The Third Trimester: Unexpected Dry Run to the Hospital

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30th Week Symptoms

Gia: The final stretch has arrived and we couldn’t be any happier. On the 30th week we wanted to have a glimpse of our baby in 3D/4D but Greyson didn’t want to show his face completely! So the ultrasound was a fail and the sonologist said it was really chance and luck that parents see their babies on 4D .

After my first check up in the third trimester, we ate outside and I chipped a tooth and swallowed it. It was just the beginning of the disaster to follow. As we went home that Thursday night my stomach had a violent reaction, I was throwing up and having diarrhea. I didn’t know if it was the food or my tooth, but it was the worst. I was so worried about Greyson and I could only pray that he was okay. I couldn’t take meds and my OB just recommended that I drink Gatorade only to hydrate myself. Praise God that the following day – Friday , I was relieved of this condition.

That Saturday, since everything was relatively normal, we went to church to serve. Then I experienced weird palpitations that I had to go to the clinic to have my BP checked – it was normal.

Plus I had a headache and some pain in my jaw, shoulders and upper back. It was the first time that I felt it and I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I remember praying and asking Jason to pray for me because I was panicking and I was palpitating.

Jason: I’m not good with first times. My wife knows this and God surely knows that. So we had a delivery room dry run one Sunday when Gia felt some palpitations and muscle pains which made her lose sleep that night. It was a false alarm, but we had the experience to test the traffic, the D.R. service – where to go and what to do. It was a nice experience and both of us reacted calmly and we were in a good mood during that experience.

We praise God that the baby is okay and that my BP is okay. It was concluded that I was overfatigued (maybe due to diarrhea), muscle pains were due to my heavy bag and the dental activity earlier that day (wherein I had to open my jaw for a long time.) Whew!!

31st Week symptoms

Our last vacation was a plane ride to Cebu, a final rest and recreation before we become three in our family. Everything was smooth, from the airport to the resort and the experience was quite good. We were able to have our quality time. It will be different after the arrival of the baby. But it will be different in a good way and we are excited for the next level. The next stage of our adventure. Family life.

We had our babymoon in Cebu. Because we knew that it would take us some time before we can travel again – just the two of us. More on our trip in another entry. 

  • Acid Reflux
  • Felt some nausea
  • More baby movement <3
  • When I ask Greyson, do you hear Mommy? He moves! all the time, Jason would testify!
  • Anxious! I could not rest when he moves and I am worried when I don’t feel him moving – I would poke at my tummy or drink cold sweet juices.
  • More trips to the CR but I could control it this time unlike the First Trimester wherein when I felt like going – I really had to go!!

32nd Week

During our check up, it dawned on us that I can give birth in 5 weeks!! Whoa.  We went into panic mode. It was still my 7th month but I felt so unprepared! We were supposed to host our baby shower / thanksgiving party with our family and close friends but we realized that it may be too late to plan it already. I could give birth in my 8th month. Plus we haven’t bought baby stuff yet. We suddenly rushed out to buy some baby items just to get started. First thing we bought – pack n play Crib!

crib

Our generation has made having a baby so overwhelming! Praise God for family and friends who went ahead of us, we had so many free hand me downs on baby stuff. We also started to fix the baby room.

I thank God for sisters-in-law, Ate Christie and Maica who gave and lent us baby clothes and even baby products like a baby carrier and Smart King stroller. It saved us a lot! I started nesting as soon as I received this and I started daydreaming about baby again as I held and folded the clothes that he would be wearing. 

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33rd Week

This week I “seemed” to have infection so we went to my OB to do a pap smear. It was sooo painful! But little did I know this was just 1% of the pain that was yet to come. Xp The results came out normal :)

We checked the birthing packages in this hospital and found out that Normal Delivery was around 80-100K, and CS would be 100-150K. We were hoping for Normal delivery, but God had other plans again for us :)

35th Week

We are thankful to SNKC family who threw us a surprise baby shower on our last day before we take a leave! I was really surprised I didn’t know what was going on but we are thankful to them.

snkc

Our Dgroup family also gave us a baby shower and we thank them for their generosity and efforts <3 

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And of course our family :)

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36th Week

The last week of my 8th month, we did a final urinalysis test to check for protein and sugar and it came out normal! I was pretty much healthy during the whole pregnancy and I thank God that He has protected me and my baby. It was an answered prayer. Sure there were hiccups but it only taught me to trust in God and depend on Him. I did not have any control of this pregnancy and I could only do what I can, but He is sovereign.

*Jason also did a maternity photoshoot of me and he painted my belly with a grey wolf. 😛

*Began walking in malls to initiate labor!

photoshoot

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39th Week

We didn’t expect it, I thought I would give birth on my 40th week but baby was excited to meet us as we were with him. Will share our birthing story in another entry :)

Waiting on God: Our Journey to Pregnancy Part 3

In 2013 when we got married we were advised to start conceiving after a year or two. But a lot of things has happened since then.

I had a major surgery back in 2014

Part 1

and a minor surgery in 2015.

Part 2

2017 – Jason’s surgery

After 4 years of trying to conceive, we had to check on Jason after my procedures were done. We found out that he had to undergo surgery too due to Varicocele (this condition produces abnormal and unhealthy sperms). We prayed and fasted at the start of the year and we decided to push thru with the procedure. It was sometime in February 2017 that Jason underwent surgery. I praise God that He enabled me to be in a job that was flexible. It was challenging to do both Jason’s work and my work but I really thank God that He prepared us for this challenge. I saw how we were able to cooperate, to be patient with one another and to be understanding. But we are still growing in these areas.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES

After the Varicocele surgery, we wanted to just enjoy this whole process. And I know it is because of God that we are having joy and peace. Sure we would long for a child, and we will do what we had to do but this time I told Jason, I’m enjoying this journey with him as we went home smelling of herbal teas from a Chinese herbal clinic.

We opted for Eastern medication like acupuncture and Chinese herbal tea since we are diagnosed “The unexplainable” with the doctors we consulted.

I haven’t tried those and I’m excited actually. The acupuncturist and herbalist diagnosed me differently. In acupuncture, I was said to have a cold uterus and I needed to drink warm water and coffee was a no-no. In the herbalist’s clinic, I was said to have a warm uterus and my tongue indicated I had poor health and my kidney was weak and so was Jason’s.

In my first acupuncture session they said I would sleep soundly! But I barely slept a wink and was tossing and turning the whole night! I poked Jason and he was sleeping soundly. Ang sarap ng tulog! I just looked at him in disdain. hahaha. Di daw kasi ako Chinese that’s why walang effect. GANUN! hahaha :p I reported this to the acupuncturist on our next session and she told me she probably touched some nerves that gave me too much energy.

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After the second session, I still couldn’t sleep. We asked how long should we do these sessions? She said until I get pregnant. engks! It was expensive and what if if took us 3 years. Then this would be draining our pockets with no actual diagnosis and we wouldn’t know what we were curing in my body.

We moved to the herbalist next and this time we had to boil tea for 45 minutes in the morning and at night. Our house smelled like burnt leaves. I would meet my clients and my perfume would be Chinese herbal tea. After 2 weeks, Jason decided to discontinue because his tea really tasted AWFUL (for a Chinese used to drinking teas. hmp :p ) To be honest I was getting used to the taste and I didn’t mind waking up early morning to boil both our teas. But it was the same.. we needed to continue doing this until we get pregnant, not to mention it was more costly than the acupuncture. We thought it would be less expensive. 😛 Sana acupuncture nalang.

SERVING WHILE WAITING

In the midst of all this, we decided to serve together and prepare to partner in discipling kids through sports!

Coaching Kids at Megasports Camp

We also began serving God in Kids church while we waited on Him. I am so glad with the opportunity! It is an answered prayer that I get to serve alongside my husband. I remember when I got married in 2013, I keep telling my single friends that I regret not being able to serve God. Of course when you get married, time gets limited with wife duties / family duties / work duties. Years after, I was so happy that God still honored that desire and may bonus pa, I was with my husband.

 It was a fun season for us. One by one our D12 mates were getting pregnant and I couldn’t be any happier for them! Back when we got married and after my painful surgeries, when I heard news about people getting pregnant it caused me joy and pain. But this time I can say I was really truly happy for these people who have grown to be my friends. I was excited and kilig with their journey. They also had their time of waiting on God and finally God has blessed them.

