All the days ordained for me…

Lisa is going to be updating their story here in the next few days, but she asked if I could share my recent blog post chronicling how it began for them in the meantime.  

Love Christa

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Somewhere around 18 weeks ago, I stood on my back deck crying on the phone with one of my dearest friends as we celebrated and shared together in the shock and wonder that a new life was growing inside her. I remember us both agreeing that this sweet surprise was obviously God’s plan, and that He knew every one of her days and her purpose before we even knew of her existence.

And today, that same dear friend and I cried together on the phone repeating those words… that God had planned this little girl’s life, that her body was crafted by Him, without mistake, and that each of her days were planned and numbered before any came to be.

3 weeks ago Lisa Colley texted me following her 20 week ultrasound to tell me that she had fallen madly in love with her baby GIRL! The very next day the midwife contacted her to say they had seen something during that ultrasound, an abnormality with the baby’s heart, and could she please schedule a fetal echo-cardiogram. She did, and we began praying. One special friend even committed to fast a day each week in prayer for this new life.

Yesterday morning while I sat in the hospital waiting for my own little girl who was in surgery (for tonsils and adenoids), I received a text saying they had finished the ultrasound and were waiting for the results, but that the abnormality (a narrow valve coming off a ventricle) was definitely apparent- even to her and Jason (her husband). They were currently waiting to meet with the doctor to hear what the results meant.

It’s weird, as pessimistic as we all can be sometimes, and how easy it is to google the worst case scenario, you still somehow expect to never hear it. The worst case scenario is always for someone else. I know I expected to hear that upon closer inspection- the baby’s heart looked just fine! Or perhaps that they’d need to closely watch to make sure she would outgrow it, etc etc. But even though this is still kind of beyond comprehension, they heard instead, “let me show you a picture of a normal heart, and now let me show you what your little girl’s heart looks like…”

Critical Aortic Stenois.
In Lisa’s words,
“Our baby has Critical Aortic Stenois which means
that the valve coming off her left ventricle is way too narrow, and at birth
would not be able to allow enough oxygen-rich blood to pass through to
sustain her life.

So she will need some serious medical intervention, either now while she is
still in the womb, or immediately after she is born. There is also a
possibility her heart could fail her now or at anytime, so as you can
imagine Jason and I are feeling like we have been hit by a Mac truck.”

And yet despite this, Lisa and Jason are already looking for and sharing evidences of God’s grace. Acceptance of God’s control and His plan. A supernatural peace in knowing that all things are filtered through God’s hand and the comfort of His presence. I’m kind of totally in awe. So encouraged by them. And so thankful for them, their testimony and faith and God’s great grace.

Tomorrow morning at 8am they will meet with a surgeon in Toronto who will hopefully find Lisa and their baby girl to be a good candidate for surgery while she is still in the womb. If so, this surgery could be done as early as friday or saturday. The surgery is experimental and fairly new in Toronto, but holds the best chances for their daughter’s heart to grow healthy instead of to continue to damage itself further each day.

I’ll include an email below that explains a bit better (my brain is currently struggling to function after a night of little sleep with my little tonsillectomy patient), but I wanted to ask of anyone who reads this- to please please pray. And also, if you know Lisa and Jay and have their email address, please let them know you are praying. And if you want their address, email me and I will forward it to you. Let’s cover the Colley family over and over with our love and support and prayers.

Here’s the email sent out after one of our pastors met with them…

Hey All,

Just wanted to give you an update on Jason and Lisa Colley. I just got back from a pastoral visit at their house and its been a rough day for them – asking that you’d pray for them, and that we get them into our prayer channels. What a joy to pray with them today.

They were told today by the Pediatric Specialist at the Hospital that their baby girl (due date December 15) has pretty significant heart problems in the left ventricle. I won’t go into the details they were telling me about whats not working, but suffice it to say that its as serious as serious gets in the world of cardiac issues. What they are dealing with as of today from the medical community is that the baby could die at any time now up until the estimated delivery date; and that even if she makes it, she would be rushed into urgent heart surgery right away for a procedure that won’t actually fix it…more of a temporary intervention that could prolong the years and hopefully set her up for a heart transplant mid life. Its really quite overwhelming news to get. They have to make some decisions about seeing a specialist in Toronto who is working on an experimental procedure that would be done in the womb soon, but only has a 25% success rate.

