Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One step at a time

As promised here is the Hematologist report. They did not find anything another blood clotting issues. In fact the test results are pretty much the same as last time. Test are conclusive that I do have an elevated level of anticardiolipin. The level is in the middle range (although on the lower side of the range). Because of this, I am at a higher risk for miscarriages. This level can also elevate during pregnancy so it can change. We asked several questions regarding pregnancy. Because this is outside of her scope of practice, she said numerous times "You need to see a High Risk OB." This is encouraging because we know what our next step is. God continues to tell us to wait on Him and trust him through this day by day.

I find it funny that there were days before we knew these terms. They have become so much apart of this new life. We have a very different ministry to those who have experienced the pain of miscarriages and the struggles of infertility. Never in a billion years would we have thought we'd be here. I still wish I could forget this year and go back to how it was before all of this happened. Another dear friend reminded me that we cannot go back to that "before". It's impossible. And she is right. To go back would be to miss out on some very important and key things that the Lord has taught us and it would be to deny Him His glory. We aren't always sure exactly what God is doing, but we are learning to rest in His arms and His sovereignty.

Isaiah 33:2
O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
   Be our arm every morning,
   our salvation in the time of trouble.

So, our next step... To glorify the Lord to the best of our ability this holiday season. We thank God for all of you. I know that some of you who have read this have walked a similar path before us and there are others who have not. We appreciate all of you and covet your prayers.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A long overdue update

It has been awhile since our last update. A part of me hates writing this blog because it serves as a reminder of a year that in my flesh I'd rather forget. Only last night I realized that there will always be reminders of this year. Daily it is a fight between what I feel/think with the eyes of my flesh vs. the spirit who sees the faithfulness and greatness of God through this year. Looking back I can see how much God has been my anchor through these months. There was a point where there was no hope, no joy, no peace, just the shell of the woman I once was and death seemed to be the only thing to look forward to.  Everything my hope was in was slowly and painfully stripped away until there was nothing left... except God. He has remained faithful, merciful, amazing despite my lack of trust, faith, hope.

So, with that... There was a good update from the new OB (although I will be transferring to another Dr. come the new year). He said that as long as my test results continue to come back clear, we only have to wait 10-11 months to try again (although we may just wait the full 12 months). If there are any complications from my pregnancy with Eve they would have manifested by that point. He also came up with a game plan for my next pregnancy. It is a three fold approach. As soon as I get pregnant I need to start a progesterone treatment, take folate (which is a huge amount of folic acid as my body doesn't absorb it like it should), and depending on what the Hematologist says tomorrow I will either be on Heparin or baby aspirin. Tomorrow we find out the extent of the results of the blood clotting problem. I also will start taking a B complex vitamin as it will help my body to absorb the folic acid. I didn't want to post this because it is hard to think that a healthy pregnancy or even having children will ever be possible. Tomorrow I will post the Hematologist report.

A dear friend of mine recommended that I listen to this song by Sara Groves "Less Like Scars". This is exactly how I feel especially the line "It's less like a casket, more like a womb".

It's been a hard year
But I'm climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle
But every day it's

Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember

And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like Character

Less like a prison, more like my room
It's less like a casket, more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending

And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars

Just a little while ago
I couldn't feel the power or the hope
I couldn't cope, I couldn't feel a thing
Just a little while back
I was desperate, broken, laid out, hoping
You would come

And I need you
And I want you here
And I feel you

And I know you're here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad, bad situation
But you are able

And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars

And more like Character

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The blessings of thorns

A friend of mine recommended me to another blog of a woman who lost her newborn daughter Ella to anencephaly ( The new quote at the right comes from this site. I need it as a constant reminder. All that to say, this story really moved me. There are a lot of emotions that this story address that I have struggled with. What a great reminder of the God whom we serve.


Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor  automobile accident stole her ease.During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered aloud. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her. "I....I need an arrangement, "stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving? "Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. " Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there were no flowers. "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile.

