Yesterday, Chelsea and I had to leave our Davy at the hospital while we went home.
It wasn’t the way we dreamed it, you know?
When I first learned the news that we were pregnant I had dreams that coming home would look a certain way. A overly enthusiastic nurse would wheel chair Chelsea out to the front drive of the hospital where I was waiting with the car. Chelsea is glowing, hair blowing in the wind, a ray of sun streaking across the sky landing softly upon our daughter sleeping peacefully in her swaddle blanket wearing one of those absurdly cute beanies. All the while the heavens sang and a dove gently descended upon her (This was my DREAM people…give me some grace!).
I would awkwardly fumble with the car seat for 20 minutes, force a couple of stressed laughs, and then be dripping in sweat afterward because we live in Texas and it’s 120 degrees outside. Post the car seat fiasco, I would proceed to drive 12.5 mph on the feeder road because there was no way I was getting on the highway with my baby girl! After arriving home an hour later – in what would typically be a twenty minute drive – we would get Davy settled into her room. We would start our new lives as a family of three in our house, under our roof and in our beds.
However, that’s not how our story has played out.
(Davy’s room at our house)
Very serious and focused nurses and doctors wheeled Davy, not Chelsea, out of the hospital. They wheeled her not into my waiting car, but into a waiting ambulance. Our destination wasn’t our house or her room, but it was Dell’s Children Hospital. There were no cute swaddle blankets or beanies just breathing tubes and IVs.
We have started our new lives as a family of three, yet in much different circumstances. We are not in our house, under our roof or in our beds. For the last 15 days we’ve lived in the hospital, under fluorescent lights, sleeping in foreign beds breathing the sterile NICU air. Yet, even though it has looked different than expected, we at least have been able to sleep just a handbreath away from our little girl. If anything happened we’d be right there by her side.
Due to so many sick kids – which crushes my heart – we weren’t allowed to stay in the NICU any longer. Again, rightfully so to make room for new parents that are freshly experiencing this wound that is now starting to scab over for Chelsea and I. The nurses and doctors at Dell are seriously the salt of the earth and have moved mountains to allow us to stay there as long as we’ve been able.
Ironically, as we packed up today we put our stuff on a cart that said, “I’m Outta Here!!!”. True, we are out of there, but sadly not with our daughter.
As Chelsea and I sat and processed our emotions – sadness, anxiety, fear – we tried to articulate what we were experiencing in that moment. After some tears (seriously tears all the time #NICUlife) and conversation it came to us.
Unmet expectations is the best way to describe our current state. In our dreams we thought we’d have a healthy and thriving baby in our home at this point. We definitely didn’t expect to have a sick baby fighting for her life in the NICU.
As I reflected I realized that we deal with unmet expectations often. We expected our friends, spouse, children or church to treat us differently than they did. We expected to get the job promotion that went to someone else. We expected to have met “the one” by now. We expected to have kids by now. We expected to not have the hardships we’ve encountered. We expected to have “made it” by now. We expected the short line at the store to go quicker, but OF COURSE we got stuck behind the person who wants three price checks, is using coupons and paying by coins. We expected God to show up differently or answer that prayer another way.
Our lives are filled with unmet expectations. What do we do with them?
These unmet expectations have driven me to remember a handful of crucial truths.
1) The world is not as it should be. Unmet expectations abound because things are not as they should be. God created the world in perfection with no spot, blemish or wrinkle. We possessed perfect relationship with God, ourselves, fellow man and with creation (Gen. 1-2). All of that perfection came crashing down as sadness, brokenness, and destruction entered into the world through our sin and rebellion (Gen. 3). Since that fateful moment in the garden nothing has been as it should be. There are sick babies, wars, famine, poverty, Ferguson, Ebola, and the list goes on. Therefore, we will have unmet expectations of the world, of ourselves and of others. The world is not as it should be and neither are we.
2) God’s ways are higher than our ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” God is infinite and we are finite. Why does He do what He does? How come these things happen? Why is His time table different than ours? I don’t know but I do know that God’s ways are higher than ours and there are some things we might never understand.
3) We can trust Him. Yes, His ways are higher than our ways, but even though I may not understand His ways doesn’t mean I can’t trust Him. The God of the universe who is all-knowing (1 John 3:20), all-wise (Rom. 16:27), the embodiment of love (1 John 4:8), and steadfast to His people (Psalm 136) can absolutely be trusted.
As Chelsea and I lay in bed, wrapped up in our unmet expectations, while our little girl fights for her life underneath another roof, I hold on to this belief. That my sovereign, good, loving and trustworthy God is working ALL things for the good (Rom. 8:28), including my sick daughter. So even though my finite “expectations” have not been met, I’m trusting that God is working bigger plans that are “higher than my ways” and will ultimately, certainly, and eternally make me praise Him more for these unmet expectations.
(Bundle of cuteness pictured above!)
Davy Update & Prayer Requests
Davy had a stable day but experienced rough night. These up and down days wear on the steadfastness of my spirit a little; however, we’re leaning into the Lord and asking Him for some big things, which are listed below.
- Oxygen Levels – We are wanting to see the oxygen levels on the ventilator decrease. The less help our little girl needs from the ventilator is one step closer to surgery.
- PDA Valve Closed – We gave Davy medicine early in this process to keep her PDA valve open (it typically closes soon after birth), yet now we’re needing it to close off. Pray that it closes without any need for additional medicine.
- Decreased Need for Extra Medicine – We need Davy to start weaning off the different amount of “extra” medicine she’s on. Pray that she is able to do so!
We love you all. Thanks for being alongside of this journey with us.