Mary's Perspective

Mary, Mary, Quite Extraordinary

There are so many questions I would like to ask Mary.  When I think of all she went through being the mother of Christ, the sacrifices she made, the ridicule and shame she faced being pregnant and not yet married, the glares and questions, and then her own inner voice causing her to doubt or question what was about to happen to her.  I wonder how she did it.  

Motherhood is no easy task.  And here this young girl from Galilee was chosen to be Jesus mother.  Just an ordinary, every day girl from a normal little town.  It baffles me that God didn't choose a woman from an upscale home, someone with wealth, someone with prestige, someone with experience.  God always blows my mind when he chooses the ordinary.  It is just His way of shining his glory in the midst of the every day ordinary human and doing something unexpected.

When an angel came to Mary and called her "favored one," and said "the Lord is with you"...that also amazes me.  The fact that God called her favored.  What was his favorite part of her I wonder?  Does He call us favored?  What was so special about her? And then that the angel was sure to add: "the Lord is with you."  God is constantly reminding us of His presence.  He is all around us in everything.  It can be in simple things like looking at your own hands and seeing the veins and thinking of the process of our circulatory system and how He designed all of our body systems.  Or even when you watch a sunrise or sunset and you see the beauty in nature, or the power of the waves on the shore.  I am constantly reminded of Him when I hold my newborn.  She is so small, and needy, and perfect and I think of how amazing it is that God knew her before she was born, that He knows how many hairs are on our heads, that he knew our names.  And to know that that same God of the universe cares about us...and is always with us...knowing that He loves us is mind blowing.

He is always with us.  It goes against everything society says about us.  We aren't favored unless we are beautiful, wealthy or brilliant.  And here, God chose a young, poor girl, who honored Him, and He called her "favored".  So basically, she was special, because God said so.  She had value because He created her for a purpose.  She was favored not because of what she could offer but because of who made her and because of His plan for her life.

The angel goes on to tell her that "you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the most High."  She finds out that she is having a baby while she isn't even married.  Her question to the angel is..."How can this be since I am a virgin?" I love the simplicity of Mary's question...How is this even possible?  And then I think of verse 37 "for with God nothing will be impossible."  So often I think we get stuck in the thought of the impossible.  We can't even wrap our brains around how God works, how He can make tough situations good, or how He can change a simple heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

Mary was so unselfish.  She didn't protest or tell God, "Look this isn't in my plan! I am not ready to have a baby!"  How did she know that God's plan was even bigger than she could imagine?  How did she know to just accept it and move forward without fear?  How was she able to be the Mother of Jesus and have the wisdom to raise the Son of God?  Wasn't she overwhelmed with the thought of all that was expected of her?  She simply says, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." 

That was it.  She listened.  She trusted.  And she moved forward in obedience.  Mary was ordinary, yes, but she was willing.  She was obedient to God's plan and His calling on her life, even though it would be difficult.  And she praised and glorified His name.  

So often I feel very stuck in this life.  The days are long and hard and extremely lonely as a stay at home mom of 4 kids.  There are so many tasks before me and it is easy to feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and hopeless.  But then I am reminded of my purpose.  I am reminded that I am not alone (God is always with me) and I don't need to be afraid (or worry).  I am still in awe of this young girl Mary, Jesus' mother.  She was pretty amazing. 

 "My soul magnifies the Lord.  And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.  For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.  For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  And his mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation." Luke 1: 46-50

Questions to think about...

1. Mary made major sacrifices to be the mother of Jesus.  It was a huge calling.  What sacrifices does God ask of us daily? or personally? 

2. Mary faced the shame/ridicule of being pregnant before being you ever face shame/ridicule to be a follower of Jesus, what is your response?

3. Mary trusted God so easily.  Do you find it easy/difficult to trust?

Our 4 treasures


Amelia's Birth Story

All photos by Erin Nicastro Photography

August 27, 2014 Your Birth Story

I woke up Wednesday morning watching John get dressed and ready for work...I knew then (6am), that this was the big day, I could feel the cramp like pains of the beginning of labor.   But with so much false labor that week, I decided not to say anything and John went off to the city like any normal day.  By 7:30 a.m. after my shower they were every 10 minutes.  I called John because I knew he needed to head home.  I knew he wanted to be apart of it.  He had just walked into his office when I called.  So he had to make a few phone calls, send out emails canceling some appointments and head back to port authority for a trip back to NJ.

By this time I had called my doula, my mom and my mother in law.  My mother in law came to help with the kids and pick up Julia for the day.  My mom came to babysit the boys.  My doula came to be with me until John arrived.  Roe (my doula) had a great idea to go to the doctor's office just to be sure this was "it" even though we all knew, but since we knew Dr. Giovine was in the office we thought it was a good idea for him to see me and to start the ball rolling.  I still wasn't in any pain just dealing with the contractions as they came.  Swaying, walking, talking, and getting ready for the hospital stay.  Packing the car, taking pics of the kids with their cute shirts on and making pb and j sandwiches for a snack for the car ride.

Mark, Micah, and Julia

I felt better once John was home because I knew my team mate was with me.  It was exciting that baby day was finally here and a week before my due date...I knew I wasn't going to have a September baby!  We drove to Little Silver with excitement and anticipation.

