Sunday, March 12, 2017

The birth of Paisley Joy 3.12.14

I write this so that I can show my sweet girl one day just how God protected her and I. I write this for us but if you would like to read about the night I was given an angel on earth, please do.

I was 39 weeks and 1 day. It was the first hot day since we had moved there, Spring was just a few weeks away in Tennessee but it was supposed to be 79 degrees and I had promised the twins we would buy a slip n slide and play in the back yard. We moved in the thick of winter (one of the worst they'd had in 20 years we were told) and it had been snowy, super dreary and gray and freezing in the 5 weeks we had lived there.
So since I promised them the slip n slide I was up around 10 am to get dressed and soon as I woke up I had super dull lower back pain. I sat on the edge of my bed thinking could I be in labor? No, this isn't it. I don't know why but I was convincing myself it couldn't be. I wasn't ready. I wanted to be pregnant for 2 more weeks. Mostly because I loved it so much but also because there was still so much to do. We have just moved across the country and we're trying to settle in to our new life.

While I was putting on some light makeup I was texting my 2 best girl friends asking them what labor felt like, describing to them what I was feeling. I honestly can't remember what they said but I think they told me it was probably the start of labor.
I already had twins, how could I not know what labor felt like, you ask? Well with them, I was home for 3 1/2 days following 9 weeks on strict, dreadful bed rest and while home my water  broke. About 10 minutes later I was having full blown excruciating contractions and was at a 4 when I arrived at the hospital. I got an epidural right away and then an hour later they were born via emergency c-section, 2 months early and and spent a month in the NICU. So I only had about an hour of experiencing labor and it came on fast and strong.
Through the dull pain and cramps I decided to straighten my hair, I guess a part of me believed this could be it and last time I had zero time to even care what I looked like. I went out and told my mom who was in town to be there for us bc you know, we moved across the country and were having a baby at the same time, she had been there for 3 weeks and would stay until sweet baby was one month old!  She was sure it was labor starting. I was convincing myself it wasn't still and wanted to hold up my promise of the slip n slide ๐Ÿ˜„

I put on a maxi dress bc it was so beautiful out, Kaleiah decided to stay home so I took my sweet boy to toys r us about 10 minutes away. BAD IDEA. As we were driving there the contractions came in hot and they were terribly painful. I would loose my breath and tense up and thought ok I better call randy at work and let him know. I told him what was going on and that he should head home (he worked in Downtown Nashville and was 30 minutes away). Meanwhile I waddled up to the store and even asked an associate through my contractions where the slip n slides were. We got one and checked out and I remember feeling like I had to hide the fact that I was in labor bc I didn't want anyone to call the paramedics!
Here is my last belly pic at home:

Driving home was rough, all the while I didn't let Kaden know anything. We got home and I started packing up last minute stuff, thankfully most was packed a few days prior.
I was having to stop and hold on to the bed and remember to breath and my mom looked concerned. She kept saying you better get going.
Randy got home, threw some things he needed together and off we went. We had never been to the hospital and didn't know how to get there without GPS, I mean, we were KIND OF busy settling into a brand new life unpacking an entire cross country move. Guess we forgot to have a plan.
The way there we hit traffic. Of course. Even on side streets. And the roads were sooooo bumpy and was killing me when I was having contractions which now were about 3 minutes apart. I face timed my twin sis in so cal to let her know baby was on the way. We couldn't find the hospital entrance for a few minutes but finally did and was was doubled over in pain while randy checked us in.

I was finally called back and checked and was at a 3. Randy posted a picture of me smiling (I really was so happy to be experiencing it all) and I remember Pastor Rick commented almost right away saying he was praying for us and the delivery.
I was taken into my delivery room and the my nurse was friendly and made me feel comfortable. Shortly after I got my epidural, the male anesthesiologist commented on how I made it so easy☺️ I guess any complimenting of a lady in labor is a good thing! Easy and done and now I was comfortable and just ready to enjoy this new journey! The waiting, the anticipation of not only meeting our baby but myself birthing her, no medical intervention. A dream coming true.

