Sunday, April 8, 2012

Like a ton of bricks...

I haven't often been bombarded with unexpected emotion through this whole thing... I mean, I've been bombarded with emotion, but not with something that I hadn't either been told to expect or had thought of before hand. Wednesday night at church was my first experience with said bombardment.

The preaching part of the service was over and our prayer sheets were being passed out. I had been fine throughout the whole service but towards the end, I had begun to notice some serious heartburn. I had had a lot of terrible heartburn with Colt, so this should have come at no surprise. But, for whatever reason, this heartburn with Gideon just brought my whole world to a halt.

In that moment, I realized something... Normally, when you have a negative pregnancy symptom, a part of you tries to explain it away because you get the prize at the end: a beautiful, precious, baby.  Then I realized... I don't have that... This was the first time I noticed that I didn't have anything to help talk myself out of those hard pregnancy symptoms.

As we were sitting waiting for our prayer sheet, Preacher began asking for requests. Someone spoke up and asked for an unspoken requests and I thought to myself, "Man! I have an unspoken request! To be rid of this stinkin' heartburn!" So I raised my hand and said, "Unspoken, also." Once I said those words, I just couldn't hold myself together.

I was so sad. I was sad about Gideon (of course). I was sad that I had to go through all this. I was sad about everything. I was almost just plain mad. I hate it. I don't want to do it. I don't want to go through this. I pray (nearly everyday) what Jesus prayed in the garden, "...O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Matthew 26:39. That verse says everything that I want to say: "God: I don't want to do this. But at the same time, I know that you have a plan, and I want to be a part of Your plan, and I will do it if it will accomplish something that will glorify You." I am so thankful that Jesus saw it fit to pray that way, because it's perfect for me and Gideon.

I was thinking about all those things in the midst of my saddness and my saddness didn't end just because the service did. I knew most everyone was done (you know that awkward moment when you know everyone's done praying, but you're not and you don't want to be done yet, but you also don't want to be the only one still not done? Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about, come on! lol). But I wasn't done yet and in that moment, I didn't care. I was a crying mess and I just wanted to pray. I wanted help, comfort and peace, and I knew there was only one place I could get it, so I didn't care. I kept praying. In that moment, one of the sweetest, most wonderful ladies in our church came and sat with me. She didn't say a word. Actually, I think she may have said something like, "There are no words, other than, I love you and I'm praying for you." She just sat with me. She hugged me when I needed a hug, she was just with me. And I am eternally grateful for her wisdom in this whole thing. She has been wonderful!

That night hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no idea how hard I would get hit by a negative pregnancy symptom. I have had tons of heartburn since then and got some great advice from the great preacher, Jeremy Stout. He said, "Jenny, just talk to Gideon in those moments.... Tell him, 'Gideon, when I get to Heaven, you are going to answer for all this heartburn you've been putting me through!' Just tell him everything you would tell Colt if he got in trouble." What great advice! :) So....

Since Wednesday I have had terrible heartburn almost every night. I have had to build myself a little pillow mountain to sleep on, and Tums are my new candy of choice. I will be having a stern talk with you when I see you in Heaven pal! But... even though you are making me somewhat miserable in the night, I can't help but love you to pieces! You are wonderful and I love you with all my heart little guy! You will always be Colt's best little brother, because you'll be the only one that's perfect, being in Heaven and all. :-) I love you!
Love, Mommy

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's been a while

Well... I haven't written in quite a while, obviously. I've been so busy with work, that I haven't had the opportunity to be on the computer. I have been (trying) to keep up in my journal though, so I'll be updating some from it.

A lot has happened since my last post. We had an ultrasound, found out the gender, picked a name, all that fun stuff. :) I'm going to try and recall all these things the best I can.

