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Friday, October 31, 2008

2 Months Old


Happy Halloween!

It has been one week since we last posted so we wanted to give everyone an update. The ups and downs have continued. Ella will eat good one time and not the next. She has had some good days this week and not as many good nights. However, overall she has made some progress – last week she was eating 30 ML (30 ML = 1 ounce) and this week she has had more feedings in the 45 ML range. This progress is good but she really needs to be eating 60-70 ML per feeding in order to go home without a feeding tube. Therefore, after a lot of discussions and prayer, we have scheduled her feeding tube (G-button) surgery for Tuesday afternoon. We will meet with her doctor on Monday to evaluate everything and we can cancel the surgery if we want to but we needed to get her on the calendar just in case. We don't want her to have to have this surgery and we are still praying that her feedings improve. We beg you to continue praying this as well. However, in case God has other plans than what we are asking, we have gone ahead and scheduled the surgery.

In addition to this surgery, we are going to have an MRI done on her left shoulder. This is probably the first many of you have heard about this additional complication. We didn't know until Ella was born that there was something wrong with her shoulder. You can tell by feeling it that things are not lining up the way they should be. We don't know the extent of it all but she will for sure need major reconstructive surgery to correct it. We have not focused on this or brought it up because it has kind of been on the back burner while we deal with the other stomach defect. However, because Ella will already be under anesthesia for the G-Button surgery, our surgeon is planning on getting the orthopedic team in there to do an MRI so hopefully we’ll know more of what is going on and what the next steps will be. Right now, we are thinking that nothing would be done for another 3-6 months. Hopefully we will have more information and more of a plan after we get the MRI results.

So basically, this is just not a fun time around the Carder household. We are tired and ready for Ella to be home. It has been 2 months today and with the G-Button surgery and shoulder surgery, we don’t really see the load getting much lighter any time soon. Your prayers, comments, phone calls, emails, and texts all mean so much to us. Even though we may not respond, they mean so much and we need them more than ever. We definitely see God’s blessings during this time through our friends, family, church and elders. We had a great week with several elders praying with us and over us and Ella. The peace that we have is truly unimaginable during such crazy times. It can only come from one source – the Holy Spirit of God.

I know a lot of you are praying with your kids. One thing I am learning during this time is that God is God. Sometimes, He answers the prayers the way we ask them and the way we want them as in Eva’s case. Other times, He has other plans to bring good out of not answering them the way we are praying. We worship God, not the outcomes. No matter what the outcome, we worship God. We trust Him. He is real. He knows everything. Read what God says in Job 38 and 39 and Job’s response in 40 (in the Message). Truly we serve a God who doesn’t “need” our advice. He does not owe us anything, in fact, He has given the Carders more good than we deserve. I’m not saying I enjoy what we are going through or that I’m even thankful for it. We’re trying to remain thankful in this circumstance.

Keep praying.

19 comments:

Jodi said...

Hang in there, Carders. The Beaver Household is in a wrestling match as well with prayer, faith, thanksgiving, etc.... know that someone out there understands a least a teensy bit, and that you are covered in prayer in our home.

I'm in a place right now where I don't really know how to pray anymore, so I have resorted back to the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how. And what I have drawn from that in the last few days, for myself, is that He taught them to praise God first and then ask Him to give them what they need for today. So, I will continue praise God on your behalf and to ask God to give each member of your sweet family what you need to get through each day, especially little Ella's physical body.

Your girls are beyond gorgeous, by the way. :) Love y'all!

Nancy Giurlanda said...

awwww how sweet the girls look in their costumes, they are both soooo beautiful. My heart is aching for what you are all going through and to hear that sweet Ella has yet another complication with her shoulder and may have to have the surgery on Tuesday. I know the decisions you are having to make for her are not easy ones for you to make. God certainly works in mysterious ways and it is amazing the strength he gives us to endure and to assure us that we are making the right decisions. You are doing all of the right things for Ella and I know in my heart that God knows what is best for her right now so that she can come home real soon. I love you all very much and I am praying for all of you, especially for sweet Ella. Please give Eva and Ella big hugs and kisses for me and I am sending a huge hug and kiss for you and Rick. I love you.

The Millers said...

We love you so much! We pray several times daily for your precious family. We are on our knees in the throne room begging for you. We send big hugs and lots of love!!!

Jen said...

We love you guys and will continue to pray for you. You are so dear to us and I wish we could take away your difficulties. Thank you so much for the updates and pictures. Gracie loved the pizza!

Summer and Jason said...

She is so adorable in her little ghost costume - happy 2 months Ella! I saw Eva at school in her little pizza and laughed out loud - what a fun & hilarious Halloween costume! :-) How we wish we could make this all better for you...we are continuing to pray.

