Jesher is now 71 days old! He has come along way since we were told he would probably not make it through his first night. Yes, Jesher faced Mount Everest during his first 72 hours; however, I have seen faith move his mountains one peak at a time! Our son is proof that miracles do happen in our contemporary times.
Jesher is not only surviving, but he is thriving! He is drinking from a bottle, breathing with minimal support, and 3oz. away from crossing the 4lbs mark. Tiny but Mighty is fighting, and we know he is not fighting alone. From angels to fellow believers, Jesher has been “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,” and he is benefiting from the collective prayer efforts of so many (in both the seen and unseen realms). Since March 8th, our world has been completely destabilized, but our family of three is still praying together, still standing together, and still hoping together.
The grind of our current path has been no lite undertaking. NICU parenting, and its harsh demands, has been unrelenting. As soon as we believe the skies are beginning to clear, the results from a test, exam, or procedure knock us back into the throws of the tempest. Like swimmers floundering at sea, waves have continually battered our resolve and tested our endurance. Yet, our small family of three is committed to finishing this race. Lhorraine and I continue to keep a steady vigil at our son’s bedside. Jesher continues to grow with an undeniable determination. Yahweh continues to renew our strength. All three of us continue to mount up on eagles wings.
The support we have received over the past 71 days has been pivotal to us maintaining our staying power. In the book What Men Live By, author Leo Tolstoy writes this assessment of perseverance:
“I remained alive when I was a man, not by care of myself, but because love was present in a passer-by . . . I understood that God does not wish [humans] to live apart, and therefore he does not reveal to them what each one needs for himself; but he wishes them to live united, and therefore reveals to each of them what is necessary for all . . . . I have now understood that though it seems to [humans] that they live by care fore themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live.”
My wife and I have been grappling with a challenge that we could not face, manage, or survive without the love extended to us by all of you. From fundraisers and gifts to letters and visits, our family has “lived by” the generosity and compassion shown to us by others. I can now say that I have experienced the interdependence spoken of in Tolstoy’s masterful short-story. Humans don’t survive trials based on an ability to uplift themselves…we only persist in our determination because of the benevolence conferred by other people. Thank you for allowing us to “live by” your prayerful kindness; we wouldn’t have made it thus far without it.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
BOTTLE FEEDING–Jesher is surpassing his speech pathologist’s expectations! In his first bottle feed, he was only expected to eat one milliliter [ml] of Lhorraine’s liquid gold. He ended up drinking 3 mls. In his second bottle feed, he was only expected to match the previous day’s total. He drank 12 mls. In his third bottle feed, they expected him to drop down from the 12 mls. He increased his numbers and took-in 17 mls. This lil’ guy is so impressive! We hope this initial success increases his chances of breastfeeding. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO GIVE LHORRAINE THE GIFT OF BEING ABLE TO BREASTFEED HER SON; ASK GOD TO GRANT HER THE DESIRES OF HER HEART.
NASAL CANNULA–Jesher has adjusted very well to his nasal cannula. Unlike the CPAP machine, the cannulas do not require an uncomfortable mask apparatus. He is sleeping more peacefully and HATES to be awakened : ) With the Lord’s help, we might see Jesher removed from all support within the next month! PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO OPEN OUR SON’S LUNGS WITH HIS RUACH BREATH, THE BREATH OF LIFE.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY–Jesher is now receiving daily visits from his occupational therapist, Tasha. She is a wonderful person, and she is set on making sure Jesher is relieved from the muscle tension that plagues so many preemies. We are excited about Tasha’s assistance and moved by the interest she has shown our son. PLEASE ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO BLESS THE WORK OF TASHA’S HANDS…WE WANT OUR SON TO BE IMPROVED BY HER EFFORTS, AND WE ALSO WANT HER TO RECEIVE A SPECIAL BLESSING DUE TO THE KINDNESS SHE HAS SHOWN JESHER (MATTHEW 10:13).
So we enter into month three claiming the promise of Galatians 6:9, “Do not grow weary while doing good, for in due season you will reap if you do not lose heart.” We are looking forward to walking out of this hospital with a healthy Jesher in our arms. We believe he will be void of all diseases, deficits, and disorders. We can’t wait to update this blog with a post entitled, “Homecoming!” All of these things we are expecting to happen, in Jesus name. But while we wait, we want you all to know that we are being fueled by the love shown to us by God and by caring supporters. Actually, we aren’t the only ones who are being carried by loving-kindness; every person on this planet lives by and lives through the love shared by a passer-by. We all need each other, and it is God’s will that we all experience the power of healthy interdependence.
“In His kindness, God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:10