It gave me hope that one day, in God’s perfect time and in His own perfect way, we will also cry and rejoice and be expecting our child as we wait on Him.

We planned for Korea for honeymoon on November 2017, booked and all. If we still wouldn’t have a child, then we would just keep adding to our adventure book and travel. We also went to visit my OB one more time since my mid-cycle bleeding has returned that year and we wanted to check if it could be hormonal / my polyps have grown again.

SEPTEMBER 2017 – CHECKING WITH OUR OB AGAIN

So we went back to my OB to report about my situation. I got my thyroid test done and was negative for hypo/hyperthyroid. Still our doctor couldn’t explain why we couldn’t conceive. It seems as if we were healthy already but couldn’t diagnose our situation. I was given another dose of Clomid and a shot of follicle stimulating hormone in my belly, and of course it was recommended we set aside time to be intimate with one another.

During that “get busy” week I still had my mid-cycle bleed that never left me! and I remember the story of the hemorrhaging woman in the bible. As she touched Jesus, she was healed and her faith has healed her. How i prayed that God would stop this bleed and heal me and would open up my barren womb.

We tried to schedule our intimate times but it was really difficult because we also had our commitments in work and activities. On our “appointment day” something came up and we got so swamped and we had to let it go and just try the next day. To be honest, I got mildly irritated for a split second but then resigned that if it is God’s will, no matter the day, hour or minute! it will happen for us.

We then went back to our regular routine – having our coffee morning dates, our work out at the gym (we even got a trainer because we were training for a 15-21KM run) and eating! 😀

Sometime September though I noticed something a bit different, but I concluded and even wrote down in my journal that my period could be coming.

OCTOBER 2017

Sharing with you my personal journal.

Days leading to October 10, 2017, these verses stuck to me.

Proverbs 10:24 The fears of the wicked will all come true; so will the hopes of the godly

Proverbs 10:28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain

 John 16:24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive and your joy will be complete.

Every time I have my devotion / quiet time with God we ask Him to prepare us to be godly parents that He wants us to be. That I would be able to conceive in His perfect time. Then these verses came to me.

Will I be having my period this time or will I not? I was feeling some things but of course I can’t be sure. I’ve had a delayed period several times but resulted in a negative pregnancy test. This time I was still feeling some cramps and other things. I kept my hopes up and I stumbled upon the following verses in Proverbs. Both say that the hopes of the godly will come true, and will result in happiness. But at the same time the fears and expectations of the wicked will come true.

I pondered on this and told myself, “Siguro if I still have a negative pregnancy test, maybe there is still wickedness in me that needs a heart surgery, that I need the Holy Spirit to reveal and transform in me”. (ni-literal???) Ouch. How did God see me? Was there going be another test for me on humility?

I praise God for my husband, my spiritual leader, that not once did his faith waver. He was steadfast in his belief that God will give us a child naturally. He always assured me of this and I do not know how he can be so sure? But maybe a long time ago a vision was planted in him of having a family and he holds this promise close to his heart. That no matter what happened he believed.

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I was expecting my period on October 1 but maybe because we had a family outing and my routine was off, it did not arrive as I anticipated it! A few days after it still hasn’t arrived. Well it didn’t happen the first time. I’ve had cycles where my period would arrive on my 39th day when it was supposed to be between 29-35.

I told Jason 3 days after my missed period if I should take a home pregnancy test. He said jokingly “wag na muna. sayang. pag 1 month na and wala parin, magtake ka na..” Wow tagal naman? 😛 Anyway… I understand him. I’ve wasted a lot of HPT’s – as soon as day 1 is missed I instantly take a pregnancy test just to find out that my period will arrive later that day…

Anyway, I still had 2 pregnancy tests at home. We always stocked up in hopes that one day, one cycle I would get to see my own two red lines and not just in google. I prayed that if it is God’s will He will allow us to experience unconditional love and love our own child the way He loves us. I decided to take one after a week of missed period.

We were scheduled to go to the Korean embassy on October 10, Wednesday early early morning to apply for our Korean visa.

