So this is an outlet for me to post about whatever I want to and I don't think too many people are reading anyway. So the next few ramblings are more for my own cathartic reasons that anything else....
I, for whatever reason, still have some negative feelings about the events that transpired after Emmie's birth. When I look back to the day that she was born and our stay at the hospital, it is the most precious, wonderful memory that I have. However, Emmie required transfer to the NICU and then transfer to another hospital with a higher level of care NICU and I just have a lot of feelings about it (still after almost 9 months). She was born on July 28th, 2009. On her third day of life she still had not had a bowel movement and she begin to vomit. After a consult with the neonatologist (whom I also work with) it was decided that she would be transferred to the NICU to rule out a bowel obstruction. In the process of this, it was discovered that there was some type of blockage or other condition that needed immediate investigation that couldn't be done at the hospital we were at. We were also told that she could have a number of disorders, including Cystic Fibrosis and Hirschsprung's disease. I was discharged earlier that day and we were all just waiting on Em to poop and we were going to be able to leave. Once we were told we would need to be transferred, Shannon and I threw everything from my hospital room together and flew home to grab stuff we would need for the next few days. At this point in time, we were not given a diagnosis for Em's condition, just that we would meet a pediatric surgeon as soon as we got there for further evaluation.
I was also so emotionally wrecked when we found out that we had to be transferred to the first NICU that you can only imagine the shape I was in when we were told we had to be transferred to another hospital. My husband and I struggled through Emmie's first two weeks of life and prayed together every night for the healing of our sick baby. It was one of the first times that we actually prayed together. Coming home to an empty house without a baby absolutely tore me apart. I will never forget walking into Em's nursery, without her and having a complete breakdown. I look back and have no idea how I made it through those first weeks. I can tell you there were a lot of tears.
We finally made it to the bigger hospital and ended up sleeping in the waiting room until the next morning when we had the consultation with the surgeon. At about 3 AM that morning while I was pumping (yes I was so crazy...this was the only stability in the middle of chaos) I can just remember praying to God to save our sweet baby. To take whatever this was and heal her. And I remember a lot of tears and pity. That next morning at about 10AM (after sleeping in the waiting room in a chair 2 days postpartum) the surgeon finally came to speak with us about Em. He said "Your daughter is very sick and I would like to take her to surgery immediately". I will never forget that moment. Our third day as parents, and already we are having to make one of the biggest decisions for our child. He told us at that time that he thought she had a jejunal atresia.
On July 30th, 2009, she was immediately prepped for surgery and taken to the OR. Again, we prayed together, cried and just tried to remain positive. About an hour later we were in the waiting room waiting on the surgeon to come and give us news regarding the operation. He came in and said that she did, in fact, have a jejunal atresia, type 1, which is the simplest, most "fixable" type. He was able to remove a very small portion of her bowel and resect it together. Praise God. I had several questions regarding her feeding regimen from thereon (I couldn't stop thinking in RD mode even then). He was hopeful that her recovery would be swift because she was a full term baby. I, along with the other 15 or so family members, begin to immediately sob. I couldn't believe that we finally had some resolution. It felt like I was having a nightmare for 24 hours straight.
For the next 2 weeks, Emmie went through many ups and downs, but mainly ups because her recovery time was fairly short. Those 2 weeks were the longest of my life. Every day and night we drove back and forth the hospital, praying for positive updates on Emmie's status. We were initially told that she could be there for almost 2 months. On August 13th 2009, we were finally able to bring our sweet baby girl home! That was and remains the best feeling that I have every had. We were so grateful that God had saved our sweet baby. It truly was an answered prayer.
I know that everything happens for a reason, but it is hard not to question why my God would allow this to happen...why me Lord? Why her? Why Shannon? I know there are no answers to these questions, but I still hurt from that experience. I still hurt for the chance to be wheeled out of the hospital, new baby in arms, pictures being snapped, loading mommy and new baby in the car. That was an experience I never had.
I am so grateful for the wonderful outcome that Emmie has had. I realize that there are many parents whose babies never come home and it absolutely breaks my heart. If anything, Shannon and I grew so much stronger in our marriage and also in our walk with the Lord together. I am so thankful for those moments in the night that my husband and I shared as we grieved together for our child. He was truly my rock.
I know that God must have some awfully big plans for this little girl because she sure did have a rough time getting here. (Remember the 2nd hospitalization at 6 weeks of life for GBS infection). I imagine these feelings are common for ALL NICU moms/parents and I realize that there are babies with far worse outcomes than my daughter's. However, everyone has a story and this is mine. Please keep us all in your prayers, especially for me and being able to let these negative feelings go.