30 March 2011

Remembering Ephraim

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

This is not the kind of message I want to post. This was not what I expected to happen this far into my pregnancy. But here I am grieving the loss of another baby, our precious son, Ephraim. Our little boy is now at home in heaven with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Throughout this past weekend I sensed that something was off about my body. I thought I had an infection of some sort, the kind that happens a lot with pregnancy. I called my doctor Monday to make them aware and they asked me to come in so they could check it out. So my mom drove me and Erik met us at the doctor's office. The doctor examined me and sure enough I have an infection. I was given an antibiotic and assured that I would be fine. The doctor also wanted to take a peek at the babies on the ultrasound. This is when the devastation began. The ultrasound showed the girls looked great with strong heartbeats and good fluid....when we got to Ephraim however....no heartbeat was detected. The sonographer worked hard to search for it, hoping she would find it. Our doctor was by my side comforting me as Erik and I sat in total shock. Erik's head dropped and his eyes couldn't look, while I stared at the screen where my son was lifeless. The flashback to two years ago poured through our minds....this was all too familiar. You see when we lost our precious Ivy we saw her lifeless body on the ultrasound screen as well. At first we had no emotions....just shock. My next thoughts raced to the girls...how was this going to affect them...were they going to be ok?

My OB sent us to the hospital for another ultrasound with the Perinatologist. He wanted them to double check his findings and to consult with us. The sonographer at the hospital was so sensitive and very sweet. She spent a lot of time looking at the girls and continued to comment how good they looked. She tried not to spend too much time on Ephraim, but confirmed that he had no heartbeat and it appeared he had stopped growing days before. This is when the emotions came...tears...too many tears.

The day felt like it was never ending. Now we had to wait for the Perinatologist to speak to us. It seemed like eternity. Erik's head was throbbing and my emotions were so up and down. When the doctor finally spoke with us he was very encouraging and helpful. He was not sure what happened to Ephraim, and we will probably never know. He told us that the girls looked good and they should continue to grow as normal. Because I am still fairly early in my pregnancy, 19 weeks doesn't seem early, Ephraim's little body will be able to reabsorb into mine. He said they do see this type of scenario quite a bit with triplets and the remaining twins continue to grow and thrive. Those are the words I needed to hear. So much hope for our girls.

Erik and I are very much grieving for Ephraim and it has been a rough couple of days. Our focus now is on our girls and they still need us to be strong, especially me. I continue to be on bed rest, but now I am able to sit up more instead of constantly laying down. Which, I must say is a nice change. We are clinging to God right now, because He is our strength. We are not angry at God, nor do we blame Him. But it is hard not to ask, as a friend said, "Why does God continue to entrust us with so much pain?" It seemed we finally had our joy back after 2 years of grieving for Ivy and now here we are again. We will remain strong, with our Lord, and we will continue this fight for our two precious girls.

At night when I close my eyes I picture Ivy taking Ephraim's hand in heaven and welcoming him Home. My beautiful babies are now in the lap of the Lord, the best place they could ever be. I continue to rest knowing I will see them again, and for eternity.

Please continue praying for our girls, Hope and Genevieve. Pray for God's protection over our family as we grieve once again and remember our precious son. We love you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers and your love.

In Him,

27 March 2011

My Dearest Friends!

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (The Message)

The two women in the picture are two of the most incredible women I have been privileged to know. These women are my dearest friends. They are a true picture of godly women, humility, mercy, and grace. They have been by my side for the past few years through grief, infertility, and now joy. They show me love each and every day and I am so thankful God brought them into my life. They have been and continue to be a true blessing.

Kristen, the beautiful brunette on the end, is also pregnant. What a blessing that we get to share this joyous time together. I am excited for our babies to grow up together and be the best of friends. Kristen has been a life line for me for the past 2 years. From the day we lost our precious Ivy, she called me every day for that first year. She was a source of love, encouragement, prayer, and support. She is an amazing mother and wife. I have learned so much from her and I cannot say thank you enough for all that she has done for me. God shines through her and when you are with her, you truly feel the presence of the Lord.

Kristina is the beautiful blonde in the middle. Kristina was pregnant last summer and Kristen and I got to share in the joyous blessing of her daughter. Now she is by us to share our joyous blessings of babies. Kristina is an incredible wife and mother. I look up to her in so many ways. We have become close over the past few years and it has been amazing to watch God work in both of our families. We know he brought us together for a reason and it's been so wonderful to watch Him work. Her passion for the Lord inspires me and I thank Him that she is in my life.

Well, right now I really need my friends because life at my house right now is at a stand still. I am entering my 19th week of pregnancy in a few days and I am currently on bed rest. I am only able to get up for meals and the bathroom. My doctor felt that I was over doing it this past week and my body was not happy about it. The babies are great and I am doing fine now. But I did not think that bed rest would come this soon. We go back to the doctor this week, so hopefully I can be on less restriction. I will do what is best for my babies because they are most important right now, but I must admit it's a hard transition. My incredible husband has stepped up, as he always does, and now does all the cleaning and cooking. I pray that if this bed rest does last for the next three months that I will find contentment in it and use this time however the Lord leads me. I know that once the babies arrive, I will look back on this time and be thankful for it.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Erik and I and our 3 miracles- Hope, Genevieve, and Ephraim.

