Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Ugly Wall

So, when you walk in through the gate to our apartment complex, this is what you see. An ugly, dilapidated, colorless, lifeless wall. Every time I come home, this is what I see. Not exactly "homey." But then, a few months ago, a little tiny plant started to grow. Now look at it. It's not big, it doesn't overtake the wall, and if you don't think about looking for/at it, you will still only see the wall. But look. It's beautiful. One day when I walked in, I finally noticed the flowering plant. A tiny little plant with tiny little flowers. Sometimes my sweet Corinth goes and picks one of those flowers for me because that's one way she shows me that she loves me. Now, I choose to walk in and watch my little plant grow. Every day it becomes more beautiful! Maybe it didn't really change, but in my eyes it gets more beautiful every time I see it. I think about how this relates to my life. I so easily see the negative in situations. The funny thing is that people support me in it! "Oh, Kathy! I can't imagine how you do what you do! I could NEVER do that!" That's pretty much a free ticket for whining! Sometimes I whine, and I simultaneously annoy myself. Yeah, I know that's weird. ANYWAY... I'm trying to look at my life as I look at this picture. I can very easily see the yuck in my life. But I really WANT to focus on the beauties. It sounds easy, but it's not. You can pray for me in this- pray that in all circumstances I give thanks (like 1 Thessalonians says), and that I would be able to be happy about all of the beauty in my life, because there is more than enough! Thank God that His blessings are new every morning!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Something Lighthearted!

So, Corinth has a book called You Choose. On each page is a theme, and within the theme a variety of things to choose from. One page has tons of foods, another has types of transportation, another has occupations, another has clothing items, etc. It's a really fun book to pick from and talk about! Anyway, the other day, she and I were looking through it and I decided to have her pick out which pictures looked like her family members. Here is what she chose! :-)

Corinth, of course!
 Mommy (Made me aware that I need to fix my hair more often...)
 Daddy. I 100% agreed.
Noah. It took forever to pick this one!
 Gran. So glamorous!
Grandpa. Hilarious! 
Mimi and Sir. So normal looking! 
 Auntie Kel. So perfect. Or should I say purrfect...
Aunt Kelli and Uncle Chad. I totally see it... 
Uncle Erik. YES. A thousand times, yes... 

Friday, August 29, 2014

5 + 5 = 10

I have about a million things I could write about, but I decided just to give you a list of 10 interesting things about our city!

1. It is known as the most holy city of Hinduism. Because of this, travelers from all over India and all over the world come here to "find themselves."
2. It is located right on the River Ganges (Ganga), which is known as the most holy river. Ironically, it is also known as the dirtiest river, possibly in the world. I have not touched a drop of it, and do not ever desire to!
3. Animals run free here, more than any other city or country I have ever seen. We have: monkeys, cows, donkeys, pigs, horses, water buffalo, mice, goats, chickens, peacocks, snakes, etc. And those are just the wild, free-roaming animals! We also on occasion (depending on the holiday) have elephants and camels.
4. The power is out for most of the day, almost every day. I'd say that, on average, we have power 5-8 hours in a 24 hour period. We are fortunate enough to have an inverter, which stores power while the electricity is on, so when it is off we can run a few fans and lights. However, many people in our city do not have inverters. Because of this, many people sleep outside at night during the hot and rainy seasons (April-September).
5. Public transportation is the norm for most people. In our city, you can ride a cycle rickshaw, a private auto rickshaw, or a shared auto rickshaw. We can get from one end of our city to the other end of our city (around an hour drive) for about a dollar.
6. Foreigners (western, white people) come to our city for a spiritual experience, but most end up spending much of their time in coffee/chai shops hanging out with other foreigners!
7. Because our city is thought to be so holy (though, I assure you, it is not), people here celebrate pretty much every holiday and festival possible. I used to ask people, "is this a major holiday?" but I've stopped doing that because the answer is always, "yes!"
8. Our city is also the desired destination of the dead. Yes, if you die, it is the greatest city from which to be thrown into the sacred river. Before we came here, we were told that our city is "the place that people go to die."
9. It is a city of 1.4 million people, but until recently many of the roads were unpaved, and to my knowledge there are not stop lights in the city. And that term "city" is being used quite loosely. You would definitely not think "city" if you were here!
10. It is said that it is the longest continuously inhabited city in the world. And I think some of the buildings are originals!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fighting for Joy

Recently, we have been going through a sermon series called Fighting for Joy by John Piper. He's great! Anyway, here is a list of 15 things we can do to help us fight to find joy in God. I sat down with Kyle and again with my accountability partner and went through each of these points, brainstorming about ways I can practically apply each of these points in my own life. It has really helped me lately, and I encourage you to apply these to your life- what does it look like for you to successfully act upon each of these points throughout your days and weeks?

