Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mending a Broken Heart

"Daddy, my heart is getting fixed!"

We arrived at the hospital a little before 7am this morning for Elise's PDA surgery. Dr. Abraham spoke to us at the bedside about all the risks and walked us through the procedure. We blew our kisses to little lady and proceeded to the waiting room. I really don't know how parents wait during all day surgeries for their children...we waited for an hour and it seemed like forever to me. Kudos to you parents!  You have my admiration.

Dr. Abraham came to speak to us when he was all finished. His first words were, "All is well and she did great for me." MUSIC TO OUR EARS. She never dropped her sats. She did have to go on 100% oxygen during the surgery because they sedated her and let the oscillator do all the work for her. It is common for at least one, if not both, lungs to collapse. The first x-ray showed both were indeed collapsed after the procedure. It was crucial that they did several x-rays during the day to make sure her lungs were opening back up.

Currently, she is at 28% oxygen, a little higher settings on the oscillator, no BP problems, and having some tummy time :) IF she continues to do well with her BP and doesn't have to start any meds, we get to start feedings TOMORROW. Again, music to our ears! She will begin with 2 ml per 6 hours. It will be important that we watch her belly and make sure her intestines respond well to my milk.

After Miss Elise was stable, Daddy and I came back to the hotel for a couple of hours of rest. Not surprisingly, neither one of us slept very well last night. After our nap, we made sure Elise was still stable and we made a quick trip to the teacher's store in Castleton. Mommy couldn't wait to decorate Little Lady's corner! Thanks again to Elise's favorite nurse, Karrie, for all her cute scrapbooking signs!

When we went back to see Elise for 8:00 hands on time, I got a wonderful surprise. My hubby had arranged a surprise visit from my best friend! It was a beautiful thing that she came...I was needing her help decorating with all the teacher store supplies. I knew better than to ask G for help! ha! He is amazing in almost all categories, but when it comes to decorating, you want him backing away!

Unbeknownst to me, my best friend came for more than just a visit. She came to let me know that all my co-workers were thinking about me and sending all their love. She then presented a gift. My co-workers are ladies who I miss everyday. I miss talking in the school hallways. I miss seeing them at the copier or making those quick passes as we scarfed down our lunches before recess duties. I simply miss teaching.
I first asked, "Is this gift going to make me cry?" Sure enough, it did. See the pictures below. That is a picture of the first footprint from Miss Elise. I carried that picture around with me the first night she was born. I actually slept with it tucked in a pocket of my hospital gown. Everything was so new and scary that night, but her little footprints kept me feeling close to her as she was being worked up in the NICU after her arrival.

Jackson teachers, I want you to know how special you are to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You know me well...I love chunky jewelry! And to have a piece of jewelry with Elise Diane and her footprint? ~Life can't get much sweeter. I can't wait to wear this tomorrow. Quite frankly, I may wear it to bed with me! Love you all. And MISS you all.

Tomorrow brings another big day. Elise will be 2 weeks old! She will also get her 2nd head ultrasound to re-examine the possible grade 1 head bleed found last week. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it isn't even "possible" anymore. Also tomorrow, I will have my 2 week post surgery appointment with Dr. Deaton. If all things go as planned, I will get my driving privileges back and make sure the blood pressure medicine is still right for me.

We can't thank everyone enough for all their prayers, messages, cards, and more prayers! We truly, truly appreciate everyone backing us up and being Elise's cheerleaders. From Arkansas to California to New York...the prayers are being sent up. Keep sending them...and we will keep receiving them.

Forever grateful,
G & J & E


  1. love this update Jessica!!! So proud of how you and Grant are holding up ... we are keeping you in prayer down here and with God at the helm, EVERYTHING is possible for this little lady Elise!!!

  2. What a wonderful update! Thinking of you constantly and praying every day. You have a beautiful little girl. Love you 3!

  3. Hello,

    I came across your blog through a friend on Twitter and I had chills as I read your story. A year ago this weekend, our lives were turned upside down as I delivered a preemie at 34.5 due to preeclampsia. As I read your story I get chills and my eyes fill with tears because I was there. We do not have the exact same story, I but I can relate. (had the same symptoms, did the 24 hr urine thing, on the high risk floor, had the horrid magnesium, on the BP meds post birth and ached for my baby to be home with us) I too started a blog after the birth of our daughter to keep family & friends informed and surprisingly still keep up with it to this day. I know the pain of leaving with empty arms after every hospital visit, but you have a fighter on your hands and each day she is getting a little stronger. I also know about the surreal bond you share with your husband during this time, it is amazing, strong and reassuring and it is what helped me get through the tough days. I know you don't know me, but I would love to be there for you. You can read our story under the "birth story" tab at the top of my blog if you are ever interested. www.hfamilyjourney.blogspot.com Hang in there, I will be praying for your little family.

  4. Absolutely LOVE this post and Oh My Word... I LOVE your new jewelry! That is a piece that will touch your heart forever and one day you can pass it down to Miss. Elise and her babies!! <3 So SPECIAL!!!! :) Love you!