Love … has it a capacity?

Family

When we found out that Michelle was pregnant, we were really excited for what lay ahead of us. The thought of our family expanding, and walking out our dream was and is amazing. But the one question we asked, and people asked us, was, “How do you think Eli will react?”

Now this is a valid question. A question that must run through a lot of parent’s heads. We were pretty sure that Eli, being young, would not really have any problem with adapting to a little brother or sister. He always gets on well with other children around him, and we’ve had no problems with him in that way. But there is always that little question at the back of your head.

Now that Eva is here, we know that there was nothing to worry about. Eli loves her, accepted her into the house when she arrived home, and is interested in her every day. What a blessing!

But there was another part to this question about another child coming into the house. Would my love for Eli diminish because I now have two children? Maybe I’m the only person who has thought like that, but for me it was a bit of a scary thought. We’d had 14 months of the Jenkins family being Paul, Michelle and Eli. All of a sudden we went from 3 to 4, and a bit earlier than we had anticipated by arriving 4 weeks before her due date. Thankfully, my ability to love my children has no limits.

I look in at my son sleeping every night before I go to bed, and my heart melts – I smile from ear to ear, and I feel like I am going to burst, because this wee dude is mine and I love him. When I scoop my wee princess in my arms because she is crying with wind pains, I rock her gently and she relaxes down into my arm, I look at her, and wonder how God could bless me with this gift – I know that He has given me the capacity to love her beyond measure.

The amount of people we can love is not limited by an imaginary love capacity ceiling. Our Daddy God has immeasurable love for each one of us. Every time another baby is born, God loves that precious gift unconditionally. As I walk down this path of life, I am gaining more and more knowledge of God. Believe me, its still only a small grasp of who God is, but I love the way that God teaches us valuable lessons in everyday life.

In knowing that the way I love Eli and Eva, I can see a picture of how God loves His children, and His love is so much more than my love. There are a lot of people who struggle with the idea that someone loves them. Rejection has caused them hurt and pain, to hate who they are, because they think something they have done has caused those around them to not love them. Romans 5:8 says this:

But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

God’s love for us is not a response to something we do for Him, rather, He poured out His love, in the form of His son Jesus on the cross, so that we could know that nothing we could ever do would change the fact that He loves us. The ultimate price has been paid, God’s love has already been put on the line for us, we just need to receive it.

Every night before we put to Eli to bed I kiss him, I hug him and I tell him I love him, and ask him one simple question. “Do you love Daddy?”  With a simple shake of his head up and down, and a smile through his dummy, I am assured that my son loves me. For me this means the world.

Tell your Daddy God today that you love Him. You’ll make His day.

DNA – Chromosomes – Genetics

DNA helix

Psalm 139:14 NLT

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 

Today we seen Eva’s consultant. There wasn’t much more that he could tell us, and we are ok with that. Yes, it would be great to have a lot of information, that could tell us everything that we would need to know for the rest of Eva’s life. However, that’s not how its going to be. Not because they are choosing to withhold information from us, rather they just don’t know as yet.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) holds all the instructions used in the development and functions of all known living organisms. Now biology was the science I didn’t really focus on too much at school, but I would have to have listened very little to have not heard about it. That being said, DNA, and genetics seem to be something that although we know bits and pieces about, the experts still have a lot of researching to do. You could say it’s wonderfully complex! (Did you see what I did there?)

So what did we learn? Well we know that the MRI scan has shown something not quite right with formation of the brain. The paediatric MRI specialist seems to think its a variant of Holoprosencephaly. Did you know that there are quite a few people that can read MRI’s, a few less who specialise in neurological MRI’s, even less who specialise in children, and just a few who look at infants. In our case, our daughter’s MRI results are going to England to be looked at! The genetics people are also taking an in-depth look at Eva’s DNA, and this may even be consulted on from specialists across the world. We are receiving great care for our princess.

We may not have learnt a lot from today’s visit. But this we do know. Eva is a marvellous piece of God’s workmanship, and ultimately that’s all that matters.