I woke up around 4:45 AM bringing the pregnancy test with me to the bathroom. As I collected my urine and dropped it on the test I sat sleepily on the toilet to wait. As the color creeped slowly, one line appeared and after a few more seconds… another red line showed up. What is this?? Was I dreaming? Did this come from my pee??

  If only I could tell you how I trembled and cried and praised God for this seed of life growing inside of me. To experience this miracle, it was the happiest morning..

I took a shower quickly and when Jason saw the pregnancy kit on our bin, he asked me Kamusta? in his neutral voice. He was also concerned about me that he will not show disappointment and be as neutral as possible with his reaction. He was so used to me shaking my head and saying “Negative, we can try again next time…”

This time I ignored him (padrama effect!) I hid the PT in the other room and got my phone. Of course this merits a documentation!

See the video here

I cried, we hugged, and got ready to go. Praying and thanking God in the car on the way to the embassy.

Through it all, nothing compares to the joy and the experience of knowing God more in this journey. Of being comforted by Him, of being assured by Him through His words and promises, of knowing that we can have hope because He hears us and loves us.

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Looking back there are a lot of things I was taught leading to this pregnancy…

  1. Be my best wherever God brings me / leads me. My worth is not my ability to produce children. You are a woman, a child of God and gifted by Him with unique abilities that only you can do.  There was a time that I did feel tired about waiting and putting my life on hold waiting for something I wasn’t sure would happen. But a question was left in my heart, What was I doing with what God has given me at the moment and where He has placed me? As a wife, was I striving to be my best? In my work, was I working at it with all of my heart? Was I pleasing God?
  2. Serve God and seek His will. What am I doing while waiting? Were my intentions pure? Even if I am not a mom yet, was I preparing to be the mother He wants me to be? and What does God want me to know about myself and Himself during this time of waiting?
  3. Do our part. We had our part and God has a part… We were convicted to do what we can naturally. This 2017 we excused ourselves from the organizations we joined so we can sleep early. We used to sleep around 11 pm / 12 midnight. But that year we made it a habit to be in bed by 8pm. We also became diligent with working out and eating healthy – cutting back on sweets and junk food (for me). I was now eating oatmeal (which I hated) during breakfast. We also sought ways to cleanse our system may it be herbal tea. Really Jason would agree that my lifestyle has drastically changed – from just popping anything I see to eat in my mouth to being conscious, and from hating any physical activity to having fun sweating it out! (sorry I just had to insert this, I was not really into healthy stuff but by God’s grace He is convicting me that I should be a good steward of this body). Also we went for check ups to make sure that our systems are okay.
  4. Surrender our desire to God. God knows what we want even before we admit it to ourselves. Sometimes we tend to deny our real wants and desires but God knows it already. However much I wanted to control things and set a timeline, God knows what it is best for me at this moment. He understands me and yet His will is perfect. He loves us so much that maybe sometimes giving in to our desire will do more harm than good for us. When He enabled me to surrender my desire to Him, He just made this story more beautiful than I can imagine and even imagine to write about.

And lastly.

5. Nothing can stop the will of God. During this season of waiting I have come to know a lot of women who shared with me a lot of seemingly impossible situations on conceiving. Be it one ovary, blocked fallopian tubes, having myoma, having cyst, a degenerating uterus and yet when God said it is time, nothing is impossible with Him. During our conception, I still had my mid cycle bleeds which I still don’t know the cause of, and yet the conception happened at God’s appointed time.

I thank God and praise Him for this journey. Truly the blessing of waiting is God Himself. And I know that this child, He has given and not on our own effort and strength. No matter what herbal tea, acupuncture, medication and condition. As a beloved pastor said, this is just the beginning. Even in my Pru Life uk business, yes we are entering the looooongest stage in our lives. It is daunting but I am also excited to receive His promise, and what God has in store for us.

 If I could summarize what God has been teaching me and then God’s command in the days ahead for this chapter in my life and the next, it would be in Deuteronomy 8:1-6

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.

