Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's in a Name?

NO! I have NOT decided on a name yet.  One week, I'm leaning towards one name... the next week I will tell you something completely different. And I'll also tell you each week that yes, that is definitely the name! ha! We have a short list... all M names of course.   And.... I like them ALL!

I made the mistake of asking people which name they liked better - my advice: NEVER do that.  EVERYONE has an opinion, usually bad.  So I will announce it when we've decided.  And boy are people mean about it. What did I learn this week? If ANYONE ever asks me if they like a name, I will tell them YES I love it - whether I do or not! It is their decision.  And that's why we get to name our own kids! And I would never want to hinder someone else's thought process.   Or if you don't like it, you don't have to give a reason why - just say you don't like it. period.

If you had asked me any day in the last 5 years after MC was born what I would have named my next daughter, I would have told you the same name without hesitation.  But now, this baby is showing me God's plan and not my plan.  I can have a plan (aka name) for the past 5 years, and all of a sudden it just doesn't seem to fit the current plan.  So I am open for suggestions, but I assure you I have looked at every name in the book.  Literally.

I will tell you the middle name is Chandley = C (my first initial) + Handley (my maiden name).  A friend in the 11th grade at MSMS once told me I should name my kid that one day.  It was my email login name.    We saw each other's email names so much we made it a habit of calling each other by that name.  Hers was "khill" = kill.  ;)  another was "chopper" ... you get the idea.   Somehow the name stuck.  lol

Oh, I'm also working on upgrading the blog.  Will make it easier to navigate baby's story from everything else.  Very excited about it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


We saw this video at our church's revival last night.  Francis Chan says EXACTLY what I was trying to say in my last post - only better.

I love when Life Action comes to our church.  God uses them to show us how to apply ourselves in daily activities the way He would want us to.  God speaks to me every time I listen to Mr. Canfield.  This week I am obviously more open to hearing from God.  I am "all ear" as he stated.  Last night he discussed sacrificial love.  "If you place your happiness in the hands of another human being, you are guaranteeing disappointment.   The best thing you can do for your life is to fill your soul with God.  Define disappointment as a call to worship."     The night before, we discussed idols.  For most people he was probably speaking of spouses, co-workers, friends, etc.   For me, God was telling me it was my kids.  Yep - you heard that right - my own kids.  I am one of those mothers who lives and breathes my kids.  I don't think I let it take control of my marriage or any extreme... but yes, I spend more time thinking about them than I do God.  Even when they aren't with me, I'm thinking about something child related... when I could be praying or reading the Bible or working on study homework.

I read the story of Abraham and Isaac to Mati Claire a few weeks ago.  I've heard that story a million times.  And it never really hit me until I read it to my own child for the 100th time.  The children's book that we read has some pictures, and I don't believe they are 100% accurate but it gets the story across to a 4 year old.  Mati Claire saw one of our neighbors burning trash and tree limbs a few weeks ago, and she asked me if he was about to perform a "sac-a-fice" in his front yard.  He was obviously building that fire to put an animal on it.  ;)  There's your MC'ism for the day.  Anyway, back to the other part of the story.  I couldn't figure out WHY God would ask Abraham to sacrifice his own son.  Isaac was the child that he and Sarah had dreamed of, prayed for, and most likely parent-like worshipped (besides God himself).  Isaac was the promised one and I can imagine or even relate to what they felt for Isaac.  Now I know God was testing Abraham to see if he would even do it... but I still couldn't figure out why Isaac?  I think its because it was the one thing on earth that Abraham couldn't stand to lose.  Things are replaceable...but you can't replace a child.  And I think part of what I heard from God last night... is that He's willing to test my willingness with this baby.  I am so afraid of the limits God is pushing me towards.  I'm afraid of the what-ifs.  I'm afraid of the unknown.  I'm afraid for my other two children and how they will be affected by all this (if at all).  Am I willing to still keep God first before any of my children?  And look at what Francis Chan went through by the age of 16! My goodness.   I was/am placing all of my happiness in this one person (or 3).  Its hard for me to see anything past my next doctor's appointment.  And that's where faith comes in.  You can't see it... but we have it.

