Here’s a couple of glimpses into Hannah’s journey in the NICU I thought would serve as an encouragement:
“For the typical baby at 26 weeks, the chances of survival are about 75%. Because of what she has been through, and our concerns about her lungs, I would put her chances at about 5%.” The doctor giving us a pre-delivery consultation.
“She’s exceeding all our expectations” Two different nurse practitioners
One nurse practitioner’s face showed her amazement on day 3 as she sat with us looking at Hannah. She had overseen Hannah’s care the first night at the worst time. She didn’t say much, but her face said it all on that third day. Intermittently, she would shake her head in looking at Hannah and smile. I hope this experience renews her passion for why she’s a nurse; that nursing is a holy vocation, a wonderful opportunity for hands-on love; especially with the children in the ICU who are visited very little. As I’m writing, there’s a nurse sitting in a rocking chair to my left with a child we have not seen visited once. The child often cries, but the nurses come by to touch and to let the child sleep on their shoulder, and he calms right down.
“We want her to get to 40% oxygen or less on the ventilator, but her lungs just can’t support her” a nurse said the first night when she was at 100%. Hannah hit 40% oxygen early Saturday morning, with a low of 38%. She’s bumped up and down a bit from that point, but she’s generally holding steady at 40-42%.
“We’d like the ‘mean’ of her blood pressure to be at least her gestational age (26), but we’d love for it to be at 30 or more” spoken the first night when her blood pressure mean was in the mid-teens. Hannah’s blood pressure rose after the first night, and now the “mean” consistently measures anywhere from 38-43, excellent for her age.
“We’re going to start feeding her breast milk today. Don’t be surprised though if she doesn’t digest it, or has significant problems. Almost all our preemies have trouble from the very beginning.” Said on Thursday. She’s been fed 15 times since then, with only two times where she didn’t digest the milk because she was on her back.
And below I’d like to share a little summary of quotes, encouragements, and other words from friends affected by this crisis. Each of these are reminders we are always changing (for better or for worse), and crises have a way of sharpening that change; who we become results from the decisions we make. I’ve seen many people growing in their ideas and practice of prayer especially. People have realized that prayer, seriously practiced (especially when carried by a community), changes the world. Period. Here is the summary:
“God is showing you Himself in your suffering and prayer and you’ll never be the same again.”
“Each day of Hannah’s life, we praise you! we praise you!”
“I’m so thankful that we serve a God who can wrap us close and give us comfort in times like this.”
“I have lost 10lbs and dropped 20+ points on my bottom number for blood pressure… Lord, I’d like to donate those pounds and points to Hannah Myers. Thanks & Amen.”
“She was swaddled in a blanket, but I think just being that close to our voices and feeling our breath….there was just something supernatural about it! God is faithful!”
“The night she was born God had me read Exodus 14:13. It’s talking about the Egyptians. Moses had brought the children of Israel out and they were asking him, “Did you bring us into the desert just to let us die?” He told them not to be afraid. The egyptians they saw that night they would never see again. God told me that was for Hannah and her situation and that what we were seeing that night we would never see again.”
“May these tough days soon pass into weeks and months of steady growth, and later become a powerful story of God’s strength and mercy.”
“Prayers flow with tears words cannot express.”
“I am sitting in Bethany’s hospital room after having just spent some time with our precious Hannah…. She was ever so sweetly laying on her side, spontaneously grinning and it was the sweetest thing you’ll ever see….”
“I woke up at 3 this morning and prayed for Hannah. I trust I’ll get to meet that little miracle someday.”
“Life has a way of feeling ordinary. But this situation makes everything brighter.”
“They said they were losing her and wanted to know if Nate and bethany wanted to hold her before she passed away…. well, God wasn’t done yet…”
“How this situation appears does not dictate the outcome. “No, despite all these things, OVERWHELMING VICTORY is ours through Christ who loved us.” Romans 8:37″
Before Bethany’s water broke, when she was experiencing serious bleeding and complications, in a discussion in a men’s group about intercessory prayer, a friend shared: “I’ve never really practiced, or felt drawn to using the imagination in prayer.” About an hour later, after fifteen minutes of quiet prayer together, he said, “I don’t really know what to do with this, but while we were praying, I saw two people. One was definitely Bethany, the other I assumed was you. Bethany had a round, full belly, and all I felt was joy, joy, joy.” (this experience is where Hannah got her middle name)
And now, for you. What are you learning through participating in a proactive way in this crisis?