Monday, November 5, 2007

Little Miss Emily, 2 updates in 1

We received these updates about Emily this weekend. The one from Dawn came in Saturday morning. The one from Mike came in Saturday night.

Hello all,

After three weeks, the reality of Emily’s condition is starting to sink in. Many of you have asked why or how this happened. The doctor’s have not been able to give us an answer, and in all likelihood, probably never will. There is an answer that may be hard for some of you to comprehend. Before time began, God decided that Emily Rose would be deprived of oxygen while in the womb and would be born with brain damage. Now, I am not going to pretend to understand why God chose this. The Sovereign God of the universe doesn’t exactly check with me before making decisions, but I have no doubt that this is exactly what God intended for Emily and for us as her parents.

Over the last 3 weeks I have wondered if I could really handle this. During my pregnancy, there were many times that I wondered if I could handle motherhood in general. Now that Emily is born and we know that there will be a long hard road ahead, I doubt myself even more. If we are all honest, there have been times in our lives when something came our way or happened to us that we thought we could not handle. This is no exception. But what I am reminded of time and time again is that I am not in this alone. Yes, I have Mike to help with parenting, and family and friends who are more than willing to help in any way that they can. But more than that, I have God by my side. Mike and I have seen some hard times in our lives and God has NEVER failed us – He is not about to start now. For some reason, God has chosen this for us. And He will equip us to handle it. He will give us the wisdom, strength and guidance that we need. We take great comfort in that.

This week, Mike and I decided to move forward with getting a g-tube for Emily. That is a feeding tube that will be inserted in her stomach. It is not the route that we wanted to go, but it will bring her home & at this point, that is what we want most. We want our little girl home with us! We can continue to work with her on bottle feedings and will do so. And if the Lord wills, she will eventually have her feeding tube removed. We would love that, but even if that never happens, we will continue to love Emily and love God for blessing us with her. We have really begun to face a lot of realities like that this week. Emily may never eat “normal” food or walk or do a lot of things that we all take for granted. Right now, we have no way to know what she will or will not do, but Mike and I are just trying to prepare for the hard road. We will love her no matter what she does or does not do. And more than that, we will continue to love God even if Emily doesn’t ever do the things we want her to do.

In her short life, Emily has been teaching us many things already. We have learned about sacrificial love – we are willing to do WHATEVER for our daughter – even if it is uncomfortable for us (and much of this has been). She has taught us to graciously receive from others as many have rallied around us in support (we cannot thank you enough for that!). She has also taught us about dependence. In today’s world, we learn to be strong and independent – we learn that we don’t need anyone. Well, Emily has taught us that we need to completely depend on God for EVERYTHING. Mike and I don’t know how to care for a special girl like Emily – we don’t even know where to begin. But that is exactly where God wants us – relying on Him for ALL of our needs.

So at this time when we are filled with doubts and fears about what the future holds, we continue to hang onto God with all our might. He will get us through whatever comes our way. He will give us wisdom when we need it, He will be our strength when we have none of our own. God is bigger than any problem we will face (Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.). He created Emily and knows exactly what she needs even if we don’t. He is Jehovah-jireh – the Great Provider! Please continue to pray for Emily and for us – there is INCREDIBLE power in prayer!

Hello y'all,

I know that you already received an email from Dawn earlier, but we just got home from the hospital and today was a different day! We have been praising Jesus through this storm and today we had a break in the clouds; so we must praise Him for that also.

We arrived at the hospital at around 1:30 and Emily was sound asleep. I picked her up as I usually do and laid her in my lap for a nice long while. (She does love being in her dad's arms!) She was quite content until it was time for dinner. We are learning how to deal with the nurses and told her what she needs to do for us. She complied and everything went smoothly. Emily has never been one you can call a "happy" baby. When she is awake she is always on the verge of tears. Today was a different day, though. She woke up and I changed her diaper and got her ready for her bottle. The nurse usually takes her temperature, measures her head and belly and gets her so upset that she won't eat through a bottle. The nurse that was with us today, said she would wait until she ate before she did the work up.

Emily was calm, so we decided to try to bottle feed her. We have not been successful thus far in our attempts, although the speech therapist has been successful many times. I tried for a little while and then came success. She started to drink from the bottle! Usually she tries for a little while and then gets very upset and cries until we all just give up. Today, she was calm and cool and took a little and then just looked at me very peacefully before trying again. She took about 10cc before she was just not interested any more. The biggest thing is that she never got upset. On a normal day she would scream and cry until we fed her though the tube.

After her feeding, she was tired and went off to sleep while Dawn and I went to dinner. We came back and she was still sleeping. Dawn held her for a while until it was time for her next feeding. Before her feeding, I got to give her a bath. I got her squeaky clean and she only complained when I had to turn her over to wash her back. We got some good pictures of her with her head full of shampoo. She is just so cute!

After bath time, it was dinner time; this time Dawn was able to get her to take 20cc (her meal consists of 80cc) and we could see a light at the end of the tunnel. When we spend a lot of time with her we can get a better feel of what she likes and what she doesn't like. We are slowly learning her needs and what works best for her. We actually feel like parents!

As I mentioned before; we praise God for every minute we get with our baby girl, but today we rejoice that God allowed us to see a different side of Emily. She was alert and fun to be around. For that I praise Jesus!

I just want you all to know that as Dawn wrote this morning, she will still be getting a G-tube next week and hopefully be coming home by the end of the week. We look forward to this day with great anticipation and also great fear. We know God will supply us with everything we need, but the thought of taking care of her 24/7 is kind of scary.

For all those who are anxiously awaiting her visit to Rhode Island this Christmas, we regret to inform you that we will be spending Christmas here in KY. There are just too many variables to traveling with Emily that we don't want to risk. She is our main concern and her health comes before anything else.

There are two reasons for sending this message today. The first is to praise God for the progress that He is making in Emily's life and the joy that we got to experience as parents tonight; second, to share with our family and friends that God hears your prayers and is watching over Emily in a special way.

Please continue to keep the faith and keep on praying. We are continually getting emails and cards from people who are inspired by our faith and are growing in their faith as well. It is my hope and prayer that the God that I love and serve will continue to open the eyes of the hearts of all who read this email and that His name would be glorified and magnified.

For all those who are reading this who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I ask you to read the Gospel of John. We all have a Bible, but how many of us have not read the whole book of John? The Truth of God's Word will inspire you more than I ever could. If you have children, I recommend that you read it aloud to them as well. Reading the Bible is NEVER a waste of time. Try it once and you will see.

That is my lecture for today. You still need to go to church though, this doesn't count as a sermon.

As I close, I would like to tell you all again how much we appreciate all the emails
and letters and genuine love that has been poured out to us these past three weeks. We have a Great God and He has blessed us beyond measure.

I love you all!!

Praising Jesus in the Storm,

Eph 2:4-7


stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

Thank you for sharing these - praying for this little one and her parents.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and your sweet Emily Rose. As I have an Emily Rose my self. I feel a little kindred in spirit. God loves you and your family. I know with all my heart he is with you in this your time of need.

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