Dear Friends,

On Thursday, Aug. 30, we had the pleasure of seeing our sweet Amalya during our 35-week ultrasound. It was a bittersweet experience for us as this will be our last ultrasound before meeting Amalya face to face. We felt so blessed to have had one last time to watch our little guy wiggle and move free from the harm of the “outside world”. During our ultrasound we watched Amalya play with his umbilical cord, kick his legs, and squirm continuously. What precious moments these were for us, memories that we will always hold dear. During the ultrasound, we learned Amalya is measuring in the tenth percentile in size, and weighs less then 4 pounds. He is very tiny, but appears to be doing well in all other areas. At this point, we do not expect him to get much bigger before he is born.

This month was a little different for us. If you remember, I (Bethany) received the diagnosis of polyhydramnios (excess build up of amniotic fluid) at the beginning of August, and not only was I very uncomfortable much of the time, but we went through each day knowing we could go into labor early. Facing the reality that our time with our little one could be cut short, we did our best to live life to the fullest, and make the most of our time as a family. (It is amazing how much motivation you receive when you do not know how much time you have left with someone you love.) We went on several adventures, and made many sweet memories at home. Some of these included hiking at John Bryant State Park, a favorite place to hike near Dayton; spending an afternoon at the same park we went to at 15 weeks; doing lots of baking and cooking as a family; and spending time with grandparents doing fun activities. Eric also finished reading a children’s story book Bible which was given to Amalya (we had started reading it back in March). We were also able to spent a day with good friends at Young’s Dairy farm, a local favorite, where we had ice cream and played putt-putt golf.

Thankfully we made it through August with out going into labor! At this point, we are still at risk of going into labor early, but we are hoping to make it to our scheduled C-section date of Monday, September 10. It is very surreal knowing that in a few short days we will be meeting our sweet Amalya Nathaniel face to face. We are very excited about meeting him, holding him, and spending time with him. We are praying that the Lord grants us some time with him alive before he goes to be in the arms of Jesus. Please continue to pray for us to have strength during the days to come. We know that the days leading up to Amalya’s birth will be bittersweet in so many ways.

Looking back over the past 6 months we feel blessed to have had some amazing experiences with our son, and hope to squeeze a few more in during the next few days. We feel even more blessed for the opportunity to draw closer to our Lord and Savior in a new way and learn to trust His ultimate plan for our lives. We are thrilled to say that we have seen Amalya touch the lives of many, and we are so proud that the Lord has allowed him to be part of our lives. Next time we write it will be to share the story of his birth! We are already looking forward to writing that letter!

Thanks to everyone for all the love, support, and prayers. We are thankful so many walked with us through this journey.

With eagerness and excitement,
Eric and Bethany

Philipians 4: 6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”