23 Weeks

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families! We definitely did! It was a full few days of family, food, and a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, we ended up in the hospital around midnight Thanksgiving night. And so began another eventful set of days. I was having some complications and the on call fetal intervention doctor decided to keep me at least through the weekend.  Friday morning, I saw Dr. Shami and Dr. Belfort, the chief of the Maternal Fetal Center.  He was involved in my surgery, but I hadn’t officially met him.  He was very kind, informative, and as comforting as he could be. He was concerned though.  I was told I needed to be very quiet through the weekend.

“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8

We had long planned a quick trip for our sweet friend from Midland, Courtney Ryburn, for that Friday.  She is just the best photographer and we all love her, including the kids.  I am SO glad she made the last minute decision to go ahead and get on that early morning flight to Houston. She took some of the sweetest pictures of our family of SEVEN.  Even though they were taken in the hospital, I know I will treasure them forever. Thank you, Court! (And I truly did stay very still, only with the HUGE help of Sheila, Ashley, and my mom.) My mom quickly gathered everything we needed for pictures—shoes for everyone, clothes, jewelry. Sheila and Ashley dropped what they had planned for their days and brought the kids down to the hospital. The four of them, Sheila, Ashley, Courtney, and Daniel, got the kids dressed, hair combed (with a toothbrush no less—my fault), and captured some of the best smiles. My heart was completely overwhelmed as I sat back down and let the emotions of the day sink in. As I was unable to control my tears; I felt the Lord’s nearness. He is here, in the dirt, with us. We aren’t walking this path alone.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6

We all made it through the weekend, staying very still and praying for big miracles. Daniel and Noah drove back to Midland on Sunday morning, and Grayson and Emery were being well taken care by both Nini and Craigy and DeeDee and Billy.

We had a stable ultrasound on Monday morning.  Fluid levels were up and Avery’s bladder was a decent size. Dr. Espinoza was back, and it was good to get a little bit of reassurance from him.  I was discharged and able to go home that afternoon! It felt so good to squeeze Grayson and Emery, sit in a real bed, and eat a home cooked meal. Such gifts!

Around 8:30 Tuesday morning, as my mom was getting Grayson and Emery ready for school, I started having some abdominal cramps.  I wasn’t too worried but after a few minutes I decided to start paying attention to the timing of them. They were coming every 2 minutes and lasting about a minute. I’m no longer able to take the medicine to stop contractions because of an allergic reaction I was having to it. (Every. Thing. in this pregnancy is complicated.) So I stayed very still, prayed incessantly, and waited. When I realized they were getting stronger, I got a hold of Dr. Espinoza, and he advised me to come in to be evaluated. We knew the drill—pack the bag, make the drive, monitor and check for infection. I was not dilating. Praise God! My WBC was slightly elevated but not worrisome yet. Praise God! And the girls’ fluid levels were low, but stable. Praise God!

Even though everything seemed stable, the team of fetal intervention doctors conferred, and they decided it would be best to go ahead and admit me for the duration of the pregnancy.  So here we are! My mom brought a few Christmas decorations and helped me feel a little bit settled on Wednesday. Val and Katie both visited Thursday, and Daniel brought the kids down for a quick trip yesterday morning and today.

I know these next few weeks will be hard, pretty lonely, and most likely scary at times, but I also know that we are not doing this alone. I have learned a lot in these past 6 weeks. Probably more than I’ve learned in much of my life. I read the other day:

“The whole world pays attention when we cry out for an end to darkness, while at the same time believing that Christ is the only Light we need.  Our dependence upon Him declares that He is enough, that His grace is sufficient for us.  We should always ask for a miracle, but while we wait, God’s calming presence in our lives is a miracle in itself.
Yes, when we are healed, our lives point to the Great Physician.
But when we are grieving, our lives point to the Comforter.
When we are confused and anxious, our lives point to the Counselor.
When we are in need, our lives point to the Provider.
When we are alone, our lives point to the Lover.
When we are abandoned, our lives point to the Father.
Suffering isn’t pointless.
It can always point to God.”

Will you continue to pray with us? Because of the complications, I will have ultrasounds every other day. We also have a big day on Friday—growth scan, echo, and appointment with the neonatologist.  We are specifically praying tonight for Piper’s cardiac function–for her heart to show improvement and stability, and for Avery’s growth.  Her precious body needs to grow so that once the Lord decides it is time for them to enter this world, she will have the best chance to fight. I’ve also been having some contractions this evening and needed a dose of a new medicine to stop them. We are desperately praying that my body and the girls will make it at least 5 more weeks.  (The chances of survival increase significantly at 28 weeks gestation.)

THANK YOU for praying and being on this journey with us. Dr. Espinoza continues to say what a miracle it is that we have made it 6 weeks with no infection or labor. He said today, “These girls are fighters.” We know they are and they will continue to bring all glory to God.

“When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” Isaiah 60:22

4 thoughts on “23 Weeks

  1. Praying for you and your family. Praying days go by quickly and smoothly. Praying for strength for you and the girls. Praying the girls get stronger and bigger each day.
    Sara (CBS)

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  2. We are praying for you, precious Charbonnets. Find peace in His arms, grace in His presence and hope for the future. Those amazing babies are with you and with Him, what more could they need? Prayers for you, dear friend. You are a brave and strong Texas woman!

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  3. Lisa! You are so brace and strong! I would love to come see you at the hospital! I’ll send you a Facebook message with my phone number! Keeping all of you in my prayers!
    Rebecca (Isbell) Shepherd

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  4. Lisa,
    I am praying for you and your babies, Daniel and the kids daily. I think of you often and I really admire you and your stamina and bravery. Your girls aren’t the only fighters!

    Love,
    Judy

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