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…
The pace is full on. It doesn’t matter if your check card has come in, or if your internet is working…the city rages on…very quickly.
We sprang out of bed yesterday morning @ 5:30 to a very loud beeping noise. We quickly discovered it was our Carbon Monoxide detector. Unfortunately it was not the battery light that was flashing…it was the detector. I called the front desk and think I woke up Gregorio who doesn’t speak great English. He said he would call someone but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. We frantically looked through stacks of papers that we have not had opportunity to file yet to find the CM detector instructions. Reading the instructions only made us more concerned. We were able to silent the alarm for a minute by holding the button down for several seconds. I called 911 (for the first time in my life), (the instruction book said to), and then got Jack out of bed and told Susan to wake Hannah up…as if the alarm was not sufficient. 2 seconds after I make it to the lobby 3 fully suited firemen with ax type tools in their hands come in. Jack in my arms, blankie over his head, I lead them to the elevator apologizing the whole way. The elevator opens, Susan and Hannah get off, I pass Jack to Susan and board the elevator with the team of firemen. They were very kind and understanding. In a matter of moments after entering our apartment one of the firemen was able to tell me he was not getting a reading. So they said it was just the battery and took it off the wall and yanked the battery out. After sharing with them that Susan had been cooking a big pot of vegetable soup on the gas stove for a couple of hours, they changed their diagnosis and said that definitely triggered it despite not getting a reading. We love cooking on gas, but not when it triggers your CM detector 7 hours later. There was no going back to bed for Jack, so we all started our day a little early.
That launched us into the weekend that I would spend with Jack, just the two of us. I sent the girls off on a women’s retreat to the Jersey shore. Jack and I’ve been kickin it…he’s gotten to see rabbits and birds at the pet store a couple of blocks down and got to play with sticks and rocks in central park where we saw ducks. It’s pretty funny watching Jack as he runs on the track around the JKR (lake) in Central Park…you’ve got all these intense serious runners and then short little Jack running (usually against the flow). It’s good stuff.
My heart is beginning to take hold of the task in a fresh way. I find myself praying as we walk the sidewalks, asking God to show me what He sees. My heart absolutely broke last Sunday night as I walked around the block that our church meets on. There is large homosexual population in the neighborhood of our evening service. I have known for some time about this, but walking the street and being in the midst of it absolutely nailed me.
Please pray today that God grants us favor with our neighbors and the folks we’ll be meeting and engaging in the coming days.
My second day was much, much better. As I gained my energy back and felt better as the morning progressed I began to try to get the apartment in some kind of (wont freak Susan out when she sees it) order. Corey Boyd who will be moving up this way with his wife sometime in the next several months told me it was going to be extremely tight as he helped me pack the truck. He was adding the square footage of our boxes compared to our apartment and well…it was scary. So my work was cut out for me. Aaron Coe our lead Pastor, came over to help me out. We made great progress. Susan, Jack, and Hannah arrived around 3:30 on Friday. I greeted the girls each with a flower from a bouquet that I bought 2 blocks from the apartment. Hannah had just driven into New York City for the very first time…I think she liked it. Susan was exhausted and was ready to get out of transportation mode. Jack was chillin and when I saw him all the woes of the first day immediately dissolved. It was so good to see them. I prepped them to think “small” right before we entered the door of the apartment so they’d be pleasantly surprised, and they actually were. We didn’t do a whole lot that afternoon, but that evening we met a group at Ruby Foos restaurant for Aaron Coe’s birthday. It was great to be out on the town, and it included sushi, so how can that be bad. Jack on the other hand was not extremely thrilled to be out. He had just flown for the first time, two flights (connection in charlotte) and walking out into a Manhattan intersection for Jack is like being immersed in his four favorite books, yet its all real and moving. Just a bit overwhelming, just a bit exhausting. We took a cab to the restaurant. You are not required by law to wear a seat belt in a cab nor is there any law in having kids strapped into a car seat. Interesting isn’t it. Jack’s mommy was less than thrilled…but are you really going to lug a hunkin car seat around every time you get into a cab? We had a great dinner but headed in early because Jack had hit his limit. Day two was awesome…I was with Susan and Jack in our new city.
On day three Susan began to work like an ant to get things situated in the apartment. I had pretty much gotten all the big stuff where it needed to go, and now she just needed to sort things how she wanted them. The Church had a mission team in that was helping put on a Fall Festival by the school we meet in on Sunday morning. Paul and Meredith Ramey (the Gallery’s new worship leader and wife) flew in late Friday night. Aaron and Paul came by and help me load my boxes of books in “the forerunner”. “The forerunner” is the lone car among the Gallery’s team that was donated. We each can use it as we may need it. (grocery shopping in NJ, etc…) Many of my books will go in the church office space. That helped clear the apartment out pretty good. Then Carmen (Aaron’s wife) and Meredith came by and invited Jack to go to the park with them…so Jack and Hannah went to the park with Carmen her son Ezra (who is about 6 months older than Jack), Meredith, and Hannah headed to the park while Susan and I continued to make sense of the mess of boxes. That evening was a good evening as we all ate at the Coe’s place about 8 blocks from our place. Aaron said a few words before we prayed and my heart exulted greatly in God as we prayed. It was one of those sweet confirming and strengthening moments as our minds and hearts could only imagine what is ahead.