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Archive for September, 2011

28 Weeks Pregnant:

Wow, I can’t believe it, but we are in the third trimester. I can’t tell you how happy I am about that! Not that I’ve been worried or anything like that, but we are getting closer and closer to meeting our little boy and that is exciting! A few nights ago I told DH that it’s going to feel weird when I’m not pregnant anymore to have my body back, just for myself. I think I will really miss our little one’s kicks and movements.

The movements are getting stronger and stronger, and I’ve even seen my tummy rock from side to side a couple of times, which was quite funny to see. I love to rub my belly at the times he moves and talk to him, tell him how much we want him and love him. It’s not sore or uncomfortable though, I have heard that it can get sore and uncomfortable, but that might only come later I think…

I must say I have been so incredibly fortunate with this pregnancy. It’s been easy and fun, and even though I’ve had symptoms they were never so bad that it bothered too much. It was totally worth going through the not so nice moments! Other people are commenting on it too, like my MIL, she is quite amazed that I’m not complaining, or moody, or anything like that. She says that I’m not treating my pregnancy like an illness, but that I’m taking it all in my stride, but I guess that is because I feel so good and I really have been blessed in this way and to be honest it never occurred to me to act in any other way…

Speaking of my MIL, she is such a dear; she is throwing me a baby shower at their house tomorrow. Apparently a lot of DH’s family that live far away in different provinces are going to be in town over this weekend and she decided it would be a great time for a baby shower. I am so grateful for her – she is the one person who has been absolutely all the way behind us with this pregnancy and who’s been probably the most excited, even though this is going to be her third grandson, and it does not make one bit of difference to her.

I must say my sister is helping my MIL and she has also been a real star! And it sounds like she might be organizing another baby shower for later in the year too, for mostly my side of the family, but tomorrow’s one will be the biggest, because my friends and some of my family will definitely be there too.

I’m still not sure how I feel about having a baby shower, excited in one way I guess, but also a bit apprehensive. Baby showers have never been my favourite event to attend, and I’ve never been fond of being the centre of attention. We will see how it goes.

Symptom wise, it been going well like I said. I’ve been a bit uncomfortable with a blocked/runny nose this week, but it’s just the pregnancy rhinitis that’s been a bit worse again this week. It feels better though so I’m sure it will be back to normal again, which is a blocked nose in the mornings when I wake up. It’s been like this since just after I found out I was pregnant.

I have had no swelling yet, even with the heat from the last few days or so, I’ve also not noticed any stretch marks yet, no linea nigra yet, the only thing is my belly button is going to pop out within the next couple of weeks I’m sure. It looks like it’s starting to pop at the top already, but the bottom has a little way to go yet. My nipples are getting darker and darker, and they look purple at times, very weird!

O, and on Monday I get my first Rhogam (Anti D) injection, one more at around 34 weeks and then once baby has been born I will get my last one. I had to go for a blood test yesterday to see if I have any antibodies in my blood already, and boy do I hate to go to the lab here in our town. The people that work there are just totally useless at what they do, and they hurt me so much every time and I end up with huge bruises afterwards.

We have another lab in the same building, but for some reason my fertility clinic, and now also my midwives like to use this specific company, above the other one, and since I don’t want my results to get lost as I don’t know what their correct codes are, regrettably I once again went to the bad lab. My other option is to go to our neighbouring town, but I also didn’t feel like driving all the way just for a quick blood test. But I think I will definitely ask to use the other company in future, I’ve had it with this one!

I’m looking forward to our next midwife appointment and our 4D scan which is on Monday. From now on my checkups with the midwife are going to be every 2 weeks, and not every 4 weeks like it was up to now. I will probably only have one more scan at 34 weeks when I see my Obgyn for the first time. But I guess it all depends on how we feel – if we feel we need to see our little boy again before birth, I might just make another appointment, they are cheap enough through this sonographer we go to.

