“I’m the sister.” I said to the Doctor when he asked me my relationship. I immediately felt foolish. But he understood my meaning and said, “Oh! The auntie! How nice you’re here!”
Thinking back on it now I think the reason my mind was on being a “sister” and not an “aunt” in those moments is that I had just heard the doctors plans for Olivet now that she’s safely in the NICU here in San Antonio and for the first time in her 3 weeks of life I had some hope that we might get some answers, that she was definitely being taken care of… And yet, what about Olivet’s Mommy?! My sister? Standing there having not had sleep in days, having just driven 5 hours with her baby to try to find the help they so desperately needed….
“She’s only 3 weeks old!” we would say when talking about Olivet and we would say that with such surprise in our voice! Particularly since in her life so far she’s only spent about 4 days total at home.
And my sister had spent all those days in the hospital too…living and breathing in her Baby Girl.
I wish I didn’t know how my sister feels right now! And maybe I don’t know fully…we are different ( as I’ll mention further in a minute) but I do know what its like to be worried to the point of sickness over your baby. For every thought to be about them. To have not slept or eaten anything in hours and hours but to be surprised that hours had even passed because you’re caught in the bubble of the hospital world. You have no idea what day it is, but you DO know the last time the doctor came by on rounds. You’ll “hold it” for an eternity afraid to leave your babies bedside because you don’t want to miss anything by running to the restroom….I know what its like to vacillate between thinking “maybe will go home in a day or two!” to the most awful thoughts you could imagine in the next moment… I know how my sister is feeling right now.
But she and I are different! While I thrive on “getting information out there” not caring if I scare all of my friends and family ( sorry) with the truth about our medical woes ( and yes, you all deserve some major props and big hugs for standing by with us through the Priscilla/Tabitha season and the Justice season) because for me, talking about it and knowing that everyone has ALL THE DETAILS so they can be praying with us when I’m feeling like I can’t cry out another prayer :that is what gets me through….my sister is different, she thinks of others, she worries that she’s going to freak out her friends and family and they’re going to all line up to worry and fret. She’s so much better than I.
My sister is an introvert. When she is on the battle field, using up all her energy next to her daughters hospital bed, she gains strength from the Lord, she gains strength from a stolen quiet minute. Having to update all of her wonderful friends and family, that takes more energy, energy she just doesn’t have right now.
BUT while she’s an introvert and I’m an extrovert we BOTH do gain strength from the prayers of the saints. We BOTH believe in the Lord to answer those prayers. We BOTH know that miracles can and will happen. The difference is she doesn’t have the energy right now to keep you updated on all those little details- details that often change by the hour.
And so today Anna and I had a chat as I drove her back to the hospital. She hadn’t slept in 2 days and my brother-in-law Ryan and I had finally convinced her to go home with me last night to get some sleep while he stayed behind. ( incidentally, there is no sleeping by the bedside in the NICU. So its truly a battle of love to spend all night next to Olivet). I told her that I promised to shield her from the questions that I knew would come when we told you the details, that I would tell everyone to be positive and to be encouraged in the same breathe that I told you all to pray. I promised her that we would all be ok. And so I got my “radio silence” ban lifted and I’m hear to tell you all the details you could ever want to hear….if you want to hear them! If you’re a worrier and details only worry you more-than stop reading and pray on, dear saints! Do so knowing that the Holy Spirit will lead you in your prayers far better than the “facts” that I might bring you…BUT if you crave facts-then I’m hear to give them to you:
Olivet is very sick. As of right now she’s had phototherapy more times than we can count, had two blood transfusions, a spinal tap, many x-rays and countless countless blood tests. What we DO know is that her bilirubin is still very high, but at least is no longer in the super dangerous range. We DO know that bacteria was found in her blood work a few days ago and there is possibility of infection. We DO know that she is seriously anemic ( thus the blood transfusions) and that we do not yet know the cause.
With the possible infection, luckily, we are very optimistic. For the most part she doesn’t show many signs of infection at all, she looks really healthy! But, with a baby so young, you have to take such tests seriously and until they can get the results of a follow up test ( they take 48 hours to “cure” so we’ll know tomorrow what the follow up tests say) she will be on antibiotics.
We also know that with the anemia it could be 1 of three things. It could just be that her body is maturing slower than most and the fact that her red blood cells won’t hold the proper shape will work itself out on its own as she grows older and stronger. This of course is the best case scenario.
It could also mean that her anemia is a little different and her body just reacts to the outside world differently and she’ll need to stay away from certain foods and medicines for the rest of her life because they will cause bad reactions for her. This isn’t “so bad”.
Or it could be that her anemia is even MORE serious and it isn’t about keeping certain triggers away, but more that her body will always be susceptible to breaking. Every time she gets a cold, is stressed or tired the anemia will kick in.
Of course, with all these options there are medicines and medical interventions that can help her. However, because she absolutely HAD to have the blood transfusion and that kind of “contaminates” the blood tests and therefore they will have to wait 2 months before testing to find out which of these options it will be.
One thing we know is that Olivet is still very sick, she is stable but there are still many many unanswered questions about what is causing all of her illnesses. We also know that if what the doctors say to be true, she could very well be sick for the rest of her life. When Justice was very sick 4 months ago we were facing the possibility of facing serious sickness for up to a year and that seemed unfathomable. This seems next to impossible to contemplate.
We ask that you would pray and pray hard. In the same way that Justice’s follow up tests at 3 months showed that he was completely healed we pray the same for Olivet. May this be a great testament to the Lord’s mighty Hand. For He is fully capable of healing this sick baby girl.
We pray that, even now, her symptoms would all disappear and that even the doctors would be unable to attest to why she is so miraculously healed. In this pray we ask that she would be able to go home very very soon and not be stuck in the hospital far from home.
In the same way that I’ve talked about before- “real life” does go on even when someone is ill and in the hospital, and their older daughters are currently being taken care of by wonderful family…but knowing what its like to have a 3 and 5 year old myself, its rough…and of course they all miss each other terribly.
I’d also like to mention that while the end result of Anna and Ryan’s private insurance was that the only hospital in the state that would take them was here in San Antonio where I live, seems to be like a perfect miracle for me. The financial awfulness of this situation cannot be ignored. And it can also be lifted up that their needs would be met as they come and even before they present themselves.
And so there you have it! If you have questions you may always text or private message me, I will be at your disposal. And I PROMISE to keep you up to date as the information comes to me. If you have encouraging words then go ahead and post away here on this post or on social media- Anna and Ryan will get them and I know it will help them in the days ahead.
Also this morning as I read the word my eyes fell upon these words in Revelation,
“Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.”
I feel like that is the call for us today as we left up this sweet baby girl and her parents and sisters. And saints, thank you for being so wonderful that I can once again call on you to pray and I know that you will. I think we’re going to get to see another miraculous thing from the Lord! So let us have endurance and stand in faith together.