Joys and Sorrows

I’ve gotten a bit behind on the updates again, not a big surprise. The creative spark seems to come and go, and when the spark lies low it is hard to force oneself to start writing and trust something will come of it.

This Christmas season has been a bittersweet one. On the one hand, our annual Holiday Feast (aka Holiday Kick-Off) with friends was great, especially with their son Noah almost four years old now and daughter Gracie a year old.

But it’s been a heartwrenching week, too.


We’ve had some sad news this week. One of my stepdad’s daughters, pregnant with their family’s fifth child, had a normal pregnancy until Tuesday’s ultrasound showed the baby’s spleen and liver were enlarged. He was only 2 weeks early, and they took him early by C-section on Thursday.

Little Jack was born with Down’s Syndrome. I guess his case is a worse-case-scenario, and he has an enlarged liver, heart and spleen. His heart also has two holes in it, and his blood’s white blood count is incredibly high. He’s been on a ventilator since he was born.

They’re not sure why his organs are so enlarged, but there is nothing that can be done to reduce their size; he would just have to grow into them to house them properly. In the meantime, they’re putting pressure on his other organs and his little lungs. He’d need chemotherapy to reduce that white blood count, too.

Doctors said he could live seven days or seventy, but, eventually, he would die.

Kim and Terry decided to take Jack home as soon as possible and, with the aid of a Hospice nurse specializing in babies, love him at home until he failed.

Well, his little body is just not able to make it without life support; he has too many things wrong and is not strong enough to battle them. Therefore, today is a day of goodbyes.

My mom and stepdad went upstate to join Kim and Terry’s family at the children’s hospital. Sometime early this afternoon, they were to remove Jack from life support and say goodbye.

The doctor had to leave the hospital at noon, however, and refused to turn Jack’s case over to a different doctor. So, everything’s postponed until some time tomorrow. The nurses assure Terry and Kim that they’ll give Jack morphine if he’s in pain. Like Kim said, though, how do you tell if a baby’s in pain?

My heart’s so heavy for them. Their oldest is a boy, and three girls followed; this little guy was much anticipated — another boy, at last! So many hopes come to fruition in this tiny, mysterious baby bumping around inside and making his debut on ultrasounds. Then the heartache of seeing him struggling in an incubator instead of nestling in their arms.

And now, goodbye. All of this in five short days. Words fail. Please keep this family in your prayers.

This entry was posted in Family.

3 thoughts on “Joys and Sorrows

  1. Thanks so much, both of you. I have only met Kim a couple of times, but my heart just hurts for their family.

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