Saturday, August 16, 2008
After 2 straight days of rain, we're ready for a little sun. It seems like we've been right here before - post surgery, sensitive to every little fluctuation in our babies vitals.
Having her home with us, we learned how she communicates. When she's hungry, she does the cutest little thing with her mouth, sticking out her tongue like she scraping a film off with her teeth. When she's angry, she balls up her fists and scratches at her face & ears, usually accompanied by an attempt at crying. She opens her mouth and looks like she's about to belt out a cry but only gives a little "ehh," as if that's enough to get her point across. And it always is. No need for theatrics.
Last night she let us know how she acts when she's really in pain. I don't want to go into detail, but it was heart-wrenching to experience. Something no parent ever wants to see, especially from such an undeserving young soul. We tried everything in our arsenal to calm her, save picking her up, but nothing worked. Even moving her head to the other side made her bawl, so we were pretty limited. I'm guessing she had a splitting headache, no surprise considering the massive pressure changes it's been put through.
She's on the feeding tube, and had recently "eaten" but they let me try giving her a bottle anyway, since she was still chowing down on her pacifier. It actually worked. She took the whole thing pretty quickly, and it was one of her best bottle feedings to-date. No breathing problems at all. During and after, her eyes were getting heavy which was great - we wanted nothing more than for her to go to sleep so we could go home & do the same. But it was only a temporary relief, subsiding almost as soon as she finished the bottle (and burped). More rooting, fist-clenching and inconsolable crying. We felt every bit of her pain.
This lasted off and on for hours, finally resulting in an order of pain-relief medication for Alex. It took an eternal 10 mins or so to kick in, but finally it did and it was like a giant rock was lifted off our chests. She went right to sleep - relief for all of us.
As you read this, you may think it's not fair. This baby's been through enough - she shouldn't have to go through this. I know we certainly feel that way. But as I sit her with the rain steadily falling outside the window, I pray that I can look back on this experience as something that made us stronger. Made Alex stronger. It's cliche, but rainy days are essential for growth. And when we feel this helplessness, we go to the only one that's really in control, and lean on Him with faith that he'll get us all through this. And all of a sudden, the rock is lifted off our chests.
Although we pray for sunshine right now, I can't help but think of the lyrics to a fitting song:
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory. And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain