Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week 16

Well on Wednesday I finished my 16th week of pregnancy. Last week was a very difficult one for me.  Clifford has been so strong through all of this.  Really I just don't know how I would do this with out him.  I would say last week I was really struggling with faith, hope and what a miracle is.  As I have been stuck at home "thinking" I truly just couldn't understand why this was happening.  One morning last week I woke up and kept repeating a part of Psalm 23 in my head.  

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters.He restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil,..

As I kept thinking about it I couldn't help but continue to focus on -walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It truly just felt that this is where I was.  As I continue to research PPROM, the statistics aren't good.  The outcome is usually better when your membranes rupture after 30 wks. If it is 20 wks or after, there is some hope but there is still a high chance of many problems.  The thing is babies lungs need the amniotic fluid to develop. Without any or very much then the lungs don't function and then this leads to many more problems as you can imagine.  Statistically, what I have found in my research on the Internet, that before 20 wks having them live is very unlikely. I will say I have read some success stories of pprom that early but there aren't a ton for that gestation stage.

I don't know if it is just my nature or that I live in Japan and there is such a language barrier but, the Internet and statistics are where I was champed out all last week.  Also, this same thing happened last year with my best friend. So, I know first hand the pain of losing your babies to pprom. It is so unfair I tell you.  No mother or father should have their babies come to early too live. I know that I haven't held my babies yet, but I have loved them for a little over 3 months since the moment we found out we were pregnant. Being faced with carrying babies that will not be able to breath due to lack of lung development because of no fluid is....well HEARTBREAKING. Or even the idea that one could live and one would die, still heartbreaking.  I feel like through this whole pregnancy I have had very little time to be happy and worry free. After spending years of watching my sister and friends have babies and raise kids, I thought finally my turn.  If you know me I love kids and babies the whole thing.  If there is a baby or kid around I need to hold them, play with them, sing to them.  But no, I am walking in the valley of the shadow of death.

Well as Clifford and I were talking he reminded me of the next part of that verse-
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
Truthfully he had to keep reminding me more than once, but I guess that is the good thing about having a Godly spouse. So after some sad days and a lot of crying and prayers, I have decided I will try to camp out in the fact that God is with us.  Even now, that is not to say I would look at the statistics but I have to trust that God is bigger than them.  

As for an Update!  We went to the hospital yesterday and this is what we learned....

-Baby A has regained much of its water. Praise, praise praise.  It was back up to 3.4 so that is such a blessing. Dr. S said that is the level where I was a few weeks ago. So it seem like the sac has sealed a bit. The baby was moving a lot which I think correlates with me eating more. In the past he has only been moving a little.
-Baby B has a tiny bit of fluid more than we have seen in the past three weeks. So that is fantastic. You still couldn't make out much more than it head and spine, but I am thankful for the movement and small amount of fluid. If the leaking is from Baby B then that is a good sign about it's kidney and bladder function.

-They are both on target for growth but they could only measure B's head size. Dr S was very surprised Baby B had grown so much. 
-He didn't check the heartbeats I am not sure why. 
- I gained a little weight so that is good, I a back up to my weight from 11 wks :)

 While talking over all this info with Dr S I asked him if he had every had a case like mine?  His answer, No.  While this makes me wish I was with a Dr that had faced this before, I know the reason is because women here sadly terminate with this kind of pregnancy. It is funny because I am always saying stuff to Dr. S about I read this online or that. I think many Japanese doctors could take offense to this but I think he knows I just am searching for answers, it is not that I don't trust him. I am thankful for  his kind a willing spirit to listen to all that I say and ask. This is uncommon especially in Japan.  This week I asked what he thought about taking collagen supplements. I read that this can help with the amniotic sac because that is what it is made up of.  He laughed and said no most Japanese women wouldn't do that because it is to many calories and they don't want to gain weight.  The average weight doctors in Japan tell women to gain is 13-17 lbs.  Yep, can you imagine.  Dr. S did say well I don't know about collagen but  it probably won't hurt. He also made sure to let us know he is reading American medical journals about our situation.   At the end of our appointment we were discussing when I would come in again. He said well your next appointment doesn't have to be for another month, and then I think he saw the look on my face (Clifford said it was CRAZY) and quickly said but I can see you in two weeks. 

We just want to say thank you so much for ALL your prayers on our families behalf.  It is so encouraging when I am down to know we are being lifted up by so many people.  



  1. I can't even being to imagine all of the emotions that you and Clifford are going through right now. My heart breaks for you that this has been such a rough journey and not the joyous one you had anticipated, but I am praying that through it God draws you closer to Him and that He does some great miracles with your little ones. You, Clifford, and the precious little babies continue to be in our prayers.

    1. Thanks so much Lauren- miss chatting away at work! Tell my kids Hi for me :)

  2. Yea!!!!!!!!!!! You have a blog :) Suuuuuuuuuuuch good news about the regaining some fluid for both babes! I was getting ready this morning when Jarrod started reading your update posted to fb and I couldn't believe it!!! Well, I could...but you happy to hear GOOD NEWS! I've been going back and forth emotionally as I'm processing this and just thinking about YOU & Clifford. What a roller coaster for you two...I can't imagine. But. God is faithful...and He is being glorified through your family!!! Praying...praying...praying!

  3. I have walked in the valley of death for 10 years, you have walked with my sweet friend, being a support. I always remember when I think of that valley, that terrible place, that God prommises us more:

    I will fear no evil...
    for You are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

    Praying for comfort in a time where comfort seems so hard to find. I do not know His plan, but I am certain He is a God that defies all odds, all statistics, and most of all loves Clifford, You, and your babies more than we can imagine.

    Feel our prayers and know we are praying for God's comfort and peace for you.

    1. Love you friend, thanks for all your kindness!

  4. This blog was wonderful. I have an email folder that says Clifford and Danielle. I am always watching to see if there is an update email number by that folder and hadn't seen any new updates for a while so I just assumed that the two little ones were still growing. I am thrilled at the news of the sac regaining fluid. I am thanking the Lord for His faithfulness. We here amongst my praying friends both at church and on FB have been pulling for their lives because we recognize that you and Clifford would truly raise Godly seed. As a result, we know that the enemy is trying hard to take their lives and to make you question your faith. We are standing with you in prayer. We thank you for your diligence to research everything you can to be knowledgeable. Most of all we are thanking the Lord for being with you and with them.

  5. Dear, Danielle, I find that there are an unusual amount of struggles within the body of Christ at present. satan is restless because he knows his time is short and he is wreaking as much havok as he can on God's people. What he doesn't realize is that these things only serve to draw us into a closer relationship with the Lord and are used for our good and His glory. My personal struggle includes the loss of a child 18 years ago through miscarriage and the loss of our 19 year old son this past October. God revealed to me that the child we lost was a girl, and it comforts me to know she is now there with her brother. Of course, I would rather have them both here with me, but our plans are not God's plans. I have found that it is better to be in the valley with the Lord than on the mountain top of joy without Him. I loved, served, and obeyed Him before losing my son, but now I trust Him even more. He calls us all to a deeper walk of trust, especially when we have to submit to His will instead of our own. He can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, if we let Him. He WILL heal your children, either here on earth or in Heaven (where they will brought to perfection!) I pray He allows you to mother them on THIS side of the veil. He loves your children and you both, more than we can comprehend. His plan is perfect, even when we don't like it. The miracle happens when we can have peace, hope, and even joy in the midst of these very trying times. I really do believe He is coming for His own very soon. I pray that you and your husband will be overwhelmed with His Holy Spirit as He walks with you through this. Until then, we trust in His power. HE alone has the power to bring life and is the final authority over your precious children. Not science. Not men. Not previous experience. Just God.

  6. You might want to add a "subscribe" feature to your blog so that we can be automatically updated when you post something new.

  7. I do not know you but am a friend of Jenny L. and we are praying for you! Praying for 30 weeks and hoping for 20!

  8. I followed this link from the Balds....we will be praying for you! My little nephew, Burke, lived through my SIL having PPROM at 17 weeks! She stayed on bedrest most of the pregnancy. Will be praying for peace and wisdom in the coming days!

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers. 17 weeks is very early, as I know already it is a very stressful road. Hope your SIL is doing well.

  9. Danielle: A promise to hold tight to:
    Deut. 33:26 “There is no one like the God of Israel.
    He rides across the heavens to help you,
    across the skies in majestic splendor. "

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    1. Thanks for keeping everyone posted. So awesome to hear the positive things happening! Will continue to keep you and Clifford and those precious little ones in our prayers. Need to visit you soon....teresa

  11. Thanks for the update, Danielle. Praying from France. How are you feeling?

  12. Hi Danielle,
    I know your Mom and have been cutting Greg's hair for years and when he came in Saturday for a haircut, he shared with me your story and I just had to have your blog so I can stay up to date on whats going on and be able to pray more specifically. I too hang on to every word of the 23rd Psalm and find comfort in "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil,........we will walk THROUGH the valley. We don't stay there, but walk through. That always gives me comfort.
    Although I don't know you, I feel an attachment to your heart. You will be thought me.......everyday and when you come to mind, the prayers will follow. Hang in there. Betty Klepacki

  13. hey Danielle,jim from St.pete here i just found the email greg and joanne sent to me,i guess it didn't show up at the time,but i've got most of it(both of my computers are messed up and have limited use)but i would like it if you could send me pics of the baby and tell me how everything is and just to let you know that my prayers are with you and the baby,always.

    my email is