Our Little M&M: The Story Behind Baby JET’S Red Onesie & Hope for Couples who Desire Children

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  I posted a photo last week of our miracle, Baby JET. In this image JET was featured wearing a red M&M onesie. Like many things surrounding Baby JET, this onesie  has a story behind it, and I’m not talking about a “melt in your mouth, not in your hand” kind of story either ; ).

Some know that my husband Jerrell and I have desired to bring home a baby for a few years now; yet instead we have brought home many tears and heartache due to a series of miscarriages.

The interesting part is that even on our doubtful (human) days our faith reassured us that we would have children.

As a matter of fact, I recall a recent conversation with my cousin Nikki (who always believed we would have children) that was very powerful.
Nikki knows, because we have shared, that even some of the most seemingly faithful to God people wavered in their ability to encourage us at times; I guess in fear of not wanting to “get our hopes up”.

Either way, during this conversation, Nikki shared the reason she continued to believe that we would have children. Nikki revealed that shortly after our first miscarriage, she asked if we would try to have children again and my response that we would try again as soon as the doctor provided us clearance confirmed it for Nikki. In other words, Nikki believed for us because of our faith!

Now back to the story behind Baby JET’s red onesie. You see I have owned this onesie for around two years now. It has been tacked onto vision boards and even hung on the arm of my chair in my prayer room. As a matter of fact, this onesie is sized for a 12 month old.

Why did I feature a photo of Baby JET in an oversized onesie? You may ask. Well, as some may recall, I was invited to perform a book reading and discussion of “God Please Clean My Room” in New York two years back. 

The day prior I was walking with my friend Kim, as we both were pregnant and wanted to maintain our health. Kim’s motivation was prompted by her doctor, while my motivation was to overcome my fear.

Though doctor’s reassured me  that my miscarriages had nothing to do with my engaging in any physical activity, somewhere in the back of my mind I blamed myself and avoided working out during pregnancy.

This time was going to be different! I was trusting in God to believe that this pregnancy would be successful & Kim, like many others who love Jerrell and I were believing too! So with my faith, I was leading Kim up the trail and striving to push her to match my pace as I was gaining my confidence.  Kim and I returned to our cars and agreed to meet up regularly to maintain healthy weights during our pregnancies.  So you can imagine my dismay when I began spotting once I returned home that evening.

I contacted my prayer partners, laid down for the remainder of the evening, and even had Jerrell pack our bags while I saved my energy for our flight the next morning.

I was terrified, but hopeful as I spotted off and on the morning of our flight. I even fought to hold on to my faith as my stomach cramps intensified during the flight, but once we landed and I was “in the clear” I believed my baby was safe in my womb.

I became so confident that when our friend Anthony greeted us upon arrival at Felicia’s apartment, we shared the good news that we were expecting! The joy we felt was short-lived as my first visit to the restroom resulted into an all too familiar bloody stool.

I then, asked for Jerrell to travel to the nearest store to pick up some pads (AKA sanitary napkins).  Anthony accompanied Jerrell for support; meanwhile I remained in the restroom crying & praying.

As God would have it, Felicia’s apartment was walking distance from the hospital. Anthony was kind enough to leave us with his iPad for assistance, as he had to report to work.  Jerrell and I having done this before decided to skip the ER and asked if an OB/GYN would squeeze us in instead; while they accepted us, we still remained at the hospital our entire first day in NY.

The ultrasound tech, insulted us with the “are you sure you are/were pregnant” question prior to the doctor’s ordering a blood test to confirm our pregnancy.  This was followed by an apology as the doctor confirmed our miscarriage.

It was absolutely terrible sitting in a waiting room full of pregnant bellies, as I knew I was losing yet another child. It was also painful walking by baby bumps on the street once we left the hospital.  It felt downright cruel to contact my home OB/GYN to cancel my upcoming ultrasound and checkup. At times, it felt like more than we could bear, and we did not feel equipped to engage in the spiritual warfare that was surrounding us, but it was clear that God was there.

Where? You may ask. God was present in our decision to acknowledge our pain, yet rest in the support of loving friends such as Felicia and Anthony, as well as, Kendra who purchased a bus ticket from NJ the day of because she knew we were hurting.

God was there in our decision to press through and perform one of the best “God Please Clean My Room” reading & discussion sessions I’ve ever done! For it was following this session that my dear friend Felicia looked into my eyes & said, “you were born to do this and you are definitely in your element”. Anthony reiterated this as well in that moment.

God was in our decision to sight-see, try to make the best of our trip, & tour M&M World.  For while in M&M world we took pictures in a photobooth and purchased a few items. One of which was the red M&M onesie that Baby JET was featured wearing above.  We purposely purchased the 12 month size, as a declaration of our faith that God would eventually bless us with a child that would not only be born, but one that would grow and develop heathily!

