Thursday, September 18, 2014

A sweet Grace

It was an early summer morning when I took that pregnancy test.  THE most wonderful news came to us that we are expecting a new little love!  I was a bit in shock, since we had been trying for over a year...nevertheless, the sweetest surprise!  I told Teo immediately...I can't keep stuff like this in!  He was overjoyed and just beaming at the news, asking "Really?" and staring at that test!  The kids were equally elated when we told them later that day!  They immediately started asking questions about the big the baby was...wondering if it was a boy or girl!  I just love seeing their wonder and excitement at this new life growing inside me!

In the days proceeding, as we told family and friends, the reality set in that we are having a baby!  Everyone was so happy for us and our family and sent many encouraging words and prayers, for which I am so thankful.  A sweet friend prayed for me at church that I would be able to enjoy this pregnancy and this baby to the fullest, without if this was my very first pregnancy!  Yes, Lord, let it be so!

It didn't take long, however, for fear to set in.  I had been pregnant now 6 times, and just have Eliana and Josiah this side of heaven.  What would be the result of this pregnancy?  Would this be an early miscarriage like the last or a 2nd trimester loss like my sweet Abigail?  Would I really see this through to that oh-so-far-away due date of January 24th?  It was hard not to feel like we were doomed for the worst.  The fight was choose faith over my fear and hope over despair and trust in spite of previous experiences.  

Still, I was SO happy!

I decided I would take this one day at a time and hope for the best!  Teo, my rock, has been full of faith for the both of us when my faith wavered, encouraging me that whatever God chooses to do is for the best and we need to accept it!  Gulp!!!  Yes, I needed to surrender this whole pregnancy and this baby's life into His hands because, surely, it was out of my control.

 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his  span of life?" Luke 12:25

Or to this baby's life?

Summer was busy with fun activities and keeping up with my kids!  I had a pretty good first trimester, although worst than with my previous pregnancies.  I didn't was a sign that there was still a life growing in there and things were still progressing!  I'd take all the nausea if it meant this baby was still alive!

God had answered our prayers and we found a great doctor at Kaiser who is very kind, knowledgeable, and reassuring.  He did refer me to see the perinatologists in Beaverton though...based on previous experiences with my cervix funneling and thinning with Josiah's pregnancy and then the pre-term labor I was considered high-risk.  

Now there's a term you don't wanna hear when you're trying to keep fear at bay.  "High-risk" we go again!!!

The perinatologist clinic is not a happy place for me.  The doctors there seem to only be about science and there is very little emotion or sympathy or bedside manner.  They seem robotic in their mannerisms and I have bad memories of being seen by them weekly when I was on bed rest with Josiah.  

The Lord sure took care of my heart thus far!  A song I had written played over and over in mind..."there's nothing I shall fear, for You alone are with me."  Choose faith over fear...every day...over and over!

The time came for THE BIG ultrasound...the one so long awaited!  I was nervous and excited at the same time.  Would this be a deja vu of Josiah's pregnancy where I was told I would need bed rest and am at high risk of pre-term labor due to a thin cervix?  Based on previous pregnancies, medically it would most likely be my fate.  Teo was certain and assured me that God was going to do something great here!

We walked into the ultrasound room and I got ready for the ultrasound.  The baby check was great and we have a very playful little GIRL growing in there!  Oh joy!  I knew it!  I wouldn't have minded a boy, but I just knew it was a girl for some reason!  

Then came the cervical check...and to our great surprise, my cervix measured at 4.2cm!!!
 What?  What?  What?

That doesn't seem like much, but when the average is 3.5cm and I was at 1.8 cm with Josiah by 20 weeks along, this was a MIRACLE!  I yelled out a "Praise Jesus" and was just in shock!  

How could I be in shock that God could do this or that He would do this?  Oh, I have such little faith!  How easily I forget the miracles God has done in my life!  I was starting to take my "previous experiences" as truth for this pregnancy.  I was starting to believe the medical statistics that once you have a thinning cervix you will most likely always have a thinning cervix!  Or was I afraid that I just couldn't handle another loss when God has shown me over and over that through Him and with Him I can handle the hardest of heartaches?

But my God is so much more than that!  He gave us this little girl without the use of clomid (which we had previously used to get pregnant), He protected this little girl throughout that first trimester, and now He defied medical odds by giving me a very competent cervix thus far.  It is precious to my heart how He redeems and restores even bad experiences and how He's cradling this little lady in this body of mine!

The 2nd ultrasound a couple weeks later was equally great!  Cervix measured at 4.8cm!  It did not shorten at all!  The perinatologist ended the appointment by saying, "Keep doing what you're doing for that cervix!"  To which I replied, "All I'm doing is praying...praying for a cervix of steel!"  He chuckled and walked out!  

We walked out of that room elated and relieved! 

I am overcome with joy and praise to God for this miracle!  He loves us so and is so gracious and good!  Always!!!!  Take heart, my friend, despite your circumstance, He will work everything out for your good!  He is a God of miracles!  He equips us and strengthens us with his Holy Spirit to go through anything (Eph. 3:16).  Do not let previous experience dictate what you think God can and cannot do!  He invites you to surrender your cares and worry to Him!

  "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.“ Matthew 11:28-30

Oh the grace that has been shown to us...the sweetest, surprising grace!  We can't wait to meet the newest addition to our family, little Grace!

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph. 3:20