Gabriella’s StoryPosted: October 28, 2011
What Happened in the Natural:
About 5 hours after we arrived home from the hospital, Gabriella stopped breathing. We called 911 and Nick did CPR to revive her while we waited on the ambulance to come. After what felt like hours, but was probably only 5 minutes, help arrived. Gabriella was rushed to St Francis and admitted to the NICU that night. Upon arrival, they discovered she had a dangerously low glucose level. After a long list of tests that continued to come back negative and showing nothing wrong, the doctors best guess is that I was an undiagnosed gestational diabetic. Because of this, Gabriella’s body was over producing insulin to cope with the high sugar level, but after she was born and didn’t have the high amount of sugar, her glucose level began to drop, eventually causing her to have a seizure and stop breathing. During her 7 days in the NICU, Gabriella’s pancreas was recalibrating to accommodate a normal sugar level. By the time we left, this process was done and Gabriella should never struggle with this issue again.
I worked really hard to do my part to ensure my second baby did not have to go to the NICU like my first. I took extra time to rest even when my to do list was a mile long. I did my time on bed rest. I made it to 38 weeks which is supposed to be the “safety zone.” We had great plans for a happy homecoming with our baby that were dashed with a life threatening crisis. All is well; Gabriella survived and is thriving. There is so much to be thankful for—-worst case scenarios were averted. However, we did not want to be thankful for a crisis ending well, all we wanted was to be thankful for a non-eventful homecoming, a healthy bouncing baby! How do we praise God?
What Happened in the Supernatural:
It’s very easy for us to focus on the traumatic experience of last Sunday night; but if we take the time to look just a little bit closer, God’s faithfulness is poured all over this latest chapter of our lives.
- Nick was holding Gabriella when the seizure happened and was able to successfully administer CPR to save her life.
- My dear friend, Joleen, was at my house in a matter of minutes and was able to communicate on a medical level to the paramedic and hospital teams. She made sure that Gabriella was taken to St Francis, admitted to the NICU, and received the best care. She served as Gabriella’s nurse for 4 of the 7 days in the hospital.
- We have amazing family support. They dropped everything and were ready to do anything to support us and Reuben.
- We have a strong unit of friends that prayed, checked in, supported, encouraged, and served us more than we even knew we needed.
- Prior experience in the NICU with Reuben significantly softened the blow of seeing our baby girl on a ventilator and hooked up to all kinds of cords and monitors. Had we not had this knowledge and familiarity with the process of the NICU, the trauma of this experience would have been multiplied significantly.
- Favor and flexibility in Nick’s day to day responsibilities outside of family that allowed him to be a support to me and offer stability and normalcy to Reuben in the midst of chaos.
There are so many reasons to be thankful for God’s protection and provision, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend many sleepless nights this past week reliving the horror and wondering “why me?” I may never know or understand. At this point I can choose to focus on “why me?” or I can shift my focus to “what for?” God spoke to me very clearly in June about His plans for our baby girl. He told me she would be a strong woman of God, and because of that promise, we chose to name her Gabriella Kate, pure heroine of God. The ambulance ride to the hospital was one of the most desperate times of my life. In that moment, I am so thankful I had His clear promise about our girl to hang on to. I spoke that promise aloud the entire way there, clinging to it, and begging God to follow through. And that’s exactly what He did.
Larry Crabb, clinical psychologist, speaker, author, and spiritual director and founder of New Way Ministries says, “My supreme good in this world lies not in the enjoyment of blessings I legitimately desire….. my supreme good in this world lies in the Cross-dependant, Resurrection-affirmed, Pentecost-supplied power to relate like Jesus through any trial in a way that reveals God’s heart to others and releases God’s life into others.” This is our prayer. In every season of our lives, may we find ourselves caught up in His grace rather than our own strength so that our lives may continually be a reflection of His every good work.
At last, the homecoming I so greatly desired.
*My mom is a counselor with Plumbline Ministries and writes a monthly article for their newsletter. There are portions of this blog that I stole from her latest article because she was able to articulate in ways that I couldn’t.*