Praising Him for small mercies

July 30th, 2010

This is a long day.  Thought maybe I’d take time to write out some of the kindnesses that God is showing to us.  So as not to forget them!

I remembered to pack my Trinity Hymnal!

Every single staff member who has crossed our path has been extra attentive and sensitive to our needs.

The breastfeeding mothers’ meals are really and truly free.  This was checked and verified by three or four different people.

Since the hospital meals are skimpy, I am grateful for the food my friend brought me during our last hospital stay.  Just right for when my stomach growls hours before the next meal comes.

Verity rested fairly well overnight, and so did our itty-bitty neighbor on the other side of the room.  I was able to get good sleep in between pumping sessions overnight.

I was wakened at 5 am by two nurses turning on the lights.  They apologized, and explained that they had come to draw Verity’s pre-op bloodwork.  Well, after four different nurses tried and failed repeatedly, they called down to tell anesthesiology that they couldn’t get enough.  Her veins are so tiny and her blood was thick due to being slightly dehydrated.  Anesthesiology’s answer was that they just had to get enough.  The nurses snagged a Life Lion (helicopter EMT) nurse to come and try.  They said he could do it if anyone could.  I guess no one could!  They all finally gave up after an hour.  Plan B was to wait until they took her to surgery and put her central line in, then get the blood they needed from that, then wait for the results before proceeding with the surgery.  I tell this story here because when God says, “No,” to our requests, and doesn’t give an explanation for His answer, He is still merciful.

This morning at around 6:45, we found ourselves alone in the room with Verity.  I had forgotten to ask if we were allowed to hold her.  Joe said, “They didn’t say we couldn’t,” and handed her to me.  Sitting there in the rocking chair with her, I suddenly thought that maybe we shouldn’t wait any longer to pray over her.  So Joe laid his hand on her head and prayed.  Toward the end of his prayer, several people came into the room.  They waited quietly until he was finished, then they loaded up her bed with all her equipment.  And paused, signaling to me that it was time to lay her down.

I thank the Lord for the strong, comforting shoulder of my husband.

And for the words that have been singing in my mind, “Whate’er my God ordains is right: holy His will abideth; I will be still whate’er He doth, and follow where He guideth: He is my God; though dark my road, He holds me that I shall not fall: wherefore to Him I leave it all.”

Here in the parents’ room, there is a very large shelf full of books on all sorts of childhood health issues.  And the nice elderly lady on duty (who smells just like my grandma used to) unlocked it and let me take out a whole stack of books at once.

Only one parent is allowed to stay overnight in the hospital parents’ room.  But we were told that the absolute worst place to sleep is here in the hospital.  And the Ronald McDonald House has space for us for as long as we are here in Hershey.  We found out that volunteers go there every evening with a free supper for forty people!  Joe is taking a tour of the House right now, and picking up our keys.

We were given a tote bag full of goodies from Hershey Hearts, a group of parents whose children have had heart surgeries here at Hershey.  The bag included basic toiletries, a crib quilt, and three free meal tickets, which will be wonderful for Joe.  The meal tickets, that is.

All the pump parts and bottles that come into contact with the milk must be washed with detergent that is not anti-bacterial.  Liquid Ivory dish detergent is the only one we’ve found that is readily available.  I had forgotten to pack our bottle of it yesterday.  In the Intermediate Care Unit, where Verity and I slept last night, I just used hot water from the sink in the room to rinse them, thinking that Joe could go out to a grocery store for the Ivory later.  But this morning, of all the possible varieties of dish detergents, guess what we found at the kitchen sink in the parents’ area?

Wow.  That only took forty-five minutes to write.  Wait, they told us not to watch the clock.  Oops.  There’s a stack of books on Down syndrome calling to me…

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24 Responses to “Praising Him for small mercies”

  1. Youngwife says:

    Had you on my mind, and wanted to check in on ya!  I will be praying for you today, and will be anxious to read an update, Susanna!  Love you, and pray that the Lord will give you and your dh the peace Joe Ray and I had when Rachael went in for brain surgery…we slept!  Really!  We found a quiet waiting room and fell in to such a deep, peaceful sleep.  We both knew that it was a blessing from the Lord.

  2. Marci says:

    Even in the midst of it all, you manage to be mirthful. I laughed when I read of the miraculous properties of your skirt! Praying, here, my friend.

  3. Mandy (linemansgirl) says:

    Since I have also been holding a new bundle in my arms I have not been commenting, but I have continued to read and hold Verity and your family up in prayer.  Your faith in God and love for precious Verity has been truly inspiring to me.
    Love you my sweet friend!  Many (((((((Hugs)))))  and prayers.

  4. Kristin says:

    Checking often and praying dear friend!

