Thursday, September 29, 2011

Holding on to Grace

Another week means another blessing and another doctor's appointment. These week has brought us to our knees. We met with both my specialist and my OB today for routine visits as I've managed to stay out of the hospital and doctors offices for a week! However, we left today needing lots of prayers.

Elizabeth Grace looks wonderful. However, there is worsening of both my cervix and my membranes supporting her. Here are the facts as we learned them today: 1) my cervix has always been weak so we've been monitoring it; it's down to .8 (essentially nothing left), 2) I've always had funneled membrances into the cervix at times to the stitch; however today, the membranes at my stitch are no longer funneled, they are completely wide - meaning - more fluid means increased pressure; increased chance at tearing or bulging past the stitch, and 3) at times, they funneled slightly past the stitch, but moved back up, still open.

So here we are...home with our bags packed. Since the beginning, they (the doctors) have told us Elizabeth Grace could come any day. So, we have, to a degree, held to that and mentally remained prepared. However, as the weeks have passed, we've come to level off a bit and not be so much on edge. However, due to the worsening seen today, the open membrane bulging onto my stitch, the doctors could only conclude that any day my membrances will rupture, or buldge past the stitch. Should they buldge past the stitch, I will have to be admitted to Labor and Delivery and the stitch will have to be cut. As a result, my specialist will now see me twice a week instead of once to make sure if I bulge past the stitch, it is caught before the stitch rips, which could lead to hemoragging.

I'm sorry to make this a little graphic, but so many have asked about us, prayed for us, and worried with us. I just felt it easier to blog our information, than to make or take a million phone calls and relay the story a million times.

For now, I am home. I will see my specialist again on Monday which will mark 28 weeks. Here are the facts for Elizabeth Grace as of now: 1) she is strong, growing well, and has a great size for her gestational age, and 2) should she come in the coming days, there will have to be intensive interventions for her to aide in her breathing and she will face the possiblity of heart surgery for the PDA. As for viability, both doctors agree, she is no longer in danger in that aspect. However, we all recognize and agree there will need to be measures taken to help her continue to grow. Anyone with a micro preemie knows this far to painfully real.

At this point, we continue to ask for your prayers for Elizabeth Grace. Prayer for her strength and continued growth. Please pray for our family. Our hearts are tender and our human nature is very scared. We do know who holds our hand and who is holding our Elizabeth Grace in His hands. We have to continue to trust in His plan and His promises to us. We do not know in the days or weeks ahead when we'll meet our precious girl, but we do know until that day, I will continue to hold tight to her in my womb, while God continues to reveal His plan for her and our family.

It's a beautiful day, and the Fall weather is coming. I know in my heart God is reassuring me there are nothing but beautiful days ahead. Open your windows, and enjoy the beautiful weather. I know I sure will here at home!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Praise Him From Whom All Blessings Flow

I hope this week has been a great one for each of you! Not too much news in our household this week, but I bet things are going to only get busier!

I realized today, it was 9 weeks ago we began our journey with Elizabeth Grace. However, when we woke up that Wednesday morning, we had no idea the baby inside of me was even a girl. So, then began our journey of Faith, Love, Hope, and Prayer. As I stated on my FB post earlier today, so many "physicians" were determined in their expertise and knowledge to think our precious girl would not make it. There was just simply no way my body would hold. However, we knew then, but little did they know, that God would show Himself the ONE AND ONLY GREAT PHYSICIAN! Here WE are, 9 weeks later, and inside of ME is a healthy, happy, growing little girl named Elizabeth Grace! She has NEVER been a specimen, as "they" so called her. She has always been OUR Elizabeth Grace given to us by our Father as a reminder of His Amazing Love.

Since this pregnancy began, we have stood in amazement of God's Love. Initially, we were shocked I was even pregnant. Then the shock turned to anguish as we were told at 5 weeks, we would loose our girl. Then from there, well if you've followed us, you know the "rest" or at least until this point! I don't think I ever stopped for a moment and feet excitement. I was excited, however, I guarded my feelings so deeply at times. Now, I am overcome with excitement, joy, and happiness at the continued faithfulness of His Love for me, my family, OUR girl, and our many friends following us on this journey.

