Friday, April 27, 2012

Power of Prayer

First and foremost, it's Friday which means a visit to the perinatologist.  Uneventful, which is good, another 8/8 on our biophysical profile, and a growth scan today.

Mr. Parker Edward Knoll is currently weighing in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces.  This is approximately the size of a baby two weeks older than him, but I will take it quite happily.  I am huge person, my husband is a huge person, and Jeremiah has been huge since he was conceived.  We like 'em big.

His practice breathing was great, which is always encouraging.  I am decidedly uncomfortable this week, with more frequent contractions and some accompanying pains.  All of that is normal for a 36 weeks pregnant lady, but when I stood up to walk back to the exam rooms, sweet Lorrie (the nurse who sees me every Friday) said, "Ohhhhhh.  That baby is ready to come out."  There is a noticeable difference since last week.  Whatevs, P-nut, do what you need to do but hang on for 21 more days!

Scratch that 21 days business.  That sounds like forever.  Let's go with 3 weeks.

We got some adorable pictures of his pouty mouth and his gigantic cheeks.  I am so excited about meeting this little one!

I am, of course, commensurately TERRIFIED about what's coming.  We've known about this for 20 weeks now, and I'd say probably 95% of that 20 weeks has been pretty darn peaceful.  We know we are covered in prayers and love, we are way more educated about CDH than any parents ever should be, and we have our battle plan lined up.  Still, as it gets closer to D-Day, all the hypotheticals and what-ifs and uncertainties that used to be way off in the hazy future are staring us straight in the face.  We agreed that (I mentioned this in our previous post), as the time gets closer, we needed to meet with Chuck, our preacher, to get some "spiritual reinforcements."

We went to visit him and Leisa (children's director) on Wednesday,  He is a wonderful, wonderful man.  We talked through Parker's situation, and he prayed over us. Leisa prayed over us. I spent the majority of the hour doing the ugly cry, never moreso than when Chuck said, "Mike, come pray for your wife and son."

My husband is many things to many people, but what he is NOT is a talker or an emotional guy.  He's a police officer, so his standard response to stress is to go straight to business mode. He loves and feels deeply, he just shows instead of tells. (being a dad is turning him into a big old softie, though.  It amuses me!)  Laying his soul out to God in front of other people is most definitely not something he's accustomed to.  Bless his soul, he stepped right up and did it and it was beautiful.  EVERYONE was doing the ugly cry by the end of that, but I will most definitely put it up there as one of the defining moments in our marriage.  I love that man with every fiber of my being.

**I should add, however, that due to the emotional nature of our afternoon, we had to go get an iced coffee afterwards.  Told you.**

Here's the part where I record the things we took with us on Wednesday, so that during my low times I can look back on this and remember:
1) The God of All Creation is holding Parker.  Has been this whole time, and will be forever.  He is now, and will be, right there with him saying, "I've got ya, buddy." *that's where the ugly cry started for me*
2) He hears our prayers.  His heart is swayed by them. We may or may not get answers in the form we'd like to see, but what kind of God would He be if He did what we told him to?
3)  We don't know the purpose for Parker's life just yet, except that his life will work for the glory of God.  It might be that Parker grows up and gives a testimony to thousands about how God healed him despite debilitating odds.  It might be that Parker stays with us a short time, but helps us draw closer to God during whatever time we have with him.
4)  We can't let this affect our marriage. We took vows to keep God in the center of our marriage through thick and thin, and this will be a test of that.  If we keep our eyes on Him, we can keep our eyes on each other.
5)  "50-50" are man-made odds.  God is in control 100% of the time.
6) "The church best becomes the church when you NEED the church."  This is so very true.  We are blessed to be in a church where we feel loved, supported, and know without a shadow of a doubt that we are being prayed for constantly. *this is a tremendous lesson in opening yourself up to admit your struggles and accept the hands that stretch out to help you.  I actually had to convince myself to write "my baby needs prayers" on the bulletin and drop it in the basket one offering.  I hemmed and hawed and fretted about it, which seems ridiculous now.  Within 24 hours of me doing so, and every week since, we have been loved on and comforted and prayed for.  There are many wonderful people at our church who will do, and have done, anything they can to help us.  Such a blessing!*


  1. Your family has been in prayers for a couple of weeks now since I came across your story. Praying that God will give you the peace during this time waiting on Parker to make his appearence. God is using Parker as a testimony. I will continue to pray for Parker to keep growing stronger so that he can fight this fight. God is good.... ALL the time!!

    Shay Connell
    Kershaw, SC

  2. Abby, This was so touching. We care so much, but you are right. It is in God's hands. You and Michael have done all that is humanly possible. That is all any of us can do.
    We love you, Peg and Noel

  3. I love #5 so much. I always thought the % were meaningless. We were first told 40%.. then 70-85% but always with the caveat, we never really know until they are here... so to me it was just in God's hands. Either she will make it, or she won't. There are really not any other odds there. Those final weeks as our due date got closer, fear really tried to creep in.. you are doing the right things by moving closer to God and remembering his promises and praying and having others pray for you. The best thing that I learned through our NICU experience was about the power of prayer. About how God does draw so close to you during these rough times. How he uses other people to help us. Let people bless you. It is truly MORE a blessing to them. We had a toddler at home while we were in the NICU and I know how hard it is to be torn in two. Just remember it is just a season and Jeremiah will be fine. Rowan was 3 and loved having the extra time with her grandparents.

    I will be praying for you all!

    Liz- mama to Finley (L-CDH Survivor) and Rowan

  4. #5 is my favorite! You are already covered in prayer. I had a similar moment where I went to church for a special prayer for Ramsey. I'll never forget the sunset on the way home that night. It gave me a bit of peace and the hope that everything was going to be OK.

  5. I want you to know that you inspire me and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. My daughter, Addison, was born with CDH on February 17, 2009 and was with us for a mere 22 days. I can tell you the experience that you are going through will change your life. I always knew that God was in control and that my life would go according to His plan. I have been changed for the better and my life has taken turned out better than I could have ever imagined. The only thing I can thank for that is My sweet Addy and God.

    I am actually in the Atlanta area if you would ever like to meet and talk or need anything. I know having other CDH moms close during the experience made a difference and some have turned out to be some my dearest friends.

    Here is my blog about my experince if you care to read.

    Many Hugs,
    Marion Acord

  6. Just got a chance to read some of your old post since I was living our scare with Esther. I love your posts. I feel like our story and walk of faith is so similar. It breaks my heart that we are so far away. I want to give your family a big giant hug. Your husband sounds so sweet. I am like your husband. A Juvenile detention officer is what I am so I am always just trying to do things the business way also. I love hearing your kind and soft spirits. Your fears are exactly what we felt walking into it. Our God is holding you so close as we speak!!!