Not long ago, I re-read the book A Praying Life for a ladies book club at my church. I had first read parts of the book while traveling all over the country with Micah's job. That was definitely a trying time for our family and I remember easily identifying with the themes Paul Miller expounds in his book. This time around, circumstances allow me to more deeply feel his words... particularly these ideas: 1) Suffering teaches me to pray, 2) I can approach the glorious throne of grace boldly, but messy~ as a child, 3) "God wants us to come to Him, empty-handed, weary, and heavy-laden." ~completely helpless. Then there is balancing praying "Thy will be done" yet in expectation of God to grant my requests. Sometimes I lay awake at night and wander through all that I am thinking, feeling, and desiring regarding the persons moving around inside of me. I am sure if my prayers were a painting, they would more resemble a Vincent Van Gogh abstract with random stokes and movement than a clear, still life (a nice bowl of unblemished fruit comes to mind). I love that as I pray here and there, engaged and exhausted, Jesus always lives to intercede for me. He is constantly fixing my ramblings and~ to follow the art analogy~ making a HD, photographic quality still life from my sparsely applied, impressionistic words.
Last Monday, we spent another day at the Fetal Care Center. At the end of the visit, we got the news that Isabella's heart was showing further cardiomyopathy. Thankfully, there were no physical changes to her heart such as enlarging or thickening, but there was indeed more stress shown in her test results. Eliana still~by God's protective hand~ had adequate fluid levels and a visible bladder. Their Doppler findings were normal. All that said, the doctor told us that if we were only considering the two girls, given the cardiac changes, we would intervene immediately. But, of course Isaac is involved. Having triplets changes decision making with TTTS. Weighing the risks and benefits, we decided with the team to continue to watch them all very closely until it is clear the benefits outweigh the risks. As a mother of sick babies, weighing and balancing risks vs. benefits feels like choosing one child or two children over the other(s). Of course the intention is to do best for all our little ones. There is just not an easy way out. And yes, it breaks my heart.
However, we arrived back again for a follow up on Friday and there was absolutely no change in any of the babies. Micah and I were so thankful God sustained them and there was no more deterioration. So we are holding firm to our plan to watch very closely with bi-weekly visits and intervene with surgery when absolutely necessary or we reach the 26 week mark when the babies could "feasibly" be delivered and therefore cured of the TTTS. They do not do surgery past that point.
We are getting very close with the staff at the clinic and testing facilities. Our Sonographer Gena, just to name one, is the same gal each visit and she is so kind. She remembers our babies names and spends a lot of time laughing at them as they bounce around the screen while she tries to gather each LVOT, PV, AV, MV, etc, etc, etc measurement. I have no idea what all those things are and how you find them in babies from 7 to 10 ounces in size, but she does. Each visit with the docs reaffirms their dedication to us and our babies as well. This past visit, I shared with the surgeon that so many people are praying for our babies- and for him. He smiled and said "That is great. I need that." So, friends, continue to pray. It is times like these that we have no other choice but to seek the Creator.
Specifically, keep praying for healing. From what we know today, pray that Isabella's heart doesn't show any more deterioration. Pray that Eliana continues to have enough fluid and grows well. Pray that through all of this with the girls, God continues to sustain Isaac. We thank God every time we get to come home and put off more risky intervention knowing that overall, the situation is stable enough for that to happen. Pray for all the people we interact with, particularly the doctors who are using their expertise to care for us all. Pray for Micah and I as we travel back and forth and for the boys as they are with different care-givers. They have been loved on through this by so many and for that, we are grateful. May all our prayers combine and reach the Father's ears through Jesus in a beautiful picture of the value and preciousness of life and in an ever increasing dependence upon Him.