There is a lot to report on and much to pray toward. Thanks for continuing to track with us!
Susan and I got to spend a few days in Charleston, SC participating in and celebrating the wedding of a great friend, Tom Duttweiler. We decided to make an early 5-year anniversary trip out of it (September 4th is the official day). A long time friend offered us great help on a hotel through a “friends and family” discount they have. My parents continued to demonstrate their heroic powers by coming to NYC and staying with our three kids for four nights. I think it wore them out. Susan and I were greatly refreshed. We needed the time together more than we realized. We enjoyed some of the first non-exhausted, undistracted conversation in a long time. We had good rest and were able to get refueled for a great fall.
Gallery Church Retreat.
The week after Charleston we held our first Gallery Church Wide retreat. God was gracious to us as over 50 adults and 9 kids retreated in the Poconos. That is over half of our average Sunday attendance! The pace of our retreat was exactly what New Yorkers needed as we took time to be still before God. Our teaching focused on God’s sovereignty in salvation, suffering, and our strengths. Challenging conversations were had by all. Fresh antisipation and faith was stirred as we considered how God has uniquely gifted all of us for service and all that He will do in our midst this fall.
Praying toward the Fall.
Please continue to pray with and for us. I believe God is positioning us for a fantastic fall for spiritual and numerical growth in the Gallery Church.
There are more specifics that I will continue to share with you in the days to come!
A new apartment?
Having never lived in Manhattan before (formerly we were in New Brunswick), Susan and I with the counsel of those living in NYC, charted a budget the best we could before we arrived last October. We wound that budget as tightly as possible. As we took our vision and budget before churches we met a lady in MO that I’ll never forget. She exclaimed “You’ll never make it with that grocery budget!” And though the grocery budget has worked out rather well, several other unforeseen expenses have required us to put a significant dent in our very modest savings. So, though things are very tight, we are not worried as God has met all of our needs during this amazing faith journey. We are however, excited about begin able to reduce our cost of living through a new apartment. Our current apartment has been a perfect grace from God and I could list a dozen reasons why. However, because the market dropped right after we moved in, and because we’ve had the opportunity to scout out the kinds of places that are available, we are confident that we can find cheaper rent that still meets our needs. Our greatest heartache will be moving off our floor away from several relationships we have been investing in. Though we can continue these relationships, it will not be quite as easy. Jack has two really good buddies on our floor. One of our neighbors died this week, while another had a baby this week. Please pray with us.
All reports are saying that this the best time to rent/buy/move in NYC in a decade. As crazy as it sounds, we will probably be able to find an apartment with an extra bedroom that is still significantly cheaper than our current rent. This is especially exciting because God has been burdening a good friend of ours to live the mission with us in NYC as our nanny/family helper. Thus, an extra bedroom would fulfill a critical piece. While in Charleston, Susan and I had the privilege of visiting with a couple who had served as missionaries to Africa for 19 years. We gained great insight and encouragement as we asked them lots of questions about their experiences of having people live with them in Africa. This is just one of the many ways God has been confirming this opportunity. Please pray for this process to be smooth and magnifying to Jesus in every way!
Thanks again for continuing to track with us! God is at work. We are humbled. We need your continued support!
First let me just say, that we are so grateful for all the love, prayers, and encouragement we have received from a host of family and friends. Every blog comment, text message, facebook note, and phone call have been meaningful to us. Thousands of other prayers have been lifted up for us by people we will never know. We are deeply grateful for these all, and our loving Father is hearing and answering your prayers.
I don’t quite know where to begin this story, but here goes. The second call I made after we knew God was calling us to NYC was to Dr. Donnie Crawford (our friend and Susan’s doctor in Clarksville), to see if we could indeed move at the first of October with Susan pregnant with twins. He did the math in his head and said yes we could. He said if we make it to November he’d be happy and prepared us for Susan to be on bedrest and other challenging realities.
Fast forward to this past week. Lillie has been sideways/horizontal the whole pregnancy. Tuesday of this week the ultrasound showed the same. By the next day at Susan’s doctor’s appointment she had turned head down. We were all excited. Susan’s doctor (Dr. Cha) has been a gift right out of heaven. We discovered that she was a Christian our first appointment. She attends a Presbyterian church on the UWS that was planted by Redeemer Church that is Pastored by Tim Keller, a favorite author of mine. So while we were pretty spoiled with Dr. Crawford in Clarksville, the Lord gave Susan the best doctor we could imagine up here. Dr Cha is amazing and her office is in the same building we live in. At Susan’s appointment on Wednesday, Dr. Cha told her that she thinks the babies will come on their own before December 1st which is when she planned to induce Susan. This caused things to hit home a little for Sus. Later that day she put the other baby bed together…yes that’s right, she wont let me touch stuff like that. You’ve got to remember when we got engaged, she had a toolbox and I didn’t. She also got the babies’ clothes organized with Hannah’s help.
