Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elder Chris


How Are You Doing?

Roger and I get asked this question a lot. Thank you for asking, we appreciate your concern for us. Our answer? We're good when Brooklyn is most days we're good.

Today we're good.

But I use this blog to be as honest as I feel is appropriate for online information. So tonight will be an honest one. Tonight I am running the full spectrum of emotions.

I'm tired. As in I need sleep. I didn't realize how much so until I got into my car after work tonight and realized I was physically running on empty. I cried on the way home, I'm sure from sheer exhaustion.

I'm grateful. For my job... if you can believe that during our current circumstances. I thought it would be terrible working and knowing she was right above me. But I feel so comforted knowing she is so close in case there were an emergency. I'm also grateful for the distraction it gives me. I have no choice but to focus on my patients, I'm caring for someone else's son or daughter - I can empathize with them more than they realize. Work also allows me to pass the time quicker. How sad that I say that, but Brooklyn is in a rough stage. We're literally watching her grow. And it is the slowest most frustrating process to watch.

She's still holding her breath, maybe once or twice a day. Bother.

I'm frustrated. Maybe that's not the right word. But its that feeling you have when you plop your elbows on the table, put your chin in your hands, and give a big sigh. Do you get what I mean? I woke up at 4:30 this morning so I could visit with the baby before the NICU kicked me out at 6:30 for shift change. My shift started at 7:00. So I had a half an hour to think. I sat in the pumping room across from the NICU and felt so blah. I am so tired of the waiting.

I'm sad that that little peanut has never seen the sun. Or heard any other sound besides the NICU room she's spent 10 weeks in. I'm sad that she's constantly being bugged. And I'm amazed that she would still be in me for another week and a half had she stayed in and incubated longer. Her birth feels like it was forever ago. Wow.

I'm grateful for what life has given us. For the little miracles and gifts we have been blessed with these last few months. I'm still in awe that she belongs to us. The days have dragged by, but the weeks have flown by.

So tonight, I'm going to take a tub (yes I know its so blasted hot outside, but tubs destress me), watch some tv, have a good long catch up talk with Roger, and cuddle on the couch before bed. I've slacked on being a good spouse these last few weeks, so tonight I'm focusing on the other most important person in my life.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day


--From me and Brooklyn--

Roger: Who would have imagined this is how you would spend your first Fathers Day? Thank you for all you do, your hard work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I love watching you melt into a softy each time you see the baby. I love that you are the ultimate gentleman, even after all of the years we've known each other. I appreciate the sacrifices you have made for me, for us, for our future. I am proud to be married to you. Thank you for giving me my "happily ever after".

Dad: How many girls in this world get to say they are friends with their dad? Thank you for your support, for your constantly positive outlook on life, for always making sure I'm okay - no matter how big or small my current crisis may be. I appreciate the lunches, the trips, the chats, the text messages. So grateful to you for all you have taught me. Can't wait for your first granddaughter to call you Grandpa Cort! :)

Gary: Every girl's perfect father-in-law. What more could I ask for? Thank you for accepting me into your family, for raising Roger to be who he is today. Thank you for treating Susan so incredibly well...your sons have learned this from you. I get to benefit from your example! Thank you for all you have done for us during the last few months!

And some pictures of the little lady that allows us to celebrate Fathers Day with a little more emphasis in it!

For those who have asked how Brooklyn is doing, thank you for your care and concern. She is doing much much better. She is off all airway help, including Caffeine (again). We are on the countdown to....dare I say it....home. We can't get excited yet, she still has some work to do with her feeding issues. And has to go seven days off of Caffeine without a breath holding spell. Her original due date is in two weeks - should I make one of those countdown chains?? :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Breathing Easier

We're breathing better, all three of us.

Brooklyn is doing great - off the high flow, off oxygen, and hopefully off the nasal canula completely by tonight! She is still pretty swollen from the enormous amount of blood they gave her, but she's getting back to her petite self. I'm starting to think the double chin is going to stick around, though. :)

Aunt Michelle, notice the outfit? They are the only ones that fit her at the moment. Brooke, yours will be next as soon as she puts on a bit more weight. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Better Day

Brooklyn is doing better today. So we are, too. I'm gonna have ulcers and permanent lines in my forehead from all of this, but at least she's okay.

So what happened?? No idea. But who cares as long as she's improving.

Our attending, Dr. Null, thinks this is a result of stopping her Theofolin. This was the drug that helped with her breath holding in getting her off the vent. It breaks down into a combination of caffeine and albuterol. So are we restarting it? At this point - no. He's going to let her weather the storm, ride it out...whatever you want to call it. I almost want to call it withdrawal. Her body is recognizing that the drug is out of her system and didn't have enough blood volume to keep her going - hence the blood transufsion. Basically, she was stressed, and yesterday tipped her over the edge.

Geez, tip me over the edge next time! Leave the poor girl alone. Let us suffer in her place please. (Wish we could really suffer in their places, life would be so much easier if the innocent ones didn't have to experience pain for something they didn't do! Makes me appreciate the atonement so much more.)

So today is just another day. Weaning her off the high flow. Weaning her back to room air. Letting her bottle feed again maybe tonight. And hopefully getting our little marshmallow baby back to her normal face size - the extra fluids gave her a third chin. :)

P.S. She is five pounds as of last night...

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Open mouth. Put foot in.

