"It is important for us to realize that God is a fourth-watch God."
S. Michael Wilcox, When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered
Let me explain the above quote. I finally decided to pick up the book my father gave me a few months ago and read it tonight as I was feeling depressed about the lack of progress made by Noah in the hospital and the overall stress of dealing with Jonah's adjustment to home. My father, wise as fathers can be, gave this book to me and told me I needed to read it.
I have to admit that I haven't been the best at making time for scripture reading throughout this experience and I am sure I would have faired better during some very difficult days if I would have been more diligent. Now it is even harder with only two and a half hours of sleep at a time to find the time to read a few verses but I am trying to resolve myself to change this.
Let me get back to the quote. Basically, one of the points this author makes is that God is a "fourth-watch" God. A New Testament night was divided in to four watches: the first from six in the evening until nine and so on with the final watch being those very last hours of the night before sunrise. The author explains that often times God is a fourth watch God, when in moments of trial we are desperate that he come to us in our hour of need but often he waits until those final moments of darkness before showing us the light.
I am still praying for our fourth watch with our sweet Noah.
They went ahead and started steroids today, Prednisone to be exact, with Noah. We are hoping that a five-day, low dose will strengthen his lungs just enough to get his oxygen requirements down to the point that he can switch over to a low flow system and come home. His doctor really wants Noah at home where he can heal and be in a more stable environment. The sad part is that if the steroids do not work, I know a tracheostomy may become more likely. This just seems so horrific. I cannot imagine our beautiful son with a hole in his throat and hooked up to a home ventilator. The mere idea seems so terrible and so overwhelming.
How we have prayed for Noah. I feel sometimes we have exhausted ourselves in prayer and fasting that he might be spared the more difficult path of home ventilation. But I cannot give up yet. There is still a part of me that knows that surely God does hear us and will not abandon us. Even when I feel that my "fourth-watch" is never coming and I feel that he has left me alone to walk a very long, difficult and dark road there is still a tiny spark of hope in my heart that hopes that God will spare Noah of this challenge.
If not then we will have to adjust our lives and ourselves to doing what his best for him. At least I have the ability to somewhat cope with the idea.
Jonah is doing ok. He is still fussy with his feeds, ever since we switched him over to formula. It is a fight to get two ounces down him every three hours but we are keeping at it. I just can't believe that he was easily eating three ounces or more at the hospital and suddenly at home on formula he is eating less. It is frustrating but we are moving forward and trying our hardest to work with him. I dread to think that he would not improve and they would re-hospitalize him for a ridiculous feeding tube!! I will not give up!
At least right now Jonah allows us to put him in his swing or the bouncy seat instead of always insisting on being held. We are still working on his schedule but hopefully it will come with time.
I am anxious to see if Jonah gains weight this week. We were trying rice cereal but it thickened the formula so much that we couldn't find a proper nipple that helped Jonah. The medium flow didn't allow the formula through and the fast flow practically drowned Jonah. So we are back to 22 calorie Neosure. We may have to up the calories this Friday if he doesn't gain weight and all I can do is hope he doesn't refuse to eat after that change!
So we are waiting for our fourth watch and hoping for the best for these sweet babies. We so want our Noah at home, even with all the medications, nebulizer treatments and oxygen....we want him home! We also accept that may require home ventilation and if it does we will manage the challenge and do our best.
Keep our babies in your prayers. I so wish this journey ended the moment these boys came home but it is only beginning now.
Thank you all for your love and support.
Shane and Michelle