Shadow of Changing

A couple of days ago I spoke to a nurse who had worked extensively with a baby boy who had a long gap esophageal atresia. I asked her for advice. The first thing she said was, "Don't get your hopes up at the first long gap study."

Without really knowing it, I have been pinning my hopes on this first assessment, happening the first week in October. Because if this assessment shows significant growth, it means Eloise can have her surgery to repair her esophagus, and we can work on her recovery and bringing her home. It means an end in sight. The nurse stuck a pin in that balloon, and I've been deflated since. I feel horrible. Depression brings out the thirteen-year-old in me, tonight I've had the fabulously melodramatic Anne of Green Gables quote in my head, "My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes."

Tonight I prayed to know what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. These two scriptures came to me:
"And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
 11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of amiracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same bGod who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are."
I also felt prompted to listen to this talk by Sydney S. Reynolds

This leads me to my current conflict. A part of me wants to give myself up to hope - to believe that all the fasts, prayers and my hopes that Eloise's esophageal growth and repair will happen sooner than later (read: October). I want to get my hopes up, to believe in a timeline. Her surgery will mark the beginning of the end, and I want this to end so badly.

My natural reaction to stressful situations is to assume the worst will happen, and be surprised when it doesn't. But these last six weeks have been so very difficult; every day has been difficult. Even when I am not at the hospital, even when I'm watching a movie or cooking or even sleeping, my heart is heavy. There's an endless, low-grade anxiety over my new baby, hormones that won't stop, and I just don't want to assume the worst will happen. I want to hope for an end in sight. 

So what do I do? Keep my eyes only on the path directly ahead of us and never look up for the end? Try to only think about the here and now, take one hour at a time and ignore the urge to search for a conclusion? 

I don't know. I'm trying to stifle my depressed-thirteen-year-old, and stay cheerful and strong for my family. To go in every day to the hospital with a smile, ready to lavish love on my baby. I'm going to try out what Sister Reynold's suggested, and keep a journal of the spiritual promptings I receive and their results. We will give Eloise a blessing this week. But I'm just not sure how much I should dare to hope.


  1. It will happen eventually. You are doing such a great job and I know how hard it is dividing your time between your children. I always say to HOPE for the Best but also to PREPARE for the worst. Either way, it will get better and will move forward! You can do this. I know it is hard and I hate seeing you so stressed but, you are meant to be Eloise's mom and help her through this and she is helping you too!! We all love you and you will look back on this one day.....

  2. I have zero experience with anything like this. I, honestly, as cliche as it sounds... can't imagine how difficult this has got to be for you. I am so so sorry.

    These are some thoughts I had as I read this post. No matter what happens, no matter how long things take or what miracle does or does not happen, you can trust in an all knowing, all powerful, all loving Father and Brother who are perfectly aware of your situation. Maybe that means they will allow the Priesthood to step in and intervene. Maybe it means they will allow her body to take however long it naturally will to grow and heal. Either way, you have to trust in Them, in Their character, in Their love for you. You have to know that whatever follows will be consecrated for all of your gain. Eloise is not alone when you leave her for home. There is divine help being administered to bring comfort and ease to all of you involved. A friend of mine in a singles ward bore a very profound testimony to me one day years ago. Her father was dying of cancer. In an intimate conversation between the two she cried and told her father, "This just isn't okay!" He acknowledged her pain and said, "No, it's not okay. But someday it will be." That testimony has strengthened my testimony, and the words often come back to me as I witness so many hard-aches those I love suffer in this life. Someday it will all be okay. I love you and your family. I pray for you every day to be strengthened and for sweet Eloise to heal and come to that incredibly cute home you've created for her. Can't wait to meet her.