Ashley said...

Love you and praying for you as well. You are on my mind each and every day.

Jennifer said...

I pray for the Lord's strength and endurance through this time. He will bless you and your family for your faithfulness, don't let the enemy persuade you of anything different.

You guys are a testimony to people who don't know our Lord and don't understand what it means to obey and love God simply because He is, not because of what He does for us.

But amazingly, He's also a God of compassion and love, tenderness and faith, and He's holding your sweet Ella in His hands. I know He has marvelous plans for this little girl. Hang in there - we're all still here, all still praying for you!

P.S. LOOOVE the costumes!!

Calista said...

Amy, I'm in such awe of your wonderful faith. You are so strong and I know little Ella gets that from you. God is good and He will heal your precious baby. It may not happen like we plan sometimes but He will heal her. I love you and plan on being at the hospital 7:30 pm Monday night with the girls. I'll call you Monday. Love you guys and know that we are praying daily for you and Ella.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys...The Brauers here=) We are so heartbroken for you guys right now. We know that God will provide for you and we are faithful in that. We love you and your family more than you know. Please let us know of anything we can do for you. We are praying around the clock. Eva and Ella are so amazing and may only good come to them from now on. Could any child be cuter than Eva in that pizza costume...wow! Love ya'll.

Emiley said...

Amy,

I wish there was a way I could carry the weight of your worries for awhile. You are amazing and such a testimony to us all! We are praying everyday for that sweet little Ella. We are praying for wisdom for the doctors, Ella's feedings, and now the possible surgeries. Hang in there and be comforted by the fact there is no shortage of prayers for all of you! That is the sweetest little ghost I have ever seen!

Kristen said...

Love the costumes :)

We love you guys!

Jamie Ridgell said...

Rick and Amy - First of all, Ella is absolutley beautiful.Second, we are continuing to lift up you and your precious daughter in prayer. Your faith through all of this is amazing. I can only imagine how difficult this time has been for your family and I just hope you know that we are here for you in any way. We love you and will keep praying for miracles to happen through Ella. love, Jamie

jaymie said...

i don't even know if you remember me from ACU, I was a few years behind you, but we had mutual friends. I just ran across your blog and took a quick trip back to catch up on your family. With all of that said, you can add our family to the LONG list of people praying for you! Your girls are so beautiful! I know the NICU can be a dark place (we spent 100 days there), but each day gets you closer to that door that leads to your FRONT DOOR!! You can do it! Where I'm coming from, when I read she's getting the Gtube, I thought that was good. I think that will be a good thing for YOU and your stress and your sanity and the balance for your whole family. Been there. Hang in there! I know you can do it! Jaymie (Spencer) Phillips

Ann Reese said...

We love little Ella so very much and pray for her continually. I pray that God gives you peace and wisdom this week especially as you make decisions. She is so beautiful and I love her costume! And of course, I love that little pizza too! God give you guys strength and know that so many are praying for you even when you don't know what to pray. Give Ells and Eves big kisses from Auntie Ann! I'm so proud of you. And as Papaw would say, "Keep on keeping on". Love yall.

Bell Family said...

Hey sweet Carders... We love all four of you and are praying for you and your beautiful Ella. You are so faithful and daily showing all of us God. love, the bells

DCVol said...

We are praying for you guys tomorrow as you meet with the docs and especially on Tuesday afternoon when the G tube is placed. I'm so sorry we are playing phone tag, but I am going to keep trying you Mon & Tues.....we love you guys so much and our hearts are heavy with you, but we are walking along with you to help lighten your burden as much as possible. I have numerous ridiculous stories about G tubes including forgetting to hook the tube up to B overnight and completely soaking his bed with a sea of formula. Your two sweet girlies are SO beautiful. All our love, the Specks

Giggi said...

We love you guys & are praying for Ella, and for each of you this week. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help out. Eva's always welcome to come over & play. Maybe Jack can come keep her company! Hang in there! It's so neat that you are keeping this blog for all of us to be updated & pray, but one day it will be something to look back at & continue to build your faith even more as you see how God has carried you through! I hope you will print it out and make a little book for your girls to have. You have already inspired me! You are a modern day Bible story! Thanks so much for being so open & sharing with all of us. What a priviledge it is to be a part!

jocelyn said...

Praying for you guys! We enjoyed getting to play with Eva last weekend. She is hilarious! Know that you are in our hearts always.

Amanda Pittman said...

Amy and Rick - We are praying too. We love ya'll.
-The Pittmans

PS - Your little slice of pizza was quite the hit at our small group Halloween party last week. She's precious....