I had never really paid attention to the lyrics (although I knew most of them) to Third Day's song "Show Me Your Glory."  The second verse says

When I climb down the mountain
and get back to my life
I won't settle for ordinary things
I'm gonna follow You forever
And for all of my days
I won't rest 'til I see You again

 The first 2 lines are what stunned me.  GETTING BACK TO MY LIFE.   There is so much to say there that it would take a whole new blog post.   But my point is that I will get to the "other side of the mountain" one day... and perhaps things will be "back to normal" or a new normal... but I'm hoping it will be different in that God has made us stronger and more willing to cross those boundaries.  And not be so afraid.  And who knows what else God will teach me by that point.  I pray God will  give me a better score when I get off my balance beam routine, because right now I am clinging on like Chan demonstrates in the video.

Ok ok ok.  I will get off my drama and show you a pic of those that are putting a smile on my face lately.

 Mattox lost his bowl cut today too... Matt wanted him to have the "big boy haircut".  He's growing up too fast! Someone postpone his birthday because my baby boy is NOT about to turn 2!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

O Baby

Sorry this is long.  Where do I begin?  I will say that I was a bit distraught in my last post.  Couldn't see past my own nose.  Couldn't see any preferable future.  But God is doing a number on me!!  And sometimes I think to myself that He is up there smiling on this situation and even laughing (which I would be too if you only knew the things I tell Him).  I truly believe God has a sense of humor.  There is absolutely nothing funny about baby #3's condition, but I got tickled during a prayer and made a joke that He could easily tell me what the gender was... that night I had a dream that it was a girl.  It was the first time I had laughed in 2 weeks.  And today we found out it was a girl!  Mati Claire is SOOOO excited!  She truly believes in Santa Claus now.  #1 on her Christmas list was a baby sister.

In just a few days, we have moved from shock and despair to optimistic.  2 weeks ago, I felt I got the death sentence from Dr. T.  Through the whole appointment, all I can remember hearing her say was that "it may be livable or not livable."  Of course it wasn't until I got home and started researching did I understand what she meant.

Baby Miley has an omphalocele.  "A what?" check out the link.  If you Google it, it will show very unpleasant and disturbing pictures, so I don't recommend that.  Hers appears to be holding her intestines and liver on the outside.  I was blind.  I couldn't see past the grotesque part of the baby to see that it is STILL a beautiful baby that needs help.  I thought I was carrying a "problem child".   Yes - call me a terrible mother for thinking that.  Its amazing just how low your mind will go.  I couldn't wrap my head around it.  One mother of an O baby blogged how it was a "bump in the road" when it was diagnosed but still had an awesome attitude.  A bump???  I considered it a pothole.  Or even a landslide.  An earthquake.  I wanted her attitude.  It gets worse...keep reading.

Let me back up.  When I found out I was pregnant, I was covered in psoriasis that itched and burned like I have never felt before.  My skin was on fire.  All I could think about was my medicine and how getting pregnant (which was a slight surprise) ruined any chance for treatment.  I had read that some pregnancies will help but doesn't cure.  This was the first of my babies that I cried over the positive home pregnancy test because it wasn't the right time.  Then within a week later, I started bleeding pretty heavy with the hematoma... I was told to go home and wait to miscarry.  I was put on bedrest and thought that just messed my plans up for my job and the holidays.  I know I know...very selfish.  You don't have to remind me... God does that everyday for me.  Then add nausea and fatigue to the list.  I couldn't get excited over throwing up and living off zofran.  Needless to say, I was never 100% excited.   More like 100% scared...sad. Don't get me wrong... I was happy, but I was also in physical pain.  I couldn't see God's plan.  Then we get diagnosed with the big O!  I mean really, what else can God throw at me? Didn't see that one coming either.

