It's not my favorite... but I like it.
Later that evening I reached for (and almost grabbed) a pepperoncinni that was garnishing our salad at Olive Garden!
Two days of watching, waiting and biting my nails, and I thought it best to take AJ into my confidence.
It seemed downright unfortunate that he would be on the other side of the country in an important business meeting when I'd "know for sure"; and besides... he's a pretty important part of the whole equation;-)
What could be better news than another precious baby to join our family?!! He was his usual enthusiastic, wonderful, terrific, wonderful wonderful self, and there was a lot of secretive grinning and winking going on in the hours before we dropped him off at the airport;-)
We parted ways for four days, and a ridiculous number of miles, but figured it would pass quickly since we had lots to digest.
In my four days at Mrs. Smith's house while AJ was away, I had a head filled with sweet (and bewildering) thoughts of our precious new baby.
I couldn't help thinking about baby names while I dripped wet red paint on Mrs. Smith's kitchen floor. I calculated our due date while watching the boys play Chess; and while dicing potato's for dinner, I imagined fun ways to announce our news to the family!
Besides all these very important "issues" I couldn't help wondering HOW in the world?!!
How, how, HOW?!
I mean... not how did we get pregnant (no longer a mystery to us), but how are we going to do it?
Okay, I bet that I am not the first or only person to ask this question, and I see no point in visiting the might-have-been's, but really!
"How" seems like a reasonable question?
It seems that this is one more time I am standing on the edge trying to get all my ducks in a row before jumping in.
Another opportunity for God to firmly nudge me over the edge for His glory.
Let me say it again:
"For HIS glory!"
I was, and have been able to to rest in the truth that He is holding me, and to HIS glory.
Continuing my story, AJ arrived back to North Carolina on Saturday night.
On Sunday night after our children were tucked into bed and sleeping, I felt a sharp stabbing sensation low in my stomach,
While I did not faint, I was quickly consumed with so much pain, that I couldn't move from a curled up heap on the bathroom floor.
I am very grateful that AJ was within earshot, and willing to call an ambulance to help transport me to the hospital - a good decision in retrospect since we don't know our way around this part of the country.
How could I justify calling an ambulance? I don't know - but I kept telling myself that I'd had five babies without pain management and wasn't over dramatizing!
I was pretty concerned.
Oh how agonizing were those moments in the bathroom! My fears threatened to envelope me, and my eyes faltered. Just like Peter again! I could rationalize with my head, but my emotions kept running the show. In my heart I cried out to God, and I've never been so thankful for His jealousy for me! I'm sure it was His power which captivated my eyes back to His face, and not my will-power or brute strength.
From that point on, His peace encompassed me fully and completely.
AJ stayed with me in the Emergency room throughout the night while the nurses asked questions, poked me with needles, and initiated me into the world of catheters, and blown veins!
In the few hours we were waiting for various test results, the pain behind my pelvic bone subsided some, and was replaced by terrible pains and spasms in my trunk (from neck to belly).
My blood pressure was disturbingly low, and I was so pale I was nearly green. I remember going from sweating hot and perspiration dripping down my chest, to my teeth chattering uncontrollably and three blankets not taking off the chill. Back and forth this went for a while.
The test which finally got some action was an ultrasound that revealed fluid everywhere inside my abdomen - presumably blood, and possibly caused by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy which implanted somewhere other than inside the womb).
The medical staff was finally looking pretty animated, and I was glad to hear we were on our way to the Operating Room.
Before this week, I'd never been under general anesthesia or operated on. It IS a scenario I'd imagined a time or two, and always with great trepidation!
What if... has always been my mantra, and "What if's" are scary!
The Lord gave me great peace entering the O.R. and I don't even know when I drifted off to sleep. I remember being roused to a nice voice speaking over me, and the feeling of bed linens tucked in snug all around my body. I couldn't pry my eyes open because my eyelids were so heavy, but I thought to myself "boy! I hope we're all done because I am SOOOOO comfortable!"
And we WERE - all through with the surgery! Hallelujah!!
When I became coherent, I learned that the surgeons opened me up with about an six or eight inch incision.
They found that my right ovary was swollen to the size of a lemon, and had ruptured in a two inch long tear (ouch!).
They removed some tissue from the ovary and were able to repair the damage done by the rupture.
In addition, it was necessary for me to have a blood transfusion. I had hemorrhaged enough that debating the issue wasn't an option. One more thing I'm very thankful for!
We have since found out that the doctors did indeed remove a cyst, and not pregnancy tissue.
Our sweet little baby continued to hang on after my operation (presumably in the womb, where any sensible baby would dwell), and it was a privilege to recover with the additional blessing of still being pregnant!
What a little trooper!
The last two days have been very restful for me as I bask in the mercies of the Lord. Truly, these kinds of life interruptions cause me to be more grateful than ever, and I can't stop thanking the Lord for all He has GIVEN me. I bet I have more reasons to be grateful, than reasons to fall victim to pity. What a marvelous God I serve!
Amazingly, I haven't been too emotional. I have felt extremely even-keel. You know, Carolina got a crash course in being weaned this week? THAT wasn't exactly part of my plan!
I'm thankful AJ was at home and not in Portland Oregon.
I'm thankful that we were staying at the Smith's where our children in such good hands!
I'm thankful that the children were asleep.
I'm thankful that we were not at Marvel Hill.
I'm thankful we were not staying at a hotel in a town where we knew no one.
I'm thankful that the hospital was such a good one, and relatively close.
I'm thankful for the competence and care of my surgeons.
I'm thankful that Mrs. Smith has been willing to change two more diapered bottoms.
I'm thankful that Carolina has adjusted to being weaned cold-turkey.
I'm thankful that AJ's work is such that he can take care of me and the children.
I'm thankful for the prayers of so many people who love us; who I didn't even know have been praying for us! I'm sure I should have known!
I'm thankful for the chance to sit still and meditate on the face of my Jesus, and His merciful goodness to me. If this is how I have to get the time for that, then so be it!
there's more... but tonight my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for the little time I've had with our newest babe.
This evening I feel pretty certain that we've lost our beloved little baby.
AJ and I both feel very blessed to have known this dear little one - even for such a short time.
I can truthfully say that I see the face of Jesus. Where else can I look but there? He was so gracious to give us our seventh tiny one, whom we never deserved the honor of being parents to. We know we'll meet again, and there are now TWO precious children we look forward to meeting!
He was extra merciful to give US that little one for a few extra days of life - even through so much trauma. He daily gives us what we don't deserve, so I am just as grateful as ever.
If not more.
The love He has lavished on me and my family through each of you, has blessed my socks off!
The lord took me deeper than I thought I'd go, but He's faithful. Oh so faithful.
And just for the record... if you ever see me reaching for a pepperoncinni, you are free to raise your eyebrows;-)
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: because His mercies endureth for ever." Psalm 118:1