Monday, November 17, 2008

NICU Roller Coaster

Well, our little Brynn is definitely no exception to the roller-coaster ride of preemies. I haven't posted her progress for several days because I usually like to have at least a tentative idea of our next step or some sort of resolution for conclusions' sake. But it seems that each time I sit down to update this blog on her condition, one more thing comes up and we're left with more questions than answers. That said, I guess I will just write what I know today.

For the past 6 days, we thought her PDA was closed. Today, however, the doctor heard another fairly loud murmur and her oxygen needs went up (which usually indicates the PDA has re-opened). Tonight she'll have an echocardiogram to double check. If the test confirms the doctor's suspicions, Brynn will be in for surgery either Thursday or Friday. As usual, we're praying for the best possible outcome (which is always whatever the Lord has in mind, right?).

In addition to treating her for her PDA, she now needs to be treated for pneumonia as well. After finding the bacteria in her lungs, the staff had to analyze whether it was a resistant strain. While the analysis was being processed, Brynn was to be quarantined until they knew for sure. Everyone that entered Brynn's room, even if only for a minute and regardless of whether that person touched her or her incubator, was required to put on a sterile gown and gloves. We were extremely grateful that the test results told us it was not the resistant strain because if it had been, we would have had to gown and glove for the rest of her NICU stay. I'm still not sure what that would have meant for future Kangaroo Care and I'm glad I won't have to find out--at least not today, anyway.

Fortunately the pneumonia seems to be reacting well to the antibiotics; but unfortunately, the compilation of all medicines administered through IV (indocin, nutrition, calories, and two kinds of antibiotics) has required many, many pokes. Our dear little Brynn has only ONE visible vein left that has not been bruised by either an unsuccessful or a successful IV. We're hoping the midline IV she has now will last a few more days so the other sites have room to heal for the next inevitable IV poke. My sweet girl is quite the pin cushion these days, but without the IVs, she would surely leave this world. With her fighting spirit and obvious desire to stay with us, I can only imagine that if she had to make the choice, she would choose to take the IVs.

I wish I didn't have to write such a string of bad news, but I am learning that such is the way of the NICU. Everything she is facing is pretty ordinary for the staff there and no one seems to be overly concerned. Of course, they all understand the risks of prematurity but they all seem to take it in stride. It's best summed up by one of the nurses comments, when she was explaining why she decided to work in the NICU, "I really enjoy it because for the most part we have happy endings around here. There aren't many places in the medical field like that."

Partly because all of Brynn's recent struggles are very much expected, I have still been pretty calm and without much worry.

I guess the calm is also partly from past experience, because even in my most miserable and trying times I have always realized in hind sight that what I went through was necessary. Whereas I used to doubt most everything my parents told me about God and Religion--and really wasn't sure I believed God even existed--now I have come to know my Savior as my very best friend and have also grown to trust Him with more conviction than I thought possible. I am confident--absolutely 100% confident--that what Brynn must suffer in her early age is not only what's best for Matt's and my spiritual well-being, but also what's in Brynn's best interest as well. Afterall, God doesn't make mistakes (and although people certainly do, nothing we experience as a result of others' faults is beyond God's ability to bring us an equal or greater amount of joy). I sincerely believe that Brynn will eventually experience joy equal to and even surpassing her pain.

But mostly, I must confess my peace is due to the Priesthood blessing Matt gave me when I was first in the hospital. For those of you who are reading this but are not of my faith and therefore don't really know what I mean when I say Priesthood, may I simply give my witness that the Priesthood in this Church is real, and is much more than a prayer. How do I know? Because I know my typical reactions to hardships much less serious than this, and I KNOW that I could not remain this calm by my own self control or deliberate optimism.

While I am on the subject of the Priesthood, my father recently gave Matt a Priesthood blessing as well, in which God told Matt many wonderful things which brought us both comfort. And even though it's still difficult to watch our sweet little girl suffer, Matt probably summed it up best when he said, "I realize now that Lord loves Brynn even more than we do."

May I add my sincere knowledge that the Lord is real and that He does love Brynn, Matt, and me. So much so, in fact, that He doesn't rush in to save us each time we struggle. He loves us enough to allow us to fall and skin our knees and then to eventually learn to walk. He knows that this experience will help us and strengthen us so that we might be better able to understand the Ultimate Joy He has to offer us.

I love my Savior and I love you all.



The Tarin Family said...

As always, you, Matt and Brynn are continually in our family’s prayers. Thank you for sharing your testimony on the Lord and on Priesthood blessings. While reading that part of your post I felt what you said to be true. I’m so grateful for the priesthood and the peace it brings into our families. We’ll continue to pray for Brynn as she continues to fight off these pesky obstacles.

Joe and Amy said...

Aunt Diane let us know about your blog and about what was happening. We have been amazed with your faith, strength and optimism as we have read through your experiences. We will continue to pray for you both to have continued peace and for little Brynn to overcome all.

Love, Your cousin's Joseph and Amy Lee

P.S. Our oldest is also named Brynn. Great choice in a name! ;)