Hit The Ground...


We're still alive, even though my sudden lack of blog posts would indicate otherwise.  Adriah is doing wonderfully.  We treasure her immensely.

I've been crazy busy with these hooligans...

Don't let their cuteness deceive you.  Sweet they can be, but angels they are not.
And I am exhausted.

So thankful for God's grace and encouragement on the tough days.


Hospital Baby: Day 5

It's official: I do NOT like typing on an iPad.

Today's date is 08-10-12. These are the years I've had babies!  (and not planning on another one for year 14, Lord willing).

So are you wondering how my amazing full night of sleep was?  Well, it might have been nice, but at 5am my phone rang.  WHA?!!?  It was a nurse saying to come feed my baby.  Long story short, some new patients had arrived and they changed nurses, and our nurse forgot to pass on the info that Adriah was supposed to get a bottle.  Bah humbug.  I gave the new nurse the instructions, no big deal.  But I really don't like being woken up because it can be hard to go back to sleep.  I was also frustrated because this was the second time I had left instructions to feed her that were not passed on to a new nurse (and the last time she totally missed a feeding because of it).  It took me an hour to fall back to sleep.  Arghhh...that's as long as its would have taken to feed her, but at least I got to lay there instead of getting my 5am workout of 3 stories of stairs.  Going to try again tonight for the full night effect.

Simon came back up for the weekend.  He brought the kids in this morning ... They have been getting to bed late because of VBS, so they're all a little edgy.  But being away from them for a week gives me a renewed energy and determination at being their mom.

So tonight is the last night of our special hospital vacation!  Adriah and I have had such a lovely time together, considering the circumstances.  The thing I'll miss most is having my food brought to me at every meal.  Speaking of food, I think I'll go have some soup I didn't eat at dinner.  



Hospital Baby: Day 4

I am working on getting over a migraine so this will be semi-short and sweet.

I am more comfortable in my surroundings and starting to make friends with the nurses who have been around for more than one shift.  I've discovered they like holding babies... And since Adriah is free to roam, she has become the little helper at the nurse's desk.  They all love her.

When the children visited today, my mom treated us to a special treat from the South Bend Chocolate Company (they have a shop in the hospital lobby.  This is South Bend, after all ).  THe nice lady who was working gave each of the kids an extra little baggy of chocolate covered blueberries and cranberries.  Ahh, the little things in life that can cheer us up.  :)

Another cheery event: rhythmic gymnastics in the olympics today! Had to call my sister and tell her...because that is truly something you don't get to see very often.  It was much more fun to watch than the 2 hour swimming race.   I dont know who would ever want to swim for two hours straight.

I thought it was funny that the Brazilian women's sand volleyball team had the word BRA on the from of their team "uniforms." Thanks, ladies, for labeling your attire, I couldn't remember what that thing was called.

Tonight my plan is to let the nurse give Adriah her night feeding and this mama is going to get a full night sleep!!! (so nobody better call me in th middle of the night!). Three cheers for me.  I can't wait.

Tomorrow is our last full day in the hospital!


Hospital Baby: Day 3

Today I enjoyed my daily morning visit from my dad.  He must keep up his "pastoral" duties to the poor sweet baby in the hospital...whom also happens to be his granddaughter.

I also had a visit from the lovely Andrea Gregory.  It was so refreshing to chat with another mom, to share our struggles and tips and joys.

Lo and behold, I also got visited by my mom and children.  They are a joy to see.  They stayed for dinner at the Ronald McDonald house. Christian enjoyed a special freedom of being able to buy soda out of the machine (it is only 25 cents).  Over the course of dinner he bought 4 drinks... "to save for later." (take note that I didn't straight out give him money for pop.  He originally found a quarter in my room, then after learning how to open the door to my room with the keyless entry card, he let himself in and retrieved a quarter from the dresser for each soda... Quarters left there by his daddy, who also seems to have a fascination with buying soda out of machines.  Ahem...).

Adriah has been sleeping a LOT, but continues to improve. The IV in her groin was starting to leak so they put a new one in her ankle.  The best part about it is that it doesn't require continuous flow, allowing her to be unhooked except for when they give her the antibiotics.  I can walk around the whole room with her now!  She is also smiling a lot more.  So sweet.

The oldest three kids have been going to VBS at my parents' church this week, and they LOVE it.  I've decided that they would probably benefit from having more routine in our daily activities, so I'm working on coming up with a schedule that we can follow each day.  I am also going to make some chore charts so they can benefit from responsibility and rewards. Thanks to Andrea's visit this morning, I now have some great pointers on chore charts!  I am going to use my time in the hospital
this week to plan out the specifics and implement them when we go home.

