Monday, April 15, 2013

Into The Valley...

  If God had come to me last Monday and asked me if I would like to take a trip through the Valley of the Shadow of Death carrying my 5lb 2oz baby last week I know that I would have never said "yes." But, what if He had asked me if I would like to take His hand through an amazing journey, that would glorify Him in the utmost, build countless people's faith, and promised me that we would be okay? What would I have said then? Thankfully God never consulted me about His plans for last week.  He simply took my hand and led the way....
  Last Tuesday, as many in our family expressed growing excitement about the birth of our baby the following day, I was experiencing more and more apprehension. My two major concerns were the c-section and would the baby be okay? The previous weekend I had awoken in a panic after a nightmare that my baby was in distress and I couldn't get to her. Doctors and nurses reassured me that all would be well. The baby should do great! Everything pointed to that fact. By the following morning, April 10th, I was very jittery and had spent most of the night trying to pray away my fears. I talked to my baby, prayed over her and just enjoyed having her with me. After some pricks and sticks, the c-section got underway. In less then 3 minutes I felt the doctor push on my ribs and then the baby was free, but the joyous cries of a newborn were replaced with silence. As Aaron left my side to see our daughter I lay in wonder, praying. The surgery seemed to fade into a place of non-consequence as I desperately waited to hear something. And then we heard the joyous wail, but alas it was to become a precious sound tucked away in our memories. My sweet baby was wheeled quickly past me as they escorted her to the NICU(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
  4 weeks earlier as it became evident that we would be meeting our daughter sooner than anticipated Aaron and I prayed earnestly for her name. God led us to Chasia due to the meaning "The Lord Protects me." The day of her birth, as Chasia began her life journey and it became evident that her lungs were not working, we clung to that meaning. A wonderful friend came and advised us to have our baby transported immediately to Johns Hopkins for better care; in spite of the fact the hospital reassured us they could care for our daughter. We prayed and went with our friend's advice. The decision was agonizing as it meant that I would be separated from her, but we never wanted to wonder "what if we had sent her to Hopkins?" As the transport was arranged Chasia got worse and a small miracle occurred; Hopkins arranged to transfer me as well!
   We arrived at Hopkins and it became increasingly evident that the Valley of Death was growing darker and closing in around us. Chasia's heart was not working properly due to the pulmonary hypertension affecting her lungs. The best doctors and nurses in the world tweaked and probed and tried every available treatment to stabilize our baby, but to no avail. God's hand holding us became increasingly vital as we clung to His WORD to sustain us. Time stood still and seemed to stretch into eternity as minutes marched by and Chasia spiraled away from us and drew closer to heaven. We began to hear about a last ditch effort called ECMO, essentially a heart lung bypass machine, that might not work because of Chasia's tiny frame. We cried out to God from the depths of our souls pleading for a miracle asking HIM to protect her... By the afternoon Chasia was into the darkest caverns of the Valley. I was lying in my bed unable to breathe in the worst physical, and mental pain unimaginable when a NICU doctor came to take me to see my baby. They were out of options and she was being transferred to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) in preparation for the ECMO treatment. As we entered her room I saw past the numerous Medical staff to my baby, pale and lifeless in her bed. Everything looked like a nightmare as Aaron and I cowered in the corner clinging to each other watching them fight for her life; Scriptures stored deep within us poured out interceding for our baby. The attending doctor came and knelt beside us and asked us when was last time we had touched our baby, "have you touched her in the past hour?" "No," we had not. The sea of staff parted as we crept to the bed to somehow give back to God what had been ours for too short a time. We knew that God was merciful and we knew that children die. We knew that we were undeserved and no different from anyone else, but how do you let your precious miracle go? Scriptures: the Lord is my Strength and my Salvation, the Lord is the stronghold of my life; Out of the depths I cried out to the Lord and He answered me, he set my feet upon a rock; poured out. As we left the room, a battle cry went up. People in droves began to unitedly, from countless places, stop and cry out to God for a miracle.
   We hung suspended on the precipice of life and death for hours; groaning in agony to the Lord to hear our cry. Later that evening we were led into the PICU to see our daughter. Her little bed was surrounded by giant machines. The doctors reported that they were working hard to avoid ECMO, but needed us to sign the consents. We listened as they described the gruesome details and numbly signed the paperwork. Pouring out prayers we said goodnight to our baby desperately hoping morning would come. In our room we cried out to the Lord as the words from Chasias's theme song filled the air... "the God of angel armies is always by my side, He rules and reigns forever, He is a friend of mine..." I knew she was God's friend, and as HE held us both I fell asleep, believing joy would come in the morning. At 4 am the nurse came to us with the phone, "The PICU is on the line," she said as my heart stopped. "And they have good news!" The doctors had been able to stabilize her without ECMO. We wept for joy, praising GOD!
   The following morning we hurried to Chasia's side. The doctors were amazed. ECMO treatment normally gets started when a person's oxygen index is at 40. Chasia's was at 50 when she got to the PICU. Miraculously, overnight it had dropped to 6! JOY had come in the morning, our miracle had arrived. Friends began to contact us telling us how the Holy Spirit would not let them sleep all night. They instead spent the time on their knees and faces interceding for God to spare our baby. They rejoiced with us as they heard how God had answered our cries for help.
   She is continuing to battle and we continue to pray and weep (intermittent tears of pain and joy).  I KNOW NOW that God's hand is big enough to have sustained us if HE had ordained us to stay in Valley of Death. HE, by undeserved mercy, has led us out with shouts of JOY and VICTORY. We are still greatly in need of healing and continued prayers for Chasia and our family. We eagerly await each morning to see how God will move, but we, along with the Psalmist can say,  Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I WILL FEAR no evil, for YOU are with me, you comfort me you guide me and our hope and trust is in YOU alone, for you alone can save.


  1. Praising God for such an awesome update and His blessings on your family!

  2. Sending blessings and prayers to your family and your amazing miracle girl.

  3. I really could not contain my tears while reading this, nor to remember that for almost 4 years we also had our son Aaron Danny André the brink of death, I admire your strength because for a mother is so hard to see a child in that situation, clear that for a father too, but the link is indescribable mother and daughter, I was particularly weak at the time to ask God why?? but my husband was the strength and peace in the midst of this situation, and no doubt the prayers of so many people, and it certainly does not fit that your daughter also is a people crying for her, maybe even people you do not know, I wish that one day this miracle called Chasia, witness the great power, love and mercy of our Heavenly Father, our son took away a part of his left lung, but I tell Sarah that after a few days of being operated his lung was the same size as the right, and the doctors they told us ... what happened here?? and we just said glory to God because He does miracles and now complete our child sees his scar he knows that there is signed by God's love in the love of the Lord. greetings.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with me! What a miracle!

  4. I can't even imagine how difficult of a journey this is for you and your family, BUT you're faith and strength have inspired me beyond words. Everything has a reason and a plan and reading your posts and hearing of Chasia's amazing progress have helped push me through a dark hour of my own.

  5. Praise the Lord for His provision for you all. I continue to pray that He will strengthen your beautiful little miracle!.

  6. Praying for your beautiful family. God is good, all the time!