Thursday, July 30, 2009

My news

*Disclaimer: Before I proceed in writing this post, please know, if you are reading this, you are a dear friend of mine. However, for various reasons, what I am about to share, I chose not to share “in person” simply because I have not seen you nor felt it was the right time to share. *

I found out about 10 days ago that I am pregnant again. Although this baby was not expected and measures were in place to prevent this, the Lord planned it and has given him/her to me for a purpose. I will shamefully admit that I was not thrilled with the news or the reality of the situation; however, after much thought, prayer, and meditation on scripture, my attitude and beliefs are more firmly planted in the truth of God’s Word and His promises. “Children are a gift from the Lord. . .”, “My thoughts are not God’s thoughts. . . “, “God know the plans He has for me. . .”

Based on my cycle, which is irregular because I am still nursing Teagan, I am almost 10 weeks and due 2/25. The taking of the pregnancy test was merely to prove TJ wrong; with the exception of fatigue, I have not been feeling any pregnancy symptoms. Moreover, I had an ultrasound yesterday morning and the outcome was not as I expected (God is showing me, once again, that He is in control of ALL things). The baby was only measuring about 4 ½ weeks with no detectable heartbeat. There are 2 possibilities: either my dates are off because of my irregular cycle, or the baby stopped developing at 4 ½ weeks as was the case a few years back when I miscarried.

My immediate reaction to the second possibility was acceptance. That may seem crazy, but I had a peace in knowing that God is in control and whatever happens, it is part of His plan for my life. My prayer became such that, if God’s will was not for me to carry this baby to term, that He allow the miscarriage to happen before Saturday, which is when TJ and I leave to cruise to Bermuda. But, when I began to have mild cramping today, I immediately thought the worst and got emotional. Poor TJ didn’t know what to do so he simply prayed for me! It was sweet and heartfelt, a true comfort to me. The cramping has subsided and, after talking to a wonderful friend this afternoon, I am feeling a little better both physically and emotionally. My friend was reassuring in that she said she experienced cramping in all of her pregnancies and that because of my “heightened” emotional state, I was assuming the worst was happening. I also began to blame myself (since I wasn’t excited about the baby at first) but I quickly changed my thoughts to reflect God’s truths (God only wants what is good for me and it is my job to only think on things that are true, praiseworthy, etc. as listed in Phil. 4:8). That helped, but mostly since the cramping is subsiding and I am not showing signs of spotting, I am feeling back to “normal.”

I will follow up with the doctor when we return to the States in about 10 more days. Until that time, please pray for the health of this baby and for my emotions as I go through this “unknown” time. Pray for my continued strength and dependence on the Lord. Now that I have reached the acceptance point of the pregnancy, I would be very sad at the loss of another child, and I know TJ and the other children would be, as well. We have already begun talks of room changes, car seat rearrangements, and high chair assignments. I dread having to explain the death of a baby to my boys if that should happen.

*Isaiah 55:8, Romans 8:28-29, Psalm 127:3-5, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6-9; 13*

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Welcome to Holland

Below is a story that was written by Emily Perl Kingsley for parents/caregivers of children with special needs upon receiving the child’s initial diagnosis.

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability to try to help people understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this:
When you are going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michaelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, Welcome to Holland.
HOLLAND?! You say. What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never met.
It’s just a different place. Its slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But, after you've been there for a while you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

I think it describes perfectly how I have been feeling lately. I had a plan, and in my mind all the details were worked out. I knew where I was headed and how I was getting there. However, my plan obviously did not coincide with God’s plan, because He shattered it into a million pieces. It is not that I am upset about no longer having “my plan” but, instead, I am having difficulty accepting God’s plan as it is the total opposite of mine. Now, this is where Scripture comes into play because I’ve had to really read my bible in order to gain God’s wisdom and peace in this situation. I am still in shock and disbelief about it all, but I am slowly coming around to acceptance. I know God only wants the best for me, and although I can’t understand right now, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8), I have the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great news!

I now hold in my hand a valid SC Teaching Certificate. I can’t believe it; my long-time dream is now a reality! It’s very exciting and solidifies all of my effort, determination, and hard-work in order to achieve this dream.

Now, onto Teagan. She began crawling last weekend. Prior to then, she would do the “Army Man” crawl by using her arms to pull her dragging belly and legs. Last week she began getting up on her hands and knees, and was able to go 1 or 2 “steps”, but then would immediately fall flat on her face. However, something clicked in her little brain on Saturday and she began to crawl around my downstairs area. Yay Teagan!
Also, Ta received some great news on Tuesday. Since September, he has had fluid behind his right ear. It was not an infection so medication would not clear it up. We (I) took him monthly for a hearing test and to re-check his ears to see if the fluid was draining at all. From February to June his hearing decreased, and the doc wanted to schedule surgery for a 3rd set of tubes the following week. However, TJ and I did not have a peace about that decision so we asked for one more month to see if the situation would change at all. The doc said he doubted the fluid would clear up on its own, especially because it had been there for so long, but agreed we could continue our “wait and see” routine one more time. He said to come prepared on that day to schedule surgery, and we were.

However, we were also praying for the Lord to intervene. We had been praying, but once the reality of Ta having to go through another surgery hit, we also requested prayer from our church. Our prayers were answered because when we went back, the fluid behind his right ear dissipated enough to allow air pressure to reach the eardrum. No surgery needed! The doc warned us that fluid will most likely build again once Ta’s allergy season hits (October to April), but for now, he’s all clear! The doc asked us what we did differently this month, and along with prayer, we went to the beach for a mini-vacation. He laughed and jokingly said he was going to write us a prescription for the beach! Poor Ta thought he was serious and came home and told Th we were going back! Th got very excited until TJ dashed his dreams by telling him no (sorry guys, just Mommy and Daddy are going next time)! But, praise the Lord Ta doesn’t need surgery!!!!! God is so faithful even when we’re not!!!

*Note: I also included pictures of Ta and T.G. but for some reason they are not posting.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today, TJ and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe we have been together for that long! The Lord has been gracious to us, and apart from Him, I do not think TJ and I would have lasted as long as we have.

As you may know, I met TJ when I was 19 and we married when I was 20. Some say I was too young, but I disagreed then and I disagree now. I don’t think you can put an age on marriage. Sure, when my children are old enough to marry, I would PREFER them to wait until after college and they are more established, but no one can say that 22 or 25 or even 30 is the “right” age to marry. I believe it is based on the individual and where s/he is at in her/his walk with the Lord.

We have a fun day planned. We are headed to Carowinds for some much-needed adult-time on the rides and in the waterpark. After, we have dinner plans at The Cheesecake Factory. I’ve never been there but I’m looking forward to it! Plus, we leave for our cruise in only 4 weeks- 29 days to be exact! I am so excited! Our beach trip really pumped me up for our cruise to Bermuda. 7 glorious days in warm, tropical weather! I can’t wait!

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13