Update on the last 12 hours

Hello all! This is Chelsea, Amanda’s sister, updating everyone on the happenings of the last 12 hours.

I wonder sometimes if God finds it humorous when we try to make our own plans, decide our own fates, and tell God when or how things will happen. Well last night we all got a glimpse of what happens when God takes over our “plans.”

Amanda went into labor last night and headed to the hospital with all of the kids in tow. In a panic, my parents gathered their brains and headed straight up to take the kids. I think everyone was nervous except the kids who were so excited that today was the day they got a new brother or sister, they couldn’t care less that it was 3 days earlier than what we all “planned”. I got to the hospital around 7pm, after they had been there maybe an hour. When I first saw Amanda you could visually see the labor pains she was in and it seemed to be happening so fast. We all kept our composure but there were so many questions floating around the waiting room that sometimes we let the kids be our joy as they couldn’t contain themselves with excitement. At about 8:30pm she went into surgery and Josh came out to the waiting room as the doctors decided to put Amanda under anesthesia even for the c-section. We all were getting quite anxious at around 9:50pm when there was no word on the baby yet. After Josh did some exploring we found out that the baby went straight to the NICU. They casually just mentioned to him that SHE was doing great so far. Josh quietly said, “she?” and they followed up with, “you didn’t know it was a girl?” 

It was established that Clayton got to tell everyone so Clayton runs down the hall screaming “it’s a girl, it’s a girl”, everyone in the waiting room was shocked, except for Danner, who has said all along it was going to be a girl. Josh went into the NICU to see her for the first time and the nurses printed off pictures for us to see. Josh identified her as Bowers immediately by her stubbornness as she was already trying to pull the tubes away from her. After the grandparents took their turn seeing her Clayton just stared at the nurses desk at the NICU. I don’t know if it was because it was late or Clayton’s face looked so pathetic trying to get a glimpse of his sister that they allowed all 4 siblings in there to see her for the first time. After the aunts took their turn we learned that Amanda was out of surgery and was now recovering in her room. I’ll let Amanda go into more detail about the surgery but as far as we know it went awesome. They got what they needed and there were no surprises. It would be a hard road to recovery but we all know Amanda, and that will be a walk in the park.  She is one of the few people I know that sets up challenges for herself that seem impossible to accomplish, just so she can see how far she can stretch herself. For Amanda, this is just one more challenge for her to win, and she will!

So our beautiful miracle girl has arrived, fighting her way into this world at 4lbs 13oz and 18 inches long. She is tiny but absolutely beautiful, there is no other word to describe her. Amanda is recovering, anxious to see her daughter, and fighting back the best way she knows how, through prayer.

As her sister, I can’t thank everyone enough for their prayers, happy thoughts, and love that surrounds this family. They are truly a family after God’s own heart and a blessing in the lives of everyone they touch!

 

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Prayer

So here is a list of things we are praying for:

1. That the baby would be perfectly healthy and need very minimal time in NICU if any at all and would be healthy and strong enough to be released from the hospital at the same time as myself.

2. This surgery would be shockingly smooth and easy with no complications.

3. That nursing would be as simple as it has been with my other babies.  That my milk production would be maintained and we could find the right combination of safe hormones.

4. That my oncologist would be able to do the surgery and her baby would wait to arrive (she is due Aug 4th).

5. That the rest of the kiddos would be relaxed and flexible with all of the transitioning between family and friends’ houses.

6. That God’s Glory would be evident in all this.

Child-like faith

The nurse called today with the MRI results from Monday. Her report was pretty much the same as last time…cervix is enlarged, but the kanser is still contained within the cervix. So that’s good, I guess. We will proceed with the delivery/surgery on the 26th.

My son asks me almost every day if the kanser is gone yet. I have held him off by saying God was healing me and we would see how far the healing was after this MRI. So of course the first question he asks me after the MRI was his usual… Is it gone yet? Today, I told him it was still there, but the surgery would take care of it. He just said maybe God was waiting and they wouldn’t find any kanser during the surgery. I agreed. And it was that simple. Child-like faith…if it were only that simple.

My daughter, on the other hand, comes to me every day with the baby count down. She tells me how many more days until the baby is born with such great enthusiasm. If only I shared the same spunk and simple joy for that day. I pretend. Yes, I am totally excited to meet our new little one…that’s the best part. It’s just that so many other complicated things come with that day, it’s hard not to dread each day closer.

Child-like faith…Child-like joy, how so often us adults ruin it. We add worry, fear, doubt, past experiences, sorrow, self-righteousness, independence, and so many other ugly things to our spiritual lives, they just don’t look very joyful or trusting. No wonder Christ-followers don’t look that much different from world-followers. Its ugly and sad. However, within the storms of life, we are reminded of our Guide and Guardian. The One who leads us to quiet waters and covers us with His wings. In our hearts we know He is there, calling us out of our selfish pits and into His peace. I know Him…His hand is not shortened to save. I know He loves me and cares for me…even if my faith is just that of an adult.

