If you’ve had kids than you’ll hopefully know what I’m talking about when I mention that overwhelming fear and panic mixed with excitement and awe that you feel when you first leave the hospital with you’re very first baby.
“Did they make a mistake?! Should they really be sending us home with this teeny tiny baby?!”
Thankfully, that feeling does fade as the sleep deprivation sets in and you get use to having your very own baby. And seriously once baby number 3 comes around you’re pretty well sure you can handle this little bundle of joy…unless, like my sister, your teeny tiny baby inexplicably gets very very sick.
That feeling comes back, and I know my sister felt it pretty strongly when they left the hospital yesterday – even more so because it had been Olivet’s 5th hospital stay in the short month of her life so far. Every time you think you’re done. And then things get bad, yet again.
We pray that this time is very different, for one thing Olivet was in a much more specialized hospital and got a bit more intense care- her Anemia was cared for with the blood transfusions-which, in its turn will hopefully help with the Jaundice ( if you see in the pictures that her coloring is still a bit on the orangish side and her eyes still look yellow-that’s because she still has high bilirubin count-just not high for her.) We, of course, want to see all those numbers get better and better. And I truly believe the Lord is healing Olivet.
But I need to share this story with you in more detail- I mentioned it in my last report- because it optimizes this whole experience and you definitely need to know that all your prayers-they were answered in so many ways:
This time last week Olivet was having her 4th hospital stay and her Bilirubin scores were once again through the roof- and scary things like “life flights” were being thrown around. However, instead they decided to treat her with photo therapy one more time to get things a little more under control and then high tail it to the nearest Children’s hospital…
Answered Prayer #1: When they started researching it the only hospital in the STATE OF TEXAS that would take their insurance-was in San Antonio-WHERE I LIVE! This turned out to be really helpful. Anna and Ryan were able to stay in our guest bedroom, take long hot showers, get fed home cooked meals and I was able to go and hold Olivet when I was feeling panic-y about how she was doing ( yup, this was selfishly important to me! hahaha! Holding her always helped me when fear started to set in.).
Answer #2: On the drive to San Antonio my sister-planning on just playing it by ear, spend the night at my house and then take Olivet to the doctor the next day- was called by her panicked pediatrician. They had found bacteria in one of Olivet’s blood tests and now they were suspecting meningitis. Her doctor told Anna to see if Olivet “was responsive”….P.S. to any mother that’s been told to check to see if their sleeping infant is “responsive”-those 3 seconds where you’re poking your baby, waiting for them to move/wake up are the LONGEST THREE SECONDS EVER. My sister then spent the rest of her 5 hours drive frantically checking to make sure Olivet would respond. The miracle here?! That blood work was a mistake. Olivet did not have any infection, BUT because of that blood work Anna went straight to my pediatrician…
Answer #3: Because they were coming to San Antonio, Anna was able to contact my amazing pediatrician who had treated Justice just months before, and she agreed to take on Olivet’s case and see her immediately. She then once seeing Olivet she had the smarts to send Anna immediately to the hospital.
Answer #4: Olivet was admitted right away to the NICU and they learned quickly that her blood levels were CRASH level. We’re talking incredibly incredibly low. She needed an emergency blood transfusion ( she indeed up getting two over the course of the next 2 days). If it hadn’t been for that first “miracle” of the mistaken blood work in Nacogdoches-we will definitely not consider what would have happened if Anna had just waited till the next day to go to the doctor….*shudder*
Answer #5: Olivet was admitted to that NICU-my sister hadn’t slept in days and my mom and I tried to convince her to leave ( but to no avail. I understood- you couldn’t DRAG me away from my sick baby either), the room was not equipt for a parent to stay all night, and you aren’t allowed to sleep with your child there-but I turned and looked out of Olivet’s little glass room in the NICU and saw one of those big comfy chairs that can recline. Just sitting there not being used by anyone. I asked if we could have it and we rolled it up next to Olivet’s bed. Anna was able to stay with Olivet- and be there when things got really really serious that night….
Answer #6: 2 days later when Olivet got moved to intermediate care we were all so thankful-it meant she was much more stable and not likely to need things like crash carts or her own special room. The bad news was that in intermediate care all the babies are in one giant room, its crowded and busy and there is really no staying with your baby all night. Thankfully Anna was able to spend all day with her and see what good care she would be getting. And was able to leave her feeling “Ok” about it.
Answer #7: However, Anna prayed when they moved Olivet to intermediate care that she wouldn’t be in one of the first beds by the door coming in-she figured rightly that it would be even MORE crowded and nosy there. So, it was SUCH a kindness of God that not only was she not by the door, but she was way way in the back corner. Probably the most “prime” spot in the whole place!
Answer #8: And so, on Saturday afternoon they release Olivet from the hospital, for what we believe, in faith, is the last time. Anna and Ryan were able to take a little nap, have a home cooked meal and have one night’s ( not very good because of a baby use to be up all night) sleep before driving back to Nacogdoches and “real life”…..
I know that Anna will glory in the “real life” of going home especially as they get settled back at home- but I also know it will be hard-especially Monday- when she’ll be back with her older two daughters, doing school drop offs and pick ups-normal Mom stuff, plus needing to go get another blood test run on Olivet, and knowing my sister doing laundry and cleaning her house….I know it’ll be hard as she gets settled with Olivet in all the normal of lack of sleep and getting everyone use to a “new normal” type ways…but I think the fact that you “never really know” when Olivet’s blood levels might be dangerously low really scares her- or the fact that her bilirubin is still high….
While we glory in all those answers-large in small- that I just laid out, I know that you can’t help but lack faith sometimes. So I write them here, as a “thank you” to all of you-for your prayers. They were answered in so many ways these last few days! I also encourage you to keep praying, as I am, that God would completely heal Olivet’s little body and make her strong and perfectly healthy.
Also, if you’re one of those “doer” type people like myself-and you live in Nacogdoches, feel free to check out the Meal Calendar set up for the family to help them hopefully transition for good into normal life.