We were in love with our new little Ezekiel. And we were working to trust Jesus with our family planning. We learned that trusting can take alot of work, spiritually and mentally. We believed that after waiting for 7 months for Ezekiel that the Lord showed us that He is the one in control, no matter what our planning does. Believing God and trusting Him can be made more difficult when you listen to the opinions and fears around you... the voices echo deep into the night and wrestle with your beliefs and how to balance it all. These few months after Ezekiel's birth was devastating for ministry and work... and so the only thing we had to cling to was our family and knowing that no matter what, God would not let us go. We really discovered that our marriage deepend so much, trust grew and knowing that we could depend on each other for anything grew. Ezekiel was 8 months old and I got a pink line for my birthday and a new camera... On the friday, Mike was laid off from his job of 3 years and on the sunday the pastor at our church asked Mike to turn in his resume, also positions held for 3 years. I had one more week before the 6 week mark of sickness usually came. I cannot describe the devastation. God was forcing us to trust Him because there was no other option, other than just give up and walk away from everything. The timing was amazing. The Lord immediately provided another job for Mike! It wasn't the same as having two jobs, so we had major decisions to figure out with our home. We had a little while of freaking out, but it was actually freeing to realize that if God didn't do something there was no way out! And all we had to do was trust Him. He continues to show Himself faithful and always our Provider! So, we went from ministry on sundays and 4 nights each week to nothing! After a couple weeks it was so freeing... and we began to see the ways that we were neglecting each other and our family. So as I entered into the difficult 6-12 weeks of the pregnancy, I didn't have to worry about Mike needing to be at church because he no longer did. So much stress was taken away. It was a noticeable difference from the first 4 pregnancies as far as my sickness. The nausea was still there and I can only remember two weekends of throwing up(the whole weekend). But I only lost 10lbs and didn't go to the ER once! I was mostly able to eat fruit. And at a certain point was able to do protein to help my blood sugar levels, which made me feel so much better! I was also using an electronic acupuncture machine and we used pressure points too, which had never worked before. The difference was amazing! I was so encouraged that God was doing a work in me still! Mike was still cautious and brought in help for me two days a week for 3 months! So I was able to sleep and relax some :) Thank you Kelly!!!
Because of the damage I was feeling from the c-sections, I found another doctor. He was the only doctor in my county that would allow me to try for a VBAC. Honestly, my desire was that since I believed that God was asking us to give control to Him of our family, that I knew I didn't want to have a bunch of c-sections and wanted to deliver naturally. The doctor was very encouraging and since there wasn't a reason for my having c-sections, he didn't see why I couldn't have a vbac.
At 18 weeks we went for our ultrasound and no one needed to point out to us that the baby was a little boy, we are very familiar with that view by now ;) And all we could do was laugh!
Things were really going perfectly through this pregnancy and I was reading all the information that I could on having a vbac and what things would make it more successful than other things... my mind was full of all the research and evidence on vbac vs. multiple c-sections. At 36 weeks the dr. started checking me and we began to pray that God would prepare my body. I tried alot of things that were supposed to help prepare you for delivery, with some exceptions. I begged God that He would have His perfect plan and that my body would do what it was meant to do. Nothing happened. At the end of my 38th week I just started feeling bad. Went in for my 39 week appt and I had developed preeclampsia and had no signs of even a beginning to prepare for labor. My dr. gave me a choice of waiting till monday on bed rest and then we would do something or having a c-section tomorrow.... I was so discouraged and tired and felt horrible and alone... I didn't feel peace about waiting. So I scheduled it in tears. When I got home, I just sat on the swing watching the boys play... I think I was in shock. I wanted it so badly and had prayed for it so hard. I believed that having my baby naturally was God's best... but something was wrong again. Mike was out of town and got home late that night. My parents also dropped everything and were here late that night. I remember rocking my baby Ezekiel to sleep in his quiet room... it was quite a somber moment. I didn't want it to end. Trying to express to a 17 month old that things were going to be different was strange (but he did perfectly the next day :). Don't remember much about that night other than not being able to sleep much. We got to wake up with the boys and leave by 9am, it was nice seeing everyone before I left. We got to the hospital around 10am and got settled, met with the anesthesiologist and talked about spinal vs. epidural and she agreed that I could just have an epidural, because of my headache trouble with the last one. I was still pretty upset with the loss of the chance for a vbac... Mike made sure to talk to the nurses about making it special for us... more focused on me as a person instead of a procedure. Just before we were to go in there was an emergency that came up and so we were bumped from 12 noon to 2pm... the waiting was torture! I can't get my mind to stop! Finally it was our turn and things went pretty well. The epidural went in fine but took a few minutes extra to take affect, so the dr. dozed(?.... maybe he was praying?) in the corner! Mike was with me pretty quickly and Malachi was born in just about 10-15 min. He was perfect and beautiful. They took him to the nursery and Mike went right along. Getting used to being alone again... but they were very quiet and only talking about the work they were doing on me, which was much more comforting. I got to ask some questions and have conversation with them about the procedure. It was a bit strange smelling my flesh burn and seeing the smoke as they cauterized my blood vessels.... I think they understood that it freaked me out. When the doctor finished he came up to me and told me he could see the baby's hair through my uterus after he opened my abdomen and that it might not have ended well if I had labored. He also told me that he couldn't have me labor in the future, but that he cleaned away the scar tissue and it was clean. And that next time, delivery should be scheduled earlier. Even though it didn't feel like God's perfect plan, I know that I can continue to cling to Him and trust that His hand was in every decision that we made and that the dr. made. I have recently learned that a scar that thin is called an incomplete uterine rupture. I was moved to recovery and Malachi was brought to me very quickly. He was able to nurse and was with us from that time on! About two weeks before he was born we decided on a name.... I was spending time in the quiet and just thinking/praying. I was thinking about the amazing testimony that this pregnancy was to my healing during my pregnancy with Ezekiel. And I was thinking about Judah, the baby we lost years ago because of the sickness. It all came together perfectly, Malachi means "My Messenger" and Judah means "Praise"! This baby is the" messenger of praise" of the Lord's goodness and healing!! I cried as I told Mike what I believed the Lord just revealed to me and it was decided :)
We told the nurses we needed a large room, however the only room available was the second smallest room on the floor! When Mom and Dad brought the boys up they understood why we said that :) They moved us the next day to one of the largest rooms. My Mom stayed with me the second night, which was a very special time for us. I wanted Mike to go home with the boys. And Mike was also leading worship at our church again(before we have learned our lesson of ministry above family.... have we yet? I don't know ;) I asked over and over again if I could go home, the nurses couldn't understand why I would want to go home a day early and kept asking if I was sure. But I was so excited to be able to go home and be with my family and recover in peace. The added blessing was that we got to go home on Mother's Day! We spent the days learning our baby and each of the boys adjusted perfectly! Once again Mom and Dad stayed to help for a couple of days... by tuesday everyone was back to work and I was alone with 4 boys! and an incision!! crazy crazy days! But the Lord always provides and guides. His blessings are so humbling!