We Choose Life

I CHOOSE LIFE!

I CHOOSE LIFE!

I proudly wear my Choose Life T-shirt today.

After accumulated medical bills for doctor’s appointments, c-section, and hospital stay, as well as necessary purchases to accommodate the baby into our life such as baby supplies and a bigger car (4 kids in a 3 seated backseat is impossible), this will baby cost us over $14,000 by the time she leaves the hospital.

My maternity leave will also cost us money. While I am allowed FMLA, this does not mean I get 100 percent of my pay. It will cost me 100 dollars a day to be able to stay 8 weeks with my baby (standard FMLA for c-section deliveries), costing us an additional $4000. And I’m blessed with a job that even offers that. I just have to pay for my substitute teacher.

Then each month thereafter until she begins Kindergarten, once added day-care costs accumulate as well as cost for diapers, formula (if breastfeeding is not successful), solid foods, clothes, etc–it will cost an additional 600-700 a month for her. This is if she is healthy and does not need to go to the doctor’s.

We do not qualify for government assistance so we have to come up with the money on our own. But just because we don’t qualify does not mean this money is just lying around. These costs require us to make sacrifices and cut out other expenses, and it involves having to work harder and smarter to increase our income. This is even after frugally piling up charitable  hand-me-down baby items, and saving up left over baby items from our previous children (although not much from that because we gave most away after our vasectomy, having no idea we’d get pregnant again). This even includes utilizing health insurance.

Add to this the added physical tole the necessary 4th C-section will be on my body and the possible consequences it may have on my health due to the risks: blood transfusions, bladder rupture, intestinal complications, infection, possible hysterectomy, etc.

By many people’s standards, this baby could be viewed as “financially inconvenient” and a “health risk.” But we STILL choose life. We choose to see the blessing and not the hardship. We choose to give this precious human being a right to live. Because her life is worth it. Because God knit her together for a reason.

We will be okay. We may not have fancy furniture. We may not have trips to Hawaii. We may have to clip coupons and eat out less. We may have a frontyard that stays unlandscaped for a few more years. Who knows.

We may also not. Who can know the future. A fire could come again and burn our house down. My children’s books may take off once we publish and I may make more money than I ever had as a teacher.

Who can know the future? But Still We Choose Life. And We trust that God will get us through anything that comes our way in the future because of that decision.

We cannot wait for October 27th when I get to meet this little Scotland Amalia-Leme. We love her so much already.

If you are pregnant and concerned about the financial risks and inconvenience of having a baby, please don’t choose abortion. Check out resources like Pregnancy Resource Center. They can offer free and discounted baby supplies, as well as free parenting classes to help you feel prepared for this change in your life. You DO have a choice– a choice for life. There are ways to take care of this baby. And any other mother who has chosen life will tell you, the baby will be a blessing and worth every sacrifice and change in your life.

Wisdom from Grandma on Life

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My Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Lowell

My Grandma’s birthday was this Thursday. I wasn’t able to visit her for the day, but wanted to call her to wish her a Happy Birthday and catch up. She lives in a nursing home with my Grandpa, who needs a lot of help due to his health issues. Grandma on the other hand is there simply because she is his wife and she goes where he goes. She is still healthy as ever, vibrant, and joyous. I admire her so much and her steadfast love she has for my Grandfather. So I asked her the question I have asked myself lately and others when we talk about age: how old do you feel? I find the question interesting because I know my answer and I love hearing the answer of others. I find that each one of us emotionally feels younger, typically finding ourselves surprised when looking in the mirror and seeing this person with more wrinkles and less hair than the one we feel. The body ages much faster than the spirit I think. I myself feel 25 when I am actually 34. When I talk to my other family or friends who are older than me, I hear answers that are often 10 to 20 years younger than where they really are. So I don’t always expect to feel 25. At some point, my spirit will age and I’ll be 50 saying that I feel 35. I like this. I find it beautiful and fascinating. My grandma’s answer caught me by surprise. But it blessed me more than anything else I expected her to say.  In her thick, Colombian accent she said to me these words:

“I don’t feel like an age anymore. I feel more like a place.  I’m at the top of a mountain looking at my life and my family’s life as they really are, no longer the way I used to. Up here, it is clear. There is no more stress or bitterness or worry. It is like I can see for the first time. I look down and see my whole life and yours and our family’s. And what I see is how blessed I am and how blessed you are. It is a very free feeling, darling. I tell you, my biggest regret is rushing through life so much and not stopping to enjoy each moment.  I know this time in your life is very busy with work and all the kids. But experience it. Be there in the moment. There will be a time in the future where you remember this busy time and miss it. And you can believe me because my blinders have been taken off. I know. I can see at the top of the mountain what you may not see. You are very blessed. I am very blessed. I am happy to be 75. It is easy to see everything here.”

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The Hills with their some of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her words. I felt it was true wisdom. I came home and told Owen what she told me. He told me I should blog about it and I agreed. I don’t want to forget her words and I believe others should hear it too. Today, in the midst of the sick, crying baby and the 2-year-old who dumped the fish food all over the carpet, and the 6-year-old running around like a crazy man around the house with the neighbor kid, Owen and I walked up to each other in the kitchen, gave each other that knowing smile that  said, without words—oh look at us and our crazy little life right now, and we hugged a long time, and kissed each other. It is a beautiful Christmas season, this year. And while I look forward to 2014 and all that God will bring, I will enjoy each day of this December. And I pray you do as well.