Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Been a While....6 WEEKS!

Yes, I can hardly believe 6 weeks ago Camilla Joy was born! How fast these past 6 weeks went compared to the 6 weeks prior to her arrival! I can hardly believe it has been that long since I posted last; now Christmas has come and gone already. We have been busy adjusting to life on little sleep and how to juggle attention between three blessings instead of just two. I am loving every second!

Many of you who follow have been wondering and asking how Camilla is doing. She is doing so good so far and showing no signs of anything at all being wrong. While we were in the hospital they did an ultrasound and a MRI of her brain. The ventricles were the same as our appointment in September and this was very good news! No blockage or progressing hydrocephalus...and no surgery! Praise God! The MRI did show that she was missing her septum pellucidum, though, has a thinned corpus callosum, and it showed mildly thinned optical nerves. The septum pellucidum is a small membrane inside of her brain that, because it was missing, was likely the cause of her ventricle enlargement throughout the pregnancy. The pediatrician spoke to us about this and said that this may or may not ever mean a visual impairment for our sweet little girl. When he evaluated her on the last day in the hospital I made sure to ask whether he thought she could see as of then and he said she was doing everything with her eyes she should at two days old and that YES he believed she was seeing things! So, very thankfully we headed home later that day and settled into our new routine with baby Cami!

In the weeks that followed, she had a few appointments, one being a pediatric opthamology appointment. The nurse dilated her eyes and flashed a light all around inside. She (the nurse) seemed frustrated; so I started to get nervous as I observed her. I asked her what she was looking for or wanting Camilla's eyes to do, and she simply said, "A blink would be nice." From there we had to go to another waiting room and wait for the doctor to call us back to further examine her eyes. All the while, here I was clutching Camilla and all of my bags to my body, and shaking with fear. How fast fear can grip you; I HATE that! I have posted before right here about fear and how I struggle and defeat it. Fear is not from the Lord; and I know that. By the time I was called in the examination room, I was sweating to death and getting even more nervous. Thoughts were running wild in my head that she was blind and she would never see us, never see God's beautiful, colorful creation.....STOP! I stopped my thoughts, glanced at my face in the mirror behind the examination chair and realized that I was letting Satan fill me with fear. It was SO apparent on my face in that crystal clear mirror on the wall. I quickly ran my thoughts back to this post here specifically the end, and realized it didn't matter anyway. Here I am holding my beautiful, precious daughter; feeling her breath on my cheek in this room and nothing else really mattered in that moment.
She is here.
She is thriving and she is right here.
I prayed over her in that dark little room, praying for her to someday fight her own fears with the truth of her Savior. What a priviledge to have this little girl in my arms and to pray for her while looking into her eyes. I should tell you, too, that the opthomalogist wasn't worried at all about the blinking thing. She said, in fact, her optic nerves are only "mildly" thinned. Praise God again!

With the help of Him, I am not worried! I am just NOT going to worry myself sick over potential problems that may or may not EVER affect things Camilla can do. If I did that, I would be giving in to the Enemy and he would be all too pleased about it. Not to mention, I would be missing all the wonderful, exciting things Camilla CAN do; which right now are everything she should to be on target for her age! So, I think I'll put the pen down for now, or rather-give my fingertips a break, to go and enjoy some 6 week old smirks, coos, and snuggles. Oh, and to breathe in the scent only a newborn has to offer!

We thank each and every one of you for your continued prayers. Thank you doesn't seem even enough; we are so grateful for every minute you have spent praying on our behalf, you are AMAZING! May God pour his blessings upon all of you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

There have been many moments along this journey that I have felt scared. Many when I felt nervous or doubtful. I would ask myself, "Am I being too hopeful?" In these moments, I have needed to hand over these fears to God.
I have declared the Word of God countless times when telling the enemy to leave. Guess what? IT HAS ALWAYS WORKED! I have never experienced anything in my life before now where I have needed to lean so completely on Jesus for strength and support. I am a "handle it" type of girl, I like to think that I'm pretty tough when things get difficult. This experience shook this a bit in me. I realized how much I need God and how much I haven't realized my need fully for Him in other situations. I have learned how much I need God in my life when everything is going fine and dandy, when things are difficult, and when things are unknown.

