Copyright ©2003 Linda Wightman

When they put the sugar back into baby food, I should have known it was a bad sign.

Progress is often a tidal creek, not a river. Advancement is not inevitable. We gain in one era, or in one area, and lose in another.

The late 1970's and early 80's were good years for having babies in America. Women had rediscovered that childbirth is a good thing, a normal function, and were dragging their doctors along with them. Hospitals scrambled to keep up.

We were the rebels, the revolutionaries. The children of the 60's grown up. Our parents had been cheated by medical and cultural "advancement", giving birth under anesthesia, flat on their backs on a delivery table, their legs unnaturally elevated. Labor was often artificially induced, and the cesarean section rate was high. Once born, the babies were whisked away to nurseries, tended by professional nurses and fed commercial formula. As soon as possible their diets included solid food-commercial baby food, loaded with sugar and salt to suit the mother's taste.

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Posted by Jon Daley on January 10, 2003, 12:00 pm | Read 991908 times | Comments (1)
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A number of you have asked why is this happening, ie. how did the district attorney, coroner, homicide detective and police officers get involved in the first place. Good question. One might wonder...

Whenever 911 is called involving a baby, they send police officers along with medical support, to investigate a possible child abuse situation. So, Heather and our midwife were separated and questioned by a homicide detective. (Heather was naked, cold and hungry, but the police refused her requests, except to allow her to get a towel to cover herself)

After Isaac died, the coroner performed an autopsy, as is required by law, whenever the cause of death is not evident. An inquest was then done, to determine whether or not a crime had been committed, and whether there was someone to blame for it or not.

The coroner said that our midwife had been "grossly negligent" in her care of Heather and Isaac, and therefore should be charged criminally. Fortunately, much of the evidence that was presented at the hearing was extremely biased at best, and outright lies at worst. During an inquest, there is not an opportunity for the "defense" to cross-examine, as an inquest isn't supposed to have a prosecution and defense, but everybody there knew which person was on which side. Due to the incompetence of the district attorney and the coroner's office, many witnesses were not able to attend the hearing as they had not been told about the hearing the first time, and then the second time, they were subpeonead 12 hours in advance of the hearing.

The coroner passes along his recommendation to the district attorney, (who was the prosecutor in the inquest), and the district attorney decided whether or not he thinks that he can win a criminal trial, as he doesn't want to lose a trial, because that looks bad for him politically, and as the he is hoping to be elected judge someday, he is very conscious of the publicity that he gets.

The district attorney and coroner fully understand that the only witnesses to this event believe that no crime was committed, but we live in a country where our liberties are slowly being eroded away as time goes on, and we will soon have no rights to make our own decisions, if they conflict with the popular beliefs of the times. Hm... seems a little similar to Ayn Rand's, "Atlas Shrugged". Different issues, but similar in terms of the political/social/liberty issues.

Posted by Jon Daley on January 6, 2003, 8:00 pm | Read 168531 times | Comments (0)
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An open inquest has been scheduled for February 6th. From various sources, it seems that the point of this inquest is to see about indicting our midwife.

Prayer requests:
  That the coroner would not find any/enough reason to recommend that the District Attorney continue this to trial.

Posted by Jon Daley on January 4, 2003, 12:00 pm | Read 3311 times | Comments (0)
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That there wouldn't be a coroner's inquest at all
That if there is, the court would look favorably upon our midwife and ourselves
Posted by Jon Daley on December 13, 2002, 5:00 pm | Read 4328 times | Comments (0)
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We are continually amazed at how God has prepared us for this time. Sometimes we just sit back and laugh, at how God has taught us various scripture over the last couple of months, and while they had some meaning then, were really meant for now. And how He gave them to various people to share with us, thinking they were sharing some new, great revelation they had had while praying for us, and really (while it was a great revelation) it was reminding us of how God has previously taught us something, and how we needed to stick by Him and have faith that He will bring us through.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future" -- Jeremiah 29:11

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -- Romans 15:13

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -- Matthew 6:34

"They [Your mercies] are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness" -- Lamentations 3:23

