Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Malachi Judah 2009

Malachi Judah
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! 

Ezekiel Robert 2008

Ezekiel Robert Jan. 11th, 2008
This is a hard one to write... because it is so personal... 
After Isaiah was born we moved back to M.I. and began ministry with our church.  Mike was part time youth pastor and music minister and worked another part-time job.  We bought a home with growing our family and our ministry in mind.  We began to come across the idea of completely trusting God with our family planning.... whether by books, friends or meeting random people in grocery stores! And the Lord began to convict us.  Isaiah was a little over a year when we got to the point of being ready to live what we were convicted by.  We expected to get pregnant right away but  we waited 7 months before we saw the pink line this time!  I really believe now that it was the Lord showing us that He IS in control and we are not.  We were so excited we couldn't wait very long to tell everyone.  Right around the 6th week mark I was struck with sickness again.  It was Josiah's 4th birthday and I was struck with such guilt.  Mike had alot of people come in and help us, bringing food, watching the boys and even taking care of me... it was a very humbling time for me. So many people helped! And a girl from our youth group, Olivia, was there for pretty much 3 months straight it seemed :)  I couldn't have done it without everyone!  We decided that I could not go without the medicine! and it was still so expensive!  People gave us money left and right, through the church or cash handed to us! It was amazing how the Lord provided!  Mike would go straight to the pharmacy and get another 10 day script filled.  We were again so humbled by the help and provision.
I've left this part out of the others because this is the pregnancy that it was dealt with....
so many times throughout each pregnancy close people would question me and the sin(anorexia, bulimia, impurity, etc.) in my life that may be causing the sickness.  In Josiah's pregnancy I searched my heart, as well as a sick person could, and couldn't find anything that I believed that was hindering healing.  So after a while, all the suggestions from people that I know loved me dearly were making me angry and hurt... I grew bitter.   Well.... a church acquaintance(and I only say that because I didn't know her well at the time) came to my house to talk to me.  I thought it was just to pray for me, which I thought "okay, but she has no idea how many times I have been prayed for/over...hope she isn't expecting anything crazy, cause it ain't gonna happen".  I was around 8 weeks, I think.  Well, they came in and she began talking to me about sin and I got upset.  I told her how I had searched 3 pregnancies ago and been prayed for every sunday at church my entire 3rd pregnancy so I didn't believe it was sin!  She understood my feelings about it but asked me to consider and just pray about the idea of generational sin and curses.... as soon as she said generational I knew! I surely never remembered anyone suggesting that before and now wondered why!  And also became angry that I would have to suffer for something that I had never done! On generational curses real quick, they can go back 10 generations and also may not affect each person in an obvious way.   My friend talked more about how to be freed and move into healing. That night and for weeks I would cry out to the Lord in my shower(where I could be alone and as upset as I needed to be) asking forgiveness for my anger, hurt, this sin I was linked too, break the links in the spirit, renounce all the sin associated to it.... worry, fear, pride!  I found that everything in my thought process in the aspect of pregnancy and children was linked to this! Life changing!  That first week, nothing miraculous happened in my sickness, but I began noticing little changes here and there and around 12 weeks things were different!  I guessed it was the sickness that average morning sickness caused.  I began doing more on my own and not needing help as much.  I only lost 15 lbs and only 2-3 ER visits!   I began to live again!  It was full of spiritual battles now though.... I had never commanded my food to stay down "in the name of Jesus" before and it stay down!  crazy battle...
I remember being able to live almost normally for rest of the pregnancy, start schooling again and cooking almost normally.  There were times of feeling bad, but I learned how to eat so that my blood sugar would not drop(which made me sick) and how to raise it quickly when it did drop.  The difference was amazing to us. 
