Our baby girl, Lydia Grace, was conceived a couple of days before Christmas. She has been an answer to the prayers of my heart for a daughter. Josh and I were both so surprised at the timing of this prayer answered. We had closed in our minds and hearts the chapter of life that included childbearing, after long struggles with secondary infertility. I become confident and at peace that we had our family completed and was looking toward the next season of life. But then God..... he answered my prayers as well as Noah's, who had been praying for a sister.
Lydia has Intrauterine Growth Restriction. This means that while in the womb her growth is being restricted. It is heart wrenching for us as parents to think the place where she should be most safe is becoming a place of danger for her.
But what praises we are offering for her life! Hearing my husband thanking God for "the gift she is to us" makes me weep. She is such a gift. Just knowing her while she's inside of me and seeing her shadow on ultrasound has made us fall in love. It is a tender, sweet, compassionate love for your child that is different from what I have felt with "normal" pregnancies. I sense Christ's compassion for me in my own weakness when I feel this love towards Lydia.
Her body is under stress from lack of nutrients. She is gaining the bare minimum to remain in the womb (1/4lb. in 2 weeks). Her brain is thankfully being spared in an amazing thing called "brain sparing" where the placenta gives the most nutrients and blood to the brain so that the brain will be normal sized and most developed. It is a miracle really. IUGR is a condition that lasts after birth. Lydia will be small, have possibly many problems such as poor feeding and low body temperature. She will continue to be a slow - growing child for at least awhile. We may spend time in the NICU.
Because of these things we feel such tenderness towards her. She will have obstacles to overcome. Lydia reminds me that in my weakness Christ loves me, had compassion on me, and chose me as his own. We never think of this child as a burden even though we realize we will face difficult days ahead. We want her - just as she is. It is such a sweet and pure love we feel for our little baby girl.
I do believe Lydia is and will be a fighter. This is evidenced by how she fights and kicks against fetal monitors and ultrasounds. She causes me to trust even harder in the following verses.
(2 Corinthians 12: 9-10) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I am content in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Having an IUGR baby makes you feel nothing but afraid, weak, and helpless. But I am holding to the promise that HE is strong for us.
Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement to us. We will update here often about what is next in this journey as we continue twice weekly doctor visits and scans to see if she can remain in the womb a little longer.