That was a line from a sermon I listened to when I was expecting Stella. It was a John Piper sermon on motherhood. I was so excited about expecting our first baby and one Monday night while Matt was in class I decided it would be good for me to listen to a Piper sermon on parenting. I couldn’t find any sermon titles that caught my eye. Actually I only came across one, “To Be a Mother is a Call to Suffer“. It was not exactly the type of title to match the warm, fuzzy feelings of maternal anticipation I had, but I knew how good Piper was so I listened to it anyway. Of course, it was just what I needed to hear. Not really then, but God in His wisdom had me listen to that message knowing that the bibilcal truths of it would bolster my soul in the stormy times He was going to allow us in His sovereignty.
As most of you know from a post on our blog back in Nov of 2006, we lost our 2nd baby. We found out about the loss around 18 weeks. There were no apparent reasons that we lost the baby – the baby had no chromosome abnormalities or any other glaring problems that we were aware of. Our Dr. told us to wait a certain amount of time and we could try again to conceive. She chalked the loss up to the fact that miscarriages are really common. We didn’t have any reason to think otherwise, although the fact of it being a later miscarriage made me a little uneasy since I had heard that the later the loss the more likely it is that it indicates a problem w/ the mother. God allowed us to conceive again and we were so thankful, but hesitant b/c there were still uncertainties. I had an ultrasound at 10ish weeks and everything looked good. I went in at about 13 1/2 weeks for my routine appt and there was no heartbeat. The Dr. had the Ultrasound Tech check immediately for viability and sure enough we had lost again. This loss was extremely discouraging b/c we weren’t sure we would be able to have any more children and were puzzled as to what the problem was since I had a textbook pregnancy with Stelly. Again, there were no abnormalities w/ the baby so the Dr. ran a plethora of tests on me to check for any autoimmune diseases that I might have that could be causing these complications. Everything came back fine.
I decided to see a Perinatalogist, Dr. Mason, after hearing a dear friend who has known her own griefs in childbirth, speak so highly of him. It was in his office that I found out that God had given us (and taken from us for His own good purposes) a little girl with my 2nd pregnancy and a little boy with my 3rd. That news was hard to hear. Our meeting with him though was so encouraging. He ran an amazing amount of bloodwork on me (and even did some tests on Matt) to see if his original thoughts were right. And they were. Basically, I have a blood-clotting disorder called Thrombophilia that only effects me when I’m pregnant. Dr. Mason said my blood vessels had all they could take in my pregnancy w/ Stelly which is why I’ve had subsequent problems but none w/ her. He said that they have had great success treating these cases but could not guarantee anything. If I could conceive again, the treatment would involve daily shots in my abdomen of a blood thinner and an oral supplement of folate in addition to my prenatal vitamin. He said after a certain amount of time we could try to conceive again and once the pregnancy was confirmed we would start the treatments.
God once again allowed us to conceive. I am almost 19 weeks pregnant with our 4th child and we just got very encouraging news on Wednesday afternoon that our baby girl looks healthy and the treatments seem to be working so far. Our hearts are so full with thanks to the Lord for this good news! We are trying not to run before Him b/c there is still a lot of time left. We literally are just taking it one appointment at a time and seeing what God does. We have learned so much about Him through this and His good purposes in joy and sorrow. We want to be faithful to praise Him when He gives and when He takes and we are so dependent on Him for strength to do that.
If you think of it, we would appreciate your prayers that over the next months we will persevere in God’s good purposes for us, whatever they may be. Of course, we would love to hold a healthy baby in our arms again, but are learning that is not the most important thing. We want to treasure Christ more than His gifts. So easy to say, but as many of you know from your own trials, hard to do when your heart is longing for those gifts.