Dr. G saw me around 11am and I was indeed in labor and at about 3cm and 80 percent effaced.  All that walking the past 3 days at the park really did help!  I was doing about 2 miles each day to speed the birth process along.  He suggested we go to the board walk for a bit and then go to the hospital.  But since it was 90 degrees we decided to head to the Monmouth Mall to walk and eat lunch and perhaps shop before heading to the hospital?

It was fun to go to a new place to walk around and be in the comfort of the mall.  But by 1:30 my contractions were getting more intense and I didn't want people staring at me every time I had to stop to deal with them.  We got in our cars and headed to the hospital.  My contractions got more intense on the drive and John started to speed a bit and go over some bumps which made the contractions worse.

Then we heard sirens...

A police officer was pulling us over...GRRRRREEEEAAATTTTT!  This was all we needed! I just wanted to be at the hospital, John was driving like a lunatic, and we were going to get a ticket for speeding...awesome.  Well, I did what any pregnant woman would do during labor and stress, I started to cry...the cop took forever to get out of the car...and when he approached our vehicle he looked inside John's volvo like he had drugs was crazy!  He comes the window and John goes, "Officer, my wife......." and then I interrupted and said, "I'm in labor!" and burst into tears.  The cop switched into Dad gear and said, "Don't worry, I will escort you to the hospital...follow me!"  In that moment, I wanted to hug him!

Amelia, you were our first police escort to the was pretty cool!  He dropped us off at the Emergency exit and got a stretcher for me and everyone took over and I just concentrated on the contractions as they came.  Once we got upstairs to labor and delivery we were put in a room and Dr. Burke was there to check me.  I was now 5 cm.  Things calmed down a bit and my contractions did too.

We decided to walk the labor halls to keep things going.  The nurse said that once I got to 6 cm I would have to get out of the birthing tub so I decided not to labor in the tub this time.  I figured, what would the point be to set the whole thing up only to be told I couldn't be in it.  Plus I just wanted to hurry up and push this baby out so we walked and walked in hopes that I could progress soon.

The contractions got very painful around 4pm.  I was having very bad posterior labor.  Which meant the baby's head probably wasn't exactly in the right place but leaning on my pelvis in a way that made the contractions unbearable and when they checked me I was only was all too reminiscent of my labor with Micah.  Micah was 9.2 lbs and his labor was 12 hours and extremely painful, it was also posterior pain.  I was in agony for the last 4-5 hours and I promised myself this time if my labor was stuck again at 6cm I would not be in agony for hours.

I got an epidural at 5:45 p.m.  The only problem was it didn't work.  It didn't numb anything until 8 p.m.  So from 6pm to 8 p.m. I was stuck in a hospital bed in the worst pain I've ever experienced.  And I have a very high tolerance for pain.  But that pain was unholy.  In those moments I just did the best I could.  I was thankful for my sweet nurse, roe, and john who encouraged me, but I was really angry that I got this epidural hoping it would help and it did nothing.

At 8 p.m. my legs and pelvic area went numb.  It was the weirdest feeling ever.  I didn't feel any contractions for the rest of the time.  It was so scary at first because all my other labors I was completely in control since I wasn't medicated, and now I had to trust the nurse to tell me everything was ok.  My biggest fear was how will I know when to push?  She assured me I would be fine.

By 10 p.m. I was tired of waiting.  I called the doctor in and told her I was ready to push.  She checked me and I was, lo and behold, at 10 cm.  And that was the easiest part of this labor.  For the next 45 minutes I pushed and all the while Dr. Chang, she took over after Dr. Burke left, kept telling me, "Your baby has so much hair!"  And I kept thinking...get. her. out!

At 10:49 p.m. Amelia Susanna was born.  She looked tiny to me, but she was 9.6 lbs and 19 1/2 inches long.  She weighed a few more ounces than Micah and I think most of her weight was in those sweet cheeks of hers.  And just like the doctor said she had a head full of dark hair!

I really loved my nurse that took care of me towards the last half of my 9 hour labor.  She gave me such great advice (because we told most of the people who worked with us that we would be moving on Friday) about enjoying Amelia and not doing too much or being stressed about the house.

The only part (besides the labor) I would have changed about Amelia's birth story is that John could've stayed longer.  After Amelia was born he needed to go straight home to check on the kids and my mom (all were asleep of course) and hold down the fort, besides he was exhausted too.  I was honestly so awake and didn't really sleep Wednesday at all.  I was on such an adrenaline high from the birth.  I stayed in the hospital until Friday afternoon.  I left our home on Joyce street on Wednesday without knowing I'd never go back there...and when John picked me up on Friday we drove straight to our attorney's office to sign the papers for our new home.  It was the busiest week of our lives.

God worked out every detail.  He surrounded us with love and support from our family and friends and our doula Roe, and blessed us with another healthy baby with a fairly uneventful birth.  Even though the epidural didn't work from 6pm til 8pm, at least I got some relief before the pushing.  I was scared about getting the epidural but thankful that after I had it I was able to push Mia out and walk around since it started to wear off soon after she was born.

Amelia Susanna McInerney...we love you!

Our final piece to our family!  It amazes me how much you look like Julia.  You two are the perfect bookends surrounding our handsome boys.


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