Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Emily Update #3

Thank you everyone for praying for Baby Emily. I received the following email from her momma, Dawn. The "tomorrow" she refers to is actually "today," Tuesday.

Love, Stephanie

Hello all,

This is Dawn, not Mike. I have received several emails
saying "we hear from Mike, but how are YOU doing?". So I thought it would be a
good idea for me to send the update this time around.

First,
I am doing well. My recovery is moving along smoothly. I certainly
did not plan to be out and about as much as I have been. The biggest
challenge has been taking the time to rest and do what I need to do to recover
while running back and forth to the hospital to spend time with Emily.
That has been a tough balance at times. I want to spend as much time as
possible with Emily, but taking care of me is the best gift that I can give
her. So please pray for me as I try to find the right balance.

Second, Emily is doing great! She has been such a blessing
to us – I cannot even begin to describe it to you. We know that she will
have challenges ahead of her, but she has shown us that she is a fighter and we
are so thankful. We have not sent an update in about a week, so bear with
me while I brag on my little girl for a bit...

She is absolutely adorable (in my completely unbiased opinion)! Each day she does something new. It is SO amazing to watch her. We count it a privilege to be
parents to such an amazing little girl. I know in Mike’s last email, he
mentioned that she cried for the first time. Well, she has really gotten
the hang of crying & does it every single day. She likes to let us
know when she is not happy! And that is wonderful. Twice this week,
Mike and I were able to give her a sponge bath. And both times she cried
and screamed as if we were beating her with sticks. She gets bright red,
scrunches her entire face & just screams. It is wonderful to hear her
expressing herself (maybe in a few months we may not think the crying is so
great, but for now, we are thrilled).

This week she began working with a speech therapist. The therapist works with her on her sucking, swallowing and her gag reflex. The first day she did this,
Emily cried for an hour after the therapist left – apparently she does not like
to be gagged repeatedly (who would?). But each day has gotten
better. She has started to like her pacifier and actually is soothed by
sucking on it (at times). Tomorrow she will have a swallow study
done. The therapist will give her liquids of varying consistencies and
then x-ray her to see where they go (into her lungs or into her
esophagus). This is a very important study. If it goes well, she can
move to bottle feedings and eventually to nursing. This means she can have
her feeding tube removed. Speaking of feedings, each day they have
increased the amount she eats. She is currently eating 57 cc’s every 3
hours. By the time we take her home, she is going to be a
porker! At her last weigh in that we witnessed she was 9 lbs. 8
oz!

Yesterday and today, Emily made some great progress.
Yesterday, she was moved to a crib rather than the bed with a warmer – so she is
able to hold her own body temperature now. And she also went off her
oxygen. She has given the nurses a couple of scares where her oxygen
levels dropped low, but then she brings them back up again. This too, will
get better with time. And today, she was taken off one of her seizure
medications - the one that makes her really sleepy. So as this gets out of
her system, we will be able to see more and more of her personality (she seems
to be a feisty one, so that should be interesting!). And the doctor told
me that she will be moving tonight to an intermediate section of the NICU – as
the doctor said “this is one step closer to the door”. So Mike and I are
hopeful that she will get to come home soon.

The nurses
allow us to do more and more which has been wonderful. We have been able
to change diapers, bathe her and take her temperature and a few other
things. It makes us feel like we are doing something to care for our
daughter. I cannot begin to describe to you what a blessing Emily has been
to us. She amazes us every single day. This experience has been
amazing. No, it isn’t the way we expected things to go, but it is exactly
the way that God had planned. I have clung to Psalm 139
lately:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My
frame was not hidden from you when I was
made in the secret place. When I was woven
together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed
body. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Emily is perfect in God’s eyes. She is exactly the way that
God wants her to be. She was knit together in my womb by God
Himself. He knows exactly who she will be and how many days she will have
on this earth. And I am thankful that He has counted us worthy of being
her parents. We do ask that you continue to pray for her as she
grows. And pray that we will be the parents that she needs us to be
– that God intended us to be. We have received countless emails from
people who are praying for us & I cannot tell you what it means to us.
There is incredible power in prayer!

Thank you for the
overwhelming love and support that we have received from many of you. It
has sustained us in those times when we think we can't go on. And yes
we do have those times, but God is faithful. It is only through His
strength that we get through each day. We could NOT do it on our
own. We trust that He will be with us every step of the way and we take
great comfort in that.

In HIS strength,

Dawn

1 comment:

Linda said...

Thanks for posting Dawn's letter. I've been praying specifically that Emily's gag reflex would develop as it should, so it's good to know how that's coming along.

Linda

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