Angels Among Us: Our Christmas Prayers Answered!

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We were a bundle of nerves going to our appointment today to check on “Wilbur‘s” progress.  You name the scenario, I had envisioned it.  I had thought of the best case scenarios and the worst case scenarios and the in-between scenarios.  Every time I had a negative thought, I told myself, “NO!” and replaced it with a positive one…but I’ll tell ya, I had to do that a lot.  I even yelled “NO!” at myself so loudly in my dreams that I woke myself and John up!

Today, driving to the appointment the song “Angels Among Us” came on the radio and I made John stop our conversation so I could listen.  It’s a little cheesy, but I’ve always loved it because it was a song we sang in our sorority and after losing Callie, it had a different meaning for me.  The lyrics talk about how angels walk amongst us, in you and in me, and I connected it to my feelings of having ‘Earth angels’ who help you in your times of need.

Suddenly, in the middle of the song, a large shuttle bus swerved into our lane to avoid another car.  John slammed on his brakes and I shouted, “Lord, please protect us!!!”  I could see us heading straight for the back-corner of that bus- right into my side of the car.

I’m not sure how, but we stopped a few feet shy of that bus and luckily no one rear-ended us.  As my heart slowed down to a normal beat, I heard the  song continuing like there had never been an interruption, “Ohhh, I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above, they come to you and me, in our darkest hours…”

Later at the doctor’s office, we were taken back for ultrasounds and met an upbeat technician with beautiful dark skin and a gorgeous Nigerian accent.  Entering the room, we could hear Christian worship songs playing softly in the background (there’s never music!) from the tech’s Pandora Station.  She was bubbly and talked to us about her kids humorously but with so much love behind every word.  With every breath she told us how she asked God for patience with this or prayed to him to help her with that and it became clear that she was a deeply faithful woman.

I was listening, but also kind of tuning her out as I hyper-analyzed every measurement she made on the baby.  Is she growing?  What does that number mean?  Is her foot turned funny?  Questions zipped through my mind at a rapid speed.  At some point, she asked us how old our first was.  We told her about Callie and then told her Charlotte was 20 months old and that her favorite word is “No”.  She laughed and said, “After ‘no’ comes ‘why’.”

And then she told us a story that left me with chills.  She said once she was listening to her pastor’s sermon.  It was a story of a young boy who was racing to greet his father who was returning home from work after a long day.  The boy, joyfully distracted, ran right over top of some railroad tracks in the path of an oncoming train.  The father screamed out to his son and told him to GET DOWN!  The boy listened right away and his life was spared because the train rolled right over top of him, leaving him unharmed.

The tech looked us in the eyes as she told us, “You see, if he had stop to ask, “Why?”, he would have been killed instantly by the train.  It is the same way with God.  You have to trust Him and not stop and ask, “Why?”.”

My eyes filled up with tears as she finished the story, lovingly telling us that she reminds her son of that story every time he bugs her with a “Why?” question…”because I said so!”  she laughed.  But my heart was still back on the parable of the boy, his father, and the train.  I sat there thinking, here is another Earth Angel, right in front of us– just like my Maggiano Angel from that Valentine’s Day so long ago.  It was no accident that she was our technician today, when out of all of our bajillions of visits we’ve never seen her.  We were meant to cross paths and meant to hear that message.

She left me with a feeling of peace that was soon followed up with joy- because, GREAT NEWS!  ‘Wilbur’ grew!  She made great progress and even caught up a few days!  She’s still small, but the fact that she didn’t fall any further behind and actually made further progress than expected was OUTSTANDING news.

The doctor told me to keep doing whatever it is that we are doing and that he will check up on us again in two more weeks.  That means more rest, eating enough protein to qualify me for an NFL linebacker, and keep praying and staying positive.

We have no doubt that the love, support, and prayers from all of you played a part in today’s outcome.

We also know that there were angels among us today.

Especially one dressed in yellow with sunshine glistening off of her wings.

Merry Christmas everyone!  We feel so blessed to have our Christmas prayers answered this day.

xoxo

PPL<3

“I was walking home from school, on a cold winter day
Took a shortcut through the woods, and I lost my way
It was getting late, and I was scared and alone
But then a kind old man, took my hand, and led me home
Mama couldn’t see him, oh but he was standing there
And I knew in my heart, he was the answer to my prayers

Oh I believe there are, angels among us
Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love

When life held troubled times, and had me down on my knees
There’s always been someone, to come along, and comfort me
A kind word from a stranger, to lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend, just to say, I understand
But ain’t it kind of funny, at the dark end of the road
That someone lights the way, with just a single ray of hope

Oh I believe there are, angels among us
Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love

They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places
To grace us with their mercy, in our time of need

Oh I believe there are, angels among us
Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love
To guide us with a light of love”

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Wilbur

25weeks-2John has been re-reading Charlotte’s Web and has taken to reading it aloud to Baby #3 lately.  We have obviously always loved the book and decorated Charlotte’s nursery with a Charlotte’s Web theme when she was born.  Charlotte, the spider, is a loyal friend- brave, intelligent, and selfless.  It wasn’t until John started reading the book again to our littlest rainbow that I realized how special Wilbur is too.

Wilbur the pig is the runt of the litter.  The farmer’s daughter, Fern, saves him from being killed because he is “small and weak” and “will never amount to anything”.  With some mothering love, Fern nurses him into being a strong, healthy pig who then has to worry about becoming the Christmas ham for his new family.  You can’t help but fall in love with Wilbur.  He is innocent, sweet, polite, and cheerful.  He loves unconditionally.  The author mentions numerous times how Fern, and his new friend, Charlotte, look upon him with utmost affection.

You probably know how the story goes… Charlotte begins writing words in her web as a way to show Wilbur’s humans that he is an extraordinary pig, one worth saving.  When John read the following quote the other night, I couldn’t help but make connections to our own lives right now:

“Have you heard about the words that appeared in the spider’s web?” asked Mrs. Arable nervously.

“Yes,” replied the doctor.[..]

“Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider’s web?”

“Oh, no,” said Dr. Dorian.  “I don’t understand it.  But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place.  When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle.  But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.

“What’s miraculous about a spider’s web?” said Mrs. Arable. “I don’t see why you say a web is a miracle- it’s just a web.”

“Ever try to spin one?” asked Dr. Dorian.

Mrs. Arable shifted uneasily in her chair.  “No,” she replied.  “But I can crochet a doily and I can knit a sock.”

“Sure,” said the doctor.  “But somebody taught you, didn’t they?”

“My mother taught me.”

“Well, who taught a spider?  A young spider knows how to spin a web without any instructions from anybody.  Don’t you regard that as a miracle?”

“I suppose so,” said Mrs. Arable.  “I never looked at it that way before.  Still, I don’t understand how those words got into the web.  I don’t understand it, and I don’t like what I can’t understand.”

“None of us do,” said Dr. Dorian, sighing.  “I’m a doctor.  Doctors are supposed to understand everything.  But I don’t understand everything, and I don’t intend to let it worry me.

Sometimes you don’t realize how miraculous the smallest, ordinary things are around you until something big happens.  I’ve been praying for a miracle -that we will hear at our next appointment that everything is just fine- but I’ve missed the miracle right in front of me.  Baby #3, our runt, our Wilbur.  She is a miracle already.  So is Charlotte.  So is everything else that is gloriously ordinary in our lives.  We don’t really like hearing worrisome news at doctor’s appointments and we like it even less that we can’t understand it.  But I’m going to do my best to stop trying to understand it, and I’m trying to not let it worry me.

Today at church, our pastor talked about Mary and how she was struck with fear when the angel told her that she would become Jesus’ mother in Luke 1: 26-38.  Despite this fear, the implications her pregnancy would have, and the multitude of questions she must have had running through her mind, she gave herself over to God completely and allowed herself to be his servant.  What a gift she gave to God and what a gift He gave to her and to the world!  She did not understand.  She didn’t know what to expect.  But she trusted God and found peace in that.  And look at where that trust led.

After watching the lighting of the candles on the advent wreath- faith, hope, love, and joy- and listening to these words, I felt strengthened and peaceful.  Like Dr. Dorian mentioned in Charlotte’s Web, I don’t know everything but it gives me great peace that I don’t have to.  It’s in God’s hands.

Thank you so much for praying for our “Wilbur” 😉  We have been so comforted by your messages of support.  We are so lucky and so blessed.  I hope you all have a wonderfully, amazing Christmas.  We’ll keep you posted on how things are going after our next appointment!

Leaving you with our favorite Christmas song right now…

Prayer Request: An Update on Baby #3

It’s been a little while since I’ve written, but so much has transpired…

It’s a girl!  Baby #3, our third girl, has worked her way into my heart like I had faith that she would.

But she is a little girl.

Our most recent visit to the maternal fetal specialist left us in tears.  Our second little rainbow isn’t growing like she should.  She’s lagging behind and increasing our doctor’s worry about her well-being.  He doesn’t know what is going on.  All of our tests have been normal so far.  She looks perfect in her ultrasounds.  The fetal echocardiogram went well.

She’s just unexplainably not growing at the pace we need her to grow.

I asked if she’s just petite.  He said, “No.”  No waiver, no doubt in his voice.  Oh, that I wish there was!  Could be a genetic disorder.  Could be an issue with the placenta or umbilical cord.  Could be inexplicable.

So now we wait.  We go every two weeks to check her growth.  I have to limit my activity.  But mostly, we wait.

The doctor says she will be born early and small…we just don’t know how early and how small.

I can’t even tell you how terrifying it is to contemplate all of the different scenarios that have been laid before us right now.  It would be terrifying for anyone, but it is utterly gut-wrenching after losing Callie.  After holding her hand in the CICU.  After telling her goodbye.

I feel so guilty for my detached feelings at the beginning of this pregnancy.  Is this karma?  I don’t think God is that cruel.  But, I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed that things aren’t going smoothly right now.  I felt like we had earned the right somehow to not have any more bad things happen to us.  Haven’t we had enough?

The absolute only thing we can do right now is try to be positive.  Fear and negativity will not get us anywhere.  We are choosing to believe that this little girl is healthy and that she will continue to grow.  We are choosing to believe that she will get to the third trimester (we are 24 weeks now)…and beyond!  We WILL hold this baby.  We WILL take her home from the hospital.  She WILL be fine.

Please pray these things with us.

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December’s K4C-  Please join us in doing an act of kindness in Callie’s memory this month!

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