Praise God that we have hope in Jesus Christ who has a sovereign plan for this girl, a plan that won’t be thwarted for any reason; a High Priest (Hebrews 4:14ff) who has called us to pray boldly and come to his Throne for mercy and grace in our time of need and who has called us to pray persistently (Luke 18:off). I am reminded of the fact that as parents we are stewards of these children for the Lord’s glory. So, just wanted you all aware so we can be an encouragement to them and be praying alongside them. Id encourage any of you to reach out to them over the next few weeks as the waiting gets hard.

Leo

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.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written
in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

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Half way there…

So I am officially half way through this pregnancy!  Where is the time flying off too?   It feels like just yesterday I was taking that test and feeling shock waves through my entire body and now I’m realizing I’m half-way to meeting our new baby!

And God is very good because I’ve gone from being blown-away and perhaps slightly resentful about being pregnant again, to embracing this whole baby business and figuring out  that going back to the beginning isn’t going to be as crazy or as difficult as I always thought.

In fact, when I had my ultra-sound a week-and-a-half ago, and the technician showed me the baby on the screen –  I fell in love.

Completely and utterly.

And the technician was so kind to tell me that she figured I was at least 4 days ahead, which puts my due-date at December 15, which does seem just so much more manageable to me than December 19th, being that much further away from Christmas and all.  But this has yet to be confirmed by my midwife, but it makes sense in many ways to me.

Too bad bending over is already becoming an issue for me.  Good thing I have four little people here who have no qualms or difficulties with bending over.   And really, when I stop to think about it, most of the stuff I’m bending over to get actually belongs to one of these little people so they should be the ones picking this stuff up.   So really,  I think I just might be able to make it through the next 5 months with ease.  That is if I can continue to wear flip-flops right into December.

And when I’m pregnant I’m always drawn to Psalm 139 in the Bible, where King David talks about how God has searched us and He knows us.  And then he goes on to say…

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

God made me.  God made this baby.  God choose me to have this baby and be its mother.  It’s being knitted together by God and I’m so grateful and so happy that I’m already half-way there!

Some news…

It’s so crazy that we are into the 3rd weekend of June already!   And it’s been a busy month so far because school stuff is wrapping up and there are parties and field trips and thank-you cards and gifts to get ready.  We have a Mom’s in Prayer Group at our school and we put a Strawberry Social on for the teachers a few weeks ago which was really well received.

Our family also spent a rainy weekend at the cottage and spent the entire time in warm clothes and drank hot chocolate and played games.   It was sunny for the drive home though of course.

I caught a few pics of the girls that weekend…

And one of Erik.  And that is pretty much the extent of pictures taken in June.  And that means I haven’t taken any of William this month other than ones where his back is to me.   Nice going mom!

Partly to blame for the no pictures is the fact that I charged the battery for my camera after this trip to the cottage, but then lost the battery after I unplugged the charger and laid it on the counter in the laundry room where it then got knocked off.  I looked everywhere in that laundry room for the battery and prayed to find it,  but only did after I was prompted to look in the garbage can.  And voila!  There is was and is now restored and I hope that doesn’t ever happen again.

And party to blame is the fact that I’m tired.  Because I’m pregnant.   Again.  With number 5.  I’m going to have 5 children.  This has not sunk in.

I’m almost 14 weeks and I think I felt the baby kick the other day and I’ve heard the heartbeat so I do it’s all real and that there is actually a baby in there.  But it still doesn’t seem real.

Probably because in our minds we were done,  I had given away all my baby clothes and was in process of giving away the rest of the baby things.   I told everyone we were done,  but God obviously had different plans for us and so I know it’s meant to be.

I’ve always believed that there is nothing as exciting or magical in life as having a baby and so as  soon as I hold that baby and I fall completely and utterly in love,  I know it  will all make sense.

Even though that doesn’t help right now with the crankiness and then tiredness, but I only have 26 more weeks to go and that’s going to fly by (hahahahahah)

So that’s our news.   Hopefully news like that is as exciting as it gets for a long long time!

Let’s back the truck up….

