Friday, July 22, 2011

Back In The Swing of Things

I first would like to thank all of you, both on my blog and on Facebook, for your kindness, your prayers and your encouragement to us. I have been so overwhelmed by the emails, flowers, meals, cards, messages, phone calls and so on. I have been so overwhelmed how the body of Christ works and we have been immensely blessed.

I'll be honest, I was shocked by the number of women who shared with me that they too had miscarried a baby. I couldn't believe it. At least every other message was someone who had gone through the same thing, if not worse (multiple miscarriages or even stillbirths). It has taught me that God's grace is most definitely sufficient. This has hurt like crazy but watching how others have healed, or are in the process of healing has shown me how God provides.

I have been so humbled by friends who have gone through horrible pain with stillbirths, miscarriages and infertility who have taken the time to share with me what God has taught them. I'm also thankful for the friends who haven't experienced that pain but who have come along side and hurt as if they had.

We ended up having to have another D&C, which was unexpected, but I ended up being so thankful for it. It relieved a lot of pain, so I am on my way to being almost completely healed physically.

LAPD allowed Jona to take a lot of time of work so we were together nearly every second these last two weeks. Those were probably the sweetest weeks of our entire marriage. He is such a good, good man. I cannot believe how blessed I am to be his wife! Today was his first day back and I already miss him so much.

We are getting back into the swing of things. My darling Pen is home and is making us laugh all day long. Pray for her if you think of it, I'm almost 100% positive her ear infections have returned. It is time for her to get tubes put in. We have a lot of insurance stuff to work out so hopefully that will be tackled early next week.

I am still struggling with my nights. I'm having a hard time sleeping and can't stop dreaming about sad things. I have worked to find a sense of normalcy. I used heavy cleaning supplies in my bathroom tonight and took ibuprofen which were two things I hadn't been able to bring myself to do. You are not supposed to do either of those while pregnant. I know its silly, but it kinda brought closure.

God has been so kind. He has provided immensely. I am more in love with Him and I'm more in love with my husband and my little girl. I'm thankful for my friends, I'm thankful for God's word, and I'm thankful for what God teaches us through trials.

My sweet friend Michelle shared this passage with me and I have clung tightly to it...

Psalm 31:14
"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord.
I say, 'You are my God.
My times are in Your hand'"

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 5th, 2011

We were planning on getting someone to watch Pen the morning of the ultrasound but because she seemed like she was getting sick, we didn't want to risk spreading it to someone else.

Jona met me immediately after work and we drove down to Glendale Adventist for our ultrasound. We joked around and talked about the baby and laughed about what our doctor would think if he walked in the room and Jona was on the exam table instead of me :) Yep, my husband's sense of humor is bizarre.

We made some small talk with the OB and got ready to see our baby. I was almost immediately encouraged because the sac looked beautifully round and was much bigger than last week, or so I thought. My heart instantly broke in to a million pieces when I heard him say "the baby doesn't have a heart beat". We sat silently and tears streamed down our faces as he looked and looked and didn't say much. He kept telling me to hold my breath so he could get a clearer picture. I'm pretty sure I set a world record trying to be perfectly still. Even Penny was silent for a good 10 to 15 minutes.

I never thought we'd go through that. I never thought we'd lose our baby.

I can't tell you how much I hate hearing the statistics of how often a miscarriage takes place. I don't care if I'm "in the norm" or if 1 out of 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. It shouldn't be normal. It's a little, precious life that's been lost. It is certainly not normal.

Our doctor gave us his sincere condolences and told us that he felt we needed to have a D&C within the next couple of days. Even that same day if we could. We asked him if we could wait and he said yes, but only a couple of days.

I don't remember how it came about but I told him my ears were really hurting. He checked them, found that I had a double ear infection, prescribed be antibiotics and sent us on our way. Even that was such a blessing that my OB took time out to care for my ears so I wouldn't have to go into a walk in clinic in the middle of all of this.

We each called our parents and cried with them and asked if they would tell our siblings. We headed back to SCV. We asked a friend to take Pen for the day and we just got back to the house and slept for the rest of the afternoon. I don't think it had quite sunk in yet.

Penny was dropped off that night and our friend Janel, who had been watching her, told us she hadn't eaten much and still had a bit of a fever. Just like the night before, Penny laid on my chest and didn't move for hours.

I started realizing how hot she was and I noticed her breathing was becoming really shallow. We tried to give her a shower to cool her off and she just screamed and screamed.

We called our pediatrician and were told we should probably take her into the ER. Another God thing was that we had just switched insurance and have to find a new pediatrician. Even with them knowing that they spent a lot of time on the phone with me and helped us with Pen. I thought that was pretty cool.

It kills me to say I finally noticed how miserable she was. I know there was a lot going on but I don't know how I didn't realize she was acting so lethargic and sickly.

We took her right in and God again showed us His kindness and mercy. We didn't even wait 20 minutes before they triaged her and learned even after several doses of medicine she still had a 105 temp.

For those precious parents whose children are in and out of the hospital with heart breaking illness and disease, my heart goes out to you. There is nothing more painful then holding down your screaming little baby while they poke and prod and test them. Pen and I cried together.

The doctor's and nurses were wonderful and they let me hold her the entire time. In the wee hours of the next morning the test results came back and we found out she had pneumonia and a double ear infection. It was enough to make her pretty sick but I was so grateful it wasn't more serious. Again, God's blessing.

