Friday, April 30, 2010
Just not one of mine.
I went to lunch with Whitney today and we discussed the "why's" of life. Roger and I seem to ask these kind of questions these days. Why us? Why her? Why do innocent children have to deal with this kind of stuff? One constant "why".
Whit pointed out that all trials are for our benefit. We are supposed to learn something from it. I'm pretty sure this is teaching me patience. Whit gave me a quote that hit home.
"Patience is a godly attribute that can heal souls, unlock treasures of knowledge and understanding, and transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels. Patience is truly a fruit of the Spirit.
Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings. It means reining in anger and holding back the unkind word. It means resisting evil, even when it appears to be making others rich.
Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace and faith. It means being "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon us, even as a child doth submit to his father."
Ultimately, patience means being "firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord" every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so. In the words of John the Revelator, 'Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and...faith in Jesus.'
Patience is a process of perfection. Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most."
In rereading my latest posts, I'm realizing they each hold an undertone of sadness and frustration. So I'm doing an attitude adjustment starting today. I am grateful, so very very very grateful I get to "learn patience" through this baby of ours. I wouldn't have it any other way. I still get to cry as much as I want (yes my hormones are helping that along), but they are tears of gratitude as well.
Starting today I am moving forward and accepting this situation with as much "courage, grace and faith" as I can. We have been so blessed. Our hands are tied - there is absolutely nothing we can do to change where life has taken us. So we are counting our lucky stars we have someone to cry over and stress about everyday. We'll face our 'potholes' with some tears, yes - but with hearts full of hope and gratitude!
Pictures to come tonight...
Thursday, April 29, 2010
- Back on the bili lights
- Threatening to go back on the vent - too many breath holding spells
- Lost weight last night
- Stopped feeding her because of the air in her tummy from the cpap = a new humongous tube down her throat to suck out all of the air trapped in her stomach
- Upset baby because she's starving = lots of crying from Brooklyn = lots of tears on my end
- Grayish coloring today = another echo of her heart to see if the PDA has closed yet
I. Am. So. Tired. Of. Crying.
(My daily spot. Love my girl. Excuse my red nose, I'd just been crying when the docs spoke with me.)
(The nice guy doing the echo of her heart has huge hands next to this little body.)
(Precious cargo. )
- Brooklyn peed on her nurse's hand...sorry Jessy! Paybacks for waking her up every three hours, huh? :)
- Yesterday she had her hands over her eyes when I came to see her. I thought she was sleeping. I bent down to peek in the bottom of her isolette and saw one eyeball staring at me. Heehee, so cute.
- Brooklyn immediately calmed down again today after I started talking to her. What I wouldn't give to just hold the cute little runt!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
- She loves to get her hair washed. Holds totally still and doesn't make a peep.
- She has the longest toes, fingers and feet - she curled her toes around Roger's finger last night.
- She opens her eyes each and every time we visit her. Sometimes its only a drunken one eye sort of look, but she definitely recognizes when we're there.
- She has the tiniest cry - just like a kitty cat. Makes me tear up every time she cries. Usually the cry involves a humongous, full body pouty lip before she lets loose. Such a stinkin cutie.
- When she does cry, its usually during diaper changes. But if Roger or I cover her body with our hands and talk to her, she stops crying.
- She gained 20 grams last night. When the nurse said this out loud, she instantly started crying. Typical girl already - cries when she sees the numbers on the scale! :)
Sunday, April 25, 2010
One downer from today, her raw nose is getting worse...enough that the Wound Team will have to see her in the morning. Darn that Cpap!
(Look at our girl stretch, she's got some serious length to her! Any bets she'll take after her daddy?)
Saturday, April 24, 2010
(Preemies this size don't like to be softly touched, they prefer to be "contained" we were taught. It makes them feel like they are back in the womb, hence the reason my hands are scrunching her up into a ball.)
(A little blow by oxygen while the cpap is off)
(Not a happy girl during the bath, but boy did she love getting her hair washed. Don't we all love a head massage? She looks absolutely annoyed here, look at that frown! :) )
And another "first"...Roger plays in a softball league once a week - this stud of a husband of mine hit a homerun at the first game of the year! Congrats Rog!