We found out the gender of the baby around 18 or 19 weeks and when we found out it was another boy, honestly I was sad... I struggled with it in my alone time each night and it really came down to trust (doesn't it always?).  Trust that God knows best... that He builds the family.  After that week and giving it to the Lord, I was so blessed at the thought of 3!! Children... 3 sons! :)  As we began thinking of names. The name Ezekiel came to me over and over.  It means "Strength of God" or "God Strengthens".  Where would I have been in all this without the strength of God?  And there was the Valley of Dry Bones... where there is death and captivity, but GOD gave life!  Ezekiel 37.14 says, "I will put my Spirit in you and you will live,.... Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD."  I know that this prophecy is dealing with the Israelite people, but the Lord brought me back to it over and over in regards to my sickness and it's cause.  Naming babies is always difficult to do, but after much prayer we knew this was Ezekiel's name. 
The planned date came and my parents came the night before and helped with the last minute things.  We went to bed around 1am and Josiah was in our room throwing up soon after... Mike went to Josiah's bed to get some sleep and Josiah slept in bed with me so I could take care of him.  At 4am I got up and began to get ready and get Mike up.  My mom filled the space in my bed to care for Josiah.  At 5am we got to the cute little hospital on the river with a lovely view.  And waited... always the worst part just waiting and knowing what was about to happen.  The anesthesiologist came in, he looked as if he was around my age and for certain reasons I was not comfortable with him, but what choice did I have.  I told him about my spinal headache from the last time and he said he didn't think that was it and he told me he was going to give it to me anyway and I would be just fine.  I only had hope.  We walked to the OR and in someways it was nice because it was relaxed enough for the Dr. to be prepping in the same little room as Mike and Mike was able to watch some of what was happening to me before they closed the door.  They started and brought Mike in and things were going okay.  I was very hot and they had so many blankets on me.  As they began tugging, Mike started to feel bad. I am laying with my arms strapped down looking up and over at him as he is about to pass out! :)   He was told to put his head between his knees to not pass out.  It was pretty intense.  I have never had someone yank and tug my body around so violently before and just couldn't stop thinking how unnatural this was.  As soon as Ezekiel was taken out of me I got a horrible headache, which had some to do with my blood pressure(what they said).  But was drugged so heavily that it didn't hurt for that long. One of my favorite sounds on earth is hearing them cry for the first time, I was thankful for the blankets on me, as Mommy's know what happens when babies cry.  I got to see him and then on to the nursery.   Mike followed the baby, just as we always want, since I can't keep them.  The doctors were finishing up and I was cleaned up.  During all this time I am alone, on a day that my life is changed... and the anesthesiologist and other assistants chat away about someone flirting with someone...
I finally get out of there and into the recovery room and they bring me Ezekiel pretty quickly!  We were able to be together within the first hour.  Mom and Dad bring the boys while Ezekiel is learning to eat and they fall in love with him! Mike ate breakfast on the floor in the corner :)  They took us to our room and things went perfectly except for the spinal headache.  I needed more pain meds for the headache than the incision!  They also had me use ice packs on my head and neck while I was to lay flat, but had to sit up to nurse, because the baby couldn't be in the bed with me.... crazy....  It was at this time that I was feeling damaged by everything having to do with a Cesarean.  I felt more like a number who came and went and it was just a daily thing to them...
My brother and sister in law, Wade and Megan, came from across the state, as well as other friends. It was quite a crowd in that little room, but we were so happy to celebrate this little one!  My parents stayed a few days to help us settle in to life with 3 boys :)
Coming home we fell into family life with a wonderful new blessing and I tried to focus on the fact that we were both perfectly healthy and I would heal in Him.

Isaiah William 2005

A summer staff with Teen Missions, trip to Ohio, Hurricane, destroyed home and move later.....three months after we lost Judah, we had another pink line.  I remember taking the stick to Mike and waking him up telling him it was positive.  We were so happy and also very nervous.  We told a few people and I tried to prepare what I could for if I was sick again.  I had been working with the staff children and had enjoyed it, but knew that if I got sick again I wouldn't be able to work there anymore.   6 weeks came and it hit like clockwork.  Mike went in to work and took Josiah with him so I was able to care for just myself.  I went back to my dr. right away and he gave me more meds and did an ultrasound where he found the mass of blood again, a bit smaller than the baby.  So as far as we knew it could have been another pregnancy like Judah's.  I started this pregnancy underweight because of my sickness with Judah.  That first week it was decided that we leave Teen Missions....and in this shape we had no where to go other than back to my parents house.  They were gracious to welcome us.  Many friends helped Mike pack up everything we owned and Dad and Wade came to move us (after moving us into that same house just three weeks earlier) on Oct 31, 2004.  We stored all of our things until Wade and Megan got married just two weeks later then we were able to move some of our things in.  My heart is still broken over missing their wedding... I ended up in the sound booth vomiting the whole time while watching on a screen, that was the saddest thing I missed during all my sickness.  It was an interesting adjustment for all of us.  Mostly for Mike, Mom and Dad as they had to take care of Josiah and I.Found my dr after our move, told me that if i want a vbac i have to find another dr...this will be a repeat csection. So sick that i didnt care.  I would be in bed for days straight and end up going to the er many times.  At one point I was admitted for a week.  We were able to attend my home church where I went to the alter for prayer and annointing with oil every sunday I was able to go.  I lost all hope of being healed.  I sat in church with my bucket and if I started throwing up too much I would sit outside.  I got real good at vomiting quietly.  Alot of it is a blur to me.  Mike's dad came, at Easter I think, and we were able to do a little with him, but so much of it depended on how I was. We had our 20 week ultrasound and the mass of blood was gone! We were so blessed! We also found out it was another boy blessing and named him over a salad and a swig of strawberry zinfandel(which I did a couple times this pregnancy... just a sip), which made me not throw up ;)  It was nearly 6 months before I started gaining weight.  Around 7 months I began to be well enough for Mike to get a night job, he worked from about 2pm till 10pm so that I was only alone for about 3 hours with Josiah napping for nearly 2 of those hours and by the end I was able to have dinner ready for Mom and Dad when they got home.  So I felt like I really improved those last two months.  And I gained back the 30lbs I had lost plus 10lbs over my pre pregnancy weight.  Having people helping me made all the difference. Isaiah's birth was scheduled on May 25, 2005.  We left home at 4am and arrived at the hospital just before 5am to begin all the preparation.  Lots of ivs, blood work, monitoring for contractions and baby's heartbeat.  Can't describe the nerves! So nervous I was nauseous and because of no food it made me start feeling sick so I needed more Zofran.  Then they did the catheter.... I'll never know why they did it before the epidural.....  Mike had to step out!  I remember saying goodbye to Mike and them telling me they were giving him cheese and juice before he comes in "cause some Dad's get queasy"  That was the best treatment he has ever gotten at a birth :)  The routine was spinals and I don't remember being given an option.  I don't really remember much about laying there except Mike coming in and the dr and nurses talking about some tv show... annoying.  Again the feeling of being rearranged, at least I knew what to expect.... after the pressure on the top of my belly comes the baby.  He looked like a mad grumpy old man! I got one look and he was whisked away.  Both of us to the recovery room where I met him and held him under the huge heating blanket that I needed because my temp wasn't as high as it should have been.  I had to stay quite a while to get my temp up.    Megan(sisinlaw) and  pastors wife where there to see the baby as soon as he was born and I caught a glimpse on my way to recovery.   Isaiah and Mike went to our room after he had his exam and I  was brought in shortly after.  Right away Josiah, Mom and Dad were there and stayed for a few hours. The rooms were so big... I remember having to throw things across the room the first night because Mike couldn't hear Isaiah crying or me calling him to help me :)    The second day or so I got a headache from the spinal, it took a couple days to go away.  It was wonderful not feeling sick again! We had many visitors as we were near family.  Recovery went perfectly.  Two weeks later Mike moved back to M.I. where he began working with our church and he moved us over when Isaiah was one month old.  It was really hard to move away from family.  But we trusted in His plan for our ministry.   We are so thankful that God blessed this little one with health and life and He chose us for Isaiah.  What a creative and amazing gift Isaiah is!

