Posted January 29th, 2011 by Wes
As a kid my family and I would frequently load up in the faux wood-panelled station wagon and take a road trip to Kansas City to visit my grandparents. We were always excited about going to see them and we were always excited to arrive but I remember the trip north on highway 71 being long and brutal. My 3 brothers and I weren’t great travelers. We would listen to mix-tapes on our Walkmans, play with GI Joes and read books for the first few hours of the trip but inevitably we would tire of these activities and become restless. We had identifiable landmarks along the way that would give us an idea of how much longer we were going to be sitting in the car. It was a given that at some point one of us would ask the question that has been asked on every road-trip ever taken with kids. “Are we there yet?” We would wear my parents out with this question to the point of them initiating a mandatory quiet game or a threat to pull over and spank us. Ironically these not-so precious moments of road-trip crowd control tactics would generally commence near the Precious Moments Chapel exit in Carthage, MO.
As an adult I’ve moved on from the Walkman to an iPod and become quite fond of road trips but I do find myself in a similar state of impatience when I’m in difficult situations or sufferings that are beyond my control. I know that at some point in life everyone has to deal with difficult circumstances and while I’m still learning how to be patient during trials, I am so thankful that I know that I can lay my burdens at the feet of the creator and he will give me peace. Philippians assures us that we don’t have to be anxious about anything and that we can go to God with our requests. This bold statement, that we can talk directly to God and ask for deliverance from our troubles, should bring great comfort to all believers. We can also be encouraged by the fact that God’s peace, which is beyond our understanding, can and will guard us and protect us in Christ.
On October 4th, our babies Graham and Gibson came prematurely and we’ve been in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) everyday for the last 8 weeks and it appears we will probably be there for at least another 4 weeks. I find myself intensely desiring to arrive at our destination of this unwanted adventure and I’m continually asking God, “are we there yet”? A friend of mine encouraged me to use this situation to realize and embrace my total dependence on God during this difficult time and to submit to him fully even when I would rather fast forward through these trying days. Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
I look at my babies laying in their incubators and realize that God is not impressed with the size difference or mental capacity that I have in relation to my boys. The Father looks on Carrie, Graham, Gibson and I as His children and while we are totally helpless in doing anything to add another hour to our lives, he has full control and just wants us to call on him so that he can give us peace, hope and take care of us. This is the confidence that we have during uncertain times because we are believers, and this love that the Father has for us is what we need to be telling others about so that they can find comfort in Him as well.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Posted January 19th, 2011 by Carrie
Our sweet baby boys are now 15 weeks old. And, while we are SO incredibly weary of this process and of the NICU, we looked in another room there tonight and saw some babies the size of Graham and Gibson when they were born and we realize how far we have come and how much we have to praise God for. Both our little men are looking so great and to us seem so big now. Graham has been home for nearly a month and is gaining weight steadily. We are LOVING getting to love on him all the time, or at least all the time we aren’t at the hospital loving on Gibson. He makes the funniest faces and noises and is so entertaining. Gibson is doing so great as well. He is so bright-eyed and alert and seems to be saying to us “take me home!!” every time we are with him. Our hearts are aching to do that.
After further ultrasounds it appears that the pressure in our Gibbers brain has not subsided but has increased. So, he is supposed to have a shunt put in this week. We were really crushed about this at first because we don’t want him to have to have surgery and we don’t want anything else to slow him down from coming home. But after visiting more with the doctors, much prayer and some serious breakdowns on my part, we are feeling peace about it. We really do believe this will be best for him and hopefully will even help him get home sooner. Praise God the shunt is totally internal and they say the actual procedure of putting it in is very simple. We have already heard from several friends about babies who have shunts and how in time it doesn’t really affect their lives. We pray this will be the case for our sweet baby Gibson. He has been doing so well and looking so big and healthy that we just want to take him home….I can’t tell you how tempted I am to rip that sensor out of the wall and take off running with him! He is nursing beautifully which is such a blessing and really a surprise because usually that is more of a challenge for preemies. However, he does not like the bottle and this has been a challenge for us because we need him to take a bottle before he comes home. So, we ask you to continue to pray with us!! Pray for Gibson’s shunt surgery to happen this week, for him to be COVERED in PROTECTION from the Father against infection, for him to recover quickly, for him to continue to nurse well and get down his bottle feeding and for him to COME HOME TO US!!!!!
I have to believe that my boys miss each other and I think they will both do so much better with the other one close by. We long for the reunion of our whole family together. PRAY for God to answer this request quickly!!!!
Here are videos of each of the boys that Wes put together today….Thanks to everyone again for your prayers….I believe we are still standing because of them.
Posted January 5th, 2011 by Carrie
Here are some cute pics from the past few days! And, yesterday I posted some specific prayers for our G-men so look at those when you can! Thank you SO much to everyone for praying for all of us and for continuing those prayers!!
Gibson with chubby cheeks
Daddy and a very content Gibbers
Smiley Graham is SO happy to be home!! He is just ready for his brother to get here!
Here we are preparing Graham for his first doctor’s visit! It went great!
Posted January 4th, 2011 by Carrie
Well, since the long awaited arrival of Graham we’ve had very little time to blog! It has been such a blessing to have our precious little man home, but it does just increase our anxiousness to get Gibson here. It has been a challenge to divide our time between home and the NICU. Praise God that reinforcements arrived on Christmas Day in the form of my parents - we were SO thankful to see them and they have been an incredible help! We have loved snuggling our sweet Graham man all day long. He has been so precious at home. Gibson has made some wonderful improvements the last several days and we are incredibly thankful. Last Wednesday I had a pretty big meltdown and was feeling really down and worried about Gibson still being on oxygen. Thursday he got off the oxygen - thank YOU LORD! He has been doing so well and is working on taking a bottle and breast feeding. He is making great strides with both! Please keep praying with us for a few specific things:
- Pray for Gibson to continue to breathe well and to learn to eat well so he can come home quickly!
-Gibson has had some continued pressure on his brain due to the bleeding that he had. There is a possibility that we will have to have a shunt put in to relieve the pressure. We are praying with all our hearts that this won’t be necessary. Please pray this with us!
-Pray for both boys to continue to gain weight well and for them to thrive at home!
We are so thankful for God’s hand over us. It really is incredible how continuously we reach points where we feel completely overwhelmed and like we can’t go any further, but He faithfully provides and sustains.
Here is Gibson right before going off oxygen - I love him in his little monsters sleeper
Close-up of the Graham-burger (the poor child will probably never be called by his real name!)