Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 12---Humbled by God's Goodness

The past 24 hours have taken me to the lowest moments of the past 12 days and the highest moments. Yesterday morning, we had a conversation with Dr. N about the severity of Lila's state. We were informed that depending on how things progressed in the next 12-48 hours, we would need to change our course of care for her. All of this meaning, if things didn't improve we would begin to make her comfortable and the doctors care would change. We would be able to hold her and just love on her the last hours of her life. How do you process this as a doctor is telling you this about your 11 day old baby? How do you think about planning a funeral for your baby that you've never even seen her eyes? How do you tell your son when he gets older that he never got to know his sister? How do you look at your husband and try to make the hurt go away in his eyes? These were just a few of the questions that flew through my mind as we were having this conversation with the doctor.

For some reason, through this conversation, one thing that my mind kept going back to was "I want a bow for my little girl. She's never even had a bow." This is the strange lengths your mind goes to as you are being told your child may only have hours to live. That was the mission of the day, to get our sweet girl her first bow. Looking back, I think it gave me something to focus on for a bit rather than the gravity of the situation. Mom was able to find some ribbon and I made a bow sitting in the cafeteria of the hospital. When I asked the nurse if I could put it on her, she asked no questions. It's as if she understood. This grieving mother needed her baby girl to have a bow no matter how long or short her sweet life would be. In that moment, putting a little pink bow on Lila's fragile head, I felt like I had a daughter. A daughter that I pray will one day play dress up, will love her dolls, will walk down the aisle on her dad's arm and who will be an answer to a prayer of mine since I was a little girl.

By God's grace, that was yesterday's conversation. Today's conversation was a complete 180 from that. In the doctor's words today "she is a completely different baby than the one that I saw yesterday." Her "procedure" that they did yesterday on her intestines is working. Her blood pressure and all her levels were stable throughout the night. Her coloring is better. She's a fighter, I like seeing that she gets agitated when we mess with her....These are just a few things that Dr. N said to us this morning along with we are now going "day by day with Lila right now, not hour by hour." I've been waiting to hear her doctors say that for 12 days!! Yes, I'm realistic. I know that we may get to a point where we are hour to hour again but for right now we are day by day! Praise the Lord!!

So right now as I get ready for bed, I can rest in peace knowing that yet again God's healing hand is being made evident in the life of my daughter....AND.....she's wearing her purple bow that matches her purple flower bedding that the nurses insisted on her using so she coordinates. It's a good day!

Ephesians 2:10---For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 10---Pump, Pray and Play

Day 10 for our sweet Lila has turned out to be an uneventful day. Just like we like it! Her stats remained relatively normal all day long which is such a blessing. We are praying that this continues because this will help her lungs to continue to develop without being stressed every few minutes. She did have her umbilical line removed today. This was the way they monitored her blood pressure constantly. It's a blessing that she no longer needs this at this time because she is off blood pressure medicine and they will only have to check her bp once a shift.

Like the title job right now (as I've been told by my mom's friend) is to pump and pray. I added play to the mix too. Amazingly 6 hours after having Lila, I began to pump to begin to store milk for her. It's still crazy to me how God created a woman's body to work and produce milk even in my case, 15 weeks early. So that is my job right now, to pump every 3 hours to get as much milk stored for our sweet girl so that as she grows she'll be able to have my milk.

As I pump, I pray. I pray for my sweet husband who is carrying the weight of our family on our shoulders. I pray and thank God everytime I think of the blessing that Scott is to my life. I pray that as he returns to work that amidst the craziness, he will be able to focus on the job at hand (whether at work, home or the hospital).-- I pray for sweet Griffen who is changing everday before my eyes. I pray that God protects his heart through all of this. I pray that when we are with him we are able to love him like none other. I pray that he continues to grow being surrounded by loving family and friends.-- I pray for our Lila, that she will know the love of Christ. That she will be held in God's loving hands and that he will continue to work miracles through her little body and through her testimony.-- I pray for our sweet friends and family that are lifting us up daily through this journey. I pray that they will see all the glory being given to God. I pray that they will know that only by God's grace and their prayers are we able to get up every morning and walk this road.-- I pray for the doctors and nurses caring for Lila.  I pray that God guides their hand as they treat our little angel. I pray that they see Christ in us and our actions as we interact with them.

