Hi Friends and Family,
Today was a better day...Grandpa Peterson drove over from Clovis to visit, bless us with his presence and his guitar, and take my mom home for some much needed rest. Grandma & Grandpa Harms and Auntie Julia (who's feeling much better!) came up and the whole family had a great time of prayer and worship. We have so much to be thankful for and we were able to express our gratitude for God's faithfulness.
Elizabeth is progressing. They gave her an NG tube (down her nose and into her stomach for direct feedings) and have started her on "Portagen" (an elemental diet)...which they tell us tastes pretty gross. As a result of that and because her digestive system hasn't done ANY work in the last 15 days, her stomach is basically NOT excited about the activity, so a few tablespoons have come right back up. That's typical (they tell us) so we're praying she'll acclimate to the whole eating thing pretty fast and hold down the much needed nutrients. So far, her fluid output is also decreasing...also a good sign. Please pray that it continues to decrease even with the increased input of food. Later tonight they'll take out her only IV (just in case it's harboring that pesky bacteria) and try to start another one so she can continue to receive the antibiotics and other necessary fluids.
Both Matt and I held her today; a wonderful treat. We look forward to the days of "passing her around" for all our friends and family to enjoy, but until then, we are savoring the moments we have with her. During these days of hospitalization we've begun to realize how insecure we feel about how to take care of her...how to recognize if she's comfortable, irritable or in pain...and often feel inadequate to meet her needs, since they've been so well-met by such competent nurses and doctors for the last two weeks. Without a machine to tell us if she's ok, how will we know what to do?!?! We would appreciate your prayers for grace during this unique transition into parenting, as well as for confidence in the God-given intuition that (we've been told) all parents have. At the same time, we're still working overtime to touch and talk to her as much as possible and trust that a bond is developing from more than just our end.
Finally, Matt's department has been absolutely incredible...loaning us a call-room in which to take breaks and rest while we're at the hospital, giving Matt the go ahead to take the past 2 weeks off while still getting paid as well as numerous visits, cards and presents from colleagues and faculty. He'll start his 2 weeks of vacation Nov. 1-13th, and we would really like to bring Elizabeth home during that time. Will you join us in praying that God would speed her recovery in order to allow us some "family time" before Matt resumes work?
As we spent time in prayer today, we specifically thanked God for each of you...you have been integral to our survival over the last weeks. These emails have been forwarded to literally hundreds of people, many of whom we've never met, who have carried this burden with us through prayers for our daughter and our family. We are forever grateful and deeply touched.
We love you all,
Sara (for all three of us