Thursday, August 19, 2010

So it is... Faith

I have a million great blog ideas that run thru my head during the moments of my day. When I finally stop it seems all the words go running together and I have a hard time sharing what I have been thinking... I've been thinking about so many different things lately while missing our little Jacob something horrible!

Throughout our journey friends and family have continuously said how much they admired our Faith we have shown throughout the process, how it has inspired them... I'm thankful that God has gotten the glory. Yet, I couldn't help but feel like it was a lie.. . I don't feel that God is right here with me everyday. Yes, we have trusted and we still Truly trust that God has a plan for these horrible things that have happened to us. That Jacob had a special purpose in his short life. But Faith... was my faith truly so strong? I can't say that I have felt it throughout this whole process. I have felt a lot of numb and blind believing that because we did everything we could and because after my water broke that our strong boy was able to stay in for six weeks and grow to a strong 5 pounds 9 ounces before arriving in this world on July 26, 2010 at 32 weeks that everything would work out the way that I wanted it to.

At 9 years old I asked Jesus Christ to be my personal Lord and Saviour and at times have followed closely to his word. At 32 years old I have traveled down many different roads some that did not express my faith clearly. While my paths haven't followed as closely to God as I'd like to say, I have never doubted that He is the maker of Heaven and Earth, that He is the Almighty and that He has a plan for my life. I guess you could say I just haven't always listened and at times thought that my plan was a better one... that I had everything under control.

When my lovely daughter Grace was born I found myself drawn back to church. Knowing that I wanted her to know a loving church family, to grow up and know all the Bible stories and songs that I had learned and sang as a child. I became a Sunday visitor. I visited a variety of churches in our area without my husband determined that we would just find a place of worship that I felt moved at even if he chose not to go. I knew that when Matt was ready he would join us and till then I would not pressure him... this was a decision that we each needed to make when we were ready. So, Grace and I found a church and visited when it was convenient. I was delighted that she enjoyed going so much.

In 2009, I began looking for again and continue to search for what God's plan is in my life. As a family in the late summer of 09 we decided that it was time for me to find a position that allowed me to spend more time at home and help give me 'the purpose' that God had in my life. So, I quit my full time job and decided to go back to school to be an RN and work part time at my daughters school. At the moment I thought this was it. I believe that God did lead me to slow down a little and work on my strengthening my marriage, spend time with my daughter, and more. Today while I still would like to be an RN, I am trying desperately to listen quietly to what His 'purpose' is for my life.

Our Angel Jacob began his perfect work the moment that we found out that he was sick on April 28, with fetal urethral obstruction. My husband Matt, found his way back to church with us. I was delighted that we finally were going as a family. In some ways maybe I felt that God had already worked his perfect plan...our little boy was going to be okay.

In the early days of finding out that Jacob was sick I began searching for answers and praying fervently. I found notes from a sermon from Pastor Dave that I had kept titled "Surviving the Setbacks and Storms". In it he talks about the importance of our 'stretcher-bearers' those people that join us in our journey and help carry us to Jesus Christ when we are unable. How important it is to have these people in our lives and to be this for others. During our recent journey and as we continue I see that it is my stretcher-bearers that have helped carry us through this.

So that is it... I do have faith and it continues to grow daily but it's my stretcher-bearers that have carried me to Jesus Christ when I couldn't do it. They've carried me through, praying on my and my families behalf even when I didn't feel the faith, when I was too tired or too numb. They continue to carry my through as I grieve and am trying to find answers that I may not find for weeks, months or years. For everyday we miss Jacob Thomas more than words can say, tears find there way to my cheeks often, I'm numb and not sure what to do, what to say.

Thank you to all our stretcher-bearers both known and unknown... you prayers have meant more than you'll ever know. All my love, Heather

Here are the notes taken from sermon "Surviving the Setbacks and Storms" if you'd like to read it...

II Corinthians 4
(8)We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed...(16) So we do not lose heart...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all...

Mark 2:3-5
Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said... "take up your mat and walk."

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not worry about anything, but in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Introduction: Four Foundations for Overcoming Setback and Storms
I. An Adequate Understanding of How Life Works(II Corinthians 4)
What role does God play in the storms?

II. A Sufficient Network of "Stretcher-Bearers." (Mark 2:3-5)
Who are your stretcher bearers? Whose stretcher bearer are you?

III. A Healthy Focus in Adversity (Philippians 4:6-7)
People who overcome adversity...
1. Look to everyday as a gift
2. Look for the blessing and give thanks for them.
3. Look at the trials as opportunities to grow.
4. Look in the adversity for ways to make a difference

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The remainder of my Pregnancy with Jacob

I should have finished this part long before now...

We did get a second shunt placement on 5/28/10. The good news is that overall it appeared to be working or at least partially working because his bladder did not appear full. The bad news was that my amniotic fluid remained at little to zero therefore he was not urinating enough to adequately maintain a normal level.

On June 11, 2010 the Dr's via an amniocentesis process added amniotic fluid to help Jacob develop the best that they could. We also got a growth scan this week to see that our boy was a little over two pounds at 26 weeks!

On June 13, 2010 at 1am, 26 weeks and 1 day my water broke. We knew through all the procedures that this was a possibility but had hoped that it would not happen. Scared and crying we headed into the hospital. It was confirmed my water had broken. The good news was that I was not in active labor. So, the goal was to pump me with steroids and antibiotics to try and post pone labor as long as possible up to 34 weeks if they could.

We took it day by day... excited when we made it past the first 48 hours, the first week.... It was hard at first being in a room on bed rest 24/7. It was hard being away from my girl, my family! I was stuck, a prisoner if you will, with a few extra perks. I have fabulous family and friends that would visit and bring me goodies. I had a great staff that became friends. I was able to take thirty minute wheelchair adventures that became the highlight of my day and visits with Grace. She loved riding around on our adventures! Everyday a sleugh of doctors would come visit reminding me to stay boring and daily I would remind them I was staying boring.... For 6 weeks hospital life was my life as we waited patiently, staying boring, trying to give our boy a chance to grow so that he would hopefully be eligible for dialysis when he arrived.

July 26th... Welcome our Precious Baby Jacob!

Our precious boy made a quick entry in to the world on Monday, July 26, 2010. I woke up in my hospital bed to urgent contractions at 2am while I knew they were contractions I wanted to make sure. I waited and counted how far apart they where before finally calling my nurse in at 3am, to check out my progression and get the Doctors. She got me hooked up to the monitors only to not see the contractions. So, FYI... if you are having back labor like I do they do not show up on the monitors! When Doctor did a pelvic exam they found out that I was at a 5 and they could see our little Jacobs head. It's official after six weeks of waiting we will get to see our little guy! 4am I was finally calling Matt, my adorable husband, to let him know that I was heading over to Labor and Delivery and he better hurry. When Matt arrived at 4:45am the anesthesialogist was finishing up my epidural and it was almost fully active... life was a little more bearable.

Once again the pediatrician from Children's and my OBGYN sat across from us letting us know that he may not make it out of the delivery room, what they would do, what would happen.... really do I have to listen to this again? I simply reminded them that we had faith in our little boy just as we had since the beginning and we needed them to have faith in him as well and to do everything they could to give our Jacob a fighting chance! The Doctors walked out and Matt went to make a few more phone calls.

I was terrified!! We would soon know if the predictions of the Doctors would be true or not... I was crying not from pain but fear for our little boy. Would he make it out of the delivery room? Would his lungs work even though he had had such low amniotic fluid? After spending six weeks in the hospital and beating a few odds I was hopefully believing that our Jacob would continue on that path and with God's assistance proove everyone wrong! I wanted so much for all the Dr's to be wrong and to take our precious Jacob home! This was it D day!

While Matt was out making phone calls, Amanda(one of the residents I had gotten to know well over the last 6 weeks, liked and trusted) came in to check my progress ... 9!!! I quickly called Matt back in to let him know that we weren't waiting like expected! IT WAS TIME!

Everything was happening so FAST!!! They wheeled me into the Operating room because it had enough room for all my Dr's and the pediatricians for our Jacob. At 6:45am our precious boy arrived naturally into this world and he was crying! It was truly one of the best sounds I had ever heard! He was breathing!! HE WAS CRYING!! The pediatricians went to work on him right away. They inti bated him to help him breath! Jacob pulled the first tube out and they had to do it again! Our little fighter letting them all know that he was strong!!!

I sat watching them work on my baby with my OB who so kindly let me know what was happening because I still couldn't move my legs and was stuck in the hospital bed across the room. Luckily since he arrived swiftly the epidural was already starting to wear off. So with assistance they got me into a wheelchair to be closer to our boy! Jacob was born with something outside his belly. At the time they were unsure if it was an organ or what. We would learn later that day that it was his omen tum (stomach fat) that had grown outside his body. It was probably pushed there due to his inflated bladder due to the urethral obstruction.

They called for the transport team to take our Jake to Children's! We did it he was going to make it out of the delivery room! His lungs appeared to be working well, we still didn't know what had grown outside his belly, what type of urethral obstruction he had or the status of his kidneys. For the moment I was just happy that our beautiful boy was able to go to Children's we would figure the rest out as answers became available.

Our Beautiful Boy, Jacob Thomas, arriving at 32 weeks was 5 pounds, 9 ounces and 17 inches long! What a big strong boy! Can't imagine how big he would have been if given another 8 weeks to grow in utero!