Thursday, March 15, 2012

Natalie's Hospital Visit

To be honest, I didn't plan on starting this post with a few tears in my eyes... I was just taking another look at all the pictures of Linnea and Hannah, which is always dangerous. What a beautiful gift friendship is! And to see it develop at such a young age is so precious! I love the joy my daughter gets anytime we talk about Hannah...and then we talk about how we can not go see her (usually once a day still), and there is a little bit of ache there (for both of us!) So yeah...I miss my family...

So I guess now would be a great time to say how very thankful we are for our church family here in KC! A week ago today took us by surprise, in that a visit to the urgent care for Natalie landed us in the hospital for 4 days! Our sweet little "punky" had a very swollen gland that I had noticed, and come to find out, it was an abscess that needed to be surgically drained. The abscess was apparently from a staff infection that somehow got into her gland. Aaron was at the Shepherd's Conference, and flew home early on Thursday night to be with us before her surgery on Friday. She was miserable most of the week last week, as well as on the day of her surgery, but praise the Lord, it has all been uphill from there!

And Aaron and I have been amazed at the love from this church body. A dear gal stayed with me at the hospital most of the day Thursday, and when she left, others came! People were always with Linnea and a family from church took her in for a few days! Aaron and I ALWAYS had at least one person offer to bring us food around every single meal time while we were in the hospital. And now dinners have been provided for us since Monday and on until Saturday! We are overwhelmed with the encouragement and care!

It was so difficult watching my little girl suffer, and being unable to do anything for her. I remember going home after Aaron arrived at the hospital to gather some clothes and toiletries. I went into Natalie's room to get a few things and just broke down at the thought of losing our precious little girl that the Lord has given us. And at that same moment I was overwhelmed with the love of God the Father, in sending His Son to the cross, for MY sins! He not only watched His Beloved Son suffer tremendously on the cross, but He SENT Him there! And to top it all off, He poured out His wrath on His Son, because that is what it took to pay for MY sins! Jesus had to bare the full wrath of God for my justification!

"For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
~Jn. 3:16~

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!"
~Rom. 11:33~

I'm so thankful this experience has given me a deeper understanding of God's sacrificial love for me! Well...praise the Lord, Natalie's surgery went great, and she just had her follow up appointment with her new physician today (who is a gal involved in the music ministry at our church!), and is looking really healthy! The doctor said no more bandaids on her incision, which is healing up quite nicely. We are incredibly grateful to the Lord that this whole situation wasn't something worse and that the Lord has seen fit to entrust Natalie to us for a while longer (hopefully the rest of our lives here on earth!)

This is what her neck looked like before surgery
This is Debbie! My substitute mom for the day. :)
Getting her first of 4 ivs (1st if 8 tries)
All tired out from getting the ivs in (and they gave her some strong pain meds!)
Kathy brought much needed Chick-fil-a!
Patty, Liz, and Kim all stayed with me in the evening until Aaron arrived!
Dr. Neuhart checking up on her. Children's Mercy Hospital and Staff were such a blessing...couldn't have asked for a better hospital!

Getting her ultrasound right before suregery

This is a few hours after surgery! Already starting to have some happy times (hadn't seen that in a long time!)
Kim and Rick stopped by after her surgery.

Linnea was dropped off at the hospital to visit us, and had lunch with her...her very first corn dog. My daughter was BORN healthy. She didn't touch her fries and decided she liked the hot dog better without the breading...oh, my. :) (I know, not that a hot dog is healthy to begin with, but you know what I mean!)

There's my happy girl! :) Glad to have her abscess gone!!

Home safe and sound and happy as can be!
Sisters are loving being back together!
We really are thankful to have our happy Natalie back! I was starting to think she was just going through a cranky phase, but I think this thing in her neck had been bothering her for a couple of weeks, because she is now back to her old self! (And has given mama 7 straight hours of sleep these past two night! Woohoo! :))