Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nov 29

The past few days have been kind of scary but thankfully Maggie is doing much better right now. We were told from the beginning that the NICU is all about two steps forward, one step back but because Maggie has only been getting better since her birth it took us both by surprise when she declined so rapidly before our eyes. The blood transfusion helped, but only temporarily. Yesterday morning while I was visiting she started having too many episodes of apnea. she was also very lethargic and not her usual fiesty self, which they suspected was due to an infection. They did tests all day but nothing hinted at infection. So they are trying some other treatments to see if they will help. They can't say for sure why she declined sp fast - it's sort of a process of elimination. Right now they are just glad she is stable but if this starts up again she will have to go back on the CPAP machine. Of course I don't want that but I also want them to do whatever is necessary to make her strong again. I learned first hand yesterday how quickly things can go south and I don't want that to happen again.

It's funny how when everything was going so great with Maggie, I noticed I was praying less and less. And then as soon as it looked like she was in danger I was praying fervently again. How as humans we so easily forget our daily need for God! I don't want to lose the faith that has been strengthened by this experience and I don't ever want to forget, no matter how good things may seem, how God helped me in my weakest hour and how He immensely blessed us by giving us Maggie.

Friday, November 27, 2009

First Setback

The doctors aren't sure what's going on with Maggie. She is having too many episodes of heart slowing/stopping breathing. They are giving her a blood transfusion to see if perhaps she is not getting enough oxygen to her heart. If that doesn't work then they will do a lot more tests and X rays as she might have an infection. We are praying that the transfusion solves this problem and it's not something more serious.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

O Praise Him!

There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for what God has done for me, not only for saving Maggie's life but also mine.  I did nothing to deserve either gift. Both were due to His goodness and mercy and grace.  My cup truly overflows.

All day I have been humming this hymn to myself -the words written eight centuries ago are so much more perfect and more beautiful than any prose I could write to glorify our great God. It makes me think of eternity, when all of us will sing in unison to praise our King in heaven:

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Importance of Family

"Children's children are a crown to the aged." Proverbs 17:6

After practically four months of living with us and tending to our every needs, my sweet mom flew home tonight. And, yes, I sobbed the whole way back from the airport! I don't know if every mom would give up her life and her job, move into a small house with her daughter and son-in-law, and take the role as "mom" for their two year old and "nurse" for her bedridden daughter. I'm sure a lot of people would probably bail after a few weeks, but my mom stood by us the whole time. She always was encouraging, and never once complained. And she did it all with a joyful heart.

My grandmother calls her the "Rock of Gibraltar" for that's surely what she has been to us. And now that she's gone I feel so sad. You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach? Well that's what I have right now.  I know that we will be okay - after this long weekend I should be able to start driving and caring for Mary Lawrence on my own, but I just haven't had "mom" duties in so long I'm not sure I'm 100% ready for it. Mary Lawrence is so used to her "Lolly" doing everything for her - getting up with her at 6 am everyday, making her meals, changing her diaper, feeding her, driving her to school, picking her up when she cries. I am sure Mary Lawrence won't know what to do when I pick her up for the first time in 5 months:).

It's funny, I always thought it was strange that in some cultures it's totally normal for grandparents to move in with the younger families. But I can totally see why now! It really was a good thing for us. Mary Lawrence and my mom formed such a special and strong bond that will last a lifetime.I know it's time for our little family to start getting back to normal, but it just doesn't feel right not having her here right now. Thankfully I can cope knowing that she will come back to help when Maggie comes home!

Through this whole experience I have really learned to appreciate my sweet family even more. My grandparents have always taught us that when someone in our family is in need, we go and we support and we love them unconditionally. And that's exactly what they have done for us. Not only my mom, but my sister, aunt, grandmother and mother-in-law have all come to help at one point or another. And my dad has sacrificed a lot by not having my mom around for all these months. Justin and I feel so blessed to have a close-knit family that loves each other so much and would do anything for one another. No matter what we have done in the past, or hurt that we may have caused each other, we always forgive and continue to love one another. It's just the way we do things in our family, and it is such a gift that my grandparents have given us by creating a family like that passes their values on down to each generation. I don't think there is a greater legacy to leave than to build a godly and loving family. And I hope that Justin and I are able to do the same for our family.

So I go to bed tonight a little sad and a little scared, but also incredibly thankful that slowly but surely our little family is getting back to being normal once again.