"You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her chest. "Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she just left with no flowers!" "Right...I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet. "Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that?" exclaimed Sandra. "Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery." "That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk," and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel. "So what did you do?" asked Sandra. "I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others. "Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement ....twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator. "Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra doubtingly. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that? "No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh." "Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns." Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out. "I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute." "Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra. "Nothing." said the clerk. "Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me. "The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like to read it first."

It read:
"Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to you along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of your rainbow look much more brilliant."

The moral of this story: Thank God for your thorns.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Hematologist

To start off this blog post I must share something I thought was rather funny. I had a student yesterday comment to me that "Your life is fine. You have a job, you know what you will be doing tomorrow... etc...". This student on the other hand was upset because he didn't know what his future held, what career he would have, whom he would marry. To him my life appeared to be fine because I am in my 30's, married, and have a job.

The truth of the matter is that we are all waiting on something... Our journey is no different. We went to the Hematologist today, who is amazing. She was very kind and answered all of our questions. Here are some of the highlights:

1) This is a genetic issue.

2) She said that my body cannot properly absorb folic acid. This is crucial for developing babies and prevents things such as Spina Bifida. She wants me to start taking a B complex vitamin to help my body absorb the extra Folic Acid. 

3) They took 7 vials of blood to help pinpoint my blood clotting factor as well as reveal if there are other blood clotting issues. This will help us know exactly what we are dealing with (in regards to my blood) as well as what step to take next.

4) They don't know if the MTHFR mutation caused the miscarriages. We are in the early stages of the testing. When I asked her if we could ever have a healthy pregnancy she said "There are a lot of things we don't know yet. It could be another issue... I only deal with blood."

A single mutation of the MTHFR gene is very common. There is no conclusive data as to whether or not it causes miscarriages. Some believe yes, others say no.

What does this mean? Well, it means more waiting, more testing, and then more waiting.... Our next appointment is December 22nd. We are praying fervently that the Lord will guard our hearts since this is so close to Christmas. May we learn to have hearts of gratitude for all the blessings the Lord has given us. 

EDIT: The reason I asked about the healthy pregnancy is the Nurse Practioner at the OB's office said that all it would take to have a viable pregnancy is some medication. I was hoping to have that affirmation from the Hematologist. There is hope, but I realized that we won't have cut and dry answer for a while. We are hopeful that the next set of blood test will reveal more answers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

We are waiting...

As the holiday season has begun, it brings a strange mixture of sorrow, challenges, and joys. In hopes of encouraging others who have/will have miscarriages, as well as helping others to better understand where we are, I'd like to share some of these with you. I recently heard the term "the struggle to heal". I do hope these reflect both the struggle & the healing that is taking place.

1. We miss the children we never got to hold or experience life with.Last year, I dreamed what it would be like to have "Baby's first Christmas" with the babies. My husband's baby's first Christmas ornament is hanging on the bottom of our tree because it just hurts to be reminded.
2. Had an emotional breakdown over decorating for Christmas, because quite simply I have been struggling to find any joy in it.
3. My birthday is also on Christmas Day... It is a battle to celebrate anything, especially my birthday.
4. There is a second bedroom in my house that we dreamed would be the nursery. For the most part I've managed to avoid going in there but it is still there.
5. I have to constantly guard my heart from the overwhelming sense of loneliness, especially as many people have had/are having babies right now.

1. In the midst of all the sorrows/challenges, God is faithful to teach us that He is all sufficient, all-powerful, and all that we need.
2. He is constantly reminding us of his presence. I am reminded to bring these burdens to Him so that he may heal the brokenness of my heart (especially the loneliness).
3. My physical strength continues to improve greatly.
4. Our joy is in His salvation. We are truly learning to value God above everything we thought we held dear. He has allowed us to go through this so that He will prevail and we will learn to walk by faith.
5. Despite my daily battle with depression (pray for me to be on guard), it is amazing to see God work through it. I now grieve as one who has hope in the sovereignty of our Lord.
6. Although I am not sinless in my grieve, He is forgiving and patient with my many faults, faithful to convict me on areas that are wrong.
7. As I was setting up the manger scene around the house, this hit me. For thousands of years the Israelities were waiting for their promised Savior. One who would come to bring them peace, salvation, and was the fulfillment of thousands of years of waiting. Their hope was pointed to the One to come. Christmas should be about meditating on the fulfilled promised of our Savior. We are celebrating the birth of our Messiah!

