Julia - on the last day of our hospital stay

It feels good to be blogging again, although I confess that taking this July off was not only beneficial spiritually, but also necessary emotionally. It turned out to be one of the most trying months of my life.

We began the month with celebration. Corina and I found out we were expecting again, and we began anticipating the day our family of four would become a family of five.

We were also hopeful that Corina’s brother, Cristian, would be able to visit us in early August for a couple of weeks. As our family grows larger, it becomes more and more difficult for us to afford trips to Romania to visit family. To have Cristian stay with us a couple of weeks would be a blessing, as well as a bandaid for the homesickness that is always a part of life when your marriage is international. (I probably ought to do an entire blog post about this constant sense of heart-dividedness. It was more acute for me, of course, when my wife and I were living in Romania during the first years of our marriage. It is even harder now for her, since our trips overseas have become less frequent.)

Unfortunately, the U.S. embassy in Romania rejected Cristian’s request for a visitor’s visa. We were heartbroken, but not totally surprised. This was the first trial that came our way in July. Shortly afterwards, Corina got bitten by a spider and another bug. Her lip swelled up from the bug bite and became quite painful. The doctor prescribed some medicine that began to alleviate the symptoms.

The next day, our three-year-old daughter Julia was suddenly struck with severe swelling in her kneecap. Within minutes, she was unable to walk or bend her leg at all.

Corina took Julia to the pediatrician who, afraid it might be a serious condition known as septic joint, told us to hurry to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville. We packed an overnight bag, made sure our 7-year-old son, Timothy, was taken care of,  and then we hurried to the hospital. By this time, Julia’s entire leg was swollen (even down to the ankle), and a red splotch had developed on her lower leg.

We were frightened. In a matter of seconds, my mind was racing through possible scenarios: What if there’s a serious infection? What if the doctors have to amputate her leg to save her life? What would it be like to push my daughter down the aisle in a wheel-chair at her wedding one day? When a time of crisis comes your way, your mind races in a hundred different directions at once.

Within hours, the doctors had ruled out the septic joint, but they were unable to stop the swelling. They had us stay in the hospital all night and they instructed us not to feed Julia until they were sure she wouldn’t have to have surgery. The medical symptoms were strange. The blood work was coming back good. The doctors weren’t sure what was wrong.

During our second day, we were frightened in a different way than on the first day. At first, we were concerned that it was something serious. Then, we were concerned because no one could figure out what it was. The lack of knowledge was disconcerting.

Around lunchtime on the second day, 24 hours after the initial swelling occurred, Julia had recovered enough to start walking again. She had also developed some red spots on both her legs. By this time, the doctors were pretty sure that our daughter had a strange, viral infection called HSP, which stands for Henoch-Schönlein purpura. It manifests itself with a rash and with joint swelling.

During our second night in the hospital, Julia’s right hand swelled up. In an odd sort of way, we were relieved to see another joint swelling. We knew that there was nothing wrong with her swollen leg, and we also knew that this confirmed the HSP diagnosis.

On the third day, the doctors sent us home with instructions. Because HSP can attack the kidneys, Julia will need to have a urine test done every week for six months. They also told us to be prepared for more sudden swelling. Sure enough, on the fourth day, Julia’s left ankle suddenly swelled to the point she was unable to walk for a few hours. This time, we knew how to handle it at home.

As soon as Julia began recovering, my wife began showing the first signs that we were having a miscarriage. For 24 hours, we hoped that this wasn’t the case. But when we finally got an ultrasound, it was clear. No heartbeat. The baby’s development was a few days behind where it should have been at this stage.

We were heartbroken. All that evening, we grieved the loss. The next day, we went back to the doctor for another ultrasound. The uterus was empty. So were our hearts. The days in the hospital with Julia had exhausted us physically, and now the miscarriage had exhausted us emotionally.

The other night, when I was putting our son to bed, he expressed his frustration at all the recent events. He said, “I just want everything to go back to normal!” I told him that it was natural to want to feel secure and in control, but the truth is, we are not in control. And during these difficult days, we have the opportunity to experience in our hearts something we already know in our heads: We are utterly dependent on God. 

During these trying days, my wife and I have been encouraged by a song by Bebo Norman, “God Of My Everything.” (See video here.) I already liked the song before this month, but the words are more meaningful to me after this time of trial.

Through it all, the Lord has been good to us. When I put the word out on Twitter about Julia, dozens of people responded and assured us of their prayers. It was so encouraging to sense the support of people who love us. We needed those prayers, and still do.