Years before I became pregnant I decided that I wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) for my next one. I researched it endlessly and spoke to my perinatologist (high risk dr) who took care of me while on bed rest with the twins his thoughts and all about the risks (before we even conceived PJ) and then throughout the many times he saw me during my pregnancy with her. He even looked at my scar on my uterus from the previous c-section via the ultrasound at 29 weeks and once again assured me it was a totally good option for me.  I felt very assured that there was no reason I shouldn't at least try, it was a deep desire of my heart to birth my baby vaginally.

Fast forward to 35 week pregnant and my first check up with my new Dr. in Nashville. I actually set up my appointment somewhere on the road in I think New Mexico while on our drive across the country. I was given his recommendation from a friend who lived in TN and since Vanderbilt had a NICU and a triage and and knowing that if something did go wrong, I wanted to make sure I was at the best place possible. So I went with Dr. Kellet at Vanderbilt. He was very kind and had great bedside manner. I had my records sent over and told him everything from my previous pregnancy/delivery and throughout my weekly checkups with him he also encouraged me to try for a VBAC if that was my desire. His wife had had one. I had two friends that had one. I only knew of successful VBAC stories. He did some sort of test based on my answers and my stats to certain questions and I think I came out at having an 87% success rate. I'm not totally sure what that all meant but he said of course they can't guarantee 100%, just like any birth. You can't guarantee anything. I asked every check up all along my entire pregnancy if it was a ok for me to go for a VBAC, all my dr's (even my OB of 10 years) all said YES.

Fast forward now to Labor Day and of course, just like with the twins, my Dr. wasn't working that day. Of course! When I was being checked in a male dr came in had me sign some papers. They were about everything related to the VBAC, and liability stuff. I remember asking one more time, even though he'd never met me before, "so should I do the VABC? Am I a good candidate?" He basically said he couldn't answer that.
So after we got all settled in and my epidural kicked in, I was starving and thirsty and they explained why I couldn't eat but my nurse did give me some lemon Jello๐Ÿ™‚
I also I had to have like 2 rounds of antibiotics and one of saline via IV. It seemed to take forever!!
We were posting the play by play all day with my labor and updating everyone at once via Facebook since we had 40 something family members and hundreds of friends and old staff that wanted to know what the latest was. All my posts were so happy and thankful and just loving the experience. It was finally and ok time for my mom to stop by with my peas, I missed them like crazy and was so worried about them. About leaving them for a few nights, them not being "the babies" anymore, everything. Keep in mind we were all already going through so much change and transition with a new state, job, weather, being homesick, not knowing how to get around fully yet, them missing their family and over all us just feeling totally over emotional and overwhelmed with having just uprooted our entire life right before having a new baby.
I was soooo happy to see them, they ran to me and were asking about the bed I was in, the buttons, the tubes in my arms. I could see on their precious little faces they were confused and concerned for mama. They were not white 5 1/2.

It was probably about 10 something at night and my mom was asking if they should just hang around a little longer. I know she wanted to be there when baby was born. I insisted though that the twins needed to get to bed and I kept saying I didn't want them there in case something didn't go as planned. It was a really sad and weird feeling not having any family there with us though while in labor and waiting to have our baby. I did want mom to stay but what my babies needed was more important.
They finally came to break my water and when they did they said there was meconium in it (babies first stool, which is like tar and dangerous if inhaled by baby when they're being born. Also usually a sign of stress in the baby). They didn't seem alarmed and probably didn't want to alarm me but said when she's born she'll have to get checked right away to make sure she didn't swallow any.
I was checked for about the 8th time and I have to say, my biggest complaint about Vanderbilt is that since it's a teaching hospital it's filled with interns so they do everything the Dr. or Nurse would because the interns are learning. So it's done many times. Did I mention getting checked is painful? And I don't need an audience? Holy moly. One person a time is great, thanks.
A while later nurse came in and readjusted my monitor saying her rate seemed low but it was probably just because she moved and the monitor needed to be moved. That scared me.

A few more hours later checked me again and said I was at a 10 and they were going to get their scrubs on!! I looked up at Randy and said we are really about to do this!! I'm going to get the birth of my dreams! We had hopes for me reaching and pulling her out myself, for randy to finally be able to cut the cord, and just for the whole vaginal birth experience! I couldn't believe I was getting my desired birth and had already had my dream pregnancy!

