Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sadie's Birth Story, Part 4

(This is a continuation of Sadie's birth story.  If you missed the previous posts, click here for Part 1 Part 2, and Part 3.)

After Brad left, I just sat on my bed, completely numb to what was going on.  I immediately began researching TEF on the internet (which is always a bad thing to do), and saw the severity of what this could possibly turn in to.  Typically, TEF babies have multiple complications with other organs, their heart, or bones.  My mind could not wrap around what all this could mean for our little Sadie.

A new nurse had came in at shift change to check on me.  My only concern was when could I be discharged so I could get to Sadie.  Much to my surprise, the nurse had already contacted the doctor on call and explained to him what all had transpired.  Because my delivery went so well, I had no stitches, and had been up walking since less than an hour after delivery, the doctor was going to allow me to be discharged when rounds were made at 7am!

Brad called to let me know he had arrived at Children's and Sadie was in a room.  She had a pacifier in her mouth, and was resting.  He had met with a nurse practitioner and she had painted a very grim picture of what our girl's future looked like.

Multiple surgeries. 

Extensive recovery period.  

Possible other birth defects.  

Expected complications.  

Very long hospital stays.  

It all was just too much to process.

My parents arrived around 3:00 a.m. and helped me go ahead and pack our things, and then laid down to try to get some sleep.  I couldn't sleep - my mind was working overtime.  I decided to go ahead and get a shower.  While I was in the shower, I was thinking about the past 9 months of carrying Sadie.  Brad and I had prayed every single night for our sweet girl and her growth and development.  We had prayed specifically for every organ, every system, every single part of her to develop as it should.  Each week I would read what was supposed to develop during that week, and I would pray specifically for those things to develop properly.  Why had God not heard our prayers?  Why would He allow us to go through 10 years of infertility and now allow this?  Why would our baby have to suffer?  But, the Lord spoke to my heart in that moment of desperation and fear and reminded me of the verse - "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5).  Long before Sadie was ever even growing in my belly, He knew her.  Before our scare at 10 weeks of pregnancy, He knew her.  Before doing InVitro was even a thought in our heads, He knew her.

And, He created her perfectly.  

This so called birth defect was of no surprise to Him - He created her exactly as she was supposed to be.  He reminded me that besides praying for her development we had also prayed for Him to use her - that others would see Jesus in her.  He had already performed a miracle through her while I was only 10 weeks pregnant - why would I fear and question Him now?!  He had given us the name Sadie Hope for a reason - that we would never lose sight of WHO our HOPE was in.  Thank you, Lord for clarity and Your unwavering faithfulness despite our moments of unbelief!!

Morning finally came, and was full of busy - being discharged, leaving the hospital, and finally getting to Children's.  Brad met us in the lobby on the 2nd floor, and I sobbed when I saw him.  I don't think I've ever been more happy to see him than I was at that moment!  Brad brought me up to speed that he had met with a surgeon, and after looking at Sadie's x-rays, the surgeon felt she could possibly just need one surgery to correct the problem.  ONE.  Glory!  Sadie would be going through multiple tests throughout the day to see if any other organs, her heart, her brain, or her bones were affected.  And, she would be having surgery that evening to repair the TEF.  Brad took us up to the NICU on the 6th floor, and carried me down the long hallway to the corner room - 611.  My sweet angel was laying in her tiny little bed, still hooked up to machines, with wires and tubes all over her little body.  Our nurse, Kaylin, was absolutely wonderful and allowed me to hold her all day long until her surgery.  I stared at Sadie all day, trying to soak in every single second with her.  

All of our family stayed with us.  Our phones and Facebook were blown up with people checking on our sweet girl and letting us know she was being prayed for.  Our pastor and worship pastor came to visit as well.  My mom commented on how strong I was throughout the day...I can say with certainty that any strength I showed was because of the prayers that were being prayed for us.  I was terrified, completely exhausted, and in shock of what was happening.  But, there was a peace within me that I cannot explain...and, as Sadie has done since the day she was conceived, that sweet angel brought hope in my heart.  Even though I was scared to death that she was going to have numerous other health problems and complications with the surgery that was to come, I had a glimmer of HOPE that it was all going to be ok.     

That afternoon, they finally came and told us it was time for surgery.  All of our family walked with us as we followed the nurses down to surgery.  I felt like we were walking the walk of doom...so very scary.  The nurses took Brad and I back to a holding room to see the anesthesiologist and surgeon prior to surgery.  Sadie laid in her little bed - all 7 pounds of her - so very tiny and new.  The surgeon, Dr. Harmon, told us he hoped to do the repair to her esophagus and trachea laparoscopically but would just have to see how things went.  Surgery would be 4-5 hours.  The nurses told us we could give Sadie one last kiss, and then they wheeled her away and sent us to the waiting room.  My brand new, tiny little baby was taken back for very serious surgery.  And she was only 28 hours old.  

Our parents brought Brad and I something to eat while we waited, our first meal all day.  Our family was such a huge help to us that day just being there, keeping us sane by talking and laughing.  After we got word that surgery had begun, I went back up to Sadie's room to pump, still hoping to be able to use my breast milk once she could take a bottle.  At Children's, mothers of infants can have breast milk stored in the freezer to be used for feedings.  After pumping, I went to the nurses' station to turn in my milk.  There was only one nurse at the desk, and she was on the phone.  As I waited, I could tell she was on the phone with someone in surgery.  Certainly not trying to eavesdrop, but the more I listened, I felt sure the call was about my Sadie...it sounded like they were giving instructions about recovery - but, Sadie had only been in surgery for about 1 1/2 hours.  No way could she already be going to recovery!  The nurse hung up the phone, and I told her I needed to turn in the milk for Sadie Powell.  "Are you Sadie's mother?" she asked.  I nodded.  "I was just on the phone with surgery.  She will be coming back up to her room for recovery in about 15 minutes."  WHAT?! "But she hasn't even been in surgery 2 hours!  They told us it would take much longer.  That sounds like good news!!" I said.  The nurse smiled, and said, "yes, it sounds like she has done very well!"  That was my first time meeting the nurse whose name I would quickly learn was Ashley.  Much, much more to come about Ashley! :)      

I went back down to the waiting room and told Brad and our family the good news.  Dr. Harmon came out soon after and talked with Brad and I.  He told us surgery had went extremely well.  He was unable to do the repair laparoscopically, but still had a very successful surgery.  In fact, Dr. Harmon said on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most difficult, Sadie's repair was a 1 or 2.  Wow!!  While it was possible she might need additional surgeries, he felt it highly unlikely that it would be necessary.  Double wow!!  He also went on to tell us that all other tests that had been completed that day - scans of every organ, her heart, her bones, her brain - every single one came back perfect.  No other birth defects noted.  Praise the Lord!!!!  

We went out and told our family that wonderful news, and went back up to the NICU to see our girl!  The Nurse Practitioner, Shannon, came and talked to us prior to seeing Sadie.  She prepared us for what we would see - our baby girl was on a ventilator, had a NG tube (feeding tube in her nose), and had a chest tube to drain fluid from the repair - in addition to all the oxygen and heart monitors. 
Seeing our little Sadie Hope for the first time after surgery was one of the happiest moments of my life. She was swollen, yes.  She was hooked up to numerous machines, and was covered in tubes and wires, yes.  But, she was alive.  And, once again, we had been given HOPE - this time from Dr. Harmon that maybe, just maybe this would be the one and only surgery to get our girl on the road to recovery.  
Friday, July 26th was by far the longest, scariest, heart-aching day of our lives.  But it ended with great HOPE and joy!!  

The last and final part to Sadie's Birth Story coming soon! :)

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