We visit both doctors tomorrow. We are prayerful for positive news. I will come off my current blood thinner which I administer through injection once a day now. They will be switching me to Heprin, which I will have to administer twice a day until Elizabeth is born. Heprin is a reversible blood thinner, which usually isn't administered utnil the final 4 weeks of pregnancy (36 weeks). But, since, my final week(s) are unknown (to us at least), my doctors don't want to "gamble" with any more time and will switch me now since I will be 28 weeks on Monday. Please pray that I am able to handle this form of the blood thinner well. I was given it for only a day with William, but at that time they were pumping me so full of medications to try and hold off labor for him, I felt miserable, so who knows which of the drugs was making me sick then.

Amber leaves Friday for 3 days at a Chorus Retreat with school. I'm sure gonna miss my best girl, but I know she's going to have a blast! I'm so proud of her. Also, Fred returns to work Monday. I cannot believe how these past 5 weeks have flown by, but I couldn't have been more blessed by him being home. He has carried such a burden on this journey and so often all that gets overlooked. I blogged about him on a previous post while I was still in the hospital. Little did I realize then, how really strong he was! He has had the glorious opportunity to venture in the grocery store SEVERAL times a week, vaccum, mop, play taxi driver for our teenager, and nightly bath time with William. Sure, these are basic household things, but when you have a stay-at-home wife/mom, you don't often get to experience such fun! Ha Ha....However, he has done it all with a smile and with so much love for our family. I'm sure going to miss him during the day when he goes back to work.

However, I have some amazing friends (family) coming in to help with William. These ladies have unselfishly sacrificed their own time to come into our home to help with my children. I'm so humbled by such love! Tuesdays will consists of a play date with my sweet friend Brittainy who will bring her two kids over to play with William while she helps me as well. What an amazing blessing and such a sacrifice, but so willing to do it with such a loving heart. Grammy Huanne will of course be here! She doesn't miss a beat! Such a blessing she has been to our family. With mom and dad in Florida, it's hard sometimes to go back and forth. So Grammy is always here to step in. My kiddos just love her to death! Finally, Mrs. Pat will be here. She also helped me the first week I was discharged and we had such wonderful conversations with some laughs. Not to mention, William absolutely adored her! Mom and Dad remain on standby to come if we call, so we are holding off on them b/c we know they'll be burning up the road to get here when we call to tell them "it's FINALLY time".

I daily sit and wonder what I did to deserve such blessings in my life. Our church, our family, our friends, have all been such blessings. My hope is that somehow, I/My Family has touched each of you the same way you have touched us. The ladies above are just a few of the many people who have helped us...and I promise I will get to all the thank you's soon!

Okay...that was a LONG post...sorry! I hope each of you have a wonderful evening. Embrace the one's you love, laugh often with them, and remember to be thankful for even the small moments.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Grace is Sufficient For Me

I came across a song the other day and wanted to share a bit about it. The name of the song is "Grace" by Laura Story. She also sings one of my favorite songs "Blessings" I blogged about on a previous post. However, this song "Grace" really touched me deep within as I listened to it over and over again. Here are the lyrics:

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done. And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me and hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.

I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face, You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."

At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged, knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job. For who am I to serve You? I know I don't deserve You. And that's the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face, You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I'm learning what Your grace really means. The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary. So, instead of trying to repay You, I'm learning to simply obey You by giving up my life to you For all that You've given to me.

I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abounds?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face, You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."

As I listened to this song it really brought me to tears. So often it is easy to get caught up in the day to day struggles in life that I so easily forget the sacrifice He paid so that I may live for eternity. I believe with all my heart He puts challenges in our lives to remind us how much he truly does love us. The songs says "and now you gently break me, then lovingly you take me and hold me as my father and mold me as my maker". I believe this is what He has done through me, through us, as we have traveled our journey with Elizabeth Grace. I think we, as His children, take this amazing love for granted at times when we become comfortable in our walk with Him. Yet, He always forgives us, and through these very challenges, reminds us He is there.

I have made many mistakes in my lifetime...many I'm not proud of. I've said hurtful things, I've made poor decisions, and have at times strayed from Him. As I listened to this song the chorus made this far too real because I have prayed many times and asked Him why He would continue to forgive me. "How many times will you pick me up, when I keep on letting you down?" His answer is always the same, "My child, I love you, and as long as you're seeking my face, you'll walk in the power of my daily sufficent grace". How humbling is it to know I/We serve such a loving and forgiving God.