On Thursday, November 18th, we arrived at the hospital to meet our baby girl. I wasn't nervous, but especially in the surgical room, I was very emotional. This journey was finally coming to a climax...Camilla's birth. While I knew that there were unknowns, and that in a few moments we would know how she was doing, good or bad, I felt peace. Peace that I cannot explain, only feel. I knew God was right there, working in the hands of the doctors, keeping me calm, and protecting us all. While the doctors and nurses were chattering away, to me it was amazingly quiet. My ears were ready to hear her cries, but everything else seemed almost miles away. So peaceful and quiet. When they pulled her out into this world, Miss Cami screamed and screamed! Do you even know how those cries sounded to me??? PURE JOY! For with those cries, I knew her lungs were healthy (no doubt!) and that was one thing I had prayed so hard for.
Please, Lord, let her cry be so strong and so loud.
While tears streamed down my face, the doctor peeked over the big, blue sheet and told me that my baby girl was proving him wrong on all accounts! He said this with a smile and I told him I was glad he was wrong. Quickly, some of these early "accounts" flashed in my head.

20 weeks gestation: We see 4/5 fluid in her head, 1/5 brain matter. It is mandatory that I tell you termination is available. This could be caused by genetic reasons that could or could not be fatal. YOU GO CAMILLA, keep proving him wrong!

I quickly refocused on Camilla's cries and now that I could see her along side me getting evaluated, knew I was witnessing a miracle. I heard the words,
"She is perfect" from the doctor.
"She is beautiful" from her Daddy.
"She is so cute" from a nurse.
"Look at that hair" from another.

I kept saying "Amen" and "Thank you" over and over and over in my head. Camilla went to the recovery room right with me and returned to a regular room in the hospital with me as well. She scored 9's on her Apgar tests, began to eat right away, and was off the charts as far as being a good snuggler!

This Thanksgiving my heart just swells. I am blessed in ways I do not deserve and I cannot list all that I am thankful for. This journey so far has reminded me to celebrate and enjoy each day of life that we are given, to stay strong in faith, and to TRUST the Lord.

Camilla Joy, now that you are here I want you to know that:

You are an absolute perfect miracle.
God has a plan and purpose for your life.
It is my priviledge to be your mother.
I will continue to tell your story and share God with others through it.
You are a perfect addition to our family.
God is using you, sweet girl.

Psalm 100:
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

God is always good.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Do Not Fear....Choose Truth!

Be sure to turn off the music player at the bottom of the page before you enjoy the beautiful truth of this song.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quietly Waiting

I have been listening to a series on the book of Habakkuk. It has been exactly what I needed to hear the past few weeks. While this whole journey so far has not seemed terribly long, the past couple weeks themselves have. On the days I manage to get out the door early, (not the days I hit the snooze) I have heard a wonderful series on the radio about Habakkuk. A very small book tucked away in the Bible, it is packed with truth and situations we as humans can relate to.

Habakkuk struggled with God not giving him clear answers. He feels God isn't listening or answering his prayers. God is teaching Habakkuk how to wait and cling to the faith that God is indeed at work. Habakkuk learns that he must patiently wait to see how God will work things out according to His plan. The book of Habbakuk reminds us that the righteous must live by faith; in the good times as well as the hard times. This isn't always easy, but faith in God is so very powerful. Sometimes God uses harder situations to draw us to him and bring us back to where we need to be- focused on Him.

God has been using this experience of our daughter's life, to turn my fears into stronger faith everyday. For those of you who know me well, you would know how much of a worrier I am. While I have my days, I can honestly say that God has done a miracle in me this whole time. I haven't struggled with worry too much, not like I have in the past with such "smaller" mountains I have faced. Fear, I have indeed felt, but everytime it has gotten a hold of me I have been able to turn it away. This isn't the "typical" Amie. This is amazing to me and I have honestly felt God carrying me through since the beginning.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:19)

Our days of waiting for our daughter are coming to a close---we will meet her in 11 short days and WE CAN'T WAIT! The support of family and friends has been amazing and we cannot thank everyone enough. The power of positive people and prayers overwhelms me when I think about it. Every day has been a celebration of this wonderful life inside of me. People addressing her by name, my students hugging my belly all the time, my children talking to their sister and feeling her move, her Daddy telling her he loves her, EVERYTHING has been a celebration.

