Maisie’s Story

p-header_blankPrayer Power

Kirwans 1Sitting in the family room of the special care baby unit, with a doctor telling us that our baby girl, who was just 14 hours old, could potentially be seriously unwell, was one of the most painful experiences of our lives. Just hours earlier, we were at home introducing our son Noah, 2, to his baby sister, Maisie. Everything felt so perfect. But the midwife who visited us at home that morning advised us to take Maisie back to hospital to be checked over, as she sensed that something wasn’t quite right. A blood test revealed that Maisie’s blood glucose was dangerously low – neonatal hypoglycaemia is diagnosed when a baby’s blood-glucose level goes below 2.6; Maisie’s was 0.4. This, along with the fact that Maisie had a seizure on arrival at the special care baby unit, gave the medical staff cause for concern, so they spent the next couple of days ruling out various causes, including some genetic conditions with potentially lifelong implications. Time passed in a complete blur and we felt utterly helpless as we sat beside Maisie’s incubator, desperately sad that she was wired up to various monitors when she should just be having cuddles and sleeping on our chests. We prayed to God through tears, begging him to let our baby girl be alright.

We were completely overwhelmed and exhausted. But at the same time, we felt so upheld and supported by our family and friends and took a lot of comfort in knowing they were praying for our little girl. People prayed for Maisie but also for us – that we would have peace amidst uncertainty and that we would keep strong. We needed God more than we ever had before and in some ways we’d never known Him to feel so real and so close.  maisiequote

Thankfully, tests came back clear and Maisie’s blood glucose normalised, so after two days in special care, she was moved to the transitional care unit, and just a day later we were able to go home. We weren’t completely out of the woods, as Maisie had to go back for an MRI scan a couple of weeks later to check that the period for which she’d had low blood glucose hadn’t caused any damage to her brain. We asked our friends and family to pray that Maisie would sleep through the scan and that it would come back clear. God answered those prayers in full measure – she slept through the entire scan, blissfully unaware of what was going on (amazing given how noisy it was!) and we were overjoyed the following week to hear that her scan had come back completely normal. The relief was huge and it felt like we could breathe again.

Although we’d never want to relive those few days, we can so clearly see the way God looked after us all. The timing of certain events – the midwife’s visit that prompted us to go into hospital, the fact that Maisie’s seizure happened minutes after she arrived in special care – there’s no doubt in our minds that this was because God was protecting her. We feel like He taught us a lot too; about trusting Him when the future’s uncertain, and about how prayer really does make a difference. As each day passes and we’re enjoying seeing Maisie grow, we feel that little bit more grateful that she’s healthy and are determined not to take that for granted.

Maisie’s middle name is Hope – a reminder to us that because of God’s amazing love we have an incredible hope and that we don’t need to fear the future because He holds our lives in His hands.

Ali and Pat Kirwan

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