Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lord, have mercy

I haven't heard this song in a while, and then suddenly one of our worship leaders in church brings it out and tears flow. Such a simple song of deep longing, of truths spilled, and frailness revealed.
Renew the fire again.
Pardon my transgressions.
Help me love you again.

Lord Have Mercy-
Steve Merkel

Jesus, I've forgotten the words that You have spoken
Promises that burned within my heart have now grown dim
With a doubting heart I follow the paths of earthly wisdom
Forgive me for my unbelief
Renew the fire again

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on me

I have built an altar where I worship things of men
I have taken journeys that have drawn me far from You
Now I am returning to Your mercies ever flowing
Pardon my transgressions

Help me love You again

Repeat Chorus

I have longed to know You and Your tender mercies
Like a river of forgiveness ever flowing without end
I bow my heart before You in the goodness of Your presence
Your grace forever shining
Like a beacon in the night

Repeat Chorus 2x

(italics mine)
This song is by Michael W. Smith and is on his live Worship Again CD, the blue one (my fave version of the song)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The End is Near

On Saturday, Jesus was supposed to return, according to an evangelical group in the States. This man used some interesting math to determine that May 21st would be the day and he had many followers who spent millions of dollars advertising the date all over the world. Maybe you've seen them? They all believed there would be earthquakes all over the world that would open graves and such and bring Jesus' return.

I have nothing wrong with the mass earthquakes or the return of the King, but this man forgot to take into account a few things. Such as where it says in the Matthew 24:36 that, “Of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” So why does He think that some math would figure it out? Instead, he has made himself out to be a False Prophet ("Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming "I am he" and "the time is near". Do not follow them." Luke 21:8) Even if he had good intentions.

So Saturday came and went...and nothing happened. I didn't really think He'd return, but I was hoping...sort of. I have a baby I'd like to be born first. I'm not too sure what happens if you're pregnant during the Rapture---do you have the baby in Heaven? Is the baby alive there or cease to exist? Will I even care? I admit to having a confusion of thoughts over the whole thing. I tend to not even pay attention to most doomsday predictions. But for some reason, this one got a lot of news. Was it because of all of the advertising this group did? (one guy in NY spent his life savings on signs and such) Or was it because they aren't the typical cult? They weren't trying to incite mass suicides or donations, they just seemed to want to warn everyone. They also didn't hold huge events for preaching either, which may've been helpful. But this group does have their own radio program, so maybe they did a lot of doomsday messages there, with many "alter calls". I don't know since I don't listen to them.

The prediction was that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011, and somehow the time 6pm came up, but it wasn't clarified which time zone that was. He said that 200 million followers would be taken up with Him. Five months later, on Oct 21st, the world was going to end. Of course, Biblically, we know that there is no number of the exact amount Jesus will call home and that it's supposed to be 7 years of Tribulation not 5 months. It's interesting how this guy comes up with these numbers.

I feel torn. Disappointed. I wanted Jesus to return, but I wasn't expecting Him to. By Him NOT coming back, it exposes this man as false, and it's add disbelief to people, which I find disheartening. But imagine if He had? Then this group would've been right and taking away the glory due to Him. It's a good thing He has it all figured out and not anyone else!

I was also torn regarding how the whole thing was seen by others. I expected a lot of mocking and jokes at the expense of this group and other Christians, though. But the jokes by fellow Christians was sad. Not that we should believe this guy but it made me think. What if He did return? Were we ready? would we all feel pretty foolish? Aren't we supposed to be on watch and be ready and full of anticipation? ("Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:44)

Since none of us know the time or day His return will be, how do you live like that? How do I live like He'll come back today? What if He did? What if today is the last day on earth for me and my family? How does that change things for me? I don't think it made me more loving or patient on Saturday, sad to admit, but true. I can't say if I spent my time wisely or not. (although I did clean my house nice and good. Yay for Nesting!) Or if I was able to teach my children anything useful. (I was happy to learn that the whole thing was discussed at their school though. Abi wisely pointed out that even though we don't know the time or day, we can't say for sure that He wouldn't come back on Saturday! It's good to hear how smart she is!)