1. Meditate on God's word day and night.
2. Focus on the centrality of God, especially Christ.
3. Don't spare the areas of the Bible with God's wrath.
4. Learn to preach to yourself the gospel of Christ's love.
5. Pray earnestly and continuously.
6. Wholeheartedly fight every known sin in your life.
7. Share the gospel.
8. Spend time with God-saturated people.
9. Read biographies of great Christian saints.
10. Read great books about God (theology).
11. Get the rest, exercise, and proper diet that God intended for you.
12. Make a proper use of revelation in nature.
13. Do the hard and loving thing for the sake of others.
14. Get a global vision for the cause of Christ.
15. Be patient in the night of God's seeming absence.

I really do encourage you to take half an hour to think about what you can do in each of these areas of your life to grow in your joy in your relationship with God.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

From the Mouths of Babes

I was thinking yesterday of all of the cute things that Corinth says. And then all of the things Corinth says that really sometimes get under my skin because she says them 83 times in a row. And then I realized that I cherish hearing those things, even the things that, at the time, are somewhat... annoying. (There, I said it!) I know one day, I will WANT to hear them again and I won't get to. So, for now, I'm letting you in on some of the words I hear ALL the time that I love and cherish. They're not really out of the ordinary for toddlers, I just think they're sweet. These are from Corinth, my sweet, sassy, 2 year old!

"Good mowning!" I hear this every day, and I just think it's so cute that she's so perky when she wakes up.

"I wake up!" She says this after naps. I love it because she's so innocently excited about what she gets to do next.

"Mys" I want mys water. That mys toy. Cut mys food please, Mommy. Whatever it is, it's mys. I know that's totally normal, but I still think it's cute!  

"Taward." (tired) I not taward! You taward, Mommy? (Yes, sweet girl, I am!)

"Moke." (milk) Mommy, I have some moke please? Mommy, is that moke coffee? One time, I asked her if she wanted some cold coffee, and she said no. The next day, I asked her if she wanted some of my drink, but didn't tell her it was cold coffee. She tried it, spit it out, and said very seriously, "Mommy, I only like moke and wawer. MOKE AND WAWER."

"Play with me!" I love the imaginations of small children! Even though she wears me out, I love that she wants to play with me all day. I hope she still does years from now!

"Mommy look! Mommy look!" (Always said twice.) I love that EVERYTHING is exciting to her, no matter how big or small, special or normal in our eyes. The world is more fun with her around to point great things out to me.

"Bacack." (backpack) I wear my bacack to school, Mommy? Mommy, you have bacack? Noah sitting in bacack? It's just so cute!

"It's okay, Kathy." It's no secret that I struggle with living here because so many things are so uncomfortable to me. Kyle often has to tell me that's it's okay. Well, Corinth also picked it up. Yesterday, something on our porch fell over and made a loud sound. Corinth and I both looked over, and then she turned back to me and said, "It's okay, Kathy." While I do not like when she calls me by my first name, it is sweet that she cares for my feelings and my fears. God allows my little girl to calm me down many times and in many ways.

"Cause dem ears so big!" We have LOTS of monkeys where we live. I don't mean in the country we live in, nor in the city we live in. I mean on our street, on our porch bars, where we LIVE. One time, a monkey came into my neighbor's apartment while we were having chai, and another time, a monkey almost got onto the elevator with me. Anyway, we have, from the beginning, told Corinth that monkeys are bad because they really are. They are very aggressive and very dangerous. We have had monkeys come at us several times and every time (especially with 2 small children) it is terrifying. For that reason, we have told her that monkeys are bad and to stay away from them. But, when we sit on our porch (bars around it so monkeys can't get inside our house), we watch the monkeys and the babies are just so cute! They have tiny little bodies with really big ears. So, Corinth and I decided that we like monkeys, but only the little ones. One day, she said, "Mommy, I like the baby monkeys!" I asked why, to which she responded, "cause dem ears so big!" Now, we often talk about how babies monkeys are cute because dem ears so big.

"I love you." She says it a lot, and it never, ever gets old. A lot of times I don't feel like a "mom." (Insert vision of high-wasted, bleached jeans and a perm, kinda like my generation's moms during our childhood years. :-) ) But, when she says so sweetly, "I love you," it melts my heart like nothing else can. If you are a mom, you totally get the depth of this statement. If you aren't, I hope you get to experience this one day. It is awesome!

Cherish your kids. Cherish the kids who's lives you impact. Love them all!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


When I was growing up, my favorite season was summer, because that meant my birthday and many, many days watching The Price is Right and going to the pool. As I got older, my favorite season was spring, because everything blooms and is so beautiful. Also, there are lots of thunderstorms in spring, which I have always loved. I also enjoy winter, especially if I'm somewhere where it snows. There is just something so magical about snow! But, until just a few years ago, I NEVER understood when someone said that their favorite season was fall. Yuck! (Other than it being football season, which I absolutely love!) To me, all that meant was, "my favorite season is when everything dies!" But then, I saw what I had only heard of previously- the leaves turning! It was beautiful. Now, I recognize that there is a calmness about fall- where everything cools, relaxes, and cozies in.

Just like the seasons of the earth, seasons of our life all have goods and bads within them. My friend used this analogy in a meeting I recently attended, and it really hit home hard. Our family (and especially me) is very much in a season right now that seems to me much like what I previously thought was fall. I can not see much good in all of the things we are going through right now. But, I know that it is not forever, it is only a season. And, I know that within this season, there is still some good. I may not understand or see it yet, much like I didn't understand how beautiful changing leaves were until I saw them for myself, but I know that God is working good for us, even now.

Please be in prayer for our family and for me. Please pray for healing from deep, painful experiences, for protection for all the members of our family, and for peace and joy in all circumstances.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Guest Appearance from My Mother-in-Love!

(Kyle's mom came to visit us for 3 weeks in June. We asked her to write about her experiences here, and here is what she gleaned from her time in South Asia! Enjoy!)

As I reflect back on my three week trip to visit Kyle and Kathy, the one word that keeps popping up in my head is ‘faith’. To say I was in culture shock the first week would be putting it lightly. The mass chaos of rickshaws, bikes, autocabs, and cars weaving in and out on the streets (not to mention the water buffalo, cows, goats, and donkeys mixed in), the 115 degree weather that drenches you with sweat before you’ve gone 20 yards, the extreme poverty and living conditions of most of the population, and of course the culture and beliefs of the people themselves was extremely hard to comprehend. It is very different from my life here, and I do know how blessed I am (spoiled even), so faith becomes very important. I can honestly say that I saw that in action every day with Kyle and Kathy. You have to have faith to walk out the door every morning to deal with the day, and most importantly, you have to have faith in God that you will be making a difference, no matter how small, on the mass humanity that is lost and faithless in that city. It was overwhelming and sad for me to see all the people that don’t have that hope in their lives, and that is why I was so encouraged to see it being played out in Kyle and Kathy. I was amazed at the strength and courage God has given those two to continue His work. I know they will have days when they will think “why am I doing this?” or “is this really God’s plan for me?”, but I am relieved to say that I know God will encourage them and help them work through those days because of their faith.
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”  Philemon 1:4-6 ESV

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Happy Day!

I thought that since my posts lately have been a little... glum... I would tell you about a good day!

Well, the day was automatically going to be good because my mother-in-love is in town! She is staying for 3 weeks, and I LOVE IT! I know a lot of you ladies don't understand this, but I won the mother-in-law jackpot! If I could live with her forever I would! (She might not like that, but I would!)

The weather has been outrageously hot lately... It's normally in the 110's during this time of year, but Saturday we broke a record and hit 118 degrees. Wednesday of this week, it was 115 with a heat index of 126. THAT'S HOT! But Thursday, it was only 104! (No sarcasm, it really felt like ONLY 104!) Kyle was at a training, so Laura and I and the babies had a good day just the 4 of us! We skyped with my sister, painted with watercolors, read books, went to the mall to get a Father's Day present for Daddy, got McDonald's ice cream cones at the mall, went to a bakery to get some breadsticks, made a yummy dinner from scratch, and played outside! It wasn't anything spectacular as far as what we did, but it was a happy day! When we were walking outside, we kept saying to each other "today feels so nice out!"

I'm thankful to God for days like that. It was a nice pick-me-up encourager! He is good!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where do we really live?

I just have an intense urge to write a blog entry tonight...

Tomorrow, our family will travel for the millionth time. Let me take you on a tour of our "family travel history."

February 2011- married, living in Fort Worth
November 2012- moved out of apartment and into parents' houses for holidays, living in Kansas and Carrollton
January 2013- moved to Richmond, VA for 2ish months
April 2013- moved to South Asia
May 2013- moved back to Kansas and Carrollton because of medical reasons
October 2013- moved back to South Asia, in a city we will call "home city"
February 2014- moved to D-ville for 1 month (after flying to a neighboring country for 3 days for a visa run) for language school
March 2014- moved to D-city for 3 months for baby's birth
May 29, 2014- moving back to "home city"

