Friday, February 17, 2012


So I had to go see the OB before my 'scheduled' next appointment on the 28th because of a 'rash' that continued to progress. At first, it started on my legs and then bottoms of my feet, then onto my belly. It was more like tiny bumps that looked like bug bites and itched like crazy. I knew it wasnt bites as no one else in the house had any skin issues and I had not been outside to be bitten. I am not typically one to look online for medical diagnoses, but I just thought I'd check to see if any other pregnant woman had similar issues, wondering if maybe it was caused by hormones. I found several pregnancy skin problems that could occur and the one that most closely matched all my symptoms was called prurigo gestationis. It is not harmful, but rather annoying and the only treatment of course is topical hydrocortisone creme and antihistamines. It resolves after delivery. There was one that was concerning, that didnt match my symptoms as closely, but since my mom has autoimmune hepatitis, I wanted to make sure it was ruled out with the blood test to check my liver functions. I'm confident it is the prurigo, but its best to be thorough. So I got to the clinic and when Dr. Davis came in, I showed him the spots and he too agreed with my diagnosis. He did say he'd go ahead and check the bloodwork and since cervical lengths werent able to be measured on the last visit, we'd do that ultrasound again along with the ultrasound for the baby's anatomy-the sex! So, we did that one first, and she asked me as she had the device over the exact spot, "Do you wanna know what it is?" and I said, "I already do! It's a girl!" And she said yup. She took several pictures of that view, I'm guessing to be sure. All the measurements were perfect. It always amazes me that of all that she described, the cerebelum, the aortic valve, the super vena cava, kidneys, checking for cleft lip, etc. all that has developed in just 17.3 weeks! How can people have abortions with all of this being so clearly visible and medically documented as fact?! I even said to the tech, not knowing her views, but finding it hard to believe most ultrasound techs would be anything but pro life seeing what all they see in the earliest stages of pregnancy, "I think there would be a lot less abortions if patients were shown an ultrasound before they agreed to  procedures", and she agreed.

My heart was overjoyed. I just said to the Lord, in my heart, as the tech continued her measurements, "Thank You God for your faithfulness". If you are just beginning to read this blog, or missed this part, before Layah was born so early, I had begun to have complications, I had a vision. I am convinced it was nothing less than a Word from God, shown to me. I have only had this happen about 4 times in my walk with the Lord, so I knew, it was Him. I couldnt sleep one night and began to feel fear, dispair, terror, despression, just a lot of really dark emotions. I began to just pray and as I prayed, I felt Him reveal images like clips from a movie to me of a life. I heard a cry, a loud, healthy-lung cry that we'd never experienced before because Tobi had been so early. I went into the baby's room, and picked her up to nurse her. Then  my vision changed to me holding up this beautiful little girl. I still see her in my head now. She was blonde, with big dark brown eyes, like mine,  a darker complection that Tobi or Matt, more like mine, with big chubby cheeks and two tiny white teeth on the bottom that I could see as she giggled at me. When  I saw this, I felt Peace. Everything was gonna be fine. Things were gonna work out. This little girl was healthy, and happy.

So as I was approached my return back to work after being on maternity leave from my pregnancy with Layah, and her passing, I was having a day of grief that was just a place of desperation and the same time anger. I wasnt angry at God in the disrespectful sense, but just frustration. I remember being in the living room and just crying out to Him, out "Why?! Why would you show me that beautiful and healthy baby girl if you were gonna allow her to die and we were to never have her? Why?!" And every time I tell or write this, I tear up, but just as a father consoles his child, He spoke to my spirit and said, "I never said that was Layah." I just completely fell to the ground in that moment, humbled, just completely overwhelmed at all of it. When we got pregnant with Luke, I'd assumed that it was her, but the Lord had a boy planned for us first, a crystal, blue-eyed, toe-headed, fair skin boy. But this time, this time was different. From the beginning, I knew. Since we werent trying to get pregnant but because  of circumstances, (the IUD was in the cervix and not the uterus, and having to have a culposcopy due to an abnormal papsmear, and it only taking 1 month from the time the IUD was removed to get pregnant), it was all God. We have had her named since after Layah passed away, and I've posted it before. Arwyn Hope Shelfer. Arwyn, which is after Lord of the Rings Liv Tyler's character, meaning "noble maiden" and Hope, since Layah's middle name was Faith and also using it from the Jeremiah 29:11-13  verse "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. " Matt and I disagree about the spelling of Arwyn (I like Arwyn and he likes Arwen) but that will eventually be decided. Our entire family is exstatic and so thrilled to see what the Lord has planned for us, as are we.



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