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Not that long ago, our dear Bella was a mere thought in the distance. We didn’t see her coming up behind us two years ago and she has long since then passed us with a “I’m taking on the world!” perspective, casually looking back at us to make sure we are watching and occasionally ready for an encouraging hug. But before she became a truth in our lives, she first scared the heck out of this momma. I did not believe I was ready for a baby and was terrified that we would fail. Kyle and I however had a few things going for us: strong marriage willing to take on anything, faith in God, supportive family, loving friends, educations and good enough jobs. What I am wondering more and more about lately is what if we didn’t have those things? What would I do? What would we do? Would Bella be here? I think most importantly, what would other Christians have done?

I encountered a girl, probably high school age, in that predicament the other month (yea, took me that long to get to this, sorry) at Target in the family planning area. We were alone in the isle and you could tell that as soon as I entered the isle and did not quickly leave she was incredibly uncomfortable. She made sly glances to the pregnancy tests and looked at me one time before just grabbing the most expensive test off the shelf and walking away. Something in me made me blurt out “Excuse me.” And not just once but twice until she slowly turned around and said, with her head down but looking me in the eye, “Yeah?” In my mind I was thinking “What the heck are you doing Colette? Don’t make this any harder for her just shut up and move on!” But something else made me say “You really don’t have to buy that brand, the Target brand works just fine.” Thank God her response wasn’t “Ok crazy lady.” Instead she let go of the tension in her shoulders and slowly held her head up a little higher and said “Oh, do they really work?” “Yeah, it predicted her” I said pointing to Bella in the cart. I smiled at her and said “Just thought you might like to save a little bit of money is all. Good luck.” She thanked me, got the Target brand test and left.

Of course, my now college educated psychological mind was thinking, “Go after her! She needs your help and your phone number in case she needs someone to talk to!” and my creepiness radar was saying “No weirdo! She’ll be fine!” So, I let it go, not wanting to intrude but I really could not stop thinking about the situation. I gave a teenage girl pregnancy test advice which seems silly but what do others do? Give her the stink eye and judge her to death? Granted, she should not be having sex, but the fact is, she did and now might be carrying a life that GOD made. As the mother of that potential breath on Earth, should we Christians really be giving her the stink eye?

This is what has me upset. As a girl who gets pregnant you have the world judging you, but even more than the world, you have the church judging you. It seems to me that our judgement is not helping prevent abortions but is probably pushing more girls into getting them. I understand we do not support premarital sex, but kids are doing it! Are we really going to limit our minds and hearts in teaching about God to what they shouldn’t be doing or should we also show love and redemption in sin?

I am not suggesting is that we ignore the fact that premarital sex is wrong. If you aren’t able to take on a baby, don’t have sex. But what sort of love are we showing to people who fall if we just push them aside and shame them?

More importantly, we say that we value the human life and that the human life begins at conception therefore abortion is wrong. Yet, what do we do to girls who get pregnant?

Is shaming them instead of supporting them really showing an accurate reflection of what we believe the value of a human life to be, both of the mother and her unborn child?

Something to think about. Show our love and we show our God. Show our hate and we show nothing. I prefer to show God. I know that giving a girl pregnancy test advice is not a big deal. But maybe showing her acceptance and a caring heart in a time that shame was written all over her face is enough to make her feel loved in that shame and think twice about her solution to a positive result, if that is what happens. And you know what else? If it happens again I will give her my number. Not because I’m “educated” in talking to others, but just because I am a Christ follower who hopes to help shine His light in a dark world and maybe that light shone in her dark moment will result in something glorifying to God. I did not have shame when I took a test and found out I had Bella. I had no shame and I don’t feel I experienced it from others because I have a ring on my finger. So I was afraid but I loved her immediately. Can we help take away the shame of pregnancy, of carrying a child of God, so that mothers, no matter what their sin, can be free to immediately love their child and have the support of the church? Maybe then people will take our cry to end abortion seriously when we accurately reflect our value of human life.

Parenting was always something that worried me.  Having sort of rough examples growing up, I was not sure what parenting was supposed to look like. When I became a Christian I thought I had a better idea and through my many adventures as a nanny I thought I had an even better idea.  When our friends started having kids and I worked at a shelter for pregnant mothers I felt that I would have a good handle on what parenting is and how to parent well when we had our own. When I got pregnant that world was turned upside down with parenting theories, should’s and shouldn’ts being thrown at us and constantly conflicting advice. Now that Bella has been here for a while (9months! can you believe it?) I don’t really know that my mind is settled with how to parent correctly.  Of course, we have our ideas of what parenting should look like (we don’t care if she plays with our shoes, but I probably wouldn’t get a used helmet) but sometimes I am shocked by what shocks other people (playing with our shoes, I mean, she crawling on the floor anyway) and then shocked at what shocks me that other people do (never saying no or overly reasoning with a 5 year old). Through my extensive training (that sounds pretty good doesn’t it?) in parenting through school and various jobs, I feel confident that I can help a family in need of better parenting skills, but I still wonder if there really is one correct way to do things or at least one style that is better than the others (although we are all individual couples which would suggest we all have different styles…).

What are your thoughts?

so, you all know you did or will do it.  once you get your baby, you are simply taken by their beauty and the fact that you made this thing, this wonderful new life.  when you can think to not just sit there and stare in their eyes, you check to make sure they have all their fingers and toes.  i did this eventually and this is what i saw…

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i had a slight panic attack.  what would she do without her pinky toe? if she needs it for balance then will she ever be able to walk or was that a myth?  and why in the world did no one tell me.  of course when i inquired this of kyle he showed me her missing toes…

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her pinky toe was just hiding… much like kyle’s toes do…

thank you for the heart attack bella, you are awesome…

so, kyle and i decided that our little boo deserved her own blog.  yeah, we know, she is only two weeks old, but let’s face it, she is awesome and we don’t want to be the ones to stifle her awesomeness.  so, there is a link to her blog off my and kyle’s blog.  we actually semi stole the idea from our friend bri who is a photographer and decided to do a photo project of one picture every day for a whole year.  that is what bella’s blog will be.  one photo for everyday of the first year of her life.  we hope that you guys enjoy it and have fun watching our little girl grow just as much as we do!

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so, this past week has been very fun, very tiring, and we are loving every second of it.  it has been great just staring at her, loving her, laughing at her cute facial expressions, and falling asleep with her in our arms.  girls are precious.

there is something about girls that is just different than boys.  a boy would have been just fine with us, but having a little princess, a beautiful little girl who we just love and she is such an angel.  and we don’t have to worry about her peeing on us…

although, last night, i discovered that we have to worry about something else…  i was changing bella’s diaper and i heard a little toot.  i chuckled a little, it was sort of cute, until that little toot turned into a squirt.  and yes, i mean a squirt of poop.  all over the changing pad, all over my lap, all over the bed…

and i swear i saw her smirk afterwards…

ah the joys of parenthood 🙂

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img_2941Bella Ruth Booterbaugh

November 4th, 2008 11:55pm

7lbs 9.2oz 19 3/4in

first, i would like to say happy birthday to one joel agee, who i noticed had a birthday, according to our calendar, yesterday.  we were hoping that our girl would get to share that day with you, it would immediately make her awesome and cool, but no such luck!  hope it was just the best!

in other news, i had another appointment today at the doctor.  i am 3cm dialated, so really could be any day now for real… thank goodness!  we also got a brochure on birth control… we will not be using the pill (again).  one thing that made us laugh was it gives the percentage chance you have of getting pregnant with each option.  for abstinence: 0-20%   hmmm…..

that’s right people… the past four years, kyle and i have gone on halloween to see a “saw” movie.  it started as a thing that we did with a big group from school that we dressed up as a prince and princess for and, while everyone else has dropped off the radar for that night, we continue to go.  this year, we found out last week that they were, in fact, releasing another “saw” movie, number five, and we had to go.  so, last night, after we both got off work and rested a little bit, we went to the movies and saw “saw V” and we were not disappointed!  these movies are so fun for us, even if it is just because it has become a tradition that have done since we started dating.  we were half hoping it would scare bella out of the womb, but it didn’t.  she is apparently a stud.  we did not dress up this year, but we still had a good enough halloween.

how was yours?

 now that we are getting closer to the birth of our little baby, people are starting to ask who i think little bella ruth is going to look like the most…

well, i hate to say it, but the women in my family all look alike.  there is something about the genes of the women in our family that just take over.  literally, i am a copy of my mother who is a copy of my grandma who looks amazingly alike to my great grandmother.

 

 

 so, here are pictures of both me and kyle (kyle being the one on top and me the one on bottom (not that that says anything about our relationship, you sickos)).  i hope that she is a good combination of both of us.  it’s silly because, for those of you who do not know, kyle had straight blond hair and brown eyes when he was little and now his hair is brown and curly and his eyes are blue….

so, there is a chance that our little girl will have straight blond hair with blue eyes…  people will think i am the babysitter, dang it!  i think my only real hope is that she has hair so i can put little bows and pig tails in her hair… it’s too cute!

it’s actually starting to get fun now.  the waiting i mean.  we are ready as we can be so we really are just waiting at this point, but it’s actually not too bad.  i am starting to just wonder about her and enjoy this last part of anticipation of finally getting to meet her after all these months.  i imagine what she may look like, and it’s different every time.  sometimes i even imagine she is a boy (even though they said there is no chance she will be, it’s still kind of fun sometimes).  i imagine what type of music she will like and her first smile at kyle or me.  it’s pretty cool to just sit and think about these types of things.  

which i got to do a lot today because i took the day off work.  i know, i know, i am lazy!  actually, next week is going to be my last week at work.  i feel sort of bittersweet about it.  work has been very helpful with my pregnancy.  i probably would not mind just working until she comes, but i really enjoyed my relaxing day at home.  i was able to get things done.  and we have some blankets and scrapbooking that we want to get started and i am hoping that the last week before her due date is a good time to get that done.  unless she is born of course… then we will just enjoy her! 🙂

anyways, bottom line, waiting is no longer taking a negative toll on me.  i am enjoying every moment and i just think that is so cool 🙂

this was me at 36 weeks….

and growing!