Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 10-16

MOMMY

Sunday was a good day. Before service the Holy Spirit was definatly moving. During worship when we got the the song "Healer" I began to break down. Then a little girl at our church, who the doctors say the white matter around her brain is disappearing and there is nothing they can do (we know they don't have the last say in that), went up front and began to sing the line "nothing is impossible for You, nothing is impossible, nothing is impossible for You, You hold my world in Your hand." Hearing that the tears began to pour down my cheeks as all I could think about was Nathan standing up there someday singing that same thing as a praise report.

Monday back to the Perinatologist for another round of NST and an ultrasound to check fluid levels. On the way there I was stressing out a little bit about finances with everything going on. When I pulled up to a parking meter put my truck in park and got out to put change in I saw that whoever pulled out of that spot had left about an hour and 10 minutes worth of time in the meter so I didn't need to put as much money into the meter. Than you Lord for reminding me that You will take care of us.

Tuesday while Dave was at Men's group the kids and I went for a short walk down the block to get them out of the house. The weather has been horrible so they have been cooped up in the house. We stopped for a while at our neighbors house and her and I had a great talk. She has had multiple high risk pregnancys all of which have ended without problems but it is still nice to have someone to talk to about everything. After talking to her I was thinking to myself (which is not the best sometimes) that when Nathan gets here and Dave follows him to the NICU for his testing I won't be able to be there for my husband when he needs me. I know that he will have family there but it is MY job to be there for him (our job to be there for each other but I told him he had to follow Nathan). I know this situation is different then most because I will not be able to be there because of my own health at that moment. I had to remind myself that the nurses assured me that as soon as I am cleared by the doctor (hopefully soon after having him) they will take me to where he is via wheelchair. I know that I will be able to be there as soon as I can for my family. The neighbor also told me that it is ok if we need alone time when Dave and I are finally able to be together up on the NICU floor. She said that people will want to be there for us but should understand if we need a few minutes to be there together and cry/pray/whatever it is we need to do at that moment. I pray that I will have the wisdom to know what we all need at that moment.

Thursday I had a weekly OB appointment and NST. The NST went really well. We actually ran out of tape and when the doctor came in and looked he said that we got in 18 out of 20 minutes worth of readings and in that amount of time he did more than enough movements and Nathans heart rated changed enough that he was not worried about it. Then the doctor sat down and we began talking about delievery day and how he had been talking with all of  my other doctors and in our specific situation they all together agreed that it would be best to induce. He asked when my Amnio was set for and I told him. He said "ok and we are checking lung maturity on that day?" I said " Yes and how longdoes it take to get those results back?" He:"within a couple hours and if the lungs are mature enough we will induce as soon as those results come in." Me:"You mean like same day?" He:"Yes". WOW it hit me. That is in 10 days!!! Then he looked at the paperwork and said "oh, wait, we are checking for any chromosomal defects also right?" I said " Yes" then he said "well then that will take a little bit longer to get those results back but probably same day we get those back we will be calling you in to induce." WHAT?? WOW!! IT'S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN. We then talked about how long those results would take to get back and he said he wasn't sure that I would have to ask the doctor doing that procedure how long his lab will take. So now we are looking at the first part of July. This was all a lot to take in. I immediatly text my husband and told him doctor said induce and that's the final say. Of course because he wasn't there to ask questions he was asking me all kinds of things
going through his mind. I answered as much as possible but until I see the Perinatologist next week I will not know anymore than that. And even after that appointment I STILL will not have a SET date because it all depends on how long it takes to get the results and what the results say.

The end of this week I had to keep reminding myself that communication is going to be very important for Dave and I. We are getting down to the end, things are becoming more and more real and if we are going to make it through we are going to have to keep the lines of communication
wide open. All the emotions are going through my mind right now.

DADDY

Missy and I decided that the remaining appointments, minus the Amnio that I will attend, I will be missing, and remaining at work due to the fact that when Nathan arrives there is a chance that I may miss alot of work.

The remaining weeks  don't seem so far away in reality. It hit me the other day just how quickly Nathan will be here, one way or another, induced or come by God saying he's ready.

There are all sorts of emotions going through me right now. Everything from scared, nervous to being very excited in anticipation for Nathan finally coming. Above all of this we are finding great peace in the Lord, and in Him alone do I trust. My flesh may rise up and the enemy can try to steal my focus but I know that Jesus will see me through this storm as lond as I keep my focus on Him.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 3- June 9

This week we decided that Dave should work instead of missing a ton of work when he is already going to be missing a lot of work soon. Gotta make sure the bills are paid. So the appointments over the next couple weeks I will be attending alone.

Monday I had my second non- stress test with the Perinatologist. This time our little man was bouncing all over the place and then fell asleep and made no movements. However, I still had to be hooked up to the monitors for at least 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes was up the nurse took the script paper to the Perinatologist to look at and make sure it was ok. A few minutes later she came back and said "apparently he did everything he needed to in the first five minutes then went down for another nap, which is ok we got what we needed." I am so thankful that these NST's are going really smooth and they keep saying that he is doing great.

Wednesday after having a conversation with my friend and my husband I had a bit of a break down. I know that God is trying to work and I just have to wait and keep working for Him, but this waiting is SSSOOO HARD! Not having answers to big questions in our lives right now and yet still trying to handle the little things.... I know it will all work out and that God has us in the palm of His hand and He will see us through and He knows what is best for us but the patience is obviously something I am running low on. Lord please let us continue to hear from You and have patience to wait for you and have faith in You. Amen. Also today we spoke with the realtor trying to sell our house and she wants to do an open house this weekend. Ok so one more thing to add on top of everything else.

