Thursday, August 21, 2014

We had a baby!

33 weeks and bigger than a basketball!
Dear Friends & Family,

I thought we should give an update and let you all know we had a baby!  Claire Jubilee Spring was born April 13th, Palm Sunday in the wee hours of the morning (see what her names mean in ‘P.S.’).  She was 9 pounds even and 20.5 inches long.  She is a beautiful and happy baby!  We are so delighted with her!  She is 4 months now and she has been through a lot in her short little life… 

To start with, about a day after Claire was born, they discovered that she had a cleft palate of the soft palate at the back of her mouth (more info on cleft palates in ‘P.S.’).  This makes it impossible for her to create suction on her own so we feed her with special bottles.  This came as quite a devastating surprise to us, but cleft palates are one of the more minor and common birth defects.  We are thankful that she is otherwise healthy and happy!  She will be having plastic surgery in January or February (when she’s 9-10 months old) to repair the cleft. This ensures she will develop speech normally and be able to eat and drink without special measures.  She will be in the hospital for a two day stay while she recovers. 

1 Day Old!

4 Days Old!

Claire's room at the Stollery
On June 1st when Claire was a month and a half old, we took her to the Stollery Children’s Hospital.  She had been throwing up and we didn’t know what was wrong.  They admitted her and she was in the hospital for 3 weeks.  After running a lot of tests, poking her waaaay too much and a host of other things they concluded that she had caught a stomach bug.  For a little girl so young, she was quite sick and although she got over the virus relatively quickly, her digestive system had taken a real hard hit and she had lost about 10% of her body weight.  For the majority of the time we were in the hospital her digestive system was slowly healing.  For anyone who has spent time in the hospital with their child, you understand how incredibly difficult it is on so many levels.  It may be the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life!  My Mom would come in and take care of Claire every 2nd night so I could go home and sleep and regroup.  I am so thankful for her, and Steve and I could not have done it without her!  One Sunday Claire was prayed for in 3 churches!  For that and the countless other prayers and support of God’s people we are so thankful.  We’re also thankful for the kind and excellent nurses and doctors God gave Claire.  The day we brought her home from the Stollery, she was as good as new!  The first two days home she drank over a litre of milk each day!  She is doing awesome now and weighs almost 15 pounds!  God made Claire such a strong little girl and every day we are so thankful for her! 
June 23rd, the day Claire came home from the hospital!

Claire’s cleft palate surgery is planned for exactly the same time we were planning on going to Asia…so yet again we are postponing it!  I think that’s 3 times now!  She cannot travel for at least 6 weeks after surgery so we are planning for an April departure.  Perhaps right after Claire’s first birthday. 
Thank-you to everyone who prayed for Claire while she was in the hospital.  We continue to covet your prayers!  As we adjust to this new and amazing season of life with our little Claire. For her surgery in the new year.  And as we prepare for Steve’s internship in Asia this next year. 

Blessings on you all! 

P.S. The meaning of Claire’s names and her special Bible verses:

Claire-clear and bright; famous.  She was so bright and clear when she was born!  When she came out, she had her hand up by her head…waving to all her fans (however this made for a bit longer labour at the tail end for her Mama)!
Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 

Jubilee-a shout of joy, liberty and freedom
‘the year of jubilee’ is a Biblical idea where a special Sabbath was observed where slaves and prisoners would be given back their freedom, land was given back to the original owners, debts were forgiven, the land was given rest from crops, and liberty was proclaimed throughout the land of Israel.  The year of jubilee was signaled by the blowing of the shofar (a ram’s horn). 

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

Spring-named after her Mama (Laura’s first middle name is Spring). 

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness

    and streams in the wasteland.

A video on the cleft lip and palate clinic in Edmonton and an interview with Dr. Wilkes, the surgeon who will perform Claire’s surgery: 

1 comment:

  1. Just getting around to commenting! I LOVE all the pictures of your sweet family! Whew... you all have been through SO much. God is good. Your little Claire is so beautiful! I love her name and the meaning and thought behind it. Praying for you all as you prepare for more hospital time and a major trip. Love you!