This morning I was going through my old Word documents and I found this.   It’s over two years old, but reading it brought back so many memories that I thought I would share it.   I just copied it and plunked it in here word for word…  so here goes…

What I’ll miss about being pregnant:  by me – 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant!

The attention!

Back rubs from Jason every night

Feeling the baby kick

Knowing a new life is growing inside me

Watching my body change to accommodate a growing baby

Sharing the experience with the kids

Having the older kids feel the baby move

Hearing the kids ideas for names for the new baby

Anticipating meeting the new baby

Getting to see the midwives – they are like old friends!

Getting excited about nursing a newborn

Getting excited about holding a newborn

Getting excited about the cute clothes the baby will wear

Being able to sit and put my feet up without feeling guilty

Eating whatever I want, when I want

Having a good reason to be ‘hormonal’ and crying lots

What I won’t miss about being pregnant

Having to wake up every 2-3 hours to go pee

Not being able to bend over

Being grumpy with the kids when I’m tired

Going over-due when I just want to meet this baby!

Going over-due when I’m soooo uncomfortable

Just wanting life to get ‘back to normal’

Wanting to move on to the next phase of life

Being able to cuddle without my tummy being in the way

Being able to hold and carry the kids without my tummy being in the way

Looking at things that need to get done, and knowing I can’t (like weeding my flowers)

Being awake from 4:00 to 5:30 am writing this list because I can’t sleep

Having no control over my own body

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Well there you have it.     When I first opened it and read it today I got a little teary remembering what I felt like back then waiting for Sophia to arrive.    There is something so incredible about bringing a new life into the world, even though it’s obviously not the most comfortable experience in the world.

But here she is today almost 2 1/2, and I have moved on to the next phase of life and it’s wonderful too.  It’s just nice taking a peek back once in a while.

What l’ll miss about winter…

As I gaze outside at beautifully falling March snow, I am reminded that it is still winter, no matter how much I wish it were otherwise.  And so, I’m going to embrace it and  just love it and enjoy it.   And so to really honour it I’m going to make a list of all the things that I will miss about winter.  Yes winter.  Things I’ll miss about winter.  

I wrote a similar list when I was pregnant and over-due with Sophia… things that I will miss about being pregnant.   That list had things on it like, ‘I’ll miss all the attention’ and  “I’ll miss little feet and elbows jabbing me in the ribs’ and things like that.  But then a few days later I gave birth and I haven’t thought about that list again until now almost 2 years later.  So this list is different because I really do love winter.  Really I love it, I do.   So without further ado… my list.

I’ll miss…

  • How cute the kids (especially Sophia) look all bundled up in their snow suits
  • How beautiful everything outside looks with a fresh clean blanket of sparkling snow
  • Playing outside with the kids,  tobogganing, snow-ball fights, making forts, making snow men, all of it
  • Making and eating winter comfort foods like shepherd’s pie, chilli etc
  • Being able to concentrate on just my inside house-work
  • Curling up by the fire with a blanket, a book and some chocolate

There – now I know I only came up with 6 things, but this is winter we’re talking about.    Now just to even things up and show that there are two sides to me,  I’m going to list the things that I won’t miss about winter… so here goes….

  • I won’t miss how cute the kids (especially Sophia) look all bundled up in their snow suits.  They were cute, but not cute enough to want to stuff another kid into another snow ever again.  
  • I won’t miss how beautiful everything outside looks with a fresh clean blanket of sparkling snow… my new favourite outdoor colour is GREEN. 
  • I won’t miss playing outside with the kids,  tobogganing, snow-ball fights, making forts, making snow men, because I still will be playing outside with the kids, we’ll be playing soccer, blowing bubbles and swimming in the pool!
  • I won’t miss making and eating winter comfort foods like shepherd’s pie, chilli because honestly, the next time I see a pound of ground beef it better be in the form of a hamburger on the BBQ.
  • I won’t miss being able to concentrate on just my inside house-work because I’m getting SICK OF MY HOUSE.  Can anyone say CABIN FEVER?  Oh dear, I’m yelling, sorry. 
  • Curling up by the fire with a blanket, a book and some chocolate –  well this shouldn’t be on this list, because I really will miss this one.  You just can’t beat it and I will dream about it all summer, well maybe not, but still.  

So winter, stay as long as you want, or maybe just stay until tomorrow.