Thursday was an OB appointment and another NST. Again Nathan did everything he needed to do in the first few minutes of the test then rolled over and went to sleep. The doctor said it looked good. This was also the same doctor who had mentioned c-section a few weeks ago. We had a really good talk. He said they currently have another patient who is going through something similar and after talking with her Cardiologist (who is my Cardiologist's partner) they decided that natural would be the way to go to keep everyones from unneeded stress, and he was sure that it would be the same for me. Praise the Lord. One less thing to worry about. That would mean faster recovery so I can take care of my family.

Saturday we spent some family time at the mall then went to a graduation party. Some of the people at the party I had not saw in a while and knew I was pregnant but didn't know everything. So I used it as an opportunity to share our story and our hope with those people. I love that I get a chance to share the wonderful Hope that we have in Jesus. After getting home and resting for a while I was talking with my husband and we talked about how I we want to make sure we are spending a lot of time with our kids now before everything got crazy over the next couple of weeks. We have both also expressed that we want to start packing bags for everyone so when the time comes we are ready to go. That stresses me out a little bit as it makes me realize how close we really are to Nathan's arrival. Earlier today AJ and I were cuddling on the couch and he was rubbing my belly and saying "hi" to baby brother. I took this as an opportunity to tell him that the doctors say he is really sick so we need to pray that Jesus would make him all better and he closed his eyes and whispered a little prayer "dear Jesus, please make baby brother feel better. Amen" I am so proud of him. Thank you Lord.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekly updates

As we are counting down the weeks, from here on we will be posting weekly updates to keep you all updated on our NSTs (2x a week), weekly OB appointments, thoughts, emotions, etc... If anyone would like to contact us we can be reached at nathanielethan2012@gmail.com thank you and God Bless

May

MOMMY
This month started off with Elisha falling down the basement stairs and a trip to the emergency room. After 2 hours of being in the ER they said she was just fine and walked away with only a few little scratches on her belly. I told my husband that "God must have something BIG planned for our kids because the two we already have had so many things happen to them where they should have been seriously injured and have only walked away with minor bumps and bruises." After getting home from the ER I started having sharp pains in my right side. I could breathe and any movements I made made it hurt worse. After suffering for five hours with no relief from tylenol, a warm shower, drinking lots of water, and rest, I finally called the OB on call. He told me it sounded like a gall bladder attack. He also said that I was already doing all the right things that I could be doing at home and if I went in to get checked out all they would do is give me pain medication and send me home. Right when I hung up the phone with the OB Dave got home from work and I told him what was going on and he said that if I wanted to go get checked out that he would take me. I really didn't want to spend more time in the ER than I already had that day, plus I didn't want to be taking perscription pain medication while pregnant. So I decided to tough it out. Dave left for men's group and I stayed home with the kids just resting on the couch as much as possible. Around 8pm that night the pain got so bad I ended up crying out in pain to the Lord. I eventually dried up my tears got up and gave the kids their baths and got their jammies on. Dave got home shortly after that and said that the men had been praying for me. Around 10:30pm I felt the pain start to disappear and by the time I woke up the next morning the pain was completely gone. And now writing this I have still not felt any pain.

About a week after Elisha fell down the stairs I was cleaning out the car for a friend to use and the kids were playing in the back seat. I turned my back for a moment and AJ decided to open the car door that Elisha was leaning against. She fell out and hit her face on the driveway causing her to almost bite through her lip and cause one of her teeth to be offset. I took her to the dentist and they said she damaged some of the muscle fibers that hold her teeth in place but it looked like she would make a full recovery. Thank you Jesus.

Today during church Pastor talked about people needing to make sure their heart is right. I pray that
all that I do brings Glory to God and that I don't let myself get in the way of what He is trying to accomplish through Nathaniel's story.

The first OB appointment of this month we met with another doctor (there are five of them and it depends on who is on-call is who will deliver the baby.) This doctor asked if we had set a c-section date yet. We told him that all the other doctors had told us that it would not be needed. This doctor seemed confused by this he said he would rather we not have one either but with how controlled the situation has to be (bypass machine, surgeons ready, etc.) that a c-section might be best. He said he would talk to the other doctors and they would let me know.

When Mother's Day came around it brought an array of emotions. I was so thankful to be a mom and have two beautiful healthy children and on the other hand I was struggling inside with all that was going on with Nathan. I still have hope and I still believe that God can and will preform a miracle it is just the human part of me that wants to be "prepared" for what is coming no matter which way God decides. A couple days later a lady from church called me and said she was talking with the receptionist at one of her stores and the lady just happened to mention that her granddaughter was going in for surgery in a couple of days. My friend asked her what the surgery was for and the lady responded "she was born with half a heart." They started talking and my friend told her she knew someone who was getting ready to go through the same thing. The lady gave my friend her daughters number for her to pass on to us so that Dave and I could reach out to them if we felt the need. She also wrote down a website for people who have friends and family members going through serious illnesses to communicate and build eachother up.

A few days later I had a bit of a scare and was told by the on-call nurse to go to Labor and Delievery to get it checked out. This was terrifying to me. I was home with the kids Dave was at work and I didn't know where to start. I had to get the kids dressed, call Dave and tell him what was going on and what I was told to do, and find someone to watch the kids. I made a few phone calls and everyone seemed to be busy and Dave and I decided he shouldn't leave work yet because he has already missed so much for doctors appointments and with more on the way it was just best. Finally I was able to arrange for a neighbor to come to the house and sit with the kids. At first when I got in the truck and was making my way to the hospital I was ok, a lil nervous, but ok. It seems the closer I got to the hospital the more I began to shake. Trying to find a parking spot I began to cry. Walking through the parking garage and making my way through the maze they call a hospital to the Labor and Delievery floor I was trying to calm myself down and fight back the tears. I was so upset that I could not even read the clock right next to me to write down my check in time. This whole thing was making it seem so real to me that this is all really going to happen. If not today very shortly. I know I had many people praying for me while I was going through this as well as trying to keep my focus on God and believe that He was taking care of it all. At first the nurse I had was really crabby and made me almost cry. After explaining to her the full extent of why I was there and why I was so worried she had a change of heart and became very understanding. About three hours of monitoring the doctor assured me that everything was ok and they sent me home. One of my close friends afterwards told me that God probably allowed that to happen so that when the real time came I would be better prepared for what I was getting into. I am so thankful that He has been putting strong women of God in my life just when I need a reassuring word because I am so wound up in what is going on that I am not hearing it from Him myself.

Had another OB appointment toward the end of the month. Again, saw yet another OB and the way she talked it sounded as if it was going to be a c-section but they are not going to set a date until we get the results of the next ultrasound, the next cardiologist appointment, and a couple non-stress tests to see how all is going. I was also advised to set the appointment for my amnio.

The song that is really helping me get through my days right now is "He said" by Group 1 Crew. The words say " I won't give you more, more than you can take, and I might let you bend, but I won't let you break, and know I'll never let you go." God is right there with me going through this and He will not give me more than I can handle.

DADDY

It sounds wierd to tell people that "the only thing wrong with Nathan, is that he has half a heart." In the beginning of this journey, that simple phrase sent my world crashing down, because it wasn't just half a heart, there was this possibility and that one, that something else could be linked to his condition, and he could have even more problems, Thank you Lord that none of that was the case.

In my men's group we are going through a Chip Ingram series called R12, its a study on Romans 12. Which by the way is a very good series that I would recommend any small group doing. Through this series I, probably others but I can't speak for them, am learning to REALLY open up, that it's ok to be vulnerable. The main focus thus far of this study is that the REAL YOU, meets REAL NEEDS, for the RIGHT REASONS, in the RIGHT WAY.

Through all this I find that when someone asks me, "how I'm doing?" I'll tell them. I no longer just say, "good," but I'll sit there and talk thier ears off. A good  friend of mine asked me the other night how things were going. I though for a minute, then it seems like out of nowhere, I just started talking about anything and everything I was involved in, this friend seems to have that effect on me. We talked about work, family, ministry and eventually we got to the topic of Nathan. I found myself opening up and admitting that as of now I find it's easy to hold it together, because all of the appointments seem to be all the same up until now, nothing new, praise God, Nathan is growing normally, heart rate is good... But after the "scare" we had earlier this month, it all got real, really quick. I admitted that when the time comes for Nathan to join us, I'm probably going to be a royal mess.

So many things, worries, concerns try to steal our focus from WHO GOD IS, and WHAT HE IS DOING through all of this. The same can be said for all of us in everyday life, the important thing to remember is that the only thing that counts is our relationship with Christ, that we love, trust and obey Him. Everything else will burn, it has no eternal value.

Lord help us to keep our focus on You, oh God. Forgive when we loose track of who you are and begin to worry. We try to figure things out in our flesh and it seems that all we do is get scared and make a mess of things, forgive us for trying to your job Lord. Your grace is sufficient for my family and I, its your grace that has brought us safe this far and I thank you Lord that you haven't brought us here just to leave us on our own, you will see us through this season. Lord I pray that you would bless all who take time to read the story of what you're doing through us, Lord you said if you be lifted up you would draw all men unto you. God there are so many of our friends and family who need you Jesus, as we give you the glory and praise and lift the name of Jesus higher, may you begin to draw them unto you Lord. In the mighty and matchless name of Jesus...Amen.

May 27-June 2

MOMMY
I have been staying home a lot  lately as the kids have been passing around a bug with a high temperature. I have been trying to use this time to pray a lot and try to mentally prepare for everything. This week we have a ton of appointments lined up. Tuesday I ended up taking Elisha in to the doctor because she had been having a high fever since Friday with no other symptoms. The doctor ended up sending her in for lab work at two other locations. Then Tuesday afternoon I had an ultrasound appointment and my first non-stress test. They started me off with the NST which wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. At first he was moving but his heart rate wasn't adjusting the way they want it to when he is moving. So they had to wake him up by using a lil buzzer. That just made Nathan mad and he moved away from their monitors all together and they spent 10 minutes looking for his heart rate again. Then he didn't want to be bothered so the lady had to hold the monitor on him and follow him around with it instead of just using the bands to hold it in place. Then went in for the ultrasound where he decided he didn't want to be looked at so he kept putting his hands and his feet in the way. Little stinker. By the end of it the Perinatologist said he was still growing good and everything looked the same. Thank you Lord! Got another good 3d picture of his face. He definatly looks like his daddy. :). Tonight after Dave came home from Men's Group we got to talking about everything and he mentioned about how it was getting so close and expressed some of his concerns like how he was worried about me if I have to have a c-section and everything else. I tried to assure him that I would be fine but inside I was trying to tell myself that at the same time.

