"Be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
This past Wednesday Henry and Harper were 8 weeks old! It's hard to believe that our Harper girl has been home for two weeks. I realized yesterday that I had not updated the blog in a while. Honestly, I have been a little scared of posting an update for fear of what I might say due to sleep deprivation. Mark and I have been traveling back and forth trying to be with Harper at home, and with Henry in the NICU at LeBonheur. Life is really hard right now. It's a terrible feeling being apart from either one of our babies, but it's especially hard to be away from our sick baby. Mark and I have joked that we are like two ships passing in the night. He and I haven't really seen much of each other and that has been hard, too. Don't get me wrong, I am so very thankful that Harper is home and thriving, but I just wish our little man could be home, too.
Harper is just our little rock star! She is doing awesome! She now weighs 5 pounds 5 ounces as of this past Friday. She wakes up about every two-three hours to be fed, and she loves to be held. So much so that she basically cries anytime someone is not holding her. She still loves for me to sing to her, and now she really likes to be read to. Just today we've discovered that she LOVES her activity mat. She actually grabs at the little owls that hang from it. It's just too cute.
Henry has had a very rough week. When I got to LeBonheur Wednesday, his blood gases were steadily increasing. This just means that the carbon dioxide in his blood was steadily increasing. Also, his hematcrit was way too low. He had to have a blood transfusion late that night. It was awful having to watch them stick him so many times before getting his IV in. Ugh, just thinking about it right now makes me cry. He was just pitiful. Thursday morning his blood gases were even worse. At this point they moved him back to the critical area of the NICU and told me that they were probably going to have to put him back on the ventilator if he did not improve. I immediately began to pray. I had made a promise to Henry that I would do everything in my power not to ever have him back on that machine. Luckily, his blood gas leveled off and they decided not to intubate him. However, they did have to put his feeding tube back in. They ran several tests to rule out any possibility of infection. The doctors have decided that he was just reacting poorly to his vaccinations. I met with his pulmonary doctor late Thursday afternoon. He basically just confirmed what I've known for quite some time. Henry is just a very weak little boy. Although he came out of surgery remarkably well, he has a long road to go before he is completely healed. His doctor said that if he reacted this poorly to shots, we can only imagine how he would react to a virus or an infection. Today his blood gases were better. However, I feel like this set back has just prolonged his stay in the NICU.
I have had many people tell me how proud they are of me for being so strong during such a difficult time. Man, when I hear that I sometimes feel like such a phony! The truth is, this has been really hard. Before Henry's surgery, I had days where I couldn't even get out of bed. Days where food had no taste. Days where I would avoid friends and even my own family. I have had moments where I'm just mad at the world and I question "why!" I realize that these emotions are normal, but I wanted to just say that I have experienced every one of them. I have had moments where I was just sure Mark was going to have me committed. The only thing that has gotten me through those dark hours was God's grace and love. I have clung to His promise that He is in control, and He works for the good of those who love Him. All I have to do is take one look at Henry and Harper and I am just overcome with thanksgiving. I am reminded that He chose Mark and me to be their parents. Even though this situation that we are in was not MY plan, I am so blessed to be their mom, and I know that His plans are so much greater than my own. I look around the NICU and see other families struggling with problems even worse than what we were dealt. I am blown away by their courage and faith in Jesus. God has really worked in my heart these past few months. I have realized that there is NOTHING good in me apart from Jesus. Life is hard, but God is good!
Mark and I humbly ask that you continue to pray for our babies. We are so grateful for the love and support that has been shown to us.
Some pictures from this past week:
Visiting our sweet pediatrician, Dr. Fowler. We love her so much! We feel so blessed to have her in Corinth. She did her residency at LeBonheur, and all the doctors and nurses have told us how much they love and miss her. I may have to fight them if they ever try to take her away!
Rocking Harper girl
I recently celebrated my 29th birthday. Mark gave me this necklace. It might be one of my most favorite gifts ever. (Thanks, Jen! ;)
The little diva taking a nap