Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The False Negative

I didn't want to discuss this.  I tend to keep events like these close to my chest, but Heather requested that I share my perspective...So here goes.

This is what I remember from the night I refer to as The False Negative.

I came home early to get ready to go to Heather's maternity photo shoot.  I was excited for many reasons.  One, we hadn't had maternity photos before.  Two, we have never had a family portrait taken. We have been married since September 1, 2007, and had Andrew just 16 months after.  Joshua followed right behind, just 14 short months later. Today, we are pregnant with our third boy in three years.  Needless to say, we've been in transition since day one, and haven't found a moment to do the family portrait.  But, today had finally come, and I was extremely excited!

We had a great time taking our photos courtesy of the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" organization.  http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ 
Our photographer even took a picture with Heather for our memory book. I was on Cloud 9.

In marriage it is so hard to connect - really connect with your mate - a connection, like when you put the jumper cable on the wrong caps, hitting an amazing eagle putt, catching a 10 pounder after sitting for 3 hours on the lake, or saving lots of $$$ from all the BOGO sales at Publix.  

We are always seeking "that moment", the tank filling tingle that seemed so easy on those awkward dates long ago.

Today, we were there. We were in the fuzz zone. 
 We just had our first family photo, and we were going out to celebrate.  On the way to the restaurant, we were talking, yes, talking - and then I glanced over at her.  She was crying.  I stopped mid-sentence and said "what's wrong hunny?!"  She arched her back and looked at the clock in the car.  "They've been 3 minutes apart for the last 12 minutes".  Auto pilot set in, "Kids, we're going into Gainesville to eat instead."  The plan was to drive to Gainesville and see if they would stop.  Instead, the contractions got stronger and closer together and we were an hour from the hospital.  

I stopped off at Subway to grab some food for the kids.  I took the girls in with me so Heather could call our emergency babysitter.  As I waited in line, without my phone, and the girls with me - seconds seems to take minutes, minutes took hours, and ahead of me in line was a hungry, girls softball team.  Finally we got through the line.  I raced out to the car, and dropped the kids off at the babysitter.  They were amazing, waiting for us at the door.

Contractions were hitting every other minute with a 30 minute drive still to go.  I remember thinking "So this is how it is going to happen."  "No fight, no shot.  Just like this, huh?!"  I lost it for a moment, then quickly gained my composure to call Labor and Delivery.

We finally arrived, I hit up the valet parking and rolled her in.  We were escorted through the tunnel and up to our "room".  Text messages were flying, Voice mails were buzzing and prayers were being lifted.  I wanted to fight, but didn't  know how.  I paced and made nervous funny ha, ha's with our new friends.  All with the worst news playing in the back of my head.

Heather and David, were now hooked up.  He kicked at the monitor, and I heard his heart beat.  The huge weight that had been piggy-back riding on me jumped off, and I could breathe.  "He looks good" the nurse said.

Round One had ended.  Ding, immediately Round 2 began...Okay he's good, what about my wife?!  As she began to throw back the Gatorade like it was...Gatorade, the contractions slowed, softened, and vanished.  
She had been dehydrated.

The False Negative, had finally registered to my system.  
I was not prepared for this. Not now.  Not this way.

From my Perspective,

I call these events Strength Training for whatever God has ahead.  I failed the test on this day.  But I'll be ready for the next.  How do I know?  Because my knuckles are white from tugging Him as close to me as I can.  

My time with Him is no longer a fuzzy 
"10 minute devotion for Dad's on the go" 
 A lot more communication is happening!
I'm leaving Him voice mails "Hey Dad, needing to talk to you, Call me back". 
He gets my text messages "U home?" "NEED some luv" "Luv U"
I instant message him on FaceBook "Are we hanging out tonight?"
We Skype.  He sees me, but he always points his camera to the sky.  Such a jokester.
He even gets an old fashion love letter from time to time - "I don't know what I'd do without you" 

I don't know what's next, but as of 2:51am on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011,  I'm good, because I know he's just a tweet away - 
Help Me @JesusChrist #LeadMe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Son or God's

Hello bloggers!  Sorry I haven't blogged in a while, but our life has been a touch overwhelming during the last two weeks.  Aaron had a stomach ache which turned into an ER visit and an emergency surgery to remove his appendix.  He was in the hospital for three days from start to finish.  Once we got him home, all of our children came down with a virus.  Two went to the doctor who could find no sign of strep, flu, or UTI.  Destiny ended up in the ER because she couldn't hold down any fluids, not even a sip.  By the time we got there she was so dehydrated that her blood pressure was dangerously low.  So, there we are being admitted, round two within seven days.  She was kept for 24 hours from start to finish and was mostly better by the time we were released.

In between Aaron's hospital visit and Destiny's we were so very blessed to have a 3D ultrasound done.  Going into the ultrasound I was honestly expecting that we would see our son on the screen and that he wouldn't have a single physical sign of Trisomy 18.  After all, hadn't we been praying for the miracle of complete and total healing?  Isn't our God big enough to do something like that?  Absolutely he is!  There was also a knowledge that our prayer may not be answered the way we would like for it to.

So, in we go to meet our Baby David for the first time.  Sure enough, he was beautiful.  We watched as he snuggled up to the umbilical cord as if it were a blanket.  We got to see him turn and respond to his Daddy's voice.  We also got to see him throw a tantrum and kick and punch at the ultrasound tech.  It was amazing!  It was a beautiful glimpse into the personality of our baby boy.  He is cuddly and feisty all at the same time.  Just like his brother Joshua.
"My good side"
- David in the Womb

Snuggling with the Cord

Listening to Daddy

He was beautiful in every way.  It was however, apparent by his nose that was not completely formed, his clenched fists, his underdeveloped ears, and the shape of his head that he had definitely not been healed by God.  Nonetheless, he was beautiful.  David Allen, fearfully and wonderfully made, by the creator of ALL things was a beautiful sight to behold.

What is so fearfully and wonderfully made about a child with these abnormalities?  How can you say he is woven together by the creator of life, when the doctors and statistics say he is not even compatible with life?  The truth is, I don't know what is wonderful about the physical struggles that our child will face.  I don't know why the creator of life, created David's life have a short expectancy.  What i do know is this, MY God has NEVER lied to me and in Psalm 139:14 the bible says I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Now, I know that this verse was not just for the healthy. 
 God's works are wonderful and David is one of his works.  A piece of art that was fearfully and wonderfully made when God knit him together in my womb. David was fearfully and wonderfully made for the purposes that God set forth for his life, no matter how long or how short.  Now, does that make it any easier for us, his parents.  Not no, but heck no!!  
You see it's the selfishness of my flesh that wants my son to live a long healthy "normal" life.  I want to see him start kindergarten, I want to watch him grow into childhood, I want to watch him grow through the awkwardness of adolescence, I...I...I... This list goes on and on of the things I want to do and things I want for my son.

I recently told God that I didn't care about the people that would be touched by David's life, and that I just wanted my plan for David's life and to have as much time with him as I would with my other children.  Even as I said that to God, he and I both knew that it wasn't true.
I want to see every miracle that comes from this because then I will feel like it wasn't in vein.  I also do care about the people God will change through all of this.  I do care that this may reach someone and touch them to there very core, and inspire faith, or help them see truth, or receive healing.  But still my flesh cries, can't we have both?  I saw him, and everything you, God, said about him is true. He is your craftsmanship and I just want to get to know him and spend time with him.  Yes, Lord, not my will but yours be done, just help me walk this out.  

Without you I know I can not do this.  Phillipians 4:13

"In God's Time"  This video was posted by one of our friends "made me think of and pray for you guys. Love yall!" Thanks Brittany! Perfect Song, Perfect Timing!