Lolly and Maggie

Monday, November 23, 2009

Graduation Day

Maggie has officially "graduated" to the other part of the NICU- the division that cares for the stable babies who are simply "feeders and growers." it's much quieter in her new room and the parents are given more responsibility in their child's care. They are all about preparing you to take her home. I know that's still a long way off but one nurse mentioned to me that it could be as soon as Christmas, although we are not going to get our hopes up. We are just so thankful to be able to bring her home that we don't care when.

Maggie weighs about 2 pounds 13 ounces now, and is eating a lot more. Today her heart rate dropped a few times which sent us in a panic, but the nurses said that is to be expected in preemies. And if the doctors become concerned about it they will send us home with a monitor. Other than that Maggie is doing great. And one funny thing, her "roommate," who weighed 1.5 pounds when she was born is named "Miracle." I'd love to know her background but because of privacy issues the nurses can't tell us. But I bet she has a story, too!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nov 21

We are so blessed that we have Maggie and that she is doing so well. Yesterday she was taken off the CPAP machine (which was like a little oxygen mask held in place by a Velcro straps around her head). Now she just has a nasal cannula, which is just a thin, clear tube in her nose. It's really the first time since birth we've gotten a good look at her beautiful face. Today I talked and sang to her while she looked at me. She is wearing a pink cap my mom bought for her and is looking more healthy every day that passes.

Today they took out her IV (or picc line) through her foot so she is getting all her nutrition from milk now, which is great. With a lot of this wires and tubes removed we hope she is more comfortable. I am longing to hold her but haven't in a few days cause Mary Lawrence has had a bad cold and I kind of felt like I was getting it. They keep telling me kangaroo care is so good for her but surely risking giving her a virus outweighs that! Thankfully I am feeling fine again, except for feeling tired, so maybe I can hold her tomorrow.

We are reminded daily by nurses and doctors how blessed we are and how different the situation could have been. A lot of them praise me for staying in the bed and keeping her in me so long, but that makes me uncomfortable as I know I could never have done it on my own accord. I always try (most of the time in a bumbling sort of way) to give the credit back to God, but a lot of times my statements to that effect go unnoticed. I hope we keep having these opportunities to praise God, though. And I pray that our story will be one of hope for others going through this and other trials like it.

Thanks for all the continued prayers for Maggie. Going to post more photos soon...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nov 19

Maggie is doing great tonight. Tomorrow they will take her completely off IV fluids and will only be taking milk through her feeding tube. She is slowly but surely gaining weight and we pray that she continues to do so. Yesterday she opened her eyes for about 10 minutes- the longest time yet. She was looking all around at the sound of our voices. Her eyes are so tiny, like little beads, but yet they are darting all around looking at the gigantic faces peering at her through the plastic (which might actually be kind of scary if you think about it!)

I received so many good tips and encouragement after my last posting. It's amazing how breastfeeding and pumping can draw up such emotion! With Mary Lawrence I put so much pressure on myself to breastfeed for a full year and to not use any formula (can we say obnoxious type A personality!). But sometimes it was more stressful than it should have been. I told myself that I wouldn't put so much pressure on myself the next time around, but yet here I am doing the exact same thing! But it's only because I want her to be as healthy as possible. At the same time, though, I definitely understand from my first experience that you have to consider your mental and physical well-being when weighing your choices. If those two things are suffering there is no way you can be at your best mothering potential. i know that first- hand. So thanks for the encouragement and good tips from all former NICU moms and other moms. Nice to know I am not the only one who has gone through this:).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wiped out

The adrenalin that comes after giving birth has officially worn off. I don't want to complain because I am so thankful, of course. Just wanted to explain to friends why I may not have called you back or responded to your email just yet. Or why i am WAY behind on thank you notes!

Right now I feel like every ounce of energy is going to my two girls right now. Mary Lawrence needs me to be home as much as possible and I am trying to spend good quality time with her. Every time I leave her now she has a huge meltdown cause she doesn't know if I am leaving for an hour or for two months. Poor thing, I would cry too if I was her. And I am so torn because if Maggie was my only child I'd be at the hospital 24/7. I just want to sit by her all day, but that's just not fair to Mary Lawrence. And poor Justin so badly needs his wife back to normal, but I am afraid that is a ways off. How can one just flip a switch and go back to "normal" after all of this?

