Thursday, September 23, 2010
Good News/Done Like a Thanksgiving Turkey
I love good news! The doctors are happy and relieved to report that Samantha does NOT have a brain bleed, the large hole in her heart has closed on its own without medicine, and the small hole is expected to close as well. We are amazed and incredibly thankful for God's care and for everyone who is praying!
The resident and nurses finally explained more about Samantha's condition. Either they are just now figuring it out themselves, or I am learning to ask the right questions.
First-- once a preemie, always a preemie. Prematurity is a medical condition that stays with an individual for life. Complications of prematurity can show up for years, with some waiting until kindergarten to reveal themselves. Rather than frighten us with all of the possibilities, they prefer to eliminate the ones they can before the baby is discharged from the NICU.
Second-- it not unusual for a sick preemie to have one blood transfusion, but it IS unusual to have two. When that happens, they try to determine where the blood is going, ergo the brain test.
Third--it is not unusual for higher order multiples to have one baby that does poorly. The mother's body is stretched in more ways than one, so not everyone gets the same nutrients or antibodies. It IS unusual for quads to be carried for 33 weeks, to have 3 to 4 lb. birth weights, to come home in two weeks, and for the boys to do better than the girls. Sarah's experience is not typical; it is incredible.
Fourth--preemies that have Respiratory Distress Syndrome have lung disease, usually with scarring. Infections and oxygen after 36 weeks often leads to Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or BPD. Samantha is 37 weeks and is requiring more oxygen instead of less. They are giving her heart medicine (diuretic) to see if that reduces her need for oxygen.
After being on oxygen therapy for a long time, BPD babies don't eat well. Samantha still has to be gavaged by feeding tube, although she took charge of her own health care and removed the tube herself yesterday. She needs to grow, but taking a bottle wears her out.
Samantha is more aware of being alone now. She cries a lot.
When I fed her, she took the whole bottle, and would probably have eaten more if it had been available. I can't wait to get her home, oxygen or not. Her lack of improvement is getting discouraging.
When I was little, my grandma told me I could count on God to make me feel better, no matter what. She said, "Honey, you need to ask God to help you whenever you need it." As time passed, I learned to be honest with God, telling Him if I felt hopeless, discouraged or alone.
One day, I asked God to remind me of His love in an unusual way. I asked Him to let me see a wild turkey. (I had never seen one before. I wasn't even sure what it would look like, so I looked it up. I was young. Give me a break.)
Shortly afterward, I was walking down the road when a wild turkey crashed landed almost on top of me. I couldn't believe it! God honored my ridiculous request. He obviously has a sense of humor.
After we learned about the possible brain bleed, I could feel myself sinking into depression. I KNOW discouragement is the devil's best tool. I KNOW he wants me to look at the circumstances around me so I will stop looking on the unseen Hand of God at work. But I was just plain tired of worrying. I want off this ride.
It was my turn to make the long drive to the hospital. I was driving around a curve and up the hill. I had to shift gears, which annoyed me because I was sleepy.
Suddenly, something came out of the woods and startled me. I slammed on the brakes, afraid it was a deer. It wasn't. It was a large wild turkey. He walked calmly into the road, stopped, and looked at me.
He had friends. I sat and waited while a whole flock of wild turkeys walked across the road, one by one. They all looked at me at they passed. That's when I remembered my childhood prayer for encouragement. I had forgotten all about it. God hadn't.
I could almost hear them gobbling to each other as they waddled by, "There she is! She's the one that needs a turkey to remember the power of the Almighty God! Embarrassing. If it weren't for her high maintenance issues, we could be in bed already."
I drove on feeling as if God had spoken directly to me. "Sondra--I remember, I see, I care, I know, and I love you!"
Every time I have driven to the hospital this week, I have seen the turkeys. They always take their time. They always look at me, albeit somewhat irritatedly. I finally decided to take a picture so I would remember the awesome God I serve. He bottled up my childish prayer and pulled it out when I needed it. Incredible.
Last night, as I sat there waiting on the turkey parade to pass, I had to laugh. I said, "Okay, God. I'll stop now. I'm not only finished with this pity party, I'm DONE-- just like a Thanksgiving turkey."
Thanks for praying.
Posted by Sondra at 5:31 PM