Tag Archives: pregnancy


I was staring up at the drop ceiling lights for some time.  “Don’t worry,” she reassured me, “sometimes it takes a while to find it”.  I knew that wasn’t true.  At least it wasn’t true for me.  I had gone through this exact same routine at least 20 times over the years.  It doesn’t take this long to find a baby’s heartbeat.  I lay there on my back for several minutes as the nurse slowly and systematically moved the doppler across my lower abdomen a few times.  Then she called in another nurse who did the exact same thing.  I continued staring up at the outdated ceiling tiles as the thought kept going through my head, “This can’t be happening.  This isn’t happening.”  I tried to hold on to any glimmer of hope that was within me.

I was ushered to the dark ultrasound room.  I laid down and immediately fixed my eyes on the screen.  My neck was craned in an awkward position but I couldn’t take my eyes off my baby.  I just remember the tech honing in the baby’s heart and clicking on it.  A flat line ran across the screen and no sound of the heart beat.  She repositioned the doppler and tried again.  Nothing.  She did it one last time.  She took the final measurements and she was done.  She wiped off the gel and helped me sit up.  The frantic part of me wanted her to try one more time.  The rational part of me slapped myself across the face and I was overcome with emotion.  My baby was dead, all hope was gone, and my heart broke in pieces.

You can never be prepared for sudden tragedy.  It was supposed to be a routine OB visit.  One that I’m usually in and out within 20 minutes.  As I sat there in the little side room, I went into emotional shock. My body turned numb and my vision was foggy. I felt like I was going in and out of a dream. As my mind came back to focus, we were still there and the doctor was still talking to us and explaining our options. This was really happening. I held my belly that carried our lifeless son and wept.

That was Friday, February 21, 2014. We decided to have our son delivered on the following Monday. We could have scheduled it earlier, but we decided to wait. I needed time. I wanted these last few days, this last Sabbath, this last weekend with him. I wanted to carry him a little longer as I sorted through everything that was happening. I spent a lot of time in prayer and claiming promises in God’s Word. That dark weekend, I found renewed hope and courage in God. I knew He understood my heart and He gave me hope that this wouldn’t be the last time I’d be near my son. As I carried him for the final time, I asked our Almighty God to carry me. He drew very close. In my moment of deepest despair, I put my trust in Him and I found peace.

Our fourth son, Seth Aaron Ramos, was born on Monday, February 24, 2014.  I carried him 19 weeks and he quietly passed away a few weeks prior.  As a memorial, we made a small memory book for baby Seth.  We included his ultrasound pictures from when he was alive among other things.  Each of the boys made a special card for him.  It is a little book that we, as a family, treasure.

By faith, I know I will get to hold our youngest son again. However, I recognize that getting there won’t be an easy road. It hasn’t been easy. Grief comes and goes. This life is filled with a myriad of trials and temptations. As we are nearing the end of time, Satan is attacking with full force and he will use anyone and anything to bring us down. But through this experience, I get a taste of God’s undying love, because He created us and we are His own. I understand a glimpse His desire to carry and protect us until we are made whole. And by faith I know Christ longs to be reunited with His children. It is a Love worth trading our selfish, sin-sickened lives for.

So, as I go on life’s sometimes difficult journey, it is my desire to ask God to carry me each step of the way.  No matter what I lay at His feet, I know I will never be a burden to Him and I am confident He will never let me go.  I believe His love is enough to take each of us through even the roughest, most painful trials of this life.  In the end, it will be worth the wait.

IMG_6096“…I have made you and I will carry you: I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4



Am I Ready?

