Sunday, December 11, 2011

My beautiful girl

I am exhausted, but I wanted to tell you all how much I love my baby. I won't be able to articulate it accurately, because my love is so great. I hardly know her, but I carried her in my body for 9 months, and now have had the blessing of meeting her and loving on her the past few days. My heart aches to pick her up and cuddle her, but I'm thankful that I've been able to caress her dark head of hair, stroke a bare shoulder or leg, and feel her grip my finger in her tiny hand. She is beautiful. She is an amazing little fighter. I cry every time I go down to visit her. Sad for the challenges she's already had to endure, sickened by the tubes connected to almost every part of her, but bursting with mama-love for this little miracle. I thought you'd like to see some more photos of our angel.




WARNING: They may be too graphic for some stomachs. 






WARNING: Her beauty may make you cry. 












That's me stroking her head.
There are angels surrounding her!




Resting peacefully in the arms of Jesus.





My darling girl healing up from surgery.


Ok, so I'm crying again just looking at these photos. I can't believe we're really walking this road. Was she really in my tummy just a few days ago? 


PLEASE keep praying. Anna needs healing and protection. We hope she can come off ECMO within the next few days. Matt & I need rest and strength and peace. (Plus, we both have colds right now.) Isaac needs to know Daddy & Mama are OK, and that his world will come back together someday. We did get to see him today, and it was wonderful to kiss him and hear his laughter. 


I'm going to try to sleep a bit before I have to take more pain meds and pump again. Thank you again to the ever-growing family of prayer warriors who are lifting us up to God's heart. We appreciated sincerely all of the prayers said before she was born, but now we're even more desperate for support with what we're having to face.


Today I asked Jesus where He was/is in Anna's room. He told me He is holding her - His hands are in the blankets under her and in the hands of the nurses and doctors attending her. And then He reminded me of the comforting verse from Psalm 91 that says, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge..." (v. 4)


What a beautiful picture and truth! Not only that God is caring for her, but He is a gentle refuge. Compared to all the harsh equipment around Anna that makes me cringe to see, God is using feathers from His wings to protect and comfort her. Gentle love. Sweet care. She is truly in His care, and I must rest in that. Pray that I'll be able to do that. 

38 comments:

  1. It's amazing to see all those machines that each serve a sole purpose to help your lil Anna but at the same time know that she's being held ever so gently in Jesus' hands! Tubes and all she's precious!
    Continuing to pray for you all!
    Blessings!

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  2. We serve an awesome God! One who is mighty enough to rule the universe, yet personal enough to come along side each and every one of us with just what we need. He truly is holding little Anna Joy in his loving, protective hands. She is so beautiful, and a little fighter. God knew she would need to be, and that is how He formed her in your womb, even before you knew she was there. Please know that our prayer chain at Church of Living Water has been praying for you guys since the day of Anna's surgery, and will continue to do so.
    Blessings,
    Laurie

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  3. Still praying endlessly, not letting up a bit. She's absolutely beautiful. I saw Isaac for a second this morning, he gave me the absolutely biggest, sweetest smile. I know it is so hard to be away from him, but he is getting lots of extra love and attention nevertheless. You are loved.

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  4. Thank you, thank you for sharing your precious Anna Joy with us, Alissa! You are LOVED, she is LOVED, Matt and Issac are LOVED ... and I pray for each of you perpetually! Praying God's continued peace in her hospital room, and in all your hearts and minds.

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  5. Alissa -- it's extraordinary, but when I saw these pictures of Anna what I HONESTLY saw first was a beautiful little girl. Of course then my vision extended out but....she truly is a lovely sweet little child. The amazing combined wonders of medicine and faith. Once again your strength amazes me totally. Please remember that my daughter, Heather Hawk, is there for you at Children's, if you want to talk with her....she's cared for other "little Anna's" and has said she will be with you if you wish. I'm sure that anyone at the hospital can find her for you. She is a wonderful, smart, caring woman and you will really love her. I'm sorry you have a cold....not exactly what you needed. Hopefully it will leave you soon. All of us at Art 'n Soul (and in this case there are a lot of "us") are constantly thinking about you and praying for you and your family and the little sweetheart we have come to love. Be well, Miss Liss, and know how much YOU, too, are cared for. Love, Susie

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  6. She's made it this far and that is very, very good. It is also very good that she is a girl; for some reason, girl babies are stronger. With all the love and prayers, especially mama and daddy prayers, she has a real fighting chance. Hugs!

