BIG results

Sarah holdng Charlie
                                                                 Sarah holdng Charlie

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or
think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the
church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Thank you for praying! Today could not have gone better in our
eyes. The GI Study quickly revealed where Charlie’s bile was leaking from.
The surgeon was called in and they were able to insert a feeding tube past
that location, which means he will get to receive real food – mama’s milk  (on top
of IV Nutrition). This is a huge praise, that the surgeon was even
available.

Then they found a plug blocking his bowel further downstream. Because the
surgeon was there, they were able to push it out and determine that his bowels appear to
function all the way through.

That’s two significant accomplishments through what was to be only a study,
not any procedure. God heard our prayers and answered beyond what we asked,
we are very encouraged. Charlie is out of an indefinite waiting stage, and
on to a healing stage.

The next prayer request is that the hole would now be able to heal itself without surgery.  With the bowels moving and Charlie recieving better nutrition it is more likely that it could heal.  If not, they would think about repairing it in about 3 months.

Psalm 3:3-4
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.

Thankful for you…Bob

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Who Fed Charlie Blueberries?

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This weekend grandma made the trek to come stay with me!  She is a nurse and already knew a lot about all the gadgets and widgets in my room.  She understands the tubes and bandaids that I wear.  She tells me it’s all a part of getting strong and healthy so that I can go home and be with my family.  I can’t wait for that!  She talks so sweetly to me, I can tell she has nursed many souls before me.  Thanks grandma!  I am thankful to be surrounded by so many loving people- I was born into the right family, church, and community!  Mommy doesn’t like to leave me and has been blessed by grandmothers and friends who are willing to sit with me or pop in to sing to me or pray with me so she can go home and be with my family.  I am glad mommy goes home sometimes.  She comes back refreshed, smelling of home, and full of kisses for me from my brothers and sisters.   MMMmmmmm…  I have a storehouse of kisses to deliver to them and to many of you when I leave this place.

If you are wondering about my blue lips in these photos…no, grandma did not feed me blueberries (not yet anyway). It is from a medicine they gave me that is purple and it turned everything near my mouth bright purple, including my hand!  Dad thought maybe I ate a Smurf heehee.

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Prayer Request- Upper GI study

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Charlie had a very good day today.  He was very peaceful, slept a lot, and got skin to skin with mama. He was full of kisses from Luke and Dad last night, had a visit from his oldest cousin today (a 24 year gap) and an old friend of mine that I haven’t seen for about 9 years!   I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that we are blessed to know!

This is a quick post to ask for prayer for tomorrow’s upper GI study.  I feel a little bit anxious about it, because I want good news that will tell us that our hospital stay doesn’t have to drag on indefinitely.  I desire news that tells me things aren’t as bad as they appear, we can start feeding immediately, and we will get to go home on a certain date!  These things aren’t real likely, but God is capable of any or all of that!  However, regardless of the outcome, I want to be prepared for the journey that God has perfectly designed and set before us, whether days, weeks, or months.  I want to gladly embrace whatever news comes our way and willingly let God write this story- He loves Charlie, He loves me, He loves my family, and He alone knows what is best for us…

So, please pray for good news tomorrow!

 My heart to be yielded to God’s will!

Divine wisdom, clarity, and direction for Charlie’s team!

Psalm 42:11  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

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Oh Daddy!

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Psalm 127:3-5  “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Last night Bob walked into Charlie’s room and began talking.  Immediately Charlie started looking around the room to find his dad.  He turned his head and tilted it backwards until his eyes laid hold of dad.  When they did, he locked his eyes on him and laid peacefully listening to him.  His oxygen rose, his lips smiled, and his eyes twinkled.  It was obvious he not only knew his dad, but was SO happy to see him.  Yes, I would say that Bob is very “happy,” as the Psalmist wrote- and thankful for this precious little arrow.

Charlie is doing well.  The leak from his intestines continues to be a problem, but we are managing it better with a bigger OG tube suctioning out his belly.  Very little is leaking at this point.  We will be having another upper GI study tomorrow to give us a roadmap of what the issues are in his belly so that the surgeon can develop a plan. His lungs are doing beautifully and that struggling left lung has fully recovered, praise be to God!  His bloodwork came back this morning and all looks beautiful.  We are on a new pain management plan to try to remove the med he has been for a while (too long).  They continue to wean him from his oxygen as well.

Prayer Requests:  clear and accurate results from the upper GI study tomorrow 10-27, for wisdom from God as to the best plan for Charlie’s healing, pain management, and continued protection of Charlie- physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

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October 23, 2015

Charlie had a busy day today.  His energetic nurse bathed him, gave him a new bed and linens, had an ultrasound on his heart, and snuggled with Savannah.  His lungs are doing well and that left lung is steadily improving.  His incision has been leaking more today again.  He seems to be in a lot of pain due to the incision site.

Prayer Requests:  heal intestines, bowels start working, no infections,

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Sweet Refreshment October 22, 2015

Savannah's photo from the day before Charlies's birth
                                          Savannah’s photo from the day before Charlies’s birth

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”  Psalm 23: 1-3

Last night I had some very sweet time at home with my family.  Oh what a blessing!  I LOVE my family so much.  It felt good to sleep in my own bed, snuggle my little’s, talk with my older’s, and just recharge.  I even got to go to one of David’s races – what a joy.

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When we got back to the hospital we received good news.  Charlie’s leaking has slowed down a lot and it appears that things might be beginning to move through the bowels the right way…maybe.  We have small indicators that things might be shifting in the right direction!  This would be so great as we were on the brink of needing something to change quickly to avoid eminent intervention of some kind.  The wound site was getting too sick to wait as long as they wanted too.  Please continue to pray that the intestines would heal quickly and begin to function properly.  Charlie enjoyed the day in grandma’s arms and sleeping.

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Have I told you how cute he is?  He is SO cute and happy even in the midst of great pain and difficulty.  Savannah is my hospital buddy tonight.  She was thrilled to get to hold him and change his diaper

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October 21st 2015

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Charlie had a good day yesterday.  His left lung is slowly recovering.  Today’s xray shows some improvement over yesterday.  We were able to wean more on pain meds yesterday.  He is generallly happy when awake and sleeps a lot.  I am thankful for his peaceful sleep so that he can heal.  His incision sight continues to leak.  The hope was that the fistula would heal itself and the leak would stop, but that hasn’t happened yet.  The plan is to do an upper GI study again at the end of next week or beginning of the following week to get a road map of what is going on in there and what needs to happen to fix it.

Prayer Requests:

1)God would continue to strengthen Charlie and encourage his heart.

2)Charlie’s left lung would continue to open up.

3)Infections would stay away and his immune system would strengthen.

3)Intestinal Fistula would heal and bowels would begin functioning.

4)Brain would be developing well.

Praise:  The lung is improving, fluid once seen under the liver is gone, weaning pain med was successful, some new friend’s here are getting better and going home, mom has a little more faith in her Risen King than she did yesterday, God is ALL-sufficient!

My family and I are so grateful for so many of you that continue to serve us!  The prayers, notes, meals, visits, hugs, walks… we are so blessed to know you and humbled by your care.

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.”  1 Chronicles 29:11

October 18th 2015

I have been counseled many times that NICU journeys are usually a bit of a roller coaster ride.  If you like roller coasters, read on.  If not, you may want to skip this post.

Charlie is doing relatively well.  He has two wound vacs on his old infection site and on his incision that was leaking.  We have returned his stomach tube back to suction so that we don’t have anything to leak, in hopes that his intestines will heal.  They think he likely has a gastrointestinal fistula that was causing the leak out the incision site.  It doesn’t appear that any of the leak was into the abdomen or intestines which is a huge praise.  The talk is that they give this 2 weeks to heal before doing another upper GI study to see how the intestines are functioning.  This must show good before we can introduce milk.  Today his left lung has been compromised, but no fluid there- which is also a praise.  Not sure what is causing this.

