Miraculous

I am humbled and grateful to be carrying a miracle of God in my womb. At just 13 weeks and 2 days, baby has all parts as we do, now baby just needs to grow! Baby was very active today. It’s just amazing to see God’s work in creating a human life. Realizing this blessing is a gift of God, not because I had the perfect faith or was good enough, I am humbled and honored to be a vessel of God’s miraculous work.

I’ve been hesitant to celebrate this life. I suppose it has been to try to protect myself from pain that may come. For fear that we will loose this precious life. I’ve decided I am going to CELEBRATE every day we are given with this precious little one, even inside my womb. 13 weeks and 2 days today. Thank You Jesus!!

I am continuing in prayer for all women who desire to have children or desire more children. My heart aches with all of you.

With moments of worry and fear and other moments of peace and joy and hope. Moment by moment, I cling to the Lord. In His Word and in prayer.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus!

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The Waiting

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
   for the living God. Psalm 42:1-2

This is where I find myself – thirsty for God – His unquenchable truths – to carry me through each day. One day at a time, He is all that I need.

I am ever grateful for His infinite love and mercy and grace.

10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;[a]
   he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:10-14

Last Thursday was our Doctor’s appointment and first ultrasound. It would be dishonest to say that I wasn’t fearful and thinking the worst. I can relate with the father asking for God’s healing on his child, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

The ultrasound tech started, I was squeezing my husband’s hand and closing my eyes. The tech said something. In my head, I was thinking ‘ yah, uh huh, let’s just get this over with…’. But then I realized what she said: The baby has a heartbeat and is measuring perfectly! It has taken a while for this to soak in. I am humbled and grateful. I know that this good news is not because I something I have done to earn it. It is my prayer that everyone who desires children or more children and are unable, that one way or another, they will get to be called “mother” – whether it be for the first time, or again.

Meanwhile, my sinful human nature has kicked in again – worry/fear. After all, it is still SO early – 6 1/2 weeks. Again, unless you’ve been through two miscarriages (or even one) with a year of ttc in between each, it may be hard to relate to the emotions I am struggling with. I do not have a guarantee of the future. My next appointment is in one month, which seems so LONG away. I just want to know that everything is still okay. All that I can do is wait. And Pray. And know that God will help me through, no matter what.

I appreciate how Katie Davis talks about waiting in her book, “Daring to Hope”: “Could we rejoice in the waiting? Could we believe that God, who brought Jesus out of the black of the tomb and green shoots out of the hard earth, will bring beauty out of our barren seasons? Could we know that beauty is in this whole process, the growing and the pruning and even in the waiting, not just the part with the beautiful flower?”

A Whirlwind. A Prayer. Hold On.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

It feels like the past few months have been a whirlwind. At the end of January – we had another appointment with our OBGYN. Our plan from this appointment was to look at Jon and then to proceed with laproscopic surgery for me, for endometriosis.
They found that my husband has varicocele – on both sides. We made an appointment with a urologist who can treat this. We were relieved, in a way — varicocele can affect fertility and can be fixed with a simple outpatient surgery — maybe this was “the weak link”. During our appointment, the urologist said that Jon’s varicocele was minor and wanted to look further into Jon’s tests before he would consider surgery. He also said that varicocele does not have much affect on fertility. So maybe that is Dr. Google vs. a real Dr….

Meanwhile I was in the process of finding the right Doctor, that would do surgery for endometriosis in the most efficient and least invasive way. My OBGYN is 8 hours away, so I was looking for someone closer. During my first appointment for this, my Doctor wanted to do a few more tests before we would “jump right into surgery.”

Meanwhile, it became time to take another pregnancy test. Being that I am on progesterone – if I do not take a pregnancy test (which I do not like to do), I will never start my period. Once I know I’m not pregnant, I can stop the progesterone, a couple of days later, I start. We were away for the weekend so I waited to take it until we got back home, I did not want it to ruin our trip. Before I went back to the bathroom, I said a prayer – that God would be with me and help me through, yet another negative test. There was an extra line this time! It feels like no one can really know what I have been experiencing since that day (almost 2 weeks ago) unless you have walked in my shoes. I should be excited, right?!?!

A roller coaster of emotions. Thoughts swirling in my head. Why do the negative thoughts seem to loom there the most? Why do I only think about my 2 recent losses vs. the 2 healthy pregnancies before that? I am experiencing early pregnancy symptoms — normally I would welcome — because I’m pregnant! Yippee!! It is totally worth going through these symptoms! But I had these symptoms with my previous two pregnancies (I had no sign of miscarriage until the Doctor told me it was going to happen) — and they ended in loss — so just because I have symptoms, doesn’t mean I will get to one day hold this baby. I have an early ultrasound scheduled this week — I try not to think about it — because that is how I found out about our 2 previous losses. The more I think about the appointment, the more I am terrified. Yet, if I am not willing to ever take the risk of getting pregnant and going to that ultrasound room again, I may never experience the joy of having another child to join our family here on earth.
The Doctor never told us not to try/to wait until further testing is done… And yet, I fear – is there something wrong that they didn’t find yet? Will it cause another miscarriage? I am taking heparin shots twice a day and I start progesterone injections twice a week, tomorrow. I am doing everything I can to have a healthy pregnancy.