If you are still waiting on God for this blessing, i would like to pray for you and encourage you that God can be trusted and He keeps His promises. We don’t know the reason why He gives, why He withholds but He is good and He desires what is best for us at this time. It will not be easy but give your burden to God, He cares for you. Our life is just so short, may we all experience the joy of coming to know Him truly in this lifetime.

Waiting on God: Our Journey to Pregnancy Part 2

In the previous post we shared how we went through looking forward to conceiving and yet we found out another more serious thing happening.

Waiting on God: Our Journey to Pregnancy part 1

The recovery was difficult I already felt like I had a cesarean section. So I guess this is how it feels like. Staying at home post operation, I was plagued by negative thoughts that this pain I brought home would be worth it if I had a baby to look after and I would often sulk in self-pity. Looking back and reflecting, I feel like an Israelite. God has just answered our prayer, and here I was. He is about to lead us into the promised land but there are lots of delays because He is purifying our hearts and motives. Jason didn’t mind that we didn’t have a child and he was confident in God that He would bless us one day. But me of little faith..  I was skeptical. He would often assure me that he married me for me and not because of a baby. I would cry and be assured for a while but it would still hurt.

2014 – DIAGNOSED INFERTILE 

After the operation, we started looking for an infertility specialist. We really preferred our doctor in UST but we considered the distance should our pregnancy push through. According to the OB-gyne’s if we cannot conceive within 1 year of trying, we are considered infertile. The word infertile was so hard to swallow. It was really a blow. I was hoping that by some miracle that year I would get pregnant and prove the doctors wrong. How can we be infertile? I believe we relatively had a healthy lifestyle. I was still in my 20’s, we don’t have any vices and we would sneak in a gym workout or two in a week. Whenever people ask us if there was anything wrong with us, we just say I had an operation, maybe it was it, and we wanted to believe that it was just that and the problem was solved.

A lot, though well intentioned, would offer their theories why and sometimes it would upset me because I feel that we are doing what we can.

We went to an Infertility specialist and she recommended me to take Clomid for about 3 cycles and monitor my follicle every mid-cycle and of course we had to do our part and get busy. We kept track of the days and at times it would get so stressful that we would get irritated at one another. And at the end of the day it defeats our purpose.

I remember Jason would tell me, “If ganito lang, huwag na lang”.

In his mind the baby should be born out of our desire and love for one another that naturally we would conceive because we were filled with love – not spite or any other reason for that matter. I was taken aback but realized it was true. When I dug deep, I was so filled with pride and control issues that God was breaking me.

As for the test results, it turned out that I had a dominant follicle meaning I was ovulating and ready to conceive. But we still weren’t able to despite the 3 monthly cycles of Clomid’s and the “schedulings”.  I got tired of putting my life on hold. I felt that I was prepared (but this was just my feeling), but God wanted us to wait on Him. He was also dealing with me, with my insecurities, my feelings to please people, to give in to the pressure around me, and just for me to be joyful in Him whatever the circumstance may be.

Was the child more important than Him? Was the gift more important than the giver?

During those times I noticed that I had some abnormality with my period that I would often have one mid-cyle. I was required to do another procedure.

2014 – SISH (SALINE INFUSION Something) and MULTIPLE ENDOMETRIAL POLYPS

I underwent SISH where saline is infused in the uterus. We found out that I had multiple endometrial polyps. We consulted another OB (and we’re staying with her until now!) who is also an endocrinologist to check if I had any thyroid problems / any hormonal imbalance. According to her, this would be an obstacle for the sperms to reach its final destination 😛 Looking back I saw that my past ultrasounds indicated that I do have polyps but it was overlooked since the cyst posed a much bigger problem.

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I had to undergo another operation but this time it was minor. It was similar to a D&C. I told Jason I want to write about this, but he told me then to preserve these moments and in time I would be able to tell this story. We took some time off and then proceeded the following year.

JUNE 2015 – OPERATION (HYSTEROSCOPIC POLYPECTOMY WITH D&C)

Because of the 2014 operation, this one didn’t seem so scary. It was still very fresh in our memories. I am very thankful to my mom who was with us to help with all our paperworks because truly we would be at a loss.

We checked in during the afternoon and I was happy to see my doctor friends who were at St. Lukes that time. Nakapagchika pa kami. :) Thank you for dropping by.

