Friday, August 29, 2008



hey sweet girl=) don't you love this family picture? it was taken today when we were getting to hang out with you a little. you had just gotten turned over on your tummy (you really like that) and daddy and i were giving you a little lotion massage on your back. you were very awake during it all! you even let us see your pretty eyes for a while-we love that=) we feel like we get to connect with you more when you look at us my sweet one. your nurses are letting me do more little mommy things-i get to take your temperature and change your diaper sometimes-i actually got to pick you up for a brief second last night when we weighed you! it wasn't at all the way i'm longing to pick you up (you know, nuzzle you on my chest with your sweet little head in my neck-i will keep waiting for that), but i still got to hold you in my hands, and i'm so thankful for that=)

you have been here for 10 days now, and you've had a very busy week! let me tell you what all you've done. tuesday you came off ecmo, which is a very big deal for you! you've done well without it, my dear. so well, that you even came off nitric oxide today! that was the stuff that dilated your pulmonary vessels to make your lungs work a little better-great work my girl=) i'm so proud of you i don't even know what to say. we stand there looking at you all day long in complete amazement. i'm still terrified that we won't get to keep you, and i suppose that's still a reasonable fear, but we just are blown away by what's going on. who are we to deserve to keep you after all this? to even know you for 10 days, and hopefully so many more after?! daddy and i were driving to see you a few mornings ago and a hillsong united song was on-i looked over at him and he was crying a little (and so i started crying a little too-remember me telling you a long time ago that i would cry when he cried??). i asked him what was going on and he said that he was singing whatever praise and worship song that was to God and he started thinking about you, and how God is sharing you with us, and basically that it's so sweet of Him to do that and we're completely in awe of His goodness and the blessing that is you, my sweet one. you know what else i keep thinking? i really want to believe that we would be just as in awe of Him if He wasn't letting us know you-that we would still recognize how good and loving and miraculous and sovereign He is even if we weren't seeing this little miracle (you!), my precious girl. i want to believe that we would still praise Him, so i'll just believe it. but i sure pray we don't ever have to find out if we are really that strong.

so this coming week will be a big one for you, too. you have surgery scheduled for tuesday to put your little organs back down in your tummy and sew up your diaphragm. you can do it my girl=) i pray that you will just continue healing more and more until then, that you will do so great during surgery, and that you will recover well and quickly. and guess what else? remember how you had a narrowing in your aorta that they thought was a coarctation and would need another surgery for that??? it's not there anymore=) or at least if it is there, it's so minimal that you won't need surgery for it!!! i feel like i don't even recognize what a big deal that is. your daddy and my daddy too keep reminding me that this shouldn't be passed off just as one of those things that happen-that medicine has its flaws and maybe someone missed something or misdiagnosed something-but that everything you're doing is by a Divine Hand and that you are a little miracle living and breathing=) i love you my girl-i am amazed by you and by what God is choosing to do through you. i am so proud of you and i can't wait to tell you this story=)

see you tomorrow my love-


ps-i wanted to tell you that your daddy really did jump when he saw the video of you opening your eyes-he jumped back in his chair and his breath caught in his throat-i wish i had a video of just his reaction to show you-he is so in love with you my girl=)


Abby & Pete said...

my eyes are filled with happy tears. what a great and awesome and healing Father we have..."How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure". love the family picture so much! thank you, Katie.

Kristy said...

So many accomplishments this week! Keep fighting, Catherine! There are many people cheering you on! :)

Katie, my dear - you AMAZE me!!!!! I love you!

One Day at a Time said...

Oh I am so excited for you all!!! Catherine is such a beautiful baby girl!! I love this family picture!=)She is a blessing and God is Good! I feel that baby Catherine is going to be fine during her surgery and will be home before you know it! =)So many prayers are going up for your precious family! Keep up the wonderful work Baby Catherine!! We are praying for you baby girl!!

Dotty said...

what an awesome awesome 10 days Catherine has had. i Pray for millions more, she is an amazing fighter, a survivor. Catherine has wonderful parents. im in aw of you all. how i remember the pain of wanting to hold your baby, and longing just to smell them again, to see their lil eyes and to watch the monitors 24/7. Catherine sweety, i pray for stregnth and courage for you and your family for tuesday. i pray for peace and comfort to follow surgery as you recover. what a wonderful family photo! i kept checking your page longing to hear more about baby so glad i checked back again.
God Bless
Zach's momma
carepage Zacharydavis

Anonymous said...