It isn't about the decorations, the presents, or anything else (like having children). Christmas is about celebrating the fact that our Savior has come once, conquered sin & death,  and this same Christ has promised to come again.  

Our lives are so much about waiting right now. We are waiting for living children, waiting to heal spiritually/ emotionally/physically, waiting for the days to pass, waiting to sell our house, waiting for His direction, but most important we are waiting for our Lord to come again. We are learning that our hope & joy will not and cannot be found in our circumstances, but in God alone. I pray that this Christmas season, we will be able to reflect on the Promised Messiah of both the past and the future, for that is where our hope will be found.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blood results are in....

After 6 weeks of waiting, which means learning even more patience, we have finally received my blood test results. These test were to determine a possible cause of the first two miscarriages (the third one had a abnormal chromosome development). They found out that I have a genetic mutation that causes my blood to clot easily. They believe this blood clotting issue cut off blood flow to our first two babies. We suspected this may be the case.

They have referred me to a hematologist (blood doctor) for more extensive testing. What does this mean? To be honest, we aren't exactly sure. The Nurse Practitioner who interrupted the results told me I'd go crazy and cause unnecessary worry by looking this up on the internet. She's right! We have so many questions about what these results mean. We are switching OB Doctors for various reasons. Our first appointment with him will be on December 6th. We are hoping this will help clear up some of the remaining questions we have about the test results. We are waiting to hear back on when we will be meeting with the Hematologist.

We are amazed by God's gracious timing in these results. For starters, it feels like we finally know what our next step is. It has been so difficult to wait, wait, then wait some more for these answers. 9 months of questioning why this has happened has seemed like years to us. It is amazing how slowly time moves when you are waiting for something, especially when everyone else seems to be moving forward in their lives. I never thought I'd be so thankful to see a specialist. The second blessing is that one of our friends also has a blood clotting issue. He highly recommended his Hematologist who is right down the street from us. This Doctor is covered on our insurance. How amazing God is to provide for us in such a direct way. Honestly, how many people could have recommended such a specific specialist?

We have so much to be thankful for even in the midst of these trials.

EDIT: Just got a call from the Hematologist. Our appointment is December 1st. :) 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What's in a name?

A little while back, I promised to make a post about the names of our three children. It's taken me longer than I wanted to get to writing this, but here it is.

Very shortly after our first miscarriage, Darbi told me she wanted to name our child. However, I didn't take much interest in it at all. I was in denial, plain and simple. For me, to name our child was to legitimize the loss of our other words, it would be real to me. I was certainly grieving, but it didn't take me long to compartmentalize my emotions. This is something God is still working on in my life. Anyway, Darbi named our first (and second) child. We had discussed names before, but these children's names were given based upon God's work in our lives at the time. And Darbi picked the perfect names for our children, for they express very well what God did and continues to do.

So, Darbi named our first child Peter. Darbi talked about Peter's name a few posts ago, but it's worth repeating. The name Peter means Rock. This isn't the kind of rock you pick up and throw. It's a boulder. A massive, unmovable boulder. This name points to God's steadfastness. When all of life is turbulent and unsteady, God is the foundation that doesn't move. When it seems that everything has been stripped away, God still stands firm. He supports us. His love, comfort, peace, and compassion do not change. After Peter went to be with our Savior, God gave us a much deeper understanding of who He is as the Rock. We didn't make Him our foundation...He made Himself our foundation.

Our second child, again named by Darbi, was Faith. While God has certainly increased our faith throughout all of this, I believe it was after Faith's death that God really focused on our faith directly. I remember Darbi and I having many conversations during this time which focused on trusting God. He taught us to trust, plain and simple...if that can be called simple. Learning to leave behind our selfish desires to depend on ourselves and trust God alone is hard. In our sin, we often turn back to our own strength, which always fails. But God was faithful to us, and taught us to have faith in Him. What God started in Peter's passing, He continued in Faith's. We must have faith in the steadfast Rock. All earthly things must fade, and God must take preeminence in our lives.

Then came our third child. God took her home, and in doing so, He pierced my hard heart and open the door to the emotions and questions I had locked away. For the next few days, a battle raged in my heart. I wanted to lock away the pain. God wanted to give me true peace, but it required dealing with the pain. God won. May He be praised for His grace for a stubborn sinner like me.

When the time came to name our third child, God had taught me how important this was. Darbi and I decided to name her Eve. Eve means "to breathe" or "to live." One of the greatest comforts for Darbi and I is the fact that our children are very much alive. And not just alive, but with our Father in Heaven. They know joy and peace in a way we can't comprehend. They worship Him without distractions or sin. They didn't have to endure the pain of living in a sin filled world, but instead have perfect fellowship with our Savior. Peter, Faith, and Eve are together in Heaven, perfectly praising our Lord. Eve's name is a testimony to the grace of God that has given them this life.

We praise God for taking our children to live with Him, but we still miss them, and we always will while we endure here on Earth. They lived and died to accomplish God's work. Although their earthly lives were only measured in weeks, God has done an eternal work through them. One day, we'll get to meet our children for the first time. Just the thought of this stirs my heart and soul. To meet both my Savior and children is a gift I will treasure and enjoy forever. Yes, to meet my Savior is a much greater joy, but that does not diminish the joy of meeting the children God gave us. Praise to the Lord, who gives such gifts of joy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Being Normal?

One of the things I have been learning this week is how desperately I want to be normal. Even I think that sounds weird. Being normal was something that I was coveting. I wanted to have my health, my naturally bubbly personality back, my mental sharpness, I wanted to act as if my life were back to how it was before the miscarriages. A dear friend told me that "You want to be normal yesterday. You are forgetting that God gives you grace and you need to give yourself grace too." Robert has been telling me the same thing for months. I had another friend tell me that she knows that our lives are on different paths, but she accepted me where I was now and loves me for who I am today! What comforting words that paints a picture of God's compassion!!! God used these dear precious sisters to teach me a very valuable lesson. God loves me where I am at now. I need to give up what I want, in this case to be normal, in order to pursue what He wants. He wants me to be content where I am now and to wait on Him to move me to the next step. I am emotionally & physically where I am at because He wants to teach me that he can sustain me. It is only for a season.

There are many who don't understand why we are struggling (this is not directed at anyone, I promise). God doesn't dismiss our grief but instead He is calling us to work through it with him. We are to flee to Him to be our comforter. Sometimes people think that if you are a christian that you aren't going to suffer through trials. I like to call this the "Jesus Band-aid" syndrome. It is the expectation that someone is sinning when they haven't "gotten over it and moved on with life".  

Throughout the Psalms, the writer time and time again cried out to God in his grief. Job suffered greatly. Their grief was not healed instantly, their circumstances didn't change instantly. They struggled through their doubts, fears, grief, heartache, etc. but they struggled through it WITH God, just as we are. To know & feel His presence with us in our sufferings has been such an incredible journey but it is one that is not over by any means. Another friend posted this regarding James 1:2 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trails...' If the trials are to be expected, and seem to come ever so often and with much refining of our souls, shouldn't we think of trials as the "normal" way of life and the seasons of life without trials as "abnormal"?"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learning contentment

I'm not one that often reads into "signs" from the Lord. This past week the Lord has definitely been trying to say something. Two major things have happened. One, I saw a piece of paper with the headline "It's time to take the next step". The second thing was a very frightening and potentially dangerous situation. Both of which the Lord is using to teach me absolute obedience and trust in Him. I'm still not sure what is next for us in our present situation. We are still waiting on blood tests which will probably lead to more testing. We are waiting daily for Him to reveal His will. We are learning to lay down everything at His feet so that we will be dependent on Him alone. Why? Because God alone is worthy of our absolute devotion. He is Holy, Perfect, and Righteous amongst so many other things. There is nothing in this world that could ever compare to knowing God in His glory.

When Robert & I went to Resolved this past summer (, C.J. Mahaney (an amazing pastor) gave a message titled "Called to Contend for Christ". He told us that we are going to be going through valleys in life & there will be difficult trials ahead. What make all the difference in how we respond to our trials, is what we are waiting for. We are waiting for the mercy of the Lord that leads to eternal life (Jude 20). Every day on this earth we are one step closer to Heaven's Gates. We are one step closer to the end of our journey. I used to be so scared of Heaven. Our journey this past year makes me long for heaven. I long to see God's glory in its entirety. But, we are here now and I pray that our present trials point back to God who is "most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him" (John Piper).

One more thing... We do still grieve for our children but we don't grieve as those who have no hope. Our hope is resting in our Sovereign God who is using the things of this world to show us His power and majesty. We still have a very long, hard journey ahead of us. We covet your prayers and understanding that what we are going through has been and is life changing.

We are so thankful for your love and support.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The wait game

I thought I would hear back from the Dr.'s office about my blood testing a little bit sooner. I was waiting to update the blog until we had heard something. I called today. My BETA hormone is 0 which means I will only have to go for the monthly blood checkups from this point on. That is a huge praise because it is one less thing we have to deal with. My overall health continues to improve. We will have to wait 2-3 more weeks for the results of the other blood testing.

"God in His providence has a thousand keys to open a thousand different doors in order to deliver His own, no matter how desperate the situation may have become."

I have so much to say but will get another post out soon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A bit of good news

Yesterday Nurse Dee called. My BETA hormone/pregnancy hormone is down! When I miscarried the level was around 8,000. My blood test from last week shows that the level is down to 4. A woman who isn't pregnant has the BETA level of 0. Provided that the BETA hormone is less than 4 in the next test, I will be allowed to have blood test monthly instead of weekly.

They also withdrew some blood to see if there is a cause for the other miscarriages. They withdrew 13 vials of blood! Fortunately this is a one time test, and Robert was with me. Our biggest prayer request is if they do find the cause within the blood test, it will be treatable. I'm hoping to hear from Nurse Dee by early next week. She has been really wonderful about calling me with information as soon as possible. We are learning to trust God moment by moment to sustain us.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Whate'er my God ordains is right

I came across these lyrics for the song "Whate'er my God ordains is right". What words of encouragement!

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Holy his will abideth;
I will be still whate'er he doth;
And follow where he guideth:
He is my God: though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to him I leave it all.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path;
I know he will not leave me:
I take, content, what he hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait his day.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking:
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet am I not forsaken;
My Father's care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to him I leave it all.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our first miscarriage, Peter

These past few days have been some of the hardest. Peter's due date (our first miscarriage) was yesterday. There is a part of me that wishes I could just forget it & keep on pretending everything is ok, but honestly there are some days I'm not. There are days where I don't want to get out of bed, moments when the grief is so intense that I can't move, and days when I can't feel anything else besides the void & emptiness.

In the past, I have been so guilty of downplaying the grief of others. I would be sad for their loss for a week, then forget about what ever it was and go on with life. It is a normal reaction, but it doesn't make the grief go away for the person experiencing it. In some cases it gets worse during the actual healing process. Eventually there will be a light on the other side, but the months/years to get there are heart wrenching. Before my miscarriages, I never truly understood grief, especially that of a miscarriage. It is the death of a child or in our case, three children. It doesn't matter how long I was pregnant, they are still my babies. No one loved them like we did. If we are blessed with children in the future, it won't take away the loss of these three precious ones. It may ease the heartache, but the loss will never disappear this side of heaven.

Does it mean I am unfaithful? No.
Am I failing as a Christian in trusting the Lord in all things? No.
Do I love the Lord less? No.
Does it mean I am not praying hard enough? No. 

