Sunday, January 13, 2008

Crazy Week

So many thoughts running through my head tonight, probably because of the blogging break I took today. Sundays are a good day to relax and reflect.

I want you to know that I had very little to do with the strong character and faith that Tricia has...most of that credit needs to go to Tricia's parents (and siblings and childhood friends). Tricia was 99% the person she is today when I met her 7 years ago. That seems to be a theme with both adopted kids and CFers.

As I read the comments and other blogs, it occurs to me that most of you who seem to have fallen in love with Tricia have done so while she's been sleeping, having never known her...I can't imagine what you're going to do when you actually get to meet her after she wakes.

This morning in Tricia's room, as our church family in Nags Head was worshiping together, Agnes, Gabby (Tricia's best friend) sang the same songs that they were singing as I played my guitar...one of the best worship experiences of my life.

Tricia is becoming more responsive every day, which means she's doing better on the vent and needing less sedatives. I am able to have short conversations with her by asking her yes and no questions. She's opening her eyes more, and even communicating when she wants/needs something.

She is definitely aware of Gwyneth...this morning, as I was telling her that I was going to go see the baby again, and that I wanted her to wake soon so I could show her pictures and video, she suddenly frowned and looked about to cry, knowing that she was not going to be able to see the baby for a while...I have to tell you that almost broke my heart. I lost it right there...our nurse saw it as well and was tearing up a little. I can't wait until she wakes up!

Gwyneth was taken off the UV light (which was fighting off Jaundice). The only times I've seen her under normal lighting is when the nurses are working on her. No more "goggles" either. I sat for a long time, just watching her sleep...she moves her face all around, wiggling her ears, and scrunching her forehead. It's beautiful.

She may be off of the vent in just a few days, which means I'll be one step closer to holding her. That will be a beautiful moment.

Here are some specific prayer requests for the next few days:

Tricia
> To continue responding well while being weaned off the vent and sedatives.
> NO Infections!
> Patience as I think she's consciously ready to wake up and learn what the rest of the world has been doing.

Gwyneth
> That she will poop soon...I know, I said "poop". It's not uncommon for preemies to go a while without pooping, but it needs to happen before they can give her a feeding tube, which she needs to really begin growing.
> That her blood work for the CF screening will come back negative.
> That her PDA will close soon.
> That she will be free from any difficulties.

Next Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life day. This year, this day will mean something incredible to myself and our families. I'll write more on this later.

To answer a question, yes...I am wearing my highly comfortable orange Fila's.

This is the one thing I have to look forward to when I go home at night (Thanks Meka):

video

Nate

45 comments:

debangel said...

Puggy love is just what the doc ordered! (We have one, too!) And they're great with babies.

I prayed for all of you today at church and it was almost like you were there with me. Is that strange?

Hugs to all!

Baby Leino said...

It does our hearts well to know you had a wonderful day with your girls & to see the smile on your face w/Meka. Your family is dearly loved & with each day of progress, thousands worldwide rejoice in the faithfulness of our great God. Rest well, Lawrensons three. What wonders tomorrow has in store...
::Jordan & Patience

Jami said...

I have read this site for a little bit but tonight as I read, I read it with tears streaming down my face. The love that you have for your girls is just overflowing. Oh how lucky and blessed they are to have a husband/daddy there waiting on them and loving them and supporting them!!! And the video of you and your dog was adorable... we have 3 dachshunds and they are always able to brighten up a day when nothing else seems too!!! Thank you for sharing that video.. and thank you for sharing your life for us. You have been such a blessing to me and watching as God has worked in you all's life!!! Thank you!!!

BelleLaDonna said...

Thanks for the prayer request updates! It is so weird to be so involved with someone's life that I have never met...It has been amazing to see how God joins his believers together!

Love the video of your puppy!

Hope things continue to get better and better!

Still Praying,
LaDonna

Candi said...

I'm praying that you can show off your beautiful girl to her momma very soon. How hard that must be....

I got teary at the thought. My husband or my children being upset is one thing that will get me every time!!

Leslie said...