Thank you for reading our story. It is our prayer that it will be of encouragement to those who have endured similar trials.

Hang in there. Don’t give up.
Don’t give in & know that God has not forgot!

Below I have featured images from that NY trip. May they remind us all to never judge a book by its cover.

God Bless You!

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Keeping up with VALENCYA updates ; ) 

1) Purchase my Children’s Book via link below image:

Book Cover

http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-0105968017/God-Please-Clean-My-Room.aspx

2) Download my song, God Please Clean My Room (from your favorite player, but itunes link is below):

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/god-please-clean-my-room-feat./id591875935

 

3) Book Me for Preaching, Speaking, & Workshops to all ages and populations via info@ValencyaThompson.com  – I cover an array of topics, some of my most frequent include:

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Real Love

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I am so in love right now!

I cannot tell you by simply using words how many different thoughts about parenthood, childhood, and the great expectations I have about my son’s arrival.

I am currently 31 weeks 1 day (approaching 2 days) pregnant & I am absolutely ecstatic. Some of you know my story and others may be new to my writings. Either way, I am 4 years, 3 months married and my spouse and I have been a couple for 8 years. Geesh that sounds like a lot of time to me being in my early 30s. My spouse and I have experienced 3 confirmed miscarriages, though I believe there were more, and needless to say, the road to parenthood  has been difficult and sad for us.

Well in the midst of all of the love  I have been feeling, I have been doing a lot of reflection, and I have come to the realization that the painful parts of my journey have caused me to receive God’s love and appreciate God’s blessings even more!

I now realize with the life that I feel growing and moving inside of me that my priorities have completely shifted, it’s like nothing else even matters at all.  Allow me to be clear, individuals who know me understand that historically I am a very ambitious woman with many goals, and I typically have no problem with pursuing more than one project at once.

Yet something is quite different this time. It is as though I have tunnel vision and laser focus about the life of this child God has blessed me with and all other former priorities will have to “get in where they fit in”.

I remember my younger years and the plans that I had for myself, even back in high school. My plan was to attend a four year university, be married by 22 upon graduation, have my first child by 25, and you get the picture.

I don’t even know where those arbitrary timelines came from, I guess somewhere in my young teenage mind they sounded nice.

I didn’t stop there with the goals though, once I was actually married at 27 years old, my husband and I set a goal to have children by 3 years in.  This meant somewhere around year 2 we would begin trying. Because we were on birth control, I heard somewhere that it may take a while before we would find success once we came off it. You can only imagine the shock I felt when I experienced my first pregnancy shortly after! Truth be told, I can recall sitting on my living room couch in utter terror thinking something like, “we’re pregnant…what now?”

In other words, somewhere in my gut I felt we weren’t ready & I know as embarrassing as it is to say, I wasn’t ready to love as hard as I am now. I just desired to have a baby because it sounded like something married people were “supposed” to get started on by that point in marriage & besides “I wasn’t getting any younger.”

I mean who makes this stuff up anyways? We humans can truly be a piece of work on ourselves at times. Thank God for mercy and grace.

Would you know me, formerly “Ms. Socialite” & “be all to any and everybody” now finds her greatest joy being at home with her husband and dog, all while holding onto her belly with visions of her baby?

God is completely awesome! What is my point? Even this blessed pregnancy that shall result in victory has contained trials of its own, yet I am able to count it all joy simply because of God’s majestic design.

There is really much truth in the saying that “rainy days allow us to appreciate God’s sunshine”. Lord knows I am a “living testimony”.  Furthermore, things that I thought were simplistic in nature before have now become the things I value most in life.

And that my friends is my definition of REAL love.

Your take away: before you run off to pursue your laundry list of plans, ask yourself, “why is this important by this time?” “did I check with God?” “what will I gain or lose?” “Can this wait?”

God Bless.

Perspective – Time to Wipe those Dusty Glasses Off!

If you feel as though everytime you receive a bit of sunshine it’s overcast by a cloudy/rainy day, then this is for you!

In March, my husband and I attended my cousin Nikki’s marriage retreat for the first time. The Lord brought a discussion from that retreat to my remembrance today that is worth sharing.

As it was my turn to weigh in on the previous year, I distinctly remember saying to the group that the year was full of good times, but unfortunately all of the good seemed to be overshadowed by a traumatic event of some sort. This was of course before my perception changed.

At the time of this retreat, I was experiencing a miscarriage; as I am today shortly after moving into my beautiful new home with Jerrell, my husband and Max, my dog.  Yesterday I was thinking we have a lot of empty rooms that need children; instead of basking in the blessing of my new home.

It wasn’t until today when I was speaking on how the Lord has been moving with a friend today that I realized I had it all wrong – backwards even. As a matter of fact it wasn’t until I dashed upstairs to grab the cleansing cloth & spray, gently wiped my glasses, took a deep breath in, then took a look around me and truly appreciated all that God has graced me with…A loving husband, a great dog, & salvation for starters.

Could it be that I have had this thing wrong this entire time? It’s not that all of my good moments have been trumped by something bad, but God loves me so much, knowing that life would include trials, he sprinkled sunshine into my cloudy days to lessen the brunt of the impact.

My God! Glory!  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to try Jesus. I promise life with Him gets sweeter as the days go by.

Be blessed.

And then there were 2.

Today’s topic of discussion will directly address a subject that we, women, don’t talk about  (like so many things that women experience) until we realize that someone else has shared in the experience as well.  The ultimate goal of this piece is for both men and women to find peace in their long-suffering and to speak to that woman who may feel alone because she hasn’t come across another who was willing to share their experience with her.  The burden to unleash the veil covering the truth yet again falls on the author.

So here goes nothing…

According to medical experts approximately 1 in 4 women and some suggest 1 in 3 for very early pregnancies undergo miscarriages…During a time when some women may not even be aware of their pregnancy (lucky them).  When it occurs within the first trimester (the first 6-7 weeks for me), it is usually attributed to a chromosomal issue that has nothing to do with anything a mommy-to-be “could have done wrong”, but instead it is just “nature’s way of taking care of itself.”

Well for a woman, no matter how valid the aforementioned facts may be, they provide no solace for losing yet another child.   As a believer, it puts you in that uncomfortable, forbidden place of QUESTIONING GOD.

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Perhaps even asking, “why me?”  “What did I do to deserve this?”  “Don’t I work hard to serve you?”

“Why can’t I have the desires of my heart like you promised in your WORD?”  

Okay…PAUSE.

While it is only human to feel these things and ask these questions, it is important to keep these things all in perspective as a believer.

After crying, kicking, screaming, and asking those other questions in suffering.  One who is familiar with God’s Word, should turn around and ask these questions and have these thoughts as well.

1) Why not me?

2) Who am I not to suffer?

3) For Christ, our Savior was mocked, beaten, betrayed, and crucified; yet He arose again with all power in His hands and is seated at the right hand of The Father.

4) If He bled, so can I.

5) One of my mother’s favorites: “If they did it to Jesus, what do you think they will do to you?”

6) In life we take the good and the bad.

7) And as the kind midwife who met me at the hospital yesterday said (her name is Yvette, like my aunt…how sweet ; ), “You take it in, and then let it go.”

*And to that I say, “Amen, to God be the Glory.”  For my number 2 has returned to the bosom of Jesus.  

For clarification that I am not out of touch and am living my life just like you (which can sometimes feel like a twilight zone during trials), here are some of the circumstances around my suffering miscarriages:

During the time of my first miscarriage, I had so many baby-shower invitations that I was starting to lose track, my new pregnant neighbor moved in and a few days later had a banner hanging, saying “Welcome Home ______” in blue with cute pictures of baseballs, bats, gloves…you get the drift.” I was also being invited to meet several new babies.  And a couple of my and my husband’s close friends and family were pregnant.  Shoot it was even all around on social media…instagram, twitter, facebook…if I had to see one more bump picture I was going to ScReAm!!!

During the time of my current miscarriage, I traveled out of town to do a reading and workshop (which will be tonight), had the privilege of sitting in an OB/GYN’s office ALL DAY LONG yesterday surrounded by more baby bumps and cute little children.  I was also able to see what felt like all of the pregnant women in Brooklyn, and their friends carrying their new bundles of joy around.   Oh yeah, I failed to mention all of the people who constantly ask if we want children, and when I recently gave my nice reply of, “when the Lord is willing” someone responded…”yeah Lord willing alright…but we women gotta make sure we allow the Lord to be willing”.  I’m assuming this was some type of sideways stab to indicate that my husband and I were taking birth control, or perhaps have our tubes tied to prevent pregnancy.

YES….did I say twilight zone?  

Whereas; the enemy wants me to take notice of my surroundings and feel sorry for myself, instead I am taking things slowly, thanking God for life no matter how short-lived.  Thanking God that I have not been one of those STRONG WOMEN who delivered a still-born baby.  Thanking God that I have a wonderful, awesome, supportive, strong, and loving husband by my side to endure these trials with me because I most certainly realize there are many unfortunate women who have to endure such trials alone.

I praise Jesus, I give glory to God the MOST HIGH, and I will go on to live another day.  Please pray with me, as I deliver God’s Word to His people this evening…He most certainly has something mighty in the works.

Now I will leave you (us ; ) with some relevant scripture:

James 1:2-6 (NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

James 1:12 (NKJV)

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Matthew 5:3-12

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Amen & God bless you ’till next time friends ; )

BTW if not for these trials, I never would have realized how STRONG I really am (in Christ)…I hope you can find a way to realize the same my Love.