I remember one day in college, while I was brushing my teeth, God gave me a special message. That day I was wearing my college sweatshirt from UCI (University of California at Irvine). And while I was brushing my teeth, I looked at myself in the mirror and I noticed that my sweatshirt said ICU. And I felt that the Lord was saying that "I see you." And I felt comforted at that time and encouraged. And I felt, "God is so sweet." So recently, the same message of the ICU came back in a deeper way, and brought deeper comfort. Having your baby in the ICU is not where you would want your baby to be, but God reminds me that Alicia is in the ICU under the all-seeing embrace of the Father. He sees her. She is the apple of his eye. She is in HIS ICU and so are we. So I just trust Daddy to continue to lead us, knowing that he is watching our every move and that he guides us with his eye.
Thank you so much to everyone that has been pouring out your prayers and comfort. Thank you for your texts, messages, emails and comments. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, and your little treats and gifts. Campbell and I have been overwhelmed by how big of a cloud of witnesses we have. And we want you to know that your love has born much fruit. Our hearts are at peace and we take each day at a time, knowing each day is a gift. My days are pretty scheduled. I spend most of my day pumping milk for Alicia. If I'm not pumping, then I'm eating, resting, or going to see Alicia. My heart is focused and set on the Lord. I am sad and am aware of the mixed emotions. But at the same time, knowing how strong my daughter is and how much of a fighter she is, I will need to be stronger. And I have no reason to give the enemy any rights to my thoughts. We rest in God and trust for his daily deliverance.
Right now, since I'm on a strict no TV, no books and no Internet regiment, I can't immediately respond to all your messages. Right now, I'm dictating as Campbell is typing for me. (See Mom! I follow what you say.) For those who are unfamiliar with the Taiwanese method of post delivery care, there are certain strict guidelines new mothers need to follow for the first month postpartum. I.E. no washing your hair, no showering, only eating certain foods, no touching cold water, no cold air blowing on you, etc… The purpose of these restrictions is to help your body recover and revert to how it was prior to pregnancy. One of the guidelines that I'm trying to follow is to not strain my eyes too much. Hence the media fast. But please keep writing and sending messages, Campbell does pass them along and update me. The messages bring me much encouragement and joy.
As for Alicia, she's doing much better today. This morning when Campbell and I went to see her. She looked different to us. We couldn't quite place our finger on what the difference was, but we think she looked fuller or more defined or maybe just more mature. It amazed us how much she could change literally over night. Also, the nurses gave her a couple of blood transfusions last night, which have seemed to help. Her color is back and she isn't as pale as she was yesterday when we went to see her. She was sleeping pretty deeply this morning, so not quite as responsive or active as other visits, but we're glad that she's getting her rest. The nurse said she's stable… again FOR NOW, please continue to pray.
Some prayer requests:
1. The black stuff that Campbell wrote about in the previous post turns out to be some blood that was in her stomach/intestinal tract. Since it is black, the doctors think that it is probably old blood potentially from the trauma of birth. They have given her some medicine to stop any further bleeding, and will continue to follow up on this condition. Please pray that if there is still any internal bleeding, that it will stop, and that any of the old blood will be cleansed from her body.
2. Pray for her breathing. Some days she does well and doesn't need the ventilator as much. Other days, she relies on it more. Today, she was down to relying on the machine for 15 breaths a minute from 21. So that's good. Pray that her lungs will get stronger, and that she will learn how to breathe on her own. Extended dependency on the ventilator is not good and might cause permanent lung damage.
3. Pray for her to grow. Campbell wrote previously that she was gaining weight. But as we asked the nurses more about this, we realized that actually, she's still losing weight, which is completely normal. Most kids after birth, will lose water weight for about a week or two before they start to gain again. It's been about a week for Alicia. We're glad she's getting rid of stuff from her body that she doesn't need. But we pray that she can start to put on some more weight again. She'll need to gain a few hundred grams before she can be discharged from the ICU.
4. Campbell mentioned previously about her digestion. Yesterday, they helped Alicia to poop and clean out her intestinal tract, but she's still not pooping on her own, and as of this morning still hasn't pooped today. Pray that her digestion will kick in soon so that she can start taking my milk and gaining the nutrients she needs.
5. Pray for the doctors and nurses. We believe that she's getting some great care. Pray that they would have wisdom and special knowledge to expedite Alicia's growth and recovery. And pray they they would have a special affinity for Alicia and that they would care for her as if they were caring for their own daughter. We sense that Alicia already has an ability to attract and draw people to her. We pray that God would continue to develop this and use it for His glory.
6. Pray for her brain. Many premature babies end up with social and learning disorders and even brain damage. Pray that her brain would develop healthy and strong, and that she wouldn't have any problems in development as she grows. Also, right now she's still got the brain hemorrhaging (blood in the brain). Pray that the blood would be absorbed quickly and not get any worse.
7. Pray for her strength, and vigor and that her motor skills would also continue to do well.
8. Pray for her anemia to pass quickly, and that she would begin to take in enough oxygen for her body and that she would start to develop enough red blood cells to carry the oxygen to the rest of her body.
9. Pray for her mental and spiritual health. We pray each day for her that the Holy Spirit would surround her with peace and comfort. And that she wouldn't be scared or anxious in any way. We pray that she wouldn't have any trauma from this experience, and that she would grow up confident and secure in Campbell's and my love for her, but more important for our Heavenly Daddy's love and care for her.
Thanks, everyone, for all the big and small ways that you are helping us. We know that there is no way for us to know everything that everyone is all doing for us. But know that we appreciate it all. And for all that you do, we just ask the Lord to bless you abundantly!