Wait for the Lord…

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

Sometimes God answers prayers immediately.. sometimes it takes months, years, decades to see the fruit of prayer. God has answered so many prayers for Finley I am overwhelmed and thankful. Without a doubt in my heart – I believe in the power of prayer. I have felt it.  I will never be able to look at Finley and not be reminded of God’s power and love.  God has taught me a lot this year and he continues to work in my heart and my life. Patience is something I lack. I struggle with trying to be more patient in many areas of my life. I hate being out of control, I hate waiting. In the last 20 months, I have had to do a lot of waiting.  So much good has come from waiting. and trusting. That’s the biggie. Learning to wait, be patient and trust. Trust that it’s going to be ok. Trust that there is nothing I can do – but pray and give over control and fear.  Have I learned this lesson yet?

No.

Am I better at it? I think I have improved. Every day I work at it… some days I feel like I am doing good – some days…not so much. But I think that’s all of us.. and I think that’s ok.

Finley’s ultrasound was Tuesday and Dr J was called into emergency surgery so I had to wait until Wednesday afternoon to get the results. (Did I mention I hate waiting?) I assumed that there was nothing significantly wrong since the Chief of Radiology didn’t come in, and he always seems to come in and do his own scan when things have gone awry.  I spoke to the Doctor on-call on Wednesday and he said that the ultrasound was pretty much the same as last time. No obvious signs of reherniation and her bile duct is the same size as before. 3x the normal size a common bile duct should be at this age.  He reiterated what Dr J has been saying – could be a choledochal cyst, which is what they believe. But also could be nothing.  She could continue to grow and if the duct remains the same size – it could eventually not be an issue if there is no cyst in there. They will just continue scanning her every 2-3 months until they are sure either way. Seems that the surgery is pretty major surgery so they wouldn’t do anything unless they were 100% sure. Meaning either she became symptomatic like before – or they see it clearly as a cyst and they think she is at an appropriate age/size for the intervention.  Same message as before.

So no miraculous shrinkage yet. Does that mean I stop praying for that? Of course not. But I know this may not be how God want’s to handle this.  We don’t always get the answer to prayer in exact way that we ask. God isn’t a magic wish granter, after all..

When I am not listening to the whispers of fear, I think I am hearing God say….just wait for me. I feel this peace that I don’t need to be worrying about this cyst. Either A. this means there is no cyst and time will reveal this. or B. God’s got it covered for how he is going to handle this.  Most of the time I feel a peace about this. I feel like God is just trying to keep getting the message to me to wait. Trust in him. Be patient.

Be still.

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Baby Dedication

Finley’s Baby Dedication is this Sunday at 9AM at Grace Chapel…  I am so excited for this day to come.

For those of you that are wondering what is a Baby Dedication? (I borrowed this explanation from Real Life Church).

“Baby Dedication is an opportunity to publicly…
Thank God for the amazing and precious gift of your child.
Declare your intentions to raise your child in a Christian home.
A benchmark you can return to time and time again.
A family dedication, where the parents commit themselves to follow biblical principles and to raise their children according to God’s best.
Not only are you dedicating your child to God, you are dedicating yourselves, as parents, to Christ and the church.

What About Baptism?
Baby Dedication does not involve baptism. We believe that baptism is meant to take place at a time when an individual makes a personal decision to follow Christ and is old enough to repent of sin and confess Jesus publicly. Some people think that if a child dies before being baptized he will not go to heaven. We have confidence in a loving God who welcomes the little children. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these…” (Matthew 19:14 NIV).”

We are so excited to share this event with our friends and family that can attend. To thank God for Finley. To thank our friends and church family at Grace for praying so earnestly for her. I appreciate everyone who has walked with us through this journey so much.

Finley had a great 9 month check up with her Pediatrician. Still on track and hanging out in the 50th percentile for weight and on track developmentally. She is getting stronger and stronger every day. She has started doing “pull ups” on the bar in her chair. It is funny to watch. No crawling yet.  As a mother of 2 I am actually ok with that. I know it will come and when it does – more baby proofing will be in order.

We got the call about scheduling her next ultrasound for June 24th.. I am just praying with all my heart that this time the bile duct will have shrunk and that there is no cyst in there.  No reherniation  and no Choledochal cyst.  My bold prayers. I just don’t want her to have to go through any more surgeries. If it comes to that, I know it will be ok- but I am going to pray for intercession that it won’t come to that.  I have seen God do amazing things in this last year. Not just in our lives. That has been such a gift to pray for other families and see how God has responded and worked in other peoples lives as well.  I am not worried about the “alleged” cyst. I think about it from time to time and I pray. I shared this verse with a friend yesterday and it is one of my favorites;

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

Love and Dread

I both love and dread Finley’s follow up appointments. I love being able to get some reassurance that all those organs are staying put where they are supposed to be, that the stitches are holding and her patch hasn’t sprung any leaks.  I love showing off my miracle baby. I love them gushing over her chubby belly, thighs and cheeks. But I dread the drive. I am always overcome with memories as I drive the same route that I took during Finley’s 49 days in the hospital and I always get a few butterflies on the way. I dread how Finley cries during the ultrasound and now there is nothing I can do to soothe her. Apparently the last hospital stay and the NPO time has made Finley equate the binky with starvation and it no longer quiets her down. And I dread the waiting for the results.  After the ultrasound tech finished her part of the exam, she goes to the senior doctor to make sure she got all the shots required. With a screaming, moving baby – this is not easy to acquire. For some reason yesterday this took an extra long time to get them to return to the room. In that 30 minutes I started to worry that this time lapse meant something more sinister. His face and attitude was very somber and he got to the task at hand with a seriousness and gravity that made my heart still. It seemed like he was focusing on the diaphragm area and kept taking the same views. I started to get more nervous. I prayed urgently to God that this this wasn’t another reherniation. My heart began to beat even faster and my stomach was just doing flip flops. I finally voiced my concern and asked, “are there signs of reherniation?” The doctor replied “I can’t say yet – I am still trying to determine that. It is hard to see clearly.” Not the reassurance I was hoping for.  The next 15 minutes seemed to take an eternity and when he finally said, “I see no signs of reherniation” I burst into tears of relief. Once again, I let the fear creep its way in and allowed it to play in the playground of my mind.  We are not friends. You are not welcome here fear.

We made our way up to the Surgeons office for our appointment and Dr J kept saying that she really is a perfectly normal healthy baby. How amazing are those words? They are going to continue to watch for reherniation – but what he is really concerned about is her bile duct. You may remember where we last left off – an almost surgery in October (https://finleyanabelle.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/no-cyst-i-repeat-there-is-no-cyst/) that was cancelled because the blockage went away and Dr Bliss said that there probably had never been a cyst, just a blockage or slow moving bile, and that her bile duct is just a little larger than normal. Dr J thinks that the cyst is still there.  The plan is to do another ultrasound in 3 months and then a MRI when she is 12-18 months (unless she becomes symptomatic before) to get a better view of the area. She is still too small to be able to really get a good picture of what is going on in there. He thinks she will eventually need surgery to remove the cyst and repair the area.  I am thankful for his watchfulness and caution. But also think he is wrong. I really hope he is wrong. The last thing I want is for Finley to have to endure another surgery.

There are so many positives – that she didn’t need the surgery at 2 1/2 months, that we have skilled doctors following her closely, our proximity to excellent medical care- that she is in God’s hands always.  For this rare condition, most people don’t know they have these cysts until much later in life and if untreated for long period of time, these cysts can create cancer in the bile duct due to the long term inflammation. We are so fortunate to already be watching this area.

So we wait (again).  God really wants to teach me patience and trust. We wait and we pray. For the bile duct to shrink back to normal size and that there is no choledochal cyst hiding in there.  This, I will not fear. Remember fear, you aren’t welcome.  I really think he is wrong.  God – let him see your power.

The day before surgery… again.

Here we are, the day before Finley has a major surgery. Again. By the time she reaches 9 weeks of age, Finley will have had 2 surgeries. It took me 16 years to reach that milestone and they were relatively minor (Stomach Hernia at two and Appendectomy at 16).  I am going to vent right now and say how much it isn’t fair and this stinks and I hate that she has to go through this.  I hate that we just got her home and we are going back to the hospital again. But I am not angry. More sad.  It is just so surreal that this is our journey right now. I know God has a plan for each of us and for some reason his plan for us includes this.  I just have to believe that he will carry Finley through once again because how can he not? He has answered all the prayers for her until now. A friend mentioned the analogy that we are in a marathon and this is just a hill before the finish line – I think that is a very accurate picture. We just have to dig deep and get ourselves up over this hill.

The other crazy thing is that her beige poos and jaundice actually have gone away.  I’m not sure what this means – but I know Dr Bliss mentioned that she could go downhill over the weekend if she got an infection from her obstruction but instead of getting worse, she has actually gotten better. I know the cyst still needs to come out – but this has to be a good sign, right? Maybe God is working another miracle within her.

Prayer requests;

That the surgery goes smoothly with no complications. That God guides Dr Bliss’s hands and he is able to get all the inflamed tissue/cyst out so that there is nothing remaining that could turn into cancer later. That he is able to sew ducts and intestines and there are no leaks.  That Finley doesn’t have any PH episodes from the surgery. For strength, peace and comfort for Jon and I.  For my baby to be able to come home, healthy and healed quickly. Amen.