Before Jesher’s birth, Lhorraine and I had begun our friendly banter concerning parental roles and responsibilities. Strategic foresight ranks pretty high on our family-values list, so starting this discussion three months before Jesher’s due date was a non-negotiable element of our third trimester preparation plan. Although serious in nature, these conversations would always end in a whole lot of laughter. We would start playfully pushing each other saying, “No, that’s your job; I ain’t doing it!” While the other person would push back with a childish giggle and say, “You crazy; I wouldn’t do that if you paid me!” We would laugh and push until our tummies hurt, or until Lhorraine stopped the joking with the ultimate trump card: “Okay, stop playing; I’m hungry…take me to get some food!”
The topic of ‘changing diapers’ always brought out the most fervent jesting. We would swear up and down that we weren’t going to change any dirty diapers. I would wave my finger; Lhorraine would wave her fist. I would cross my arms; Lhorraine would roll her eyes. There was never a winner. On this topic, we could not strike a workable compromise. Until now, Jesher was destined to wear dirty diapers until he decided to potty-train himself. Our house was going to smell eerily close to Oscar the Grouch’s trash can. Lhorraine and I had fought and wrestled, pushed and tussled, laughed and joked, but the issue was still unresolved–that is, up until one week ago.
I remember the night of my diaper conversion like it was yesterday. I was sitting next to Lhorraine, in Jesher’s cubicle, and the nurse rounded the corner with the coup de grace of questions: “So who wants to change Jesher’s diaper?” Now based upon the history I just recounted, you would think that our eyes would stubbornly lock as the royal rumble commenced. But no, that’s not how the story goes. Actually, I hopped out of my seat like I had won a grand prize and volunteered without hesitation. “I’d love to do it!” I proclaimed. Lhorraine looked at me as if the shekinah glory was resting upon my visage. I could tell she was falling in love with me all over again.
Yes, it would be quite romantic if I attributed my heart renewal to a newly discovered sensitivity, but alas, my metamorphosis had nothing to do with timeless chivalry. For the past week, the doctors had informed us that the best remedy for Jesher’s high bilirubin levels was for him to poop. Bowel movements allow the liver and gallbladder to successfully excrete bile, which is the prime carrier of bilirubin. I wanted to see Jesher’s poop! I wanted to gauge what color it was, and I wanted to see the size of his stool. Just weeks before, I absolutely loathed the idea of staring at Jesher’s feces. Now, I was volunteering to do just that! Anytime Jesher poops, I worship. Anytime I get to change a soiled diaper, I praise.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
BRAIN–Today, Jesher had his 20-day brain ultrasound. Sadly, we received some concerning news. Due to the early bleeds that he sustained in his first few days, his ventricles are now filling with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and expanding, which threatens the health of his brain tissue. The doctors believe the build-up of fluid is due to a clot that has formed at the base of the brain which is inhibiting the natural flow of the CSF to the spine. Within the next 24 hours, Jesher will undergo what is called a lumbar puncture. The doctors hope this will release the building pressure and cause a release of the clot, allowing the CSF to flow freely from the brain to the spine. Because of the fluid build-up, Jesher’s ventricles are currently quite over-sized, and we are needing Yahweh to cause these ventricles to return to their original size, opening up space for Jesher’s brain to have more space to grow new brain tissue. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO DISSOLVE THE CLOT AND CAUSE THE CSF TO FLOW FREELY FROM JESHER’S BRAIN TO HIS SPINAL CORD. ALSO, DECLARE OVER JESHER’S VENTRICLES THE ABILITY TO RETURN BACK TO THEIR PROPER SIZE IN ORDER TO MAKE ROOM FOR FURTHER BRAIN GROWTH.
LUNGS–Jesher’s lungs are still experiencing Atelectasis, the periodic collapsing of his aveoli sacs (or air sacs). This is the primary cause of Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) and can also cause pneumonia or other long-term breathing complications. We have been diligent in praying against any Disorder, Disease, or Deficit that is attempting to grab hold of our son. We need Jesher’s aveoli sacs to be revived by the breath of Yahweh (the ruwach). PLEASE WAR ON BEHALF OF JESHER’S LUNGS; ASK GOD TO SEND JESHER THE SAME REVIVING BREATH THAT HE BREATHED INTO ADAM’S LUNGS IN GENESIS 2:7.
Trials and tribulations have an uncanny ability to alter our perspective. One week, poop is the last thing I want to see; the next week, poop represents the confirmation of an answered prayer. One week I am jokingly declaring my unwillingness to touch soiled diapers; the next week, I am enthusiastically volunteering to touch soiled diapers. In all this, I believe God is revealing to me what divine alchemy really looks like. It is not simply the ability to turn lead into gold; it is the ability to transform unwanted things into something greatly desired. What I once saw as crap is now a tremendous blessing. And I want this entire situation to be an example of this truth. I am praying that God would take the ashes of this ordeal and turn it into something beautiful.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalms 46:1-2, 7