Monday, May 14, 2012

Bevins' Baby Dedication, Mothers Day, Mysteries and Commitments

 We had the privilege of dedicating Bevin today in the presence of our friends, family and church congregation.  I cannot even begin to put into words just how thankful we are as parents to participate in this special milestone today!  I don't mean to sound like a broken record here (on this blog, Facebook, etc) but we are beyond BLESSED that Bevin was ever born.  You can read more about her mysterious story here.  We believe that we witnessed a miraculous healing in her pregnancy and birth and that her story has a higher purpose.  A purpose that is as mysterious as her healing.  We don't even know as her parents what to expect from her! 
 It was around this time last year that I realized that I was pregnant with baby #3.  It happened like this:  I felt pregnant and I took a positive pregnancy test.  A pregnancy test that sat out on the counter for the days and weeks ahead.  We were a bit overwhelmed at first.  Phil and I had just been discussing that may be "2" was our magic number!  It seemed like the practical thing to do.  I grew up in a family of 4 and loved it!  I knew no other way.  Our emotions were a combination of excitement and fear.  Isn't that how most parents feel whether this is a first pregnancy or more?

I was confused because I had actually taken a positive pregnancy test back in March.  For a few days we thought I was pregnant (until this point I had never taken a negative test) and we were in a little bit of shock.  Were we ready for 3 kids???  I was so shocked that I set up an appointment with the midwife that I had not yet met but they didn't want to see me until 11 weeks into the pregnancy.  We really didn't talk very much about it and a few days later I took another test and it was negative.  I thought that was kind of strange and then started my regular cycle 2 days later right on schedule.  I just chalked it up to a faulty test and we both breathed a sigh of relief.  Around this time is when we really started to feel comfortable with 2 as our number.  And the mystery surrounding B begins...
In April I canceled my appointment with the Midwife (it was set for the beginning of May) and my regularly scheduled cycle came again like clockwork.  I was looking forward to the summer and all of the fun things that we had planned like using our zoo membership, my summer Bible Study, and our trip to Madison Wisconsin and other fun summer adventures!  Then in the beginning of May, after being super careful all month not to get pregnant, I just felt pregnant and I took another positive pregnancy test.  I was really confused so I bought some more tests and starting taking them everyday for 4 days.  These tests stayed pregnant and it appeared that this time I really was pregnant.  I set up another appointment with the Midwife.  Again, they didn't want to see me until 11 weeks.  The receptionist saw on my patient history that I had previously canceled an appointment and wondered if this was still the same pregnancy?  I told her no but then started to wonder if it was the same pregnancy from March or not?  I decided that I had watched too much "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" on TLC and decided to tell them about the March pregnancy test when I went to my first appointment in June.
Everything about this pregnancy seemed "normal" so much so that I was SURE that I was having another boy!  I felt like this is just what I do.  I do not get morning sickness, in fact I did not throw up once throughout all three pregnancies.  My "sickness" was more in the evening and it is mostly exhaustion, it takes me a while to start showing and then when I do it really "pops" out, my babies come early and they are all boys...
The day of my June appointment I felt terrible.  I had started in the day before with a super sore throat.  Combine the sore throat with the ailments of pregnancy and my appointment couldn't come fast enough.  I was hoping that they could suggest some relief for my issues (sore throat and a extremely dry patch of skin on my hand) and have answers for the positive pregnancy test from March.  I would NEVER get to talk about any of these issues though because the moment that I met the midwife she had bad news for me about our "routine" ultrasound.  Everything that I had planned to inquire about was out the window!  They didn't even consider me a patient until July so I never asked about the whole March thing.  I kind of forgot about it in the midst of other fears.
I didn't think about it again until she was home from the NICU and I have never really told anyone about it until now.  Doesn't that bring some suspicion to the fact that she was born 5 weeks early?  I have to wonder if the 2 are related at all?  I may never know but this story just adds to the mystery of B's existence.  It also furthers my suspicion that there is a REASON that she is even here!  I really feel like God wanted her to be here.  He healed her in ways that defy modern medical science and He is already using her testimony to tell His story.  I have come to believe that God can use our own stories to tell His story.

We would have had Bevin dedicated no matter what (we dedicated Lucas and Micah) but I felt more urgent this time around.  Almost like feeling convicted that this is a special baby and that God has big plans for her life so I better make the commitment to raise her as a Child of God ASAP!  We believe that this dedication is a commitment to raise her up in the church and teach her about God.  It is not a baptism and it is not a guarantee that she will go to heaven.  We believe that her personal faith is her own choice not ours as her parents.  We also see this as us giving her back to God to use in His perfect way to further His kingdom.  God has given all of our children to us as a gift and we commit to offer them back to Him to use for His purposes! 
Love her smiles!
Today was a public commitment to raise her up in this way and expose her to God and allow her to be used by Him but before today God has already been using her story to encourage others!  Before she was even born her story has quickly become the most popular posting on this blog and as of tonight it has been viewed 617 times!!!!  I am thrilled that her story has potentially touched many more people than I would ever even know.  I was even presented the opportunity to share Bevins' story to a group of middle school girls at a local private school! 
Bevin looking at grandma.

Shortly after Bevin and I shared her story in the school, my small group of High School Junior girls (of which I am a co-leader) and I made plans to meet and pray together outside of a local abortion clinic.  The abortions are performed on Thursday mornings at this particular clinic so we met together outside the clinic on Wednesday night with other folks from the community (that we didn't know) that had gathered to pray.  I felt compelled to have her there with us that night to pray outside the abortion clinic.  It felt completely right that she be there to represent and be a symbol of the babies and lives that we were praying to save.  It was an emotional experience for me as her mother having been given the option to "do the humane thing" and abort this sick and chromosomally deficient mass of tissue, this BABY that I was holding as I fervently prayed out-loud and cried, mourned and ached for other babies that might find themselves in Bevins' position. 
So much personality!
We were also given the opportunity to share our story in an interview that we recorded with our pastor a few weeks ago.  That interview was shown today during both church services after the dedication and was actually the bulk of the service!  It is amazing how her story is affecting and encouraging people in all sorts of ways.  God just keeps bringing along opportunities to TELL HIS STORY BY USING HER STORY.  I know that this is my job and responsibility as her mother and I pray that I will not be a stumbling block in her divine calling.
Trying to free her feet from her massive skirt!
So what have I learned from all of these experiences?

Some things are just unexplainable period.  If God wants something to happen HE WILL MAKE A WAY!

ALL BABIES ARE MIRACLES.  No matter the circumstances surrounding their conception, all of the tiny little things that have to happen to create a healthy and alive baby are infinite.  Humbles me to my knees!

Whatever your lot in life, God has given you a platform.  Recognize it and use it to bring Him Glory!

Telling your story opens up a door of communication with other people.  Through the process of sharing my story so many people have come to me and told me their story!  This is what life is all about folks.  Sharing life with each other is part what brings us joy in being human as we go through life together.

Life is fragile.  There is no guarantee that I will even ever finish writing this post.  Whether we live 9 weeks in our mothers womb or 99 years on this earth that life can have meaning and purpose.

Big Brother Micah and Bevin

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