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Clarke Clan: Rambling Thoughts on Being Pregnant…Again

The latter part of the winter, I usually find dreary, and being nauseas and fatigued doesn’t make it any cheerier.
This is the third winter wherein I’ve been pregnant, and the first trimester gets reeeeaaaaal old after a while.
Pregnancy is not on my top 10 favorite things to do for just a few reasons:
1. The food aversions: just thinking about chicken, quinoa, fish makes me want to throw up; let’s not even talk about their sight or heaven forbid smell.
2. Heightened sense of smell: while we’re on the subject, let’s talk about smells. Any smell, every smell is either weird or gaggable (especially any artificial scents).
3. The fatigue: I just want to sleep all the time….zzzz….except at night.
4. Nausea: last but most certainly not least, the incessant nausea. Thankfully there is Diclegus for that, but it doesn’t really help with the other three.

Now, I’m not using this as a platform to complain about pregnancy (ok maybe just a tad). My point is it’s hard and not always enjoyable (although some women have wonderful pregnancies). So why do I–why do women in general–go through pregnancy and birth? Is it because I love torturing myself, or I can’t figure out how to use birth control? Ah, no, not at all. As I lay on my couch thinking for the hundredth time is this really worth it? I see my little ladies running around playing their little games, laughing, crying fighting, and I know, from experience, this momentary suffering is worth so much more than I can ever imagine.

Honora and Rosalyn in their parents boots

Honora and Rosalyn in their parents boots

It is because I love my little souls. My goals and ambitions righteous as they may be will not last forever like these little souls will. Their are no other people that I can impact for good like I can impact my girls. Their potential goes beyond mine; they will make the world better and through them, I can touch the future. Through them, I learn to be just a little less selfish and a little more loving.

A mentor of mine once said, “Pregnancy and birth is an awesome gift for it is a tangible way that women can experience ‘laying’ down their lives for another person in the way that Christ did for his family.” He gave up His glory to come to earth to live in obscurity and poverty then die for people who did not love Him or can help Him in any way. So I choose to give up my body, in a sense, to be inhabited by a little person who cannot help or better him or herself (let alone me) in any way. I learn how to selflessly love, the way I am loved by Christ. It is good.

While pregnancy is a momentarily discomfort to my body, its lessons are good for my soul.

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Clarke Clan: New Addition of Honora Jane

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Mommy and Baby a few minutes after the birth.  When I first saw her, I said, “Wow, I can’t believe that was inside of me!”

 

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My mom switched her plane ticket as soon as the doctor thought she might be early. Good thing she did since Honora came 11 days early. She was able to be there and support me during my daughter’s birth.  

 

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Rebekah Houser was able to be there for Honora’s birth.

 

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Cameron came by later for a visit.

 

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Papa, Mommy, and Baby all together!

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We love her so much!

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My wonderful and most amazing husband was with me throughout the whole labor and delivery. My desire was to have a totally natural birth, and with Ryan’s help, I was able to accomplish this. He was such a great coach, reminding me to focus, breath, and relax when the contractions got hard. (I love you, Dear.)

 

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Three generations of oldest daughters!

 

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Grandma Larson bought Honora an adorable going home outfit.

 

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Going home!!

 

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Her Papa is pretty proud of his new kid.

 

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This is a rare picture with her eyes open. She sleeps CONSTANTLY.

 

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This is her stubborn face. I have a feeling this facial expression isn’t going away. She looks like an old school marm at such a young age.

 

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Grandma Clarke made it up for a visit.

 

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Honora with both her grandmothers. They make her smile Smile.

 

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Our little family! Ryan and I are so blessed.

 

We chose the name Honora Jane Clarke for our daughter.

Honora (pronounced Anora) means honorable woman. The more I thought about the name Honora, I was reminded of a woman from the Bible. She doesn’t have a name, but I think that the name Honora would have fit her very well. She is describe in Proverbs 31. When reading through the passage, verse 25 stuck out to me as a little blessing I would like to pass onto my daughter. 

Strength and honor are her clothing;
      She shall rejoice in time to come.

I pray that these attributes will one day characterize my little Honora.

 

Jane means God is gracious. I won’t lie; the last nine months have been hard, and it’s only gotten more difficult now that the baby is on the outside. Yet God has poured out his grace and given me the strength to be a good mom and wife. I want Honora to never forget that God is gracious even through the hardest of times.

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Recipe: Refreshing Raspberry Leaf Tea

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I love tea. I drink it winter and summer except for this summer. Excessive heat/humidity and pregnancy don’t mesh very well. Plus, too much caffeine, the experts say, isn’t best for the babies development.

I tried to compromise by drinking cold red raspberry leaf tea. I thought, it must be great since raspberry tea is my favorite. Unfortunately, red, ripe raspberries are my favorite not green, grassy raspberry leaves. So to beat the heat and get down some of this lovely leafy stuff, I came up with a refreshing blend that really is quite delightful. 

 

two raspberry leaf tea bags (Traditional Medicinals and Alvita are good brands)

two traditional medicinals pregnancy tea bags

one tazo passion tea bag

1/4 cup honey

1 liter water

  Heat up half the water to just under boiling, add tea bags and honey, stir, let brew for 15 minutes or so. Pour in the other half of the water and some ice cubes and enjoy.

 

 

The benefits of red raspberry leaf tea for pregnancy from some tea website

“Brewed as a tea, red raspberry leaf is one of the safest and commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant. Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) tones the uterus, improves contractions and decreases constipation. It also contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium. The alkaloid fragrine is thought to help tone the uterus.”

The pregnancy health center (website I stole the picture from) has more information on the benefits of this tea during the last trimester of pregnancy.