In the beginning days after I was rushed into surgery and the weeks that followed, I became angry at times. I was angry at myself, feeling like I somehow had failed Elizabeth. I was angry at the fact I lost control of the situation and couldn't change it. And honestly, I had moments where I was angry at God for doing this to us. How selfish is that! Who am I to question Him and what he does. He has loved me through this. He has held my hand and my family as we have walked in the power of his daily sufficient Grace. Most importantly, when I have cried out to him on my knees, He answers me. His answer may come through a song I "happen" to come across; it may come through an email, call, or text from a sweet friend; or it may even come through the gentle kick of this precious girl inside my womb. He does hear me when I call. I have to be willing to sit back and listen when he calls on me reminding me He hears me.

Fred returns to work after next week. It's been a wonderful 5 weeks with him home, however, it came at a price. He didn't have leave accumlulated as a result of the house fire earlier this year, so he won't receive any pay for these weeks. We were fortunate to be able to pull from some resources we had through retirement accounts and 401 plans. However, those only go so far. As he returns to work, we now face the challenge of wondering how the bills will get paid. Again, He commands us to call out to Him and He will listen. To seek His face, and he will give us the power to walk in his daily sufficient Grace. For me, that's all the affirmation I need to know my God will continue to carry us. When I quit work to stay home, we wondered the same will the bills get paid. Let me share with you...they have been paid, they continue to be paid, and we continue to stand in amazement at how He provides.

I blogged previously about living a life of love and devotion to those you love. Money doesn't define you. How you walk in your life, love those around you, and the time you spend with the ones you love will define you. When you leave this Earth, what will those you leave behind talk about when they talk about you?

The past 2 weeks have been difficult. We have made several trips to my doctors and the hospital. Although my body continues to weaken, God continues to carry out His plan, and Elizabeth Grace remains in my womb. We learned Wednesday, she is now 2 lbs. 7 oz. measuring at 27 weeks and 3 days. I was only 26 weeks and 2 days. Needless to say, she is growing amazingly well. I continue to be humbled by this experience and so amazingly blessed. If I could go back 26 weeks, I'm not sure I would change a thing. My sweet family has traveled such a journey over the past 14 months (William's birth, the house fire, and Elizabeth). Yet through it all, we ramain committed to each other and to our Lord and Savior! As the song tells us:

"As I walk with you, I'm learning what your grace really means. The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary. So, instead of trying to repay You, I'm learning to simply obey You by giving up my life to you for all that You've given to me".

So for that, I continue to turn it all over to Him. How can I not? Who else has proven themself so faithful, loved so unconditional, and demonstrated such a foregiveness that only He can give? We have weeks ahead of us that remain uncertain. However, one this is very certain, He loves me, He loves my family, He loves Elizabeth Grace, and He loves You. Make today a special those closes to you, and I encourage you to not take anything for granted. Look at all you have and for just a moment, stop and thank God for those things.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Every Day is a Beautiful Day

I have found that blogging has been a wonderful way to share my testimony, in both good and bad moments. However, I have also found it very theraputic as I spend so much of my days reflecting on my thoughts, my family, my friends, and my feelings.

As many of you read from FB, we spent most of yesterday at Northside. If you've been following us, it was a long week. I woke up yesterday morning in an extreme amount of lower back pain. It was so intense, I could barely walk. I tried to drink some water and rest, but the pain worsened and was beginning to transfer to "other" locations. Locations which triggered instant fear and concern. Needless to say, I called the doctor and without hesitation they said to get to L & D. I guess this is part of the journey we will travel considering the high risk nature of this pregnancy. We arrived and they immediately got me into a room and hooked on the monitors. They drew some blood and rushed me down to APC, my specialist office located in the hospital. Much to our relief we learned my stitch was stable as well as my cervix in comparison to Thursday's routine appointment. However, her head had dropped quite a bit. My labs were normal and the consensus was that it was largely due to her dropping position, the weakening of my joints, and the deterioration of muscle tissue as a result of the nearly 8 weeks I have been on bed rest. Although we were thrilled to know we would be coming home with our girl, we now face some more challenges.

The greatest of these challenges being the continued deterioration of both my muscle tissue and weakening of my joints. Both are common with extended bed rest, and often require therapy at the end. Despite the amount of pain and discomfort I am in, it's not about me or my comfort level. It continues to be and has always been about Elizabeth Grace and giving her the best chance possible. In addition, I continue to pray for my sweet family as they continue to carry such a load here at home.

Amber continues to do well in school and is now beginning to perform with Chorus. This of course is a huge emotional challenge for me as I just to don't miss anything involving my kids. She is performing at half time this Friday night at the football game and I won't be able to attend. She will be gone the last weekend of the month to a Chorus Retreat which I'm so excited about for her. We are really trying to make sure she remains a teenager and stays busy. She spent yesterday with her best friend and a few other friends at the fair and had a blast. I could not be more proud of her patience, love, and strength during this time as she too has had to carry some of the responsibilities at home that she otherwise would be free from.