As I write to you I am listening to the songs you posted on the blog for Baby Catherine.

Dear Donnie, Katie, and God's Bless it Baby Girl Catherine—8/30/08, 12:35am

First of all Donnie this is Kathleen from Psyc 317 over the summer.

Secondly, my apologizes for the posting on one of the pics on Fb. I did not know what was wrong with Catherine until I saw the blog.

Thirdly, I have been sitting here for hours with a box of tissues reading your entire blog on Baby Catherine.

Where do I begin?? Katie you and Donnie are stronger then the two of you will ever know and whatever happens, Catherine is His miracle.

I know you guys don't know me and maybe Donnie told you Katie that I was in a wheelchair. Here is a bit of my story. When reading about Catherine I see her as whom I was and you both as the situation my parents were in with myself. You may not want to read this right now but I hope you will in the future and hopefully draw strength from it.

I am a twin. My sister and I were born 11 weeks early and I was not alive at birth. I am not supposed to be alive, but I am. I am physically disabled, I have Cerebral Palsy, and when I was in class this summer I was in my car (wheelchair). I am using my walker now though, but I have my days. I can’t imagination what both of you are going through right know, but in a weird way I can “feel” it because my parents have told me about my birth so many times and what they went through. I’m sorry if I am rambling, it’s hard for me to get out what I want to say.

Donnie, you and Katie are going to continue to be wonder parents to Catherine, I see it and know it. Catherine has God on her side and whether she knows it or not has a wonderful support team coming from all over. I feel how strong your bond with God is and no matter how bad things get you always have Him to turn too.

Catherine is one strong little girl, she will make, I just have that feeling. Anyways, back to my story. The doctors told my parents that I would never walk, talk, go to school, drive, etc and I am doing it all, against all odds. It may take me longer to do things but I get things done. I have had medical issues all my life and close to 20 operations or so and no matter how hard I try or how bad I want it I will never walk normal or do some things y’all are able to do and I have to accept that. And no matter how angry I get and cry I just have to thank God that I am here. Yes, the constant pain and the having to take pain killer and muscles relaxers and anti-depressants is as annoying as hell, but at least am alive right?

How ever Catherine turns out, just bless her, love her, be there for her, accept her no matter what, and tell her the amazing story of her birth and how God let her live. Yes, I ask why good things also happen to good people, but I also know that God won’t give you more then you can bare. So, if only for a minute, be angry at God for testing your strength, but for the rest be thankful. Yes, Catherine has a long road ahead, but to her you guys are perfect and to you she is perfect no matter what.

I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. I look forward to reading all the updates on Catherine’s progress.

I know you guys have a whole bunch of family and friends here, and yeah this is cheesy, but if either of you ever need anything or have anything, whatever it may be you may want to ask, I am an open book.

Catherine you are a fighter my girl, keep continuing to amaze us and I will pray that you continue to recover and go home with mom and dad soon as I did with my mom and day. I love it how your mommy and daddy write you. Keep making great strides with all theses accomplishes this week and next. And do not have fear my girl as you are in good hands. And if there happens to be any setbacks, which there won’t be b/c you will continue to improve and get stronger every day, remember that two steps back is sometimes better then one step forward b/c if you had not have taken that one step forward you would not have been able to go back to begin with. So if you go back for any reason you will only continue to go forward from here on out b/c you took the initial step forward to begin with

Love, hugs, and blessings of strength and Courage,
Kathleen M. Almeda

MelissaR86 said...

Oh wow Katie! When I read this I immediately was crying! Wow, God is so awesome!!! Your sweet little girl is such a fighter! Catherine is going to be fine through this surgery. She has so many prayers going up on her behalf and God is the ultimate healer! I think my brother said it best. When I read this blog entry to my mom and brother(who is eleven) he immediately burst into a rendition of "God is good, all the time, He put a song of praise in this heart of mine!" We're all praying for yall Katie! Love you! ~Melissa~
PS~ the family pic is adorable!

Beth G. said...

AMAZING!! WONDERFUL!! I just am praising God for the mighty wonderful things God is doing for Catherine!! I am praying HARD CORE for Tuesday!!

