Isn’t saying, “new baby” pretty redundant? We still call Johnny our baby, so I suppose new differentiates the two of them.
Anyway, Katie has something called, “hyperemesis gravidarum” two fancy words for the condition that makes her terribly sick during pregnancies. How sick? Throwing up all day, hooked up to IVs for dehydration, difficulty keeping water down…from sucking on ice, serious weight loss, stuck on a couch all day on her back.
For that reason, and our desire to adopt, we decided on a vasectomy two years ago. Then we moved to pastor WCC where we met families with 12, 12, 11, etc children, and a number of “smaller” families with 5-7 children. I should point out we have some families with 1 or 2 children as well just so you don’t…I don’t know…think we think you have to have lots of kids.
Katie and I always wanted a large family. We thought we’d accomplish that through adoption. The problem is, we wanted to adopt younger than our youngest and our youngest just turned two. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you consider how difficult it is to adopt babies. So here we are looking at all these big families and realizing it’s going to be years before our family increases. We start thinking of having a reversal and our wonderful church says, “We know your wife will be sick. We’ll do whatever we can to help. We’ll be understanding regarding you not being able to pastor the same during her pregnancy.” As a note, my ministry hasn’t been compromised at all during Katie’s pregnancy, and I’ll discuss why in a second.
So in December we went through with the reversal. The complications began immediately and have continued up to yesterday when I had to take a trip back to Tacoma to visit the doctor who performed the surgery.
Regardless of any complications though, if the determining factor of the surgery’s success is our ability to have more children, then in May we learned the surgery was a complete success. And by the way, May is considerably earlier than the 12-18 month period they tell you to expect to wait.
So for a lot of reasons, this baby is very special to us. In some ways this baby is even more special than…or let’s say differently special than our other children, because of the effort required to have it, but more importantly because of what it represents. I hate referring to our baby with “it”, but we don’t know the gender yet.
Now how has Katie’s pregnancy been? Two things have made it great so far…I guess three actually…
First, many people in the church have been so helpful and giving (this is why my ministry’s remain unchanged). Yesterday one girl spent the whole day at our house. This allows me to stay at my office without any of my work (especially studying), being interrupted. This morning a woman from the church surprised Katie by showing up to clean our bathroom and make us lunch (she said she’s coming back to do the same thing Thursday). Tonight a woman is bringing dinner for us. When I go to the church for VBS practice, another girl comes over to help out.
The second reason the pregnancy has been going so well is Katie has been feeling really good. By the way, “feeling really good” is a relative term. During her other pregnancies she was throwing up countless times per day, so this time being relegated to a couch without throwing up is “feeling really good.” In fact, Katie’s been feeling so good, we started worrying. The only other time Katie felt this good was when she miscarried. Needless to say, we’ve had a lot on our mind. Until today.
Today Katie went for her appointment to hear the baby’s heartbeat. To be honest, I thought she was probably having another miscarriage. Katie called me from the hospital and said they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat, so they ordered an ultrasound. I was pretty confident my fears were confirmed, and I was already wondering when she’d be able to be pregnant again.
The time waiting for Katie to call me back about the ultrasound – probably no more than an hour – seemed like forever. This brings me to the third reason: Katie called me and said the ultrasound showed the baby is doing great.
Many people have been praying for Katie. A number of women have told me they pray for her everyday. I have to believe this is why she’s feeling so much better this time.
I’m thankful for so many things: my wonderful children, wife, church family, parents, and especially this beautiful new baby. Here’s the verse I keep thinking about that summarizes how I’m feeling: Genesis 33:5 Jacob said, “These are the children whom God has graciously given me.”