A Name and A Date...Part 2

Part two! (If you didn’t read part one and are currently super bored, click here.) Ok, so whoops, I forgot to mention last time that Cedar was born perfect and healthy, small, but healthy. He’s still little and actually at his last appointment the doctor said he was, “in the negative 30th percentile…but, hmmm…he doesn’t look like a dwarf.” My sweet friend Amanda pointed out that, “negative 30” isn’t even a percentile, so ha, take that doctor pants. I was going to use that as a transition and I’m losing my way…where was I? Oh, right, Cedar’s check up was right after another appointment, one we had gone into with lots of prayer: It was for our new baby on the way. I had been hemorrhaging for two weeks and I will leave out most of the gross details, even though I am pretty sure 99.9% of the people reading this are females. 

First photo as a family of four! Matt hates his face in this pic.

I need to back track a bit to my last plane ride after traveling from Vietnam-Qatar-South Africa. My thirteen weeks pregnant self was finally on a one hour flight home (that had been delayed three times) to wonderful Mozambique. It was a hallelujah moment until twenty minutes in when I was pretty sure my water broke. You can use your imagination. Now add in a plane 3 seats wide, a one year old who just started walking, exhaustion for two, a tiny bathroom with no sink or trashcan, and one male flight attendant…he may have also been the pilot, not sure. ;) I scooped Cedar up, rushed to the bathroom and tried to cry. TRIED! Nothing. I couldn't. Despite being a complete mess (told you, gross) and almost positive I was loosing another baby, I felt peace. Complete peace.

That's my Beband sticking out because my pants totally don't zip all the way now.

I'll fast forward through the ride home which includes us getting pulled over twice for bribes and Matt insulting a cop...stress guys, it gets to the coolest of cucumbers, but he did apologize. The next day at a medical clinic here in Maputo the doctor tells us the bleeding is normal and not to worry. Two weeks later I am still bleeding, so we make an appointment in South Africa. This doctor tells me that the hemorrhage on my uterus isn't normal at all and is likely caused by genetic abnormalities in the baby. Not what we were expecting to hear. Lots of blah-blah medical jargon later, and we leave with tests to run and a handful of prescriptions. We said a short prayer of trust in God before heading to the appointment I mentioned, the one where we find out Cedar is a "dwarf." As we left the parking lot, we found ourselves having a conversation with God very similar to that of months earlier with Cedar. No matter what, we trusted God, but we weren't owning the report.  

Two weeks later we were back for a follow-up and you know what the doctor said, "Wow! The hemorrhage is one third the size. Everything looks better." We ran more tests, but the results came back perfect. Even if they hadn't, our God would still be good. I have had enough experiences in my life--like we all have--to know that. He is always so good.

Praise God, right!?!! Our already-so-prayed-for-and-loved Cypress (we don't have a middle name yet) Marlin will be here around January 21. A little girl. I know what you are all thinking: "What's their thing with wood?" Themes...I am never into them, but here I am naming my kids after trees. Weirdo. So there it is, the whole story and a testament to who Jesus is. 

But one more thing. I know some of you out there haven't had good results, and still others would do anything just to have tests to run. For those of you in that place, there are no words, my heart hurts with you. So I ask, before you click out of this post, please take a minute to pray. Pray comfort for those who have lost children, pray healing and strength for those that are facing difficulties, and for those who desire a child, believe for them to have a name and a date. Our God is big enough and prayer is our most powerful tool. We are together. Estamos juntos.

A Name and a Date...Part 1

Ok, so there is much more to this story than just a name and a date, and I don't think I would be honoring God if I didn't tell the whole thing. It's a good story too, if you're into low lows and high highs, and freak-out moments followed by complete peace...and throw up...yeah, sorry about that part. 

Pregnancy with Cedar wasn't fun; they call it Hypermesis Gravidarum, but I call it, "when do I get to die?" You may think I am being dramatic, and that's ok. You wouldn't be the first to tell me that, and I still love you. So the scene is Lisbon. Enter our cute apartment and find me lying in bed. Not moving. This was me most days from 7-20 weeks. Other than 5ish days, there was lots of puking, dehydration, and weight loss paired with no eating/drinking, and rarely being able to stand. At first we thought I had some crazy Portuguese virus (I just pictured a little virus walking around yelling non-sense), but after realizing these were my pregnancy symptoms, we decided not to tell family about the baby, just in case. We had recently lost a sweet babe, and we didn't want everyone to go through that again. We prayed and prayed and hoped the symptoms would disappear and that the baby would be healthy. Did I mention there's no medicine or treatment for HG or any kind of severe nausea in Portugal? Well, unless I count my super tan, 5 foot doctor who was trying to channel a mafia supermodel (do those exist?) with stilettos and piles of gold jewelry, grabbing my skin and yelling at me to, "Stop losing weight! Eat food! And no throwing up!" It was good advice; I just wasn't teachable, I guess. Then I threw up. 

Fast forward to 30ish weeks and we now live in Mozambique. My symptoms have subsided enough to where I can get out of bed, but I am still extremely nauseated and having a hard time keeping food down. Our new South African doctor, after laughing out loud at the sight of me and asking if I swallowed a gum ball, tells us that our sweet boy is behind on his growth by 6 weeks and that we should be prepared that something is developmentally wrong with him. (For those who don't know much about South Africa, you can stop imagining a bush doctor in a hut. This was an amazing hospital with top of the line equipement.) I was carrying small, but that wasn't what we were expecting to hear. As soon as we got to our car, we told the Lord we weren't owning that report and that we trusted him to work a miracle. And we kept praying that everyday until our next appointment when the doctor said Cedar was only one week behind. ONE! 

But, the best part? It's all God taught me during the hardest days. I often worried I was killing our baby, but God brought peace, even showed me visions of Cedar in adulthood. When I thought I couldn't stand to lie in bed sick for another moment, Jesus told me to pray for those dealing with terminal illness. On days when the blessing of pregnancy felt more like a curse, the Holy Spirit led me to pray for the wombs of those desiring a baby. He opened my eyes. He always does when I let him. All that to say, thank you Jesus for our sweet Cedar and thank you for teaching me more about your character and love for people. 

To be continued...click here for part 2!