Sunday, April 11, 2010

Faith~ The substance of things hoped for...

I have struggled for weeks whether to put this on my blog or not.  (Because after 11 kids, pregnancy is not always considered a celebrated thing with my extended family),  and that alone causes me enough stress!  That is why, for the most part, we have kept this to ourselves. But I feel it is time to tell you of the journey.  Maybe one of the most misunderstood and confusing one of my life, until now!  But I have come to the point where I must share with others God's faithfulness and pure love that he desires to share with His children if we allow Him to show us HIS way and not our way.  (This is a long one, so bear with me!)

On February 28th, I suspected I might be pregnant with my 15th child.  (11 on earth and 3 in heaven)  The home pregnancy test confirmed my thoughts.  A faint pink line was seen!  I took it very early in the morning and my heart leapt with joy as it has with all of my children.  I then sat down for my morning devotion time and opened my bible to Psalms and just began to read without looking at where I was specificly.  I soon read, " knit me together in my mother's womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"  I began to cry and lifted my hands to the heavens and began to thank Him for this little life inside of me.  That is where it all began...

I always take two (have been known to take more)  :) pregnancy tests.  The first one was so faint that I thought I better make sure there was no mistake.  3 days later, the line was there but still very faint and not really any darker.  Because of pervious miscarriages,  I began to be a little concerned.  With one of those miscarriages, the same thing happened so it is always a fear of mine.  The next day, I began to spot.  So I called the doctor and they decided to do my blood work and told me that it is not uncommon for spotting early in pregnancy but just to be safe, they would check my hcg levels.  On March 4th, my levels came back 30.6.  (To quickly explain, hcg levels should double early in prgnancy at least every 3 days.)  The first level tells nothing, they must do another one 3 days later to see if they are increasing.  March 7th, my level had only risen to 34.  Knowing right away that was not good, I was devestated!  The nurse said this was inevitably a miscarriage and to call if I had any other questions.  I then asked if she had ever seen levels do this and everything be okay, she said, "Never!"  I spent the day and the next 3 days, mostly crying and feeling angry and dreading the days to come and just wanting it to be over.  I went to bed that night and as I was almost asleep, I felt the Lord gently speak to my heart and ask me if I had loved this baby yet.  I said back to Him, "NO it is too hard to love something I am going to lose.  But God, since you are asking me too, I will."  I began to speak out loud to God and this baby and allowed myself to love this child and told God whatever plan He had, whether this child was in me for 2 more hours or 8 more months, I loved it and knew it was a gift from Him.

They continued to check my levels to make sure they were going down.  3 days later on March 10th, my levels did something unexpected, they  nearly tripled to over 103!  The nurse could not figure out what was happening.  So every three days, my levels were checked, and they continued to soar.  Once they get to over 1800, they can do an ultrasound and should be able to see something.  Mine levels did just that so an ultrasound was scheduled for the next day.  Well, it did not go as I had hoped.  They saw something that may have been a sac but to small to measure but not unheard of with what my levels were.  So 3 days later they did another one and the sac was measurable!  It only measured 5 weeks 2 days but it had grown signifcantly!  The doctor was very optimistic.  I was still a little concerned because I was still spotting and the dates were off about 2 weeks or more! But hope began to rise within me.  Another ultrasound was scheduled 1 week later and the news was not good.  The sac had grown  a touch and there was now a yolk sac seen but it did not look like it should.  That night, another emotional rollar coaster!  Very down and feeling sad, I began to go upstairs to bed and my husband said to me, "Do you believe God is able?"  I said, "Yes!"

He then asked, "No, do YOU believe He is able to raise this baby up and can do a miracle for US?"  I would love to tell you st this point I had enough faith by this time to not fall back into my what my flesh felt, but not so!  At that point I was mad because I just wanted this whole thing to be over!  I was tired of the emotional drain!  I just could not imagine after all that I have seen and been told, that this pregnancy could end up okay.  I then made a choice because of my husbands incredible wisdom, to go to my room get on my knees and pray.  I asked to touch the hem of my Jesus' garment and to be made whole!  I let God know that I believed He could and would bring this child to existence and until I saw any proof to believe otherwise, from HIM, I would believe!  I prayed with my husband and oldest daughter, and my heart was released to His plan, for the time!  Being reminded ofthe coutless times in the bibe that Jesus said to people who were healed, "your faith has made you well!"

