Abigail Hope 1.2

Let me start by thanking each of you who have prayed, loved, and left comments for us. We have not gotten all the comments read yet, but we’re working on it. I’ve told this baby that she has many, many people around that world that love her.

Second, she has a name – Abigail Hope Maxwell. Abigail, meaning “father’s joy, women of beauty and discretion” – it brings tears to my eyes as I type this. She has brought and will bring joy to my heart. The “beauty and discretion” part comes from the description of Abigail in 1 Samuel. We chose “Hope” for her middle name as her time in the womb was a time of hope for us, at the beginning as we looked forward to meeting her, and towards the end as we sought to maintain hope for how things would turn out. This child did bring us hope!

We’ve had a girl’s name picked out for some time. I liked it, but when Abigail was born, I didn’t sense a peace about our original name. So, we waited and prayed. I told God that I would use whatever name He directed in. Names are important to God, and I wanted His will in this. At one point a day or two ago, the name “Abigail” came to mind. I thought it was nice, but didn’t think much of it. But, it kept coming back and coming back. I shared with Melanie last night that I wondered if God was directing in this and asked her to think/pray about it. This morning, when I woke up the name was still on my mind and it was like I was thinking of her as Abigail. However, being rather dense, I wanted to be sure it was God’s leading. Scripture says that the heart is evil and wicked, I know mine is from experience. I desired total confidence in knowing that this was God’s leading and not my invention. After reading George Muller’s biography, one thing he would do when he sensed God’s leading was ask for and wait for a definitive sign. A sign that he would see and his heart would confirm was of God. I walked down the hall this morning around 9:00 and prayed that God would confirm His direction in a clear way – a way that even I wouldn’t miss. As I walked over to the NICU I wondered how God would show me, I couldn’t think of a way for Him to do it.

I sat down in Abigail’s room, and opened to where my “Read through the Bible in a Year” plan (minus the 18 or so days I’m behind…) told me to read. I was a chapter or two past the David and Goliath story in 1 Samuel when I started. Within a chapter or two I was reading about David and Abigail, and sitting there looking at Scripture with tears in my eyes. I knew as soon as I started that section it was God’s clear, definitive direction. Melanie confirmed that her heart liked the name and thought we should go with it.

So, all that to say – Abigail Hope.


I share the above paragraphs because it is so encouraging for me to see God leading. He has directed each step of the way, even the c/section birth. It’s not been an easy path, but He has lead, and we are grateful for that.

Abigail decided to stick her foot outside the womb Saturday night which prompted the c/section. Due to the rushed nature of the c/section, and Melanie’s desire to be awake, Melanie had a very, very hard time with it. It was one of the worst experiences of her life. However, she was a trooper, survived and is recovering well.

Abigail is proving to be a very good nurser. We are grateful! I didn’t even know you needed to pray about things like that. However, she is doing a great job with it. The NICU has Melanie feeding her every three hours, so Melanie isn’t getting a huge amount of recovery rest, but that can’t be helped. Again, Melanie is being a trooper and working hard to take care of her baby. We’re pleased that Abigail will have the structure and benefits of the schedule when she gets home.

Abigail needs to show that she can gain weight and not trip any of the alarms for awhile to go home. So far, she has done great. The weight gain should start before too much longer and her health appears to be solid – no alarms so far. No ventilator, no IVs, she’s in a regular crib and out of the incubator! Just a cute little baby girl with a small NG tube (for nutrients if needed) and sweet little face. We’re getting to “parent” her by doing diaper changes and taking temperature.

I think that brings you pretty well up to date. Again, thank you for praying and loving Abigail. We’re thrilled to have her as a part of the family.



Big yawn. “I’m sleepy :-).”

BabyMax1.1 Little Miss Max

It is late Sunday evening, roughly 24 hours after our little girl was born. We haven’t had much sleep, but we’ve had quite the day! First things first, Baby is doing great. I’ll keep referring to her as Baby as we haven’t settled on a name. I’m frequently impressed in Scripture with the significance God puts on names. I haven’t sensed his definitive leading on this child’s name so it’s still a matter of prayer.

Baby arrived at 34 and half weeks – shocking us by showing up as a girl (and weighing 6 pounds 4 ounces). We had wanted to be surprised but felt it was a little boy; we were very wrong. While not our desire, she was delivered by a semi-urgent c/section. Both Melanie and Baby came through it great. Due to her gestational age when she arrived, she will be in care of the NICU for a little while longer. We don’t know whether that means one week, two, or maybe more. However, even though she’s in the NICU, she’s strong, healthy, and alert! She has no IV’s connected, just a small feeding tube to help her with some nutrients while she’s learning to nurse.

I’ll try and post a more lengthy update in a day or two – Lord willing with a name!

Thank you for your prayer support. There were some challenging times during her birth, but God carried us through. We had desired God’s clear leading, and it was clear. Why He chose this route I don’t know, but there was no mistaking it!


Little Miss Maxwell soon after birth with her daddy.


Sweet Miss Maxwell

Mommy and baby.


BabyMax1.0 — She’s HERE!

Just a quick update to let you know that Nathan and Melanie’s little girl was born safely by C-Section this morning a little before 2 a.m. She is healthy and in the NICU as is the hospital’s procedure prior to 36 weeks. We’re waiting for Nathan and Melanie to have a blog post after they get a few hours of sleep :-).

Rejoicing in Jesus,
The Maxwells



Talking with Nathan on the phone.




Monitoring baby!


Working on Scripture memory.


Mom keeping track of the number of flawless times of reviewing verses!


Sarah curled Melanie’s hair during a visit today.


Mom and Melanie.


Sarah and Melanie

Still waiting!

Rejoicing in Jesus,
All the Maxwells


Sometimes when God answers prayer He does it in a way that doesn’t look like an answer. In fact, it can be disconcerting and scary. But, that’s where trust comes in. In our case, an answer to prayer doesn’t make the future any more certain, doesn’t remove all concerns, but it does re-assure us that God is leading. I recently wrote in a friend’s graduation card, “May God make your way clear and your footing sure.” As I wrote it I realized it was also the prayer of my heart for us.

Melanie had an ultra-sound yesterday. They found that fluid levels were low but acceptable. They also discovered that Baby Max had changed positions. On Friday, he/she was head down. Now, Baby was shoulder presenting, head off to the side. To the medical profession (in the US), this means C-section. To me, this was great cause for concern, and I was ready to call for and participate in panic in the streets. When the sonographer (fancy word for lady doing the ultra-sound) left the room, Melanie helped me see that God had answered our prayer. There would be no pressure from Dr’s to induce. This is what happened, the Dr. came in, gravely said that things looked good except for Baby’s position – there would be no way to induce now and if something would happen, we were looking at a C-section. We were all surprised that Baby had shifted; I guess Baby Max didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to do that. 🙂

While this doesn’t make the future any more clear, in many respects creates more questions. But, it is God’s leading, we are confident of that. God completely removed the possibility of inducing from the agenda. It was something we didn’t want, but weren’t sure how long the Dr’s would be willing to let the pregnancy continue. What the future holds, I don’t know. But, it was comforting to us to see God’s leading. Yes, there are still major issues. Infections are a real, significant threat. Fluid loss also, baby’s new position would contribute to easier fluid loss than before. In addition, we now have the possibility of a C-section hanging over our heads. So, we really are still in uncertain times. But, we see God’s leading and are seeking to trust Him and be grateful for when His hand is evident.



Melanie enjoying a hand-made card from one of the Maxwell girls.melanie2.jpg

Mother’s Day Dessert, complete with patient bar-code from chart to identify it as personal so no-one else grabbed it from the freezer.