Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

...You do not have, because you do not ask."

James 4:2

"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18: 7-8 (Parable of the Persistent Widow)

I've been thinking a lot about my friend Misty's response to my last post: "You are allowed to hope and pray for a healthy baby." I've been lifting up to the Lord that I've been struggling with how to pray for Zoe. His response was a reminder in my heart of the verse "ask, and keep on asking".

I realized then that I've been trying to pray "perfect" prayers. Ones that are perfectly in line with God's will. They've been open-ended and wishy-washy, "Lord, let Your will be done" prayers without the asking for the daily bread, or acknowledging that He is Father. It's another form of that insidious self-protection that I've been working through since Nicholas & Olivia died.

Sabrina has no problem asking for what she wants and needs. Repeatedly. As an imperfect, human parent I get frustrated sometimes because I can't meet her needs and expectations. But God is our perfect parent. He can handle the repeated requests, and when it's time to lay them down, He will tell us.

I've been reluctant to pray for a healthy baby because I don't trust that I'll get my prayer answered. It didn't get answered before. Twice. Why, I don't know and choose to accept that I won't know until I see Him face to face. God is not human and His ways are not our ways. What's been burning in my heart lately is needing to go deeper in seeking an understanding of God's character and His love for me. I've been thinking so much about Job and his ability to say "I know that my Redeemer lives" even in the face of losing all his children, his fortunes, and his health. What kind of relationship did he have with the Lord before all that happened to make him so rock-solid in his understanding of his Father?

So I'll ask, and keep on asking. And I will seek, and keep on seeking. And knock until the door is opened.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I knew before Zoe came that I would struggle with overanalyzing her. Looking for clues, hints right from the beginning that would show that she had SMA. I gloried in her vigorous movements, her strength, her ability to breastfeed right away. I loved her first yell, and how she kept yelling until she got what she wanted. I praised God for His mercy and kindness at such a precious gift.

I looked for tongue fasiculations while she slept. I kept testing her reflexes. Kept asking people if she looked and acted like a "normal" newborn. Tried to read their faces to see if there was something they weren't telling me. Then the 2nd week newborn sleepiness set in, and I was almost undone. Her belly breathing looked suspicious. She wasn't waking up for feeds. She wasn't crying anymore.

God met me in my paranoia through the Internet and led me to a number of websites that reminded me that all the things I was seeing were typical newborn behaviour and once she got past her sleepy stage I would be wishing it came back. And they were right. Zoe continues to grow in vigor, growing stronger not weaker. Because the onset of SMA can manifest later, "all of a sudden", we did request a genetic test for our peace of mind. But I am at peace regardless of the test.

To be honest, I am disappointed in myself. We are called to walk by faith, not by sight. I am at peace because I am seeing signs of the healthy baby that I believe God promised me when she was conceived. I should be at peace just because God led us to have another baby and no matter what happens He has promised to work all things out for our good. I am grateful that He is meeting me where I'm at and continuing to reveal Himself and His nature to me through this.

It is so hard to reconcile "healthy baby = gift from God" when my Nicholas & Olivia were gifts from God too.

Zoe's Third Week

I love that Zoe is so much her own person but also reminds me so much of Nicholas, Olivia, and Sabrina.

This week I have been discovering the depth of my determination, and Zoe has been discovering her world. She is so strong! She holds herself up when I put her to my shoulder. She can lift her head and tries to crawl when on her tummy. She moves and kicks and squirms so much when put on her back that she needs help settling down when it's been enough for her. She nurses so well that she has already gained a pound from her birthweight, when average breastfed babies have just regained their birthweight.

No test results yet, but we are still believing that they will confirm what we already know. And knew in our hearts before she was even here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zoe's First Two Weeks

Zoe is laying all snuggled in my arms, smiling at me as she drifts off to sleep. If you could describe her in one word, it would be "content". She sleeps well, feeds well, has lovely alert periods where she likes to look around and move and kick. She really only fusses when she's hungry, and if she had a choice between eating and sleeping, she'd rather sleep. We had to spend a few days waking her up every two hours to eat because you could see that she knew she was hungry but didn't want to wake up to eat. Now she's easy to wake up again and wakes up hungry!

She has already surpassed her birthweight and as of yesterday weighs 7lb 4oz! Breastfeeding has been going well for Zoe, but for me it has been quite an adjustment. Her purple mouth in this week's pictures will tell you that we've been using gentian violet to treat some trauma caused by her enthusiasm and my inexperience. It's been painful but is almost healed, and seriously, is so worth it! It is wonderful not to mix formula or mess around with bottles. This has been a huge answer to prayer, something I've longed for. I love that I can feed her whenever she wants and it's always ready and so good for her.

Yesterday during our midwife visit we put her down for some tummy time and she was lifting her head and trying to crawl across the blanket. I don't think she knows she's only 2 weeks old. My guess is she's trying to get big and strong so Sabrina can play with her. Sabrina's trying to be patient, and enjoys snuggling with her and playing with her when she's awake. She's also very helpful and would even change diapers for me if I would let her :o)

Zoe had a consult with Genetics on March 31. The doctor's clinical assessment was very encouraging and if we had not had the family history would have had no indication that a blood test was needed. We asked for the blood test for our own peace of mind, and for Zoe to learn about her carrier status when she's ready to have children of her own. We hope, pray, and expect the blood test to confirm what God is already showing us - that Zoe is a healthy, happy baby. We won't know the results for another 2-4 weeks.

Zoe's been to our chiropractor a few times and nurses better, lays on her back more comfortably, and can turn her head to both sides. She's even been grocery shopping, and came with me to get Sabrina some new shoes. Most of the time, we are content at home for now, resting and healing and getting the hang of this breastfeeding routine. I expect us to be going out and about more and more over the next few weeks.

I can't think of a better way to spend my 35th birthday other than to have Corrie and Sabrina home with me for the day too.