Monday, August 23, 2010

Remembering a Turning Point for Samuel

A year ago today was the beginning of the end of Samuel's life.  At least it's when it became very clear to us that Samuel was dying.  Strangely, August 23 is also the anniversary of when we found out we were pregnant with Joel.  Four years ago today, we found out about new life and were filled with joy and wonder; one year ago we found out about impending death and were filled with sorrow and fear.

Yesterday marked a year since we last saw Samuel's eyes open and saw him move.  It was also the last night we spent sleeping at home in Samuel's life.  From August 23 - August 31, we never left the hospital.

Here is what I wrote in my journal at 1:35pm on August 24, 2009:

"We are waiting to get back to see Samuel.  We've only seen him for 20 minutes today.  I feel like we've been waiting forever.  Another baby on the pod passed away around noon.  Thinking about it turns my insides upside down.  I feel ill.  And I know that may very well be us in the near future.  The thought is so nauseating. 

"Yesterday was a pretty horrible day.  Samuel had had a bad night, so we scrapped our plans for church and headed to the hospital.  Around noon his NIRS started to decline quite rapidly. (NIRS measures oxygen to the brain.)  They were normally in the 40's-50's and sometimes even in the 60's and 70's.  Once they drop below 35, they start to flash and turn red.  Samuel's plummeted to the teens and stayed down for about 90 minutes.  We had previously been told that if a baby is going to go south, the NIRS will register it first. 

"Dr. Das came up to us and told us, 'Samuel is critically ill.  I cannot over-emphasize how ill he is.  Anything could happen at anytime.'  Bryan and I both understood and spent the next hour and half praying and singing to Samuel.  My mom came (she had already been on her way b/c of the bad night report), and the three of us spent the rest of the afternoon/early evening with Samuel.  I was weak-kneed and exhausted, but I truly did feel a peace.  In those 90 minutes, I truly thought Samuel was going to die then.  Mostly I wanted to comfort him.

"Now he is more stable, but he is still critically ill.  I think the 'anything could happen at any time' statement is still true, but his stats are not currently drifting south.  He's back on the oscillator and therefore the paralytic.  This is sad to me, but I am so relieved our son is still alive that I haven't grieved the return of the paralytic much.

"I know God can heal our little guy, and am beseeching Him to do so.  Oh, Lord, heal Samuel and get all the glory for it!  Please, please grant us this son to love and to raise.  Reach down and heal his kidneys, his lungs, his heart, and his liver.  Oh, Jesus, please.

"And hold us close.  Help us to trust You more.  Give us 'strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.'  Help us, Lord, for we cannot do this without You.  Be our all and our portion.  Be all that we need.  Help us to glorify You in this.  Help us to bring You honor.  Draw others to You through Samuel's life and story, and be magnified in him and in us.  Amen."

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