Still praying without ceasing here in Oriental, NC and now even praying for poop!:) I took some time this evening to read over some of your older posts. There was one with a slide show of Tricia. I think the song playing was by Coldplay but I could be wrong. Anyways, it was powerful! The love the two of you share is such a testimony to Christ! I am so blessed to witness such a beautiful family. Thank you Jesus, the world needs this so much!
Also, Meka is adorable. I hate to whine but I want a Meka for myself!:)
Praying!!! Leslie

Lissa Lane said...

Continuing to pray for you and your girls. I loved the video! It made me smile! Say a prayer today it's Calypso's 7 month birthday in Heaven. Many many prayers coming to the other nicu parents as i've been there

One Happy Family! said...

I am addicted to your blog and have several others hooked as well. I am so glad your sweet girls are both growing stronger and stronger every single day!

We are the proud parents of two beautiful babies born to us through the miracle of adoption and one of our miracles was a preemie who had a very rough start. She is now a very happy healthy 2.5 year old.

Many prayers still being lifted up!

Shandelle said...

Cutest doggie EVER!!! Thank you for the update!
We are still praying for your wonderful family!

Chris & Kelly said...

We are praying here in Colorado! I have added a link to our blog of your story so our family and friends will be praying as well. It is amazing to feel so connected to another believer whom we've never met--God is so at work!!!!! We came upon your blog through the Holt adoption forum board. Praying without ceasing for your two girls and you as well!
Chris and Kelly in Aurora, CO

suzie said...

I put a prayer request in at our church yesterday as promised. Continuing to pray here too and following the blog each day.

Much love.

Scott said...

Good morning Nate, Trisha, Gwyneth and NICU world,
That was a great post. Amazing worship time! Nonverbal communication from Trisha, priceless, and special times with Gwyneth outstanding. The homecoming welcome by the pup deserved! You all will be in my prayers all day, I may be away from the computer some because of my job today. I pray today will bring great things.

Proud DAD/Grandpop said...

Good Morning. I pass all the hugs and kisses given to me yesterday on your behalf at Church.Yes Agnes, one person asked about you.
(Only kidding.) It is awesome how much this story is touching the hearts of so many people. Please give Tricia a good morning kiss for me and Nate please watch the heart rate. When it comes to Gwyneth, I am glad you did not use the word poop in your update. Love to the little one. Will be calling soon. Will be praying for the main characters and supporting staff.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nate...We are praying for you.
We sat with you at Joe's wedding. We love the Kirschner Family. What a testimony they have been to me. When I've needed a lift, I called Agnes.
The Lord is so good! Continue following Him. We love you and follow you daily. Jan Davis

Jamie said...

Tricia and I grew up in the same church and did inner city ministry together one year. I was always amazed at her great attitude as she sat and did her treatments sitting on the sleeping bag next to mine. Now in my post-Liberty years, I am teaching in South Korea. Just wanted you to know that you have dozens of middle and high school kids here praying for you. They were really touched by your story. We'll keep praying for Tricia and Gwenyth. To God be the glory.

Anonymous said...

I was introduced to your story through a friend of Tricia's sister here in NJ. I feel so blessed to be able to share in a story like this that is so full of life and hope and yes, even joy in the face of adversary. I read your posts, Nathan, and can almost feel the waves of love and prayer coming your way. I wish you all health, happiness, and in this case, poop! :-)

Ellen said...

Just got up this morning, and wanted to read your post first and now I will sit down and read the Word and pray for you and your girls' needs, and all the others you have mentioned at the hospital. My list just keeps getting longer. I don't know you, but my prayer life has changed so much.
As the new year started I had really told the Lord that I wanted to spent more time in His Word and in Prayer. Then a few days before Gwyneth was born I had come accross your blog (this is what my life really needed) to see families so committed to God in "whatever state they were in to be content" and to KNOW that the Lord is with them. I am praying for you. What a blessing and a testimony you have been to me. Thank you,

Ellen in Memphis

Janet said...