Anyways by about 5 pm everyday I am wiped out and would love to go to bed right then. But a full night of sleep is still ages away for me as I have to pump every few hours throughout the night. Again, I am so glad to do it, I'm just so tired - not only in a physical sense but also in an emotional sense. As I told a friend who drove me to the hospital last week (still can't drive for 2 weeks!), all I want to do is have a good sob. And not because I am sad because I am overflowing with joy, but because I've had so much built up emotion over the past four months that Ive been unable to express. I didn't want to cry while on bed rest because I was afraid of leaking amniotic fluid, and ever since I had my C-section it's been too painful to cry. I'll have my good cry one of these days, I guess!

After a section they tell you to rest and take it easy for a month but, I'm sorry, that's just not feasible in my case. My mom is good about reminding me to rest and sit down a lot, but it's really hard to relax when you have a 2 year old clamoring for much needed attention and a baby fighting hard in the NICU. Oh well, God has always given me just the right amount of strength when I needed it. And we still need His strength and daily guidance just as much as before. I just hope we never lose sight of this important truth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nov 17

Well Maggie officially takes after her big sister in the tantrum department. I held her for about an hour yesterday and today and both times when they took her from me and put her back in her incubator she pitched a huge fit. Nurses passing by were stunned at how loud her cry has become over just a few days. Ever since she has been in the NICU her nurses described her as "feisty." Now I know what they mean! And it was very obvious it was not a cry of pain but a cry of anger. She did not want to be moved from her mama!

I love our time together each day. I sing to her the same songs I sang to her when I was on bed rest. "Jesus loves me," "You are my sunshine," and "He's got the whole world in his hands" I love to look at her up close. Her little hands are about the size of the end of my thumb. Her toes are so small, yet so perfect. I swear her head is smaller than an orange. After months of being told that there was so much that could be wrong with our baby, I am still amazed at God's perfect creation before me. My mom was able to see her for the first time  this week (they had a ban on visitors because of swine flu) and her first comment after we left was how she was just like any other newborn (just smaller of course!). After so much uncertainty about Maggie, here she is before us, strong and healthy and precious as ever.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nov 15

Just saw Maggie and was pretty bummed out that I couldn't hold her today. Both times I went up there weren't good times and so I really feel like I missed out. After getting to hold her once I just long to hold her again.

They only let you do kangaroo care once a day and the nurses like to do it when they are already doing other stuff to her (like changing her diaper, feeding her, etc). They call it "cluster care." Hopefully I will be able to tomorrow. It's really neat- they tell you to wear a button down shirt and they literally button her up inside your shirt!

We have a few specific prayer requests:
1. Babies in our NICU often get "primary nurses." This means that every time your baby's primary nurse is working she takes care of your baby. And a nurse can only be a primary nurse for one baby. We have a great weekday primary nurse but have yet to get a weeknight or weekend primary nurse. We have loved all the nurses we've had on the weenights and weekends but they all already are primary nurses for someone else. There's no consistency and it makes me nervous that she is getting a different nurse almost every day. We are praying that God will provide the perfect primary nurses for Maggie during these times so she will have the best care possible.

2. The second prayer we have tonight is for her feedings. Maggie is doing great so far but she is only about halfway where she needs to be. There are serious complications that can arise in preemies from digestive problems so we are praying that Maggie does not develop any of these complications. And also that she continues to increase the amount she eats with no problems so she can keep growing.

3. Pray against infection.

Thank you to all for continuing to pray. She has done so amazingly well that it's easy to forget that she is still so small and so fragile and still has a long way to go before she can come home. We continue to lift her up in prayer as we thank God for how far we have come.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A good day

Justin walked into the NICU this afternoon and they were taking Maggie off the ventilator! We couldn't believe it. She did well initially and right now is on something called a C-PAP. She is breathing on her own but the C-PAP just helps her along with oxygen. They warned us that little preemies sometimes get too exhausted using their lungs so much when they aren't used to it, so we shouldn't be surprised if she backtracks and has to go back on the ventilator again at some point. That's okay with us. We are just so happy that after only 8 days her lungs are functioning so well. What a blessing!

As soon as Justin got home, I went up to see her for myself. The good news is that the air tube is out of throat so she only has a teeny feeding tube. But the C-PAP is not a small contraption either - it basically is a tiny little plastic covering over her nose. But to get it to stay in place she has to wear this awful looking head strap. But it has to be so much more comfortable than the ventilator.

And another amazing thing is that now that she is not intubated, we can hear her cry! It is so faint you have to get super close to her to even hear it. Of course I am rejoicing that she can cry, but as all mothers know, you can't bear to see your child uncomfortable, upset or in pain. I don't think she is in pain but was just tired of people messing with her. She just wants to be cozy and snug in her little cocoon of blankets and be left alone!

At the sound of my voice she did open her eyes again (poor Justin has still not experienced this). It was so sweet. And another piece of good news is that they took her off the light; her jaundice is so much better. So that means we can hold her! I can hardly wait. Although I am already nervous about it. You've probably heard of it before, but the holding time is called "kangaroo care." The mother holds the baby on her chest , skin to skin, and it is really supposed to help her health and our bonding.

Anyways, good news all around tonight. Again, we are so thankful. Throughout the day I remind myself that things could have been, were supposed to have been, so different than how they turned out. It's quite a strange thing to be told day in and day out for months that your baby is probably not going to live,but then the complete opposite happens.  You just feel like at any moment something is going to happen and she will be taken away from you after all. Like someone is playing a cruel trick on you after getting your hopes up. It's more fear than anything else. And I am not going to fall into that pattern. I want to focus on the positive news that God has given us and on the miracle we have seen in Maggie. I have learned to trust that God has numbered all of our days, and there is nothing I can do to change that for Maggie or for anyone else, so I don't need to burden myself with anxious thoughts and useless fears. God is good. He has led us through the hardest time of our lives and I know He is not going to stop now.

Okay, now that I have given myself a little pep talk I am off to bed! I am exhausted and sore all over. Just walking around the house more than usual today has left me feeling like a I ran a marathon. Pathetic! Oh well, slowly but surely I will get back to my old self.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The brain scan came back normal. No brain bleeds. We are praising God for this great news. Maggie is doing great tonight, just visited her and she opened her eyes at me for the first time. They took off her eye mask and at the sound of my voice she struggled so hard but finally got them open. It was the first eye-to-eye contact we have had. One of the most special moments we've had by far. I am so excited to be able to hold her, whenever that time comes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov. 10

Maggie is doing great on the conventional ventilator. They have turned her settings down to the lowest the machine will go which means she will be coming off of that soon (Amazing!) Her feedings are going better and she is having 2cc's every 6 hours (still a tiny amount!)

Tomorrow is her brain scan, which will show if she has had any brain bleeds. Trauma at birth and the first few days of life can cause the brain to bleed- which can range from mild to severe. We are praying that she doesn't have any bleeding and that we are able to cross this last big hurdle her first week of life.

Monday, November 9, 2009


So nice to be home. Mary Lawrence was so happy to see me walk through the front door for the first time in nearly 7 weeks. She just start giggling and then later said, "Hospital all gone."

It was hard leaving Maggie at the hospital but we keep telling ourselves how grateful we are that we have a baby to even leave in the NICU. Justin and I stayed a long time yesterday and we catch ourselves just staring at her little incubator. We are still in shock, I think, that she is here. We are in awe of what God has done. Every time we walk in her room and peer through the plastic sides, we know we are looking at a miracle.

I didn't know it until later (probably because I was still feeling effects of the epidural), but her first day of life was really scary, according to the doctors. We were so happy she was even being worked on that we didn't focus on how severe the situation was. But at first she did not do well on the ventilator and her first ecchocardiogram showed she had a condition called pulmonary hypertension, which is a very, very serious in premies. They asked us permission to use a drug not approved by the FDA- that's how bad it was. But bu the second day, she was completely stabilized on a different high frequency ventiliator and her second ecchocardiogram revealed the pulmonary hypertension had completely disappeared. The doctors were stunned.

Yesterday morning we walked in and the nurse was thrilled to tell us that Maggie had been completely taken off the high frequency ventilator. We were speechless as before we were told she would be on that for weeks. They stepped her down to a conventional ventilator so now she is on par with other premies her age. A doctor who wasn't even ours yesterday came over and told us what a blessing it was that she was doing so well. And last night Justin was telling her nurse how ge couldn't believe she was off the first ventiliator. Her response was, "I can't believe she is even here."

We feel so blessed and so undeserving of this gift. I know we still have battles ahead but to be where we are is amazing. It was hard to leave her but as my mom reminded me, just like she was in God's hands while I was carrying her while pregnant so is she still in His hands today.

Right now Maggie is stable but the feedings aren't going great. Please pray that her digestive system will develop enough to be able to digest milk properly.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leaving a wonderful place

I feel like I am leaving my second home today. I've been here over 6 weeks and have become quite attached. I have been blessed with amazing care at this hospital. The hospital bed rest could have been a lot worse but it wasn't because of the kindness of the wonderful nurses on the antepartum floor.

