Good News!

I’m on top of the world.  I’m just on top of this beautiful, dadgum world.  It’s as if scales have fallen from my eyes and I see things in a new light. 

In case you haven’t been following my life, first off, I’m pregnant.  With my first child.  At age 36.  With this came a scary test that informed us that our baby was at an increased risk for Down’s Syndrome.  A 1:75 possibility.  I stewed and fretted and cried, then I prayed, and others prayed, and the Holy Spirit granted me a peace that passes all understanding. 

Today, we had a consultation and an ultrasound that looked for certain “markers” of Down Syndrome that the baby may display.  If any of  these markers were found, it increased the risk for the disorder, and if they weren’t noted, it decreased it.  Some markers they look for and measure are the thickness of the skin at the base of the neck, the length of the bones, the amount of fluid around the baby, the veins and arteries in the umbilical cord, certain spots in the heart, and others.

God is good, and if you don’t already know that, well, you need to.  There were not any markers found!  I praised Jesus  out loud right there lying on that table.  The absence of markers does not mean our baby does not have anything wrong with it, but it does mean that the chances went down 50%.  So now the odds are about 1:150.  And that sounds pretty dadgum good to me.  We were offered an amniocentisis to determine 100% for a yes or no answer, but we declined.  Our faith is in God, not in medicine.  You know I’ve never been the “one”.  I’ve never won the lottery, I’ve never been struck by lightening, and I know that I know that I know my baby is normal (as normal as can be expected with the parents it’s been given).

I am praising God to day for His goodness.  His mercy.  His grace.  His gifts.  He has given me something that I never dreamed I could ever need.  And I’m thrilled to become a mother. 

I’d like to believe that even if the test hadn’t turned out positively for us, I would still be praising God.  I’m just so thankful and relieved I am not experiencing the other end of the spectrum right now.  Praise the Lord with me today!

On a different note, during this ultrasound they were able to determine the sex of the child.   I have some wonderful, caring, loving people who are throwing a reveal party for me.  I had never heard of a reveal party before my principal approached me with the idea.  It can be done several different ways, but generally speaking it works like this:  the ultrasound technician puts the gender in an envelope keeping it a secret, even from the parents.  People are invited over, and in some way the sex of the child is revealed to everyone during the party, including the parents!!   Yes, you are reading that right.  We do not even know the sex of our baby.

Our baby was VERY uncooperative today.  It decided to stay sleep with it’s little legs crossed.  The technician was getting frustrated, but she perservered.  Finally she was able to get a good view.  She told us to turn our heads from the screen, while she took the picture.  It was then stuffed and sealed in an envelope and hand delivered to my principal by me.  It was much harder than I ever imagined it would be driving home with that envelope in the car!  But we didn’t peek.  I do admit I held it to the light, but still couldn’t see anything!

the envelope, please......

Tomorrow we will be finding out whether we need a blue nursery or a pink one.  I can hardly wait. 

I wish you all could be there, but since I feel like you are all experiencing this with me, please join me in spirit and cast your vote.

The result will be announced tomorrow!

Baby

There comes a time in a blogger’s life, when she must decide if something is too personal to share.  It’s easy to share chicken stories and recipes, possum deaths, and classroom funnies, but not so easy to tell others when you’re falling apart.  Not for me anyway.  There is an occurrence in my life and something on my heart that I want to write down.  I want to be able to reflect back on this season.  And I must decide.  Do I want everyone who happens upon this blog to know my struggles?  But then again, there may even be the wild chance that it might help someone else.  Or even there might be someone who can help me.  Who knows. 

I’m a very private person really, although it may be hard to believe.  A lot of the things I write are simply stories and day-to-day happenings that really are just for entertainment purposes and possibly posterity.,  I keep myself tightly guarded for the most part, but sometimes I find myself wanting to share my emotions.  Today is one of those times. This leap leaves me wide open.  Open to criticism, open to judgement, open to pity.  Today I’m deciding to share something very personal and something that I’ve only shared with my closest loved ones.  But I’m sharing  it for a few reasons.