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A few nights ago I once again had trouble sleeping. It took a while to get to sleep and only a few hours later I was awake again, and then it felt like hours passed before I fell asleep again just as the birds woke up. But that time was not wasted, because I was thinking about quite a lot of stuff, especially Shumi, and where I’m failing, and I got another revelation. I know it already, but sometimes one doesn’t see things clearly, especially when it concerns yourself… I think God has been trying to tell me this for a while already, but somehow I just didn’t listen, or didn’t want to listen maybe… I’ve realized there were signs or hints, which made me realize I had to attend to something, but I just brushed it away, and went on with what I was doing. Until that sleepless night when I had lots to think about and I could follow the trail until I got to the revelation, and I want to share that with you today – maybe someone else will also benefit from it.

There were 3 separate incidences that I can identify as signs or hints, because they all had to make me think about the same topic. I can’t really recall which happened first, and I guess it doesn’t really matter. One instance was a comment made on this blog about salvation and keeping the Law of Moses. That comment was in response to me saying that I know God does not want to punish me for every wrong thing I do, because I know that the punishment was already fully taken by Jesus through His sacrifice. I answered on that comment, but there was a lingering feeling that maybe I didn’t follow the trail of thought through fully and answered completely, but I brushed it off and forgot about it.

Another thing that bothered me a bit was a comment DH made to me once. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I’ve had some unresolved anger building up in me, especially lately, and I think it has to do with my mom’s death and Shumi’s illness. I tried to suppress it, and generally I never take out my frustrations on loved ones, so it came out in other ways. One way was when I got so upset about my new debit card not working – I really got so angry, like I haven’t been in a long time, and I let the call centre operator hear it! There is one other person though, someone I get to deal with on a weekly basis, that somehow rubs me up the wrong way, and I never let her see it, but later at home I can’t help making comments and sometimes they are nasty… DH heard me mutter something, and immediately he said, “What has S done this time…” I immediately felt bad, because I realized that I was complaining a lot about this person, especially lately, and maybe I’ve been too hard on her, but I once again did not think about it for very long.

The last message was the fact that I started reading the book of Romans since last week in my Bible study time and really a lot of it has to deal with the law again, and how we are saved by grace through faith and not through works like keeping the law. During the night while I was lying awake I realized that I’ve been focussing on how God does not want to punish us, because Jesus already carried the punishment for us, long before we even sinned, but I conveniently ignored the law. I knew it was still important to keep the law, but why?

For some reason I thought back to my last IVF last year, and how I did not understand things so well then compared to what I know now. Because I did a mini IVF, I didn’t get my stimms from my fertility clinic like I did with my other IVF’s. I bought it at Dis.chem since their price was a bit cheaper than what my clinic would have charged me. They didn’t have all the injections that I needed, but they did have a few and enough to get me started. Somehow the pharmacist made a mistake and charged me for 1 less injection than she gave me. When I paid I realized that the total was less than what I worked it out in my mind, but I paid and left the shop.

All the way home it bothered me and I couldn’t figure out where a mistake was made. When I got home I looked at the slip and only then did I realize what had happened. I immediately felt guilty and felt like I stole that one injection. The second thought that came into my head was, “I hope God does not punish me for this by ensuring that I don’t get pregnant.” Like I said – I still had a lot to learn.

The fear of punishment prompted me to phone the pharmacy and speak to them and rectify the mistake. The poor pharmacist was so happy I phoned and pointed out her mistake and she made a note on the computer that I must pay for the other injection when I come to fetch the last few. I’m sure she would have been in some kind of trouble if I hadn’t come forward and offered to pay, because she kept on saying, “thank you so much for calling and rectifying this.”

While I was lying in bed thinking about all this, I realized – “No, God would not have punished me by giving me a BFN.” I was totally sure of that fact, but then something else struck me. It could have ended in a BFN, but it wouldn’t have been caused by God. I would have given power over my life to the devil and through me handing him that power, he could have killed our embies and caused a BFN.

That was when I realized that the only reason we shouldn’t sin is because that is one way of giving power to the devil. We might believe that God has saved us, we might believe that God has healed us, but if we keep sinning we will never defeat the devil. I saw so clearly that I need to let go of certain sins, and if I do that the power of the devil will decrease. It’s all things that I knew, that I’ve practised a while ago and even had some victory over, but I got lax and I let small things slip, and then it got worse and worse again…

We had one victory, our pregnancy, and I just assumed that the rest will fall into place as well. Then my mom passed away and that shocked me so much! I lost some confidence and I let the devil lie to me again, believing that cancer is different than infertility and much more difficult to get healed, when it shouldn’t be. It’s the same principles that apply, and that works for every kind of illness, but my faith was shaken.

