Saturday, June 6, 2015

A prayer request

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
-Corrie Ten Boom

I can't begin to express how thankful I have been for all the people who are joining us in praying for our baby. You all have brought me so much comfort through these rough weeks. At just the right moment I'll get a card or a note or a text or a gift or a word that speaks directly to what I'm needing. It helps me know and remember that God is near and that He cares and is taking care of us in the sweet, all-knowing way that only He can.

I wanted to post a prayer request this morning, but it kept growing longer and longer. So for those willing to read an emotional pregnant woman's early morning jumbled-up thoughts, I figured I'd write a full blog post.

First of all, I am so incredibly thankful for a medical team that has been so concerned - and loving - with the health of my baby and me. All the appointments and blood work and ultrasounds are a bit stressful, but I'd rather know all of these things than just be left guessing. And, it is like soothing balm on my anxious heart every time we see or hear something "normal" about our baby.

Through my second chorus of "is that normal?... Are you sure?" yesterday, our midwife was patient and reassuring. I think I asked at least half a dozen times if she saw anything to be concerned about. And I couldn't help but add, "would you please tell me if you see anything at all?"

I sort of thought that yesterday's ultrasound would be similar to the one before. I would leave with a reassurance that everything was fine that would carry me through several weeks. I am not sure if it was because yesterday's ultrasound became a bit more about deciding the sex of our baby, or if most of the discussion centered around all the things that will happen at the next appointment, or if it was something else all together, but I was even more anxious leaving than I was arriving. And I was anxious arriving.

Our "big" mid-point ultrasound is scheduled for next time. This is when they will check for a number of abnormalities, and when a lot of complications are discovered for many women/babies who have complications/health concerns. Maybe it is a normal mom thing that everyone experiences, but I just want so badly for the baby to be healthy. And I feel like I don't have the most stellar genes to work with, nor is my body well-equipped to support a healthy baby. My body attacks healthy things. The baby seems blissfully unaware in the ultrasounds, but I feel like he must be fighting a battle. And as I pray for the Lord to knit him together, I know that this baby's health and well-being rest squarely on His shoulders. Even more than most, I just can't do this.

I will have follow-up blood work done to measure my antiphospholipid antibody levels. Those test results, in part, will determine whether or not I should take blood thinner injections. I pray I will not have to deal with any more complications at all. And while I am willing to take blood thinners for the health of the baby, I would rather not have that issue at all. I am most nervous about blood clots causing some type of issue for the baby or me. And if the doctors feel strong blood thinners are necessary, I am uncertain what to do. This treatment comes with its own set of worries, concerns, side effects and dangers. As of now, I am unsure how I will proceed if the doctors feel that stronger medications are needed.

So, above all else, please continue to pray for the health of our baby, Matthias. (I am still transitioning from calling him "baby" to calling him by his name.)

Beyond that, learning the sex of our baby brings a whole new dynamic to pregnancy. Johnie and I have always said we are much more concerned with our baby's health than our baby's sex. But we are glad to know we are having a boy. On the scale of boy-girl preference, I leaned slightly toward girl. Even though we tried not to think about it much, we had dreams for a little boy and dreams for a little girl. Giving up our little girl dreams were a little sad, but I think there would have also been sadness to give up our little boy dreams.

There is so much I am excited about - and relieved about - with having a boy. I remember how much fun my brothers were when they were babies and toddlers. To get to experience that again will be great. (If Matthias is anything like my brothers.) Also, if Matthias looks like Johnie or acts like Johnie in some ways, I think I'm going to enjoy it. (There are some traits of my brothers and my husband I'm hoping he doesn't get. I had been praying for this baby to be protected from bad/negative traits/genes and my brother shared with me what he had been praying for the baby: That the good things from the Roses replace the bad things from the Karrs and that the good things from the Karrs replace the bad things from the Roses so the baby is made of only good things.)

But, still, I've never been a MOM to a boy. I feel like I have so much to learn. (I'm open to any book suggestions you think may help.) I felt like Johnie must have felt shortly after we learned we were pregnant, when he wanted to make all of those decisions that won't affect the baby for several years. I felt an overwhelming need to start planning and working on things we won't have to deal with for more than a decade from now with our son.

I felt much more prepared to raise a girl than to raise a boy.

There's still so much we don't know about Matthias. Most of our questions are ones we would have whether our baby was a boy or a girl, it's just that we've only really started to ask them now. Will he be athletic? Will he be adventurous? Johnie and I aren't either of those things, but we want to encourage him. Thankfully we have a diverse extended family we hope will help fill in our gaps.

Will he share my love of cooking or of writing? Will he enjoy going hiking or fishing with me? Will he be interested in technology and programming like Johnie? Will he love Christmas? (If Johnie's bah-humbugness is a gene, I hope he didn't get it.) What will his favorite season be? Will he be quiet and reserved or way more outgoing than either of us?

I hope he loves to read books. I'm assuming he won't be very interested in my childhood dolls and toys, or with building a dollhouse with me, but maybe. Judging from many of my nephews, I'm trying to prepare for many more superheroes and legos in my life. (Though my life is currently void of either of those things, so any child would change all of that.) We'll just have to wait and see.

I have prayed a lot for Matthias in my womb, but I feel led now to pray for his life post-birth. I want him to be strong and independent. I want him to be respectful and loving and kind. I want him to be confident. I want him to always feel surrounded by the grace and love of God and to be completely sold out for His will in his life. I want him to love his mom (and his dad) a lot, but not too much.

And as I think of what I want for him through all the stages of his life, I just go back to my original prayer. I hope he makes it to all the stages of his life, healthy.

Again, thank you all so much for praying with us!