heavy

My heart is so heavy for a friend of mine named Becky.

She has been waiting for over one year to bring her second son, Jonah, home through international adoption. Just like Joshua’s adoption, this adoption is proving to be an extreme roller coaster filled with many ups and downs.

Tuesday Becky received some very, very difficult adoption news concerning Jonah’s adoption.

No one should have to carry this burden alone and while I know no one reading this can take this difficult news away from Becky and her family, we can all pray for this family and let them know we are praying.

I know when I’ve been at the lowest of lows, simply knowing someone out there was praying to the Lord on my behalf was encouragement enough to keep prodding along.

Would you take a few minutes to read Becky’s story and just let her know you are praying? Spread the word too that this family needs prayer.

I just cannot imagine what must be going through her mind after all this time, all these obstacles and all these months of waiting.

Just lift her up to the Father with me, please.

Prayers for Nathan

Even though I am not posting on the blog this week for Spring Break, I had to post this:

My friend’s 2.5 year old son, Nathan, had brain surgery yesterday morning in Dallas, TX, to correct his Crainosynostosis.

Ashley blogs about their journey through Crainosynostosis here.

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Check out her blog and say a prayer for this sweet family.

Heavy Heart: Please pray for J

A friend of mine is in the same situation I was in nearly 15 months ago.

J was officially matched with a birth mom (due to give birth to a baby girl in August) on August 3rd.

This morning Baby Girl was born. J met the beautiful baby girl around 3am this morning. She loved on her and held her until leaving to go home and get some rest and to give A (birth mom) some time with Baby Girl.

Later today J received a call from the pregnancy counselor saying that A is having a very hard time with her decision. A isn’t sure if she wants to go through with her adoption plan for her baby or if she wants to parent. A does not want J at the hospital at this time. J will receive a call on Friday from the pregnancy counselor telling her to come pick up her daughter or the counselor will say that A has decided to parent.

My heart sunk when I read her blog.

Such an agonizing place to be. Not knowing just about drove me crazy and the only peace I had was knowing people were praying for me during those agonizing hours of waiting.

Please pray for J’s heart tonight and tomorrow as she waits. Pray for peace. Pray for A as she is also in a very agonizing situation. This part of the adoption process is never easy for anyone.

Birth mom is processing emotions in choosing to give her child up to someone else to raise while adoptive parents sit on pins and needles, hopeful that the pain of waiting to become parents is soon going to be over, and yet guarded knowing that baby isn’t theirs until the birth parents terminate their rights.

I am praying for J tonight believing that God will complete the work He has started. J’s adoption journey is amazing – a miracle, just like every adoption story. God has a way of timing things so perfectly and bringing birth parents and adoptive parents together in such a way that it is so obvious that His hand was on the situation long before anyone was aware of the miracle unfolding.

J’s heart was opened to adoption in November of 2009. J turned in her adoption application on November 10th – exactly 9 months before A went into labor!

Let’s lift J and A up to the Father tonight and pray peace upon all in whatever decision is made over the next two days.

Severed brain stem: Please pray: UPDATE

Yesterday morning, just before 10am, a man by the name of Bryan was in a neighborhood near his church passing out Vacation Bible School flyers when he was struck by a car.

The story is he got out of a van, walked in front of the van and was hit by a car that came from behind the van and could not see him. His body hit the windshield and flew into the air. He was taken to a local hospital where doctor’s told his wife, Joy, that Bryan’s brain stem is severed and there is no brain activity.

Bryan is on life support and for the past two days his family and friends have been praying for a miracle because a miracle is the only hope for him walking away from this.

I know Bryan from my high school days. He was a Bible teacher at the high school I attended.

Bryan is 35 years old, is married to Joy and has two sons: Benjamin who is 4 years old and Timothy who turned 5 months old today.

Tonight on Facebook I found some pictures a lifelong friend of Bryan’s had posted from this past 4th of July. Bryan is all smiles (which is how I always remember him being) and he is setting off fireworks. Who would have known six days later this tragic even would take place, leaving Bryan on the brink of death and a young woman and two young boys in jeopardy of living the rest of their lives without their husband and father?

The answer may seem cliché but it’s the truth: GOD.

Since the accident prayers have flooded the gates of heaven as people have pleaded with God to spare Bryan’s life. The doctor’s have basically said there is nothing they can do and Bryan may continue to live a few days on life support.