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  7. Oh Liss... I came to check one more time before I turn in for the night, and I'm so glad I did! I love you SO much. I am still praying for you more than I'm doing much of anything else these days, and I will be lifting these specific requests you mentioned. Many at my church, and so many other friends are also praying, part of the ever growing family who is covering Anna and her family in prayer! These pictures of your beautiful little Anna girl make the reality of your vigil so much clearer to us who are far away. For me, they are at the same time sobering and inspiring. We have no choice but to entrust Anna to God's hands, and as difficult as that is to do, what a privilege it is at the same time! There are no words to adequately express the love I have for you and your family. Peace, dear one...

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  8. Way to go! Asking Jesus where he was in the room was very discerning of you. So proud of you and so amazed at the many miracles we're seeing. Keep taping into the supernatural power of God. Your "natural" right now needs His supernatural more than ever.

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  10. Alissa, When you mentioned that Jesus answered you the way He did...I connected....He truly is tenderly holding Anna Joy in His soft feathers of love. She is a beautiful baby girl...I do not see the machines and tubes... I see a miracle. Take care dear one, praying for healing and rest for you. Jesus is with you, His tears mingle with yours, crying with you, feeling your pain, hugging you, healing your body, giving you strength for the moment...His arms extend to Issac with tangible arms, through family and friends. He will be fine....you have an amazing support network. Besides his little world is changed, he is a big brother. Jesus is an amazing Lord, personal and intimately aware of our needs.

    You are on my heart and mind. I have shared your blog with friends who are also praying and inspired by God's story in your life. With Matt's island in the kitchen : ) Love and prayers...for peace, strength, endurance, rest, healing and more of all the good that Jesus is.

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  11. Praying constantly Alissa, for all of you but especially for Anna Joy. I saw Isaac with his grandma and Uncle Jason last night. He was in high spirits, having a blast at church. What a happy little boy you have. He is so well loved, and he knows it. Sleep well, let the Lord lift your heart and mind to places in His love that you've never known before. He has a new grace for you, one you've never needed until now. May blessings, abundant blessings of love and peace rain down on you.

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  12. Alissa..

    I love you...I'm praying for you and your family, and so are several people I have shared your story with. I wish I was better at putting my thoughts and feelings into words, because there is much I would like to say. Your little angel is beautiful.

    Aunt Jaime

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  13. Oh, I can totally hear the "Mommy love" in your writing! It's fun to hear your heart so full of love for your little girl. Thanks for the warnings. They weren't too graphic, but I DID cry because of her beauty and the miracle surrounding her.

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  14. She is beautiful! I will continue to pray for healing, strength and peace for your family.

    Kate Hemminger

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  15. Perhaps you have a cold to pass along anti-bodies to Anna. We're praying for you and Anna.

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  16. Praying for sweet, beautiful Anna and for your entire family. May God continue to surround you with a tangible sense of his love and peace. Praying for miracles!

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  17. She is stunning and lovely - looking at the pictures, my spirit senses the Lord dwelling there. I am in awe of His thick Presence with Anna. We are fighting with and for you all - in prayer! We're with you.

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  18. She is most definitely beautiful and very precious! Her swelling looks great (from one heart momma to another)-- We continue to pray for you guys on this new road you have begun. Love the word pictures you drew of Jesus being FULLY present in that room and hearing from your mom heart! Bless you guys!

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  19. Praying for you guys!!! Sleep as much as you can now while Anna is, she will need you later.. So so glad you got to see your boy. Thank you for keeping us informed, now sleep. We all will keep praying while y'all sleep. God is holding you both up also, you have to rest!! IN GOD WE TRUST!

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  20. She looks amazing!! So beautiful! I think of you all constantly and will continue to pray! Our God is so good!

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  21. Oh blessed Daughter of the King - my prayers are with you and Anna - she is Beautiful. I can so see the peaceful rest she is having - healing sleep. And what a wonderful question to ask of your Father - where he is in Anna's room - amidst the beeps and pumps and tubes - he is holding her under the blankets... makes a lump in my throat just seeing it myself in these pictures. Each pump an angel, each tube a lifeline straight to the heart of God, and his hands the soft warm blankets surrounding her... perfect.

    I don't know if this will make you smile or cry, but I watched your boy being loved by your family on Saturday and Sunday and he seemed completely at peace in their arms. He ran around laughing with the other kids, and intently watching the services - no distress noted. How your heart must be torn some to be away from him, but truly, he looked wonderful.