Dearest Father, forgive me for my shaky faith. Thank You for children who remind us of how simple a life following You really is. I pray that my life would be a reflection of joy and faith because of You. Thank You for healing me and restoring my life to You daily. I love You.

Today (well, yesterday, but my monday hasn’t ended yet)

Sorry, nothing really exciting about getting an MRI.  I laid in the machine and tried to take a nap, but 33 weeks pregnant laying on your back is no comfortable position.  So I pretended that the loud annoying noises were God’s laser beams zapping away kanser cells…and that made it more interesting.

I will admit walking through the halls of the hospital knowing I would be back next Friday with a much more anxious heart, was a little dreary feeling.  And the smell of hospital soap – is there any other smell like that out there?  It reminds me of birth, babies, pain…like trying to scrub away memories, yet the more you try, the more you are reminded of the emotions too.

My doctor should have the results tomorrow (or really today if you count the fact that it’s after midnight) of the MRI, so my prayer this morning (Monday) was totally all about healing now.  That would be good, perfect healing, then I could go back to my plan A…manda.  Yet, I am reminded of something our pastor said in Church Sunday…something to the effect of success not being about results, but faithfulness to God.  And I get convicted and have to change my grichy, stinky attitude and remember who I am living to please…certainly not myself.  My life is all about my faithfulness to My Creator, My Rescuer, My Healer…in everything I say and do I must Glorify Him.

Dear Father,
I cry out to you, the only One who truly knows my goods and oh so bads.  You are all I need, You are all I aim to please.  Let my life bring Glory to you over and over again.  May my heart be grateful and humble enough to live a life worthy of serving You.  Thank You for the countless number of blessings You have given us.  I love You.
A

Going Forward…

Have you ever wanted to be like a stubborn 2 yr old and just stand your ground and say, ‘no’?  And not like any toddler, I mean like a really strong-willed one that just isn’t gonna budge on his own.  That’s exactly what my attitude is reminding me of right now…just plain, ‘no’ I don’t want to do this…I don’t want this surgery…I don’t want this baby coming early…I have other plans…NO, NO, NO!

Unfortunately, I am an adult, and although I am stubborn and controlling and independent and selfish, etc, etc, etc… I guess there is a point when reality is responsibility and it just wins and life is cruel whether you are 2 or 30 or 75.  And I know God loves me, even in my stubborn questioning and He will take care of me and be with me through it.  And I know I should consider this trial pure joy and it will bring about refining character that I need.  So….I guess this is where the adult in me must choose to treasure what I have been given, to not fear the unknown and to joyfully and purposefully engulf myself in each day ahead.  Instead of being the 2 yr old kicking and screaming my way through life’s obstacles, which is so easy to do.

 Today, was the oncologist appt.  It was good to see her, if only I didn’t have the reasons that I do to visit her.  We went over a few questions and details of the surgery.  Way too much information if you ask me.  When I left there I had no date of delivery/surgery, but tonight I noticed they emailed me a tentative pre-op schedule.  So unless the MRI on Monday changes anything, our D-Day is July 26.  AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!  Just kidding…kind of.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You love me beyond who I am and what kind of attitude I have. I know Your love is bigger than the mountains that I face and it is constant in the trials and the change.  Help me to see You in everything, good and bad.  I pray that I would joyfully embrace each day as a precious gift and the people You place within those days as Heavenly blessings.  I don’t want to miss the good because I fear the bad.  You are all, You are in all, and You conquer all.  Thank You for the work You do in me.  I love you.  Me.

Update

To all my great prayer warriors out there….here is just a short update.  (Sorry, it took me so long, a week with no Internet)

First,  I don’t really know anything new.

Second, I have an oncologist appt this Thursday to discuss delivery and surgery (which I frankly don’t want to discuss at all, but I don’t see many other options)

Third, I will go for another MRI next Monday, July 15th and then an appt with my OB Thursday, July 18th (which all we do is chat and it’s always fun to see her)

So I guess I will have a D-Day by the end of this week or beginning of next week.  Yay….not really.  Yay baby….no yay surgery.  Totally mixed emotions. I can handle baby-surgery separately, but together, yikes, it kinda freaks me out.

I get asked a lot how I am feeling…I am just feeling normal pregnancy stuff.  A few annoyances but otherwise doing good.  

And the baby…well, it is part ninja.  I am grateful that I don’t EVER have to worry about it’s well-being, because it NEVER leaves me doubting, especially whenever I sit down or get in bed at night. 

With all this said…God’s ways are still higher and better…so unless He changes something this is the route for the next few weeks.   

Thanks for the prayers…I will keep ya’all posted.