Thursday, December 29, 2011

17 Weeks

Ignore both the mess on the floor and the tired face as this picture was taken after we got home late Wednesday night from celebrating Christmas with my TN family.
Profile shot for a better view.
I went to Dr. V for my follow-up from labs last week. Good News - my numbers are perfecto. Apparently my thyroid likes me being pregnant. Plus my A1C numbers and BUN (kidney function) are perfectly normal as well. Praise God for encouraging news! Now if I can get my bladder on board - ha!
One week from today (1/5/12) we have our insurance hearing. I'm praying for favor with the insurance people and that I don't cry. Though perhaps if I do, their hearts will soften. The Lord has been kind to give me peace about it. After all, they can't repossess the baby :) so if we deliver with no insurance the doctors and hospital will just have to be patient while we pay them off.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Humility & the Lord's Provision

The Lord has been pleased this week in particular to provide for some needs in very spectacular ways.

First, Mrs. Sherry at our church is in charge of the food baskets at church. Thursday before Christmas she called to say she prepared a basket for James and I. Now we're poor, but trust me we still eat - my expanding waist line can't solely be blamed on Baby Lackey. :) However this act of kindness was a huge blessing in that it is food we don't have to buy, thereby saving our resources. What was even kinder was my conversation with Mrs. Sherry. I commented "You didn't have to do that for us" to which she responded not "well I know you guys are having a hard time, etc.." Rather she stated a very simple, "I know but I wanted to." What kindness she exibited not to remind me of our situation. It may seem like a trivial comment, but it meant a lot to me.

Second, so many people have given us little gifts: encouraging cards, kind words, hugs, reminders of their prayers, gift cards, etc... this Christmas.

Third, our Sunday School teachers' daughter gave us some of her things from when her daughter was a baby. Particularly a Pack-n-Play, Car Seat, several sets of crib sheets, and an adorable hooded towel. Sure, I could get these things through Baby Showers, but I hate to ask people.

Fourth, Christmas evening our doorbell rings. Not expecting company I answer the door to find a couple who I've never seen before (or atleast I didn't recognize them). The wife asks if I'm Melissa then hands me a card says Merry Christmas and leaves. The card contained a very, very generous financial gift signed simply "Friends." By the time I opened the card and realized what had occured, they had driven away.

These acts of provision (combined with my pregnancy hormones) cued the onset of many tears. Now let me be honest and say these weren't tears of happiness or joy. These were tears of humility and repentance.

You see I struggle almost daily with trusting the Lord. I may talk a good talk, but mostly I am trying to convince myself of the truths my brain knows but my heart struggles to believe. The Lord has revealed to me this week through his kindness that my struggle to trust him is planted firmly in pride.

My pride is rooted in self-sufficency/self-reliance and anxiety.

I have never been one to be on the "receiving" end. I have almost always been able to take care of myself. I would rather take on multiple jobs or struggle greatly than ask for help. My parents raised me to be independent, which is good, but I find interdependence (which is a biblical-lifestyle) very difficult.

Moses reminds the people of Israel (and me) of the danger of this kind of pride.

In Deuteronomy 8:11-17 he says:

Beware . . . lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply . . . then your heart becomes proud, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt . . . [and you] say in your heart, "My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth."

While I have never verbalized that attitude outloud, I do take pride in being able to fend for myself. I don't want people's help - I don't like how it feels to receive to be helped or served.

My self-sufficiency also causes me to be anxious about the future because deep-down I know I can't control all. What exactly am I afraid of, you ask? Everything! Afraid that the baby will die, afraid that the baby will be born with some kind of birth defect, afraid of not living near family and not knowing what to do with a baby, afraid that I'll have to go back to work in the fall, afraid that James will never get the ministry position he longs for, afraid the Lord will keep us in this holding-pattern forever. How stupidly sinful of me.

In Isaiah 51:12-13, the Lord admonishes Israel (and me, again) with these words:

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, and of the son of man who is made like grass; that you have forgotten the Lord your Maker?

Friends, Please pray:
  • That the Lord will bless those who have blessed us. Their generosity is a testimony to their faith and I pray that the Lord rewards their kindness.
  • That the Lord will give me endurance as he refines me. My pride of self-sufficiency and anxiety are smacked in the face when the Lord shows his kindness to me. The Lord is kind to discipline me. The Lord's dicipline isn't comfortable at all, but I know it is what is best for me.
  • That I will live the words of 1 Peter 4:19 "Entrust your soul to a faithful Creator."

Now, I'm going to go finish crying and repenting. *sigh*

Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?
Does this mean nothing to you?
Can't you see that his kindess is intended to turn you from your sin?
Romans 2:4 NLT