Wednesday we were home for the day. Kids are still sick so didn't want to take them out anywhere. So made dinner and sent Dave off to church tonight while the kids and I had more time at home. The kids went to bed really early so I took advantage of this time to rest and read my Bible. It just so happens that this months devotionals are on Faith. God knew that was just what I needed at this point in time.

Thursday AJ woke up with a fever so back to the doctors office we go for him. again no other symptoms except the fever. The doctor gave us reccomendations for the fever and sent us home. We had enough time to rest before I had to take the kids up to our friends house who was going to watch them during my appointments today. First off was the Cardiologist. He said everything looked the same and said to have the OB call him so they could get some sort of a game plan down. He then sent us for more tours. We went through the PICU (Pediatric ICU) This is where Nathan will go after his surgery. The lady that gave us the tour was very informative. She talked about visiting rules, security rules, how many nurses per child there were etc. This was hard for me at first because she mentioned older siblings coming in to visit and I just imagined how hard it would be to explain to our other two kids why their baby brother isn't coming home right away. But I know the Lord will be faithful and if it comes to that (I pray he would be healed and we won't have to go through any of this) He will give me the words and the kids the understanding. It was a lot to take in but also very calming to know how well he would be taken care of. Then we looked in the Surgery waiting area where she said that is where we will wait while he is in surgery and how they will inform us of everything that goes on. Then we went downstairs and toured the Labor and Deliever and the Mother Baby Units. All of the nurses there seemed very nice. Then back up to the NICU(Newborn ICU) where he will be taken right after birth to run his tests and get hooked up to monitors and be preped for surgery and all of that. After all of this we sat down with a Neonatologist who will be the people that take Nathan from my room to the NICU and will be the ones who run the tests and hook all his tubes and monitors up. She explained to us the "routine" for a baby with this diagnosis and assured us all would be ok. Then down the street we went to my weekly OB appointment. Not much new at this appointment either. Nathan and I are still measuring on target, his heart beat was nice and strong, and my blood pressure was perfect. AMEN. One thing that was mentioned today was the OB thought about doing a steroid shot to make sure his lungs were maturing well. He chose to leave that decision up to the Perinatologist. After spending a few minutes on the phone with the Peri they decided that it was not necessary because we did not plan on delievering in the next week and after that time we would be that much closer anyway. So we made sure that the NSTs were on the agenda for my weekly OB appointments and headed to pick up our kids.

By the end of this day I was so exhausted and felt like a human pin cushion from all the poking and proding and walking. When I was laying in bed I began to giggle from exhaustion. Eventually it shifted to crying for a few minutes because everything we had just gone through today is so close and making it all REAL. I was able to calm myself down and pray until I fell asleep.

Friday morning woke up sore physically but mentally refreshed from the time I spent praying. Thank you Lord. I know He has it all under control.

DADDY

Although it was a lot of information to take in on one day,  I left the appointments Thursday feeling reassured.  The tours were especially helpful to me, I got to put places and rooms to the "plan" that the doctors had been talking about this whole time. We met with a neonatologist while on the tour, and she took the time to explain the process to us, and show us around, she was very nice and answered all the questions we had.

We were re-informed that with Nathan's condition, best case we would be spending at least a month at the hospital. We are still praying and beleiving for a miracle healing, as fun as spending that much time in a hospital sounds, we still know that God performs miracles.

I would like to thank all you again for visiting our blog, sharing in our story and for all your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate it more than you will ever know, and may God bless you as you are blessing us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

April II


The Sunday after the retreat during prayer time I had a really good time with the Lord where I broke down and I could hear Him say "It's ok, I've got you." Then on my back I felt a little hand and I heard AJ's little voice say "Thank you God for Mommy." I melted all over again. Thank you Heavenly Father.

The next day I was on the phone with one of the ladies from the retreat and she said " I just have to let you know that today at both of our morning services (traditional and contemporary) we took communion and both times during service we took the bread in memory of Nathaniel and asked that God would just give him a new heart. Not just fix the old one but give him a whole new one." Amen

Again throughout this month I got a chance to talk with many people about Nathan's condition and I find myself saying at the end of conversations "But God still does MIRACLES." Praise Him!

Close to the end of the month the lady that prayed with me at the retreat came over to bless me with some prayer and to wash my feet (something that was done in Bible times as a sign of blessing someone as Jesus washed the disciple's feet to represent respect because that wasn't something they could do for themselves). One of the things she brought up was about Seth. He was the third born and a boy from Adam and Eve, and eventually Seth's family line brought Jesus. My friend joined us for this time and she said that this time was just for me. She said "I can tell there are times that you feel alone in this mission and you are not, the Lord is with you every step of the way. Take this time to relax, enjoy and open your heart and mind to what the Lord wants to speak into you."  Some of the things that stuck out to me the most that she said while praying over me was He trusts you and Dave to handle this task just as He trusted Mary and Joseph and Dave and I are partnered with God to create and bring Nathaniel into this world to bring Him GLORY.

Three days later I had an OB appointment. Nathan's heart sounded good beating away and his growth was great still measuring a couple weeks ahead. The next day we had a Cardiologist appointment. The doctor said everything still looked the same (we still have hope). We will only see him one last time before Nathan arrives just to make sure that they have as good of a clue as to what is going on as they can. He had us take a tour of the NICU while we were there just so we would know where it was and meet some of the faces that we would be seeing between my hospital room and Nathans first couple hours of care. I was filled with emotions as we went through the NICU. On one hand it was scary to look around and see all these little sick babies and know that this is what the doctors are going to say it is going to look like for my baby (maybe even worse because he will need a bypass machine to help him breathe before he goes in for his first surgery). It also kind of helped me to see all the nurses taking care of these babies and giving them great care and all the machines that they did have readily available to care for these little gifts. I pray we would just see a miracle and Nathan completely healed and not have to go through all of this.