Friday, April 23, 2010
This morning I found myself on my knees in our bathroom cleaning our toilet. Figured I might as well make myself useful while I have six weeks off from work. I had called to get the morning update from our cute nurse. Nothing big to report, just the usual breath holding spells while Brooklyn's body is trying to figure out how to do things it shouldn't have to do this early in life. But I felt bad because the Cpap is rubbing her little nose raw - they had to put some foam there to avoid any further skin breakdown.
As I scrubbed the toilet, I started to cry. These little episodes tend to hit me when I least expect it. So there I am, in my underwear, gloved and scrubbing away, and I found myself on my knees in prayer right there on the bathroom floor. I was sobbing to my Father in Heaven. For what? I wasn't sure what I needed most - a hug or to know that our sweet baby wasn't in pain. Is this how he felt when he watched his son suffer on the cross for the sins of the world? Did the image of me on my bathroom floor cross through my Savior's mind as he suffered for my sins?
I think what hit me the most as I picked myself up off the floor and got into the shower was the concept of trust. Do our cute nurses up at Primary's realize the amount of trust parents have in them as they care for the most important thing in their lives? Do the doctors realize their decisions can make or break my day? Our "primary" nurses are the absolute best. We love them. Roger and I would make them sleep at the hospital if we could. I look at them everyday caring for our daughter and wonder if they have any idea the thoughts running through my head. I silently plead with them to be gentle with Brooklyn. To comfort her when I can't. To minimize her suffering. To keep her little body working. Because this sweet little face is all we've got, she is our world....
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
These were the words we were told yesterday. Relief. Brooklyn's head scan was yesterday afternoon. This test tells us if she had any brain bleeds as a result of being born so premature. Yet another blessing from the Lord, how grateful we are!
Today's progress.....off the ventilator again! Back to the piggy nose of Cpap. We still think our little runt is cute, piggy nose or not. :)
(Right before they took out the breathing tube. She had just filled a diaper - seriously, how does that much poop come out such a little bum? You can see how little she is compared to the nurse's hand.)
Monday, April 19, 2010
She's tolerating her feedings (through the orange tube in her mouth that leads to her stomach) and finally pooped today! Yay for poop! She also had an echo of her heart that was normal, only a mild PDA that will close on its own.
She's still needing the ventilator, her body just isn't ready to breathe on her own. She also tends to hold her breath when she's upset - which she did today. Bad. She actually won over the vent (which is supposed to breathe for her) and they had to bag her. Little stinkpot. But we still love her! Keep up the fiesty attitude missy!
Right after she stopped breathing, they got her calmed down and she opened her eyes to look at me. I got it on video. Cute little booger. She looks annoyed, like she's thinking "What, aren't I allowed to hold my breath when I'm mad?"
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Roger. My sweet husband. My constant in this trial. He cried for me, kept me updated when he went to see her six hours after birth. He held me and hugged me, knowing eventually I'd break. The below picture is about 12 hours after delivery. My smile is pasted on, and we're both exhausted.
They let me go home yesterday. Finally. I brought home my flowers and took a picture of my own little floral shop. (Many thanks again for those, they brought a ray of sunshine into our dark days.)
So back to the subject of grief. The part where I knew I'd break came last night. Roger gave our daughter a blessing with the help of his dad last night. And I all out lost it. Couldn't stop crying. My shattered heart was all over the floor. The blessing was beautiful and promised good things. Now its up to us to have faith in those promises. But I sobbed and sobbed anyway. I cried the entire ride home. I cried when we finally climbed into bed and Roger held me close. I cried for my baby who was suffering as they put the ventilator back down her throat. I cried this morning at 5:00am as I got up to pump. I sat on the floor of our living room with swollen eyes and wondered how I even had that many tears in me. I cried again when I climbed back into bed and Roger held my hand in the dark.
Grief...how do you prepare for such a thing?
I also realized I am so very angry. Bitter, upset and angry. I feel so cheated. We don't get to enjoy the "firsts". Roger has never been exposed to a preemie, and he's missing out on precious moments because she'll be in a hospital for months. I feel this little girls grandparents are cheated. My parents have done this three times before (Meg and I were 30 weekers, Callie was a 27 weeker). Haven't we had our share? Sweet Susan and Gary, my cute in laws...they took it all in stride seeing her for the first time in her little incubator last night. Thank you Gary for assisting Roger with the blessing.
I feel this precious little soul is being cheated. Is she suffering? Is she in pain? I know without a doubt Heavenly Father is comforting her and sending guardian angels to watch over her. But my heart aches like it never has before to see her being poked and prodded.
