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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Fingerprint of God

I think I could writes book on our labor and delivery experience, but I don't want to share anything right now but my favorite moment. After my c-section, I was taken up to the OR with all the other surgery patients from the hospital. After two hours there I hadn't seen my husband the entire time and had only seen my newborn for maybe 30 seconds before they were both gone. Or rather I was gone. My nurse Betsy was trying to get my toes to wiggle and her other patient Marie to keep her clothes on. Nurse Betsy and I began to talk and she shared that her son had passed away. My heart was heavy for Betsy especially upon the arrival of our new baby boy no matter what we had been through, our son was alive. I was a little foggy then and Betsy had decided to sendme back to labor and delivery so I could get better help, but typing this now has shown me that I need to send Betsy a card. That's a fingerprint of God right there. --------------------------------------------------- as a hospital courier wheeled me back to labor and delivery, my heart was sad again. Because our baby had been born at 35 weeks, he had to spend 12 hours in the hospital. Furthermore, because I had full blown preeclampsia, I had to stay in bed for the next 24 hours. No new baby snuggles and just pictures my husband could share as he ran between our two rooms. When I got to the maternity floor there was one of my favorite nurses Sherry. All the nurses were so special, but Sherry will forever remain in my heart. As she relieved the courier of my bed, she took a different turn. She leaned down and whispered, I'm sneaking you into to see your baby. And she did...she maneuvered my whole big bed with all it's lines and tubes straight into the nursery.There was my husband. there was another nurse with raspberry lips stretched into a big smile. And there was my baby with his feathery soft jet black hair whimpering just a bit. The nurse brought him over and laid him upon my chest. Tears rolled down my face as my husband held him place. As soon as I spoke, he was soothed and just nuzzled in and went to sleep. It was one of the best moments ever. Sherry was beaming from ear to ear the nursery nurse was saying something about how babies need their mamas. And as I weakly stroked his back, his hair, his face... I couldn't agree more. This was such a God orchestrated moment. I had thought I wouldn't see him for twelve long hours of pain mostly alone, and God had worked in these nurses hearts to orchestrate such a beautiful moment for my baby, husband, and I. Asi sit here almost a week later still recovering, I'm reminded once again in sharing this how great is our God and how perfect are His plans.

