Friday, September 28, 2012

For HIS glory and our GOOD.

     Today I woke up with an extremely heavy and burdened heart. I know the Lord has placed specific people on my heart for a reason. I actually received a text this morning from one of the sweet friends that the Lord has made my heart heavy for. I was in the middle of praying for this friend when she texted me. I didn't notice she had texted me until after I was done, and I responded asking how she was to find out she is not doing well at all. Becoming worse in many ways, and I will be honest my heart was crushed. I now know why she was placed so heavily on my heart. All I could do was sit here and cry. Cry out to the Lord.

    There are so many people around me who are lost, hurting, sick, struggling, broken marriages, etc... Lately, I feel like the sufferings of others have been made more apparent to me, and this morning it hit me hard. All I could do was sit and cry out to my GOD. I don't understand why some suffer more than others, or why certain people suffer in certain ways. But what I do know is that our GOD is good. Its all for HIS glory and our good.

    It is okay to be burdened and pray/cry out to Jesus about these people, but I was gently reminded by HIM that it is not my job to "save" them. As I feel so heavily burdened I, myself, have to take rest in Jesus knowing that he has a plan and a purpose for each and everyone of these people.

Isaiah 43:11 I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.

     I have to rest in knowing that Jesus is the ONLY answer for these people. He is the only one who can bring these people comfort, peace, rest, strength, endurance, healing, restoration, etc... Christ is the only one who can save them. I will continue to cry out and fight for these people, and I pray this for those who are going through these trials...

     I pray that the ones who are lost, come to know Christ as their Savior. I pray the ones who have a personal relationship with Christ already RUN TO HIM and NOT from Him. I pray that all of those that I am praying for find peace, restoration, comfort, and strength in Him.

There is hope my sweet friends. Rest in the arms of our sweet Savior.

Romans 12:12
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Hebrews 4: 16
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who were called according to His purpose.

Matthew 6: 34

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Philippians 4: 4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 13
I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.

James 1: 2-4
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Peter 5: 6-7
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Lamentations 3: 22-25
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
Proverbs 3: 5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.
1 Chronicle 16:11
See the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

adjusting to life with 2! :)

Being a mommy of a 2 year old and newborn keeps me quite busy so my blogs will probably not be as frequent. With that being said.....
I am so beyond blessed to have my two little boys!! They amaze me everyday and I am so thankful the Lord entrusted me to be their mommy!! Jude is so sweet, but knows what he wants! For example, he only likes to be held certain ways, hates the swing, will scream his head off if he does NOT like something!! He loves to be snuggled, which I LOVE! Here are some of Jude's newborn photos!! I am so smitten with this little boy, and its still so surreal after 9 months of a difficult pregnancy that He is here healthy and perfect! :)

As much as I love my boys I will be honest and say going from 1 to 2 children has been challenging! The transition was a made a little easier by having my amazing husband home for 2.5 weeks, meals from my church family, and having family here to help for a couple of weeks! One reason it has been challenging because I feel like the boys often need something important at the same time. Although, other aspects of being a mom of two are easier such as knowing different things to do to calm Jude when he is fighting sleep or upset. Having Jude in our family now has been an adjustment for everyone especially for our sweet Josiah. He has surprisingly done well though. At first, he was really jealous when daddy held Jude and would always say "daddy give baby Jude to mommy." That only lasted about a week, which I am so thankful for. Josiah, at first, was scared to touch Jude, but quickly warmed up. Now he is totally smitten with his baby brother and loves to hold, kiss, and even tries to play with him. He also has done well with being patient when he wants something and I am feeding, changing, or soothing Jude. I am so proud of my sweet Josiah!

Psalms 127: 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, a fruit of the womb a reward. 
Postpartum: I will be so thankful when my hormones return to normal! I have not had too many emotional days like I did with Josiah, but I have still had a few weepy days and moodiness. I hate it! Anxiety has kicked in about sickness such as the flu or whooping cough especially as we are entering the season for these things because these things can be serious and/or fatal for Jude so I am having to CONTINUALLY put this anxiety into the hands of my good God. I have to constantly be in prayer about it or I will become a hermit like I did with Josiah. I know part of my anxiety comes from having Josiah hospitalized at 10 days old with a stomach bug, and it was horrible. I also don't like the postpartum phase because of ppd, which is always at the back of my mind since I suffered from postpartum depression with Josiah that started around 5-6 weeks after delivery and lasted a few months. This time I am trying to prevent it by walking daily, reading the Bible, and praying. 

I have enjoyed taking walks around my neighborhood and Josiah loves our walks! Jude falls asleep in the stroller, which is a plus because it gives Josiah and me lots of time to talk, and we have turned our walks into a little adventure!  

The Lord taught me so much through my pregnancy with Jude such as patience, humbleness, and reliance on Him. He is STILL teaching me these things. I have to be reminded that I am NOT super woman and somedays I will not be able to clean, dinner sometimes may not be as homemade as I WANT it to be, etc. I have to rely in HIS strength to make it through each day especially the challenging ones when boys are fighting sleep or Josiah is being defiant. God is such a good God and I am so thankful that He continues to teach me new things through each season of my life. 

I absolutely LOVE my family. The Lord truly has given me an amazing family and I am undeserving of them!! <3 Thank you Jesus! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Birthday August 9, 2012

Jude is HERE!!!!!! Jude Zephaniah was born August 9, 2012 at 4:54PM 6lbs 15oz 20.5 inches long!! He is healthy, perfect, and beautiful. 


On Thursday (8/9) morning at about 6:30 AM I woke up to a weird sensation. Long behold my water had broke! Taylor and I were excited about this because we had been praying for my water to break so  we would know exactly when to go to the hospital since we had been there so many times for preterm and the bills are piling up! Also, because I had been contracting hard about 3 minutes apart for 2.5 weeks so we had no idea when to go in. Another glimpse of God's grace through this pregnancy! Thank you Jesus!

I actually didn't realize it had broke until I came out of the room to tell Taylor about my weird sensation and Taylor looked at me with big eyes, I happened to touch my pants, and my two year old says, "uh oh mommy pee peed!" So once we realized my water had broke some of our church family had arrived to care for Josiah as we headed to the hospital. 

My water had actually ruptured up high so I was not in much pain, and I was still dilated to a 3 50% effaced. I had chosen to have my epidural put in at this time because the hospital had a lot of c sections scheduled so they were not sure when I would be able to receive one. So after I had my epidural put in my doctor came in and told me my water had ruptured up high so she broke it completely since Jude's head was still protected by the amniotic sac. 

It took from 6:30AM to 3 PM to dilate from 3 to 5cm. About 20-25 min after the nurse had told me I was 5cm dilated I began to feel more pain, and so she decided to see if I had progressed and I told her no way its only been 20 minutes! Well, long behold I was now 8cm! lol It took about 20 more minutes for me to fully dilate and Jude to move to station +2. I was ready to push!!! 

WAIT!! I can't push yet my sweet friend and photographer had not arrived yet! I told her she had time to get there when I was 5cm, but guess my body decided otherwise!! ha! So when my doctor arrived I asked her if we could wait 15 minutes for my friend to arrive! She laughed and asked if I was serious, and then agreed! She found it rather humorous that I put off pushing for 15 minutes to wait for my photographer!! haha Well, needless to say it was WORTH it!!!!! April did an amazing job capturing one of life's greatest moments on camera as well as encouraging me through pushing.

I pushed for about 45 minutes, partly because little Jude decided to be in a side posterior position, which made it a little harder to get him out!! Once he was born, I was so overwhelmed with emotion when they placed him on my chest. I cried like a baby. I couldn't even crack a smile because I could not stop crying. I never experienced Josiah being placed on my chest so having Jude placed there was beautiful. I was so overwhelmed with joy being able to see and hold my HEALTHY FULL TERM baby boy for the first time. Knowing that this challenging pregnancy that was filled with so many unknowns and what-ifs was over. Knowing that God created this little boy in my womb, and showed us grace upon grace through the entire pregnancy, and here Jude was laying in front of me. He is perfect and beautiful!!! Delivery went smooth and I did NOT hemorrhage, which was another answer to prayer!!!! Thank you Lord!!  

 Photo copyrighted by April Harnish Photography 

Thank you all who have invested so much time in praying for our little miracle. It has been amazing seeing the Lord's hand at work through this ENTIRE pregnancy. This pregnancy was challenging, but I would never change it for the world. The Lord has taught me so much, and the end we were also blessed with one of the greatest gifts.. A beautiful little boy!! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Contractions Contractions Contractions...

I am so beyond grateful to my Savior for allowing sweet baby Jude to be in the womb this long, and preterm labor no longer being a threat! What an answer to prayers!! I am not the least surprised because I know that I serve a BIG GOD!!!! :)

The last couple days I have been having consistent painful contractions about 2-3 minutes apart. I took two trips to the hospital. One on Monday and one on Tuesday. I was extremely upset on Monday because my doctor who told me that she wanted to get me to 36 weeks, and once there she would take me off of all medications and bedrest. She told me at 36 weeks she would not try and stop labor. When I went to hospital I was contracting hard and 2 min apart. So she tells the nurse to give me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions. I was quite confused and upset that she wanted to stop it after telling me she wouldn't. I refused the shot and so I was sent home, and the hospital had me sign a paper saying that if there are any risks to me or my baby, or I deliver at home it is my own fault because I chose not to be treated. Apparently, choosing to not receive the shot meant I was refusing treatment.

I refused the shot because terbutaline has negative effects on both me and Jude. Also, I am so exhausted from being in preterm labor for 5 months and I no longer want to fight my body especially because we are at a safe gestational age. I am almost 37 weeks - FULL TERM YAHOOOOOO!!!!! After coming home from hospital I only slept a short amount of time because the contractions kept me awake. So all day yesterday I contracted 2-3 minutes apart, and they progressively became more painful. I called the doctor on call, and she sent me back to the hospital.

This time the nurse decided to give me her unwanted opinion by telling me that I am in fake labor and they weren't real contractions since I had not dilated anymore since yesterday, and I should take the terbutaline to stop them and get rid of pain. I told her my husband and I have decided not to take any more medication so she proceeded to tell me, "well, I guess you will be in pain then." She told me other things like no one will induce me at 36, 37, or 38 weeks, which I DID NOT ask for so I don't know why she was telling me that. She continued to lecture me, but I am not surprised because it is the same nurse who made me feel stupid for coming in for preterm labor a few weeks back. I will say that I was a little confused because I didn't realize "fake contractions" were 2-3 minutes apart and extremely painful?? I did notice that I was effaced more yesterday, but not dilated anymore. I do know that with Josiah I dilated EXTREMELY SLOOOOOOOOOW. So I am hoping this is not the case. The doctors had to break my water dilated to 1 with Josiah because I just wasn't dilating after 20 hours of labor. Once my water broke I was ready to go within a few hours. Since I was induced and had epidural early with Josiah I did not experience much pain so this early labor is a whole new experience for both me and Taylor.

I will be honest. I am EXHAUSTED and the PAIN SUCKS!! I am miserable and tired, and still contracting 2-3 minutes apart so I am hoping I will dilate more in the next few days. Hopefully by August 1. By that time I will be full term! I just don't want to be in pain, miserable, and exhausted for weeks from these contractions. I don't sleep because the contractions keep me awake, especially because I have a lot of back labor. I do not do well with pain, and yet I am having a baby ahahahahhahaha!! I will say I am so thankful and blessed for everyday Jude remains in the womb!! The pain and exhaustion is worth it especially if it means a healthy little boy. The Lord knows Jude's birthday now only if HE would tell me what day that is hahahahahahahahha!!!

I know that delivering this baby is all on GOD's timing and not on mine. He is teaching me patience waiting for the arrival of this sweet boy. I am so ecstatic that I will be able to hold my sweet little baby boy soon!! :) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bittersweet weekend!! :)

This weekend is going to be so bittersweet!!

Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be the last day we will have women from our church serving us by caring for me and Josiah, and this weekend is my LAST weekend of bedrest! I have been so beyond blessed. I will miss having such godly women around everyday, but at the same time I am going to be so happy to be able to be back on my feet caring for Josiah and being able to do things that I have not been able to do for a while. Some of the things such as cleaning I have not been able to do since I was 7 weeks pregnant, and other things such as walking since 30 weeks.

