Baby Update

We wanted to provide you with an update on Baby Maxwell’s recent doctor’s visit – specifically his/her ultrasound and our consultation with the specialist.

First, and most importantly, we praise God that the possible cyst on the child’s brain stem is gone. The ultra-sound found nothing to indicate problems around the brain stem, skull, or brain area. This was both a huge blessing to us and an answer to prayer. Baby seemed happy with this news as (s)he was doing flips and a lot of moving during the ultrasound. 🙂

The challenging part of the visit is that they found another area of concern. It is related to the child’s stomach, duodenal atresia specifically. This condition causes material to not be able to flow through the digestive tract due to a blockage, whether partial or complete is unknown, in one of the GI tubes. Surgery will be needed very shortly after birth to resolve this. There are other possible complications and challenges. We are now officially a “high risk pregnancy.”

Obviously this was rather traumatic news for Melanie and I. Our elation at the child’s brain stem checking out quickly evaporated. However, we are continuing to seek peace in Jesus Christ and looking to Him for direction, guidance and most importantly healing.

We continue to covet your prayers for our child in particular, but Melanie and I as well.


44 thoughts on “Baby Update”

  1. I have been praying for the three of you and will continue to pray for healing and peace for you:-)

  2. Thank you so much, Nathan, for the update. I have been thinking of you and praying for you and was glad for the update to know how to direct more prayer! It is a privilege for us, as the body of Christ, to be able to uphold you, Melanie, and your little one, and to extend our faith out over your family! I am trusting the Lord to carry out his word and carry you close to His heart and gently lead you as you have young! May you sense His love and faithfulness as you walk through these days! May He be glorified through it all!

  3. Nathan:
    Our last 6 preganancies have been high risk after our second child was born with Down’s Syndrome. God is Faithful.

    Allen S.
    Fayetteville, North Carolina

  4. We continue to pray for peace for you and Melanie. We pray to our dear Lord Jesus for healing for your son/daughter and that God may be glorified in and through your pregnancy, delivery, and thereafter.

  5. Praise God for the cyst news!

    I want to encouage you by telling you that we have an eight year old friend named Jonathan who was born with an intestinal blockage. He had surgery the day he was born and went on to stay in the hospital for quite awhile. HIs parents had no indication that anythign was wrong until Jonathan was born. His parents have told us many times of God’s faithfulness and about the wisdom He gave them throughout Jonathan’s medical crisis. Jonathan is an active, entertaining, God-honoring boy today.

    I will be praying. 🙂

  6. My family and I will be praying for you and your wife and baby. Our fifth child was born and seemed normal until his 16th day, when his pyloris closed off entirely. If it weren’t for the fact that this was my fifth child the doctors would not have even listened to my concerns, but the Lord was faithful and they not only listened to me, but he had surgery on day 17 and he is a vibrant, healthy toddler today. We thank the Lord for his great mercy, and remember, He is able to do even greater things! Blessings, Judy

  7. We are all so happy to hear that the cyst is gone and are believing for a complete healing of baby’s digestive tract. We have been praying for your family and will continue to do so.
    May you experience the “peace that passes all understanding” and be able to trust fully in His provision for you all.
    In Him,
    The Willis Family

  8. I will continue to pray for you as you walk this journey with the Lord by your side. May God be glorified and receive praise as your testimony of faith continues. Please let us know when you have any additional news of your baby’s health. I will pray for healing and peace.
    Love, Kathy H

  9. We will be earnestly praying. I know how hard it can be to think your child may need surgery, especially an infant. Isn’t it wonderful to know that this is no surprise to Him and that He controls all things? Praying that you and Melanie will know His peace that passes understanding, and praying for complete healing. God bless you and (((HUGS))))
    Tina O.

  10. Dear Melanie,
    I’m two weeks behind you.
    My heart is full of understanding for you both.

  11. Nathan and Melanie…praying for your peace of mind and for the health of the tiniest Maxwell. There is a wonderful song called “Sometimes Miracles Hide” by Bruce Carroll which brings me to tears whenever I hear it, and think of my own dd who has Down syndrome. The Lord alone knows what we need most, and He is relentlessly dependable. Praise His name!!
    love, Diane

  12. Oh Nathan and Melanie, How my heart goes out to you both. Know we continue to lift you up daily before our loving Lord. One of the greatest things we have learned through numerous trials here on the mission field is that God loves us, desires for us to cling to Him, and is ever so faithful. He is right there with us even when we feel alone; He knows and sovereignly and lovingly has His hand in every detail of our lives, even when we don’t understand why. May you draw ever closer to Him and through this time. We love you and are praying for you and your precious little baby.