Our family is exhausted. My daughter, 2+ years, has never lived in one place for more than 6 months. My son who is 26 days old will go on his first plane tomorrow, and his 2nd and 3rd flights will be in another month. The plane ride tomorrow will be Corinth's 17th flight. Every time we pack our suitcases, my daughter is so upset. Tonight when I put her to bed, she said, "Don't go bye-bye Mommy." I told her she needed to go to sleep and that we were all going bye-bye tomorrow. Her response was, "Don't leave me, Mommy. I go with you." Break my heart, child. It's hard enough on adults to travel and live out of a suitcase as much as we do, but when I know that it's hard on my kids, I feel so helpless. I feel like I'm dragging my kids through mud, and they are being drug with NO CHOICE. I feel like a bad mommy. I know that doesn't make me a bad mommy, but I sure do feel like one sometimes because of the life we've chosen for our family. I know we are trusting in God, following Him, and abiding in Him, but it's still hard. Please pray for our family as we travel tomorrow and as we transition back to what I have been telling Corinth is our "other home." Thank you!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Noah's Birth Story

I have been encouraged by a friend to write Noah’s birth story. I think this is a great idea! If you are not interested in ALL the details, don’t read it!

Thursday, May 1, at about 1:30pm, I told Kyle that I hadn’t felt the baby move but once that day, and I decided to call the doctor. The doctor said that it was definitely concerning and that I should come in right away, so we got Corinth and went to the hospital. (I tidied the house first, because when Corinth was born, my house was not perfect, and it bothered me that someone else had to tidy up for us!) We went to the doctor, and as soon as she did the ultrasound, the baby started moving around like crazy! And then, the doctor looked at me like I was crazy! “Did you feel that? Did you feel that?!?” (in a kind of sarcastic tone…) So, she said everything was fine, but she checked my cervix while I was there to see if I had made any progression from the last appointment. After she finished checking, she said, “your uterus was twisted, so I just twisted it back for you. And I think you will be back tonight or tomorrow for delivery.” So, we went home, and then contractions started. Whatever “twisting my uterus” means did something!! My contractions were 30 seconds long, about 5 minutes apart, and lasted through the night. They weren’t too bad, so we didn’t go to the hospital. In the morning, I decided not to have language class, and called the friends who were giving us a ride to the hospital and the friend who was going to watch Corinth to let them know that I’d like to go to the hospital about 9am. They were all ready! I also called my doctor and told her we would be there about 9, and she arranged everything to be ready for when we arrived! We got picked up about 9am, got to the hospital about 9:30am, and the hospital staff was ready for us when we walked in! One great thing about doctors in India is that most of them give out their personal cell numbers and you can call them ANYTIME, no matter what. It is awesome!

So, anyway, I labored with 30 second, 5-minutes-apart contractions until about 1pm. They were a little painful, but not terrible at all. Basically, for those 30 seconds, I just closed my eyes and didn’t move, and I was fine.  I had not changed in my dilation (a 3 when I checked into the hospital) at all, and the doctors said I should consider doing something to help my labor along. (The contractions weren’t strong enough or long enough at that point to move the baby, so it was basically just exhausting me and the baby without any benefit to the labor.) They gave me 3 options- Potossin (IV), a pill form of Potossin, which is a new product, or breaking my water. At 1pm, I told them I really wanted to do everything naturally and that I’d like to wait and see if I made any progress on my own. They came back at 2pm and I said the same thing. I called the medical supervisor with our company, asked her about the different options they had given me, and asked her what she thought was the best. She told me the benefits and risks of each, and after talking with her, I felt more comfortable about them helping my labor along. I still wanted to be as natural as possible, though, so at 3pm when they came back I let them know that I understood that my labor wasn’t helping push the baby down and out, and that they could break my water to hopefully get things progressing a bit more. So, they broke my water, and BOOM… big difference. It was like immediate, in your face, painful labor.

And there I was. I was so incredibly uncomfortable. I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable, so I was squirming around on the bed, sitting up, laying down, on my side, and everywhere in between. The contractions were back to back, longer, and so much stronger than before. The pain was so much worse than I imagined it could ever possibly be. (If you’ve never had kids and want to one day, please know that you are probably stronger than me. Don’t worry, you can do it!) I had an epidural with Corinth, and had the most awesome labor experience ever, so I had no idea that natural labor would hurt as much as it did. (Tangent, follow me here…) I read a book on natural labor, but good night, it was so much more intense than they described. The book had pictures of women laboring, hugging their husbands and smiling. Put that image in your head. Now, put a big red circle over it and a line through it. It was NOTHING like that! Now, put another image in your head… the lady in the movies who is screaming at the top of her lungs and clinging to her husband’s shirt as if it were her last grip on life. That was me!

After about ½ an hour of the much more intense labor, the doctors checked me again, and I was dilated to a 5. Are you kidding me?! I’m only halfway there?! How can I do this for 5 more centimeters!? At that point, I needed to use the restroom, so Kyle and a nurse walked me to the restroom (inside my labor room.) The contractions were so intense and so often that I couldn’t use the restroom, and I told Kyle I wanted an epidural. This was such a let-down to me. For some reason, I really wanted to labor naturally this time. Not because I think a mom is any better or more fantastic for having natural labor, but just because I wanted to experience it that way. But there was NO way I could handle more time laboring as intensely as I was. Kyle said, “Are you sure?” and I’m sure I looked at him like I was going to attack him. J So he and the nurse walked me back to the bed and he told the doctor I wanted an epidural NOW. They brought the paperwork in for me to sign, but my contractions were so intense and without any breaks that I couldn’t even sign the page. I scribbled with my right hand (I’m left handed, but scribbles look the same from either hand) and they wheeled me to the “operation theatre.” Here’s another image for you- remember that crazy lady screaming at the top of her lungs? Now, she’s being wheeled through a waiting room with other people in it, probably waiting for their own little grandchildren, nieces, and nephews to be born. You should have seen their faces as I was wheeled by! But I couldn’t help it- I had to scream! I got to the operation theatre, where the anesthesiologist was prepping me on what she was going to do. I didn’t care, and wasn’t really listening to anything she was saying. In my head, I thought, ‘they can do a c-section- cut me open right here and take this baby out now, and that would be better than this terrible pain.’ Anyway, while she was talking I felt an intense urge to push. (Because I had an epidural with Corinth, I had never felt this before, but it concerned me…) I told the doctor that was with me, and she checked me right away. She said, “she’s ready! Fully dilated! Roll her back now, she’s pushing the baby out!” I was somehow really excited that she said that! (Scared, too, but so relieved that it was almost over.) So, they wheeled the screaming lady back through the waiting room to the delivery room, where I was met my 4 doctors and 5 nurses. Yes, it was like a really terrible reality show that they were all watching. At that point, I didn’t care. I had my husband on my right, and my angel nurse on my left, and I was pushing.  (This AMAZING nurse, who spoke very little English, told me after delivery that she prayed for me the whole time. I couldn’t have done it all without her!) I pushed 4 or 5 times (probably like 3 minutes worth of pushing) and Noah was born! The doctor held him upside down by one leg and passed him off to the nurses to do his vitals. She said that the cord was wrapped twice around his neck, but everything was fine. And after that, everything was better. It was amazing! I had a healthy baby boy, Noah Coleman Ferguson, and everything was wonderful! God is good!

You know that verse in Genesis where Adam and Eve sinned and God said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.” That is totally real! But, it’s totally worth it, and I would do it again for my sweet baby Noah!

Noah’s first name means “rest.” We chose this name because we both feel like we are in a place in our lives where God is teaching us to rest in Him. We have so many challenging things in our life (mostly because we just moved to a very rough country to live 6 months ago), and we are continually challenged to trust in, rest in, and rely on God alone. Noah’s middle name, Coleman, is also my maiden name. I really wanted to honor my dad in this way, especially since he’s got two girls whose names did/will change. This way, the Coleman name is still passed down! And of course, the poor boy is a Ferguson as well! J

Noah Coleman Ferguson was born at 4:44pm on Friday, May 2, 2014. He weighed 3.67 kgs (8.1 lbs) and was 51 cm (20.1 in) long. And for all my nursing friends, his APGAR score was an 8 and then a 9!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for Noah and for me during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. You are a blessing to us, and I am so thankful to God for you and your prayers, encouragement, and support. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Personal Retreat

My husband recently booked a night for me at a guest house nearby for me to have a personal spiritual retreat before the baby comes. I learned a lot, and I wanted to share some of it with you. He wrote out most of the dimensions of my life, and I researched each of those roles and what the Bible says about each of them. (Though it may seem time-consuming, I would strongly encourage you to look up the verses below any category in which you feel you could improve.) Then, for each dimension, I VERY briefly summarized what it practically looks like to live that out in my life. Here's what I got:

Being a woman:
-I just took Proverbs 31 verse by verse, and asked how what she did has to do with me today. If you have never done this, I would strongly urge you to do so!
-Work diligently for my own spiritual life, for my family, and for others; use my talents for God's glory; take care o myself so that I can take care of others.

Being a mother:
- Deuteronomy 6:5-9
-Psalm 127:3
-Proverbs 22:6
-Colossians 3:21
-Lead my children in the ways of the Lord; discipline well; teach well; prepare well.

Being a wife:
-Colossians 3:18-19
-Ephesians 5:22-24
-Ephesians 5:33
-Genesis 2:24
-Mark 10:9
-Proverbs 19:14
-Proverbs 18:22
-Proverbs 12:4
-Love and serve my husband; look out for his best interests; respect and honor him; work with him as his partner.

Being a believer:
-Romans 12:1
-Romans 12:2
-Colossians 3:5
-Philippians 4:8
-Matthew 6:31-34
-Ephesians 6:10, 13
-Live as a sacrifice to God; always focus on the things worthy of praise; trust God with everything.

Being a teammate/colleague:
-Ephesians 4:32
-Ephesians 4:1-3
-Galatians 6:1-5
-1 John 1:7
-Have patience; show grace; work together, yet be okay with having separate roles and tasks.

Being an employee:
-Luke 16:10
-Ephesians 6:5
-Matthew 25:23
-Colossians 3:22-24
-Be faithful with what is entrusted to me; serve as though serving God.

Being an active church member:
-Hebrews 13:18
-1 Corinthians 3:9
-1 Corinthians 12:4-6
-Acts 2:45-46
-Philippians 1:3-7
-Pray for our churches; love them; partner with them for all of the tasks before each of us.

To unbelievers:
-Ephesians 4:25
-Romans 15:1-2
-Romans 1:16
-1 Corinthians 1:17
-Matthew 28:18-20
-Matthew 5:16
-Show hospitality; speak truth; be bold in sharing; let the light of Christ shine through me to others.

Being a daughter:
-Colossians 3:20
-Deuteronomy 5:16
-Proverbs 10:1
-Honor and respect my parents.

Being a sister/friend:
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8
-Proverbs 17:17
-Love always; be there for those whom God has specially placed in my life.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baby Ferg 36 Weeks Update!

I went to my OBGYN today for a checkup and for booking the hospital room for delivery! Here's how things roll in South Asia!

Kyle went out with a few friends this morning so I had Corinth with me for the first part of the appointment. First, I paid for my prenatal appointment with my doctor. Then, I went to the nurses station to have my blood pressure and weight measured. Corinth was very interested in the BP machine (arm band)! Then, I went in to see the doctor. She asked me how everything was, looked over her report from my last visit (which I had, because here you carry ALL of your own paperwork, documents, x-rays, etc), and then gooped me up to hear the baby's heart beat. Corinth really liked the sound the baby's heartbeat made! The doctor even held the little hand-held machine so that Corinth could see it, which I thought was very sweet of her. Then, the doctor "consulted" with me (2 minutes) and Corinth screamed in my ear because I wasn't listening to every single word she was saying. Ah, toddlerhood... how lovely thou art!
Anyway, after that, as I called Kyle to see how everything was, he walked in! Then, we all went back to the payment counter to pay for blood work and an ultrasound (2 different bills because the services are done in 2 different rooms). I had to let Kyle pay for 1 while I went to the ultrasound office to have them sign for the other one, then went back and paid for it also. Then, we went to the ultrasound room and got see Baby Ferg! We all watched while the tech measured the baby's brain, head, heart, spine, legs, stomach, and a few other things. Corinth said, "this baby movie!" very excitedly, which I thought was pretty cute! During the ultrasound, there was no air conditioning or fan on, and it is very, very hot here! Because of that, I felt really nauseous and faint, so I told the tech and she said I could go to the restroom. I put some wet paper towels on my neck, and felt better, but after I went back in the room I felt terrible again. She stopped the ultrasound and let me sit up for a few minutes while they figured out how to turn the fan on. After that, I felt much better, but it was kind of scary (and embarrassing) to almost faint while I'm lying on a bed at the doctor's office! Because it was so hot in the room, Corinth and Kyle waited in the waiting room the rest of the ultrasound. The tech was trying really hard to get a good profile picture of the baby for me, but it had it's hand up to it's forehead the whole time so you couldn't see the profile very well. This exact thing happened last time they did an ultrasound, and that tech said it was because the baby is doing 'namaste' (the greeting here, in which you put your hands together and bring them to your head, face, or chest). My baby is already practicing the cultural norms here! :-)
After the ultrasound was over, I told Kyle that she and Corinth could go home because I was still going to be a while and Corinth had nothing to do at the hospital. Then, I went and got blood and urine work done. I could tell that the guy really loved his job... not! After that, I went back to the payment desk and filled out a form to do all of the hospital booking for delivery. Then, a girl took me on a tour of the hospital (which was so nice to finally see!) and then took me down to do billing. Billing was much easier than I expected, and the gentleman who did all of it was super helpful and kind. Yay! After that, I went back upstairs to, you guessed it, the payment desk where I paid the deductible for delivery, and I was out the door!
All of that makes me thankful that everything was so easy with Corinth in America, where there is 1 desk to answer all of your questions, 1 doctor who does everything for you (or at least arranges for the things she doesn't do) and 1 waiting room that is quiet, clean, and not overwhelming!

So, as far as the actual pregnancy goes, everything looks good! The doctor said I am not dilated at all (bummer) so I should not be having a baby this week. (After a healthy, premature baby last time, part of me was disappointed to hear I won't be delivering soon!) Also, the baby weighs about 6.1 pounds now, which is great! The doctor was disappointed in me, however, because I have only gained a 1/2 kg (1.1 lbs) in the last month. I responded, "I eat a lot!" Everything else is good, and I'll have weekly appointments from here on out!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pregnancy in South Asia

Be forewarned, this is not a heartwarming, happy post. This is a post of frustration.

