Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

hi sweet girl!!!

it's november 27-happy thanksgiving=) guess what we're thankful for this year...?? =)

you have the cutest dress to wear today. it's brown with a turkey on it and it says catherine underneath. so cute. our friend christi dorsey made it for us-i know her from high school and she has the sweetest heart and has taken a liking to you my girl=) she sends you all kinds of pretty girly things and could quite possibly take full credit for earning you the title of most stylish baby in the nicu. i'm actually not kidding=) everyone comes by your bed saying how fashionable you are and what cute clothes you have. even a man doctor yesterday commented on your brown sleeper with polka dots on it! i'll have to show you all these outfits when you're older. you'll laugh i'm sure=) during rounds yesterday we spent a good portion of the time talking about your clothes and burp cloths and blankets-how coordinated you are and how people wish christi would make things for their children. i love it=)

so the other part of rounds has been spent talking about what's been going on with you. you're still doing well with your trach. they have you on a continuous CO2 monitor and it's been staying nice and low. they're still giving you more time on the laptop ventilator each day to see if you're ready to go home on it. the bigger problem lately has been with you eating and all your insides related to that. your skin and the whites of your eyes started looking yellow last week so we checked out your liver and other organs. the labs on your liver were off, but it looked ok by ultrasound. but your gall bladder looked "sludgy". this means that it just has gunk blocking the ducts. they say this happened probably because you got septic and had a flare-up of pulmonary hypertension, and that it will get better as you eat more and they can also start you on some medicine for it soon. you started throwing up a lot (more than you used to) and they stopped your feeds then spent about a week bringing you back up to your limit of 55-60cc (that's where you start throwing up) every 3 hours. they are now fortifying that to give it a higher caloric content and then at night they're going to feed you continuously. hopefully this will meet your fluid and caloric needs and help you grow like you need to. i've been trying to not get too discouraged, but it's been super hard for you to breastfeed. every now and then you will, and yesterday you even breastfed for 20 minutes! i was so excited. they said that up until 2 months of age that eating is a reflex, but after that it turns into a learned skill and you are working pretty hard to learn it again. you're doing great sucking on your pacifier, so that's good. it's just that if you get too much milk in your mouth you get a little scared and gag and you're also not always sure what to do with your tongue. it takes a while to get your suck coordinated, but once you get there you do great. we'll get it sweet girl. they might let you come home with an ng tube (nasogastric-goes in your nose to your tummy) and let me feed you that way. your reflux is still raging so we might have to be creative with how we feed you until that gets better. no problem=)

daddy and i have been doing your "trach care" which means we clean your trach and change out the gauze pads and ties that hold it down and all that stuff. it was super intimidating at first, but it's slowly becoming more normal and natural for us. have i told you how scared i've always been of trachs? even in nursing school in the skills lab i always avoided the dummy (dummy=the pretend person we practice on) with the trach. i didn't even want to have anything to do with trachs then. so we saw the first trach change sunday. that's absolutely terrifying-i'm not gonna lie. you're crying while it's being taken out so we heard for a split second your little voice and your little juices come out of the trach hole-i know it sounds kinda gross and i'm sorry about that. i just want you to know one day what all you conquered. you're the strongest little lady i've ever met=)

you are getting cuter and cuter. we had the sweetest afternoon together yesterday. you were looking up at me and smiling more than ever before. that made me feel so happy because lately i feel like all i do is bother you by trying to stick things in your mouth and make you drink. i'm sorry for that, sweet girl. one day you'll like it i'm sure. but today you sat in my lap and played with your toys, so content to concentrate on holding them. we're working with you on reaching out for things and holding them with both hands to help you transfer them from one hand to the other soon. you're doing great=) it's gonna be a little harder for you to meet your developmental milestones on time, so we'll work extra hard and you'll get it. i'd say you have pretty good reason to take your time, so we'll be in no rush either=)