On March 7th was my 20 week ultrasound. I was excited and nervous, all at the same time. I was excited to see 'him' (we still weren't 100% sure if it was a boy or girl, yet) dancing and excited to find out if all this 'him' talk was appropriate. :) But... I was also nervous at the same time. I know 'my God is greater, my God is stronger, God you are higher than ANY other!' (I really love that song), And I knew that it was possible (although not humanly probable) for the technician to say, "Why! Mrs. McGinnis! It seems as though he has a fully developed skull and brain! This is amazing! It can be nothing short of a miracle!" .... I knew this was completely possible and a small, seemingly faithful part of me was secretly clinging to that. I wasn't prepared to let go of that hope (and still am not, by the way). So, we go in and tell the girl that we know all about the anencephaly ( I want her to know that so that she won't hold back information). We begin the ultrasound around 2:50 or so. She measures what she has to measure and shows us the anencephaly again. It's still there. I'm saddened a little, but I'm really just trying to concentrate on enjoying "the show." Later in the scan, our suspicions were confirmed.... IT'S A BOY! :) We are super stoked! We wanted a little brother for Colt all along. Then, just as his big brother, he wouldn't put 'it' away. :) (It's funny how they are already so much alike)

This story is proving to be longer than I expected..... Sorry... But it means a lot to me, so I'm going to continue.

She continues scanning and I remember something Dr. VonHoene told me. Sometimes, she thinks, these babies are hard to intubate because of their air way being different. So, I ask the technician if she can see that, she says it's still early, but she can see that the bladder is bigger now than when we started. This leads her to believe that he is, in fact, swallowing. For some small reason, this encourages me. After we get through all the formalities of measuring and what-not, she tells us that there's not another appointment until 4:00, so we can hang around and watch him dance a little if we want to. That was so sweet of her! We ended up staying there until 3:17 (the last time of our last picture). It was so wonderful to just lay there and watch him on the monitor for almost 30 whole minutes! At one point, it looked like he was "puttin' up his dukes" and I loved that because he is going to have to be a fighter. For two reasons (probably more, but at least two) A. to be born alive and B. to be big and strong enough for a live birth. To me, he already is a great fighter, because he has survived this long. I'm so proud of him!! (I've never said that.... but I just realized that I really am...) We got over 20 pictures that day. We got lots and lots of arms & legs, fists & toes, & a couple head shots.

So... after the ultrasound I wanted to get him a name... like... now! LOL But, Jarrod is way more relaxed about these things than I am. I begged him for days if he had thought of one yet, he always said, "It'll come to me." :) Well, it wasn't coming to him fast enough for my taste! That's for sure!! ;) So then, one Friday evening, March 16, we had mom & dad over for dinner. I was just scrolling through the list and had gotten all the way to the "g's" with no luck. Finally, I came to one I thought Jarrod might like (he and I like sort of unique names, but not TOO unique) :) I came across the name Gideon. And for the first time, out of all the 100's of names I'd asked about, he said that he liked it! :) I was so excited!! When mom & dad left, I felt like I knew it had pretty much been decided. I thought it best to leave Jarrod alone, and let him "sleep on it." That next day, I asked Jarrod if that was the name he liked and he said, 'sure' :) I dropped it at that. So our precious, miracle boy finally had a name!

Mr. Gideon Wayne McGinnis :)

Again..... The long story continues... Feel free to read at your leisure & take a break if you need to! :) lol

As I continue, I'm just recounting some things that have been happening to me as I travel this journey. I wanted to (carefully) share some of my "meltdown moments" (as I've been calling them). I want to share them, not because I want people to think of me as some strong, wonderful person (because I'm not), but because it could possibly be helpful to someone else who may have to go through something like this. I hope that I don't come across as 'holier than thou' because that is not my intent. My intent is to share my experience as fully and honestly from my heart as possible. I want to talk about my 'meltdowns' for a minute.

By God's grace, I don't have very many meltdowns, but when I do, they seem to be rather monumental.I don't cry everyday. I'm not even sad everyday. But I have found that I'm stronger than I ever thought I would be. I believe this is all a gift from the Lord. There is no way I could go through this without His strength.

