Daily Archives: August 30, 2010

The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 9 – Day of Life 192

Here’s another update for you from Craig DeLisi about his unborn child Anastasha, who has been diagnosed with anencephaly, for which there is no cure or treatment. Craig is now letting us know of how many days she’s been alive, from the date of her conception. I hope you’ll join with me in keeping the DeLisis in your prayers. Here’s the latest:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  Daniel 3:16-18

I love this story from Scripture.  You may remember that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up an idol to be worshiped by everyone in Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful Jews, serving in his palace. Their faith and trust in Yahweh prevented them from worshiping a false God, even in the face of the penalty of death.

I’ve read this story to the kids many times, always as a story of great faith and how to stand up for righteousness even in dire situations. But when I read it this time, something else stood out about it to me.

When they told King Nebuchadnezzar that their God would rescue them, they quickly followed up with “But even if He does not, we … will not serve your gods”.

This is profound to me.

I really think that they truly believed that their God could rescue them from their danger and eminent death. But standing there next to the furnace, they also realized there was a really good chance that they wouldn’t be delivered and would perish in flames.

And they wanted the heathen king to know that even if they weren’t saved, their God was still good and true and worthy of all of their worship.

Beautiful faith … not presumption in what God was GOING to do, but what He COULD do.

We know the rest of the story, God the Son shows up in the fire, delivers them miraculously, and the king made a decree in Babylon that they or anyone else could worship the God of Israel.

We feel the same way.

Our “blazing furnace”, anencephaly, isn’t threatening our lives, but that of our daughter. And even though it doesn’t threaten to kill the rest of us, it does threaten to consume us. We believe deeply that God CAN heal and deliver us FROM this. But we also know that even if He doesn’t, He will deliver us THROUGH it.

Either way, we expect our Jesus to be walking with us in the flames.

But regardless of what He chooses, we trust that He is good and worthy of our praise and worship … NO MATTER WHAT.

On another note, we had a 4-D ultrasound last Friday.

Tonya’s parents got to meet their granddaughter via the computer. The whole thing was more emotional than I expected it to be.

We’ve seen Anastasha countless times on the ultrasound at my hospital after hours for fun, but something was different about going to a medical facility and doing it “officially”.

Everyone there knew about Anastasha’s condition and were wonderful. Tonya cried on my shoulder before laying down for the test. It was, as she described it to a friend, “beautiful and painful”. I agree.

It was beautiful to see her moving around, full of life. But it was painful to see in three dimensions the details of the malformation that will likely take her from us.

Please pray for us. We are going away for a little while. Tonya is about 30 weeks pregnant now and, like all her other pregnancies at this stage, is contracting regularly. I’d REALLY rather not deliver this little one myself, 2 months premature, in Alabama or Florida. Pray that her contractions would settle down please and that she would be more comfortable as she has been having some increased amounts of “normal” pain lately.

And pray that our faith and trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God would be increased in this situation. There are days when our faith seems smaller than a mustard seed.

Craig

Here’s the entire series of amazing stories:

Recommendations for Adult Doses of Vitamin D Increasing

According to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Vitamin D doses recommended for routine supplementation in adults will continue to move higher.

Many experts, including me, have long been calling for higher doses.

Now new guidelines from Osteoporosis Canada recommend up to 1000 IU/day for adults under age of 50 and up to 2000 IU/day for adults over 50.

The Institute of Medicine in the US is also expected to raise recommendations sometime soon.

For now, the NMCD experts recommend 1000-2000 IU/day for most adults and 400 IU/day for most infants and children.

Family Research Council Responds to British Fetal Pain Study, Says It’s Flawed

According to a report from LifeNews, the Family Research Council has released a new report that refutes claims made recently by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) saying an unborn child is not able to feel pain before 24 weeks of development.

FRC is concerned that detractors are using RCOG’s study to uphold Britain’s current legalization of abortions up to 24 weeks.

