Faith Over Fear

Malachi’s sickness last week continued to progress into a pretty nasty one. We think it was a stomach bug with a high fever and other issues we won’t bother you with! Because of this, we cancelled his appointments for the beginning of the week and tried to cram them all into the second half of the week, working around his other established appointments. That meant seven appointments in three days!

Malachi is running at about 90% these days. The effects of sickness tend to stick around for a bit, and while he has not had symptoms since Tuesday afternoon, he is still very tired and worn out. He also developed a pretty intense rash from the high fever.

How about those beautiful eyelashes!

The chaos continued as the well pump at our rental house went out late Wednesday evening. We are renting from a friend and he worked tirelessly for days trying to get it back up and running. They offered to let us move in with them until it was fixed, but transporting Malachi and all of his gear was a daunting task- especially since we have been traveling here and there for the last month! So Jake filled up the soccer water coolers and we turned it into an adventure. Let me just say that I am very grateful that Malachi’s stomach bug had wrapped up by then!

We got our water back Saturday afternoon, and we have been thoroughly enjoying the luxury of daily showers and easily flushing toilets!

Jake is headed to Ohio as I type this journal. His dad will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow for his second round of chemo and we know how difficult hospital stays can be on the psyche! He is loaded down with board games and playing cards and is looking forward to spending some quality time with him. We really appreciate the prayers you have been sending up for him during this time.

Alright, now on to some pretty big news…

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Jake and I are expecting! I am 12 weeks along and have been pretty sick since April. This is new, as I didn’t have much morning sickness with Malachi (leading Jake to believe it must be a girl).

These last few weeks have been full of medical appointments, bloodwork, and ultrasounds. If you are new to the blog, let me cover a little background information before we dive into details…

My pregnancy with Malachi was a wonderfully healthy one. My obstetrician boasted every appointment that I was the healthiest patient in his practice, something I took a lot of pride in! I followed all the “rules”, drank an insane amount of water each day and did everything I could to be the best mom to be. At 24 weeks along, I started to feel “off” and had Jake take me to the emergency room. We discovered that my placenta had abrupted. I was raced my ambulance to a hospital with a Level 4 NICU as we were told the baby was coming that night.

Shortly after arriving at the new hospital Malachi’s heart stopped. They raced me into the operating room and they got him out as quickly as possible via c-section. As they got him out, they discovered that I had a massive blood clot in the spot of the abruption and I began to bleed out. One team worked on Malachi, doing CPR for 15 minutes before he came to life. Another team worked on me, starting blood transfusions to replace the blood I was quickly losing.

The most frustrating part is that no one knows why I abrupted. Typically it takes major trauma, like getting in a big car wreck to have a placental abruption, and nothing at all had happened!

Because of this, we were told future pregnancies would immediately be high risk and I would need to be monitored extremely closely. Jake and I decided back in 2015 to have another child and sadly I miscarried around 7 weeks.

This go around I knew I was pregnant way before a positive pregnancy test. My body reacts very intensely to hormones and all the signs were there within a few days of conception. I kept it quiet, almost afraid if I talked about it with Jake I would jinx it (ridiculous, I know haha).

Of course when we got the positive test we were thrilled and terrified at the same time! We have been very hesitant to talk about it with others until now, as the last pregnancy and miscarriage was so difficult for us to process.

Okay, so time for the details! I am being followed closely by a few teams of doctors. We have a local team (my regular OBGYN) who is monitoring us. We also have a team of high risk doctors in Chattanooga watching us closely. If anything goes wrong, this will be the team that delivers the baby. Both teams are doing bloodwork and ultrasounds so we have had SEVERAL appointments in the last 8 weeks. We have already had three ultrasounds and will have a fourth on Tuesday followed by more testing.

So far the baby looks great and is measuring perfectly for the gestational age. It is a very active little guy/gal who is dancing like a wild one in every ultrasound. The heart rate is also strong!

Unfortunately the next few months will be pretty complicated as we watch and wait. When Malachi was born, they worked very swiftly to get him out and did a classical cut (up and down instead of side to side). Because of this I will not be permitted to go into labor. Ideally I will be able to carry to 36 weeks, but am told to plan on anywhere between 34-36 weeks. The high risk team will be the ones that determine this. So due date is December 20th but we will most likely have the baby mid November.

So we are looking at another NICU stay, but hopefully it will be brief and issue free! And if all goes well we will be delivering at our local hospital, which will make things much easier for taking care of Malachi and spending time with baby #2 in the NICU.

Okay, now for some more details.

Because of the c-section I will not be permitted to take care (lift, carry, feed) Malachi for 6 weeks after the baby comes. This is going to be very tricky for our family and require Jake to take time off of work. Fortunately it looks like the delivery may fall on his Thanksgiving and Christmas break, helping a bit! We are also extra motivated now to try to get Malachi into school so we can have some help during that time.

Technically I am not supposed to lift Malachi beyond 20 weeks, but both teams of doctors recognize that this is not feasible so we will just be doing our best to be extra careful!

I have started daily injections of a blood thinner just in case I have any other abruption issues. We would have known a lot sooner had the blood from the abruption made its way out rather than clotting, so we are hoping the blood thinner will help prevent the symptoms of any issues from being masked again.

The last few weeks have been much busier than I have been able to let on with you all. Our appointments each week have nearly doubled as we now have two medically complicated people in the family. It has also been a challenge handling pregnancy symptoms while still trying to be a good mommy to Malachi. It is hard to know whose needs should come first…Malachi’s or the new baby? I have already experienced some major guilt in trying to answer this one.

I have been relying heavily on Elmo to help me during my tired moments. Malachi doesn’t seem to mind…

When we found out we were expecting I immediately started to worry. Each day I fought that worry from overtaking me, and many days I lost the battle. The “what-ifs” have been almost suffocating and I have been reliving Malachi’s birth. Based on his timeline, right now I was at the halfway mark!

As I was processing this worry one day I came across the phrase “Faith Over Fear”. The words played over and over again in my mind and I quickly decided that this would be the motto of our pregnancy. We will choose faith over fear.

Each time that worry creeps back up I have to repeat these words and it has served as a reminder to give that worry to God. I have to trust that God has every second of this pregnancy worked out, and He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.

My prayers for this baby have been pretty intense ones. In addition to praying for a healthy pregnancy, my prayers have been that God gives this child a special spirit of compassion. I have also been praying that the spirit of God would be upon him/her, even in the womb. I know this sounds odd, but as I spent time in prayer I kept remembering a scripture about John the Baptist in his mother’s womb…

Luke 1:11-17  11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

As I read verses 14-17 I find myself praying that my child will be able to have the same words spoken over him/her. To “be great in the sight of the Lord”. To “be filled with the Holy Spirit before he is born”. To “bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God”. What powerful decrees those are!

I pray each day that God uses this child to bring Him glory. I pray that God has a unique and wonderful job description for this baby, the same way He has given Malachi such an important job of bringing others closer to God through his story.

There is nothing greater than knowing that God is using your children in a great and mighty way. May that thought always remain at the forefront of my mind as a parent.

So here we go….Faith Over Fear!

Again we ask for your prayers that this pregnancy remains uncomplicated and healthy. Pray that I am able to find the strength the be a mom the mom that Malachi needs all while being a healthy mom to baby #2. And pray for Jake as he has been on the receiving end of some major hormones this week haha!

Speaking of, this week Jake and I will be celebrating 9 years of marriage! We dated for five long years before getting married, so it feels like a lifetime!

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We won’t get the chance to celebrate on the actual day due to him being in Ohio, but I don’t think we have successfully done that since Malachi was born! Our marriage is a special one and I am so thankful that God prepared us for one another. We make a solid team in a world of chaos.

God bless you all this week,

Jake, Leah, and Malachi

2 thoughts on “Faith Over Fear

  1. Congratulations on the new baby! I pray God hears and answers your prayers and that those prayers are based on His will. Once again, congrats!

    Like

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