The first thing I will do when I hear her cries upon entrance is praise God with an, "AMEN!"

Camilla, you have a special purpose in this world. Your heavenly Father has planned your life. I am honored to be your mother and to be a part of it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Black and White

For the longest time now, I have been imagining our first family photo when Camilla arrives. The closer we get, the more I think about it. How unbelievably excited I am to see her face (finally!), how wonderful it will be to huddle our family around and smile for a first portrait with her! I have a dear friend doing pictures at the hospital, something I have never done "formally" before. We have had such anticipation over this little lady making her debut, that I want to catch it all without missing anything. Don't get me wrong-we took tons of pictures with both of our other kids, too. It's just different this time. The anticipation building in our house as we talk about, pray for, and enjoy Cami squirming all around in my belly everyday- it has created an energy that is SO amazing!

Back to the portraits-they had been on my mind for many days. I found myself becoming worrisome over something almost kind of silly in the big scheme of things-what should we wear for our new family portrait? I don't know why it was bugging me, but I just couldn't think of what would work best in a sea of unknowns. To be realistic, I am not sure of the circumstances that will surround these portraits, in regards to how Cami will be doing. I am so hopeful these will be portraits of a very healthy little girl with a full head of hair (I am predicting, due to major heartburn)! But my life is a sea of scenarios with this situation, and I am reminded I am not in control of any of them.

So- again back to the photos, I kept wondering what should we wear??? Ever since that morning in July when we learned of Camilla's struggle in utero, things have been put a color to it, they have been gray. Not gray as in depressing, but gray as in not clear. And until she is out and examined, nothing regarding her condition will be totally black and white. Ahhh. Black and white! It hit me! Nothing so far has been black and white with this situation...EXCEPT the most important things:
1. God is in control.
2. He is the author of her life; He has her every breath already planned!
3. God hears our prayers and is already in the process of answering them according to His plan.
4. Scripture has proclaimed the clearest truths to me the past 14 weeks.
5. God is using this situation for his glory.

So, Camilla Joy, you and your sister have the most beautiful velvet-trimmed black and white embellished dresses. I am crafting your first headband and one for Big Sis, too! Your brother has a handsome black, white, and red sweater and your Mommy and Daddy are sticking with the same theme for your first portrait. In the moment the camera flashes, no matter what the circumstances surrounding your health are, one thing will be totally black and white, just as it has been this whole journey long:

Camilla, you will be a perfect part of our family, a perfect work of your Heavenly Father, and you will be loved more than words on this page can ever begin to convey. It is crystal clear, my Camilla girl, you will NEVER, EVER hunger for love. We love you SO much already.

Praise God for blessing us with your life!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?

Ok. Read it again. I had to. Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? This was the question scribbled across the dry erase board in my prayer group's room on Wednesday night at church. Not only did it catch my eye and I had to read it three times; it was the perfect question to ask myself this week.

I sat there momentarily, contemplating everything I believe to be real. This week I was struggling in my fatigue to keep my thoughts positive about our upcoming ultrasound next Monday. That long drive home I have...being exhausted and was all getting to me. I'd find myself questioning something I really believe to be real. That Cami is going to be fine. That surgery will go smoothly. I really believe she will be; and by now I should be a pro at a c-section, but in these moments I had been letting those little fear voices rise up in me again.

My husband sensed my mood after one of these fearful commutes and the next day emailed me a note containing the following verse and note to me:
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
Romans 8:16-17

The thought that our sufferings bring us closer to God's glory, for me brings total peace. I feel more and more that you and I were given a gift, a gift to see God's awesome miracle of life, a gift to witness God's awesome power, and a gift to feel God's awesome love for us. It is our responsibility to tell Camilla's story. So all will see God's awesome glory.

You are so right, honey! I really needed to hear that! Reflecting on your note brings me back to my original question that I started this post with. Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?

So I asked myself again. Frankly. Earnestly. Thoughtfully.

"Do I really believe that my God, the one who gave me life wants what is best for me?"
"Do I really believe that my God, awesome healer, can heal my daughter?"
"Do I really believe that the plan for my Camilla Joy is completely written already and has a special purpose?"
"Do I really believe that difficult things can make me stronger?"
"Do I really believe that God's glory can be witnessed through the story of a tiny little baby?"
"Do I really believe and trust that God will work this all out for good?"