I have been having a lot of contractions and pressure this week so I am hoping that it continues and when I am off of bedrest that Jude comes quickly. I really hope he is here by August 1st, but I know that my GOD has a birthday already set for my little guy and I will be content with whatever day that will be! I love being pregnant and feeling what God is knitting together move inside of me. Even though I do love being pregnant the complications I have endured this entire pregnancy has made this pregnancy really hard to enjoy, and to be honest I am just so tired that I am ready to hold this little boy in my arms and kiss his sweet face. I am tired physically and emotionally from the complications as well as from my body trying to go in to labor for so long. 

I am so beyond grateful that I have made it this far!! I will be 36 weeks on Monday. Seems like just yesterday I was 7 weeks and was not sure if I would miscarry or not. I know that all the credit and glory goes to my  big amazing GOD!!! <3 He truly did answer our prayers and the prayers of all who lifted my family up during this trial. 

This trial was definitely challenging for me and my family, but nonetheless rewarding! I can say rewarding because it tested our faith, truly brought us closer together, and more importantly drew us closer to the Lord. It taught me patience, reliance on HIM, and it humbled me. Satan tried to attack in many different ways, shapes, and forms, but our Savior delivered us from satan's schemes every time. This is one verse that I absolutely love because it reminds me of how amazing the Lord is, how satan is ready pounce and devour, and how our God is BIGGER and more POWERFUL than the devil and has delivered me!! 

1 Peter 5: 6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of GOD so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

As much as I can say never wanted to have a hard pregnancy, what I will say is it truly has been a blessing in disguise. I am extremely thankful for what the Lord has taught me during this time. Going through trials it is hard to remind yourself that God is with you and is good even in the midst of the storm, but it is so true. I saw God's goodness, grace, and mercy upon my family in numerous ways. For example, here I am almost 36 weeks and Jude is still in my womb growing!!! My church family stepped up and completely lifted our family up in prayer and served us above and beyond what we could have ever imagined, my husband was able to have the strength to endure having to work full time, care for Josiah full time when he's home, cook, clean, grocery shop, serve me, and the list goes on. 

I am excited that this bittersweet chapter of our lives is coming to an end soon. I am so excited to meet our sweet boy!!! Thank you again to all who have been praying!! :) Please pray for a smooth and safe delivery and that Jude is healthy!! 
                                                                    35 weeks!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

good news! :)

I went to my OB today and am so excited to report my cervix has remained unchanged. I was sure by the amount of spotting, mucus plug lost, and hard contractions I have been having that I definitely made cervical change. So I was quite surprised when the doctor said I had not progressed, but it was a good surprise! My only explanation is GOD!!! Thank you Lord for answering mine and Taylor's prayers. Not only our prayers, but the prayers of all those who have been fervently praying for our sweet baby boy!!

Matthew 18: 19-20 "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name there am I among them. "

All I can say is amen!! Thank you LORD! :)
I am also very excited to report that I am 34 weeks today! Woohoo!! Thank you Jesus!! Only 2 more weeks of bedrest and medication! :) I am almost there!

Please continue to pray for our family during this time. Pray for Taylor that the Lord would continue to sustain him and give him the strength he needs to continue to carry the burden of working, caring for Josiah when he is home without help from me, cooking, cleaning, etc. Pray for me as I have become extremely uncomfortable and exhausted. The medication wears off within 2 hours so I contract for 2-2.5 hours and the contractions are usually about 2-3 minutes apart. The contractions have gone from just being uncomfortable to causing the following: pain, nausea, hot flashes, achiness, and overall they make me feel miserable. I am uncomfortable especially because my body is trying to go into labor, but I am taking medication to slow the process. As uncomfortable as I am I know that this pain and misery will be all worth it in the end when I hold my sweet baby boy, Jude! I cannot wait to see what birthdate my good GOD has chosen for Jude! :)

God has been so faithful thus far and I know that He will remain faithful to the end and beyond! <3


                            Photo Copyrighted by April Harnish Photography

On another note:
Please be praying for our sweet son Josiah. He has been extremely sick. He began having severe diarrhea last Thursday, followed by high fever of 104, vomiting, fatigue, fussiness, congestion, cough, lack of appetite, and an ear infection. Well, here we are 5 days later and he is still running a high fever, barely eating, and still has diarrhea (not as severe). His fever seems to be staying around 101-102, but I have been given him tylenol every 4 hours so I am not sure if it would actually go any higher than that. The doctor wanted to see him again today. Praise God his ear infection has cleared already since it was so mild and we caught it early, but the doctor is unclear if he has a viral or something more.

