Life has been chaotic and wonderful for us as summer wraps up and school has begun. The girls have had a great ending to summer and were busy travelers these last several weeks. My mom took them to East Texas to visit her parents for a week and they had a blast visiting family and spending some extended time with Mimi. Michael had been sick and I had a doctor appointment so we stayed here. Several days after the girls arrived home, Chaney took them on a camping trip to Colorado. (We also managed to squeeze in some photos with the talented and ever so sarcastic Kaylea Gaines some of which you’ll see featured in this blog.) The weather wasn’t ideal for their first major backroad off-the-grid camping trip, but they still had a wonderful time bonding with their daddy. Michael and I stayed in town, as I had a doctor appointment and Aflac appointments, but we enjoyed the low-key, quiet time just the two of us. Well, it wasn’t completely low-key as my sweet 17 month old boy chose the week of the camping trip to begin climbing out of his crib. The days of safety in the crib are over and I’m mourning the loss of sleep. Although we will need the crib in a few months for “still un-named” little man, I wasn’t quite ready for Michael to make the transition into a toddler bed. This transition period of Michael discovering his independence has been rough. He is discovering all these new physical & cognitive abilities but not appreciating the boundaries we have put in place for his well-being. It is safe to say that this man child of ours is just as stubborn, strong-willed and determined as the rest of his family members. Katelynn & Julia started at a new school this past Monday and absolutely love it. There was some anxiety leading up to the first day but it has been beautiful to watch the Lord love on my daughters bringing wonderful teachers & new friends into their lives.
Basically all of this to say, life goes on and doesn’t stand still. Even with the complications and additional monitoring of our pregnancy (read here if you missed the previous blog & anti-kell explanation) life continues moving. Life is beautiful, chaotic sometimes mundane yet it consistently is moving forward. Life doesn’t stop, although if I’m honest sometimes I wish it would. When tragedy occurs or some life event shakes up my norm, I wish time would just pause for a moment and allow me the courtesy to adjust, to re-calibrate before continuing on. Alas, the world doesn’t revolve around me and my emotional state. If you ask my husband, I miiiight throw fits acting like it does every now and then. But don’t worry, Chaney does a wonderful job of firmly keeping me in reality and not putting up with my tantrums, which I’m thankful for. (Don’t tell him I said that though. I’ll say you’re making it up.) Truly, how thankful I am for a godly husband whose faith is deeper than the circumstance. My man challenges me to look back to Christ and not “go sideways” by getting hung up in the details of trying to understand it all.
That can be hard. I’m all about the details. It is easy for me to pray with the intention of wanting the answers. It is something I struggle with constantly when I dig into God’s Word. Instead of soaking in His presence and allowing Him access to my heart, I tend to seek to understand. I do believe that God gives us great discernment and wisdom (Jas. 1:5, Phil 1:9) into situations; however in my experience He first wants my heart. The answer always begins with surrendering my need to understand in exchange for trusting Him. Trusting Him with my life…..my heart…..my burdens…..my fears. When I get off the throne of control and allow Him back in the His rightful position of authority, everything else falls into place.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I think the major stress factor comes into play as each week I visit the doctor knowing I may have to go to Houston that afternoon. I make plans each week but also have it in the back of my mind that it may all change. Anti-kell tends to become very aggressive after the 24 week mark and we are now there. I don’t want anyone to get the idea that things aren’t going well. I’m 25 weeks pregnant and so far all of my weekly MCA scans have been great. They have consistently been under the 1.5 MoM that we want to avoid. (Again, read my previous blog here to get up to speed on what the heck I’m talking about.) If at any point the scans do become elevated, which mean our boy has become anemic, I will travel to Houston for an intrauterine transfusion (IUT) to be performed so baby boy will not develop further complications including fetal hydrops. If we begin IUT’s these will continue until delivery at an interval of every 2-3 weeks. The goal is for our boy to remain in the womb as long as possible. If my antibodies become too aggressive the IUT’s give him this opportunity. However regardless of the need for transfusion, the longest I will be allowed to carry him is somewhere between 37-38 weeks. The cause for this is the available data is not super accurate past 35 weeks to measure anemia. There is still quite a bit that I don’t understand, especially some of the effects anemia can cause after birth, but we are praying for a healthy full term baby boy.
With all of these additional possibilities and need for medical procedures outside the norm we have decided to deliver in Houston with Dr. Moise and his team. We feel this gives us the best possible NICU, blood bank and medical staff with familiarity of our specific situation. I’m hoping and praying that the delivery and postpartum care required is no big thing, but want to have the resources around us if necessary. We don’t have all the details figured out yet, but are at peace with this decision. Of course, it’s not that simple but again I’m doing my best to take it one day at a time and not get overwhelmed with what it will look like.
“We walk by faith not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Throughout this entire situation I have to lean on Jesus to take care of it all. I don’t have a choice unless I want to be a complete cuckoo bird. Katelynn’s birthday is in November and of course I want to be here for that. She’s even voiced her concern about the baby interfering with her birthday. The girls have chapel programs at school and one of Julia’s may fall during the time I’m still in Houston. I guess we all have to learn lessons the uncomfortable way that the world doesn’t revolve around us. My tendency is to protect and shield my kids from these uncomfortable growth opportunities but I’m not doing them any favors if I continually interfere with life lessons having potential to mature them. In this circumstance I may have no choice but to watch them grow. Chaney has his plate full with business obligations as it is, without adding in the extra responsibilities that I normally take care of. Michael is a hot mess already exhibiting some of the wonderful characteristics of the terrible two’s and believe it or not, I don’t want to miss a moment. I don’t want to miss a minute of our crazy normal “everydays”.
But life doesn’t pause when I need a moment. So I seize my own moments in the middle of it all to just cry, laugh or most importantly…. just lay it all down at the feet of my King. I cannot do this on my own. Praise Him that I was never meant to! HE will comfort my children if I am unable to attend an event or special moment. HE will give my husband strength to carry the extra load. HE will provide community to wrap us in prayer and support. HE will meet us right where we are…..EVERY time, without fail, because that is who HE is. HE is our loving Abba Father, El Roi. I just have to focus on Him each day and He will get us through. El Roi is the One who sees ALL, so I don’t have to try. He is the One who sees me exactly where I am and meets me on my knees.
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1