Friday, January 21, 2011

Hearts and Healing


Our trip to Charleston this week was so special for many reasons. Not only did we receive the wonderful news that Lil' Bit on the way is heart healthy, but we also got to spend a few moments in the places in that hospital that were "home" to us for an extended period of time when our Evie girl was so sick. The sweet significance of being there as part of her "extended birthday celebration" exactly 3 years after she was an unstable patient there completely overwhelmed me. Evie helped me bake and decorate 9 dozen heart-shaped cookies to deliver to the Pediatric Cardiac Unit and the Step Down floor where she spent weeks recovering after her surgery.
I will forever remember her nurse Joy when Evie was going through a particularly rough spell. She told me of the heart-kids that would come skipping into PCICU two or three years after surgery to visit. That thought gave me such hope to think of returning some day with a healthy child to thank the doctors and nurses who God used to heal her. For these sacrificing folks, we are SO grateful!!
Regarding hearts, I have something else I am at last wanting to share with you friends. We have only disclosed this to our families and a few trusted friends, but it seems time again to ask you...our "extended" family of sorts, to dirty your knees on our behalf.
I myself was recently diagnosed with heart defect that was detected at a pretty advanced stage. My aortic root (where the aorta comes into the heart) is dilating and at risk of rupture. Any further growth could necessitate a surgical repair. I have been rather private until now because frankly, I have felt fine. And perhaps, pride has gotten in the way too. I don't like drama and feel like we have burdened others so much to pray for our Evie's healing, I didn't really want to publicly deal with another crisis. But, God has so graciously dealt with us through the obstacles we have faced over the past few years and we have no doubt that He has used the prayers as so many of you on our behalf. It would be prideful and selfish to not allow you to share with us whatever it is that He wants to do on this road that we now find ourselves. And so, I ask you to journey with us again....

Will you please pray?

The particular risk right now is that doctors are concerned that the increased blood volume during pregnancy will stress the already fragile part of my heart. We are in the midst of discussing the options and I am feeling very grieved by their preliminary plan to possibly take the baby prematurely. I have felt very peaceful about my heart condition and know that they are keeping a close eye and taking every precaution. However, fear has again reared its ugly head.......the thought of a preemie and leaving my baby in ICU again is more than I can bear. It makes me cringe to think of monitors and supplemental oxygen and feeding tubes. My mind wanders to not being able to hold and nurse and bond with my little Ella if she is not big enough and strong enough. We have done that before and it was a nightmare...I so want this birth and infancy to be different than the last! But God knows all this and I am SO glad that we at least have the opportunity to prepare ourselves this time for the possibilities. He who created her inmost beings (and mine) is not taken by surprised. He is not overwhelmed. His arm is not so short that he cannot heal, restore, comfort or console.

Much will be decided closer to the time when they see if my dilation progresses. We are prayerful that it will not and that doctors will feel comfortable letting me carry this baby to term. Thank you for beseeching the Lord with us and covering this wee babe in prayer. He has called her by name and laid on our hearts to choose, Gabriella ~ "God is my might". We are believing that for her already!

18 comments:

The Simmons Family said...

I have tears. You are so brave and of course we will keep you in our prayers.

Hugs to you all. LOVE THE COOKIES!!

Abigail said...

You are in my heart and prayers!

cici said...

I just came upon your blog and thought to myself, what a beautiful family! I feel I was brought here to Pray for you. You need not worry anymore. I have never had an unanswered Prayer and I know that you and little Gabriella will be just fine and healthy. Many Angels are watching out for you upon the birth of your little one.
Peaceful healing hugs to you and your family.

Donna said...

Oh Mandy...wow! First I am reading and in joyful awe of your cookie baking mission...they are THE most beautifully baked bunch of cookies I have ever seen. Even the icing doesn't run and each different and lovely.
Then...I read about YOUR heart...and mine is very sad for all you are going through. Please know I for sure will be on my knees for you! But again reading I am in awe of you. This is devastating news as I sit here but you have a wonderful attitude and I am confident as are you that the Lord will see you through this! Am sening you my e-mail address...will you please send me your home address? Can't tell you enough how I will pray for you!!!
dstarkey7@hotmail.com

Carolina Carters said...

I've been thinking about you a lot and praying for you even more. Praying for a healthy Ella and mommy and for you to be able to hold, love on, and bond with your sweet girl right from the start.

Lots of prayers, friend.

I can't wait to meet that sweet girl!

Carolina Carters said...

Oh, and P.S. those cookies look AMAZING!! :)

Jane said...

Dear Mandy,
I can feel your fear, your longings, and your strength as you write about your heart condition and the birth of your precious baby girl. I will, of course, be praying for you every step of the way.
On a lighter note - is there anything you cannot do?! Those cookies are amazing! And what a special way to thank Evie's care givers.
Love and prayers,
Jane

Karen said...

so glad we got to connect on the phone yesterday....glad I heard it from you first! :)
love you sweet friend...and praying.

Brianna said...

I will be praying for you! Thanks for sharing with us!

By the way. LOVE the cookies and what an awesome idea. You'll have to post how you made them :) I'm having a 1st bday valentines party to celebrate my daughters first year who was also born with a heart defect. I would love to make them for her party.

Take care!

Mandie Hamrick said...

Mandy, my family will certainly be praying for you and a very uneventful pregnancy. What a beautiful name! :)

Take care, and blessings from IL,
Mandie

~Trini C.~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lneal22 said...

Your Scheidt family has blessed us all for so many years...from the early days of Flight to the recent birth of our 1st grandchild...and I know will continue for many more. We will pray for you, your family, and your sweet baby Ella!
Hebrews 4:16

Donna said...

Mandy, just wanted you to know that I posted about you today asking for prayer also...thinking of you! -Donna

Sarah D said...

Oh, Mandy! Tears... tears and groanings, from the depths of my soul for you and your precious Ella. Then these words came to my mind:

'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

I just googled the first line, and the first thing I clicked on was a sermon by John Piper... about courage. I hope you wont think I am preaching to you by posting it. I was so encouraged by it and yet, as I was reading it I was saying to myself "Nah, its not exactly what she is going through" .... then I read the closing verse and decided to post.

Love and prayers, sweet friend.
Sarah

http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper93/06-20-93.htm

Johnson Party of seven! said...

Praying for you, beautiful friend.

Crystal... said...

Yes, Tears. Yes, Prayers. HUGS dear friend.... thanks for sharing!!!!

ps.. oh and your heart cookies are AMAZINGLY cute. You are seriously one talented lady!!!

taylor said...

I will be praying for a very safe pregnancy for both of you. Prayer does make a difference!! You have so many people who love you and are praying! Be peaceful and know that you are loved!!

Brooke said...

I have been wondering how you are doing and how your health is with this pregnancy. Thank you for your vulnerability and requests for prayer. We definitely will be!

Also, I definitely want to know (just like another commenter) how you made those cookies look so beautiful! Please share your secret :-)

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