Baby David’s Testimony 

Baby David’s Testimony 

What do you do when things don’t go according to plan? 

There were two things very specifically that I wanted and prayed for in regards to David’s delivery and birth. 

1. I wanted to deliver naturally, and kept the option of an epidural open, depending on my threshold of pain on the day of labour. 

2. I wanted to breastfeed David immediately. Hence, I reminded my husband more than once (3987 times, to be exact), that I wanted immediate skin to skin contact with my son once he was born. I read that having immediate skin to skin contact not only allows mother and child to bond immediately as well as promote a sense of well-being for the baby; it also helps the baby breastfeed quicker and more easily. 

Both did not go according to plan. 

Due to my SLE condition, my doctors (both in the government and private hospital) advised me not to prolong my pregnancy to the 40th week (full term) as it would carry risks to the baby. 

So at week 38 on the 20th of July at 1am, I was induced. Barely an hour after I was given the medication, I started cramping really badly and initially did not realise them as contractions. But 6am the pain had grew intense and by 9am I was already dilated to 7cm. I really wanted an epidural by then because I didn’t want to fight the contraction pains anymore, but it was not possible due to the baby’s weak heartbeat. By then baby D had pooped in my womb which signalled distress. At 11am I was fully dilated but somehow could not push little David out, even with the help of vacuum extraction. I was then wheeled in for an emergency C-section. 

I was fully conscious during the surgery, but had no sensation waist down from the spinal anaesthetic. It was not long after that, when someone came over to me, started cleaning me up and told me that the surgery was over. 

“What do you mean, my surgery is over??”, a warning sign came up in my head right away.  

“Where’s my son?”, I asked the lady. She promptly turned and walked away. 

Again, I turned to the other man on my left and asked if my son was alright. They all ignored me and avoided eye contact. 

It was then, I knew something was wrong. I slowly turned my head to look around the room and saw in a corner, a medical team huddled over my baby. My baby. 

Before I knew it, I was wheeled into the recovery room. I hadn’t the faintest idea if baby D was alright, and neither could I see my husband. I just wanted to be wheeled out pronto! 

Finally when they did wheel me to the corridor, Nick got to come to the hallway and meet me. As he held my hand and kissed me, I could tell that he wasn’t quite alright. With a slight tremble in his voice, he told me that baby David was not doing well and was being attended to immediately. 

Thankfully I had family there to accompany me post-surgery in the ward while Nick waited anxiously outside the NICU. Four excruciating hours passed before he could speak to the doctors in there. David had suffered from meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS), where the baby has passed meconium (stool) into the amniotic fluid during labor or delivery. MAS may occur if the baby breathes in (aspirates) this fluid into the lungs.

David had to be transferred to the neighbouring hospital, a separate building a few blocks down the road from where I was warded. Because of that, I could not see him until the 3rd day after I was discharged. 

David suffered a few episodes of seizures in his first few days and also had to be assisted by a ventilator in his breathing. He was such a fighter! Despite his frail state, he was feisty enough to pull at all his tubes! 

Day 5, some tubes were removed from his body, and I was able to carry David for the first time. 😭

Each day brought different progress and David recovered remarkably, we give all glory to God for sustaining him, and also us throughout the 10 days he was in the NICU. 

Towards the end of our pregnancy, Nick and I had being doing catechism studies together as a couple. The first question we had learnt was – what is our hope in life and death? And the answer is that we are not our own, but belong, in both body and soul, in life and death, to God and to our saviour Jesus Christ. It is this very promise that we were assured that David’s life was in God’s hands. 

When I had suffered a threatened miscarriage earlier in my pregnancy, I had also come across a verse in Psalm 118 that I saw as a promise for David’s life. “I shall not die, but live, and proclaim the wondrous works of the Lord”. 

All these promises that the Lord gave to us prior to the delivery strengthened us for the uncertain days in the NICU where doctors could not give us answers, we rested in the knowledge of Him who is sovereign and in control. 

Over the 10 days in the NICU, we witnessed God’s faithfulness to us in so many ways. Grateful for loved ones who surrounded us with prayer, love and support and for family members who brought us food as well as provided practical help. We had to ‘camp out’ at the hospital each day, spending 7 to 12 hours there to ensure we could spend as much time with baby David there, as we believe strongly that human contact and our voices were vital in his recovery. 

Through all this, we remember and have been strengthened by the devotion that we read during our prayer together just before we went to be admitted to the hospital on July 19. (Devotion to be attached in the following post). We give thanks for the Lord’s wonderful dealings with us; for His working in all this to reveal our weakness and helplessness, and to show to us and through us, the outshinings of His glory.

A week after his birth, we witnessed many miracles. David was very alert and responsive, and opened his eyes clearly for the first time when I called his name. We then tried skin to skin contact with David, and he started suckling almost immediately. We know that this is a remarkable milestone as David has been fed intravenously all these while, and even with his improved condition, been fed by cup or syringe. 

The Lord seemed to answer all our hearts’ desires, for David also cried (very lustily) for the first time. David also had his MRI done and we were so grateful to know that he has suffered no brain damage despite the fits he went through the previous week. 

We are so glad to have David home now. It is both a sacred and joyful time for us, as we savour this humbling process of learning to be parents as well as enjoying our time together as a family.

