Prayers for my friend

If you aren’t aware of the blogger over at My Hope and My Future, please take a minute to visit her blog, and start praying for her. Her name is Shelby.

She and her husband recently discovered that he has a tumor the size of an apple growing on his pelvis. They don’t know much at this point but are just praying that it is benign and easy to remove with surgery. The doctors are hoping they can get all of it without chemo. It came as a shock to them last week, as you can imagine, and they are dealing with it on top of everything else they’ve been going through over the last year — experiencing 4 heart-wrenching miscarriages with no explanation. Then this came, out of nowhere.

Please pray for them over the next few weeks as they learn more and schedule his surgery. His body needs healing first and foremost, but they also need God to supply them with incredible strength, and an impenetrable peace amidst this scary situation. Pray also for their marriage during this time, that they will remain strong in the Lord and seek Him continually in this. Shelby in particular is having a really hard time with this, this week, so please pray for her heart to not be overwhelmed.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -Mark 11:24

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. -1 John 5:14-15

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. -Psalm 91:1-7

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:11-13

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. -James 1:6

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. -Luke 11:9

 

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Viability, and some updates

That glorious word. The big milestone that blissfully innocent pregnant women probably don’t realize is a big deal. We’ve reached it.

You know how when something seems so far-fetched, so unreal, that you don’t ever picture it happening to you?

That’s how I felt around 16, 17 weeks. It felt like I was living someone else’s life. Not only was I pregnant, I was well past the first trimester and, to my amazement, still pregnant. With a healthy baby. I remember crying at my 12 week appt, when my doc found the baby’s heartbeat. We never made it to my 12 week appt with baby #1. The tears came and I couldn’t stop them!

Multiply that feeling times 10, upon reaching 20 weeks. What a milestone that is. I don’t think it sank in until about 21 weeks that I had crossed that threshold, and that my sweet baby boy actually had a good report at the 20 week anatomy scan.

Not that I don’t think good things can and do happen to me, it’s just that when you’ve never had a pregnancy reach that phase before (and especially if you’ve miscarried), your brain just can’t quite grasp the miracle God is growing inside you, the miracle that is really happening — in YOUR body. I mean, how in the world does He DO that?! A healthy baby, out of a little sperm and a little egg, just a few weeks ago. Unbelievably AWE-some.

And here we are, at 24 weeks. I’m throwing a little party in my head today, and I think I’ll get up and dance around. I’m just so elated. VIABILITY. 24 WEEKS. Wow. Gosh, now I’m going to start crying!

Some quick good news updates (mostly pregnancy, so skip if needed!):

  • My sister is pregnant again! She texted me about 2 weeks ago wanting an opinion on the result of a home pregnancy test she just took. There was no mistaking it — there were definitely 2 lines. I had sent her a bunch of Amazon-bulk left over pregnancy tests a few days earlier, so she was busting at the seams to try them, it was perfect timing in her cycle actually. I thought it was so sweet of her to text ME. She wanted my opinion, so I knew before anyone, even her hubby. (I love that we will always have that moment!) She’s spotted a couple of times over the past couple of weeks, so I am continuing to pray for her. But she went for a blood test yesterday and she said the appt went well. Not sure if they did a beta test or were just checking her blood for iron, etc, but she goes back in a couple weeks for an ultrasound. All that is in me wants this ultrasound to go well. So we’re all praying and hoping everything looks good this time around. Her due date is probably around Thanksgiving.
  • My sister-in-law is pregnant too! They have been quietly trying since November (J and I were the only ones that knew, and we have a big family). She thinks she had a chemical pregnancy in February, and the way she described it to me, I think she did too. She is 40 so I’m praying hard that this new pregnancy goes well. She went to her first appt yesterday and they heard a heartbeat! So far, so good. Due date is December 2nd. So within the same week as my sister! Wow.
  • J’s cousins’ wives are pregnant: With one, I remember going to their wedding still in physical pain a month after my miscarriage last May…actually, I was 7 weeks pregnant at their wedding shower in March, too. Anyway, they got pregnant about a month after us, and announced it on Facebook at 5 weeks. 5 weeks! Of course, I was pregnant at the time but only 9 weeks along, so was keeping quiet. I was blown away by her complete disregard for (or maybe just ignorance of) what can happen, but I have to remind myself (often) that 1) miscarriage doesn’t happen to everyone apparently, 2) she is young (like 23 or something), and 3) there will always be people who announce at 5 weeks, on Facebook. I can’t control what others do. And I have to resist the urge to send them a message saying ARE YOU CRAZY?! The other is even younger (like 19!). They announced early too, and ~sigh~ their due date is November 4th. Yep, my first due date. Of all days!
  • That’s our dog watching J assemble the crib.

    And last but not least, my pregnancy update. 🙂 Just some quick tidbits: I’ve gained about 14 lbs., and my belly is protruding beyond my boobs now! We bought and assembled the crib a couple weeks ago, and started painting the nursery (the red you see in the pic is not the color, we’re painting grey over it). We’re going with a superhero theme. Lego superheroes, to be exact. 🙂 I’m feeling pretty good, other than some Braxton Hicks every now and then. That started around 21 weeks, and of course the first time it freaked me out. I had my first prenatal chiropractor appt right before it started, so I thought it was attributed to that! Then it happened again a few days to a week later, so I knew they probably weren’t related. Anyway, I have some lower back pain every now and then, but no hemmorhoids or heartbearn, or anything like that yet. I’m enjoying it while it lasts, this so-called “honeymoon” phase (whoever named it clearly has never been on a honeymoon). I had a lot of issues in the first 16 or so weeks (very uncomfortable bladder spasms, achy “period” pain, constipation, and other symptoms I have blocked out of my mind since), but they’ve calmed down over the last 8, with the exception of constipation of course. That seems to have been bad at the very beginning only to make a comeback now that my uterus is the size of a soccer ball. I first felt the baby kick around 16 weeks, but it wasn’t until 18 weeks that I knew it wasn’t gas! After that, I’ve felt him move pretty much everyday. He doesn’t really have a pattern yet, but I will say that his favorite time to play with me is around 10pm. I lay down in bed and it’s go time apparently! I just sit there with my hand on my belly and grin like an idiot. J thinks I’m cute, since I won’t take my hand off my belly, I keep it there for an hour every night. It’s just such a surreal, exhilarating feeling and I can’t help myself. I’m sure I would be just as enamored with this if I hadn’t ever miscarried, but my appreciation for it has magnified x100. This baby has made it this far. Wow.

April 20th, forever changed

Today is Easter.

Today is my birthday.

And today is the anniversary of my loss.

I have so much to write about, as I sit here not being able to go back to sleep, remembering so many details from that day. It will have to wait, since I’m typing this post from a tiny phone screen right now. Ironically, I’m at my parents’ house. One year ago today, my parents were at my house, and I was waking up my mom in a panic, about to head to the ER.

This year has brought me more grief — and joy — than I ever expected. Some days were impossible, but never so dark that I couldn’t see His face. God has truly pulled me from out of the pit, although not without some significant scars.

But today is Easter.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

How appropriate that this date would fall on Easter this year — the day when God restored us, redeemed us, made us right with Him, so that we might be with Him forever. That’s how much He loved me. He gave His only Son to save me from the biggest pain of all — separation from Him. True death.

Because He lives, I am His. I will never be alone. I live in freedom from the worst things that can happen to me — not that they won’t happen, but that I have a have a God who is bigger and more powerful, mighty to save. A God who comes beside me and grieves my loss right along WITH me. Who loves my baby just as much…more…than I do. I am His child, His treasure, His delight. He sings over me!

And because He lives, my sweet child and I will be reunited. My child will never know true death either. My William…is HIS.

So I will mourn today, but I will also rejoice. Where, death, is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting?

He is Risen!

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The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. — Matthew 28:5-6

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? — 1 Corinthians 15:55

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. — Isaiah 53:4-5

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. — Philippians 3:10-12