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I A miraculous journey....
Sunday July 26 2:30 pm (MST)
Just an hour and a half after sweet Luca was born... Him and I were headed out to load into an ambulance to be taken to the airport to fly medavac to Seattle! This was another miracle from our gracious Lord... For me to be able to be discharged so shortly after girding birth and to be able to fly on a plane with my son is an absolute miracle! After my first birth with Jase I could barely walk for the first five days because I was so sore everywhere! Mike had to help me walk to the bathroom every time I had to use it and do just about everything for me! This time around I was barely in pain and could easily get up and walk and use the restroom. The only things that made it feel like I just gave birth was that I could feel all of my organs moving back into place after being crammed up for so long. I'm still in awe of how quickly the Lord healed up my body after giving birth and for allowing me to get to fly with my sweet baby boy...
Once we were loaded on the airplane we had a two hour flight over to Seattle and I was able to get a short nap in for part of it.
Sunday July 26 4:55 pm (PST)
When we landed in Seattle it was raining and it just in time for rush hour traffic... We transferred to another ambulance to head to Seattle Childrens Hospital and as they were getting Luca all set up they said that the oxygen wasn't working in the ambulance and that the tanks we brought from MT only had 30 minutes left of oxygen in them so we needed to get there quick!
Driving through rush hour traffic and rain at that time would mean it would take much longer to get to the airport than 30 minutes. I texted mike. "We landed. Please pray!!!" I didn't stress out or have fears or anxiety. I knew that God was in control and that all I could do was pray! I began praying to Him and praising Him for all he had done for us... The driver of the ambulance turned on the sirens and grabbed her radio and started telling cars to move out of her way on the freeway. I couldn't help but smile and praise God all the more. Happy tears welled in my eyes because I knew He was giving us a miracle and giving us the right driver and everything to get little Luca safely to the hospital! It was such a sweet moment! We arrived at the hospital in just under 30 minutes! Luca was brought right up to the NICU and I was introduced to all of the nurses, doctors, and surgeons that would be taking care of him! Mike was on his way to Seattle and would be arriving around midnight with all of our stuff... Our family friends came and met me at the hospital and helped me get checked into my sleeping room for NICU parents and got me food. Everything was working out so amazingly well. It could only be by Gods grace and Him guiding everything. I sit in awe of Him... It's amazing how a time full of ambulances, hospitals, and a crazy road ahead could produce in me such a calm and at peace spirit. Such small things in the past have gotten me so easily stressed or angered or anxious. Yet now in this time all I felt was IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL. AND I PRAISED JESUS!!!
Sunday July 26 10:30 am
I can't express how much peace I had about all that was about to take place... Knowing that I was not in a hospital that could treat my baby after being born and having just met the dr for the first time ever you would think I'd be going crazy ..... but I had so much peace. I know that is only possible with God! He gave me peace beyond measure in this fast paced time. Even as the nurses came in and mentioned the possibility of having a c section and talked with me about transporting my baby right after the birth on medavac airplane to Seattle. I just trusted in Gods plan. I knew He had a purpose in this all!
We expressed to the dr that we had read that a vaginal birth was better for this condition and he ended up agreeing with us that it was. (We later found out that it was a different dr who was talking about doing a cesarean) It turned out our dr was transferred from Texas and this was his very first week working at the Kalispell hospital. I would be his first delivery there. He decided to give me another ultrasound to take a look at the baby's intestines. He told me he thought it looked more like gastroschesis but that we wouldn't know until the baby came out. Another lady who deals with NICU babies also said she thought it sounded more like gastroschesis and she prepared me on what would take place after our baby was born. I wouldn't be able to hold our little angel after delivery because they would have to prep for air transport. I asked them if mike or I could go and they said one of us would be able to. I could only go if I was able to make a quick enough recovery after delivery.
We denied all the meds and antibiotics that were offered to me during the labor. I still wanted as natural of a birth as I could possibly have and the dr was ok with me not having to take anything during the labor and delivery! No antibiotics or pain meds. It was such a blessing! God was providing the right dr and the environment I desired even though I wasn't at home....
