Monthly Archives: January 2017

Baby Update No. 2: Twenty Weeks

“Baby has a beautiful heart.”

These were the precious words our sonographer told us during our ultrasound this past Monday. Of course she meant medically speaking, but what beautiful words to have spoken over our unborn child, just 10 ounces big. Ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. A strong heartbeat. Every measurement was perfect. Baby slept just like I do, with one hand up by my face.

Boy or girl remains a mystery.

Twenty weeks into pregnancy I remain certain of the eternal significance of THIS child. A beautiful heart. I claim that in full faith.

Our visit with the high risk physician at the hospital could not have gone better. We spent the better part of an hour discussing my confusing and relatively foggy medical history with our specialist, Dr. Matt. What a great doctor. He reviewed some of my past medical notes and listened to my story. I intrigued him, he said, because he had a particular interest in stroke patients. His wife suffered two strokes before going on to have multiple healthy pregnancies.

His view on my history was that my stroke occurred during my first pregnancy, and that my vertigo was perhaps a separate issue altogether, due to the other things going on with my inner ear. That makes a lot of sense, although it’s not something we can ever be 100% certain of. But given my symptoms at 38 weeks with Sophie, he felt that was more likely when the stroke occurred. He found it greatly reassuring that I had since had a completely healthy and normal pregnancy with Micah. And he encouraged us to find that reassuring as well.

After hearing my story and reviewing my records, he felt that my risk for another incident of stroke in pregnancy was very low. Praise Jesus! What a weight lifted!

He understood (because of his wife and also his profession) what it felt like for me being labeled as having a “history of stroke” with every doctor I’ve seen, and how that has caused unnecessary fear in our lives, especially since the pregnancy. It has been a heavy diagnosis to carry, like many other diagnoses that are serious and lifelong and just never really leave you. Even my neurologist had warned, finger wagging at me, “now don’t go getting pregnant again because your next stroke might not be a tiny one,” as if a next stroke was a certainty instead of a minuscule risk. Dr Matt was able to put things in a different perspective for us and gave us a much needed second opinion which offered us so much hope and took a huge weight off our shoulders. He’s even going so far as to get us another opinion beyond his own. He’s requesting all my original imaging so that he can view everything himself and have his own OB Neuro specialists review them, too. After that he will make a final decision about my risk, but he feels confident that everything about this pregnancy is and will be healthy and fine.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable mercy and goodness! I am overjoyed with the gift of this sweet child to our family!


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Yesterday was Sunday. We went to church, and when the kids laid down for their nap, I contemplated all the things that I needed to do — put away laundry, tidy up the toy area, sweep floors, clean the bathroom, run to the store, and on and on. When you stay at home, you never leave work, and the job is never done. But you know what I did? I spent time talking with my husband, I read a book, and I took a nap. When my kids got up, I laid on the couch with them and relaxed.

It. Felt. Great.

Why? Sabbath. We were not designed to go, go, go nonstop. We need to stop and rest. It’s hard to do that when there are so many things clamoring for our time and attention in the warp speed of our culture. So many good things (better than cleaning!), too! I did nothing yesterday afternoon, but my soul was refreshed. I was recharged and ready to meet the new week.

We are actually commanded to stop and rest, but, as with all commands, we have to make the choice to do it. It’s easier to just keep going, but rest is good for the soul. So stop. Take a break. Read a book. Take a nap. Spend time with family. It’s not laziness, as some of us at home moms might feel. It’s commanded by God, and it’s good for your soul. So take a break. It’s really ok. When your soul is refreshed and rested, you’ll do a far better job being the person you’re trying to be through the week.

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A Mother’s Prayer for 2017

I’ve been at home with my babies on Christmas break the past two weeks. A magical time you might think. But we caught a nasty bug. So I’ve felt more trapped than able to enjoy a magical Christmas. In the past week I’ve been out of the house for a grand total of one hour. One. Out of 168 hours, 167 of them have been inside the four walls of my house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my people. Love ’em. But wow is mommy ready to get out of the house!

In these many hours at home, I’ve had lots of time for reflection. The end of the year always brings a certain reflective spirit anyways, and with lots of time to be with and therefore think about my children, I’ve been evaluating my relationship with them.

I feel like the majority of my day is spent saying “no” or “don’t do that.” Negatives are always coming out of my mouth. I don’t like that. While correction is of course necessary, I don’t like to feel like my words are constantly tearing down my children, a pile of negativity resting on their little heads, filling their little minds. I want to be the lifter of their heads, the one who builds their self image, the one who calls forth in them what God has created them to be. So my prayer for 2017 has become “Lord, help my children to become all that you have created them to be, and help me to call that forth in them.”

Correction will still be needed. God has given me authority to raise my children, and he has called me to train them in the way they should go. “No” will always be a necessary word. But my heart towards my children won’t be just to control their behavior or only to stop their maddening habits. (Two year olds have many of these!) In Ephesians 4, Paul writes about our maturing process, which includes “speaking the truth in love.” This is the reflection I want my correction to be to my children, the truth spoken in love. I’ve already failed at this, countless times, but that doesn’t mean that my heart has lost sight of this goal. And sometimes the truth needs to pack a verbal punch! Whether spoken in calm or in passion, I want my words to my children to call out what God has created in them. I’m their mother; if I don’t call this out in them now, who will? This certainly isn’t what the world will call out in them. As they grow and enter the world more and more, I want them to be “rooted and established in love,” in the certainty of who they are in Christ. If I want them to be compassionate, they need to see compassion at home. If I want them to be respectful, they need to be taught what that looks like. If I want them to know Jesus, they need to see him in my life.

Lord, help my children to be all that you have created them to be, and help me to call this forth in them.img_3335

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