Drinking Her In
It's 12:30 and our sweet Ashley Kate remains asleep. She looks so very peaceful as she rests. I love to watch her while she's sleeping. So still, so sweet. Her eyebrows scrunch every once in a while and I wonder what she is dreaming about. Her long lashes curl so perfectly and I absolutely love them. Both of our girls have the most amazing eye lashes. Her little nose is one of my favorite parts of her. How I love to run my finger across its bridge. I can truly say that she is one of His most beautiful creations. I have rarely seen anything more beautiful than Ashley Kate. I stand in awe of what He created, and as I drink her in I am humbled that I am allowed to love something so precious.
Her tiny fingers wiggle every once in a while and her feet cross at her ankles. Even while she sleeps she evokes such strong emotions in my heart. I have really learned to be grateful, to be humble, to be willing to love through her life and experiences. Are there things I would change? Of course there are, but what has occurred in our hearts and our home as a result of this child and her struggles may have never come to pass without this rough journey. If I could take her pain, her frailty, her tough days from her I would, but what joy God has placed inside of her on the good days. What happiness and silliness and orneriness He put inside of this tiny pickle. I love her so much. I love His creation. I often find myself thinking, "but I never asked for her to be so beautiful." (Usually my next thought is that I never asked for a healthy bowel either and I wonder if that would have made a difference in her life?) Nevertheless, He provided for her and she is here serving His purpose in our hearts, in this place, and in this world. This morning I am thankful for the quiet hours I have been given to drink in this child of mine and to drink in His presence in her life.
What I am going to share with you now is a mixed blessing. They are planning to attempt extubation again tomorrow. Joy. Panic. Excitement. Fear. Doubt. Hope. These are all very real emotions I am having about this plan. More than anything I want the rise and fall of her chest to take place because her body has the ability to make it happen again, but at the same time this ventilator brings me a security as I prepare to leave. How I wish it were today so that I might be near if she needed me. On the other side of this I find myself excited over the possibility of her and her daddy having the opportunity to enjoy their weekend together free of breathing tubes, suction catheters, and discomfort. How good I know it will feel to our baby to be held for the first time in two weeks. What joy floods my heart as I picture her snuggled up on her daddy's lap for 3 precious days. Tears sting my eyes as the memory of last Sunday comes to me. Please, God allow her to be successful. Allow her to breathe again, to laugh again, to play again.
On top of all this Dave and I are facing a couple of decisions today that weigh heavy on our hearts. Each and every choice we make for Ashley Kate is important and we take them seriously. The hospital has a huge population of patients with influenza this week and we would ask you to join us as we pray that Ash will be spared from this virus. This is probably the most dangerous time of year to be a patient, but I have to remind myself that God knows this and that He has the ability to protect her. Every day more and more of the children are testing positive for it. Pray for guidance as we choose what options would be best for our little one at this time.
Thank you so much for loving our baby gherkin. I hope she is a blessing to your heart as you watch all that God does in her life. Your presence blesses me and your prayers strengthen me. What a kinship I feel with all those who follow her story. Thank you again. Trish