I think there are a couple more, but I cannot think of them now.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 27, 2002, 8:00 pm | Read 3440 times | Comments (3)
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We were, and continue to be, overwhelmed by the support we have received from all of you.
From the numerous:
  • phone calls
  • emails
  • visits to the hospital and home
    Sometimes staying for hours or overnight
  • prayer lists to which we have been added
  • food showing up in our refrigerator and doorstep
  • prayers
  • encouraging scripture verses
  • removing air conditioners that were leaking cold air into our house
  • caulking our bathtub
  • grocery shopping
  • miscellaneous shopping
  • arranging housing for family
  • driving us places
  • cleaning
  • flowers
  • And other various requested tasks being joyfully completed
God is amazing: I know we have been covered in prayer on 5 continents. I figure Antarctica might be a little hard to find someone, and I don't know of anyone in South America praying for us, but after I have heard about all the people who have been praying for us, I wouldn't be all that surprised if there is someone there too. (Thanks to Nancy Brutt for offering to email someone in South America... (: ) (More)
Posted by Jon Daley on November 27, 2002, 8:00 pm | Read 63204 times | Comments (0)
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I think the hardest day was Friday, and even though Isaac died yesterday, and we have various ups and downs throughout this day and days to come, I think we have come to be more at peace about everything.


If you are wondering -- yes, we would like visitors. Call first to check if some particular time is alright, generally we have said people should not come in the early afternoon, so Heather can get rest. 412-683-2201.

Prayer requests:
  That the coroner's investigation about whether there was any cases of neglect would be over quickly.
  That Heather would recover quickly, and with as little pain as possible.
  That Judy, our midwife, would not turn away from God in confusion, but rather let herself be tightly embraced by Him.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 24, 2002, 12:00 pm | Read 10292 times | Comments (0)
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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Romans 15:13

Not much changed last night, although Isaac's heartbeat did return to a normal pace. The doctors have said that in general, all other organs besides the brain can recover reasonably well from a period of lack of oxygen, and that seems to be true for Isaac.

Had a sort of hard conversation with the neurologist and organ donation person today. I guess I just switch into a "medical mode" when I am talking with them, which makes it easier to think and cope with the information I receive.

The doctors have said that basically Isaac has been dead since Thursday, although the jerking movements he makes regularly, which are based just on nerves, and not brain activity, are all that keep him from being clinically brain dead.
We asked to have him taken off the ventilator early this afternoon. Prior to that, we requested that they remove the EEG wires from his head, and remove the various monitors and IV lines.
He was also weighed and measured, since that hadn't been done before. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 13 ounces. (Heather sometimes affectionately refers to him as "The Chunk")
The three of us (mom, Heather and I) were able to wash him, which was quite nice, although it wasn't a whole lot of fun to have to pull the glue (from the EEG wires) and various other sticky things left over from birth off of him.

The doctor said that after they turned off the air, and we had gone into a small, private room, that he would have to come in every half hour and check his heart rate. I tried to get them to not do that, and told them that I was able to check his heartbeat, but they didn't believe me. So, the doctor did come in once, and after taking forever to calculate the heartrate, started explaining it was low (I was listening periodically, so I knew it was slowing down), and I encouraged him to not bother explaining and leave, but he didn't seem to hear. Eventually, the nurse dragged him out and closed the door. Yay for Cathy (that was one of Isaac's nurses).

Isaac did cry once while we were in the private room. It was really great to hear him cry, as he hadn't cried prior to that at all. He died after about an hour (3:32PM).

John and Alissa Kuhns had been reading in scripture, the various times where people, particularly children had been raised from the dead, and so had asked us last night if John could come in to pray for Isaac after he died. We figured that we would be faithful in following God's word, and believing in Him, that He can work miracles if He so chooses, so we accepted John's offer. As John was praying, I looked at Heather and saw her the most beautiful I have ever seen her. She was thinking of the second verse of "I Offer My Isaac" and raising her arms as high as she could, saying, "My hands are free to praise You now."

However, God, in His sovereignty, chose to not raise Him from the dead. Nevertheless, I pray that God would be glorified in and through Isaac's life with us.


Prayer requests:
  That all the official stuff that needs to be done, autopsy (required -- tried to get out of it, but I am told it is the law), funeral home, paperwork, etc. would not be a hard process, but would go quickly
  That we and the rest of our family, would be able to grieve, but also through God's mercy, rejoice always, giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 23, 2002, 10:00 pm | Read 5577 times | Comments (1)
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In His time, in His time,
He makes all things beautful in His time.
Lord, please show me every day,
As You're teaching me Your way,
That You do just what You say, in Your time.

In Your time, in Your time,
You make all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord, my life to You I bring.
May each song I have to sing
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 23, 2002, 10:00 pm | Read 125143 times | Comments (24)
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When I arrived at the hospital, they told me that what they said the night before was not true. (of course they didn't admit that, rather just a "clarification" of what they had said) When they said he had low brain activity and possibly the phenobarbitol was attentuating the activity, what they meant was, he had no brain activity and the small of amount of phenobarbitol wouldn't really have affected it all that much.

It was somewhat devastating. Ok, not somewhat. A couple people called this morning and asked if they should come in, and I had told them it was ok, they could stay were they were for a while. So, I ended up by myself at the hospital. I didn't really know what to do, so I went outside for a walk. I wanted to tell Heather, but not over the phone. (Heather was still home due to the expected soreness, etc) I walked to Bellefield Presbyterian, where I had attended for a bit while in college. I got to talk to B.J. Woodworth, and he was able to make some phone calls for me (because I was basically unable to form complete sentences). I called home and unfortunately scared them into thinking that he had died, because I said it was bad, but wasn't really able to get the rest out. BJ drove me home, and I was able to be with Heather and tell her about stuff for a while. Then he drove me back to the hospital.

Mike Pierson, my pastor, was there, and Rob Moore, who hadn't heard the latest news, was also there, and they stayed until I left the hospital late tonight.

Heather was able(!) to make it to the hospital today, we had expected that she wouldn't be able to get there until tomorrow. It was really good for her to hold and cuddle Isaac.

Mom arrived early this evening, and we are so glad that she was able to make it as well. It really meant a lot to her to be able to hold him, and give him the afghan she knitted for him.

Mom spent the night at the hospital, probably held Isaac most of the time. I went home to be with Heather.

Prayer requests:
  That we would have God's strength to uphold us for an impending decision about what to do about keeping him on life support

Posted by Jon Daley on November 22, 2002, 10:00 pm | Read 5409 times | Comments (2)
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In Christ Alone (by Stuart Townend)

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 22, 2002, 9:05 am | Read 5197 times | Comments (0)
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Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all my deepest parts
Give praise to the One Who pulled You out of darkness
chorus of Tender Mercy, by Ben and Robin Pasley

But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33-34

Isaac remained stable throughout the night. They gave up trying to get an arterial catheter in, they said his blood is great, so maybe they don't need it after all (they spent probably 4 hours yesterday trying to get one in)

I will be on my way to the hospital shortly, Heather is still home, doing fine, sore, but got up by herself this morning.

My mom is flying into Pittsburgh this afternoon and will be at the hospital with us.

Heather recorded a video of herself singing, "Jesus Loves You, This I Know", so I can play it for Isaac when I get to the hospital.

Prayer requests:
That Isaac would move today. The doctor said yesterday that if he moves within the first 24 hours, things are looking really good.
That Heather and I can stayed focused on Him, and all the blessings that He has showered us with.
That the Lord would use me in my conversations with the other parents in the NICU. Some who are there are very scared and think they have little to hope for.

Posted by Jon Daley on November 22, 2002, 9:00 am | Read 4086 times | Comments (0)
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'I Offer My Isaac' by Stacey Regan: (Genesis 22)

I offer my Isaac, here on your altar
Removed from my shoulders, bound for the slaughter
I surrender my Isaac, here on your altar
Freely I offer the love of my heart.

My hands are free to praise you wholly now
to receive what you have for me
Whether you take or return my Isaac oh Lord
On your altar my heart will still be
On your altar my heart will still be

Posted by Jon Daley on November 21, 2002, 10:05 pm | Read 24204 times | Comments (1)
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Isaac was born 2:05PM, November 21st, 2002. No one has measured or weighed him, but we are guessing 8 pounds, and probably 21-22 inches in length.

He was not breathing when he was born, and after receiving oxygen for a minute, 911 was called, and he was rushed to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

When we arrived, he was still not breathing, had a slow heart rate (100bpm), and was 10 degrees colder than normal.

He is in somewhat stable condition now, heart rate quickly picked up to relatively normal (140bpm), and has warmed up. However, now his heart rate is fast (210bpm), working really hard to get blood through his small/restricted blood vessels.

They had some trouble getting needles in for various fluids in and out, but they seem to be happy with the condition now.

They are concerned about some jerky movements he was making originally, and have run an EEG test (that is what lots of the wires on him in the picture are). Due to a sedative they gave him, his brain activity is low, so they are going to run the test again tomorrow for hopefully improved brain activity, with no signs of seizures.

Heather is fine, as much as could be expected after giving birth. She is tired, emotionally too. I have brought pictures and a short video (thank you Grandpa Wightman for the camera) home to show her, as she is not up to moving a whole lot yet.

I spent the whole day at the hospital, and the night with Heather at home. So many of you have cared for us so much. To those of you who have asked how can you help, please pray. I don't know what else to ask for. Alissa Kuhns is currently staying with Heather while I am gone, but she could probably use some help every once in a while.

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11

Posted by Jon Daley on November 21, 2002, 10:00 pm | Read 17792 times | Comments (0)
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