A Guest Post from Jen: Thoughts on Week 33

(Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from my sweet wife, Jen. I continue to be encouraged and amazed by this woman, and hope that you will find this piece informative, encouraging, and uplifting. She will be able to see (and hopefully respond) to some of the comments posted here.)

Week 33 Update: Ponderings, Plans, and Prayer Requests.

Ponderings…

Fall will be here in two days and it’s looking like God will answer our prayers for a fall

Acer triflorum fall leaves

Image via Wikipedia

baby!  It was still spring when I started bed rest on June 8th.  I still can’t believe that I have completely missed the entire summer even though it was nothing but hot outside!  No pool, no beach, no traveling, no garden, no getting to all the many plans I had for the summer to nest and prepare for baby.  God had other plans.  He asked me to give up all my plans and desires for the life of my unborn child.  I know that God has been and is using this time to teach me things I would not have learned otherwise.  Patience is probably the number one lesson here for obvious reasons.  Tied with that is constantly being reminded that I am not in control of anything, never have and never will be no matter how much I try.  I must constantly surrender my will and this baby’s life to God which is a daily struggle.  Among other things, I am also learning humility, graciousness, gratitude, and the power of the faithful prayers of God’s people.  Even though this has been the most difficult and uncomfortable time of my life so far, I am grateful that God has chosen this journey for me so that I can be refined and molded to become more like Christ.

God has also given me opportunities to live out I Peter 3:15 “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…”  Many of the nurses, doctors and other hospital workers constantly comment on my positive attitude, patience and how I’ve handled things so well compared to other patients who go crazy and get very crabby after just a few days.  I cannot take any credit for this.  I know I have bad attitudes and impatience all the time.  It is humbling to hear these comments and I try to tell people every chance I get, that it has nothing to do with me but it is only because of Christ in me that I can smile and have hope.

Plans…

So the plan is to go home next Monday when I hit 34 weeks as long as baby and I are behaving.  I am so excited to get to go home for a few weeks!  I miss my hubby, my pets, my bed and being able to step outside into the sunshine and get some fresh air.  Of course I am a little nervous about being far from the hospital.  I will still need to be off my feet most of the time, but I will have a little more freedom to get up and move around more.

Skyline of Augusta, Georgia, USA

Image via Wikipedia

We will travel to Augusta once or twice a week for ultrasounds and monitoring.  If something doesn’t look right I will be admitted again. We have decided it would be best to deliver here since the doctors and nurses here all know me and are aware of my high risk conditions. I will return to Augusta at 37 weeks to have the stitch removed (sometime during the week of Oct 18th).  I might go into labor right away or I might not if there is a lot of scar tissue from the cerclage.  After talking to the Dr, there is a good chance that they might induce me at that point or keep me in the hospital till I deliver because of my unique situation. Generally, they send people home the day of removal if they don’t go into labor after a few hours. The plan is for a normal delivery, but they are always prepared for a c-section if necessary. I told them that I don’t plan on leaving the hospital at that point if the baby is still inside of me! Of course these plans could all change as I can still go into labor anytime.

Prayer Requests…

  • Continue to pray for health and safety of me and the baby.
  • Pray for safe travels as we go back and forth to Augusta.
  • Pray for David as he continues to balance work and time with me. Things at church will only be getting busier as we get closer to the holidays.
  • Pray that I do not go into labor at home and that I will not be discharged from the hospital after the stitch comes out.
  • Pray that the amniotic fluid level will fall into a normal range before delivery and that my frequent contractions might let up a bit.
  • We have also been having more trouble controlling my gestational diabetes as the baby and placenta keeps growing. My placenta is a little larger than normal anyway because of the chorioangioma.  The hormones produced by the placenta cause the pancreas to have a hard time keeping up with insulin demands.  My oral meds have been increased twice and make me drowsy.  I still get crazy sugar levels at times even though I am following their diet which seems to consist of lots of foods that spike your sugar like fruit juice, white bread, rice, potatoes and desserts.  It’s so confusing.  Being sedentary doesn’t help things either.  Pray that I will be able to keep my sugars in control, especially when I go home and that I won’t need insulin shots.
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they make decisions regarding my care.