Teri from CMC NICU said...

Katie!! What can I say except WOW. How amazing. I wish you love and luck in the coming surgery. I know it will go well! I think of you very often. Please let me know if you need anything!! My email: God Bless and stay strong!! Love, Teri

Anonymous said...


We've never met but I found out about you through a friend of one of your friends on the day Catherine was born. I have not stopped praying since that day and will continue to pray. I am asking my entire church family in Texas to join with me in praying for your sweet little miracle. I check your blog often for updates about Catherine and how she is doing. I am in awe of the work our amazing Father is doing in Catherine. I will continue to pray for more and more miracles for her! What an amazing testimony she will have to share with the world someday! You and your husband's strength, faith, trust and joy are such a testimony to us all. Blessings to your sweet family!!

Erin said...

So happy for your family! We will be praying for Catherine on Tuesday!! We will also pray she gets stronger and stronger until her surgery. She is going to do great!

Kelly Davis said...

Donnie and Katie...Y'all know how much our hearts are with you. We are so encouraged, and keep praying. I felt God speaking to me through several verses about God being our portion in this life; and it has freed me to pray with faith and hope, against the odds, without fear.

With all the serious posts, i thought i would lighten it up, and quote, what I hope, becomes a favorite of Catherines in the years to come...A lulluby of sorts!

What you know 'bout me?
What you, What you
What you know 'bout me?
What you know 'bout me?
What you, What you
What you know?
They say my lip gloss is cool
My lip gloss be popping
I'm standing at my locker
And all the boys keep stopping


Aep said...

That is a precious picture. Your sweet girl has accomplished so much this week! We will keep praying for her continued healing.
Keep fighting guys!!
Mommy to Marco LCDH 3.2.07

A Southern Wedding Belle said...

Praise You LORD! Your mercies are a healing word to us of Your great love! What great news of the healing of Catherine's heart!! I love the picture especially! And I love the three of you. Tuesday will be a day covered in prayer for you all and those who will be in the o.r. with Catherine. Love, Debbie and Leonard

Lori said...

You don't me, but my friend Beth here in Cary, NC - knows your mom.

I love reading your blog & keeping up with Catherine's progress. It's hard to not cry when reading your sweet words to your precious daughter. Praise God for everything He's done so far. I will continue to pray for Catherine's amazing progress.

sharro_r said...

Katie, Donnie, and sweet baby Catherine, we pray daily for all of you. God has you in the palm of His hand. We are awed by this miracle of life and will keep you in our to you all, sylvia

elaine davis said...


I don't even know what to say! Praise God! He is so good! I love you guys more than words can express and I am so incredible thankful for the gift that the Father is giving you in your sweet daughter. And I am such a proud aunt!! Catherine, sweet girl! You amaze me! We continue to lift you up, and entrust you to the Father. He is so good at caring for you and sustaining you! Everyday people ask me about you and they are also praying and rejoicing for you. You are my favorite niece in the whole wide world. Such an incredible gift. Praise abounds.
aunt elaine

Erin said...

God is good, all the time!

Debbie said...

Katie & Donnie, I am so thrilled to hear of Catherine's progress...I've checked your blog every night since Monday and was so happy to read this. I will be thinking of all of you as always, but moreso Tuesday - the Lord is definately carrying her thru this and if there are any 2 people whom deserve this little one, it is you. I love the picture - so precious. Best of luck Tuesday.
Love to you all, Debbie Campbell - Erin West's aunt.

Emilie said...

Great, Wonderful, Awesome news!!!! Catherine is so cool! And, so is our God! I love y'all! em

Leanne said...

Hi, i'm a friend of Abby Dockery. I saw some pictures of Catherine on her facebook account and she told me about your blog. i have 4 little ones and i can't imagine the heartbreaking pain of all that you have been through. Your faith and strength is amazing. Continue on if your faith that our Father has a wonderful plan for your sweet baby! I'll be praying.

Pinks and Blues said...

There is so much joy in your words... and your beautiful Catherine sees it and hears it and feels it each moment. I read once that we as humans sometimes define miracles according to our own capacities... but you already know that God's miracles transcend all... because you have Catherine. And the mountains of prayers can be seen and heard and felt, too... each moment... reaching so high and so fast to the face of God, Jesus and his Blessed Mother. I pray for a miraculous week for our little Catherine... and join all of those other voices. God bless you all.