So, another week of waiting for another ultrasound but the doctor suspected I would miscarry within the week.  A week passed and my levels were checked again.  At my last appointment, the doctor had said that my levels would begin to drop during the week and he would be shocked if that did not happen.  My husband asked him if he would do another ultrasound next week.  The doctor said not unless they jumped 10,000 or more.  But that was a very slim possiblitly.  The next week, my levels jumped over 25,000!  Another ultrasound was scheduled that day.  Not good news.  The sac had not grown much and still no baby.  He wanted to schedule a d&c and my husband happened to be out of town just to make things more difficult!  So I said yes, but I would have to talk to my husband first and would let the doctor know if anything changed.  My husband left his meeting early and that night we were on the way to the hospital with every intention of having a d&c.  I walked in feeling sad and desperate.  We sat and waited and I asked my husband what he thought and what he would do.  He said he was not going to tell me what to do, it was up to me but he had some scripture that God had given him as he prayed for me on the way home from his meeting.  (He had prayed to God that I would ask him him for advice!)  It would have been so much easier to just be told what to do!  But then my husband knew that God could not accomplish in me what He wanted too!  It would have been his because he told me too and I would have missed the chance to see God work in my heart!  (Oh, how wise!)
I was signed in and made my way up to the room.  We talked the entire way up and stopped in the hall.  My precious husband began to remind me of what faith is...the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things NOT seen!   What is our hope?  That this child is living inside of me!  What is the evidence of things SEEN?  That there is no baby on the ultrasound And the evidence of things NOT seen was that God knows what is happening!  If I do this d&c, my hope is gone because I can no longer have faith that the baby is okay!  I soon began to see that the d&c was MY desperate plan to move on, not God's!  I could not have both faith and follow MY plan for the whole thing to be over!  That devestated me!  I always want my life to be led by faith and to think that I might make a decision that would break God's heart was too much to handle.  The nurses had been waiting for me and soon came and asked if I was ready.  I said I did not think I could do this.  She then led my husband and I to a room to talk.  We prayed and I  my decision had been made.  A nurse then entered and asked what I was thinking.  I began to reveal my heart to her.  She said she was a christian and if God was sharing with me not to do the surgery, then I should not do it.  She started crying and hugged me.  I said to her that God sent her to me!  She said, "NO today, God sent YOU to me!  I needed to be reminded today that God is still God!  Thank you!" 

My husband quickly made me aware that only five minutes after I decided to walk in faith, God had already began using our situation for others!  It was incredible!  My husband and I left the hospital walking hand in hand and my spirit soaring!  I walked in feeling like a coward and left, feeling strong and secure in what I knew, that God is faithful and always wants what is best for us!

The journey has not ended!  Since that day, I have not spotted once!  I feel all of the pregnancy syptoms that I usually have with all of my "normal" pregnancies.  I have faith that God is faithful and CAN bring this little one to life and maybe just maybe has kept it hidden for a time because He has a better plan than I could ever think of!  Tuesday of this week, I am going for a second opinion because I feel that God has laid that on my heart.  Not sure why except that maybe He wants another doctor to see His hand.  God has not spoken to my heart that this child is alive inside of me but He has spoken peace to my heart that His plan is best whatever that plan is.  He kept me from making one of the worst decisions of my life and spared me the turmoil.  He asked me to love this child and I have never swayed from that!  I am in love with this little life and know that it has been given to me for a reason!  He has also shared with me, that although this child is inside of me, it is a life He has created and He has a special plan for it's life and what He does is up to Him!  It's not just about the things I am looking at now, but that it is also about this baby's future and how He can use it for His glory.

I will keep everyone posted and if you could pray for this child and myself, I would greatly appreciate it!  I am believing for a miracle and know that God's plan is best!

Psalm 138:3-8~ In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.  All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth.  Yes they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, For great is the glory of the Lord.  Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.  The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, o Lord, endures forever!  Do not forsake the works of Your hands.



Sassy said...

Heather, I can't remember how I found your blog but this post spoke to my heart.

You see we went through a very similar thing a little over two years ago. I got pregnant in January of 08 but didn't find out until March because I was bleeding very badly.

Around 11 weeks I was actually admitted into the hospital because my doctor were afraid I was losing too much blood. An ultrasound confirmed that the baby still had a heartbeat and my doctor (knowing I was a Christian) said they would give me blood transfusions as long as the baby was still alive but that a miscarriage was very likely. Well the bleeding slowed and I was sent home.

A week later another ultrasound showed that the baby was still alive but all my amniotic fluid was gone. I was sent to a high risk specialist who confirmed it and said again that I would probably lose the baby.

I went back at 18 weeks still pregnant but another ultrasound was done and the fluid wasn't any better. They also found a two vessel cord which is linked to heart defects and downs syndrom and fluid on the baby's heart. We were told there was "a very slim" chance that our baby would be healthy and it was suggested we terminate.

Fortunately my faith in God was strong enough that I didn't even have to think before saying no. I trusted God no matter if my child lived or died. Was healthy or disabled. He was in control and I knew that. So with much prayer and many tears we continued the pregnancy.

My fluid levels went up slightly but then at 24 weeks my bag of water completely broke and I ended up in the hospital again. I was there three more weeks and if not for my faith it would have been unbearable. We still had no idea if our daughter would be born alive let alone healthy. And if she did we were told there was a good chance she would be deformed and would never breathe without a ventilator. Not to mention she would be premature and have those issues as well. To say we felt the odds stacked against us is an understatement. Medically there was no way our daughter could beat the odds.

Olivia was born at 27 weeks. She weighed 2 lbs 1 oz. And by the grace of God she was off the vent in ONE week! Which is almost unheard of for ANY 27 weeker let alone one that went through such a pregnancy. The doctors had no clue what happened. They were shocked and in awe and had no explanation.
She is now a completely happy healthy toddler. She will be two in July and everyday we give God glory because we know He truly works miracles! He carried her through a pregnancy that should have ended her life and I know without a doubt He has your baby in His hands too!

If you would like to read more about Olivia's story you can visit my blog. I even made and posted a video that helps explain a lot of what we went through.

Sorry this is so long. Your post just really touched me and I wanted you to know that God can and DOES take impossible situations and make them wonderful!

God bless and many prayers your way!

Shelly said...

Thanks for sharing this Heather! I"m going through a situation with my 6 year old that I need a lot of faith for, and this spoke to my heart about God's sovereignty. I'll be praying for you and your new baby!

Annika said...

Your faith speaks volumes to me. Praying for you dear friend!

Robin said...

Heather, what a precious and encouraging testimony! Thanks so much for sharing. You and your sweet baby are in my prayers ((hugs)).


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