Justin and I have been discussing how we would love to figure out how to do something for the antepatrum floor here. It's crazy because the postpartum floor where moms stay for 2-3 days after delivery have been totally redone and are big and wonderful. But the antepartum floor where moms stays for weeks and months on end is old and needs to be modernized. The rooms are small and, I have to say, not that pleasant. It's not a warm place and it should be because moms sometimes travel long distances to be here and often don't have any family or visitors throughout their stay. So it leaves a lot of pressure on the nurses to fill the void many moms are feeling while here.

With the incredible help of the doctors and nurses, most of the outcomes on the floor are good but others are not. It is a place of joy and sorrow and hope all at the same time. It is such a vital place and it is a shame that not many people know about it. It's made up of women who are fighting with every drop in them to save their babies lives. Many can't get out of bed at all. Some are constantly hooked up to monitors knowing that at any minute they could deliver. It's moms who value their babies' lives so much that they are willing to give up their own lives in order to give their babies a shot at a better, healthier life. Moms who are torn because they've often left older children at home while they are here. I have heard many incredible stories here of hopeless situations turning out ok and of women who, like me, were told to terminate but instead chose a different, more difficult path. The things these mothers go through for their children is unbelievable and yet their sacrifice mostly goes unnoticed except for by their families. That's why I hope one day I can somehow do something for this amazing place. I feel I owe it to them for what they did for us.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nov 7

Maggie is as precious as ever. Today is the first time I was strong enough to stroll (in a wheelchair, of course) down to the NICU by myself. Justin went home to rest so I got to spend some good time with her alone. I was even strong enough to stand up next to her incubator so I could see her better. Before I've been too weak and had to sit in my wheelchair the whole time and just leaning over slightly to talk to her was so painful.

But back to Maggie-I really got to see her tiny arms and legs up close. They are so skinny and wrinkly but so cute. And amazingly strong. She puts up quite a protest when they change her diaper! I watched the nurse do an assessment, which is done every 4 hours. It was kind of hard to watch. They adjust her tubes and I can tell it's uncomfortable for her and she doesn't like it. They also suction out her throat and she squirms like crazy. Of course I started crying seeing her like that. She is so tiny and helpless and has to put up with so much poking and prodding. I sang to her while they did all that and tried to calm her down. But of course, on about the second verse I choke up and couldn't anymore. Babies this young don't like to be overstimulated so I can't stroke her but instead can cup one hand around her head and another around her feet and that tight feeling makes her feel secure. That was really special.

Her first feeding went well but her second feeding did not. It's not a huge deal and they will try again tomorrow. Please pray thar her digestive system is developed enough to digest the milk. It is the best thing that will allow her to gain weight and get rid of her jaundice.

Tomorrow I will go home. You would think after 6 weeks here I would be running out the door but I am sort of dreading it. It's not natural for a mother to be separated from her newborn like this. Of course I will be up here all the time, but it's not the same. She has heard my voice 24 hours a day for the past 30 weeks and now she will not. But I know she is where she needs to be right now and I am praying daily that God will protect her and keep her healthy here. Praying for the doctors and nurses who make crucial decisions about her care every day. And praying that soon we will be bringing her home.

Photos from first few days

on light therapy
going down to visit Maggie
next to bed
our little miracle

in her incubator
a few hours after birth
mama and baby together for first time

Friday, November 6, 2009

First feeding

Maggie had her first blood transfusion today which went well. They have to do it bc they are constantly drawing blood for labs and she can't produce enough to keep up.

We also got to feed her for the first time. Actually it was just putting a syringe of breast milk into her feeding tube but it was neat. We won't know for a while how she will respond.

She did really well again today. They have been able to turn down settings on the ventilator as she is getting a bit stronger. Get ready for another miracle- the dr. told us this morning that her lungs are not hypoplasmic anymore (that is what they call small lungs due to no amniotic fluid). The medicine and ventiliator have stretched out her lungs enough to be normal 29 week lungs! It was truly stunning to hear.

Her blood pressure is a little high tonight and they are doing an x ray to see if her lungs are expanding too much from the ventiliator and compressing her heart. How ironic would that be if her lungs were stretching too much! If so, they will turn down the vent again. But we are praying about that.

And then more good news... When we went in tonight they were giving her caffeine. Why is that good? Because it is the first step of many in taking her off the ventilator. Astounding that after three days she is doing that well. Now I am not sure if that means she will be moved from the high frequency ventilator to a more conventional one, or if it means getting her off all vents. Regardless, it is encouraging.

We are focusing on all the good news today and praising God for it. We keep praying for our Maggie to grow healthy and strong and for all her tests to keep coming back with positive results.

Birth story

I've never been one to want to read peoples birth stories but so many people have asked what transpired early Wednesday morning I will compose a short summary. If you don't like reading stuff like this, stop reading now! I won't be offended.

Well I started bleeding again on Monday and just had a feeling something wasn't right. Tuesday morning they took me down to L&D and I had some contractions and my blood count was low but by the afternoon it was all better. I had contractions on and off but not too bad and they kept saying that they would send me back to antepatrum the next day if things still looked good. Tuesday night I rook an ambien to sleep and did for a few hours but by 4 am her heartbeat started looking worse than it has been. They came in and said they were just watching it and seeing if it would change. I knrw jn my heart something wasnt right because I had seen Maggie on the moniotor everyday for 6 weeks and knew what "normal" was for her. I kept telling the resident that I just wanted to get her out in time if I was going to deliver. He was very noncommittal and just said let's just watch and happen.
About 5 am they did a sonogram and during that time I started having major contractions about 2 minutes apart. They didn't know cause they had unhooked me from the monitor to do the sono. I was in tears and writhing in pain but he still said they were going to watch because they didn't see anything wrong as far as placenta coming off. They thought IV fluids might help stop it. They wouldn't give me an epidural in case the contractions stopped. But by 6 I was contracting about 1 minute apart and was in excruciating pain. I hadn't practiced my "breathing" cause I never thought for a second I would get that far before my c-section. I didn't know this until later but by 6:15 I had a fever and her HB was dropping really bad. They told me the dr was on her way and told Justin to get scrubs on. They never even said "Okay we are delivering" because it happened so fast. The next thing I knew the antestesiologist rushed in literally flipped me over so fast and did the epideral. I was in so much pain and was jumping off the bed practically. Everyone was rushing around like crazy and it was scary. By 6:25 they rushed me into OR and there were teams of drs and nurses rushing around. (By this time Justin got back to our room and my bed was gone and had to go searching to find the right OR room). In the OR, they got me set up so fast and it took them about a minute to get Maggie out. I found out later saw that my placenta was abrupting and so they got her out just in time and it also probably explains the terrible I was having an hour earlier- it was contractions plus my placenta tearing away.

I didn't hear her cry at first so I freaked out - I didn't even get to see her the NICU rushed her off so fast to an adjoining room. So i panicked a little but Justin told me later that she did offer a little cry that my husband heard. They quickly intubated her and took her upstairs. For the next few hours we learned later that the first machine she was on she didn't so well. So a few hours later she was switched to the high frequency ventilator which she has done so much better on. Her blood pressure was too high and she was on 100% oxygen. But by Thursday she was on 21% oxygen (which is human air) and her blood pressure was more normalized. So that is a blessing. She is jaundice so they have the light on her. Her second day was a better day but it is still scary and they keep saying she may be on a honeymoon period and could backtrack. But I am so grateful she is here and alive. I wish I could have made it longer but everyone says to have prom'd at 14 weeks and make it this far is great.

Anyways I just wanted peopleto know that the drs said they literally got her out just in time- that with the abruption it could have ended a lot differently. And the fever probably meant I got an infection in those last hours. And that was dangerous to both of us. We had an amazing team of doctors - including the head of the NICU-work on Maggie. My drs were amazing, too. With my issues they said giving me a hysterectomy in the end was a possibility with all my body had been through but they didn't have to do that. All things that we prayed about, God answered us and protected Maggie. We praise God for the outcome and writing all of this has reminded me again that I shouldn't worry so much about all that's going on with Maggie in the NICU but instead should pray. God has been good to us and has led us through the past 4 months and I know He will through this, too. But I just wanted all to know that not only is Maggie a true miracle from
God but that He was there with us every step of the way. I was definitely scared at times but I felt His presence and His comfort the whole time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nov 5

Maggie is having a relatively good day. They said she could be in a "honeymoon period" where premies do really well the first day or so and then backtrack a lot. Her blood pressure seems to be regulating a lot better, which is good, and they are reducing oxygen levels which is also good. They have her wrapped up real tightly in the fetal position to mock what would be happening in the womb. Justin has been with her a lot and last night got to help change her teeny diaper. They said maybe tomorrow they coukd start feeding her breast milk through her feeding tube.

Some of the things they are concerned about and we are praying for are:

1. Lungs are underdeveloped so pray for them to grow and strengthen
2. There is a good chance she has an infection they say but won't know for a few days. Praying against this and that each day she will get a little stronger and healthier
3.,She is jaundice
4. She is having a scan on Monday to see if she has any brain bleeds, please pray that she doesn't have any.
5. Pray that she continues to do well on the current ventilator.

Sorry I haven't updated more. I am having a rough recovery and actually just got down to visit her for the first time today. It's so hard cause I want to be right by her side nonstop but I physically can't. And it's scary to see your child hooked up to a dozen machines but I know it's the best thing for her. I so badly just want her to recover and grow so I can take her home soon. I talked to her and sang to her today. They have her sedated and she was sleeping peacefully. Her chest is
moving up and down rhythmically from the machine. She is so tiny but so precious. I just pray that she continues to slowly make progress and do better each day and that doesn't backtrack but only moves forward.

Thank you for all your continued prayers. I can't tell you how much it means to Justin and me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Maggie is doing better. Things are always changing so please keep praying. Those first few days are critical. These are things they are concerned about:

1. Oxygen saturation needs to be higher
2. Blood pressure needs to stabilize
3. Overall state of the lungs needs to improve
4. No Brain bleed

We are praying for these things. Justin is with her most of the time and I have been just been in. She looks so healthy for a baby her age. Her coloring is good they have her sedated but she still moves and makes faces. For a baby for what she has been through she has no visuble birth defects or muscle malformations. She truly is a miracle! Her lungs are not where a 29 weeker usually are but a lot better than expected for a baby with little or no fluid. It took them several hours but they finally got her ventilated and stable. She is on a high frequency ventilator and seems to be responding better than the first machine she was on.

It's so hard not to be in there with her nonstop. We've been so attched for months and now I feel so helpless. I held her hand and touched her precious blonde head. She is our precious miracle and I am not ceasing to pray for her to do well in the NICU and come home as soon as possible.

Thank you for praying. Please continue to pray for those specific things and that this first week she will do great.


Pray that her lungs are able to do what they are supposed to do and that she will do better on the new machine. Pray against infection for Maggie. This first day is critical- pray that she gets through it stronger and better. And pray for the nurses and doctors caring for her.

Please pray

Maggie is having trouble breathing and lee is very upset. We really need your prayer that Maggie can breath and the xray at 10:30 looks better.

Maggie is here!!

Our miracle baby is here! She was born at 6:35 this morning! She weighed 2lbs 9oz and 14.5 inches long. She is stable and actually cried when the doctors were trying to help her breath. That is such a sweet sound! She is getting ready for an xray to see if the tube placment is correct that will help her breath. She is in the NICU right now with wonderful doctors. Mom is doing good and dad is running back and forth between his girls. Please keep praying for Maggie to be able to breath on her own and that she can get adjusted to her new little world. That the doctors and nurses will have all the knowledge and wisdom when Maggie is in there care.


In active labor, drs arecstill consulting what to do but looks like headed that way. Please pray for our Maggie to come out thriving and for the best possible NICU team to be on hand. Lord help us, thy will by done.

Wednesday 4am

Trying to go to sleep again after having been woken up by contractions. I did get a few hours of sleep but now am
Wide awake, eyes glued to the monitor. I like this calm before the storm. It's dark and Justin is asleep and I feel like just Maggie and me in the room. I know I an supposed to talk to her but I choke up and can't. Justin always talks to her but I can sing and hum to her. It's funny that I keep going back to a lot of the songs we sang in youth group - I guess cause they are so simple:

"God you are my God and I will always praise you. God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you. I will seek you in the morning and I will learn to follow your ways. And step by step you'll lead me. And I will follow you all of my days"

I've also been humming "you are my sunshine" and "Jesus loves you" but can never finish cause I get so tearful. This is a time - here in this dark hospital beingblit only by Maggie's heaerbear monitor-I will never forget for the rest of my life. Maggie 's vibrant heart beating all around me, feeling her little kicks, watching my sweet husband sleep so he can be prepared for whatever lies before us today, and thinking about our future as a family together-I can't wait for it to start.

I'm glad night is almost over, another day is here. The resident said every day we can keep her in me is huge. But my dr. made it clear that if contractions worsened again we would deliver. All night long I have been pleading for Maggie's life, praying that the delivery would be smooth and that right away the NICU team sees that she and her lungs look great. Beyond our expectations. I pray that if today is the day for her arrival
(which I am hoping it's still way off) but if it is, I pray like I have been praying that she gives us a big cry to announce her joyful arrival. Praying for my doctor - my section can be complicated so pray that he does a stellar job with me. And praying that Maggie receives the best possible care from a doctors and nurses who have been hand-selected by God to save her.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

8:30 update

Things are about the same- going to take some ambien and hopefully sleep although it scares me to do so. But I'm
Still hooked up to the monitor so that's reassuring. Praying for a peaceful, uneventful night. "I lay down and sleep in peace for you O Lord make me dwell in safety."

2:30 update

Things are looking more stable. I was really hurting earlier but the IV has helped space contractions so there is a chance they could stop completely.
But if they get bad again they will deliver.i am right next to the OR which is good! Because of my partial abruption they can't give me the normal drugs to stop labor. They are monitoring Maggie and me closely and said they can get her out really fast if they have to. Justin, my mom and I are just waiting and praying and listening to Maggie's beautiful heartbeat. They have all said what a fighter she is and how strong she looks despite all of this going on. She's in great shape; it's my body that may he giving out after 15 weeks of ruptured membranes. Thanks for all the continued prayers. We are trusting Him right now and know that He is with us through all of this. I just pray that whatever happens it is not an emergency, scary situation but calm and controlled and that God will be with the doctors as they care for us.

11:30 update

I was having contractions 2 minutes apart but they started an IV and they have slowed. Please keep praying for Maggie. Pray for the drs and nurses who are caring for us.


Blood work didn't come back great. They think my placenta is partially abrupting. And having contractions. They are continually monitoring Maggie and me. Please pray that God would be with all the doctors as they make decisions about delivery and that He would work in them to save Maggie. My prayer is that whatever happens they can get her out in time and that she will be perfectly healthy for her age. I do have a peace about it all.


They have moved me down to labor and delivery. I have been heavily bleeding all night and they want to monitor Maggie and me closely. I had a bad feeling all night and have been in constant prayer that this bleeding stops so Maggie can stay inside me a few more weeks. But they have made it clear that they have to weigh the benefits and risks of keeping her in me. If it looks like my health is in danger they will take her. Praying that whenever it is time, they are able to get her out in time with no complications. I'm frightened, but know I don't need to be. As Justin said last night, Maggie's number of days is already written in the book of life. I know that but it doesn't mean I can't still plead for her life and pour out my deepest desires for this to all end with joyful news.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I was so estatic to wake up this morning and realize that it's a new month! And it was a good night. I finally took some ambien last night and this morning Justin said I looked so much better. He said yesterday I looked like I was a meth addict coming off a three week bender. Lucky for him, I totally agreed with the assesment. I literally haven't slept more than 3 hours or so a night since I arrived at the hospital. I was hesitant to take sleeping pills because I either leak fluid or bleed all night and it's just not possible to sleep through that, especially when you are constantly checking to see if the baby is moving or if my symptons are getting worse. (And for those who know our honeymoon story, ambien and me just don't mix well.) But after a rough three days and the doctors practically forcing it down me, I took it last night and got a pretty good night sleep.

The past three days have been scary. At times I thought I just couldn't make it much longer. Thursday I was in a lot of pain for no apparent reason. Friday I nearly fainted out of my wheelchair while waiting outside the sonogram room, then the specialist told me there looked like there was another problem with her heart and I had to wait all day to see the cardiologist. After that I got back to my room and had my first panic attack I think. I was uncontrollably sobbing but then trying to stop at the same time because I was afraid the heaving would make me go into labor. But then I couldn't stop and sort of panicked. It wasn't pretty. I think it was the first time since this happened that I really melted down like that. I am sure it was the combination of being exhausted and the baby literally sucking everything out of me but I just couldn't bear to hear any more bad news. But they got me calmed down and we finally saw the cardiologist and everything was not as bad as it seemed. She has some fluid around her heart but it is to be expected for a baby with no amniotic fluid and she said it should go away on it's own. So we were so thankful it wasn't a devastating diagnosis but it is something we still need to pray about.

The days go by so slowly as time marches on. I am thankful that God has given me just the perfect amount of strength to get through each day. I so badly want to keep going and make it a lot longer. And I am praying for just that. And praying for a healthy, strong baby girl to join us in about 6 weeks!