Jude's Kicks Keep Me Kickin

November 15, 2013  20 weeks, 3 days

No news is good news often times.  The scary thing for me is how quickly things can change.  I have one of the happiest moments of my life, our gender reveal party for my 30th where friends and family are rejoicing with us for FINALLY beating infertility where I literally cry out of sheer happiness, and just 12 days later I'm holding a piece of paper with my daughter's footprints crying out of the deepest grief I've even known.  All this in just 12 days.  We still have a long way to go till 24 weeks and 24 weeks is a horrible time to deliver a baby; that's just our short term goal and hope.

I have a huge picture above my couch of Darren and I walking down the stairs out to our get-away-car after our wedding reception.  It's one of my favorite pictures because it captures pure joy.  We are not "posing" or "trying to look good" we are just purely 100% happy and the photographer caught it.  I felt this same way about the moment my little world found out about Brinly and Jude.  I love this picture and find it beautiful in the sense it's so authentic- it's beautiful because it's real, it's us experiencing pure/true happiness caught in a moment. 

I have gotten so many emails, texts, phone calls, visitors with the same question: How are you doing?

Before I answer, I have to deeper explain the question to "how is Jude doing?" I talked about it in my last post.  Basically I feel like my sweet, perfect, healthy baby is in the middle of Iraq and all I can do is watch and hope and pray he survives.  He is flawless but his environment is hostile.  My body is not a wonderful place for him to be, but its his best bet.

Now, how are I doing?

The short answer:  If a 1 was the day I lost Brinly and a 10 was the day of our gender reveal party, I am 3.  I will stay that way until I reach viability.  If nothing changes (no labor/infection), every day will remain a 3 as I have to fight off my own demons of fear and worry that haunt me often when I am left to my own thoughts.

The longer answer: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I refuse to fall into depression.  I am fully aware the world is full of pain and that followers of Christ are not exempt from suffering.  I am pressed on every side but I am NOT crushed.  I am perplexed beyond imagination but I am NOT in despair.  I feel so persecuted-but I know I am not alone.  I have never been more struck down and heartbroken in my life, but I am NOT destroyed. 

I am so grateful that there is an end-date to this horrible path.  March 31 is Jude's full term due date.  No matter what happens, this fire will be over by then.  So many people who are suffering with an illness, a bad marriage, a financial crisis, etc. have no clue when it will end. 

Obviously I'm not doing "bump updates" or pictures of my stomach-it's too hard to celebrate something so fragile.  BUT, I have a sweet story.  The night after getting home from the hospital, I was laying my own bed, talking to Darren about surrogacy as an option.  Although the doctors are convinced this has nothing to do with my body, I like to plan ahead.  Surrogacy sounds so nice because I'm terrified of pregnancy now that I've know the cruelest side effects it can bring-Darren tried to remind me that we are "not at that point" yet but I couldn't shake it-then I felt it again, a big strong kick from inside my body.  It was almost like sweet Jude was like "um, hello, I'm right here, I can hear you!!"  I loved it.  It snapped me back into reality.  I have a live and healthy son in my stomach.  Surrogacy is more of something we would consider if God-forbid something happens to Jude.  Darren is right.  In this moment, we are not there- and little Jude's strong kick reminded me of what I am fighting for.  "Where there is life there is hope."


In fact, in these long moments alone on bed rest, I often get lost in the haunting thoughts of flashbacks to that hospital room.  Or when my water broke.  I become paralyzed with fear of the deep, dark, scary unknown that lies ahead for me and this little boy.  I can handle the boredom, it's the deep reality of the grave situation I am in, it's the little white box I can see at the top of my closet with Brinly's blanket and pictures, it's the twinges and the bleeding that can drive me to insanity and sadness-but his kicks? They are random, but they are so life giving to me.  They bring me back to hope.  They make me feel insane love.  They remind me why we chose to fight instead of terminate.  They also make me more scared-how alive he is makes it even scarier that he is at great risk.

Tomorrow is my first check up.  They will check for infection.  They will try to determine why I continue to bleed (although they didn't have a clear idea last week when I left and nothing has increased/decreased).  They will look at Jude (I'm so begging for a 3d picture of him).  I'm a little nervous we might discover something bad, but have accepted the fact that they cannot do anything else to help us till Dec 9. 

Lastly, it I have to try to acknowledge the amazing amount of encouraging emails, funny gifts, and meals people have blessed us with: 

So many people sent flowers the first week and then Pat, our amazing secretary at UHS worked with other teachers to make me a hilarious and fun gift basket which included a Netflix account, all kinds of tasty treats, magazines, hand puppet tattoos, coloring books; special thanks to Stephanie Evans for the pumpkin bread and Hello Kitty coloring book at the hospital, and to Marg and Hanan and her for visiting me all the way out in Beaverton.  Kristen Franz sent me a beautiful necklace, Allysa Dillon sent me the sweetest card with a giving key necklace, Caroline and the book "I Will Carry You", and so many sweet words of love and encouragement.  People are bringing us a meal every other day and it's been such a blessing. Also a huge shout out to Tricia Shiply (co-worker who brought me an amazing meal yesterday) because she told me I was looking chubby and pointed to my stomach (music to my ears, highlight of my boring day Tricia:).  And for anyone I skipped, I thank you too.  These little notes, messages, gifts, meals remind me we are not alone and how Christ continues to remind me, through you all, that He is still here too. 

