When it Rains… God is still Good

I almost don’t know where to start because so much has happened since I spoke in this place. I keep waiting until I have time to write about it all, but I’m afraid if I continue to do that it will never happen, so I’m going to try to catch you up with where we are by quickly mentioning or summarizing some of the bigger occurrences.

Catching up

Miscarriage –  After finding out the baby’s heart was no longer beating on Friday, December 6th, I actually miscarried the next Monday, but things did not go smoothly. By Tuesday morning I was unable to stand up without passing out so Mark got me in to my OB.

My recovery was slow (two days after I saw my OB I was still unable to sit propped up in bed for longer than half an hour), but Mark and the children took great care of the house and little ones and I was able to get the rest I needed.

Mark took all the children to Dollywood while I stayed home with Grandma and rested.

Mark took all the children to Dollywood while I stayed home with Grandma and rested.

This was my first miscarriage and I struggled with the emotional part. “How can I grieve when I have been given so much?” “How can I be unhappy with the life that God ordained for our child?” “How can I be sad when God blessed us with this baby for 11 weeks?”

There is a difference between grieving and ingratitude and I was getting the two mixed up. I can grieve the death of my child, of course I can. Jesus grieved the death of Lazarus.  However, I know that in the midst of my grief I serve a good and loving God. Feeling sadness does not mean that I am complaining against God’s goodness and mercy.

Some of our best friends who have shared our burdens and made them lighter.

Some of our best friends who have shared our burdens and made them lighter.

In the midst of our grief we rejoice that this was His perfect plan for our baby, we are grateful for friends who help to bear our burdens and we have confidence that our child is rejoicing in the very presence of God. Beauty for ashes, indeed.

Whooping Cough – Back before Thanksgiving I had taken two of the older children to the doctor because I thought they might have whooping cough. He dismissed my concern offhand.

As I was recovering from the miscarriage, our two younger children began coughing. Eventually it became very obvious that our children did indeed have whooping cough.

This is not a video of our children, but this video shows what both Bella (3) and Valor (1) did about every hour, 24 hours a day for about 4-6 weeks.

Most of the children got whooping cough. Our two youngest had it most severely and several had just a mild case.

Blood clotting disorder –  On the day that we found out our baby was no longer alive, my OB said he thought I might have a blood clotting disorder that had caused the miscarriage.

At the time I thought he was jumping the gun.  I have carried 11 pregnancies to term without a loss and I am currently 41 years old. A single miscarriage at this point, can’t be cause for concern, right? He did mention that some problems can occur even after multiple healthy pregnancies, so we sent about a gallon of my blood off to be tested.

In the midst of our whooping cough days, I got the results.

I have two genetic mutations that are known to cause blood clotting problems (homogenous MTHFR A1298C and 4g/4g PAI 1, for those who are interested). The bottom line is that I am on a daily baby aspirin now and always and if/when I get pregnant I will have twice daily heparin injections.

Do you see God’s amazing goodness in this? I’ve had eleven uneventful pregnancies, I’m nearing the end of my childbearing years AND with only one pregnancy loss we have a plan to possibly prevent it happening again.

My OB wasn’t as jumpy as  I thought. Our baby’s tiny heart beat for two weeks even though it never got up into a normal range, and during those two weeks with a beating heart it showed no growth. This clued my wonderful OB off to the possibility that this was a problem with me and not with our wee one. I continue to be grateful for an obstetrician who values life, not just my life and the life of any baby I may be carrying, but he also values the lives of future children God may gift to our family.

My Grandma – During all of this my grandmother was living with us. Our family loved her time here with us. She, however, was bound and determined that she wanted to live in her own home, so at the new year she moved back home.

Carter (11), Valor (1), Nick (5), Grandma, Matthew (14) and Amber (17) prepping pumpkin for pies, soup and the freezer

Carter (11), Valor (1), Nick (5), Grandma, Matthew (14) and Amber (17) prepping pumpkin for pies, soup and the freezer.

 My Mom – Several weeks after my Grandmother moved home we got a call that my mom was in the hospital. The short story is that for a week everyone (doctors, family, etc.) thought that my mom was in the later stages of ovarian cancer. We were all relieved to learn that this was not the case.

Valor colby snow kingsport

Valor (1) with Colby (7) in the background

My mom did need major surgery and the 8 youngest children and I were able to spend a week up in Kingsport, Tennessee cooking and cleaning for my mom and dad while she recovered. A special bonus to this was that we enjoyed 10 lovely inches of snow up there, while here in Knoxville they had just a little.

