Development, Part 2

The Occupational Therapist came today, and we were excited to see her! We have been working so hard on our homework and just had so much to show her!

Now that Mercy's adjusted age is 3 1/2 months, we've moved on to our 3-4 month list of development milestones:

  • Begin head control in supine sit/stand
    • no more bobble head baby!!!
  • Reaches toward dangling object
    • swatting, not grabbing yet!
  • Looks at hands
    • and her feet! ...stares and studies them!
  • "Fly Baby" position prone
    • so funny... arms and legs high in the air while she's on her belly!
  • Holds feet in air supine
    • like she's anticipating her diaper changes!
  • Beginning to comfort self
    • with her entire fist in her mouth!
  • Clears chest with forearm propping head up
    • getting sooo strong!
  • Tracks horizontal/vertical
    • she watches us walk across the room when we put her down and walk away!
  • Shows anticipation for interaction
    • big smiles when daddy walks in the door!
  • Brings object to mouth to explore
    • not really grabbing things and bringing them anywhere yet, but again, entire fist in mouth!
  • Vocalizing more
    • she's talking to her daddy right now!
  • Rolls prone to supine
...and that's what I want to write about tonight!

Mercy rolled over twice in the NICU. We weren't there for either, but we told the nurses to pleeease record it if it happened again... It didn't but they explained it like this: she would get leverage from the rolled up blanket next to her leg and push with everything in her until she flipped over. So we just naturally assumed that this would be a task we would bring her home with, and that she would just start rolling over all the time pretty much immediately. Soon after she came home, I saw her do it once, and since then, she hasn't been crazy about being on her tummy at all. In fact, when we put her on her belly, she would typically whine and whine until she was all out screaming and we would give in and help her roll over. There were two times recently that I let her whine while I did dishes, and I looked over at her when she stopped and she was on her back! Big girl! I had to leap over to her and smother her with kisses, so proud of her for that! Then... next tummy time it was back to the crying...

...until yesterday!

I went in her room with her and laid her on her belly. I laid right in front of her as she picked herself up with her arms. I could see how hard she was trying... She was picking her back legs up and trying to push them over to the side, and she was leaning so hard... then, it happened!

She just tumbled right over!

I flipped her, and she rolled right back over... and over and over and over every time I flipped her back! She never once even whimpered and she must have rolled over six or seven times!

Just in time for the OT to come today!

I have been begging that little girl to roll over like that for weeks now... but she tackled it right on time! And our OT was sooo impressed watching her roll today!

Impeccable timing, little one...

Do you ever want something to happen or change soooo so so bad, and you pray about it and pray about it and meddle a little, and then a lot, and pray some more but start to wonder if God doesn't really... care? Or maybe He just doesn't want you to be... happy? get what you want? be successful at what you're working towards?

I think back often to my appointment on January 18th... the routine monitoring that led to the emergency c-section that brought our daughter into the world 2 1/2 months early.

We waited and prayed for a long time for Mercy... about three years. There were times that I thought pregnancy wasn't part of God's plan for our family... It was ok, we talked about adoption and got certified as foster parents... We did a lot of respite care with the group homes but the door seemed to close on every child we prayed about bringing into our home... There were pregnancy tests, doctor's visits, phone calls to the social workers, tears and overall a lot of sadness... There were times I thought, with a lot of anger and pain, that parenting may not be a part of God's plan for our family...

...and then there was God. And His timing.

And His timing is impeccable.

You can read this ( if you're interested in the whole story... but the best part is that Mercy wouldn't be here today if liver disease hadn't taken me to the hospital for routine monitoring on January 18th.

As we approach Mercy's SIX MONTH birthday next week, I am finding myself unbelievably grateful to this God who doesn't owe me anything but a trip to hell, and yet He has given me grace and love beyond understanding in the precious life He allowed me to carry for 6 1/2 months and allows me to love and take care of today. In this world's timing, we should have lost her. In His timing, He led us through a uniquely perfect path that brought her into the world, brought her into our home two months later, and tomorrow, brings her back to the hospital one last time to run some tests to remove the heart monitor for good. Truly amazing.

How can we not be in awe of Him? How can we not trust in His perfect timing?

Whatever it is you're waiting for, friends, place your trust wholly in Him. His plan may look different than yours, but it's good, so much better than you could ever imagine... and every little detail of it will come together in His perfect time.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14

We certainly never imagined liver disease, ventilators or preemie clothes in our plan for our family, but I can tell you this for sure: we have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and we would not go back and change one second of Mercy's story.

But... to be honest, I've often wondered if I would feel this same way if things had turned out differently. I find myself absolutely in awe of the faith of those who have been down or are going down a harder path than Chris and I briefly traveled...

Please pray for the Davis's. Chris worked with Marshall at Eagle Ranch years ago. He and his wife are traveling a hard path, and trusting God in ways I can't even dig deep enough into my heart to understand... but my faith is strengthened because of it. Read this, pray, grow, and pray some more:

Thank you, friends. Love you all so very much!