The abounding answer is YES! I want to shout it from the mountaintops! For when I remind myself of this, all the fear arrows flung by Satan fall limp and I find strength and peace that surpasses all understanding!

Camilla, I will never forget to tell your story as it unfolds. The author of life itself has blessed me with the gift of you and the responsibility to share your journey with others. I love you, Camilla girl. By the way, the flower above is a Camilla flower. Beautiful just like my precious daughter!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dear Camilla

Dear Camilla Joy,
I wonder- do you know how much we love you? Do you hear your brother and sister talking and singing to you? Have you enjoyed my commentary about the weather changing soon and how I'm making hair clippies for you? I am assuming you have a bunch of hair as I have heartburn all the time! Do you realize that your name is being spoken in hundreds of prayers from so many people? I think you feel it too, like I do. I am so excited to meet you, Camilla, to hold your perfect little fingers and kiss your sweet, soft cheeks. I can't wait to see your brother and sister's faces when they meet their baby sister! The next few weeks are filled with eagerness as the date of your arrival comes closer and the thought of holding you in my arms becomes more real to me.
I want to tell you something-I absolutely love your name. Maybe it's because it means "perfect happiness" or maybe it's because it is so precious to hear it from your Isaac all the time. Maybe it is because it just "fits" you, or because you squirm all around when I say it. I am not sure. Today Mommy's friend, Margo, gave me a beautiful bracelet that proclaims your name on tiny little silver beads. I love that no matter which way the beads spin, your name is still clear and visible. I also love that I can wear it and glance down and see my Camilla girl's name out of the corner of my eye all day long. But most of all I just loved seeing your name in print. All afternoon my musings were about your name: on Christmas cards, arranged in refrigerator magnets, on the tags of your coat and mittens, on your birth announcement, on the back of pictures, your crayon box, and inside the covers of your books.
Are you continuing to get better sweetie? Because your Mommy is so praying you are and sometimes I am scared because I just don't know. I have witnessed so many miracles already, and I really feel you are telling me you are alright. People say I am so strong, but I tell them it is all because of you. I love you so very, very much. It truly is because of you I have learned to give God full control of my life and have learned to trust Him completely. He has filled me with strength and faith I never, ever knew possible. My God has comforted me when I am wrangling with waves of fear that are far over my head.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.""
His word reminds me in moments of struggle, that he hears my cries and holds my tears. I know for sure that He has a plan for you, sweet girl, and for our family.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Knowing you, Camilla Joy, is making me a better person. I am learning to appreciate things that I took for granted before. I have also witnessed God's love through so many people, in a way that simply overwhelms me. I want you to know that your life is perfectly planned by God and He already knew the amazing girl you would become.
He is using you. It is remarkable to think of that!

Thank you, sweet girl.

Your Mommy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Balloon, A Breaking Heart, and Healing!!

Last week my first baby, my son Isaac, turned four. FOUR! I can hardly believe that! We did the obligatory Chuckey Cheese adventure and Toys R Us stop afterward. I was excited to see Geoffrey the giraffe at Toys R Us and how Isaac would respond to him. Well, sadly Geoffrey didn't come out, but the salesperson did give Isaac a helium balloon with Geoffrey pictured and he was so excited! The ribbon was so long, it was tied on a crown around his head, and while Isaac walked the balloon bopped through the store and kept catching on aisle hooks. He just loved it and we brought it home and kept it resting gently on the ceiling of the living room all of the next day. In the afternoon, Isaac went outside with Daddy and was only out there about five minutes when he returned, crying just hysterically. After I calmed him enough to understand what he was saying, I heard him explain how his balloon had flown away and was gone. He sobbed and sobbed as I hugged and comforted him. His party was the next day so I found myself saying, "It's alright sweetheart. The balloon flew away, but you'll get 10 balloons tomorrow at your party. You can play with those." My words were no help; in fact they seemed to make it worse. "But Mommy! My heart is breaking. I wanted to keep my balloon forever and it's gone! Sobbing. I don't want new balloons, I want that balloon. I want to be a balloon so I can fly up there and get it back."

I could hear my own cries in his words. "But, God! My heart is breaking. I want Camilla to be perfectly healthy when she is born." I could hear a make-believe voice saying to me, "If she doesn't make it, you can have another child." Sobbing. "I don't want another baby, I want this one! I want to be a doctor, go in there, and drain the fluid. I want to fix my daughter's sickness."

I changed my approach and just tightly held my sweet little boy, telling him I understood just how he felt. That Mommy feels the same way about Camilla's ow-ee on her head. I explained how sometimes all we can do when our heart is breaking is go to God and pray for his healing of our heart-ache and we still need to thank Him for our many blessings when we are sad. Together we prayed and I sang him the song, "Trust and Obey". While the tears flowed now from both of our cheeks I realized how wonderful it is that I can experience the most wonderful gift-Jesus' love- right along with my four year old. What a blessing I have and privilege to be able to teach my children about their loving Heavenly Father. As Isaac ran off to play, I wished the only heartache I would ever see him experience was the loss of a balloon floating away into the sky. But you see, his true, great Comforter in life will be God. Oh, I'll still be there, you betcha, but ultimately, the One who gave me my children will shine light unto their paths and guide them throughout their lives. I am so thankful that they will know of hope, salvation, and grace through God.

That night my prayers for Camilla were for healing. "Please God, if it is your will, heal her. Please don't let her float away from me and this life on Earth...unless it is your will. But, Lord, if you indeed do take her to Heaven early, I will praise you because she will be healed. Lord, if it is your will and you decide to heal her now and allow her life with me on Earth, I will praise you because she will be healed. Either way Lord, I pray for her healing."

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

One week later I repeated my prayer as my eyes raced across the ultrasound screen. I witnessed my beautiful Camilla girl showing decreased levels of fluid in her brain's ventricles, (in relationship to her overall growth we see a 30% improvement in the proportions of fluid to her size, basically meaning as she as grown, the fluid now is in the moderate range, NOT severe!)This is a HUGE praise! Typically what is seen is the fluid is progressive and increases steadily. God has begun to heal her in this way--he has decreased the fluid! He intentionally and single-handedly has put His hand on my child and shown healing.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."

Every part of her was strong and healthy, every other organ, every measurement, everything within normal ranges. Yes, there is still fluid. But this is a very BIG answer to prayers and we thank each and every person for praying on Camilla's behalf. Our doctor told us to praise God today and sleep better tonight for little Camilla is a fighter and she has IMPROVED!

That quote, "Faith can move mountains" keeps popping in my head. I am not sure that I have ever really understood it. When we experience something difficult, we tend to look at it as a mountain and it seems so huge. The quote would suggest our faith could move the "problem" or mountain out of the way. I think it actually may mean something different. Today I am reminded that when I focus on God, not the problem, the difficulty seems like a speckle of dust. And God is my mountain. He is bigger than anything that goes on here on Earth. My prayer today is to keep my focus,my faith, and my trust in my God, for when I do this He becomes the mountain-so much bigger and powerful than any difficulty I could even imagine. Faith, prayer, trust, and belief can compel my mountain, God, to move on behalf of my child and heal her. He already has begun. Thank you so much, all-powerful Jesus.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fear of Onesies...

You might wonder what the title means. Sounds weird, I know. But my struggle lately is with fear regarding Camilla's situation. Mostly he (the devil) strikes at me when I am tired or trying to fall asleep. He starts shooting the arrows of fear at me. When he starts hurling-watch out because he has a quiver full.
Fear of her dying.
Fear of my health.
Fear of major surgery on a tiny baby.
Fear of not having control of the all.
Fear of being away from my other children.
Fear of her future.
Fear of the logistics of the birth in Grand Rapids.
Fear of her being in pain. Boy, does he hurl them fast.
Fear of how she will look.
Fear of her being teased.
Fear of reactions.

And fear of onesies! I am scared of getting out newborn things for Camilla, because I am not sure whether or not she will ever use them. Fear of putting them away. Here they come again. I know fear is not from God, and I have to literally tell the devil to go away! Leave me alone! On my own, I am weak; but with God's word and help, I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.

1 Corinthians 16:13:
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

Fear of setting clean white onesies out in perfect little baskets and coming home to put them away into a dark basement because they are not needed. Another arrow straight at me.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Can I control what happens? NO. Will God help me every step?YES! Watch out Satan, this Momma's got the King of Kings on her side! I will fight against your arrows and cling to the truth I find in the Bible.