  13. Dear Nathan and Melanie,
    We are giving praise to God for the healing of your little miracle in the fact that the cyst is gone. We will continue to pray for further healing, knowing that our heavenly Father is much bigger than this! Keep your heart and your mind open for God’s sovereign plan through this – maybe the Lord needs the two of you to touch a surgeon’s life that could not happen without your litte one’s help 🙂 Our prayers will be with you. Your family has blessed us so much!

  14. We have a small card over our sink that says, “Trials are not enemies of faith but opportunities to prove God’s faithfulness.” It has been through a lot of life challenges with us and I hope the thought will encourage both of you also. He does all things well and makes no mistakes, and we will watch with anticipation how He brings you all through with victory! We’ll be praying for all three of you!

  15. Oh, may the Lord give you His peace that passes all understanding as He did us before and after our sweet, sweet blessing (#5) was born with Down Sydrome (we didnt know she had DS). The Lord knew exactly what our family needed. Continuing to pray as the Lord prepares you for whatever His wil might be.

    In Him,


  16. I ask that the Lord would bring order to every area of your little ones body and cover you in His protection…

    Standing with you in prayer
    Heidi (Songbird)

  17. Thanks so much for the update! We’re so thankful about his/her brainstem healing! Praying for healing for the blockage as well, and for peace for you both!

  18. I heard a sermon Sunday reinforcing that we are to rejoice, pray and be thankful! This is certainly a time to rejoice and be thankful for the healing that has taken place in your little one already! And we will pray for total healing for this little life! Prayer is such a gift and it is so awesome that God hears and listens to every detail. Our God is so Awesome! Skimming through these posts HIS overflowing love is obvious through those who took time to send you their words of HOPE! No one can steal your hope! May these posts encourage you both and give you peace! Our prayers are with all three of you! We look forward to further updates.

  19. Melanie,
    From one “high risk” pregnancy mom(2x) to another…I understand your feelings. I remember when God allowed me to “feel the brush of angel’s wings” as I laid in a hospital bed, waiting to find out if our 25wk old baby would be taken early. I have never experienced anything like it since. God took us from the valley of death and despair to hope and peace in a matter of a moment.
    Praying that you feel the “brush of angel’s wings” also as God makes his presence know and his plan unfolds for your sweet little one.
    He holds his little lambs in the palm of his hand.

  20. God answers prayer! He has answered your prayer regarding the cyst, and He CAN DO ALL THINGS – He created your baby, He WILL care for your baby! He created YOU, He WILL care for YOU! He will guide teh doctors, and Praise God that we have the technology to be prepared for what lies ahead. God is good ALL THE TIME – never forget……

  21. With our first baby we were also told that we had something wrong with his head (they didn’t seem to know what). We were told about abortion one or two times just in case our new little baby wasn’t “perfect”. On the second ultrasound we had news similar to yours that there was nothing wrong with his head but they saw other problems with the placenta. Each ultrasound (five in all) they would always tell us that the previous problem was solved but there was a new one in the way. God is so faithful and our son who is now 13 years old show no sign what so ever of any problem. Sometime I think that what was made in a secret place is God’s way of working at his own pace and in his perfect plan. Keep trusting, this is your blessing that God has given you. Your trial maybe an encouraging story just like ours has been to show Gods faithfulness in such a trial. Your family is in such a great place to share Gods miracles.

  22. My 5th baby was born with duodenal atresia. We didn’t find it until week 35. She was born at week 36. By the time I delivered, I was the size of triplets due to the fact that baby couldn’t use all the fluid… She had surgery about 12 hours after birth and we were in the hospital for only 2 weeks, which is a miracle recovery. I did a few alternative things in the hospital to help her heal quickly and I knew that the Lord would bless her to heal, as well. She is now a happy and healthy 5 year old. I would be happy to “talk” with you more about any questions you have or ideas you need. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like. May God continue to bless you.

  23. Found your website today and wanted to let you know that I am praying for your baby.
    Our daughter, now 18 months old had Jejunal atresia at birth and had to have intestinal surgery at 2 days old. It wasn’t found until she started vomiting her meconium and didn’t nurse well. God is so good, she was supposed to be in the NICU for 2-4 weeks and was discharged at day 7. The surgery was successful and no problems today.

  24. I was on your site looking for the story of your courtship to read to my teenage son. I haven’t been on here for about a year. I was thrilled to read that you are expecting!!!! I am a new christian, believing just over 5 years and have witnessed God’s miracles many times including healing for my 13 year olds son’s kidney. May He be watching over all of you. I will be adding you to my prayer list and sending it on to our women’s group.

  25. Nathan, we know what you are going thriugh. Our second child needed surgury at 2 weeks due to something called necrotizing entrocolitis. She had 60% of her colon removed. Our third has Down Syndrome. God helped us throudg it, and I know he will help you too. Weare all praying for your family.
    Amanda L.

  26. I just found your website and want you to know you are in my prayers…our youngest son Jaxon had two problems in the ultrasound, one being a cyst in his brain which they said they would probably have to do a shunt immediately after birth, and he also suffered from hydronephrosis. My dad was a pastor for many years, and our church prayed and prayed….at the last ultrasound (was high risk since I had developed epilepsy after my first two sons were born) both were gone! I believe that it was the hand of God…Jaxon is now 4 years old and he is a wonderful blessing to us! I pray that you will know peace, that He has your whole family in His hands!

  27. I just found your site. I have walked your road a few years ago. In 1999 our ultrasound revealed many problems. We did several test (blood tests, amniocentesis, and many ultrasounds). What was discovered was our child’s development was “incompatible with life”. I still hate those words. We were given the option of an abortion but we decided to see what God had in mind for us. We knew that He created life and could do far more that we imagined with this little girl. We named her Faith. God blessed us richly during the next few months as we trusted Him with our future and the future of this precious baby. In the hard times we remembered Joshua picking up rocks in the middle of the Jordan River which they crossed, though it had been at flood stage. That was us pressing forward in the painful times, and we needed a rock to remember all God was doing in our lives. What better way to remember than to put it in the middle of her name. So her middle name would be Petra, meaning rock. Two weeks overdue I noticed a lack of movement and at the doctors appointment and subsiquent ultrasound we discovered she had indeed passed on. She was delivered June 23rd, 1999. Though there was grief and pain we added another name to her middle name, Joy. I can’t express the unexplainable joy we experienced while carrying her despite the grim looking future. God was near to us, blessing us. Every moment with her I appreciated. Faith Petra Joy, our first child in heaven. I can’t wait to walk with her on the golden streets!! I only share this to let you know I know those fears at the doctor’s appointments. I remember when there were so many life changing possibilities, agonizing over what was God’s plan for us. I want to encourage you to trust in the Lord and seek Him. There is blessing there for you whatever the outcome. Also, we still know, God is our creator, our healer, he is able to do more than we can imagine and for a moment we were able walk a road that had us completely dependent on Him alone. Praise the Lord. May you experience healing in your baby and look back on this time as a blessing.

  28. Hi! I was reading your blog and I am very familier with duodenal Artresia. I was born with this 38 years ago and it took 3 days before the doctors figured out was wrong. It is amazing that through technology, you can know before your child is born so that things can be handled immediately. God is faithful. I will keep your family in prayer and that he wiould keep you in His perfect peace.


  29. We have some friends who just had their 5th baby. (We are due with our 5th on May 7th.) Their first child was born with a hole in her heart. She received open heart surgery as a tiny infant. She is now 7 years old and thriving, with only the usual illnesses all children get from time to time. We have been greatly blessed that none of our children have been born with any problems (that we know of), although my husband discovered four years(at age 32) that he was born with a heart valve defect, which has led to some major health problems for him now. This is something that could very well be passed on to our children. Technology is well advanced and none of our babies appear to have inherited the defect – although it can be difficult to detect. So we trust God that they are well, but there is the nagging concern that they may not be. Also, we were told that our first child would be born with Down’s Syndrome – she, at 6 years old, is quite well and no Down’s at all. Please be encouraged that others have experienced and are going through much the same thing you are right now with your child. God is faithful and He will sustain you through anything He chooses to send your way. May God bless you and your family. You have all been such a precious blessing and help to our family with your ministry.

    May the Lord bless and keep you,
    (Marcus)& Leah

  30. There is no doubt that God will give you the strength you need through the birth of your baby, and then through your baby’s surgery. My fourth baby is five months old and was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis at five weeks old. He was a very sick little guy. But, God took care of him! It’s so hard to see your little one go through so much when they are so young. You have so many people praying for you, and for me, knowing that people were praying for us and our precious baby boy gave me great comfort.

  31. Keep the hope. Many times these ultrasound “problems” go away on their own and never become a problem later. God has a plan and He loves you. Be thankful for every day you have with your child.

  32. Melanie, I had a child with esophageal atresia. It was my second pregnancy and I also had problems with premature labor. Your uterus gets irritated with the extra amniotic fluid as your baby is not swallowing enough fluid and urinating enough. The placenta does not “get it” thus the extra fluid. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    Our son was born with severe reflux and was fed with a Gastrostomy tube until he was 20 month. He is now 20 years, old a little short but doing quite well. He will be going into his third year of college next year and is renewing his relationship with the Lord.

    I had 4 more pregnancies after him, all delivered by a midwive after esophageal atresia was ruled out. God bless you and your husband and soon to be born child, many lift you up in prayer daily and He is always with you.

    In Christ love,
    Mrs. Luisa W.

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