I also gave power to the devil in another way – fear. By being fearful I allowed things to get even worse, I got upset and at that point was where I was tearful at even silly things that should not have upset me at all. I felt like I could not deal with normal daily challenges that usually don’t upset me at all. That was when Shumi’s swelling was at its worst.

Fortunately the swelling has come down a lot, it’s not gone completely, but Shumi looks a lot better again, so much so that I do not contemplate euthanizing him. He is playful again, and he is interested in what goes on around him, he eats well and he just wants love, love and more love from us.

The devil is defeated – Jesus defeated him, and he cannot take Shumi’s life without my permission or co-operation. I’m sure he tried to convince me that euthanizing Shumi would be best, and then we would do the work for him, but I’m not co-operating with that! I keep on reminding myself that God is good, He wants Shumi healed and He has made provision for it already. I must just receive it on Shumi’s behalf. I know it does not look like Shumi is healed, but I don’t have to go on what things look like, when I know that God’s word is true, and when I know what His will is. I must just keep on believing in God’s promises, and not let circumstances sway me or weaken my faith.

I also like to remind myself that the vets gave Shumi a couple of months to live more than a year ago. His life expectancy is already like that of a dog who has received radiation therapy for the cancer, even though Shumi has not received any treatment. So that means that the devil has been hindered in his job – he couldn’t kill Shumi in the normal course of the disease so far, and I fully intend to make it even harder for him from now on.

Satan also tried his very best to make me feel incredibly guilty for my mom’s passing, but I’ve realized that with my mom, it wasn’t just dependant on DH’s and my own faith, because we believed, until the very end. The hard reality is my mom couldn’t believe in her own healing – even when I spoke to her about my miracle pregnancy, I could see in her eyes that she could not believe for the same thing. I gave her books to read, messages to listen to on CD and in MP3 format on her phone, but today I’m sure she didn’t do any of it. Yes, I think I must have discussed it more with her, but an old school friend of my mom’s told me at the funeral that my mom phoned her about 2 weeks before her death and that she could hear my mom had given up on life. That was before she even went in to hospital and I had no idea of any of that!

At the hospital itself we were also surrounded by people who believed the end was near, from the nurses and doctors to visiting family and friends, and no matter how many times DH and I tried to say, “but we have faith that my mom would get healed”, we were met with resistance and comments like, “but you have to be realistic!” Our faith was just too little compared to all the unbelief surrounding my mom…

Fortunately with Shumi’s situation, it’s different. It’s mostly just up to DH and I to believe in Shumi’s healing. We don’t get to deal with other people’s unbelief so much and then only when they come to visit us at home and they see Shumi. I keep on telling people that he is doing well, and what the vet’s diagnosis was over a year ago already, so that helps a little to get them to believe that maybe he will be healed. A lot have had theories like, maybe the diagnosis was wrong, (even our own vet has also wondered about this aloud, that maybe he has a benign tumour), and there was even one theory where they believe his problems are because of a tooth that needs to be pulled. Unfortunately it is very hard for people to believe that God still heals in this day and age, they always try to get some other explanation as well…

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27 Weeks Pregnant:

Only 1 more week to go and then I’m in my third trimester! Whoo-hoo! Another milestone within reach! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing this pregnancy over, I’m enjoying every moment of it, but I have things I look forward to and getting further and further without any problems and complications is reason to celebrate.

Fortunately my back is feeling much, much better, so much so that I’m not even wearing my pregnancy support belt anymore. Visiting the Chiropractor was such a good idea! I also don’t have the pain in my ribs anymore, so I would definitely recommend that to anyone who is having some pains during their pregnancy. If I knew it would work so well I would have gone much sooner. She did recommend that I go once a month until our baby is born, so I’m going to do just that!

I’m still feeling wonderful, not many symptoms or complaints; I just noticed that I’m getting tired in the afternoon again. I’ve read that it will come back by the third trimester, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon yet… DH wants me to re-organize my day so that I can plan a nap at a specific time every day – someone told him that our baby will adapt to my sleeping patterns and that we can already start to condition him for his sleeping patterns after his birth. How true that is I don’t know, but I guess it cannot do any harm… Now I must just manage to do that! I’ve tried this week, but I haven’t been very successful!

Last week I said I must make a list of everything that still needs to be done and bought, and boy, o, boy that list is getting so long! There is a lot still left for me to do! But I do look at it every day and do something on it every day, so I’m not getting too worried yet… I am aware though that it feels like time is passing faster and faster and that makes me a little anxious.

The other major problem we have at the moment is choosing our baby’s name. Gosh, I never thought it would be that difficult! Off course I hear the most beautiful girl names, but not many boy names seem nice to me. We decided that we will not be giving family names, firstly because we don’t like to, and secondly because our parents aren’t insisting on it. So basically we can choose anything we like. I would love to give names to our children that not only sound nice, but that also has a beautiful meaning. So I’ve made a shortlist and I’ve chosen 2 names I like and I asked DH to do the same. The only problem is, DH is not getting round to doing it! I’m not telling him what my names are, because I don’t want him to take the lazy option and choose one of my options. I want him to have an active role in choosing our boy’s name… Maybe I should give him a deadline!

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15 Years!

15 Years married today. Gosh, where has the time gone? It does feel like a long time, but not 15 years. Thank God that we are still happily married, and so very much in love. But it’s been a tough time, I must say. We had some very hard times, but we survived it and for that I’m so grateful.

I would never have thought that it would take 15 years before we have our first child. By the time our baby is born it would be almost 19 years since we met, and started dating. I wonder what we would have thought or done if we had known? Would it have made a difference in our decisions?

I think I would have changed some things – like do so much more fun stuff, instead of hoping that it would be this month that I get pregnant, and I wouldn’t have wasted all that money on fertility treatments off course, and spend it on nice holidays or other necessary stuff we had to go without. But I’m pretty sure I would still have married my DH. I didn’t just marry him to have children with him, I married him because I love him, and I always knew that was the most important reason for marriage.

I believe with my whole heart that my DH is the man that God has chosen to be my husband and soul mate. He made us especially for each other. Years ago, when I was 19 years old, my mom’s dog, a cocker spaniel, bit me one night on the nose. A whole piece of skin was missing and the tip of my nose was exposed. I had to go for plastic surgery to fix it. After the operation the plastic surgeon covered the transplanted skin with a piece of cotton wool soaked in something that made it neon yellow and stitched it onto my nose. I had to walk around like that for almost 2 weeks, until the stitches were removed.

It all happened during exam time, so I could not even skip classes. I had to go write my exams and travel by train in to the city every day. People stared at me because I looked ridiculous. My sister joked and said that my nose had “pollenised”, i.e. it looked like I had a massive clump of pollen on my nose. I didn’t have a boyfriend at that stage and I also didn’t have one for quite some time afterwards. The scar was quite noticeable for a long time and the transplanted skin was redder, and I was starting to think that I’m ugly, or not very attractive.

At one stage I felt so lonely that I prayed to God, and asked Him to give me a good husband one day. I asked for specific character traits and things like, that he must love me, and appreciate me and treat me like I’m special. I didn’t ask for one immediately, I didn’t ask for anyone that would be rich, but I asked for someone whom I could love and trust and off course, someone who also loves God. I had to wait about 2 years, but I eventually met him and I didn’t know it at first, but I also realized eventually that this was the man I had asked God for a few years previously, and I’m am still until today so grateful that God has answered this specific prayer!

After such a long time being married we are now entering a new stage of our marriage – parenthood. It feels so surreal to me, and I still have trouble picturing us with a baby, but I know we will cope and I know it will be all right. We have learnt to be selfish over the past 15 years, having only to take ourselves into consideration with all our decisions, but I don’t mind giving up a lot of stuff for a baby. I am sure it will be worth it all!

I love you A and thank you for sticking with me though all the difficult times and all the years of infertility!