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Even if I went under the knife and became a certified “operada”, I was still afraid of the needle! I even told the nurse, dahan-dahan lang po ah takot ako sa needle. 😛 He went there for the IV.

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After which, we passed some time and listened to some music. Chill lang… to relax us for what was to come.

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Later on, our anesthesiologist dropped by to brief me about the anesthesia. That it would just be a light dosage and I would easily snap out of it with a nudge or when they say my name, say my name.. She was so funny it calmed my nerves. To be honest I was looking forward to the anesthesia haha – it would be my second time. She told us that she would be meeting us at around 6PM to administer the dose and Dra. Jing would follow.

Around 5:30 PM I was wheeled out of our room and into the operating room. The preps were done once again and I couldn’t care less.. Ganun talaga privacy no more. 😛 As I remember nagchichikahan pa kami ni Dra. as she administered the anesthesia. Ang dami ko pa gusto ikwento and was engaging her in a story but just like that…. I was OUT.

I didn’t know how long it took but I felt Dra. nudge me and I was having the chills in the operating room. I woke up and there were bright lights and I saw that my legs were apart like I was giving birth. A wave of panic sunk in and thoughts were racing like Oh no, I didn’t know what happened to me but good thing I dozed off again.

I woke up in the private room and all was finally well. We checked out the next day and the recovery was very very quick since it was just a minor operation called Endometrial Curettage. I was back on my toes the following day. Good thing too that I had my life insurance and we only paid 36% of the bill net of deductions from Philhealth and SSS.

I was again filled with hope that maybe this time it would turn out fine. That time I decided, one day we will have a child and started writing to him / her. Since 2015 I have written 2 letters to our unborn child and will share in a different entry.

The next step for me was to check my fallopian tubes for blockage but after the operations…. Wait lang. We had to consider our budget too and of course undergoing another painful and probe-ful procedure. We decided that I would just do it the following year.

2016 – JASON’S TURN

 As we went back to our OB, Dra. gave us the option for IUI and IVF but we weren’t ready for that. Our doctor would ask “Naiinip na ba kayo?” In my mind I screamed YES. But I blurted out, we can wait. engk. But seriously I was getting a bit impatient. Is this the millenial in me? I’m glad that God was working in me showing me that it is not about what we want but what He wills.

The next step was to check Jason’s situation. With his permission, I am writing this. After the sperm analysis test, It turns out that he had less than 4% normal sperms. According to some standard, it takes minimum of 4% normal sperm to conceive a child. His was around 2 or 3%. After a few months it went down to 1%. He was diagnosed to have Bilateral Varicocele.

NEXT STEP – FALLOPIAN TUBE TEST

Next we had to do this test to see if my fallopian tubes were blocked. It was a bit expensive so we opted for a nearby one but it still was a maternity hospital. IT WAS SO PAINFUL. I was wide awake the whole time. When I asked other wives who’ve undergone this, they were asleep.. But I was awake and I was only given paracetamol. Aray.

Praise God after that very painful episode, the diagnosis was my tubes were good to go.

THE UNEXPLAINABLE

It was recommended that Jason would undergo surgery to cure the varicocele. We just need to eliminate all possible causes and problems. It may improve his normal sperms but still it was no guarantee. Some even without surgery were able to conceive considering their predicament. With all the results that came out, our OB diagnosed us we may be one of the cases that are “unexplainable.” Whut? Sounds like some kind of mystery file. I wanted to be aggressive and maybe check the compatibility of our bloods and APAS etc. but our OB does not recommend it because I was not qualified to have one.

Our problem was we could not conceive. Despite my operations, our scheduling, our Clomid, lifestyle changes.

I’m taking light of it now but back then I read this article about infertility and how I would cry and feel helpless and just long for a child to take up that empty space in our empty room. But what can we do? We talked about adopting and we considered it than have IUI.

 We ended the year still with the question left if we should push through with Jason’s surgery.. I think it was sometime towards the end of the year that an opportunity opened for us to serve in the Kids church.

We decided, we will serve Him while we’re waiting. We were just praying for 1 child but how God answers, we would be getting a lot … in Kids church!

But will this be it?

Last entry in Part 3..