Sunday, February 3, 2008

Trust & Peace

So, I've had several emails and comments from people who seem pretty upset about the fact that Tricia may not get to touch and hold Gwyneth before her transplant. Let me explain why this is so that you can maybe understand why we're at peace about it and so that others who may find themselves in a similar situation can have another resource to turn to. I'll try to keep this simple, mainly because I only understand it simply.

There are two reasons that the doctors are being very cautious about Tricia and Gwyneth:

1) Tricia has been on contact isolation (meaning nobody is allowed inside her room without a gown and gloves) since she went to ICU because she has a drug-resistant bug in her body somewhere (probably her gut), and meaning that, when she leaves her room, she basically cannot touch or breathe on anything or anyone. This bug is probably something that she picked up in the hospital (very common). It is not something that should not be much of a danger to her, but it could be dangerous to others, especially preemies with undeveloped immune systems.

2) We believe that Tricia's Earlier Psychosis was partially brought on by the emotions and thoughts that flooded her mind and heart when she was able to see Gwyneth last Friday and Saturday. The last thing we need right now is for Tricia to relapse into that mental state again because she is allowed to see the baby again. The doctors, again, are being very cautious about this, and we hope that she will be able to visit Gwyneth again on Monday when she has shown them that she is fairly stable.

So, for Tricia to touch and/or hold Gwyneth would be incredibly dangerous for both of them. The primary objective of Gwyneth's team is to help her grow as healthy as possible so that we can take her home as soon as possible. The primary objective of Tricia's team is to get her as healthy as possible before the transplant surgery so that we can take her home as soon as possible.

Tricia is incredibly sick right now...her body, mind and spirit are both being pushed to extreme limits. Any little setback could close the window of opportunity that is being opened right now for the transplant.

While it's incredibly difficult, especially for Tricia, to understand why she can't be with the baby right now, we must trust that the doctors are doing what is best for both of them...it is in large part because of her great medical team that she has made it this far. We have both had several emotional conversations about this topic with several members of Tricia's team and have come to the place where we're doing what we can to trust God with this situation.

So, thank you for your concern about this topic, and please know that we are at peace (or, at least, trying to be) with trusting that God and the medical teams are doing what is best for us right now. We very much appreciate your continued prayers and kind words and thoughts as our journey continues to become more and more tiresome and stressful.

Thanks!

Nate

37 comments:

M said...

You are SO kind to keep us informed. I was curious but would have never asked the question. I am praying hard for that mama's heart as she loves that baby and for you as you love them both! I admire you both so much.

Michelle

Matt and Cristin said...

God really is good! We continue to pray for His peace that passes all understanding to be flooding your minds and spirits.

littlemis said...

I cannot even imagine how difficult this must be for you and your wife. My prayers are always with you and your family. Thank you for sharing so much of this with the world.

suzie said...

I'm praying for strength for you all and for Tricia to get her transplant very soon. The pictures of you and Gwyneth are beautiful, thanks for sharing them with us.

Cara said...

Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I are still praying for ya'll and thinking of you every day. Thank you again for sharing your amazing story. You really are doing an amazing thing, especially for CF patients like myself. Sending my very best to Tricia and sweet baby Gwyneth.

Cassie said...

Hmmm....I know you have written much about your faith in God. I wonder - do you ever feel like there is a spiritual war being waged over your family? It seems that such great progress is made and then a step back ---
My heart goes out to Tricia right now.

Scott said...

Sounds tough Nate. Our first born was a month early and back in those days the medical care wasn't as advanced. We could not hold her, or feed her for weeks. It was tough, especially on my wife. You guys are in a very unique situation and I'm sure everyone is using their best judgment. Thanks for the lesson on trusting when you don't understand fully.

Anonymous said...

Although I have been reading your blog for the past few weeks and praying for you as well...I have been hesitant to comment. However, I feel now is the time to share this poem with you. My daughter is reading a book on emotional purity and read this poem in the book. After reading it over and over, I realized it applies to more than just emotional purity. Waiting must be the hardest of all...waiting for both of your girls to get stronger and healthier to go home, Tricia having to wait to hold Gwyneth, you having to wait to hold Gwyneth. But God continues to reveal Himself in miraculous ways because you trust in Him and wait. Here is a copy of the long poem. Thank you for sharing your story...my faith is being strengthened each day as I see God's love through your family.


Wait
by Russell Kelfer


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."


"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.


"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.


"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."


Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"


He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.


"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.


"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.


"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.


"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.


"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.


"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

imasharp said...

Your right, God knows best. I am going thru a small trial. I would rather have it "my" way. I have hope that God is working in this and in my situation. We are ALL overcomers in HIM. Know that we are praying for the entire situation. GOD is good!!!
Christy
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/sharpcrew

Rick Lawrenson said...