At the end of the day, I come home to play. Play with our ltitle man who is doing amazingly well through all of the events of the last 10 days. It has truly been a God thing that Griffen has adjusted so well. He is so sweet even when I'm not able to pick him up, which breaks my heart. It's like he knows that he has to be gentle with mommy right now. He will go play and then run over and kiss me on the knee and then run off and play. It's the sweetest thing ever! I've loved seeing all the new things that his grandmothers have taught him while they''ve babysat over the last few weeks. From turning on the lights, to drinking from a straw to the motions of "This Little Light of Mine", it's a highlight to come home to our sweet boy.

Day 10---Thank you Lord that I have a 10 day old baby girl to pump for. Thank you that I can pray openly to you and pour out my heart to you. Thank you that I have a sweet, loving boy to come home to play with. All of these things wouldn't be possible without you. Thank you!

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roller Coaster Day with a Sweet Blessing---Day 9

Today was another roller coaster day but was filled with the sweetest blessing a mother could have. After the nurses had pulled some fluid from Lila's tubing around her lungs, they let me give my sweet baby girl her first kiss. I was so hesitant and scared to touch anything or mess any of the tubing up. It was a moment that I will never forget! Thank you Lord for sweet blessings like this! Help me to cling to these moments during times of trials.

Ephesians 2:10---For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 8---My Grace is Sufficient for You

Today was a really rough day. This is part of the roller coaster ride that they were talking about that we are now on. I really liked being at the top of that ride and not the going downhill part. As I've been reminded though throughout the day, "my grace is sufficient for you. My power made perfect in weakness."

We got to the hospital and was greeted by Dr. K with the update on Lila's brain scans. Scott and I thought we had prepared ourselves for a negative result to the scan but nothing really prepares you for bad news. The scans came back saying both brain bleeds are now a grade 3 (4 being the worst). The doctor said that she was really thinking that they would be worse than they were. A blessing to hear....Through the discussion and after looking at the scans, we were told that Lila's motor functions could be compromised because of the things going on with her brain. This rocked our world! We know that only by the grace of God and his miraculous works, will our sweet girl not have lifelong complications but we don't really want to hear it.

To get some time to ourselves to process all of today's news, Scott and I went to the chapel to pray. Never before have I felt closer to my sweet husband as I did in those quiet moments together as we sobbed for our sweet girl. So many questions ran through our doubtful minds. If Lila lives, what will life be like for her? Will she be able to run around chasing Griffen? Will she be able to enjoy life's simple things? Will she be able to walk down the aisle on Scott's arm? What is God's plan for our sweet baby girl that I haven't even got to hold yet? Too many questions for my mind to process or even comprehend.

I kept being reminded of the verse that even when we have no words the Spirit groans on our behalf. I had no words to express to God. He knew my heart without me saying a word......It's amazing how God brings laughter to shine a light on dark times. As we were sitting there praying, praising God and crying, a hospital employee walked into the chapel. She went to the end of the row of pews where we were sitting and picked up a stuffed animal. There was a big basket of random stuffed animals sitting there (still not sure what for). As she picked it up, she must have hit the music button on the toy....The toy proceeded to sing "Wild thing you make my heart sing! You make everything groovy. Wild thing, I think I love you!" Scott and I just looked at each other dumbfounded! She even stood inside the door of the chapel for it to stop singing before she walked out. When she left, we looked at each other and just burst into laughter. Thank you Lord for laughter!!

Through the prayer and the tears, all we could come back to was God is good. He knows the plans he has for Lila. He promises us that goodness and mercy will follow her all the days of her life. He promises that he is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask for or imagine. All we can do is stand on these promises and not sit in the doubt and fear! As a sinful human, that is so hard. So hard not to live in that fear of what the future holds.

We returned to the NICU and were met by our nurse Ginger and another nurse. Ginger told us the other nurse Susan was part of the PIC team that had put Lila's new PIC line in yesterday. Susan said that it had gone well. She said she was looking for a vein in Lila's arm to put it in but was having problems finding a good one. Susan said she looked down at Lila's foot and a huge vein popped up in her foot!!! We told her that's what we had been praying for, for the vein to be evident. She said "Your prayers worked. The vein popped right up and I ws able to get the line in with no problem." God is so good!! These miracles are what I'm clinging to as we walk this road.

Another blessing that capped off an emotional day was Lila began getting feedings of my milk again. The first two feedings were unsuccessful. Her blood pressure and oxygen levels were all over the place after the feedings. Her body was taking the blood away from her heart and lungs to her stomach to process the milk.----They tried another feeding at 6 pm after getting her levels regulated. She was able to take 2mL of my milk without her blood pressure and everything going crazy!! Such an answer to prayer.