William has begun to WALK EVERYWHERE. He loves playing with his ball and his toy cars. He rolls them all over the house now. He'll even play ball by himself at times throwing the ball, going to get it, and throwing it again. He has just this week started wanting to feed himself. Yep....this is always fun to watch. Yogurt and Speghetti O's are the messiest, but he thinks he's such a big boy.

I guess I have spent this week in a bit of a slump. When going through something this life altering, some days are just harder than others. I don't want to appear to be complaining, because I have nothing to complain about. I am richly blessed, I am a believer in the One and ONLY Physician, and as challenging as this pregnancy is, it is truly a miracle and a testimony of God's Grace and the power of prayer. However, some days I miss my "freedom" of going out to lunch, playing in the yard, going for a walk, or just enjoying the beautiful weather. Most of all, I am really missing my weekly women's Bible Study that was always a huge highlight of my week. Despite my restrictions to the bed, I have a beautiful life growing inside of me, and for that, I'll find every day to be a beautiful day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Will Trust in You

We went today for our routine visits to both my OB and my Specialist. We thought they would cancel today's appointment since they saw us Tuesday, but they were adamant about keeping them. As indicated in my last post, I have been experiencing a lot of discomfort and pain in the past week. On Tuesday, we learned Elizabeth was breech and that could be the source of the discomfort. Today, the ultrasound indicated she had flipped back down and the discomfort has not eased. After a more extensive ultrasound, we discovered since Tuesday, my cervix has shortened considerably, at least what was left, which wasn't much. In addition, the funneled membranes are larger opening the way for her head to drop into them and as of today, they were bulging at my stitch.

There was discussion about readmission, but after further conversation, we agreed I would come on home and just notify them of even the smallest of issues I see or feel. The concensus between both doctors is that Elizabeth Grace could come any day now. They feel my body is beginning to transition into possible labor, but again, we have no way of knowing, only The Great Physician does.

They don't do measurements but every 4 weeks, which means they will measure her again in 2 weeks if I'm still pregnant. However, based on her measurements 2 weeks ago, they estimate her to be at or near 2 pounds. Her heart looks wonderful, she is very active indicating good lung development (for 25 weeks), and she is opening and closing her mouth indicating she is swallowing well. All of these things indicate she is doing really well. Of course, we do not want to deliver her this early, but realize, along with our doctors, we have fought a great fight for her, essentially saving her little life having gotten this far. I take none of that for granted, but continue to pray for many more weeks with her in my belly.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Elizabeth Grace's plan has already been designed and has been from the very beginning. For that, we will continue to trust in Him to carry out His plan, not ours. Selfishly, I am begging with all my heart and a million tears for God to let me hang on to her longer in my womb. However, I know, and I trust in Him to carry out His plan and provide our hearts with all we need to accept that plan and walk alongside of Him with Elizabeth Grace singing His praises. We will be at Northside and they have one of the leading NICU's in the country. They took such wonderful care of William and we know they'll do nothing less for our Elizabeth. As for how she will be delivered will not be decided until that time is here. My OB and Specialist agree there will be many factors, the greatest being her position as to if I have a c-section or not as well as how far I really do get with her. Until I am much further along (32 weeks or further) they acknowledge my desire to have her c-section to minimize pressure on her soft little head.

Please continue to pray for my sweet family. Although I am in quite a bit of discomfort, it isn't about me. Right now, I live each moment praying for all three of my children, their hearts, and for my amazing husband. It would be so easy to dwell in my own sorrow and self-pity, but I can't do that. As I type this, I am sad, I am scared, but I'm not alone. I am loved by an amazing God who has truly proven Himself faithful. I am comforted in a peace that surpasses all, and as a family, we remain honored to have been chosen to travel this journey. Until we meet our Elizabeth Grace face to face, we will continue to trust in Him, His will, and His many promises to us.

I will sign off and leave you with some more 3D pictures of Elizabeth Grace.

Psalm 139:13-14

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Monday, September 12, 2011


It has been a "busy" week and a little while since my last post. We had our weekly appointment with my specialist on Thursday. However, prior to the appointment, my nerves got the best of both me and Elizabeth. Wednesday night was very scary. I woke up in the middle of the night with about 4 contractions in a 30 minute time period around 2:00 a.m. I really think this was simply my anxiety level about the appointment. We woke up early and headed to Alpharetta. The ultrasound went well and Elizabeth still looks wonderful. However, my cervix shortened again and my specialist felt the only other place for it to go is open. The stitch is holding so that's what they focus on now, not so much the length since that's obviously worsening. The issue now will be watching the stitch and making sure it holds.

