Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 20--April 29

Once my watch was over today at the school house, I hurriedly went to collect Michael so we could begin the hour and a half drive back to our home away from home at Parker’s House in Hillsborough. Once we arrived we had a wonderful supper prepared by Nana Joan (who knew that retirement would inspire such things?), and let momma spend some time with her first born.Shortly after this reunion, Beth and I struck out for the Hospital. After all it had been a day since I had seen little Katie. During the 25 or so minute ride, Beth and I discussed her progress during the day. Mom and dad had come and spent quite a while with Katie today and provided her with some much needed rock and snuggle time, but little progress had been made toward her being able to eat orally. This has become a source of great consternation for Beth. As we journeyed up the now dimly lit Durham Freeway, Beth admitted that she seemed to have “hit a wall”, and had begun to feel a bit discouraged. We have spent so much energy remaining positive, and cheerful through this whole ordeal, that apparently some of this has begun to take its eventual toll. As the miles rolled by, we again counted our blessings and all of the achievements that Katie has already made. We had one of the many pep talks that we routinely give ourselves, and thanked the Lord again for his many blessings. We, and I mean this in every since of the word, WE once again helped sure up each other’s resolve, and together we refocused on the task at hand. Trying to rein in a hopeful heart can sometimes be difficult. We would like nothing more than to let this all pass so we can go home.We again realized, especially after talking to one of my coworkers today, and seeing so many of the premature babies, that we were much closer to going home than many of these children. As I also mentioned in another e-mail, and to another coworker as well the wonderful ladies at the United Hair Salon today (Joan, Beth, and Michael get their ears lowered there. I go to a manly man barber……sorry ladies), “we are not out of the woods yet, but we are peering through the limbs.” I then realized, as all hunters know, the edges of a wood line are often the most grown up, because this is where the most sunlight can reach. This is where the briars, brambles, and poison grows. This is often the hardest places to get through. I was convinced that we had gotten into those “briars” and were having to pick our way through to open ground. Then we got to the hospital……We approached the window, and proudly announce “mom and dad to see baby Cole in room seven.” We were promptly told, “I am sorry your daughter is not here.” “WHAT!!?? What do you mean she is not here? Where is she?” The reply through a toothy grin was “she’s been transferred.” Again,.. “WHAT!!?? What do you mean she’s been transferred? Where is she?” We were elated to find that after TWENTY days she has finally been transferred to the “Transitional Care Nursery.” This is like having one foot in the door, just enough to keep it from closing! Again, when the sky was beginning to darken the Lord heard our prayers and opened the sky and poured out his blessings on us. That wall that Beth had mentioned was demolished and spread to the four winds. This was like Christmas when we were kids. One of the things that we have been waiting for, for so long has come to fruition. This was something that we had only dared whisper mostly among ourselves as we were convinced that it was still weeks away! Thank you Lord!Once we were given access to this new facility we discovered that our baby was on the floor! We were asked some time ago to bring a “bouncy seat” which Granny and Papa Cole were kind enough to dig out of the attic at our home and bring up on one of their many visits. Katie was snoozing soundly in this new piece of furniture.We were also greeted by the wonderful news that she had not been given any additional doses of medication to fight withdrawal symptoms since early this morning. Perhaps Katie has finally broken this strangle hold of discomfort. Tonight she was as limp as a rag doll. Her arms were by her side, and not in that “boxer’s” pose. Her hands were not balled into fists and her little fingers were easily extended, and her palms were peacefully lying on her knees. We had not yet seen her in this capacity. It was good for our hearts! We have become quite efficient at retaining our composure, but it was hard for me to see through the “mist” of delight!Beth was allowed to give her a bath, which Katie Did Not Like! Beth loved it though, and this also seemed to sweep any remaining “Wall” dust under the rug!Beth also attempted to get her to suckle a bottle for several minutes, but Katie would have none of it. It is funny how God has once again has shown us how many blessings he has given us. As mentioned earlier, this was the one thing that was causing the clouds of despair to form over Beth, however the fact that Katie was too sleepy to eat seemed relatively insignificant compared to all of the wonderful gifts from God that we received on so short a time.Thank you Lord, for again teaching us patience and humility!

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