Just when you think that you have everything figured out you start to go a little crazy. When Natalie was born we would hear the term "NICU Roller Coaster" often, we're going to be on a roller coaster of emotions for a while. That couldn't be more true.
Today is Natalie's 100th day in the NICU which I am overwhelmingly grateful for, she has lived one hundred strong and healthy days. It has also been one hundred long, hard days, each day filled with a deep longing of wanting to bring her home. It's hard tucking your baby into bed each night somewhere other than your home. It's hard leaving her lying awake in her bed and even when she's sleeping you know that eventually she will be awake and you wonder if she's lonely. I pray that she will always feel the loving, strong and warm hands of God and that she does not wonder where I am.
Today, driving to the hospital I started day dreaming, what if when I get to her bed there is a sign hanging on the wall that says, "I get to come home today." I mean she's gained weight two days in a row and her blood pressure is down so she should come home!! Makes sense to me. :) Her blood pressure isn't as low as they would like it to be and she's having trouble digesting her food. Seems like every doctor is working their best to make sure that she's comfortable.
Today I was reading The Power of a Praying Wife mostly focusing on Mike and how to pray for him, hence the title. :) Well, God had different plans for what I would take from todays reading. I am in chapter 13 which is titled, His Trials. There I read the following (this is long, sorry):
Whether it feels like it or not, when we serve God, His love attends every moment of our lives-even the toughest, loneliest, most painful and desperate. He is always there in our midst, working things out for good when we pray and look to Him to do so.... His purpose for our trials is often to bring us humbly before Him to experience a breaking in our inner, independent, self-sufficient selves, and grow us up into compassionate, patient, spiritually strong, God-glorifying people. He uses these situations to teach us how to trust that He loves and cares for us enough to get us through the tough times..... Prayer, Lord, You alone know the depth of the burden we carry. God, You are the refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). You have invited us to "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). I come before Your throne and ask for grace. Strengthen our hearts for this battle and give us patience to wait on You (Psalm 27:1-4). Build us up so that no matter what happens we will be able to stand strong through it. Help us to always be "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer" (Romans 12:12) Give us endurance to run the race and not give up.... I pray that we will look to You to be our "refuge until these calamities have passed by" (Psalm 57:1). May we learn to wait on You because "those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). I pray that we will find our strength in You and as we cry out to You, You will hear us and save us out of our troubles (Psalm 34:6).
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22
During this time we've been able to meet other parents that are going through this experience and hear about their baby's good and bad days. Right now there are two families that are heavy on my heart, these families are faced with uncertainty and it breaks my heart that they're having to go through this. It's hard to sit and write about things that are troubling my days when I know that there are situations far more troubling than my own. Praying that God will provide these families with peace, strength, hope and comfort.
Happy 100 Days Natalie Grace!! You are a miracle and we are so proud of you baby girl. Amazing Grace!