It was such a blessing to be home at Christmas. It was a different year for me particularly, participating from bed rest. We have had family visiting. Both Micah's and my parents and my siblings have spent time with us. The boys have had a great time with family and thoroughly enjoyed all the extra love and attention. On top of that, it has even been mild enough outside for Andrew to learn to ride his new bike! As for the babies, it is official! We have been discharged from the Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati Children's Hospital! Since fetal laser surgery isn't offered past 26 weeks gestation (a milestone we reach Friday) and since the babies are still doing well despite small changes with regard to TTTS, we are going to be watched by our home doctor from now on. We said goodbye yesterday and made sure we got pictures of every doctor, nurse, and staff person that has been caring for us and our babies. We are so thankful for each of their God-given abilities. I can't wait to show their faces to Isaac, Eliana, and Isabella.
From this point on, weighing risks vs. benefits changes from considering surgery to considering delivering the babies. There may come a day when the risks of them staying in-utero could harm them more than the risks of prematurity. Our goal now is to keep them in as long as possible. God has been so merciful to keep the TTTS from progressing and we pray He continues. We also pray that my body holds together! I have now visited the hospital twice to stop labor. This past visit, they were able to get all the babies heart rates up on the observation screen at the same time. With a belly full of monitors, Micah and I still stare in awe~ as if bystanders, watching something complete foreign and amazing happen. Then contractions and medication kicks in and I remember quickly that I am not just watching:)
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles." And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 2 Chronicles 32:7-8
Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Chronicles contain the phrase spoken by Yahweh Himself, then repeated by Moses, Joshua, David, and Hezekiah ~be strong and courageous~ as an exhortation to His people in different contexts to give them reason to not fear and trust Him. In providing for them, in fighting for them, in bringing about His own will for them, God proves His ways are sure. Those whom He loves can put their confidence, not in their own abilities, might, or understanding, but in Him. I say all of this because this is our experience on behalf of these babies. God has proven to us that they are His and He is fighting for them, and we have only to be silent (Ex 14:14).
The path is still unclear. There are moments when I anticipate the day when our doc says, "Today is the day". With all the trials, suffering, hopefulness, peace, turmoil, joy, and uncertainty of the past many weeks contextualized by where we are today, how can we not proceed as exhorted above? After all, the strength and courage comes from and rests upon God and is then perfected in us by Christ. God has continually proven that no matter the outcome, we all belong to Him and nothing can stop His plan.