Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Good friends, good food, good news, good life!

(Warning: lengthy post & incredibly picture heavy!)

First, let me just tell ya'll the really awesome news: June Claire has orders for the Level Two NICU now! This is huge! It's just another validation that she is INDEED on her way to going back home to Alabama. They repeated her eye exam today, and she is still holding steady at Stage 1 RoP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). This is okay, though, because we don't want her to progress to Stage 2 or beyond -- and remember, lots of times Stage 1 babies resolve their issues themselves.

I had someone ask me the other day -- "Why don't you seem concerned by this?" Well -- the easiest way for me to put it is this: you know how older, "seasoned" parents tell you to pick & choose your battles with your children? I am picking and choosing my battles with June. She can come home with a slight eye issue. She can have a quick laser eye surgery and she can wear glasses. I've worn them since I was 13. It won't kill her. Sure, in RARE cases it does result in blindness...but so? Even if she is blind, she is still alive.

She is still taking two bottles per day (she took 31 mLs last night for her nurse and I; her regular feed is 41 mLs so this is good!).

They also are going to lift the sibling visitation restriction next week! Or so I've heard. Sara will FINALLY be able to meet her little sister and spend some good, quality time with her. I can't wait to take that first picture of Sara holding June on the little pillow. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a big family. I wanted 7 or 8 children. Michael? Not so much. LOL. But I have always dreamed about the day we would bring our second (or third...or fourth...or tenth) child home and all the siblings and family would be waiting at the house to meet the new little one. That's not quite how it's going to work out for us, but I still can't wait to take shots of that first initial meeting. :)

Today was a busy day. Michael re-enlisted in the USAF for another four years! This was a special re-enlistment because the First Sergeant, Commander and his wife drove all the way down from Fort Stewart, GA, to personally conduct the re-enlistment ceremony and to visit with us and meet June. Let me just lay this out for ya'll. These three wonderful people drove for over 4 hours each way to see US...and not only did they do that, but they brought a gift for Michael & I and for Sara. Not only THAT, but these are the same people who coordinated one (or two? I can't clearly remember) fundraisers and gave us the profit from them. Not only THAT (I wonder how many times I can say that phrase...haha) but they sent a huge box of toys and books for Sara. Families from the squadron have sent cards of encouragement and I know that they have prayed many prayers for us.

So...what makes this so special to us is that these people have never met us. Other than Michael meeting the First Sergeant & Commander a handful of times, we have never met these people since they are part of the unit location at Fort Stewart. All these families in this squadron, all those who donated time to prepare the fundraisers, financial aid, gifts, cards, etc...we have never laid eyes on them. That didn't matter to them, though, and they stepped up and helped out when a family needed it. For that, Michael and I will FOREVER be thankful. No matter how many new assignments we will ever have in the future, no matter if we ever come back to Fort Stewart or Fort Benning, we will NEVER, EVER forget that kindness. It has given us a testimony and we will USE it.

(I'm not leaving the squadron back at Fort Benning out, either. We truly appreciate the cards, gifts, thoughts, prayers, etc. that you all have given to us, as well. You know who you are, and may God richly bless you for your kindness. Can't wait to get back and SEE ya'll!)

Here is a picture of us, after lunch at The Cheesecake Factory...deeelicious! FYI, the mango key lime cheesecake is to DIE for!

And as always, I would appreciate it if you would continue to keep sweet Hadlei in your prayers. She went in for her third heart surgery today. I will not go into details today as I'm not sure if Britni has spoken to everyone she wanted to speak with about it, but I will just say that she did make it through it and she continues to hold steady in critical condition. She is a FIGHTER for sure. I know that Britni & her immediate family covets your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.

There is also two other families here at the RMH that I would like to ask you to remember. The first family we have become pretty close to. The dad is former military and they have a small son who turned a year old while they were here. The baby was born at 25 weeks (I believe) and he is really struggling. They got news yesterday that he will likely need a second surgery on his belly because he cannot tolerate feeds, and his gallbladder is swollen. They are also going to begin tapping his brain to draw out fluid from the brain bleed. This baby is named Jacob and he was born May 11. I did not realize this, but the way they tap brain bleeds is by sticking a needle in through the soft spot to draw out blood. How sad. :( He also has a grade 3 brain bleed.

The second family is someone who has been here at the RMH since her child was born two years ago. Since the baby was born, she has been on life support and the mother would not take her off. She said she felt like when God was ready to call her home, he would do it. I don't know the logistics of the situation, but the baby went home to be with Jesus today. The Commander, his wife and I were actually in the waiting room at the hospital when a nurse came out, calling for a family member to come back and be with her as she was taking it very hard. I didn't realize at the time it was this particular family. My heart breaks for them. Pray for peace and comfort in the coming days as they grieve the loss of their daughter.


Parsons' Post said...

I LOVE your heart, your blog, and your Mama strength! You rock! Praying for Hadlei and praising the Lord for all he is doing and continues to do with June Claire! *hugs*

MoDLin said...

I'm happy for your news about June Claire's eyes and hope that the ROP will not move to a level 2.

We will keep all these babies and their familes in our thoughts.

The March of Dimes has created a bereavement kit for families who have lost a baby. You can read about it, and even order a free copy, at this link: Perhaps it will be helpful to the woman who just lost her baby. I was so sorry to read about it.

HappyascanB said...

Be still my heart! That first picture of June Claire is precious!