The past weeks prior to baby Ty’s surprise arrival were crazy.  I was frantic trying to get all of the last minute preparations made.  Part of the reason was because I was nesting like never before.  The majority part was the fact that Israel was planning on going to California the Monday to Wednesday (Dec. 14-16) before my schedule c-section (Dec. 21).  I wanted everything ready before he left so that when he came back, we would be ready to go.  I wanted the house clean and I had an enormous check-list.  The baby room was temporarily transformed into my mom’s bedroom for the month she would be staying with us, I had scheduled an appointment for our furniture to be professionally steam-cleaned, Micah and I had our doc appointments taken care of, I dropped off a few large bags of miscellaneous items to Good Will, I bought last minute baby necessities, I loaded the freezer with food from our Schwan man (in case we got stranded by a winter storm), extra wood was stocked in the house, our bedroom was transformed into a temporary baby room, and my bag for the hospital stay was packed.  Physically, our house was pretty much ready. 

Last Friday, Dec. 11, I had finished tidying up the kitchen and I crawled into bed.  I sat there debating whether I should read or if I should work on the baby book.  I decided to work on the baby book since I still had to write a letter to the baby.  After all, it was one of the things on my check-list.  I started the letter with “Dearest Baby”.  Immediately the other two letters that I had written to my other boys came to mind.  I had poured out my hearts to unborn Imanuel and unborn Micah expressing how much I loved them and how it is my goal to raise them to love Jesus.  I shared with them how I may fail them, but how I would do my best, by God’s grace to always point them to our Savior who died for them.  And then tears began to well up in my eyes.  I thought of the past few weeks.

While I was physically getting our home ready for the baby’s arrival, spiritually, I was an absolute mess.  From the minute I would wake up to the seconds before going to bed, my mind was consumed with making sure we were cleaning and ready.  Imanuel and Micah were my biggest hindrance to keeping the house clean and getting Israel to do anything helpful was impossible.  My temper was short and my patience was somewhere on vacation far, far away.  I must admit that each night that week, before going to bed, it was very difficult to even pray.  I would keep it pretty generic so conviction wouldn’t fully set in.  I kept rationalizing and thinking that if I could just get everything done or make good progress, I would be happier.  If the kids just helped pick up their toys or if Micah would stop throwing any and all objects down the stairs, I would have time to play with them.  If Israel would help, at least with his chores, then I wouldn’t feel so exhausted all the time and would have time for devotions.  I was angry and bitter and hated it.  With this frame of mind – still quite fresh I assure you – what was I supposed to write to this new baby?  Could I honestly write that my deepest desire is to be a godly mother?  That I would do my best to raise him to love the Lord?  Every sentence I wrote took a lot of faith.  Finally, I couldn’t handle it any longer.   

With tears streaming down my face, I spoke to the Lord.  I cried out to Him in utter despair.  The thought kept going through my mind over and over again, “How can I possibly raise another child when I’ve already failed You so miserably?” 

I experienced a true repentance that I haven’t felt in a long time…and it wasn’t a good feeling.  Then, I felt a deep need for forgiveness.  Primarily from my poor husband.  I went to the bathroom to wash my face and marched into the living room where he was preparing for his sermon.  I could barely get the words out, “Israel, I just wanted to say…” and I got all choked up.  It wasn’t graceful nor pretty.  First of all, he thought something horrible had happened so he was all concerned.  Then I finally blurted out that I wanted to say sorry for treating him so horribly.  He ended up smiling out of relief and giving me a hug.  I told him what had happened as I was sitting in bed trying to write my letter to baby #3.  He gladly forgave me and assured me that I was still the best wife and mother in the whole world.  I don’t even try to argue with him anymore about that. 

I went back to the room so Israel could finish preparing and I spoke some more with Jesus.  I told Him that I honestly felt there was no way I could possibly be ready for this child to come, nor did I even feel worthy.  I had been faithful in getting “ready” for a child from a purely human perspective, but I hadn’t been faithful at preparing myself spiritually for the challenges ahead.  I needed more time.  Good thing I had over a week.  “Lord, I cannot do this on my own.  I proved that this past week.  I’m nowhere NEAR ready.  I need Your ever-present help every moment of every single day!”

