Friday, October 18, 2013

God and Hairbows

Yep, God and hairbows...that's not a post you see everyday, is it?!

A sweet family friend (Thank you, Mrs. Donnie!) sent this onesie to Sadie after we got home from the hospital.  The verse on the front is "For this child I have prayed" 1 Samuel 1:27, and holds great meaning to us.  Sadie has been a very prayed for, hoped for, longed for baby.  In our mind's eyes, it seemed to take a long time to get her here.  
The first time I put the onesie on her, I realized out of all the many hair bows Sadie has, she didn't have a purple one.  And, despite what Brad says, she always needs a bow to match! ;)  I immediately went to look in my ribbon stash for some purple ribbon to make a bow.  Of course I had some because I am a ribbon hoarder, and admit I have a ridiculous amount of ribbon!  I started thinking about the many bows I had made for all of my nieces and friend's children through the years.  All the time I had spent tying, cutting, and gluing bows to match all their cute little outfits...and, all the while longing to be doing that for my own daughter.  

That's when it hit me.  

This was the first bow I had ever made Sadie.  All of her other bows had been given to me at her showers, or I had purchased them.  This was the first time I was making a bow for my own, not someone else's.
And, how coincidental (but not really all that coincidental, because that's just how God is) that this first self-made bow would be made to match such a special onesie with this verse?  All those years of making bows for everyone else, was spent praying for my own baby to come.  And, the Lord was faithful and gracious enough to allow us to have the desires of our hearts. 
Those 10 years of waiting were so long...many days of heartache...many days of asking "why?"...many days of just feeling like maybe God didn't hear our prayers.  But, all the while there was hope in our hearts that we clung to and trusted that He had a plan much bigger than our own.

Today, looking at that sweet baby wearing a verse of faithfulness and the first of many mommy-made bows overwhelms my heart with thankfulness for His perfect timing.  

Thank you, Lord "for this child I have prayed", thank you for answering those prayers, and thank you for the journey to get her here.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sadie is Two Months Old!

Sadie turned 2 months old a little over a week ago, and I actually took her picture and wrote this post then; however, I wanted to get all of her birth story up before I posted this :)

My goodness, how can two months come and go so very quickly??!!

What is Sadie up to these days?
  • She weighs 10 lb 3 oz, and is 23 inches long.  
  • She is in size 1 diapers.
  • She can still wear a couple of newborn sleepers but will be out of those within a week.  All other clothes are 0-3 months.
  • Her eye color is still up for debate - we're holding out for them to stay blue, but some days they look brown or green.
  • Her hair is still dark, but seems to be lightening up a bit.  
  • She eats 4 ounces or nurses 15-20 minutes every 3-4 hours during the day.
  • She is sleeping wonderfully at night - sleeping 5-8 hour stretches!!!  We are SO proud and thankful for that!   
  • She has started to smile on purpose, and coo.  The most precious thing EVER!  
  • When she wakes up in the mornings, she has been waking up and just playing in her bed - kicking and cooing.  When I go to get her up, she smiles the biggest grin and starts kicking faster when I say "Good morning, baby girl!"  Oh, it just makes my heart feel like it's going to BURST!                                  
Sadie is a paci girl...oh how she loves it!  She was extremely attached to her Wubbanub, but now she just wants a regular pacifier.
She also loves to play on her activity mat!  She will kick, and hit the animals with her hands until she falls asleep.  She also likes to look at herself in the mirror on top, and coo.  Sooo sweet!
Sadie has had several firsts this month.  After not being able to take her out for at least 6 weeks, we were super excited to take her to church for her first Sunday! :)
She also took her first real bath this month.  She absolutely LOVES baths...she usually cries when it's over!
Sadie got to experience her first Football Saturday, and hear WAR EAGLE a few times! :)
It's been a fun month to start to see Sadie's little personality develop.  So far she is very laid back, and such a sweet baby! :)

It's hard to believe how much she has already changed in a month!  
We are so in love with Sadie Hope!  Someone asked the other day if I loved every minute, and I can honestly say a resounding YES!  What a sweet, special blessing she is!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sadie's Birth Story, Part 5

(This is a continuation of Sadie's birth story.  If you missed the previous posts, click here for Part 1 Part 2Part 3, and Part 4.)

We had been told repeatedly by nurses, nurse practitioners, and surgeons to be prepared for a long recovery period for Sadie.  The week prior to Sadie being born, a TEF baby had finally been discharged after being at Children's for 9 months.  Another had left recently that had been there 6 months.  


Sadie Hope is a fighter.  And, a girl that is determined to fight every odd against her.

She came off the ventilator 24 hours after surgery.  And, they removed her catheter after she (literally) pushed it out herself.
The surgeons planned to wait a week following Sadie's surgery to do an esophogram, which would show how her repair was healing.  If all looked well, she would start being administered milk in to her feeding tube.  However, after only 3 days, the surgeons said to let her start feeding through her feeding tube because she was doing so exceptionally well.
Day 5, she came off oxygen, with most of those days she had been on the oxygen, it was turned only to room air.  We would find her during the night having pulled the oxygen out of her nose and chewing on the tube! HA!!

On day 7, Sadie had the esophogram - the repair looked great!  Praise the Lord!!!  They removed her feeding tube - the first time we had seen our sweet girl's face without a wire or tube since before she left St. Vincents the night she was born.
We were told the next hurdle was for her to learn how to eat.  She had not eaten anything by mouth since birth, and they told us it can be difficult for TEF babies to learn how to eat.  It could take a long time for her to be able to learn how to latch on, suck, and swallow...not to be discouraged if she had difficulty with this.


When Sadie first arrived to Children's, they put a pacifier in her mouth and she LOVED it.  We kept a pacifier in her mouth every minute that she would take it in hopes that it would help her to retain being able to suck and latch on.  It worked!  Our girl took her first bottle like a champ.  Sucked it dry in less than 15 minutes.  A miracle within itself!    
On day 8, they removed her chest tube, and she was only left with heart and oxygen monitors.  We were increasing her feeding by 5 milliliters at each feeding, with the surgeon wanting her to be at 55 milliliters every 3 hours.  We were also told that she could nurse in addition to taking bottles, but she may not do well with nursing since she was over a week old and had not nursed since the day she was born.


Our sweet girl had no problems, and nursed like a pro.  And, this Mama's heart was overflowing with joy because of that.  Breastfeeding was sooo important to me, and I had been thrilled that she was being fed my breast milk in the bottle.  But, I wanted to be able to nurse as well.  That was such a sweet, sweet blessing to me that was still an option!

Day 9, they removed her picc line and she was exclusively getting nutrients from her bottle feedings and nursing.
Day 10, we were moved out of the NICU and were sent to the 9th floor to a regular room.  I won't lie - that was a hard transition.  The NICU had been our home for 10 days.  It was safe, and familiar.  Brad and I had slept in Sadie's room every single night, and had barely left the floor during the day to go eat our meals.  Our nurses had taken very good care of us, and were extremely attentive to Sadie and to us.  We were a tad bit spoiled in the NICU! :)  The 9th floor was unfamiliar and less personal; but, one step closer to going home nonetheless!  
Our last hoop to jump through to get to go home was Sadie had to eat enough in a day to show a weight gain of 20 milligrams.  She was eating great, but was eating only what her little body could hold and then she would fall asleep mid-feeding.  We spent 2 days in what felt like a holding pattern, just waiting for her to show a gain in weight so we could go home.  But, on day 12, our girl finally gained enough weight for her doctors to give their blessing for her to be discharged!!!  Thank you, Lord!
12 days in the hospital.  Seemed so very long while we were there, but could have been incredibly longer.  We were given an expected recovery period of months when we first arrived at Children's.  And, our little Sadie Hope proved to everyone - including Brad and I - that she is a fighter.
Those 12 days changed us.  Made us better.  Closer.  More thankful and in awe of the blessing of Sadie, if that was even possible.

And, people were put in our path along this journey that we will carry in our hearts forever.  One of those people was our nurse, Ashley.
I call her our nurse, because we felt she was there for us.  Ashley was (and is) the epitome of what a nurse should be - particularly in a critical care unit.  She was our nurse, and we compared every other nurse we had during our stay to her!  She made a significant impact on Sadie's care - we are confident without her, Sadie's hospital stay would have very easily been much longer.  Ashley was with Sadie through recovery after her surgery, and was able to stay with us for several nights following.    She always had a smile on her face, and the love she had for caring for babies was obvious.  She took care of Sadie like she was her own, and I trusted her - which is hard to do when your baby is sick!  But, she also took care of us too.  When she came in and asked, "how are you?", she meant it.  Ashley understood my need to mother Sadie and not just sit back and watch the nurses take care of her, and she allowed us to be very hands on in her care. She went the extra mile to always make sure that we understood every single thing that was going on with Sadie.  She shot straight with us, but was an encourager as well.  Ashley advocated for Sadie with the nurse practitioners and surgeons, and pushed for her to be taken off oxygen when it was no longer necessary, pushed for her to be put in a regular crib, and pushed for us to be able to hold our precious angel as quickly as possible.  We have no doubt she was there for us that week, and our little family of three was blessed because of her!

Well friends, that's Sadie's birth story.  I know it's taken me a long time to post each part, but to be honest, it's been very emotional writing it all down!  Going through and seeing the pictures and Sadie's progress was overwhelming to say the least.  But, I'm thankful for the journey.  And, so so so grateful for Sadie Hope.  Every day that added up to months, and then years of waiting and longing was worth the wait.

My heart is full.