Wednesday was spent taking care of Pen and me driving around to pre-op appointments for my D&C that we scheduled for Thursday.

My incredible inlaws flew home early from their vacation to help take care of Penny. My sister in law helped with Pen and cooked us a meal. Have I mentioned I love my inlaws?

Thursday was hard. So hard. I really struggled with the surgery. I didn't want it, I was so scared and I was just beginning to realize the truth of what had happened.

However, God continued to bless. My nurse was so so sweet. I'm almost certain she was a Christian. The woman in the bed next to us had her husband reading outloud to her. We quickly realized it was The Gospel According to Jesus. How cool huh?

I don't really remember anything about the rest of the day, because apparently they drugged me pretty good afterwards. To me, this is also a major blessing since I don't remember I don't have to keep thinking about it over and over again.

It's been 3 days. The Johnson's have taken care of Penny who is doing SO much better. Jona and I have spent every minute together. All we have done is eat, sleep, watch movies, talk, cry, pray, laugh. It has been such a sweet time. I miss Pen so much and I can't wait to get back to caring for her, but this time with Jona has been an unexpected blessing. I love him more than I ever thought possible. He is an incredible man and I can't stop thanking God for the gift that he is!

I'm hurting, both physically and emotionally. I didn't expect the recovery to be so hard. Night time is the hardest. Im not sure if it's the painkillers or what but every time I close my eyes I have nightmares about our little baby. It has probably been the hardest thing of all.

Another way God has blessed is through people. We have so many hurting with us and praying for us it's overwhelming. I've gotten hundreds of notes and messages, some from people I've never met. It's incredible how God has blessed and encouraged us through so many of you. It has been shocking to read the number of women that I know who have been through miscarriages. You would never ever know. I feel like I walk around and its written on my face. I do believe in a God that heals and I long to get to the point where I have healed some.

I hope it wasn't inappropriate for me to share in such detail. I know that so many have gone through heartache so much deeper. Whether it is infertility or several miscarriages or stillbirths, I take such comfort in knowing God is the God of them all and that He is good in ALL that HE does.

I miss my little one. It's like there is a huge empty space where my baby was. I wish I knew the gender and that we could name it. I can't wait to meet our darling baby in Heaven.

I read this quote a couple of nights ago and I've read it so many times I've memorized it...

"Dry, then, your tears, and cease to mourn, you saints of God.
They are “not lost, but gone before.” Their spirits live with Jesus.
And when He comes, He will bring them with Him,
and you shall see and know them with a cloudless sight and a perfect knowledge."

Octavius Winslow

Thank you again for your kindness and your prayers. It is impossible to miss how God has cared for us through this. He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Our Little Angel

Lately sleep has not come easy. Tonight is one of those nights where I've been awake for a couple of hours. I've gotten up to get drinks of water, turn the air off, then on, then off again. I finally decided to see if blogging will help. This will probably be kinda long so I may split it up into two different parts.

I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago and announced to the blogosphere that we are expecting our second baby. We were absolutely thrilled.

We have been trying for almost a year to conceive another baby. I have some slight fertility issues so I have been taking general fertility drugs every month to improve our chances of getting pregnant. It was a difficult time to get our hopes up every month only to be disappointed with a negative pregnancy test.

God was so gracious to us and He placed Godly women in my life to point me to Christ and my sufficiency in Him instead of placing my sufficiency in being able to get pregnant.

We had close friends and family who would pray that God would bless us with another baby and He so graciously answered our prayer on June 5Th when I learned we were 5 weeks pregnant!

Anyway, in this last blog post I wrote about how I found out, how I told Jona (such a sweet, funny moment), how we told our parents and how we taught Penny to announce that she will be a "sissy (sister)".

I was about to finish the blog post and post it when we left for the Resolved conference in Palm Springs. I decided I would post it when I came back. Our time there was extremely difficult. It was blazingly hot, our car broke down, Penny barely slept, I threw up a lot, and several other little trials kept hitting us in the face one by one.

We came home and the very next morning I got to take my mom with us to our ultrasound. I was about 8 weeks pregnant and I was excited for her to see the heartbeat we had seen thumping furiously the week before.

Jona had to wait in the waiting room with Pen because she was having a major breakdown and would not settle down. Our wonderful OB showed us the baby and said, "I can't quite see the heartbeat."
My heart instantly sank. But he didn't seem to concerned because my uterus was tilted and it was something he said was common at this size. He spent a good amount of time looking but ultimately decided not to be worried and to come back in a week so we could look again. I believe at that point I already knew something was wrong but my mom & Jona weren't concerned. I decided to try and distract myself and to pray that our little one was alright.

I hope in writing this you can seen how God's kindness to us simply abounded. An example: Almost right after out appointment I prayed that God would provide a distraction to make the week pass more quickly. Immediately we were asked by dear friends to house sit in their beautiful home. We got to spend the week watching movies and swimming in their pool.

Jona, Penny & I got a cold but it wasn't anything too bad. On the 4th, Jona had to work so Pen and I watched settled in to watch a movie & some fireworks. She snuggled against my chest at about 4pm and by 10pm hadn't moved an inch. I should have known something was wrong.

She barely would eat and she would whimper if moved her. I kept thinking about our appointment the next morning and was too distracted to access little Penny's health like I should have done.

Thankfully my brother-in-law graciously brought me over some Tylenol & a thermometer to see if she had a fever. She did. It was about 103.7 but I gave her some Tylenol and she went to sleep. I watched the Macy's fireworks and fell asleep a little while later.