So much for that last post. I hate to see the number listed on the title on the caller ID. Got a phone call at 9:30 this morning. I couldn't answer because I was pumping, my favorite thing ever. Then Roger's phone started ringing. I instantly knew something was wrong. The hospital never calls that early, or both phones.

Brooklyn is septic. What is that? It's an infection, causing her body to start functioning - how should I say this - crappy. No idea where the infection is yet. After lots of pokes, a catheter for a urine sample, a blood transfusion and an attempt at a spinal tap, we are waiting for the results.

She is on actual oxygen for the first time in her little life. She's also back on high flow - 5 liters! She's held her breath multiple times in the last 18 hours - some requiring bagging. At this rate, she is headed back for the ventilator. Her blood pressure is low, she is mottled, she is lethargic. A nurse's worst nightmare. A parent's worst fear. Well one of them.

Crap. Crap. Crap.

My chest hurts tonight. My eyes sting and my nose is raw. I feel like I can't get a full breath from the stress she is causing us today. I need to wrap my poor heart and lungs in something to hold me together. My milk supply is down to nothing.

Oh the power of prayer. And fasting. And priesthood blessings. Roger gave her a blessing, how we need these things to work in her favor! I cannot, absolutely cannot, handle this anymore!! I am broken.

One small hope? That all of this may be from stopping her Theofolin medication Thursday afternoon. Maybe she needs that extra little help to breathe. I hope its as simple to fix as that.

Please pray for her tonight. Our own private hell has been watching her suffer today.

No smiles from us today. This was just last night, amazing how quickly she took a nosedive.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Long One

This will be a long one. I'm catching up for a week's worth of progress. Work prevents me from updating as often as I should. Brooklyn has taken some big steps this week.
  • Finally taking a bottle, every other feed for now. If she's awake, she downs it all. If she's even a tiny bit sleepy, its a no go.
  • She's packing on the pounds. Well grams to be exact. Yesterday she weighed 4lbs. 11 oz. She's gonna break the scale one of these days. :)
  • Finally discussing home. Her due date is in 3 1/2 weeks - crazy that she's been in the hospital so long. They stopped a medication Thursday night...she has to be off this for two weeks before coming no breath holding for seven days. Here's hoping she'll be home by my birthday (July 1st)!

As we get closer to bringing her home, my heart has been full, my head spinning with the miracles we've seen in the last eight weeks. Trials are not fun, you would never ask for one. Yet I can say with a heart full of gratitude that we are thankful, not for the trial itself, but for the experience. This has been a roller coaster of emotions...

Fear, Sadness, Anger, Frustration, Discouraged, Bitterness, Despair, Hopelessness, Helplessness.

Yet, I can list many more positive emotions...

Joy, Relief, Hope, Utter Happiness, Humbleness, Gratitude, Blessed, Peaceful, Content, Lucky, Optimistic.

Trials will either make or break your marriage. Roger has been absolutely awesome during this, it has bonded us in a way I never thought possible. We have cried more in the last eight weeks than ever before. We have prayed together with more faith and hope than ever before. Trials bring out your worst side, yet Roger has loved me despite my weaknesses.

Trials also show you your strengths and weaknesses. I'm realizing I'm not good at being the parent of a patient. I'm not cut out for this kind of stuff. The smallest steps in the wrong direction put me in tears. I'm a "suffer in silence" kind of person. I struggle asking for help. So getting on my knees each morning and night, asking my Heavenly Father for help and blessings was difficult for me. I hated to be burdensome. Yet, during those times when I felt I was breaking into pieces, knowing I couldn't do it on my own, struggling watching our sweetheart suffer - he gave me peace. And answers. And the help and blessings we desperately wanted. It has been so very humbling to put our faith to the test. To see if we could do this and come out in one piece.

Roger. My stud of a husband. I have watched him go from a rough tough boy, to a strong, loving, committed, rock solid man. And dad. It melts my heart to see this tough guy fuss over his daughter. He fidgets over her, tucks her in, tells her he loves her, smiles when she makes the simplest sounds. It's so odd to feel responsible for such a little person. Most days I still feel 12. I'll be 26 in three weeks.

Our journey is not over. She is still in the hospital, still in ICU status. She's come so far, but could so easily face some challenges before she gets home. I hope, so much, that she continues to progress as quickly as she has since she was born. I'm stunned that she's never had a "crash" day. Maybe its because the Lord knows I couldn't handle a terrible day. So with a heart of full of thanks, we are counting down the days until she can come home with us!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I believe in miracles. I believe in a Heavenly Father who knew that Roger and I needed to see this sweet little girl turn a corner. Okay, maybe just me. But either way I am so grateful for the miracles this little peanut has given us. The progress she has made in the last week has been humbling to watch.

So what has she done?

This favorite nurse of ours, Jessy, worked her magic and got her off her nasal canula and into an open crib. So we went from this... this!! Below shows you just how tiny she is in this huge crib. Keep in mind this crib is about the size of one of the desks you used to use in elementary school.

Isn't she a runt? Even the preemie clothes the hospital has been putting her in are big on her. But seriously, doesn't she make you grin? Don't you say "Aaaaaww" when you see these pictures?

Other fun? I broke our rules and let Meg hold her since she won't see her again until late August. Brooklyn gave Meg a smile while holding her.

This picture shows how funny she is when sleeping. Mouth wide open. And don't ya love the bow?! It's as big as her head. Most of the time she's in a hat to keep her warm since she's in a big girl bed now, but I couldn't resist being the annoying mom for a bit. :)

Love these two. So much.