Sunday, June 30, 2013

Surprise, surprise!!

Well, as most of you probably know, Matt and I are expecting the 4th Legg of the family! We were very surprised, as we were not planning for another baby, BUT God wanted us to have another, obviously :). 
Most parents/parents-to-be use this verse for their new baby: 
1 Samuel 1:27- "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him." 
We, however, will be using this one: 
Proverbs 16:9- "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." Haha!
Don't get me wrong, I am very excited about being pregnant, but I am also very terrified- of many things. 
I wasn't planning on having another baby, therefore I do not feel like I am ready for another one. I think about when this baby will get here and it scares the bageez out of me. I just feel like I'm not going to be able to do it! But God obviously thinks otherwise, so I guess I should feel honored? Ha. I've told Matt, bc we weren't planning for this and were actually trying to prevent it, it's hard for me to be excited about being pregnant. Its like a hump i cant get over. This was the one thing in our crazy, CRAZY lives that we felt like we could control, but God has proven yet again that he is in control of this life. And that's an AMAZING thing! His plan is always always always the best plan, and he has proven over and over again that he is such a good, caring, loving God. He will take care of us, and he will give me the grace, patience, perseverance, energy, etc etc. :), to handle it! 
But most of all, I'm absolutely terrified that this baby will be born with spina bifida, like sweet Emri was. Before I found out I was pregnant with #2, I would have conversations with friends about this situation and say, you know- if it happens again we will know how to handle it! And I would say it with complete confidence and zero fear. Now that I'm actually pregnant again, that confidence is gone and I'm scared to death. It is true that, now, we will know how to handle it and won't be so shocked, but I think, what if this one has full blown SB?? What if they find it while still in-utero? Should we do the early defect screening? There's just so much fear. I know it's from the devil, and I know he's just trying to steal my joy of this precious new life. But it's still very real and I just D O  N O T want to go through it again. I've been thinking about the night I had emri, after we dropped her off in the NICU and were up in our room alone with Wendy's hamburgers. I still feel that feeling of despair I felt of not having my baby with me...of not knowing the future...of the sadness of knowing my baby had a malformation that we knew nothing about. I don't want to feel that ever EVER again. I know a lot of these feelings and fears have to do with these pesky pregnancy hormones. They definitely don't help the situation! :)
Since my first child had spina bifida I'm 20 times more likely to have another child with SB (according to a spina bifida website). I know statistics are just statistics and my God can do anything, so I am believing that this baby will be perfectly healthy with a perfect spine. Please be praying for us for a healthy baby! It's a very scary, but mostly very exciting time for us and I want to enjoy every single second of it! 
I read these verses aloud after Emri was born. Now they take on a whole new meaning, yet somewhat meaning the same:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25 NIV)

And a quick update for those who do not know, Matt and I moved to Dallas, Texas on June 1st! Matt was hired at Gateway Church as a highschool pastor at the North Fort Worth campus. We love it and love where we live and our new church family! It's a bit of an adjustment mostly bc were so far away from our friends and family. God has already blessed us unbelievably in just the short month we've been out there! Excited for this crazy, awesome, insane journey! 

Love you all! Thanks for the love and support over the last year! Baby girl turns 1 today, June 30! Can't believe it. And she's as healthy as can be. She's learning and trying to walk, and with every little step she takes I praise The Lord! We didn't know if she would ever get to that! 
God is good. All the time. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

What a Week!

Sorry it's taken me so long to update! Emri is doing so good! She's been a little fussier than normal, and the last 2 nights she hasn't slept very well. Which is rough for mommy and daddy :). Her wound still looks pretty scary to me, but the on call surgeon said it was healing great! We have a check up with her surgeon tomorrow morning. After that, I will know more about what the future looks like. As of now, all I know is that we have to keep check on her incision and how she potties. She will have to get a physical therapist to come out if her surgeon sees it fit. Keep praying for her as she recovers. We still have a bit to go before we're out of this. I'll update after tomorrow after I have more details!
Love you all!! Thank you thank you thank you for all your prayers!! It's no coincidence she's done so well!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Surgery went well! It lasted around 2.5 hours, which was half as long as they told us it would be. Dr. Oakes said that her surgery was "appropriate" -Dr. Oakes' way of saying it went well! Haha.
It will be tonight or tomorrow before her medicine wears off and we can test her functionality. She seem to be fine in her legs. Moving them around fine. But be praying that everything is normal.
We will be here 3 days as she has to lay flat for those days. Please pray for little to no pain. She seems to be ok with pain now, but that may just be because she's still a little loopy. She got Tylenol around 10:00 and its 2:30 now and she hasn't had any more. She has morphine available to her if needed. We will probably take that option :).
Just just woke up a bit ago and took a big bottle. She is able to have breast milk now, and is taking her bottles perfectly, so she was able to come off her IV fluids.
We are still in recovery (going on 3 hours now), but they are getting her room ready now!
Keep praying for us. Matt and I are so exhausted (very little to no sleep). Our families are exhausted, too.
We love you guys. Your prayers are being heard and felt. Keep them coming for sweet Emri! I'll keep you all posted!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Here We Go!!

