Thursday, May 28, 2015

But God

I have a coworker whose favorite phrase is "but God."
Basically, God's plan prevails despite ourselves or the plans of our enemies.
The devil meant this to harm me but God.
I could have died on the way to work today but God.

I'm stealing it for my own today and I can't wait to fill in my own blank.

The doctor said my daughter would never survive outside my body but God.
They said she couldn't live but God.
They said I should end her life and "try again" but God.

Here's the source (emphasis mine):

Ephesians 2: 1-10 (HCSB)

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.  We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.  BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!  Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,  so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—  not from works, so that no one can boast.  For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

We were sin-sick and without hope BUT GOD made a way for us to get to Heaven.  What a thought. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Doing all I can

Lots of folks have told me how strong I am and how my faith is so secure during all of this troubling ordeal.

The truth is that I am not strong at all.  I feel like I'm barely holding on.

The truth is that no matter what healthy foods I eat, vitamins I take or things I give up to help me have a "healthy" pregnancy, nothing will change this diagnosis and prognosis except God.

The truth is that there is absolutely nothing that I can do for my daughter, except pray for her and ask others to do the same.

So that's what I do.  I ask everyone who will listen to me for a second to pray.  I try to be a good mom to Katharine, a good wife to Steven, though I do feel like I'm failing in both since my thoughts are elsewhere.  I do know that if I didn't have my family backing me up this would be near impossible.

The family.  Steven, Katharine, Sarah and Rebecca in the belly.
Print us out, put us on your fridge, share us with your friends and family and church groups.
PLEASE pray for us.  That's all we can do.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Starting at the beginning

I have a happy and healthy two year old daughter, Katharine.  She is an amazing blessing.  Without her, I don’t think I could handle all of this.

Last June, I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks.  My baby measured at eight weeks.  I thought that was the hardest thing I could go through but the uncertainty here is almost unbearable.

Just after this past Christmas, I found out I was pregnant again.  I was overjoyed but nervous as well.  Every pain was cause for alarm.

Early on, an ultrasound tech noted that my baby had thickened neck skin which may be an indicator of Down’s Syndrome.  I rejected the further testing but then couldn’t get it out of my head and asked for the screening at my next visit.

My doctor called me and said I had a 10% chance of T18.  He explained what it is and what our chances were.  When my husband asked, he told us he’d never had a patient with this diagnosis come to term.

I am currently 24 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Rebecca Anne.  After further testing, my doctor has confirmed a diagnosis of T18 with 99% certainty.  He referred me to a high-risk pregnancy specialist who did a 3D ultrasound and told us that our baby has a host of medical issues (clubbed feet, clenched hands, small kidneys).  The most troubling thing though is the fact that the left side of her heart isn’t developing properly.  He started explaining how the heart works, etc and I stopped him and asked point-blank if she could live.  He told me she might live a minute or an hour after delivery but would almost certainly die on her birthday.

My doctor agreed to do a c-section which might extend her life a little.

I do believe in prayer and in miracles but every time I go to the doctor it seems like my hope dies a little more.

At this point, if I can just hold her and tell her that I love her I will try to be content with that.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Prayers for Rebecca Anne

I am 19 weeks pregnant and yesterday my doctor confirmed after blood tests that my unborn daughter has Trisomy 18, also known as Edward's Syndrome, which is an extra 18th chromosome.

To break it down, they have basically given her a death sentence.  Only one pregnancy in 6,000 makes it to birth.  Of the ones that survive being born, most will only live for a few moments or hours.  Ninety percent will not make it through their first year.

I feel like a ticking time bomb.  Like it's only a matter of time before this all ends.

Of course, my two year old daughter is a source of light and blessing.

When they told us the possibility of this disorder existed, I immediately called on anyone and everyone to pray for us but we still received a bleak prognosis.  I don't know how I feel about that.  If God has a plan here I just can't see it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday

to my Bitsy.  She's two today!  It sounds cliche, but it really does seem like it was only last week when we brought her little (9 pounds, little, HA!) cuteness home from the hospital.

