we have made it 31 weeks!
yesterday, i went in for an appointment with my OB and i was pleasantly surprised with an ultrasound. it has been a few weeks now since we have seen jonathan, so i was very happy to see my little miracle on the screen. he was sleeping, but his little heart was beating regularly and his diaphragm was moving as if he was breathing. my OB explained that he was just "practicing" breathing for when he is born. she did a whole body scan and said that the main concern that she saw was still his kidneys. they are really, really large. but the good news is that there seemed to be a little more amniotic fluid today! an answered prayer! jonathan is also still breech, but we're still praying he will turn in time for delivery. he looked so good, like a perfect little angel. we even got a 3D picture of him "praying."
(profile of his face shows eye and nose pointing to the left, with both hands "clasped" up near his mouth. isn't this so sweet?)
we are starting to look towards an induction date the first week of november. we want to wait as long as we can, but i understand that in some cases it is better for both the mother's and the baby's health when the baby comes a bit sooner than the due date. my doctor and i are agreeing in prayer that we would like it to be very obvious to us that the time has come, whenever that may be. greg and i want to feel at peace about it. when this season comes and goes, there is no room for guilt, no room for regret. i sincerely appreciate having an OB who understands this and believes the same.
since i posted the blog "journey of faith, part two" (and i mean literally, hit the "publish post" button) i have experienced a great peace about everything. i'm sure it has a lot to do with all of your faithful prayers on our behalf. but i have a feeling it's mostly because i have truly surrendered what happens in the next few weeks to The One in Control. "by faith" i have been leaning back on God's promises to us and we know that God is not a liar. wow, if you have not tried this with any trial you may be experiencing and are in need of peace, i highly recommend it!
meeting with the social worker
directly after my disappointing OB appointment that i refer to in "journey of faith, part two", i went to meet with the birth center's social worker. it was very difficult for me to be in the birth center, especially since i was so discouraged with the way jonathan's heart had sounded that morning. i could barely talk without crying. it was almost too much. however, i got most of our questions about d-day answered. we've pretty much got our birth plan ready to execute and we feel confident that most if not all of our expectations will be met. it definitely makes me feel comfortable in our choice to deliver at this hospital, rather than in pensacola. i'm sure sacred heart in pensacola would be more than wonderful to us, but it will be nice to be closer to home, family, and friends.
photographs and keepsakes
i have received many, many messages about the importance of having a photographer capture every moment of jonathan's birth and life. we have lined up a photographer to be there, and in case she can't we have not one but two backups, including a photographer from the organization now i lay me down to sleep. we have also confirmed with the hospital our desire to keep any and all momentos from jonathan's birth as well as their cooperation with getting all the keepsakes we possibly can during our time with him, such as footprints, etc. thank you for your concern with this, and for your ideas on how to make memories of this time.
one aspect of participating in the newspaper story that we did not really think through was the negative reaction. i really hate to bring this up, because the last thing i want to portray is that i'm more worried about the negative than the positive. i'm not. i'm actually trying to see the good in it! sure, we understood that not everyone would agree with our decision to carry jonathan. we just didn't imagine anyone would spew insults and hatred about it in the online comments following the story. (these comments have since been removed.) truly, i have nothing to say to these very few people because i know in my heart that we made the right decision. faith-based reasons aside, we are more than supported by our families and very experienced and skilled physicians about it. we have been assured that jonathan is not suffering and will not suffer in anyway by our decision. we have felt nothing but peace in our hearts about it. enough said.
sunday, the day the article came out, turned out to be a crazy day. so by the time kate went to bed that night i was exhausted, both mentally and physically. i spent some much needed quiet time praying and thinking about all that had come about because of the news article. i was incredibly thankful for all the support but i knew i needed a godly perspective about the negativity. i didn't want just a few negative comments out of the many, many supportive comments to steal my joy. so i gave it all to God and asked Him to teach me something about it.
during this quiet time, the concept of persecution popped into my mind. it was something i had never thought about before. i have always thought of religious persecution as being tortured or killed for following Christ, and that it was mostly experienced by people whose faith is much greater than mine. but i found it simply means any kind of oppression or harrassment because of faith or beliefs. i am not saying here that we are experiencing persecution on some grand level or anything, but only that i should have prepared myself a little better for the discomfort associated with the personal attacks levied against us and our faith. afterall, God warns us that it is coming:
"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" ~2 Timothy 3:12
however, there is a blessing that comes with it:
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of [Jesus]. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." ~Matthew 5:11-13
as well as these commands:
"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" ~Matthew 5:44
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." ~Romans 12:14
and finally, a reason to delight in it:
"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~2 Corinthians 12:10
isn't this wonderful? what have we to be afraid of? if anything, this just is another way God is showing us that we have made the right decision. if these personal attacks had not happened, i would not have learned this lesson. thank you Lord that You have taken something difficult and uncomfortable and given me more strength through it.
bless all of you who are reading this.