1)  Prayer:  It allows people to pray for me, which is all I’ve got. 

2)  Humility:  It’s very humbling to admit when I’m in the valley.  I don’t want to sin by being proud, and it is something I struggle with.  

3)  Support:  By sharing, I hope to hear stories that will comfot and rest my heart.

4)  Friends:  I know I have enemies, but I like to believe I have  friends too.  I know that people care about me and I am overwhelmed by the love of friends and even strangers who I only know through this computer screen.

My pregnancy was unplanned and the shock of my life.  It also has been a piece of cake so far.  At times, I’ve even felt guilty when I see and know of pregnant women who are struggling with sickness, puking their guts up,  hooked to IV’s, dehydrated because they can’t keep anything down.  I know that God has granted me good health during this time. 

I enjoy being pregnant.  After I passed through the initial shock and the acceptance stage, I have discovered  that being pregnant is an awesome experience.  When people ask me how I am feeling, I tell them I feel great, but what I really want to say, but don’t for fear of sounding hokey is, “I feel honored”.  And I do.  This is truly an honor to be chosen to carry a baby.  To know that I am working with God to create a miracle, if for only a short time.  To look at the night sky, at the vast expanse of stars, aware that the planet I live on is a tiny mass in a  small galaxy in a huge universe.  And I, an insignificant, minute speck, have been chosen to carry this one little being, this little combination of me and my dear husband, to nurture it, and sustain it.  Sappy, sappy, sappy, I know.  But it’s true.

I am beginning to get a little more excited each week.  My belly is starting to noticeably grow, and I love to lay on my back and press on my abdomen and feel that hard little ball of cells and organs, and imagine it slowly and miraculously developing into this being with fingers and toes and a little button nose whom I already absolutely adore.  I can’t wait to meet him.  Or her.

Yesterday, however, I received a call from the doctor’s office and it rattled me to the core.  At my last appointment, I had an optional blood test done called an AFPTetra.  It screens for certain abnormalities like Spina Bifida, Down’s Syndrome, and Trisomy 18, and tests to see if I’m a carrier of cystic fibrosis.  All the screens came back negative, except one.  Down’s Syndrome.  This does NOT mean our sweet baby has Down’s Syndrome.  It is only an indication that it is at an increased risk.  I’m sitting at the “advanced maternal age” of 36, and based on that,  it appears I have a 1:198 possibility it could have Down Syndrome.  Based on the test, however, I have a 1:75 chance.  This test has been known to worry and fret a lot of women, all for naught.  It’s only an indicator of risk, not a confirmation.  The test is notorious for false positives and more often than not, the baby is just fine. But even knowing all that, I experienced my first  tearful, worrisome night as a mother.   I cried, I fretted, I imagined, I planned, I prayed and prayed and prayed. 

Next Thursday I will visit a genetic specialist who will give me a consultation and an ultrasound.  The way I understand it, they will look for certain “markers” of Down Syndrome during the ultrasound.  It also can not confirm the baby has it, only an amniocentisis can do that.

It’s an extremely scary, uncertain time for us all.   My loved ones are praying and reassuring me that everything will be fine, and I desperately want to believe that.  My heart, my hope, and my faith is shaken right now.  But one thing I know:  God is good, all the time.  All good things come from Him.  I know that this precious baby is fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together, with all his days ordained.  I know that God will never give us more than we can bear.  I know that this baby may not have been planned by Jason and I, but it was planned by Him, and is loved immensely already,  no matter.   

We will hold tight to our faith and not allow the devil to cause fear and panic into our hearts. 

The scriptures I’ve been focusing on are: 

Proverbs 3:5—Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all thine ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. 

Isaiah 41:10—Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2 Timothy 1:7 For you have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

Psalm 121—I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.