so i wanted to tell you a little about something more serious that's been going on with mommy. my world has been rocked a little when it comes to the topic of prayer. i'm a little confused about it to be honest. i don't like being confused about that. i've always thought that God just simply wants us to be in constant communication with Him, and that's why He wants us to pray. i still think that. i love that it builds our relationship with Him. the whole analogy about how we get closer to our friends and family when we talk with them, and that applying to our relationship with God too. i still think it's true. and now i just think more about if there's more to it, if He really answers our prayers or if He'll do what He's gonna do anyway. if our prayers really make a difference in the outcome of a situation or not, or if He's just inviting us to be a part of it. i sometimes feel horrible for thinking these things, but i really think it's ok, and i still covet the prayers of our friends and family who are praying so hard for you. i hope they never stop. i think God probably likes it that i'm questioning these things, because in the end i'm pretty sure it will deepen my relationship with Him. i don't doubt the importance of prayer throughout all this, i just question the complexity of its purpose sometimes. just as always, i sense Him close throughout all my questioning and confusion. that He doesn't mind at all, and that He's smiling sweetly at me and holding my hand gently. giving me a gentle squeeze when i need it. i tell you these things because i want you to know it's ok when you question things like this. He will smile and squeeze you gently too. and in the end you will know Him better=)

guess what? some people are starting to say that you look like me every now and then. the same doctor who reaches down into your diaper bags and pulls out all your cute clothes also says that your profile looks like daddy, but you look like me from straight on. some other nurses come by and say that you're looking more like me too. i don't know why parents want their children to look like them. i can't quite figure that out-you're beautiful and it would obviously be a compliment to hear that you look like me, but i guess it also would just make you feel more "mine". i don't know. makes no sense. but anyway i think they're just trying to make me happy by saying you look like me. i probably shouldn't believe them, but i'll buy it anyway=) either way, you are gorgeous. we stand there staring at you while you sleep. that'll make you laugh one day probably.

i love you sweet baby=)

mommy

22 comments:

Nysewanders said...

We're Thankful for you Catherine!!!!

Kristy said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Davis family! I am thankful to have you in my life! Love you!

Teri from CMC NICU said...

Happy Thanksgiving Katie, your husband, and of course little miss Catherine. I'm glad trach care is going well for you. I knew it would=)! I know the feeding issues WILL get better. Patience (the necessary evil) is greatly learned during difficult times as you know!! You continue to inspire me with your faith (even if its bumpy=)) and your love of your daughter. I'm thankful and honored to know you! Hope to talk with you soon! God bless
Love Teri

Dotty said...

Happy Thanksgiving, your all an inspiration! so glad to hear all the good news, sounds like Catherine is moving right along and doing great...and like any true lady...she does it with fashion and style!! God Bless you all!!
Zach's momma
Dotty
carepage Zacharydavis

Erin said...

katie,
not only do i pray for catherine, daily, but I pray for you. I know that god is in control, but i pray that you have the peace you need to handle all that comes your way.
happy thanksgiving, friend. i really do love you.

Emilie Smith said...

Happy Thanksgiving Maggie Kay! And, Catherine and Donnie, too! Love y'all!

drmctrsltsl said...

What a wonderful post Katie. He will always be there with you clearheaded or confused. I can't wait to see pics. I love you all, continuing to pray. Happy Thanksgiving Davis family.

danica said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I learned about your blog from a coworker back in the spring and have been reading and praying since then. I've also asked friends to pray. One of my friends passed the requests on to her mom and her mom passed them on to an elderly prayer warrior at her church. She called me a few days ago to say that she is still praying for you and Catherine every day. I am inspired by her faithfulness to pray and the answers you have seen to those prayers. Be reminded that you are in the prayers of many and our Father in Heaven hears those prayers and loves you and Catherine dearly. What a blessing to be thankful for this year!!!
love, danica

Kristi said...

So Thankful for your sweet life Catherine, I remember seeing your mother dance at a wedding with her father and what a happy young girl she was, I imagine that young happy face every time I read what she writes about you. I know what a blessing you have been to so many and I can't wait to see what God has planned for you. Always in our prayers. The Hammonds Family

Beth G. said...

I hope yall had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am thankful for Catherine too! I am praying for yall!

carriebc said...