My thoughts make me realize my need for JESUS. I feel like my thoughts are my huge weakness right now, fearing the worst, worry/anxious thoughts. I relate with Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 when he was talking about the “thorn in his flesh”. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ” It is my prayer that Christ’s power would be made perfect in my weaknesses, for His glory.

Yesterday I realized how much I was trying to CONTROL the situation. I want, so badly, for this child to grow and to be able to join our family here on earth. Yet, I have NO control over this. LET GO. Sounds silly, let go over something I have no control over anyway? Yep, it’s pretty freeing — let go of how this pregnancy will end — knowing that God will help me through NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. Will it be easy?? NO!!! Either way will not be easy. Another loss or walking day by day in this pregnancy, still not knowing how it will end.

All that God has called me to do is to live in TODAY. “For each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” (excerpt from Matthew 6:34)

God is all I need. I do not need my circumstances to turn out perfectly. He has given me forgiveness, life and salvation in Him and in this life, that is ALL I NEED! As my husband has reminded me – I am God’s child and the evil foe has NO power over me. As God’s child , fear will not overpower me. I will walk into that ultrasound room on Thursday by faith.

May I keep my mind on Him!
“You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
   because he trusts in you. ” Isaiah 26:3

With steadfast joy go forth, thou shalt see at the finish, that what before CAUSED PAIN occurred to bring THEE BLESSING. – Johann Sebastian Bach

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

New Diagnosis. Our Journey Continues.

Recently, we had another appointment with our OBGYN. Our plan: We are going to reassess my husband’s numbers and health. Secondly, my symptoms are pointing to: Endometriosis.

In some ways, this new diagnosis for me is very overwhelming, not knowing what all will lay ahead for us. In other ways, it feels good to finally know what it is that is going on and what I am dealing with. Suddenly — all of the dots are connected – a light bulb moment. I think I have had this for many years. I have only had pain since my most recent miscarriage – and it is usually very slight. Over the years, I do remember a couple of times when I was in SEVERE pain, related to my cycle. My flow over the years also seems indicative of endometriosis, I thought that this was “normal”. I have also had digestive issues for years, that I also thought were somewhat “normal.” From what I’ve read so far, my digestive symptoms go right along with endometriosis. I am only at the beginning of this journey of learning more specifically about this disease.

My OB/GYN is 8 hours away. Due to our recent move and then our plan to move back in 7 months, he agreed to consult for us, distantly. The closest OB/GYN that my Dr. would recommend to do the laproscopic surgery is 3 1/2 hours away. I have an appointment with him in March.

I know that God is with me and will help me through in the days ahead – despite my anxious thoughts that run or my attempt for an “instant fix.”

Honest Moments.

I crave more honest moments.

When we were trying to conceive with my son, I didn’t share with anyone that we were having trouble trying, not even our parents. And then, we didn’t share with them until we were about 14 weeks along. I was one that wanted to keep everything private.

I’ve changed.

I crave raw, vulnerable talks with others. Life can be so difficult, at times — I want to be real with others and to not feel alone through it all.

I get tired of the superficial conversations and the picture perfect Facebook post after post.

I was blessed to be a part of one of those honest conversations today — with four other women — we were talking about trying to conceive and all 4 of us had had at least one miscarriage, one other who had had two, like myself. We talked about how difficult it is to go through, and even struggling to conceive after that. We also related how God is with us through it all. Additionally, to know that God grieves with us when we experience the loss of a child. The women that were a few years further down the road than I were able to see even more clearly God’s comfort and strength through those times and even His timing vs. our own.

My daughter recently created and honest moment for me that I wasn’t quite ready for. She is very outgoing and quickly makes friends with others. We were at our local science center waiting for a show to start. She was having a conversation with her new friend. Her friend, “that is my little baby brother with my mommy over there.” My daughter, “my mommy’s baby died and went to heaven. We are praying for another baby.” This conversation was repeated a couple of times including, “why did her baby die.” Tears came to my eyes as the memories came fresh to my mind. While I love an honest conversation, that was not the time/place or way I wanted it to happen. This conversation was easily heard across the entire room. My daughter was just being honest, in the moment. The show soon started and their conversation was no longer heard. I realize conversations like these may happen again, as I try to teach my daughter appropriate times and places to talk about certain things. I still find myself being open with my kids about what happened. I hope that it is providing good “teachable” moments. When we pray for more children, we always add – “help us to trust you, LORD, no matter what/either way.”

I Am Blessed To Be On This Journey. Part IV.

I have been blessed with 2 children. I am SO GRATEFUL for them. I think this intensify’s as time goes on. After all, they will not be living with us, as littles, forever and we are not guaranteed more children.

Loving and nurturing them. Hugs. Kisses. Snuggles. Even the many times of disciplining them throughout each day.

I even treasure my pregnant days – I remember theirs as joy-filled. I miss those days — I struggle so much, now, with the fear that I may loose the baby.

I wonder if someone striving for just one baby may just want to pull me aside and say, “Shannon, be grateful for what you have!” Yes, THANK YOU, you are right!