I do hesitate in sharing so many details, but many of you have asked and I know many of you are praying specifically- thank you!

A Solid Rock

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(Charlie’s BIRTHday Rainbow)

1. My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Refrain:
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

2. When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
(Refrain)

3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
(Refrain)

4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!
(Refrain)

I heard this song yesterday and it soothed my soul.  With all of the difficulties and lack of any sort of “end date” to these difficulties, tiredness, living away from home, missing my family, and…and…and… I have had a difficult time not being overcome by tears and sadness.  The truth of the matter is that though I may not appear stable with the mass amount of tears that attempt to drown me- I am stable.  I don’t always “feel” stable, especially each time the team of surgeons enter my room, have me sign papers that acknowledge my baby boy could die after they take him to the OR, and then they whisk him away.  Or when a new potential life-threatening situation arises, or thoughts of months in the NICU arise or…or…or…I am stable because, by His grace, my feet are firmly plantedon a solid rock- JESUS!  In Him alone, there is nothing I cannot withstand. The song above resonates with my soul.  “When Darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace”  and “When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay!”

If you know me very well, you know that this trial is filled with the makings of “my worst nightmare,” down to some of the smallest details.  I don’t really like that phrase and I am learning that for the christian there need not be such a phrase.  There is NO situation where God is not with us.  He gives us exactly what we need to walk in it, he is refining, strengthening, and broadening us for His grand purposes.  He is increasing my faith by showing me that “In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”  Do you have fears or anxieties that keep you from living a faith-filled life trusting in God?  Are you held captive by “what-if’s” or “I can’t”?  Let me remind you as I often remind myself, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”     2 Timothy 1:7

I am a slow learner, but the longer I live and my loving Father allows me to walk through things that were “my worst nightmare,” I thank Him for His faithfulness, grace, and mercy.  He has NEVER let me down or given me more than I can handle- in His strength.  He simply reveals to me more and more of what an Awesome God I serve.  I wouldn’t choose to be where I am right now, but God has chosen it for me.  I would choose His choice over mine any day because He is my rock and everything else is “sinking sand,” including what I think is best!

So I think we should put away that cliche’ and start believing what is true- “I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me.” Phil. 4:13

1 Peter 1:6-8  “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”

His yoke is easy and His burden is light! By Sarah

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These past six weeks have been very different without mom.  As one of the older sibilings, I naturally help keep the younger ones on task, peaceable, and well loved!  Mom would do most of it, she would do school with the boys and Naomi, she would keep the laundry going, she would make sure all of the bathrooms were clean and so on.  That is what mothers are for, it is a part of what they do.  Savannah and I would occasionally do these things for her for a day while she was sick, or out getting costco done. (Costco is no little errand!) But now that the Lord has put little Charlie into our lives, mom needs to be at the NICU a lot, with a visit home occasionally.  As a result, Savannah and I are the “mother’s” of the house!  When Enid is crying she comes to Savannah or I, when there is a school question, it comes to Savannah or I, when the washer or dryer are not going Savannah or I are the ones to switch it and start a new load.  Life is very different, but I am enjoying it, this is where God has me and I am good with it.  It can be hard at some points, but I know the Lord will not give me more than I can handle.  I know He has my best in mind!  Sometimes I need to remind myself of this when I think I can’t handle something.  I also have been encouraged by these few verses:        Matthew 11:28-30  28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.   His yoke is easy and his burden is light!    God has a plan, and I know it is His will for our family to be where we are right now!

Thank you all for your prayers for my little brother!  God is good and His mercies are new every morning!

Sarah, Charlie’s 2nd oldest sister, and bigest fan!