Saturday, May 16, 2015

Step Out of the Boat

Sunday at church, I was brought to tears as we sang these words...

Oh my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through always

I didn't realize I was all that scared.  But it was as if before I had the chance to identify that I was scared, He was already comforting me in my fear.

I'm not completely sure if I was crying because I'm so thankful that He is attentive to my heart in that way - or if it was because I know just how likely it is that between now and Christmas, something could happen and I could lose another Christmas baby.

I think it was both.

On Sunday night, I had a very real and vivid dream that I was miscarrying. It was so real, I woke up unsure if it had happened or not.  Monday night, as I got ready for bed, I saw that I was spotting.  Years ago, I had dreams about Rachel's ultrasound revealing she was dead 3 times before her ultrasound when we heard she would die, so it was hard not to assume that my dream was God preparing me for what was to come.

I don't know how to say what I am about to say without sounding slightly... I don't know, wrong?  So, I'm just going to lay it out.... I almost felt like it didn't matter.  I had prayed many times that if I'm going to lose this baby, to let it be from miscarriage and not because of anencephaly or some other fatal birth defect that causes me to put my baby in a box and watch someone bury it with dirt.

Anyway, I finished in the bathroom and I got ready for bed.  As I did, I was kind of surprised by my calmness and I tried to figure out if my heart would break or not if I woke up and it was obvious this baby was leaving me.  I felt confident that if I was losing this baby to miscarriage, I would be ok.  That maybe God was just answering my prayer to spare me from going through what I went through with Rachel again.  I stood in my living room lost in thought and only two things came to mind.... so I said them both out loud...

"I love you little one, no matter how long you stay."
"Regardless of how this goes Lord, I know you know best and I trust You."

I got into bed and I slept. Good.  He gave me rest.

I woke up with my ultrasound that was scheduled for later that day on my mind.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I knew there was a good chance I would go and hear bad news.... but I also remembered the assurance he had given me in that first week of knowing I was pregnant.

Before I had seen the blood the night before, I thought that I would ask Des to go with me to the ultrasound.  It was at Maine Med, which ends up taking 5 hours + out of the day for an appointment and I thought Des would like the girl time.  After I saw the blood, I questioned if I should bring her.  I thought, if it's bad news, this could make every ultrasound SHE ever has in her lifetime hard.  But again I was reminded to not fear...and so I invited her.  I warned her that there was a chance the baby wasn't ok and that it might not be a happy trip and my brave girl said she still wanted to come.  I heard her in the other room telling the boys "I'm going with Mama to the ultrasound to see if the baby is okay." and I realized just how much she is learning along with me.  I like to think she is learning a thing or two about courage and not taking life for granted....that maybe she is learning how to step out of the boat and not fear.

We got into the ultrasound and within two minutes, there was a tiny beating heart on the screen as we peeked into the sacred space we call my womb.  I breathed a sigh of relief but was unaware of how far I was from accepting this pregnancy as 'real' until we were on the way home well over two hours later.

This song was playing on the radio and I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion... I'm pregnant, I thought... and I just cried.  I couldn't even put words to it right then, but as that moment has replayed throughout this week, I think I understand more now....

I miss being able to play music on my blog posts, and would totally have this song playing in the background if I could - so play this while you read the rest!

The video I posted on my announcement post Facing My Giants had the same theme of the ocean being too big for us to conquer - our feet fail - yet with our eyes on Jesus, we can walk on it.

Think about what it would feel like to step out of a boat and try to walk on the ocean.  If you can lose yourself in that thought for a moment, you can feel how scary and powerless - and absolutely failing - that would be.

Matthew 14:27-29 

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 

But that is what I feel like with this pregnancy.  You have to understand that until I saw that positive test, I honestly had little to no desire to be pregnant at all.  I have never felt like that before in all my life.  Other than the first few months after I have a baby while I'm healing and not sleeping at all, I have always been open and ready for another baby.  But after adding Ezra and not being prepared for how hard it would be to have 5 here with the two little ones so close in age, I have had more days than not where I felt completely content to be done.  Especially as my health declined, I honestly didn't think it would ever happen again.  I still had that never fading ache for another little girl, but not enough so that I wanted to try for her.  I still wondered if our family was really complete, although I wasn't sure if that was just because it will never feel complete without Rachel here... And in the past few months, as I have started to get better physically, with proper care of my MTHFR mutations, I was looking forward to a summer where I could play like a kid with my kids for once.  Not pregnant and not nursing for the first time in 7 years.  So this was not something I was all that ready for... 

