Monday, July 30, 2012

Goodbye, sweet baby.

Only a few short hours passed after my last words here before change knocked at our door. 
I answered, pain walked in. 
Pain laced black and red. 
Pain wrought in tears.
Tears of thousands, millions of women. 

Saturday writhed with the ugliness of this world. 
This broken world. 
When all feels broken. 

But the broken was preceded with grace. 
Grace in little blips on a black and white screen. 
Grace in a slow, steady beat. 
And when grace precedes the pain, we see the love of the Creator. 
The Creator does not leave us empty in pain, 
He fills us full up with grace so we can see just a glimpse of His love. 

A glimpse. Just a blip. 
A blip that is more full of love than I can fathom. 

Still, I want to question. 
I want to writhe against truth. 
I want to listen to the whisper of darkness. 
Darkness forged in lies. 
Lies that say He isn't good, 
He isn't grace, 
He isn't love, 
that this isn't right or just or true.
And he, the prince of darkness, "he sneers at all the things that seem to have gone hideously mad in this sin-drunk world, and I gasp to say God is good. The liar defiantly scrawls his graffiti across God's glory, and I heave to enjoy God ... and Satan strangles, and I whiten knuckles to grasp real Truth and fix that beast to the floor." 

When I focus the lens of my heart on the lies, I miss the whole of His truth. 
It is only when I change and use God's Word as a lens that I can see truth.
Without it, "the world warps."
"Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because the Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, 'I know. I know.'
The passion on the page is a Person, and the lens I wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of the God-Man who came and knows the pain."

So, I look for His truth.
Truth that He is the Creator. 
"You were in My care even before you were born." (Isaiah 44:2)
Resting forever in His care. 
Truth that we were never promised a life free of pain.
This life is enveloped in suffering.
We yearn to mirror Christ but what when that mirror means pain?
Those hands that cup our face are the same hands that faced
"the abandonment of God Himself (does it get any worse than this?). "
Yet, "Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him
and crush Him
and wound Him
and yield a bounty of joy."

I grapple for understanding even when my life has not been wrought with hardship. 
I am, ultimately, blessed. 
I've only glanced at pain for a moment, 
it has never wrapped me whole. 
Left me destitute. 

And even in my briefest moments, I want to question. 
How do I grasp grace? 
How do I breathe in love? 
Wrapped in truth. 
That, "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) 
Even in these briefest of moments, I hear it soft,
"it is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace."

And when my eyes are clouded or my mind cannot comprehend 
I am reminded that He speaks in the wind, and His gloriousness reaches beyond me. 
"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things." (Eccl 11:5)
And He makes all beautiful.
He transfigures all into beauty.
"And if all the work of transfiguring the ugly into the beautiful pleases God,
it is a work of beauty."

When I stop to breathe in His truth, 
I welcome His grace. 
He catches my breath and binds my wounds.
He heals my heart and fills the empty. 
In the weakness of my questions, His power is made perfect. 
His grace is sufficient. 
His hope is everlasting. 

God speaks to me through the words of another and I am blasted through, a cold wind seizing my lungs. It's hard to breathe.
"He takes the empty hands and draws me close to the thrum of Love.
You may suffer loss but in Me is anything ever lost, really? 
Isn't everything that belongs to Christ also yours? Loved ones lost still belong to Him - then aren't they still yours? Do I not own the cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren't then all provisions, in Christ also yours? 
If you haven't lost Christ, child, nothing is ever lost. 
Remember, 'through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God' (Acts 14:22), and in 'sharing in [My Son's] sufferings, becoming like him in his death' you come 'to know Christ and the power of his resurrection' (Philippians 3:10)." 

"God is always good and I am always loved."

I takes lessons from her, this writer, who writes the words of the Father.
She grapples for gratitude and I yearn to count my own one thousand blessings.
I re-read underlined words and blink back the sting when I see what I scribbled across those pages that grip my heart:
26: 6.26.12: 2 tests. 4 pink lines. 1 leap of my heart. A 5th. Blessing upon blessing. 

Can I write again? Can I add to the number?
44: 7.30.12: A life joined with Him. A life with no pain, no sorrow, no tears. 
Hope for a glorious reunion at the barrier of eternity. 

Eucharisteo: to give thanks.
"Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things - take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness. I have glimpsed it: This, the hard eucharisteo. The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty. The hard discipline to give thanks for all things at all times because He is all good. The hard discipline to number the griefs as grace..."

Quoted sections taken directly from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Helloooooo Baby!

Yes, that's right. 
We're growing another baby! 

 3 positive tests - 2 on June 26, 1 on June 27.
There was actually another one from June 25 but I didn't keep it! 

This is one of our fabulously fun pictures with the beautiful Traci to help us announce our excitement to the interwebz world. 

Since I haven't been blogging recently I thought it was time to catch things up a bit and we had an ultrasound yesterday that left us scratching our heads.

So, this will also be a post to update any of you lovelies that are interested on what is leaving us baffled with this new pregnancy. 

Please be warned, I'm going to get nice and close and personal here.
For some of you, it may be a bit toooo personal.
So stop reading in a little bit. 

Not quite yet if you don't mind charting details. 

I've been charting for a while. Over a year. I didn't take my temperature daily most of that time but started about 4 months ago, or 4 months before we conceived. 
So, I've gotten familiar with everything included in charting and conceiving and have read a lot and studied a lot.
My eyes have started to cross a bit while studying my chart online. 

Well, looking at my chart from the time we conceived this baby, it was all very standard. Ovulation was  late but I knew when it happened. All the right signs were there, the OPK's were positive and my temp rose afterward and stayed high, a sure sign that ovulation did indeed happen. 
We waited 14 days to test and got positives! 

So we knew pretty precisely when this baby was conceived. June 12th/13th. 
That would put me at 9weeks 5days today. 
A due date of March 5, 2013

Stop reading now if you don't want any more details than that! 
Come back to the very end. 

I'm going to share what's been going on lately and it gets pretty personal. 
I'm not trying to spill all the unnecessary details to the world, but it is very hard to explain our new due date without explaining what's been going on!
So, here it goes. 

July 16 I started spotting pink with occasional red streaks. That lasted about a week but didn't stop. 
A few days ago it was more that just occasional spotting. 
Then it turned dark pink and then some brown. 
But I haven't had any cramping yet, so I've been trying not to worry and just let it go knowing full well that many women spot or even bleed during their pregnancies! 

Thursday morning it was red. Bright red. It wasn't a ton but enough to concern me and there was a clot in it. Maybe dime size? Maybe pea size. There have been a couple more pea size clots since then. I have continued to bleed bright red and it's been gradually getting heavier. I wouldn't consider it "heavy", if you ladies know what I mean by that. But it certainly wasn't nothing. 
I called the midwife I was hoping to see and they squeezed me in yesterday at 12:10. 

The appointment was interesting, I guess. I was able to get in for an ultrasound, it just took forever because they were super busy and squeezed me in. 

They gave me an internal ultrasound and according to the tech and all the measurements, there is indeed a baby and that baby DOES have a heartbeat. 

Praise God! 

However, that baby was only measuring 5w6d - 6 weeks today. 
A full 3 WEEKS behind what we knew. 
It's actually quite an odd mystery because according to those measurements it puts conception on July 1st - 4 full days AFTER we got 4 positive pregnancy tests! Which is impossible. You can't get positive tests before you actually conceive. It boggles my mind. 
Especially considering that we have been charting. Everything according to my charts put ovulation at CD19 - June 12th. And we got our BFP's exactly 14 days later. 

There are a couple crazy scenarios in my head but I don't know what's actually realistic. 
1. We conceived twins and lost 1. 
2. Maybe there are twins and my body is learning how to deal with that? 
3. 2 eggs were released at different times, both fertilized, one lost. 
4. We were pregnant, lost that baby and conceived almost immediately after that. 
5. The ultrasound is off a bit (they have been known to be off by 2 weeks or so) and the baby just hasn't grown yet. 

I am still bleeding and it's not getting much better but the tech didn't see anything to be concerned about. 
When I asked if there was any reason to explain the bleeding she said that either:
1. I was 9 weeks and the baby stopped growing at 6 weeks and I was miscarrying but that wasn't the case because if that was it, the baby wouldn't still have a heartbeat. 
2. My body was just readjusting to being pregnant again and it's just different this time. 
She said that, in theory, because there is a heartbeat that the baby should keep growing and get bigger and the heartbeat will get stronger. 

If things get worse, I'll go back in. 
Also, I am waiting for the midwife to call back after seeing the ultrasound results. I haven't talked to her yet, just talked with the tech a lot. 
If the ultrasound measurements and conception date are correct, that gives us a new due date of:
 March 23, 2013 and puts us back at being newly pregnant, at 6 weeks along! 

I am indeed, praising God that there is a heartbeat and a baby that we could see! 
I have no doubt that He is the author and perfecter of life and holds it all in His hands. 
I also have no doubt that this may never be explained because it may just be His miraculous and mysterious plan for us. 

And I will praise Him for all of it. 

I also know that should anything change or worsen, I have a tender, loving, and compassionate God who wastes nothing and makes no mistakes. 
I trust Him knowing that every life has a purpose even if that life is only 6 weeks long.

Thank you to all who have been praying for us, we greatly appreciate it! 
Many apologies to any that I made squirm.