Tag Archives: motherhood

The Rough Edges of Motherhood

23 Sep

“Mama! I hold you!”

My 2-year-old’s squirmy body collides into mine. He’s my wild child. Rough and tough. Abrasive at times. All mess and climbing and destruction and just 100% pure BOY. He sleeps with firetrucks, airplanes, and his toy rifle. He head butts me and I sigh deeply.

“MAMA! I hold YOU!”

I hold him, because I know that’s what he means, and his body goes limp for a moment. I breathe in his still baby-ish smelling head and remember just yesterday when he looked like his baby brother in the other room.

5 years now, I’ve been neck-deep in the muddy and heart-achingly beautiful reality of caring for these tiny people 24/7.

3 babies. 3 beings with individual likes and dislikes, passions and behaviors, bad days and good days.

My oldest just wants to be a grown up. She is so gorgeous and smart and independent and goofy and sarcastic. She knows the world is hers.

I remember being 5 and having the same feeling. The whole universe before me, ready to be explored. I felt the same thing at 18 and 24.

Now at 34 and a half, I am asking my Father to give me those eyes again. To see each day like a child, wonder and awe and joy, always an adventure.

This year has done it’s best to dampen my spirit and put our my light, but I won’t let it.

This matters.

I tell myself as I wipe another butt, another nose, another spill. As I talk, calmly, when I want to scream and walk away.

This matters.

You whisper in my heart as I lie awake again with my tiny baby, getting all his nutrients from my body to fuel his strong legs kicking, his huge, bright eyes smiling.

Giving, always giving, even when I want to be selfish.

This matters.

I know, as I teach my oldest to read and my middle to pour cereal and I take another deep breathe and ask Jesus to be so real to me because I just can’t do this without His strength, His patience, His wisdom.

I look in the mirror and for a moment those lies creep in and I feel old and stretched out and worn out and I wonder where my dreams have gone.

Where is the great big world I wanted to see, where are the books I have always wanted to write, trapped inside my tired mind, stuck until this all gets easier?

Reality check: it’s not going to get easier. It will always be hard, in a million different way, changing with growth spurts and hormones and emotions to navigate, as the darkness in life becomes more real and tries to press in on their tiny hearts.

There will always be moments where I am stuck in the tension of protecting them and preparing them, where I want them to step out on their own, but stay in my arms just a little while longer.

Motherhood will always have rough edges that cause boo-boos, those real scrapes and bruises and the emotional ones.

There will always be moments of pain and guilt, when it’s so difficult to swallow my pride and lay my life down and mother and teach.

But hard is good. It makes us better.

This matters.

And I have the mind of Christ.

This sleep-deprived, mom-brain doesn’t render me incapable.

I can homeschool my daughter.

I can deal with my toddler’s BIG emotions.

I can hold my precious baby a little bit longer.

And can write my heart out.

I can follow my dreams, because you see, when I really peel back the layers and work my way around those rougher edges of daily sacrifice and chaos,

These beautiful, brilliant, messy human beings, are my dream.

They are my greatest creation,

My favorite story,

My best adventure,

My most important job,

My most kingdom-changing ministry.

This matters.

So I cuddle and discipline and teach and cry and laugh and try my best to be present, for these days I get to be with them are a fleeting gift.

And those rough edges sharpen and refine me like hell, making me closer to who I was always meant to be than anything else.

And it’s never gonna be picture-perfect or easy, but it’s always going to be worth it.

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Winter Steals My Songs Away

7 Mar

I broke down the other night while rocking Wyatt and singing to him before bed. It’s a song I’ve sang a million times over the last decade or so, in different countries and different seasons of life.

Maybe I don’t have the strength

Maybe I don’t have the faith

You brought me here in 40 years

When I know this trip should take a week

I barely make it past the first line. I struggle a word at a time as Wyatt tries to stick his fingers up my nose. My usually crazy busy almost-2-year-old has wanted to cuddle all day. He puked all over me earlier. My 29-week belly feels tight and cramp-y. I am emotional. I am just exhausted.