October 12, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

This was the date we were given for Eva’s arrival. Eli had arrived smack bang on his due date. August 9th, 2010. Yesterday would have been that day for Eva. However we were celebrating 4 weeks with her in this world! Awesome times :-)

Sleeping Beauty

4 weeks ago we weren’t sure what exactly the future would hold. Would we have 4 weeks with Eva? Would Eva be able to feed? Would she breath on her own? The list could go on and on. Over these 4 weeks we have seen her move from incubator to cot, from being constantly attached to monitors, to having nothing attached to her. We seen her being fed through a tube, moving very quickly to bottle feeds. We’ve brought her home and introduced her to Eli. We’ve learned how to feed her ourselves using special bottles. We had her pee on us, cry through the night, and bring up some sick. Essentially we have seen her do all those things that babies do.

This maybe doesn’t sound like a lot, but to us these things are so precious. 4 weeks ago we were faced with the uncertainty of what the future held. The doctors where thinking that she could have certain syndromes, which, being honest didn’t have much hope for her life expectancy. But in this midst of this uncertainty, there was certainty. God was and is on our side. No matter what we have to face, we don’t go alone.

This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.

Psalm 91:2 is a declaration of who God is to us. He is our protection, no matter what we have went through, what we are going through and what we will go through. With that comes peace and confidence. What a difference that makes!

Eva will grow up knowing that God is her protection. We’re happy with that.

What A Difference A Year Makes

Michelle has been asking once or twice (read going on at me!) if I would get something done with the video footage of Eli that we have taken over this first year. So in the space of about 4 minutes I’ve put together this wee video clip showing Eli about an hour after he was born, and then a few days ago. It won’t win any awards, it could have had a lot more footage in it, but its great to be able to share this.

Its been a hectic first year for our wee warrior – he’s come through a lot and yet you wouldn’t know it!

Elijah – My God is LORD!

Enjoy!

Godz Bodz!

Awesome!

 

Holoprosencephaly

Eva Beth Jenkins

What is it you may ask?! That’s what I have spent the better part of this evening researching. Why am i researching it? Well Eva has been diagnosed with this “disorder”. The wonder that is the internet gives us the opportunity to have massive amounts of information at our disposal in seconds. Some of it helpful, a lot of it not so helpful.

To give a bit of history, at our 20 week scan our consultant seen something that he wasn’t happy with and referred us to the Royal Hospital for a more in depth scan. At this first scan we were told to expect the worst, and that our baby might not even make it to term. A further two scans, a foetal MRI and heart scan showed that things might not just be as bad as first thought, but to be honest the consultants didn’t know a lot.

Fast forward to Wednesday September 14, 2011. Eva Beth was born, by elective caesarian section at 36 weeks, with a loud cry. God had answered our prayers. Not knowing what to expect, this was an amazing feeling for us. We got to spend the next two hours with her before she got taken around to the neonatal unit. Here she got amazing care, and progressed really well. The consultants still weren’t sure what exactly was going on with her, but suggested that it could be one of two syndromes. First they thought trisomy 13, and then trisomy 18. Both of these had a limited lifespan, with most children not surviving more than a few weeks, and hardly any past 1 year. Thankfully on the Friday they ruled these two out, but this meant that they were again unsure what she “had”.

Our precious warrior princess, however, continued to do brilliant. She moved from the incubator to the cot, and from tube feeding to using a haberman bottle. After just 2 weeks Eva was allowed to leave the neonatal unit, and came home with us. Still no diagnosis, the consultants just weren’t sure. Eva exhibits some signs of a genetic syndrome, but they have all been ruled out, so for the doctors it is a case of walking through the next few months and years to see how she develops.

While in neonatal Eva had a lot of checks, scans and examinations from eyes and ears to kidneys, heart, hands and feet. Her head is smaller than it should be, and her chin is also smaller. During this time an MRI scan was carried out, and it was those results that we were waiting on most. Unfortunately for us the paediatric consultant who looks at MRI’s was off for a week, so we didn’t have those results on leaving the hospital.

Today we got the feedback we were waiting to hear. Holoprosencephaly. At this point in time we aren’t sure what the severity of it is, but based on Eva’s facial features pretty much being normal we are positive. For us a doctor’s report is simply that. Their report. We believe that God has a different report. To be honest, when a doctor says that he was googling it to find out a bit more information, then we know that there is room for God to move. Yeah you could choose to sit down, read all that the internet has to offer, and decide that there is no hope, but for us, that’s not an option. HPE, as this diagnosis is also known, is one letter short of spelling HOPE, and for us that hope is found in God.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says,

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Today, the same as every day she has been on this earth, for Eva Beth, we choose life.

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