Well, I wasn't going to do a blog, but I've realized that I can't keep up with updating everyone individually, as much as I'd like to. So, I'll start with an intro to our current adventure, and our little girl (Madison Hope, maybe?) that is due to be delivered this coming Tuesday. (January 13th)
This little one was diagnosed with spina bifida at about 17 weeks into my pregnancy. Spina bifida is a fairly common birth defect caused by incomplete closure of the spinal column during the first few weeks of gestation. Her defect is quite low on the back, and we are praying her troubles are minimal due to it. So far, she's shown no signs of other common problems associated with SB. She has no hydrocephaly, and normal growth and movement. These are all signs of good nerve development. Possible complications include hydrocephaly, (which can show up after birth) troubles with bladder/bowel function, and troubles walking. With the location of her defect, she will most likely walk, but with braces or assistance of some kind.
So, we continue to pray for healing, minimal troubles, and an uneventful delivery and smooth recovery from her post-natal surgery. She will have the defect closed probably within 24 hours of her birth, and will be in the NICU for 10-14 days at least.
I'm also praying for my family to do well in my absence, as I will be in Portland for the duration of her NICU stay. It's 2 hours from home, and I'm eternally thankful to my mom, dad, sister, and my older daughters for helping so much these last few weeks, and for being available for the next several as well. What a blessing they (you) are!
I know the Lord will use this little girl for His good purposes. I'm certain she is a blessing to us and will be to those around us as well.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. Knowing that others are petitioning on our behalf all over the world is such a wonderful thing.