Fact is, there's a good chance that my baby girl is coming home. And she's going to need those onesies. So I'll put them out; just in case. And when you try to beat me down, I'll tell you to leave like I have been doing. If I need them, I will praise Him! And if I don't, I will praise Him! Whatever the outcome, God has Camilla in his precious hands and she is His creation. And my blessing.

I can't wait to meet you, my sweet Camilla girl. The onesie pictured will be in your basket if you do indeed come home and need it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Angels, Tears, and Balloons

I had my first appointment with my regular ob doctor since we received Camilla's diagnosis yesterday. I knew I would struggle just because it was the first time talking with him since his call telling me about the need for an appointment with a specialist. My doctor is such a kind, Christian man and I just love him! I used to tease Matt and tell him I was in love with him...LOL! I remember after all the miscarriages in 2005 how reassuring he was to us and how much he tolerated all my worries and fears with my pregnancies for Isaac and Hadleigh. He is just a great man! I walked in strong and composed and as soon as he opened the exam room door and hugged me I just lost it. We had a fantastic and thorough conversation and he really just listened which was so very nice. We were discussing lots of possibilities, causes, and possible scenarios that could arise as we near Camilla's birth. It still seems slightly surreal to me that as I am sitting there discussing the possibilities of her being stillborn or dying soon after birth (in the case we would find out she has a genetic disorder); she is kicking me like crazy from the inside. I felt nauseous and dizzy as the words outside me were grim and spoke of death and the movement on the inside of me proclaimed such life! That is really so hard to feel all at once, I am not sure I will ever understand it. Well anyway, we were speaking of the genetic situations and I mentioned this video I watched a few years back called "99 Balloons". I couldn't remember much except the baby had Trisomy 18 I think and ended up living 99 days. His parents celebrated each day to the fullest and at the memorial released 99 balloons; one for each day with their child. He hadn't heard of it; but listened as my next words were, "I hope I have one single day with my baby... alive". My doctor seemed to tear up a little and we proceeded to listen to her healthy heartbeat in the 160's. I wiped my face, sucked it in and checked out. I love the receptionists and nurses at the office, but I didn't really look up at anyone just hoping I could make it out without any more crying. Well, I did. About 10 steps out the door and down the stairs anyway. My first angel arrived then, a friend I love chatting with who works behind the desk and schedules all my appointments. She gave me the most heartfelt hug and I thanked her for her thoughts. She gave me the strength to get out the door and to the car before I completely lost it again. I don't know what it was, but it just felt so good to have a good cry. Angel number 2 arrives next. A nurse from the office, who knows of my story, and has always been so nice to me, comes running out. She hugged me reassuringly and asked to pray with me. The gesture made by these two women has left me speechless. I was a blubbering mess and God sent them to calm me down and to show Christ's love to me. It is just so amazing. She prayed for an angel to watch over me; what I don't think she realized is that is what she was! I can't even begin to thank both of them; it was the kindest, sweetest thing I think anyone has ever done for me. I can only hope I can be used as someone's "angel" sometime and re-pay the favors I felt yesterday. After sitting in the car a while, I got myself together, and continued home. Do you know what happened next? While I am driving along on the highway, a red helium balloon, no kidding flew right at my windshield. It startled me; it nearly got hooked in my wiper! I watched it trail off to the east and I knew this wasn't a coincidence. In the video, "99 balloons" they literally CELEBRATED every single day their baby lived even though they knew he was not going to make it. This balloon didn't just happen to fly out at me-it was sent. It was my reminder that I need to CELEBRATE today and every day I am given because they are a gift. Camilla, girl, the life you are proclaiming when you move around is a gift to me and to my family. I will NOT forget to celebrate every day I feel it. Your brother felt you kick him tonight; we had a celebratory kicking party underneath his Spiderman covers. We love you, Camilla! I hope each and every one of us can celebrate our "balloon", our day today, as it is a beautiful gift from God.
Turn off music player first to watch "99 Balloons".

