Just Keep Breathing.

Dear Friends, as I sit and write this my arm is strapped to an IV where I'm receiving fluids and anti-biotics. I've already begun round 1 of steroids for the boys' lung development and I'm getting my cervix checked regularly. The contractions are consistent but not productive. I'm supposed to be in the hospital (Norfolk General hospital) until Monday... Mike's 30th birthday. On Monday they're going to a detailed anatomy ultrasound of the boys. But that's not all. Samuel is the in the hospital too! Samuel is next door, also in Norfolk at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter's. Mike dropped me off at the E.R. at Sentara and went next door to CHKD. Samuel has been put on 24 hour observation. He's receiving breathing treatments and is also on an IV.

So how did we get here? We've all been sick. Really sick. By that I mean, Mike, Libby, Samuel and I have all been really-yucky, no-good, feel-like-crap sick. Saturday I was able to attend my shower in PA. It was great to get the opportunity to say good-bye to my friends up there. Sunday I was feeling "off" but we still headed down to VA. Sonya drove the van with me and the kids as passengers. Mike led the way in his car. We got into VA at 9:30 p.m. Sunday night. Monday... all feeling the creeping crud. Libby has a fever that spikes to 104.5 and has been acting really delirious. We drive here to CHKD and it turns out in addition to the flu and such she also has a double ear infection. She's miserable. Samuel starts to get sick.

It is seriously taking everything in me to not despair and want to just throw my hands and yell, I give up. Instead I find myself like Dorey (from Finding Nemo) singing, "Just keep breathing, Just keep breathing... breathing, breathing, breathing, breathing. I know she's singing, "just keep swimming" but for me it's breathing. Just make it through the next day, the next hour, the next moment.

Wednesday morning I started throwing up. The night before Libby and Samuel were throwing up. it's been a mad-house. I felt so bad for our friends who we stayed with. I think we contaminated them with all our germs. It kept our friend Laura from going on her intended skiing trip this week-end.

Mike came down LATE Thursday night with the moving truck. he unloaded the truck Friday morning with the generous and timely help of Robert Wallis and Jim Coughlin. We drove out to my parents to recover and to see if I could get my crazy contractions (12 per hour) to subside. No such luck. Samuel started retracting (sucking air really hard) and voila- a trip to the hospital for both of us.

I don't even want to get into the fact that yesterday was the 7th. My sister and nephew were killed in a car accident 4 years ago. Can we talk about sadness, pressure, stress and such. The house still doesn't have power and running water. Mike's trying to decide if he should go back to school on Tuesday. Lots of decisions. Lots of fuzziness. Lots of pain and frustration.

Yesterday I could hardly speak because my voice was so hoarse but I found myself whispering the song, "It is Well with my Soul":

When Peace Like a River attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot though has taught me to say.
It is well, it is well with my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

So even in all this craziness I know that my soul is well. One of the most beautiful things is that it was written by a man named Horatio Spafford. he wrote this song when he found out his wife and children had drowned I believe on a passage ship to get to him. He knew the sorrows like sea billows... and yet he knew, it was well with his soul. i have tasted some sorrows in this life. And I will stand with him in singing, "WHATEVER MY LOT THOUGH HAS TAUGHT ME TO SAY!!!! IT IS WELL, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL."

PS right now email works better to get in touch with me - the hospital internet is iffy with the blog. Michelle (my friend in Norfolk) has graciously become my blog master. Feel free to comment on my blog... I'll have her send me your responses!


Judy said…
Thanks for the post. We'll keep you all in our prayers. Hang in there!!! Much love to you, Judy
anne said…
Thanks for the update!! Praying for you guys. Hope you all feel better soon!
Anonymous said…
Oh Jen. Pure grace has put that song in your heart. Praise be His name!!! When the heart hurts, and the pillars of your house are being shaken.... and you are able to offer up to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving, you are a rich woman indeed! God says, It is I who keep them steady. You are being entrusted with a full plate of opportunity to KNOW your God, Jen,....to hope in Him and expect Him to be all you need. May the God of Hope continually fill you with all peace and joy and comfort. He says they who trust in Him will never be ashamed. You are never alone...even if you may feel like it. Because of the nailprints in His hands, you and your needs are continually before Him. Lord, send forth your Word and breath healing and refreshed life to these loved ones. Thank you.
Anonymous said…
When life bottoms out,.... there is God. When the electricity of life seems to turn off and there is darkness,....there is God piercing the darkness. When the inner depths of mourning settle in and questions guild the sky,....there is God with replacement therapy exchanging the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise, giving the oil of joy for mourning, giving a song in our night. Only God, ...., but God,....at just the right time God,....I AM God,.... is able to meet you right where you are. Let Him continually fill you with hope. He delights to fill up all the nooks and crannies of your heart with more of Himself because He loves you. Loved woman, continue to arise in faith with His light piercing through this most difficult time giving you courage and strength.
Anonymous said…
He never leaves nor forsakes us. Your faith is growing and so His light shines so brightly on you and Mike, Libby and Samuel and the "boys". We do know that God is on His Throne and He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly.......answering your prayers. May you continue to look to Him alone who has all Power and Might and still knows when a sparrow falls. How loving and kind He is in the midst of the storm to calm us, making us aware of His Power and Glory. It is about Him and not us.
Anonymous said…
God gives you your strength during this time of "weakness". Isn't it wonderful to serve such a loving and strong God. I will be praying for you and your family and if you need anything, just let me know!

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