This is the 29th post of this blog. Twenty-nine. Both my wife and my daughter were born on the 29th, so it's a pretty cool number in my book.
So what shall I write about for the 29th post? Well, I think first off we can start off with some updates on our little girl.
She is doing fantastic! Today we got the great news that she's up to 654 grams today regaining her original birthweight! YAHOO! =) But this time the 654 is all meat, none of this water weight that might get lost. Go baby, go!
Also, she's breathing better and better. Today her ventilator settings were pretty low - 15 breaths a minute at about 30% oxygen saturation. She had a few moments of oxygen deficiency during our visit this morning, but she was able to get herself back on track without too much prompting or help from Mommy and Daddy or the nurses, so this is good. =) We continue to pray for her to continue to start breathing better and better on her own. The goal is to get her off the ventilator ASAP, which we hope can maybe happen by next week. But that's up to the doctors.
Can I say that I just love my daughter more and more each day. Mommy had to use the ladies' room today during our visit so I got a few minutes by myself with Alicia today and it was so precious. After Mommy left, I sat down, stuck my hand through the incubator and covered Alicia with it. Then I began to sing. As I was singing, she opened her eyes and just looked at me. My heart melted. I better be careful, or she's gonna get spoiled rotten. But my daughter is absolutely beautiful. She's got these big eyes just like her Mommy and whenever she looks at me, my heart just swells.
The nurses all really like her too. It's cute how they call her Alicia, and then talk to her as they're helping her out. Like when the monitors start beeping, they'll come over and say, "Alicia, what's wrong? It's OK, Alicia. Be good, Alicia." Some of the nurses will even watch Alicia from across the room and check up on her even if she's not their assigned baby. She's already got this attraction about her that draws people to her. Love it!
Alicia will also have an eye exam today, and we'll find out the results tonight when we go to see her. The opthomologist will dilate her eyes then use a special scope that will allow him or her to see through to the back of Alicia's eyes and her retina. They're checking for any abnormal growth of blood vessels that may affect her vision. We pray for good results and that Alicia's condition will be good. Please continue to pray and we'll keep you posted on that.
We've been on this journey for nearly a month now, and it's been quite a trip. We've had our ups and downs, bumps and dips but through it all God has been our steadiness. Having all of you walking with us and journeying with us has been a huge blessing as well. I'm so thankful for all of the words and love that all of you keep sending our way. Please keep them coming.
One thing that has kept our spirits uplifted and joyful through this time is music. Over the past month God has brought song after song to mind that we just continue to sing over ourselves and sing over Alicia. Songs of encouragement. Songs of promises. Songs of joy. Music that has delivered powerful messages and strengthened our souls.
A couple of weeks ago a sweet friend of ours sent us this song. As I listened to it, I felt my heart soar, and I could sense God smiling down and giving us a huge hug.
For those of you who don't know the story that the song refers to. Back in the early days of the Christian church there were two missionaries called Paul and Silas and long story short, one day they were arrested, then flogged and beaten for sharing their faith. Sometime around midnight while they were in prison, instead of moping and complaining, Paul and Silas decided to pray, sing songs and worship God. Suddenly, there was a huge earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison making the prison doors fly open and everyone's chains come loose, setting them free. The amazing thing is that they didn't immediately run out, they stayed behind and shared their faith with the jailer, leading the jailer to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Amazing story.
Growing up in church, I've heard this story many times before, but of course once again, Alicia's birth gave me a new perspective on it. God wants to hear you sing. Amazing to think that the God of the universe could find joy in his children singing, even though he's got angels singing all around him every day. I've never heard an angel sing, but I have to imagine that it has to be a million times better sounding than any human voice. And yet, when we sing in the midst of trials, we bless the Lord.
Guess, Linda and I will keep singing then. =) As I said earlier, music has been a powerful medicine for our souls over the past month. It's helped us to stay positive and keep our eyes on the Lord, and it's given us strength. God has used music to help us find strength to press on through the dark days. It's nice to think that as we were singing, not only did we find encouragement for oursleves, that we were also able to bless our Heavenly Father. There is no greater desire for Linda and I than to make our Heavenly Daddy smile.
I look forward to hearing Alicia sing one day. I'm sure she's going to have a beautiful voice.
We keep moving forward friends! Alicia makes progress each day and each day that passes is one more day closer to the day that we can bring her home. I can't wait.
P.S. Just to recap. 1. Please continue to pray for her breathing that it will continue to improve. 2. Pray for her eyes that they would develop well. 3. Pray for her brain that any damage would take care of itself. 4. Pray that she continues to grow and get stronger. Thanks everyone!