Would you believe I looked like this?... Yeah, I don't either. I was SO huge! Last night I was taking myself back to last year in my mind, and I can remember the pain in the last month of pregnancy. He was getting so big so fast and my body just couldn't handle it. He was due Jan. 1st, and I had been praying that he would come before Christmas, and that time came and went. Then I was hoping before the new year...and then nothing. Then I went in Jan. 2nd to the hospital thinking that was it, and it wasn't. As I was leaving I saw one of the ladies who I did Moms in Motion with (a water aerobics class) and she had just had her baby Dec. 31st and wasn't due until after me. I was very discouraged. I felt like my body wasn't doing what it needed to.
Finally Jan. 9th I was having really strange contractions. They weren't painful, but they wouldn't stop either. I would have one and my stomach would harden for 5, then 10 minutes and more at a time. Paul and I knew this wasn't normal. So we went and told my mom (who was staying with us) and we decided it was time to go to the hospital. As we got there we found out the contractions were definitely not normal, and that they wanted to keep me and induced me. I was so nervous. I didn't want to be there. I was freaking out at this point because I was terrfied to deliver, but yet I had waited so long that I didn't expect to be that scared. But I was induced the next night (because the hospital had 6 women in active labor the night before so i had to wait), started pushing early on the 11th and had Ryder at 11:53 a.m. My whole life my biggest fear EVER was of having a baby. I was terrified of it ever since I can remember. I never thought I could do it. I remember hearing cousins when I was younger having babies, and then thinking, "Wow, they made it out alive. It can happen." That's how scared I was. So, I couldn't believe that I, of all people, did it!
And honestly I had the Lord's help the entire time. I look back and wonder how I did it, and I know I couldn't have done it without Him. Paul was so wonderful! My mom was great, too. And I know I couldn't have done without my amazing Paul, and my mom was such a bonus to have her there. It was such an amazing day! And now Ryder is almost 1 and I wonder where the time went. I try to enjoy each day, each moment, because I don't want to look back and think that I wish I had. Ryder was my miracle baby, and I thank Heavenly Father every day that I have him. I can't imagine my life without him, and now I know that I would go through it all over again in a heartbeat.
As I think about the Savior's birth and life at this time of the year, I feel even more grateful to Him that I have Ryder. The Savior was born a perfect baby, and now I feel so much more grateful for Mary that she had the strength to deliver him into this earth, and raise Him to Redeem us all. What a wonderful example of a mother I have to look to. I'm so thankful for my family and mine and Paul's family, and we are truly so abundantly blessed in so many ways!