Tomorrow is Thursday already!  Adriah will be 8 weeks old.  And as of now, we've been in the hospital for 1 week.  You never know what a day may hold, but God holds us no mater what!


Hospital Baby: Day 2

Today I got to take a nice walk outside in the sunshine. Thank you Lord for the sun.

Ever since being here, I've been committed to only using the stairs.  Adriah is on the 6th floor, but my room at the Ronald McDonald house is on the 3rd floor. I didn't realize how out of shape I am. 3 flights of stairs, come on!  It's the hardest when they call me in the middle of the night to come feed her.  I've only tripped on a step once.

Christian got to play at a friends house this morning, so my mom and the girls came to visit for a while. They all love coming here primarily because of they play room that's available for them.  And then there's the nice but strangely awkward volunteer man who seems to try and force my children to do a craft or watch his little puppet act.  He is well intentioned.  :)

Short story: the day Adriah was brought to the hospital, we had all gone swimming earlier in the evening.  So when we came to the ER, I still had my swimsuit on under my clothes, and also didn't have any nursing pads on.  So I'm standing there in the ER watching them poke my little baby with needles, all of a sudden I look down and I have two huge wet streaks on my shirt.  Yikes!  The only available remedy was....gauze. Then I tried drying the spots with some tissues, and intermittently dabbed my tears.  What a night.  Note to self: change into normal clothes when you're done swimming!

Adriah is doing so well.  She's eating so well that she's up to 9 lb 12 oz... She may gain an entire pound during our stay!  She's been smiling at random nurses and cooing occasionally. And we got a new room today that is more private, so we are in our own little sanctuary of sorts. 

Tomorrow is a new day!  Blessings.


Hospital Baby: Day 1

There are good things about staying in the hospital.

Like your food being brought to you.
No dishes.
People change your baby's crib sheets for you.
You don't have to worry about running out of diapers.
And there is an endless supply of burp cloths that I don't have to keep washing.
Being able to sleep in a nice room provided by the Ronald McDonald foundation.
A break from the constant job of mothering the oldest 3 children.
Getting a nap whenever I want.

Then there are the not-so-nice parts.

Not being able to carry your baby more than 2 feet from her crib.
Nursing a baby with wires coming out what seems like her every limb.
Not having baby wipes (ummm, yeah, apparently they're "not in the budget"???  Are you kidding me? Customer service will be getting a sweet comment from me on that topic).
Trying to keep my baby quiet so she doesn't disturb the kid in the adjoining room (we're separated by a sliding glass door and curtains, not exactly sound proof).
Not being able to be with my husband and 3 other children.

But today was a nice day.
I shared a picnic lunch with my mom and kids in the beautiful weather.
I napped.
Between the picnic, my own ordered cafeteria food, and the Ronald McDonald food, I think had 5 meals. (probably shouldn't do that every day). :)
I watched the olympics. 
I read blogs and Facebook and now I'm writing this. 

I'm guessing most days will be similar, so we'll see if anything interesting happens tomorrow!

Hospital Baby: The Beginning

Written by Simon on Friday, August 3:

We do not know where we will be or what we will be doing 48 hours from now. As I’m writing this, 48 hours ago we had no idea that we’d be sitting in a hospital praising and thanking God that our daughter Adriah is still living. 48 hours ago we would have never imagined that hearing the cries of a 7 week old baby would be so beautiful.  48 hours ago we did not know that our faith would be strengthened so much by a little girl of the same name, Adriah Faith. We truly never know what mysteries the day will unfold.

For those of you who have been praying and interceding for us, we can never begin to thank you for what you’ve done. For those of you catching up on what our family has been through, here is the miracle that has been unfolding:
Rachel and her mom Rhonda were playing outside with the other kids, Christian, Selah, and Jadah, on Wednesday evening at Rhonda and Dwayne’s house in South Bend while Adriah was taking a nap inside. At about 8:15, Rachel finished putting Selah and Jadah to bed when she went to get Adriah, who  had been sleeping completely quietly for over 2 hours. Adriah had been swaddled and laid down slightly on her side on the bed Rachel where had been sleeping on while visiting her parents. When Rachel 
walked into the darkened room she could barely see, but what she saw frightened her. Adriah was 
laying on the bed with her face pressed tightly against the sheets of the bed. Rachel quickly grabbed her and brought her into the light. Rachel looked at a small face that had become distorted and wrinkled by 
the sheets and started praying that she was ok. “Are you alive little baby?” she thought to herself.
*Note from Rachel: this was the worst moment of all. I don't know how I would've reacted if the outcome had been different, but it was the scariest thing ever thinking that your child might really be 
dead in your arms.  The next thought was almost as scary, wondering if she was going to be brain-dead or mentally impaired for the rest of her life.  These are the thoughts that I have to push aside or else they would create fear of "what could have been". We can't dwell on those things, and I'm even more 
grateful for her life today.