Thursday, December 22, 2011

16 Weeks

I don't feel like the belly has grown a lot since last week, but looking at the pictures it would appear my feelings are faulty. Here I am in all my glory below. Don't expect many more bare belly shots.
I had a visit with the urologist, Dr. B, today. Apparently my UTIs are sulfa-resistant hence why the macrobid I've been on hasn't been working. I could have told him that and saved us both time and me money. He was cracking me up trying to find an appropriate antibiotic because it seemed that everytime he blinked he forgot that I was pregnant and he needed to find a "safe" medicine. He did finally find one that satisified him and hopefully will kill this nasty thing. Though I feel fine - I'm totally asymptomatic - I'm not sure if that's a blessing or not?
Other random pregnant thoughts:
  • On our way back from Christmas in WV, we stopped at the Pizza Hut in Mt. Sterling because they have a lunch buffet (why don't more Pizza Huts have this?). I, who normally am a plain pepperoni and cheese girl, ate several slices of pepperoni with jalepenos, green peppers, and red onions. It was so tasty! Apparently, I am carrying my father's grandbaby.
  • Christmas is in 3 days. The Lord is kind and we've been invited by PCS family for Christmas Eve fun and food and church family for Christmas Day lunch. If you can't be with "real" family on Christmas - work and church family are a definite God-given substitute.
  • I am officially in maternity clothes now. While the Lord has been gracious to provide free hand-me-down maternity clothes, the only down-side I've found is that I am short and the people who have given are tall. Not so much a problem with tops or dresses/skirts, but pants are another story. Perhaps I'll break down and take some to a tailor. More likely, I'll just roll them up - hee hee.
  • 18 days and we'll find out with Baby Lackey will be a he or she - can't wait!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

15 Week Appointment

Stats from the appointment:
My weight - 118
My BP - 120/65
Baby's Heart Rate - 150
I got to see Dr. Paul, who is my "normal" doctor. (The practice I go to has 6 doctors in total and they like for you to see everyone at some point throughout your pregnancy just in case a different doc is on call and you need them). She was able to pinpoint Baby Lackey's heartrate on the first try! That is a super huge praise to the Lord. After finding the heartbeat, Dr. Paul pushed around on my abdomen a bit feeling Baby Lackey and commented, "Wow s/he's really active." Yep - that's my Baby - ADHD in utero! Love it!
Another Praise! I won a free 3D Ultrasound. Back at my 12 Week appointment, I put my name in a drawing for a free 3D Ultrasound give-a-way. Today I found out that I won! I never win anything. Part of me thinks they picked my name on purpose, but I'll take the blessing either way. Added Praise - the 3D Ultrasound is scheduled for Friday March 2nd, which is a Professional Development Day for James so he can come without missing work!
Prayer Request - Apparently, I have another/or the same UTI. I have had no symptoms, but my bladder's angry nonetheless. Dr. Paul wants me to call and schedule an appointment with my urologist to get it checked out more thoroughly. Please pray for my bladder - it's got issues but I know its nothing the Lord can't work through so I just need to trust him.
I am still confident of this
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

15 Weeks

Today Baby Lackey is 15 weeks
I think I feel Baby Lackey moving around in there once in a while - particularly after eating. It could be gas. Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure that's beginning as well - haha. Good thing I teach 2nd grade and have 23 little ones in my class on which to place the blame. Not that I would ever do that. :)
Tomorrow, I have a routine follow-up doctor visit. I'm hoping and praying the doppler-thingy works properly and they are able to find the heartbeat quickly. I definitely do not want a repeat of last time. I'm not sure why, but I always start getting really nervous before a doctor's visit. I begin worrying about everything: the health of the baby, the cost of the visit, being away from my classroom, etc... I consistently have to remind myself that the Lord is good and is using all these experiences to build my faith and trust, which is ultimately for my greater good and his glory. Please pray for me to learn this truth (again).
Trust in the Lord
with all your heart
and lean not on your understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Friday, December 9, 2011

14 Weeks

Wednesday 12/7 - Baby Lackey is now 14 weeks - only 26 weeks to go.
I think I am beginning to feel little "flutters." Perhaps it's just my tummy grumbling and such, but I like to think it's Baby Lackey doing his/her little flips in there.
Our next appointment is Thursday (12/15) and should be a routine weigh in and check baby's heartbeat. Though I'm afraid to say it out loud, I think perhaps the morning sickness phase has passed *fingers crossed.* I'm feeling more energized and my appetite is back, which is nice.
Insurance Update - our appeal hearing is scheduled. It's January 5th at 1:00 pm. That's the exact day and time we were to have our "gender" ultrasound. So today, I had to call and reschedule. Sadness. But they had an opening January 10th, which is my birthday, so it should be a fun day :) Please pray for the hearing - pray for favor with the Appeal Officer, understanding, and an ease of bureaucratic nonsense.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Family

This weekend was my Dad's annual Christmas Party. It's a party they throw each year for my grandfather's remaining siblings. It's a wonderful time as I usually only see these aunts/uncles once a year - sad, I know.

James and I have literally no family in Kentucky, though we both grew up close to our family.

I lived on the same street as three of my Dad's seven siblings with another uncle and my grandparents one street over. My Mom's parents and brother lived just 20 minutes away. James actually lived with his maternal grandparents and his father's parents were in town as well. So we both have memories of being around family all.the.time. Being pregnant has awakened within me a new desire to be around family. I want Baby Lackey to know his/her great-great aunts/uncles, great aunts/uncles, etc...

Presently the Lord is not calling us to go closer to home, whether TN or WV - but to stay in KY. In fact the doors that have opened as far as jobs and such have tended to be even farther away from family. So I took tons of pictures this weekend so that Baby Lackey will at least have family to "look" at.

My stepmom, Sue and me

My Dad and me - as I have aged, I have realized that I am A LOT like him!

Adorable nephew, Woovens and me

My gorgeous sister, Sharon and me

Sweet cousin Lesa and me.

My great-aunt Mildred and me

The Lord has been good to provide friends who are like family and several have already designated themselves as the "Louisville Grandma, Aunt, etc..." but I do worry about our baby growing up away from family.

So friends, I need advice. How do you deal with living away from family? How do you teach your child about the people of your family when they don't get to "see" them but once or twice a year?