On Time

My daughter was due to be born today. But she wasn’t. Instead, she was born two weeks ago on October 21st.

She was right on time.

Julie and I have been patiently waiting for her to arrive ever since we knew she was coming. Overall, my wife’s pregnancy with our daughter was good. The first trimester was, as first trimesters go, roughish. All-day sickness. One day she wants a certain food. The next, no more. She still has no desire to eat caesar salad to this day.

Second trimester was great. Both of my girls were growing and getting cuter with each day. The third trimester was the uncomfortable one. My wife was getting bigger — a cute bigger — and our daughter was growing and active.

Then, on Saturday night, October 20th, my wife’s back started hurting.

Then, her front, lower abdomen would feel discomfort. It released and got better. Then her back would start hurting again. Then got better. The front again. A pattern emerged and I started Googling about symptoms of labor. All signs pointed to labor contractions.

I downloaded an app to start timing the contractions. The contractions were averaging between 3:30-4:00 mins apart. I am not a doctor, but I have seen The Office and know that contractions 5:00 mins apart means, go time! A call to the on-call nurse confirmed for us to head to the hospital, two-weeks early or not.

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 21.22.55

From “The Delivery, Part One” of The Office. Photo credit: FanPop.com

At the hospital, we found out that Julie’s water broke at home. She was in active labor. After hours of more intense contractions and an epidural later, we were getting closer to meeting our daughter.

As the early morning hours ticked on, the delivery doctor came in and let us know our daughter Callie was measuring big. The doctor was concerned Callie might get stuck during a vaginal birth. If that happened, the doctor may have to perform a procedure that could hurt Callie; possibly causing permanent damage to her. Without hesitation, Julie and I decided to deliver Callie via cesarean section.

A hour later we were holding our baby daughter! The saline flowed from our eyes as Callie cried her first tears after feeling the cold outside of her mom’s womb.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the two weeks since her arrival, Julie and I have grown as husband and wife and embraced this new reality of parenting. It was crazy to see how much we learned and grew in confidence from the first week to the second.

Our daughter is beautiful on so many levels. She has brought my wife and I sleepless nights and hearts filled with joy. Whether she was born two weeks early or her due date was wrong — she arrived on time.

Without a doubt, worth the wait.

Advertisements

Team Ramer Is Growing

Julie and I are elated to announce that we are expecting the birth of our first child in early November of this year! As of this writing, Julie is 12-weeks pregnant and both child and momma are healthy. (Aside from the morning sickness, or as Julie likes to call it, ALL-DAY sickness!)

As Julie and I thought about how to announce our pregnancy we decided a blog post would be the best as there is more to the story than just us being pregnant.

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 16.06.51

TWO-YEARS IN THE MAKING
During our engagement to be married, Julie and I both communicated we wanted to start a family soon, but also wanted to be married for a little bit before we did. About five-months into our marriage we both started to have the itch to work on starting a family sooner than later. In the spring of 2016 we began to try and get pregnant.

As each month came and went we understood that getting pregnant was not as easy as 1, 2, 3. We trusted God and continued to try. As 2016 gave way to 2017 we watched friends and family get pregnant, sometimes seemly without any great effort. I wish I could say I did not have moments of disappointment and frustration, but I did.

Even though my disappointment and frustration was very brief, I began to ask the age-old question of, Why? Why others and not us? We desire to be parents. We desire to have our own kids. What are we doing wrong? These thoughts and questions came and went very quickly, but they did come.

Julie, being as great and gracious as she is, reminded me that we are not owed anything, a spouse, a kid, a job — anything. When we were both single for as long as we were and watched as our friends and family got married, we were never promised a spouse, even though we both desired one and believed God would bless us with a spouse one day. We had moments in our singleness that we did not walk through well, but we have a chance to now walk through this season of waiting to be parents in a more redemptive way.

On Mother’s Day last year we both cried as we took communion at church. Even through the tears we both knew that God would bless us to be parents one day. We just did not know if that was through having our own child, fostering, or adopting.

Summer came and went.

As we headed into the fall Julie visited her doctor who encouraged us to go see a fertility specialist. After the month and a half of tests and blood work, we both came back with a clean bill of health. The months passed. We celebrated Christmas and welcomed in 2018.

Then one night, after returning from a work trip, Julie gave me a card.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Start

There are several things in my life that I really enjoy — that give me life. In alphabetical order:

  • Being a disciple of Jesus the Christ
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Julie, my bride
  • Pastoring
  • Photography
  • Reading
  • Woodworking
  • Writing

All of those things help to define me in one way or the other. However I spend very little time doing most of them. It has been over 3 years since I have hunted, I just started fishing again, I have to borrow tools to complete wood projects, and the last thing I wrote was the first blog post for this blog four years ago.

Why do I not engage with the things I love? Because I want to be the best at everything I do. If I write a blog post on resolutions and don’t do any of the said resolutions or if I start reading a book (or 10 different books) and, maybe, complete 2 of them, I quit. And then soon I am defining myself not by the things that give me life, but by my self-perceived failures. So I just immerse myself in a hundred things that are of no consequence to get easy wins. What I did not realize is when I sell myself short by going after the easy wins all of the time and allowing myself to rest in mediocrity, I am also selling those around me short as well.

During a recent lunch with a friend I was challenged and encouraged to start doing the things I love and stop being paralyzed by fear. Not for selfish reasons, but for life-giving ones. Life-giving not only to me, but to those around me. My friend challenged me to invest in the things that God has given me healthy desires for and to cultivate them.

So today I write my second post on this blog that I started 4 years ago. This post will not win any awards for writing. This blog may never get read by more than family and close friends. And that is okay.

2014, A Year of Discipline

The word for me in 2014, will be – discipline. That word has been at the forefront of my mind as I have been reflecting on the past year and looking forward to 2014.

One of the definitions the Merriam-Webster dictionary has for discipline is: control gained by enforcing obedience or order; orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior; self-control.

When I think of someone being disciplined, I think of them being self-controlled. Being self-controlled has not been one of my greatest qualities. As I think ahead towards 2014, I want to work on being disciplined in various areas of my life. I list them here in a effort to hold myself accountable to this process.

In 2014, I resolve to be more disciplined in the following:

Prayer
Spending time praying to God must be of first priority for me. Right now, its not. I pray, but it is very sporadic and usually very focused on me and things I want with very little praise or petitioning for others. Without prayer the remaining areas of my life that I desire to be disciplined in will be fruitless and lack direction.

Bible Study
The study of God’s word really goes hand-in-hand with prayer. One of the ways God speaks to us is through his Word. Being faithful in my prayer and reading/studying of the Bible will allow me to grow closer to God and will mold my heart to embrace God’s will.

Finances
I have spent the majority of my adult life in debt. At the end of 2010, I was able to finally get out of debt and start saving money. In 2012, I had to exhaust my savings because of poor financial planning by me. I never want to be in a place where I don’t have money because of my lack of discipline with it.

Exercise
In 2011, I began living a healthier life. I started eating better and became disciplined in cardio exercises. The one area I want to really focus on this year is building muscle strength. This has been one of the hardest areas for me to stay consistent in.

Writing
For the past 15 years I have had a desire within me to write. I have started blog after blog with hopes of writing. However, I always seem to get paralyzed and never stick with it. This is the year I will make it a priority. I have a lot to share about a lot of different topics.

Reading
My desire to be more disciplined in reading is two-fold. First, reading allows me to grow in knowledge in just about anything I desire. Secondly, because I want to write more and write well when I do. When asked how a person could be a better writer, Williams Faulkner said, “Read, read, read.”

Over the next week, I will expound on each of these areas and give more insight into how I plan on gaining more discipline in these areas.