But the prayers continue because God is a big God and nothing is too great for Him. He is the one who first knit Bryan’s brain stem together in his mother’s womb and He can do it again.

The question here is not, “Can He?” but “Will He?” and no one knows the answer to that question and so we continue to pray continuously for a miracle.

Please pray for Bryan, his wife, Joy and Benjamin and Timothy. Plead with God with us to perform a miracle and to spare this man’s life.

For nothing is impossible for God.

**UPDATE**

Right after I wrote this and posted it to my blog, I checked Facebook to see if there was any update on Bryan and there was!

Joy, his wife, wrote on her facebook:

“Bryan has had no change in his brain, but some positives: brain stem is NOT severed. There is pressure to the stem. Specific prayer should be that swelling will completely go away so stem has no pressure and blood can flow."

Please join in prayer that this pressure to the stem will go away so blood can flow.

This is the first positive report I’ve heard since the accident. PLEASE PRAY!!!!!!

Baby Sunshine Update: Please pray tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day. Baby Sunshine’s biological father has the opportunity to give up his parental rights to Baby Sunshine without a trial. (Remember, Baby Sunshine’s biological mother unexpectedly passed away a few months ago.)

Please pray for this situation tomorrow and that God’s perfect will will work out in the life of little Baby Sunshine.

I will go ahead and give an Uncle David update too!

June 29th marked five months since Uncle David’s aneurysm.

Uncle David went back to work part-time on June 22nd! He will eventually go back to work full-time.

He is doing remarkably well and has made an almost complete recovery in just 5 months time.

Nothing short of a miracle!

Update on Little Bug

What a beautiful day today was!

Little Bug is doing well. However, we still must pray because going through withdrawals is a day to day battle that can change for the best or worst at any moment.

Today finishes Day 4 and so far she has not needed to be put on any kind of medication to help with the withdrawals, which is a HUGE praise the Lord!

The nurses at the hospital have all been excellent in keeping us informed as to what is going on with Little Bug.

An infant going through withdrawals from prescription drugs needs structure and routine. The best thing for Little Bug is to be in her isolate, swaddled snug as a bug and sleeping peacefully.

Dave and I are able to do her feedings, then we change her diaper, swaddle her back up and put her back in the isolate. She needs that isolate because the less she is stimulated and relaxes peacefully, the lower her scores will be AND the sooner she will get to come home!

Obviously, we would love to be able to hold her more, but we know for now this is what Little Bug needs and sitting with her by the isolate today was the most wonderful thing in the world today!

The main symptoms of withdrawal that Little Bug shows is excessive sucking, tight muscles (her arms especially) and slight tremors. There are so many more symptoms that she could show but isn’t!

The nurse tonight told me Little Bug is a very calm baby and this is very good. She said we just need to keep our fingers crossed. I said, “It isn’t fingers being crossed that is helping. It is the prayers of many!”

So, keep praying Little Bug through this phase. Tomorrow will be Day 5 and we have been told sometimes babies take a “turn for the worst” around Day 5. Please pray against that.

Please pray that Little Bug will continue to go through withdrawals without needing medication and be able to come home very soon!

We have been told these types of babies are in the NICU anywhere from five days to three months and there is really no way to predict how long Little Bug’s stay will be. It is a day to day process that just requires PRAYER!

Thank you for praying!

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Little Bug is down to 5lbs. 6 oz. but I don’t imagine it will be long and she will start gaining because she is an excellent eater and her Daddy is an excellent feeder! 🙂

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*****

Looks like Baby Ethan is going home tomorrow!!

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED

As I stated before, this is a very emotional thing for everyone involved – including the birth mother.

Currently, the birth mom is having some "letting go" issues and is saying she does not want to sign the consent tomorrow and instead wants to wait until Little Bug is released from the hospital. She is not thinking rationally at this point. The lawyers are not certain if she is just wanting to delay things or if she is having second thoughts about her adoption plan for this baby.

As you can well imagine tonight has been extremely hard and very emotional and the most important thing to do at this point is to PRAY:

1. Pray that God will give the birth mom the peace, strength and courage to put her pen to that paper TOMORROW MORNING and sign. Pray whatever reservations she is feeling at this time will be taken away and she will remember that she wants this baby with us.

2. Pray with the counselors, physiologists and lawyers who will be meeting with the birth mom tomorrow. Pray for wisdom and discernment and that they will know the things birth mom needs to hear to be able to process the emotions she is feeling tonight and then sign the papers.

3. Pray for our hearts tonight and that we will be able to rest. This is so incredibly hard. As soon as we learned of all this we started the prayer chains immediately. We called several people to come to our house and we, along with those people, spent close to 2 hours praying. Scriptures were prayed and read and everyone just poured their hearts out to our mighty God asking Him to do another miracle.

My specific prayer was that the birth mom would even tonight call the lawyers and say lets do it asap tomorrow morning. 

And now I call on all the prayer warriors who read this blog to pray! And if you would, spread the word, please.

Thank you for praying. I will update as often as I can tomorrow.

My heart is at peace but my nerves are on edge not knowing what tomorrow brings.

One

I am still trying to process the sequence of events that have occurred over the past 4 hours.

There is still just ONE follicle in the left ovary … only. When Dr. F was doing the ultrasound and found the one follicle only, I told myself I needed to remain calm so I could clearly think and ask questions.

I was thinking, This is not the results we were expecting but we can try again and hope for a better response next time.

And then Dr. F began to explain something called a hypothalamic component and the world began to unravel all around me.

When someone (like me) is underweight the part of the brain responsible for FSH and LH production shuts down. FSH and LH are the hormones that are responsible for stimulating follicles to grow and mature. This is something that has been around since the prehistoric ages to prevent a “starving” species from being able to procreate.

Dr. F said that with my particular circumstances the normal range of number of eggs retrieved during an IVF cycle is anywhere from 0 to 6. I definitely fall into that range with only one follicle maturing.

I immediately told Dr. F that I wanted to cancel this IVF cycle. There is no way I am paying these big bucks for one egg. Dr. F told me they have gone through with an IVF cycle before with low egg numbers and have still been able to achieve a pregnancy.

Let me just say that I was prepared to go in there and have only 1 or 2 or 3 eggs. My gut feeling was that my ovaries were not producing what they should for an IVF cycle and we would just adjust my protocol and try again later.

However, I was not prepared to hear that because of this hypothalamic component, the best we can hope for at this point is 2 eggs, possibly 3 even with all the IVF ovarian stimulation meds.

The tears won’t stop because for the first time it is looking like I just may have to give up on this dream I’ve had since childhood to conceive, be pregnant and give birth to a baby who is half me and half my husband, yet uniquely an individual person.

I can’t explain how I feel other than to say that it feels like a death has occurred in the family.

I know it’s not all over yet. However, things are growing more and more grim by the day that I will ever actually have life growing inside of me.

The plan for now is to convert this IVF cycle into an IUI cycle. I would like to discuss my options with Dr. L on Monday as he was not on call today. I am grateful for Dr. F’s input and am anxious to know what Dr. L’s opinion is. It never hurts to hear the opinions of two excellent doctors.

This is one of those very dark days. However, I can still see a glimmer of hope found in God’s Promise in Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I still firmly believe that with all my heart and know one day I will look back on this day and see once again the faithfulness of God iron out all the wrinkles of a very ugly day.

I think it can go without saying that I need prayers, but I’ll say it anyway. I need your prayers.

Please pray for wisdom to know if we should shoot for another IVF cycle in June and hope for at least a few more eggs or if we should throw in the towel and seek other options that are equally overwhelming to think about.

Come out come out wherever you are!

The news we received today was not the news we were expecting, but it wasn’t bad news either.

If you remember, I have stubborn ovaries that like to play hide-n-seek with the ultrasound probe.

Today we couldn’t really see any follicles. (Dr. L did find and measure one follicle that was 8mm.)

As I was beginning to panic, Dr. L calmed me down by saying that it is still early in the stimulation process (today is day 5) and I shouldn’t be upset. Dr. L said he would be worried if he saw a huge follicle measuring 20mm because that would signal that there is a dominant follicle and the ovaries are not responding in the way they need to for an IVF cycle. He said we need more time to allow what’s there to grow and once the follicles grow, it will be easier to pick them up on the ultrasound.

Dr. L also said that follicles grow at different rates. Some women are ready for retrieval after only 8 days of stims, whereas others need 12 or so days. That makes sense to me because if you remember, when I did the IUIs my trigger date was always later than the predicted date on my calendar.

So, like I said, not what I wanted to hear today, but not bad news either.

