Monday, December 28, 2009

The Meaning of "Selah"

As you might or might not know, this precious little one is a total miracle. I am compelled to write her story far before she is born. Let me start with what led us here… to having this precious baby. I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and while it affects many parts of your body, the most hurtful to many women is that it can cause infertility, annovulation. Annovulation is where your body does not ovulate an egg every month like the majority of women. The struggle with a woman with PCOS is that if she is not ovulating, often she is also not producing the necessary egg. While treatments vary widely, basically a normal month would be several days of fertility meds all of which make you feel like you are losing your mind. Followed by ultrasounds, an injection to make you release the egg you hope was produced, and then timed intercourse or a procedure called intrauterine insemination. Then you are in the middle of something that fills you with hope and dread all at the same time… the two week wait. While it sounds medically complicated, I will tell you it takes a much larger toll on your emotions and faith than anything else. Physically your body takes quite a beating too with the addition of all of the extra hormones. Then you experience month after month of negative pregnancy tests. Hubs and I have experienced more than 30 negative pregnancy tests.

In July I was two days into my fertility meds when I went to go see my doctor, and got the news. My hormone levels were so out of whack that he didn’t want to proceed for at least three months. Not only that he told me if I were to get pregnant in that time I would have an elevated risk of miscarriage. Women with PCOS already have a much higher rate of miscarriage. He referred me to an internist so I could get some of the issues worked out, and told me I had a wait of 3-6 months at least. This was really hard for me. VERY hard. My son (another miracle story, but just not this one) was already three, we had been trying for a long time. The next day I had a baby shower to attend at my husband’s office for another couple who were just about to have their baby girl. I was going to the shower because I was expected to be there, there was just no getting out of it, but it hurt. In the car on the way to my husband’s office this song came on the radio by John Waller. It is entitled “While I’m Waiting” and is featured in the movie Fireproof. It was a song my husband and I had held onto because we are in the waiting period to start the ministry we feel God has called us to, opening an orphanage in Uruguay. That day in my car it took on a whole new meaning for me… we were “waiting” to have a baby. Let me share the lyrics with you.

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Basically this song captured how I was feeling at the moment. We were in a period of waiting, but that wasn’t going to stop us from loving God, serving God, and trusting in His provision and timing. Waiting is never easy. If you know me at all you know that I am not prone to tears, I do not cry. Driving down the road - in the car - listening to this song – going somewhere I really didn’t want to go, I cried. I almost had to pull my car over. My little boy in the backseat was asking me if I was okay, I know I had him worried. I believe my answer started as “No I’m not okay, but ended in yes honey, mommy is completely fine”. It is amazing to me how the lyrics of a song can touch us so profoundly, because I knew in that very moment that God was in control. Not only that, but that I was completely fine with Him being the one in control. For a semi-control freak, this is sometimes one of the biggest things we have to consistently remind ourselves to give up.

Hubs and I began talking about not proceeding with treatments at all. We were praying about it, and wondering if this was the path God had for us anyways. We had the son God had promised to me years before we ever met. We had begun to think that he was all God had for us biologically. We were completely ok with that since we are headed to Uruguay in a few years to open an orphanage, we will most certainly have the opportunity in the future to adopt. Following Christ was much more important than trying to make something happen that wasn’t in His plan.

In the beginning of August I had started feeling hot. Ridiculously hot, all of the time. I am a hot natured girl anyways. I was completely unable to get cool, during the day I would shower a few times just to try to cool down. Most of the time I was plain miserable though. It only lasted for a few days but I cannot describe how badly I wanted relief! I remember driving home from my parents house on Tuesday night and talking with my husband about it. Hubs tried to get me to take a pregnancy test, since I had been feeling ill as well and was mad that I was possibly going to be on my period during our trip to the upper peninsula the next week. I remember looking at him and telling him that I just couldn’t handle seeing another negative. It was just too much.

With my husbands words ringing in my head Thursday night I ran to the dollar store to pick up a few goodies for our son for the long drive and grabbed the pregnancy test as well. My justification was that it was only a dollar. I wasn’t expecting anything from it.

Friday morning we were scheduled to leave at 9 a.m. so I was up at 7 to finish the last minute packing and get the rental car loaded up. I decided to go ahead and take the test, and I remember watching the window on the test thinking “If this test was going to be positive, that is where the line would be”. That should have been my first clue. I had taken 30 of these tests in the years previous and never had that thought before. It was about two minutes later that I realized that positive line was only growing darker. Calling for my husband I stood in shock. It took several times to get his attention, but he got the clue. When he came in and looked at the test and said something completely normal like “wow”. This isn’t a complaint… I needed his normalcy, I was about to jump out of my skin. I took a few more tests that I had my mom bring over, and I passed each one!

It was at this time when I was so excited that fear began to creep in as well. I remembered my doctor telling me of my elevated risk of miscarriage. For something we had wanted for so long, I couldn’t imagine the loss. I just decided at that moment I would not live with the fear, I would focus on God and trust that no matter the outcome it was in His hands. That being said, fear was constant, and I just have to remind myself daily, hourly, minute by minute, of my initial decision.

One evening at 8 ½ weeks I started spotting and cramping. I knew I was losing the baby and I was powerless to stop it. That night was an intense night for God and I. Outwardly I didn’t want to let on how scared I was, I was trying not to worry my husband or son. Inside I was a wreck. Since I couldn’t sleep I decided to look up baby names. We had felt from the beginning that this baby was girl, and hadn’t tossed around too many boy names. We couldn’t agree on one anyways. However we had always liked the name Selah Grace for a girl. We thought Grace to be fitting since we knew what it would take for us to have another baby, and it is also a family name on both sides. I couldn’t remember the meaning of the name Selah though. We knew it was the name of a Christian bad that we liked, but that was about the extent of it. Somewhere we had found it to mean “rock” but knew it wasn’t right. So that night I pulled up google and typed in “meaning of Selah”. It was one o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I was ecstatic when I found it’s meaning, because in so many ways it was God’s reassurance. Here is the email I sent to my mom:

So I did a google search.. and almost cried (insert hormones here)
The name Selah means "Pause and Reflect"

We have the middle name Grace for a daughter. Because it would only be by the GRACE of God that He will give her to us. While it is a family name on both sides, it has double meaning!
So when I looked up the meaning of the name Selah and this is the first one that came up, I was struck by the meaning of the name of the little girl we will one day have (if she isn't in my belly right now!)

Selah Grace:
Pause and Reflect on the Grace of God
Isn't that powerful????

That touched my heart, and because I love you, I thought I would share it with you.
-your favoritest favorite daughter, you are one of my best friends EVER!

The next morning I went to the doctor’s office and found that the spotting and cramping was due to a condition called Placenta Previa where the baby is over the cervix. So while I was not losing my baby I had an all new set of issues to deal with. I was on pelvic rest and told to rest in general with no heavy lifting and such.

At my 20 week appointment we found out our baby is a girl, and that the placenta previa was no longer an issue. Selah Grace will make her appearance into this world as a testament to the grace of God, and as a constant reminder of His faithfulness.

As I went to post this on here I just had to watch the video again, it is incredibly POWERFUL! Tears, yep, tears, sitting here at my desk! God Bless.

1 comment:

  1. you have me in tears too... our Holly Ruth is as much a testament to God's grace. After two miscarriages, I wondered if I'd ever be able to carry a baby to term again. We didn't even start discusing names with eachother till our gender U/S. After we found out that she was a girl, DH came to me and asked if we could "break tradition" - both of our other daughters have Scottish middle names (DH is Scottish) which I think is totally awesome... So he tells me that he had been dreaming of his grandmother who passed away a year before DD#1, whose name was Naomi Ruth, and what I though of one of those names. Well, my grandma's name is also Ruth. So 'Holly' is a symbol of a continued life through the winter (it stays green) and 'Ruth' honors our grandma's.

    I love the name Selah Grace! I will continue to pray God's blessings on this pregnancy, delivery and your family's lives.
    Christina (stina978 from SC)