Monday, July 19, 2010


i just got home from the NICU a bit ago this evening and i caught something on TV that really made me stop and think about what gavin has had to go through. it was about people's attitudes that face adversity and just how positive some of them are.  tonight as we were visiting with one of the nurse's and one of the nurse practitioner's i really understood that gavin's lungs are the worst lungs they have ever seen on a baby. wow. we knew they were bad and "some of the worst" but didn't really understand the magnitude being where we are now. my sister gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy name asher. he was 7 pounds 4 ounces born just before 2pm. he's camped out just across the hall from gavin - just outside the NICU. it is fun to bounce back and forth to see both of these little boys and to really see the different paths they have taken.  check out gavin vs. asher's footprint:

gavin was to be born this thursday. it's hard to even imagine tracee still pregnant right now, preparing to have him. needless to say, that didn't happen and we received our very critical bundle of joy three and a half month's ago. he has fought and fought since day 1 to get to where he is now. i don't want to discount that at all. i am so proud of my son. i wonder if i have that kind of fight and drive like gavin does?  i sure hope so. it's inspiring and it's touching and it makes me want to be a better dad and a better husband. i love that my son has been teaching me...aren't i supposed to do that for him???!!!
we forget. i'm not sure if we can help it - we just do. i think that is why Jesus had his disciples partake in communion and He told them "do this in rememberance of Me..." we need to be reminded. it wasn't too long ago that we coined the phrase about 9/11 "we will never forget." but...the reality is that a lot of us have forgotten to some extent - we certainly don't feel the same today as we did on that dreadful day, or as we did even a week later when patriotism was at an all time high. hey, it is what it is - but i REALLY don't want to forget about what we have gone through and what God has taught us and how He has used gavin's life to shape who tracee and i are today. gavin is a special little boy but i don't think i had to tell all of you that, right?

ps. gavin went to all day high flow nasal canula today and is no longer on CPAP! pray that God will sustain him and this gets us 1 step closer to the door!!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my two blessings

thank you Lord...i'm the luckiest girl in the world!

joy comes in the morning

the pediatric opthomologist came to the nicu yesterday to do gavin's eye exam. he found that the blood behind his eyes is gone and that, although he still has stage one and stage two ROP, it appears to be beginning to correct itself. PRAISE JESUS! the nurses and doctors are amazed that it is getting better already. they told us to expect it to get worse before it got better. i know with all my heart that God was in the center of this. this was no medical miracle. this was no "lucky situation". this was God. this was His choice and His timing. i want to personally thank each of you who prayed. please recognize that God hears our prayers and He answered them. from this point on, it is very important that the nurses closely monitor gavin's oxygen levels and saturation to ensure that the ROP continues to correct itself. the doctor will see him in another two weeks to check on the status of the ROP and to see if his eyes are vascularized. once they are fully vascularized, the ROP is no longer a concern. i called jeramy immediately after the doctor left and cried tears of joy with him. as you all are well aware, this has been such an emotional journey for us and this really was one of our last hurdles before getting ready to go home (aside from some hernia surgeries prior to discharge). i came home from the hospital in the afternoon and was actually able to get some much needed rest. thank you Lord.

oh, here is a picture of gavin bundled up in his big boy crib...he's 5 pounds, 5 ounces today!

today has been a great day...gavin is 100 days old! my brother-in-law, matt, made him a onesie that said "i'm 100 days old". it looks adorable on him. i will post a picture later tonight! he was being so funny today. when i got there, he was in his crib looking at his mirror. he was totally playing all by himself!!! he was making a bunch of little noises and was wide awake. i was laughing hysterically! i realize what a blessing this little boy is and what a miracle God has given to us. it also shows me how days in the nicu can be so scary one minute and completely joyous the next. i guess i'll just go with it. :-)

"when our days are filled with crying, we can trust that God, in time, will again bring laughter."
~janette oke

Friday, July 9, 2010

no accident

today has been hard. really hard. I slept very little last night and my attempt to take a nap this afternoon failed. i cannot seem to stop crying today. gavin had another eye exam yesterday. he has stage 2 ROP (retinopathy of prematurity). since he was so premature, his eyes hadn't yet fully vascularized. the ROP means that his blood vessels have some abnormal growth. the stages go from 0-5. stage 4 and 5 are basically retinal detachment (blindness). the doctor that he sees for his eyes treats ROP at stage 3 before it even gets to those levels. if his ROP gets to a high level 3, the doctor would have him transferred to either phoenix children's hospital or st. joe's for laser surgery where they would cauterize the blood vessels where they are abnormal/tangled in hopes that they would grow straighter. so, we are on our knees praying for yet another miracle. sometimes, stages 1, 2 and even 3 can correct themselves. we pray earnestly for that.