Dr. L also wanted my blood drawn to measure my estrogen levels. My estrogen level will give a good indication on what is going on in there as well.

Getting the blood drawn was a fiasco today.

I sat down in the chair I’ve sat in countless times before to have blood drawn. My veins looked really good in my right arm so the nurse pricked and then I heard, “On no!” I always look away when they are drawing blood but I couldn’t help but look when I heard, “On no!”. I looked for only a second because there was a stream of blood running down my arm with a small puddle on the table. EKKKK! I had to turn away and quickly focus on something else or I knew I would get queasy thinking about blood pulsating out of my arm.

The plan worked and I held it all together while she tried again (same arm). This time, blood wouldn’t flow at all. Lovely! So she moved to the left arm. And finally, with no drama involved, she got what she needed.

So now I am waiting to get a call from my IVF nurse, L. She will call me later today with my estrogen level and doctor’s orders for what dosage of Follistim and Menopur I need to be on now.

I equate the events of this first IVF ultrasound to God lining things up just right so I will have to just trust that He is in control of what is going on in those ovaries. I have to just trust that God has placed Dr. L as my IVF doctor and Dr. L knows what he’s doing. Dr. L says not to worry, so I need to pray and not worry and trust things are going okay.

Mama went with me to this ultrasound and I was so glad she was there. We sat in my car after leaving the office and there I knew I had to just keep my focus straight on God. Mama reminded me that the devil will use the events of that appointment to plant seeds of worry and anxiety, but I do not have to give in to them if I keep my eyes on the Lord and the knowledge that He is in control here. Mama prayed with her hand over my ovaries that the follicles will GROW and then we left.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS

Pray that LOTS of follicles WILL GROW and show themselves at the next ultrasound!

Pray that God will grant Dr. L the wisdom he need to be able to know the exact dosage of meds that will be best for me.

When God’s People Pray

The main thing that stands out in this devotional book on prayer is when God’s people come together in prayer, God moves in miraculous ways.

I cannot say enough that the prayers of my family, friends, church family and bloggers from all over have made all the difference in the world in every aspect of this infertility journey for me.

If you have prayed for me, even just once, you are a part of this journey of faith and your prayers have pulled me through and kept me standing even through the darkest places along the way.

Why? Because when God’s people come together in prayer, God does miraculous things that only He can do!

He has instilled in my heart the fight to keep plugging along.

He alone has supplied my strength to keep going. I am weak. Very weak. But He alone has the capacity to turn my weakness into His strength.

His grace alone is sufficient for all I have endured so far and all I will endure in the future.

Infertility is a battle of mind, body and soul. And one of the most powerful weapons of defense is prayer.

Why? Because when Christian’s pray, God acts!

Acts 12:5-17 shows us an example of God’s people praying and God moving in a miraculous way.

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5

God sent an angel to miraculously rescue Peter from prison!

In Acts 16:25-26 we find Paul and Silas in prison praying and singing hymns to God while the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison. The doors of the prison flew open and everyone’s chains came loose!

Now let’s go to present day…

Have you read MckMama’s blog? When she was 24 weeks pregnant with her fourth baby, she was told her baby was not compatible with life and would surely die soon after birth. They chose to give their son completely to God and got people from all over the world praying. On October 29, 2008, MckMama gave birth to a completely healthy baby boy. 

Baby Ethan. The blog his mother, Kasey, writes to tell the story of his battle with leukemia is filled with posts of her asking people to pray specifically for certain things. Then, without fail, Kasey will write another post telling how God did just what she asked us to pray about.

Some people say that prayer releases God’s power – as if it is tied up somewhere. God does not need our prayers to be able to act. He just likes to be asked! Asking shows our dependency on Him and as a result of His children coming to Him and asking, He receives the glory.

Tonight I am asking my family, friends, church family, blogger friends, and anyone else who may read this blog to please join together on my behalf and pray.

Pray that God will create Baby this month for His glory. Sometimes I think there is no other way possible for God to receive more glory in my present circumstances than to stop treatments this month so He can allow conception to happen naturally!

But that is 100% the decision of my Lord and Savior. And I will accept whatever outcome He chooses.

Prayer is coming before God asking because you know it is only through His power that it – whatever it may be – can be done.

God alone can do this – I am asking that we join together in asking God that He will.

For HIS glory!