Thursday, June 4, 2009

A new baby, a big scare, and the Good Shepherd.

Excuse the rambling nature of this post....I'm a bit tired and my brain isn't quite working right just yet!

This has been a unique week around the Murphree house. A week ago today we welcomed our fourth child, Liam Sean Murphree, into the world. His mom, dad, and three siblings immediately fell in love with him. We spent all day Friday taking turns holding him and just looking at him. We had some minor concerns since he just wouldn't eat and seemed to be breathing extremely rapidly. But the hospital staff assured as that everything was OK, so we quickly dismissed the concerns from our minds.

Saturday morning at about 4:30 I was awakened by a ringing phone. My wife called me and, with tears, told me that something was wrong with Liam and that I needed to get up there. When I got there I found him alert but on oxygen. The doctor told me that he thought he had pneumonia, but that they were going to transfer him to another hospital as a precaution. Within 90 minutes I was on the interstate following an ambulance to a different city with a larger hospital that was equipped with an NICU unit. Within 60 minutes of arrival they had shot x-rays, put him on a high dose of nitrogen rich oxygen and hooked him up to an IV. What they had found was a severely dehydrated boy who was having difficulty breathing due to limited lung capacity. His right lung was perforated and, as a result, air had escaped the lung. The escaped air had gathered around the outside of both lungs and had began to compress them. His right lung was compressed enough that the doctor used the word "collapsed" in describing it to me. He had likely developed the issue during birth and every breath he had taken had actually made the problem a little worse. In essence, every time he took a breath he was actually losing lung capacity.

Over the next couple of days we had a lot of ups and downs. My wife wasn't able to get released out of the other hospital and get to the new one until Liam and I had already been up there for about 6 hours. By the time she got there, Liam was under a large hood on a heating table and completely "out of it". Every time he would wake up and cry there was nothing we could do about it but rub his arm.....we wouldn't be able to pick him up for several days.

Sunday the doctor informed us that the oxygen mix they had him on wasn't remedying the problem and his lungs were getting worse. So the next step was to put a tube into his chest to begin to pull the air out and, hopefully, assist in healing the perforation. So less than three days after his birth, our son was going to surgery. Needless to say, Sunday was a bad day.

Over the next couple of days Liam began to gain lung capacity back. Soon the chest tube was able to come out, the oxygen hood came off, and we were able to hold him again. On Tuesday he finally started to eat. Today they pulled him completely off of oxygen and we found out that he is recovering so well that we may get to bring him home before the end of the upcoming weekend!

I've learned a few lessons about being a child of God during this week. In my sleep deprived sate I'm going to attempt to mention a coupled them...

First of all we have the ability to cast all our cares at the feet of our God. Not only are we able to do this, but we are actually expected to! Leaving our cares at the feet of the Almighty is one of the most amazing privileges we have as children of God.

Secondly, we have this wonderful "freedom" from anxiety. It would be foolish for me to claim that I wasn't concerned through most of this week. However, I didn't find myself "stressed" or worried. On the contrary, I found myself fleeing to the Psalms and then singing praises to my mighty God! The fact that we can praise the Lord for difficult times and enter into prayer to Him with a heart of thankfulness is amazing to me! Even when our hearts are heavy, the Great Comforter reminds us to be thankful for the bountiful benefits that the Lord shows to us daily.

There's a song that has been a tremendous encouragement to me this week and I've been singing it nearly nonstop. It's from the PSALMS CD from Sovereign Grace Music and is based on the 23rd Psalm. It is entitled "The Lord Is":

The depths of Your grace who can measure?
You fully supply all I need.
You restore my weary soul again and again;
And lead me in Your righteousness and peace.

You’re with me through every dark valley.
There’s nothing that I have to fear.
You are there to comfort me again and again;
Protecting me, assuring me You’re near.

The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd!
The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd!
I shall not want.

You gave Your own life for my ransom;
So I could rejoice at Your side.
You have shown Your faithfulness again and again;
There’s nothing good that You will not provide.

The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd!
The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd!
I shall not want.

I will dwell in Your house
All the days of my life.
I will dwell in Your house
All the days of my life.

And You watch over me;
You take care of all my needs;
Lord, You provide in every situation.
So I'll sing:

The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd!
The Lord is
The Lord is my shepherd!
The Lord is
Lord, You are my shepherd;
I shall not want.


Frank Sansone said...


Wow! What a week. We had a scare with our son, Josiah, when he was young, so I know the seriousness of this and I know (as you do) the peace that passes all understanding that only believers can understand in trials of this nature.

Praise the Lord that he is improving. We have added him (and your family) to our prayer list during this time. May God continue to give you His grace and may Liam have a quick and complete recovery.

In Christ,

Frank Sansone

Don Johnson said...

Praise the Lord for his grace to you in this hour of need. We have experienced that amazing grace ourselves in a crisis event with my wife a few years ago and, with you, marvel at God's sustaining power. I think it is at times like this that we really see what it means to daily walk with the Lord, even when "nothing" seems to be happening.

And I thank the Lord with you for the improvement in your son's life. Good name, by the way!

Looking forward to hearing progress reports from the front. This beats our other debates all hollow!

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ellis Murphree said...

Don and Frank,

Thanks for the comments and encouragement. To your point Don, all the debates of the last couple of weeks haven't really seemed all that important this week!

Liam continues to improve. We hope to take him home by the end of the upcoming weekend!