Abigail Hope celebrated her three week birthday on Sunday. Two weeks from today is her due date. Time is passing already.
Melanie and I are enjoying being parents. We recently received a note from someone who said, “Enjoy this time, the days are long and the years short.” Melanie can relate to the long days part. We’re not quite into the smooth sailing when it comes to feedings, sleep, and “mom’s” energy level. Melanie is also dealing with some post-partum issues, both physical and emotional, that have proven to be challenging. However, we’re working through things. It’s been a learning process for me as I seek to support and encourage her, and our families have continued to be a great blessing. I should probably add, this is not designed to be a “negative” paragraph, but rather honest. Neither Melanie nor I want our posts to be the “glamor shots” kind, but rather real and from the heart. This is just where we’re at.
All things considered, we feel very blessed to have Abigail at home. God lead us through quite a few years of waiting. We thought we’d be in this parenting phase with Susannah, but God had other plans. I frequently look at Abigail in wonder at God’s blessing. She’s such a sweet, precious little bundle. Even when she cries she’s cute, fragile, and innocent. It’s a privilege to walk up to her when she’s fussing, pick her up, and feel her relax and quiet down – wow! To those waiting and longing to experience the same thing, I know how that feels. I can’t tell you to “Just hang on, I know God will bless…” But I can tell you that what you wait for you treasure that much more.
Grandad and Grandma, who live next door, are Mom’s parents. Grandad went into the hospital with severe stomach pain Tuesday. Since then, his condition has deteriorated, and he is now in ICU. Please lift him up in prayer. Mom is up with Grandma at the hospital.
In addition to Grandad being our dear, wonderful grandfather, he has been a wonderful asset to our ministry. He has helped when weâ€™re away traveling, is always a great supporter of the ministry, even helping in small things such as when we compile Chore books.
We are down to seven at home this week. Why? Dad and John left after church on Sunday and drove Uriah to Wisconsin. A homeschool father there felt the Lordâ€™s leading to offer the use of his shop, tools, and mechanical expertise to help us. One project Dad has felt needed to be done was a complete overhaul on each axle to get them in new condition. It would cost a fair amount to pay someone else to do it, so this was such a blessing! They are also tackling many other repair projects on Uriah. We are extremely grateful to this sweet family who are â€œhousingâ€ Dad and John, taking care of them, and spending much time helping on Uriah.
(The sendoff Sunday!)
Because of Nathanâ€™s cold, he asked Mom to spend the nights at their house to help Melanie with middle-of-the-night Abigail feedings. Mom was home in the daytime â€“ but not coming home quite as early as she is usually up and around â€“ and spending nights with Melanie and Abigail. As of Wednesday, Mom is now back home.
(A picture from when Abigail was in the hospital.)
In the meantime, the house work continues. Heat and humidity have settled into Kansas (and many other places!), but the boys are such great workers. We had a storm last night which cooled off everything, and we’re enjoying a break from the heat. Weâ€™re making steady progress. The tiling preparation has been done, and the first tile laid.
(Joseph cutting tile.)
(Jesse and Joseph taking the forms off the driveway.)
May Jesus fill each of you with joy in Him!
Only for Jesus, Sarah
Joseph holding Abigail :-).
Anna holding Abigail.
Abigail and I :-). Abigail is so precious–truly, an incredible gift from our Lord. Thank You, Jesus!
Sarah updated you’all on the fact that we’re home! We are thrilled. To backtrack a bit, Thursday morning I got a call at the hotel room. I was there because I had come down with a slight cold and was keeping my distance from Abigail. I still am, as well as wearing a mask when I do need to be close to her, but I digress. My Mom, who was with Melanie, called and gave me the good news. Melanie had wanted to call but she couldn’t get out to the phone soon enough and wanted me to have as much time as possible to pack out of our room.
Since it was already a given that Abigail would be discharged with a monitor, upon review the only reason she was still there was their desire to see her gain weight. Wednesday evening when she was weighed she had gained 10 grams (30 grams to an ounce). When the nurse practitioner reviewed her chart Thursday morning the 10 gram gain must have satisfied their “weight gain” requirement and so once again, Melanie was shocked with a “Want to go home?” question. (Her previous “want to go home?” was by the doctor that released her from the hospital during the pre-term labor challenges.)
So, I packed out of our room and loaded up the car. It took awhile to get the paperwork signed and get Abigail loaded up. But, within a few hours we were happily on our way home.
We are settling into a routine at home. It is wonderful being at our very own house – a place we haven’t called home for so long. Abigail is doing well. She continues to be a good nurser, something we are extremely grateful for. Her billirubin numbers are still somewhat elevated, and she’s technically still a preemie. But, all in all she’s doing great.
Melanie is well as well. She is spending her time feeding Abigail, resting, and eating – that’s about all she’s allowed to, or feels up to, do(ing). She has a great attitude and is loving caring for little Abigail. Melanie had dreamed of having her own children for years. Susannah Joy was God’s first answer to the prayer of her (and our) heart(s), and Abigail Hope is His second answer. With Abigail, we’re getting to be active parents and each loving our role.
I’m hoping to be over this cold quickly so I can get rid of the mask and begin holding/caring for Abigail again. I’m afraid I’m going to lose my status as “professional diaper changer” which I’d earned in the hospital. Then again, I suspect there will be plenty of time to work back into that in the coming months.
Thank you for praying for and loving Abigail. Many of you have walked through these difficult seasons with us – thank you! There were so many times in this pregnancy that we were tempted to despair, wondering what the outcome would be. We sought to trust God and not give into our fears. We prayed that God would guide us, that He would make His way so clear we couldn’t miss it. And He has. I sit here marveling that as I type this, I’m sitting in my own house, while Abigail and Melanie are on the floor upstairs. Abigail is getting some tummy time and Melanie is laying next to her watching her. The trauma of pre-term labor is over, the c-section past, the NICU behind us, living 40 miles from home done! Amazing! Are we beyond troubles and fear – no. But, we are excited to be in this phase of caring for Abigail. God has proven Himself more than faithful, and we can rest in that.