Saturday, January 31, 2009

Home again, Home again

 I guess we should have updated this already...Berkeley got to come home from the hospital almost 2 weeks ago! Brighton is especially happy to have her home. She wakes up each morning saying, "I want to see my sister!" and then countless times throughout the day says, "I love my sister!" Berkeley has her own personal cheerleader. I feel like that is such a gift from God.
The doctors want her to have plenty of time to fully recover from pneumonia, so they would like to schedule her heart surgery for early March. We'll have a date within a few weeks. I'm ready to get that over with, but at the same time it makes me nervous. Now that Berkeley is a little older and began to smile, laugh, and coo, I feel like I know her so much better now...which makes it harder to think of her having open-heart surgery. But I'm still happy that her heart problem is fixable!
MANY THANKS to those of you who prayed, visited, brought food, or encouraged us in other ways. We are amazed by the wonderful people the Lord has put in our lives!
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Breathe Deep


Well, it's been a long week. And we're not out of the woods yet. Berkeley is still hanging out at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. She's becoming quite a celebrity, getting to know just about every doctor, nurse, and respiratory technician in the pediatrics wing of the hospital. She and I have outlasted several shifts of doctors and nurses and now she's working on the weekend crew with her mom. I'm taking a break and sleeping at home for a night or two while Julie gets to spend some more time with Berkeley.

Monday night when we went in, I told Berkeley that there were cheaper ways to get a daddy/daughter date. Yesterday, I told her she's bumped that up to a daddy/daughter vacation. The good news is that there's a reasonable chance her upcoming heart surgery could be totally free. We might tap out our insurance deductible this week instead. Heh.

But everyone really wants to know how she's doing. The short answer is she's doing pretty well actually. The antibiotics have been very effective in dealing with her pneumonia (it's more fun to say if you don't make the P silent). Everyone that's checked her out over the past three days has commented that her lungs and airways are sounding much better, and x-rays of her lungs confirm all of that. The one issue that's keeping her in the hospital is her breathing. She is simply not getting enough oxygen saturation in her blood. She's been hooked up on an oxygen tube since Monday night, and we just can't seem to get her to level out and breathe well enough on her own to totally come off of the oxygen yet. When she finally does come off of the oxygen and is stablized on her own, she'll still have to go through a 24-hour observation period before they send her home.

So what originally looked like a quick trip to the referral care clinic on Monday evening and then turned into a slumber party that we thought would end the next day has managed to stretch on for a week now. They're trying a new breathing treatment on her as of yesterday evening. I went online and read a 6 page journal entry in the Pediatrics journal for medical professionals while the doctor and respiratory technician argued over whether she needed a low flow or high flow heated cannula for this method. I was able to support the viewpoint of the respiratory tech after studying up on the issue. They asked if I was in the medical profession. I told them that I wasn't but that I was really good with Google. I felt like I was in one of those Holiday Inn commercials.

So anyway, Berkeley is still getting better each day, and I'm learning more than I ever cared to learn about respiratory problems and treatments. Hopefully we'll all get to go home soon. Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes. Please keep praying that Berkeley will breathe more deeply on her own and that her oxygen levels will ... well, level out.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Every smile is a gift

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones."
Proverbs 15:30

Berkeley's smiles can always make my day. But today's smiles were even more special, because they were an answered prayer. I told Sean, "be sure to tell me if she smiles today, because I prayed that she would feel good enough to smile!"
She hadn't been feeling good enough to smile or even interact much at all, and she had a pretty rough morning. I was relieved when Sean reported that she was alert for 2 hours and gave him some good smiles this afternoon. When I got to the hospital after school, she made my day with a sweet little smile just for mommy! Thank God for that little bit of encouragement!

The verse at the top took on a different meaning. I'd always thought of it as the one with the cheerful look having joy in their own heart. Now that I'm a mom, I know how much the expression of someone you love can affect your heart.

I hope to have more good news to share with you soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Prayers for Berkeley

Berkeley is sleeping peacefully with her teddy bear right now...unfortunately, she's not at home but at the Children's Hospital in Dallas. Sean took her to their ER on Monday night with a high fever, and they decided to keep her. She has pneumonia in several places in her lungs and is having some trouble with her respiration rate and blood oxygen level. They want to keep her for a few more days to make sure she is getting better. She's a real trooper, though, putting up with a lot of poking, prodding, and a gazillion different wires and tubes.

Brighton has gotten to visit her once, but she misses her little sister! Brighton loves Berkeley so much, and usually starts each day with an adorable "good muw-ning Buw-kley." Another favorite greeting is to give Berkeley a kiss on the forehead and an excited "hi sweetie!" We are so blessed to have a 2 year old that adores her baby sister. I told her that's a good thing, because Berkeley will need her to watch out for her, cheer her on, and give her LOTS of love.

We would love for you to pray for Berkeley specifically as she recovers - that the pneumonia will clear out, that her breathing rate will go back to normal, that her blood oxygen level can stay above 90% without having to be on oxygen.