Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blessing in Heartache...And the big day is picked!

My appointment went well today.  It was the quickest one yet...only gone from 9am to 2pm!  My sister went with me this time cause Matt had to work.  The sonographer did an awesome job and gave us some time to just watch Rachel move around...and boy, does she dance!  I'm so happy that I have it on video too so I can watch it later.  We also got some good pictures.  I'm falling more and more in love with her every day.  She is so cute.  I have to admit that, although it's a lot of work getting to Maine Med once a week, I am so glad to have all these high-tech ultrasounds.  It looks like she has Daddy's nose, like her sister and brothers do, and Mama's mouth.  I can't wait to see if she has any hair and if so, what color it will be. (if you're wondering, some times they have hair in the back)  So far, all of our kids looked identical at birth, so I imagine she will have a lot of the same features.  Here's our girl at week 32!

My big belly!

This is my favorite
You can see all her fingers

The sonographer thought that my placenta and cord were showing on the side... I think her ears are folded over, which is a common feature in anencephalic babies.
They didn't measure her this time, so I am not sure what she gained for weight this week. They were mostly concerned with my fluid measurement. The medication they put me on last week seems to be helping with my fluid levels. They had a hard time getting an accurate reading because she moves so much, but it seems to have dropped a bit and I am definitely not in AS much pain, although I still have a very difficult time at night or if I sit for too long. My fluid levels coming down are a HUGE answered prayer. I was very nervous about taking the medication and really only can take it for another week since they don't recommend it after week 32. Please continue to pray that my fluid will decrease and that Rachel will not have any side effects from it. Dr's say that lots of meds are ok to take during pregnancy, that I just don't believe. I cried for an hour before I got myself to take it. I researched it and it seemed that there were definite risks,which the doctor had explained, but there were big risks for her in allowing my fluid to build up too...another double-edged sword. Have I mentioned how bad this stinks?

So, the big news is that I set a date for her birthday... December 3rd it is! That will put me at 37 weeks and a day. She will be considered full term and is able to donate her heart valves any time after 36 weeks, so now we're praying that she will meet the weight requirements. We would be so blessed to see up to 4 other babies live because of Rachel.

Let's see, how am I feeling about all this... well, I'm going with the flow. The flow of God's plan and not my own... trusting Him in spite of my fears. Letting go of my hopes for this pregnancy and my baby and holding on to my hope in Him.

Losing another baby was one of my fears...and it's coming true. A lot of fluid was one of my fears...and it has come true. An early delivery was one of my fears...and it's coming true. I have many fears about what all this will bring...most of which will come true. Yet, I am filled with peace. Filled with the hope of Jesus.

Do I still have specific things that I would like to see happen? Of course. I pray for them daily. I want my fluid levels to even out and stop building up and I want my back pain to stop.  I want Rachel to come on the scheduled date and not have my water break early. I want to hold her alive. I want her to live long enough that I don't have to let her leave the hospital with a stranger. I want her to spend time in our home with us. I want to nurse her and I want to hear her cry and change a poopy diaper. I want to take 1500 photos of her for her scrapbook. I want for her to prove the Doctors wrong.  I want to watch her grow and kiss her boo-boo's and tell her "no".  I want to see her walk down the isle and marry a strong Christian man like her Daddy someday.

But if I get none of those things...I'm ok with it. Will I be devastated? Absolutely. Will it change how I view life in this world? Probably. This whole journey already has. Will it change how I view God? Not a chance. It is only by His grace that I have been blessed to spend even one minute carrying Rachel - and it is a blessing!...and only by His mercy and love that I will get through the pain of losing her - and it will be painful.   None of it would have come to be without Him. I couldn't get through any of it without Him and I am thankful for it all. He allowed it, I trust His reasons - and I trust that He will carry me through it.

Being Rachel's Mama, has forever changed who I am. I would never give that up...not even for a promise of a pain-free life on earth where everything goes as I have planned. I've found so much blessing right in the middle of my heartache.

In 5 weeks and 1 day, (unless God has other plans!) we will meet our 4th child.  Oh, how I wish she could stay with us.