  5. Marilyn Osborn says:

    Checking often…..lifting you up….if only you could see how much my heart swells when I read here and think of you…..praying for peace and health…..M

  6. greta says:

    God is good.  May you continue to be comforted and blessed….and we will continue to pray

  7. Praying and

  8. Patti says:

    I hope the hours are passing by as quickly as possible for you. You have an army of prayer warriors lifting your sweet baby (and you!) up this very minute- hope you’re feeling it!! We stayed at the Ronald McDonald house in Portland for the week that Lily was in the NICU when she was first born. It was such a blessing, and the people who ran it were so kind. It made me want to go back some day and bring meals to repay their kindness. I hope you get some rest in the midst of all this. Thank you for keeping us updated!! oxPatti

  9. Ruth Einfeld says:

    I was also blessed with sound sleep on a sofa in the parents room while Esther had her surgery…I never understood it, but now see it as a gift from God.  Thanks for the update, I’ve been praying for all as I’ve been going about my day…

  10. danielle madison says:

    Thank you for the update Susanna.  I have been thinking about your family and little Verity all day.  From the morning feeding time, to my walk, to Dr. appointments, my heart has been praying for your baby.  I am so thankful you see God’s hand of mercy upholding you, and even blessing you during this hard time.  How neat about the soap-how that shows God cares about the little details of our lives not just the big things.  He cares about soap!  I hope you are able to get some good rest tonight. 

  11. Valerie says:

    Susanna, my heart aches and yearns for and with you guys right now.  Praying for the Lord’s will…for steady hands and minds for the doctors involved…for you and Joe and the kids…and of course for precious Verity who is as adorable as any of my kids (and that’s sayin’ somethin’ ;))…please continue to keep us updated as you can.

  12. Marci says:

    Lifting you, Joe, and Verity up in prayer right now.  Anxiously awaiting the update when she’s out of surgery.  Wish I could do more for you!  {{{{{{{big hugs}}}}}}}

  13. Cheryl says:

    I prayed for Verity and the doctors this morning when I sat down to read my Bible. You have such a beautiful spirit about what you are going through.Thanks for letting us know what’s happening.

  14. Stefani Heustis says:

    I have prayed for you throughout the day and won’t stop.  I am remembering what the day was like when Sarah had surgery and how incredible the blessings were, how the hospital staff was and how wonderful the Ronald McDonald house staff were.  The house was SO nice and SO pretty.  We were able to be there and pray over a family who were hanging out, living there as long as they could for an anencephalic baby who was expected to go Home anyday.  They had her at the house and I got to kiss baby Faith and pray.  The blessings through this deep places are too numerous to count but are SO visible they can’t be missed.  If I were close I’d come see you and just sit so you could talk, or just answer questions about what it was like for us as we lived through what is going on for you.  In my heart I am sitting with you.  I wish I could do more.  Praying God is all you need, all Verity needs, and that His peace is more than enough.  The day is long, but it will be over, and Verity will be in good hands.  The first couple days are a challenge but knowing her heart is repaired goes a LONG way. 

  15. Lisa says:

    I can’t find words to express how I am feeling for you, but I am feeling it deeply.  Your whole family has been in my thoughts and prayers continually today.  Last week was the 1st anniversary of Magdalena’s surgery so the memories of it are vivid in my mind.  I was praying that you would see each of God’s little mercies and I’m so glad to read that you are!

  16. Joy Horton says:

    (((((((((((Susanna))))))))))))) My heart leaped when I saw that there was an update. You don’t need to watch the clock – I’ll do it for you! ; )

    I’m praying for you and aching for you. Your hymn brought me to tears. Such precious, trusting words. Beautiful. I am SO glad you have your hymnal with you!

    The picture of you and Joe hovered over Verity praying is vivid in my mind, though I didn’t actually see it.

    Anxiously awaiting an update on more of God’s faithfulness and continuing to pray, my friend.

  17. Tears just keep on rolling down my cheeks!  I think that I spoke too soon about health returning to our family.  Elliot is down with a fever.  I hate this feeling of not being able to be helpful to you in your time of need.  I guess the Lord is trying to teach me something about “quiet service”…in prayer on my knees for my dear, dear sister and SWEET baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!  Love to you and your whole family.  AND I know your children and they WILL be a blessing to the family blessed to have them in their care!

  18. jennifer76 says:

    been lifting you all up in prayer!

  19. Anna T says:

    Praying for Verity, your family and medical team.  I am close in York, PA.  If you need anything, please let me know and I’ll come.  ((Hugs)) 

  20. Anna T says:

    Sorry, I’m Jacob’s mommy on BabyCenter. 

  21. Cole says:

    Praying for sweet verity and your family- hugs and well wishes

  22. My heart is just overflowing with gladness!  I’ve been praying haaaaaaaaaaard for kind sensitive medical folks- you’ve gotten that plus a lot of “gravy” too!

  23. Kimberly Zimmerman says:

    Thank you dear God for the “peace that passeth understanding for Joe and Susanna”, for guiding the surgeon’s hand, for giving Susanna much needed sleep and for keeping sweet and precious Verity safe!!  I’ve been following your blog for months now.  What an inspiration your story has been!  We have and will continue to pray for you!

  24. Leslie Lehmer says:

    Susanna, I am reading this blog post nearly four years after the fact and I still cried when I read it. And even though I know the outcome was good for little Verity, I can still feel the wrench it surely was when you had to give your baby up even though it was out of sheer trust in our Heavenly Father. God is so good and I see evidence of it every time I see pictures of a healthy and beautiful Verity, three and a half years later. To God be the glory!
    In Christ,
    Leslie Lehmer 

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