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daily Inspiration

Wow! What can I possibly say to thank so many of you for the wonderful calls, blog comments,facebook messages, and beautiful cards sent to us? I have to tell you how much it has meant to Matt and me! I have this huge stack of cards and notes and they are so kind, caring, inspiring, and encouraging. I have so enjoyed periodically going through the stack and reading one or two. They are so powerful in that they remind me of the AWESOME power of prayer, friendship, and love! So if you are reading this, chances are you have left us some kind words and I want to sincerely thank you for it. It means SO much!
Nothing is really "new" to post at least that we know about right now. I do have to request your prayers for our next ultrasound, specifically, on August 20th. We pray that the fluid levels in Camilla's ventricles are not increased at all. It is likely they are, but I am praying for miracles and healing. Please join us in doing that! Thank you so very much! I have to specifically thank my Mom for beginning a Friday fasting and praying routine; Mom it means so very much to us that you would seek God's word and direction and fervently pray for your little grand-baby in this way.

How are we all doing? We are honestly filled with peace. As odd as it sounds or seems to others or to us, I am not full of anxiety and neither is my husband. I know that this peace is from God and I am so very thankful! We went camping last week and I actually made the comment to Matt, "Should I feel guilty that I am having so much fun?" It's so weird, throughout the last couple weeks, I have felt so appreciative of so many things. Things I've taken for granted in the past, I'm sure. The baby's kicks for example, friends, a small hand in mine, an innocent child's words, you name it. Already, this unborn child has helped me appreciate so many small things MORE than ever. I have to share a conversation I had with my sweet son. We were following Daddy to the campground and we were talking about Cami and how she has a boo-boo. We pray for her daily and ask God to please take care of her and heal her. I said to Isaac, "If baby sister is sick we will still love her so much! Right, Isaac?"..."Yes, Mom" he replied. Then I said, "And if Jesus decides Cami needs to go live in Heaven with Him, we will miss her sooo much. Right, Isaac?" Silence. Uh-oh, I worried I might have upset him saying that. More silence. I stop at the stop sign,about to turn around, and hear "Well, Mom..pause...she will be an angel then." He said it in the most matter of fact voice. "ISAAC, you are soooo right!" As I sat at the stop sign a few extra seconds and looked in the rear view at my little boy, I was touched and consumed with such appreciation for my life and everything that fills it up. How could I help but smile? Between Isaac's sweet honesty with words, and Hadleigh constantly kissing my belly and proclaiming, "Baby in-nair!" (Baby in there!) how could I not plainly see that I am one seriously lucky girl with so many blessings??? Camilla, girl, I hope you realize how much of a blessing you are already. Do you know how much all of us love you? Not a day goes by we don't talk to you and thank God for you.

Speaking of another blessing, I have to thank my hubby for his unfailing love and support. All of you get to hear or see me after I have sorted through many a wrestling match of sorts...with my thoughts. Matthew sees the icky wrestling. I know he is wrestling too, but somehow, he is so strong and completely positive for the both of us. We are stronger together, and know that this is making us a better couple. So here is another blessing in disguise that I find-my marriage strengthening and reaching more deeply in my heart than I ever dreamed possible. When my thoughts turn on the "Why song" know the: Why me? Why us? Why do these bad things happen? Why now? Why, why,, guess who helps me turn it off? Matt, you do that, and I thank you so very much. You remind me of the love of our Heavenly Father and how this is all part of His plan. You make me feel protected and safe and we all know every girl wants that. I thank God for you. Here is a song that sums it all up.....

turn off the music player at the bottom of the page first. :) enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Questions with no

