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.    


  1. Oh my goodness that Sadie Hope is a miracle! God is good! I am so glad she's doing ok, but I am sorry you had to go through that!

    1. Yes ma'am she is...and yes, He is!! :)