Abigail Hope 1.6

I think I’m a little overdue on an update. We are grateful that Abigail is doing well. She continues to have some brady’s (you can google on “bradycardia preemie” for more details). The number has fallen to 6-8 but she needs 2-3 to go home. We are adjusting to this new dymanic of life. Melanie is at the hospital from 7:45 am until 12:30 am – not an easy schedule for someone trying to recover. However, she is resting between feedings and doing pretty well. I’m proud of her.

Days here can get long, especially when I start to think, that in my opinion, there’s little reason for this level of care. Again, that is my impatient opinion and contrary to God’s leading so far. He is in control and directing our steps. I’ve prayed that He would make His way very clear, and so far He has. Our path here at the NICU, this time, has been very easy compared to many parents with children here. We were reminded of that multiple times over the past few days, whether it was the emergency transports (babies needing even more specialized help than they can provide here), seeing a parent and nurse crying earlier today, visiting with a mom whose baby had relapsed and was back under more significant care…  Our time with Abigail here has been blessedly easy and without trauma and complication. I know things can change.

It is amazing being part of the hospital. It’s a melting pot for society. I was coming back from a run one morning a couple weeks ago and a homeless guy was asking the parking lot attendant where the emergency room was. I’ve seen the sweetest looking children calling men who looked like gang members “Daddy.” The staff has spoken of treating the Hall family here – they founded, among other things, Hallmark Cards. I look around the cafeteria and every person there, who are not staff, have a story to tell. And most probably have a hurting or sad heart. Melanie and I desire to be a light here, to connect with people, to encourage and speak of our Lord Jesus. It’s an overwhelming opportunity, for some “folks” (my dad has another term he prefers…) from the hills of Kansas.

Specific prayer requests:
-That Melanie and I will be a light
-That Abigail will grow past the bradycardia issues
-The Melanie will recover
-That our confidence will remain in our Lord.



Our sweet Abigail!


Abigail has a special “glow” about her (Joseph and John’s name for the special lights: Mr. Rubin). Praise the Lord that Abigail no longer needs the bilirubin lights! 🙂


Melanie with Abigail.


A Happy Family


28 thoughts on “Abigail Hope 1.6”

  1. This update brought happy tears to my eyes. What a precious family with a beautiful testimony from the Lord!

  2. I LOVE the family picture! You look so happy and Abigail is just getting bigger and looks just beautiful.
    The Lord has had us in the hospital here MANY times…and we NEVER want to be there. But we have also prayed that as the Lord has allowed the trial at the time that has brought us there, that we may be used by Him while there. He has allowed us to talk with so many people we never would have met before. And the hospital is a place where so many seem to be open as they are often hurting. Oh, the Lord is good.
    We love you and pray for you and are so glad to hear Abigail is continuing to do so well. It won’t be much longer before you will all be home! 🙂 We’ll pray for your specific requests today at lunch. The children will love these pictures you posted too!

  3. She is so sweet! Yes, what a great oppportunity you have to be the light of Christ for so many. How encouraging to see you both reaching out to others even though you are going through a joyous and trying time. Your blog updates have ministered to me and so many others. Thank you for taking the time to post updates.
    Blessings and prayers!
    Sara S. and Family

  4. Thank you for the update! What a very sweet little girl. The family picture is wonderful. Continued prayers and blessings.

  5. Still praying. I love the family picture at the end. It makes me teary-eyed. How wonderfully God has blessed your family. Looking forward to the day when you are able to take Abigail home….

  6. How wonderful that she is so alert! I know the feeling of thinking that your baby is doing fine and wanting her to come home. Have courage and be of good cheer.. the brady’s will end soon enough. Your light needs to shine bright, as so many others don’t have any and the NICU is one place to see that. I remember one early morning when I went to feed Rachel and a full term baby had been born 30 minutes before. The baby had pneumonia so bad that it could barely breath. Rachel wouldn’t wake up to nurse that morning and my spirits were low. The Lord kept that baby on my heart. I never got to meet the parents, but I had the ability to pray for that baby who was able to leave 3 days later! That moment really changed my view on Rachel’s stay. I could personally pray for every baby in there twice a day when I could go to see mine. God gave me a ministry and ultimately I was closer to him. Thanks for the updates!

  7. Abigail is so beautiful. When I look at how small she is I am reminded of when my first son was born. He weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces. His little mouth was really little. But as he got older and his mouth got a little bigger nursing became so much easier. He could latch on good and I was much more comfortable. I’m praying that the hurdle of nursing a newborn quickly moves to the blessing of nursing a hearty baby. The Lord will bless you as you continue to follow after Him.

  8. Abigail is coming along well! Praise the Lord for that. Those bradys will begin to get lesser and lesser as her brain matures. It won’t be long now!

    Dear Melanie, if you would please hear me out…I have been where you are (3 children in NICU–one set of twin boys for 67 days and 1 daughter for 11 days). Your recovery is of utmost importance!

    Your husband has mentioned that you are there, bright and early, to care for your little Abigail, and kiss her goodnight quite late. This is so wonderful, yet is it realistic for your healing body? The hospital environment is dry and exhausting for even a healthy person who has not given birth.

    Would it be possible to visit the hospital just after the doctors finish their rounds, therefore, you could get the latest report on Abigail as well as assume the duties of her care. I remember this being around 9:00 am for our NICU. Could you take turns w/ your husband and have him or another relative (if you are allowed) to take care of Abigail in the evenings so you can go to bed early and rest yourself?

    You are most likely using the hospital breast pump every 2 hours (this used to be my Bible and prayer time!). Is it possible for you to double pump (I think they provide the materials for you to double pump regardless of whether or not you have twins or a singleton these days). This way you could leave lots of milk for Abigail in the hospital refrigerator. I used to rent a commericial pump for at-home pumping in the morning and evening, and then take the bagged milk to the hospital.

    Melanie, you want to be rested and fresh when that dear one comes home. It will be soon!

    This is just my counsel as one who has been there. I know it is difficult to leave your little ones in the hands of others. So tough.

    Please know that you are merely functioning right now and have not begun to recover, which requires sleep and rest. I know you know this, so please forgive me for repeating it.

    I pray for the Lord to lead you. Rest, dear sister. That baby will be home and in your arms in no time.

  9. the picture of the three of you brought tears–what a beautiful family. the picture of melaine with abigail–she looks like a mommy head over heels in love with her little girl. precious.

    i wanted to share with you how much i understand when you write about wanting to a the light of jesus for those in the hospital. my husband has been battling cancer for 5 years, and through these years we have spent more time in the hospital than not it, or so it seems sometimes. every friday we spend 14 hours in the infusion center while he is receiving chemo, and i pray for every single person thsat walks through the door. a few times i have prayed with family members in the hallway who are just beaten down and don’t know where to turn. i offer to pray and they accept with tears in their eyes, even when they are unbelievers. for some God is a mystery and for some they are angry at God, but i try to be his light and share his love. even in the bad times we give him praise.

    i just wanted to share that i can identify with all you shared about the hospital.

    continuing to keep you all in our prayers. blessings, mrs. mari

  10. Unfolding The Rose
    A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more seasoned preacher in
    the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to
    do, he was asking the older preacher for some advice.

    The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a
    rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young
    preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to
    figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to
    know the will of God for his life and ministry.

    But because of his great respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to
    try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact. It wasn’t long
    before he realized how impossible this was to do.

    Noticing the younger preacher’s inability to unfold the rosebud without
    tearing it, the older preacher began to recite the following poem:

    It is only a tiny rosebud,
    A flower of God’s design;
    But I cannot unfold the petals
    With these clumsy hands of mine.
    The secret of unfolding flowers
    Is not known to such as I.
    GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
    Then, in my hands, they die.

    If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
    This flower of God’s design,
    Then how can I have the wisdom
    To unfold this life of mine?

    So I’ll trust in Him for leading
    Each moment of my day.
    I will look to Him for His guidance
    Each step of the pilgrim way.

    The pathway that lies before me,
    Only my Heavenly Father knows.
    I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments,
    Just as He unfolds the rose.

    Charlie Gilchrist

  11. Continuing to pray for precious Abigail and for Melanie as she recovers. It is so hard to wait patiently for the moment you are able to take your precious little one home, but Praise the Lord, that day will come soon. 🙂

  12. I must admit to a few tears of gladness for you, when I saw the beautiful pictures! She looks so lovely and very healthy. I’m sure the day is coming very very soon when you will hear them say that “There is no reason you can’t take your daughter home!”

  13. Thanks so much for all the updates and the lovely pictures you post. We so enjoy keeping up with you (and Abigail’s progress) this way. Our merciful Father’s blessings on you all! You are in our prayers.

    The C. Family

  14. You both look so radiant and happy. It truly causes my own heart to rejoice in what God has done!! And Abigail looks so alert and gorgeous!!

    STill praying

  15. I just knew you would have the baby while I was away (my brother has the same birthday!). I’ve been following your blog and praying for you all. I am so glad to hear that things are going so well. Soon you will be home (and planning for next baby 🙂 God’s blessings-

  16. What a beautiful family picture !!! The joy just radiates!!
    We thank God your blessing is doing so wonderful!

  17. Hang in there. Having my 1st major preemie stay (44 days), i thought i would not make it –my heart hurt so to have that baby girl home with her family and trying to recover from 3rd c-section–it was a HARD time. The thing about hard times is (as you know) The Lord IS with us and using all these things for HIS GLORY!!! Who knows exactly His purpose for this situation right now ( I think you might have touched on it in this post –Light), but for such a time as this HE does have you all there. He loves you and will work it all for His good. I am so sorry the wait it long–I did not like the wait to take my babies home!!!! It WILL be here soon, cling to your Lord, allow Him to carry you. You are such a precious family and i am thankful for you all, and praying for you. I know ya’ll are such a testamony for those *lost or hurting* around you. Please know you are cared for and prayed for by so many, and we to look so forward till the day Abigail is home with her Momma and Poppa :*)!!!!!!! Lord Bless You.

  18. I just wanted to say, Melanie, you look great. Even the pictures from before the birth. You just have such a glow about you. You just look so beautiful at a time I always felt I looked awful. 🙂

  19. What beautiful pictures of you all. What a miracle Abigail is, and such a blessing to hear how well everyone is doing through this time.

    Prayers to you all
    Shelley P
    from over the pond

  20. Your family is precious!!! Thank you for the pictures and update! I continue to pray!

  21. Hi Family! I have been in your shoes. I have 6 children and the last 3 spent ONLY 10-14 days in NICU. The staff said they’d never seen a mother stay by her infant as I did. I left when the shifts changed due to the privacy laws regarding the staff exchanging information on each baby with the oncoming shift staff. That was my time to rest in the coffee shop and call home. My doctor issued orders for my own stay to be as long as insurance would allow and after that ended, I left after 11 each night to get a good night’s sleep at home with my patiently waiting family. I was so blessed to have older teens at home taking care of things. God provided the needed rest and I healed just fine. The walks from the hospital parking lot were good recovery exercise. I did ignore the orders and drive though. Maybe not too smart, but again God gave me strength. Each day I spent the time reading my Bible aloud to my little boys. God will take care of you. I know it. Do what you feel and are able to do, and do not take on any guilt for more or less. God knows all. Isn’t He wonderful!

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