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23 thoughts on “A Trying Month”

  1. Vasile Vaganov says:

    Frate, citind durerea prin care treci, vreau să te încurajez cu Cuvîntul Domnului., este greu pentru un om să mîngîie. Dumnezeu este Acela care ne mîngîie în necazurile noastre.
    Trevin, eu mă rog pentru tine şi Corina. Mă doare inima ca şi cum am pierdut şi eu copilul. E dureros. Dar Dumnezeul nostru este Dumnezeul Mîngîierilor şi ştiu că EL vă va da putere să treceţi biruitori în aşa momente triste. Sunt lîngă voi în rugăciune, chiar dacă cu trupul sunt peste ocean. Domnul să vă întărească!!!
    Aceste sunt versetele pe care Domnul mi le-a arătat:

    2 Corinthians 1:3-11
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in [a]any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are [b]ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

    8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in [c]Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 [d]indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, [e]He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

  2. MarieP says:

    Wow…I will be praying for you and your family!

  3. Trevin Wax says:

    Vasile, multumesc pentru rugaciunile tale pentru mine si familia mea. Domnul isi arata harul fata de noi nu numai cand lucrurile merg bine ci si atunci cand incercarea este grea.

    Marie, thank you for your prayers.

  4. Chrystie says:

    My heart is swollen for you and your family. You are all in my prayers!

  5. Rick says:

    Dear Brother,
    I only know you through the emails from Kingdom. At this point I would like to be a Job’s counselor with the exception of keeping my mouth shut as I really do not have anything to say. But it is hard to read of the struggle your family is going through. Ok, maybe just one thing – Isa 63:9.

  6. Brent Hobbs says:

    I’m glad it looks alike Corina will be alright and I’m so sorry about the loss of your baby.

    Groaning for our redemption and for all things to be made new,
    Brent

  7. Christiane says:

    Trevin, I am sorry to hear of your family troubles. So sorry to hear about the miscarriage. That is a difficult sadness to bear.
    May the peace of Christ be with you and your family.

    Christiane

  8. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Trevin,

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. I am praying for God’s continued comfort in you and your family’s life during your grief. I also celebrate with you that your daughter’s HSP is getting better. I do caution you to keep an eye on those kidneys. I know the fear of taking your daughter to the hospital ER and their needing to rule out other diseases. Then the relief you experience to find out it is HSP. They did a spinal tap on my daughter to rule out spinal meningitis. We celebrated that her joints were swelling. ;)

    You have been missed and I praise God He has received Glory from you guys in this trial.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  9. Rob Tims says:

    Praying for you and your family this morning … thanks for sharing the story with vulnerability and grace.

  10. Andrew says:

    Wow. Thanks for sharing this, Trevin. I’ll pray for you and your family, and I hope he provides his peace and wisdom whatever comes.

  11. Corina Pașca says:

    Although we are many miles apart at the moment, you four are close to our heart. We have not ceased to pray for you. May the Holy Spirit show Himself as the wonderful Comforter that He is!

  12. Nick Horton says:

    Trevin and family,

    So sorry to hear the loss of your child. My wife and I have also lost a child to miscarriage and we grieve right along with you. May God bless and comfort you; our brothers and sisters.

    With love,
    The Hortons

  13. Trevin Wax says:

    Thank you all for your prayers and concern. We are grateful to sense the support of brothers and sisters praying with us and for us. God is good in the good times and bad.

  14. Zack says:

    Hey Trevin,

    I’ve had a couple of months like this in my short life.

    May the God of all grace guard your heart and your mind (and your wife’s) as you represent Jesus well through this!

  15. I am so sorry about your miscarriage and the other trials you’ve faced in July. I will be praying.

  16. Susanna says:

    Wow…I came to your blog post through my brother’s blog challies.com. I will be praying for your family! I can not identify with going through so much pain all at once but know the pain of having a sick child in the hospital with no diagnosis readily available but anyways, our prayers are with your family and for healing over the miscarriage!

  17. Linda Owen says:

    Dear Trevin and Corina,
    I’m so sorry for all the loss and sorrows you’ve been through the past month. Though I only know you through this blog and internet, I feel like you’re family, and weep when you weep. Confident, but still praying, that the Lord will comfort and strengthen you each and every day. Praying for sweet Julia’s speeding recovery.
    Thank you for sharing your lives with us. I just seem to stop bloggng when life gets rough (ie why I haven’t posted anything for over a month), but you are a great testimony of the grace that can be shared by sharing His grace. :-)
    In Him, Linda Owen

  18. John Metz says:

    Trevin,
    “And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it…”

  19. Michael says:

    Praying for you and your family. God is good, even in the midst!

  20. Cristina Matasaru says:

    Trevin,

    I am keeping you, Corina & your kids in my prayers. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, may you find comfort in knowing that God is in control at all times. I know that writing this post could not have been easy for you, but you are an encouragement and a true example to everyone that has read it.

    God bless you and keep you strong!

  21. Sarah says:

    So sorry to read this. You are in our prayers.

  22. Barry says:

    Trevin,

    So heartbroken for you. What a hard month. I hope for your families recovery and strength in the coming months.

    Barry

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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