That weekend Dave had won us tickets to the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar. It was great for the two of us to get away in the middle of all these doctors appointments and just have a good time.

Monday we were back to more doctors appointments. On the way there (it was my birthday) I told Dave the greatest gift I could get would be the doctors saying he's all better, you don't have to go to all of these crazy appointments anymore, you can go back to seeing the midwives, etc. However, that was not in the doctors vocabulary that afternoon. The Perinatologist did say that they think they may have found his spleen (something they have been unable to find and can be missing in babies with this heart condtion) but if it is his spleen it is on the wrong side of his body. He also said baby was still measuring a week and a half to two weeks ahead weighed 3pounds 3oz. I also received a text from my cousin after refering her to the blog that said the following "Thank you Missy. I know that even in the best of circumstances, it is difficult to not worry or wonder what the worst is to come. You and your family have been one of the greatest opportunities and I can't thank you enough, or be greatful enough to have this beautiful story touch my life. Dave, AJ, Elisha, and Nathaniel are truly blessed to have such a wonderfully strong woman in their lives. And yes you are incredible to lead so many people in faith and prayer. Nathaniel is a great miracle of God, but don't forget that you are too. Add Arkansas to your list of believers who are praying and believing in your miracle. Next after our home and onwards. We love you and your beautiful family so much and look forward to meeting your newest member." This touched me so deeply. Thank you God for putting this cousin in my life and using her to remind me who I am in you. Amen

April I


This month didn't seem as busy. I think it was because we had come to grips with the fact that we would be going back and forth to many appointments and so we were able to brace ourselves with prayer before each one.

The first part of the month my friend came up to me and asked what song I had told her about that was explaining my feelings a month or so ago. I searched through my notes and couldn't find anything in particular that matched the description she gave, which is that it was an Aaron Shust song. So I spent the afternoon researching all of his songs and nothing came to me. That night at church during prayer I heard the words "A peace that passes understanding is my song , and I sing, my hope is in You, Lord." That's it I yelled. Then I went to her to find out the rest of the story. She informed me that she heard that song on the radio and the announcer said that Aaron's baby that was just born was going to be going in for open heart surgery. I almost started crying that this song played in my head while I was experiencing what I was going through with Nathan and the writer himself was going through something similar. I felt like it was made for us to say "you're not alone." After church that night one of the guys who attends our church asked me what our next appointment was so he could be praying for us. I told him that actually the next day was our next appointment. As he was walking away he turned and said " just remember, God has a plan in all of this and no matter what happens He is in control."

The next day we had an appointment with the Perinatologist. They told us Nathan is a whopping 2pounds now. Then of course he has to bring up the other stuff he said the fact that Nathan has this heart defect gives is a 25% chance that it is congenital and the two vessel cord ups that percentage a little bit. Then he went on to say "however, babies with congenital disorders are usually very small and your boy is measuring at least a week and a half ahead if not more so that brings your percentage back down a ways." Praise the Lord!! I keep remembering the fact that they have yet to pin point a cause for the heart defect. It could only be God waiting to show Himself mighty when He heals our boy.

About this time is when the idea of a blog came to me. I have already been writing everything down and with all of the people we have all over the country praying for us it would be easier for people to follow us. My hope for it also would be for people who are going through similar situations to see the hope, peace, and faith we have and hopefully they will come to know the Lord through it, if they don't already.

This month we also made our first trip home since finding out about Nathan. We decided to make the trip Easter weekend. I was really nervous about how people would act toward us. I prayed a lot before going. God answered my prayers and people mostly just asked how we were doing  and how Nathan was growing. Quite a few people also told us they were praying for us. I can not wait for God to heal little Nathan to increase everyones faith around us.

Just after Easter I had my Glucose Screen. I was not looking forward to it and not for the same reason most women don't like it (I really don't mind the drink)  #1 because it was in the same lab where we had our ultrasound and found out about Nathans heart, #2 I really dislike needles, and #3 I didn't control myself too well on the Easter candy over the weekend. At the end of my one hour wait the
lady called me back to do the blood draw and she asked how the pregnancy had been going so far. I took the opportunity to share with her about his heart and how we had hope that God will heal him and all she said in the end was "well bless his little heart." A few days later was my next OB appointment to get the results from my screen. The doctor said i passed with flying colors (thank you Lord.) I was in a really good mood especially after hearing that and the doctor even made it a point to say he noticed we were in good moods today. Then at the end of the appointment he told us that in a couple weeks we would start going to weekly appointments with him where we would to the regular OB checkups as well as a onehour Non-Stress Test (NST) where I would be hooked up to monitors so they can keep an eye on Nathans and my stress levels to make sure everything is ok. Not only would I be doing weekly NST's with my OB he also said that I would also be going to the Perinatologist once a week for the same thing. So Mondays I will be at the Perinatologist and Thursdays at the OB. Well if that's what my baby needs then that is what I will do.
I can't wait for him to be healed.

Mid month there was a Womens Retreat where women from churches all across our area came together for a Friday and Saturday conference to worship and learn from God's word. Friday night we separated out into groups of four or five people to branch out and meet new people. During our small group time I had a chance to share Nathan's story with the women in my group. After small group time one of the ladies from my group asked if she could request prayer for me during prayer time. I agreed. When evening session was over she came and got me and took me to one of the ladies from her church who was on the prayer team up front. The lady prayed for me and shared a good word with me that included God chose Dave and I for this task because He TRUSTS us and found us worthy. Just like Mary bringing the miracle called Jesus into the world. At the close of camp the second day the sermon ended talking about HEALING POWER (something I did not expect with the other sermons we had heard that weekend). Then we were all handed cards and we were instructed to write a letter to God telling Him how we were going to take what we learned about this weekend and apply it to our lives. After writting the letters we were to take them up and put them on the alter and the speaker was going to take them home and pray for all of them individually. I took my card up front and when I turned to go back to my seat I was stopped by a woman who is a Pastor's wife from a neighboring church that I know and she said we are going to pray for you please wait here. So I stood up front while the music continued and people were having their own prayer time. When the room was quiet again she grabbed the mic and announced to all the women that were there that she wanted the women from my church to come up and stand around me and then she told the other ladies that they were going to pray over me and Nathan and that the doctors say he has half a heart but we know that God can heal and she invited anyone else who wanted to come lay hands to do so. Before I knew it I had around 80-100 women around me I felt hands on my shoulders, head, back, stomach, arms, legs, and even feet. I could definatly feel the power of God around me at that time and it was very humbling. As everyone was finished and walking away I heard a lady (I didn't see her there were too many people around me) say "I believe you are the reason most of the ladies were called up here this weekend so they could pray for you." That made me start crying all over again and filled my hope again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

March part II

MOMMY
A friend from church invited the kids and I up to her house to catch up during the day while the husbands were at work and the older kids were in school. She hadn't heard a recent update so she asked for one. I began to share with her that they found the veins were not working right which would mean he would have to have surgery same day and told her about all the tests they wanted us to take. Now this friend is someone that I can share a lot of myself with so I went on to tell her that I just want Nathan to be healed and I know God can do it, but the human side of me is thinking long term about all the bad stuff that "could" happen. She flipped around and said "Stop... you can't just know God can heal your baby, you have to say it will happen, thank Him for it, and move past it." She shared with me a sermon she receives monthly through the mail from a few years ago that talked about unbelief. Reading it later that night I read about the mountain I want moved will not be moved when I am dwelling on stuff. God can't move in my life if I don't believe that He will. I have to BELIEVE and claim it. The sermon also talked about the "Final Prayer". With your problems or issues you need to say "Lord this is what I want you to do but Your will be done not mine." He knows what is best for your life. He is on your side.

The following Sunday after church I was handed a letter addressed to Miss Missy & Mr Dave. I was a little curious as to what it said but I felt that because it had both of our names on it I decided to wait till the drive home to read it out loud to Dave and myself. I began to read and tears started welling up in my eyes:

Dear Mrs Missy & Mr Dave
God said that Nathaneil has a whole <3 not a half a <3 but a whole one. I told my mom about it and I felt lead of the Lord to tell you that Nathaneil has a whole <3 and you don't have to worry anymore. God Bless you.

It was signed by an eight year old girl in our church. Then at the bottom of the page was a drawing of a little baby with a big heart drawn over the chest and the heading for it was Nathaneil Ethan Watkins with a whole heart. I looked over at my husband and all we could do was smile. All that we could think was "the heart of a child". It reminded us that the Bible tells us to have the heart of a child and come to Him believing everything He tells you just like a child does with an adult influence.

While reading a devotional it talked about the story of Lazarus and how when he died Mary and Martha blamed Jesus for not being there and "Jesus wept." His weeping showed His God sized capacity to feel the pain we feel in times like these. These ladies were short on hope but when they saw their brother brought back to life they were again filled with hope. This encouraged me and reminded me that NOTHING is too big for Him. He can raise people from the dead, He can move mountains, He can do ANYTHING. Nathan's heart is a small thing for Him to fix. I have faith God WILL fix his heart and I have faith that the Lord knows what is best for my family.

2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. When your fearful you get too wrapped up in the issue that is staring you in the face. Instead you need to look around the fear at how God can use this situation to touch you and others around you and bring Glory to Him. With us we are able to tell people this horrible diagnosis but then talk about how God will heal him and how important our faith is to us. He has been faithful to us before and He will do it again even if the outcome is not the way I wanted it to go, He's got it in the palm of His hand.

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. As we meet people and they wonder how we can have such faith we need to make sure we are studied up in the word of God. He will never leave nor forsake us.

We got to meet the OB doctors for the first time. I was so nervous. I went to midwives with both of my other kids and I loved the relaxed atmosphere they brought into a room. It was like having your favorite aunt with you. However, because I am now considered high risk I now need to be seen by an actual doctor and deliever at a completely different hospital so the doctors can all be there and be prepared for him. The doctor asked us how we were dealing with what all we had been told and we told him we had a strong support system between God, our church family, our families and friends that we were doing pretty well. He said he was very glad that we had a great support system.

DADDY

In my line of work, running a pre-finish shop doing alot of stain and laquer work,I'm very careful about what I drag home as far as fumes and such. I found myself almost wondering and blaming myself for Nathaniel's conditions. "What did I expose my family to that this happened?" This kind of thinking is not only unhealthy physically but spiritually as well. I found myself in a dark place on the inside, but putting on a smile on the outside. This lasted for about a week or two, then through the words of my pastor in his sermon on a sunday morning I was reminded of John 9:1-3. Jesus heals a man that was born blind, walking by the desciples asked Jesus who sinned, was it the man or his parents that he was born this way? Jesus answered, niether, but that the glory of God could be shown in his life.

Hearing those words really put my mind at ease. I came to the realization that Nathaniel was not being "punished" for anything I had did, or because I was covered in fumes, but that the glory of God would be shown through him. Also that Missy and I were chosen for this journey. God saw us as faithful to handle this. We would give glory and honor where its due, which is what we aim to do through this blog, to inform everyone about progress, and ultimatley to honor God through this.

We appreciate everyone taking the time to visit our little blog here, it's very humbling to think that this many people would take time out of thier busy lives to see what's happening in our lives, thank you and God bless you in everything you do!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

March part I

DADDY:
The following is something that was layed on my heart this month in the form of a poem:

The Day I Met Nathaniel Ethan

I met my son the other day, and an undescribable Joy overwhelmed me
The doctors say he has half a heart,
But they don't know that You work to completion,
and have known Nathan from before the start.
As the measure of my faith is put to the test,
I stand on Your promises, and lean on Your everlasting arms for rest.
They ask me how I'm doing, they say "I'm sorry" and that they will pray.
Yet when I open my mouthto speak, they're preplexed by what I have to say.
I have a Joy thats unspeakable and a peace that's beyond all understanding,
I have You to thank oh my Lord, because it's by Your wounds we have healing.
God, You've revealed to me what Nathan will accomplish for Your glory
With a beginning testimony like his, I know his life is going to be quite a story.
Father I thank You for my son,
I have the authority to speak life into him, because on the cross You said it is done.
In the name of Jesus, nothing missing, nothing broken...

"In Christ alone, my hope is found,
He is my Light, my Strength, my Song...
What Heights of LOVE, what DEPTHS OF PEACE
when fears are STILLED, when strivings CEASE, my COMFORTER, my ALL IN ALL
here in the LOVE of Christ I STAND!"




MOMMY:
March was another busy month.
The first part of the month we were instructed to meet with a Genetic Counselor to talk about different tests we can run. During the conversation with her we also went through all of our family history and genetics to see if we could determine what caused all of this. We were unable to find anywhere in our family histories or genetics that would cause this. Right after meeting with the GC we went in for an ultrasound, they said this would be a common occurance now, with a meeting with the Perinatologist to follow all of the other parts of Nathan. We were told that with this heart condition they usually see either missing or misplaced organs in the rest of the body. When the ultrasound was complete they said that as far as they could tell all the organs were where they belonged. Then they said that they noticed he only had a two vessel umbelical cord not a three vessel cord like normal babies they assured us it is common but it could be a sign of Downsyndrome (if he has DS they said they would not do surgery because those babies usually don't survive this kind of surgery). After the Perinatologist left the Genetic Counselor came back in and said by the way our boy is growing she highly doubts that he has DS. The possibility of all of this upset me. I was trying to hold back the tears as we left the hospital that day and the 24 hours that followed. I know my God is BIGGER than this and He can reach down whenever He wants and make Nathan whole. My down fall is I am trying to "prepare" myself for the worst when what I need to be doing is focus on TODAY and what I have and be thankful that I get to enjoy everything I have right now. Thank you Lord. A few days later a lady from church asked me for an update because she remembered that I had an appointment earlier in the week. I told her about what the doctor had said about the two vessel cord and how they say it can be a sign for DS. She looked at me with her six month old son on her lap and said he had a two vessel cord and the doctors never said anything to her about the chances of that. That little bit of information from her helped me recharge. Because I was struggling with that information I believe God sent her to me at that moment to calm my fears. Talking with another friend she said I sounded "full of hope" for someone going through a situation like ours when most people would be so full of dispair. All I could say was "God's got it."

One day I was getting ready to leave for the grocery store with our two children and suddenly a song came to me the words were "There are days when I feel, The best of me is ready to begin, Then there're days when I feel, I'm letting go and soaring on the wind, Cause I've learned in laughter or in pain, How to survive, I get on my knees, I get on my knees, There I am before the love that changes me, See I don't know how but there's power, When I'm on my knees," and it goes on to talk about you can do it anywhere crowded  places or alone. I walked to the middle of my living room and hit my knees in the middle of the floor and asked God to perform a miracle.

About midmonth we had a follow-up with the Pediatric Cardiologist. The doctor said we looked much better this time around seeing as how I wasn't crying uncontrolably. We told him we had a good support system between the Lord and all of our friends and family. He told us they had discovered that the veins that take the blood from the lungs back to the heart to be sent to the rest of the body were not working. This means that instead of being able to wait a few days to do surgery they would have to do it within hours of him being born and he would be in a by-pass machine. This, as I'm sure you can imagine, almost sent me back to the feelings of the first day. The doctor assured me that he was pretty sure there were no other defects to worry about that surgery should go as planned and he would be fine. I had a question I needed answered, how many surgeries like this do the surgens do? The PC said that obviously they don't do this everyday because not everyday there is a baby with this issue but they have done many of these procedures with great success stories. He told us he wants us to meet the Neonatologists who are the people that will be taking Nathan into surgery when he is born and we would arrange a date for that at a later time. I pray that even if we meet them that when the time comes we won't need them because he is healed. Although we got reassured by the PC I left feeling defeated and angry. I just wanted to go in look at the monitor and see that he was healed. I just want him better. I am so tired of stressing while trying to take care of myself and my family, but I know that God doesn't give you more than you can handle and apparently He knows I am strong enough to handle this.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

February

FEBRUARY 2012

Daddy:
Being a man, finding out that your son has not just one, but many incredible heart deffects is something that will put things into perspective REAL quick. Before we got the news Missy and I were focused on our family, youth group ministry, and getting things ready to claim our new house in Jesus' name (another miracle), but something like this gets your attention on whats really important. Once we got the news that Friday, many questions, thoughts and fears arose. After immediately calling pastors, family and friends and getting our little man on the pray chains. We spent that evening with some very close personal friends, whom I thank God for every day. Through talking with them, they told us that we needed to find a name for our little man, so we could BOLDLY bring him before the Lord daily. While at our friends house, I get a call from my mom, checking on how I was doing, if there was anything we needed that she could do. She too, also advised me that I needed to name my son so we could bring him before the Lord. It was clear that God wanted this son of His named, and as his earthly father I did not take the job lightly. After looking online at list after list of names and meanings of those names, I felt there was only one choice, being led by the Holy Spirit I came up with Nathaniel Ethan. It wasn't a big crowd pleaser at first, seeing how my son's initials would be N.E.W., after much prayer we knew that this was God's name He had chosen for our son.

After leaving our friends house, we went home and went to bed, it had been quite a day. With our other two children staying at their Auntie's house, our home was very quiet, and between that, and the news we were digesting neither Missy or I really got too much sleep. I got up early that next morning, Saturday, and awoke to an email from my close friend, calling all the men in our men's group to prayer. Needless to say that this particular email drove me to tears. So weeping like a small boy, I opened my bible and to study the verses that were in this email. Upon studying those I found many other verses that really spoke to me in a deep way. Feeling like I could do nothing else, I began to write, something I used to love doing, but haven't found myself doing lately. What I didn't know is that what I would write, would inspire people, and act as a "prayer cloth" for my son.


NATHANIEL ETHAN WATKINS

Nathaniel- Gift of God

Ethan- Strong and optimistic
Solid and enduring
Permanent
Firm

N.E.W. - 2 Corinthians 5:17- The old is gone, the new is come, we are made brand new!

John 10:10- Life abundantly. Nathan has this promise.

1 Peter 2:24
Exodus 15:26
Psalms 118:17
Psalms 139:13-14
Jeremiah 1:5
Psalms 103:1-3


Mommy:
The month of February brought many emotions for us. We were scared, shocked, quizzitive, but we
knew all the answers for all of these emotions could be found by reading our Bibles and being in constant prayer. We found out on a Friday and were at church first thing Sunday morning. I was nervous. I had finally come to grips a little with the news as long as people were not asking me a million questions and telling me they were "sorry." My husband and friends advised that we stay home but we knew we needed to be there. Everything went surprisingly well. We were able to show where our faith really lay by not letting this get us down and being there to worship and praise the Lord for what the future held for us. Within days we were talking with family and friends about our faith and how we know God can heal and we just have to believe and trust in Him. Just five days after I was in such peace that people were asking me if I was wearing a fake smile. All I can say is when you have something this BIG come up in your life you realize there are bigger forces at work for you and you have to realize that you don't have control over it but God does and He knows what is best for you and your family. He takes you through things to teach you and others about His love for you. By giving the situation to Him and saying He is in control He blessed us with "Joy Unspeakable." We are smiling because we know that through this we will be able to touch more people and speak to more people and share with them our Hope and others don't understand how we can be smiling. I had been so excited about what the Lord was doing and is going to do through this that I was even talking to bill collectors about it on the phone, saying "sorry I havn't been able to call and pay you, we have been in a lot of doctors appointments because they say our little guy has a serious heart defect, but God's going to take care of it and it will all be ok." They probably thought I was nuts but thats the joy I have. Also within five days we had 13 churches from Washington, Idaho, and California praying for us. By the end of February we also had churches in Alaska, South Carolina, and Arizona also praying.

About a week after finding out about Nathaniel I was listening to our local Christian radio station and a song came on that struck me to the core. The words were "I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands, that you are who You are, no matter where I am, every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand, You've never left my side, though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm." I felt I was being spoken to through this. I felt it saying God has it all under control, just keep prasing Him for all He has done and all that He is going to do through this, all the people you will get to speak to, He knows your hurting but He is holding you and the situation you are in no matter what you are going through. This gave me a peace. HE'S GOT IT!! 


With God ALL things are possible!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome all!!

First off we would like to thank everyone for taking time to stop by and check out our blog.

My husband and I live in Washington state and have two beautiful children Adrian (3years) and Elisha (14months).  Now let me tell you a little about the reason we are here. In February 2012 we went in for a routine mid-pregnancy ultrasound for our 3rd child. A few hours after the ultrasound we were contacted by our midwife telling us to go directly to the hospital as they had found a serious heart defect in our little man. After two and a half hours in the Pediatric Cardiologist office getting all sorts of ultrasounds and cardiograms we got the news that our little man (to simplify it) has half a heart that is turned the wrong way, tilted the wrong way, and there are major veins and arteries missing. According to the doctors he can live but not without multiple surgeries starting from the time he is born. As you can imagine we were in shock. However, we believe in God and we know that He still preforms miracles. We immidiatly informed our Pastor of what was going on and he went to work getting us on all of the prayer chains in the area.After word had spread within three weeks we had churches in seven different states praying for us. It was very humbling to know that people we don't know all over the country are praying and believing with us that our little man will be healed.


With all of the people we have contacting us asking us updates we thought it would be easiest to start a blog so that everyone who wanted to keep up on his progress could follow us. It is our hope that our story can inspire, encourage, give hope, and most of all increase faith.

Upcoming posts will up date you in more detail on what happened in February and March and get you up to date where we hope to continue to post weekly if not sooner. Thank you.

God Bless.