Sunday July 26 around 11am
The dr checked me again to see how far dilated I was since the contractions were steady and strong. I was dilated to an 8... They started prepping for our baby to come. I was able to stand up and move around to make the contraction pain easier... but it truly wasn't very painful... (Another gift from the Lord.) Mike and my midwife comforted me through each one and massaged my back. Mike and I began making plans for after the baby came. If I was able to be discharged after delivering the baby, I would go on the plane to Seattle... (The hospital had no rule on staying there for at least 24 hours) And he would hurry home... pack our stuff... And drive and meet me there! If I couldn't leave he would go and I would end up coming when I could be discharged. We didn't worry about it because we had total trust and peace in Gods plan. He had been so faithful to us so far and had given us so much comfort and peace about everything that we knew it was in His hands and he had this exact day planned out all along! We even asked the hospital if we could keep the placenta for encapsulation and they said yes! I still got to have so many things that I dreamt of for my birth and delivery. God amazes me. As I continued to have contractions my water never broke... The dr decided to check me again and found that I was a ten and told me I could start pushing whenever I was ready to. I began pushing during the contractions and within two to three contractions our sweet baby Luca came easily out into the world at 1:03 pm (Just a few hours after arriving at the hospital!) and weighing 6 lb 12 oz. a big boy for only being 34 weeks along! Everyone was so excited! The nurse told me it was GASTROSCHESIS! Mike cut the umbilical cord and they began prepping sweet Luca to fly on the medevac. I delivered the placenta right after and the dr checked me. I had zero tears and no hemorrhaging! God was blessing us so much! Things were looking up for me to go on the plane with my sweet boy. Mike headed off to the NICU with Luca and tears of thankfulness in his eyes that everything went ok and I just couldn't stop smiling! I was filled with adrenaline and so ready to get up and get going! So ready for anything God had planned next for us. We were so grateful!! There's no way any of this could have taken place without God controlling EVERYTHING. He was guiding every step, every hand, every moving part and things were going better than I could've ever imagined! My pastor Chris, his wife Peggy Sue, and two friends from church (Tracy and Jen) had come to the hospital to support us and came in the room to see me! We all were just so in awe of God and amazed at His perfect plan and sovereign love and grace. It was amazing that less than 24 hours ago we were meeting with our pastor and Peggy Sue at Starbucks telling them about our news for the first time and now we were all sitting in the delivery room together living out the news! It is amazing that mike and I only knew our little baby would be born with an abdominal wall defect two days prior to him entering this world! The creator of the universe has the most wondrous and perfect timing! He is so so good... I long for my soul to delight in His goodness like this forever!
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ROMANS 5:3-5
Saturday July 24.... 7:00 am
After tossing and turning a lot of the night I woke up early and was unable to go back to sleep. My mind was going a million miles an hour. I thought there were so many things I needed to plan out. What to bring? Where to stay? When will we leave?
God is so amazing.... All this time he had been preparing me for the road ahead... He already had our path laid out for us and already knew what we would be facing and that we would need to rely completely on Him for our comfort, trust, and peace. The more I cast my anxieties over to Him, the more peace I had.
A couple days before finding out the news of our ultrasound... God, in His providence led me to read a story of a couple whose baby was born at 34 weeks (how far along I currently was) and had major complications after she was born. The sweet baby ended up passing away after being in the NICU for ten days. Reading the blog and birth story of this sweet little angel was preparing me for the road I would soon walk... Only I didn't know it at the time. This beautiful couple relied completely on Jesus during their trial and the loss of their baby girl. They had such peace and assurance through all they went through and I knew this could only be possible through Jesus. They grew closer to God through this than anything they've ever went through and their lives were changed for the better. Their story can be found on bethanymenzel.com
God was preparing us in so many more ways than this and as I look back it is so clear to see His grace and love through everything.
As the day went on Mike and I decided to talk with my grandparents about the news and see if my grandma would be willing to help us with jase on our journey... When we went to her house to tell her she said that my mom already did and that she would come be with us for however long we needed. Her sacrificial love and service has helped us beyond my wildest dreams. We also reached out to our pastor and his wife and asked them to meet with us for prayer and guidance... When we met with them we found out that they knew someone whose baby had gastrochesis four months prior and was doing great! We were able to pray with them and received so much comfort and good counsel about the road ahead of us. I loved how my pastor told us that trials and suffering were to be found all over in the bible and that God uses them to draw us and change us! That we shouldn't waste it. There's so much to learn from our trials and suffering. There's so much of God to be seen through them.
