It seemed like a normal day around here.
But then I thought about what is normal? I mean, really...what is normal?
Is a slash across your belly with a matching one across your heart normal?
Is 4 kids at home and one in a plastic fish tank at the NICU in the hospital normal?
Is a dead cat buried under the tree in the backyard after being pulled out from under the floor in your daughters' room normal?
I guess so...
I mean, for around here, it's normal.
Well, not the cat, so much. We don't expect that to happen every day...we are kinda running out of pets. In the past 4 years or so, we have lost 3 cats and 2 dogs.
Disclaimer: One of those dogs and 2 of those cats died of old age. Only one dog and one cat died prematurely. We are not animal abusers in any way. We love our pets. The other dog got hit by a car, and the cat...well, that's another story. Maybe another day...
Sad. But it is a part of the revolving door of life, isn't it? For the pets, I can accept that.
I went to visit baby Hazel today. I still can't get over how beautiful she is. So tiny and fragile but such a fighter.
Did you know that statistically, more boys are conceived than girls, but more girls are born? Did you know that girls survive NICU experiences better than boys?
Hazel Grace has so much going for her. That she's a girl sets her apart, and then beyond that, that she has such an army of prayer warriors on her side.
I know you are praying for her.
It is obvious in the way that she is living...surviving...thriving...
She is not considered 'stable' yet, but she is what I would call 'balanced'. She is tolerating her feedings and actually starting to gain weight.
I never knew how exciting a few grams could be! I never knew how fast the heart could beat over a few cc's of mother's milk. I never knew how much heart could be pumped out into those sterile bags that fill the freezer at the NICU and overflow ours here at home.
I am feeding her.
She is living off of me. They have stopped her lipids because she is tolerating enough milk now. She is thriving off of what I pump...from directly over my heart.
She still 'eats' through a tube that runs down her nose into her small intestine, but however it gets in her, she is liking it and she is growing!
And that is what she needs. She just needs to grow so that her lungs can get stronger and bigger and able to support her on their own.
Medically speaking, other than her lungs, she is fine. The valve in her heart is still closed, and she still has no bleeding in her brain. She is perfect.
So far, the culture for her lungs to see if she still has in infection is negative. It takes a full 5 days for the culture to be completely finished, but I think that they will start the inhaled steroids soon. I think that they said that they didn't need to wait for the full 5 days.
I think. Honestly, it's kinda hard sometimes to keep it all straight. Sometimes just looking at her sweet little feet that she loves to stick out beyond the edge of the little cocoon they make for her is too distracting. Sometimes, I am listening to the doctor, but then she will open her little eyes and look at me, and all I can hear is Charlie Brown's teacher...waawaaawa waaa waa wa...because I am lost in her gaze.
But I know the important stuff.
She's tolerating her feedings, she's gaining weight, and they were able to adjust the settings on her ventilator down slightly over since yesterday.
Beyond that, she's just my perfect baby...not a list of numbers and beeping machines. Let the nurses take care of that part.
And for those of you wondering about Mrs W, well I saw her today, too. She is such a beautiful sight to see in the hospital, too. Always so cheerful and perky. Wonderful.
Anyway...her tests came back good as well. She will be transported to another hospital where they will be able to do surgery on her heart.
Please pray for her, too. I link her to my Hazel Grace. Once she moves to the other hospital, I won't be able to see her, but I will know that she's still out there.
And I will know that whatever she's going through, as long as she has breath, she will be praying for my sweet Hazel Grace.
I know this because she promised me.
And a promise like that is one you hold to the heart.