Aw, Nate. What a morning. I am missing 'the hole' so much. It's hard to just be a blog reader now. A road trip is in the works. For now, just praying without ceasing.

ginny said...

Can't say it enough: I PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW. As I read the update you posted, and see all the wonderful progress made by Gwyneth and Tricia, I see, over and over, that the very hand of God rests upon them. I come into agreement with you for each of the requests you posted for both of 'your girls' and will be praying for those requests, specifically. I thank HIM in advance for all that He will do on behalf of these He loves so very much. May He continually strengthen and encourage your heart as the desires of your heart are realized because of the goodness and the mercy of El Shaddai. In Jesus' holy name.

imasharp said...

Prayers from KY. It makes me smile to see that you have a doggy to love on you. They are such blessings.
Christy

OBXunicorn said...

As usual the first thing I did this morning was check the puter for an update and thanks for the e-mail. I will at least be seeing you soon and know that I can't wait to at least see you. You and the girls are an inspiration to more people than you can imagine, even on Facebook. Your story has reached far & wide. I am just as anxious for Tricia to be able to see & hold Gwyneth for the first time and that too will be a day I will rejoice with everyone. Please as soon as she can realize what is going on let her know that little Dylan asks about her & Gwyneth every day & asks if there is a new post as well. I know with all my heart God has plans for you three and he will see you through this & if prayer is strength, then you have nothing to fear. He cradles Tricia & Gwyneth & he will take care of his miracles personally. Thanks for sharing the video because I saw your smile & that also lets me know you are standing strong for your girls. I can't wait to tell Tricia how lucky she is to have found such an amazing man (of course I'm sure she already knows). I hope today brings more progress & good news and you will always be in my thoughts & prayers as always. With all our love-OBXClan-Tina

Laurie said...

Offering our prayers for your "sleeping beauties" and for you and the extended families. we knew the Kirschners through home schooling in NJ; Tricia was friends with my daughter. The strong spirit she displays now was evident even then.

Although it has been years since we have seen them, give Agnes and Don our love and let them know that we are lifting them up as well as they go through this experience as parents/grandparents.

May God continue to receive glory and touch others through your lives.

laurie rambo

The Walsh's said...

How great for little Gwenyth to be finished with the phototheraphy lights. I was so glad when we finally said goodbye to those things. I think Lincoln needed them three seperate times but when it was over, we were happy to be finished. I'm sure it's so sweet to see her under normal light. She's just beautiful.

Coming from my own NICU journey, I must say that if the RTs are already talking of her coming off of the ventilator at this early in the game, she must have one fabulous set of lungs!! That is GREAT news! I'm sure she received the steroid shots through Tricia, which obviously helps a great deal.

I also remember waiting on Lincoln to poop what an amazing feeling it was to finally change that diaper. Be careful though - I must warn you. The poop after phototherapy contains all of the expelled bilirubin and it seriously looks radioactive....almost like oil on cememt, with rainbows and shiny black. Trust me. You'll know it when you see it, and you can give baby Gwenyth a high-five for doing it. Oh man - how great will she feel :)

I will certainly pray for the PDA. Lincoln's closed on its own but not until around the 7th day. I'm sure they've told you, but medication can start being used around that time to help it close, even without surgery - And even if it comes to surgery, it's a simple procedure. Obviously closing on its own is the least problematic way of going about it so that will be my prayer.

I am so happy to hear about Tricia and her responsiveness to you. I can't wait to hear about your first conversation with her. I'm sure it will be so rewarding for you to hear about how she heard your words and your singing and relied on you to tell her about Gwenyth. You're doing a great job with this Nate. What a great Dad you've already been - even in these first few days. Gwenyth will look back and this blog, read your words, and thank you for being there for your family.

May God protect you, Tricia, and Gwenyth again today. May you wake this morning with a sense of purpose and a strong will to keep putting one foot in front of the other. My prayer each night when my head it the pillow was, "Thank you Lord for another day with Lincoln" and when I woke in the morning it was, "Thank you Lord for a night of peace." I have said those prayers for you over the past few days.

