Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Expanding in Every Way

There are so many things that I want to do when I stop watching my nephew, Bradley, come January.

1) Finally take those piano lessons I was promised for my birthday last year.
2) Learn to read knitting patterns.
3) Finish my book.
4) Clear out the "baby room".
5) Take my water aerobics classes!
6) Paint and draw
7) Figure out how to get my vegetables to grow already.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

With a thankful heart...

Exactly one year ago tomorrow, I went in for my very first pregnancy appointment.  A few months later, I wrote a note on Facebook entitled "With a thankful heart...".  I've come to find that it remains true in my circumstances even now. This brings to me the realization that God is good all the time.  I don't know what the future holds but what I can be confident in is the absolute proof in my life that God is never changing and He is faithful to bring us through all storms and sunny days of life.

As I am sure most of you know by now, James and I are expecting on May 1st, 2012.  Together we rejoice in this blessing God has given us but also reflect on the things He has taught us over the past year with our miscarriage.  As I state in my note below, there is nothing else that could have gotten me through such a difficult time as the foundational truth in the word of God.  I am so very thankful for His counsel and provision over my life.  I hope you can come to find a thankful heart toward Him during this time of year as well.

Psalm 139:17 "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!"

Here is the note I had posted on Facebook last year:


James and I have had a very trying month.  On October 22, 2010 I had a positive pregnancy test.  I sat there staring at it for a while, just staring at the two pink lines in total shock.  I didn't know what to think.  I contemplated throwing it away and not even telling James.  In the end, I scrounged at the bottom of my garbage can and dug it out.  I laid it on the kitchen table and waited for James to get home.  When I told him, he didn't believe it either.  He went out and bought the kind that says "pregnant" or "not pregnant" just to be absolutely sure.  Three tests later we gave each other a hug, too scared to go crazy with joy.  Especially James.

He made me call the doctor right away and make an appointment.  The nurse said it would put me at 5 1/2 weeks (from Sept 18), they would see me at 6 1/2.  We had to wait a whole week.  The suspense was unbearable.  November 4, James and I went into the doctor and were immediately seen for an internal sonogram.  The grey and black image appeared with a large empty hole.  Nothing was there.  James and I looked nervously at each other.  What did this mean?  The doctor said it was possible that it was too early to detect.  They put me at somewhere around 3 weeks.  I had blood work done to check my HCG levels, they are suppose to double within 42 hours if you are pregnant.  

I was called a few days later stating that my HCG levels had gone from 13000 to 17000, not even close to doubling.  I had a feeling there that hope was lost.  I prayed that God would give me the strength to not be upset but I started to feel a strong wave of depression pass over me.  It was like fighting against a strong current.  All I wanted to do was lay on the couch and sleep.

The doctors wanted me back again on November 10.  James and I went for another internal sonogram.  This time, there was something there.  A little fetal pole that looked like the shape of a bean in that big black hole and a tiny flicker of "what could be a heart beat" the technician said.  We went in to see the doctor and she said she was much more optimistic, especially since I had all the symptoms-purpetual nausea included.  Things looked better and we were due July 5. James was so encouraged and praised God every night for our little baby and that the heart would grow strong.  I, on the other hand, kept my guard up.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to fight off the strong current that was depression if my hopes were crushed again.  They set us up for an initial OB appointment November 22.  

On November 22, we went into the doctor at 9:50am.  The nurse gave me a lot of papers to sign and a big packet of information telling me how to pre-register at the hospital and then ushered us into the OB's office to talk with him about our questions/concerns.  James and I exchanged anxious looks.  "Are we going to have a sonogram?  Tell them we want a sonogram, " James said to me.  I knew exactly what he was thinking.  They were getting our hopes up and we didn't want that happening until we saw proof that was the little heart beat on the black and white screen.  

After a short meeting with the doctor, we went into the exam room where we had our third internal sonogram.  There was something in my heart that was ready, as ready as I'd ever be, to see the empty black hole.  The doctor apologized and we left the packet on the nurse's desk.  

Throughout this entire experience, James and I have been praying for peace and understanding and for God to be glorified in whatever circumstance we are faced with.  That's not to say we aren't disappointed, we certainly can't deny that.  But what we do know is that God has control over our lives.  We don't have to worry.  During this past month, my prayer has constantly been Philippians 4:6-7 (Philippians 4:6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.).  Throughout this pregnancy, I thought I was praying for answers through this scripture.  But I wasn't.  I was praying for peace.  God has made us a promise, that He will give us peace that surpasses all understanding. And He has done it!  

I have a peace that He has a plan for James and I.  For one reason or another, we aren't suppose to be starting a family yet and only God knows why.  In James prayer, on our way home from the doctor, he said Luke 12:24  Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?  

God loves us most out of His entire creation, He is waiting with open arms to mend our broken hearts.  
I never knew this statistic before but 10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.  When I started having complications, I went on some blogs and found such an overwhelming sense of desperation among women who had gone through a miscarriage.  My heart went out to them.  I never thought before how often it did occur, and when it did how painful it was to go through.  The constant roller coaster of emotions are almost too much to bear.  If you've gone through a miscarriage or lost someone you love, I now can say that I know how you feel. Helpless, hopeless, and guarded.  Please know that God loves you and I love you.  Your story is important, and I would love to hear it if you'd like to share.  I want to be there for you to listen and encourage you.  

James and I have a lot to be thankful for this time of year.  I know this experience has left an overwhelming sense of appreciation for so many things that I never appreciated before (my husband, feta cheese, my family, the lives that do come into this world, and above all God's love).  My hope is that you can also find a great appreciation for your loved ones and for your life this Thanksgiving.  Hug your parent, tell your husband you love and appreciate what he does for you, be patient with your child, or show love to someone less fortunate.  I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving.   

Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.