Thursday will be a day that we will never forget. Susan had plans to spend most of the day in New Jersey going to a Target with Briggette Simpson. This was also going to allow Hannah to get the longest extended time alone with Jack that she had had yet. At target, Susan got an ironing board (ours broke on the move), a mattress for the baby bed (thanks Nay-Nay for that gift), and a microwave (because the one I picked up on the side of the street on 25th and toted all the way through the subway back up to 90th didn’t fit under the cabinet on top of the fridge). In addition to that, our two lamps from walmart came in the mail. Our little apartment was getting its final touches in preparation for a few weeks rest before the twins would arrive, or so we thought. Susan, totally in tune with the motherly instinct decides around 7 o’clock to pack her hospital bag. I’m thinking whatever, until we laid in bed that night. She began to have some contractions that made her stomach look like something out of the movie aliens or something close to that. I asked her (kind of jokingly/kind of not) if she wanted me to time them. We just kind of laughed it off and shortly went to bed. At 11:50pm Susan sat up in bed saying “uhh, my water just broke.” I knew she was serious as it seemed just like it happened with Jack. Inside I begin to freak out, mainly because if Susan responded the way she did to her water breaking this time the same way she did last time, she’d be crying and almost throwing up in a mater of 15 minutes. Fortunately, this was a little different and she really didn’t begin to feel the kind of pain at first that she did with Jack. She darted to the bathroom, and I started scurrying around trying to figure out what we needed to get together. I popped in Hannah’s and Jack’s room and told her that Sus’ water had just broke. She seemed pretty chill, but I’m sure she was just as shocked as the rest of us thinking she still had a few weeks of a semi-vacation in New York City. Semi-vacation over. Get in the phone booth and come out with your supper nanny uniform on Hannah…and that she has done! So Sus and I got everything together and head down and out to the corner to get a cab. We loaded the cab and headed to the hospital. After arriving at the hospital Susan was quickly checked and then put into a room. The first couple of hours went by very fast, Susan’s contractions grew stronger through the morning. Around 2:30am the doctor checked Susan and she was 4 centimeters and 80% effaced. Shortly after that she requested an epidural (little did she know, they don’t put as much in there as they do in Louisville cause they want you to feel a little to be able to push). She did feel good though and we kind of cat napped through the rest of the early morning. Around 6:30, I was getting concerned that they hadn’t checked her since 2:30. So the next hour I was a little nervous. Around 8:00 Dr. Cha came in! We were so excited that she was on call. She checked Susan and said, “she’s ready”. She went on to tell us that she had some logistics to work out because she had 4 patients that were delivering that day. After asking Susan how her pressure was, she decided to come back in 45 minutes to get the show on the road. While she was gone, someone came over the speaker calling Dr. Cha to room 3 and in the background we could hear a woman wailing. If was funny and freaky all at the same time. About 10 minutes later I stepped out in the hallway and heard a baby crying in room 3, so the call for Dr. Cha was legit. Not long after that, Dr. Cha comes in and it was game time. She was accompanied with two others a foreshadowing of what we would find in the OR. They deliver twins in the OR in case there are any emergencies. I got into my scrubs and they rolled Susan down to the OR. Dr. Cha came and got me and we stepped into a room filled with at least 10 medical personnel. In a matter a minutes I was sitting on a stool next to Susan, surrounded by people, and she was pushing. I could tell she felt a little more this time than with Jack, but she made immediate progress. Because there were two, it took the delivery team a few minutes to make sure they had the correct baby in the correct position. Indeed they did and in less than 10 minutes @ 9:21 Elliott David Wyatt was born. 5 seconds on mom’s chest and then they went to cleaning him up. Susan immediately began to say, “and he was the small one, oh no, he was the small one.” Unbeknownst to us, Lillie did a 180 when Elliott came out and now was feet down. Dr. Cha called for Dr. Silverstein who would make the 3rd doctor in the room. While he was on his way in, she told us that he was very experienced in delivering breach babies. We had already learned that New York is the only place in the nation that will allow a second twin to be delivered breach, yeah, that’s how safe it is. We had already decided that we would do whatever was safest for the baby and would go the c-section route rather than attempt a breach delivery. Dr. Silverstein came into the OR and he was “on”. It was like he had just come out of the tunnel at a football game. Dr. Cha immediately told him that we were not in favor of a breach delivery, so he