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
I shared how I had spent so much time praying during my pregnancy that I would be content with whatever Gods plan and purpose was in my pregnancy and for my baby... And that now I have fears about the what ifs and the unknowns. After meeting with them I had so much more confidence in not having to know what would happen because I was completely trusting that God knew and that His plans are for good! I was confident that He was sovereign over every possible thing that was going to take place and that had taken place already. He formed this sweet baby in His design for His purpose and I knew there was no mistake about that.
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:19
Saturday 7:00 pm
Contractions were happening all day long but when I sat down to eat dinner they increased in pressure and became very close together. I had taken the meds that the dr gave me to stop the contractions but they didn't seem to be doing much.
I called the hospital and told them what was going on and they said I should come in to be monitored. After arriving at the hospital, the contractions slowed down and I was not dilated at all. They decided to monitor me for a while longer and then ended up sending me home again.
That night Mike told some of his family and friends the news of our baby and our family friends who live in the Seattle area responded with STAY WITH US!!!! Even knowing that our stay would be long and our 18 month old would be with us the whole time... Things were staring to fall into place so easily. It was so obvious that God was divinely working!
Sunday July 26 7:28 am
I texted my midwife that my contractions were even stronger today and that I felt them low in my back. I decided to take a bath to see if it would slow them down... In the bath they kept coming and were even closer together. I thought this was the real deal. I told Mike that I was scared because we weren't in Seattle and we had nothing packed or ready and if I had the baby here we would be immediately transported by air to Seattle... But God wrapped His comforting arms around me and I felt a total peace. I felt peace that whatever happens... HE IS IN CONTROL!! I knew for certain that if I had my baby there and even more complications arose from it that it was ok because God does not make mistakes and He already planned my baby's days and time of birth before the foundation of time.
I got out of the bath and told Mike to pack some bags just in case and I told my midwife that the contractions weren't slowing down. She decided to come over and check to see if I was dilated. After checking me I was dilated to a 3... We grabbed what we could and threw it in two suitcases and headed for the hospital. (A 30 min drive away) Soon after arriving I was checked again and was dilated to a 5... There was no stopping this baby from coming now!
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:19
The news of the ultrasound....
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Friday July 24 10:30pm
The dr came in to talk to us about our ultrasound. He confirmed that I was exactly 34 weeks along and that my due date was sept 4. But he also had some more news for us. The news that would send our hearts racing with fears and unanswered questions about our little baby growing inside of me. News that would end our plans of having a home birth and end our plans of bringing our sweet baby right up to my chest to nurse and bond. News that would completely change everything and uproot us from Montana to Seattle for a minimum of six weeks.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
The doctor told us that our baby had either an omphalocele or a gastrochesis. Both are abdominal wall defects that happen very early on in pregnancy and in both cases the intestines never went inside of the baby's body. (The fetus starts out with the intestines growing outside the body and during the first trimester they go inside and the stomach closes over) an omphalocele would be a lot tougher of a condition than gastroschisis because it could also include other conditions like chromosomal defects, neural tube defect, cardiac anomalies, and high mortality rate. Gastroschisis would more than likely only include the defect and possible food aversions in the future. Gastroschisis typically takes place in a mother who is 25 and under. Both conditions would require us to have the baby in a hospital that is equipped with surgeons who specialize in correcting the defect. Our best option was Seattle Childrens Hospital. It would require immediate care in the NICU and a minimum stay of 6 weeks at the hospital for recovery. The dr said that it was looking like an omphalocele but that they couldn't be 100% certain and that a more in depth ultrasound with a specialist would need to take place on Monday. If it was omphalocele then there could be heart and cardiac issues as well as chromosomal defects and so our stay in Seattle could be a lot longer as well as the mortality rate.
After the dr left the room my eyes swelled up with tears. I started to fear the future and all of the what ifs that could not be answered at this time. I began thinking about how I would not be able to nurse my baby or even hold my baby after he or she was born. I began thinking of all the pain my baby would be in and the long road ahead of us. How would we get to Seattle? When would we go? What about our 18 month old Jase? What happens concerning him through all of this? Will my baby make it? Will I have to have a C section? Fears flooding through my head... The unknown can be such a scary place.
Mike and I held each other with tears in our eyes thinking about our sweet baby inside of me. Our midwife comforted us and reminded us of the blessing that we didn't have the baby at home without knowing this.
Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
It was so obvious that God was already working in all of this. His plans were being fulfilled. He was already protecting our little angel before we even knew it. His divine orchestration of grace and showing us through an ultrasound we never would have gotten if I wasn't having these consistent contractions that our baby needed to be born a different way than we had planned. That our baby needed special care right after birth. He was saving us, loving on us, and revealing to us a new plan... His plan. His will for our birth and our baby that He had blessed us with and formed in my womb.
"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2
The dr came back in and told me that I should take a pill to try to stop the contractions even though I was not dilated. He told me that on Monday I would meet with the ultrasound specialist and she would be able to tell us more and give us a gameplan for having the baby in Seattle and that she could confirm whether or not it was omphalocele or Gastroschisis.
So I took the pill and was monitored for a little longer and at 1:30 am I was sent home from the hospital. Still not dilated and not in real labor.
Mike and I were so thankful on the drive home that God revealed this to us in His perfect timing and saved us from bringing our baby into the world without knowing about the baby's immediate needs. We praised God. We praised Him for being so loving and gracious to us. We trusted Him with the road ahead and with our sweet child. We were both still saddened and grieving and I still had a lot of fears.
When we arrived home my mom was waiting for me and I told her the news and cried in her arms. We all prayed together before going to sleep that night.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
In bed I tossed and turned... I kept thinking about how everything was going to play out. I was in shock from the news and from everything completely changing. We had nothing ready for the baby. We would have tons of stuff to pack and take to Seattle. We still didn't know when we would have to leave or where we would give birth once we were there. At this point it was just a bunch of unknowns and what ifs.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all his works" (Psalms 145:17).
One thing was for certain though... God knew. There weren't any mistakes about anything that had taken place. There was no mistake when our baby was formed. Gods plan and will cannot be thwarted. He is the sovereign king over all.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. PROVERBS 19:21
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Friday July 24 8:30 pm
I had been having stronger Braxton hicks contractions for a few days and tonight they got closer together and a lot stronger. So, we decided to go to the hospital to monitor them and see if we could stop them since I was only 34 weeks pregnant according to my estimated due date. (We had not had an ultrasound at all during my pregnancy at this point and had no idea whether we were having a boy or a girl.)
I was hesitant to even go in to the hospital because we were planning a home birth and I had my heart set on having the baby at home in our tub like we did with Jase. I didn't want to use meds or drugs during my pregnancy and birth and so I wanted to steer clear of the hospital but since it was so early on in my pregnancy to give birth to our baby we needed to be positive I wasn't going into preterm labor. If I was going into labor it would be best if it could be stopped so that the baby could make it to term and I could have a home birth. At this point a home birth wasn't an option until I was over 36 weeks along.
At the hospital my contractions were monitored right away and were showing pretty strong and very close together so they decided it was best to do an ultrasound and get a better estimate of how far along I really was since our estimated due date was only based on irregular periods and how far along I was measuring during my pregnancy. If I was only 34 weeks like we thought they would want me to take meds to try and stop the labor. At this point I was not dilated at all... Just having contractions.
After a long ultrasound that we both looked away for because we did not want to know the gender of our baby we sat and waited to hear if my due date of September 4 was correct or not. The dr came in a short while later and it was confirmed that our due date was sept 4 and that I was 34 weeks along. The dr also had some more news to tell us.... News that would end my dream of having a home birth and news that would change our lives forever. Only, at the time I didn't know how much it would change my life and heart... For the better.
Throughout my entire pregnancy (this one and my pregnancy with Jase) I had a very specific prayer that I prayed. It is one that I pray about a lot of things in my life.... NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE LORD.... As badly as I desired to have a home birth and to bring my baby right up to my chest from mikes arms my prayer was always that whether I had a home birth or ended up in the hospital that I would be content and praise the Lord because I knew that it was His Will for my birth and our baby. I know that He is sovereign over all things and that He already knew the day my baby would enter this world and how he/she would enter into this world.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
My prayer was always about God blessing me with a child of His.
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Not about having a healthy baby or having my perfect dream birth. I just wanted whatever it was the King of Kings wanted for me. Whoever he chose for me to be blessed with being the mama of is what my heart longed for. Whenever people would say things like "well all you can hope for is a healthy baby" or "as long as they have all their fingers and toes" or "just as long as he or she is healthy then you'll be happy" I would pray in my head Lord just give me the child you made for me . The one you formed for me to be the mother of. If you choose for me to be blessed with a baby who is sick or needs extra care... I PRAISE YOU. If you give me a healthy baby.... I PRAISE YOU. I know you don't make mistakes. I know you have all things planned out perfectly and I know that you are the author of everything GOOD!!! In every situation and trial. My prayer was the same during my pregnancy with Jase and he turned out healthy and I was blessed with my dream birth at home.
This time around I was going to be blessed just the same as with Jase only in a completely different way and with a completely different story and birth.
This time around I've drawn closer to God than ever before. This time around I have seen the sweet sweet love and grace of Jesus like I've never before experienced before... that my heart so desperately longs for but doesn't deserve.... This time around there have been trials, fears, grace, mercy, and miracles only a God as wondrous as ours could be the author of. This time around I would not change a single thing about my birth and my baby. The baby God chose for me and Mikey to love on, nurture, and teach about Jesus to. Our sweet angel. BABY LUCA MICHAEL BISUTTI. Born July 26, 2015!!!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
The truth is... I used to live a life that was detestable.
I used to live a life indulging my desires, rationalizing why what I was doing was ok and normal yet the more I read the Bible, God convicted me of my decisions...
But men fell into pornography addiction over the type of things I did. My pictures have been and are still being used for sexually immoral things. Children and women felt pressures about their body image because of the types of images that were photoshopped and taken of me and my own marriage was harmed in many ways because I was not respecting or loving my husband the way I should have been.
The truth is there are still things in my life and heart that are detestable and God is working those things out in me... Creating in me a new heart. Sanctifying me through His word. There's no denying that I have done some pretty detestable things that in no way brought glory and honor to God.
There was a time when I thought I was doing good. When I saw nothing wrong with these acts and when I probably would have taken offense to anyone who told me that I was going against scripture with the way I lived my life. I probably would have felt they hated me or were jealous of me when in reality they would have just been speaking truth to me.
I'm thankful that those around me for the most part did not hate me while I did these things even though they may have hated the sin. Even though I could have been harming their marriage or aiding in their temptations. I'm thankful that they still loved me but I do wish more people would call it for what it is. SIN. Sexual Immorality. Impure. Ungodly. The things I was doing were all of these things and more.
I remember vividly when my pastor said what will you do when the word of God crosses over with your lifestyle or earthly desires? Will you conform to His word and obey Him with what He commands or will you dismiss what the bible even says and go on justifying the things you are doing? Justifying can seem to be the easy road but in the long run is much more harmful. If you continue to live according to your own will, rather than Gods you can see where your love truly lies. In yourself. You must love the thing you are doing more than you love pleasing God and living by His word and commandments.
Our ego wants to defend itself all the time.... If you are defensive about it it will get in the way of your growth.
I'm so thankful God changed my heart in this and convicted me in the way I needed to be convicted. I'm thankful he showed me in His love that I was being detestable and that I deserved his justifiable wrath but that He loved me enough to save me from my sins through His son. That I could repent and change my life and strive to live according to His word with His grace and help. I'm worse than I've ever imagined myself to believe and i'm more accepted in Christ than i could ever possibly be.
I am no different than you regardless of your past or your sins or struggles. Our sins are all deserving of wrath and we are hopeless and dead to them without Jesus coming in and taking our place and dying on the cross for us. We can find hope in Him. I don't hate people for their sins. But I do hate sin. Especially in my own life and I need to surrender to God daily and am in constant need of his saving grace. I will be honest and say that I do struggle with wanting to hate people for doing detestable sexual things to children. That is a struggle of mine. But I am learning to hate the sin and not the sinner. Because I know that Christ has excuses the inexcusable in me and can do the same for others.
His Word revealed truth and set me free from my prior harmful thinking and way of life...It's the power of His word that transforms our thinking to be Godly.