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  22. My twin girls were in the NICU a few months ago (we're blessed it was only for prematurity), and boy do I know the ache deep in a mama's heart when you can't hold your child. And the heartache of knowing our two year old's world was being rocked, but I was often too emotional and raw to feel like I was REALLY providing her comfort. I would cry the whole drive to the NICU feeling like I was abandoning my oldest, and cry the whole way home feeling like I was abandoning my two younger ones. All this to say, I don't know everything you're feeling, but I do know a little, and I know that it just HURTS. I will continue to pray for that wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. I don't know you personally, but know that I pray for you and your family many, many times throughout the day and night.

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  23. My prayers haven't stopped yet. My youngest is the same age as your Isaac and as I take care of her throughout the day I think of you and pray specifically for your heart- going in so many directions and emotions, for little Isaac, and for Anna's precious future.

    Karen (and Bryon) Knight
    in Nampa

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  24. What a beautiful little girl! Keeping you in prayer.

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  25. Oh, I cried from the first sentence. I am so glad you are pumping and that you feel the Lord's presence there. What a precious miracle to see Anna Joy and to know that she is truly being tended by angels and that Jesus is loving on her and healing her body. Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us. I am so blessed to see your faith remain strong in this difficult time. The Holy Spirit is surely with you filling you with hope and comfort which is overflowing onto everyone around you. I will continue to pray. Rejoicing in your joy and sad for your pain, but delighting in God's amazing love and His sovereignty!

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  26. Still continuing to pray for you guys-thought of you when I heard this song! Amber Stutzman

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEOdTas5eUk

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  27. Continuing to pray Alissa and Matt for your precious baby girl...your miracle..what a gift she is. My heart aches for all of you. I will continue to pray for Anna Joy, for those tending to her, for strength for you and Matt, for God's grace and hand in all that you each are enduring. Sending you a "blog hug" full of love and strength! Now..time to round up more prayer warriors for a special little girl and her family!

    Cherie, Hope, Jesse and G-Ma

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  28. She is so beautiful! I'm a little teary looking at the pictures, too. She is definitely being looked after well, from above, and down here! Praying for you all, my friends!

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  29. She is beautiful sleeping restfully in the arms of Jesus. I know the ache in your heart to hold and snuggle her. My son too was in the NICU. Praying for the four of you

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  30. From a mother's heart...I have never met you guys but God has placed such a burden on my heart to pray for sweet Anna, your little boy, and for peace to surround you two. I sat to get the latest update and tears are falling from my eyes. What a beautiful girl, and what beautiful words from her mother. I have no doubt God is holding both your babies and you both! I continue to pray diligently throughout the day.

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  31. Alissa, Anna Joy is so beautiful and she looks so peaceful (if that is even possible!). I cannot begin to understand the difficulties you and Matt, and how much you want to hold her and protect her. I have to admit I didn't think they could hook up that many machines and monitors for one little girl. I just know that Anna Joy, you and Matt, and the doctors and nurses at Children's are being guided by God and he is preparing you for the next step. I know you trust your love for God, and so do I. Hugs to you all . . . I look forward to the time when we can all meet Anna Joy and give her a hug.

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  32. How beautiful are the hands of Christ, holding Anna... bringing her peace, healing and rest. He is with her (and you) every step of the way.

    Love you, friend. Praying always.

    Kel

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  33. Alissa - Thank you for the transparency and vulnerability you show through your posts. It is so obvious Jesus is right there with you, living in your hearts and working through the hands of the doctors helping Anna - and right there in Anna bringing her through this. May you feel the peace that surpasses all understanding as your many friends, family and readers continue to pray for you. WOW. God is so amazing. Love, Jill

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  34. Alissa-you will never know what an inspiration your faith is to people. God is using you to bring me closer to God and teaching me to pray with expectation and even desperation for God to work and to do what we know He can do! I will continue praying for you all and for sweet baby Anna. She is so beautiful.
    -Carrie Hays

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  35. Praying....praying...praying....

    She is beautiful.

    You are in our hearts.

    Molly Woodruff

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  36. i am glad that she and you are doing alright!

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  37. You are completely covered in prayer as is Anna. The Lord also gave me that verse in Psalm 91. HE is mighty, HE is our provider, our protector and OUR HEALER! I'm believing in complete and total healing for Anna Joy!! What a beautiful girl. May you rest in HIS peace that surpasses all understanding. Our hearts ache with yours.

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