I also received three injections last week. Needless to say, I was a bit sore considering the location of all the injections and the fact that I'm on bed rest meaning all I have to do is lay on the injection sites. The steriod injections went well and I received my normal 17P injection. Although my specialist is still greatly concerned, he is comfortable with what I am doing at home as far as the bed rest is concerned.

This brings us to today. Saturday afternoon I was extremely uncomfortable. Honestly, I'm only 25 weeks pregnant, but feel like I'm at the final mark. I'm not sure if this is all her positioning, the bed rest resulting in an extreme lack of energy to even walk to the restroom, or something else. I had a terrible time sleeping Saturday night and tossed and turned much of the night. I am having a ton of pain in my lower back as well. Sunday was not much better in fact things got a bit worse. I have developed severe indigestion. Well, when you are on bed rest, and they want you sitting up as little as possible this does not make for a comfortable feeling at all. I still experience some contractions, am extremely fatigued (not sure why I don't do anything) and am coping with the indigestion as best I can.

We see both doctors on Thursday and will do the diabetes screening then. I have experienced so many different emotions over the past 7 weeks. However, for the last few weeks, I have felt good, confident, and determined. Right now, I'm more scared than I have been in weeks. I'm not sure if the bed rest and lack of exercise is catching up with me, or if Elizabeth Grace is trying to decide if she's ready to see us. I'm sure this week will bring some answers and may result in me returning to the hospital.

We remain very thankful and blessed we have made it this far and will continue to fight with all we have to make it further. The last few days have just been a bit scary and uncomfortable. We know who is in control, and continue to trust in Him. Please continue to pray for our Elizabeth Grace, God's will, and the comfort we need to remain relaxed and focused on her.

God is still so present in our lives. I logged on to Facebook last night only to find where a long time friend's son had song a duet in church yesterday. She uploaded it to YouTube and posted it on Facebook. The song was "Blessings". I first heard this song after a friend lost her precious baby girl in May and mentioned it in her blog. As I was feeling so weak and scared last night, what a powerful reminder that God was right there with me. I listened to it and cried as I let Elizabeth listen as well. If you haven't heard it, I encourage you to listen. The lyrics are below:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace. Comfort for family, protection while we sleep. We pray for healing, for prosperity. We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering. All the while You hear each spoken need; Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear. We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near. We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love; As if every promise from Your Word is not enough. And all the while You hear each desperate plea. And long that we'd have faith to believe.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near? And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win. We know that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home.

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are Your mercies in disguise?

Our trials are blessings if we choose to see them for just that. I've had lots of sleepless nights, feelings of lonliness, and many storms. However, I have never once felt abandoned by my God nor forsaken. May you find the many blessings you have been given even when you feel there are none to be seen. I promise there are many.

Monday, September 5, 2011

We Remain Faithful

The number 24 means different things to different people. I guess to some, it's double 12. For others, it may represent your birthday. However, for our family today, it represents a 6 week prayerful journey to reach a critical part in my pregnancy. As the storms move in outside today, it would be easy to feel gloomy and long for sunshine. However, for me, it is another reminder that life isn't always sunshine and pretty days. There will be clouds, rain, and darkness. Even in those moments, life is so beautiful; if you chose to see it that way.

As I replay the past 6 weeks in my mind, it is overwhelming. We have traveled such an emotional journey to get to the magic number of "24". During the course of these weeks, we had to do somethings our hearts were not prepared for and I haven't shared with many people. Due to the critical nature of the situation, and the doctor's doubts on survival or extended length of my pregnancy, as Elizabeth's parents we had to write a plan for her. We had specific desires for how we wanted her and our situation handled should God chose to take her home to heaven. If these desires are not specifically stated, the situation can potentially become overwhelming. As part of our plan, we had to contact a funeral home and express our desires and questions to them. I must say, as "strong" as I may have appeared to be over these few weeks, this was surely a weak moment for both my heart and Fred's. As I began to type out our desires, I started my first sentence with this..."This is a plan for our Elizabeth Grace we pray we do not have to implement".

Prayer is not just a word or something people do. It's speaking to God in a way only he can hear. Prayer is communicating with Him both your heart's desires and your praises. Throughout these past few weeks and in the weeks to come, I continue to pray for Elizabeth's continued growth and health. However, I also thank God for the many blessings He has given us; one of which is this pregnancy. I cannot help but to think of how different our lives would have been if we weren't traveling this journey. As hard as it has been and continues to be, we have been drawn so much closer to God and each other. Specificlly, at a time when there is so much stress and emotion, it would be easy to strain a marriage. However, Fred and I have found our strength in each other and our marriage like we have never had before. It hasn't always been "beautiful" and we certainly have stressful moments. However, I have seen my husband hold tight to prayer and to our family like never before. I am so thankful to have him as my partner, husband, and best friend as we walk this journey together with God at our side.

Today has been a wonderful day of continued rest. Although I have a fairly bad head cold and have had some mild cramping, I otherwise feel great. I am anxiously anticipating my nurse's visit tomorrow so we can begin the first of two steriod injections for Elizabeth. We will follow the first one with a second injection with my 17P injection on Wednesday and visit my specialist on Thursday. All seems to be holding stable and we continue to pray for many more weeks with Elizabeth growing in my womb.

We continue to trust His plan and remain faithful in prayer for Elizabeth Grace as the days, and weeks move on. We still do not know what her future holds, or ours, but we do know God remains in control and Elizabeth Grace is a living example of the power of prayer.

Look closely at the picture above. Elizabeth has her face turned to the camera, with her mouth open, and is giving us a "thumbs up". God spoke through her and she reassured us, and each of you, all will be well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Through The Fire

This song means more to me today, than ever before. Who are we to ever question God's plan for our lives. Without trials we easily begin to take our blessings for granted. No one desires trials in life, but when they come, it sure is reassuring knowing that my God shows up just in time and EVERY time proves Himself faithful to me. As the song states...He has never forsaken me yet, and I know He never will.

I wish I could figure out how to link the actual song...I'll keep trying....but until then, I hope these words offer you encouragement today as they do me daily.

So many times I've questioned certain circumstances
Or things I could not understand
Many times in trials, weakness blurs my vision
And my frustration gets so out of hand
Its then I am reminded I've never been forsaken
I've never had to stand the test alone
As I look at all the victories
The spirit rises up in me
And it’s through the fire my weakness is made strong

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again

I know within myself that I would surely perish
But if I trust the hand of God, He'll shield the flames again, again

Thursday, September 1, 2011

If It Weren't For Prayer

What a busy morning! I don't think I realized how weak I really was until we spent much of the morning out. However, it was a wonderful morning. We met with my specialist at 10:00. They did measurements on Elizabeth and she now weighs 1 pound 7ounces. I am 23 weeks and 3 days and she measures 23 weeks and 6 days. She was very active and her tummy was full. This indicates she is drinking the amniotic fluid and her kidneys are functioning great. They did a full anatomy scan and her heart looked wonderful as well. summary....and I am a bit bias....she is perfect. My specialist was really happy with her growth (11 ounces) in four weeks, and very happy with my stability. Although there has not been any lengthening, I am stable and the stitch is doing it's job. We were even able to do a 4D ultrasound and get some awesome pictures. So I am back home. We will see my specialist every Thursday and my OB every two weeks.

We left the specialist office and went upstairs to my OB. He was very excited to see we are just 3 days shy of 24 weeks and has set his eyes for a new goal of 28 weeks. My tummy measured 26 weeks so he was very pleased with both the growth of the baby and my growth. Of's that time....I got the lovely "juice" to drink for my next appointment (2 weeks) to test for gestational diabetes, which we have no reason to think that'll be a problem. We left the doctor's offices this morning with big smiles, continued answers to prayer, and a continued closeness to each other and to God.

Despite all the chaos right now, Amber is doing excellent in school. I checked her grades on the portal last night and we could not be more proud of her right now. She has taken on such a load with school and helping around here and continues to maintain A's and B's. We really work to minimize our expectations for her here, as we want her to remain focused on school and being a 15 year old, but she continuously insist on helping and contributing. She's such a joy, and we are so blessed she is walking along this journey with us as we, as a family, see God so close to us.

We continue to remain faithful in trusting God's plan. Please continue to think of us in prayer from week to week. Each week is an incredible milestone and we are so blessed to mark them off on the calendar as another week Elizabeth Grace has had to grow and mature inside mommy. More and more each day, we see God at work in our lives, in our family, and in the lives of our friends. We also realize, we would not be where we are in this journey if it weren't for prayer. What a testimony of His Amazing Grace!