These past few weeks, it’s been hard to feel like we’re not hanging on by a thread. Indeed it feels like everything is being held together by one small, fragile strand, which at any point could give way and everything could unravel. When you have a micropreemie, it’s hard not to feel this way. Everything, and I mean everything, is a struggle. Bottle feeding. Reflux. Eye exams. Hearing tests. Hemoglobin checks. Oxygen levels. Brain scans. … oh the list could go on and on. And don’t forget those important numbers. You know, the ones flashing on the screen, alarming you at every beep. Indeed these things are not the “normal” parenthood experience. Most of them, not life-threatening, but when they’re the things standing in the way of bringing your baby home, they become so important. Sometimes I find myself wondering what it would be like to just have a “normal” baby. Or even an older preemie.
I’ll admit these past two weeks I’ve dealt with some intense feelings- frustration, bitterness, anger, impatience. And while they’re definitely not something I’m proud of, there’s no denying that they are there. I find myself growing bitter towards the parents of healthy kids who complain about an ear ache or a slight fever. Everything in me wants to scream, “Do you know how fortunate you are?!”
But alas, I’m only human. And a sinner indeed. God has been so gracious in reminding me of how far He has brought us. I’m deeply aware that we could easily not have these struggles…Pierce could not have been born alive. But God chose to save Him. He has chosen to perform miracle after miracle in P’s life, and for that I am so thankful.
I know this is definitely more venting than I normally allow myself to do on the blog, but I wanted to share what God has been doing in my heart. Last night, Nik and I read this passage before going to bed. It had been a long day, full of uncertainties and I felt inclined to continue in my grumbling. And then God used this passage to speak to me:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
I was immediately convicted of my wrong attitude. I was convicted of my anxiety. My worries, my fears- all of those are sinful. They demonstrate a lack of trust in the goodness of God. I was convicted of the idolatry in my heart. In many ways, Pierce has become more important to me than Christ. But the truth is, Pierce is ultimately God’s child, not mine. And Christ is worthy of trusting in completely and following wholeheartedly. He is the one that has brought Pierce this far, and I believe wholeheartedly that God is going to see him through. So tonight I am trusting in that as I’m slowly learning to turn my fears, doubts and complaining into shouts of joy for what God has been gracious to do in our lives.
And finally, I mentioned earlier today that a dear friend, Gina and her husband Jay welcomed a sweet baby girl, Ruthie early this morning. Ruthie was a tad over 24 weeks and weighed in at 1lb 9oz (just 1 oz bigger than Pierce). While my heart breaks for this family because I know the long road they’re facing, I know that God is going to demonstrate His glory in this sweet little girl. Oddly enough, through their difficult time, God used this situation to humble me. He reminded me of how far He has carried me. And He reminded me of how, because of this experience, I will never be the same. I am now able to minister and relate to women who are going through similar experiences. What a joy that is! Please join me tonight in praying for Ruthie and ask God to pour out His grace on this family.
Quick update on Pierce: P had a relatively good day. He completed all of his bottles. He is experiencing some reflux- a normal problem for preemies. As a result of the reflux, his o2 levels are fluctuating. But in between meals, he seems to prefer to stay around 21%, which is very good! We still have yet to talk with the neurosurgeon, but the ultrasound did reveal that the ventricles were stable in size this week. This is very good! The general consensus (neonatologist, nurse practitioner, etc) is that we should hold off on the shunt. Nik and I feel confident that for the time being, this is the right decision. Please continue to pray that Pierce's ventricles will decrease in size on their own and that he will be able to avoid having any more surgeries. Also pray as Pierce will have his first eye exam tomorrow to see how he is recovering from the laser surgery. Pray that his ROP will have stopped progressing and that the laser treatment was successful in restoring his vision.
Christ is All,