Growing Things

“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9: 23-24, today’s timely reading!

We had another ultrasound today with the doctor who performed the laser procedure. I’m very happy to report that this visit contained no surprises, for us, anyway. The doctor was not aware of the ultrasound we had last Wednesday, and was visibly disappointed to hear the news for the first time. Since we already knew of Micaiah’s passing, and all week Micah’s activity reassured me she was doing well, the scan was routine. Micah is over a pound now and very active, doing great. They want me to stay at rest for the next week, so please pray that my loyal superhero helpers (Luke, Carol, my mom) can hold out another few days. I really think at this point that the pregnancy will progress normally, and I will be so grateful to get back to work and get things back to normal.
I’m so glad I haven’t had to be away from the children; they are very therapeutic. Besides loving on them and spending time with them, I’m busy thinking about the things they need as far as schooling, clothing, and not the least: growing spiritually. So much is required to cultivate and lead these lives along. I need to do my part, but I am realizing the key will be how much I depend on the Lord in prayer, principally, for them.
I’ve also been thinking about how a normal pregnancy means we will likely have a garden at the new house this spring. There are so many things I want to grow; I hope we have enough space! I’ll have to brush up on Mel Bartholomew’s square-foot gardening techniques. Of course, I would trade a lifetime of vegetable-growing to have my little “two peas in a pod” again. But just like I am comforted by the work of ‘growing’ my children into who God wants them to be, it will be a balm to see those green shoots in March, to cultivate and lead those little lives along, too.

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.
~George A. Young

When The Answer Is No

While growing up, I remember there occasionally being rabbit nests in our yard. One spring my dog, Sophie, brought me this little whilte ball of fluff in her teeth, maybe expecting me to begin playing fetch or some other game with it. I discovered it was a baby rabbit, and quickly went searching for its nest. When I found it, I tucked the little thing back in with its siblings, hoping that whatever Sophie did to it could be undone. The next morning from my bedroom window I could see that a little white body lay in the grass outside the nest. I went down, scooped it up into a shoebox and went across the street to ask my neighbor if anything could be done. She told me that the mother likely rejected the baby once it smelled like dog, and unfortunately this is how things go sometimes, and no, nothing could be done. I remember being angry and filled with questions- why couldn’t I have fixed this? Why couldn’t my efforts have saved a life? It bothered me for a while, but animals are only animals after all, and eventually I was able to move on with my life quite easily.
Sometime between Saturday and today, little Micaiah’s heart stopped beating. The procedure we chose to try to save the lives of both babies apparently did not help our little baby who was lacking in fluid and space. Our many supplications for the Lord to please restore and revive and sustain Micaiah were answered, only not with the answer we wished. God said no. So far, Micah is strong and active, and our hopes are that she can not only survive, but carry on in this pregnancy as a singleton birth. If my body can treat her as the only one there, she should have things pretty easy from here on. So at the same time we are grieving the loss of Micaiah, we are tentatively grateful that Micah is still with us. Having one survive the procedure was one of the three outcomes explained to us, each with the same probability- 33%. I should be happy that we did not have the other outcome we had a third of a chance of happening- losing both babies. But I still have the thought- the Lord is above probabilities. He is not limited by how slim a chance a baby has at life. He can do anything. I am older now than I was when I found and could not help that baby rabbit, but the questions remain, and come with even more intensity. So why didn’t He fix this? Why couldn’t the efforts of the surgeon and his team have saved this life? I loved them both the moment I saw their little clouds on the ultrasound in September. It is going to hurt to not be able to wrap my arms around them both. But to have one to hold is more comfort than I could hope. Thank You, Lord, for this loss. Thank You, Lord, for this gain. Thank You for the reminder that You, and no one else, are in control. Teach me how to be okay with the fact that just as You give, You also take away.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.

Pictures

I was kinda bad this morning- I was up waaaay too long scanning some ultrasound pictures. Forgive me, little ones.
MicahMicah
MicaiahMicaiah
Angelina BallerinaAngelina Ballerina
WallflowerLittle Wallflower

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I had been reading through Isaiah when I became pregnant. The morning after our trip to the ER and the discovery of the twins, I was on chapter 44:
“But now listen, O Jacob, My servant,
And Israel, whom I have chosen:
Thus says the LORD who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you,
‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant;
And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants;
And they will spring up among the grass
Like poplars by streams of water.’
“This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’S’;
And that one will call on the name of Jacob;
And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the LORD,’
And will name Israel’s name with honor.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb,
“I, the LORD, am the maker of all things,
Stretching out the heavens by Myself
And spreading out the earth all alone,
Causing the omens of boasters to fail,
Making fools out of diviners,
Causing wise men to draw back
And turning their knowledge into foolishness,
Confirming the word of His servant
And performing the purpose of His messengers
It is I who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited!’
And of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built.’
And I will raise up her ruins again.
These words were so timely and such a comfort to me, with my head spinning that morning, filled with new revelations from the night before, and new fears to accompany them. But God reminded me through this passage that none of this ever comes as a surprise to Him. He created all things, by Himself, and He alone will sustain and confirm all things until the end. Even ruins have hope in His economy. That’s the kind of God I want in charge of my life. How about you?

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.

Home Again

Just a note to say that I am home after a night in the hospital following the laser procedure. This morning the doctors did a quick ultrasound and we could see that both babies had strong heartbeats. Praise God! The first of many hurdles has been successfully overcome. I had been feeling movement all yesterday and through the night last night, so was pretty certain that at least one baby was doing well. Now, as I feel each little kick, I am even more grateful that at first glance, the procedure seems to be helping both our wallflower and our little dancer. Now our hopes are that Micaiah (aka the wallflower) can start building up some fluid again, and things in there can balance out. Micah (aka Angelina Ballerina) has to be feeling some relief from the amnio reduction performed after the laser procedure, and another prayer would be that her fluids never again increase to be more than Micaiah’s. I want to scan and post, when I get a chance, a picture of each baby that I think demonstrate their very early (though forced) personalities well- Micah has got her leg sticking straight out like a Rockette, and Micaiah is squeezed against one wall of my uterus. It is neat to see them so young, having all their fingers and toes, looking like the miniature people they are.
Thank you so much for lifting us up in prayer. I will try to update you regularly on how you can keep doing that.