Cassie,
Every Christian, and consequently every Christian family is inovlved in spiritual warfare. It just manifests itself differently in each of us.

Interesting question you posted, and I thank you for it, since I'm about to start a series at my church on that subject!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the information about Tricia as it concerns contact with/visiting Gwyneth.

Hopefully, Tricia will do well over the next couple of days and can visit Gwyneth, even if only for a few minutes and even if she has to keep her hands outside of the incubator. (I can't imagine how hard that would be. I want to touch those little hands, and I'm in Atlanta!)

And I'll pray for peace if she can't go visit. Huggles...

Much love to you all...

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Your parents raised an incredible man, my hat is off to them.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 40:31 came to mind when reading that last post. I still remember a sermon on the "they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" part that I heard years ago. The 'run' is the quick, short term and the 'walk' is the slower, continued long term. Waiting on the Lord will give you strength for both! Will continue praying this for all of you.

Love and prayers from LU SOL.

Valerie said...

We are continuing to pray for you. Thanks for sharing your journey and allowing us to be reminded of God's awesome power and our extreme need. May the God of comfort be your constant companion!

Sami said...

When you mentioned Tricia's psychosis I was curious if they had mentioned the possibility of ICU psychosis? It's not uncommon due to the way an ICU runs to cause psychosis due to the mucking with the natural wake sleep cycle and having your days and nights mixed up as well as coming off all the drugs. An ICU is notorious for not allowing periods of sleep between alarms, the care that is required etc. As an ICU nurse I've taken care of many patients who have demonstrated this type of behavior and it does resolve with time and getting back to normal. I hope Tricia is able to see Gwyneth soon.

Keith & Sarah Milligan said...

I had to go over 48 hours without seeing my daughter after having her at 24 weeks because of medical issues. That was hard enough. My heart goes out to Tricia and I'll be praying for her. Even when it's for the best, it's still hard.

-Sarah
http://sydney_lou_who.livejournal.com

Blessedw4mom said...

Nate ~ Its kind and thoughtful of you to keep us so informed, I'm sure the waiting is hard all around, but sometimes that is what is required ... God will be with you & and your girls in each moment of that waiting. What an awsome God we serve!

Thanks to the poster of the poem!! Am printing that and posting it in my room while on bed rest and copying it down in my journal too.

Sasha said...

Sounds scary! FWIW (and I understand that you don't make decisions based on what internet strangers think) I would make the same decisions, I think. With your God's help, there will be time for Tricia to hold her baby.

Anonymous said...

Awesome poem. I'm sure it spoke to all the readers as well as Nate. Good news about Gwyneth, and the sleep for Tricia. We will continue to pray for peace for all of you and for renewed strength in every way for Tricia.

Jane-Jane said...

As my heart breaks for Tricia and Gwyneth that they do not have "normal" mother daughter contact, I KNOW in my head that their health is the ultimate concern at this point. I can't imagine what Tricia is going through...all I can do is pray that God will give her piece that none of us can understand.

God has provided thus far, He WILL continue to provide and we will praise him, Even In The Storm.

Hugs and prayers,
Jane

tripleblessings said...

My heart goes out to Tricia and you, knowing how difficult it is to be ill and unable to see or hold your preemie baby. And I did not have to wait nearly so long as Tricia has already. I understand the reasons, it is so important for both T and G to avoid infections and stay as healthy as possible. They are both doing so well! I pray with you for strength, courage and the peace of God to help you trust in Him and wait until the time is right.

April in AZ said...

your blog about thier healthcare teams got me thinking, you all need to get shirts that say "Team Lawrenson!" :)

I was one of the ones that commented about Tricia being able to see Gwyneth. My mind understands it, but as a Mother my heart hurts for her. I just have to say she is the strongest woman (and Mom) ever!!!!

Isn't it odd though when one of your girls has setbacks he other does too it seems. thier connection is so strong even though they are seperated by the hospital floors.

Anonymous said...

Tricia, you are a strong, beautiful, mighty child of God that is doing amazing feets for His glory! Stay strong and focused and your reward will be ever sweeter! We are praying for you and your little one, and hubby, daily! May His peace and comfort envelope you today and the days ahead. We think you are awesome!!!

theragan3 said...

Thank you for the explanation about Tricia being with Gwyneth. It is totally understandable - maybe not the easiest to deal with but understandable.
We are trusting the Father and the doctors who HE has given the wisdom to take care of your girls.
Believing that HE is in control and that HE is a loving Father who wants the best for his kids.
Erinn
MD

Barb said...

Nate - you are right about the Duke staff. My brother's wife was in DUMC 11 years ago and I was amazed by the staff's compassion, care and expertise. Outstanding. Praying here in Ohio as you continue on this challenging and tiresome journey. May you rest in God's loving arms today.

Anonymous said...

Praying for peace and patience during this waiting time.
Lori in VA

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine any medical professional prohibiting/advising against mom/baby contact unless it was absolutely necessary so I'm sure that although so hard, this is what is best for both of them! Tricia will be in my prayers as she misses her sweet baby.

Anonymous said...

prayers for peace and healing for all. sometimes tough things have to be done in the best interest of all. May God wrap his love and peace around all of you!!

Shari J
FV, NC

jenn said...

You're doing a good job, Dad and Momma! You're the perfect parents for this baby girl and you were made for this time and place. In your down time Nate, you might like listening to some songs by my friends "Relevant Worship." check out their website and listen to some clips and be blessed! www.relevantworshipmusic.com Blessings from the House of Prayer in Charlotte!

Crystal said...

Praying continually.

We may not completely understand why things have to work out the way they do, but eventually as we look back we can see the wisdom behind the reasons for such carefulness.

Maybe you can think about such times as strengthening your fruits of the spirit. After all trust is a form of faith, and peace of course are two of the fruits of the spirit.
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Just a gentle reminder that God knows what we need before we do. After all He loves us more than anyone else can!

I came across a passage in Colossians that expressed what I feel and think about your family, especially at this trusting/patience time.
Colossians 1:9-12 especially verse 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,.

As you mentioned you seem to be fighting battles on all fronts, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. All the more reason for the continuance of prayers. Even when I don't know the specific request for prayer, I always pray for strength for that day. To handle the tasks set before me or others. That can be strength for the mind, body and spirit.

Crystal said...

Praying continually.

We may not completely understand why things have to work out the way they do, but eventually as we look back we can see the wisdom behind the reasons for such carefulness.

Maybe you can think about such times as strengthening your fruits of the spirit. After all trust is a form of faith, and peace of course are two of the fruits of the spirit.
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Just a gentle reminder that God knows what we need before we do. After all He loves us more than anyone else can!

I came across a passage in Colossians that expressed what I feel and think about your family, especially at this trusting/patience time.
Colossians 1:9-12 especially verse 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,.

As you mentioned you seem to be fighting battles on all fronts, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. All the more reason for the continuance of prayers. Even when I don't know the specific request for prayer, I always pray for strength for that day. To handle the tasks set before me or others. That can be strength for the mind, body and spirit.

katie said...

Nate, Tricia and Precious Little Gwyneth...I was thinking today about how Jesus told us to expect to suffer as followers of His. Suffering comes in so many different forms...I'm just so thankful for God's promise to carry us when we feel like throwing in the towel. We have a sick son who will struggle all his life...and it took me many years to get that this disease wasn't God's Plan B for Riley. If I were Queen of the World, Riley would be well, Tricia would be healed, Gwyneth would miraculously weigh 8 and half pounds tomorrow and be completely healthy...and you would win some sort of Hubby and Daddy of The Planet award. But I trust, as I know you do, that God's Plan A is for everyone's best. Know that my husband, 5 kids and I are praying for your family. Sometimes we cry for you, but we are always thankful for the encouragement God gives us through you. How cool that we get to spend all of eternity with you, praising the King forever for His goodness. I hope you all sleep well tonight...

Robin said...

Praying God's best for you all!

petunia said...

It must be terribly difficult for Tricia right now to not hold the baby. I want to re assure both of you that there is no loss of love and bonding can still be very strong with mother and child. We adopted and my daughter and I bonded beautifully and we didn't meet her until she was 8 weeks old. In a baby's brain, memory doesn't finish developing those kinds of memory until around 2. Tell her to concentrate on feeling better THEN she can be a full time mommy when she has those new lungs. The baby has a long road of learning ahead, she'll be busy. As long as people hold her and love her....she's going to be making big progress.
God bless!

Larissa said...

I will be praying for peace for you and Tricia - peace that is beyond human understanding, peace that brings joy and renewed strength, peace that allows rest, peace from emotional, mental, and physical stress, peace in abundance (1 peter 1)

AlaneM said...

I'm just praying that they will both get better so they can come home & touch each other 24/7!!

Blomgren2 said...

Nate,
Would I be able to ask my local Christian radio station to mention your story for prayer? I don't know why I hadn't thought of this until now but... I remember you saying you would want to give permission for something like that. The radio station's website is http://ktis.nwc.edu/page.php in case you wanted to check them out. They are a part of Northwestern College in MN. Let me know and I would love to send the email and ask! I am praying for you and your family, thanks Nate!