Born Katharine, called Kate, Katie-Bean and Bitsy,
Out of newborn clothes before she was even born,
Born via c-section after 21 hours easy, drug-induced labor,
Hoped and prayed-for for ever, it seems,
Blessing and frustration and endless ball of energy.


She'll never be this small again.  Every day is new!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy, happy Thanksgiving


in no particular order:


  • my parents, for raising me with love and discipline
  • my mother- and father-in-law, for having an amazing son and welcoming me into their family
  • my siblings (my own and my in-laws), for laughter and friendship
  • my church, for being an extended family
  • my job, for the means to provide for my family
  • my husband, who loves me in spite of my many flaws
  • my daughter, who is a constant joy and blessing
  • my Faith in God, without which I would be lost in every sense of the word.
I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Loved and Lost

Sometimes it's hard to be thankful.  This year seems to have been filled with death and heartbreak for my family.  Two grandparents, several dear friends and my own dear, unborn baby were taken this past year.

There is a saying, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."  I don't think I ever understood that until now.  I am coming to believe that my grief is a gift.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Chicken with Dumplings!

This would be great with your left over Thanksgiving turkey!

Here's what you need:


Chicken! (I like to use a whole chicken but you can use just breasts, thighs or whatever you like)
salt (I like Kosher for lack of chemicals)
1 stick unsalted butter1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
Veggies! About 2-3 cups diced into bite-size pieces. I almost always use carrots but you can use whatever you like, broccoli, cauliflower, etc
1-2 tbsp dried parsley

1/2 cup flour

For the biscuits:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup dried parsley or whatever dried herbs you want (I like Mural of Flavor from Penzey's)

Here's how you do it:


Put the chicken in a large pot, cover with water and boil until cooked through, no pink remaining. Remove from water and de-bone and de-skin if necessary, dice into bite-sized pieces. RESERVE BROTH! You'll need about 5 cups of broth.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste and the heavy cream. Add the chicken, veggies and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a baking dish.. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. (You can do this by hand but I'm lazy). Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and roll out to 3/8-inch thick. I usually cut mine into squares to keep from wasting any dough but you can do circles if you like OR even drop the dough directly onto the filling with a spoon.
Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.
Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.



Thanks to Ina Garten for the original recipe, but I've changed it so much it's pretty much mine :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A healthy dose of perspective.


Today I found myself complaining about holiday-shopping traffic, poor customer service, this, that and the other thing and then remembered that my Up North pastor just lost his wife of several decades and what must he be going through?

One one hand it must be something of a relief (as guilty as that sounds) because she was in so much pain from cancer and a multitude of other ailments.  On the other hand, she was his wife, his help-meet, his one and only for most of their lives.  How must it feel to have that void?

I am so amazingly, abundantly blessed.  I must try and remember that.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My daughter is

almost two.  Apparently, she's already Terrible Two in her heart.  Also?  Having a toddler is like having a schizophrenic grandparent living with you.

Here's a conversation that occurred about five minutes before bedtime:
Me: Ok, get Anna (one of her "babies") so we can get ready for bed.
Katharine: NO! Don't want! *throws Anna*
Me: Ok then, let's go brush our teeth and get ready for bed.
...brushing teeth, saying prayers, tucking in...
Katharine: *with much weeping and wailing* Where's AAAANNNNNNNNAAAA!?!?!
Me: *le sigh*

Here's one that happened just this morning:
Me: Breakfast time, do you want milk or juice?
Katharine: NO!
Me: How bout some Cheerios?
Katharine: NO!
Me: *pours milk and Cheerios*
Katharine: NO!!!
Me: *puts milk and Cheerios on the edge of the counter, just within her reach*
...five minutes later...
Katharine: *devouring milk and Cheerios*

Repeat times infinity.

She's a mess but I love her.