Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Peace in Trials

My apologies for the lack of a more recent update. We've just been plugging along the last couple of days, and I've been quite productive around the house and doing more errands that will be much more difficult once Elise comes home.

Speaking of Elise, she hasn't had any big apnea spells since Friday - praise the Lord! Today she had another eye exam, and everything looked good. The eye doctor wants to see her again in 3-4 weeks, which is a step up from the every 2 week exams she's been having. Her blood pressure is doing better. She'll be coming home on her medication and then following up with the pediatric nephrologist (kidney doctor) 1-2 weeks after she comes home.

Also, in response to my saying you could ask questions about Elise, someone asked why Elise has started having these apnea spells recently or whether she's been having them all along. She has actually be having moderate spells while eating as long as she's been bottle feeding. I guess I didn't really mention it because I didn't realize it was anything to mention until she started have the bigger ones. And the bigger ones started around the same time that she began taking all of her feedings by bottle. Before then she had been gavaged (tube fed) for at least some of her feedings every day as she was getting to tired to finish the amount of milk the doctor wanted her to get. It's something that's relatively common for some preemies to do and is something she should grow out of entirely with time. Hope that answers the question. Feel free to ask any other questions.

As I've been doing more processing these past few days, especially in response to comments I've received from the doctor and nurses about being so understanding of the situation we're in (I guess some parents get really antsy to have their babies home and are maybe a little aggressive when it doesn't happen in their timing). It's not that I don't want Elise home; I desperately do. But I'm also learning so much about myself, about Elise and about God through all of this and want to be open to whatever I can glean from this time.

With that, I've also realized something about the hardest moments we've gone through in the past 10 weeks and 3 days. In those moments where I am the least in control - the ones where there's nothing I can do but release myself and my baby girl to the doctors, nurses and ultimately to God - I have complete peace. And not because the doctors and nurses are in control (though they are wonderful and have obviously done a fantastic job taking care of Elise), but because God is in control. I don't have to worry about anything because the God of the universe is watching over me and my baby girl.

A friend asked me today whether I'm nervous to bring Elise home. While I am concerned that I don't know everything there is to know and I'll probably stay up all night for at least the first night after we bring her home, I have complete peace in knowing that whatever circumstances we encounter will be for a very specific reason. And again, I want to be open to learning whatever it is God has to teach me in those circumstances. By worrying about the what ifs, I could very easily miss out on the here and now, the experiences I'm actually encountering. And that's just not something I want to get in the habit of. I want to get in the habit of daily relying on God and of entrusting every part of me and every part of Elise to Him.

This is such a huge thing for me because I am definitely an independent, likes-to-be-in-control type of person. I'm usually very on top of things (though I seemed to lose some of that ability while I was pregnant - oh the joys) and put myself in situations where I know I'll succeed. So to be in a place where I have no control and to have peace is momentous. My hope is that this is just the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of releasing control and having peace in all circumstances (even in the little things).

So that's what's going on.


Becca Sue Congdon said...

Thank you for sharing your heart, Emily. :) It sounds like He's using your willing heart to bless you richly and grow you in maturity. You'll always have His faithfulness in this situation to look back on as you encounter different sorts of "letting go" in Elise's life. Her first steps, first day of school, first drive alone in a car (AH!), first date - and then someday giving her away to a husband. It's a far ways off still - but how gracious of the Lord to start that work in your heart now. He's truly amazing. :)

Stephanie said...

I hope to one day have the faith and strength that you possess today!

Praying for your family!!!! Awesome news that Elise hasn't had any major spells...yay!

Anonymous said...

that was a beautiful , inspiring post. It shows your love of your daughter, your life and God. What a lucky baby to have a Mother like you. I continue to pray that Elise will be completely well soon. She will continue to bring such love, joy and happiness to your life. Just love and hug her lots, because they grow up very fast.May God continue to bless your family.
Linda G. (Al. )

Amanda said...

I'm very, very much a Type A, planner, list, let's be organized in action kind of person. So having Cadence arrive on the wrong end of the Pacific Ocean 14 weeks early really threw everything for a loop. I truly had to learn to surrender it all and boy did He provide. And I learned so much! You are so wise and strong Emily. I continue to be impressed by your strength and grace and ability to see His work and blessings in all this. I really hope we can meet next month :)

Krista said...

Ohhhh my goodness! I can not relate more about the whole being in control and what not. WOW! I'm in a different place than you - I'm getting married in 3 weeks, but it's still a control issue. I'd rather figure things out on my own since I've been so independent for 24 years...but God is changing me, and my heart!
I'm still praying for you & Kit! I can not believe how quickly Elise is growing up! I'm praying that she grows out of her episodes, and comes home when all is ready!
We do serve a great God who knows all the perfect timings, and although I know you want her at home, its seemingly important to have her in the NICU - who knows... maybe GOd is using you there to minister to the MDs, RNs or other parents! Just another thought! =)
Still praying!
~Krista from Seattle

Unknown said...

I love you:)

Anonymous said...

I found your blog right after you had Elise. I keep returning to find out how she is doing, and to put my life into perspective a bit.
My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year now and the road is starting to seem never-ending. The way you have handed Ellie and yourself over to God in this trying time and fully trusted in him has been such an inspiration to me to do the same in my life.
I have always been a beliver, but sometimes it is hard to let go of the things that mean the most to you. Thanks for reminding me that everything will happen in His time.
Thanks for sharing your heart!

Melissa Nickerson said...

Em, we were just talking today about how hard life would be if you didn't have Jesus in my Bible study. Seriously, I don't know how people do it. It is so reasurring to know that he is in control & we aren't. Pregnancy/parenting is so humbling because I did feel rather self sufficient in many areas before kids...but not any more! I need God's strength constantly. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Emily, Your total trust in Our Heavenly Father at your young age is astounding!! (It took me at least 45yrs to get to where you are now..) You are on the gifted track and I know that He has something so wonderful for you, Kit and Ellie. I keep praying for all of you, daily. I love you all..Aunt Rae

PS: Tell Anonymous to be patient and to do what God wants her to do. I had Christopher at 43 because it was God's timing and He had a lot to teach me before becoming a mother! I wouldn't trade any part of my life for anything, because I now know God is in total control. R.