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy update and for rejoicing with us that God has brought us safely to this point in the pregnancy!  He has certainly exceeded our expectations!   We so appreciate all your prayers, visits, calls, cards and encouragement as we have journeyed through this trying time.

I am a pastor, a husband, a father, and a lover of Jesus. I am also an unpredictable blogger, who can go for several years without blogging a thing, and then inexplicably write a book. Perhaps this is one of those times.

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Posted in Children, Faith, Uncategorized
19 comments on “A Guest Post from Jen: Thoughts on Week 33
  1. Marlise says:

    I’m still praying for all of you. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing all of this, Sunshine. It really is an encouraging testimony to the Lord’s goodness. And you’re almost to 34 weeks!!!! Amazing!

  2. Thomas says:

    Sheryl and I continue to pray for all three of you, and we also praise HIM for all HE has done over the past several weeks, and from reading your latest update, HE is doing more than just keep the baby “inside” so much longer and greatly reducing our concerns for him…..

  3. Lora Gantt says:

    Still praying! So happy to know that you are doing well and i am so encouraged by your words here!

  4. Cass says:

    I pray for you three daily. You are never far from my thoughts as we journey through this pregnancy together, sharing each milestone but in such a different way. I can’t imagine the amount of faith and patience it takes to be put under these circumstances. I have trusted and prayed and felt so strongly that God would be so present for you as you journeyed through this. I know for me this pregnancy has taken a huge amount of faith and trust, learning that we are not, nor have we ever been in control. That was a very hard lesson we learned a year ago. I am glad to be on this journey with you and feel blessed that I can pray and watch as God works in both of our lives.

    In Him,

    Cass

    • Jen says:

      Cass,
      Thank you so much for your prayers! I read your blog a few weeks ago and was very moved by it. I can’t imagine going through what your family went through and I am so sorry for the great loss you experienced. I know it is something you never really get over, and I don’t know how people can handle such things without God’s grace in their lives. I am so glad to hear that you are pregnant again. I think David said you are right around the same gestation as me. When are you due? I will certainly be praying for you and the baby and will be celebrating every day with you over our little miracles.

      Blessings,
      Jen

  5. LINDA WITCHOUSKY says:

    Good Morning Jen, what a moving e-mail this was, just beautiful and humble! Yes, you have been lifted daily and then some in prayer. PTL for your witness and I will as you have asked, to pray for the specific prayer requests. We too are all excited for you to come home. I’ve kept David in prayer as well because of his travel’s and everything he has to deal with. I appreciate your taking the time to let everyone know your plans and God has heard the prayers of His loved ones. God Bless you and baby! See you soon. L.

    • Jen says:

      Thanks Linda! You will be so impressed with my baby blanket when you see it. I look forward to being back in choir some day to help out my 2nd soprano buddies!

  6. Marlene & John Housworth says:

    Dear Jen:

    It was so inspiring and wonderful to read your email. It is so wonderful to see God’s Hand in your situation. Just think your little”Miracle” will soon be here and just full of God’s Love. Your child will be a inspiration to others. Continue following the doctor’s orders and most of important follow God’s Word. We love you and your family and without saying we are praying without ceasing.

