Today was another stable day for both girls. Praise God, the Universe, and the proven power of prayer.
Tomorrow morning Sienna (and perhaps Avery as well) will have heart surgery to close the tiny PDA valve. This is surgery that a large percentage of all preemies (and especially “micro preemies” such as ours) have to have within their first week or two out of the womb. The prayer we are asking for tonight is for two very successful, uneventful heart surgery’s this week and for the fluid that is in Avery’s brain (expected because of the pic line that moved earlier in the week) to be reabsorbed back into her body as quickly as possible and on it’s own without surgery (should take approximately 2 weeks for this to happen).
The doctors and nurses have explained that both girls will likely have 3 rough days with more oxygen and blood requirements following the heart surgery. Our angelic and bursting with love nurses – Michelle, Valerie, and Lauren will be there this week with Sienna (they have clearly fallen in love with her) and Valerie even picked up an extra shift tomorrow night just to be there for Sienna following the surgery. We love you magnificent ladies and your positive energy gives us strength and peace. Krista, Raquel, and Jennifer have been taking great care of Avery and we greatly appreciated that Krista spent the majority of last night standing next to Avery holding her hand and touching her since it relaxes her to be touched.
At this age, their skin is so delicate that you cannot stroke them or rub them, and simply have to gently lay your finger(s) on them without moving. I look forward to when I’m feeling better with my suture and physically recovered from my own surgery so that I can be there longer each time we visit. My heart and soul literally aches every time we have to leave them, especially knowing that they respond to us being there. Yet, I know (and have to remind myself no less than 90 times a day) that I must take care of myself first so that I can take care of them. We were reminded by doctors and nurses again today at least 10 times that the road ahead is winding with lots of dips, stable days, and potential valleys.
If you’re reading this, please take the time to add a quick comment here on the blog each time you visit instead of just sending comments on Facebook or via email (although we love those messages too!) because we want to be able to save the wonderful words and share the messages of encouragement with the girls someday. Over 600 people a day are already reading these words, and we ask that you continue to spread the word to everyone you know so that more prayers and positive energy flow. One, if not both, of the girls may need dissertation material when they are getting their Ph.D(s) and perhaps (as it will be a topic they’ll certainly be passionate about) it may be about, “Advancements in Neonatology.” This blog could become a part of it.
Something I find fascinating (and perhaps is God’s way of balancing out the pain) is that both Quin and I have had happy dreams several nights this week. Although my pregnancy included many vibrant dreams, I have awakened by laughing on various nights both at the hospital and since we’ve come home. One of the dreams that had me laughing out loud during the dream was our “last minute” decorating for the twins 2nd birthday party. We were buzzing around the room trying to decorate with two colors, two of everything, and putting out party favors and hats for LOTS of kids on these small tables that were everywhere.
For the first time since we’ve been married, I awoke yesterday to find my husband laughing and smiling widely while still sound asleep. I sat and watched him in awe while tears of joy welled up in my eyes. When he awoke, he couldn’t remember what the dream had been about, but I will NEVER forget that intense moment of joy on his face (the first I’ve seen in over a week) and am so grateful for the gift that his subconscious must have received, and the gift that my conscious received, with him having that obviously very happy dream. (Happy dreams of the future MUST be a good sign, right??)
I must share something that also made me laugh that I WILL be getting Quin to document, date, and sign since he is a man who always honors his commitments. And for those of you that have ever heard Quin brag about his 5-yr old daughter Maddie (thus, anyone who has ever met him) you will really appreciate this… He openly and sincerely agreed while standing next to one of the girls in the NICU this week that the girls can even be bikini models, date lots of boys, go on spring break, etc. if they should ever want to, just as long as they get better and come home with us. Clearly, this is one heck of an extreme way to get their Dad to lighten up about his dominant fear that his girls will meet “nice boys like him someday,” but it sure was effective. There’s no doubt that Dad (and Mom) will forever be lighter about the “small stuff” and take all things less seriously, as nothing could ever be so scary again.
Once we have the energy to figure out how to post pictures on this blog, we’ll update the site with lots of pictures of the girls, their nursery, etc.
Our extended family (many members of the City of Alexandria Police Force) has created a special task force, “Operation Keep ’em Growing” and are rallying around us to set up a schedule for house visits, food drop off, dog walking, etc. We are so grateful.
I wrote the below lullaby (to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”) the first day we came home (just paused realizing that I have no idea at this moment what day that was… Friday?) Maddie has always has loved it when I sang her this song with any words…. so I decided to write a version for the girls that I’ve been singing to them as often as I can. I’ll type it here in case any of you would like to sing it to them from afar, and so that they can read and chime out the words someday from their perfect little hearts and bodies…
“Hush little baby girls don’t you cry, mommy’s going to sing you a lullaby.
Grow little Avery grow so strong, grow little Sienna it won’t be long.
Until you are home safe in our arms. Until you are with us safe and warm.
We love you so very much. We love you, we love your touch.
You are in God’s healing hands. He is your protector and knows you can.
Grow each day in strength and love. Baby girls you are sent from the angels above.
To thrive here on this earth so sweet. Healthy and beautiful you will be.
Mommy and Daddy….Sister and Brother (Riley)….we will all laugh and love each other.
Gram and Pap…Nana and Pa…Aunts and Uncles, one and all.
Nicole Faith and Mikayla Dawn…they’re your cousins and you’ll have such fun.
Jumping, swimming, laughing, playing games….dressing up as princesses and claiming your fame.
Playgrounds, playdoh, swings, and slides…you are cherished and God will provide…
The strength and courage you need each day… for your victory, and soon you’ll play.
Precious children of the earth, guided by the sun, stars, and wisdom from your birth.
We believe in God and believe in you. Trusting every moment that we’ll be guided through.
Until you travel to your beachfront home (their nursery is done in a beach theme), where you’ll sleep peacefully and so strong.
Breathe easy baby, be in joy and peace. Let our love hold you warmly while you sleep.
Rest so gently through the night, we’ll be here with you in the morning light.”