Monday, April 22, 2013

when you plan to plan

You know the saying when you fail to plan you plan to fail. I love that saying as I'm a planner at heart. About two weeks ago everything was going according to my plan. For the moment my BP was behaving and it seemed as if the steroid shots were working their magic. We finished up our last week of co-op with our homeschool family, submitted our oldest sons affidavit and objectives so he can legally be homeschooled in the coming year, planted and mulched outside, co-hosted a team meeting for thirty-one, and a few other random things. Yes, our ducks were all in a row. Or more specifically my ducks were all in a row. As we began the next week I had it all planned out as well. Monday was our last day of school so we had a little cowboy inspired theme dinner (pictures will come one day) and my husband had most of the week off. Sure we had two nst but I was sure we could still enjoy some small day trips throughout the week to fully enjoy some special family time before the baby came. Tuesday came and we had to go for a non stress test (nst) and we planned to be in and out and then go for a nice little walk at valley forge park. That's what we planned but when a test that should take a half an hour begins to take 1 then 2 then 3 and almost 4 hours you realize things aren't going according to plan. My BP had gone up... Both the top and bottom number so they did blood work which revealed that once again my platlets had dropped too low. I was placed on strict bed rest. So strict I can only use the bathroom and I'm only allowed to sit up to briefly eat my meals which still need to be low carb. The rest of the time I must be on my side as its the only way to control my BP. Just getting up to go to the bathroom makes me feel dizzy and brings on a headache since my BP is rising. Then when we went for an ultrasound to check baby's weight on Thursday and blood flow, the doctor got a little nervous, took my BP and it was 162/105 which is dangerously high. He called my obgyn doctors and it was decided I needed to be admitted to the hospital so they could observe me for 24 hours and check over that time to make sure I wasn't spilling proteins and my platlets weren't still dropping. When we got there, I hadn't eaten for quite some time and so then my sugars dropped and my contractions became 4 minutes a part. They got my BP calmed down and my platlets were actually up, so now they were watching and hoping I'd just go into labor while there. I didn't and managed to pass the protein test. On a side note, it really is important to drink a lot of water! Water helps your body in so many ways-- with blood pressure, diabetes, etc. you really do need 8-10 glasses a day! At 6 our lovely doctor came in and said I could continue being on bed rest at home or in the hospital. I was feeling pretty sick at that point and just wanted to go home. So,with our instruction and discharge papers in hand we were about to leave when they called a code OB. One of the babies was struggling and it really showed us how much we didn't want to deliver just yet. The NICU doctor had explained to us that if he is born before 35 weeks he'll have to go to the NICU no matter what. I was feeling so awful at that point I couldn't imagine being physically able to go through labor and then have the baby taken away. We began praying for things to stay calm until at least this weds. When I'd be 35 weeks. On our Sunday visit back at the hospital my contractions had all but stopped and my BP was back to normal bad, not dangerously bad. With my other two I had false labor that looked and felt pretty convincing but then stopped and took all the contractions mostly away for about a week and then we delivered. I'm thinking we've entered the same calm before the storm. Last night my husband was sitting with me in bed and I said last week certainly didn't go as planned, why don't we just see what happens this week? He chuckled and said yeah, I think we should just trust God and see what happens. The verse God kept speaking to me last week was Jeremiah 29:11! "for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord." when we got home from the hospital, I saw that my friend Jenni had posted that very verse on Facebook. We are trusting that God has this all planned out because we know He does. So is anything going according to plan? Well, not mine that's for sure, but His ways are not our ways. Tomorrow when we go we'll talk labor plans to kind of tie all the strings up on what to expect. We already know my nutritionist will have a special solution in my IV for the diabetes, I'll have magnesium sulfate for the blood pressure, possibly antibiotics for group B strep (something that normally happens to diabetics), and possibly some blood waiting off to the side. That's a pretty interesting cocktail and we are attempting our third v-bac so that adds another level of risk. It's a little hard to wrap my brain around, but guess what? Gods got this thing all planned out and we're trusting him to bring us through.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gearing Up for Summer/ Spring Vacation!!!!!!!

We are down to single digits left of our school day. Most of our textbooks are finished, recycled, and laid to rest and we now are spending our last few days reviewing and playing some educational games. But, we are so excited for our Summer Spring break that begins soon. Its technically more in the months of Spring than summer, but we still call it our summer vacation. I still would like us to be good stewards of our time off and not merely letting the days lazily slip away. So, we made a family checklist of some things we'd like to do: And then I got some journals and decorated them for each of the kids so we can record in pictures and with words some of the special memories that happened: We're also going to do a unit study on the fruits of the Spirit and then give each person some verses to work on memorizing that correspond with a character trait they need to work on. For example, Mommys will all be centered around patience. ********************************************************************* Oh, and we plan on having a new member of the family who will need lots of snuggles and kisses. We are anticipating this break and looking forward to using the time to grow closer to each other and to our Lord :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rethinking Easter

