Psalm 139:13-16

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Friday, December 31, 2010


If you don't want to read this Momma's honesty, then don't read this post!

First of all, I just want to ask that you continue to pray with us as we prepare for Grace.  We are praying for wisdom with decisions and that we will make the right decisions for our baby girl.  I've written it before, but the amount of responsibility we feel for her life is indescribable and overwhelming.

I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. B yesterday.  Stats: I've gained 16 pounds total, we measured 30 weeks, and Grace's heart rate was in the 140s.  Everything looked good.

Our minds are set on Grace's quality of life, and this is what we are trying our best to base our decisions on.  Because everything is really unknown, we are basing these decisions on what we know from Grace's medical team: the doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses.  We learn more and more with each ultrasound, although we won't really know everything we need to know about Grace's quality of life until she is born.  I hope I'm making sense!

During our meetings with our palliative care team, we have been discussing doing everything for Grace versus no heroic measures for her.  Our thoughts are if Grace is probably going to have poor quality of life, then why would we do everything?  Why would we do everything to keep her alive just to be alive, living and breathing?  I realize for some, this is quality of life.  This is very much a personal decision, but for us, just living and breathing is not quality of life.

So, doing everything means having Grace via C-section delivery, having surgery to repair the encephalocele after, and anything else that Grace will need to live.  It is so unknown.  No heroic measures means we can try to have Grace via vaginal delivery, not having surgery to repair the encephalocele if it will not improve her quality of life, and taking her home as soon as possible probably with the support of home hospice.  There are also other variations and decisions to make for either of these options.

I guess I feel like I am ultimately deciding between an unknown life possibly full of suffering, or merciful death for my baby.  Just writing that brings intense emotion and many tears.  Feelings of guilt and selfishness live there also.  Please pray with us as we will live with this for the rest of our lives.  Sometimes I find myself thinking this will all be over soon.  But the truth is Grace will always be with me for the rest of my life, either in her life or in her death.  We continue to also pray for a miracle, and for healing for our baby girl.  My whole life has been changed by Grace's precious life.

"Forever, You are the God of my story.  Write every line for Your glory."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

About 10 weeks/70days to go??!!!

Oh my...tomorrow, I will be 30 weeks.  30 weeks!!!  When did that happen??!  That means in 10 weeks (70 days) or LESS, Chad and I will meet Miss Grace Elizabeth!  My heart is full of joy!  And fear.  And love.  And anxiety.  Oh my.

In MANY ways, I cannot wait to meet our baby girl and know her and love her.  I cannot wait to know what she will be like.  The unknown of the past months has been so hard.  Just to know Grace, I cannot wait!

In other ways, I am so afraid and anxious about Grace's birth.  Forget the actual birth, I'm afraid/anxious about being responsible for her life!  As we continue to learn as much as we possibly can about Grace while I am pregnant with her, we continue to pray for wisdom regarding decisions for her.

More than anything, I cannot wait to love hold her, to see her face, to care for her.

In other news...

-I passed my glucose tolerance test!  Thank you for praying!
-We have a regular OB appointment this week with Dr. B, and we have an ADU appointment next week.
-We celebrated Grace this Christmas!  We had Chad's family Christmas Wednesday before Christmas, and we traveled to Pontotoc to be with my family Christmas Eve after I got off work.  Everyone loves Grace so much already!  Aunt Lori gave her a beautiful bracelet with pearls and aquamarine (Grace's birthstone).  Pawpaw and Nanny gave Grace her first stuffed animal and a recliner for her room.  Aunt Kristen gave her a sweet outfit and a purple pillow pet.  My parents gave Grace a diaper bag, some pictures for her room, her first ball, and a stuffed purple and pink puppy. 

Please continue to pray for us over the next 10 weeks as we prepare for Grace's birth.  Our lives are forever changed by our baby girl!

Chad and me

My sister Kristen and me

 A white Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Baby Changes Everything

This is amazing!  Certainly, we know that babies change everything...every pregnant woman has heard things like you better sleep now, or you don't know how your life is going to change, etc.

Grace has already changed mine and Chad's life in ways that we could have never dreamed.  I have never known love like the love I have for my baby, and I haven't even met her yet!  I can't wait to meet her!  My ticker says I have about 78 days to go!

Unlike any other baby, Jesus was the baby that changed, is changing, and will continue to change everything.  Because of Him, we have life and can live eternally with the Father.  I am so thankful for baby Jesus.  My whole life has turned around.  I was lost, but now I'm found.

Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In Whom I Trust

"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Hey!  I just wanted to post an update on what's been going on with Miss Grace.  We had an appointment today.  She was so, so sweet on ultrasound today!  Of course she never lets the doctors have it easy (I love it!).  Her head was basically on my right hip bone!  She also had her hands covering her face the entire time!!  We got to see her beautiful lips and nose, but not her eyes!  She is a funny and I think stubborn little girl!  We love her so much!  There wasn't really any new news, which is what I prayed for.  She does now meet criteria for microcephaly (having a small head), which the doctors said is expected.  I did read on the report that her encephalocele is 5 cm in greatest diameter (originally, it was 3 cm).  The fellow also measured the area where the two bones in her head did not form like they were supposed to, which caused her encephalocele.  It measured 1 cm.  Dang that 1 cm!  It's hard to believe that such a small area caused so many problems.  We also met again with our palliative team nurse practitioner to continue to talk about goals and plans for our sweet girl.  We talked about doing everything versus no heroic measures.  These are certainly decisions that neither we nor any parent should have to even think about.  But that is our reality now.  We are praying for wisdom with decisions and are basing our decisions on Grace's quality of life.  Please pray with us for the wisdom that we need.  It is indescribable the amount of responsibility we feel for this little life.  Her life is truly amazing, and a miracle from God!

I also had my glucose tolerance test today.  After 4 rounds of urine and blood samples, I was finally finished!  I felt like I got out of jail when I was done!  I met my friend Anna for lunch and got something "really good fattening to eat" as my mother-in-law said!  I'm not sure if anything has ever tasted so good!  Thank you, Roosters.  I will know results tomorrow.  I am praying that I do not have gestational diabetes.

Also, we met our new OB, Dr. B, last week.  We really liked her!  We measured 25 weeks (2 weeks behind), and Grace's heart rate was 156-158.  We are so thankful for an amazing team of medical professionals who are here with us. 

Finally, we are trying our best to celebrate our baby Grace's life.  If you have any comments to help with this, please let me know!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Over the last week especially, I have felt God giving me a heart of peace.  The unknown of Grace's life is one of the hardest things, and up until recently I have really been afraid of what her life means and what her life will be like.  It all seems like chaos to me, to know that what I thought my life was going to be like has been turned upside down.  I guess I've never really had much chaos in my life, thankfully. 

God is giving me such peace in the unknown road we are going down.  Somehow - I know with a lot of prayer by so many interceding on our family's behalf - I feel peace in my heart.

I choose daily (sometimes hour-ly, minute-ly, second-ly) to trust in the peace that God is giving me, instead of the chaos of the unknown in my mind.  This is certainly not always an easy choice.  But He is peace when my fear is crippling.

Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Philippians 4:7 - The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You Are All I Need

I love "Healer" by Kari Jobe (thank you to Lyndsey for the CD!)  Just some lyrics from the music:

"I believe You're my healer.  I believe You are all I need...And I believe You're my portion.  I believe You're more than enough for me.  Jesus You're all I need...Nothing is impossible for You.  Nothing is impossible!  Nothing is impossible for You.  You hold my world in Your hands."

I have been a Christian since I was 13.  I have always known that He is all I need, but I just recently have really known this.  There is a difference in knowing something with your head and knowing something with your heart.  To be very honest, I have felt like I need not only Him, but my husband, my family, my friends, my job, etc as well.  Whenever we learned that Grace was not well, I really felt like I needed her to be well.  (Don't misunderstand me...I desire Grace to be well!)  I mean really, is He all I need? 

I don't know if I can clearly communicate this new-found heart knowledge, but God has given me such peace in knowing that He truly is all I need.  Even if everything in my life was turned upside down (I certainly feel like this is the case lately), He still truly is all I need.  When all is stripped away, I know that He is still with me.  He is more than enough for me.  More than enough.  Wow.  I believe it.  He is ALL I need.

Matthew 6:8 "For your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

Isaiah 58:11 "The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame."

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Jesus

Sustainer,   Hope,   Merciful Savior,   Healer,   Redeemer,   Carrier,   Life,   Wonderful Counselor,   the One Who is near to me,   Love,   Giver of Grace,   Beautiful,   the One Who can,   Creator,   the One Who is with me,   Father,   Awesome in Power,   Peace,   Meeter of my needs,   Heart Mender,   Sovereign,   Comfort,   Joy,   the One I trust in,   Strength,   Calmer of all my fears