Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 14--April 23, 2009

Happy two weeks!Those of you that know my momma also know that she is a fabulous cook. I am walking evidence of that. More than anything now she makes cakes, all kinds of cakes. If you can put “cake” in front or behind any other adjective, she can make it,……and it will be good!I say all of that because when Michael turned one week old, momma made him a miniature “Happy One Week!” cake (of course we ate it not Michael, what were you thinking). Our treat today was the fact that our little Katie is doing well. She has done so well for the past two days on her feedings that they have increased her milk allocation from 4.5 mL all the way to 22.5 mL, which is about ¾ of an ounce. She tolerates the milk well, and has not shown any signs of reflux. We have been informed to expect some form of reflux, as the amount gradually increases. These tube feedings are really the highlights of our days. It may seem odd to think of getting joy from administering milk through a tube in your child’s nose, but for us it is one more step to normalcy. Furthermore, Beth is exceptionally happy to see some of the milk being used which she has produced through hours of impersonal pumping.Katie is still showing signs of narcotics withdrawal, while not so much in a frenzied quake, she is still very agitated. This is in part due to small doses of Versed which whe still gets when she becomes inconsolable. She keeps her hands in what I can only describe as a boxers pose. Both of her fists are clutched tightly and in front of her face. You can see the intensity of her discomfort on her face, and feel the tension in every muscle as she continues to fight these alien feelings. It is amazing how much conflicting information can be received in a hospital. Yesterday we were told that these withdrawal symptoms may only take two or three days to go away. Today we were told by another that they can sometimes take weeks.During the past two weeks Katie, has kept her hands balled into fists more that any other position. In this fashion she keeps her thumbs pulled to the inside and curled under her fingers. The doctors have informed us that this is sign of discomfort. I can’t imagine why she would have been uncomfortable during this time, can you? Anyway there is now concern that due to the fact that her thumbs have been compressed for so long that they may actually “freeze” in that location, or have loss in their range of motion. In order to remedy that, small little neoprene splints have been applied to each hand. These little splints are basically little loops through which her thumbs have been inserted and extended outward a bit by using a little tension down to her wrist. This only affects the joint right next to the palm, not the entire thumb. At first glance it doesn’t appear to be doing anything unless you compare a splinted thumb to a non-splinted thumb. Here again if you use your imagination it kind of looks like she is preparing to go bowling.There was another milestone today as well. Not so much for Katie, nor for Beth or I, but for the much deserving grandparents. Today was the first time that she was allowed to be held by anyone other than mom or dad. If you want to see a grown man cry, just hand over a new grandbaby to John Cole. Momma and daddy, as well as Joan got to hold her today. We are saddened by the fact that Papa Bennie didn’t get to hold her, but he is graciously holding down the fort at home. I will personally see to it that he gets lots of Katie time during his next visit.As we travel the 20 miles back and forth from Duke medical center to our home away from home at the Parker Reese foundation House in Hillsborough we have begun to take stock in what has happened to us. We are trying to keep a running tally of the gifts, gestures, and help that we have received from so many. It is hard to list them all. We begin to reflect on time spent away from our church, our extended families, our friends, our jobs, in short our lives have been put on hold. Any and all former obligations seem almost trivial compared to what has been happening to our little family (little in number,…watch it, I heard that!) In the twelfth chapter of Luke, part of verse 48 reads: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” As the old, old hymn that my parents love to sing states “I found a treasure! I am rich beyond measure….” It is amazing how much a soul can love a being so much, not just from birth but from conception. We love our Michael and Katie more than anything on earth. We have been given the great and awesome responsibility of parenthood. We have been given much, and much is required of us. As I have said many times, “we will grind whatever grist the mill requires” in order to see our children healthy and raised in a caring, structured, God fearing home. For those of us who have been given the gift of salvation, much is required as well. I have no doubts that the Christian traits being shown towards our situation by so many are the true fruits of faith, and Godly love.To many of you reading this, Beth and I, along with all of our thanks, would also like to send our apologies. We are sorry for the days of work we have missed, which more than likely has caused many of our coworkers to have to pick up extra work loads. We apologize to our friends to whom we have not been able to visit, or talk to like before. We also know that it goes without saying that you all understand. The outpouring of love being shown to us is extremely humbling.With the Lord’s continued blessings, Katie will continue to improve. We know that we still have several weeks of recovery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy ahead of Katie, but with your continued support we will surely make it.

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