Monday, June 23, 2014

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

I'll never forget hearing a speaker at a conference back in the spring of 2001.  He spoke of having to take his child to get their vacinnations, and how hard it was to know you were going to have to put them through pain for their ultimate good.  How do you explain that to a young child?  Well, you just can't.  So you sit there with them, love on them, and tell them it is going to be okay.  And as you watch their face fill with confusion and their voice cry out in pain, your heart just breaks that you can't take it all away in that instant.

These past several months, we've had to experience this sceanrio a lot with each of our children.  Thankfully, all of the things we've gone through have been treatable and fixable, but when it is all happening at once I would be lying if I told you it was easy. It's been an exhausting and overwhelming past few months for our family.  We have seen doctors, dentists, eye specialists, 4 lactaction consultants, a speech therapist, an ENT, a urologist, a podiatrist...etc.  Our calendar has easily been filled with anywhere from 3-5 appointments every single week.  Take a few weeks ago for example: I cracked a tooth the night before so had to head to the dentist on a Tuesday morning for a 3.5 hour appointment to get a temporary crown.

(Let me just interject here that, being the girly-girl that I am, I would typically love to be told I needed a crown.  However, when the words come from a dentist, it's not something anyone finds that "yay!  I'm a princess!" delight in...) 

After my anxiety-filled morning, I drove home and DH and Lucy immediately headed out to the pediatrician to have Lucy's wart frozen off for a SECOND time.  (And yes, we had been trying home remedies, but this wart was trying to grow to the size of the state of Texas!)  DH then dropped Lucy off at the house and immediately took himself to an emergency trip to the eye doctor.  (Some shards of metal had flown up into his eye the night before while working on a project in the kitchen, and his eye was looking seriously angry so much so that the pediatrician noticed it and told him he needed to be seen.)mAt that point I thought, well, hey, 3 out of 5 isn't so bad, right?!

Another typical day for us involved a routine checkup for Annie.  Her one month check was to consist of a weight check (hello over ELEVEN pounds!!) and a vaccine from the nurse.  We had noticed her belly button looking strange after her umbilical cord fell off though.  I had been putting off giving her a bath because I was worried it hadn't all fallen off yet and maybe that's why it looked strange.  So, the nurse said we should have the dr take a look at it.  A simple check up at the pediatrician's office ended up sending Annie and me to the children's hospital for an ultrasound and then a call later from the doctor stating there was an issue that would require surgery to repair (A patent urachus) 

Surgery...on my newborn...when we were already facing an upcoming surgery for our toddler... 

The next few weeks consisted of other tests, including Annie having to get a catheter twice.  Having to stand above her head and hold her hands down as she screamed was absolutely horrible.  All I could do was keep telling her over and over again that it would be ok, that I loved her, and that I was sorry it hurt.

In the midst of all of that, Gabriel had tubes put in.  It's such a quick procedure--it literally only takes about 5-10 minutes for them to do the surgery--but it is so hard on a little one.  After they took him to surgery, I went down the hall to get a cup of coffee and I could literally pick out his cry from behind those closed doors once the surgery was over.  My heart BROKE.  There is nothing that compares to the feeling of knowing your child is hurting and you can't be there with them.  Thankfully, he was only away from us for about 15 minutes, and we were able to love on him and reassure him.  He was NOT a happy camper though!  But wow, what a difference since he's had those tubes put in!  He's talking so much more and he doesn't have fluid on his ears anymore!  It was not a fun procedure to experience, but it ultimately has helped him so much.

The week after Gabriel's tubes were put in, we took Annie to a urologist, where I came prepared with a mile-high list of questions about the surgical procedure...only to have the dr walk in stating the issue had healed on its own! What a praise!! We still have to do some follow up on the issue to be on the safe side, but according to the urologist, Annie is a perfectly healthy baby girl:) I was so excited to go home and throw away her antibiotic (she had to be on antibiotics until the issue was repaired) and give her her very first bath that night, something I will never again take for granted.

I've had many moments these past several months of wanting to just break down (and I've done that a few times, too!) But through all of it, the Lord made it clear that He was in control.  I thought about all He has done in our lives and what a happy time this should be for our family.  But it's so easy to forget all of the good and focus on what's not so good, you know?  It's easy to lose sight of Him and His perfect plan, and it becomes harder to trust. But, I felt like God was asking me if I would still praise Him in the midst of the storm.  I knew the Enemy would like nothing more than for me to question God's goodness; he would love for me to lose sight of what a happy time this really is for our family.  And so I made a decision: I was not going to allow him to steal my joy.  Now, that doesn't mean I didn't have a few meltdowns along the way, but through it all, God reminded me He was still on His throne.  None of these things had taken Him by surprise, and He was going before us to prepare the path He was having us walk down.  It was as if He as standing there with me through it all, just as I did with my own children, saying that He loved me and that it was going to be OK.  

Just as my own children don't always understand how the momentary pain they're having to endure is for their ultimate good, I have to remember that I can't always see how God is using my circumstances for my ultimate good and His glory.  It might not "taste" too good at the moment, but the effects of our cirumstances are helping us to become something much better, so I choose to praise Him in advance for what He's doing, and I thank Him for giving me the strength to endure things until I can see His plan come to fruition. 
As I was typing up this post, Lucy needed to take some medicine and was making horrible faces.  I said "Hey! That's exactly what I need for my latest blogpost!" So, thank you Lucy, for being my pictoral example;-)

Deuteronomy 31:8 "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

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