 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

 ~Angel

 

Update on life

I know. I know. I know.  I’ve been bad about blogging.  It’s just that I’ve felt quiet lately.  I wonder if you can relate.  Sometimes you just don’t have much to say, until you don’t say much for too long, then you have way too much to say.  This originally short post  turned into a novel.  Sorry and thanks for bearing through. 

I dearly appreciate all of you who click over here to see what is going on in my boring little world and tell me what is going on in yours.  And the truth is I miss you. 

Here’s a recap of my life:

VACATION!!
J-Dub and I just returned from a relaxing few days in the Rocky Mountains.  The Texas Panhandle Drought of 2011 had just about beaten both of us down to a nub and we desperately needed a break. 

When we got married, we agreed that each summer we would take a vacation to a new place.  Because of money issues, we’ve tried to take a more expensive vacation every other year, and take a quick, less expensive vacation on the opposite years.  Recently, our summers have just been quick, less expensive get-aways and we almost let this summer slip past us altogether.  But we scrimped and searched, and dug under couch cushions for a few nickels and dimes and were able to have one of the most enjoyable vacations yet. 

We drove up to a place called Winter Park, Colorado.  It’s a big ski resort town in the winter, but we were looking for a cool (weather-wise) hide out and it delivered.  The drive was beautiful.  We avoided the Interstate and took the back roads.  If you’re not in a hurry, it makes the drive so much more pleasant.  We stopped for lunch and homemade pie up around Castle Rock, and I got goose bumps in the restaurant, the first of several during the weekend.  The higher we ascended in altitude, the higher our spirits seemed to lift.  The mountains were majestic, the air was fresh, the temps were comfortable, the views were breathtaking, the flowers and the colors were astonishing, the rushing streams and rivers were exhilarating.  

We ate delicious food, we hiked mountain trails, we dipped our hands in ice-cold streams, we communed with nature, and we even caught a free rock concert with Warrant and Skid Row, which  left me convinced that I don’t wish to watch another rock concert as long as I live.  J-Dub and I got more entertainment from the aged crowds reveling in their youth than we did the aged band members.  Some hoisted their small children on their shoulders and taught them how to fist pump to the beat.  But hey, to each his own.  Although it was a free concert, J-Dub and I scored V.I.P. tickets, which basically gave us two free drinks and special seating.  I owe it all to the Bob Ross  t-shirt I was wearing.  While everyone else was sporting leather and black, and skimpy t-shirts tied under their bosoms, I accidentally threw on my happy accidents that my buddy Erin gave me. 

 

When people see Bob, they know we come in peace, which in turn opens doors and happy things occur, like V.I.P. tickets at an already free concert 🙂

Our time away was much too short, but I am feeling so re-energized now.  I even turned on the water sprinkler this morning in a feeble attempt to add some color to my world here on this dry, dusty pasture.  Although J-Dub and I originally wanted to visit a new place each summer, we may just make Colorado an annual event.  What a beautiful place God spoke into existence. 

EGGS!!
While we were away on vacation, I left the chickens in charge.  They managed everything quite nicely.  I did receive a phone call from my sweet niece Ash, informing me that they were passing through so they decided to stop and check on things.  They also found three eggs. For awhile, the dear chick that had first laid her eggs, took a little hiatus after I covered up the feeder and she couldn’t nest in there any more to lay her eggs.  But then, some little niece got a bright idea to put a different bucket of feed in the henhouse, and so she began to lay again in the new bucket of feed.  This morning when I checked there were two more eggs, one in the feeder, and one in a nesting box.  Imagine my surprise to find an egg actually in a nesting box.  Then as I was moving my water sprinkler, I found 2 more eggs in a flower-pot outside!  Soon I hope to have eggs running out of my ears.  Well, not literally, but you understand I hope.  There’s no telling where I might stumble upon eggs.  It’s a good thing I learned to walk gingerly back when the snakes were causing me to pee down both legs.