  1. Stacy
    Glad to hear your levels are at least coming down a bit!! Praying for more!! Reading this post reminded me of a song that I LOVE! The chorus reminds me of you and your faith through this. Here are the lyrics but you should listen to it as well! It is a powerful song of how our life is forever changing but our hope endures through our unchanging God.

    love your sister in Christ

    "Our Hope Endures"

    You would think only so much can go wrong
    Calamity only strikes once
    And you assume this one has suffered her share
    Life will be kinder from here
    Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
    Sometimes the sky rains night after night
    When will it clear?

    But our Hope endures the worst of conditions
    It's more than our optimism
    Let the earth quake
    Our Hope is unchanged

    How do we comprehend peace within pain?
    Or joy at a good man's wake?
    Walk a mile with the woman whose body is torn
    With illness but she marches on
    Oh, 'cause sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
    Sometimes the sky rains night after night
    When will it clear?

    But our Hope endures the worst of conditions
    It's more than our optimism
    Let the earth quake
    Our Hope is unchanged

    Emmanuel, God is with us
    El Shaddai, all sufficient
    We never walk alone
    And this is our hope

    But our Hope endures the worst of conditions
    It's more than our optimism
    Let the earth quake
    Our Hope is unchanged

    Natalie Grant

  2. I am amazed at the pictures they can capture now a days. She looks like a strong, happy little girl. I am praying for all your prayers :)

    Hope you get some sleep tonight!!


  3. Stacy! she is sooo beautiful. Rian and I loved that we got a chance to see her perfect face. We are praying you get to prove the doctors wrong too you.
    *Heather and Rian

  4. Those pictures are stunning. She is beautiful. I am glad you're feeling less pressure. Ill bring a chair down if you want. Saw this and thought it was interesting.........

    On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

    Three French Hens....
    The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    Love, Mom

  5. I came across your story in Fosters today, and I admire your strength. I will be praying for Rachel and your family daily.
    And I love the pictures, she is so beautiful.

    ~Amanda from Maine

  6. You are such an inspiration to all. Your outlook on life is amazing. I am so sorry that there is so much medication that you have to take. Rachel is adorable, I loved her sonogram pictures! She will be in my prayers as well, along with the rest of your family. I hope all your hopes and dreams and prayers come true. Much love...
    Richelle Shackford

  7. IM ready with plaster when you are!!!

  8. ooo - look at those cheeks. absolutely squishable! love the hand by the face...

    so glad to hear about your fluid levels going down! I have a couple nausea med prescriptions filled that I never took because I was too nervous about their possible effects, totally understand about that!

  9. ooo - and I love what your mom said about the 3rd day of Christmas! Praying for that day!

  10. Just wanted to say that you guys are so strong! I'm glad God blessed you with Rachel and the rest of your family! Can't wait to hear news of her being brought into this world and the amazing time you guys get to spend with her. You are in our prayers!

    Alison- Iowa

  11. Hi,
    We've never met, I stumbled upon your blog because someone I knew posted it to their face book wall and it came through my Facebook news feed.
    The day you posted this blog October 27 is MY daughters birthday. My precious Ella Faith was born 7 years ago via c-section. She was diagnosed at 20 weeks gestation with anencephaly. Ella spent 19 hours and 50 minutes wrapped in her handmade quilt from her Nanna before joining Jesus in heaven on October 28,2003. We've just spent this week thinking about all of her milestones at 7 yrs old. I pray blessings for you as you have protected your lil girl and given her all your love as a parent does. And for the the days to come as you go through the journey of giving birth and cherishing the moments God blesses you with to carry in your heart for the rest of your days.

  12. I also stumbled onto your Blog via Facebook.Rachel and your family are so beautiful and such a wonderful inspiration. I am praying for you and your sweet Rachel every day and sending you faith, hope, and love. Your little girl is impacting people who have never known your family and who will never have the chance to meet her, and that is such a blessing. Thank you for sharing her gift with us. She is such a cutie. I will be thinking of you and rejoycing on her day of birth and everyday from here on out.

    Sending you peace, much love, and serenity,

  13. I also happened upon your blog from a FB post. Your openness, honesty, strength, and trust in God through what must be an incredibly hard time has encouraged and challenged me in my walk with Christ. So thank you for sharing. And I am praying for you, your beautiful Rachel, and the rest of your family. May you be blessed and truly feel God's loving arms around you.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes