Monday, August 31, 2009

Sesame Seed sized lessons from God

So, Josh and I are finally starting to realize that we’re not dreaming. We really are going to having a baby!  We are just beside ourselves with excitement and can’t seem to stop smiling.  I am so thankful that the Lord is working this great miracle in me right now!  If we had not found out when we did, it would not have taken long…  Lately, I have been exhausted to the point of embarrassment.  So far, I have fallen asleep on the hardwood floor at a friend’s house amidst a group playing Rock Band, on the church floor as our band practiced for the upcoming weeks, and other random places that one would normally find quite uncomfortable.  I am so thankful the Lord has blessed me with a flexible schedule so I can take naps on lunch breaks and rest in the evenings. It absolutely amazes me that something the size of a sesame seed can drain your energy so much.  I was reading in a book that when a pregnant woman (in her first trimester) is sleeping her body is working harder than a non-pregnant woman is while mountain climbing.  Amazing!  On another note, last Friday Josh and I went out on a date night and it was the first time food was not my friend.  Since then, I have had to avoid several smells (including the broccoli salad at our churches membership meeting).  All of these things would normally not bring joy to someone, but I just can’t help to get excited, because I know the Lord preparing a little one in my womb.

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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Stand Amazed

Before reading this post, please know that it is one of many in a series that demonstrates how wonderful and amazing our God is.  If you haven’t had a chance to read any previous posts start with “Oh Baby” and this one will make so much more sense.  I also am aware this is a really long post, but I promise it’s worth reading!

So this past Sunday Josh and I were suppose to go into the doctor to find out if we were pregnant, but last Tuesday I started my cycle.  We were both really sad, but the Lord had given us peace like he had in the past and I tried not to think about it too much.  Anyone who knows me understands how much I love my job and most of my closest family and friends know that the month of August is an extremely crazy time for me every year.  It usually consists of 70-hour workweeks, no days off on the weekends, and lots of prayer for strength to get me through.  This year was no exception.  Needless to say, in the past three weeks I had not been caring for my body like I should.  I did not get the sleep I needed, I did not exercise, and I had been substituting water for excessive amounts of sweet tea.  In addition when I started my cycle, I stopped taking the prenatal vitamins that I had been faithfully taking for about 16 months now.

I scheduled my baseline ultrasound for that Friday so Josh and I could go ahead and start the injections and everything again quickly.  At the doctor's (before the exam even began) I had the opportunity to share a little about Christ and the reason Josh and I were hopeful during this discouraging time.  However, when the doctor performed my baseline ultrasound he gave me  some bad news; we could not begin the shots again yet.  I had developed a severe ovarian cyst (which explained why I was in pain that whole week) and we would not even be able to begin trying again until the end of September.  He said that the injections would make my cyst worse so we needed to let my body heal for about a month and a half.  With that news, he wrote me a prescription for birth control to regulate my hormones.  For some reason, I felt very strongly about not taking the pills and after explaining to him that I didn’t want them, I left and called Josh to tell him.

Later that day New Student Orientation began.  Because I worked 12 hours that Friday and another 13 hours on Saturday, I did not have much time to process what we had been told.  However, on Sunday it hit me on the way home from church.  I was pretty down so I thought it would be good to get out and go play Ultimate Frisbee. I have not been playing much lately because when I’m not sure if I’m pregnant or not, I don’t want to take a chance (so there is only about a week and a half each month that I’ve been able to play).  I tried to run a lot but my lower stomach started hurting extremely bad.  After awhile I left thinking I had pushed myself too far and had ruptured the cyst.

The next few days were still ridiculously busy and this is when I realized how bad I was doing at taking care of myself.  Last night when I got home, I mentioned to Josh that I have been convicted about the way I had been eating and my lack of sleep.  I had created a plan to get back into a good routine and then I mentioned to him that I was 99.9% sure I was not pregnant, but just in case I wanted to test.  We went to the store and bought one of the cheap tests (the same kind we have used over 30 times in the past 16 months).  We came back and took the test.  Any other time we would have been leaning over the thing waiting to see the results, but at this point we were convinced that I couldn’t be pregnant. 

After folding a few items of clothes in the bedroom I walked into the bathroom where we had left the test and to my complete surprise I saw a small faint line!  I immediately called Josh in the bathroom and we both agreed that it was because the test was not complete.  For the next 15 minutes we checked it over and over again and it became very clear that it was showing positive results!!!  I was so baffled and even asked Josh to read the directions to see if I had done it correctly.  We wanted to be so excited, but were both convinced this was a false-positive.  We thought that the cyst had something to do with the results or maybe even that some of the hormones from my injections were still in my body.  We researched the internet for about 15 minutes to see if there would be any indication of false-positives resulting from ovarian cysts, but we could not find a clear answer.  Finally I broke down and called the emergency number for my fertility specialist.  When I caught her up to speed she congratulated me!  She said that, if the pregnancy test showed a positive result I was most likely pregnant, but to come in the next morning for an official test. 

We called a few individuals from our church who we knew would not jump the gun and get excited for us; but who we knew would pray for us, and our hearts.  We wanted so much to be excited but were desperately seeking prayer that we would glorify the Lord regardless of the results.

So, this morning Josh and I woke up bright and early and were at the doctor's office when the doors opened.  They drew blood and told us they would call us this afternoon.  Around 8:00 am I received a call from a very dear friend who had been praying for Josh and I.  She had been reading from the Psalms each morning and it just so happens that this morning she was on Psalm 113, which reads:

Praise the LORD.  Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.  The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.  Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.

I knew this was going to be a long, emotion-filled day regardless of the results.  I had a meeting at work at 9:00 and Josh had to be at work for the 1st day of Kindergarten by 11:00 am.  At 10:20, as my meeting was finishing up, the doctor called and began with, “Amanda, as you probably already know… YOU'RE PREGNANT!”   Ahhhhhhhh!   I was so excited!!!  I immediately left work (the only things I grabbed were my keys and the phone I was still talking on).  I called Josh as soon as I hung up with the doctors office and asked if he had already left for work.  He had, so I asked him to come back and meet me at home.  A few minutes later as he walked through the front door, I jumped in his arms and the flood of happy tears began.  We are going to be parents!!!  The Lord has blessed us with a child!!!

Josh and I collapsed on the living room floor and began praying to God who has ordained every step of this journey!  We thanked Him for this new life he has blessed us with and we prayed for the salvation of our little one.  Even as I write this, I am still joyfully crying because I can’t believe it’s finally the Lord’s timing for us!

As if we hadn’t been blessed enough, late this evening Josh went to check the mail because we had not had a chance to do it at any other point during the day.  Mixed into the stack of bills was an envelope from a dear couple we went to college with.  In the envelope was a letter (written two days ago) filled with scripture encouraging us in our journey.  The last line of the letter stated that they were praying that the fulfillment of our desires would be just around the corner.  Attached to the letter was a check that will cover many of the medical bills that have accrued over the past couple of months.  Can you believe it?  Wow, God, again you are so amazing!

So to all of you who have walked this road with us so far, please remember that our Lord is faithful! I am so thankful for our family and friends who have encouraged us in so many ways.  I pray that the Lord will continue teaching me a lot through motherhood and I am sure many different kinds of trials lie ahead that I will not understand when I am going through them, but I know that if the Lord can bring us through this and show us His faithfulness we can trust Him for any trials that may ever arise.