Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grant me the Serenity

This week is our first week since Jan 20th that we haven't received new, worse information.   We had a follow up visit with our cardiologist, who performed a fetal echocardiogram (sonogram).  Laura and I said this prayer while waiting.

Lord grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change;  
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Our doctor was pleased with the clarity of the echocardiogram.  Micah is larger, which makes it easier for him to see his heart lesions clearly.  It’s incredible how much change is viewable on his heart in the past 3 weeks.  It’s also incredible the impact of simple, grainy, black and white images have on our family. 

The good signs are that his heart is growing at the appropriate rate and that his heart is operating at the appropriate function (both ventricles have a good squeeze).  Aside from that, there isn’t much more to ascertain at this point.  He still doesn’t see a pulmonary valve.  He can’t view the small valves (MAPCAs) that send blood to the lunges.  The valves will be critical in the operations that occur after birth.  It seems that the surgeons will have to place a conduit from the right ventricle, to act as a pulmonary artery, and link the MAPCAs from the lungs to the conduit. 

We spent some time talking with our doctor and obtained some new information about what to expect.  A slight degree of TOF would likely have just 1 surgery, to fill the VSD and to remove obstructions in the pulmonary artery.  Since Micah’s is at the other end of the spectrum, he’ll likely have a surgery right away, stay in the hospital for a number of weeks, and then have another surgery prior to turning a year old.  This seems to be it.  Just wait until the birth (which, we pray will happen near full term).  Next week we will meet with our surgeons. There is so little that we can do.  We are powerless and weak. 
Laura and I have been listening to Fr. Emmerich’s “Detaching with Love” CD’s over the past few weeks, by recommendation of my sister.   Fr. Emmerich is a friend of my parents.   It’s very helpful to realize that there is no such thing as a normal situation exempt form difficulty.  We live in an imperfect world.  We are weak and powerless without love.  In dying to what we hold dear, we may experience the grace of God’s love.  Here’s a link if you are interested.
We’ve also prayed a novena to St. Francis (via the website).  I feel I pray for something new each day.  Pray for strength. Pray for Micah’s soul. Pray for Micah’s heart. Pray for Laura. Pray for peace. Pray for Dylan. Pray for humility.  Pray for family. Pray for friends.  Pray for the woman who was honking like a mad person on the way into work today.  Pray for wisdom. Pray for understanding God’s will.

One of the primary struggles that I’ve dealt with the past few weeks is in deciding to keep course or pivot.  

Some days, it’s a battle to simply get through the day (last Monday comes to mind, see Laura’s last post).  Some days, I’m left with decisions on how to spend my time and energy.  In January, Laura and I were making progress towards moving.  I can’t say if we should move or not, but I’ve been spending time working on making improvements in our condo. I’ve installed bifold doors, painted hall doors, installed new door handles, removed and installed a new door jam, removed and installed a new ceiling fan.   Dylan seems to enjoy participating.  

I hope that Laura and I can set ourselves up for making a sound decision on moving and I hope that we’ll see God’s plan when we are faced with the decision.  

I’ve been continuing working out 6 days a week.  It’s a very difficult decision to spend time and energy in working out, as opposed to in other areas.  I’m trying to decide if I should cram for GMAT’s, take the test, and submit an application to GMU’s MBA program prior to 3/15 – in order to be considered for a potential scholarship.  
I’ve been playing music lately.  I find it terribly frustrating to sing well (which is the current state I’m in).  Stress plays a large factor in that.  I’m surprised how many people have asked me lately about if I’m playing music.  It’s nice to hear people’s interest. 
I’ve had a couple of work/career related changes that presented themselves before me.  I know that the more effort I place, the more changes will come.  It’s hard to decide what to do there, as well. 

Sure seems like a lot when I write it all out!  What am I doing…

I want to say thanks for reading. Thanks for the support.  I've had a number of moments where peace was easier to obtain, due to the support and prayers – I’m sure.  I truly hope that there are 1 or 2 people that will read our blog and help find peace because of our story. 

Remember that we are all weak. We live in a flawed world. We can find peace. Love is greater than evil.

Know yourself. Trust in god.