Good morning.
This morning I can not believe that I am sitting here, in my own dining room, typing out this post to be shared with so many of you. At the very least I expected to be trying to figure out how to post updates via my phone from a different location while we waited for test results, or, at the very worst imaginings (which I immediately banished) from the hospital as my daughter was wheeled back to surgery.
Instead I am home, drinking coffee, less than 24 hours after an amazing doctor visit that still has my mind completely blown.
January 2013 007
But really, that is the end of the story instead of the beginning, and today I would like to share everything with you. I know for some of you who just check in on here for recipes or how-to’s this might be a little long, but I beg you to bear with me. There is a lot of good, amazing, and encouraging stuff in here for you too.
You see, I am blessed with a miracle child that over and over and over and over and over reminds me that God is so much bigger than any struggle, or suffering, surgery, or pain that we can go through. She was born a micro-preemie, just over 1 lb, and did not come home from the hospital until she was 3 months old. She was home barely a month when we began to see hospital visits happen, of her being in and out, home and then back, each time with different issues. She never smiled, never chattered back at us, even at 6 months. We knew she was an “adjusted age” of 3 months, but it was disconcerting. What she did more than anything other than gazing at our faces, or sleeping, was crying.
Heartbreaking wailing.
All the time.
For hours on end unless we could get her soothed.
For a mom who had just come off an intense pregnancy that left me battered emotionally, physically and spiritually….who was already exhausted from a heart murmur that developed with her dramatic (and thankfully) happy-ending birth, I was exhausted.
Then that summer she began to show signs of retaining fluid in her face and small body, shooting up to ten pounds in a few short weeks, and when we went to the hospital the doctors shook their heads, admitted her,
and then sat us down.
We knew it was going to be bad.
But we thought we were strong enough to handle it.
And then they told us that without brain surgery, bypassing the body’s normal fluid cycling process with a “shunt” that our baby would get sicker and eventually die.
They wanted to schedule the surgery immediately.
To say we were devastated was really not even touching it. This precious child was our second child, and we already had a tiny coffin and cross that we visited in the graveyard just a few short blocks from our house. This little girl was our miracle child, and we could not fathom the enormity of what they were telling us.
I went home, curled up a fetal position in the middle of my bedroom, and sobbed my heart out.
She might survive the surgery.
She might not.
She might end up doing okay.
She might not.
She may never walk, talk, laugh, smile, etc etc etc again.
She might.
For parents who had been through so much, for a baby who had been in a hospital most of her entire short life, it was completely and totally overwhelming.
It was truly, the biggest, ugliest, giant of a fear I had ever faced….and where I was at, I not only had no stones to fling at it, I had lost my slingshot somewhere in the rubble of the agony we had been going through. Hiding on the battlefield, hearing the calls and taunts of the enemy, and knowing I could not go out to face him again, because I was too afraid of what damage he could further do to me.
It was a dark time.
And honestly, the thoughts make me cry to go back there, because I remember how painful, and broken, and shaky, and weak I was. I can still smell the hospital room, or the spot in my sitting room where I would curl up between the couch and the wall and cry out to God.
The same spot I sat when I wrangled with my tears and agony over being pregnant again and expecting the worse like our first child, before this tiny daughter of mine was born.
Dark times.
Anyhow, the surgery happened. We waited six fretful, agonizing hours with nurses who had adopted our child as their own. With family calling or sitting with us, and church members dropping in to sit with us, tears rolling down their face, and hold our hands, or squeeze us then leave. Friends we had known for years sitting beside us, praying for us because we were so tired, so burned out we simply could no longer pray.
She made it through.
And that tiny baby laying in a bed during recovery opened her eyes,
 focused on the parents who rushed to her side,
and smiled at us.
Her first smile.
And that, my friends, is the moment that I remember more than anything else.
Everything else from that moment on is a blur.
We went home, she began to sit up, roll over, smile, pull herself to a standing position. She showed her bubbly, tenacious personality from dawn to dusk, and taught us that when life is its very darkest,
there is always, always hope, 
if we look in the right place.
She took hospital stays bravely,
with a smile and a pat on our heads for our worry.
She endured spinal taps, and made knock knock jokes afterwards.
And through it all she continued to grow in grace, and heart, and spirit, with a faith that would make most adults shake their heads in amazement.
Best of all, people are drawn to her. And when they hear her story, see her face, understand how God has continually used her life as part of His triumph over the darkness, you can see hope return where it has been lost.
But the story does not end there.
Not at all.
And I want to write more but we are so exhausted after the last two weeks,
 that I think I am going to continue this tomorrow, 
sharing with you how desperate and dark things have looked the last couple weeks,
 and how they ended.
I hope you come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.
Blessings to you and yours,