Susan Sturgill said...

You do not know me, but I was introduced to your site by my sister-in-law, Robin Griffin. I have to say that your love for your girls is very inspiration. I will check the blog daily and be praying for all three of you!

Also, your puppy looks just like our Jasmine!

Anonymous said...

Nathan, you are a role model and leaving a legacy that many can only dream of. You, Tricia and Gwyneth mean a lot to us. We love you 3.

It is about 8am and I, like many others, have spent the past hour 'on the blog' in prayer interceding for your family. Although that may seem normal, what makes it meaningful to me is(and hopefully to the Lord)-I have been awake since 1pm yesterday, worked 12+ exhausting hours overnight, and as soon as I walked in the door this morning God prompted me to remain faithful in prayer to the three of you.
Thank you for having specific prayer requests posted waiting for me this morning!

The Lord continues to use your family to encourage/strengthen me and many others & we desire to reciprocate that unto you.
You are strong, Tricia is strong, and Gwyneth is following in the footsteps of her parents, Amen & Praise be to the One True Living God who is working for you and through you during this manifestation of His Mercy, Love, Grace and Almighty Power.

beachbug said...

Mornin Nate!

Good reports. We pray that Tricia's breathing will continue to improve and of course praying for the poop to happen.

Ty loved the video of Meka. He watched it twice and laughed the whole time. When we got done he said, "one more time". So we watched it a third time.

I personally think it's gross you let a dog lick your face. Don't you know they clean themselves with their tongue? Quick someone get me some antibacterial soap, I need to wash my face. I'm having a germaphobic crisis!

Talked with T this morning about a possible day trip to Duke. We will see how the week goes.

Love,
Great Uncle Andy, Great Aunt Misha and the great cousin Ty.

Sarah Furlough said...

What a great update! So glad to hear that Tricia is becoming more responsive. I cannot wait to "meet" her as she awakens. It will be a glorious day!

Gwyneth sounds like she is progressing very well. I will pray for poop- I remember anxiously waiting for Logan and Cooper to poop. What a great day when they finally did. Funny how yours prayers change when you have a baby- especially a preemie!

I will certainly pray that her PDA closes. I have such faith that she will continue to make wonderful progress. I cannot wait to read that you were able to hold her.

Is there any way that they would let you hold her while she is on the vent? We were able to hold both boys while they were on the vent. Of course, they were both on the vent for over a month- you know what they say about boys in the NICU. Ours both had awful lungs at first! Sounds like Gwyneth's lungs are much better.

I will be praying for you three all day. I hope to read of much more progress later today!

shelley. said...

you know you're a parent when...you pray and rejoice over poop!

thank you for sharing specific requests! we are still praying diligently for you here in michigan. faithfully addicted to hearing updates on your beautiful family.

dotbob said...

Met this AM at 4:30 at Jamestown Presbyterian Church for prayer session and have several of our members, inspire4ed by your faith and trust in our Lord, who join us regularly for prayer for continued progress in Tricia's battle for life and health. We all long to see the picture of you and Tricia holding Gweneth in your arms. We praise God for the inspiration you are sharing with the world

~Seth & Nancy~ said...

the video of meka and you made me smile. God is so good...blessing us with dogs who love so unconditionally! praising God for the continual progress your girls are making and praying for them throughout today....

the*4*of*us said...

Tricia is going to be so amazed when she wakes up and sees/hears all that has been going on while she was napping! We are still praying for you guys daily--actually, a few times a day!
God Bless!!!

Debra said...

Nate, you are so humble. If we have all fallen in love with Tricia while she was sleeping, part of it is due to your writing, how you portray Tricia and love her because most of what we know, we know through you.

Oh, I pray it will be soon that Tricia get's to see and hold her little girl!

Thank you for sharing about your own worship service in the morning. That was very special! And your video clip of Meka! Having fun with your new camera, didn't you? I read in your dad's blog about how you came to get it.

I will continue praying, as will my friends and family! Debbi (Aspiemom)

Kelly said...

Welcome to the world of parenting...talking about poop! You'll be surprised how much you'll care about it! Still praying for you, Trisha, and Gwyneth. I hope today will be great for you all!

Best,
Kelly

♥PugPosse♥ said...

another great post...as always. I hope and pray today is the day for more goals reached....Thanks for Sharing that video of Meka too...I have 3 pugs and they are so nice coming home to after a long stressful day...((Hugs to you and your beautiful family))

Anonymous said...

crazy week is an understatement, don't cha think?

Leah said...

My husband and I are rejoicing with you over the news of both your girls! We were talking about you the other night and my husband said, "I know exactly where he is. Only God's grace keeps us in those moments." I'm so thankful that we we serve a living, caring, miraculous God that keeps us in times like these and brings people to support us when we need it most. Gwyneth seems much stronger than our little Abigail.

We are still praying for you all and can't wait to continue to hear of God's faithfulness. If I could drive to Duke, I would.

I'm trying to keep some of my faithful readers up to date with you guys at my cyber home: http://mrsogletree.wordpress.com

Rich and Lauren said...

we will keep praying! i've gotten at least one of the girls in my dorm hooked on your blog :) i was showing off the pics of gwyneth to a group of girls last night...she is just so amazing :)

Anonymous said...

Praying for poo (first time for everything, uh)! NEC can be so hard on preemies...

Teacher in the middle said...

I LOVE THE VIDEO OF YOU AND MEKA! We have a dog we love too! Thank God for pets to help love us back!!!

Anonymous said...

Your site is amazing. It brings joy to my heart to see how the both of you allow God to move in your lives. No matter how hard. I have a neice who is 18 years old and needs your prayers. She has CF as well and this has probably been her hardest year. She is a senior and all she wants to do is graduate. She has been in and out of CHKD about once a month if not more for the last six months. It is wearing her down. She has a positive attitude and loves the Lord. Please pray for her as we think she will need to go in the hospital in the next few days if there is no improvement. Tricia's story is so encouraging and I am glad I am now apart of praying for all of you guys. Thanks for sharing and please pray for my neice Sinje too.

Thanks, Krista

Rachael and Travis said...

OK. the dog licking your face was disgusting. :) LIMH

April Driggers said...

I am so glad that even amid all the uncertainty of human life, you have the companionship of that little lick machine. How adorable was that! :) Been following your blog and reading your story is just such an inspiration in faith and love and trust in God and His will. I am so thankful that you are living a testimony of faith for the world to read. Much love, many prayers and give that adorable dog a noogie for me! Love pugs man.. love 'em!

Zarna said...

I just love how dogs just seem to know what you need, we say 'yuck gross get down' when they lick our face but secretly it's what we need most - a little unconditional love.

I'm a few days late - only discovered your story this morning and it's beautiful, heartwrenching but beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Nate,

I am responding to this:

As I read the comments and other blogs, it occurs to me that most of you who seem to have fallen in love with Tricia have done so while she's been sleeping, having never known her...I can't imagine what you're going to do when you actually get to meet her after she wakes.

Yes...We're in love with Tricia and Gwyneth, but we're also in love/amazed with you. Your adoration of Tricia, Gwyneth, your Faith, your strength, your ability to keep a sense of humor and find time to document and share your story with the world.

I'm the Mom of a 5 year old with CF and my husband is 2 years post Brain Tumor surgery, so I deeply identify with the role of caregiver and the feeling be being unable to change/fix anything.

Nate, you are our hero. If we could only handle crisis and potential tragedy as you do when it comes our way....

It's not just Tricia that this blog and worldwise attention is about. It's you too.

We're are all here supporting you as you support your girls.

sincerely, Caroline Benton
Summerville, SC

Carina said...

We'll never meet this side of heaven, but I'm looking forward to that day. I'm not sure how my friends found out about your blog, but I've gotten hooked into reading it. I too was a premie, not quite as young as your rose, but I'm happy to say that God blessed me and I'm here today! I found myself praying for you and your girls last night. Thanks for being so open and sharing your life. Meet you in heaven!