Sunday, March 30, 2008

He leadeth me beside the still waters....

Be my everything, Be my everything, Be my everything, Be my everything...
God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting
God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing
Christ in me, Christ in me, Christ in me the hope of glory, You are everything

For I am the Lord, your god, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

...He leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2

The Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him. Psalm 32:10b

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

For with God, nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37

God has poured out His love into our hearts. Romans 5:5

Taste and see that the Lord IS GOOD....Psalm 34:8
When I am the neediest, He is the most sufficient.
When I am completely helpless, He is the most helpful.
When I feel totally dependent, He absolutely dependable.
When I am the weakest, He is the most able.
When I am the most alone, He is intimately present.
When I feel I am the least, He is the greatest.
When I feel the most useless, He is preparing me.
When I am in darkness, He is the only Light I need.
When I feel the least secure, He is my rock and my fortress.
When I am the most humble, He is the most gracious.
When I can't, HE CAN.

**These are just a few of the promises that I am clinging to. Thank you Jesus for being my everything...when all I have to offer is an empty and hurting soul. Be Olivianna's everything. Be Luke's everything. Be Adalin's everything. You are our hope of glory. You are everything.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

God is good. All the time.
This week has been a pretty good week for me. I am so experiencing the peace that surpasses all human understanding. I keep feeling like I should be hurting more...or angry...or feeling a different way. I am so heartbroken because of Olivianna's condition, but the peace that I am experiencing is allowing me to enjoy her while she is in my womb, and has given me the strength to make it through each day. I continue to pray for complete healing for my baby girls body. I often picture her delivered and a beautiful cry shouts forth from her lungs. She is crying and recieving oxygen and her lungs are strong and her spine is healed. This makes me smile. God is able. She will be healed....either alive in my arms or alive in the arms of Jesus.
Today, Cheri Wieland came over and was a huge encouragement to me. She talked about the fruit that she and others have seen in Luke and I during this time. The faith in Christ, the trust in His promises, the desire to walk in peace and joy amidst the storm. We can only stand because of Christ strength. He is upholding us with his righteous hand. That is so comforting.

My mom, Olivianna and I went today to get a pedicure. Olivianna moved around most of the time. She must have been able to tell that mommy was really enjoying herself. I got a french pedicure.....and Olivianna got pink with sparkles!!!!! It was very relaxing!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What a whirlwind.
Luke and spent the night in San Francisco on Sunday night (stayed at the Carl Hotel) because we had a full day of testing at UCSF on Monday. We arrived for an ultrasound at 9:00, which lasted 2 hours. Dr. Goldstein performed the ultrasound. At 11:30 we met with Dr. Lee up in an open office. This is where reality really set in. He was very blunt. Very serious. He told me that there is less than a 5% chance of survival. That her condition is so severe. That we should do nothing to try and help her after birth. He told us several options, one being to terminate life.
I made it very clear to him that abortion was not an option. NO WAY.
At 3 p.m we had a Fetal Echo exam. This lasted a little over an hour. The technician that performed it was extremely rough on me. I could almost not stand it, and finally told him that he was making me very nervous. He brought Theresa Tacy (the associate professor of clinical pediatrics) into the room. She was much more enjoyable. They finished the testing, and told us to call it a day.

There is one amazing thing about today. I met a friend. Her name is Rachel Perry. She was our amazing nurse for the day. I can't really explain it, but she truly was like a ray of hope and peace all throughout the day. Her gentle voice and compassion spoke volumes to Luke and I.
God knew that we needed her to be there for us today.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The begining of the story...

I have decided that I just need to start typing. Not wait for a time where I feel my words will flow eloquently, but just type!

I guess I should start from the beginning.
Wed. March 12th. Luke, Adi and I went into the doctors office at 8:30 for a monthly check up as well as to determine the gender of our child. Lynn Ensminger, the nurse practitioner, was seeing me this day because Dr. Altman was out due to knee surgery. She began the ultrasound and started with the measurements. The baby was at a good wight, and the bones/brain measured perfect, but then she said that something that every mom prays she doesn't ever have to hear..."I think you are having a girl, but I am going to send you to the radiologist to do further ultrasounds because the babies heart is to the far side of the body. She explained that the heart looks to be pushed over and something is in the heart area. Luke and I looked at each other with heavy hearts, not knowing what to think.
Lynn asked me to keep my bladder full, and head over to 600 Coffee Sutter Gould. Adi was getting fussy by this time so we decided that it would be best if Luke take her on a walk while I went in for another sonogram. For the next two hours I layed on the doctors bed and had ultrasounds done. Pam, the lab technician did the first hour of tests. She then called the doctor into the room. They continued taking pictures, trying to gather information. They were unsure about something (they kept whispering...) but never told me what it was. A third lab tech came into the room to take a look. Eventually they sent me into the hall so they could discuss, and when they came out, all Pam told me was that Dr. Altman's office would be giving me a call. Luke had taken Adi home by this point and so I walked home with many thoughts, unanswered questions and fears running through my head. When I got home, Luke and I wept and prayed and wept more. It was a very long afternoon as we waited for someone to call. At about 3 o'clock that afternoon, the receptionist called to let us know that Dr. Altman wanted to send me to a periantologist because there were "no specific findings." She was going to have to set up an appt with either Dr. Johnson or Dr. Hershey. That was all the info that she could give us at the time. Overnight, my desire to study up on pregnancy books turned to simply studying the scriptures...

Thur, March 13th. Today was a day full of waiting. We waited until 2:30p.m to find out from Gina at dr. Altmans that our appt. was set with Dr. Johnson the next morning at 7:30 a.m. That night I did some research on the computer and saw something that sounded like what the doctors had seen. The article said that it was the most devastating and difficult form of abnormalities, and that survival rate was fairly low. They called it Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). I tried to tell myself that this was not the case...but we would see in the morning. I didn't sleep very well that night, anxious about the findings of the next day.

We sat in the waiting room for over an hour. Waiting. We were finally called back and taken into a very cold room where a sonogram was performed. The lady was very nice, but I could tell that something was terribly wrong. Luke kept holding my hand and telling me that "no matter what, we will be okay." After about 1/2 hour, she called Dr. Johnson into the room. Dr. Johnson took her own pictures for about 20 minutes, not saying much, being very gentle with me.

When she was finished, she said "I am going to have you come into my office and we will talk about your precious little girl." I knew it was bad news. She got quiet. Her countenance changed. She was mourning for us.

Dr. Johnson handled the situation very well. She was so compassionate. She gently told us that our Olivianna Grace had CDH as well as a spinal abnormality. That the chances of survival were very very slim. She let us cry in her office for a while as she called UCSF in the other room. She told us that she wanted us to go there and get a deeper ultrasound, and see if we would be candidates for a surgery called tracheal occlusion.

By the time we got into the elevator from her office, UCSF had called. We were scheduled for Monday morning.