Friday, November 4, 2011

An Overwhelming Blessing

Yesterday was overwhelming, and an overwhelming blessing. I experienced for the first time a sense of doing exactly the things that God laid on my heart over 3 years ago and it has refreshed and renewed my spirit more than I can even explain today.

Yesterday started as a normal day until I checked my email. I got an email from a friend and parent of an amazing little girl named Pepper. We had corresponded about her little girl even before she was born as she had some trouble and there was a point where she thought Pepper may decide to make an early appearance. She was able to hold on to term but yesterday morning she was thinking that her cousin may not. So, she asked me to pray for her cousin, pregnant at 26 weeks and admitted to the hospital with low amniotic fluid. Through her email I got to contact her cousin and her cousin's mother, who were both quick to express their gratitude that I would take an interest in what was going on and that there were so many people praying for them. Little did I know this was just the beginning.

Earlier this week we had been praying for my cousin's son Tyler. He was born just about a week early, but was having complications due to the fact that there was some blood mixing between him and his mom during delivery. She has a negative blood type and he has a positive. He was sent to St Francis NICU and yesterday we found out that he was going to have to have a blood transfusion. My cousin's parents were watching their other little girl and couldn't take her into the NICU so Ashley and I decided to go up and be with them while they were doing the transfusion. It was such a blessing! I got to talk with my cousin and his wife more than I ever have before. It's not that we don't speak, just that family gatherings are hectic and this setting of the two of them and the two of us talking about Tyler and our shared experience of having a baby in the NICU brought us to a level of conversation where I began to see them in a different way. I guess some would say we bonded. I would say that God brought us together in a fellowship that breaks down walls and barriers of communication in a way that is unique to the NICU experience. We spoke in terms that we were familiar with and they were learning. We were able to share with them the details of Isaac's birth and they were able to share their concern not only for their son but for all of the tiny babies in the rooms around him. They were genuinely interested in knowing about the various issues that preemies have and what makes every preemie different. Their boy was technically born early and they were definitely concerned for him but I saw my wife and myself in them. They had begun to have a heart and concern for the babies that were much worse than Tyler. Looking back on it now, it was an amazing work of God in theirs and our lives.

To backtrack a little, on our way to Tulsa I received two more prayer requests, one from my aunt about a friend's daughter who is pregnant in her early first trimester who had a serious seizure yesterday. The other was actually about Pepper. She was on her way to St Francis too, to have a feeding tube inserted. Little Pepper has Downs Syndrome and one major issue she is having is gaining any weight. She has a heart defect that is effecting her eating and growth. They are inserting a feeding tube because she started losing weight instead of gaining this week. This family is very supportive of what we are trying to do with preemie families and I have been working with Pepper's mom on a blog where she has been sharing the up's and down's of Peppers journey. You can find the blog at sweetpepperspath.blogspot.com.

To top off our day (turning into night) of visiting with preemie families we got a chance to meet Natalie Moss and her twins George and Jack for the first time in person. If you get my emails, look at our NEOPOP facebook page or our blog (neokpreemies.blogspot.com) you have seen me mention the Moss twins several times. They were born at 25 weeks and have had several surgeries and issues that has made their NICU stay a roller coaster. We were in contact with Natalie from the beginning through my sister Shelly (we aren't blood but she is my sister, she will tell you). They are friends since college and this being a preemie family and twins (I am a twin) my heart was connected to this family and it showed when we met. We talked with Natalie last night as if we had known each other forever. George and Jack are doing well and we talked about celebrating their leaving the NICU soon. She also showed lots of concern and knowledge about preemies and the NICU. It was really great to get to meet them.

We left the hospital in the evening, tired, but so excited. My comment to Ashley was, "I could do this all day every day." She just smiled and said, "I know." We talked about our afternoon all the way home pretty much and just how great it was to be doing what we know God has called us to do. I have always heard many ministers of all kinds talk about how we should allow God to fill us up with His word and His wisdom and minister to people out of the overflowing of His love. I haven't experienced that any more clearly than I did yesterday. The thing about it was that He kept on filling us up while we were ministering. He kept on encouraging. The mother I spoke of at the beginning of the email posted on Facebook that her amniotic level had risen from 4.2 to 8 and gave praise to God. Tyler's transfusion went off without a hitch and his levels are higher. As I write Jack Moss is getting ready to go home and George is having what we hope is a final minor procedure on his eyes. I know that all preemies do not experience such good outcomes as these (and ours), and I know that there will be very tough days when it comes to encouraging preemie families, but yesterday was not one of them. Yesterday was a good day, and all praise, honor and glory for that goes to Jesus Christ, who comforts us with such a great comfort that we are able to pass it on to others.

In His name and for His glory,
Brian Wagnon