Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!  

We were blessed to be able to celebrate with fellow missionaries that we love.  Everybody pitched in and we had turkey, stuffing, pecan pie...the works really.  And of course, we have so very much to be thankful for this year.  You can check out this post about Gracen's birth or this post of some of the fun ministry things we get to be a part of to see some of the awesome things we are so thankful for this year.

One of the things that is hard to find down here is sweet potatoes like the ones that grow in my grandmother's garden.  However, it might be that one of those sweet potatoes from my grandmother's garden ended up down here after one of our trips and it might have sprouted and then ended up in my garden.  Wednesday we dug up the area to see if we actually had any sweet potatoes under the ground...

Thought I would add this one, because, well, this is what is going on at our house and it's great!  Just have to share the cuteness!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gracen's Birth

All photos taken by Anna Perez and are owned by Purposeful Wandering.  Use of photos is theft.

Two weeks ago today we passed through the waters on dry land.  As we watched the wild, angry sea swirl on each side, I wondered if it was there to scoop me up and whisk me away or if we would make the journey to the other side.  What we felt was the hand of God leading and the many prayers of friends and family.  Not only prayers, but many were working very hard to get much needed blood donated to replenish the liter and a half I had lost and in case another surgery was needed to remove my uterus, which no doubt would include even more blood loss.  There were times when I said out loud, "I'm scared".  Scared I was leaving behind my children and husband and newborn baby I had barely been able to hold.  Sam was a rock.  He reminded me my vitals were stable, my hands were warm, I was still alert and everybody was doing everything they could.  

Our beautiful boy made a spectacular entrance into the world after a very quick labor.  It was a little over two hours from the first contraction to when I held him in my arms.  

Did I mention it was intense.

It was not what I was expecting, but it was wonderful and overwhelming and we gave thanks for this fresh new life we were privileged to have in our home.  

Really intense.

After a bit Sam and I settled in to cuddle and admire him.  I felt great, he had done great from the beginning, all was well.

Then I noticed I was bleeding...a little too much.  We tried emptying my bladder, herbs, all the uterotonic drugs our midwives carry (oxytocin, misoprostol, ergometrine), we began an IV with oxytocin and reexamined the placenta for completeness.  Despite my uterus maintaining tone, I continued to bleed off and on and we decided to transport.  On the ride to the hospital I felt prompted to pray aloud and thank God for the midwives, our baby, this trial, for his guiding hand.  After six completely natural births, I received my first epidural!  I know, I have things a little backwards...I always have...never have been able to do things like everybody else.  I prayed aloud again in the O.R. as the doctors began trying to save my uterus and my life.  

That day was filled with times when my mind was clearer and I felt more stable.  In those moments, Sam and I put our heads together and stared at our new son and declared our love for one another as I tried to nourish the new life we had been given and enjoy my husbands embrace.  We all lay there together feeling God's arm around us and hands directing us.  We listened to the words coming from Sam's Ipad and we sang along.

"You broke my chains of sin and shame 
And you covered me with grace
And you mend my life with Your holy fire
You cover me with grace" - All Sons & Daughters

God gave wisdom to our midwives, to our doctors.  He sent friends to donate blood and friends to pray.  He also reached down and comforted us and, I believe, touched my body.  We are thankful for our chance to walk through the raging sea on dry land.  We are thankful to be able to look back two weeks later with both my life and my uterus.  We believe God did not have to show grace that day and we know we did not deserve the grace and kindness, but we are thankful for it.  

That day showed me many things, not all can be said thing I can share here is how touched we have been by the outpouring of love and prayers for us.  Thank you! 

"And yes Lord
We are grateful
For Your grace
And for Your love

Yes Lord
We are grateful
For Your grace
And for Your love"  -
All Sons & Daughters

And we gave thanks.