For example, if you would have told me about a baby in a NICU born at less than 30 weeks weighing less than 2 pounds, I would have immediately thought, "Wow- that is really hard and sad". I would have thought of the mother and father and their struggle as they watch their tiny baby and deal with the plethora of problems that come with prematurity. I would have thought about all the posters in OB/GYN's offices that explain the symptoms of preterm labor. I would remember my own experience with Andrew at 35 weeks~ showing up at a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment totally unaware that three hours later, I would be holding him in my arms.
And yet, here I am, 27 weeks pregnant with these three precious babies. I think of all the days and nights when waiting on the Lord was excruciating. I think of all the ultrasounds, doctors visits, travel time back and forth to Cincinnati, and ups and downs of the babies conditions during this pregnancy. I think of all the time I fought against the what ifs. And then I hear my doctor's voice saying, "no one in this practice thought you would make it this far". I also remember the stories of other TTTS mommies who have not had as many weeks with their babies. The Lord has done great things for us~ and 30 weeks will be another great accomplishment.
Yesterday's doctor's appointment provided a great deal of perspective for us and our babies. Despite adequate fluid, normal heart rates and umbilical dopplers, there is beginning to be a large enough gap in the growth of our girls to warrant serious conversation about getting them out. It is difficult to imagine that babies at such a young gestational age can do better outside than in, but with TTTS, that is precisely the case. Eliana has only gained a few ounces in four weeks. Isabella and Isaac are growing right on track. Even though the thought of exposing a very small, premature baby to the world makes this mommy very concerned for her (as well as for our other two babies), I am beginning to understand that I should be more concerned about her development in a place where she cannot receive adequate resources. It is a very different perspective.
Micah and I have talked at length about technology. The same advances in medicine and science that have caused there to be hundreds of thousands of embryos frozen in time are the same advances that have allowed for our babies to be cared for to this point with life-threatening syndromes. They also provide the ability for them to live and thrive outside the womb at such an early stage if need be. We are thankful for God's provisions in these things. I ran across this devotion excerpt today from Spurgeon revised by Alister Begg that reminded me that my greater hope is in an even better Physician:
He is the Physician, and if He knows everything, there is no need for the patient to know. What you don't know now, you will know later; and meanwhile Jesus, the beloved Physician, knows your soul in adversities. Why does the patient need to analyze all the medicine or estimate all the symptoms? This is the Physician's work, not mine; it is my business to trust, and His to prescribe. If He shall write His prescription in a fashion that I cannot read, I will not be uneasy on that account, but will rely upon His unfailing skill to make everything clear in the result, no matter how mysterious the process.
These words, while beautifully true and very persuasive, bring me to my knees. I should despair in my inability to be so faithful in trusting Jesus. This is not descriptive of this gal who is in and of myself 4 needy patients at this moment in time:) Yet, it is descriptive in the way God sees me as his daughter as He invites me to trust Him. I assure you that what you may see as trust in me is one of two things; complete and total exhaustion~ the kind where I am too tired to be anxious~ or Jesus working in me the kind of faith that takes my inadequacies in trust and submission and makes them show His perfection. It is truly compelling, coming to terms with oneself yet knowing how I am loved. Therein lies the means of moving forward with a thankful toast for today and rest in my Great Physician and His mysterious ways for tomorrow for us all. Seeing Him offers the most valuable perspective.
So please continue to pray. God can choose to grow Eliana at a quicker rate or He can choose to care for her in a different way. We and our doctors need wisdom in knowing how to best care for all the babies. We also desire that Issaac and Isabella continue to grow well. Andrew and Elijah are doing very well. They have loved all the visitors we have received over the past weeks. Having our church family and friends in and out to help with housework, take the boys outside, and bring meals has been such a blessing. Micah is juggling! I am so thankful for his diligence and love. We are so thankful for his employees that allow him to care for me when he is needed at home or at the hospital. So far, my body though stretched thin, is holding together remarkably. I have had a few trips to the hospital, but to this point, I have been able to come home each time. We as a family don't know all those reading and praying, but God does, and we are thankful He has brought us such a great multitude of encouragers for this season. Blessings to each of you!