We made it into October, and Josie was going back to school. Tamara was really beginning to enjoy the last few months of pregnancy, feeling good and getting set to make things baby-ready. Then she said she’d had a headache for the last couple days that she couldn’t get rid of. So she went in to get it checked out, and didn’t come home until she gave us all a really good scare and had an emergency c-section that brought our 2nd beautiful son into the world 9 weeks before his due date.
“Severe preeclampsia” is what they called it after they had gotten Ezra out of Mama and into the NICU at St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. Tamara’s BP had spiked over 220 systolic, and was non-responsive to treatment. Her breathing had become insufficient due to “flash edema.” The doctors decided that they needed to get Ezra out so that they could focus on making sure Mama was around to see him. Spoiler alert: They succeeded, or this letter would sound much different than it has so far.
On October 12th, Ezra and I went to St. Joe’s NICU. Tamara stayed in the ICU at Allegiance Hospital in Jackson. We didn’t see each other for the next week, and I was pretty much in the dark as to just how bad she actually was until Ezra was about a month old, her blood pressure just would NOT come down. She was being pumped full of meds that would help her not blow out the walls of any important blood vessels, and slowly it came down. Slowly. Her Dr. is still working on getting it down to “good.”
Ezra (which means, “to help” in Hebrew) has been nothing but a little superman. His Mama must have really grown him well, while he was living on the inside, because from the moment he came screaming into the world, he’s done nothing but buck all the odds. He was intubated for only a couple hours. He never needed oxygen. His lungs were strong. His stomach was ready for food. His kidneys were ready to process, and on the list goes. The NICU was full of nurses and doctors that knew what to do and how to care for a scared, shell-shocked dad. Ezra and I were “alone” for days that felt like weeks before Tamara was stable enough to come visit.
I realize that said that we were “alone.” But I need to be REALLY clear here, i never felt alone. I felt tired, confused, overwhelmed, and many other ‘feels,’ but IT WAS SO OBVIOUS THAT WE WERE NOT ALONE. Jesus was right there with me and His Words were there to comfort us as we went through these trials. Psalms and James and Colossians all were there to remind me of the truth that none of this was new to God. None of this, surprised Him. God had so many “hands and feet” around us that details we didn’t even know about got taken care of. Laundry was clean, food was supplied and cooked, children were transported and watched over, and so many more things that I can’t list here. It is a truly humbling thing to be made aware of one’s desperate need, and ever so important to see the provision!
Where are we now?
As time after birth continued to add up, we became very aware of the fact that Tamara’s BP was not going down, as it normally would. The norm for preeclampsia is that Mama only has it until birth, then it returns to normal. Not for us, though… It has taken some extra time for Tamara’s BP to return to a more normal set of numbers, but it IS coming down. Ezra’s lb’s are going up and Tmama’s BP is coming down. We like that!
In the rest of our “world,” things are also returning to something that resembles “normal.” Tamara is home almost all of the time with “the boys.” I am “at work,” down the hill at the Bible School, and “the girls” are at school, across town.
With the craziness of the past 3 months fading into the past, I began to look to re-inserting my life back into the scheme of things at the Bible School. I had tried in the early stages of it all to keep up things with the single guys, but found myself having to reschedule things far too often. With the foreseeably present realities being what they were, we began to try and find a different role that would keep us near the students and able to flex with the doctor visits that Ezra and Tamara would need. It seems that we have found one…
When the New Year rolled in, I began ministry in the small bookstore that the Bible School necessitates, as the manager. We have students that need textbooks, and other school supplies, and have found that we can offer them these titles at GREATLY reduced rates if we act as a dealer. For those of you that have had the joy of finding college textbooks, you’ll know that sticker shock that comes when you pay $125 for the cheapest textbook… in your list of 7.) Our little bookstore doesn’t have to charge those prices to stay open, so our students don’t have to go into debt to read the textbooks, either. I am learning a lot of new things and have a lot more to learn about this, but I am confident that if I ask enough questions, I’ll get it figured out. Eventually.
I picked up the “Campus Life Guy” thing again. We’ve got some fun stuff in the works for prospective students and current students, as well as staff and interns. We’d like to see them talking to each other about real stuff, almost like they cared about each other…
Tamara remains in somewhat of a holding pattern with Ezra, while we wait out the flu season. She is currently “remoting-in” to work and entering grades in the database about 3 days a week. It’s not ideal, but it is something. April showers SHOULD bring warmer outdoor temps and open windows. AND THEN, we’ll let the sunshine in and them out!
Enough rambling for now, I’ll do more next time, too! If you’d like more details, please give us a call…
God has been faithfully, faithful to us through each of you and so many others. Thank you.