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26 Weeks pregnant:

Last night I realized I’m getting very close to starting the third trimester, and I had a little freak out. It feels like there is still so much to do to get ready, so I guess I’ll have to get started with it all. I think I must start with making a list, and then work through that.

Except for my back pain, which is much better by the way, I still feel very good. I enrolled again at the gym for the next three months, because I just wasn’t getting the exercise I needed by walking or swimming at home (like I thought I would do), but I’m taking it easy for now, since I know I’m not fit. But I need to get fit for the birth – my midwife said that natural birth is quite a cardiac workout and I need to be fit for that. One lady that helps out with me at the feeding scheme, her daughter gave birth naturally recently and it was so easy for her, but she was very fit. So that inspired me to get myself off to gym again.

I’ve noticed recently that I’m starting to look lopsided – depending on how our little baby is lying. The other day he was lying on the left side and I had a huge bulge on my tummy on the left and nothing on the right. Also I’ve noticed that my breasts aren’t always the same size. Last Saturday we visited my sister and just before we left I told DH that my one breast looks at least 2 bra sizes bigger than the other. “O, don’t worry,” he said, “they will probably not notice…” Well I think within the first hour my sister said, “Let me just rearrange your top a bit, it looks like your one boob is so much bigger than the other…” I had to confess that it wasn’t the top; my one breast was bigger than the other. But fortunately it seems it was only temporary because they look about the same size again.

Baby is kicking harder and harder and he gets times when he is really active. Last week while we were lying in bed, spooning, DH could feel him kick in his back. Fortunately it’s not sore yet, everybody keeps telling me it will start to get sore and uncomfortable, but I’m not there yet. We still love it to bits and cannot get enough of it.

One advantage of pregnancy that I wish I could keep afterwards is my hair isn’t nearly as oily as it used to be and I don’t have to wash it as often. It also feels more manageable. I’ve always had problems with certain parts curling, but the rest is mostly straight and it seems a lot straighter nowadays. I don’t have to battle to get the kinks out anymore.

DH and I have been researching antenatal classes for the last 2 weeks or so and speaking to a lot of women we personally know who have had children recently and we have decided not to attend antenatal classes. The main reason being we don’t think we will benefit from it much. I have researched the top places that were personally recommended to us and it seems that most of the course content we know already. A lot was covered by our water birth class, especially the important bits regarding the lead up to the birth, the actual birth, birthing positions, what can go wrong, c-sections, and after the birth off course. Then usually they have at least one session on deciding on a caregiver, hospital, the different birth experiences and to choose which you want, which has already been decided by us. Things like the birth plan and breastfeeding will all be done with our midwife, and that is usually 2 more sessions and we think we can research the other things we might still need ourselves.

But I asked DH to give me a commitment for one day where we will make a list of all questions we have, as well as those things we think we might not know that is usually covered with antenatal classes, and then we will work through it together and search for those answers ourselves.

You see, some ladies that know us quite well, and especially those who have trusted us to babysit their children, are confident that between DH and I, we know how to look after a baby. We babysat different children for sometimes a week and up to three weeks, where the parents had to travel abroad, and could not take their children with. The ages differed a lot from small babies up to 6 years or so, and we even had to look after a baby with colic and who was less than six months old at that stage, together with his 2 year old brother. DH helped me so much during those times that I’m very confident that he knows most there is to know.

DH also feels that I’m so good at doing research, due to our past infertility issues and now during the pregnancy that he says he does not think it would be worthwhile to spend a lot of money on 6 or 7 classes and we might only benefit from 1 or 2 of those. So we decided to save that money rather for other classes that seem beneficial to attend after baby is born.

(Ps. It seems that Shumi is doing a lot better again this morning. The swelling around his eye and at the top of his head has gone down a lot and he can see through his eye again. He also greeted us this morning with a toy and wanted to play, play and play. KT was very happy about that, because she always wants to play. So we decided to keep an eye on him and see how he does. At first I thought the swelling was from the tumour, but I’m not so sure anymore, firstly because it came up so quickly and also because it seems to be going down again. It also looks like he has still some will to live in him – He wanted to get into the car this morning to go with DH to work, and DH said to me he will feel too guilty to take him to the vet now, to be put to sleep, when he seems to be better and he loves to ride in the car so much! Praise the Lord! Both DH and I feel so bad that we waivered in our faith…)

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I am so sick and tired of the devil attacking us! Thankfully I recognize his tactics and I know that it comes from him.

It all started last week with my new debit card I got from a new bank. I barely had it for a few days and when I was in the store buying groceries my card was declined. I knew it couldn’t be because there were not sufficient funds as I had just the previous day deposited quite a large amount into the card, and I was buying for less than 20% of the available balance. So I insisted they try again, and it was once again rejected. Then they phoned for authorisation and it was rejected a third time. By that time I felt like the earth should swallow me up, out of embarrassment, since nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I used to work at one of the largest banks in the country for more than 14 years, so I know pretty much all about what can go wrong with cards like this and I could not think of one single reason why it would be rejected. When I got home I phoned the bank immediately and it seemed they froze my account, because apparently they never received my proof of address and identification, yet I gave it to them twice, once when I applied and then again when I received my card. When I told them that, the lady suddenly said, “O, here it is, yes, we have received it, I am so sorry!” and it took her less than a minute to locate my documents and remove the hold on my account. There was absolutely no reason for this to happen, except to get me upset, and at that stage I didn’t realize yet that the devil had his hand in this…

The next thing was on Tuesday morning I took a bath, got out and felt quite good. I started to blow dry my hair and within 5 minutes of standing there I had an incredible pain in my lower back and right hip, so bad that I had to lie down immediately and it felt like I would pass out if I didn’t. After a while I felt better and went to the kitchen to make myself breakfast. I let the dogs into the house and I saw there was a swollen lump over Shumi’s left eye and on the left side of his head. That is the side where the tumour originally started. It upset me quite a bit to see that…

From there I limped around the house to get ready for the feeding Scheme I volunteer at, but I noticed I could not stand for long. So I went, but I sat down on a chair and told them that my back is really sore. I only stood for the 20 minutes or so that it took for me to hand out the bread, and then I had to sit back down again… I went home from there and by the time I got home I just felt like crying and falling down on the bed. Fortunately I made an appointment with my Chiropractor for later that afternoon, since my back was a little sore the day before already. Then I started to get cramps in my tummy and the devil tried to convince of terrible things happening, but I refused to believe that. Fortunately a while later I recognized the cramps as cramps in my colon, and not related to our baby, and it was due to a typical pregnancy symptom, constipation.

The treatment at the chiropractor helped a lot, and she said it was another typical pregnancy related symptom and not due to sciatica that I used to suffer from. She advised I wear a pregnancy support belt around my hips especially when I stand or walk for a while.

Yesterday morning Shumi looked a lot worse than on Tuesday morning. The swelling looked about double from what it was the day before. I felt a bit better, but I decided to wear the support belt, since we were going shopping for a mattress for the cot we bought last week and for materials to make a mosquito net to cover the cot. I was fine at the first shop but at the second shop I was starting to feel the same again as the previous day, and I told DH that we must finish up so that I can go home. So DH looked for a shop assistant to help us, since we made up our minds about what we wanted to buy. He got one and when she was almost where I was a lady interrupted her and asked her to help her instead and this shop assistant stopped, turned around and started helping this other lady. By that time I was sitting on the floor of the shop since I could not stand any longer. I was upset, but I didn’t say anything, and DH decided that he would find me a chair to sit on. So we found one and I told DH that I’m not moving until he found someone else to help us. Well, I barely sat when one of the shop employees tried to tell me that I was sitting in her way, and that I had to move, so I just moved the chair a bit out of the way, and she saw from my face that I was not feeling well at all, and about to burst into tears, so she left me alone after that. Eventually the other lady was finished with her shopping and the original shop assistant was ready to help us, and a few minutes later we were able to go home.

By that time it was well over an hour later than my usual lunch time and I was feeling very hungry and weak and I think I my blood sugar was also low by that time. We got home and found a letter in the mailbox from the municipality stating that they haven’t received a deposit from us to connect the water and electricity, which is nonsense off course, since they never connect it without the deposit. I wasn’t worried about that, but I asked DH to go sort it out after lunch since I didn’t feel up to standing in any queues. A few moments later we realized our electricity was disconnected and we could not make the lunch we wanted to, so DH just ate a sandwich quickly and got into the car with our proof of payment. I was so upset by then that I just went to lie down and felt like crying and crying. And then I suddenly realized what was happening – all this was happening just to upset us. So I got up again out of bed and decided the devil is not going to get what he wants from me…

I made myself a sandwich, I hung the laundry I did earlier on the line and about half an hour later DH was back saying that they don’t know how or why it happened as the computer system says that we have paid our deposit and it was never supposed to be disconnected at all. Apparently the lady at the municipality was so embarrassed and could not stop apologizing for the inconvenience and another half an hour later our electricity was connected again.

By last night we saw the swelling on Shumi’s head and over his eye was much bigger than yesterday morning and he could almost not see out of that eye anymore because it was swollen so much. So DH sat me down and said that we must now discuss the one thing I have been avoiding for almost a year and a half now, euthanizing Shumi.

I feel like a failure, that I failed Shumi and my mom, because I believe that God can and wants to heal, and that He’s made provision for it already as a matter of fact, yet my mom had to die and now Shumi will probably have to die too…

It feels like I’m throwing in the towel, that I’m giving up on Shumi, and that I should have been able to get a breakthrough. I mean I got pregnant didn’t I? Why couldn’t my mom and Shumi be healed too? I know the fault does not lie with God, so then it must lie with me, and I just cannot figure out what more I can do, or what else I should have done, or where my weakness lies…

All I know is that the devil attacked me so much more lately to weaken my resolve, to make me tired and get me to sin so that he can gain power from that, and to get me to give in so that he can once again steal, kill and destroy what I don’t want him too… I know the fact that Shumi got cancer is all my fault. In between my second failed IVF and when Shumi got sick a few months later I can distinctly remember saying so many times aloud, “Nothing must happen to Shumi, because I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to cope with that too…” You see the failures of the 2 IVF’s and a little bit later the failed FET was getting to me, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer also just after my second IVF and it just felt like almost everything was going wrong and I started to fear that something bad will happen to the closest thing I had to a child at that stage and that was Shumi. Saying those things and my fear opened a door for the devil, and allowed him to make Shumi sick…

I slept very poorly again last night, upset about Shumi, and trying to think what else I can do. I know that my faith has wavered a bit since my mom passed away, and that I’ve probably limited God again, by thinking thoughts like, “cancer is so much harder to get healed than infertility.”

All I know is that God has helped us a lot with Shumi – two vets we saw gave Shumi maximum 3 months to live around the middle of July last year. I’ve quoted this before, but I want to share it again:

What is the prognosis for dogs with nasal cavity tumors?
One study of 139 dogs showed that without treatment, the average survival time is 95 days. Another study showed that dogs who underwent surgery alone had median survival 3-6 months, which is comparable to that reported for no treatment. Prognosis of dogs who show symptoms of nose bleeding appears to be worse (median survival of 88 days) compared to those without it (medial survival of 224 days). The median survival time after full course of radiation treatment alone ranges from 8 to 19.7 months, and 43-60% of dogs are alive 1 year after radiation and 11-44% 2 years post-radiation. The use of CT imaging to plan radiation treatment can increase the survival range to 11-19.7 months. Although radiation therapy alone is able to provide local control of nasosinal tumours for approximately 10 months, and thus prolongs the patients’ overall survival, most dogs will eventually die as a result of local disease progression. New approaches to control these tumours need to be developed to further improve the response and overall survival.

Several characteristics are associated with poorer outcomes (shorter survival) in dogs with nasosinal tumours such as being over 10 years old, having a tumour-induced facial deformity, presence of lymph node or other organ metastasis, or lack of resolution of clinical signs after radiation therapy.”

Now if you take into account that Shumi’s nose started bleeding last year in April already and this study said that dogs who had symptoms of nose bleeding had a median survival of 88 days then Shumi should have died somewhere in June or July last year already. That was only when we got the diagnosis of his nasal tumour, and it’s been more than 17 months since his nose bleeds started. I know both vets that have seen Shumi have been baffled as to why he has survived this long without treatment and I really believe it was God, so I will praise Him for that.

I knew facial deformity is one of the symptoms, but I’ve never thought that it would happen so fast. In 2 days his face has swollen up to this:


(I took this picture this morning)

I am scared to take Shumi to the vet and that he will say that we have to have Shumi put down, but I cannot bear to see him suffer either. I had hoped I would never have to make a decision like this. I just cannot take him on my own, I would break down if I have to leave him there, and DH cannot take him today because he has work commitments. Shumi does seem to be uncomfortable and somewhat unhappy about his swollen head, and he definitely does not like it when I touch it, even if it is ever so slightly, but there are also times when he comes to me with a ball in his mouth, wagging his tail with an expression of, “Please mommy, please come play with me!” and then he seems way too healthy to be euthanized…

O, this breaks my heart!

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Even before I got pregnant I knew that we have a lot to be grateful for, but since getting pregnant I am just so much more aware of all the things I’m grateful for, and I’m not lying to you, but my prayer life has changed to mostly praising God and thanking Him for all the blessings we receive from Him.

Every single day I thank God for our pregnancy and our baby. I cannot tell you how much I love being pregnant, and to feel our little boy kick, how much I love him already and how much I’m looking forward to meeting him. Last week at the water birth class there was one lady that said she absolutely hates being pregnant and she is so glad it’s almost over. I can honestly say that I don’t have that problem at all; as a matter of fact it is difficult for me to understand it, because it’s been such a wonderful time for me. I am so grateful that I’m not in her shoes…

Yes, I’ve had most of the symptoms and sometimes I didn’t feel well, or sometimes I have pain, but it doesn’t affect my joy. I still remember the constant nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, and I remember I wasn’t able to do much during that time, but I would willingly do it again and again, just for the joy of being pregnant. I know I’m going to miss being pregnant once our baby is born, but we will definitely try again!

I am also so grateful for the wonderful husband that I have. He is so attentive, and loving and interested in what’s going on in my body and with our baby, and he just loves to have his hands on my baby bump to feel our darling little boy move and kick.

I just know he will be an awesome, wonderful dad. A lot of the time I think he will be a better dad than I could even dream to be a mom. He just loves our nieces and nephews and he takes time to play with them every time we see them, and they absolutely adore him! I just cannot imagine how he will be with our boy – if he is so good with children that isn’t his, how wouldn’t he be with his own! I know he will not be a distant dad, or someone who’s job is more important than his kids, or more interested in his social life than his kids, I know he will make our little one the most important part of his life.

Then most importantly I am so grateful to God, for being there and helping me, guiding me, comforting me and blessing us so richly! We have had some really incredibly difficult years behind us and only when I turned to God, did it feel like I was able to cope, to overcome, to get hope and finally to have our dreams realized. And even now He is still there giving me strength, health and joy, even though we are still going through a difficult time.

The other day I realized that this has been the best and simultaneously the worst year ever. The best because I got pregnant with a healthy baby and we will give birth to him, but the worst because I had to lose my mom. But thanks to our Almighty Lord He is giving me strength and He is helping me to not just concentrate on the sadness, but still experience and enjoy all the wonderful stages of this pregnancy.

I am also incredibly grateful of how much I’ve grown spiritually, and that my idea, or concept of being a child of God, a Christian has changed. I see God so very different than even a year ago, I know Him so much better – I know He loves me unconditionally, that even if I disappoint Him, His love for me won’t change, and that He doesn’t want to punish me for every wrong thing I do – it’s not necessary anymore because the punishment has already been borne by Jesus. I have no more guilt and condemnation hanging over me, making me feel less of a Christian, or a bad person, because I’ve been made righteous by Jesus, and yes, I know I don’t deserve it, but it’s already been done, so I can just as well accept it! God wants me to receive it! And the same goes for everything else that’s been covered by the atonement. Like health and healing, deliverance from evil and prosperity.

The way I feel from day to day has changed – from being sad, and feeling lonely and that nobody understand my pain, to being happy, and joyous and expecting just good things to happen from now on. I cannot tell you what a burden has been lifted from me. God has changed me so much and I am so grateful! When I think of all these blessings, I just feel like bursting out in tears of happiness (and I often do)…

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