What it does mean is that we are grieving. Someone told me today that by working through the grief I will see God sustaining us. I will see my weakness and His strength.

In Lamentations 3:19-24, the writer states: 

"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

Why did we name this baby Peter? Because through it we learned, and continue to learn, that the Lord is our rock. He continues to grant us His great love. Everyday we are learning how to love our Savior more. We are learning to trust that this is what is best for our lives because He is sovereign.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Answers we didn't expect

Well, we went to the doctor's office yesterday to get our results from the DNA analysis. There's a lot of science, so I'm going to give a short version and a long version.

Short version: Basically, we had a partial molar pregnancy (which is similar but different from a full molar pregnancy). As a result, we can't try to get pregnant again for a full year. During that time, Darbi will have regular blood tests to make sure there is no molar tissue left in her body after the miscarriage. Molar tissue can be dangerous if any is left behind. It's not a serious risk, but it's important enough that we have to wait for a year. Now, if you don't want to read the scientific part, you can skip to the prayer requests...otherwise, read on.

Long version: A partial molar pregnancy happens when two sperm enter the same egg. It results in an extra DNA strand in every chromosome (so you have 3 instead of 2 in each's called a triploidy). A similar issue would be Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is a trisomy 21, which means there is an extra DNA strand on the 21st chromosome. Now imagine having an extra DNA strand on every chromosome. This obviously creates serious health issues for the baby, which is why Eve could not survive (we named her Eve...we'll make another post to explain names).

A partial molar pregnancy also has a complication. In addition to the baby, there is a growth of tissue called molar tissue. If left inside the mother, molar tissue can grow uncontrollably, which presents a health risk to the mother and any future pregnancies. In order to be sure there is no molar tissue remaining, blood tests are done weekly until beta levels in the blood reach zero. The tests are then done monthly to make sure it stays at zero. The blood tests last for a year, after which it is safe to try for another pregnancy. The good news is that with a partial molar pregnancy (as opposed to a full molar pregnancy), the risk is much smaller of any molar tissue remaining. A full molar pregnancy holds a much greater health risk, so we praise the Lord this is only a partial.

Interestingly, this only happens in 1 out of every 1000 pregnancies. We actually find this funny, since strange and odd things tend to happen to us. It's already been recommended that we play the lotto. :)

Prayer requests:
  • First and foremost, we need to trust the Lord. This is a serious exercise in patience and trust. We are praying that God will guard our hearts and minds as well as give us His peace throughout this trial. Every day (and every moment) is a struggle between the foolish thoughts of our minds (lies that destroy) and the truth of God's Word (truth that heals).
  • Pray for Darbi's health and recovery. We don't want there to be any complications, but we know that God is in control. We accept whatever He has for us, for He will give us strength to endure.

We are so grateful to all of our friends and family. We know without a doubt, your prayers carry us through each day. God has given us enormous grace and love through all of you, so we daily praise Him for you.

EDIT:   These results only pertain to our most recent miscarriage. We will still undergo other tests to determine if there are other possible causes for the two previous miscarriages.

All praise to our King,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Dr. appt.

Thursday I received a call from the OB.  They would like to meet with Robert & I to discuss the test results for the analysis of the placenta tissue from the most recent miscarriage.  I asked them if they found anything to which they gave the typical evasive Dr. response, "I'd rather talk in person."  She also mentioned that we were going to discuss the game plan and the next step (blood work, etc).  When we went last week there was a game plan already in motion, and the Dr. said we would get a call about the results. I was caught off-guard by having to make another appointment with the OB. Every time we hear from or visit the Dr., there are so many difficult emotions I have to deal with.

This is where my theology of who I know God to be meets the challenges of life.  My two choices are either fight the will of God or accept this is His perfect plan for us.  Robert told me today that this trial has been specifically picked for us because God knows that this trial will bring Him the most glory through us.  I feel like the psalmist in Psalm 131:2, "...I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."  Obviously, our path is not the one I would've chosen, but I am learning to trust that His will is perfect because we serve a God who knows infinitely more than we could ever possibly imagine.

Please pray that God will guard our minds with the truth of His word; we will willing accept whatever the results are from the OB; and finally that we will be able to bring Glory to God through whatever is next. Our  appointment is Tuesday afternoon.

We so appreciate your love and support!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A reminder of my mortality

This past week has been a somber reminder of my own morality. We have been indirectly affected by three deaths that were all sudden and unexpected. Each time I've thought "That could've been me, (my husband, family, friends, etc) ". We live in a sin laden world and honestly at times I'm overwhelmed by the amount of death and suffering that have surrounded my family and friends this past year. There have been times where I just want to crawl underneath my couch (like my dog does) and wait for the coming of the Lord.

Where is my hope? God is constantly reminding me that He is my hope. My hope for eternal life (which is even more real to me through our suffering), and my hope for endurance through this life. Everyday I am forced to see my life through a different set of lenses as suffering and grief make life different. I love my savior more dearly everyday because he has not forgotten me in my suffering but instead has given me Himself and keeps me close to him. He alone has strengthened me.

Many of you may not know this. I was on anti-depressants for about 4 years. The Dr. told me that I would have to be on it for the rest of my life. As of January we will celebrate my third year off the anti-depressants. Ironically my life and trials have become so much harder and medically speaking there is no good explanation for why I am not back on it. But, God truly sustains me.

I do highly recommend listening to a sermon by John Piper entitled "Where is God?" as this has really helped both Robert and my perspective of our trials.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yesterday's Dr. visit

Yesterday's Dr. visit went better than we anticipated. We feel that some of our questions regarding what our next step should be have been answered. The doctor said that Darbi's body has healed as it should (Praise God!).  Our next step is a series of blood tests to find if there is an issue of blood clotting which may be causing the miscarriages. We had begun to look into going to a specialist (a Reproductive Endocrinologist), but the OB stated that our problem is not with getting pregnant. If it were, they would refer us to the specialist. Our issue is with having a healthy and viable pregnancy.  The OB will do the same tests as the RE would do. So we are going to stay with the OB at this point.

As we stated before, Darbi is going to have a series of blood tests done. We have to wait a few more weeks before she can get the blood tests. The tests will be looking for blood clotting issues as well as other things. We hope that blood clotting is the cause, since that is the easiest to treat.  Darbi clots very easily (she has been black listed by the Blood Bank... The last time she gave blood they told her never to come back).  If all tests come back negative, we will both go through DNA testing.

Although physically Darbi is better, she is easily fatigued and mentally very fatigued.

We ask for your prayers specifically:
1) Darbi to recover quickly both mentally and physically.
2) For the tests to reveal the cause of the miscarriages.
3) For us to trust the Lord whether or not the tests show us the cause.

We thank everyone so very much for their prayers.  They mean so much to us and minister to our very souls.  We feel like we are being carried by your prayers.  Praise the Lord for His church.  He uses it to minister in some truly amazing ways.

To God be the glory,
Robert and Darbi

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where do we start?

We decided to start this blog as a way of keeping people updated on our journey. A little background info. Robert & I will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary in October. We have 3 children, who are all with the Lord as we have experienced 3 miscarriages within 8 months.

This journal is to keep you updated on the testing process we are about to start to see if there is anything medically wrong that has caused the miscarriages. We also pray that this will reflect our spiritual journey as we learn that no matter what we can and will glorify our gracious Lord. I also hope this will be an encouragement for others who are or will be going through similar trials. We ask for your faithful prayers and have been so encouraged by our church family as many of you have come along side of us to help shoulder our burden. Words cannot express our gratitude for our church family.

We have a follow up appointment tomorrow, but most likely it will only be a checkup. It is my understanding that I will be getting some blood work done in a couple of weeks. And, so we wait.

So, you may wonder what is up with the names "On Distant Shores" Well, we are both Five Iron Frenzy fans and both are lyrics from their last album. "On Distant Shores" in a reference to heaven, which is not only where our children are living glorifying the Savior, but it is where we long to be.

Feel free to leave comments.