Thursday, August 27, 2009

well, maybe not...

hi sweet baby=)

so yesterday did not go quite as we were hoping. the bronchoscopy and lasering on tuesday went well-it took about 15 minutes and when it was over dr rodgers told me that there was more granulation (scar) tissue than he was hoping to find, but it had all come off fairly easily. you were pretty grumpy in the pacu-when i got there they handed you to me and you calmed down a little-you needed oxygen for about an hour and by the time we went up to the pediatric floor you were all better. just a small dose of morphine and a couple doses of tylenol and you were just like new. well, kind of. you had (and still have) a LOT more secretions than normal (tracheal-because of the lasering, and oral-because of that blasted molar that's still working its way all the way out) so you need to be suctioned about every 5 minutes when you're awake and every 20 minutes when you're asleep. so needless to say-neither one of us has slept too well the last few nights. there was also, as to be expected, a lot of swelling and inflammation around where they lasered. we could tell that even by the way it sounded when you coughed. but by tuesday night you were playing and waving hi to everybody and pointing to the tv and laughing when mommy says "meow" and bonking heads with me (you like this for some reason-it's another trick daddy taught you) and basically being your sweet happy self.

and then wednesday rolled around. we waited for dr rodgers to get out of surgery and tried to take the trach out around 3:00. it became clear pretty quickly that it wasn't gonna work. we could tell you were trying to take breaths but with and without a stethoscope we could hear that no air was going in. i picked you up to see if you'd calm down (you were pretty upset even before we started just by the amount of people and commotion in the room-neither of which fit the picture painted for us of what it would be like when we took it out) and breathe a little easier. within 30 seconds of taking it out you started turning blue, your sats and heart rate dropped pretty low and you actually lost consciousness. as soon as that started happening i laid you back on the bed. the numbers kept going down (the lowest point was in the 40-50's...yikes!) and eventually your little limbs contracted up towards your trunk. they tried to bag you (which means they put a little mask over your face attached to a bag filled with oxygen and they squeeze the bag to give you breaths). your tummy puffed up and we could tell the air wasn't getting into your airway at all, but instead going through your esophagus to your stomach. when i saw all this happening i went ahead and opened up the new trach and as soon as they said "we need to put the trach back in" i handed it to them. they put it back in and bagged the trach and within 10 seconds you opened your eyes and came back around and started breathing by yourself again. you weren't pleased with the whole situation, but you were breathing and pink. that's pretty much all i was asking at that point. it was by far the most terrifying thing i've ever seen. when most of the people had cleared out of the room, your nurse said "you did a good job, mom. you stayed calm." and i think i shook my head a little and told her i'd probably start crying here in a little bit. turns out i held it in until we were on our way home last night. so they gave you back to me and you fell asleep in about 5 seconds on my chest. i stood there with you staring at nothing while the room got put back together and finally dr rodgers, who was standing across the bed from us, apparently noticed the look on my face and said i looked like i might have a question. we talked about how his guess was that there was more swelling than normal in your airway because of the excessive amount of scar tissue he had to take off, and that we would try again in 2 weeks once it all had time to go down. i asked him if we could make some changes to the whole process and environment in the picu room when we tried again, and he said we could. i'm not saying that if the environment had been different yesterday the decannulation would've been successful, because the inflammation had simply blocked your airway and no amount of nitpicking the process could've changed that. but it would have potentially kept you more calm if there were less people in the room (only what is absolutely necessary) and that maybe if we have the option we can have some of those people be ones that knew you in the nicu and perhaps you wouldn't freak out seeing another brand new face. we're also hoping that we can have you in that particular room with those people coming in and out for a few hours ahead of time and get you familiar with everything. it's perfectly normal for you to have some stranger anxiety, but we're going to try to keep it as low as possible that day. so hopefully the swelling in your trachea will be gone in two weeks, and that paired with some environmental changes will help that day go more smoothly.

i had been much more anxious than normal for the day or two leading up to wednesday. i was wanting so badly for you to be able to get the trach out, and i was really worried that you wouldn't be ready. and in the picu when i had that blank stare on my face with you sleeping on my chest all i could think was how my mindset had drastically changed within those 45 seconds (or whatever it was) when you failed the decannulation. i went from focusing so hard on getting my baby rid of her trach to focusing on whatever it took to make her pink and breathing again. makes sense, right? ;) i felt so guilty when i realized that had been my focus. as much as i hated seeing you like that, and as much as i would give anything for you to have not had to go through it, i am thankful that i got a little smack in the face reminding me what was important. daddy got there about 10 minutes after all of this and you got back to normal-playing and laughing-within about 30 minutes after the whole ordeal. i kept catching myself just watching you for the rest of the day thinking how thankful i was to have you back to normal. normal=trach and all.

for this next paragraph, i feel the need to put forth a disclaimer: we are completely thankful that you are alive. we know that you supposedly shouldn't be. we are aware of the statistics and that you decided to defy the odds. we are not, even for a second, complaining about the course you've had to take so far (although we sure wish you hadn't had to go through some of these things...). so here i go with the paragraph. driving home last night daddy and i were talking about how things never seem to go smoothly for you. examples: in the nicu you get all the way to nasal cannula and we think you're going home with that, then a week later we're signing the consent to get you a trach. then you get a g-tube and we think the whole arena of eating is about to get easier for you, but you end up getting 8 inches cut out of your bowel and become scary dehydrated and have an ostomy for 6 weeks. and then our first attempt at trach decannulation doesn't go so hot. HOWEVER...we also talked about how with ecmo, which is by far the most dangerous help you've ever gotten (there's no doubt it saved your life), you only ended up being on it for 5 days. which is nothing. we are so thankful. do you remember all the possible side effects of ecmo? it could've caused so many problems for you. but you were on it for no time and came off successfully with no problems. sheesh. what are we complaining about??

i had taken some pictures of you before we went over to the picu thinking i could have some "before and after" photos. they are still super cute, even if the "after" ones aren't quite what we thought they'd be...


happily chewing on your saline bullet...

and after...

you were pretty tuckered out...

so there's yesterday. not the news i had hoped to be delivering, but all is well=) i'll leave you with this video that's pretty exciting to me. you have discovered our dvd's, and now you crawl right on over and pull them off their shelf, one by one. i think this is one of the most monumental of milestones and should be made official in the pediatric books=)

(don't worry baby-we have since scraped that gunk off your tongue...)

love you babe-


ps-you're with me in daddy's office playing while i type this letter. i heard you sounding a little junky and turned around so i could suction you. what i turned around to was you looking up at me holding up your suction catheter so i could take care of it for you. in my mind, you've done this on purpose. brilliant little thing...

pps-your daddy just got home. he said "are you begin nice to mommy? you're not scaring her, are you? turning blue and doing your possum trick?" apparently he calls you contracting your little limbs all up your "possum trick". not very funny. but kinda funny.

Monday, August 24, 2009

birthday party #2 and baptism =)

hi catherine-

what a great weekend we just had=) gigi and granddaddy came in town to see your baptism, and just so happened to be here for your richmond birthday party too. you had so much fun! it didn’t take you quite as long to get used to the crowd this time, so you perked up and started playing with olivia and isaiah and reaching for cecilia pretty quickly. you did decide to take a nap partway through, and being the easiest baby on earth that you are, you just layed right in the middle of the party and slept for an hour or so. you woke up and we sang to you, blew out the candle (you were mesmerized by the flame and just wanted to grab it), opened your presents and let you show off a little=) it was once again pretty incredible to see so many people who love you come to help us celebrate you turning one…we are so thankful for these sweet friends and can’t imagine this journey without them!

two people that love you! (me and sara)

olivia and miss becky...olivia is a bit of a miracle herself!

you see the look you're giving that flame?! right after this you lurched yourself forward grabbing for it. you daredevil you.

sweet baby waking up from her nap in the middle of the party.

you were getting excited!

thinking about helping mommy open some presents...

but instead you'll just focus on the bow.

i fear your daddy will enjoy this present more than you will!

showing how you like to stand up=)

i love this face=)

apparently isaiah and i were in deep conversation...

pooped out after the party!

as wonderful as saturday and your birthday party was, sunday kind of blew me away. i knew your baptism would be special, but i think i was surprised by the general feeling of the day. it was anointed and sweet and peaceful and gentle…like i knew God sent His Spirit to fill the room and our hearts and remind us vividly of the mercies and miracles of the past year. it was a real gift to hear the prayers of our friends and family-i loved hearing my dad’s heart for you as he petitioned heaven. and i was overwhelmed with awe and praise all over again when sweet libby talked to God and shared her memories from our small group’s "baby blessing" and compared what our expectations were that night over a year ago to what we've seen God do since you were born. and i also loved that kevin referenced genesis when the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters-do you remember the first letter your daddy wrote you? he talked about that verse too, and how it had given him peace-he didn't know what it meant, but he sensed that God was "forming order out of the chaos in your life". to see you in front of our church family wriggling around in our arms and reaching for kevin’s beard and wanting to give everybody high fives (that’s your new trick!) while they prayed for you-like you knew nothing of what was going on but you were living it up in your spotlight nonetheless. you were very funny and kept us laughing and crying at the same time. we are honored to be the parents that get to usher you into a life lived for Jesus…to welcome you as a child of the covenant…to promise publically to love and honor Jesus with our own lives and to raise you in a home that will cultivate those same values. i pray with everything in me that Jesus will teach us to be the parents He’s calling us to be…we will not be perfect and I pray that He will give you grace for us when we make mistakes and shield you from any harm that our imperfections could cause…i pray that we will be exactly what you need-transparent and authentic and unconditionally loving…all the while pointing to Him. that is our ultimate goal and underlying purpose in everything we do or say as we raise you, my little sweet one. i pray God will pour His grace and mercies on us as we, in our own humanity, will most certainly fall short of what you deserve. i love you baby-it is mine and daddy’s pleasure and privilege to walk toward Jesus with you=) and i suppose now is an appropriate time to let you know that Jesus loves you more than we ever could-His is a love that is uncontainable and unfathomable. we will never understand and never appropriately reciprocate. one of my biggest prayers for you is that you can rest and thrive in that love and be forever changed by it. that you will get a glimpse of His love for you and that you could see yourself for just a second the way He sees you-that you will fall madly in love with Him-that all this will change you in a way that spurs you on to run with reckless abandon toward Him...

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

~Ephesians 3:16-21

i'm fairly positive this isn't the first time i've told you about this passage. and i'm pretty sure it won't be the last. it's my favorite. =)

i love you babe-

playing with grandaddy before you got dressed for your baptism=)

family picture before we left for church

hamming it up when you saw mr jeff taking pictures of you!

you love your sweet daddy=)

you were trying to climb up our stomachs the whole time we were up there...silly girl=)

sweet church family praying for us

happy family after church=)

i love your tongue=)
ps-we have to be at uva at 7:30 tomorrow morning. you will go to the OR an hour or two later i'm guessing. i'm nervous about it. i hate that you have to go under anesthesia again. every now and then i feel guilty that i'm "letting" this happen to you-i know that's ridiculous, but i sometimes feel that way anyway. i know you have to have this done-you have to go to the OR and have a little minor surgery again and that the next couple of days might not be your most comfortable...but i know that, for lack of the right words to describe what a big deal this is, i'll just say that the things that will happen over the next few days will make your life a lot easier. we can't wait for that part=) i'm praying for as little scar tissue as possible, you recovering well from anesthesia, for you to have a seamless transition getting your trach out, your sats to stay up, your airway to work appropriately, etc, etc. here we go baby=) Lord hold her close.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

happy birthday sweet baby=)

yep. today you turned 1. i can't even believe it. i'm staring at the computer screen and i can't come up with the exact words i want to say. i feel emotional. i'm sure it's partially because my tiny baby is not so tiny anymore and is a whole year old, and partially because i've been recounting the events of this day last year moment by moment with anybody who will listen to me, and also because a sweet friend brought her very special and very precious little girl into the world today. her name is macy brooks tucker, and her parents have been walking the last few years hand in hand with Jesus through unimaginable heartbreak...multiple miscarriages and delivering their son still-born at 39 weeks...i can't begin to comprehend how you recover from that. what an understatement. so needless to say-today represents hope fulfilled and prayers answered and grace and mercies tangible for them. and to so many of us who have had the privilege of witnessing their journey. thank you ashly and denny, and sweet macy brooks, for letting us be a part of your lives...
and now onto MY birthday girl=) mommy had to work last night, and as mentioned before, i made my coworkers listen to what was happening as i went into labor...sweet bridgett (sweet? yes, sweet. but bridgett is also so many other wonderful adjectives;) one day you'll have to ask her "why your hair so curly???") was one of my nurses when you came into the world, and she was just as patient with me last night as i blabbered on as she was when she had right leg duty a year ago. i came home from work around 7:15 this morning to a sweet sleeping birthday angel. i hurried and took my shower so i could scoop you up as soon as you decided you'd had enough sleep. here's a picture from when you finally woke up-you are quite the morning person=)

i brought you into my bed with me and we read some books, then daddy came in to smooch on you and sing happy birthday. then we took you into the den to see miss veronica and start your day. you were, as always, very excited to see her. here are some pictures...

grinning while you pick your toy of choice...

sweet baby playing with her giraffe music box

you are pretty excited to see elmo!

i love this sweet look on your face when you started playing with veronica!

so mommy slept, and that afternoon when daddy got home sara, daryl, and betsy came over and brought you birthday surprises...massive ballon that sings happy birthday with an elvis twist, pretty flowers, and a fabulous blossom hat=) here are some pictures from that part...

you've started pointing at people with your suction catheter like it's a wand or something.

reading your card from sara and daryl

i had to sneak in a kiss=)

you weren't so sure about the blossom hat at first...give it time=)

daddy was a bit more excited about opening presents than you were...sara wouldn't even bring her present over until your actual birthday because she said she knew your daddy would open it as soon as he saw it...

pretty green and pink monogrammed dress from miss kristy and her hubby dave...i think daryl's doing a great job of looking interested!!!

little sweet thing=)

you love miss betsy! and she sure loves you!

our first attempt at a group shot on your birthday-i kinda love your face here...and i should mention that i think there might be something wrong with your daddy. what a goof.

there's an unfortunate similarity between yours and your daddy's face in this picture...

dancing with daddy to the singing balloon-waving to miss sara=)

i don't know.

there we go! finally on board with the blossom hat!

you started to love the massive singing balloon once daddy started bonking it against your head!

we have sweet friends here. they love you so much. they were so excited to be celebrating your birthday with us and all night long they were letting me play "this time last year" where i would tell them what was happening at that exact time one year ago. it's one of my favorite games. i play it even when it's not your birthday (before you were born i would always ask daddy to talk about our wedding day with me...his favorite part, what he remembers most, what surprised him the most, etc, etc...and ever since you came along we play the same game, only with the day you were born=)). of course we wouldn't want to leave you out as we replay our memories from your own day of birth, so here i go telling you, in pseudo-bullet form, the main events i remember from the day you were born:

-contractions starting around 1:30am waking me up...i am fully convinced that cleaning the house and other activities from the night before put me into labor...

-trying to sleep but finally getting up around 5:30 to write you a letter. i am so thankful now that we have that one...i think it's fun to re-read my jumble of thoughts 17 hours before i got to meet you=)

-daddy getting up around 6:30 and realizing i'd been up all night. i called the hospital just to see if dr lucas was there and if so maybe i would tell him what was going on. he wasn't, but i told my nurse friend kim (who also trained me when i came to work there) that i was hurting, hadn't slept because of it, didn't think i was i labor, but heads up anyway. we took showers and thought about actually paging dr lucas, but instead we went to chick-fil-a and target. go figure. daddy ate breakfast because i most definitely did not feel like eating. at target we got a huge pink and brown polka-dot body pillow for me-it seems ironic that we finally bought one of those the last day i was pregnant...on our way out of target i stopped walking when i had this one contraction and i guess my eyes were closed and i looked like i was in pain (which i was) and this lady asked daddy if she should stay with me while he went and got the car. we said no thanks, and after my contraction was over i made my way out of the building and out into the parking lot. i think i scared a few people that day. nobody seems to be interested in delivering a baby in some random retail store or restaurant...

-i tried to take a nap when we got home. daddy tried to get a paper finished. we went to get shelly from the airport around noon. i remember walking into the airport and having to stop again and sit on a bench when i had a contraction-i found sweet shelly and filled her in. we got back to the car and i ended up crying a little with a few of the contractions on the way home. yowsa. those things are no joke.

-we got home and shelly ate one of daddy's hamburgers, which to this day she says is the tastiest burger she's ever had. went straight to his head. (but they REALLY ARE GOOD!). shelly told me later that she would look over in the kitchen and suddenly couldn't see me anymore-she walked into the kitchen and realized i was bent over holding onto the counter waiting for a contraction to go away. i can't imagine what was going through her head as she watched her goofy friend do this...daddy sat outside most of the afternoon trying to finish up some work before our family and friends started coming into town. shelly and i layed on the couch watching the emperor's new groove (that's one of my favorite details of the day. "WRONG LEVA!!!") and i napped between contractions. we heated up the baked spaghetti that my other nurse friend kristen (who was my main nurse when i had you) had made for us...daddy finally convinced me we should at least call dr lucas and let him know what was going on-i talked to him a few minutes later and he said to meet him at the hospital and he would at least give me some pain medicine to help me sleep since i hadn't the night before. (side note: dr lucas was not actually on call that night. another reason why i love that man) daddy and shelly wolfed down a couple bites of baked spaghetti, we packed a tiny bag and the new body pillow "just in case", and out the door we went.

-(another side note: i had always wanted to go natural when i had babies. call me crazy, (and most people do;)) but i just never wanted to get an epidural. i'm definitely not the kind of person who tries to talk everyone else into going natural-by all means they created epidurals for a reason-but i just didn't think they were for me. so during this day of what i thought was false labor, i thought, "forget this! if it's only gonna get worse, there's no way i can go natural!". i was quite relieved when we finally found out it was indeed real labor, i had gotten through most of it at home, and i had dr lucas to talk me through the rest of it without pain medicine. i fully admit i sound like a quack as i read this back to myself...what a weirdo. but i'm glad i was able to do something i always said i wanted to, and i guess i'm goofy enough to want to do it that way again next time...but i do wince a little as i say that...)

-we pull into the hospital parking deck. i see jackie, yet another nurse friend (who shows up to work every now and then with a sweet gift for you. i've loved learning that side of jackie) and tell her "oh it's nothing! i'll go home in a couple hours!".

-i feel like this is a good time to justify why i was trying to brush off the contractions. 1) i had had lots of braxton hicks contractions-i knew they would last about 12-16 hours, and then they'd go away. i thought this was the same (yes-even though i had never stayed up all night with them and none of them had brought me to tears before...). 2) i was terrified of what would happen to you when you came out, and was therefore in a bit of denial. and 3) perhaps there was a little bit of pride in there. you never want to be the labor and delivery nurse that shows up thinking she's in labor when she's really not.