And that night, I went into labor.  As I was timing the contractions, I spoke with the Lord.  I couldn’t believe this was happening and I honestly thought they would stop.  But with an overwhelming impression, the Lord spoke to me saying, “Judy, now you are ready.”

At around 5am, with a soft, calm voice, I called Israel’s name. 

Titus Israel Ramos was about to make his entrance into the world and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m on Health Reform…Officially.

A couple weeks ago, I drank my glucola that had been sitting in my fridge for a couple of weeks.  Up here, you just pick up your bottle of glucola and you have from that visit to the next one (1 month) to take it and go into the lab to get blood drawn.  So, when we went to go visit a church member at our hospital, I figured I’d just chug it and get it done at the same time. 

Anyway, a week later, I got a call from the hospital with the results.  The good news is that I don’t have gestational diabetes.  The bad news is that the blood work showed that I was anemic!  I was so shocked.  So, my doctor was going to prescribe iron pills for me.  However, I was so traumatized by the iron pills I took after I had Imanuel (at UM) and how it affected my digestion (-primarily the exiting part) that I told them that I’d like to change my diet and incorporate more iron that way.  They agreed that that’d be the best way. 

So, for the past week, I’ve been downing Total Raisin Bran cereal with grapefruit in the morning, incorporating lots of broccoli, kale and spinach into dinner (with orange juice), AND, for the first time, I’m faithfully taking my pre-natal vitamin.  I know, I’ve been so bad with that.  I just detest that pill.

Anyway, if any of you have any other good suggestions for iron-rich foods/meals that are yummy and contain lots of roughage, I’d be forever grateful.  I’m kind of thankful for this diagnosis because I know it’s making me live a healthier lifestyle.  I just hope the baby hasn’t suffered because of this.

8 weeks and 3 days left!

The Mysterious Case of My OB

So, at church a few Sabbaths ago, I was talking with one of my friends from church, Yunis, who is a nursing student at Finlandia.  She asked me who my OB was.  (She wants to be an OB nurse and she does her clinicals at the same hospital.)  I told her it was Dr. Smith*.  Then she went on to tell me how all of the nurses there hate her and how mean and impatient she is with them.  This was shocking because I always thought Dr. Smith was super-sweet.  She always made me feel so comfortable and seemed like she knew what she was doing.  Plus, she also has 3 little boys so I felt we had some sort of personal connection. 

* * * * *
One evening while my sister was up here for the week, asked her to measure my fundal height.  Anyway, she saw my c-section scar.  It’s not as bad as it was with Imanuel, but I still have a pretty bad keloid.  So, my sister told me to ask my OB if she would close my incision with subcuticular stitches.  It’s not standard, but apparently it is the “nicest” way to sew someone up to leave minimal scarring.  My first c-section at UofM, I was stapled.  For my second, I told Dr. Smith I scared really bad with the staples, so she glued me together.  For my third and final time, I was going to ask for the subcuticular sutures.

* * * * *

At my next OB appointment, I had scheduled to see a different OB, Dr. Doe*, since Dr. Smith was not available that week.  I went in and ended up having to reschedule since there was an emergency and that doctor wasn’t available either.  As I was rescheduling, the receptionist asked if I wanted to reschedule with Dr. Warren.  I told her that my actual OB was Dr. Smith and so I asked if she would be available.  I have had Dr. Smith since I moved up here and she was the doctor who had delivered Micah.  Then I received surprising news as the receptionist told me, “Dr. Smith no longer practices here”.  I was a bit taken aback because she told me so bluntly and without much emotion.  So, I responded, “I guess I’ll just reschedule with Dr. Doe then.” 

* * * * *

The next Sabbath when I saw my friend again, I told her that Dr. Smith no longer practiced there.  I was wondering if maybe all of the nurses had petitioned against her and had gotten her fired.  Yunis didn’t hear anything about it, but said she would try to investigate.

