I am a mama!
And I adore the role more than my heart can even grasp.
I just never expected our story to include stays in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for BOTH of our girls.
And oh… how a mama’s heart aches when her child is hooked up to IV’s and those tiny newborn feet are riddled with pin pricks and bruises.
But this is our story and our God has been good through it all.
I have ITP, which is a mouthful of an autoimmune disorder called Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura. In essence, my body thinks my platelets don’t belong and so it tries, relentlessly in my case, to destroy the platelets that are meant to protect me from bleeding too much. I was diagnosed at age 19.
Having ITP means I get bruises super easy and have to watch for signs of internal bleeding. So when I have a headache that just won’t go away, I usually end up with a CT scan. Because most treatments stopped working for me a few years ago, I also had my spleen removed, which means my platelets are not being destroyed quite so rapidly.
While having my spleen removed allows me to live a pretty normal life again, it ALSO means I have a larger number of circulating antibodies on a mission to tag my platelets for destruction.
When my first daughter was born, she received a good dose of those antibodies and ended up in the NICU with a severely low platelet count. My second daughter was born with an even lower platelet count.
This is NOT how I expected the births of our children to go! And here’s the kicker – it was my blood, MY blood – that carried these misguided antibodies into the bloodstreams of our babies. Oh the guilt could have chewed me up to something unrecognizable.
The pain of seeing my children go through countless heal sticks and multiple IV placements was almost unbearable. Ripping my heart out and putting it on the table would have felt easier!
But isn’t this a glimpse – just a tiny glimpse – of what God Himself went through when He stood by as His PERFECT son, Jesus, was nailed to the cross?
Jesus did not deserve death, but He received it because it was God’s will to atone for OUR sins through the blood of His perfect son. God knew that it was only through this pain that spiritual health and healing for His children would be complete. Jesus’ death was payment for OUR sins.
My babies did not deserve heal sticks and their bodies were not the ones betraying them, but they received the pain of countless pokes because of the bad blood they received from me. The heartache of watching my kiddos get poked over and over again left me feeling helpless, but I knew that these sticks and IV treatments were the only way to restore my girls to perfect health.
It is so often through pain that we are restored. There is love and healing even in the midst of so much heartache! And as a parent, we will often ache as our children experience pain, but it is our duty to remain faithful to the TRUTH that there is healing and wholeness that comes on the other side of pain.
And we will likely need to demonstrate that faith to our children even when we don’t feel like it. They will grow to Trust the Lord as we show them He can be trusted.
God brought both of our girls through this tough time to a place of PERFECT physical health! In the process, we trusted Him more than we ever have, met some remarkably selfless nurses and doctors whose qualities we try to emulate, and developed a love for a cause much bigger than our 4-person family.
Golisano Children’s Hospital (GCH), where our girls were treated, “serves as the referral center for all seriously ill or injured children from the 17-county Finger Lakes region. The hospital is committed to treating all children regardless of their family’s ability to pay”. This means that GCH depends largely on donations to purchase new equipment, pay for patient care and build new facilities when needed.
This year, we are forming a team for the Stroll for Strong Kids fundraiser on May 30th. Our team is called Bruisin’ Buddies (named by one of our favorite nurses) with incredible gratitude for all that GCH has done for our family. I was also welcomed into GCH as a 19-year old newly diagnosed with ITP.
Will you join us in supporting Golisano Children’s Hospital by walking or running with us on May 30, or donating whatever you are able to donate towards our TOTAL team goal of $500?
Thank you in advance for your support!