About 2 minutes passed when the Dr. had went to get ready when everything started to go wrong. I began feeling the most excruciating, searing hot pain I've ever felt in my life and never felt before on the right side of my belly. It hit me hard and I cried out in pain and grabbed Randy's arm. It kept coming and didn't let up, it didn't stop or fade, it felt like someone was literally cutting into me with a searing hot knife. I said something's wrong, tell them something is wrong. I began shaking and crying and I didn't even get close to crying during contractions. I have a high pain tolerance and so for me to be sobbing in pain, it was bad. I couldn't control my whole body shaking and randy told the staff who came in and asked me if I was sure it wasn't contractions, which I assured them it was not.
They pumped more meds into my epidural, did a test with this spikey roller thing in certain spots on my body and I was trying to get them to understand that if I was feeling this bad of pain through all the meds when for 12 hours prior I barley flinched, something was wrong. I had no idea what was, but I knew we needed to act fast.

I started throwing up, they gave me a pan and next thing you know, her heart rate plummeted.  Then a handsome, white haired Dr. (Dr. Stone I believe) and pregnant Dr. came to my bed side and said they were sorry but they had to do a c-section. I stared bawling. We were so close. So close to living out my dream birth, everything came crashing down like a ton of bricks. As soon as I realized she was being affected and her heart rate was dropping I said ok, get me out of here.
They ran me back, there was so much commotion. This is the only pic Randy got of me because he wasn't allowed to video or photograph.
 In probably 5-7 minutes from the time they got my on to the operating table they had cut me open. I was still throwing up. She didn't cry and she was taken away right away. No holding up over the curtain, no sneak peak. I didn't know if she was OK or even alive. I still didn't know what happened.
Next thing I know, the Doctor doing the cesarean leaned over the curtain and all I heard was "I'm going to have to do a hysterectomy." I was so loopy but I remember feeling like that was the worst news I'd ever been given. Randy was sitting next to me and his head dropped.
Turns out, the pain I was feeling was my uterus rupturing. It was tearing open, an organ ripping open at the sight of the previous scar. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life.
This happens to less than 1% of women to attempt a VBAC. There's more risk involved for an elected repeat cesarean than a VBAC after one cesarean, by 10%.
It's so rare that it only happens to less than 5 out of 1,000 women. I've never met anyone it's happened to and I'm usually the only person someone knows that it's happened to.

I was told later that as they were getting her out, my uterus burst like a popped balloon. There was no saving it. I am so thankful I was taken care of right away and that I was at a facility that could operate in an emergency like that, and had a nicu.
"Uterine rupture in pregnancy is a rare and often catastrophic complication with a high incidence of fetal and maternal morbidity.
From the time of diagnosis to delivery, generally only 10-37 minutes are available before clinically significant fetal morbidity becomes inevitable. Fetal morbidity occurs as a result of catastrophic hemorrhage, fetal anoxia, or both."

A few minutes later they made Randy leave while they removed my uterus and closed me up. The surgery took 3 hours. It was very foggy but some moments are so clear. I had to have two blood transfusions because I was hemorrhaging so bad. I remember asking if I was going to be ok, going to make it. I was staring at the bags of blood. It was the most terrifying experience. I asked that a few times and kept asking about my baby. They were vague, I don't think they knew anything. I kept feeling like I was about to pass out and I honestly thought I was about to die. Inwas SO AFRAID that if I closed my eyes I would pass away. I was fighting so hard to keep them open. I kept praying God please I am not ready to go, I can't leave my babies, they need their mama. I was awake for the entire 3 hours and it was miserable. I felt mostly everything, not just tugging and pressure, I felt pain. It was honestly to this day the scariest night of my life.
Randy was alone for an hour and a half not knowing if I was ok or if our baby was ok. He was scared and worried. It breaks my heart to think he was all alone wondering if we were ok and going to make it. He was finally called to go see our girl in the NICU where after tests and assessments she was ok!!!!! Praise GOD! He finally got to be with her.

After my 3 hours of surgery and 12 hours of labor I was finally handed my amazing gift of life. She was perfect in every way, she was pink and plump weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long, born at 2:31 AM, 5 days before her due date. First thing I did was take off her beanie to see how much hair she had and what color. Red like the peas had? A lot? Bald? She had a little bit of dark hair. Through my drugged up state I remember saying to randy "she's so Asian! Who is the baby from Japan? She looks just like your mom (who is Japanese)!" I loved it, I had always hoped she would look super Asian like her daddy!