I feel guilty. What did I do that caused her to come early? Will we ever know? Is it my fault? Should I have done something different? Is my pain tolerance high enough that it took dilating to an 8 to get me to the hopsital? Could they have stopped my labor if I had gone in sooner? These thoughts eat away at me. But I know what's done is done and I have to move on with hope and faith that she will pull through despite my faults.
But - I also can see some humor in this whole thing. I giggled as we walked into her room last night and saw her looking like this:
She looks like an elf with some serious stylish glasses. Notice the chin strap? Yah, that lovely thing is holding up her double chin so the Cpap won't come right back out her mouth. So funny. She looks so comfy here, all nestled in her bed and chillin under the bili lights. Such a cute little squirt huh? Oh how we love her!
Again, thank you to everyone who has supported us in every possible way. It's humbling to be on the receiving end of a situation like this. We are overwhelmed and so deeply grateful for your love and prayers.
P.S... We named her Brooklyn. :)
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Born Wednesday April 14th at 1:48am
Where do we start? I think a huge thank you should come first. Thank you to all of our family, friends, neighbors and many others for your gifts, visits, cards, flowers, phone calls, text messages and support! We are humbled. We are grateful. We are so very lucky to know each and every one of you. We are amazed by how thoughtful people can be. We have never felt so loved. A simple thank you doesn't do it justice, but its all we can say for now. So from the bottom of our broken hearts, we say THANK YOU!
The actual story should probably come next...
I worked Tuesday afternoon and had some mild pains at work. Initially I thought nothing of them. They didn't really hurt and didn't last long enough to make me think twice. I got home around nine and plopped on the couch. The pains were still there, so I started timing. For a whole hour. I finally told Roger that we may have a problem on our hands. My contractions were four minutes apart by this point. A quick phone call to both of our moms, followed by one to the hospital put us in the labor and delivery unit around 11:30pm. After the usual round of tests, the "down there" exam was done last. It was at this point that my darling nurse changed from calm - to panicked.
I was dilated to an 8! And I was only 28 weeks! Everything fell apart from there...though I must say the chaos was very smooth and quiet. We were immediately surrounded by a team of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, a pediatric team and more. Being a nurse, I knew what that scared look behind each of their eyes said. This was not good. This wasn't even termed worse. We were in crisis mode, this was a true emergency.
They wisked me away to a delivery room to prep me for transfer via life flight to IMC so the baby could be handed over to their NICU. But my OB wanted one last ultrasound before they rolled me out to the helicopter pad. With that decision came more trouble...the baby was breech. So they turned me right back around and literally ran me straight to the OR. If my water broke in route to the hopsital, it could kill us both. I was stripped down to nothing in preparation for an emergency c-section. Life Flight from Primary Childrens Hospital was called and on their way. We sat gowned, gloved, and sterile until we heard the helicopter hovering over the hopsital. Then they cut me open, took our precious baby girl out and handed her over to the pediatric resucitation team. At my request they showed Roger and I her face during the transfer from one doctor to the other.
Words don't express what it felt like to hear her cry. I lost it. Roger lost it. We were a total wreck. They intubated her right there in the OR and handed her over to the life flight team to stabilize her. Twenty minutes later they rolled our precious daughter into my delivery room to get one last look at her before they flew the seven minutes to PCMC. We took pictures and got to touch her tiny foot. They loaded her into the helicopter and she was gone.
So where is she now and how is she doing? She is in the NICU at Primary Childrens. She's a tiny little thing with no name yet. For now she's Baby Girl Gardner. We are hopeful yet cautious. We are devastated that our little one decided to join our family so early, but we are still proud parents! She may have the preemie look, but she's a cute little peewee to us.
We will post more pics and updates tomorow.
Again, thank you to our families that got out of bed and drove up to an hour to be there during the delivery. Going home from the hopsital at 4:00am isn't easy, so our thanks go to you first. To our own parents, thank you for your generosity and examples. What would we do without family?
To my Heavenly Father, thank you for entrusting us with one of your precious spirits. We love her more than we ever thought possible. We are humbled beyond words that she was sent to us, no matter how difficult her road may be.
To our baby girl, we love you and pray for you constantly. Keep up your fighting spirit. We are thrilled to have you in our family!