We had an appointment with our doctor today. He is a fantastic Christian man who I already respect so much in many ways. I had a huge list of questions and when I couldn't get them out, my sweet Matthew filled in the words. Thank you, honey! Most of the questions I asked I knew would only be "hypothetical" in that we really don't know what will happen. I did clarify her diagnosis as severe hydrocephalus, which is a very serious birth defect of a very vital organ. BUT I am praising God because it is the only diagnosis so far! She has no evidence yet of any other problems. This is all in her favor! Typically, other problems go hand in hand with hydrocephalus, but so far we see no evidence of any. I will pray NONE show up along the way. At least three times he said to us, "Don't give up hope." I most definitely will not! The overall message of this consult is that we don't know a thing about how Camilla will be affected by this condition until she is born and evaluated. WOW, that is quite a tall order for this worry-wart mom to wrap her head around. For the next 16 or more weeks, I will basically have no way to prepare myself because I don't know what will happen. The "planner" in me, the part of me that likes knowing as much as I can and controlling as much as I can in situations (yes, I am a bit of a control freak with some things; namely my children and keeping them safe) is really being stretched and tested. Which is probably a good learning experience for me, really. I have to rely on God to work all of it out and I have absolutely NO control. I find myself going in an unending circle, considering all possibilities and trying to come some sort of terms with each and every one, because it is about all I can do. To really lay it out here, there are many different outcomes we could face. I understand that my child could die in utero or at birth. She could live minutes, hours, days, or years. She might be severely, severely disabled. She might beat millions of odds and amaze the world with what she can do. No matter what, I promise, I will praise God. He has given her to me and I love her with my heart and soul, and I wouldn't trade her for anything! I am thankful for every day of this pregnancy feeling her kicks inside telling me hello. If I never see her take a breath, these memories will be what I cling to and remember as her life. And I will praise God for the months of life inside of me. If she lives minutes, hours, days, or years, I will be so thankful for every second. And I won't put my head to my pillow one day without praising my Lord. If she beats the odds and amazes us I will stand in awe and praise God at the miracles he is performing. If Camilla is severely disabled and needs me to be her hands,feet, eyes, and ears; I will do it and praise God for the blessed opportunity to help someone experience their life to the fullest. If my sweet, sweet girl can't move her head to see the sunset, I will turn her face so she can-and I will tell her all about Heaven. If she can't see, I will explain every detail of everything around us. If she can't hear, I will make sure she "hears" my love for her in a different way. If she can't walk or run or go places on her own, I will carry my precious little girl every step of the way and help her see the world.

And He will carry me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Forget

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Everyday since we found out Camilla's condition, I have a point where I cry or feel angry. Usually once a day, (not counting the cry myself to sleep routine that has set in). I can have a completely positive day and then there is that moment where I find myself slamming the kitchen drawers or hugging my husband so tightly it is difficult for him to still my trembling. Of course I feel these things! I know it is normal. This isn't a path I really want, I wish it was different. I don't know what we face. I don't understand any of it. I hate medical terminology, but now I have a brand new vocabulary consisting of it. Why? I didn't really care to have that on my plate.
I know Matt and I are feeling the same things. But we realize that we are faced with a choice. We have to choose to PRAISE during this storm. I just don't understand how it is for people to face tragedy or difficulties if they do not have faith in God. They must feel hopeless. In no way do I feel hopeless; but that is because I have my heavenly Father's help! So I write this post today in hopes someone who feels hopeless can learn there is hope in God and will seek out someone who can show them. Life doesn't have to be hopeless.
It comes around to the same conclusion every time- no matter how "mad" my moment is at that one point of the day---I keep coming back to such PEACE. Peace in knowing everything will be alright. IT WILL! God works all things out for good and our life plans are already written detail by detail by Him! I am so thankful I have that to cling to. Feeling mad and peaceful all within a ten minute period isn't contradictory. It is what makes us REAL. The important thing is to remember that the peace God brings in your life wins out every single time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Journey is Presented

On Thursday, July 8, 2010; we learned our unborn baby had severe levels of fluid on her brain. We were shuffled to a cold and quiet room where we sat in silence waiting for the doctor to come and talk with us. It was too quiet, too cold, and too empty. We sat in shock and just waited. When the doctor came in he began to describe what this means to our baby and to us and tried to answer the questions we worked hard to get out. For our baby and for our family, this will be a waiting game. Waiting and watching her development, watching the fluid, waiting, and more watching. No questions are answered right now. This has been the toughest part for us. When we sit and talk after Isaac and Hadleigh go to bed, we really don't know where to begin. There are a million different outcomes we could have, how do you prepare for each and every one not knowing which will be ours? I can tell you the only thing that is helping us is to cling to the fact that God already knows. He knows the outcome and this baby's future. It is something that our energy cannot be spent on right now-the wondering about the "what-ifs". God doesn't want us to worry about that part today, we have to trust Him to hold all of that in His hands. We are praying for a miracle, praying fervently that God heals our baby girl completely. The two of us believe way more in the power of God than we do in the power of science, man, and technology. And we know He hears our prayers and that He answers prayers of his people. If it is His will, we pray He heals her-completely. Above all, we pray that our beautiful daughter and our family journey can be used in ways we can't even imagine to glorify God, inspire others, and change lives.