We would appreciate your continued prayers for us that we may raise David up to be a man after God’s own heart, wholehearted in His pursuit of Christ. 

Thoughts on Injustice

It will always seem as though the good guy finishes last, and that there is no justice on earth. 

But I know the God who is the avenger of the weak, the meek, and the helpless who cannot speak for themselves… 

It is a far more terrifying thing to mistreat that sort of people, for behind them is the God of wrath and justice, the Father of the fatherless, the refuge to the lowly, the Word that promises this – 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Romans 12:19 ESV

It may seem like a never ending battle on this side of eternity. Turning the other cheek, not returning evil for evil, and the need for unending patience, hope and perseverance. 

But He is faithful, He will help His remnant endure until the end. 

{especially remembering those who have to live under seeming injustice & unfairness in this lifetime} 

Blessings (Laura Story) 

We pray for blessings, 

We pray for peace, 

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep. 

We pray for healing, for prosperity, 

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering. 

All the while, You hear each spoken need, 

Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things. 
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears, 

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near. 

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? 
We pray for wisdom, 

Your voice to hear. 

And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near. 

We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love, 

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough. 

All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we have faith to believe… 
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops, 

What if Your healing comes through tears, 

What if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You’re near. 

And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise… 
When friends betray us, 

When darkness seems to win, 

We know that pain reminds this heart, 

That this is not, this is not our home. 

It’s not our home… 
What if my greatest disappointments

Or the achings of this life, 

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy. 

And what if trials of this life, 

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights, 

Are Your mercies in disguise… 

​To say that ‘Jesus is the reason we celebrate’ goes further than ‘Hooray, we wine, dine & celebrate because it’s Jesus’s birthday!’ to 
He is the reason we want many more to come to that joy of knowing and loving Him. 
To truly celebrate {and treasure} Jesus requires more than a metaphorical birthday cake and the blowing of candles.
It is remembering the reason to why He came and aspiring to do as He did.

Christmas 

Christmas – Jesus is the reason we celebrate. So what’s next? 

We have parties, we celebrate. 

We post photos of clinking wine glasses, glittery tinsel and bountiful spreads of food surrounded by friend and kin. 

But why did Jesus come? 

So we could have another reason to party, shop for new clothes and have a good time? 

I hope we all (including me) truly learn to embrace the true spirit of Christmas by emulating the Man who is the reason for Christmas. 

Here’s a reflective poem my dear husband wrote many years ago on Christmas day. 

Like the sand, they spread across the beach

Twas’ the night before Christmas, the crowds gathered for

Some choose to spend it with friends

Some with loved ones

All are looking for something to do on Christmas day
Amidst the joyous echoes of Christmas carols

Empty heart are crying out

Eager eyes, look toward the sky,

Looking for hope,

Looking for something to do on Christmas Day
Many do not know, the man that was born this day

Many do not know, the sacrifice he made

Many do not know, the story of love, the story of the cross

Many are just searching for something to do on Christmas
As the clock ticked pass midnight, the crowd began to cheer

Joyous celebration of a day they did not know

Would they still shout, would they still sing

If they knew what they were celebrating for

Or are they just here because they have nothing better to do on Christmas Day
Many do not know, the man that was born this day

Many do not know, the sacrifice he made

Many do not know, the story of love, the story of the cross

Many are just searching for something to do on Christmas
Who will tell them about the Christ in Christmas?

For there is no Christmas, without Christ

And the many can stop searching for something to do on Christmas

Because it would just be another day without Christ

Teach Me How to Love… 

​Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the  gift  of  prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the  poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love never fails.

1Co 13:1‭-‬5‭, ‬7‭-‬8 NKJV

Climbing Higher

We don’t choose to go to the “end of the earth”. It is not a pleasant place. We don’t belong there. We miss our home. But we go. And yet, if we go, we want to see some fruit while we are there. We want it to be a garden place where many souls find salvation in our Lord. We want it to blossom. While we don’t want to be there, at least let it be changed into something more tolerable for us. Let it be more like home. Don’t let it continue to be the “end of the earth”. And yet, it is the “end of the earth”.

What can we do? Go home?

Was that the prayer of the psalmist? No! He did not ask to go home. He did not ask for a successful ministry. He did not even ask to be happy. What did he ask? The psalmist wrote, “lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I”. He discovered the secret of climbing higher.

Roger Dixon
Climbing Higher

image

Beautiful picture taken by my brother, Dave

The Summons

Will you come and follow Me
if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
and never be the same?
Will you let My love be shown?
Will you let My name be known?
Will you let My life be grown
in you and you in Me?

Will you leave yourself behind
if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare?
Should your life attract or scare?
Will you let Me answer pray’r
in you and you in Me?
Will you let the blinded see
if I but call your name?
Will you set the pris’ners free
and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean,
and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean
in you and you in Me?

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
to reshape the world around
through My sight and touch and sound
in you and you in Me?

Lord, Your summons echoes true
when You but call my name
Let me turn and follow You
and never be the same
In Your company i’ll go
Where Your love and footsteps show
Thus i’ll move and live and grow
in You and You in me..

John L. Bell