Through the roller coaster of the last 10 hours, I'm even more confident that God is working great miracles in the life of our sweet girl. All glory is to Him! Thank you for your continued prayers. Continue to check Lila's facebook page for medical updates from Scott. I'm not good at articulating the medical jargon.---Thank you.

Ephesians 3:20-21----Now to Him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to HIS power that is at work within us, to HIM be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lila Elizabeth---Day 7

Day 7----Even to type this brings such a range of emotions. Seven days ago I didn't know even if Lila would live to see her one day birthday. Now she's seven days old. God is so good! These seven days have brought so many emotions that  I can't even comprehend all of them, all I know is God has brought us this far and I celebrate that today.

Seven days in we have seen prayers answered daily. Lila's blood pressure has normalled out, her blood gas levels are no longer an issue at this time, her insulin levels are where they should be. Her doctors have been so good to remind us each day "none of what is happening with Lila surprises us. This is to be expected with a 25 week old." I ask them to remind me of that as often as possible. We continue to pray that this remains the case. As of today, she continues to have 2 brain bleeds that we pray will be gone on today's scans. Doctors say with the trauma of the birth, transport and being born this early that the bleeds are to be expected. We just pray that they have gone.---Seven days in we now know that it was an infection in my placenta that caused the pre-term labor. This is a relief knowing there is nothing that I could have done to prevent this or know of this. It  just happened.

So many people keep saying how strong they say I'm being. Please know that it's not my strength but God's and God's alone! God's strength helped me to remain calm in the ambulance, relaxed me so the dr. could give me a spinal block before surgery, held me up when I saw my baby being taken away to another hospital 20 minutes away. God's strength helped me to focus on my recovery as I waited in the hospital for 3 days before being released. God's strength walked beside me as I walked into the NICU for the first time to see Lila, when all I wanted to do was run away in fear. God's strength melted my heart for my baby girl as I looked at her the first time when all I had worried about was would I feel a connection to her when I hadn't even met my 4 day old baby yet. These are just a few instances that God's strength have been evident this week to me. Please know it's not me.

For those friends that are pregnant themselves...please don't let Satan let my situation bring fear into your hearts about your own pregnancy. Pray against it! Know that I'm praying the same thing for you. God has a special plan for each and every one of you and your babies. I pray it's not the same road I'm walking down, but know that if it is, God will carry you through just like he's carrying me. Let peace reign in your hearts knowing that God is continuing to knit your babies together in your wombs, celebrate that each day. I'm praying for each of you!

Today brings many new obstacles but I know that God is in each one and has overcome each one. I'm praying with confidence that Lila's brain bleeds are gone. I'm praying that we find favor with social security today as Scott meets with them about everything. I'm praying that my recovery continues to go well and smooth, free from infection.

Thank you for your prayers and walking this road beside us!

Jeremiah 32:17---Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Sanctus Real Video---"Lead Me"

Here is a song by Sanctus Real that has spoken to Scott and I for months but it truly has a whole different meaning after the events of this week. It was written as a couple was struggling with their marriage and how they wanted God to lead them so that they could lead their family the way He wants.

This is our prayer that God will "lead us cause I can't do this alone." We truly want to show our family and friends that the only way we are walking this road ahead with Lila is by God's leading.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where to begin?!

How do you begin describing the scariest most unimaginable yet miraculous day of your life?! I don't really know where to begin but know that if I don't begin writing these details down they will get all mixed up with the long road ahead.

It all began on Monday morning January 17th, 2011. I woke up around 3 am having to go to the bathroom, like every other pregnant woman out there. Once back in bed, I tossed and turned the rest of the night and just couldn't get comfortable. Scott and I got up around 8 and I just wasn't feeling quite right. My stomach started cramping up but I didn't really think anything of it, just chalked it up to regular pregnancy annoyances. After eating breakfast the cramping really started to increase a bit but yet again, I didn't think much of it. I went to the restroom (sparing  you  too many details) realized my amniotic sac was coming out. I then, as calmy as I could, told Scott to start a video for Griffen and to come to help me. He confirmed what I was thinking too, that I was miscarrying our 25 week old sweet baby Lila. We immediately called 911.

The 911 operator walked Scott through how to help me until the paramedics could get to me. I was told to lie on the floor and not to push. She then instructed Scott to get a shoestring, towels, receiving blankets, etc in case he were to have to deliver the baby himself. This is when I started to cry because the reality and seriousness of the situation was finally beginning to settle in. Through the tears, I realized that I was having contractions every few minutes. Looking back now, I know that even through the tears I was calm, not hysterical, not frantic or panicked but calm. This was the same peace, only given by God Himself,  that carried me through the next few hours.

The paramedics arrived soon after and got me to the hospital asap. Scott and Griffen followed in our car. On the way, the dispatcher radioed ahead letting them know that I was on my way. Because of this, they were able to compile the NICU team to be on hand if the need arose to take care of Lila. This also, was how the rotating NICU doctor was made known to get back to the hospital asap (I think they said she had just left). Another God thing!--On the way to the hospital all I could do was breathe and pray. God's peace was surrounding me even when the paramedic told me that I may be miscarrying our sweet girl.

Once at the hospital, I was whisked into a labor and delivery room. A nurse checked me and found me to be fully dilated and contracting about every minute. They tried to get Lila's heartbeat on the monitor but weren't able to find it. The sweetest nurse just kept reassuring me that my baby girl was gonna be ok. My doctor walked in a minute or two later expecting to find one of her full term patients in labor and was shocked to see me. Relief came over me when I saw her face. She checked me and said Lila was breech and we immediately needed to do a c-section. Scott walked back in the room after passing Griffen off to his mom and we headed back to the operating room.

I think this is when I finally realized that I may actually get to see our sweet Lila but also that she was 25 weeks and so far from ready to be born. The surgery went like clockwork with everyone running around checking on this and that. My doctor and Scott kept reassuring me that things were going to be ok. In minutes it seemed like the surgery had begun and ended before I knew it. I remember just wondering what was going on behind the curtain with my sweet girl. Was she stillborn? Was she alive? Would I ever get to hold this sweet girl that I had prayed for for a lifetime? Would Griffen ever know his sister?

 Lila Elizabeth was born at 10:11 am weighing 1 lb. 12 oz. born at 24 weeks 6 days gestation.Minutes later the NICU team walked by with Lila. They said that she was alive that she had been intubated her. She would shortly be transported to the Children's hospital in Fort Worth. All I could do was thank the Lord that our baby girl was alive at that moment.--About an hour after the delivery, the NICU transport team wheeled Lila about to head to the Children's hospital. Throughout this time, I was never really able to see her because I wasn't able to sit up long enough or to get the right angle to see into her incubator (totally not the technical term). All that got me through that moment of watching my baby girl being wheeled away from me was the grace of God knowing that He was holding her in his loving arms. Everything in my screamed to ignore the extreme pain that I was in, jump up and go grab my baby girl in my arms and never let her go.

Lila arrived at the children's hospital awhile later and I didn't see her until 3 days later.

My goal is to backdate the past few days but for now....Lila is 5 days old and stable at this time. God is good and is holding each of us in His loving arms as He carries us through each hour. Each hour we celebrate life and the daughter that God has given us. Only He knows the number of her days but I pray with everything that I am that no matter how long or short her life, that God is made known through every day that she is with us.

Please continue to pray for our baby girl.

Romans 12:12---Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breckenridge Family Vacation---God's Handiwork

You can't go to Colorado and not be amazed at God's handiwork all around you. Here's just a few pics of the magnificent creation that God blessed us with.

Psalm 84:11---For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will not withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

Isaiah 1:18---Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow.

Psalm 23:1-2, 6---The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams....Surely goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 121:1-2---I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Breckenridge Family Vacation---Part 3

Scott and Dad were all about getting as much adventure and outdoor time as possible on this trip. Between snowshoeing, tubing, and dog sledding, I think they accomplished their goal! Here's a few pics of their adventures:

On my birthday, the boys decided to celebrate by heading out to Copper Mountain Resort to go tubing and snowshoeing! :-) Here's there before picture
 Let the fun begin!
 Here's the different hills they went tubing down. Scott's going to post some videos of them in action.
 Great day for snowshoeing, such beautiful weather! Scott was able to push his ski pole all the way down and it was completely covered by snow, so probably about 4 feet. Crazy!

 The after shot....they look a little worn out! Don't they?
Another day, Scott made the adventure to go dogsledding. From the stories he tells, I think it surpassed his wildest dreams. He was able to not only ride on the dog sled, he was able to drive the dogsled and mush the dogs. It was so fun hearing the excitement in his voice as he told of the day. As you can tell, it was one of the snowiest days we had in Breck. So much fun!

Like I told Dad and Scott, I hope they enjoyed their adventures because once we go back (if I'm not pregnant again) I'll definitely be right along side them as they repeat these adventures!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Breckenridge Family Vacation--Part 2

Our first few days in CO were filled with lots of hanging out, playing games, exploring and good food (thanks to Mom). There were a few feet of snow on the ground while we were there which made for interesting outings for this pregnant woman, a mom with a bad knee, 2 paranoid men and 1 baby in a stroller. We were definitely a sight, but that didn't stop us from getting out in the 30 degree or less temps.

We were so excited to have Griffen start walking the week before Christmas. I was so glad about this timing because Scott was off work and really got to see the progress that Griffen made daily.--Griffen loved exploring the condo and seeing what he could get into.
 Dad, Scott and I before we went exploring our first day. Nothing like having a man walk on each side of me making sure I don't fall! I love these men!---Dad and I had both been to Breck before so it was fun to show Scott around a bit and see what new things we could discover.
 Scott hanging out in his long johns! Not even going to comment on this one! :-)
 Scott and Dad insisted that Griffen have a sled while on our trip so we had to give it a few test runs inside before we ventured outside.
 Not sure if it was the clear, mountain air or a growth spurt, but Griffen seemed to eat, eat and then eat some more while were on our trip. He even discovered he loves ranch dressing, just like his momma!
 Another great thing about our trip is just some down time and change of scenery. Griffen certainly enjoyed every minute of it. He learned that if he pulled a book out, he had 4 people eager to have him cuddle up in their lap and read to him.
One day we made it outside to try the new sled. It was an experience in the almost below 0 weather as it was snowing. Griffen enjoyed it for about 10 minutes. That's about all the sledding fun he could tolerate.

Breckenridge is such a neat town with great shopping on Main Street. We ventured out several times all bundled up to check out the shops.

Several years ago Breck added a closed-in gondola that you can ride to the top of the mountain. We had to check it out. Griffen's mouth never closed the whole way up as he looked out of the glass at the beatiful views on the way up. So fun to see his reaction to new, different experiences.

If you've ever been to Breck, you've been to Crepes a la Cart. If you haven't you're missing out! Scott and I split a strawberry shortcake crepe. So stinking good!
Date night fun!

Just a few pics to share of our great trip! More to come of dad and Scott's outdoor adventures.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Breckenridge Road Trip---Part 1

The week after Christmas we were blessed to be offered a friend's condo in Breckenridge, CO. Who can pass up a white Christmas in the mountains?! So on Christmas morning, my parents, Scott, me and Griffen packed up the minivan and roadtripped it to CO...praying for clear roads all the way. We stopped in Amarillo, as a half way point, to spend the night.--Griffen was such a trooper on the road. Between watching Praise Baby, being entertained by daddy, and sleeping only 30 minutes (total for the days on the road), he really did  a great job. Here are a few pics of us on the road.--Never a dull moment!

Mesmerized by Praise Baby
Hanging in the biggest rocking chair ever at the Big Texan in Amarillo--We also got to see a guy attempt to eat a 72 oz. steak, potatoes, etc. in an hour while we were there! Who does that?!
Puppet shows with Daddy
Reading time!---Notice mom in the back in her little cubby hole of a back seat. She was a trooper too! :-)
Dad even broke out of his shell a few times and participated in some dance parties! What's a road trip without a few dance parties here and there?!

We made it to Breckenridge on the 26th around 5pm. We all collapsed on the couch and didn't move forever, that is until Griffen threw up in his pack 'n' play and the guys had to make a mad dash in the snow and ice to get quarters to wash clothes. Once again, never a dull moment! More fun and adventures in the days to come!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas 2010---Through Griffen's Eyes

My second Christmas was much more memorable than my first...mostly because I was actually awake this year! I had many fun memories, here are just a few...

It started off with mom dressing me up as Santa. Pretty cute, huh?!
 Throwing a fit before church, just because.
 Posing for pics with mom and dad before heading to church

 Eating lots of yummy food and getting spoiled by the Young family. Crazy relatives! :-)
 Getting some good one-on-one time with Aunt Jennifer
Playing with my new bug puppets from Precious
 Exploring the playhouse that cousins Trey and Ethan set up for us at Grammy and Grampie's house

All in all, it was a great Christmas! Just can't believe that next year I'll get to share it with my baby sister!