Doozies said...

What a beautiful picture! You have many people praying for you all and celebrating each victory.

Melissa said...

I am reminded of our Father's love for us, thru you guys. What an incredible miracle you have before you. We were sitting in sunday school and amiee adams gave us an update on Catherine's status and when she said her coartation was gone, tears came to my eyes and I was so in awe of how gracious God is to do miracles in our presence! We are continueing to pray for all of you and know that Catherine is and will be a miracle, whatever the outcome. We will be praying Tuesday that surgery goes well, and God gives you strength and grace to make it thru the day.
Melissa (chip's nicu)

hannah and tony said...

Our God is so merciful and mighty! He just freaking rocks...well, that may not be the most eloquent way to say it, but it's just so dang true!!! Lots and lots of prayers being lifted up for your surgery sweet baby! You have done so AWESOME so far little girl, just keep doing your thing!

Anonymous said...

Yea!!! Catherine is such a strong fighter! What a miracle y'all have on your hands! We will continue to pray and will especially be praying on Tuesday.

Tricia Goyer said...

You know know me, but I'm praying for Catherine. My friend forwarded your blog to me. God is good!

Anonymous said...

God is truly amazing in all He does! We are constanly amazed at the courage and fight CDH babies have. Catherine is no exception.

What an amazing story she will be able to tell one day of God's love and mercy.

Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers daily.

Lora said...

Hi Katie - I just found your blog. I will definitely be praying for you and Donnie and your beautiful little baby girl. your faith and trust in the Lord is so inspiring.
Lora Rogers

Audrey said...

I am sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks. Tears of joy and happiness for you all. Your blog has truly touched my soul. Catherine has captured my heart. She is a special girl. A special lady brought here to bring love to all. Bless you all. My prayers are with you all.
Mom Generations

Southern Gal said...

I was sent here by Annie. Even though I don't know you, I am praying for your sweet baby Catherine.


Whirlwind said...

That's fantastic news. I found your blog awhile ago and then lost it. I'm happy to have found it again and even happier to hear how Catherine is doing. She's definitely a fighter!

Anonymous said...

Yay Yay Yay!! We are so thankful and blessed to hear this awesome news! We are fighting for you here and love you all so much! What a beautiful family!

Deb said...

I'm so happy for all of your good news! You, Donnie and Miss Catherine are at the top of our prayer list this week! Stay strong and love that little lady..she is a precious gift!
Lifting you up in love and prayer

jamie in rose cottage said...

God bless you and your sweet little family. You'll be in our prayers. Keep on recognizing the gift you've been given, and we'll keep on praying for lots and lots of days.

Brad said...

Katie and Donnie,
Please know you will be constantly in my prayers as well as the prayers of the DTS campus tomorrow during Catherine’s surgery. The Lord has proven Himself mighty over the last 10 days and will continue to do so through the fight of this amazing little girl. Love yall and stay strong there are many many people praying tonight and tomorrow for an amazing result!!!!

Brad Hood

Gigi said...

praying for you guys today. and so are my students. love!!

Shannon said...

Praying for your sweet family. You've fulfilled God's purpose for us already - to give HIM the glory!!

AJ Macc said...

As I was praying and meditating on Psalm 8 this morning, verse 2 became my prayer for Catherine: "From the mouth of infants and nusing babes You have established strength". That is my prayer for Catherine today: Lord, will you establish your strength in and through Catherine. Let her be strong for her surgery. Let her life continue to be a testimony to Your strength and power

Aaron, Katie, Kylie & Ava said...

You do not know me but I just wanted to let you know that my family is praying for you and your precious baby girl. I've read your letters to your daughter and they have touched my heart. It sounds like you and your husband have amazing faith and the love that you have for Jesus is awesome and inspiring. Keep your faith and we will keep on praying. God made baby Catherine for a reason and we wish you nothing but the best. Good luck with everything!

Missives From Suburbia said...

I haven't been able to check in for a couple weeks, and I was so thrilled to see the photo of Catherine on the CPAP!! Oh, congratulations! What a beautiful family. I'm so happy for all of you, and I can't wait to catch up on all the news.

You're in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you'll still be writing her letters on this blog when she goes off to college.