Love you all,

20 March 2011

Introducing the Bayer Triplets!!!

Drum roll please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bayer Triplets are two sweet girls and one precious boy!

We are overjoyed! So those of you who guessed this combination, you get a prize....a full day with the babies when they arrive. So sign up for your prize day now! Ha ha ha! I'm so funny.

I have felt that they were 2 girls and a boy from the beginning of my pregnancy, I guess it's motherly instinct. Now I bet you want to know the names of these little miracles. We have prayed about and thought about names for a long time. We feel like the Lord led us to 3 beautiful names.

Baby A - Hope Allison
We chose Hope because it has been the theme of our lives for the last few years and we feel it is a beautiful name. It also has the meaning of "faith". Her middle name is Allison, which is my mother's middle name, my middle name, and Ivy's middle name. She is carrying on a legacy.

Baby B - Genevieve Hannah
We heard the name Genevieve a few years ago and fell in love with it. It means "white wave" in the ocean, a beautiful picture. The name Hannah has been close to my heart because it relates to Hannah from the Bible. Her story is in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. She was an infertile woman who prayed and prayed for a child and God blessed her with her son Samuel. Her faith was amazing. Hannah means "grace" and "magnifies God".

Baby C - Ephraim Titus
We recently chose Ephraim because we feel like it is a strong name for our little boy. Ephraim means "fruitful". Ephraim was also a prominent figure in the bible, he was the second son of Joseph (Genesis 41). The middle name Titus is a name we have loved for a long time. Erik was led to the name Titus. Titus means "Giant" and "hero". There is an entire book in the New Testament written with instructions to Titus from Paul. Titus was a trusted companion of Paul.

Now the secret is out! After we found out the news we did buy the outfits you see pictured above and it's hard to not shop everyday. Some dear friends have given us an abundance of boy and girl clothing and it's like Christmas every day at our house. We are having so much fun preparing for them.

I continually pray that our babies will be a shining light in this world, that they will know Jesus as their Savior, and they will share Him with the world. Praise God for new life!

Love you all!

17 March 2011

17 Weeks!!!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

The above verse was the scripture of the week at our house. God led Erik to this scripture and we both thought it was so beautiful. Then today my devotional ended with this very relevant statement; Patience and trust even in the monotony of your daily routine, will be the best preparation to courageously handle the stress and strain of a greater opportunity, God may someday send. Well the Lord really spoke to me through that sentence. Wow! That is so true, my life right now does seem monotonous and I don't have much of a routine anymore, but this is all preparing me for the life with three babies...courageously preparing me! God is so good!

So I know many of you have been anticipating the gender reveal. Well...I can't reveal it today because I haven't told my family yet. I think it's best I tell them before I tell you - the world. We did get to find out all 3 genders today and we are so excited! I will reveal them to you all on Sunday afternoon. So check the blog Sunday and you will find a great surprise.

I do however want to share a bit about the appointment today. We saw the perinatologist today and she looked at each baby and made sure everything is developing and working. Let me tell you it was amazing. A 2 hour appointment. On each baby we got to see the brain, the heart chambers, the stomach, the bowel, the kidneys, the spine, the legs and arms, hands and feet. They really magnify the heart so you can make sure all 4 chambers are working and that was so incredible to see. The scans they do are so much more magnified and clear, it was an experience. We will now get these types of scans regularly to ensure babies are progressing on schedule. We got a great report today, they are all on schedule and everybody is growing and thriving...even Mom! They checked me out as well and I am doing great! My uterus is now measuring at 25 weeks...crazy because you know I'm only 17 weeks. This is a great sign that I am making room for babies.

It has been an amazing day. I am so excited to share with you all the genders and the names of my three little miracles. Oh, how blessed we are. Stay tuned until Sunday!

Love you all,

11 March 2011

16 Weeks!

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Romans 5:3-5

The above verse was a reminder to me, during our journey to conceive, that I must continue to hope. Jesus is my hope. The Lord taught me so much and I can finally say the journey was well worth it!

I am 16 weeks along and ready to welcome my 5th month of pregnancy. Wow! This pregnancy is flying by. I'm still feeling good, sleepy more often this past week but my amazing husband has been home a lot and he has taken excellent care of me. One more week until the genders are revealed! Keep voting! I think it's fun to see everyone's predictions.