i came home from the hospital this afternoon in hopes of getting some rest. but like i said, my attempt failed. as i was sitting on the couch crying, i saw our Bible that jeramy had left open this morning. it was opened to the book of luke. i kinda found that odd at first since i typically associate the book of luke with Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. but as i flipped through the pages, i saw miracle after miracle after miracle. i read the words aloud in the quiet of our home. "the blind receive sight, the lame walk...the deaf hear, the dead are raised". i read numerous chapters aloud in the book of luke today and it reminded me that the God we serve still performs miracles. we have watched Him perform miracles already. so, we ask for another. we ask on bended knee for gavin's eyes to heal, without surgery. please join us in that prayer. his next eye exam is next thursday, july 15th. let's all join together and pray that God performs a miracle on our little boy's eyes. it is not out of His control...i trust that.

i am weary today...weary to the point where i can't even sleep. as i was reading through luke, i came across chapter 7, where Jesus raises a widow's son from the dead. it said "as He approached the town gate, a boy was being carried out - the only son of his mother. And a large crowd from town was with her. when the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, "don't cry." i believe with all my heart that this was no accident. it was the message i needed to hear today.

i serve a compassionate God. He hasn't failed me yet...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

one day at a time

gavin was 3 months old yesterday. i can't believe it. well, actually, i think i can. so many people think that time has flown by and they can't believe it has been that long, but we feel like it's been even longer. time is really beginning to crawl in the nicu. this is the point in the stay where parents of long term nicu babies tend to develop nicu-itis. oh, we have it for sure. we so desperately want him to be home with us and the fourth of july really hit me for some reason. as we gathered with family and friends to watch the fireworks, a part of me felt so empty. it was obvious to me that something was missing. there were strollers everywhere in the park as families around the valley gathered to enjoy this holiday together. as i watched the fireworks, tears came to my eyes as it hit me that gavin was missing it. now i know that gavin is a baby and would have more than likely slept through them, but still....he would've been there. this was our first "holiday" with a baby and we had to celebrate without him. however, i look forward to thanksgiving and Christmas when i know he'll be here.

gavin is making a ton of progress lately. he is currently on his fifth round of steroids and will remain on steroids until he gets to a reasonable amount of oxygen. the problem we face is that gavin loves his steroids. he makes great progress while on them but has a tendency to take steps back when they take him off. as we faced reintubating him and putting him back on the vent a few weeks ago, steroids were the clear choice. he is able to do developmental things now that he isn't on the vent. on cpap, he is able to have physical therapy, occupational therapy, and even massage therapy. also, jeramy and i are able to provide ALL of his cares for him, just as if he was at home with us. it's crazy how excited we get that we get to pick him up by ourselves now, put him back in bed by ourselves, and even give gavin baths...real baths! we are overcome with joy when we get to spend that time with him!

so, like i said, gavin is on cpap (the mask that helps his lungs stay open as it provides pressure) where he does all the breathing by himself. yesterday, they started sprinting with him. that means that for 3 hours a day, the respiratory therapists put him on high flow canula. if you've been keeping up on previous posts, you may remember that when he is on high flow canula, he can begin to nipple feed from a bottle. we are unable to do that on cpap because it can cause him to aspirate. yesterday, gavin got his first bottle! he was sound asleep as jeramy, gavin's nurse and i tried to stimulate him to wake up. he was sucking pretty well but not quite strong enough to get much out of the bottle. hopefully, when we try it tonight, he will be more awake for his feeding. so, he will transition onto high flow canula for 3 hours everyday. once those 3 hours are finished, he goes back on cpap...regardless if he's doing well. the neonatologist described it as preparing for a marathon and we don't want gavin to get worn out. the thing about gavin is that he loves having the mask off his face that he could be collapsing down and not show many signs leading up to it because it is so enjoyable for him to not have anything on his face. ahh...the personality already....i love it!

so please pray that as the doctors evaluate his progress each day that we can move closer and closer to getting to the high flow canula full time. we know it is still a long road ahead as gavin has the sickest lungs they have seen. that's our reality. so, we push ahead, one day at a time, knowing that God is still at work and that His timing is perfect. i don't get it and jeramy doesn't get it....but we rest in the fact that God does. please pray not only for gavin, but for us as well. this has been quite the journey for us. the agony we feel every day is so real and unlike anything we have ever experienced. i have prayed the same prayer every day for 91 days. with joy, we have gone to and from that hospital twice a day to spend time with our precious miracle. i love our moments with him but i CRAVE normalcy. we are so this stage we need people to love on us and lift our arms to Jesus when we are too weak to do so. we love you all and appreciate you walking alongside us throughout this journey.