I want to live like Heaven is my home and I'm anticipating His return to take me there, but really I'm grounded here, aren't I? As much as I want to live heaven bound, life here is pretty good. I've got a great Hunny and wonderful kids and a warm home and plenty of food to eat and loving family and a great church and things really are perfect for me. I am blessed. And life isn't so terrible that I can't wait to leave. But shouldn't I want to? How did I live like this life is only temporary? How do I instill my children the wonderment of what's to come? We talk about heaven often and what it takes to get there ("I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12) so I haven't failed them in any way, but I want to make sure we're living lives with meaning. And most of the time I feel it's "just living."

Jesus may not have returned on Saturday, but my mind feels more focused. I want it to mean something. The good news is that this guy now claims his math was wrong (really?) and that Jesus will return on the October date. So we've all got time to prepare again!

**I came across this website regarding "after May 21st", that I found helpful, if you're looking for more information. I don't know this group who's put this together, so I can't say if their seminars or classes are good or not. But this page is! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I've been fired!!!

I'm still seeing my group of doctors and my BP is still going up and down. I must admit that I didn't realize your blood pressure can be such a range of numbers. I thought I was so "normal" before, but now it's all over the place; it's hard not to be concerned or stressed! My BP is supposed to be between 80-85 for the diastolic number (the lower one) and yet it fluctuates, and it's hard to not think about what'll happen if it gets too high or too low without me knowing. Especially after my sudden hospitalization two weeks ago!

I saw my regular doctor at the maternity clinic and discovered, yet again, that my BP was lower than it should be. That concerned me, but Dr S shrugged it off, which was frustrating. He also didn't pay much attention to my other concerns and sent me on my way. (such as baby dropping and having pelvic pressure) And that's when I thought, "wait a minute! why am I even still seeing this guy?" So I decided to "fire" him!

He's a good doctor and seems really nice, and he did give me the easiest, quickest and least uncomfortable "womanly visit" exam I've ever had, but he is still just a regular maternity clinic doctor and I have high risk needs to be addressed. If I were a "normal" pregnant woman, I'd have no problem seeing him. But I'm not and frankly, I'm sick of seeing him! That, and the fact that he said my low BP was fine, of course!

Two days after seeing him, I saw my OB, where my BP was in the target range, which surprised and relieved me! I got my Group B Strep Swab done and was told everything was looking good. Baby sounded great, although uncomfortable for me to be lower now, and I'm being seen by a team of specialists and everything is monitored and under control, so Dr G decided to drop a bomb on me. She says she doesn't need to see me anymore!!!

Excuse me?

She says that her job was to get me to 35 weeks and I'm almost there, so there wasn't a need anymore. (I was 33W at the apt)

Excuse me? Am I no longer High Risk? Did I deliver my baby already? After all this work to get in to see an Obstetrician and that's it? She's not going to take me to the end? I don't get it. I can understand her point that things can tend to be done twice with this many doctors (Dr S wants to do the GBS swab on my next week, for example) and that things are going so well for me ---after all, I'm not leaking amniotic fluid or on bed rest (like I was with Rhys) and I technically don't have pre-e (just signs and symptoms of it, but no diagnosis) and I do have everyone possible taking care of me---but if any doctor should be dropped, shouldn't it be the maternity clinic? Since I'm not a regular patient? So much for "firing" Dr S! I think I'm being fired!!!

The doctor did tell me that I can still book appointments with her if I'd like, but I haven't decided what to do yet. (I already have one with Dr S for next week.) A part of me wants to give up and just pretend that it's all normal for me. But another part wants to fight for what I should have. There's always the possibility that I won't even need a specialist in the end, but it doesn't make sense to not see one just because of that chance.

This was something I wasn't expecting. And I am at a loss.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

33 weeks and beyond!