Let me give you a glimpse into the world of "Making Room for Triplets". First, there's me, the keeper of the babies. I'm carrying them, with hormones raging, eating almost hourly, and sleeping so much you would think I run a marathon every day. As for the house, let's start in the basement...we are in the process of finishing it so the babies have a large playroom. We have a lot of stuff already in the basement and this will require a garage sale to clean it all out. The first floor is next. Not much has changed in the living room yet, other than some rearranging and getting rid of cable. Who will have time for TV with 3 babies? Not me. Also, the toy box that has for so long sat empty is now full of baby toys. Yay! Next, the kitchen..my favorite place! We are going through every cabinet and purging a lot of unused items. We need one full empty cabinet ready for baby bottles, formula, etc. Let's move upstairs to the bedrooms. Our bedroom hasn't changed yet, but will soon house a pack-n-play for the babies to sleep in the first few months and a rocking chair. The guest room is unchanged, this way anyone who stays to help at night has a nice room to sleep in. The shared bathroom for guests and babies is all baby stuff. The tub holds the baby bath and all the bath toys. The cabinets house babies towels and bath accessories. Then we have the nursery, also my favorite place! All 3 cribs will fit in this room in a u-shape. That leaves just enough room for a changing table and rocking chair. The closet is already full with clothes, shelves already full of diapers and wipes, and anything else a baby may need. Well to me it seems full, but I know it is far from what we will need for 3 babies. So we already have a lot of stuff and it's only going to increase. The joy of multiples!

It's a lot of work, but so much fun. This is the family we have longed for and prayed for for so long and here we are. Erik and I still tell each other, on a regular basis, can you believe we are having triplets.?

God never ceases to amaze me!

Love to you all!

06 March 2011

Daddy Loves His Babies

"But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

As you can see from the pictures, Erik loves the babies and the belly they are occupying. He finally got to feel some movement this week. The babies must have been doing flips, because the movements were huge this week and I was so excited he got to feel them. It occurred, of all places, at the grocery store. Here we were walking through the health market area and the baby on the left side makes a huge move that stops me in my tracks, Erik was right there to feel the huge kick. He felt the middle baby just yesterday when the baby kicked at his head as he was laying on my belly. He has yet to feel the baby on the right side. But that one is moving like crazy as well . I can't wait to find out the genders and name them, so we don't have to refer to them as baby on the right, left, and middle. It is so amazing to feel them move....I absolutely love it and I can't wait for Erik to feel them move even more. I must say that once we do find out the genders, I fear the shopping spree that Erik will go on. He loves the little outfits we see everywhere and he can hardly resist the temptation to buy things now. I agree it is fun to picture the babies in the adorable little outfits, but they may have more clothes then they can ever wear. I may have to reign him in...hahaha! What a fun daddy the triplets have!

Thoughts for the day:
At church today as we sang and worshiped God, we sang about our Holy God. The word Holy stuck out to me, so this afternoon I decided to do a word study on Holy. The dictionary defines Holy as sacred, sinless, and deserving reverence. That definition truly fits God. I read through several scriptures referring to holy. My bible also defines holy, in terms of us being holy, as being set apart for God and separated from sin. My footnotes say, holiness involves being consecrated to the Lord's service and thus being separated from the commonplace. Hebrews 12:14 tell us, "without holiness no one will see the Lord." God is holy and he wants us to live holy lives for him as well, being set apart from this world. I long for holiness, to look different from the world, to reflect God's love to each person I come in contact with. Of all the scriptures I read regarding the word holy my favorite passage came from Psalm 111:9. I have written out the entire Psalm below and highlighted verse 9. This is a beautiful Psalm and one that I will think of for many days to come.

I give thanks to God with everything I've got.
God's works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study - endless enjoyment!
Splendor and beauty mark his craft;
His generosity never gives out.
His miracles are his memorial -
This God of Grace, this God of Love.
He gave food to those who fear him.
He remembered to keep his ancient promise.
He proved to his people that he could do what he said:
Hand them the nations on a platter - a gift!
He manufactures truth and justice;
All his products are guaranteed to last -
Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof.
All that he makes and does is honest and true:
He paid the ransom for his people,
He ordered his Covenant kept forever.
He's so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.
The good life begins in the fear of God -
Do that and you'll know the blessing of God.
His Hallelujah lasts forever!
Psalm 111 (The Message)

He is a personal God. He is worthy of our respect, our praise, our love, and our devotion. Meet with him today...it will be so worth it!

Love you all!

02 March 2011

15 Weeks!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body."
Psalm 139:13-15

I am 15 weeks along and things are going great. We had another doctors visit today and the babies are doing great. The heartbeats sounded beautiful once again! In two weeks we get to find out the genders. I am praying they will all cooperate that day so we can see everyone. I am feeling movement every day and I love it! They move a lot when daddy is home, they must love the sound of his voice. I continue to be overcome with emotion when I realize all that God is doing in our lives right now. Erik and I were dancing around the kitchen the other day and I envisioned 3 little toddlers dancing at our feet. Oh, what a beautiful picture.

A question was posed this week from my study of the book of Revelation; Will I be God-centered or self-centered? So much of life is all about self, but we must come back to how we became our self. God is in control of everything in our lives and we must center our lives around Him. As I look back at our journey to conceive a child it was hard not to be self-centered. I wanted God to do this for me, it was all me me me. Today I can say that I strive to be God-centered. He is the reason I am here today. He is the reason I have triplets in my womb. He is the reason always. Without Him I am nothing. I can't give him enough praise each day for all he has done and continues to do in my life. I am blessed beyond measure. If we don't love God, we'll love anything.

Blessings and Love to you all!