The pro-life organization is also worried abortion advocates in the United States could also try to use this study to argue against Nebraska’s new law that states an unborn baby can feel pain at 20 weeks and which, as a result, prohibits abortions from that point.

Jeanne Monahan, the director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, responded to the study saying it is seriously flawed and could lead to a profound moral injustice, the more cavalier taking of unborn life.

She told LifeNews.com, “The [RCOG] report appears to be politically timed and motivated, given the growing momentum in the U.K. to protect the life of the unborn by lowering the time limits for legal abortion.”

Monahan says RCOG gets away with saying unborn children can’t feel by by “using a faulty definition of pain in this study.”

“A number of experts in the field of fetal development, who were not consulted for this report, previously have refuted the idea that the cortex needs to be fully developed for an unborn baby to feel pain,” she noted.

“On the contrary, it is possible that unborn babies between 20-30 weeks of development can experience greater pain than a full-term newborn or older child.”

“At 20-30 weeks, an unborn child possesses the highest number of pain receptors per square inch he or she will ever possess, and the baby’s nerve fibers are located closest to the surface of the skin,” she said.

Monahan suggests RCOG is trying to “dehumanize the baby to make abortion appear somehow more palatable” even though “the truth remains that abortion is a violent and painful procedure for the infant and mother.”

“The humanness of the unborn child is not contingent on its capacity for pain. Whether or not an unborn child can feel pain is irrelevant to the respect that an unborn person deserves – respect sufficient to be protected by law from conception until natural death,” Monahan concluded.

Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into the concept of fetal pain and published the first reports in the 1980s to validate research show evidence for it.

He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at “eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier” and that a baby before birth “under the right circumstances, is capable of crying.”

Dr. Vincent J. Collins, Zielinski and attorney Thomas J. Marzen were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.

“The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child’s development in the womb,” they wrote.

“Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body,” they continued.

With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.

The issue of fetal pain has captured headlines thanks to a landmark law enacted by the Nebraska legislature in April which restricts abortion after twenty weeks declaring that the state has a compelling interest in the life of a pain-capable unborn child at and after twenty weeks.

New Flu Shot Guidelines Are Out For Children

According to a report in HealthDay News, all children and adolescents 6 months of age and older should receive the annual trivalent influenza vaccine this flu season. The updated recommendations are from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The AAP also says special efforts should be made to immunize anyone who falls into the following categories:

  • all family members, household contacts, and out-of-home care providers of children younger than 5 years of age;
  • children with high-risk conditions such as asthma, diabetes and neurological disorders;
  • health care workers; and
  • pregnant women.

These groups are most vulnerable to flu-related complications, the academy pointed out in a news release.

Two influenza vaccines were recommended last year but only one trivalent vaccine is being made for the 2010-11 seasonal influenza vaccine schedule.

In this year’s trivalent vaccine, the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) strain has replaced last year’s influenza A (H1N1) strain. The new vaccine also includes two other strains of flu virus.

The seasonal flu vaccine policy statement was just released online and will be published in the October print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Other recommendations included in the policy statement are as follows:

  • Children younger than 6 months of age should not receive influenza vaccine because they are too young.
  • For children 9 years of age and older, only one dose is needed.
  • For children younger than 9 years but older than 6 months, a minimum of two doses of 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine is needed. If they already received the H1N1 vaccine during last year’s flu season, one dose of vaccine is needed this year, otherwise they will need two doses of seasonal influenza vaccine this year.
  • Those under 9 years of age who have never received the seasonal flu vaccine before will need two doses this year.
  • Children younger than 9 years who received seasonal flu vaccine last year for the first time, but only received one dose, should receive two doses this year.
  • Also, those under 9 years who received a flu vaccine last year, but for whom it is unclear whether it was a seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 flu vaccine, should receive two doses this year.

All children who are recommended to get two doses this year should receive the second dose at least four weeks after the first dose.

For more information, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about seasonal flu and vaccination here.