Well, the surgery is definitely happening tomorrow. We aren't sure of the actual procedure time, but we have to be there at 5:30 am (leave our house at 4:30...oui!). The surgery will be at Children's and we will stay there at least 2-3 days. We SO welcome any visitors, but we do ask that everyone wait until we give the "go-ahead" on visiting. We aren't quite sure what to expect, and we're already so emotionally drained. Once we see how she does, then you all are welcome to come see her. If in doubt- just text us:). But common sense- if you're feeling sickly what so ever, STAY FAR FAR AWAY!! ;)
We love you guys and are very thankful for each of you. Please keep praying hard for our sweet girl. The doctor assured us that it's going to be a painful recovery for her and I can barely stand the thought of that. Just pray for the Lord to intervene and supernaturally make her feel no pain. I'll try my best to keep everyone posted on how she's doing.



Well it's here. I was hoping this week would never come, but it came just the same.
I'm oddly excited for it. I think because I know my baby girl will be healed. I came to a realization the other day thanks to a sweet friend. I've been praying for God to heal Emri- for that miracle in her little body. I know that God can perfectly heal her with just a blink of his eye, and I'm still holding onto that hope, but healing comes in many forms. The delicacy the surgeons have to have while performing this surgery is incredible. I believe that God gives them His hands for just a moment so that they can fix what was meant to destroy. That's a miracle!! Maybe that's the miracle we're intended to receive. If so, I'm thankful.
The past week and a half has been tough to say the least. Thinking about my baby having to be cut open- on her spine none the less- just makes me nauseated. So many negative thoughts and lies were/are being put in my head: things that could go wrong, the tough time we have ahead, fear of losing her. It's been hard. I have so much fear. I'm so scared. Every time I get a wave of fear, the scripture "Perfect love casts out all fear" comes to my head. Let's be honest..I'm not there, haha. I'm terrified. But I think that's acceptable!
We have a pre-op appointment today at 10:00 am, and we will meet with the surgeon to discuss surgery. First, though, he will check the hemangioma on her back to be certain it's healed enough for surgery. If it is, then we will go do anesthesia prep stuff.
So be praying!! Specifics to pray for:
-that the surgeon accepts her back the way it is and will proceed with surgery
-that she is healed and we don't even have to do surgery!!
-there's a chance, after her surgery, Emri will have difficulty emptying her bladder and will have to have a catheter for a while. PRAY AGAINST THAT IN JESUS' NAME!!!
-we have to have a physical therapist-type thing come in and work with Em to make sure she doesn't fall behind on development. Pray for God's hand to be all over that
-if we go through with surgery, cover the surgeon in prayer
-pray for Matt and me, and our families. It's going to be a difficult week or so.

I love you all. Your support, encouragement and prayers are more than I could ever ask for. We've been so blessed in so many ways by so many of you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
I will try my best to update everyone as much as possible this week.

Here's a sweet picture for you all :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This was a tough one..

I've been wanting to write this blog for a long time, but have been really nervous and hesitant to,
because I'm going to be really transparent. But after talking to Matt a few times about it,
he assured me that someone needs to hear it and will get something out of it.

First of all, let me start out by updating everyone on where we are with Emri. 
She had her first laser treatment on the hemangioma on her back last Tuesday. It went really well! She didn't seem to be in much pain from the actual treatment or after. We have another (and hopefully last) laser treatment scheduled for next Tuesday (16th). The doctor told us that she was confident that we would be able to keep the surgery date of October 31st. Keep praying that we can!

Here's a picture of before and after of her back:


(After..this actually looks better in person)

I also talked to the surgeon's nurse this week about what to expect after the surgery. We have been kind of clueless as to what the recovery would be like. She told me that Emri will have to lay flat for 3 days, but doesn't have to be in one position the whole time...she can roll on her sides and roll over onto her back. I asked her if the recovery would be really painful for her, and she told me that it wouldn't be. She would only need Tylenol when she comes home. The nurse said that we don't have to stay in the hospital for the 3 days that Em has to stay flat, but Matt and I decided that we are going to. She also said that Em doesn't have to be in the ICU, but we are going to request that she be kept in there.

So...for those that are continuing to pray for us, pray that this last laser treatment does the job and makes the hemangioma acceptable for the surgeon. We need surgery to happen as soon as possible. Also, pray that all functionality stays normal in her body as we wait! We won't know for sure if we are doing surgery on the 31st until the 30th when we go in for pre-op stuff. Pray for me!...that's going to drive me crazy!!

So... to the part that's been hard to write...

