv..I mean, it's on PBS) will answer those questions for me.  How quick am I to write out these questions to God, but not give Him more than a mere second to answer me before I decide it's time to "tune out" the rest of Sam's nap time.  I need to know the answers to these questions...I want to know these answers.  Otherwise, I'll just act out my understanding, but put some "God-approved" seal on my actions since I did at least have a quiet time...right?  It's time to tune in to Him rather than tune out....