This has been a whirlwind of a week!!! I spend 24 hours straight at the hospital on Sunday through Monday to try to speed Alayna's homecoming without a heart monitor. We have been praying so hard and fervently that she would not come home attached to any machines, but would be free of the hospital and we then would be free to enjoy her and finally get on with life as a family again! Up to last Sunday she was home free without a monitor and looking like coming home was around the corner....we were delighted to say the least. Then Monday hit and she had a few alarms. Not such a big deal to US, but hospital policy says she cannot come home monitor free unless she has been 5 days free of alarms. Grrrrr! I was starting to wonder if I had Pr 13:12 "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:" written on a huge post it note on my back! Tuesday they called to tell us that Alayna was very close to coming home and then Wednesday they basically told us to "Come and get her." :) We had to first complete an hour or so of training for the monitor and also infant CPR before she was set to go home with us. During this time Joel and I had been in a spiritual battle. Remember me posting about "loose ends?" Well by the time the monitor was even an issue, we were in a position where we NEEDED to see God work. We at this point are exhausted from 7 weeks of bed rest, an emergency surgery and recovery and hospital trips every day for 3o some days. WE NEED TO SEE GOD. We take this monitor situation and pour over it with whatever spiritual strength we have left. We fast, we beg God to show us His power and might.
All through the demonstration at the hospital on how to use the monitor I could not hardly make eye contact with the instructor. I was praying, beseeching God to work. "It is not too late Lord, you can work it out so that we would not need this thing," I cried. THEN the CPR instruction began, "Let's say Alayna is blue and is not breathing...." I about lost it. "Lord, why? Why are you allowing us to go through ANOTHER THING??" The instructor could not have imagined the spiritual war going on inside my heart. Joel knows...he is equally disappointed and heartbroken and places his hand on my arm.
When we were done, we then heard that Alayna had to stay on the NEW monitor for several hours and at that point it was the proverbial "Straw that broke the camel's back," for me. I wept right there over Alayna's bassinet. I stared at the wires and such on her chest. A nurse came over and asked if I was alright. I wasn't. I have never been one that could hide my feelings or disappointment or joy for that matter. In a few words I told her I was not comfortable with the monitor and was just "done" with all of this. I then left and told her that she would have to talk to my husband and found a nice corner chair in the surgery waiting room and cried my heart out to the Lord. I told Him that I was angry. Angry that after all the prayers we had said I still ended up hemorrhaging and almost dying. Angry that Alayna has had to stay here so long. Angry that she still had to come home with a monitor even after all the prayers for the exact opposite. I felt cheated, like He was purposely hurting us, not answering, and leaving us with this terrible hopelessness.
Joel found me and we both just sat holding each other in silence. Our faith is weak, and we are without any answer to comfort each other as to why God has decided to allow this. Again, this is just the culmination of some very disappointing trying times. We both just had had enough. We went home and I cried with Abby, who was undoubtedly very disappointed and that night we were so tired emotionally we could not wait to get to bed. Weariness indeed makes cowards of us all.
Then Thursday morning came. The Doctor called as usual around 9 and told me Alayna was "ready to come home yesterday and she definitely was ready today. Come and get your little girl whenever you want." "Yeah I have heard that before," I thought half heartedly. I devised a plan. I decided to call a sweet family and ask them to come watch the kids and told the kids I had some "errands to run." There was NO way I was going to come home to the same awful scene I had yesterday, poor things! I also decided NOT to tell Joel. There was a two-fold purpose for this. One, I needed to show the Lord that I could do this. I can, in faith, go, do something I do not understand, nor like, stare that monitor in the face and by FAITH say, "so be it." I had asked a lot of God, and He deserved something from me at this point. Secondly, I had to go alone for Joel. He needed to see that I did have an ounce of faith left and was going to exercise it. I could trust the Lord in this.
To make a long story short, I faced the nurse I walked out on, the doctor I did not agree with, and smiled with whatever amazing grace God could give me, dressed my beautiful daughter in a dress and bow and listened to my home-going instructions. I brought Alayna's preemie clothes that she outgrew and gave them to a sweet lady next to us for her daughter. I became friends with her and gave her a tract telling her that she could come see us anytime and we would love to be a help to her. This scenario was so funny to me because here I was, feeling lower than a snake's belly, downhearted and discouraged in my situation, yet I am reaching out to this lady, remembering to bring her Alayna's little sleepers. THAT is evidence of God's grace working. I do believe, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. 2:13 This was all of Him and none of me.
I cannot explain the feeling that came over me driving away from the hospital......it is inexpressible! I shouted out loud which I am surprised did NOT set the alarms off on the monitor! Suddenly monitor or no monitor, I didn't care. She was mine, she was with me, and she was headed home to see her Daddy.....and 5 VERY anxiously surprised siblings! Joel was more surprised that I had concocted this all by myself than seeing Alayna, though both were wonderful revelations to him! We smiled a "who knows what God is doing but we are together and hanging on until the end," smiles to eachother. We were finally together as a family.
Friends, this has been sooo unbelievably long. (This time I mean not this post.....LOL) Bed rest and separated as a family, 10 weeks of people bringing meals for us, surgery, recovery, trips to the hospital, and now it is finally over. I am at a loss for words to describe this feeling also. I do know though that by faith if you act, if you dig down deep, really deep, if you cry out to the Lord in anger, frustration and fear, and you still act in faith, God's amazing grace will overshadow you, will shine even the smallest flicker of light on your path, with make obstacles seem so insignificant, and will allow Him to work through you working HIS perfect will.
It is good to be home.