Monday, April 25, 2011

Holding on...

There are so many (unedited) pictures here, I probably should have put this into a slideshow, but someday I'd love to have my blog printed into book form as a scrapbook/journal chronicling our family, and a slideshow won't appear in print. I haven't wanted to write this post, mainly because I am still exhausted from the whole ordeal. But what took place last week is an important part of Berlyn's life story,
and it deserves a chapter in the book of our family.

Basically, last Thursday Berlyn came down with a fever. There has been so much sickness in our family this winter. I couldn't believe she was sick again because she just got over a stomach virus the week before (along with Brayden and I). The morning of Good Friday, around 6:00am, I woke up hearing Berlyn crying/groaning. I went into her bedroom to check on her and she looked up at me, but wasn't moving. This is very uncharacteristic, normally she reaches her arms up to me or scurries into a sitting/standing position to be lifted out of her crib. But, this time she just laid there crying and moaning. I picked her up and it was like I was picking up a limp ragdoll. I tried to stand her on her feet, but her legs crumbled beneath her. I brought her to myself and her limbs just hung at her sides with no movement. I knew something was seriously wrong.
Because we have been sick so much, it was mentioned that perhaps we should have the air in our house checked for radon, etc. With this in the back of my mind, my immediate thoughts were that Berlyn was poisoned. I panicked. I took her downstairs to get a closer look at her, all the while she was still crying/moaning and wasn't able to use her limbs. She couldn't take a binky or hold her kitty. It was like her muscles weren't working. She looked dazed and kept saying the same things over and over again. Darcy had still been sleeping, but he woke up and heard that her cry was not a normal cry. He rushed downstairs and witnessed what I was seeing. He woke his parents up and told them we were taking Berlyn to the hospital. We suspected that she was having a febrile seizure. Brayden had two of them before the age of 18 months, so we were no stranger to them. We believe she had the seizure in her crib and that I came into her room at the tail-end of it happening.

Once we were at the hospital, they began running tests and trying to find the source of the infection which caused the fever leading to the febrile seizure. They strapped her little bare body to a chair to take x-rays, gave her a catheter, and an IV to draw blood. It is agony to watch your child fearful, in pain and stress. Recently, we watched The Passion. It is difficult enough to watch a re-enactment of our Savior being beaten so severely and crucified on a cross...but the part that always gets me is when Mary, his mother, is there, and rushes to his side saying, "I'm here." I simply cannot comprehend what this must have been like for her as his earthly mother. It seems utterly unbearable. I did not enjoy my baby girl going through any of this. Over the course of the morning, as we described to the doctors some of Berlyn's symptoms and behaviors, they weren't completely convinced that she didn't have more than one seizure. Apparently more than one in a 24 hour period could indicate something more severe is going on within her body. So, they decided to admit her and keep her overnight for observation. Berlyn was so exhausted...she napped on and off in our arms and went from being really happy one moment to scared and upset the next. We were blessed with many visitors (not all pictured here) who came bearing food, gifts, prayer and good company. Many of these photos were taken with our cell phones. Here is a snapshot play by play of her experience.

I saved this photo for last. It captures well the essence of this story.

Berlyn had a really rough night at the hospital. She was up nearly every 45 minutes, restless, uncomfortable, feverish, hystrical when anyone other than mommy came near her (even for something as simple as a temperature read). She was so exhausted though, and had been curled up in our arms much of the day. I know the hospital crib gave her a chance to sprawl out and get comfortable. While trying to sleep, she kept reaching for my pinky finger through the crib rails. I stood there by her crib and just let her hold my hand. Each time I thought she had fallen asleep, I'd go to pull my hand away and she would squeeze onto my pinky and hold it tightly, just wanting to know I was still there. This went on for quite a while.

As I stood there next to her crib in the wee hours of the night, staring down at her tiny chubby hand grasping onto mine, I was reminded that this same scenario is much like us and our God. He's always holding onto us, and when He feels us pull away and become distant, He holds onto us ever so tightly and acts and reveals himself in such a way that we know He is there, that He is real, that He protects, loves and provides...That He'll never let us go. His grace and mercy pours down on occasions when we need it most. Always sufficient.

Berlyn and our family were covered in prayer during this time. We can't begin to express how beautifully overwhelmed we were by everyone's love, prayer and concern. We have such a magnificent support system around us in our family, friends, and church family. It turns out the culprit of Berlyn's fever was a simple ear infection. Nothing more, nothing less. A febrile seizure occurs when a little one's body temperature spikes and their immature systems can't handle the quick rise. This is precisely what happened with Berlyn. She was discharged Saturday and home with us in time to enjoy Easter together as a family. Since then, all three of the kids have been extremely need of it and giving it. Lots of hugs and snuggles going on in our home.



Living and loving well.

These are the things that really matter in life.

This has been a whirlwind of a weekend,
this life has been a ride that has taken us to heights and depths we weren't prepared for...sometimes filled with exhilaration, other times filled with desperation.
But at all times, we know whose Hands we are in,
and we are holding on.


  1. I wish I had followed my instinct and come to bring you coffee, but it looks like you had enough love and visitors. I was honored to be a warrior for our Yummy Jo though. I do love that girl!

  2. Praise God that the culprit was a simple ear infection and Berlyn is recovered.

    Spending time in the hospital with a sick child is no fun but I am thankful for the lessons learned from our loving God.

  3. precious is all I can say! Love that post!

  4. So thankful that Berlyn is okay! She was in our prayers all through the day.