Judah Our Praise 2004

Long and a bit graphic....I would imagine ~girls only :)

You Were Warned!
 We were in love with our sweet baby boy and every second of our family and ministry.  Josiah was about 10 months old when we started hoping for another baby.  We believed all the people who said that I shouldn't be very sick this time because the first on is usually the worst.  I hoped and begged that was true.  We were so excited for that pink line! Told everyone and waited for the 6 week mark.  It came and it was devastating for us.  Now I had a little one to care for along with being horribly sick.  My dr. was once again incredible and even sent meds out to Teen Missions for Mike to bring home for me.  Began losing weight and strength quickly.  And began working in ministry again because my maternity leave was over.  I got through... still loosing weight.  Wade, my brother, actually moved in with us to take care of Josiah and I and keep the household stuff going.  At 10 weeks along I was at Teen Missions one morning and I stood up to do something and knew... something was wrong.  Went straight to Mike and he took me straight to the dr.  Waiting was the worst part... not knowing.  Finally got into the ultrasound and saw a perfectly happy alive baby.... along with a mass of blood same size of the baby right next to him, it is called a Subchorionic Hemorrhage.  I was put on bedrest indefinitely.   Wade was there to take care of us... helping me with my sickness, taking care of Josiah, meals for us and Mike, laundry... just everything.  On the weekend of the 4th of July Wade took a break and Mandi, Mike's sister was flown in to take care of us for about a week.  I was 14 weeks into my pregnancy.  During that time I started passing large blood clots and was so dehydrated that I had to go to the ER, they discovered that I was so dehydrated that I needed to be admitted overnight to replenish my fluid levels.  The three nights leading up to this day I had been having strong back pain that I had to walk and rock to feel better... but I didn't give that much thought for some reason and didn't mention anything about it to anyone at the hospital.  Mike went home to sleep and work the next day at Teen Missions, we just thought he would come pick me up at lunch time.  Well, I don't remember going to sleep that night at all... I began having cramps and back pain.  I told the nurse about it and she said she would call the dr. but didn't think he would appreciate being woken up at 1am esp. since I couldn't have anything for the pain.  She came back and sure enough, he didn't appreciate being woken up and said that I couldn't have anything for the pain.   I said okay, she left and it really started.... they began coming in waves.  I walked and walked.  It hurt so bad that I thought I was dying.  I went from walking to rocking myself then for most of the night literally thrashing side to side crying out for Jesus to help me... I just could not be still... and I discovered that those rooms are very sound proof.  When the nurse came in 5 maybe 6am she was shocked at how much pain I was in... she asked how long I had been in that amount of pain.  I told her it was just a little while after I told her I was having cramps but didn't want to bother them again, because of what they said before.  Then around 7am the dr. came in and I could see in his eyes that this was not going to be fine and he was troubled.   I can't remember everything that happened but they began helping me.... gave me pain meds, that they had said would hurt the baby.  I called Mike at Teen Missions and told the receptionist to tell him to come now.... he was way back in the property and did not come now... I guess the urgency wasn't relayed to him.   When he finally did get there I told him about the night but that we didn't know anything about the baby yet.  A little while later they brought in the ultrasound machine and we got to see the baby... again perfectly alive and active.  So all day we waited, I slept, Mike rubbed my back when the pain came, people visited.... and during this day our baby died.  We didn't find out until that night.  They brought the ultrasound machine in again and there was a still heart..... my heart still skips a beat when I think of seeing that image.   We spent the night mourning.  They began preparing me for the morning, when I would deliver my baby.   I don't remember the time, maybe between 8 and 10am the nurses came and told me we would check and see if things are ready.  They got me set up in the stirrups and was checked... I remember the nurse whensing and look away.  My dr. turned the baby to begin removing him and I felt his body so clearly.  I lost everything I had been mostly holding in.  Mike was on the otherside of the room with his head buried.  My baby was removed and taken out of the room as I was being cleaned up.  I had to ask! to see my baby... this always makes me furious.  It took them a minute to bring him, they cleaned him and wrapped him up, then held him in front of me... did not hand him to me so I had to take him out of their hands!  I held my 14 week old baby in my hands.... he looked like Josiah, same chin and nose.  He was beautiful.  I unwrapped him and saw through his transparent skin, toes and fingers.  And I believed he was a little girl.  The development of what I thought was my 14 week baby would have been a girl. His arm had been torn from being removed.  I held his tiny hand on my fingertip.  My 14 week baby was 3 inches head to rump, 5 inches head to heal.  Precious, loved, wanted and missed.  A little life changed my life in just 14 weeks.  So many things hinged on this little life and now that was all taken.  I asked for his body to cremate after pathology had completed their examination, but the nurse said it wasn't possible.... still don't know why on the earth I would listen to the nurse.... so as far as I know, my baby was burned in a pile of....I don't want to imagine....
As I was being discharged they gave me a memory box and sent up an old man with a wheel chair for me.... as I walked toward him.... with my box.... he moved away from me.  Because I didn't have a baby in my arms.... on the maternity floor.  He moved away because I could not be the mother being discharged because I didn't have a baby in my arms.... I only held a box.  I quietly explained to him that I was being discharged and needed the wheelchair.  So as he chit chatted I quietly wept over the pain and the looks. 
Mike took me to the beach and we sat quietly for what seemed like forever.   The only place I could feel clearly..... HE is the air I breathe, HE is the solid ground under my feet, HE is the water I thirst for.   I never wanted to leave.
We had to go because I got hungry for the first time in weeks.  We had dinner together in silence then went home.  So good to be home with my Josiah.  Mandi had been with him without a car for 3 days! Except coming up to the hospital to see us once.  It was so good to be home.  Mandi, Wade and Mom were there.  Mom was there..... I can't think of a time I have needed her more.... I could cry and be me.  We named this baby who we thought was a girl, Judah.  Judah means praise.... no other name could fit.... praise.  I will praise..... When the Israelites went to war the tribe of Judah went first.... they went in praise.  Our Judah went first and also in praise.  For we are CREATED to praise. As I slowly put all of this together I felt such peace.  Even though my plans were again taken away from me,  His plans were fulfilled, because my Judah was created to praise.
We held a memorial service for our baby.  I was expecting it to be small.  I was so honored that so many people would come and support us, I felt that so many would not see it as important because of being only 14 weeks.  I was completely surprised to see my dr. there also!
I spent two weeks to recover, gain weight(as I had lost 30 lbs again) and strength.  Wade went home for good and I went back to work.  Healing was beginning.  At my postpartum dr. visit I requested Judah's pathology report.    At home we read and discovered that our baby had stopped growing at 11 weeks and was a boy.  Boy was that embarrassing to find out after I had told everyone he was a girl!  I'm sure he laughed at me in heaven... and especially now :)
I began seeing other dr's to try to find if there was a solution to my problems but no answers could be given.
But we trusted and we hoped and we rested in His love.

Josiah Michael 2002

Josiah Micheal~
We were young, naive, in love, month after we were married I feared I was pregnant... we planned on NO KIDS for five YEARS!  The first two weeks(week 4-5) we worked past the shock, embarrassment... the hardest was that our plans were messed up. When I was six weeks pregnant we had a wedding reception and we were not ready to tell anyone, but I was feeling horrible. I remember cutting potatoes trying so hard not to throw up in them.  The next day I cleaned the bathroom and it was all down hill from there. So people had to know.  Mike took me to the hospital and was there overnight and sent home with some meds. The meds didn't work and was back in the hospital but for this time it was a week while they tried to find something that would help.  They also checked to see how may babies there were because I was so sick.  Just one little worm on the screen.  Finally found a medicine that would help and as soon as it was in my system my stomach growled and I begged for a turkey sandwich!  The thing about the meds was that it was $30 a pill... that I had to swallow and keep down.  Filling the prescription cost $500... they had to double check with us because of course we looked like teenagers and I looked like death.   Well, that was our first big purchase, but we were so blessed that our church gave us the money for it!  I don't remember too much about those three months except for drinking water just to throw up and sleeping alot because the only time I wasn't throwing up was when I was asleep.  Oh and throwing up in Mitch and Matt's toilet.... worst toilet ever!  The only meal I remember eating was Thanksgiving dinner.... where Mike made the worst ever "we're pregnant" announcement.   We left for florida on Christmas night.  I guess we thought I would sleep... but I didn't! I drove a couple hours until I started throwing up but Mike did most of the driving until he couldn't drive anymore... the last hour I drove and threw up every ten min.  When we got to mom and dads I think I slept for quite a while and the next day mom took over all the caregiving and nursed me to the point of where I was able to eat more often and keep some down.  By this point I had lost 30 lbs.  and I was around 12 weeks(when everyone says it gets better).
A few days later we joined staff with Teen Missions and I would have to go to work.... I was terrified to say the least.  But I had learned a few tricks that kept me okay most of the time, with mom's help.  Also found a great dr. who helped me get the meds I needed, he even gave me a few samples every visit.  I got through the pregnancy with a few more ER visits here and there and finally reached my pre pregnancy weight.  At about 33 weeks I had two dear friends, Jennifer and Jessica, visiting from out of town and stayed up way too late, didn't eat and was messed up!  That weekend and the next I ended up in the ER, on bed rest and lots of tests.  At 34 w 6d they discovered the fluid was very low, Josiah had not grown in two weeks and the placenta had the appearance of a 41 week placenta. I was admitted to the hospital on bed rest and vs to try to increase fluid levels. Nothing changed by the next morning and Josiah was delivered by c-section within 2 hours. I had no idea what to expect with a c-section and with as sick as I was I knew that there was no way for me to deliver him naturally.  I was terrified of the epidural and of feeling any pain.  I remember shaking uncontrollably and looking at Mike and Mom watch with fear in their eyes.   After they began I was no longer afraid but it was the strangest feelings ever.... I could feel my insides being moved around, so much pressure, but I was okay with it.  But our biggest concern was Josiah and if he was going to be okay.  When he was born he was so angry and that  made us so happy :) He was brought over to me wailing and I simply said "hey..." Josiah stopped crying and looked right at me! It was the most amazing thing. He was taken to the other side of the room while they did some initial checks on him and we got to listen to him cry.  He was then taken to the nursery to do bloodwork and more tests and Mike stayed at his side the entire time.  He was able to talk to Josiah and we felt that Josiah was comforted hearing and feeling Daddy.  I was in the OR for another 30 min. or so as they finished me up then taken back to my room.  Mike would take pictures and video and bring it back to show me.  Josiah had some health issues in the beginning, he was in an oxygen bubble for a while and some other things that I can't remember anymore.... I wasn't able to see him until he was 22 hours old.  I tried in the middle of the first night to get up to go see him but I passed out and the nurse wouldn't take me in a wheel chair, not sure why I didn't fight her about it.  So when he was 22 hours old they finally said he was stable enough to bring him to me to try to introduce breastfeeding.  He did pretty well.  Then they brought him only every 2-3 hours to feed or I went to him  because he still had to be monitored alot.  There are still some things that I wished that I had stood up to the nurses about... a mother should never doubt her instincts!  The second evening he was given to us, finally well enough. And we went home on the third day.  Mike came to pick us up on his lunch break and dropped us off at home.... I was terrified to be alone with Josiah!  Mom came the next day and helped me for about two weeks... I don't know what I would have done without her help!
 I felt blessed to have Josiah healthy.  I felt completely well as soon as he was born.  Having Josiah changed our lives... the plan of God changed our lives and our hearts.