I’ve shed my tears and shed my blood

I’ve been held ransomed by the flood
The winter steals my songs away

In all of this I come undone

It’s hardly March and this year feels endless. Snowstorms, sickness, more snowstorms, broken cars, more sickness. Worry and stress. More snow. Endless piles and heaps. Anxiety about driving on the roads, raising wild children, adding a 3rd kid to our family, my mom having heart surgery, what the future will bring.

Stop.

Breathe.

Whisper.

When you walk through the water I will be with you.

When you pass through the rivers these waves they will not overtake you

When you walk on the fire those flames they will not touch you.

You’re mine.

Slowly, my voice stops cracking and gains some strength.

I sing until I can count my blessing again.

I sing until I can feel it.

I sing until I can believe it.

All the tiny miracles throughout my day….

Everytime I put groceries in the fridge or lay down in a warm bed. Every bill that gets paid. A friend that calls or texts because they really care.

My boy, laying is head on my chest.

My girl, making us toast by herself.

My other baby, moving healthily inside of me.

My dog, laying her chin gently on my growing belly, all knowing.

My husband, always passionate and giving everything he has.

Immeasurable blessings I lose track of and forget to see in the middle of the chaos.

Motherhood is full of moments too raw to capture. I reach the end of myself more times daily than I can count.

I kiss Wyatt’s toddler forehead and think for the millionth time in the past 5 years,

“This is the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done.”

Don’t ever let me forget, it is also the most important thing.

Facing boring and bad days bravely, even when they seem to pile up endlessly like mountains of snow.

Knowing I can walk through it with Your strength. My legs and my heart get stronger. I can squint and see the beauty of the sunlight glinting off the icicles.

The hope for joy in the midst of cracker crumbs and screaming fits and throw-up and all the mess of motherhood.

The warmth and peace available to me when I just let go of control and breathe in the Love I have found.

You are mine,

You are mine.

(Enter the Worship Circle- Mine)

The Birth of Wyatt EverestĀ 

25 May

When I sit down to try to write about my son’s birth, it seems so clinical, like I am just reciting facts, something that happened so someone else. It’s a funny thing about having a baby. Most people want to know stats and numbers: how much did he weigh, how long he was, how long were you in labor, what procedures did you need to have in order to get him out. 

What we don’t really talk about, probably because it feels impossible to express, is the searing, white-hot pain where you feel like you body is splitting wide open and your’e not really there in the moment because if you were completly present you couldn’t bare it….

A week ago, I thought I might be going into labor. The cramps were tight and frequent and my belly felt heavy, like an invisible weight was pushing from the top and bottom. I tried to time a few contractions but couldn’t tell where they stopped and started. I decided to walk through it and see if they got worse. I made jambalaya for dinner, all the while watching the storm tracker on my phone to make sure the tornadoes on the radar stayed far away. The last thing I needed was the stress of going into labor in the middle of a storm. The cooking process slowed down the contractions and I knew then it wasn’t time. The tornado watch was lifted and I felt a sense of relief. The next day was Friday and I would be 39 weeks, the day I had guessed he’d come. I figured I was wrong and still had some time. 

I woke up at 4:30 am with pretty heavy cramping. I got up, peed, ate a granola bar, and realized there was a rhythm to my contractions. My contraction timer app confirmed it: 9 minutes apart. Jean-Thomas woke up and asked if I was ok. I replied,

“We were right. Looks like we’re having our son today.” 

By 7:30 contractions were at 7 minutes apart, so I got up to get ready. My 3-year-old Aurelia ran into the room. I told her that her brother was coming today, and she exclaimed, 

 “Is it the 4th of July?! Yay! I am so exciting!!”

Jean-Thomas fixed us scrambled eggs and toast which I inhaled hungrily with watermelon and pineapple. Contractions averaged 5 minutes apart , so I called my midwife, Cheryl, and we headed out. Aurelia stayed with my mother-in-law. I got all emotional saying goodbye when it hit me it would be her last day as our only child. 

