Eden Chen

Our Post Birth Story & Prayers for Talitha

Eden Chen September 08, 2018

Our Post Birth Story & Prayers for Talitha

Carolyn and I have been in the NICU for the last week and our life has pretty much revolved around visiting the NICU and breast pumping. I’m finally coming up for air for a second so I can write down some of our thoughts, update our friends, and ask for prayer. Carolyn will be posting our birth story later on.

Shortly after Talitha was born I went straight over to the NICU with her. I painfully watched her get poked and prodded. One of her veins burst, she had two long term PICC lines that were attempted to put into her, the second one successful. After 8 hours, she was the first one in the operating room where she would go under the knife for the first time, something that she will be all too familiar with later in life. She was pumped with morphine and unable to eat for the first 4 days of life.

Talitha has a cloacal anomaly, something that occurs for no known rhyme or reason in about 1 in 50,000 people. Cloaca’s are a common cavity at the end of the digestive tract that typically split into three cavities that lead to the vagina, the anus, and the urethra. In people with cloaca anomalies they have one common channel instead of 3. Because of this they typically do not have normal openings in the vagina, anus, or urethra. Her first surgery was to give her a colostomy and a vaginostomy to allow fluid and stool to flow into bags. In about 6 months time surgeons will attempt reconstructive surgery to recreate some of the parts that she is missing and to redirect these channels to the right places. These surgeries are rare and extremely complex. Typically surgeries that are successful have similar characteristics but the most important is the length of her common channel (the one cavity where all three openings are going down) being less than 3 cm, and the length of the urethra being longer than 1.5cm. Our doctor told us from the look of her external anatomy he suspects that she has a channel longer than 3 cm which is a poor prognosis.

Talitha is my miracle baby. I remember like it was yesterday, sitting in Good Friday service, no more tears left to cry, after being told that Talitha was not viable. At the end of the service, Carolyn and I bumped into Pastor Jeremy Treat on our way out. He reminded us to celebrate her life, whether she lived for 2 days or 80 years. 4 days later we were told that the diagnosis was incorrect. We have a view as human beings that everything should be perfect. The truth is that we all are not perfect and weakness often points us to Jesus, and reminds us that we need Him:

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7–10

We pray and ask for prayer from you all for a short common channel, and that Talitha will be able to live a “normal life” but we also know these prayers are not always answered. Nevertheless as Christians, we have an invincible hope in Jesus. Jesus came before us and suffered in a way that we could never suffer, lived a sinless life that we could never live, and was raised from the dead so that one day whoever relies on Him for life will have renewed bodies.

So we celebrate. We celebrate our friends and family. People flew out to support us last minute, brought us food, shared tears with us, and loved on us. We celebrate our new daughter. She’s so beautiful and I can’t wait to tell her how proud I am of her, and how much she is loved. Most of all, we celebrate because we are called sons and daughters of God. That’s more meaningful to me this week than it was last week because this week I am a father.

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. 
Galatians 4:7

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