We have never been big fans of the Easter bunny. Growing up we were both raised with a focus on Christ and thats how we want our children to celebrate the special day to believers as well. I even cringe at calling it a holiday, because it is so much more than memorial day or thanksgiving-- its the day we celebrate the fact that our Saviour conquered the grave-- He paid the ultimate price and came out victorious. However, our facebook feeds were both overloaded with pictures of the Easter bunny visiting, visiting the Easter bunny at malls, and egg hunts. It seemed like Easter had become a combination of Halloween (all of the candy) and Santa. There was little about how parents were using this special day to turn their child's eyes towards Christ or to use it as a way to further their training and young relationships with Christ. I couldn't tell the difference between families who know Christ and those who don't. And thats kind of scary. I dont mean to judge, but I want to offer some ideas on how to put the focus back on Ressurection Sunday and less on the Easter Bunny. I have everything against the Easter bunny-- its basically a bold face lie that you're telling children if you say someone came to your house, left candy and eggs, and "brought" easter. The Bible and ten commandments are pretty clear when it comes to deceit and even in the name of fun and what can it hurt, the fact remains, its still a deception. So, back to the point, ways to put the focus back on Christ: 1. Have some special family devotional times and read the story of Christ's coming back from the dead. Go beyond the sunday school basics and have some time as a family discussing this special event. 2. We did do an egg hunt, BUT we filled 30 eggs with only "silver" coins. Jesus was sold out by his friend Judas for 30 pieces of silver. We wanted the kids to have an understanding that money is fun to find, but guess what? Its not everything as Judas learned. 3. We didn't give the kids Easter baskets, but rather picked out some things for the family to enjoy that would deepen all of our walks with the Lord. This year we did a vegie tales DVD, Jonathan Park CD set, and some Mooody Family books. Other ideas could be Odyssey CDs, Bibles, devotional books-- anything that you can do together as a family is a wonderful start. These are just some general and foundational ideas, but ask yourself, do you spend more time talking about a bunny or Christ around this celebration? What do your kids talk about the most? What is the real focus of your family's celebrations?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Full Circle

Isn't the Lord funny? I think so-- especially inthe midst of a trial, sometimes you just need to step back and find the humor in everything. When we announced we were pregnant on the blog, I referenced the pineapple story. A missionary was trying to grow pineapples and the natives kept stealing them. He began to think-- why did you send me to these ungrateful people who steal just to steal? He got angry and upset. And then he realized, maybe God sent him there to work on his own anger and learn to better serve others. At the time we found out I was pregnant, we were so nervous and scared, and then I thought, maybe its not about us and our fears, but about God showing us how Big he is and what He can do. I thought about pineapples again tonight because that is literally what I fed the kids for dinner. Pineapples. I actually had a few options-- 1. a big bowl of reeses pieces. These would of course be solely for me in my fantasy option. And Id eat them like a starved crazy... well, you get the idea, I saw some candy posts today on facebook and then that was all I could think about. Dont they look divine? I dont like chocolate, but these are the exception to the rule because they are so amazingly delicious (especially with vanilla ice cream... okay, need to stop)! 2. Fantasy option #2-- pizza hut pizza. My husband makes fun of me for this one because as far as pizzas go, really, pizza hut? But, right before I got diabetes, I went here with some friends and all are kids and all I can say is that it was the best pizza I can remember eating. And I want it so, so bad. But, not a realistic option......... So, I cut up three pineapples for the kids and served it with peanut butter bread (because that was the closest I could get to the reeses pieces still in my mind and on the tip of my tongues tastebuds). And why did I do this? Why did I feed my kids this? Well, they do love pineapples and we had 3, so that made sense-- but for dinner? Really? And the answer is I just felt so awful that cutting those pineapples was the most i could handle. And I hate admitting that and I hate the nights lately when I feel so bad. And then I looked at those pineapples and God reminded me again-- just wait and see what I am going to do. And this is hard for me this waiting at this point in the pregnancy because I feel worse each week. My contractions are coming harder. My blood pressure keeps on going up and it makes me swollen and puffy and sick to my stomache. And the headaches-- so I get a little whiney and ask God how bad does it have to be before we can just let it all explode and get it done with? Its like the doctors, nurses, and my husband and I are all watching this bomb slooooooooooowly descend to the ground and we can't do anything to stop it. We have to wait and watch and be ready to act right before it explodes... timing is everything. And so I wait-- maybe thats what God is working on me. Waiting. I dont need to tell Him how bad I am at it- He knows. But I am so thankful He lovingly comes beside us every. single. step. of. the. long. way. And you know what, I am also thankful that bad days are still surronded by good ones. The baby-- still sealed in his cocoon without a clue and just happily growing away. Thats makes me glad and helps makes the waiting bearable.