Thursday, August 11, 2011


 I jotted down these things to be thankful for when our little one was just over a week old.  It was good for me to go over them again and think of all the ways God was good during that time.  He is still good and the best way to remember that is to reflect on all the ways He has been good.  So here's my brief list of all the things I was thankful for when our little girl was just 9 days old:
  • Our nurse for labor and delivery had been a NICU nurse for 6 years.  She knew exactly what to do and stayed calm.  God is good.
  • My body gave birth naturally, keeping drugs and pitocin from making things harder on our little one.  God is good.
  • I am married to an amazing man, who after hours of assisting me in labor, stood next to our little girl and held her hand for over 4 hours, then drove 45 minutes away to be with her in the NICU. God is good.
  • Our doula was a life saver, not just in her assistance and encouragement in labor, but for standing next to me to keep me calm when my husband was with our daughter.  God is good.
  • Because I had a natural childbirth, the hospital/doctor were comfortable with releasing me just 12 hours after our daughter's birth so that I could get to the NICU 45 minutes away. God is good.
  • A benefit of nursing a toddler that I never considered before is that she can keep my supply up while I can't nurse my baby.  A toddler is a much more effective pump than a pump! In a world where mothers struggle to produce enough milk for their NICU babies, the nurses have been shocked by how much milk I'm getting. God is good.
  • My mom felt a strong urge to come out to stay with us before I even knew I was in labor.  She was able to be there to take care of Little Miss and then drove me to the NICU.  I didn't have to be alone for that drive. God is good.
  • Choanal atresia (blockage of the nose) is typically associated with quite a few other birth defects (especially heart, kidney and liver problems), but her internal organs are normal. God is good.
  • The heart murmur and lung problems our little girl had when she was first born have completely resolved themselves. God is good.
  • We were able to stay at a Ronald McDonald house on the hospital campus which allowed us to be close and have access to home cooked meals, an incredible play area for Little Miss, and shuttle rides over the the NICU (so I could go over by myself if I woke up early). God is good.
  • Even though I'm confident that a home birth still would have had good results, I'm not sure how confidently I would feel about that fact if we HAD had a home birth.  God closed those doors for a reason and we are grateful. God is good.
  • We have great insurance through my husband's work that allows us to not even worry about how much a NICU stay costs.  God is good.
  • I have been recovering well and have been physically strong enough to keep going and do what needs to be done.  A few years ago, I don't think I could have physically handled all of this.  God is good.
  • The research that I've done over the past few years has given me the confidence to know that nothing I did caused our daughter's blocked nasal passages.  I'm not saying there are not environmental factors or that there isn't a distinct cause we don't know about, but I do not feel guilty about the choices I made during her pregnancy.  In fact, the nurses have commented on how healthy and well nourished our little girl is.  I think all the changes I've made over the past few years are what have made her healthy enough to fight through these issues.  God is good.
  • Choanal atresia is fixable unlike so many other birth defects.  Although my baby has to be on all sorts of contraptions to breathe for these few weeks, she will not live her whole life on them.  God is good.
  • My husband and I have a whole new level of understanding and sympathy for any family that spends time in the NICU.  God is good.
  • Our parents have pretty flexible work schedules that allowed them to be with us last week and also for the upcoming surgery.  We are so glad we have support and help with Little Miss. God is good.
  • Even though it's not very convenient with all the tubes and monitors, our baby is doing all the things a baby should be doing.  Because she's so strong and feisty, she does need to be sedated or given muscle relaxers about once a day, but we are glad she's not lethargic. God is good.
  • The lactation consultants at the NICU have been very encouraging about me continuing to nurse my toddler.  No one has suggested that I need to wean her in order to save my milk for my baby.  God is good.
  • My baby has not gotten any formula.  She has had antibiotics, but with all that I've learned about gut health, I hope I can undo some of the damage done.  God is good.
  • Little Miss is thrilled to pieces that Mommy is making milk again.  She now has to stop nursing periodically to smile up at me and say "num num num." Love it.  God is good.
  • Since our little girl was born on a Sunday, word got out right away that she needed prayers.  We had churches all over the country praying for her recovery. God is good.
I wish I would have kept this list up during her entire stay in the NICU, but life just didn't work that way.   God really is good, even though it is so incredibly hard for me to remember that sometimes.  Guess I'll have to start up another list.

    1 comment:

    Cassie said...

    Beautiful. Thanks for this. Sometimes it's hard to see God. But like you said God is always there, even in the hard and bad times. You are so brave and strong. God has given you so much strength and the character to be able to go through this. I am praying for your baby, you and your family!!