How does that song go? Count your blessings, name them one by one...
Well, as we look to Gavin's surgery, I decided it is time I write out all of the blessings & miracles that we have experienced in his short time with us. Mostly for myself, but also as a reminder to others of God's faithfulness.
1. We were able to have Gavin! Last Mother's Day, I was so disappointed because I so desperately wanted a baby of my own. This year, I get to celebrate with my son. It may be in the hospital, but that's fine by me! I'll go wherever he goes. I may even follow the poor kid to college one day!
2. After finding out I had placenta previa, (a condition that can lead to a life-threatening delivery for baby & mom) God moved the placenta and that was no longer a problem.
3. We found out at 32 weeks that I was carrying too much fluid, and that our little boy didn't have any fluid in his tummy. That led to polyhydramnios. Basically my body was thinking I was full-term 6 weeks too soon. God delivered him safely in spite of that.
4. Going into preterm labor, allowed me to be in the hospital when my placenta abrupted. Had we been home, Gavin probably wouldn't be with us, and I would have been in danger too. Thankfully I was able to be transported to the U of M so I didn't have to be in a different hospital than my baby. Again, God was looking out for us.
5. The gap between Gavin's stomach and esophagus was only 1cm, rather than the 7cm the originally thought.
6. He recovered remarkably well. Every new nurse who worked with him could not believe how well he recovered. Some babies were in the NICU for 4 months.
7. Even though Gavin didn't take food orally for about 2 weeks, he still had the "suck reflex". There were so many babies in the NICU simply because they couldn't figure out how to eat. What a blessing that he knew how.
8. The discharge process was dragged out because of his UTI, and respiratory infection. That was a blessing because we were able to notice the heart rate drops and apnea spells he was having. If we would have brought him home before that I hate to think what would have happened.
9. Gavin's primary nurses. God knew exactly who should care for our little guy. He had two sweet nurses, and we still keep in contact with them! They were his cheerleaders and caregivers when we couldn't be with him. Thanks Darcy & Corinne!!!
10. We were in the NICU 40 days. If you know Bible stories that is a significant number. It usually symbolizes a trial period. A trying time, a hardship. What if there wasn't day 40? Noah endured the flood 40 days, the Israelites wandered in the desert 40 years, Jesus was tempted 40 days. At the end, there was always beauty. A promise from God. I can't help but think that God has something special for our little family.
11. I prayed about 2 years ago for a miracle. For God to come into my life, to show me He is real, to make it so unmistakable that all doubt would be removed. I can say with my whole heart that God gave me this special boy to do just that. When you have absolutely no control over life, when you constantly run to The One who made you and holds all of your days, when you cry out to HIM, knowing that HE is faithful and HE will provide...THAT is where I am! That is a blessing.
12. Gavin is developmentally ahead of where he should be for his "adjusted" and "actual" ages. He is seeing a occupational therapist and teacher every month to assess his development and he is doing so great!
13. Through all the hardships Gavin has been through in his short life, he has shown strength, perseverance, and joy. He is THEE happiest baby. I know I am biased, but the kid smiles constantly! He is the song of my heart.
14. It is not just a coincidence that we live where we do. That we are going to have the surgery where we are. That the surgeon is who he is. It has been planned out LONG before Gavin came to be. God knew we would go through this. He knew we needed to go through this. Does he want His children to suffer? No. Did He hold us in our darkest hours? YES! Is He going to get us through Gavin's surgery on Thursday? YES!
15. The family, friends, and even strangers, who have come alongside our family has been a blessing and an absolute miracle! Without the support, prayers, and concern of others this would be a very dark and lonely road.
I could type out blessing, after blessing, after blessing.
The simple truth is that we are blessed! Beyond all we could ask or imagine! We will praise HIM in the storm. We will look to HIM for strength. We will get through this, because HE will be with us each step we take. As we walk our son in the front doors of the hospital, to the registration desk, back to the prep room, and then as we walk him down the hall where we will part ways for his surgery. EVERY STEP will be treasured. EVERY STEP will be our journey. EVERY STEP has been planned by HIM.
We are going to be okay! I know it, because the past miracles have given us hope.
When I cannot stand, I'll fall on you. Jesus, you're my hope and stay.