A Pre-term Labor Scare, An Enlarged Liver, And A Stomach Virus: Our Week Thus Far

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So this week has been interesting to say the least.

Tuesday, Chris took me to the hospital because I had been having consistent contractions and back pain since Monday and the contractions were getting closer together. Early that morning I could not stop vomiting…like I threw up all over myself as we pulled into the hospital parking lot. It was glamorous. Ladies, you know you married a good man, when he holds the car door open for you while you spew your guts all over said car door and all down the front of your clothes, and he calmly reassures you, cleans up the mess…and still claims you as his own. He’s such a gift to me!

The midwives at the hospital did not want me having Miss Elliot quite yet, since I was only 35 weeks at this point, so they hooked me up to an IV to get some fluids going to make sure it wasn’t because I was dehydrated. That didn’t help, and my contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this point. They then gave me a shot to try and slow labor, and when that didn’t help either, they admitted me for the night.

Finally, after a few hours the contractions died down, but I was still in constant pain across the top of my uterus. I couldn’t tell if I was having contractions and it didn’t make sense that the pain was so constant. After about 12 hours of dealing with the pain, they finally brought me some medicine and whew! I felt sooo much better. It was so nice not to be in pain for a little bit.

All of my lab work came back normal and my blood pressure was perfect. We were all so confused as to what was going on.

Whenever the pain medicine would wear off I was in terrible pain again, so they didn’t want to send me home not knowing what was causing it. They thought it could be my gallbladder, so they sent me down for an ultrasound to check it out.

Everything looked great with that, but they noticed that my liver is enlarged and finally decided that that must be what the issue is.

Meanwhile, in the midst of this, Chris suddenly becomes violently ill. As in he could not stop vomiting for over an hour and I told him to try and go home to be more comfortable. He was so sick! His dad had to come pick him up because he was throwing up at least every ten minutes.

I was trying so hard not to totally have a meltdown, not knowing what was going to happen to me that night and if I was going to get worse, plus now not having my husband there by my side. And feeling so much concern for his health and wanting to be by his side to take care of him…man. It was a disaster. Chris was so upset to leave me, but the poor guy had no choice. I have never seen him so sick!

I texted my little sister in GA and she immediately jumped in her car and drove almost 4 hours to come be with me last night. She is amazing and I felt so much better not being alone.

The doctor came in and told me he didn’t want me to take any more medicine that night and see if the pain came back as strong, and thankfully it did not. So this morning they were able to send me home.

The plan for now is to just monitor me closely and if I start having any pain, they want me to come straight back and do more bloodwork. He is worried that this might be the beginning of preeclampsia and if that’s the case, Miss Elliot may be delivered at any time depending on how my liver holds up. They gave me two rounds of steroid shots for her lung development just in case she gets here early, so that’s a really good thing.

If I remain out of pain and can manage my symptoms well, we can just take things day by day and wait for her to come on her own.

It’s so hard not knowing how all of this is going to go down. I just want to know. And it was exactly a year ago today that I was admitted with Eli and was told he would be born the next day because of his heart rate dropping. So to say I’m a little over the whole pregnancy drama would be an understatement. (ha) Apparently it’s impossible for me to just have a baby with no complications. I MUST HAVE DRAMA.

What’s sad is tomorrow is Eli’s first birthday, and Monday is Rhett’s second. We had the cutest party planned for this Saturday that we had to cancel due to my health and Chris being sick. I feel like every ounce of my “momma soul” is dying inside because I so want to celebrate these big milestones for my boys. Talk about Satan trying to bring on the mommy guilt!

But I am trying to trust the Lord’s timing in all of this. I know that nothing is a surprise to Him and I trust His plan. He has yet to lead us down a wrong path. So I am trying to release my grasp and just ride each wave. And I’m also praying for Him to calm the storm before momma is tempted to jump overboard. (ha)

Thank you to our friends and family who have been texting, checking on us, and praying for us through all of this. I figured it’d be easier to just update everyone on the whole situation in one place…thus this very scatter brained post. 😉

Also, a HUGE thank you to Chris’ parents who have missed work all week to take care of our two crazy boys, which is no easy task! Plus, they took care of Chris last night when he was so sick. I seriously don’t know what we would have done without their selflessness during this time! And tomorrow my parents are coming into town…CAN I GET A PRAISE THE LORD!?! *praise hands*

We may just survive this thing, people! 😉

Why I Didn’t Abort My Baby, Even When An Abortion Would Have Saved My Life

IMG_1004I have been very absent on the blog lately, mainly due to life changes such as moving, traveling and the like. But some of you may not be aware of the latest “change” that has happened in our family’s life.

