Monday, December 3, 2012

A long sabbatical...

I apologize that it's been so long since we last blogged. But, all is well. Once we resolve some minor technical issues I will be blogging again.

A quick update, this past week the adoption was finalized. It was an amazing but surreal experience. So we are now legally parents to our precious daughter.

I am hopeful that within the next two weeks we will be up and running again.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our baby girl...

She's here. It's been the craziest week. The long of the short of it is our birthmother went into labor Sunday right after church. We left to go to the hospital. Once here they actually stopped her contractions by giving her magnesium because she was in preterm labor. They gave steroid shots to develop Baby Girl's lungs quicker. She was admitted to the hospital with the understanding she'd be released. Well, they could not get her blood sugar under control. So, she stayed in the hospital longer...We visited every day.

They told us that the next time she went in labor they would not stop the labor.

Day 4: She went back into labor and we arrived at 10:30pm. By 1am contractions slowed. By 2am they crawled to a stop. 4 am we had an ultrasound to see how much amniotic fluid was in the womb (longer story as to why).

Day 5: At 5 am the nurse pulls us aside and tells us to go home because she won't be going into labor any time soon. We slept for a couple of hours. They decide to induce our birthmother. We arrive back at hospital around 2pm. They kept bumping her up until she reached maxed dosage of inducer medication. She was at dialated at 2 cm this whole time.

Day 6: Finally dialates 5cm. Slow going, but no turning back now. Aunt Shannon arrives with Taco Bus at 1:30ish am. Delicious Tosatada in waiting room with Auntie. While talking with Shannon, Robert calls saying that birthmother is now 9/10 cm!!! While running back in Auntie Shannon yells "Go, Baby, Go". After a handful of pushes our baby girl arrives. Robert cuts the cord.

Our birthmother was quite the trooper. She never once complained, cursed, or screamed even before the epidural. She was amazing! Birthmother did hold her for a few precious moments after birth (we are so glad she did).

She was incorrectly weighted her at first and they thought she was under 2000 grams so they sent her to NICU because of her size. They were impressed with her progress so sent her to regular nursery. Now she's back in NICU because she had signs of an infection which is common for preemies. They are also monitoring her breathing.

Day 7: We sign the papers and she's ours to keep.

Our birthmother was simply amazing. We got to spend a lot of time with her the last few days. She got to hold Baby Girl. She had the cutest conversations with her that make me cry. We are blessed not only with a new daughter, but with a new appreciation for this young woman who carried her.

We are not posting her full name on the blog for various reasons. For the time being we shall call her Baby Girl. Although, the birthmother put the same name down on her birth certificate. So, she will always know that this was her name from the beginning. This is always who she was destined to be.

Oh, PRAISE GOD for His mercies are never ending. Oh, Taste and See the Lord is good (Psalm something or other).  This wait was worth it. Hard as heck, but worth it to watch what the Lord was doing. We actually signed our paper work with Sue Deckrow one year ago (May 8th) to begin the adoption process. It was last Mother's Day we signed it. I sit here amazed at what the Lord has done.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A very tired update

We spent the night at the hospital last night.  They thought our birth mother was in labor, but it ended up she wasn't.  Darbi didn't sleep at all until we got home.  I only slept about an hour at the hospital.  After just three hours of sleeping at home, my poor wife woke up and had some trouble getting back to sleep.  Thankfully, she has fallen back to sleep, and I'll be doing the same after this post.  I just hope this post is halfway conheirent with my 4 hours of broken sleep.

Please be in continued prayer for us.  The last week has been emotionally and physically draining.  Please pray for the doctors to have wisdom, and for us to trust the Lord's timing.  We would love for our baby to come home now, but we must trust the Lord for when that will happen.  It is only by God's hand that we have made it this far, and only through Him will we make it the rest of the way (both through this adoption and through life!).

Thank you to everyone for your continued support.  Your prayers are precious to us.

Good night...err...good morning...or something,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Update on Birthmother and pre-term labor...

The name of our blog Learning To Rejoice cracks me up every time I see it. When we chose it, it just seemed like a good fit and was available. The Lord continues to teach us daily how to rejoice in ALL circumstances.

This week has been one of excitement and some very high stress. As we were leaving church on Sunday we got a call that our birth-mother was in labor. Seeing as how she was only 34.5 weeks along they gave her magnesium to stop the contractions as well as steroids to develop the baby's lungs. They are continuing to give her anti contraction pills to prevent labor. They have successfully stopped contractions.

Unfortunately, now birth mother's blood sugar's are high. They are administering insulin shots. She will be hospitalized until Friday, although I am not exactly sure why at this point. 

There is some confusion on when the actual due date is though. The Dr. at the hospital believes that our birthmother is actually 36 weeks along (which is a week later than originally thought).

All that to say, the Dr's at the hospital also say that baby girl is ready to come out. And, so we wait.

We will keep updated as we know more.

Please keep praying for us to patiently wait on the Lord (we can't wait to meet our daughter) and for our birthmother's health as well as the baby's.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Are you ready for this? Not quite sure we are...

A long awaited blog post with answers... Believe it or not after nearly 2 and a half years we may have some answers...

On Monday I went in for a really super fun procedure called a saline sonogram. Ok, maybe it wasn't quite super fun. Low and behold this is what they found...

(I only have a picture for diagnostic purposes, not because I'm that weird).

Say hello to my friend "Uterine Septum". It's a huge wall of tissues that goes right down the middle of my uterus. My favorite part was when the Dr. said "Oh, that's not normal". Really? I can't count the number of times I've heard that from a Dr. regarding our fertility issues. Apparently, this is a malformation I was born with. Why didn't they discover this before? They couldn't see this while I was pregnant because the babies were blocking it. Additionally, this only shows up during a specific test that is looking for this issue. Only 7% of women have this issue so yet again it's not something that is common. The uncommon issues are common place for us. 

Septum's do not allow a lot of room for babies to grow, can cut off blood supply & nutrients, and probably a host of other things.

We also received the results from the chromosome testing and we are (drum-roll please)....... Normal. Yes, we are normal. I'd like to thank the Academy for... oh wait it's not that speech....

I will say the nurse who delivered the news to me was a little surprised too but elated to give us such good news.

What this all means is that Eve & Oliver (our last miscarriage), would not have lived regardless as  they had a fatal diagnosis. There was nothing we could do medically to save their lives. The Lord used the septum as a blessing preventing both pregnancies from developing any further.

So, what's next? Well, we are supposed to see the Reproductive Endocrinologist to discuss our options. As far as we can tell at this point, a uterine septum is correctable with surgery. So, step one is to fix my uterus. The "Great Wall" of tissue will be coming down. We will know more once we meet with the RE which may be today (I will amend this post if anything new happens).
What blows my mind is that the Lord formed me thirty some odd years ago with this septum.
Psalm 139:13-14 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." This verse does not only apply to the living but is very applicable to our children that we've lost.

God knew when He formed me that I had this wall. He knew that I would not be able to carry children as long as this wall was in me. He knew the wall was there when Peter & Faith were conceived. He knew that when He knitted Eve & Oliver allowing a fatal diagnosis that they would not live beyond their 7 and 8.5 weeks in the womb. Yet, because of all their deaths we found this septum. Because of all of their deaths, the Lord lead us to adoption. The Lord is leading us to our daughter.

Despite the pain and agony we've gone through, we can say without a doubt it glorifies Him more to have 4 more babies whose purpose was to bring Him praise in heaven. And in their deaths, He has changed me. He has given me something far greater than children, and that is Himself. In the last two and a half (ish) years, He has taught us both more practical theology than we could possibly imagine. 

I can't help but see the connection of our trials to the Gospel of Christ. It's through Jesus' agony and death on the cross that we were spiritually adopted into his family. Through great His great suffering, He allowed room for the greatest miracle of all, Salvation!

That, my dear friends, is what is all about. There's nothing to add or subtract from it. His sacrifice is sufficient. The lyrics "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow". It's so much more real to me now than ever.

I'm having quite the difficult time processing all of this. I feel so small and tiny in the grand scheme of this.Now, I am starting to look back over these hard trials and am in awe of what the Lord is doing. He has brought these trials on us so that we can give Him the most glory when all is said and done. And, we cannot help but praise our Father in Heaven.

We do ask for continued prayer as we are in the final stage of our adoption. Adoption is 10% paperwork and 100% spiritual warfare at this point. Pray for the Lord's protection over our hearts and that of our birthmother as well. That she & her family will remain strong in her decision to place Talitha with us. The closer we are to the adoption, the harder the warfare is becoming. There is no doubt in our mind we are the thick of it.

Please also pray for God to be with us as we make decisions regarding "Septum".  With Talitha due in 9 weeks, we are praying for wisdom in when to get it removed.

To God be the Glory!


UPDATE as of April 14, 2012:

We saw the specialist yesterday. Unfortunately, the specialist was not as optimistic as we were hoping. He's concerned there is still a chromosomal issue (details to come). So please be praying that the Lord will rest our hearts & minds in Him. We have a couple of big decisions to make.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why are things so complicated?

I know I just wrote a post yesterday. But, it occurred to me today that I never did tell you what happened at the Genetic Counselor. To be honest, things were a whirlwind after that appointment. My kindred spirit Tabitha came to visit me. It's been three years since we've seen each other. I honestly thought for the most part I was holding things together pretty well overall until I realized someone besides my husband was living with us for 6 days. She saw me in my moments of anguish, anxiety, and depression. She listened to me as I talked about my pregnancies, the genetic counselor, and my fears about the adoption. She challenged me to love the Lord even more. She said to me "How can I relieve your burden?" It wasn't until those 6 words were spoken that I realized how much we've been trying to run this last leg of the race on our own. Through God's guidance she helped us so much.

Emotionally we are drained from the adoption. We are also equally drained from the fertility issues. Initially I thought it'd be a good idea to keep pursuing both, but it's beyond exhausting. Mentally we are shifting so fast between the next "crisis" type situation if you will. I was elated today because  I remembered something I learned in College!

The day after we went to the genetic counselor we found out our birthmother has gestational diabetes. Normally that wouldn't be an issue, but for us all we know is pregnancy complications (are there such things as normal pregnancies?). Given our history, "normal" issues are scary. So, the Lord has been challenging me for the last two weeks with the question "Do you trust me with this child?" "Well, yes. Of course Lord." "Then why aren't you?" Truth be told, just as the Lord has formed our children who have passed, he is in the process of forming Talitha. Ultimately, we have to trust the Lord with this child regardless. That means we have to trust Him regardless of the outcome of the adoption. Even though it's going well, everyday we are addressing the fears we have. Every moment of anxiety becomes a moment to learn how to trust the Lord. 

I digress, although somehow this is all interrelated.

As for the genetic counselor, well that was special. The counselor herself was compassionate, caring, and a nice lady. We went through talking about our family histories, our individual history, and she explained the last pregnancy. Our baby was definitely a boy (name coming soon). He was diagnosed with what is called a Triploidy. Thank the Lord our counselor had colorful charts! It is considered a rare chormosonal abnomality and in all cases it is a fatal diagnosis. 

Below is a picture of a normal karyotype (dna analysis, I think). 46 chromosomes total.

This is a picture of a Triploidy. 69 Chromosomes.

Eve was also a triploidy but because of the partial molar pregnancy these pregnancies have nothing to do with each other ( Although if you read that link, I had a partial molar with Eve. That means there was a fetus and there was a heartbeat. With a molar pregnancy there is no fetus or heartbeat. Both are monitored carefully afterwards to make sure there aren't complications to the mother.

Sigh, so what does this mean? It means we get to have a blood test. Because we've had 2 other unexplained miscarriages they need to check to see if there is any genetic issues with Robert & myself. The genetic counselor does not think that is likely, but we have to be through. There are a few possibilities depending on the results, we will know when we get there.

Can you imagine sitting there having to process all of this? I mean it's sheer craziness. The possibilities of having a partial molar is 1-2% (although all partial molar's are triploidy's), the possibility of a triploidy is 1-2%. It feels like chaos.

Anybody else got a headache?

But, in the midst of it one thing that is so very clear is the power of God. I wish I could convey that thought better, but my brain is tired. What I do know is that He is teaching me to value life. To value each and every child he has and will give us. We can't take for granted that every pregnancy is going to go well (because for us it hasn't). It's a miracle that any of us are alive.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask me (or Robert).