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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On The Road Again

I left this morning around 8:40am, heading back to UAB. Leaving wasn't as traumatic as I had feared. Natalie was sleepy from some cold medication so I hugged her up and put her in the bed. Elyssa had just started watching "Super Why" on PBS, so I had to get her attention to give her my "good-bye" speech. I sat her in my lap and asked her where I had to go today. I had been telling her that I would have to go back to the hospital since I had gotten home in hopes that my leaving might be easier. She knew how to answer my question. She said, "You have to go back to Birmingham." I explained that I was going to get Daddy and Victoria and I hoped that I would be home in a few days." We hugged and I told her to be a good girl.

Next I hugged Mark's parents (they were staying with the girls this morning for my mom). When Elyssa saw me hug them, she knew I was really leaving at that moment. She immediately clung to my leg. She walked with me very closely out to the garage with Mark's mom following behind us. I hugged Elyssa once more and told her I loved her. I put my last few things in the van and went back for one more hug. It was then that Elyssa started crying and calling my name. It was so sweet. Thankfully, Mark's mom had brought bubbles for them to blow and distracted her with that. She cried a little more and then was okay. She and Grandmother left to blow bubbles. It was a peaceful departure for me. The Lord answered my prayers!

During my drive to UAB, I listened to a wonderful CD called "The Breath Of God." The music arrangements in the background are a little hokey, but the CD is great. It's a narration of tons of Bible verses that flow back-to-back. I was so encouraged by the verses being spoken. A verse that especially ministered to me was James 1:2-4. Here is that wonderful verse:

"2) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3) For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4) So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

God reminded me that Victoria's situation is an opportunity for Mark and me to grow. It seems weird to be joyful for this testing, but we can be joyful because we have seen God move in such mighty ways. God has worked and we have been amazed!

God continues to work in Victoria. This morning at 9:30am, the breathing tube was removed. So far, the doctors and nurses seem very pleased with how she was doing. They said she has done much better with the removal of the breathing tube this time.

Today, at 1pm, I was able to help give her a sponge bath. I also fed her 2 1/2 ounces of breast milk! She was very hungry and was satisfied after filling her little belly. The doctor feels 99% sure that she is "over the hump" and looks for her to be in a room in the next few days.

We continue to put our trust in God and remind ourselves that He is in control. He is a good God and we are thankful that He is on our side!

PS - We were surprised by an old college friend today. Brett Burleson drove over from Tuscaloosa to visit with us and Victoria at 1pm. We felt so blessed that he wanted to come see us! Brett serves as the Spiritual Maturity Pastor at Valleyview Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa. Thanks, Brett!! We love you and your sweet wife, April!


Anonymous said...

Mark and Heather, we are so glad to here Victoria is doing better! Mom and Dad are heading up to B'ham today. Daddy has an appointment in the morning. They were hoping they would get a chance to see yall. I had a couple of things I was going to send, but Mom and I got our wires crossed and they were on the road before I talked to her. Anyway, just know that we are still praying. Cali asks me everyday how Victoria is doing, and Graci really likes seeing the pictures of her. I hope when things get settled down, we get a chance to come visit you. We have got to get Graci and Elyssa together. I think they both have that "a type" personalities.

We pray everything continues to go well.

Alan, Chasity, Cali, and Graci


I know it felt so nice to have a little piece of normal by visiting with your other girls at home. It is hard to leave the sick baby behind but such a needed break for you to be in your own home. I bet you finally let out your breath you were holding.

I remember those small times of normal. I can tell you did not waste any of the moments. I am so glad that when you got back to Birmingham Victoria was still doing fine. The picture of her looking over your shoulder is such a precious photo. She just looks so good.

You and Mark are doing great. Just be there for each other when one is not as strong as the other. This is the time to really love each other through what is going on in your life.

Heather you look great in your photos girl to be going through so much.

I love you both and I read your blogs so that Ron and I know what to pray for as you need the prayer warriors on this blog.

Angela Ballard
and my crew

Anonymous said...

Mark and Heather,

We check your blog several times a day for updates and was delighted that Heather got to visit the girls. It must have do your heart good to know they are being loved and cared for by your sweet parents. Grandparents rock!

I know you can't wait until you are all reunited under your own roof...soon, God willing.

We continue to pray fervently and often. You are continually on our hearts and minds.

We love you all dearly!
Teresa, Milton and Mikayla Persons

Anonymous said...

Praise God!!! She is over the hump!!! I'm glad you had a good visit at home and that you got to see Elyssa and Natalie. We're continuing to pray for a thorough recovery!

Love yall!
Joy, Chris & Ella

Anonymous said...

Dear Mark and Heather:

I asked Dr Faye today if she had heard any news lately about Victoria and she gave me this site
I have enjoyed catching up on all of the events and how God is blessing all of you over and over again. I have been praying for you all. We do know that God is in control. Nothing in our life ever
happens unless it goes through Him
first. So He knows that we will have the grace to handle anything that comes our way!!! My husband always refers to Joshua as our ups
baby!! So we know that Victoria is an Ups baby too!! She is going to be talking and walking before we know it. I will continue to pray that these times will be shortened
and I know that God will give you strength.

Lynn Robertson, (Bookkeeper @ CMG)