Adriah was still breathing, but it was quickly evident that breathing was difficult and she was not acting 
at all like she normally does. Rachel quickly showed her to Rhonda, who decided that they should call 911. Christian, our 4 year old son, was still up and wanted to see his baby sister. Adriah looked bad enough that Rachel did not want him to see her in this state. She told Christian that Adriah wasn’t 
feeling very good and that he should pray for her. Our little boy said he was going to the bedroom to 
pray by himself, and within seconds Rachel could hear him praying out loud for his sister “baby Adriah.” 
We love his child-like faith and have no doubts that he knew God would save his sister.

Around this time, Rachel texted me, I was down in Indianapolis,  saying simply , “Pray for Adriah. Will 
call soon.” What is a father of a 7 week old baby supposed to think when he receives a text like that? 
I immediately called Rachel and she gave me a quick rundown of the situation and that the paramedics 
had just arrived. I began to pray and had to just wait for an update. Rachel soon called and said that all 
of Adriah’s levels seemed ok, but that she was still very lethargic and she was being taken to the 
hospital. I got my things together quickly, and started the 3 hour drive to South Bend.

(There are many differing opinions about the pros and cons of Facebook, but there is a huge consensus 
among Christians about the power of prayer. We immediately posted some information about the situation so we could get the news out quickly and have people praying and interceding on the behalf of our little girl.)

Rachel and Adriah arrived at the ER where they tried to find a vein for an IV.  But due to the recent 
experiences, her body had gotten "dehydrated", basically sending all blood flow to the vital organs. 
They must have pricked her over 100 times (even on her scalp) before they decided to do an I.O... Intra-
oscular.  This is when they drill directly into a bone to get fluids into the body. Once that was successful 
and she was stabilized, they took her to the Pediatrics ICU. Just after midnight, I arrived and waited with Rachel for the doctor to give a better description of the situation. He came in and described that they 
did all of their preliminary tests and found that her bicarbonate level was at a 6.  For those of you in the 
medical field you realize the severity of this number, which we are now thankful we did not know at the 
time. The doctor simply told us that a normal level is 24 and they were working to get it up as quickly as 
possible. They were doing some blood cultures and were suspecting some type of infection, but 
wouldn’t get the results for another 48 hours. They put her on some general antibiotics for the time being to fight off whatever type of infection she may have. He also emphasized that her lack of oxygen, as far as they could tell, had caused no neurological damage and was not the cause of any of her other symptoms.

The last 36 hours she has been making improvements at regular intervals. Her levels are almost back
 to normal, the diarrhea has subsided, and she is eating well and keeping it down. The doctor told us this morning (Friday) that she should be able to go home this afternoon, but that quickly changed 
when a urine test came back and showed that she has GBS-Group B streptococcal septicemia. 
GBS is a severe bacterial infection that affects newborns and can only be contracted through the 
birth canal. It slowly festers and sometimes will not show until 6-7 weeks, which is exactly what 
happened with Adriah. We then found out this afternoon that she also has rotavirus, which causes 
diarrhea and vomiting in infants that can lead to dehydration. The doctor’s actual words were, “It was 
kind of a perfect storm that led to these conditions.” The rotavirus is less serious, but must still be 
treated with antibiotics.

We have been asking some very direct questions about her condition, and this morning our nurse laid 
out the answers. In short, their reports are using the word miracle to describe Adriah’s recovery. They 
were seconds away from putting her on a ventilator and were not sure if she would pull through. They 
told us that babies Adriah’s age that come into the hospital with bicarbonate levels that low are not 
supposed to survive. In hindsight, we’re thankful that we did not know the full severity of the situation at 
the time.

We are truly amazed and fascinated at the way the Lord works. From our perspective, Adriah falling 
asleep in that position and lacking oxygen for a period of time may have actually saved her life. It sent 
her little body into shock and allowed the infections to more heavily pronounce their symptoms. The 
doctors have told us that sometimes they do not discover that an infant ever had GBS until they have 
passed away during the night.

We praise and thank God for your prayers and words of encouragement. We truly believe that our little
 Adriah Faith is now living proof of the power of prayer---your prayers. We now have a sense of relief 
that she is alive, but more than that we have a great sense of joy and hope.

We ask that as you continue to pray for her recovery, thank God for the joy He is giving us and the faith 
He is increasing through this experience.

Let us not be overwhelmed by the feelings of nearly losing a precious child of God, but let us be fully 
encouraged by the understanding that every day is a gift.

May we do our best to cherish every day we have been given and live out our faith with joy and 
thankfulness. May we learn to always rejoice in our circumstances and realize that God is always in 

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