Today marks one year from the day our daughter Emmanuelle surprised us all with her early arrival...3 and a half months early to be precise! I was rereading my journal from a year ago and reminded again of God's goodness and mercy to our family. "Certain to have deformities", "severe disabilities guaranteed", "You don't want to put this on your family. Having a special needs child can only tear your family apart."...such were the daily comments by doctors and hospital staff. With continual loss of blood to the fetus from 9 weeks gestation and the lack of fluid in the sac since 22 weeks, there seemed no chance that this baby could survive. Many times we were pressured to go to the operating room and have the "fetus" removed, and a few times when it looked like my health and perhaps life depended on that choice our fear cause us to momentarily consider their opinion. But God had repeatedly promised us "Emmanuelle: God is with us". From this promise we gained much strength and hope...whatever it took to fight, whatever the outcome, we knew we were not alone. As we were wheeled into the delivery room after going naturally into labor at 24 weeks 4 days, we had peace and surprisingly we had joy! I had never been more expectant for the delivery of any other child...I knew this would be special! After all the prep work had been completed prior to the delivery, we were visited by an NICU specialist who gravely told of our baby's chances of survival. She bluntly told us she knew we wanted everthing done to fight for this little one's life but she told us to be realistic and think of the baby, it wouldn't be kind or wise to force this little one to live, especially if her disablities were evident at birth. We smiled and reiterated our stand...we want this little one!! Despite being breech, Emmanuelle Joy slid out into this world as a tiny 1 lb, 8 oz bundle of mercy! She announced her arrival with a pitifully quiet cry but our hearts sang as the doctors looked at each other in amazement! This little "fetus" was not supposed to be able to breathe, the fluid was not present in her mother's womb to allow her lungs to practice 'breathing'! And she's kicking, that is another 'impossiblity' considering her history! And so, our little miracle was born! She stayed 2 1/2 months in the NICU, one month less than the usual mandatory stay and far short of the extended stay they had prepared us for! Her arrival to live with us at home came on Father's Day...what greater gift could you ask for! Over the past year, she has been a daily delight and perfect addition to our family. She is right on course with her siblings in regards to milestones, she crawled sooner that some even! Sure, she is tiny but that hasn't stopped her adventurous spirit from scoping out her surroundings nor has it diminshed her tolerance for the rough and tumble love of her siblings! She has stayed relatively healthy during the dangers of the RSV season and has far surpassed the limitations set by the medical field. We continue to monitor her growth and pray for God's continued presence with her. "There can be miracles...!" Jacob was not able to master 'Emmanuelle' when she came home so her family name has been Manu for quite some time...our Supermanu!
Psalms 139:13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Happy Birthday, Emmanuelle Joy!