Alright, I didn't expect I'd make it this far! But here I am! I have surpassed 33 weeks, the earliest I've ever gone, and I am so pleased! Things are going better than I anticipated and it's wonderful. I go between being surprised and thinking that maybe, just maybe, things will go along smoothly and I'll go even further in this pregnancy, to having this worry that something will change and this baby will arrive soon! I've been on High Alert since 16 weeks, watching for any sign, any twinge, and I've been waiting for the end and expecting that to be at 30 weeks. Pretty sad way to spend a pregnancy, eh? Always waiting for something to happen.

Here is me at 32 weeks. Looking all cute in my Canucks t-shirt and curly hair! *smile*

And me at 33 weeks.

You probably can't tell, but Baby Jellybean had dropped by this picture! She now sits right in my pelvis. Hooray! It's nice to not have the pressure of the baby squishing my lungs, but now the pain has changed to intense pressure of baby pushing on my hips.

......not much longer.......I think!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Up and Down

I admit to going into this pregnancy thinking that it would be "normal"....well, normal for me, that is. I'd see a specialist and they'd watch out for any pre-term labour for me and I may end up on bedrest, but the baby would come early and all would be well. I didn't consider pre-eclampsia or hypertension, although I did have gestational diabetes on my mind as well. So things have been going .... interesting for me. I'd have to say that it's actually been going well all things considered. I have appointments on a weekly basis with all of the doctors I see! I have been expecting to be hospitalized or on bedrest sometime during this pregnancy, but was taken by surprise when it did happen over Easter! I'd already had a crazy week, so I should've seen it coming, but I wasn't too sure what would happen.

It started out with a visit to the maternity clinic, where my blood pressure was noted to be elevated. Of course, I didn't think it was "too high"...but that's because I tend to forget my target range! It had been so good for so long, so each week I had been pleased with the numbers at the MFM Clinic and not having to go back on the anti-hypertension medication. But I was also anticipating a climb, since it's common for it to increase during the third trimester. Turns out, my time was now! Dr S looked at my blood pressure readings, checked his notes and then sent me to the hospital for another NST and some lab work! I was seen by Dr G (my OB, who happened to be on call that day) eventually ---it was a very busy day on the maternity ward--- and was put back on Labetelol, and all was well again. For a few days, at least. I saw my regular GP dr on a Friday (for non-pregnancy stuff) and my BP was checked and discovered too low--although, she didn't do anything about it because she said it was a normal range for me. It had me concerned though! I tried to contact the Internal Meds dr, but couldn't get a hold of her, so I thought I'd hold out and see how things went. I'd watch for any obvious signs/symptoms and go to the ER if I was worried.

Of course, that weekend was terrible for me! I was lightheaded, couldn't concentrate, had bad backpain, had sharp abdominal pain, and felt agitated and crappy and out of it. On Monday night, I didn't think I'd be able to cope much longer, but thankfully, Tuesday was a bit better. I saw Dr G again (at her office for an apointment) and my BP was still very low, so she told me to hold the Labetelol. The very next day, I saw Dr. M at Women's, where my BP was very high again! Good grief! By not being on meds for one day, it jumped up! Yet when I was on it, it plummeted! WTH?

Dr M didn't know about my high BP, NST and lab work done the week earlier (*roll eyes* why can't the drs work together?) so that info had her wondering what was going on. Plus, I had protein in my urine, so add those two together and they're looking at Pre-eclampsia. Phooey. :( Months ago, I thought I'd end up with this, but was starting to think that maybe I wouldn't...

