July 28, 2008

Please Pray With Us

Yesterday Alyson went to Abilene, Texas to visit some friends of ours. After she arrived in the afternoon, her back started hurting. At first she thought it was back pain from driving but then she noticed she was also having some bleeding. She called her doctor in McKinney, who advised her to go to the local hospital to get checked out. She was quickly checked in to labor and delivery where they started to monitor her and baby Jonathan. At first, they didn't think that she was having contractions but over the next five hours they realized she was because they increased to 1-3 minutes apart. Right before her water broke at 10 PM, her doctor pretty much said that if the baby was delivered at this time, at 22 weeks, there wasn't really a chance of survival.
Once her water broke, they gave antibiotics and miraculously over the next 8 hours, her contractions slowed pretty much to a hault by 7 AM. The doctor was able to get a Fort Worth Hospital that has a high level NICU to admit her today. This was a huge answer to prayer since Abilene doesn't have any such NICU. At 12:30 PM, Alyson was flown by helicopter where she arrived at Harris Methodist Hospital of Fort Worth at 1:45 PM. Since then, she has been admitted into the high risk floor where cases like hers are their main focus. So far everyone has told her that she has the best doctors and nurses.
As of right now, 8:00 PM, Alyson has had very minimal contractions throughout the day, Jonathan's heartrate has remained in the 150's, which is right where it should be, and they are considered stable . Pretty much this means that Alyson has a new home until delivery, which we are believing will be many weeks from now. Amazingly contrary to everything we knew, babies can survive without amniotic fluid as long as there is no infection. We will continue to keep you posted.
In the midst of the hardest days of our lives, God has shown his incredible faithfulness. We just wanted to share with you some ways we've seen this:
1. We have prayer warriors here and all across the country, some we are finding out are people we don't even know.
2. Alyson head nurse in Abilene is the sister of one of our closest friends.
3. Alyson has been surrounded by medical staff who are believers in Christ (Example: Last night before I was even there, and prior to her water breaking, Alyson was faced with a decision to either go ahead and have a C-section or continue on with the possibility to deliver breach with the potential of the baby having even more injuries. Alyson told the doctor that she didn't know what to do, and she asked the doctor what would he would do, and his response was, "do you want to pray?" So the doctor prayed with Alyson. Afterward, Alyson decided to continue on, and the doctor told her that she had made the right choice.)
4. Late last night, as I was packing to drive the 3 hours and 30 minute drive to Abilene, one of my best friends, Lance, called me up and asked me if he could drive me to Abilene. During the drive, Lance and I prayed together and asked for God's peace, which he gave me.
5. When I arrived at the hospital in Fort Worth, about an hour after Alyson arrived, we met with a doctor. This doctor only talked to us about the negative statistics and issues the baby would have if the baby was born this week. Right when I was praying against the negativity, doubt, and worry, my sister text messaged me, "Justin, everything is going to be ok. God's ordered your steps thus far."
6. Right after this doctor left, I opened the door and recognized a pastor from our church who surprised us with his visit. We immediately went into prayer together asking God for healing and protection and rebuking negative thoughts and worries. (The text message from my sister and the visit from one of our pastors couldn't have come at a better time while we were thinking about the negative possibilities.
7. Alyson's mother's friend told her about a dream she had last night about Alyson. Her dream was of Jesus crawling into bed with Alyson cradling her and hugging her as the contractions eased.

We ask that you continue to pray with us. Please pray with us about the following:
1. That both Alyson and Jonathan remain stable.
2. For Alyson to carry Jonathan at least two weeks. (These next weeks are crucial in the development of our baby.)
3. For wisdom from the doctors on the right treatment options.
4. Patience and peace for Alyson as she lays horizontally, for a minimum of two weeks. (She says that she is willing to stand on her head if she needs to.)
5. Strength, wisdom, and peace for me as I am faced with having to work and give my time to my family.
6. Time for our baby to grow and have all of his major organs and systems develop enough to be able to survive ouside of Alyson.
7. Overall, for miracles in each and every way.

We are constantly feeding ourselves with God's Word.
Philippians 4:8-9 "And now, dear brothers, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you."
Matthew 18:19-20 "I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them."
Psalm 136:4 "give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever."
Psalm 139:13-16 "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it. You watch me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

Alyson and I thank you for your agreement and prayer with us and are genuinely humbled by the support and love from our friends and family. We love you all and will keep you updated.


Amy (Metz) Walker said...

I am praying for you unceasingly! I also sent a message to a woman who has a very popular blog, as well as a strong faith in the Lord. She wrote a brief summary on her post today at kellyskornerblog.com for prayer for Alyson and your family as well as a link to Alyson's blog!

Keep us posted and I love ya'll!

Danielle said...

I heard about your story from Kelly's site. I delivered my 2nd child at Harris. It is a wonderful hospital. They will take good care of you all. I immediantly said a prayer for your family. May God strengthen your precious son and allow your wife to continue being the "home" he needs for now. I will pass this on to my prayer group at my church. There will be hundreds praying for you all...

In Christ's Love,
Danielle in Keller, Texas.

Ryan and Joy said...

We continue to pray and stand on the Word with you! God has HUGE plans for Jonathan!! We love you guys!

Jake Matthew said...

Alyson and Justin....I know Amy Walker through my friend Diana. I read about you guys on her blog and wanted to tell you that we are praying for you every second of the day! God is so amazing and I know that He is surrounding your precious family during this time. Please know that we are thinking of you and praying for us constantly. I am passing the prayer requests on to others we know. We are praying and God is listening!

Jenn Gaddis

Diane said...

Thank you so much for the update! I am praying for the Steiner family and I know that Jonathan is being looked after by the Father who has lovingly knit him together in Alyson's womb. The beauty of faith is knowing that even the difficult times allow us to see more of the God we worship. He is a merciful God and has you all right in the center of His will. Thank you for being so sensitive to His voice and faithful to Him. I know in my heart that I will get to hold your son in my arms someday and will pray for you every minute until that special day! You have set your minds on things above and that is the only way to deal with these next few weeks! Thank you for being so strong for my little "sister." I am so thankful she has a strong man of God at her side. We love you and will be praying continually!

Andrea Bernard said...

Dear, sweet friends,

We love you three beyond words and have not ceased to pray for you. I kept thinking last night and today about all the amazing miracles the Lord did when I went into labor with Noah at 23 weeks. He is SO faithful to carry us each step of the way, and I pray that His faithfulness will be more tangible to you now than you've ever known. This can be such a fearful time - I remember feeling like the whole thing wasn't really happening, that I would somehow wake up and everything would be "back to normal" - but the Lord had greater plans to show His glory. And His peace was far greater than my human feelings, praise Him!

I will continue to pray Psalm 145 for you three: "4One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.5On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. 6Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. 7They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. 8The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works... 16You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. 18The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them."

I also remember the helplessness I felt while on bedrest, and pray that the Lord will quiet your heart and make you truly rest in Him while "in waiting".

Humbly kneeling with you before Him,
Andrea for the Bernards, and others in Southern CA

Kim said...

Visiting from Joy's site to let you know that I am praying today. And also with words of encouragement that my cousin went through this also not very long ago, and she has a beautiful, healthy baby girl now!

Lauren said...

I am visiting from Kelly's blog to let you know I am praying for you. God bless.

Monica said...

Justin and Alyson,

I found your blog through Kelly also, and want you to know I am PRAYING without ceasing. I, too, had a high risk pregnancy last summer that resulted in 18 weeks of bedrest and a loooong hospital stay, so I've felt some of the anxiousness you are experiencing right now. Seth stopped growing at about 33 weeks, but they got him out, and other than being tiny, he was just perfect. You look at him today, and you'd never know he was a preemie. I will pray the same for you!

We serve a GREAT, miracle-performing God, who loves and will protect your son!

We will be praying.

Monica, Jim, and Seth

The Bradford Blog said...

Amy has been keeping me updated and I have been praying for you all as well. Stay strong and know that God will hold you through this.

Kara said...

I found your blog via Kellys Blog. I am praying for you and your family. Harris is a great hospital, my sister delivered my nephew there. Know that we are praying for you! Thank you Jesus for answered prayer!
In His Service,
Kara Shriver-Decatur, Texas
Proverbs 3:5-6

Riley Kai said...

And hope does not disapoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. -Rom.5:5 Still praying for you all!

The Catons said...

Justin and Alyson,

I have been reading your blog (through Amy Walker's) for some time now and am continually praying for the three of you remembering that if God brings you to it...He can bring you through it.

Adriene Caton

Harris Family said...

I also found you through Kelly! My heart is breking for you right now. I can't even begin to imagine what you guys are going through. But, the Lord knows exactly and He has perfectly planned out this road that you guys have ahead. I am on my knees for you guys.

Rebekah Harris
Waco, TX

rlnjones said...

We are sending many, many prayers your way. I am so encouraged by your faith during this difficult time. We love you guys and will continue to pray unceasingly.

Amanda said...

I have also come over from Kelly's site and I wanted to let you know that my friends and I are praying for you here in Chattanooga, TN.

Sherry said...

I've followed with interest baby Jonathan's progress this far and will remain prayerful and hopeful for his safe and timely delivery. "Rest, the Lord is near; release your fear; enjoy his love. Trust, his mighty power fills every hour of all your days. There is no need for needless worry. With such a Savior you have no cause to ever doubt. His perfect Word still reassures in any trial." There's more to this favorite song but this is what I sing in my heart when and as needed. Love to you THREE! CousinSherry

Baby Meng said...

Justin, Alyson,

Michael and I will continue to pray for Baby Jonathan.

Jenny Brannan said...

Aly & Justin,
My heart broke when your dad called me Sunday night. I can't imagine the agony you must be going through. I am praying for you guys constantly and thinking about you often! I know that you are in good hands and that God has a plan for each one of us--including Jonathan. I'm so thankful that he is stable now, and I know that you, Al, would stand on your head for him if the doctor's asked--and Justin would be holding your feet! I love you guys from the bottom of my heart and am praying on my knees for Jonathan. He's a tough kid and fighter, just like his parents! Jesus loves you guys and so do I! 33333!!!

Scherr Family said...

I was led to this blog through a friend of a friend, and I just wrote about a very similar event that occured in my life almost nine years ago. I too was flown by helicopter to Harris Methodist in Ft Worth where I stayed for over a month. Although my water never broke, we came dangerously close to delivering our son extremely early. The hospital is fantastic and very well equipped to take the best care of you and your son. He was eventually born at thirty-seven weeks and is healthier than ever. I will pray for you three every day and continue to look for good news in your updates.