Wednesday, January 1, 2014

the new year

happy new year!

the past few slow days around our house have given me the opportunity to reflect a bit on 2013.  there have been a handful of years in my lifetime that i will always hold dear to my heart.  1993 was the year Jesus made me His.  in 2003, i became a wife. in 2004, i became a mother. in 2005, i became a mother of two sons.

2013 in my mind is mostly characterized by the joyous and unexpected news that we would be parents again.  in fact, it was on january 2 of 2013 that we saw this:

in many ways, having this third baby felt like our first time to have a baby.  it had been 8 years since our last experience with a newborn.  and God blessed us with so many new and different experiences this third time around.  we chose a midwife. we found out the sex of our baby at 16 weeks (on good friday...and it was a good friday!).  i gave birth naturally in the water at a birth center.  i was home about 4 hours after giving birth.  i have successfully breastfed.  i've witnessed our older boys love in new and different ways.  we've been blessed beyond measure.

we also received some of the scariest news a parent can hear in 2013..."there is something wrong with your baby."  hearing those words made me appreciate my healthy children in deeper ways than ever before.  our mantra was to not worry until we had something to worry about...easier said than done but my sweet husband modeled this so well for me.  we prayed every day and night that the Lord would protect the life of our son.  and every visit to a doctor confirmed that God was doing just that.

the first and second super duper ultrasounds showed that while salsa's abdominal organs were flipped, the other issues you typically see with his particular presentation of situs inversus were absent.  95% of babies with situs inversus with levocardia (abdominal organs are flipped but the heart is on the left which is not flipped) have one or multiple heart defects.  salsa did not and was cleared for a birth outside of the hospital.  did you get that....he was in the 5% of babies that do not have a heart defect. five percent!!!

his birth was perfect and amazing and after a quick exam by the pediatrician on the day of his birth, we were able to be home and love on this new little miracle.

the ultrasound on salsa on his 1 week old birthday showed that he did have a spleen, another common issue with situs inversus.  there is a chance of no spleen or multiple spleens but he had one perfect spleen!

the cardiologist appointment at 12 days old confirmed with certainty that the tiny holes in his heart are relatively normal and likely to close but if not, they are so tiny they will not cause a problem.  the inferior vena cava did not form but his body compensated and the blood still gets to the right place, just in a different way. he was put on a regular recall and will be evaluated again at 6 months old.

the surgeon appointment led to an upper GI test on salsa's 3 week old birthday.  not a fun experience but the results proved that his bowels were perfectly flipped with no malrotation.  no surgery needed!

admittedly those first few weeks were challenging and a bit of a blur, but we were constantly reminded of God's faithfulness to salsa and to us as his parents.

having a baby in the house at christmas this year gave me a glimpse into what mary must have felt as she gave birth and cared for her newborn son, Jesus.  having a baby with potential issues made me wonder and appreciate the difficulty knowing that your baby was born to die (though salsa's issues were never life-threatening it sure gave john and i empathy towards those who have seriously ill children).

i am reminded once again of the great sacrifice God made to give us eternal life.  he gave up His only Son so that you and i could have eternal life.  if you don't know Jesus my prayer for you this new year would be that you at least investigate the truths of the Bible.  ask the questions, investigate the answers.  His love is sweet and perfect and the only consolation that can soothe your heart and save your soul.

there is much to be thankful for as we start this new year.  we are blessed!

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