These are the days... (family update)

I know I’ll be a hopeless sentimental grandma if the Lord gives me grandchildren — I leave my small children for a few hours and I find myself showing my husband pictures of them on my phone. Just in case he forgot, you know. But oh how these little people annoy me daily! My second born, I’m sure, has a death wish. Beds, bunks, dressers, stairs are all launching pads in her world. The other day, I sat down with her tried to help her 3 year old mind understand why mommy says no jumping off of … anything.

“But Mommy, I didn’t get hurt last time.”
“But you will get hurt eventually, so stop doing it.”
“But Mooommy, when I jump, I fly.” She said this with a far-off inspired look in her eyes.

Oh dear child, I wish you could accomplish your airtime without the rough landings…or understand that the one usually means the other. It is times like this that I wonder if it is worth the bother of explaining anything!

As I sit in an infusion center, hooked up to an IV, enjoying the peace and quiet — I am flipping through pictures of my girls, I am so surprised at how much I miss them! I know it never gets any easier… I know they become more mobile and they leave for longer and longer until they move away. And part of me rejoices — I want them to fly! (without the hard landings, hopefully lol) But part of me wants to hang on a bit longer. I can’t say I love being pregnant, but I do dearly love that they are “new” for 9 whole months plus a month or two of being “newborn” — brand new. Then they start to grow and leave, and they are no longer new, they are growing up. I love that I can savor the “newness” for 10 whole months.

So why the IV? This brand new little one inside me has been identified as “high risk” because of a rare antibody in my blood that could attack her platelets. This happened to our third child, but we didn’t know it until she was born. (She spent a while in the NICU and currently takes physical therapy for other issues, but is doing so well now). We have no way of knowing if it will happen again to our 4th (or really what the risk is at all). All that to say that I will be taking weekly infusions of immune suppressants to prevent this happening — starting last week. See this link for the all the nitty gritty of our diagnosis — but the page is about the condition in general, not our specific antibody which causes some extra variables.

Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash

We didn’t really plan for this pregnancy, and we already have as many babies in heaven as we have on earth (presumably because of this antibody). If the Lord wants her here, He will bring her through. If not, He has good reason to take her! The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord! I am simply in awe of how God gently (even through tragedy!) prepares us for the trials that He brings us to. And each little one that He took home helped me let go a little more of my control over my children’s lives. Isn’t it odd how we can grow to be thankful for even the hardest things in life? He simply doesn’t make mistakes. This is God’s hope that takes root and turns our world and heart upside down — how can we rejoice in pain? In my limited experience, deep pain brings deep roots in God… roots that allow for higher, stronger growth. Like the grief forces us to trust, that that faith pushes our roots deeper into Him, and those roots (that often no one sees) allow our branches to grow and reach higher and higher. And there is even the promise of these sufferings giving us the ability to bear the “weight of glory” to come! (2 Cor 4:17)

I love the Living Bible’s paraphrase of Ephesians 3:17-19:
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.

The discouragement is always close at hand, I must admit. The treatments wear on me (even though we have started with the lowest possible dose) and the appointments crowd my schedule terribly. I have fit in homeschool around this, and the many appointments of my 3rd child — still a baby herself and with her own developmental issues. And I dearly hope I can continue helping with the ESL work we’re doing, but the writing is on the wall, I’m afraid. The pregnancy exhausts me and my table is always cluttered in dirty dishes that I think I must have been clearing unconsciously before I got pregnant! Or they sense the fertility around here and multiply on their own… I’m suspicious.

I’ve been struggling with vertigo this week and couldn’t finish my first infusion because of it, so they are trying to sort out if it is blood sugar, pressure or iron. I’ll be going for more testing and an ultrasound today to hopefully sort it out!

Yes, the days are long. But this pregnancy (though more invasive and more troublesome than any other) has truly been my best pregnancy. What a relief it is to lay my worries and fears down at His feet — to know he is dealing with them every moment of every day, and I simply do not have to. While I struggle so much with the daily things, the deep things are so blessedly at rest.