Dear Friends –

It is hard to believe that we have less then six weeks before meeting Amalya Nathaniel in person. This month was busy making more plans to welcome him into the world and making memories before he gets here. On Monday, July 30, we met with our doctors and a variety of hospital staff (about ten in all) to discuss our birth plan for Amalya. We felt so blessed to share our plans with hospital staff and discuss all the details and possibilities surrounding his birth day. The hospital staff was amazing and accommodated all of our requests. We are already feeling an incredible peace about his birth, knowing that we have so much support. On Tuesday, July 31, we had our 31-week ultrasound. As always, we enjoyed seeing our little guy and spending time with him. Amalya continues to grow, although he is very small. He is in currently measuring in the 25th percentile and is less than 3 lbs. Our favorite part of this ultrasound was one point when it looked like he blew us a kiss. We even got a picture of it!

During our ultrasound we did learn that I (Bethany) have developed polyhydramnios, a condition where there is an excess of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. Although this condition only occurs in about 1% of pregnancies, it occurs more frequently in pregnancies with anencephaly. This condition occurs for a variety of reasons, but in cases with anencephaly, it is typically because the baby is not swallowing enough fluid to keep up with the amount of fluid being produced. Anencephaly typically hinders the baby’s swallow reflex. The main problem with this condition is the potential for premature labor. The second problem is a significant amount of discomfort for the mother. At this point, we are not sure what to expect as far as labor is concerned, but we are mentally preparing to meet our little man whenever the Lord decides the time is right. We even have our hospital bag packed so we will be prepared for any situation.

Our main memory-making highlight this past month was the joy of camping! We love camping as a couple, and we were thrilled to bring Amalya on his first camping trip. Amalya enjoyed amazing campfire food, and two pretty awesome s’mores made by his daddy! He also enjoyed the campground’s “Christmas in July” celebration complete with Christmas decorations, a parade, and a Christmas themed carnival! This past week we have switched gears and have enjoyed family time while watching the Olympics on television! What a treat for Amalya to experience the summer Olympics!

We would like to ask you to join us in prayer for wisdom, endurance, and peace as we begin the final leg of our journey. We are trusting in the Lord’s perfect timing when it comes to Amalya’s birth, whether we meet him early due to the polyhydramnios or as planned on September 10th. We have seen the Lord guide us during our entire pregnancy, and know He will continue to do mighty things in accordance with His ultimate will. We are so grateful for the work of the Lord growing inside us and are eager to see what the Lord still has in store for us.

With great expectations of things to come,
Eric and Bethany

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”From “God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins