Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: A Memorable Year!

I will always be able to look back at this year with amazement. Memorable doesn't even begin to describe the last few months of our lives. I truly believe that this is one of those years where we will be able to look back and see God's faithfulness. We have "little" reminders through out our daily lives, but this year offered enormous events that proved in so many ways that we can truly rely on God for everything. Finances. Groceries. Home Remodel. And... our LIVES.

This year has been full of blessings, heartaches, wake up calls, heart stopping moments, and through it all we are reminded as we look back that God is sovereign. He is in control of it all.

As I look back I bring myself close to tears as I recall....

Bringing in the New Year wondering if we were expecting. We had one discussion trying to decide whether or not we were ready to start a family. Our conclusion? God's in control. If He wants us to start a family, well, we'll start a family. One week later. No joke, I just knew I was pregnant. So when New Years came around we had a twinge of excitement - but no solid "positive" test at that point.

I remember taking test after test after test and they all came back negative. Which was slightly crushing. I was convinced that either I was prego or that something was seriously wrong with me. One morning, after a negative test, my husband and I decided to go out to breakfast. I spent the morning in tears, boo-hooing that, "This is just so much fun! I love having coffee with you! I love you so much!" This was not my norm and as my husband looked at me with, "my wife's a weirdo" eyes, he stated simply, "You've got to be pregnant!"

One Wednesday a few days later I finally got the positive we'd been anxiously waiting for!

Now, we had a decision to make. I loved my job as a junior high reading teacher, however, we felt like God was leading us to make the decision of being a stay-at-home mom. It was so hard! I just finished my masters degree in 2010, I was just getting to the point where I felt like  I "had this teacher thing down," and I loved my positions as head JH basketball coach and assistant HS track and field coach. Despite the fact that I was where I had always dreamed of being, I felt like staying at home was what I needed to do. It was the hardest resignation to submit. The moment I handed the superintendent the letter, I wanted to take it back. It was a leap of faith, because I felt a tug in both directions. What finally made my decision was two things: 1. The one day care provider we trusted, was full. and 2. Kyle said, "Becky, you can always go back to teaching, but you'll never have those first years of you daughters life back."

So when April rolled around, I finally announced that I would not be returning. I was then beginning to focus on preparing for our baby.

Part of the preparation was going to church. Sunday mornings during Sunday school we studied Ecclesiastes where we learned what it means to fear God and that He is in control -
"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." (1:8)
Basically, God knows what happened yesterday, today and what will happen tomorrow. Why worry about it? Enjoy the day. Give thanks to God for it all and
"Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." (12:13)
Then on Tuesdays we were studying Romans where my understanding of what it means to be a Christian increased ten fold! I honestly didn't know how valuable those two studies would be for me later....

When "later" rolled around my faith was put to the ultimate test....

Except for the first trimester where I felt like I had the flu and spent every moment sleeping, the pregnancy was flawless. We went to every appointment hearing, "Everything looks great!" Until I went to the doctor to monitor her heart rate five days after my due date. Her heart rate dropped to a scary low. This happened all during labor as well, until the doctor finally told us that if we didn't do an emergency c-section, we were going to lose her. I remember during my peak to peak contractions my sister asking the doctor, "Why are her contractions so long and intense?!" And the doctor replied, "Because she should be pushing!" My goal was to do the birth without meds, so while I was enduring the most intense portion of labor my cervix didn't want to cooperate. It acted like a funnel, with the top only dilating to three centimeters (after 22 hours of labor) and the bottom was dilated to nine centimeters. Our daughters head was being pushed into a tiny space, causing her to lose oxygen, thus dropping her heart rate significantly. It was one of the scariest moments of our life, but once they stopped the contractions her heart rate shot back up and she was born healthy and beautiful.

She  almost died that day, but it was an experience that Kyle and I can specifically say, "Wow! God is definitely in control."

We had an incredible first week at home together as a new family.

Then ten days later I experienced a scary postpartum hemorrhaging experience. I went to take a nap and woke up to my mother-in-law wanting to take me to the emergency room. I remember her asking questions and thinking I was answering them effectively, however she told me later that she had to ask multiple times, "Becky, what's the passcode to your phone so we cancall Kyle at work?"

"Becky, what's the passcode to your phone?"

"Becky, what's the passcode to your phone?" (x3)

...or what my address was so she could tell the 911 operator. We laugh about this now, but she said that the 911 operator asked her how old I was and I responded without even my mother-in-law repeating the question to me. How is it that I struggled answering questions and then I hear a question from someone else -on the phone- and I answer it right away? I was loopy.

So after losing conscienceness twice, getting rescue breaths, sternum rubs, going on an ambulance ride, finally "stabilizing" to move me to the helicopter where I was transported to Cheyenne, I found out that a piece of placenta had been left behind after the emergency c-section. In the course of 10 days I received 7 units of blood and 2 units of plasma. I look back on that whole experience and thank God that I had Kyle, my family, and faith in an unchanging God.

I almost died that day, but it was an experience that Kyle and I can specifically say, "Wow! God is definitely in control."

When we came home our house was clean and we had a new bed thanks to my wonderful family. They unloaded the mattress into the garage for Kyle to take to the dump later. As he was loading it in his truck my family asked me if I wanted to see it. I sat with my back to the window for a while, debating. When I finally decided that yes, I wanted to see it, I was blown away with how much blood I actually lost. My mom and I sat at the window, bawling, as we stared at two huge spots that had soaked clear to the box spring. We kept asking, "How did I live through that?!"

I asked Kyle what he would've done had we lost Brielle and then then days later me... "I would've closed the door to our home and never set foot in it again. Everywhere I look I see you and your preparations for our daughter. I don't know where I would've gone, but I would not have been able to stay."

My heart broke for him, how sad is it that he actually had to think about that, twice?

Since then I've had minor problems, a couple of infections on my incision that caused tenderness, but nothing major. I was amazed that after my second surgery in the same spot, that I felt so much better! I honestly didn't know that it wasn't normal to walk around Walgreen's for ten minutes and feel utterly exhausted. I didn't know that it wasn't normal to not be able to push Brielle's cart at the hospital over the door threshold. I was so incredibly weak! Just a walk through the hospital hallways exhausted me! I remember feeling sooooo tired after walking down the stairs or showering and getting dressed! After my D&C I was a new person. Who knew that one tiny piece of placenta could cause that much havoc!

Now that both ordeals are over and I'm finally able to say that I feel good, the medical bills are coming in one after another after another. It's overwhelming. We were expecting medical bills, but we weren't expecting a flight for life bill, an ambulance bill, an emergency room bill, a 2 surgery's kind of bill... as they come in we've literally been on our knee's, in tears, begging God for some kind of miracle. He is faithful. That's been obvious as we look back at this year's events. We know we'll be taken care of, but everything is in HIS timing. So we're learning patience and our faith is being put through the refining fire. We know we need to trust in Him, but do you know how hard that is when you're literally in the red every month? So we go back to Proverbs 3:5 over and over again,
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths."
We praise God that we have a warm house to live in. Groceries to put on the table. Clothes to wear. We praise God that we have a beautiful baby girl and that I'm alive to watch her smile for the first time! We praise God for everything we learned - growing in our relationship with Him as we studied His word. We praise God for the events of this year, because without the fire, our trust in God would not have grown to where it is today.

2012 was most definitely a memorable year, but we'll always be able to look back at the memories and know we can trust in an ever faithful, unchanging, loving, strong God who promises to take care of us.

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