took a few steps back, and in a matter a moments he had his sleeve rolled up and his elbow, forearm, and fist were being applied to Susan’s belly with great force in attempts to flip Lillie for a head first delivery. What I observe in the next minute was definitely in the top three most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. It hurt my stomach to watch what he was doing to Susan’s belly. There were three other people with their hands on Susan’s belly and Dr. Cha was on the receiving end. On what appeared to be the third big attempt, Dr. Cha exclaimed, “oh that is exactly where we want her, that’s it!” So in less than a minute, Dr. Silverstein walked into the room and with the direction of Dr. Cha and the help of the delivery team had flipped Lillie back into a head down position. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I don’t know how Susan did it. And just a couple of minutes later, Lillie Beth Wyatt was born @ 9:30 am. She too got about 5 seconds on mommy’s chest and then began to get cleaned up. A few short minutes later, they took Elliott and Lillie to the NICU. They have been in the NICU since Friday morning. Since the babies’ birth we have been sustained sweetly by God’s grace. The joy of the babies’ successful vaginal delivery absorbed any initial fears we may have had with them bing in the NICU. The babies were due December 16th, so I assumed that they’d spend some time up there, while it didn’t even enter Susan’s mind. We’ve had so much encouragment from Gallery Church folks here, so much prayer support from FBC in Clarksville and many friends and family from all over. We have been so grateful for all of the comments on facebook and our blogs along with texts and phone calls. If we haven’t returned your call, please know we are grateful for it!
Our lead pastor was in Georgia preaching at one of our partner churches so he couldn’t preach for me on Sunday. So I broke away for about an hour to preach in the morning and was so encouraged by the church family. I also broke away Sunday night and took a cab to Chelsea where we have our evening service. The guy that stopped for me was a generic cab/car service (not a yellow cab), so I just went for it. The conversation quickly turned to the LORD and it turns out this guy was a bi-vocational pastor from Newark. We really had a great time encouraging one another as his mother-in-law was in the hospital @ Mt. Sinai not doing well. He spoke confidently about the absolute sovereignty of God over all things. It was quite refreshing and we pastured one another as we drove through the city down to 18th street. When we arrived, he didn’t charge me. I quoted him 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and told him he was storing up treasure in heaven!
Since then, we’ve been visiting and watching the babies, praying with them, singing to them, and holding them when we’ve been able.
Elliott has made great improvement and has actually come off his IV. He’s been eating like a champ. Lillie on the other hand has had a tougher time. She most likely has had HMD, a premature lung disease that is caused by the lack of surfactant being produced. The day before yesterday, they tried to take her off her c-pap and on high flow for 2 hours but she could only make it for 30 minutes. Yesterday she made the two hours, and then either she’s made if four this morning or they are going to try for four…I can’t quite remember in this moment. 3 days ago, they tried to feed her 15 cc’s of breast milk through a tube and she didn’t take it. The next day they tried 5 cc’s and she took it. Yesterday they upped it to 10 cc’s and she’d done well with that too. This morning is the most comfortable that Susan and I have observed her in her breathing. So though its been tough pinning the doctors down with an exact diagnosis or anything concrete, we are encouraged as it is all a more organic process and we are seeing improvement.
It is often two steps forward and one back. Though Elliott came off the IV, he had to go back under the lights because his billyruben was high again. So a few specific things that you can pray for are:
• Lillie’s body would produce sufficient surfactant and her quality of breathing would improve.
• Lillie would continue to increase her feeding amounts.
• Both babies would be able to hold their temperature.
• Both babies would have no desats, brownings, or apnea(spikes in their heart rate or breathing. – they have to have 5 days with zero of those, before they can come home)
• Both babies health in general.
Jack and Hannah are doing great together! Hannah has totally stepped it up and we’re so proud of her and thankful to have her here! We’re having lots of fun! Jack is doing good and loving the playgrounds in central park a little more every day. If you have facebook, Hannah has posted a bunch of pictures of him on there.
Susan is feeling really good. Much better than she did after having Jack. We’ve been taking cabs the last few days but are transitioning to the bus as it is much cheaper and Susan can now handle the 6 short blocks to the bust station. We walk up Columbus 6 blocks, catch the bus and it takes us 1.5 blocks from the front door of the hospital.
