May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise;
So, it's been a long time since I last blogged. I have no good reason for being delinquent. I have been enjoying my summer, keeping my feet up and trying to keep them from swelling! This summer seems to have been especially humid so the swelling is unavoidable, I'm afraid. I've been feeling really good- not many more Braxton Hicks contractions- I had a bunch of them at around 24 weeks but have been feeling better since.
I had a period of time during this past couple of months where fear really gripped me about the labor and delivery of our little girl. I was waking up with horrific nightmares nightly and I know that this was my brain just trying to work it's way around some anxious thoughts but it was really jarring. It came to the point where I just realized I had to work this out with God. I needed to come to a place of peace about the labor and delivery so that I could proceed with the pregnancy. Through a lot of prayer and specific verses that offered me great comfort, I have come to a place of peace. One thing I struggled with is the total lack of guarantees that I'm face with as a pregnant woman, a future mother, and a soon to be "laboring mom-to-be". I am fully aware of all the things that could possibly happen and have happened to those I love, that I feel less sure of anything. Through really hammering it out with God, I felt him saying to me in response to my frustration that there are no guarantees, that there are three very specific guarantees with God- His presence, His power, and His peace. I took great comfort in that and continue to rely on those three specific guarantees or promises. God never promised that our life would be easy. He never promised that we would get what we wanted. But He promised He would never leave us, He promised us His spirit of peace, and He is the ultimate creator of the universe. It's interesting that I didn't need reassurance of His love for me, Abe, or our little girl. I didn't feel that His love was ever in question. Going through losing our first baby, His love for me is unquestionable in my eyes. I don't doubt His tenderness towards my fragile heart.
As we continue to prepare to welcome this tiny life into our world, I am amazed by every day that I get to be her mama- she moves in my belly and I'm just blown away. What a miracle! I know that everyone says that babies are miracles but it's so true! I've also been thanking God regularly that I get to carry her. It's an honor and a truly intimate experience. Wherever I go, she's with me. It's a hard thing to explain, especially since I have a massive case of swiss-cheese brain and my words are not as eloquent as I would like.
We have a big doctor's appointment on September 16th. I'm getting a bio-physical profile and half hour fetal heart monitoring done. It's not standard practice but since I have SVT (totally not serious in my case) they are going to do this extra step. It will ease my mind a TON since they will have her heart rate on record for a full 30 minutes instead of the short bursts on dopplar at each belly check. That way if any arrythmia exists in utero, they should be able to see it. Abe and I welcome your prayers for clarity on these tests- that if anything is abnormal, it would be caught or that if everything is normal, it would be abundantly clear that she is doing just fine. I have no reason to assume that anything will be abnormal, it will just ease my mind to have this extra test.
On September 11, Abe and I will once again participate in the Hope and Hearts Walk to benefit the Missing Grace Foundation. This is our third year walking in honor of my best friend's daughter Briana Joy. We walked last year also in honor of our lost baby. This year, as Team Briana continues to gather together to celebrate life, we walk in memory and in honor of all lost babies. The Missing Grace Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers support and resources for families experiencing infant or pregnancy loss, stillbirth, adoption, and infertility issues. They also are a prenatal advocacy organization that tries to educate doctor's and medical professionals about alternatives to our "standard of care" which often is not the best for mom or baby. If you are interested in donating to this worthy cause, please see my friend Heather's donation page- which includes Briana's story as well as donation information (http://firstgiving.com/teambriana), contact me, or look up the Missing Grace webpage at missinggrace.org. We would gladly welcome your support and truly believe in the mission of this organization.
Anyway, all that being said, I'm thrilled to be 33 days away from my due date... I'm hoping that she comes a little bit early but I know she'll arrive when she's ready. I have finished the nursery and will post pictures of that when she arrives since her name is hammered on the wall. It's adorable and I'm really happy with how it turned out.
I did get professional maternity pictures taken about 5 weeks ago that I will post once I get them. In the meantime, here are some of me at 35 weeks! Yikes, that's a big change since the last photos, huh?
Please keep all of us in your prayers and I will post more as news happens. Thank you for your continued joy for our changing family. I feel as though she's already here in some ways but can't wait to hold her in my arms. She truly is the child I prayed for and God has granted me what I prayed for. Thank You is so small a phrase for so GREAT a gift.
1 Samuel 1:27
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
What I've been praying over and over for the last few months is (I'm sure you know it well- but praying it personally is truly life-changing):
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
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