1.27.2009

How Can You Possibly Believe This All Happened By Chance??!


Quick update: Good news on Lila, but not great news...yet. The PDA is smaller than it was, but is definitely still there and is definitely still a problem. They are not continuing the meds for the time being, but also are not pushing to operate either. They are going to re-check her heart again tomorrow. We should know more about Ryan's heart late today or tomorrow. Please continue to pray!!

One of the cool things about spending time in the hospital and talking with doctors on a daily basis about Casey or the babies is that you get to learn a lot of really fascinating things about the human body. For example, did you know that much of the amniotic fluid that developing fetuses spend their days in is actually from the baby's urine? Kind of gross, but fascinating at the same time, right? Or this really interesting tidbit - babies learn to coordinate sucking, breathing, and swallowing around the 32nd week of pregnancy. They can suck, but they forget to swallow. Or they swallow, but forget to breathe. Kind of makes it difficult to take the new baby home which is mainly why ours have to stay in the NICU for so long.

Not only is it fascinating to me that our bodies are programmed to know these things and perform these functions without our needing to do anything about it, but it is also really cool to me that we know that our bodies do these things. How is it that we know that cerebral palsy is caused by a group of blood vessels in the brain that bleed in premature babies and from other trauma? I don't know, but I am thankful for that knowledge and I am thankful for the tools we have to diagnose the problem early on. How do we know that giving the expectant mother two shots of steroids during the 28th week of pregnancy will help the baby's brain, lungs, and intestines to mature faster if it is born in the next four weeks? Again, I have no idea how we know that, but I am forever grateful to the doctor who figured it out!

When I come across a nugget of wisdom about our amazing bodies, my belief in our design is emphatically reinforced. I am awe-inspired by the level of sophistication that went into the biological processes that we take for granted. Some of the simplest and sometimes most annoying aspects of our bodies often turn out to be vital to our survival. Ever thought much about ear wax? Try typing "ear wax" into Wikipedia then try ever taking ear wax for granted again. Annoying? Yes. Gross? Sometimes, yes. Vital? You betcha! It turns out that ear wax is one of those incredible little things that seems to be something so simple yet is something so incredible when you dig a little deeper! Some see a simple biological function, others see amazing design.

As I listened to Dr. Hodges, the Seton neonatologist, explain what is going on with two of my daughters' hearts, I had one of these moments that I get from time to time when learning about our complex little world. These moments - they come and go at times expected and times unexpected - are times when I feel a warm and comforting sense of the power that surrounds us. I've had "moments" on the beach, I've had them on top of a mountain. I've had them at church, at work, and at school. I've had them in hospital rooms and now I've had one of these moments in a neonatal intensive care unit as I slowly rocked my barely two pound daughter and listened to her doctor speak.

You see, Dr. Hodges was explaining that there is a blood vessel in all of our hearts that is designed to be open during pregnancy and closed after pregnancy. He was explaining that our bodies know that our lungs need more blood while in utero than after we are born and that is why our bodies know to shut this vessel once we are born. He also explained that in premature babies, this vessel sometimes doesn't close because our bodies were designed to last longer in the womb and as such didn't know that it was time to close the vessel.

The fact that we know all of this about our bodies is amazing enough. The fact that we know what to do about it is even more amazing. Dr. Hodges went on to explain that there is a medication that we can give the babies that can close this vessel. "Well how does the medication know to close this vessel without closing other vessels?," I asked. He said he didn't know. Is there something unique about this vessel that causes it to react to this medication without affecting the others? "Yes," he replied, "there is. It was designed to close after birth and it is the only vessel that we carry that is pre-programmed to do this."

And that's when the moment happened...the comforting warmth that enveloped my body and put a smile on my face. In moments like this, I know there is a creator with a plan for our lives. In moments like this, I know there is design and purpose to our lives and I am reminded of the complexity of it all. And I am awe-inspired by the rhythm and beauty of the design. Some see simple biological processes, others see design.

I don't get it, personally. I don't know how you can say this all happened by some evolutionary accident. Believe in evolution if you will, and I'm not getting into that debate here, but don't tell me that this all happened by chance. Don't tell me that because we have science we need no God. I can't make my mind work that way. I simply can not accept that the complex beauty of life - the beautiful struggle - just happened and we are all the lucky holders of a winning evolutionary lottery ticket. If you want to believe that we are products of evolution, that's fine. On some levels I can accept that explanation for the way nature has worked itself out. But I can not accept that explanation if you remove God from the equation.

See, those who see what is happening with my daughters' hearts as a simple biological process have a little issue they have to deal with. Though they claim to have the answers for how it all works, what they will never be able to explain with any level of credibility is how it all began. How did the first domino fall? How did something all of a sudden explode out of nothing? With all of our scientific knowledge, that question now and always will go unanswered. I don't see simple biological processes, I see design. I see the hand of God at work in complex issues like what is happening in my daughters' hearts and I see it in the most mundane of biological processes...and yes, that even includes ear wax!

God Bless,
Ethan
http://www.joneslife.net/

4 comments:

I'm Sarah said...

My triplets were born at 29weeks 6days and my daughter(triplet A)was born with a PDA murmur(sp?),the gave her meds also which she didn't respond to,they also kept a really good eye on her PDA and by the time she left 74days later is was smaller but still there,she had to have a follow up appt at 1yr's age.At her appt that PDA was still there and she was to have surgery the following week,i would really call it surgery because they make a small cut into the thigh and insert a very small cathader(sp?)thing up into her thigh that follows up to her heart..luckly the good lord was watching over us and the day of her surgery,the doctors wanted to do a follow-up ultrasound just to make sure she needed this surgery and it had closed 75% on it's own,so they left it and she ened up walking out of the hospital un cut and happy..now at age 4 she has no signs of that PDA and she lives a happy and healthy life.
Just thought i would share that happy ending story with you and your wife and that i will continue to pray that none of your beautiful chidlren need any surgeries.

Klin said...

I can only add a fervent Amen to your testimony that we have science because of God.

We will continue to pray for your children and you and your wife.

Ron said...

I have always been a Christian, but not a fervent church goer. My experiences with my own wife's triplet pregnancy, and seeing so many people recently be carried completely by their faith, I am starting to come around, for lack of a better word. It is scary, and exciting at once. Thanks to Ethan and Casey for being such strong role models and allowing me to see a glimpse of the faith they have. I hope to be as strong one day.

Tori :) said...

Amen Ethan. Amen.

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