I haven't really known how to write about it in this place.
She's small. Really small.
But she's strong. Her heartbeat is strong. Her organs are all there and growing. Every time we see her on the screen the techs tell me she's a feisty one. She moves like crazy and I'm so thankful.
On the flip side, the reason she's small is because my placenta isn't fully functioning and she's not getting everything she needs. And the risk is, my placenta could up and decide not to work at all in a short period of time, and if not found quickly, there is a possibility of losing the baby.
So for the past few weeks I have gone in every few days and they look at her on the screen and they watch her breathing and check my fluid levels, and they watch her movements and check the blood flow from the placenta into the baby.
My heart is so madly in love with her even though I've never actually met her or held her.
And yet, there is something in me that knows deeply, that there is Someone who loves her even more than I do. Someone who knows her more intimately than I ever will. Someone who cares perfectly for her soul.
That someone is her Maker. And He__knows__everything. He's known the number of her days since before she was even in my womb. And He cares deeply for her.
I'm thankful for that. And because of that, I'm not afraid.
I'm well aware of the risk. I'm well aware of the possibilities of things to come. And still__ there is nothing for my heart to fear.
When something good, gets hard, a flood of questions go through my mind. For a brief moment I questioned whether or not we should have allowed ourselves to get pregnant with this little one. After all the doctors say I'm past my prime age for having babies. I've had so many pregnancies already. I've already lost three of our little ones to still births and a miscarriage. Why would I set myself up for this?
But then I remember first and foremost that God is the one who gives life. And this is what He gave. And God does not make mistakes. Ever.
And the truth is there are risks in everything. There's risk in being alive. There's risk in raising kids.
The truth is that our success in life isn't determined by the outcome of our own efforts, but by our obedience to Jesus.
Obedience in and of itself is success.
As Joey and I pray over this little one all day everyday, our prayer is not for safety. Our prayer is, "Lord, make your name great." It is often for health, but it is more often for His will to be done. His will is always good, but good is not always easy. I'm starting to think that some of the absolute best gifts come from the hardest trials. "Every good and perfect gift comes from above."
Yesterday we were at piano lessons and the girl's piano teacher asked about the baby so I began to share with her some of the things that are going on. In the middle of our conversation my Halee piped in and said, "Could you please talk about something else?" I told her it was okay for me to share with Mrs. Jennie, but when I looked up into her eyes, she just lost it. Tears started streaming down my sweet girl's face. I pulled her into my lap and told her it was okay. I whispered into her ear, "Jesus is trustworthy. He has our baby and whatever happens it's going to be okay. It's okay to cry sweet girl." Then she whispered back, "I know Mama, I just love my baby sister."
It's hard to watch our kids hurt.
But pain is real.
And somehow I have found it to be a privilege to walk with my kids (especially the older ones who understand what's going on and who have let their hearts fall in love with their little sister) as they feel the pain of a fallen world. When we find ourselves in places of fear, or hurt, or loss, we often become aware of our need for a Savior.
We go on a camping trip every year with the same families. This year we were headed to the Grand Canyon. Now with the things going on with the baby we have decided to stay close to home and do what needs doing for this little one. It has brought about long conversations with our Siah. He looks so forward to this trip every year. He loves spending time with his buddy Wyatt. He loves getting away with our family and theirs. He loves the out doors and the change of scenery. He loves everything about this trip. I get that. I feel the same way. And yet this year, we have the chance to lay down our own desires and longings so that we can give our all to the little girl in my tummy. With our large family, moving forward has become a team effort. And I'm thankful that my kids get to walk through this season with us. I'm thankful for the deep heart lessons that they get to learn. I'm thankful for the opportunity that they have to lean into their Savior more. I'm thankful for all the hard questions that they ask Joey and me, and I'm thankful that we get to tell them that we don't have all the answers.
We live in a culture where kids are so often sheltered from pain. But what a gift that we get to walk through the hard stuff together and not alone. And what a gift that we have Jesus, and thus we have hope. Always hope.
So what now?
For now we get up in the morning and we thank the Lord for an active little girl in my belly. We work together to make it to all her appointments. We pray and talk with our kids each and every time they have questions, or when they just want to cry.
We wait with anticipation knowing that the Lord is faithful and will do whatever it takes to make His name great in and through our lives. If they see that our little girl is getting any smaller or is under any distress, they will take her out. She could easily make it to full term if that's what the Lord has for her. Or they may need to take her out at our next appointment if that is His will for her.
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3
He keeps us in perfect peace as we wait for the arrival of our little girl.
"HE." It's Him. We do not muster up our own peace. He lavishes it upon us in great abundance.
Strangely this feels like a sweet season to me. I feel close to my Savior, close to my Joey, close to my kids. He didn't have to give even one day with this little girl in my belly, but through His wild grace, He has chosen to give us many.
I am 28 weeks along.
So today, we say thank you!!