As I write here, the snow has begun to fall in Petoskey, MI. We live about an hour south of the Mackinac Bridge, the only driveable path to the Upper Peninsula. The snowflakes are large and fluffy, and whatever grass was visible is no longer visible. Outside, the pine trees are beautifully flocked and the bird feeders are growing wild beards. Inside, the washing machine is whirring and my coffee cup is now empty.
Zack and I drove home late Thursday night from Ann Arbor. We had 12 appointments in total. The sky was clear the entire drive home, and the stars looked like they were falling over us. The moon’s glow mimicked a crooked smile, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I kept my eye on it, and it never ceased to share its gentle smile.
Have you ever prayed for a cozy, restful night of sleep? That was my prayer Wednesday night as we finished my first full day of Maternal Fetal Medicine appointments. And my goodness, that prayer was answered with nine hours of rest and snuggling next to my most cherished person. The same has been true for Thursday night and Friday night; such restful sleep. I have no concerns I won’t be able to write the same of Saturday night, too, as we now hold wonderful news worthy of sharing.
I have been approved for prenatal surgery on April 11th.
This surgery will close Josiah’s exposed spine (he has Spina Bifida), and the anticipated outcomes of prenatal surgery are to:
- improve motor function,
- improve cognitive function,
- decrease the chance of infection at the spinal cord exposure site,
- limit injury of the spinal cord,
- reduce (or eliminate) pressure on the brain,
- may improve bladder & bowel control,
- and may improve ambulatory (ability to walk).
The team will be opening my amniotic sac, gently inserting Josiah’s spine back into his body, and then patching the exposure area. His skin will grow over the patch, and we’ll pray I make it to delivery at 35/36/37 weeks. It’s quite wild! I never dreamt this would be something we’d be learning about and making plans for, but we are. I accept that :)
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Tuesday afternoon we arrived in Ann Arbor, MI and toured a potential home for our short-term relocation. Afterward, we had dinner and then landed at our friend’s home for the evening. Wednesday began bright and early at 5am. My first appointment was an MRI. The next two days included an ultrasound; a fetal echocardiogram; and meetings with maternal anesthesia, our social worker, pediatric neurology, pediatric urology, and a neonatology nurse.
Once we had the approval for surgery, I signed the paperwork and we high-fived!
Zack and I have been known to be heard giggling behind a closed exam-room door, which I really love :) …if that isn’t a happy picture of almost 15 years of marriage!
My dear friend Molly met me for dinner Wednesday evening, and before Zack and I left town Thursday we met a new friend who had a very special gift for us.
Some of our prayer warriors have shared specific prayers they’ve prayed. I just love being able to send updates to my requests, only to learn the specific requests were uttered first by them. It’s as though the reverberation of the Saint’s prayers are moving all forms of doubt to the ditch.
Many have asked about my Graduate school classes. Those are on hold right now. At first the decision was prompted by wanting to catch my breath (since I had taken classes back-to-back for 18 months). Once the winter semester started, at the beginning of this year, it made sense I would not be taking a class before August due to Josiah’s diagnosis. I do miss my studies terribly, but I’m also getting a preview of my discipleship internship. This is all happening in a way that only the LORD could have prepared.
- approval for prenatal surgery on 4/11,
- my children feel comfortable and confident with the future plan,
- for me to live bravely,
- we are signing paperwork for a townhouse in AA,
- our concern for our family income while I’m on bedrest has been remedied,
- Josiah has been moving a lot and I feel his movements,
- I have been sleeping much better at night,
- my mind has absorbed the goodness of God.
Current prayer requests:
- for me to continue living bravely,
- for our insurance to give a clear estimate of cost,
- for Josiah to experience miraculous healing and a beautiful birth story,
- for Josiah to have strength/control over his legs & ankles and bladder control,
- for Josiah to have a limited need for a NICU stay,
- and for Zack to continue to feel strong and unburdened.
Additional ways to help:
In response to your requests to help my family, we have put together two different support opportunities. Maybe one feels like a good fit? Your prayers and kind emails have carried us so far, thank you again :)
- here is a baby registry for Josiah (his delivery date estimate is mid-June to early July (34–37 weeks))
- here is a GOFUNDME for our family (assists with medical bills, relocation, and living/caretaker expenses)
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Wednesday afternoon brought a moment of fear and weariness: I didn’t want any more hard or sad information. This has been a lot to manage, especially when it swirls in my mind over & over. BUT GOD doesn’t want me to worry over the future. Today is enough, He says. 💙 Amen to that!
Baby Josiah currently weighs 1 pound and is super wiggly with his legs (hips & knees), all things worthy of God’s praise!
PS. I truly enjoy meeting YOU and writing letters of prayer. If you’d like to receive a “letter of prayer & mentorship,” simply fill out this form. I have found myself with small pockets of time. Letter-writing prayers is a pretty nice way to spend this time :)