34 comments:

  1. Praying for you, Darren, and your strong, healthy son! There is surely life, there is HOPE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! There is life, I have to keep reminding myself that :)

      Delete
  2. Been looking for your update girl! Your testimony is reaching and inspiring so many people. You are a warrior for the Lord and it's amazing to see. Continuing to pray and believe with you! I love that you felt Jude, that is just the sweetest thing ever and just one way of God giving you glimpses of Hope! He is faithful. xoxo Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caroline-thank you for your strong prayers and support. He is faithful. :)

      Delete
  3. What a great update...I will be praying for your body to hold out till that precious baby of yours can survive on his own. You are such an amazingly strong woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the best prayer we can ask for. Thank you.

      Delete
  4. XOXO - I'm so glad that Jude is sending you little reminders. :) I will be praying from the time I wake up that you get nothing but good news from the specialist. And I hope that you get your 3d picture as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! We are praying God's perfect will for you too friend!!

      Delete
  5. Many, MANY prayers for you and Jude.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was fabulous to see you (and that belly!), I enjoyed being able to visit and laugh with you about "work stuff". I am glad you and Darren enjoyed the meal. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we loved the visit too! hopefully next time you see me I'll be supa fat ;)

      Delete
  7. Continuing to pray for you! I wish there were words to help the pain, but unfortunately I know there are none. However, I will continue to pray for your comfort and looking forward to the 24 week mark when I know you will be able to breath again. That little boy is such a fighter and he has amazing parents waiting for him to make his appearance when the time is right.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ah ha! I've been waiting for an update and no news is good. I'm crossing my fingers that you get that 3d ultrasound photo of Jude and I can't wait to see it (if you share it). I LOVE "I Will Carry You"!! I did so much reading after the loss of my son so my book collection is quite large. I'm on the hunt to find some good reads for pregnancy after loss since we are trying so hard right now. I think that if I had something uplifting to read then I would stop torturing myself by downloading ovulation tracker apps on my phone, etc.
    Anyways.. you are at the top of my prayer list! Sending you lots of strength & hope! XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read much of I Will Carry You but I'm excited for it; Darn those ovulation apps!!! Thanks for the prayers

      Delete
  9. So inspirational! Love it! Totally believing you will hold a happy healthy Jude in your arms sometime in the future! I met a baby boy who was born at 24 weeks. He was 1 when I met him perfectly healthy and amazing! Praying for you and your boy! �� totally standing in faith for your family!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. my dream in life..to one day be a surrogate..you reminded me today of my dream. Prayers to you and that sweet baby boy!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Continuing to pray for you all! I love your perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been waiting for your update! You are so inspirational. Continued prayers for you, Darren and sweet Jude.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Praying for you! Thinking of you guys always and hoping that you continue to feel those kicks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. cannot wait until the day you get to hold your perfect little boy in your arms and have his smile make your heart feel better. while i don't even know a millionth of the pain you are feeling, Blake makes my past hurt less. and all he has to do is look my way. its amazing how healing it is. i hope that for you every day. I worried so much throughout my pregnancy and rarely stopped to enjoy it but when i would really start to panic, i would feel a kick a if he KNEW and wanted me to know he was still there and fighting to be mine. Its a special bond you and him share. or at least thats how i see it. Hang in there Mama. praying for you!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anxiety and fear is something I have battled my whole life... it can be crippling when you are alone and unable to stay busy... even when there is no actual reason to worry. The fact that you have survived a horrifying ordeal and have legitimate reasons to worry makes that battle so much harder! Proud of you for staying strong and refusing to give in to despair!

    Continuing to pray for Jude, and asking the Lord to strengthen your body, to ward off infection and to calm your anxious mind! Hang in there Holly... three weeks and four days!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I continue to pray for you and sweet Jude. Thank you for the update because several people I know have asked how y'all are doing. I pray that today's appointment goes well and has no unwelcome surprises.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are so encouraging and inspirational! I am praying for you to have peace and joy during this time. The devil is trying to take everything away from you including the joy of this wonderful life and I'm praying right now against the attacks he is having in your mind. My heart goes out to you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Holly - I have followed your journey since our IVF dates this summer were so close together. You and your husband have been in our prayers and we think about you often. I’m glad to hear that Jude is doing well so far and appreciate your updates. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm glad to see this update. I've been ghinking about you snd praying for both of you daily.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So glad to read this and that Jude is doing well. Continuing to lift your family up in prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Holly, you don't know me but I'm good friends with your Aunt Tamela. I've been praying for you since I heard that your water broke with Brinley. So sorry for your and Darren's loss. Continued prayers for you, Darren and your sweet Jude. That he will continued to grow strong and healthy and than no infections or pre-term labor comes.
    Love in Christ,
    Debbie Earp

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm so glad that Jude gave you that little kick. Loved reading that. You and Jude are fighters. Praying for a miracle that your 24 weeks fly by and you keep going longer. Hugs my sweet friend!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Continued prayers! Sounds like Jude is a fighter!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been following your story since a few days before your lost your precious daughter. When I read your update about her, my heart broke into a million little pieces for you. I know that Brinly is beautiful and perfect, and will be waiting to meet you (along with your other sweet baby) up in Heaven. I am praying for Jude's health (and your health) every day and keeping up the hope that you will deliver a perfect baby after the 24 week mark has long come and gone. Keep up the fight, baby Jude!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this update. I love your hope. This journey with infertility have you fight & hope and you have perfected it! I pray for baby Jude everyday. Sounds like he's a fighter like his mama!

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Where there is life, there is hope." That is such a true statement. I'm praying for that 24 week to come and go, hoping that baby Jude can hang out in there that long plus some.

    ReplyDelete

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: