21 weeks 4 days

I’m officially in the hospital for the long haul… and let’s pray it’s a LONG LONG LONG haul. Somehow my head/heart isn’t capable in any way to go beyond today and I think that’s self preservation at this point. I let myself feel some emotion yesterday with my mom, husband, and a close friend, and that’s all I can tolerate at the moment. For the babies’ health and safety I can’t let myself get upset even though my heart is breaking. So today – I’m back to that numb place. A smile on my face. Able to interact with nurses in a stable way. I must keep calm in the storm and I pray to God for that strength constantly. Will I be ok if the worst happens? After stuffing all of this quite intentionally to avoid contractions – probably not. Who would be? Will I eventually be ok? Yes. Not on my own strength. With His. Because He’s going to have to carry me for a long while to survive those thoughts.

So for the moment. I live in hope and cling to some very very small odds that things could still be ok. That even if we lost baby A due to membrane rupture, that there is a slim medical option of somehow maintaining the other two for longer. I have no choice but for vaginal delivery prior to 24 weeks (viability) and the thought of that makes me literally sick as it not only means such a physical burden (and having had an UNsuccessful delivery of my daughter literally ties to my post traumatic stress) but the emotional burden of knowing they wouldn’t survive. So – I push it to the depths of the ocean and don’t allow myself to consider that. In my head/heart we MUST get past this point. So why burden my heart with it if I’m able to avoid that.

I talked to my OB this morning and although she was very honest she just has a way of presenting information in a compassionate way. I don’t often feel that way about the perinatologist although I know she’s top notch in facts and figures and info. We just don’t have the same point of view on life in general. So I’ve avoided her for the time. I’m sure I will see her this week at some point and hopefully be better prepared to hear what she has to say.

This is probably more emotion than I’ve ever dared write here but to some point I feel I’m starting to let myself share that in small ways. You can’t imagine the true emotion I’ve felt deep in my heart through ANY part of this journey. So yes – I feel I am surviving well and hanging in here strong in faith – but there are aspects of my head/heart that nobody should have to hear b/c it’s just too much to bear. So I give those things to God.

Last night I had trouble sleeping. There are very few scripture verses that I memorized as a kid but there is one that I remember fairly well. Last night He gave me that verse over and over and over again.

Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Yesterday my daughter was looking out my hospital room window at the Duluth hillside and said in a voice of amazement, “ohhh mommy! A big, tall mountain!”. Yes my love… I might be in the valley at the moment but that mountain is just outside my window and I have to trust the Lord to walk with me to the other side again.

10 thoughts on “21 weeks 4 days

  1. Janet Eggleston says:

    In light of Nora’s comment (and the view out your window), here’s another Psalm for you to pray:

    Psalm 121
    I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
    My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
    He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
    He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
    The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
    The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
    The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
    The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.


  2. becca.rickert says:

    Praying for you Janelle. Thank you for sharing your heart with us! It is difficult to share the real thoughts/emotions/fears that you are experiencing with the rest of us. We are blessed to see a woman of faith cling to Jesus as you walk closely with Him in the valley, trusting in only Him to bring you to the top of the mountain again. We pray for you, the babies, Nate, and Nora often!

  3. Tawnda Andrews says:

    Beautifully said, Janelle. Praying you through this valley as best as I can. Specific prayer requests are appreciated but for now my prayer is to just keep them in there as long as possible. Feel free to vent to the peri. Give her what for. Or tell your OB you don’t appreciate “blank” comments from her and have her keep them to herself. You could also have Nate tell her. Shawn was always better at sticking up for me as I get WAY to emotional…even in anger, to ever say what was on my mind. You could also rant on this blog. We’ve all been there. LOVING you all through this too. We will be praying!


  4. Karen says:

    Praying for you and the journey. When we found out that Kimi was deaf, a friend gave us this poem and it really expressed how I felt. this will only be part of what you are dealing with, but it may help you as it did me. Know that so many love you and are STORMING the gates of heaven for you all. And, our blessed Lord Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. He loves you so much. And the babies. Here is the poem. If it you don’t l;ike it, dump it.
    Welcome To Holland

    by Emily Perl Kingsley
    c. 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.
    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.
    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

    • Jennifer says:

      I love this reflection! Thank you for posting it. I have a friend with a son with Downs, and I want to share this with her.

  5. Josh and Amy Tupper says:

    My family and I are praying for you guys. I have never had to face something this big, but a verse that has always comforted me in times of stress, uncertainty, and fear is Philippians 4:6-7:

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    God is THE Physician. This situation is well within God’s power to handle. He has done it before, and He can do it again. But no matter what God chooses to do, you can have peace beyond all understanding.

    Thanks for sharing what you can of your situation, it activates a huge network of prayer for you and your family.

  6. Amber Genau says:

    Janelle – I saw a link to your blog that someone shared on Facebook. I’m so sorry to hear you’re having so much difficulty with this pregnancy. I’m praying for the the health and safety of you and your babies, and for strength for you and Nate as you face so much uncertainty.

  7. Evie 'Martin' Graber says:

    Hello there Mrs. Janelle,
    I’m Erica Schuenemann’s daycare Momma, and you do not know me, but your story has touched me deeply and I hope you don’t mind me leaving a few words?
    I’m a fellow wife, mother, and Christian woman…and have had several friends lately who’ve been suffering with infertility and miscarriages. I must say that YOUR story is the most amazing yet, and the first things that warmed my soul were, #1. That you and your husband wanted and love children THIS much, and #2. That because of your love, God has made four beautiful souls that will live eternally. Without you and your husbands love for Him and each other, these precious souls wouldn’t even exist-what a blessed thought! Children are truly a gift! (Psalm 127:3) I realize your tiniest ones may meet their Creator sooner than we’d like, but knowing they would be forever safe and waiting for you…a whole different level of joy in Heaven…

    Also, I admire your strength in spirit-indeed we can’t know God’s will in this situation…He’s done some pretty BIG things throughout history! This is your chance to use trial for as much good as possible..and you already are with the faith you’ve shown to the family, friends, strangers (like me!) and STAFF around you. Those in the medical profession often lack the proper perspective and value of life-and you could be one of those people who makes a big difference in that someone’s life.

    Thank you, Janelle…for your excellent example what a loving mother and Christian woman can be…even in one of the most challenging of situations a woman can go through! You’re an encouragement to ME, my dear!
    ~Evie Graber

  8. Louise Gassert-Joel, Ashley, & baby Bentley. says:

    Louise has no way of getting on here, so she asked me to write something for her.
    she said she has been there, she knows what you are going through. Auntie Weezy is thinking about you and has you in her throughs.he is praying and hoping for the best.
    you are in our throughs and prayers also. even though we know it will be hard, keep your chin up. we are all thinking about you and we are praying for you every day.

    we love you.

    Aunty Weezy, Joel, Ashley, and Bentley.

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