Phillipians 4:13      I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I've put on my Facebook status and told many people, "I wish I was as strong as everyone thinks I am." and I do. But, I also know that I am probably a little stronger than I give myself credit for sometimes (as much as I cringe even saying that.)

ANYWAY........ I was working on a Thursday and I was having a very hard time. I couldn't shake my saddness for some reason. I was actively fighting off tears the whole day. I would see things that normally wouldn't bother me, but was setting my saddness off that day. I felt horrible. I was upset that I couldn't keep it together for my students and for the prinicpal that hired me that day. Later in the afternoon, a teacher came across the hall and said, "Sometimes you just need a hug." Which I did, but it opened the flood gates. I just started sobbing on her shoulder. She was gracious enough to let me go in the hallway and cry it out for a second, then collect myself. I was so thankful for her and for those students that day. All of them. They were so good and I'm sure they knew I was a wreck, but they were so respectful to me and my tears. It really was great.

After that day, I went a long time without a 'major meltdown.' Almost 3 whole weeks. I thought that was something to be proud of, now I'm not so sure.

Then on Sunday, March 25th, I noticed that I was in a 'blah' sort of mood. I didn't really think much of it at the time, but knowing what happened on Monday, it all makes sense.

Monday was a grouchy sort of day. I really wasn't in the mood for much of anything. When I got home from work, I read some more of the book I had been reading. It's a book titled, "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith. It is the story of a mother that carried what she knew was a terminal baby, a girl named Audrey. I knew that reading this book at all had the very high potential to drum up emotions, but I decided to be brave and do it anyway. As I was reading, I was doing pretty good. I was actually enjoying the story and how she related things to the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. (Which I hadn't thought of).

As I was reading, I came to page 70 (for those of you who may have the book). She was talking about going to the cemetery and booking (notice not 'buying') a plot. She wrote about how she wanted God to tell Audrey that she was funny, and other things about her, and how she would've been..... And I thought about Gideon. I knew that I either had to put the book down and get busy doing something, or have a meltdown in the middle of my evening. I decided to put the book down and get busy. I cleaned the whole house it seemed like, did a great multitude of dishes and laundry, cooked dinner, bathed Colt, everything. Once Colt was finally in bed, I knew I had to succumb to the tears. They were coming whether I liked it or not. I decided to have my meltdown in the shower and wash my sorrows down the drain (better down the drain than to snot all over my clothes). I got in the shower and prayed and prayed. I prayed what Jesus prayed in Matthew 26:39 ... O my father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Man! I have thought of that so many times! And to think our SAVIOUR said that. I have thought of that SO SO many times!!) I prayed that Gideon would know how much I loved him. I prayed that he would know how much fun him and Colt would have had. I prayed that Gideon would know how much Jarrod and I would try to give him the best life we most possibly could. I prayed that He would keep me strong enough to be the light that was most beneficial for Him and His purpose. I prayed everything I could think of while I was in there; while I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. It was such a hard thing, but after that I was so thankful that I went through with it. I remember the next morning, I felt so much better. I felt refreshed. I felt peaceful. I felt comforted. It was an amazing gift! I was so thankful that I had had the courage to go through with that.

I tell you all that to say.... I think that I had the wrong impression of what 'strong' was. I'm still not sure that I completely understand it, but I think I might a little more. Strong does not necessarily mean, not crying, or not being sad. Strong means different things for different people. To me, strong means, going through the emotions as they come to me. I am happy if I'm happy and I try not to feel guilty for being happy. I am sad if I'm sad, and I let the tears come if they're there. That's what strong is to me. I'm not saying it's right for everyone, but you have to do what's right for you. And that's what's right for me.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and for being with me throughout this ridiculously long post! :) lol
Thank you also for praying for Gideon so often. I go to the doctor on Friday and may find more information on what Gideon's future holds. Your prayers are appreciated way  more than you know!!

Love you all!!