On January 21st, my husband, sister, son and I all went for my anatomy ultrasound to find out the gender of our newest little baby on the way. We eagerly watched the screen,hoping to catch a glimpse of something that would tell us what “it” was. But I am highly unskilled in detecting anything on those things…I don’t know how they do it!

But to my great delight it was soon announced that our little baby was a BOY!! I had not-so-secretly wanted another boy, so this momma was so happy! When I was 13 weeks pregnant, as I was falling asleep one night I felt the Lord strongly impress on my heart that we would be having another boy, and the name Elijah popped in my head. Now if you know anything about me, you know Bible names are not my favorite. Call me a sinner, but I blame it on my homeschool upbringing…I can’t count the number of Rachel’s, Abraham’s, Hezekiah’s and Jehosophat’s I knew. Okay, so I’ve yet to meet a Jehosophat. Just give it time. (ha) But that name would not leave my mind. So when we found out that our little man was indeed a little man, he instantly became Elijah.

They printed off our ultrasound pictures and handed them to us. “The doctor will be in shortly to dismiss ya’ll.” the technician said as she headed out the door. It was then that things began to change.

She told us that my amniotic fluid looked low and that my placenta had either holes in it or pockets of fluid. She wanted to schedule another ultrasound with the high risk office upstairs the following day.

As we left, I couldn’t help but cry on the way home. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong. Chris tried to comfort me and tell me it was all going to be fine, but being the natural optimist I am, (ha) I didn’t believe him.

The next day, after the ultrasound, a doctor came in, pulled up a chair and put her hand on my leg. The technician grabbed a box of tissues, and sat down beside her. She began to tell me that I have what is called a partial molar pregnancy, where my placenta has a chromosomal abnormality that has most likely affected the baby. He would not make it and the risk to me in continuing to carry him put me in grave danger. The placenta would become cancerous and spread to my lungs, liver and brain.

She recommended I terminate the pregnancy. “You are our main concern.” she said.

My mind reeled with all of the information, but it all came to a stop when I heard those words. I am the priority? You think the best choice is for me to kill my child?!? What about that little life I just saw moving around on that screen? What about him?

I told them that termination was not an option for me, so we needed to look at different options. She sighed, and then began to tell me that this will be extremely risky to me and that I will be monitored closely. The baby might not even make it another day, much less another week.

So with that we left the hospital and headed home; grieved, confused and heart-broken.

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I was so shocked by the support we received from so many family members, friends and complete strangers when we shared the situation. We were (and are) so encouraged by all of the prayers people were praying for us.

But I was also extremely surprised to be asked by family, friends and fellow believers why I did not terminate my pregnancy. “Are you sure?” I was asked countless times. I was also told I made the “brave choice” or “I could never have made that kind of sacrifice.” Itsaddened my heart, really.

I am no hero.

I didn’t make a difficult decision.

I only did what I believe is right.

Here’s how I knew that decision was right: I know my God. I don’t mean this in a self-righteous way. But rather, because I know Him and what His heart is, I didn’t hesitate when it came to making a serious decision.

Yes, I could die. But I would rather die walking in obedience to the Lord, than live in rebellion against Him.

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.” Psalm 139:13-18a

God is forming little Eli inside of me right now. Skillfully creating his every bone, muscle and tissue. And His thoughts towards my little son outnumber the sand! How incredible! So knowing that this is how God feels about the little life growing inside of me, made my decision not to abort him a no-brainer.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

What a beautiful example I have in the life of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for me, and enables me to make that same sacrifice for my son. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial love for me, I am able to love others like that.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

As a disciple of Christ, I am not living for this life anyways. This is not my home. Earth is not my goal. I am striving for the eternal. This perspective, again, made my decision an easy one.

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I hope this sheds a little light on the situation and the decision I made to keep my baby. I am not some saint that deserves praise because I made that decision. I am a human being who has been redeemed by the God of the universe, and because of Him I am able to love like Him. He deserves any and all glory that comes from this.

{UPDATE: here and here}