March 12, 2012
As I sit here tonight, I can't believe it's been three years since that day Dr. Matthews told Jenn and Roby he was going to have to deliver their baby by C-section. Jenn's Preeclamsia was causing her liver enzymes to escalate, her blood pressure was sky-rocketing despite the meds, and a crash cart had been ordered. Try as she might, it couldn't be delayed any longer. A baby was coming at 23 weeks and 4 days.
With steady, calm hands Dr. Matthews quickly lifted the baby from Jenn and gently placed her on a stainless steel tray...all 10" and 15 ounces of Bella...our teeny. tiny micro-premmie. Roby could only stare in wonder.
Now began Jenn's walk through fire armed only with prayer and a faith in God's perfect plan...her shields against the doubts and fears that could arise in the weeks and months to come.
Looking back Diary...I'm still amazed by God and His power to heal...to hold...and to awe.
In His perfect timing, had she been one week earlier, Bella wouldn't have been viable...four days earlier and she wouldn't have received steroids for her lung development. That one week and four days increased her chance of survival from 10% to 53%. God, breathing into her and over her, changed it to 100%...glory!
This wasn't a coinicidence...this was the power of God....and in His perfect timing, Bella grew stronger and bigger in the many days to come, proving the experts wrong...the statisitics wrong...and the existence of angels right.
To stand and watch the miracle of creation encased in a tiny glass castle...to feel His awesome power fill the NICU...to watch the nurses and doctors stand with amazed faces as Bella grew and flourished...I left the NICU every day humbled. All the negativity and statistics fell by the wayside when face to face with a mighty God who held this tiny baby in His loving hands.
Diary, we couldn't contain our joy when that day came in August to take her home. To have witnessed my own baby become a mother was a gift. To see her become such a wonderful mother...a privilege. Jenn never lost hope, holding fast to her God for the strength to face whatever trials and complications Bella might face once she was released.
And yet...as in Bella's beginning...God was in control.
Bella continued to thrive, staying on oxygen for several more months, receiving therapy to aid her in developmental skills, but with no major health problems. Diary...I have to repeat those last four words and pinch myself...no.major.health.problems!
By the time Bella reached her first birthday, the oxygen tank was no longer needed.
Diary...she was a little behind on walking and talking, but if it meant carrying her for the rest of her life...we were all prepared to do it. Whatever God called for us to do...we were ready.
But again...in His perfect plan for Bella...He carried her...and us.
Her first birthday was a major milestone for this child of God. If the therapists wanted her to start taking a few steps...she did. Could she learn simple words like Mama and Dada? No problem. Solid food in addition to her special formula for weight gain...bring it on. She didn't just flourish...she blossomed.
God holding her in His hands as she held our hearts in hers. Whatever was asked of her...He helped her to not just attain it, but surpass her medical caregivers' expectations...time and time again.
Oh my goodness Diary. Two was remarkable! To watch as she began toddling around, making a mess as she went. Reveling in the pure joy of her everyday routine. Thankful for every little step, every little word, every little kiss.
To watch as her personality began forming and her sense of understanding growing. To see her soak up the world around her like a sponge, her eyes taking in everything down to the tiniest detail. To watch her eyes go back and forth when my hair wasn't in braids or I wasn't wearing my glasses. Seeing her mind formulate an answer to her questioning eyes and then watching as she figured out what was different. To be able to share in the delight on her face when she solved her own problems. The simple things that somehow get lost in the shuffle of life were suddenly more important than anything.
Perhaps Diary, we paid closer attention because she is a gift...her life, a precious gift from God...not to be taken lightly. But Diary...isn't that true of all children? Through her, I have a different outlook on everything in my life. I watch her, Graycie, and Brandon differently. I try not to miss anything...down to the minutia of what happened in school during lunch.
Dearest Diary...through the weeks leading up to her birth and the months she was in the hospital, this precious baby...this blog baby as she became known...touched so many people. Strangers at the beginning...now friends forever because of her and their hope and prayers for her. A uniting of people that can't be explained except by the knowledge, this was part of His plan for all of us. She snuggled into their hearts just as she snuggled into ours and forever bound us across the miles and oceans by the love and prayers so generously shared.
So I sit here tonight, transfixed Diary, smiling and crying while looking at images of Bella. Lost in thought and forgetting to breathe from time to time. Photos that capture my heart, make me weak in the knees, and thankful for His mercy. I don't know the whys. It isn't for me to know. I do know that through His grace and by the blood of His precious son...I have been forgiven and I am saved. I also know that I am charged to witness to the gift of eternal life that is ours through Jesus Christ. Miracles do exist...and not just in the Bible. Bella is my witness of His miracles. He is the Great I am and I will forever with humble adoration...praise His name. It is because of her, my prayer tonight and always, is for all to know the peace that comes from letting go and letting Him take control of our lives.
I can't write anymore Diary. The tears are blinding me, but don't worry...they're tears of joy. I probably should close this now and get ready for bed and my prayers.
You know me though Diary. When it comes to how wonderful God is...I never want to stop talking. Rest assured...my prayers will be about praising the magnificence of my Lord and His faithfulness before saying goodnight to this beautiful day.
~I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.~Psalms 139:14
Thank you Lord for all your gifts, for the friends who now share my life, and for this precious little girl you have blessed us with.
Your humble servant,