God has somewhat "cured" my psoriasis for a time.  And then it hit me.  He is pulling me out of my nice comfortable bubble that I live show me just how good and how great He is.  Things that only He can do.  He is opening my eyes to a whole new world of living in fear, living for the unseen, and just living on faith.  He is forcing me to trust him on a whole new level...something I had never done before.  I prayed to God to change my attitude and He did!

We prayed for our next appointment with the specialist.  Prayed MANY times a day.  Was reading the story of Daniel to Mati Claire....she asked why he prayed 3 times a day.  I told her we should be praying more than that! Then God asked me, "why are you only praying like this when something bad is happening to you?" .... wow.  Can I get an Amen? Talk about putting me in my place.  I mean I was getting on my knees, going through the correct steps of a good prayer - numerous times a day.  All for baby.  Then I read Angie Smith's book "I Will Carry You."  She mentions the story of Lazarus several times.  In that, Mary and Martha don't ask Jesus to heal Lazarus... they just said "Lazarus is sick."  God already knows the troubles we have.  Jesus already knows what's wrong with baby girl.  Just state the simple fact.... and trust that He will do His job (whether its in your favor or not).  I am trusting that His will be done regardless of what I want.  I find myself saying the same repetitive prayer - and I'm pretty sure God got it the first time I said it.   ;)  God has surrounded me with peace and as much understanding that's allowed.  After a few days, I am only seeing the positive and have a completely new attitude towards this baby.  One I should have had from the beginning.  Please don't misunderstand me.... loving this baby was never a question... I just couldn't get behind the excitement.  Does that make sense?  I told God it was okay to take her if that was His plan and what was best for her.  Part of me can understand death better than a newborn baby suffering like this.  Is that horrible of me to say???

He forced me to look at why was I praying for baby to be healed.  Because deep - WAY deep down - this "problem" would pop our little perfect bubble we live in.  Then I thought there is NO way I could be a good enough mother to this child because I was selfish.  All I could think was how I couldn't take care of it.  I have no clue how to handle a NICU baby.  NG tubes, oxygen tubes, surgeries, respiratory arrest, omphalocele, gastric problems...... I can't handle this.  I...I....I... talk about selfish.   So why would God choose me?

Because I can handle it.  I will learn how to care for her.  And I have A LOT of love to give her.  A LOT.  And no, I won't be able to hold her for a long time or physically breastfeed her because she will be in the NICU on her back, I won't be able to tickle her belly-button because she won't have one, or blow kisses on her belly because I won't be able to hold her or touch it.  But I can tickle her sweet toes and kiss her on her head and tell her how much I love her.   God is healing my heart and sending me through the valley so I can truly appreciate the miracle on the other side.   And God willing...if everything goes like today's appointment.... she will be okay eventually.

Dr. P had to offer me the right to terminate the pregnancy.  Wow.  I must have been in the pit of hell.  Who could do that if there's a chance it will be made whole in time?  Who could do that period?  I couldn't believe I was sitting there.  Very surreal.

I will have an amniocentesis done in a few weeks to determine if there are any chromosomal abnormalities associated with baby girl.  If there are, her chances of survival are slim.  I am aware that the risk is still higher so I'm not completely delusional.  But we are optimistic because she is such a fighter! She has been hanging on to life since day 1.  I am already proud of her!

We don't know if we will stay in Jackson - that is one of the biggest questions.  Obviously we would like to be close, but we also want experienced surgeons.  Her umbilical cord only has 1 artery and 1 vein (normally has 2 arteries and 1 vein)... so she is very small but Dr. P said that was normal in these babies.  She was too small to see her heart as well as he would have liked, but we will have a fetal echocardiogram done at 20-22 weeks to see if there is a heart defect.    But most of our questions will come down to the amnio results in March.  Please pray for our family.  Again, we are optimistic but its easy to fall into the depression and downside of it.  Pray that God heals us all and keeps us focused on Him.