-we get settled into room 9 a little after 7 pm. it is CRAZY busy that night. kristen comes to see us. so does dr lucas. someone yells down the hall that dr diaz needs him in the OR to help her. he goes to help. doesn't come back for about 2 hours. in the mean time, kristen sees that i am legitimately in pain, she asks him multiple times if she can check my cervix just so we know what's going on, he keeps saying "i'll be there soon." (he has since told me that, to this day, i am the only patient who has ever "fooled" him-that he could always tell if someone was really in labor or not but i had convinced him i wasn't...) he finally comes in around 9 to check me. we're all watching his face. he pauses. he says "katie-you're 8 1/2....". kristen doesn't believe him-keeps telling him to stop it and that's not funny. he tells her he's serious. that goes back and forth for a minute and i'm just kinda confused by their playful banter...when i finally realize he was serious i start for a split second to freak out. he calms me down, tells me i can do this, i realize i really can, and i do indeed calm down. he goes out to call dr farhi (the neonatologist that dr lucas had asked to be there for my delivery. we love this man too.) yet another side note: dr farhi wasn't on call that night either. but he was there in about 10 minutes. the nicu team bustles into the room to get everything ready-brings in the little transport isolette-and i really do lose it. at work it had always represented sick babies and seeing it in my delivery room reminded me all over again that you had the fight of your life ahead of you. i cry hysterically into daddy's chest and kristen's shoulder and shelly holds my hand through it all. (i think she's also at this point furiously sending text messages out all over the country letting people know it was happening then, not in 2 days as scheduled.) i'm so thankful they let me cry for a minute. then i get it together and start talking about how awesome my toes look between contractions (i had gotten a pedicure the day before and was apparently super proud of it). dr lucas breaks my water. labor gets about 40 billion times more intense at that point and the scary pain starts, he tells me minute by minute what's coming next and what to expect...i push for maybe 10 minutes-you come out at 10:18 pm and give a little squeal. (dr lucas told me several months later, when we knew you were going to make it, that he cried a little too when he heard you cry. the last diaphragmatic hernia baby he delivered didn't cry when it came out, and it also didn't live to get out of the delivery room. hearing you cry gave him hope that you would make it.) they worked on your for a minute-we watched and waited patiently. dr lucas finished with me, dr farhi brought you over once he got you intubated and "stable" for the moment and let me look at you for about 5 seconds and give your sweet face a kiss. then they whisked you off to the nicu.

-all the troops started rolling in within 30 minutes of your birth. robyn and emilie were supposed to arrive that night, but my parents and the davis family weren't supposed to arrive till the next day. mom had suspected when i talked to her earlier that you would be coming that night, so she and dad cancelled the hotel reservation they had made halfway between here and atlanta and just drove on through. the davises all randomly hopped on a plane a day early (i think there was a reason for this too, but it's one of the few details that has escaped me...;)) and they got there around 11.

-josh hook and jeff jennings showed up around the same time. have i mentioned what great friends we have in richmond??

-there was the most incredible peace in our room while we waited to hear what was going on with you. we were able to genuinely celebrate with our family and friends. we weren't worried-we weren't anxious to hear from dr farhi (i think i'm telling the truth)-we knew you were in good Hands. that's not to say we couldn't wait to see you, but still the peace we felt was pretty incredible. we have no doubt where that peace came from. God had carried us so perfectly up until that point, and He provided in ways we never imagined that night. i want to hug His neck and thank Him over and over for that.