The last few months have been the most emotionally, physically, spiritually draining months of my life. Since the day we found out Emri would have to have surgery, I've just been very angry. Walking out of Children's to our car after the MRI, I remember saying to my mom, "I have so many thoughts in my head and not one of them are good towards God."
I was/am so mad at him for making Emri go through all of this. And selfishly I'm mad at him for making US go through this.

Since that day, it's been an internal struggle for me. I haven't wanted to pray. I haven't wanted to read my Bible. Honestly, I just haven't wanted anything to do with God. I know that sounds super harsh, and this is the part that I've been struggling to write about and share. But I've been feelings are hurt...and it's like I've been pitching a temper tantrum with God.
I compare it to times that I've asked my dad for something and wanting it really badly, but he tells me no.
I prayed and prayed and prayed, and so many other people prayed and prayed and prayed, for them to do the MRI and find NOTHING that needs surgery.

But we didn't get that.

When someone would text or call us saying they were praying for us, I wanted to say
"You know, don't even bother."

For weeks now, I've had a lot of unforgiveness in my heart towards Him. And I think in the past I would've felt super condemned and wrong for I was "going to Hell" (said in my best Southern Baptist preacher voice) for feeling these feelings.  
But you know what the beauty of God is??
He understands what I'm going through and the feelings that I have.
He understands that I can't see the good that will come out of this whole situation.
And He, if anyone else should, understands the pain I feel when I see my daughter going through all of this physical pain.

Y'all...his love is  u n c o n d i t i o n a l!! Meaning- He knows my heart better than I do, so he knows those deep down feelings and thoughts I have that I'm probably too ashamed to admit, but he STILL loves me just the same.

He doesn't give us things to punish us or test us. That's not how he works.

Think about it, this life really isn't about us anyway, huh? We are living for the eternal, and God's motives are too big for us to understand, so when we are given these "hardships" maybe that's God using something to reach other people.

I was talking to a friend a while back about someone we know who's battling cancer and someone who had just died. That friend told me that someone told her, "there are people that need to be reached, that would only be reached through that person's death."

That hit me really hard. Emri isn't dying anytime soon (though the devil likes to put that thought in my head every single day when thinking about the surgery), but there is someone out there who God will only be able to reach through this situation Emri is going through. Maybe it's one of our family members, or a friend, or a stranger. Or maybe it Matt and myself! We don't know. But I do know that I have to trust what he is doing.

God loves you...God loves you...God loves you...but the Bible says that His heart is for the lost!

Jesus said: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" Luke 15:4-7

We will get through this. Emri will recover with full functionality of EVERY part of her body. It's just a little journey that we have to endure for a bit. 
I can't help but think, man! God must have some huge plans for our family for the devil to be coming at us so much! Good news?? He's already defeated! 
Just like, if you would re-watch the old  Bama vs. LSU National Championship don't get nervous and anxious about Bama winning, right? You already know they've won! So when satan is coming at you from every angle possible, laugh at him, y'all! He has zero victory!!

I hope this has helped someone. I've been feeling a nagging in my Spirit for a very long time to share this. I love you all so very much. Thanks for every single prayer prayed..and YES- still DO bother to pray them ;)

To end, I wanted to share these verses:

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1Peter 1:7

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord." Isaiah 66:9

love to all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Update on Miss Emri

I'm updating from my phone so I dont know how it's going to turn out :).

Monday, we went to the dermatologist for her to check the progress on the removal of the hemangioma. She was happy with the results and actually said that the results were better than she expected. THAT'S A WIN!!

Yesterday, we met with Emri's neurosurgeon. He was happy with the way the hemangioma has gotten better, but it's still not where he needs it to be. He talked to us for a while about our options and weighed the pros and cons for each option, then he came to the conclusion that he wanted to wait a couple more months before we attempt surgery. There are definite risks with both options:

If we did surgery now, cutting through the hemangioma, the wound would fall apart and wouldn't heal. Because its pretty much in her diaper, obviously it's not the most sanitary place so if the skin doesn't heal we run the risk of her getting infections.

If we wait to do surgery, we run the risk of her disease getting worse and her losing function of her bladder and bowels. Obviously, loss of function is irreversible.

All options seem pretty scary to me, but Dr. Oakes told us that if it were his loved one, he would choose to wait to do surgery. Basically, there's a much higher chance of her getting an infection now than her losing function between now and surgery time.

So our next step is to possibly do some laser treatments on the hemangioma to make it go away faster. The quicker it goes away the quicker we can do surgery.

For those that are praying relentlessly for her, first of all, THANK YOU! Second, here are specifics to pray for:
- that her insurance will approve to pay for the laser treatments
- that we can start the treatments quickly and that they work quickly
- that she feel little pain from the laser (it's a pretty painful process)
- if we have to wait a while for surgery, that there be ZERO loss of function to any part of her body
- obviously, complete healing for her little body

Thank you all! I have another post I'm working on right now, so be looking out for that! :)