In South Asia (at least in our country), pregnancy is not something you show off. It is not something you show that you are excited about to strangers, and usually, strangers are not excited for you. I was told by friends who used to live in our city that because our city is so traditional, she really didn't go out as much after she started showing in her pregnancy because people scolded her and told her it wasn't appropriate for her to be out. (By the way, women usually start showing around 5 months, so that means for 5 months she didn't go out very much.) For this reason, I'm glad we aren't in our city right now. The city we went to for language was much more modern, but I still had women (Christian women!) tell me that I should cover up and drape a dupatta (like a long scarf) over my belly "if I need to go out" to "hide the fact that I'm pregnant." That really irritated me. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and there is nothing wrong with the fact that I'm pregnant. I thought, "surely in the capital it will be different." Nope. Every time I go out, men stare at me/ look me up and down over and over, and I have, on multiple occasions, see women whispering with their other female friends about me.

By the end of this week, it's supposed to hit 100 degrees here. That makes going out difficult in itself. We walk to get all of our food and necessities. We also have to walk to get an auto or take the metro to go to other parts of the city for pretty much anything we do. 100 degrees + 9 months pregnant + walking = difficult. Add to that the fact that every time I go out is an emotional ride because of the judgment of everyone around me, and that's a recipe for disaster. Okay, not disaster, but depression, anxiety, and frustration.

My first pregnancy, everyone I knew and met was so excited for me. I heard, "you're such a cute pregnant lady" A LOT, I was thrown something like 6 showers, which I totally loved and appreciated, and I felt so beautiful in maternity clothes- like more beautiful than I felt when I wasn't pregnant. Here, I have no compliments (except when I rarely run into an American friend here!), I have no showers, and the clothes I wear are basically like moo-moos. I'm pretty sure no one has ever felt pretty in a moo-moo!

I do not write any of this for pity. Pity doesn't really help anything anyway. I just wanted my friends and family to know this because I need your prayers, and I need your encouragement. I also need you all to know that we have struggles here. I don't want to post about all of them all the time or you would probably just pool your money together to buy us one-way tickets back home. But struggles are real and deep here, so I needed to share this one with you. Thanks for reading, and thanks even more for praying. Love you all!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kathmandu and Language School

Sorry it's been a few weeks! I'll try to give a short update on our life the last 3 weeks!

All foreigners in our country have to leave the country every 6 months to renew our visas. The easiest place to go is Kathmandu, so for our first trip out, that's where we went. (We haven't been here 6 months yet, but 6 months would be right around when the baby is due and the airlines don't allow you to fly after 36 weeks.) We had a great 3 days there! Our highlights were the zoo, which all 3 of us loved, and eating good food, including legit MEXICAN FOOD. I was absolutely happy!

Then, we came back to our country, but to a different city, to do 4 weeks of intensive Hindi grammar school. The city is the polar opposite of our city- clean, quiet, green, safe, and has tons of good food and good things to buy at the stores. It definitely feels like vacation! We go on walks at least once a day, sometimes 2 or 3 times, which we all love. I can let Corinth play outside without fear of monkeys or cars or strangers trying to take her. It's wonderful! The Hindi classes are very in depth, so it is a ton of information to take in in such a short amount of time. So far, our heads haven't exploded!

We have been here for 2 weeks, and will be here for 2 more before we go to the capital for more language learning as we await the arrival of the baby. I went to the doctor last weekend, and everything looks great with the baby. I'm having ongoing pain in my upper right rib area, which the doctors attribute to excess gastric acid. They gave me some medicine to take when I want to, and told me things I can and can't do for eating. Kyle's making sure I don't eat anything I actually want to eat. (Not really, but he is doing a good job monitoring everything!) This city has great ice-cream, which helps with acid, so I've definitely has a few helpings of that! :-)

I was going to upload some pictures from our trip, but the internet won't allow me to right now, so check my Facebook for photos! Talk to you soon!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Our Home

I am FINALLY putting photos up of our flat (apartment) for anyone who is curious about how we live, as I am about pretty much everyone else! Please note that in the country we live in, we live VERY NICELY. Most of the country is shockingly different from this. We know we are very blessed! 

Our bedroom, aka "Mommy's room":

Our bathroom. The big white cylinder is the water heater.

Corinth's (and eventually also 2nd baby's) room- my favorite room!

The main bathroom. The blue bucket is Corinth's bathtub.

The laundry balcony. There are 2 doors to it, one from our room and one from Corinth's room. You can see our washing machine and air conditioner.

The second balcony, with a door coming from the dining room. The box on the ground is an inverter, which gives us limited power when the general power goes out (which is every day, but during hot season can sometimes before 12-18 hours a day!) Monkeys LOVE to hang out here!

