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Fighting for Joy.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance...

My eyes are puffy from crying. Last night I sobbed as I read about a friend and fellow mother having to say goodbye to her newborn baby boy as he took his last breath. Since being pregnant, I've had three friends who have lost their newborns to death. My heart aches for these precious moms (and dads). Reading about my friend Kat's loss last night just made my heart hurt all the more. I can't even begin to imagine how she must be feeling...and yet, being so close to my due date, I can only imagine how she must be feeling.

My imagination went wild last night as I started to think of the things that could go wrong with these last 5.5 weeks of my pregnancy...not to mention labor and delivery. I have an ultrasound on Tuesday because I was measuring a  little small at my last checkup (my midwife is pretty certain that he was just riding really low that morning, but wants to make sure that that's the real issue - hence the ultrasound). At first I was a little scared about my low number, but my confidence came back as I felt my baby moving back up and I felt like everything was going to be okay. And then last night all of my fears came back x100. What if my fluid is low? What if they find problems with his development at this ultrasound? What if, what if, what if...? As I was laying on the couch last night working through semi-intense back contractions that were coming in at 5 minutes apart (this lasted for over an hour), my fear was intensified. My husband finally said what I needed to hear at that point. Relax, and go to your happy place...we're not having this baby yet. I thought I was doing just that as I was laying on the couch, drinking water and reading a magazine. But after hearing him say that I realized that I was still harboring on my fears. After I started focusing on relaxing and trying different positions, the contractions subsided and I was able to sleep without fear. It's amazing how a mother's stress can affect her baby and her body.

Today I'm fighting for joy as I want my baby to be as safe as possible. I'm also fighting for joy as I know that that's a sign of faith...and I want to have faith that the Lord will see me through these next (give or take) 5 weeks.  My fears are still there, poking and prodding at me, as I think of my three friends, but I'm not giving into them. I will continue to fight for the joy of the Lord...for in Him is where my true strength comes from. I pray that my baby is safe and sound, I pray for Kat and her family, I pray for the other two moms who are still yearning for their little ones.

I know the Lopez family (who are serving as missionaries in Peru right now) would appreciate prayer. My friend Katherine posted this earlier today about their situation (and how you can help):

"A quick summary of the background here - losing a child is always an awful thing, but Kat Lopez (just in case anyone thought I was fundraising for myself, ha) has been through the wringer and back for this baby.

A few months into the pregnancy, she was diagnosed with low amniotic fluid. The doctors suspected that the baby was struggling to develop properly, but couldn't get a perfect read on the situation because of limited resources where Kat and Jose live in Peru. Kat has been on and off bedrest for most of the pregnancy because of this and other situations, and has been under extraordinary stress because of language barriers, limited access to improved medical care, and a variety of other factors.

She had been admitted for a C-section on Feb. 1 since the doctors decided baby Caleb would be better off closely monitored in the NICU so they could figure out what's wrong and treat him accordingly.

After undergoing major abdominal surgery on Wednesday, Kat spent several hours alone in the recovery room while Jose followed their baby boy around the hospital. He was born with medical complications that required surgery within 12 hours. A few hours after surgery, it looked like baby Caleb was bleeding quite a bit, but without any signs of the results doctors needed.

Some time in the middle of the night, Caleb wasn't able to breathe any more and had to be medically revived. He made it through the night, but suddenly passed away toward evening on his second day.

My heart is breaking for Kat because nobody expected this outcome. We all knew little Baby Lopez would probably need some medical intervention, but I guess I, at least, blithely assumed that some neonatal care would do the trick as it does for millions of children around the world today. I'm really sad because she was forced to spend much of little Caleb's time on earth alone and separated from him. I'm not sure she ever got to hold him because he was in such a fragile medical state. She went through hell and back for him in the months leading up to his birth, and now she has to recover from traumatic surgery without even having her baby to hold and make it better.

I am sure she and her family are so, so grateful for what y'all have done to share their burdens right now. Thank you so much for your love."


"From speaking with Kat a few weeks ago, it will cost her and her husband about $2500 total to fly home with their little sons. Since they're missionaries, there really isn't any extra cash in the budget that's been set aside for anything like this.

Another group of friends were able to raise about $800 in January toward that amount, but none of us expected anything like this to happen. :( Of course, coming home is a lot more important right now than it was when we were just hoping to see her for a catch-up visit.

I just wanted to put the donation link out there in case you know someone who knows Kat; has lost a baby before and would like to contribute in his or her honor; has some extra donation money sitting around; etc. etc. :)

Thanks, everyone."

Also right now the Lopez family needs about $8,000 to cover Kat's surgery (C-Section), the surgeries that baby Caleb Elijah had, doctor fees and hospital expenses, as well as the final plans for Caleb Elijah's burial.
To donate, please click on this link:


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