Hi Katie! I think of ya'll often. =).I just wanted you to know that I have a different belief surrounding prayer now, and what you described is exactly what I went through (maybe it's from being a mom seeing your precious sweet baby in pain). The conculsion that I came to that rests easy on my heart is that prayer does not change circumstances or what's going to happen, but that it is for comfort, clarity, understanding, communication, etc. Since God sees the beginning and the end, it just didn't make sense to me that we can change the present or the future. What you said about participation in the grander scheme of things is another way to look at it too. There is theology that is based on this belief but I can't remeber what it is at the moment. I did some research a time ago. It was very hard for me to pray for Maddie and see her suffering and also try to wrap my head around why God wouldn't answer my prayers for her when she was sick, how could He not, surely He didn't want her to hurt, etc...see where I'm going here =). So I just wanted you to know that I get where you are and that it's painful to not understand your purpose in prayer. I want so bad for you to be able to bf too! Norah and I have struggled so much and I know what it's like to long for this connection and fear for it not working...there are some great LCs out there (it can be hard to find the good ones and my experience is they arn't the ones in the hospital) and I do know of babies that have gone back to the breast at least up to 3 months, maybe even 5. Maddie was never able to latch (silent heart defect) and I pumped for 8 months for her. This did bring me some comfort as I'm sure she still knew she was getting my milk (babies know our scent and the scent of our milk!). Be encouraged!!! You are doing such a great job being Catherine's Mommy!!!

Kaden and Angel Ava's mommy said...

I am glad that you are all doing well. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

You are right, trach care is so intimidating at first, but not only will you get use to it, so will Catherine. Kaden (my little boy) is really awesome at staying still during trach care, it didn't take him long at all to get use to it. As for trach changes he is in a stage that he acts like it tickles him and starts laughing before we pull it out. It's kind of funny, but makes it more difficult to put one back in. He use to do well at staying still with this as well. I know you guys will do great the first time you have to change it. I am sure that Catherine will feel more comfortable having you do it as well.

As for your questions and confusion about prayers. I understand everything you said. I had those times very often. You are right though, I believe you will find yourself closer to Him, as I have. We may not get the answers we want all of the time from Him, but He has a plan and whatever that plan might be, He will carry us through it.

You guys are amazing and I hope that things continue to go well and that you will be enjoying your time together at home soon.

By the way, is the "laptop" vent a LTV 950??? That is what our son has. I just want you to know (although I do not know the kinds of questions that may be lingering in your mind) that if you have any questions about anything (like having a child at home with a vent) you can contact me. I would love to help anyway I can. We have been able to make Kaden's life as normal as possible...he even goes to school (pre-k).

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Amy

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Yeah for all the progress!! We need new pictures!!

I had to laugh because not 5 minutes ago I was talking to my sister about prayer. She's met a young man that she REALLY likes, but she said she's being so careful to just pray that God's will be done, because that's what we're supposed to do, right? But, she wants to be with him... she wants to say "God, please let me be with him" but she feels like she's not supposed to say that, she's just supposed to say "God, your will be done." And I got thinking that you know what? Yes, the ultimate thing is that God will be done... but it's okay to say "God, I want Catherine to be healed"... becuase #1 - he already KNOWS what you're thinking and #2 - he wants us (like you said ) to communicate with him. And my sister and i came to the conclustion that we need to pray that God's will is done, and tell him what our thoughts and desires are, and then say that if those desires don't match up with his, then help us turn our hearts towards his way and give us grace to accept it...

I'm blabbering... just know that I love you guys and I sure understand THAT part of what you're going through.

Misty Davis said...

Happy Thanksgiving Catherine! This is the BEST Thanksgiving EVER! We are so blessed to have you in our family.

I cant beleive I'll get to see you in the morning...I cant wait to kiss your sweet little face!

Love you guys!
-Misty

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

This post makes me feel so very happy and thankful for all of you... and us out here, too! Yes, so many of us are praying for Catherine... and that is an affirmation of all of our faiths combined. I have always subscribed to the belief that He is my father, and I will ask Him for very important needs, wants, requests and advice. I do believe that He hears us... and that questions are part of the intellect that we've been given. This is His great gift...

I am so looking forward to photos of beautiful, gorgeous Catherine!

Kingsfields said...

Katie & Donnie, We are so thankful for you and Catherine, the sweet little fighting fashionista. Give yourself grace to question, wrestle and doubt....it's normal and ok. We love you three! And I think she looks like you, Katie :)

Kathy Davis said...

Happy Thanksgiving Katie, Donnie and Catherine! Or post-Thanksgiving I should say... I was thinking about the three of you all day and say a special prayer of thanksgiving just for you all and the miracle and strength of each of you. I hear that family, brothers and sisters spent time with y'all during the day of Thanksgiving and for that I was so glad. Wish you weren't so far away and that I could do something physically to help, but trust in that I constantly pray for you all and your special family. I knew when time was passing without posts that you were probably going through the process of learning the trach routines and with your other busy life schedules you had, had no time to let us all know what you were going through for awhile. Hang in there Katie. God loves you and He understands your questioning and uncertainties. He is patient and kind and always there. You have every right to question Him and maybe even complain a bit, He understands so don't feel bad or inadequate. You are one of the most faithful, strong, loving people I've ever known. I admire your strength so very much. Donnie and Catherine are so blessed to have you. I know you'll be able to do everything and that it's only natural to have bad days during this long haul, wishing you could take all the pain and discomfort for your baby girl. She is strong too though and has her Mother and Father's blood pumping through her, their faith and love-- she will fight for you and she will probably do better than you at times. I love you all so much. Please remember that. Distance in miles is not distance in heart and prayer. Hold on tight to His right hand, it's always there. And, you can also reach out for Donnie's, I know Donnie and his strength and faith, it's always there for you too. I will pray for you more fervently as you go through this transition that is a difficult but life-sustaining one for your precious Catherine. It's going to be okay. I just know it will be. With love always~ Aunt Kathy

TKD said...

Glad to see things are going well and that she's doing well with the trach! We are continuing to pray.

Katie said...

We're so thankful that God has blessed your family so much already! I pray that you'll have peace about your prayer questions... I've been there too and sometimes find myself still asking if my prayer makes a differece? You're right though, God wants that relationship and prayer is the key. Keep doing what you're doing, Katie, you're doing great! May God continue to bless you and your family!

partysis said...

Katie! You don't know me but you work with Aimee Adams who is my sister's sister in law (my sister is married to her brother). My sister showed me this blog and I have been reading it ever since. I have been praying for you guys and Catherine who is such a beautiful baby. I am so happy for your successes and have cried during your setbacks. I felt like God wanted me to leave you some encouragement. I work in the Progressive Care Nursery at Henrico Doctors Hospital, and I just want you to know that ALL of our babies, and even babies that go home on trachs and vents do SO MUCH better at home! They thrive like you would not believe when they are home with mommy and daddy and they are in their little nursery and their own crib and environment. The feeding issues will get better and better. You will each learn the best way to do this and that and all will go well. I know you are looking forward to taking her home and I just wanted to give you some encouragement about the transition. She will do great and you guys will too!

-Naomi

Noah's Mommy said...

Dear sweet family-

I’ve been reading your blog since July and have been praying for baby Catherine for some time. You don’t know me…I’m a friend of a friend of a friend…I believe (I think that’s all the friends) anyhow…I wanted to let you know what a honor it has been for me to read about your strength, perseverance and faith in our Heavenly Father. My husband is deployed right now and I truly understand the courage it must take to walk into the unknown. I’ve found myself repeating some of the same prayers of comfort, peace, and protection that you have frequented in your blogs. Although, for different reasons, the Lord hears our prayers and blesses us the same. My hearts desire is for Catherine to grow-up and relish in the fact that she has two awesome parents that have so bathed her in prayer…it’s ridiculous  Thank you for continuing to post. I check your blog each day to read an update (oh, and by the way…those of us that don’t know you and can’t get the inside scoop from family and friends…we get really worried when you go a while and not post!! Shame on you  ) I can’t imagine you being busy…hahaha…Well, thank you again for allowing us insiders to pray for your family and also glory in your blessings!

Noah's Mommy said...

Dear sweet family-

I’ve been reading your blog since July and have been praying for baby Catherine for some time. You don’t know me…I’m a friend of a friend of a friend…I believe (I think that’s all the friends) anyhow…I wanted to let you know what a honor it has been for me to read about your strength, perseverance and faith in our Heavenly Father. My husband is deployed right now and I truly understand the courage it must take to walk into the unknown. I’ve found myself repeating some of the same prayers of comfort, peace, and protection that you have frequented in your blogs. Although, for different reasons, the Lord hears our prayers and blesses us the same. My hearts desire is for Catherine to grow-up and relish in the fact that she has two awesome parents that have so bathed her in prayer…it’s ridiculous  Thank you for continuing to post. I check your blog each day to read an update (oh, and by the way…those of us that don’t know you and can’t get the inside scoop from family and friends…we get really worried when you go a while and not post!! Shame on you  ) I can’t imagine you being busy…hahaha…Well, thank you again for allowing us insiders to pray for your family and also glory in your blessings!