    In His Name

    Marlene & John

  7. LYNNE BUNSON says:

    Dear Jen:

    I was so pleased when I saw Yvonne forwarding your email via David. I am thrilled each day that I have seen no birth announcements from you. It is unbelievable that you mentioned you were hospitalized in the Spring, and here we are about to welcome Fall. It was so hot you could hardly be outside, but you didn’t have the choice ~ I’m sorry.
    I thank God that he has filled you with patience and that you are such a witness to those who have gotten to know you at the hospital. What a blessing that the doctors discovered your condition and that you were able to receive a stitch to keep your little guy with you for so long.
    Glad you are coming home soon. We can’t wait to welcome you back. I will pray for your patience to continue and your medical needs to be met especially that you will be near the hospital when the time comes for “his” birth.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your prayer concerns with us.
    We will continue to uplift you in prayer.
    God bless your day,
    Lynne

  8. Kim Panther says:

    Jen, Tom and I are the summer “visitors” to LOPC who sit in the second row behind Joe with our 3 children. I was so thrilled to get your update. I kept telling Tom, “Surely the church would have sent out an email if there was any news!!” As we rush through our busy days here in Atlanta, your family is never far from our thoughts and prayers. I am amazed and thrilled that you have been able to keep your little guy content to stay inside this long. I can remember praying and praying for the July 19th milestone to arrive. That date is my parents’ anniversary, so it was easy for me to remember, and here we are on September 21st – a true miracle. God will bless your patience, your disposition and your witness. Best wishes for a noneventful birth!!
    The Panthers

  9. Janice Murphy says:

    Jen:

    You are such an inspiration. To be flat on your back for so long so that you can give the gift of life is such an unselfish task. Thank you so much for sending that detailed email. Even though I have not been able to see you in the hospital very often you are always in our daily prayers. Not just you but David and baby Ridenhour as well!!! You have been blessed by the hand of God who has taken you on this journey and we pray that He takes you to full term. Hang in there kid! Just as in horse racing you’re coming around the bend and down the stretch to the goal. Hope to visit you when
    you get home.
    In His Love,
    Janice

  10. Rich and Linda Good says:

    Dear Jen,
    Thank you so much for the beautiful update. You are proof that “live does begin at conception,” and you have been performing the tasks of unselfish love for your child. It is hard for me to imagine being in your situation for such a long time and keeping such a sweet, patient attitude. I know God is teaching you so much about the care and responsibility of a child even before your precious little bundle arrives. We think about you each day and lift you up to our Lord. He is so faithful!
    So glad you will be home on Monday. Your home will look so good to you. There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed! Enjoy!
    Much love to all three of you and many blessings,
    Linda and Rich

  11. Carol says:

    Jen, How majestic and so faithful is our God and father. Blessings and love to you and little baby Ridenhour! How wonderful it is to hear of His excellent ways and plans for us. I am truely blessed by the works of His hand in your life, Davids and your son. My prayers will continue several times each day, as the Lord brings you all to my mind, through out your challenging journey. Remember you are loved much. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use your experiences to grow us all. Hugs, Carol

  12. Jan and Fred Harris says:

    Jen,
    Thanks for the update. I think God is using you to make many of us ponder in our hearts just how He works to provide us with the things we need when we haven’t it on our own. Patience and learning to rely on Him throughout our most difficult trials is a beautiful gift, and you are a perfect illustration of that. Thank you for sharing.
    Of course our prayers for you three continue. We all will be so excited to see you and the baby!
    Jan and Fred Harris

  13. gina miller says:

    Hi Jen. Remember me Gina, Kerri’s friend? I am so thrilled to hear of the praise report! God is goooooood!.

  14. beth says:

    Ok I’m gonna be very vulnerable and honest here. When you first went on bedrest and all this went down I was praying this baby would be ok. But honestly I don’t think I believed it. I hate what infertility, miscarriage and all the pain we’ve been through has done to me. How could I believe anything but that God would have a miracle in store for you and your little one?! How could I forget all that He has done for me?! But I did. And now I see this precious miracle growing inside you and I remember that although He doesn’t always give us what we want, He knows best. And He IS a God of miracles. I’m so excited for you guys and can’t wait for the little one to come. Jon doesn’t know this yet but I have plans to come up there and see you guys and the little man once he is home from deployment…and I can’t wait!

  15. [...] A Guest Post from Jen: Thoughts on Week 33 September 2010 18 comments 4 [...]

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