zoe update: almost six months

I can’t believe this beautiful little face will be six months old on the 1st of April! Six months ago, I didn’t think I was going to have a baby to take home. Zoe Abigail, you’ve gone from a very sick newborn to a beautiful, smiling, laughing baby. I think most adults would shudder to think of going through all that you’ve gone through, and have ahead of you- and yet you are so happy. You keep smiling and charming everyone over- we love you so much! I’m so blessed to be the mum to such a precious little girl.

Zoe has such a beautiful testimony already- I can’t wait to see what God’s got in store for her. It’s going to be big.

IMG_5997[1]

Advertisements

five minute friday: break

Tonight my heart is breaking for a friend of mine, whose husband is going to pass away soon. Although we know he will soon be with Jesus in eternal glory, watching him suffer from the aggressive cancer and final goodbyes are hard. So hard.

Last night I went to listen to a speaker from Open Doors, who talked on Christian persecution in the Middle East. Watching the video where Christians who had been persecuted in Iraq, Syria and Egypt spoke and imagining myself in the situations they spoke of- my heart just broke for them.

Sometimes I think I might be a little overly sensitive. Then I stop myself.

No, God wants our hearts to break for the things that break His. He doesn’t want us to become indifferent. He wants us to empathise with our brothers and sisters in Christ as if we were the one suffering.

Break our hearts, Lord, for the things that break yours. Let us learn to see others and love them like You do.

five minute friday: real. 2 Kings 6: 15-17

When Zoe was about a week old and still in NICU, I was reading through the book of 2 Kings, where the king of Aram is after Elisha the prophet. Elisha finds himself surrounded with Aram’s army. His servant gets upset seeing all the forces against them so Elisha answers, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” He then prays for God to open his eyes to the spiritual realm so he can see what is real. Then when the servant’s eyes are opened he sees the hills full of “horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”

Since then, I’ve been thinking how surprised we would be if our eyes were opened to the spiritual realm, seeing just what protection God has put in place that we didn’t know about. … ‘For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways’…..which I’m finding so comforting to think about. This is real. He does not leave us! He does not neglect to send protection!

It’s amazing. And this image just entered my mind of a chair next to Zoe’s cot and an angel sitting, watching guard, never leaving her there. I’m certain God sent this angel to watch over Zoe, to be there when I couldn’t be there. I wish our eyes could be opened to this and we could see what is real, yet we cannot see.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

five minute friday: plan

Linking up for Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes on a given topic. This week’s prompt is ‘plan’.

***

My phone beeped this morning, the little alert sound from BBC World News that tells me there’s been a major event. The author Sir Terry Pratchett had died following a battle with Alzheimer’s. This was certainly big news in this house, as he’s Mike’s favourite author and Mike is a budding science fantasy writer himself.

I confess to not having read any of his books. I’ve always meant to, and we certainly have plenty of them in our house, but they’ve just never made it to the top of my reading pile. He certainly has no shortage of fans though. My Facebook feed’s been busy all day with tributes to him as various friends and pages found out the news.

Some of the tributes to him have been beautifully written. Take this one that was posted on his Twitter for example. While I don’t agree with it as such, I do appreciate how well it is written.

IMG_5826[1]

I’m always saddened by the death of prominent people. Not because ‘the earth would be a better place if they stayed around a while longer’ but because, although they’ve met the world’s definition of success, have they found Jesus? Have they found the one thing that matters above all else- the one thing that, no matter how badly you screw up your plan for your life, if you find God’s plan and come into a relationship with Jesus, you’ve succeeded in the end.

I don’t claim to know too much about Pratchett, but a quick Google search tells me his comments in interviews hinted more along the lines of being an atheist. I hope and pray this was not the case and that he had indeed found Jesus before he died.

While scrolling through the rest of today’s news I found these comments on an article about an execution in Texas this week.

..in a final statement, ..thanked “the Lord for his kind mercy, faithfulness and unconditional love”. “In Jesus’ name I pray,” he said, then told the warden, “I’m ready”.

I’m not making any comment for or against capital punishment here, and I acknowledge that what he did was horrendous, but I couldn’t help but think that, no matter how badly he screwed up his plan for his life, it sounds like he got God’s plan right. I could say the same thing about Andrew Chan currently on death row in Indonesia. I’m not sure I could say the same thing about Prachett. And that saddens me.

***

(I’m not that quick a writer. This actually took me just over 10 minutes. Had more to say than I thought!)

five minute friday: gather

I sat down in the oversized chair. The moment I’d been dreaming about for the last eight days was almost here. I was going to get to hold my newborn baby, my precious little girl for the first time. I’d stood over her cot for countless hours. I’d held her hands, her feet, stroked her, smelled the beautiful smell of a newborn’s head. I just hadn’t picked her up and held her in my arms yet.

I’d never realized just how traumatic it is not having that initial skin to skin with your baby. Not being able to gather your baby close to you and finally feel them in your arms. In the first few weeks after she was born I’d cry myself to sleep and wake up realizing I’d been dreaming about having her next to me.

Zoe had been extubated earlier that day but still had so many cords and leads she was a tangle to get across. I sat there and waited patiently. Heck, I’ve waited nine days. I’m sure I can wait another couple of minutes. Finally I heard them say ‘ready?’ And I reached out my arms and gathered my precious little bundle in my arms for the first time. She nestled down and went straight to sleep. She knew she was home. Safe.

We’ve made up for lost time. I gather up Zoe, smooch her, kiss her, make her giggle. She smiles and coos in appreciation. I never want to let her go again.

I love you, precious Zoe!

I love you, precious Zoe!

real food

We’re still at home! 15 days now and counting. Zoe’s appointments have been going well and they couldn’t be more happy with her. I’m so proud of her!

Zoe’s started looking most intently at my food, (particularly coffee…she seems to have an eye for that as does Annika. Give it a year and I’ll have to buy her a Babychino as well!) so I’ve started trying her on some solids. I don’t have much experience starting solids. Annika was a terrible eater- not interested in any solids until seven months old, and then refused to eat anything but strawberries for the next few months- so just having a baby that looks interested in food is a novelty to me.

IMG_5637[1]

I’ve started off by just giving her some food that we’re eating- plain rice noodles, avocado and carrot slices and so on- and letting her play with them. Plain rice noodles have been the most popular so far. They’ve made it as far as her mouth but I doubt she actually ate any of them, just squished them a bit. I did have a moment yesterday where I thought she ate her avocado but it turns out that Annika got sick of waiting for her to eat it and polished it off herself.

I’ve been told not to worry about what is in the food (potassium wise being the main thing- Zoe can have trouble getting rid of potassium) as it’s unlikely she’ll eat enough of them (very true!) to make any sort of difference. I’m sort of in a bit of a rush to get her up and started though, which I never was with A as I don’t want to leave it too long and have her not wanting solids at all. Some kids with kidney issues have severe oral aversion and I’m hoping to avoid that with Zoe (without resorting to feeding her coffee!)