Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Rose Among Thorns

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 
                                                           ― Alphonse KarrA Tour Round My Garden

 Things have been pretty thorny for us around here lately.  We’ve had a lot of stress related to Ryan’s documents. Thankfully that is all sorted but it was really frustrating to deal with at the time.  (corrupt officials, delays, no answers, FULL days spent waiting in offices.. it was not fun)
Then two children were killed by crocodiles by our Mission’s bush school. Both of them students at the school. The whole community is obviously devastated and on edge and we are trying to assist and help however we can- by hunting the crocodile, by starting a bridge project- however we can!
Amidst all of this, and on top of our normal daily stresses, surgeries for parents back home in Canada, travelling to South Africa, and trying to keep up with two very active kids, we had a very personal tragedy occur.

As many of you know, 11 years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which aside from causing rapid weight gain and making it nearly impossible for me to lose that weight, also made it impossible for me to get pregnant.  Although various treatments exist- none are covered by insurance (or at least were not at that point) and some the Doctors thought would not help me anyways. The only one we could try had a high likelihood of resulting in a multiple pregnancy (twins or more) and living in the African bush having a high risk pregnancy was not recommended by ANYONE- nor desired by me!

I tried to lose weight for many years, which was the only thing the doctors could recommend to try to reverse the affects of the PCOS. Nothing seemed to work.  Rick and I had given up on any hope of getting pregnant, and decided instead to pursue our dream of adopting children instead (we had always wanted to adopt, whether we had biological children or not). God has blessed us with two gorgeous children, who although not born with our DNA, are definitely born of our Hearts. 

Wanting to get healthy for my own self and also to be a good example for the kids, and after struggling for a long time, my doctor prescribed a medication that helped me to lose weight- but only if I put in the effort to excersize daily and eat very healthily!

In early March I started having some strange symptoms, that I could not explain, but I thought they were related to my PCOS. As soon as we were in South Africa I went to the Doctor where they did some blood tests. Imagine my shock… our shock… when they informed us four days later that we were pregnant! It was almost too good to be true! Based on the symptoms I had been experiencing I was SURE it couldn’t be true, so I asked them to please do another test to confirm. They did, and as it turns out, although I HAD been pregnant, I had miscarried. Of course we were devastated. Confused. Why would God allow us to get Pregnant and then allow a miscarriage when we had completely given up on that dream?!  Here was this giant Rose smack in the middle of a huge and very prickly thorn patch! So many of you have prayed for us over the years, prayed for healing for my body, prayed for me to get pregnant . Ive celebrated with so many of my good friends, all the while knowing they were trying to be sensitive to the fact that they were experiencing something I thought I never would. 

While this is an intensely personal, emotionally, physically and yes, even, financially draining time, a time full of thorns nearly every where we look- Im choosing to focus on the Rose- the fact that I can get pregnant- something I had completely given up on! Not only that, but the last doctor I saw could not see ANY cysts on the ultrasound screen… none at all. I of course will wait for a second opinion but to be told after YEARS .. 11 years to be exactof being told I had many many cysts , to now be told he cant see ANY- its definitely a miracle! Both Dr.s feel that the weight loss I was able to accomplish over the past year is the deciding factor in the cysts disappearance (Im thinking God had a hand too!)

We are not sure what the future holds- we are not sure If we will ever get pregnant again, but we are trusting God, that He knows what is best. Please pray for us as we process this loss- it was so so so very hard to find out we were a month pregnant but had lost the baby all within 24 hours- I felt like I had no time to process either event, and still feel rather like it has been a whirlwind that I was completely unprepared for. 

I have had a few minor complications, which seem to have resolved themselves, but There are a few key things the doctors would like to see clear up soon or else I will need to go to South Africa or Zimbabwe for further tests and possibly surgery. Please pray that this will not be neccesarry- we are stressed, in just about every way (physically, emotionally, financially) as it is! We are planning to take a few holiday days in the next few months… purely to refresh and relax and try to unwind…. Its been a tough month for us all!
Your prayers are appreciated.
Blessings, Heather

p.s. if you have suffered a miscarriage, or supported someone who has you know the myriad of emotions that occur. The joy, fear, shame, pain, dread, hope, sadness-it all comes and it hits hard.  I hope that my story can give hope to others who may be going thru the same thing, I hope that the thorns will not be my focal point, as devastating as they are, because there is a beautiful Rose to focus on…  even if I don’t know what the future holds.
                     "I may not know what the future holds, but I know WHO holds the future."


Lena said...

I'm sorry for your loss Heather, I know what's is like to lose a child through miscarriage. I'll pray that your body heals up like it should and that you will be able to get Pregnant in the future.

Joan said...

Thankyou for your well written blog, we will be praying very specifically for you. As well as increasing our monthly gift. Love from Armin & Joan

laura.h said...

Thanks for sharing your heart Heather. My heart breaks for you and for the little one you lost and didn't even have a chance to celebrate.
But I'm also excited for you. That this may be the beginning of a new stage!
I'm praising God for you today. Praising Him for your healing, praising him for your future and praising him for the 2 beauties you care for daily.
Your family is truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

Heather, my heart aches for you and Rick, I know exactly how you feel. Much love from our home to yours.