At this point she is thinking viral, but is slightly concerned he is running a high fever for so long. She ordered a chest xray today, which came back clear. His urine sample also came back clear. Thank you Jesus. Although, she did say that if he is still running this high of a fever by Wednesday than she may decide to have him admitted to hospital to do further testing to make sure he does not have any kind of infection, anything that is going undetected, or an infection that is antibiotic resistant. Please pray that it is just viral and that his fever and other symptoms will be gone right now! Pray that he wakes up healed in the morning. Also, pray that Taylor, me, and all those who have served my family recently who were around Josiah do NOT catch this illness.


                                 Photo Copyrighted by April Harnish Photography

Thanks again to all of you who are continuing to cover our family in prayer!! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Regardless of another night in hospital...

So I went to labor and delivery last night. This time, Praise Jesus, I was only there for 3 hours instead of 8! :) I was having contractions about 5 minutes apart, and while I was there they grew closer together. I took my Procardia at 11:30 PM while at the hospital, and they gave me 2 shots of terbutaline. The first shot of the terb. did not slow the contractions enough so they gave me a second dose. 

Thankfully, the contractions did not change my cervix so I remain at the same dilation and effacement! Thank you Jesus. I am super ecstatic about the non change to my cervix and the ability to slow the contractions, but I did find myself a bit frustrated with the nurse. I found myself a little frustrated because she said well, "yes, you are contracting a lot, but they may not be changing your cervix so you may just be one who contracts for 2-3 weeks consistent like this and does not change." She also told that I don't need to come to the hospital every time I am contracting unless they are painful and stronger. This may be true because I very could not progress, but this was frustrating to me because I contract 2-3 minutes apart, and my contractions are sometimes painful but not always.  I do know they do not always have to be painful to cause cervical change so now I have no idea if I should just ignore them or still continue to go to the hospital and have them stopped?   

My doctor is the one who tells me to come in, but it is a little frustrating when the nurse says oh you didn't really need to come in because it didn't make any change. Although, I do not expect much change if I am getting the contractions stopped quickly.  I guess I am just a little confused on when to go in to the hospital and when not to. I fear that if I ignore the contractions regardless of how close together they are with the thought of, "well they don't hurt so they are not doing anything" then I will find myself giving birth at home because I was making change and didn't know. 

Regardless of my slight frustration with some of the medical advice I have been receiving it would be great if Jude stayed in there a few more weeks. At least 2 weeks and 6 days!! I am counting the days because EVERY day counts!    

A sweet friend reminded me of this verse yesterday. 
Psalms 121:1-2 I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 

My help does come from the Lord!! The Lord alone!! All glory be to Him!!  

I am so blessed and beyond thankful for the grace that my good God has shown us through this challenging pregnancy. It has been amazing and such an encouragement to see my family, church family, and friends cover my family in prayer. 

                            Photo Copyrighted by April Harnish Photography 

These verses reminds me so much of our trial through this pregnancy. 

Romans 5: 1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

These remind me of our situation because I really do feel like my faith is being testing through this time, and I have been able to press through these muddy waters with the strength of the Lord. The Lord is building endurance in me and my hope in Christ has been increased during this trial. I have my moments of weakness, but I know through my weakness His power is made perfect (2 Cor 2:9-10) and my weakness reminds me that I am not sufficient. My sufficiency is through Him! 

I have seen His grace and mercy for my family so much it has truly been incredible. You know I would rather be going through this suffering with the strength, love, grace, mercy, etc of my Savior than to go through this suffering not knowing Him. If it were not for Christ I would completely have fallen apart by now, but He is my rock, my glue! 

So please continue to pray for God's perfect timing for the birth of sweet Jude. Please pray for strength and endurance for Taylor and myself as we battle through this trial. Thank you! 
                                                   Photo Copyrighted by April Harnish Photography