The social worker recommended that Jack come see the twins, so that was special too. I think Susan has already mentioned him brining the twins a little toy each. Jack’s Gran and Gramps (my parents) are coming up today. They are flying into Philly and taking Amtrak into the city, and saving $400 taking that route as opposed to flying right into the city. Susan’s mom is expected to come on the 20th and will be here through Thanksgiving. We are so glad that our families are able to come this way and are grateful for their sacrifice in doing so.
It has not set in yet that we are a family of five. Though it feels very natural to have the twins here. The most challenging days will set it, when Elliott comes home most likely before Lillie and we have to figure out a feeding schedule that meets both of the babies needs while they are in two places. You can pray for that as well.
Again, we are so grateful for all the encouragement and support! Thanks for sharing in our joy!
Elliott David Wyatt was born @ 9:21am weighing (unofficially) 4 lbs and his sister Lillie Beth followed @ 9:30 weighing (officially) 5 lbs. 11 oz. Susan’s water broke @ 11:50 last night, we called the doctor and were shortly waiving down a cab to head to Mt. Sinai. The birth was absolutely amazing, Susan was awesome, and the delivery team (probably at least 10 in the room) was outstanding. When I have more time I’ll try to paint you the picture.
Lillie and Elliott are both in the NICU. Elliott is stable and not on oxygen, but Lillie a little more urgently needs our prayers as she is on 25% oxygen. She either has TTM (look it up) or HMD (again look it up). Both are very treatable and deal with her breathing. I’ll give more details when we are not so wiped out.
Susan is doing remarkable. If you saw what I saw this morning as the delivery team had to turn Lillie to get her head down, your own stomach would hurt. I’m about to take Sus up to NICU to see the babies really for the first time except immediately after the birth. She is going to try to feed Elliott, pray that have a good introduction to one another.
We love you all so much!
The image came to my mind today of a play ground with two girls spinning two jump ropes in opposite directions with another kid trying to time his or her jump just right to not hit the ropes and begin jumping fast enough immediately to keep up. That is what New York City feels like. The ropes are flying fast and every day I feel like I’m timing my jump. These are the beginning days. Perhaps some day very soon, I’ll be the one spinning the ropes.
A couple of weeks back, we had a wonderful visit from a dear friend from Clarksville, Boris Becker. We were in community group with Boris the past year and have developed a wonderful relationship with him over the last several months. He took us to great restaurant near our apartment. We had a good time catching up and just enjoying being with Boris. He loves the Yankees, and without us knowing it made a trip to Yankee stadium the day he left and bought Jack a Yankees jacket and hat. Growing up I was a Mets and a Yankees fan (you can’t do that here). So Boris acted fast to make sure the Mets were not in the running. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure Jack’s Gran got him a Mets onezie a while back. It was so good to see Boris and he was kind enough to take back a couple of boxes for us as well as a dictionary stand.
Hannah cooked dinner for our Growth Community last night. She did a great job making taco soup. We are already enjoying loving on our Growth Community.
I am fully engaged and loving everything while remaining very sensitive to Susan and Jack’s needs. I love the city and it is amazing to think that Lillie and Elliott (our twins due Dec 16) will not have any adjustments to NYC. They will not know anything different. Susan’s experiences with her doctor have been fantastic. Jack has his first appointment with the pediatrician in late November. I’ve been battling my normal seasonal sinus problems, but have felt weirdly lethargic at odd times of the day. I hope it is just adjusting to the spinning jump ropes.
More on ministry soon…
Today was a great day as we are getting around seeing friends before we leave for NYC. This morning we got to catch up with Daniel and Emily and had such a good time. Then we headed to Bowling Green to meet up with Kyle, Ashley, Jane and Emma and could have stayed all night! But we headed on back for a good time of fellowship, sushi, chess and birthday celebration @ Boris’ with folks from Community Group. Susan is an amazing woman…this is no new revelation for anyone who’s been trackin with us lately. Happy Birthday babe!
Then we arrived to my parents late this evening to find Hannah’s stuff ready to load in the truck in the morning. Here’s a public “way to Go Hannah!” for such a great job packing light. Though it was a tough job Hannah packed a very light load to take to NYC for the next 6 months. She’s thinking like a missionary. I think she’s going to do an amazing job serving along side us!
The truck pulls out Monday.
I fly out Thursday and un pack the truck.
Susan, Jack and Hannah fly out friday.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Welcome to nycmission.com! The website crashed as we were transferring theworddown.org over to this site and we lost a lot of old content…no sweat though…its a new day! Be sure to come back often or subscribe to this blog through a blog reader to read regular mission updates of our work in NYC!