Our Sweet Mercy

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Somebody I love very much shared this verse with me last week and it hasn't left my head or my heart. 

Trusting God is something I'm finding to be much easier said than done. Of course, this is silly... Hasn't he provided for me, protected me, given me life abundantly... for 29 years? Even when things have been HARD He's been present in my life, given me perfect peace and worked each little detail out for my good. Craziness that I should have any doubt that He would do this same thing at this time in our lives, as we're nearing the birth of our daughter.

Two weeks ago, Chris and I found out that I have developed a liver disease called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholestasis-of-pregnancy/DS01033). A few days before Christmas, my feet and hands woke me up in the middle of the night itching... BAD itching. This persisted and spread over the course of the next three weeks while we waited for my blood test results to come back. The results came back positive and thus began our new journey to parenthood. The only noticeable side effect this condition will have on me is the itching, which has for the most part subsided since I began taking the prescription. This has been an incredible blessing, I'm sleeping again and able to focus on life outside of scratching!

However, the condition poses a much higher risk for our baby girl, Mercy. I'm three days shy of 30 weeks now and the further along we get, the higher the possibility of complications and unpredictable fatality of our daughter. This has been incredibly emotional, and I've struggled greatly over the last couple of weeks since the diagnosis. Trusting God has NOT been easy. The good news is, the chances of stillbirth increases drastically after 36 weeks, and even then is fairly rare.

So this is what the next 6 weeks looks like for the three of us:

Every week Chris and I are going to the hospital for what's called a biophysical profile, or a BPP, which is a 30 minute ultrasound and a non-stress test to monitor her movement, heart rate, breathing, etc. Every other week we'll be seeing our OB, and every other week we'll be seeing a specialist who will help determine the best time to deliver our sweet girl. We will not be waiting past 36 weeks to deliver, and depending on how she's doing on all of her tests, we may decide to deliver earlier.

Something that has been a gift from God and a huge blessing is getting to see her every week. We went yesterday for our second BPP and got to see her yawning and practicing sucking. She even stuck her little tongue out for the camera! The ultrasound tech talked about how awesome it is that even in the womb, God is preparing her for the outside world as she practices skills she'll need when she's here! 

Another blessing is each little kick or movement. That is my favorite feeling of all and we have a little celebration every time!

Even as I have struggled to trust Him, He has been so faithful to give me reassurance through her movements, through my husband's unwavering faith and trust and through the many prayers that we feel throughout each day. Each of you is playing a huge part in God's promise to give His children peace. While my daily struggle with trust continues, it is beginning to be replaced by awesome feelings of peace beyond understanding. 

And being the impatient types, we're very excited to meet our sweet Mercy sooner than expected!

I want to thank you for your prayers before they've even begun. You've all prayed so faithfully through the various stages of my life, and I'm asking you to continue that now as we've begun this journey of trusting God with the child He has granted us, His gift of mercy in our lives and our family.

I love you all so very much!


  Anna Kathryn

"I thank my God every time I remember you!

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy!"
-Philippians 1:3-4