Madison's Birthday:

June 8, 2010

From the Word:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

Monday, June 14, 2010

An Opportunity for Faith

Happy Monday All,

I am so thankful for this blog, so that Mandy and I can communicate all the information about Madison to everyone without having to make tons of calls everyday. Today's update hits close to home for us, and as the title suggests, today's update presents us all for an opportunity to exhibit some faith in the Lord.

As I think I mentioned, Madison is eating more with each feed, and therefore Mandy is almost constantly behind on the eight ball on pumping. Bless Mandy's heart, she set her alarm to wake up during the night and early mornings to hopefully get ahead on milk. After the last morning pump, I brought the milk over to the NICU so Madison would have enough food for they day, because we knew we would be gone quite a bit of the day at Mandy's post-op appointment to get her C-section staples removed. The nurse who removed Mandy's staples said the site looked good and was right on schedule healing. We left 100 Oaks right a lunchtime and decided to go and have a little lunch date together knowing we had left Madison enough food for the day. After lunch at Demos' in downtown Nashville, we headed back the HHH for a quick power nap.

During the day, Madison was visited by the ultrasound technician to get another scan on her ventricle size. She was also visited by an audiologist and passed her first hearing test. We will test her again in six months time because of her Spina Bifida. After the power nap, we were anxious to return and see about the test results. I let Mandy out at the door, and she got settled into the NICU before me. On my way up to the room, I ran into Dr. Tulipan in the hallway talking about Madison. I reintroduced myself, and we got right to it.

The first bit of news wasn't what I wanted to hear. Her ventricle size had doubled from a 4 to an 8 since the measurement at birth. I know the numbers don't mean anything to you all, but I am sure that you can understand based on all these posts that smaller and stable numbers are what we want. However, Dr. Tulipan stated that even though the size had double, she is still considered to be on the within normal limits of size. However, he said the writing on the wall indicated that he believed with 90-95% certainty, Madison was going to require surgery to place drainage shunts in the brain. However, the silver lining here is that he wants to wait 2-3 weeks to make certain, which means we are scheduled to possibly get discharged on Wednesday. Plus, the longer babies want before having shunt surgery, the odds increase for an overall successful procedure. So, after getting the word from neuro-surgery, they cleared us for discharge with monitoring from our local pediatrician with a follow up appointment soon. There is a possibility that Mandy and I will get moved to a different family sleep room on campus for tomorrow so that Madison will get to stay with us for one complete night.

I know that many, many of you reading this spent part of your day praying and believing for a good scan and complete discharge with no strings attached. Mandy and I prayed for the same thing, but we also prayed that our Father's will be done and name be glorified. I honestly don't have a clue who all reads this blog, but I want to make it perfectly clear that Madison's story of healing and strength is really God's story of grace, love, and mercy. Make no mistake, for anybody reading these words now, there is a God, and He created everything for His glory. When we first learned of Madison's Spina Bifida mid-January, we were told there was a good chance she had a genetic disorder called trisomy 13 or 18. To put it mildly, that would have meant she was a terminal baby and wouldn't have lived past the age of two. Since then, Madison has been bathed in daily from Nashville to Nolensville, Cookeville to Chattanooga, and Rockville to Romania. These prayers combined with God's grace, love, and mercy are the reasons for overall outstanding health and prognosis. Prayer changes people's lives, and it saves their lives both physically and spiritually. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about some hocus-pocus or voodoo Christian movement. God and Jesus are very real and answer prayer every second of every day to bring people to the realization that He loves us and wants us to believe in him!

Let me challenge you... if you have kept up with any part of this blog, and if anything about Madison's story has tugged on your heart strings, could that be God? If so, why don't you just say a short prayer to yourself for Madison's health and that God reveal the truth to you. No big deal, but just keep asking those two very simple things on a daily basis and see what happens in your life.

Two simple truths to remember:

1 Samuel 1:27 says "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him."

John 14:6 says "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

God's ways are not our ways. He sometimes chooses to heal immediately, sometimes He chooses to work through surgeons, and even sometimes He chooses not to heal. Whatever He chooses is to bring people to the reality that He exists and wants you to believe in Him.

Ask Him for healing... Ask Him for truth!

Mandy and I have not lost faith in this storm... He has grown us up and shown us parts of Him never before seen by us. What more will He show you?

All our love,

Dustin and Mandy


  1. And don't forget Dyersburg!!! You've got a lot of prayers for you here! God's not done yet!! Love you three with all my heart! :-)

  2. Dustin, Your posts are so moving and are giving you the opportunity to let God shine. He's using you in such a great way. Be encouraged through this blog, praising God in all circumstances, and know that you have so many people who care for you and Mandy (and of course Madison). This past week has been so touching. If all of your readers could come and give you hugs, watch over you while you slept, and could help meet your heart's desires, we'd all be there. But God is standing in for all of us. We love you all and want the 3 of you home soon. Becky & Jack Morrison

  3. You guys don't know me but a friend of a friend (I think) shared your blog with me and I am now reading your story. I'm Jessica, and my son Gage is 2 years 9 months and also has spina bifida. He has been SUCH a blessing to everyone he knows, most especially his parents. If you want to read about our journey, feel free (it starts here: The scripture that we leaned on when we were expecting Gage was Psalm 139:13 and following. Gage is just as "fearfully and wonderfully made" as anyone else, and so is Madison! Anyway, I will be following along. You guys are in my prayers.

  4. You have prayers from our family in rural south Georgia, Folkston, 1st Baptist. Our daughter, Miranda is married to Amanda Campbell's brother, JB. She shared your story and I have been following your story. Prayers and love go out ot all of you..Donna Nance