But the second I saw the two lines, my entire desire changed.  And suddenly it shifted from wanting  (or not wanting) things for me, to what I wanted for this baby.  My big fear right off was that I was on blood pressure medicine that is not considered safe for the first trimester, but the doctors were telling me to keep taking.  High blood pressure all by itself causes major complications during pregnancy and people actually have to deliver babies at 24 weeks in order to save their own lives.  The thought of that scared the crap out of me.  How do you make that decision when moms will literally DIE for their children?  How difficult that must be...

I could see how God had prepared me for this, even without it being part of *my* plan because over the couple of months prior, I had weaned myself off of one blood pressure med and was almost weaned off of the 2nd.  My doctors still don't know and my numbers were still higher than they should be, so I don't even know why I was pushing it, other than God was leading me that way.  I had no idea it was because I was about to find out I had someone growing in me that it wouldn't be good for.  So the day after I found out, I called the dr and asked and two different doctors said to keep taking it.  But I didn't listen... I stopped.  And the strangest, most miraculous thing happened... my blood pressure WENT DOWN!!!  Lower than they have been since I was pregnant with Ezra.  Praise God!  My numbers have been awesome since!!  So during this pregnancy, I had only taken the medication 2-3 times since conception and they were all days apart!  I'm so thankful for how God provides.  So thankful that He is capable of anything - even lowering my blood pressure that couldn't be controlled even on two medications.  

It was a step out of the boat when I saw the positive test and welcomed this baby without an ounce of disappointment... It was a step out of the boat when I stopped taking my medication because it would be best for baby...  It was a step out of the boat when I announced I was pregnant again so early and in spite of the negative responses I sensed coming... It was a step out of the boat when I asked Des to go with me to that appointment...  and so far, He has helped me walk as I have kept my eyes on Him.

I have a lot of walking on water to do between now and Christmas... I have fears about this delivery I have not had with others - on top of being my 3rd VBAC, I now have a brain aneurysm that I have yet to figure out how much that affects my options for delivery.  I may have to have a c-section, I don't know.  I can no longer take the medicine I was on for my neck and back pain OR tums... so pain and heartburn without relief are probably in my near future... I will have a preschooler, 1st, 3rd and 8th grader next year and I am their teacher.  Teachers don't usually have their babies at school with them, but I will and I still need to accomplish all the same tasks.  I have 1200 sq ft and there will be 8 of us here... we will list our house again, but I'm not even sure I want to move.  I have a long line of insurance complications and no idea if I will be allowed to deliver in Maine where I am most comfortable. Matt's looking at a job change soon and it will initially be a huge cut in pay (but long term be a really great thing for us) I am still waiting on a 'round head check' and the 'routine ultrasound' at which my head knows of all the millions of things that can go wrong that my heart would break over.  And of course, I still don't know if I will bring this baby home from the hospital... something I used to take as given, I now know is just not so all the time.

There are so many unknowns... and I don't assume any of them will be easy.  I don't know if this baby will stay.  I don't know if it will be healthy.  I don't know if my blood pressure will remain good until December.  I don't even know if delivery is safe for me.  But what I do know - and I have peace in - is that God will meet me outside of the boat.

And I think that is why I cried on the way home from my scan...  This is truly another faith walk for me.  And for as much of the fears I carry are from my journey with Rachel, it's exactly that same hard journey that grew my faith to walk again through unknowns without being overcome with fear.  It's that journey with my girl that makes me rest in CONFIDENT HOPE that *even if* this doesn't end with a live Christmas baby in our home this year  - or if something else is 'wrong' with him - that not only will God give me all I need to get through it, but He WILL prepare me and guide me long before I know it's coming.  Maybe He is....

I have absolutely nothing to fear with God.  Nothing.  Even if I take my eyes off of Jesus... even if my feet completely fail and I sink... He will lift me up and save me.  I will not drown because if ever I'm going under, all I have to do is reach up and His hand will be there to pull me from the oceans I fear...  He takes me deeper than my feet would ever wander so that my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.  I pray I always have a trust without borders.... to walk upon waters....wherever He may call me... 

Oceans - Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh Jesus yeah, my God

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

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