* * * * *

So, that following week, I’m at Walmart checking out and the cashier asks me how far along I am.  I tell her that I’m about 28 weeks and she tells me that she is too!  (I couldn’t even tell she was pregnant!)  Anyway, she asked who my OB is and I told her that it was Dr. Smith, but now I have Dr. Doe.  Her OB also happened to be Dr. Doe.  She then goes on to tell me that she heard from the lady who works at Customer Service that Dr. Smith was fired because she had made a few ladies go sterile.  She told me it may just be a rumor because she doesn’t know the customer service lady very well.  Anyway, that was that.

* * * * *

At my next OB visit, we discussed the date of the c-section and unless it can be done earlier it is scheduled for December 21.  We’re happy with that date because it is also Israel’s parents’ anniversary.  This year, it will also be the winter solstice – how ironic for a yooper baby – it will have been winter for 2 months already!  Anyway, I brought up the issue of her sewing me up with subcuticular stiches and she says that she always does that for her patients.  That made me happy.  Hopefully she’s really good at that.

* * * * *

I googled Dr. Smith to see if I could get any beef on her.  Nothing.

* * * * *

Things I learned from this experience :
1.  In small country hospitals, everyone knows everyone.
2.  In the country, all pregnant people are seen by the same OB or knows yours.
3.  Walmart checkout is where you can hear the latest town gossip.
4.  In the U.P., Dr. Smith will forever be known as the mean OB who was responsible for making people go sterile!  Poor lady!

So, I have a new OB.  She will be delivering our 3rd boy.  That will mean that all 3 of our kids will have been delivered by 3 different doctors AND I will have been closed up 3 different ways.  Hopefully this final time will be the best all around!  It seems the most promising…just a little over 9 weeks left.  I absolutely CANNOT wait.

*Names of OBs have been changed to protect their identity.

G is for GIRL!!!

The Nam(m) family comes with a predominantly male background. For some generations, except for Judy and Julie, all the Nam(m)s have been boys. So with the strong…admonishment of Grandpa Namm, we were looking to break down this streak of men.

On the Ramos side, my dad had two sons and three grandsons. Grandgirls — none. Grandpa Ramos was also looking for a girl, or nothing at all.

This is why it was with great joy that we looked forward to this day: the day where we could announce to the world that we are finally having A GIRL!!!

Hence the title: G is for GIRL

When we went to the ultrasound, Judy, the boys, Uncle Daniel, and I went into the room. The lady that did the ultrasound was really nice. She explained what she was doing, did a quick rundown of the whole baby’s body, and quickly showed us his face, feet, hands, and spine. When we got to his bottom, I saw the confirmation of the sex — F. The name I chose for our little girl is Ella.

But we’re gonna have to allow someone else to use that name. Because after about half an hour, the ultrasound lady said to us, “these are the legs.” “And see here…” And that’s when I knew that our girl, was actually a BOY.

So G is for girl. But it’s also for George.  Or Gregory.  Or Gustavo.  Geraldo?  Gary.

Our prayer this morning was for God to give us a baby that, in the end, will find salvation. And then that it would be healthy. Anything else, we really didn’t care about. So, we are very happy to welcome the third brother of the Ramos-Namm Family!

In the waiting room.

The boys doing some reading to ease their nerves. 

Uncle Daniel was our special guest.  Here he is doing the Obama pose.


…here is our third baby son! 

His feet

A 3-D profile.  His head and back are leaned against the left side of photo and he is facing right.

We want to thank all of you for your support and prayers!  We love you.

To Clean or Not to Clean

Today has been one of those rare days.  I do not want to clean the house anymore.  In fact, I feel almost as though I’m actually avoiding what needs to be done.  At one point, I did feel like cleaning the house, but then I felt like moping around and doing nothing.  I finished up GYC stuff and played outside with Manu while Micah took a nap.  I’ve eaten a couple of instant meals.  But overall, I’ve been lounging around refusing to pick any toys off the ground because there are just too many.  And because I just don’t want to.  There are clean, folded clothes that need to be put away but I don’t feel like it.  I started doing the dishes but ended half-way and I almost dread having to finish them.  I feel like I’m in a sort of rebellion – against being my OCD self.  It may be that I’m just burned out.  It may be that my hormones are out of whack.  The thought actually crossed my mind right now that I’m glad I’m grown up and don’t live in my parents’ house because they would surely would have made me clean by now. 

It would be a wonderful and liberating feeling to be OK with my house being in its current state.  Israel has been trying to “help” me feel this way for a while now.  I think it actually would be very therapeutic for me to not clean and to see that nothing horrible will happen.  The only problem is that on Friday, colporteurs will be coming and staying with us for a week.  So, then that makes me go into a minor state of panick.  The house needs to be clean by Friday.  But I’m not sure what I should do.  I’ve considered asking Israel to clean the whole house, but that just wouldn’t be fair to have him clean while I sit around and peruse through FB.  Should I just suck it up and clean now or wait to see if tomorrow finds me with renewed inspiration to clean?                

Is this how men/husbands feel about helping around the house or doing chores?  Is this how some wives feel about housework?  It really is a horrible feeling…to really not want to do something that you really need to do.  I’m guessing this is probably where discipline and self-motivation comes in.  So, maybe I should just get a cleaning lady?  Yes, it’s that bad…   

PS:  I hope this is no indication of this baby’s attitude towards cleaning…  

Memoirs of Trying Times

This Thursday will mark week 16 of this pregnancy.  I think I can honestly say that weeks 6 through 14 were the most trying times of my life.  It has been the most difficult pregnancy out of the 3, by far.  Micah was the most merciful.  I actually took medication to help with my vomiting which I’ve never done before.  Now that things have gotten better, I’m trying to get my life back to normal and back into the swing of things.  Although I felt so horrible – symptoms including excessive vomiting, sour stomach, acid reflux, indigestion, sensitivity to smells, chemicals, soaps, toothpaste, and that taste of bile in my mouth (reminiscent of Imanuel in utero) etc. – there was one overwhelming blessing throughout these times.  His name is Israel. 

From the time we first found out we were going to have another baby, I know he was so happy.  He also told me that he was thankful for this opportunity to “do things right this time”.  To be honest, I kind of brushed off this remark.  He has always been good to us.  I think anyone who knows Israel could testify to what a wonderful father he is.  He has such a deep love for his children and he genuinely loves spending time with them.  Yet, this time around, (this final time), special care and attention has been given from the very beginning.  While the morning sickness has been by far the worst, Israel has been patiently and lovingly caring for us better than any time before.  That has given me such great strength during these difficult times. 

It has been hard for me to complain about how I feel when I see Israel doing his best to ease my burdens and care for the boys.  Except for Sabbaths (when he has to leave for his first church by 8am), he gets the boys when they wake up so I can sleep in, he has changed all of Micah’s diapers and wiped Imanuel’s butt when he is available at home, and in the evening, he has gotten the boys ready and put them down for bed.  And this has all been in addition to the quality time he spends with the boys each day.  While it may not seem like a big deal, it really is when you know how busy Israel’s daily schedule is (and all that the boys’ morning and nighttime routines entail).  He has just been there for me and I feel overwhelminging supported and cared for.  He has been my special blessing during these tough times and I will never forget that. 

As I was reflecting on these things this morning, I realized that I haven’t appreciated him as I should.  So, this is for him: 

Thank you for loving us and giving yourself for us.  You make me want to be a better (pregnant) wife and mother.  And our children are blessed because of you.  

Third Time’s a Charm

The number three brings completion to many things: triangles have three sides, the work of God is done in three Persons, (Judy says:) we have three pets, we eat three meals in a day (except Judy, she eats like 5, but “that’s part of our story” — Morgan Freeman, March of the Penguins), etc.

This has been a huge inspiration and guide in our family planning strategies.

