Wednesday, August 22, 2012

He gives more grace...

these are the words that rang in my heart when we were choosing Emmaline's middle name, Grace. And over the past few weeks they have become my mantra- at every turn I see God showing me a bit more of His grace.
On Monday, August 13th, my mom and I took Emmaline to the doctor because over the weekend her reflux had taken a turn for the worse, she was clearly uncomfortable and having a hard time keeping her formula down.  All of my children have had reflux, so although it was worse than anything I had seen before, spitting up was not anything new in our house.  The doctor wrote her a prescription for Zantac and sent us on our way, and when we got home I sent my mom on her way... that was the day she went home.

As the week went on, her reflux seemed to be getting worse instead of better.  Her spit up was forceful, often causing her to gag or going up her nose leaving her gasping for breath.  I was afraid to put her down or even leave the room... By mid week I was holding her literally ALL day. Saturday morning, after she had spit up what I was sure was her entire bottle I decided to take her back to the doctor.  The Zantac was clearly not working and I was worried that she was not getting enough food.  Sure enough, she had lost 2oz since we were there on Monday.  The nurse practitioner we saw upped her dose of Zantac and referred us out to GI.  The only word of caution she gave (when I asked when I should start to worry) was that if she had less than 4 wet diapers in a day to take her to the ER.

That night, two hours after eating she projectile vomited 2-3 feet across the room as I was changing her.  At that moment I knew that something was really wrong, but I had no idea how to help my baby girl.  I just stood there holding her, crying, totally overwhelmed.  I decided it was in both of our best interest to get some sleep and reevaluate in the morning.  The doctor was supposed to be calling Monday with an appointment for the GI doctor.  Hopefully they would bring us in right away because Emmaline was so young.

When we got up the next morning and Emmaline again spit up the entire content of her bottle I knew that I could not wait any longer.  So, while my husband took the kids to church, Emmaline and I headed to the ER at CHKD.
Even as we got to the ER there was a part of me that thought maybe I was just an over-reacting mother and things were really not that bad.  Maybe they would change her medicine, or get us in to see the GI doctor sooner.  Nothing could have prepared me for the diagnosis she got... Pyloric Stenosis.  She would need surgery either that day or the next.  I stood there in shock as they laid Emmaline on the table and prepared to put in an IV.  I wanted to grab her and run from the hospital- this couldn't be right!  My baby girl, not even 3 weeks old, needed surgery?

And here is just on small way that God was showing me a bit of His grace... Pyloric Stenosis was not an unfamiliar condition to me.  My oldest nephew and his father both had Pyloric Stenosis when they were infants.  I had seen my nephew successfully go through the same procedure and even at the same exact age-to the day.

The surgeon came to talk to me shortly after the nurses finally got Emmaline's IV in. (Lets not get into the trauma of that event- hands down worse thing ever is watching nurses over and over try to insert an IV in your not yet 3 week old baby.  It took 4 attempts, it was not pretty, I cried a lot, but not as much as Emmaline.)  The surgery was planned for the next morning- they could have done it then, but felt it was better to wait until Emmaline had gotten some fluids in her- she was so little to be having surgery.

The next 12 hours were the worst.  Emmaline was not allowed to eat because she could not pass the food through her digestive track.  That did not stop her from being hungry though- and even though I knew she would be okay, In those hours of waiting, holding my hungry, crying, confused baby I had a glimpse of how horrible it must be to watch your infant literally starve to death in your arms.

By the time night fell, she was worn out and thankfully slept most of the night peacefully beside me.

She was to be an add on to the surgery schedule for Monday, so we did not know what time the operation would take place, but most likely it was to be after 12pm.  It was a pleasant surprise to have a nurse from the OR at our door a little before 9am.  Emmaline was wheeled back for her procedure at 9:30am and the surgeon found me in the waiting room at 10:20am reporting that all had gone well and they would be calling me back to see her shortly.  We were back in our room by 11:30 with only an hour to wait before my baby girl could finally eat something (even if it was just pedialyte). We spent the next 24 hour in the hospital.   By evening she was awake and alert and for the first time in over a week not spitting up everything she ate! What a relief.

When they finally unhooked all the monitors and took out her IV on Tuesday she lay in my arms and just smiled at me for a long time.  Although I am sure she is still uncomfortable from the surgery, she is so much happier now then she was just a few days ago.  And so again I see God's grace, even in what seemed like a horrible situation.

We are home now and Emmaline is doing well.  And here is what remains of our little adventure this week.
We are so grateful for the friends and family who surrounded us and supported us with their love and prayers these last few days, who brought us meals, dropped of snacks and and a change of clothes for me, watched our other kids so my husband to spend a couple hours at the hospital with me and Emmaline and offered their help in anyway we needed it.  Thank you!


Melanie Brockman said...

Wow! I saw your post that your mom went home. Little did I know what was around the corner for you and baby Emmaline. Did I tell you we have another friend who had a baby the same week in CO and her name is the same with a slightly different spelling of the first name? Hope all the bad days are over for your sweet baby. Love to all of you, Melanie

Joanna B said...

Oh Amy! What a stressful, crazy experience for you! I know first hand how terrible it is to watch your little one go through something painful. Hugs!

brookebrownell said...

Awwww...precious baby! So so sorry... Will be praying.


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