So I was sent to Admitting at Women's, where I had another NST done and more lab work (to check my kidney function and such. Your kidneys put out a hormone that regulates your blood pressure. Too high BP and you could damage them, apparently), and given Labetelol. (actually, Dr M gave me one immediately after seeing my blood pressure numbers) Then I was given a room (which was more like a closet) in the Delivery Suite, and started a 24 HR urine collection (what fun!) I also got to have another ultrasound, which was the most enjoyable part of the whole hospital process! (Baby Jellybean looked to be "just under" 4lbs already! Yay!) They were trying to find me an actual bed and room, but it was busy, so I settled into my closet with the curtain for a door, and observed other patients! (like the woman across from me who was 41w4d and starting contractions! She moaned a lot and I was wondering how long they'd keep her here. Surely she couldn't deliver in this closet!!!) I knew I'd be there overnight, for sure, and was told by Dr C (another MFM doctor, whom I also adore!) that they wanted to get my blood pressure monitored and leveled out, as well as get my thyroid "sorted out" (since it was fluctuating a lot as well, which isn't too strange for pregnancy, but this was more so), and have me be seen by the Dietician for my Gestational Diabetes (since I sadly failed my second 2 hour test. Phooey. And I had felt so good about it too, thinking maybe I didn't have it this time since I passed the GTT test weeks earlier!) Phew! I was going to be seen by a lot of different doctors and nurses during my visit! (I was eventually set up in a room at 3am, just when I was starting to finally fall asleep!)

I had started to think that I must have pre-eclampsia and was trying to learn more about it while waiting for confirmation from the doctor. I learned that it is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications for both me and baby. (did that make sense? I stole that from Wikipedia!) Symptoms are headaches, visual disturbances, epigastric pain (upper abdominal), nausea and vomiting. Placental Abruption can occur, which is when the placenta detatches prior to birth, which is incredibly dangerous and causes stillbirth. It can lead to seizures, stroke, multiple organ failure and death in more and/or baby, if untreated. Wow. It's hard NOT to get stressed out by it all!

In the end, I wasn't given any information from the doctor regarding pre-e during my hospital stay, but was told by another MFM doctor at my next apt that it was "complicated". I have signs and symptoms, but I guess they fluctuate so much that it's not a simple diagnosis. Which is wonderful to hear, but also confusing.

I was first admitted on Wednesday, not knowing how long I'd stay, but learning it would be for sure overnight. Dr M wanted me monitored and Dr C wanted everything "sorted out", and Dr Unger, another OB, wanted me checked out, and Dr Thompson, the Diabetic Dr, needed to see me.... But after my urine collection was done and my BP was stabilized on Thursday, Dr C and Unger had me discharged. I was almost free! But then Dr Thompson wanted me to stay! Phooey! He wanted to get a better look at my blood sugar levels since I had just started to check. They had been elevated and he wanted 24 hours to get a feel for an average for me. (Poor Hunny was so stressed over it all! He doesn't handle sudden things like this very well, and had to find babysitters for the Youngers, and get the Olders off to school and leave work early and take time off and it was just hard for him to figure out.) I spent Good Friday in the hospital, eating pork chops {*shudder*} and learning how to give myself insulin injections, while my family had a nice turkey dinner!

Yep, I'm giving myself needles! I thought it would happen during my pregnancy with Rhys, since I had such a struggle getting my numbers in order even while on a diabetic diet, but it didn't happen. So I wasn't surprised, but wasn't happy either! It's one thing knowing you'll need to go on insulin and a completely different thing having to actually inject yourself with a needle on a daily basis! But I will admit that I have been so proud of myself! I've been able to do this and do it well! It helps that the needles are small guage and don't really hurt going in, but still! Wow. To think that some people become addicted to a high so much that they're willing to give needles even though they don't "need" them is so bizarre to me!

My hospital stay was finally over on Saturday. Three days later. Or four days, depending on how you count! I got to spend the rest of Easter with my family, and celebrate my anniversary, and see my extended family. It was all good! But it's amazing how quickly things can change. Up and down my numbers go.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I have been blessed so much to have all that I have. He never ceases to amaze me with all that He grants, all the wishes and desires I long for. When I look back upon my life thus far, I can't help but feel a bit silly for all those wasted tears, when I questioned or wondered if I would ever get a prayer answered. I am learning that EVERYTHING good comes from Him and that He longs to give us good things and that it is always better to wait for His timing!

This song was passed on to me by my Mom and it touches me so. I hope it does for you too, and that you feel Him and His love surrounding you.

Blessings ~ Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

*italics on my fave lines. :)
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