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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Blessing

I am overwhelmed at the blessings I have received this Christmas season. This year has been one heck of a ride. This was a time for a true test of faith, endurance, perseverance, and testimony. It is so hard to formulate into words all of the emotions I have experienced through this year. In reading over my previous blog posts starting in January, I think I have done a decent job at piecing together this year of enormous spiritual growth through trial. In my last post, I described the condition that I was diagnosed with during this pregnancy, and how I got to that point. Since then, I have been through much more. I will try to start where I left off.

After being diagnosed with Vasa Previa, I endeavored to find out any and all information that I could about this condition. I read countless medical articles, various websites, blogs, news articles, etc. I needed to know everything I possibly could about my condition, so I could make the very best decisions regarding my doctors, specialists, and hospital I'd now have to choose to recieve the very best chance at getting this baby here safely.

After lots of research, I chose to transfer my care to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. It's one of the highest ranking hospitals in the nation, and has an excellent NICU and beautiful new accommodations for new mommies. I also noted it had a couple of Maternal Fetal  Medicine doctors that made the national list, and after praying a lot about it, we decided to go up there and see if we could take a tour. While there, I was able to talk to the best of the best. One mention of Vasa Previa, and she was called down to see me. I had my records transferred over there, and she took on my case. The very next week I was able to get in and see her, and after a thorough ultrasound and exam, she confirmed that it was Vasa Previa, but that she was not certain that the best course of action would be to admit me to the hospital for 5 weeks. She said it would depend on my body, and whether or not there were any signs of preterm labor or stress on the baby. Only time would tell. But she said to plan on being admitted at 30 to 32 weeks. I prepared myself to miss Christmas, to miss the entire month of December. This in many ways was difficult. I'd have to find people to care for my son while my husband worked. I would miss everything. I would miss all the traditions, the whole season. My son's face on Christmas morning. And I'd have to stop working, which meant money would be extremely tight. It might sound like a nice break to some, being able to go to the hospital and have no responsibilities: watch movies, read books, sleep, etc all day... but you know what? I want my responsibilities. As nice as a break is once in awhile, I would never ever want to stop being my son's mommy, my husband's wife, the homemaker, the Massage Therapist. I love my jobs. And I was about to have all of that taken away. Of course I knew it was for the best cause; to get this baby here safely. And I was willing to do it, no matter how difficult it would be.

So every week, I have to go in and "pass my tests," meaning the non stress test for the baby and the ultrasound to make sure there are no indications that my body is getting ready for labor. The deal is, that if I keep passing these (now twice weekly) tests, I get to be home. December came, and now at 33 weeks, I am still here at home. Every time I've had to go in, it has been an emotional roller coaster not knowing if I'd come home that day or end up being admitted. It has truly helped me to live in the moment as much as I can, and cherish every second I have with my son and husband. It's been a true test of faith, that the Lord would guide and direct both me and the doctor to be inspired to know when and if I need to be admitted. In many ways, it's been a game of chance, which has been the most stressful part. My doctor said that you never know what could happen. Worst case scenario, my water could break without warning and I wouldn't get to the hospital in time to save the baby. But the likelihood of that happening, with as good as I look is very rare. And after many blessings, I know the Lord will tell me if and when I need to be in the hospital. But like I said, this has been a true test of faith.

The prospect of being home for Christmas is absolutely unbelievable. I never even considered that as a possibility. I am so beyond grateful that I have made it this far, and been able to experience things I never thought would be possible this season, like seeing the Mormon Tab. Christmas concert, (even though I had to go in a wheel chair.) It's been a humbling experience to rely on so many for help. I am so blessed, it just amazes me. In looking back on this year, sometimes I have sat there and really wondered if it was even possible for me to make it through, if this wasn't too much to bear. I know, that there is no way I could have ever made it through without my Savior Jesus Christ believing in ME. He never left me, not once. Even in my darkest moments, He was the one constant flicker of light. He never asked me to do it alone.

Although I am not in the hospital, I have to take it very easy. This has been the hardest for me. I am such a do and go type of person. I am not a homebody. And I don't like a dirty house. I hate looking at the dishes, the bathrooms, the floors, etc. and not cleaning them. But I am trying to do my best. I still have to have a C section delivery. There is no other way around that, and it must be done early enough to avoid me going into labor, but late enough that this baby won't be severely premature. Between 35-36 weeks is recommended  so we scheduled it for January 4th, 35 weeks and 2 days. I didn't have a C section with Carson, and in many ways I am quite terrified of the whole procedure. I am not out of the woods just yet. But I do know, without a doubt, that I won't have to do this alone. I know that the Lord will take care of me and my baby Ethan, and I know I can put my faith and trust in him. I also know, that no matter what I go through, He will make it possible for me to get through it, and learn and become stronger in faith and testimony if I only trust him.

So here's to a good possibility of being home for Christmas, and a wonderfully beautiful new baby boy to kiss and snuggle in the new year:)