The "office," aka "Daddy's room":

The kitchen! Behind the fridge on the back wall is the sink, and you can see the gas stovetop and microwave/small convection oven on the left. 

The living room:

The dining room:

 This is shot from our bedroom door, looking out onto the living, dining, kitchen area. The far open door is the office, the far closed door is our front door, to the left of where I'm standing is Corinth's room, and to the right of me is the bathroom.

It's a work in progress, but it definitely feels like home now!

Baby Update!

This will be a very short baby update! Tuesday, my friend (a photographer), my language helper (who is great at henna), and I went to take some pregnancy pictures. I did not get to take pregnancy photos the first time I was pregnant, because they were scheduled for after Corinth was actually born! Therefore, it was very important to me to have some taken this time. Part of these photos were family, but part were just me, in traditional local clothes, and with henna on my belly! It was totally weird to all locals who saw it, but I didn't care- it was super fun! Hopefully I'll get the pictures back soon so I can share some while I'm still about the same size!

Kyle and I went to the doctor this week, and everything looks great with Baby Ferg! He/she has moved up some, so is not in as much danger for early delivery as he/she was before! We are still going to the capital city early, just in case, but that was great news! Also, when the nurse went to do the ultrasound (which is done at every appointment here), she lifted up my shirt, saw my henna, and gasped! I looked down, forgetting that I had henna on my belly, and we both laughed at the same time! She told the doctor, who also thought that it was very funny, and said, "in all my years as a doctor, you are the first patient with henna on her stomach!" I take that as an honor! :-)

 We are thankful for a great pregnancy so far! 28 weeks and counting!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This IS Life...

If you know me well enough, you know that I don't really care about many things politically. One political/social issue I DO, however, very much care about it fetal life. This post comes with a story.

Today, my language helper and I were, well, learning Hindi. She got a phone call, and after she finished the call she explained to me what was going on. She said that her cousin had missed her period for 3 months in a row. She had taken several pregnancy tests, all showing negative. She went to the doctor in her village and the doctor said it was probably just gas. (...I don't understand that part, either...) She wanted a second opinion, so she came to our city to go to a doctor here. He gave her a pregnancy test, and she is, in fact, 3 months pregnant. However, the doctor told her that because she has high blood pressure and 1 vein in particular with a high BP, the pregnancy might be risky. ...might be... The doctor advised "termination." That's what it's called here. Termination. Since she already has a son and a daughter, she decided "termination" would be best, and so today she had surgery to "terminate."



Even my language helper, this woman's cousin, believes that it is murder, but that it is best for everyone because of the high blood pressure.

I wanted to say, "Call her and tell her to stop! Call her and tell her to have the baby and we will adopt him or her!" But I couldn't. It's not really that she doesn't want the baby. She doesn't seem to care either way. She just has high blood pressure. I can't do anything about that... I told my language helper I would pray for her cousin, and she said thank you. What else can I do? I prayed, and will continue to pray, that this woman mourns the loss of her baby, a human being. I pray that she fully understands what she has done. I pray that she seeks God's forgiveness over this heinous sin. I pray she comes to know the true God, and that she is forgiven.

I pray for women all over the world, especially here in my new country, and there in my old country, two countries where abortion is SO widespread. I pray that women (and men) would know that life starts at conception. That there are heartbeats, fingers, blinking, thumb-sucking, and breath even in the womb. This is not a "thing" to terminate. This IS life.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Owl

You and I know the owl as a wise, knowledgeable creature that other creatures go to when seeking advise or knowledge on a subject. When someone compares you to an owl, it is usually a compliment.

Here, however, owls are thought to be the dumbest and least intelligent of all animals, because owls do not know to sleep at night and be awake during the day like all other animals. If someone compares you to an owl here, it is a huge insult. When buying fruit in the market, if the fruit vendor tells you an outrageous price, the response is a saying that basically means, "do you think I look as stupid as an owl?!?"

My mom sent Corinth and I some craft supplies when we first arrived in South Asia. In the package was a felt owl for Corinth and I to decorate. After we decorated it, we hung it up in our living room, where everyone could see it. Several local people who saw it said, "You know that the owl is a very stupid animal, yes?" We politely replied that yes, we knew, but that in our country the owl is thought to be very wise.

I say all of this because this is one thing that Kyle and I think about often. We are just like the owl. In America, we know how to do things well, efficiently, effectively, and with purpose. Here, however, we so often feel stupid because what we think is right is so far from being right, and we often do things that others think of as unintelligent. It's a reminder that, while we or our abilities have not changed, the way people perceive us, and the way we function in society, has changed. And that's okay.

I left the owl up for a long time, because it was okay with me if people thought the owl on my wall was stupid/unintelligent. I knew better. That is a smart, capable owl who is just in a new place! :-)