Saturday, October 23, 2010


Seeing Abby for the first time in the NICU was surreal. That is really the only word to describe it. This little 4 pound peanut mixed up in a tangle of wires and tubes was my daughter! The foot wrapped in gauze is the same foot that kicked me and stepped on my bladder. The tiny hands curled up next to her mouth were in the same position they were during so many of the sonograms. The hair that we saw floating in the amniotic fluid, the same hair that was admired by so many sonographers, is every bit as long and full as everyone said! Abby will definitely be a bow wearer.

She is beautiful to us and has been showing the nurses and doctors her feisty side! She clamped down on one NP who stuck her finger in her mouth; the NP declared her a rude little girl! (She has quickly become one of our favorites who has been excellent at explaining things and answering our questions!) Yesterday, she kept trying to pull out the trumpet in her nose. I told her repeatedly that they would do more mean things to her if she succeeded, but then we showed her what they did to the little boy who wouldn’t stay still for his X-ray. She settled down after that. J

The same little girl who kicked the fetal heart monitor for a full half an hour in protest has learned very quickly how to show her displeasure at the staff. She growls at the nurses and has even kicked them a time or two! We are working with her on how to channel her anger more positively—like by taking deeper breaths!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010 2:08 PM, EDT

The Last 24 Hours

Yesterday was filled with getting to know our daughter, meeting lots of doctors, and processing a ton of information. I kind of feel like I’m in a haze.

There is much more surrounding Abby’s condition than we originally thought. They ran a lot of tests yesterday and my girl was examined by a million different doctors. What a way to spend your birth day! There are still many, many questions to be answered, but we do know that Abby has a problem with her ribs and spine. While an X-ray suggested a heart problem, an Echo showed that everything looked okay. Praise God!!

She was poked and prodded until I finally asked for a PICC line for her. She inherited her momma’s bad veins and that was proven by the many bruises all over her hands, arms, and feet. They whole-heartedly agreed (some parents don’t want an invasive procedure done, but I know how painful it is to get stuck so much!) and she had a central line put in through her belly button, which is a lot less painful than the traditional way. We’re hoping it lasts for a while so that they can hold off on the PICC line through the arm.

As we knew, securing Abby’s airway is the most crucial right now. She has a “trumpet” in her nose that helps keep her tongue in place, and they have also put into place some safety measures in case they need to secure the airway quickly. She has been on her stomach, side, and back. It seems pretty evident that she breaths best on her stomach for now, although the goal is of course to get her to breath equally well no matter how she is lying. She is currently breathing on her own in an oxygen tent. They removed the tent for a few minutes when we first met her so that we could get a closer look, but it became evident that she is relying on the oxygen for now.

We know we’ve pretty much been open books thus far with Abby’s diagnosis and progress. As I mentioned, we have been given a lot of information to process very quickly and a lot of it is still in hypothesis form. Thank you for allowing us to share new pieces with you as they become more probable and as we become comfortable. Questions are very difficult for us right now: sometimes because we/the doctors don’t have the answers, and sometimes because we are just learning how to accept our new normal. Thanks for taking the information we give you and waiting for us to be able to share more.

Several of you have asked about pictures of Abby. We know that so many people are praying for her and genuinely care about her well-being. We are so thankful for you!! That being said, we’re not quite ready to share pictures just yet. I’m sure we’ll get there, but I know you’ll understand when I say that the last 24 hours have been quite overwhelming for us. We are still trying to come to grips with the fact that the tiny baby with wires and tubes going everywhere is our daughter.

We so appreciate all of the Caring Bridge and Facebook comments, the emails, and the phone calls. We covet your prayers and can feel the support surrounding us. We would love if you would continue to do so, and know that we read every single comment. They are such an encouragement to us! If we don’t respond to your emails and calls, know that we seriously appreciate them. It’s just that we are trying to spend as much time as we can getting to know Abby while juggling meetings with doctors, visits from family and friends, and Matt’s constant reminders that I am still a patient recovering from delivery and need to rest! There just hasn’t been much time for emailing and talking on the phone.

Again, thank you so much for supporting us during this difficult time. Matt and I are truly thankful for you!!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010 9:40 PM, EDT

Kangaroo Care

I’m pretty sure I can top whatever your “high point” of the day. I got to hold my girl for an hour and a half this afternoon, and it was awesome! It has been very difficult watching others hold their babies when we knew it was impossible, so I was very thankful to the nurses who made this happen for us.

The best part is that Abby did great!! Her stats were really good the entire time and she only need an extra puff of oxygen twice—pretty awesome, since she is usually under an oxygen tent 24/7! I think she felt very safe with her momma.

We talked about all kinds of things: I filled her in on her big brother, discussed her behavior toward the nurses with her, told her all about Caleb’s birthday party (she was very excited that it was a pool party—we all know how much she loves to swim!), and of course told her how much she was loved and wanted.

This is the most exposed we have seen her, so it was wonderful to stroke her back, check out her ears and eyes (she has my ears!) and nuzzle her (completely hair-covered) sweet head. I told her the reason they normally have her head all covered up with stuff is so that the other babies don’t get jealous of her beautiful dark hair. She even opened her eyes and checked us out for quite a while. It was great to see her alert.

So yeah…pretty much an amazing afternoon. I was very thankful to hold her and can’t wait to see Matt doing it tomorrow!

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