The drive to the birthing center was about 30 minutes. Once I got in the car, my contractions slowed down to 10 minutes apart. I was worried that I’d called too early and it was just gonna fizzle out and we’d have to turn around and go home. But Jean-Thomas reminded me (again) to breathe, and once I relaxed they picked back up to 5 minutes…. just as we pulled in. We headed inside to the birthing center. I changed into something comfy and got set up in the room. Cheryl and LaQuita checked me and I was already 5cm dilated. Relief swept over me. Wyatt was on his way.

I labored for awhile. Walked around, tried different positions. By 12:30 or so I was hungry for more than snacks, so Jean-Thomas called his parents who dropped off Chic-fil-A for us. I ate that original sandwich with no pickles and Polynesian sauce quickly, knowing it was about to get intense. I was right. 


Cheryl checked me and I was dilated to an 8! She prayed over me and I just started weeping, recalling the birth of my daughter and how she was rushed out of my arms to an ambulance when she couldn’t get enough air in her lungs. Cheryl reassured me this was a different birth and everything would be ok. 

I calmed down and got in the tub. Blissful relief. The water has such a calming, healing affect. I wanted to stay in, but after awhile in the water, I had to get out of the tub because I wasn’t progressing. I labored for awhile on the toilet which was so uncomfortable and miserable. I stood up and a strong contraction hit and I could barely stand. I grabbed onto Jean-Thomas and started to lose it emotionally.

“This is too hard.” 

He spoke encouragement and truth. I tried to believe him.

I went back to the tub. Fire. Hot. Burning. No relief. I reached down and could feel his head! More pushing… So much pain… so close…. The next events are a blur. The chronological order and details lost in the emotion and pain. 

When the only way your pain can express itself is in deep, guttural cries that come from an entirely different place, wild and raw nature. And you hear these moans escaping your body as you try to embrace the pain, and you don’t even recognize yourself. 

Cheryl was yelling directions. I was out of the tub, on the bed. Oxygen was placed on my face. Then I distinctly heard a phrase that made my tired heart sink and almost give up:

“Call 911… just in case.”

“Ok. God. If I am transferred it’s ok. As long as baby is ok.” I prayed to myself quietly. 

I heard my husband praying hard. Cheryl told me baby needed a little help getting out and she was going to give me an episiotomy. I told her, anything to get him out. 

More pain. People in the room. Change of position. Blur.

Shouting: “PUSH!”

A whisper, beneath it all: 

“Your Grace is sufficient for me. Your power is made perfect in my weakness.”

In that moment you know you’re too weak and you can possibly do it and you pray the most desperate prayer….then, like a lightening bolt feel your entire soul and body let go and finally release this child it’s been nourishing for nearly a year. 

And it’s over. 

The tidal wave of relief. There is nothing in existence like that moment. Your body relaxes, and suddenly you’re back, in the room. Things come in to focus, and then your child is laid on your chest, and all the pain the universe has to offer simply pops like a bubble and only this moment matters.

This moment.


My son. Wyatt Everest Louvier. 

We were ok. Baby got checked and was cleared. I needed stitches, but I didn’t have to go the the hospital. The EMTs who had been waiting around were sent away. 

I had birthed our second child the way I wanted. Peaceful laboring with no drugs or intervention, only water, music and prayer and lots of deep breathing. 

This time, I got to bathe my weak body and brand new baby in a warm herbal bath. I got to rest in bed and eat breakfast food (the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted) while Wyatt was weighed and measured. I got to watch with joy as my daughter met her brother for the first time.


I am so beyond grateful for our incredible, attentive, and loving birth team. I know without their knowledge, discernment and hard work, this may have ended much differently.

“There is a power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds in the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.” -Sheryl Feldman

Wyatt Everest Louvier 

Born on May 19, 2017 at 4:23 pm.

(At exactly 39 weeks on a rainy Friday afternoon just like his big sister.)

Weight: 9 lbs 4 oz 

Length: 20.25 in

Head: 13.75 in

Chest: 14.13 in! 

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