Colby (7), Carter (12) and Alyssa (13)

Colby (7), Carter (12) and Alyssa (13)

Last week my mom was once again taken to the hospital she and remains there fighting infection and with fluid in her lungs (again). We would love prayers for peace and healing for my mother and for wisdom for her doctors.

Alyson’s death – When Mark and I were newlyweds and as we had our first several children, we regularly babysat for Alan and Kathleen. We stayed at their home and held down the fort when they went to the hospital to have some of their younger children, and spent many happy days ‘parenting’ those kids in a large and growing family. 

Alyson on right

Alyson on right left (I obviously can’t tell my right and left apart)

While my mom was in the hospital the first time, Alyson (23), Alan and Kathleen’s oldest child, was killed in a car accident.

God was definitely growing me and the one thing I kept saying as I grieved for Kathleen and Alan was, “God is good”.

He is good when our children are healthy and when they are diagnosed with cancer.  God is good when we are blessed with a new life and He continues to be good when our children die. The circumstances in which we find ourselves do not change the truth of who God is.

God’s goodness has been so crystal clear to me in the last weeks. As we walked through the miscarriage and the whooping cough, as we watched our friends deal with childhood cancer and the sudden death of a child, we saw God’s goodness and gentleness. He does not leave us or forsake us. We bear one another’s burdens and that bearing does indeed make the load lighter. It is not easy, but He remains good.

Currently

Tabitha – Tabitha continues to do well through both radiation and chemo. If you want to stay up to date on Tabitha (our friend’s 7 year old daughter who is battling cancer) you can follow her journey on her Caring Bridge site. Her parents’ updates also echo the theme of God’s goodness.

My sweet friend Debbie with her daughter Tabitha

My sweet friend Debbie with her daughter Tabitha

Safe Families - After a long break from hosting, we are thankful to be well enough to have foster children in our home again. We are looking forward to hosting a teen and her newborn baby one to two days a week starting this week.  

Chickens – We currently have 30 chicks in a brooder in our garage. Our ability to have chickens is a huge answer to a prayer that our children have prayed for years.

A tangible answer to prayer peeping and running around in our garage.

A tangible answer to prayer peeping and running around in our garage.

But our God is good and sometimes pretty amazing and Lord willing this summer we will have fresh eggs (as well as some fresh chicken dinners).

Colby (7) and Nick (5)

Colby (7) and Nick (5)

All of the kids continue to grow quickly and we are loving and learning more about homeschooling and parenting everyday.

So there is an update on some of what has been happening here and through it all, God has been graciously and mercifully good.

You may also like:

Lots more “Not Me” posts with pictures of our kids when they were much smaller.

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22 Responses to When it Rains… God is still Good
  1. Leah Atha (@leahatha)
    February 27, 2014 | 8:29 am

    Hello! I’ve long read your blog,but I think I’ve always “lurked”. I am so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and I also have MTHFR. We discovered it after two losses. I’m wonderfully amazed that you’ve given birth to eleven successfully with the disorder!

    While it’s true that you’ll need to have shots of blood thinner, there is one called Lovenox that is one shot a day and not two. I take additional folate/folic acid as well when I’m pregnant, with my baby aspirin. If and when the time comes, you may want to look into that.

    I’ve had one successful pregnancy following the MTHFR regimen and I am currently 23 weeks along this time around. I’ve only recently learned that there is a connection between MTHFR, vaccinations and autism (which my son has). So I don’t know what your stance is on vaccinations, but that’s something to be aware of as well.

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  2. Theresa Ewing
    February 27, 2014 | 8:57 am

    Yes God is good and sees us through! Having been through 2 miscarriages(2/04 & 11/06) and recently the death of our foster daughter, the Lord saw us through each and every time. I now have a better understanding/empathy for others who are grieving. And He taught me that I CAN love another mother’s child like my own. We have another child in our home now and He is still proving He is with us. We are not a perfect family, but with God’s help , I believe we can help others.

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  3. LR
    February 27, 2014 | 9:29 am

    Beautiful post! Yes, God is good all the time!

    Please consider avoiding synthetic folic acid and take 5mthf (methyltetrahydrofolate) instead. My pedi suggests all childbearing women take 1mg of this folate everyday just in case they have this mutation. Perhaps dosage would be higher with confirmed mutation. I also have my husband supplement as well.

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  4. Annie
    February 27, 2014 | 9:34 am

    “The circumstances in which we find ourselves do not change the truth of who God is.” Kim…I hold onto this TRUTH! He is a wonderful and merciful God even when I can’t feel it and even when life is the very hardest. Thru the ashes, He always.always.always brings peace. Sending love to you and your precious family! We have missed you!!

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  5. Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
    February 27, 2014 | 10:24 am

    I am sorry for this season of loss for you and your family. That is a lot at once, and I pray the Lord will continue to heal your hearts and give you peace. Praying for your mom, and the teen and her baby as you minister to them. Thank you for being bold enough to share your life, even when it is hard and for pointing back to the Lord who hurts the most when we hurt! Hugs for your day!

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  6. JustAnotherMama
    February 27, 2014 | 10:34 am

    Just wanted to say thanks so much for your post, and all your posts. We lost a newborn very unexpectedly a year ago and your post came as a good reminder to me of a lot of the things I’ve felt and learned and that God has brought us through this year as I struggle in remembering her these past few days.

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  7. Jennifer
    February 27, 2014 | 10:52 am

    You have been through a lot in the last few months. Hopefully you are getting a break.
    I just wanted to say that I also have thick blood. They call it Anticardiolipin Antibody Syndrome for me. Maybe the same exact thing, I don’t know. I also take a baby aspirin every day. When I was pregnant with my 11 and 9 year olds I took heparin twice per day for the whole pregnancy and then 2 weeks after that, until my blood volume went down. With my last pregnancy, my 18 month old, they changed me to Lovenox once per day until the end and then to Heparin twice per day. They said that Heparin can cause bone density issues and the Lovenox doesn’t. However, Heparin is reversible in the case of delivery and Lovenox is not, so that’s why they changed at the end. I also have read recently that they are concerned about epidurals now because of bleeding in the spine – GREAT!
    Doing the shots is tough, but if you get the needle in fast it doesn’t hurt and then push the med in slow. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt at all :) I have to say that the Lovenox is more painful than the Heparin though, but only one shot per day. I have found that most Dr.’s don’t know much about it and will give you different direction. Some keep you on aspirin also during the pregnancy, while others take you off of it. I’ve always went off of it. Best wishes with any future pregnancies :)

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  8. Michelle
    February 27, 2014 | 11:02 am

    Kimberly, I’m so sorry that your family has been through so much recently. I will be praying for your family. God bless you.

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  9. Rachael
    February 27, 2014 | 11:22 am

    Hey Kim,

    I have followed your blog for so long… You have been an amazing inspiration to me. I too have the PAI blood disorder. We discovered this after I lost my first child at 18 weeks. I have since had three little blessings right in a row. I have just turned 30. I struggle with wanting to have more babies but being terrified that I will lose another to this disorder. My youngest had a growth lag right at the end of my pregnancy with her even with the Heparin. My husband and I don’t prevent pregnancy, but I struggle internally with this.
    I just wanted to encourage you! Heparin really isn’t that bad, should you ever need to do it. God is faithful!
    I’m so heartbroken over the loss of your sweet baby. I know you will see him/her again!
    I’m praying for you, your mom, your whole family as you begin to minister to this teen and her baby. If anybody can impact them for God, YOU can!
    Love in Christ,
    Rachael in MS

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  10. Sue
    February 27, 2014 | 12:15 pm

    So good to have you back on your blog. I have been praying for you and your family every time I check to see if you have posted anything — usually at least once a day:) Of course I had no idea how many matters those prayers were covering during that time. I shared at a ladies prayer meeting this morning your comment about our circumstances and the truth of who God is. His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Now I am praying for your mom, my dear, dear friend. Wish I could give her a hug. Also, I will be praying for you as you minister to this young girl and her baby that your love and care will make a difference that will affect the rest of her life.

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  11. doro allgaier
    February 27, 2014 | 12:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing. So many things going on in your busy life.
    What you wrote about your miscarriage touched my heart and it is a very special experience. We lost our first Child when I was 9weeks. The heart stopped beating and it was also not really growing well. I was so sad and really grieving a lot in that time. And only a few weeks after this hard loss a good friend of mine was killed in a car accident too – only 22 years old.
    I still remember this time very well and the feelings I had – even when 11 years past since.
    It was during a church service when a woman shared a picture she had: She saw a tiny little baby in Gods hands, secure and safe and totally fine. And she said, that HE knows my pain, my tears and my broken heart and that our baby is in his loving hands, the best place it could ever be. And that it was not my fault, what happend – God knew.
    So my prayer is with you and that HE comforts you in your loss and heals your wounds.
    I have also a blood problem, which the OB found out, when I was pregnant with our 4th child. From that time on I also needed daily heparin injections during the whole pregnancy.
    Blessings to you and your lovely family
    Doro

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  12. Cynthia
    February 27, 2014 | 6:08 pm

    Kim,
    Welcome back! We missed you! Thank you for the update…What an amazing journey, and through it all, God is good!
    Blessings to you and your precious family as you continue your faithful walk!

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  13. Alyson
    February 28, 2014 | 1:50 am

    Thank-you Kimberly. It is such an encouragement to read your blog! I’ve missed it while you’ve been in the rain. May God continue to bless and use you and your family for his glory. May his comfort continue to provide the peace that passes all understanding.

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  14. Sheila Mom to Seven
    February 28, 2014 | 2:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing with us, Kimberly. You’re a blessing to me.

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  15. Alexis
    February 28, 2014 | 11:14 pm

    Kimberly,

    We have prayed for your family often since meeting you at the conference. My boys are constantly wanting to check the computer to see if they have an email from your sons. :) Know a family out West continues to pray for you. Thank you for your example as a mom of many to me.

    Enjoy the chickens! My boys were excited for you. They will bring a lot of laughter to your house. We want to write a comic strip about ours!

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  16. Christine
    March 1, 2014 | 9:03 am

    Kimberly- I’ve missed you! So thankful you updated us on your life. You and your family are an inspiration to me and you are in my prayers.

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  17. Rachel
    March 5, 2014 | 1:10 pm

    I’m glad you found time to write. I’m sorry for all of the difficulties you’ve experienced in these last months. But the midst of grief is where His Hand is most apparent, no?

    I’ve miscarried three times, including my first pregnancy, and am blessed to have three living children. I seriously suspect that the first loss is physically the hardest. I hemorrhaged during mine. God willing, you will have no more losses.

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  18. Sarah (Sprinkle) Smith
    March 13, 2014 | 10:04 am

    Hi Kimberly,
    I’ve been reading your blog for years now, but have never commented. I was blessed to know your family in my teens when we were still in TN, and have been blessed by your blog!
    I am sorry to hear all that you’ve been dealing with these past few months. My husband and I have 4 children with us and two in heaven (#1 and #5) due to miscarriage. It’s hard, but it is so true that God is good.
    We also dealt with what I think was whooping cough last fall. My daughter started coughing late August, and all my children coughed in varying degrees until the end of December. We had multiple trips to the doctor, but never a definitive diagnosis. After watching more video and educating myself more, I don’t think it could have been anything else. The worst was sleeping with my 1 year old son for nights on end so I could raise him to cough and help him not to choke. It’s a LONG illness. So glad to hear that you are on this side of it!
    I’ll be praying for you and your family as you grieve, that the Lord continues to heal your spirit as your life continues to bustle on. Thank you for the update!

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  19. Cari Wiebe
    March 15, 2014 | 10:01 am

    Good morning,
    I haven’t been here for awhile and I am no longer on facebook so it seems I am very behind. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have had 2 miscarriages and with each one I grieved deeply. I will keep you in my prayers. You have been such an encouragement to me through out the years and I thank-you for that.

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  20. Elizabeth Ours
    March 24, 2014 | 1:21 pm

    Haven’t been here in awhile . . . barely have time to read blog posts anymore! But so glad I stopped by and was able to catch up with your life. This is a beautiful post of faith and trust in God! Thank you for sharing! I am immediately reminded of the song Blessed Be His Name. I know you are going through the valley . . . but as I read recently, the valley is a fertile place, a place of much growth. I know God is making you more and more like Him!

    Serving Him joyfully,
    Elizabeth

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  21. Elizabeth
    March 30, 2014 | 9:20 pm

    Thank you. This is my first visit, but I truly enjoyed how you tied in God’s will with your posts. It sounds like you have been through a lot! Thank you for your messages of hope!

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  22. Mary
    April 9, 2014 | 10:59 pm

    Hi Kimberly,

    I know you’re not much into blogging anymore, but I’ve been meaning to tell you that the Lord really used your blog in my life to turn my heart toward homeschooling a couple of years ago. As I read about your reasons behind homeschooling and about your family’s lifestyle, so many things were echoed in my heart. While our journey to homeschooling is a longer story than that, I thought it might encourage you that your writing was what the Lord used first to spark the desire in my heart. Thank you for your faithfulness to Him, and thank you for sharing your God-given passions with so many– including complete strangers like myself. :)
    Take care,
    Mary

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