-dr farhi came back about an hour later and gave us an update. he said the chest x-ray was pretty impressive (not the good kind of impressive)-that the hernia was just as severe, if not more so, than anticipated...and that more than expected was up in your chest (all of your small intestine, stomach, spleen, and part of your liver). but that you were doing ok so far with all the support they were giving you...since we knew he wasn't on call that night i thanked him, kind of thinking that was it for him, and he looked at me a little funny. i asked what he was doing that night and he said "i'll be right here. i've got a date with catherine!" yet another reason why we love him=)

you snuggling with dr lucas

the first time you got to see dr farhi since that first night in the hospital!

you and two of our favorite men=)

-mommy got cleaned up and miss kristen took us to room 248. (they had reserved room 246 for us too, since they knew we had a herd of people coming in town. grandypa and uncle kelly slept in there that night. i figured if i'm telling you details, why not include that one...). our family and friends went to whatever house they were staying in, and daddy and i got to go see you. we couldn't believe you were there in front of us, that we were touching your feet, looking at your sweet hands and face. we got to give you kisses and talk about the different features on your face. it's funny that we do that, because those features usually change so much so quickly! they were making sure you were sleeping peacefully, so we decided to go do the same. we went back over to labor and delivery to eat the leftovers from megan's wedding shower (mommy's other nurse friend). there were two beds in the postpartum room, one for me and one for daddy. the staff laughed at us (sweetly) because daddy pushed his over across the room next to mine so we could feel like we were sleeping in the same bed. that's another one of my favorite details from that day=). i still tell some of my patients that-i know they don't care, but i still tell them=) we went to bed and somehow slept peacefully...

this is yet another understatement, but it amazes me how sweet God was to orchestrate every detail of that day. as much as i tried to plan the day you were born, i could never dream of that day going as perfectly as it did. there is no doubt in my mind that He did that on purpose. what a sweet gift=)

Catherine Marie Davis

August 19, 2008


6 lb 15 oz 19 1/4"

this was the first picture we took of you.

here you are a year later laughing and playing and crawling around on my living room floor. =)

i still can't really wrap my head around this last year. or the 9 months before that. and i honestly don't know if i'll ever be able to wrap my head around the magnitude of what your little life means. i want to so badly. i pray that God will never let me celebrate one of your birthdays without remembering what it means that you're here. that He revealed Himself to us more intimately than ever before. that He provided for us a peek into the depths of His heart-that He desires to delight us and delight in us. that His ultimate goal for us is to reflect Him. i can't imagine knowing another little life that radiates Jesus so much as yours. i believe that God will blow us away with the ways He reveals to us more of Him through each of our children. i can't wait for that, and i can't wait to meet these little brothers and sisters of yours. but i can't possibly express how the past 21 months has changed me. i am so grateful that He let us be a part of whatever He's been doing in bringing you into the world and making sense of your insides. i'm sitting here shaking my head in disbelief-who am I that He chose daddy and me to be your parents? to witness His hand at work in forming you, healing you, growing you to be this perfect little 1 year old? i'm completely amazed and forever thankful. i love you sweet baby. words can never express...

happy 1st birthday=)


"...we praise God for the wonderful kindness He has poured out on us..."

~Ephesians 1:6

ps-it's actually august 22 now-it's taken me 3 days to write this letter. mommy's schedule is ridiculous. i just wanted to add that we saw dr rodgers yesterday, and we set next week as take the trach out week. tuesday we'll go to uva, you'll go to the OR and they'll do a bronchoscopy with you under anesthesia and he'll laser off any scar tissue that he sees. then you'll go up and spend the night on the pediatric floor to let the swelling go down from the lasering...the next day (wednesday the 26th) you'll go to the picu and i'll take out your trach (daddy can't come until that night). all the important people will be close by just in case you need any help, but they try to make it as low-key and normal for you as possible. so yep-the trach comes out wednesday. and the plan is to not put it back in please! (just kidding baby-you just let us know if you're not quite ready). they'll leave the little hole uncovered for a while and they'll watch you for a few days. if you're ok with it all, we'll go home friday or saturday! i can't believe it. i'm terrified and so giddy excited my stomach does flip flops when i think about it. so big week, huh? turn 1, birthday party #2 (tomorrow), baptized/dedicated (sunday), and get your trach out. all in one week. you can do it baby=)