Friday, May 17, 2013

God is good all the time!

As I sit here at the crack of dawn with a perfectly healthy 10 week old in my arms, I reflect on how remarkably God gives us all we need; even when we don't know enough to ask for it. I should have had a newborn this week and instead I have a 6-pound, two and a half-month old baby. In this small hour by hour and day by day world I currently reside in, I marvel at the miracle that for the first time I didn't have to pump at 3am but was able to breastfeed instead. 
Almost three months ago I found myself at a normal OB check up, having no idea anything was wrong and with my first baby in my arms, and in a moment I was told I would be admitted to the hospital and would be there until I had a baby. I immediately went into shock and all my practical instincts kicked in and I didn't take a moment to let this news sink in. But in that moment alone in a Dr's office with a big baby in my lap when I should have been scared and overwhelmed by this shocking news, all I felt was overwhelming peace, and I knew, unreasonably so, that it was going to all be just fine. Not for a second did I worry for my baby's safety,  I knew she would be small and could have many complications, but I knew it would all ultimately be perfect. That somehow all this was perfectly in Gods will and plan.
The next few days I hunkered down, not knowing if I might be in the hospital for days or weeks. So I waited. I was sick much of the time, but all the while feeling cared for. I knew that this might be a difficult valley to travel through, but the destination would be amazing. 
After a stable few days in the hospital with no changes, in an hour it all went south and I found myself on an operating table. Once again God provided spur on the moment care for our big baby and Brian made it with half hour to spare. 
And then I was in ICU before I knew it, told I had a healthy 3 pound girl and recovering remarkably well after some scary moments in the OR, and reading through baby name books. What a whirlwind, I was still in shock, I kept wondering why my baby was not kicking and I had to remind myself she was not in my womb anymore, but somewhere out of sight in an incubator. 
Then started what could have been the longest 36 hour wait of my life until I could visit my new baby, but even then I felt at peace. Her Daddy could be with her as much as he liked, and I needed to be cared for just as much as the new baby.  And I was at peace with that. Content to wait and start pumping milk for the tiny unnamed baby I saw in a photo that I was told was mine. 
This was all I knew of her those first 36 hours.
After some persuasion and some backward turns I was eventually taken off all my tubes and wires and allowed into a wheelchair to go see my baby for the first time. And the first time she was held by someone other than a nurse, it got to be by me. What perfect timing! 
My first view, and her little world those first weeks

The first time she was held
Then started a marathon, pumping eating, visiting baby in the NICU and repeat, and sometimes getting a little sleep.  She needed just a little help breathing and staying warm, but we were blessed with the health she had.  There was so much potential for complications that she did not have. 
A few days later they kicked me out of the hospital and I had to go home to my big baby and leave my other at the hospital. It didn't feel real, we were home just as before, yet again I had to remind myself I was no longer pregnant, and of course kept eternally pumping. 
Then started the daily grind of treks to the hospital. How was she today, did she need as much O2 as yesterday, is she eating more, is she staying as warm, did she have a good nurse last night, was it the one that knows she likes weight on her to sleep securely, and she likes to be on her tummy. Then you walk through the hallway wondering what you will find, you spend an eternal 2 minuets washing your hands, and then you see her, right were you left her safe and secure, not only with these capable nurses but right there in God's hands, the hands that held her when you were not able, when you waited 36 hours to meet her, when you saw her for the first time at that 20 week ultrasound, when you heard that heartbeat for the first time, when you saw the stick turned blue, and even when the first two sticks did not turn blue but you just somehow knew, there was a life starting, He held her, and He holds her still. 

First time holding sister, on her way home, just over 4 weeks old, 4.4 pounds

For all you who want the medical details I will give you the highlights. 
When I went to the Dr that morning (March 1st) after having relativity low, or acceptable BP's and having taken a fine reading at home the night before, my number was very elevated. Also after having perfect urine every check up, this day my protein levels were off the chart, too high for the in office dip stick to read. The Dr called a high risk pregnancy expert and he was told to check my reflexes to see if my brain was swelling and they were hyper-reflexive. All of this gave me a diagnoses of severe preeclampsia. There is no curing it other than delivering the baby, but they can wait and watch to see if they can give baby a little more time, to grow. This can last months if they are lucky. Meanwhile they make sure to keep your BP at a level to be sure you don't stroke out. They also constantly check for organ failure. My organs were far from perfect but were staying consistent and not getting worse, so they waiting and kept checking, they played back and forth with BP medication, a few times it went too low and then too high and they had to give me lots of IV medication that made me sick in order to try to keep it within an acceptable level. 
Three days later my BP started creeping up, but mostly my organs started getting worse. The downward spiral had started and they were unable to buy any more time. They did give me just enough days to get the steroids in me needed to help baby's lungs develop more quickly. 
In the OR they had a hard time keeping my BP steady, giving me medication to bring it down, and then it came down to far and had to give me more medication to bring it back up, meanwhile they gave me an arterial line to get a constant read on the BP, which is what landed me in ICU recovery.
I will post another day on babies health.