Once again after an hour and a half of singing, “Old MacDonald,” “ABC’s,” “Go tell Aunt Rhodie,” “Froggy went a courtin’,” “There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea,” and who knows how many other songs over and over again, Michael and I have finally arrived safely at home in Coats. He was very ready to get into bed and quickly fell off to peaceful sleep as only a child can do.Today’s report is a bit anti-climactic. As it were, Beth did not have a good night. She has felt pretty much under the weather since around midnight last night. She has been achy, with headaches, and had several sets of chills run through her. She feared that she might have a low grade fever. Upon acquiring a thermometer, however it was discovered that she did not have a fever. She has had another bout of swelling in her feet and legs, no doubt from the relentless sitting by Katie’s Crib. This fluid shift is apparently common after childbirth, but normally does not last this long. The nurses at Duke tell me that all of this added stress has more than likely contributed to her continued physical weakness.Beth chose to not go to the hospital today, in order to convalesce a bit, and to prevent carrying some contagion to within the nurseries at Duke, not just for our baby, but all the others as well. I can tell you that this decision was not made easily, but in true loving, motherly fashion. Beth only wants the best for our children, even if it breaks her heart.Her absence from Katie today coupled with the reports of the baby’s reluctance to eat, has begun to re-grow a state of melancholy for Beth. It was easy to understand we couldn’t have her when she was hooked to ventilators, PICC line, IV’s, etc. Now since she looks and acts like a normal baby, Beth wants her HOME! I understand that as well, however I guess as a male, I am void of the hormones and the “umbilical” connection to our child that Beth has and continues to experience. As husband and wife, Beth and I are very close, as many are. When she hurts I hurt. Truly today, I have felt that Beth needed more prayer than Katie.On a lighter note, one of my dearest friends and former colleague turned Pastor, Allen West, showed up today with his oldest son Ben. Our two boys spent the morning playing along the dusty driveway of Parker’s House, and Allen and I also took them to the pond for a bit of fishing. As the attention span of toddlers and preschoolers is about as long as my finger, it was not long before all of the fishing was done by only Allen and myself. The boys were content to wrestle and play on the golf cart. Michael threw Nana’s grill scraper out of the golf cart and into the pond (ooops I forgot to tell you that before I left Joan.) We then decided we had fished enough and called it a morning.Shortly after eating lunch Allen and Ben said their fair wells, and I put Michael down for his nap, then it was off to see my Katie.She was napping peacefully when I arrived. The nurse for today got her out of her crib and gently laid her in my arms. After commenting on how tiny yet comfortable Katie looked being held in my big rough hands, the nurse went about her chores. The next several hours went by so quickly it was shocking. Katie rested quietly in my lap, and never once exhibited any signs of withdrawal, she is so beautiful! Like her mother.As you may have noticed with the opening of this update I love to sing to my children. I am no good at it, but I try to “make a joyful noise.” Michael enjoys it, and I think Katie does too! Several times during this sweet period of connection between Katie and I, she gave me some big gummy grins. I know, I know it was probably gas, but don’t spoil my misty moments ok! Mostly she slept, and at least once so did I. I woke my self up snoring, and to the muffled giggles of the TCN nurses. I didn’t skip a beat, and picked right back up where I thought I had left off on the last song.Many times during this visit I told Katie how beautiful she was, and just how many people loved her. We also had a serious discussion about her putting some effort into this suckling business. She must have been able to detect the subtle change in the tone of my voice, as her bright eyes seem to lock with mine in an understanding fashion.Just as with every other time I am forced to depart, I whispered a prayer for my darling girl. This simple, yet heart felt prayer always brings tears to my eyes as I truly feel that it is being heard by the Master.Kind and most Gracious Heavenly Father, I come to You as humbly as I know how to give You thanks and glory and honor for all that You have done for my family. Thank You so much for intrusting us with this precious angel! We know that she is Yours to freely give and to take. What an honor it has been to have been chosen by You Almighty God to have been given her charge. We thank You Lord, for the healing touch that you have already performed, and ask that if it be Your will, that the windows of Heaven should open wide and allow the miracle of healing to continue to flow, not just for our darling Katie but for all of the deserving souls in need here and elsewhere. Thank you Lord for giving the Doctors, Nurses, Technicians, Therapists and all the other health care professional here, the ability to help facilitate your gift of healing. May their work, be fast and accurate, may their decisions be guided by your spirit. Grant all of the families with loved ones here the peace of spirit that only You can provide. As I leave my precious baby girl I entrust her body and soul to You Oh Lord, enshroud her with Love and peace as only You can supply. Watch over her, and protect her, until I can return. Thank you Lord!Amen
We are Andy, Beth, Michael, and Katie Cole. We started blogging in the spring of 2009 as we dealt with the life-threatening birth defect of our daughter, who had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. But now she is now a happy and healthy one year old and we want to share more of our life than just "Katie's Story." We emerged from this most difficult time with a stronger marriage, a stronger family, and a stronger faith. Please join us as we live our thankful life!
A congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, is a birth defect that occurs in approximately 1 in 2500 live births. Half of those babies will NOT survive. Babies with CDH have a diaphram that was not formed correctly and this hole allows the abdominal structures such as the liver, spleen, and intestines to migrate up into the chest cavity. Because this usually happens so early in gestation (usually at 8-12 weeks), it interferes with the normal growth of the heart and lungs. Most of the time the lung on the affected side ends up being only a fraction of a normal sized lung at birth. This doesn't usually cause problems until the baby is born when they need those lungs to breath air for the first time! At birth, this is a life-threatening emergency that will require surgery to repair as soon as the baby is stable enough. Following surgery, there is most often a long, slooooowww recovery process.