So the Ramos family is happy to announce that on December 24, 2009, the last member to be born into our family is due to arrive (unless the doctor visitations that will soon follow don’t live up to their expectations). Although grandparents (and many of you!!!!!) are fasting and praying for a girl (and have managed to brainwash our oldest to want a little sister), Judy and I are really excited for either! Here’s our reasoning:

– Three boys in a row — how many people have it in them to do that! That’s the most consistent I’ve been in my life!
– We can roll with a men’s quartet (assuming that they can sing as well as their daddy).
– They can all share one bedroom until they’re 18 (with the suffering economy, we have to be prepared “for anything that may or may not happen” – GW Bush).
– More MANual labor for difficult times.
– Manu’s hand-me-downs to Micah could survive one more kid, right?!

– It would make all of our friends and family very happy.
– Judy would no longer be the only female in the household (including the 3 pets)!
– A girl would help soften the rough edges of the boys (me, not included because I’m a man).
– Israel would get to do his favorite thing: go on a shopping spree.
– Does anyone else think that a baby girl would be able to have her daddy wrapped around her little finger?

Thankfully, God gets to make that decision for us. We will gladly accept either.

On a different note, Judy has been really sick! This has been the worst one yet. But her willingness to be happy, press on, and still work hard have been a silent witness to all in our home. I can truly say that she’s one of the best mothers I’ve ever known in my life and that our upcoming baby will be lucky to have her as a mother.

So as we enter into the next stage of parenthood, we ask for your prayers. We really want to be the best parents we can be and have a desire to take this responsibility seriously.


Judy and Israel

Still Waiting…

I’m still waiting for my wonderful husband to put up some pictures since, after all, we’ve upgraded to premium.  However, this unit in my Bible class, I’m teaching my students about patience, so I should try to be more patient about this one.  Israel downloaded close to a hundred pictures onto his computer from our camera, so hopefully he’ll put some good ones up soon.

Last weekend, Sandra, Hyun, and Charles came to visit from NJ and that was a lot of fun.  We had our annual DKAY brunch grill-out.  It was nice to hang out with all of them.  It’d been a while.  I wish we would have taken more pictures!  Sandra and Hyun also gave us our Christmas presents early…a bunch of baby stuff!!  It’s been really exciting to get so many presents for the baby.  It helps make the experience more real…for me at least. 

This Christmas is my dad’s 60th birthday.  We kids are trying to come up with something special to do for him.  Any suggestions?  My sis suggested a cruise and we’re researching that one.  We’re thinking about sending my parents to the West Caribbean.  Hopefully something nice works out. 

The baby is kicking like crazy.  Especially in the morning!  He has such a definite sleep/wake cycle that even if I sleep in for even 10 minutes, he starts wiggling in utero and he moves so much against my bladder that he forces me to get up and use the bathroom.  Of course after I get up, he stops moving and is calm again.  He probably goes to sleep after that.  I can see how selfish babies are already!  It’s been a lot of fun though.  The kicking and moving isn’t uncomfortable…yet.  It’s actually very reassuring to me that he’s still alive and active.

Well, I think that’s all for now.  I need to get going because a police man is about to come and talk to my kids about safety…and I can hear that the kids are now done with P.E.  God has been so good to us and I’m so thankful for the many ways that He watches over us.  There is really nothing to complain about.  I hope all of  you are doing well.  Let’s remain faithful to Him always!   


Go Fiber!

My teacher in-service was great.  I’m so inspired to eat healthier…and to eat more fiber!  I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but my OB looked at the pictures of the ultra-sound visit and because of the baby’s size, she thinks I’m only at 20 weeks now, rather than 22 weeks which was the original dating.  There is a possibility that the baby is just smaller too.  Kerri read that Asian women tend to have smaller babies, regardless of the husband’s size.  So anyway, my due date has officially been changed in the system, from February 24th to March 4th, 2006.  Just about everything else is going well.  Okay, I need to get going.  Hope all of you are doing well!