Wiersma Family Blog

A glimpse into our lives as a family with micro-preemies. Our twins boys (Lovingly referred to as our Miracle Men) were born almost 16 weeks early.

Our journey continues when our son Max was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 3. This is his story....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Emotions are setting in

Well day 2 is almost in the books. By in large the boys are doing well. They made some improvements and the doctors turned down their "vents" a bit, but then their oxygen level dropped a little bit, so they had to turn them back up. To be more clear (as I am learning these things as we go), the ventilator (vent) is an apparatus that actually breathes for them. They can either add oxygen or take it away based on the ratios of oxygen and carbon dioxide in their blood. They draw what they call a "blood gas" every few hours to examine these levels and adjust their settings as needed. We talked to a doctor this morning and he kind of laid out that we need to expect a roller coaster ride (we know a bit about those) and that we really need to focus on our own personal health and mental strength in an effort to prepare for the not so good days. He also told us that Max does have some bleeding in his brain which they will continue to monitor and is very much "par for the course". He also said that there is some evidence that Max had a stroke at some point based on a blood clot that they found. What this means, they do not know, and may not know for a long time. The third thing they found was that Max does not have a septum pellucidum, which is a thin membrane of nervous tissue in the brain. This could be a significant issue, or it may not be an issue at all. There are just a lot of unknowns right now.

Kate and I had kind of a rough day as the adrenaline of yesterday wore off and the weight of the journey ahead set in. Kate is really struggling with missing the boys and feeling them move around in her belly. She has a difficult time seeing the boys in their little incubators because she feels like she is somehow responsible for them having to be put through all of this and face such a big fight. Please pray that God will give Kate the peace of knowing that she did EVERYTHING she could to give our boys such a good chance at life. Without going into too much gory detail, the breast pumping exercise has not been real rewarding yet either. The neonatal doctors and nurses have stressed how important it is for the Max and Wes, but emotionally it is tough for Kate knowing that our sons cannot yet digest her milk. We are both overwhelmed with all the information that has been thrown at us, and we are scared for Max and Wes. We are also struggling because we have not been able to hold our boys yet. We almost don't feel like parents yet in a lot of ways...this just isn't how we "imagined" this whole process would go. Our little boys are just beautiful, and I really want to get some pictures on here to show them off (but I haven't made it home yet). They look so small next to my hand...and I cannot help but wonder how small they must look in the hands of our Almighty Father. While Kate and I cannot yet hold our precious little baby boys, we find strength in knowing that their Creator has never let them go.


  1. Kate and Mark,

    Thank you for so faithfully updating your blog, I can only imagine how challenging/good/surreal it must be to put words on you are going through. We will continue to pray for you guys and your boys. Our small group just met tonight to pray for you. We all love you very much and I will pray especially that truth will reign in your hearts and minds.

  2. Mark and Kate.

    I am praying hard through all the emotions you guys face. Cling to the cross and know that God is protecting you two as well as Max and Wes. Like you said, remember the King is holding us in His big hand, and He is not getting off His throne.

  3. I thank God for the faith that you and Kate have exhibited throughout this whole ordeal. You are so right...God has never let go of your boys, and He never will. They may not be "perfect" according to human standards, but they were created by the Perfect Creator who does not make mistakes. He has made each of us perfectly for the job or place He has in mind for us.

    "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

    The words of a familiar song come to mind,
    "Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, My Father,
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not, As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be. Amen and Amen! Praise His Name!

    His mercies are new every day and He is still in control.

    Praying much for ALL of you, that the Lord God would envelop all of you under His wings. In all things to God be the glory!

  4. Mark & Kate,
    I cannot wait to see pictures of your two miracles, they have already had a profound impact on so many lives. They are blessed to have parents like the two of you, thank you for your testimony of faith to all of us. I will continue to pray for Max and the health issues he is facing and for Wes that he remains such a strong, tiny soldier of our Lord and Saviour. Remember, God uses babies in BIG ways and even now He has chosen YOUR flesh and blood to witness to so many. What a great God we serve! I hope that you both are able to get good rest throughout the night, as I know how much our coping skills depend on that one commodity. Blessings to your beautiful family.

  5. We'll pray that God fills both of you with HIS strength to get through these next days and weeks. We pray that both of you, as well as Max and Wes, would know the perfect peace of Christ, even in the midst of this storm. Praying, too, that God's presence would be known to Max & Wes in their incubators and also to the both of you as you eagerly wait to hold your sons. May all of you know and feel Christ's incredible love for you!

  6. Mark, Kate, Max & Wes,

    We are praying for strength and peace for all of you today... that whatever twists and turns the day brings, you will be able to feel the Lord's hands guiding you when you need direction and carrying you when you are worn out. Kate, we are praying especially for the words of Philippians 4:7 to become alive for you today. That "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus." You are amazing, Kate!!! It was God who made the decision that Max & Wes' birthday's would be 03/27/09... I can't say that I understand the decision, but I do KNOW that there was nothing you could have done differently that would have changed it. God chose you in His perfect plan to be a Mommy on 03/27 and Max & Wes are so blessed to have you and Mark as parents.

    Jason, Mary & Bella

  7. Praying for strength. We understand watching your child struggle. The best strength are the Arms of the Lord! He will hold you and carry you through. Praying!!

  8. I totally agree with the fact that God determined the day that the boys would be born -it had nothing to do with Kate being able to not carry the boys any longer. Nothing happens apart from the will of our Father! May you truly feel that Peace of God which transends ALL understanding. Continue to trust in Him as His ways are far better than our ways. He knows best and will carry you through all the ups and downs of the weeks and months ahead. We will continue to pray for God's loving arms to hold you and raise you up on wing's of eagles. He holds you ALL in the palm of His hand and He will NEVER let you go!! Praise Him!!!
    With our love and prayers - Dan and Jan Ebels

  9. Hi Kate and Mark,
    Wow! What a journey for you! I have been reading you posts and have passed info to a group of prayer warriors, literally across the country.
    I along with the entire Barkel clan keep you close in thoughts and prayers.
    Mark - you are a true missionary - your faith shines through in your words!
    Kate - I can almos hear you sing "Be still and know that I am God" - what a testamony to the anesthetist and others in the room with you.
    We will continue to pray for peace and strength as well as growth for Wes and Max!
    Love you both
    Steve and Kerry Barkel

  10. Our God is Great. Thank you for testifying to that. May you know his tender holding of you both in his hands. You also, Mark and Kate, are his precious children. You are learning in new ways how He loves us as a father/mother loves their children. The verse that blessed me much as a parent when I thought I was having a rough day was Isaiah 40:11b. After speaking of God's care of the little lambs,Isaiah reminds us that God also gives care to the parents.
    "He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
    and carries them close to his heart:
    He gently leads those that have young." Another verse that gives me comfort is Zephaniah 3:17 This will be my prayer for you this week.
    " The Lord your God is with you,
    He will take great delight in you,
    He will quiet you with his love,
    He will rejoice over with singing.
    Maybe he's singing Be still and know that I am God.
    Sheila amd Bob

  11. Praying for you today.

  12. I don't even know you but a friend of mine mentioned your situation and I've been keeping tabs. Your faith in God is amazing, and all four of you are in my prayers every day.