I was extremely loopy and out of it, in physical pain and so incredibly traumatized. It was beyond traumatic and we came so close to life or death. Looking back, I realized I suffered PTSD from that night for months and it was NOT just "hormones." Some things today can trigger it and I have a break down.
Recovery was painful and the nurse the first night (she was almost 24 hours old) kept coming in to "shrink my uterus" which they do by pushing on it with their first (which hurts soooo bad, had it done after the twins' c-section) and I would have to tell her each time "I JUST HAD A HYSTERECTOMY! I don't have a uterus!" ๐Ÿ˜ฐ
She passed all her tests, was nursing like a pro and we went home when she was 2 days old. Bonding with her in the hospital was amazing. I couldn't put her down. I didn't get this experience with the twins because they were born at 32 weeks and spent a month in the NICU. I couldn't hold Kaden for 36 hours and Kaleiah for 9 days!! It was the sweetest time ever, those 2 days with her.

 Emotional recovery was so much harder than physical. I was traumatized and suffering from major grief over the loss of my uterus which meant grieving the fact that I could never bear another baby. Grieving that the choice was taken from me, made FOR me, I had no say. Grieving the loss of my womb which had carried my babies. Pregnancy was one of my most favorite seasons in life, I loved it so much that had said I would have loved to be a surrogate for people. That's how much I loved it. It was grieving the end of a season of life, the door closing, a chapter ending that I could never experience again.
The things people said to me the most and still say "well, at least you have 3 kids. At least they're all healthy. At least you're ok. Be thankful for the 3 you have." Like the fact that I was grieving and in so much pain from what happened meant/means I'm not thankful for them. Those words truly didn't and don't help me. I know people meant well. I am extremely thankful and blessed to have the 3 babies I have and to be alive for all of us to be healthy and me grieving the loss of being able to have anymore doesn't mean I need to be told to appreciate what I do have. Again, because of the traumatic outcome and the end result not being a choice I had anything to do with, it was a devastating, heartbreaking period at the end of the chapter. Not to mention the fact that we both had a very close call. How do you just move on from that? You don't. I'm forever changed. I don't expect anyone to fully understand unless they've been in my shoes. When most women decide to be done, THEY decide. I did not decide. And weather or not we had previously discussed her being our last, does not make having to have a hysterectomy easy.
The Lord was with us that night. I felt Him. We were within moments of catastrophic results. He protected my precious daughter and myself. In the 3 years  I have had to reflect on that night I have decided that perhaps having to have a hysterectomy was to actually save my life. Perhaps if I was to become pregnant again it would have been even worse. The worst. Perhaps our lives would have been lost. That's the only thing that gives me peace about it. I am here to raise these babies and I am eternally grateful for that.
When you grow a life inside you, you appreciate
life in a way you never knew before. When you come close to loosing your baby (and or your life) you are never the same. The way I live and raise and parent them is a direct result of what I've been through. I know how fragile life is. I almost lost my twins during pregnancy today and I almost lose my baby girl during labor and delivery and I will never take life for granted. God is so good and I will praise Him for my entire life. These stories are my testimony, they are my battles which I proudly wear my scars for. They are the experiences that brought my heart to its knees and cried out to the almighty God for help and protection and I will never stop declaring what He did for us. This is my song. They are my Purple Hearts. My stories are how I can give God glory for what He has done.
I'll never forget that night and I'm thankful I won't. I feel blessed to have to be constantly reminded of what I went through. It's how I found/find my strength. It's how I stay connected to God, always praising Him. Just like with the peas' story, I use my pain to give Glory to God. Paisley Joy you are true gift and I love you more than you'll ever understand!!!
Love, Mama Bear

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Life in Tennesee Part 1

I haven't blogged in 11 months. I have so much catching up to do that I have been putting it off. Where do I even start!??!? I suppose I will start with the move here and the first few months. This is going to be long but for records sake, I need to finally get it down.

A little recap of how it came to be...we felt God putting Nashville on our hearts (separately) for over a year before out of the blue Randy got a phone call from Crosspoint church. We did not seek out moving here or working for CP. All we knew was God was constantly putting it in the forefront of our minds and we talked about it often, it seemed like a wild and farfetched thing to even be entertaining and honestly we probably didn't think we would ever even go, if it came down to it.

You see, we had an amazing life that we built and LOVED in OC, everyday was like a dream vacation. We had the beach (where the kids and I were at every single day), Disneyland (where we could be found if we weren't at the beach), all of our family all within driving distance (making it about 25 people and that is just immediate family, half of which were 10-15 minutes away). We had 24/7 support, help, and family to hang out with and do life with. Of course we had best friends and everything and everyone we loved.
 Randy had an amazing job at Saddleback church where he was employed for 13 years (it was our first and only church, where we met and got married), we loved our church, church family and Pastor more than words.
All that to say, we had NO reason to leave, to ever consider leaving, or the desire to. And another thing that made it seem crazy to was, I was pregnant with our 3rd child.
After a year plus of Nashville being in our minds and hearts, Randy and I said ok, whatever the reason God is nudging us about TN, we will NOT seek it out in any way. We will not apply, we will not visit, we will not seek this out on our own. If the Lord is truly asking us to go there or whatever the case may be, HE must show us that. Then we will know.

Within months of us making that agreement to each-other, he got a direct message on twitter from someone high up on CP staff asking if he would be interested in a position on staff (that Pastor Pete was wondering). Wow.
I still get chills. I'll never forget the day Randy called me and said to sit down. When he told me, I was in shock. We had just announced our pregnancy and the the timing just didn't make sense. We both knew this was The Lord showing us what He was doing. It was just undeniable.

Long story short, they flew us out for a few days, we toured the church and met many people on staff, Randy had a few meetings and interviews and we went to a Sunday service. From the get go, CP felt like home. We loved it! We loved Pastor Pete (whom we were familiar with), we loved the church and the vibe and everything about CP. From what we saw (which was little) of Nashville, we liked it too.
We spent about a week or so in serious prayer before we had to let them know our answer. This was the biggest thing we would ever do thus far in our lives, marriage and family. I was half way through my pregnancy and we knew if we did go that this baby would be born in TN.
Honestly, the odds were stacked against us and the timing made no sense at all. But we had peace. We made a huge list of pros and cons, we spent many nights up praying, we shed tears and wrestled with our thoughts.
The decision was THE hardest one we would ever make thus far. But it was clear and we knew that God was asking us to follow him to Nashville and that is why for over a year He had put it on our hearts and kept it there.
The peace we had about it was confirmation. It was the scariest, most terrifying choice we had to make and every fiber in our being said "No way!! This is too scary!!! We can't do this!!!!" But the Lord said trust me. Our hearts said, we trust you.
We had every reason to not do it, to stay comfortable in the life we knew and say no to God.  But could we live the rest of our lives with regret and wondering if we missed out on what He had for us, what He wanted to do with and in our lives? Could we live with disappointing God and telling him "no?'
We couldn't and we didn't want to live with the regret and disappointing Him. We are called to LIVE our FAITH! We are called to rise up, take courage and put it in ACTION! We are called to be the body of Christ and a light to the world. Our faith is the foundation of our lives, our marriage and our family. We wanted to walk the walk. We wanted to chase after God. We wanted our faith to be bigger than our fear. We wanted to set an example for our children. So what if we failed? The chance of missing out if greater than messing up.
So at 33 weeks pregnant and with 5 year old twins who grew up in orange county, we left everyone and everything we loved.
The week we moved was exciting, scary and very sad. We were excited and anticipating the new life waiting for us. We were happy to be following God. But we were heartbroken leaving who and what we loved and knew. We spent months dreading the good byes. It was without a doubt, the hardest thing we've ever done, to get in our van and drive away and begin the 5 day journey across the country to start a new life.

Fast forward and 5 weeks after we move in, our baby girl is born. Her birth will have it's own post, soon I hope. So here we are, still hurting and healing from homesickness and adjusting to a new world and way of life, our world was turned upside down, still unpacking boxes and trying to get settled and then our life is turned upside down again by having a baby. That's right, we moved across the country, Randy started a new job and we had a new baby all in about a month. Can you say whirlwind? It's pretty impossible to even explain how crazy life was.

My mom was here for my last month of pregnancy (with my big sis for two week too) and for the first month of Paisley's life. I don't think I could have down it without her here. She helped us get settled and unpacked and then helped tremendously with the twins and baby. We were adjusting to SO much. It was overwhelming, it's really hard to even find the words. Here I am reeling from hormones from pregnancy and post birth, recovering from birth and two surgeries, mentally and EMOTIONALLY recovering from what had happened with her birth, still dealing with the sadness of being homesick, trying to figure out how to balance having 3 kids, nursing my new baby around the clock, I look back and can't believe it didn't slip into depression. It was A LOT to go through and to handle. But with God's strength, I stayed strong.

The first 7-8 months were riddled with amazing days and really hard days. I had a breakdown about once a month, I would just bawl off and on all day. I was so homesick and I was living a new life that I didn't know, I was finding my way in a new way of life. I was home alone all day with a new baby and two homeschooling kids. I was hormonal. I had no friends yet, Randy works 30 minutes away, baby nursed every two hours around the clock, being sleep deprived and feeling isolated and lonely, grieving and still processing what happened to me with her birth, it was only normal to have sad days. But I was over the moon with our sweet new baby and in regards to that, life couldn't be better. She was amazing and the perfect completion to our family.
The twins and I had to find a new normal. We went from being outside ALL day in CA, to being inside ALL day here. We moved here in the winter and because of the cold we were stuck inside of weeks on end. It was a really bad winter, worst they'd had in years and years. Then summer came and it being our first southern summer, we had a hard time adjusting to the heat, thick humidity and the bugs. We were only outdoors for an hour or so a day. Everything was a new experience, we were new to it all. We were doing our best to adjust. We would choose joy daily and make the best of every day. But it was HARD.
There was times when I would be so overwhelmed and stressed out, so tired and just needing a break and I would breakdown crying thinking that if we had never moved I would have help. I would have friends and someone to talk to all day other than 3 little people. That we would be outside getting SUN and exercise and not stuck inside going crazy. But I would reflect back on what God had told us and remember all the ways he showed us that He wanted us in TN and that we did the right thing.

At about the 8th month mark, during the BEAUTY of Fall, God spoke to me. While I always had peace about us following Him here, he gave me a new level of peace and comfort and I finally felt like TN was home. I fell in love with it and i felt a shift in my heart one weekend in October. Since then I have only cried once and I do not dwell on missing home, family and friends. I feel like we have created a life here finally and things aren't so hard. I am so thankful for that, for what God whispered to me that weekend and the peace He has given me. Now we are a year (and 2 weeks in) and it feels great to finally not feel so new, so unfamiliar. We are experiencing out 2nd winter and although I hated it last year and dreaded it this year, the fact that its our second time around in something here finally, feels familiar and good.

That's the summery of what it was like for me, adjusting to our new life. I want my honest and real emotions written down to always have to look back on. This has with out a doubt, been the hardest year of my life. It has required more faith and trust than ever. I also feel like I have grown the most. I know what I am made of. I went through so much change and hard stuff in just 6 weeks, and I am still standing. God is good and He deserves the credit. Without Him being my rock, backbone, protector, I would be a mess.
Soon I hope to post some of our fun experiences while living here! I can't believe it's already been a year!

Pics from our first road trip adventure out here and our first month here:

 On our 5 day trip, we stopped in AZ and went to a camel farm! So random but the twins loved it!

Every night they would look forward to going swimming at the hotels! They loved it!! They loved the road trip and talk about it probably 1-2 times a month, still!!

 Fun times wiht my sister and mom visiting 2 weeks after we got here:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

30 weeks

I honestly get bummed when I think about how I only have 10 weeks left!

Treated myself to lunch at my fav lil cafe in town for making into the 30's with smooth sailing :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nashville Bound

We'll keep it short and sweet, here is what God has been doing in our lives:

It began about a year and a half ago that God began to put Nashville on our hearts individually. Once we realized this, we knew He had then put it on our hearts as a couple. What it meant however, we had no idea. For months we found ourselves constantly thinking about Nashville, feeling like God was up to something. We didn't quite understand it but we just knew deep down God was putting this city, and a specific church (Cross Point), on our hearts. Feeling this way individually and as a couple, it was undeniable that God was speaking to us.

Over the next few months we found ourselves picturing ourselves out there, picturing making a life out there, doing ministry out there, raising our family there...we even looked online at houses and thought we were crazy for doing so...I mean why were we!? It made no least at the time. But the feeling that God was trying to tell us something about Nashville never quieted down, for over a year it persisted and in a way, got louder and clearer as the months went on. We consciously listened and prayed for Him to show us what He was trying to do. About a year after God began to put the city and specific church on our hearts, Randy received an opportunity to work there and accepted. It was clear, God had been preparing us for over a year for this, it was clear now why we had a tugging on our hearts about it. God had been working.

The past 4 months have been filled with prayer. And here we are today. We felt for well over a year that God was calling us to Nashville and we have made the decision to follow Him.
This is the hardest thing either of us have ever done. We are leaving our families and all we know, an incredibly amazing job here at Saddleback, but we feel this is where The Lord is calling us. We have spent months in prayer and reflecting on all God has shown and spoke to us and have had many sleepless nights, shed a lot of tears, wrestled with a lot of doubt but in the end we KNOW that this is where God is leading us for this season of our lives. 

In Him,
Randy and Megan

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

29 weeks!

Had two Dr. appointments this week, one with my OB (monthly) and a cervix check up (bimonthly), both were great check ups! At my cervix ultrasound I had a detailed ultrasound besides my cervix ultrasound, to check on baby's growth, measurements, etc. It was awesome because we got to see her for about 20 minutes and this was the 2nd longest time we've gotten to in 7 months. Usually it's just a super quick peek at her and that's it, so besides my 20 week detailed scan, this one was the most we'd seen her! We saw her opening and closing her mouth (most likely practicing breathing), sucking on her fist, wiggling all around. She wasn't in a good position to show her profile so no pics of that, darn! At one pint her ankles were crossed but then most of the scan she had her leg up over her body and her foot up right by her face...this is the 3rd ultrasound we've seen her do that! She must think it's pretty comfy :) Everything with her looks perfect, good fluid, great heart beat and she weighs 3lbs 3 oz already which I was surprised to hear! From everything I've read, most babies this gestation weigh 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, I just can't believe she's already over 3! So great!
The twins were 4 1/2 each at just 32 weeks, makes me so curious what size full term babies I'd have...can't wait to find out with this bundle :) My cervix is still looking remarkable and is 4.3 cm which is "a mile long" they say, it hasn't shortened at all and is staying strong and holding up perfectly which all Glory to God for that!! They say I can stop coming in now for my 2 weeks check up on it bc everything has gone so well but I am going to keep my bimonthly check ups bc it gives me reassurance and peace of mind. Baby is head down and her head is really low, right on top of my cervix and even with that it's still long and strong. Dr. even pushed down onto my abdomen/cervix during the cervix ultrasound to see if the pressure changed it and it did not. So, so great. Also all along this pregnancy I have had a low lying placenta which just means due to the position of it, if it didn't move up, I wouldn't be able to have a vaginal birth bc it is essentially in the way of the baby to the birth canal. A prayer of this pregnancy is a VBAC so I've been hoping and praying it would move which all along my Dr. has been confident it would, as of 2 weeks ago it was still low lying. At Monday's check up it had moved up! Such great news!! A VBAC is still an option :) So Monday's check up yielded so much good news and seeing our muffin for that long was just icing on the cake.
It's always just remarkable to see the life inside you. Truly an amazing gift from God and something I marvel at constantly. As with the twins, I just LOVE being pregnant. Love everything about it, especially experiencing seeing and feeling the baby grow. I only have like 75 or 74 days left of and that makes me sad! I am just enjoying it so much. I just keep giving glory to God for this sweet, dream come true pregnancy that we prayed for. She is a constant reminder to me of God's faithfulness and goodness! Every time I see my belly or feel her move, I smile. Just like the twins are a constant, daily reminder of God's faithfulness and goodness bc of how he protected them and got them here safely, alive and healthy. Answered prayers, all my babies are. I love it.
God is good!

Sunday, December 22, 2013