PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sweet Memory

One night this week, a memory came to my mind. It was a memory that had been stowed away for more than 4 years. And for some reason this memory came vividly back into clarity this week. I suspect I know why.

This is the memory: BJ and I were visiting my aunt and uncle in North Carolina over a long weekend. While we were there, we attended their small community church. On Sunday morning we observed the Lord's Supper. This church was small enough that each family unit was able to take turns to go to the front of the sanctuary where a table with the bread and wine were placed. The entire family would kneel at the small table and partake of the Lord's Supper together. It was a very intimate and special setting. Usually the father would pray, break the bread, and serve his family. We went forward with my aunt and uncle and their children, and we were the first family to go forward. For the remainder of the service we sat in our seats while the rest of the families took turns going forward. One family stuck clearly in my mind. This was a family with three young children closely stair stepped in age. I don't remember the sex of each child but I do remember at least one little girl with long blond braids. As I sat there watching this family, my eyes began to fill with tears.

It had been at least one year since BJ and I decided we wanted to start a family. At the time one year seemed like an eternity to wait and I was becoming anxious. But then, at that moment, while watching that family take the Lord's Supper, I asked God for a family like that. During my prayer, God placed a sense of peace in my heart. I can't explain why the peace overcame me and why that family has stuck so clearly in my heart, but it has for these many years. And it has been this week that God has brought that memory back to me.

This pregnancy has been my most difficult one with gestational diabetes getting more challenging to manage day by day, and with very scary pre-term labor which reminds me daily that this baby could possibly come too early to be healthy. Every day that I feel this baby move and wiggle in my tummy is an answer to my prayers. But because of the medical hardships in this pregnancy, I believe my body may not be cut out for any more pregnancies. Recently, this thought has made me feel very sad. I can't say for sure our family is done growing -- I won't close any doors that God would want to open. But I'm also keenly aware that this could possibly be my very last pregnancy. In my moments of sadness and disappointment this week, God has filled my mind with the sweet memory of the family at the Lord's table 4 years ago. As I'm getting nearer to giving birth to my third precious child, I sincerely believe God flooded my mind with the memory of the sweet family because He wanted to remind me of His faithfulness. I have been reminded of my prayer over 4 years ago, and the peace that God placed in my heart on that Sunday morning. It is through this memory that I have praised God this week with joy and thanksgiving for giving me the family I desired. It is through this memory that I've been reminded that God deserves all the glory for all things. Just a simple memory -- what an amazing gift!

And 4 years ago, while in the car returning home from our North Carolina trip, BJ and I talked about the weekend. It was then that I learned that BJ was also moved by the sight of that exact same family at the Lord's table. There was nothing "special" or "different" about that family. But it's the same family that God used to speak to both of our hearts at the very same moment. And interestingly, the week after we returned from our trip, we also learned that I was expecting our very first child. God is so good!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's Your Response?

What's Your Response is a conference sponsored by The Walk, our church's college ministry. I'm proud that my dear hubby will be one of the guest speakers at this conference on Thursday, April 16 at the Sunsphere. I really hope I'm able to go and support him, although it'll be very touch-and-go with Griffin's due date nearing. Actually, I really hope BJ will be able to go and we won't be in labor on April 16! But truly, I'm very proud of my man. He is so gifted, he loves Jesus, and he loves people. I can't think of a better person to be called into ministry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Shower Postponed

Our sweet Bible Fellowship class has organized a baby shower for me and Griffin. But unfortunately with the flu and stomach bug going around several of the hostesses are sick and/or have sick family at home. It was decided to postpone the shower to next Saturday, March 21 at the same time, same location. Hopefully all the guests on the invitation list will get the email update, facebook message, and/or see this post.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good News At Last

We had another OB appt today with Dr. B. This appt included a very thorough ultrasound that measured the amniotic fluid, Griffin's heart rate, his breathing, his measurements, and his movements. His heart rate is perfect around 150 bpm. He finally took a breath after about 10 minutes of the nurse trying to wake him up, which is really common for babies still in the womb. He probably weighs about 4.5 lbs and on track to weigh about 6 lbs like Lily and Schaeffer were at birth. Out of an 8 point score, Griffin scored an 8! That means he is right on track and he looks very strong and healthy despite all the contractions I've been having. Dr. B explained that preterm labor could signify a variety of problems, including low amniotic fluid or development problems with the baby and that's why they did the ultrasound today. But Griffin and I checked out just fine. Dr. B was pleased and said he'd give me a "gold star" since he figured I was a perfectionist and needed the reassurance that I'm doing everything okay. He also laughed and told me, "don't let the idea of perfection make something good look bad." He explained that my pregnancy isn't perfect, but it's good and I need to be willing to accept good. I agreed! So I'm instructed to continue doing what I've been doing, which is to take Brethine every 4 hours (or every 2 when needed), rest a lot, drink lots of water, and no lifting.

Because I have responded so well to Brethine over the past month, Dr. B is optimistic that it will continue to work over the next few weeks to hold off labor. And then at 36 weeks I'm free to stop taking it and see if labor begins shortly after. If the Brethine were to stop working before 35 weeks he would try some other medications. But if labor were to begin around 35.5 weeks, he probably would not try to stop it if everything else looked good. Until then, as long as I'm having 4-5 contractions an hour he is comfortable with that. He would be more concerned if I were having 6 or more contractions an hour and were dilating beyond 3 or 4 cm. I guess Dr. B has this down to a science. It was very reassuring to know that Griffin is a healthy, growing boy, and that Dr. B was pleased with how everything was going so far.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dancin' Music (for my friend Amanda)

These are two of Lily's favorite dancin' songs from the album The Chieftains: Down the Old Plank Road, the Nashville Sessions. We haven't danced to these in a while but I imagine we will when Griffin is born. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

32 Weeks and Counting

We had another OB appt today, which included an ultrasound. Dr. B wanted to check up on Griffin's kidneys again to see if the fluid has lessened. Praise the LORD! He only had minuscule amounts of fluid in his kidneys which probably means the blockage is working itself out and his kidneys are able to rid themselves of the fluid. The nurse also went ahead and did some measurements to see if Griffin's growth was on track. Sure enough, he measured 32 weeks and 3 days and today I am 32 weeks and 1 day. He's right on track. And Griffin's head is down instead of in the breech position he has been in since 20 weeks. I was encouraged to know that he flipped and got into proper birthing position!

The somewhat negative part of the appt was when I was told I'm already dilated 2 cm. At 32 weeks I really shouldn't be dilating, but with all the contractions I've been having it didn't come as a big surprise. I've been ordered to rest a lot more and to NOT lift! I believe the nurse said, "No, no, no lifting. I know it will be hard with 2 small children at home, but you just can't be lifting." She's absolutely right. It will be hard, but with Griffin's health on the line it's what needs to happen. BJ will be working from home indefinitely - or until after Griffin is born and we know he is healthy. Please pray for BJ because he's already working two full-time jobs between mine and his. He will be working at the "home office" nights and weekends to keep afloat. It will be hard on him, and it will be hard on me to sit by and watch him do all the work to take care of our family. We know Jesus will provide for our needs, and He has already surrounded us with so many amazing friends and family who have already helped tremendously.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Griffin's Nursery Coming Together

It's been a slow process with many phases to get Griffin's room in order. We are now at Phase IV: furniture setup and room decor. This is my favorite phase because I finally get to see the room coming together. Here are some photos of the room, which is still a work in progress:

Crib with bedding:

Close up of bedding:

Shelves for toy storage:

Artwork by Mommy (that would be me). I got the idea from a Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but I didn't want to pay $159 per print. These still need to be framed: