Abigail Hope 1.5

It’s about 10:40 pm, Melanie and Abigail are sleeping. Abigail eats in about 20 minutes so she is acting a bit restless even though she’s not awake. She is still having some of the heart-rate dips. I haven’t asked how many as I haven’t really wanted to know. But, they are still there. We’re continuing to pray that her weight gain begins and that the heart-rate dips (brady cardiac) will cease. She continues to self-correct, in other words, her heart rate picks up on it’s own, usually after only a few seconds.

Melanie is very, very drained. But, she is being a trooper and is committed to doing all she can for Abigail. At this point, that involves pretty much just feeding her. My Mom is helping us so between her and I, we are handling things like getting Abigail in and out of her crib, diaper changes, taking the temperature, and other things. Melanie’s recovery is challenged by the muscle atrophy she experienced due to 7+ weeks of bedrest.

Thank you for the comments you’ve left. Through the guidance of the lactation consultants here and regular processes here at the NICU, we are doing alot of what has been suggested. Abigail receives her feedings overnight when we’re gone via her feeding tube. It drops the food straight into her stomach. Ideal? No, but better than a bottle, so we’re grateful for that option. We’d love to have the “tube” off her sweet face, but it’s serving a purpose right now.

Even though we’d wanted to have Abigail home by now, we are grateful for how well she’s doing. Things could be much worse. We continue to look forward to when I get to strap the car-seat into the car and she’s sitting in it. It’s hard for me to see Melanie under such strain, but that can’t be helped right now. God is the one directing our steps and we have confidence that His way is best.

Again, thank you for the prayer support. This child’s life has been bathed in prayer!


“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,
do not cease to pray for you…”

Hard to leave at night…
“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit…”

29 thoughts on “Abigail Hope 1.5”

  1. Dear Nathan and Melanie,
    Last year I was ordering some things and read your family blog and was broken hearted to read about Susanna Joy. I had miscarried twice that year and was just broken for ya’ll and the grief you had to endure. I showed my husband and two oldest children the slide show with the song your family sang, I cried everytime I seen it and I prayed for you.
    I just finished up our school year and needed some refills of my Titus 2 stuff and checked the blog again in hopes to see some good news and WOW!! I was SO SO happy that ya’ll were expecting again! (at the time it was mid-April or so on the first blog I read) Anyways, I have anxiously been keeping up with the best rests, the hospital stays, more bed rests and now, finally the birth!! Congratulations on Abigal Hope!! From your posts, I know things are strained for you, I will put Melanie at the top of my prayer list as she copes with being away from baby and trying to recover and for Abigals heart issue. I would say “God Bless you”, but it looks like he already is… πŸ™‚ I know He will continue to!

    In His love,

    PS I am 33 weeks along myself… πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you for the update. I am praying for Melanie that she will heal quickly. God’s grace is sufficient. I am grateful for your blog where you can give updates, and I can know how you are doing, when I live in Canada. Your little girl is so beautiful, and she is blessed to have so many people praying for her. God bless your family!!!

  3. As you know, last night and today have been one of the happiest days in my life πŸ™‚ And just knowing how well little sweet Abigail is doing…all we can say is yes, our wonderful, loving Heavenly Father does hear, answer and work miracles.
    Praise His Wonderful Name!


    We are estatic about Daniel’s report as well.

    Steve for everyone

  4. I just voiced a prayer for y’all. Hang in there. The day will come when all of you will be reunited as one in your home. Don’t feel discouraged, the Lord is there with you guys, he’s watching over you Nathan, Melanie, and baby Abigail. I will continue in prayer, 24/7! Even though I don’t know you guys, I love y’all, and I know prayer is working! Take care…

    A sister in Christ, Vanessa

  5. We are continuing to pray for precious Abigail and Melanie. When I saw the picture of the nurse in the background I realized I have failed though to continue to pray for those who you and your families come into contact with during this time at the hosptial. We walked similar paths as yours a few years ago and are praying for the strength that He will give you during this difficult time.


  6. Dear Melanie and Nathan,
    At birth, both of our children required time in the NICU. Our first was 9 days. Our second had to stay for 18 days. It was never easy,…pumping, traveling back and forth, leaving…..but God was gracious. He heard our prayers and healed them both completely. Our children are now 9 and 7…..and none the worse for a very shaky beginnning. Their desire to nurse was never affected in spite of all the “interventions” that were necessary.

    Use your time at night to get the rest you need… eat, drink plenty of water, and let those who are there to help you do just that.
    We rejoice with you so very much. We are continuing to lift all of you up to our loving heavenly Father.

    May the Lord continue His good work,
    The R. Family

  7. Thank you for the continued updates. I keep checking to see how you are all doing and where prayers can be specifically directed. My heart goes out to you and my prayers continue to be lifted to the One who holds all in His hand.

    In Christ,

  8. Dear Nathan and Melanie,

    Just wanted to say that my 6’4″ brother was born at the same weight and age as Abigail and now at the age of 25 is a strapping healthy guy.

    We keep praying for Abigail and both of you. We pray for her weight gain and her heart.

    Much love.


  9. Many prayers still coming. Abigail is in my heart, almost as if I know her personally. I think of her often and pray for her and Melanie daily.

    God bless you.

    You’re a good daddy.

  10. Continuing to pray for all of you, especially for Melanie’s recovery. I know it is just so hard those first few weeks (and those weeks can feel endless). It will get better soon! With my firstborn, a wonderful lactation consultant told me, “The first week is hellacious, the second week is hard, the third week is tolerable, and by four weeks you begin to settle into the ‘new normal.'” I had a c-section, too, and that certainly makes it more difficult. To think of four weeks seemed like an eternity then, but she encouraged me to take it feeding to feeding and not to think much about weeks so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. Easier said than done, I know, but I also know God will pour out His abundant grace at these times! I am praying!

  11. You are so right. Your child has and still is being bathed in prayer. I’m sure you are getting lots of good advice (I try not to read other comments as they make me cry!) I understand your concern for Melanie and you are right to be watchful of her rest and such.

    As your Mom will tell you, mother’s milk does best with rest and re hydrating and of course nursing. Perhaps she can pump once during the night to keep her milk supply up – but if sleep is what she needs, then it might be better to forgo the middle of the night wake up until she is rested or until she can nurse Abigail in the night.

    Also, be watchful for postpartum depression. Women who have difficult births are at a higher risk for it – especially when there is so much attention on the baby. It’s not that the mother get jealous of this attention, but it’s sometimes just not noticed due to the needs of the child. Please send Melanie hugs from us to her.

    Enough unasked for advice – please use what will help and ignore the rest – I won’t be offended! God bless you all – and btw – Abigail is absolutely beautiful – she really is.

    Pamela L.

  12. Ted and I were so excited to hear about Abigail’s birth. We send our very best to the Maxwell family and are looking forward to seeing you and bringing over a present. I prayed and continue to do so every night for everyone. Your old neighbors, Ted and Priscilla

  13. We are still praying for you. As I am up in the middle of the night feeding our 3 week old, I often find myself praying for you family. May the Lord grant you some rest.

  14. Just wanted to say I’m continuing to lift you all up in prayer. Thanks for taking the time to post updates.

  15. Praise God for technology, so that you can share your lives the way you do, and we can keep up-to-date with how you are. Your transparency with the difficult moments in your lives is a blessing. It allows those of us who read your blog to praise God for how you are crying out to Him in your human weaknesses and trials. May the Lord pour out His grace upon you as you walk with Him moment by moment. May His strength by known when you are worn out and weak. May he make His face to shine upon you continually. Your family is loved and valued by many in the body of Christ.

  16. Dear Nathan and Melanie,

    We are so thrilled that Abigail is here and is doing well.

    Mike and I know how difficult it is to have a child in the NICU and to have to leave at night. I know Gideon’s issues are completely different. But, we’ve been there. So many hospital stays and surgeries and trying times. Where God is working in all the ways you don’t understand yet.

    When you are home with Abigail and things are peaceful and normal, you will look back and be blessed to see how God was working out his precious plan for your family.

    So thankful tonight that Abigail is nursing well and that she is also getting nutrition at night with the NG tube. Thankful that Melanie is recovering. We are continuing to pray for you and look forward to meeting your little gal at church when you are able.


  17. thank you so much for taking your time to upate us on abigail and melaine. i cannot imgaine how drained melanie must be, but she is a mom and we do carry on with what is best for our families. she’s a god powered mm, that is for certain.

    continued prayers for you all.

  18. Nathan –
    Thank you for taking the time to post an update. We are praying for you and Melanie and sweet little Abigail. My daughter reminded me we have to pray for the nurses too. Peace and Strength.
    P.S. Our littlest one still thinks you should have named her Rainbow :)!

  19. I am praying each day and will continue to do so. I know that it is hard waiting to bring Abigail to your home. I pray that each day she grows stronger and her heartbeat stays in the normal range. I pray for Melanie, that she regains her strength quickly and is comforted that God is holding you all close. Lastly, I pray for you, Abigail’s dad and Melanies husband. You carry a lot of worry on your shoulders, may you be able to give it all over to God; from Him you will receive your strength.

  20. Even though things seem long and hard now, they will be over before you know it and looking back at this time will seem like a bump in the road. I would try to not be discouraged about being in the hospital a while longer than you wanted…and maybe look at all of the amazing blessings God has bestowed!!! I know it seems like forever when you’re going through it, but it will look different a year from now when you look back. πŸ™‚ We Praise the Lord for his many blessings to your family!! Good is so good!

  21. Nathan and Melanie,
    I have 5 gifts from God and all were born early, requiring NICU care. I know how hard this is but take heart she will get home either fine with nothing or a monitor for extra protection. After many sleepless nights worrying and praying for mine, it was extra special when we were all home together, at last.

  22. We check almost daily to see how sweet Abigail & her mommi and daddy are doing, do not be discouraged, she will be home soon, we have 7 blessings and the last 3 are all NICU graduates! Graci spent 9 days, Jaryn (what seemed like a never-ending) 32 days and our youngest, Doerksen 15 days they are now 8,6 & 5. We know how it feels for your heart to break everytime you have to leave her side… (we are so glad God heals broken hearts! : ) )
    we are praying for all 3 of you… may God cover you in His peace, and comfort your hearts
    thank you for the posts
    in His service,
    the N. family

  23. Dear Nathan and Melanie-
    Many congratulations at the birth of your beautiful daughter. I have been praying for you all for months after ‘stumbling’ upon your blog thru the Titus 2 site and learning about your precious Susanna Joy and your new little “expectation”. Our 4th child, Sarah Hope, was stillborn four years ago and our earthly hearts still hurt on many days, aching even through the joy of a later healthy birth.
    I’ll continue to pray for the health issues before both Melanie and Abigail and for strength for the usual adjustments of new parents – cherish every moment, even the difficult ones!
    Bit of advice: don’t worry about being unable to do everything “best” – do the best that you can in this difficult situation, and know that God’s grace is sufficient for every moment and detail in our lives. Rest in that thought when tempted to be frustrated because things aren’t able to progress according to your own plans – they often WON’T when you’re dealing with the medical community!
    Blessings on your sweet family.

    Abounding in grace,
    Psalm 138

  24. I want to tell you that I’m still praying for you all and very thankfull that Abigail did need any breathing help. My son was born at 34 weeks and needed help, yet our next child born at 33 weeks didn’t. I had to wait 14 days to bring home Silas and 15 with Rachel. Those days were difficult because I had to go home and could only make 2 trips a day to the hospital. The bradys will end soon enough, but until then, it is a good idea to ask how many she’s having in the past 24 hours. This can help you seen her improvement. I never had to have c-section, but am praying for patience. A side note, see if the nurses will allow Melanie to bathe Abigail. I always enjoyed even that little bit of luxury while waiting for time to pass. Keep up the nursing! Melanie, this is just a moment in time. Don’t get too down or discouraged. Have some good cries, holding it in is worse. She’s almost ready to come home!

  25. Your story has brought back so many memories for me. Three years ago, I gave birth to twin girls, Mikayla and Hope. I was 34 weeks in the pregnancy when they were born. I was on bedrest for 4 months before they were born. It was an extremely complicated pregnancy with many ups and downs. As I read your story it is like I relived it all over again. The ups and downs, the extreme fatique, having to leave the babies at the hospital and not take them home after they were born, all those feelings came back again. Hope was born with a hole in her heart. The doctors said that it was too large to ever close on its own and that at the age of 4 she would have to have surgery. We prayed and believed that God would do a miracle. When she was 2 years old, we went for her annual echocardiogram, and the hole in her heart was completely gone. So she will not have to go through a heart surgery in her future. The doctors said that it was impossible for the hole to close on its own, but with God all things are possible. At the time, we didn’t understand why we had to go through all that we went through. We watched all of our friends and church members have completely healthy pregnancies and no complications.
    I can remember questioning God why do we have to go through this. But we got to witness a miracle in our daughters life that we will share for generations to come. And a co-worker of my husbands had triplets born prematurely a couple of years after our daughters were born. My husband was able to share with him and help him through all the ups and downs. God doesn’t waste a thing. I know its difficult to go through, but I can honestly say that I know God now better than I did before our daughters were born. I’m so thankful that God has given you a beautiful daughter. Before you know it, the NICU will be a distant memory and you’ll have your little girl at home with you to enjoy and love. God is so good

  26. Psalm 27:14
    Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say on the Lord.

  27. Prayed for you all this morning. As I was sitting there in the still of morning and thinking of you and Melanie, it occurred to me that perhaps your perspective just needs to change from seeing this as a trial to seeing this as an opportunity/blessing from God for Melanie to get extra rest at night, and thus to help her recover easier. Obviously I don’t know all of God’s purposes in allowing Abigail to remain in the hospital, but perhaps this might help you if you are still struggling with whatever emotions from not being able to bring her home. (and I know I would be too!!!) It actually taught me a lesson too as it came to mind; to remember that God always has our good in mind… mostly I am always blinded to that fact. Now I will go apply it to a situation I just faced and was tempted to think it was “against” me.

    God bless you all today!! We are praying.

  28. I think it is really wonderful how many people are praying for you and your new daughter. If your wife is nursing she really needs to eat properly and continue to take her pre natal vitamins. I do not want to offend anyone but what if nursing is not working out? I could not nurse either of my children and they had to be bottle fed. I am happy to report my son is 15 and a healthy intelligent young man and my daughter is 11 and is also healthy and a joy to behold. I know nursing is best (my son was in NICU as a newborn) but babies do grow into successful healthy children on the right formula too. Good Luck!

Comments are closed.