Sometimes I forget how small Alicia is until I compare her to other babies and then I'm like, man, she's tiny! Right across the ICU from Alicia is a boy who must be a few months older than Alicia because he's chubby, chubby. Lots of fat! =) It's encouraging to see. But at the same time hard to imagine that Alicia will also look like that one day.
Since I last wrote, Alicia's condition is stable, but still not as ideal as hoped. Her breathing has been doing well, but this morning when we went back to see her, her breathing machine was back up to 21 breaths a minute. Also, she was a bit pale. I guess she had a harder night last night. Since she's still small, she's still a bit anemic, meaning that she doesn't have enough hemoglobin in her blood. Hemoglobin is what carries the oxygen in our blood cells. So that coupled with her still learning how to breathe on her own, it can cause her to not get enough oxygen into her body and to her organs, which makes her weak. I'm not anemic, but I think the closest thing I can liken it to is after areally intense workout where I haven't been breathing correctly, I'll start feeling really dizzy, and week and turn pale. Don't know if Alicia feels dizzy, but this morning when we went to see her she was a bit more listless than usual.
And that's what the nurse also told us. She said that the evening nurse said that Alicia wasn't as vigorous as she usually was, although she did respond a bit when they were working on her tubes and things. So she's still got her personality, but maybe just wasn't feeling as well yesterday.
Another thing to pray about is Alicia's digestion. She still hasn't pooped. (Yes, very technical term, I know.) And until she poops she can't eat. Pooping means she's digesting. No pooping means her digestive system hasn't started working yet. And until her digestion starts to work, she'll need to be fed nutrients through the IV. We want her to start being able to digest so she can start taking Linda's milk, which will get her the nutrients and antibodies Alicia needs to get stronger and stronger. Also, they found some black stuff inside of Alicia's digestive track, but they don't know what it is yet. They did a sonogram and things look normal, but they're going to do some followup on that. We pray that Alicia's digestive system and other systems will start to kick in soon.
We'll be going back to see Alicia in about an hour or so. One good sign is that in the first few days the doctors came and talked to us every day. The past few days we've mainly just been talking to the nurses. I take this as a sign that things are stable, and there isn't too much change. Which at this point is a good thing.
Also, I mentioned a few days ago that Alicia's belly IV has been taken out and she's been switched to an IV in her leg. A pediatrician we know from the states told us that this is a good sign. It means that things are stabilizing otherwise they wouldn't have done that.
Linda is doing well. We got discharged from the hospital yesterday and moved in with Linda's sister last night. The first night away from the hospital and this morning going back to the hospital was a strange one. For the past week, all we've known is our life in this hospital. We developed a routine. Wake up, eat breakfast, pump milk, go see baby. Come back, eat lunch, pump milk. Take a nap, eat dinner, pump milk.Go see baby, eat snack, pump milk. Go to bed, pump milk. Do it all over again. =) Now we moved home, and even though we didn't get to see Alicia all the time while we were in the hospital, being just that much farther away from her has been a bit heart wrenching.
We continue to take it one day at a time. That's all we can do right now. We've heard that there will be good days and bad days. Just because she's having a good day doesn't mean that she's going to continue to have a good day. On the flip side,just because she's having a bad day doesn't mean she will continue to have a bad day. We just walk through it as the Lord leads.
I believe that we already have the victory. God has already written the end of this story, and it is victory. We just need to walk through it to see how we get there. It's like reading a book or watching a movie. The ending is already set, we just go through and experience the journey along the way.
God gave me a picture this morning. I was sitting in Gloria's dining room and looking out the window and saw this view:
This is an opera house that has been in construction for a few years now. Each time we come to Taichung, we see more and more of it being completed. Right now it's an empty shell. We see the basic structure of what it might look like. But I have no idea what the complete building/complex will look like.
I felt God saying that this was a bit like Alicia. We see the skeleton and basic structure of her body and what she'll look like. But we don't see the final picture yet. But God has the blueprint, and he's going to finish building her in his time. God brought a melody to Linda this morning and this afternoon. It's a song by Heavenly Melody (the singing group from my company). It talks about how God's ways are higher than man's ways. God's reasons are higher than our reasons. And in the song it talks about how God has a blueprint in his heart and mind. And we trust God's blueprint for our lives and for Alicia's life.
God is writing a beautiful story, and he's giving us a testimony for his glory. I'm excited to see how this story will end. I know, whatever the outcome, it will be an amazing journey and story.
Thank you, friends, for continuing to read and follow along with us as we walk on this road. Each of you are a huge blessing. And your prayers are life-giving.