Walk As Lions

I am at a loss as to how to even attempt to put into words the emotions and events of the past week. At moments, the fear and terror have been overwhelming and it’s easy to forget the joy and hope of a brand new life coming in this world. There is no “good” reason why all of this has happened and even through my distress at the fact that God has allowed it to happen, He has also been faithful in carrying Jonathan and our family thus far.

This past week has been long after going through a difficult hospital experience on my side, leaving behind my precious little one as I discharged from the hospital, watching him undergo open heart surgery and starting recovery, attempting to balance my time between all of my children in a post-partum state while the world continues to move forward requiring me to deal with all of those little life pieces that don’t stop just because my own heart no longer feels like it is beating inside me.

Yesterday evening I trudged out of the hospital after a couple of hours of standing at Jonathan’s bedside. I moved slower and with more discomfort than one week prior at 9 months pregnant. After making it through a pregnancy with zero swelling, last night my ankles were non-existent and pain stabbed and ached through my entire body.

It was nothing though compared to the pain and ache of the longing to hold my child as I hovered over him watching him breathe, watching for any sign of his pain or recognition of my presence. Both the doctor and nurse on duty had explained there was a possibility by tomorrow afternoon (today) I might be able to hold him. I felt cautiously optimistic, holding excitement and hope at bay as I didn’t think I could bear the disappointment and heartbreak if it ended up taking a few days longer.

IMG_1138The guilt raged within me that this precious babe should have continuously been in my arms being snuggled and loved into this world with his brothers playing cheerfully beside him and not relegated to an hour or two a day of his mom standing by his bed holding the tiny little fingers of the only part of him not covered by tubes and wires.

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As I drove home I thought about the fact that I haven’t even known how to pray and I have been relying on the prayers of others. I felt discouraged within myself that I haven’t been able to adequately pray for my children or take any steps forward in faith. Then this song came on the radio and it was like God was speaking directly to me over the fact that I couldn’t quiet my own soul enough to hear His voice.

Today we live, today we breathe
Today we know that we are strong when we are weak
Today we trust, we overcome
Take every chain that kept us slaves and throw em’ off
We’re not waiting for permission
We defy our inhibition
Like our middle name is “fearless”
Unafraid
If we’re gonna fly, we fly like eagles
Arms out wide
If we’re gonna fear, we fear no evil
We will rise
By your power, we will go
By your spirit, we are bold
If we’re gonna stand, we stand as giants
If we’re gonna walk, we walk as lions
We walk as lions
Today is ours, it’s always been
Before we face the fight
We know who’s gonna win
We live by faith and not by sight
We don’t want safe and quiet
We don’t wanna run and hide
This is not an intermission
It’s our time, not gonna miss it
You’ve already called us fearless
Unafraid
The battle has been won
We know you’ve gone before us
So, we take it hard in faith
With every step we take
We know we’ll rise victorious

Jonathan is doing phenomenally well! Those were the words of his nurse last night who has eight years of Cardiac ICU experience. The doctor yesterday placed him at the 90% level of how well kiddos do after the Norwood procedure. God has a magnificent purpose for his life. The prayers of believers every where are holding Jonathan (and us) up through this. We will make it through to the other side. We will walk as lions.

Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives,
And in their death they were not divided;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.
2 Samuel 1:23

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Hold on tight a little longer

So, here we are…less than a week away from Jonathan’s birth. There are so many things I wanted to write about, so many things I wanted to say and do before we made it here, but alas, here we are.

In actuality I’m pretty impressed that I haven’t gone in to labor yet as two of my babies arrived early. I did however have one “due date baby” who was nearly 8lbs so I’ve been praying Jonathan will follow down that path. The longer he stays put, the bigger he can grow, and the better off he will be for surgery. We are anticipating his arrival by the end of the week and open heart surgery (The Norwood Procedure) early next week.

Are we prepared for this? Absolutely not. Would we ever be prepared for this even if we had all the time in the world? I doubt it.

Some of this morning’s final preparations have included time on the phone trying to find some extra help for respite care for Ethan. We’re also working on finding someone who can complete a neuropsych eval on a nonverbal, developmentally delayed teenager as well as a psychiatrist who is able to see him. If anyone has any recommendations please, please contact me!

I have also been contacting various friends and acquaintances, to coordinate child care for my little guys. Thank you to everyone who has offered to try to be available if we find ourselves in a pinch!

We have been very fortunate to have found a nice home to stay in while we’re here in Denver. The boys are still adjusting to being in about 1/3 of the space they’re accustomed to and the downstairs neighbor has been more than gracious in tolerating their “cabin fever” and general little boy rambunctiousness.
We miss our New Life family who have been such a community of support but have found a “home away from home” with the Novation Church family. They have surely demonstrated what it truly means to be a “church.” In addition to friends and family, Dan’s employer and “work family” has been amazingly supportive and understanding of our situation during this time as well. We have truly been blessed by our “village.”

If you feel led to keep us in prayer our requests include:

  • Complete and total healing for Ethan,
    Jonathan‘s heart,
    and Josiah‘s kidney
  • Safe labor and delivery
  • Health for whole family – if anyone is sick they will not be able to see Jonathan and I want my boys to meet their brother before he undergoes surgery (in fact anyone who is not up-to-date on vaccinations, especially TDAP/DTAP will not be able to see Jonathan in the foreseeable future due to the risk to his life should he contract a respiratory infection)
  • Wisdom for the surgeon, doctors, and nurses
  • Blessings on everyone who has been and will be caring for my children (especially my family who has been caring for Ethan)
  • Additional resources and care for Ethan
  • Peace for the entire family (me, D, our boys, grandparents, aunts, uncles)
  • Safe and healthy labor and delivery for Jonathan’s cousin who is due to be born the same day as Jonathan!

We have created a facebook page to help us quickly provide updates once Jonathan arrives
Jonathan’s Journey