PREGNANCY!!
For those who may have missed my previous post, I am really and truly, positively, absolutely, undeniably pregnant.  And doing just fine considering.  Each morning, I thank God for my health and ask Him for a healthy baby.  My biggest complaint would be exhaustion, but that is subsiding some and I may even be confusing a little bit of it for just sheer laziness.  Thank you all for the well wishes, the prayers, and the congratulations.   My sister has already bought me a package of newborn diapers.  I turned the package over and over, wondering if I should open them.  Because, as much as I know that everything is going to be just fine, there is still a deep seeded fear of the “what if’s”.  But I succumbed and I tore open the dashed perforation, and I pulled out a little diaper.  I sat amazed at the tiny size of it, and I imagined a itty bitty little baby butt fitting inside.  Whether it has boy parts or girl parts is yet to be determined.  And then I did what most moms would do.  I put that diaper to my nose, shut my eyes, and breathed in the sweet smell of a baby.  It was a sweet moment.  And a rare one I’m sure.  Soon enough, the smell of diapers will permeate this home in a most unpleasant way.  The diaper is on my bedside table still, but the powdery fresh baby smell has all but disappeared.  I know because I checked this morning.  

I’ve decided it’s all going to be okay.  I’m slowly growing into this whole motherhood thing.  In more ways than one.

I hope life is treating you kind.  Leave me a comment and tell me about it.  I’ve missed you!

Newness

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  Isaiah 43:19

I awoke before my  husband.  Unusual?  More unusual than a flying armadillo.   Rather than rolling over and falling back to sleep, I groaned out of bed and crept through the dark house.  I laced up my tennis shoes and decided to greet the day with a walk. 

I was more than a little astonished to discover the sun does not rise before 5:45.  In fact, everything was still slumbering.  The horses, the birds, the sun, even the chickens.  But I do know  One who never sleeps or slumbers, no matter the time of day or night, this one is vigilant and waiting to hear from me, so He and I spent some time together.  And he put on quite a show. 

The morning was dark, but the moon was full, round and bright.  The eastern sky slowly began to lighten to a light blue.  I walked my driveway path that runs in front of my house from one gate to the next and then I turned around, back and forth, back and forth.  The sticks that lay before me on the dark path frightened me at first, until I realized they were just sticks laying in the dark and not the creepy snakes of which I first imagined. 

The chickens still slept in their coop, the horses stood as dark statues out in the pasture.  The whole world was quiet.  And dark. 

There is a sense of peace to arise before everyone else, to observe the whole day awaken, to experience the firsts. 

As the sun inched its  light upward, the world began to stir, slowly but then more increasingly.

Two birds sat on barbed wire; silhouetted against the early dark sky that began as deep blue, then transformed to light blue, pink, orange, red and then back to light blue as the sun found its place.

The birds in the trees began their morning songs, a few peaceful tweets soon turned into a cacophony of chatter and cheeps.

The chickens finally decided to make their morning debut with clucks of Good Mornings escaping into the air.

I walked my driveway observing the new day, thanking God for all things new.  Thanking Him for the opportunity to witness Him in action, as He brings forth each new day, each new breath, each new life.

He makes all things new.

The most miraculous of all perhaps being new life.  The little fingers.  The little toes.  The sweet pink lips.

Jason and I are on a new journey.  A journey of new life.  Of little fingers, little toes, and sweet pink lips.  We are bringing a new life into this world.

Partnering with God in the creation and witness of a miracle.

By His grace and mercy, we will hold this new baby in our arms come January. 

Jason is thrilled.  I for one, have been wrought with an array of emotions, predominately disbelief, shock and fear.   But I know whom I have believed, and I trust in the One who makes all things new.  It is in his working.  It is his timing and his plan.  I also understand the love and the blessing that this new creation is going to rock my world with is unfathomable.

If I may, I ask one thing of you.  When and if you think of us, would you speak a prayer on our behalf.   It would mean the world to us and our new blessing.

Blessings to you,

Angel