7.28.2009

Praying for babies

I consider my faith to have been tested. A lot. Especially over the last few years. But I can sit here and write that my faith is indeed intact and I do believe in His purpose and I trust in His will. I just read on another triplet blog that mentioned a sermon in which the pastor said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "If your faith rests with God so that He will do what you want, that is not true faith. True faith is resting in God's will so that we have what He wants." How true and yet as humans, how hard! By nature we seem (and I include my self in "we") to think we can analyze and break things down and plan things just perfectly to get what we think we need and want. But only when we truly rest in the Lord do we see that he always provides exactly what we need exactly when we truly need it.

Well, He has decided to test my faith again.

I've been speaking almost daily with a new friend of mine who recently delivered boy/girl twins at 26 weeks gestation. The babies were doing wonderfully at first...on CPAP and not ventilators, starting gavage feedings, being held a week after their birth...but as I remember Dr. Manar saying "never trust a preemie." The little boy had a set back and had to go on the ventilator and then the little girl's PDA wouldn't close after two rounds of medication, she was on the vent and they discovered a sepsis infection. All of this was just a week ago. She has since had her PDA ligated, received powerful antibiotics to treat the infection and yet she was not improving. Two nights ago she had her worse night yet ending with her on the oscillator on 100% O2, low blood pressure, and an extremely high heart rate. As of today she is still on the oscillator, they've weaned her O2 to 81%, heart rate is lowered a bit and she's been getting medication for the blood pressure. She is "snowed" right now meaning she is fully sedated and they are using norcuron to keep her paralyzed so she won't expend even the slightest amount of energy in fighting the oscillator or other stimuli.

As I was speaking to the mom, I was flashing back to our days of fear when Zoe was in a similar predicament in her first month of life. I remember all too well the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness...the questioning of God...why must my baby suffer like this? Why not me? It has brought up a myriad of emotions for me. I take comfort in knowing that having me to talk to has brought the mom comfort. She has told me time and time again that she feels she can vent easily with me because she doesn't have to explain anything. I know the terminology, I know what the doctor's aren't saying and she is afraid to ask, I know the implications and possible long term effects of what this little girl is having to undergo...and I know how desperately she wants her little girl AND her little boy to come home with her. My faith is tested again.

I know (at least in my boastful human mind I believe I know) why we went through our NICU experience. Had I not, I would not be able to support this mom in such a tangible and effective way. Why must she go through this? We don't yet know. But in my prayers I ask for God to provide wisdom, compassion, and skill to the doctors and nurses and I ask that the parents allow themselves to rest in His hands and that He blanket the babies with His all powerful healing touch, unconditional love, and unending grace.

Another dear friend of mine is in the hospital with her little one today. Natali has been a friend of mine for about 20 years and has three children. Her newest, a little boy, after two girls, is barely four weeks old and has meningitis. We don't yet know if it is viral or bacterial and we won't know until Thursday...but again, I understand the fear, the helplessness...the anxiety and despair that resides in the pit of your stomach when your child's life is in jeopardy. It is a heavy, heavy weight and a feeling that leaves us so uncomfortable in our own skin. Unsure of what to say, what to do, what to think. Fearing that if we even utter the words "could be fatal" or "life threatening" that will make it so. Trying desperately to hold on to a glimmer of hope, any tiny flicker...we grasp at anything. A reduced fever...that's good right? A lower heart rate...also good if the heart rate has been too high. And all we can do is wait. We hear the doctors say they've done everything medically and mechanically (in terms of support) that can be done, now we just wait to see how the baby will respond. We try to put all of our strength and will into our children to help them in some way fight for their lives. I remember standing over all three of my girls, after weeks on the vent just wishing I could do their breathing for them...praying it would be easier for them, asking for me to be in pain and discomfort, not them.

We tend to think we have so much control of our destinies, so much control in what happens day to day...but we don't, we really don't. We must rest in our faith...we must trust that even when tragedy strikes, His plan is good. I got a text message from yet another mom whose 32 weeker twins were born in April. One of the little boys has had many struggles and for a while we also wondered if he was going to pull through. When the message came through that he seemed to be out of the woods I texted to her "God is good!" And she sent back to me "No matter the outcome, God is always good." I can't say I'd have been able to send that message when my three were in the hospital...the strength of her faith struck me immediately as I read her words. I stopped and said "Yes, He is." Believing this with our entire being...not just saying it because it sounds good or we "should" believe it, but truly believing this is what makes a difference in our lives.

I ask that you would please keep these babies and their families in your prayers. I have seen firsthand the power of prayer and appreciate all of you who have prayed so faithfully for me and my family. I will update on all of these precious babies as I know more.

1 comment:

mary said...

I am praying. Are there any updates that you can share?

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31