Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Expected Blessing

Thanksgiving may be long over, but Andy and I are still overflowing with thankfulness to God for all that he has done for us.  About a month before Thanksgiving we found out that we are expecting our second child, due to arrive in mid-June.  Many people were not a bit surprised by our announcement and “had been wondering” when we would decide to have another.

This is, actually, a blog post I’ve been waiting to write for a long time since we tried for a year and a half to have another child.  Having conceived our first with very little waiting, I initially panicked and then told myself that it’s not unusual for it to take some time.  So we waited… then I got emotional.  Panic, confusion, and a feeling of failure began to set in.  Andy and I had countless conversations about our need to surrender our family and our desires (specifically in regards to the size of our family) to God.  I was really struggling with it though.  I was a little angry with God.  It seemed a tease to have given us one child so easily and then no children after that.  I felt this strong desire to have more children and I felt justified in that desire – that it was good and godly, even. 

Over the next few months God revealed to me (through Bible reading, prayer time, blogs I follow, Sunday morning services, and the words of others) that anything I desire more than Him is sin. 

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  James 1:13-15

Difficult words to read.  My desire was great, but it was for the wrong thing. 
In June it was recommended to me to set up a fertility consultation with one of the doctors in my OB practice.  And I did… in the fall.  I put it off all summer with the excuse being that our summer was too crazy to schedule a bunch of appointments (that was only partially true).  Although scheduling that doctor’s appointment sooner could have possibly sped up the process of conceiving, the Great Physician had some work to do in heart first.  God really used the summer to change my perspective, and by the fall I was ready to face whatever the doctor said and know that ultimately my desire was to honor God in this situation – and He definitely gave me (us) the opportunity to do so.

By the end of my initial consult, the doctor felt she had a good idea of what was probably going on but needed to run some tests (blood work and an ultrasound) to confirm.  She explained that if the tests confirmed what she thought, then there were several options that we could explore that could aid in me getting pregnant.  Andy and I weren’t sure about any of this, at this point.  We talked about the options, but mostly decided to just wait and find out the test results. 

The lab results from my blood work came back in line with what the doctor was thinking.  In fact, she said something like, “Given your blood work results, there’s really no way you can get pregnant right now, and this is probably been a problem the whole time you’ve been trying.”  The next step toward an actual diagnosis was an ultrasound.  The results were okay, hopeful, and discouraging all at the same time.  The doctor’s initial prediction was confirmed… okay.  She also said that it seemed to her that we could possibly conceive at any time… good.  But then she said that she found something questionable that, if confirmed (via yet another test) would result in having to go in for day surgery… discouraging.

Okay God… What is going on here?  How am I supposed to handle all this news?  I’m relieved… I’m scared… I’m excited… I’m everything.

It was then that I was reminded of all that God had been teaching me for that past year and half… As hard as I may try, I can’t always control the circumstances of my life, and the results of this ultrasound certainly proved that.  So I continue to trust in my unchanging God – the one who is in control and has proven himself faithful.

“For the word of the Lord is right and true, he is faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 33:4)

Even though it wasn’t easy, Andy and I kept trying to remain faithful to our God who loves us so much that (in addition to meeting our daily needs) he met our ultimate need of a Savior.  How could I doubt his faithfulness now? 

Two and a half weeks after getting the results of my ultrasound, I discovered that I was pregnant.  I wandered aimlessly around my house, audibly crying and praising God through my tears.  I was overwhelmed.  After sharing the news with Andy, we figured that the doctor had been right and I was probably 4.5 weeks pregnant.   Although we were overjoyed by the news, we decided to initially keep it to ourselves until after my first midwife appointment (which was a week later). 

The midwife agreed with our timeframe, but wanted to have an ultrasound done to confirm the due date, so the next morning we all (Andy, Jadon, and I) went in for my ultrasound.  (Jadon was clueless and munched on goldfish while “watching tv” – the ultrasound screen).  The tech said everything looked great.  The heartbeat was very strong.  Then she said she had the gestational age of the baby and my due date calculated (keep in mind this was about a week after I had discovered I was pregnant).  She calculated (because of the size of the baby) that I was 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant, due around June 16th.  I gasped and quickly blurted, “What!?”  I explained the situation to the tech and she said that even still, these early ultrasounds do not lie; in fact, they are accurate plus/minus 5 days!  She said she didn’t know what to say other than that.  We were astounded!  At my next appointment, I asked the midwife about it and she said she has no medical explanation for it at all.  At the time of my ultrasound I was pregnant, but it was too early to really tell.  The “questionable” thing that they had seen that could require surgery was actually my baby.  The blood work results are baffling because medically speaking, I should not have been able to conceive. 

We initially pointed back to the words of the doctor when giving me the results of my ultrasound – that I could possibly get pregnant soon.  What we should have been doing is looking to God, who gave us a huge reminder of his timing, love, and control over all things.  I have no earthly reason to have been blessed to carry this child.  It is simply through the providence of God that this was possible.

Andy and I are so overwhelmed by God’s working in our life.  He has used this situation, as discouraging as it felt at times, to teach us some valuable lessons on who He is and we are so grateful for that.  We don’t always see how God works in our everyday lives, and so we feel incredibly privileged for Him to have revealed Himself in this way. 

“How Can I Keep from Singing?”

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation;
Thro' all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul--
How can I keep from singing?
What tho' my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho' the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it;
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his--
How can I keep from singing?

                                                                                                                        Anonymous

~ Carrie

3 comments:

  1. Carrie, thank you for sharing this. Gary and I are sitting here crying as I read it to him.

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  2. Laurie, tears of joy I hope! I couldn't help but share what a great thing God has done in my life. He's done a great work in my heart over the last few months, and I'm so thankful for it!

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