Well, today we were delivered another bit of bad news. From what we can piece together from the doctor and then coming home and looking it up in our preemie book, Alicia has a condition called Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or BPD.
Here's an excerpt from the American Pregnancy website that explains it:
"Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) occurs when a baby’s lungs have shown evidence of deterioration. Unfortunately, when preemies are put on a ventilator (also known as respirators) their lungs are still immature and sometimes can not withstand the constant pressure of the respirator. Preemies that have been on a respirator for more than twenty-eight days are at risk for developing BPD. Preemies do recover from this but it may take some longer than others."
Basically the way the doctors explained it is that Alicia at this point has the lungs of an old woman, her lungs have some deterioration and damage. The difference is that old ladies have bad lungs because they've lived a long life, and have various things that could have damaged their lungs like, smoking, pollution, etc...
Alicia's lungs are damaged pretty much because she's small and her lungs aren't very well developed and the ventilator which is helping her to stay alive is also damaging her lungs as well. Definitely a mixed blessing.
Thankfully, as with most things in the case of preemies, this disease is not fatal and it is treatable, so it's another bump in the road. Unfortunately this means that it might be awhile before Alicia is off the ventilator, but we pray for quick, quick healing and strength for her lungs. Doctors are going to use a combination of nutrition and medication to help Alicia's lungs develop and heal from the damage. For some preemies it might take a few years for them to completely recover from the lung disease, but the good news is that people can and do recover from this problem.
Each time I hear news like this, my initial reaction is to panick, but thankfully, with the Lord's strength, I'm getting better at catching myself and setting my mind right. Doctors say that because of this problem, Alicia will be more susceptible to catching colds in the future. Also, according to the book, kids with BPD also tend to have a higher chance of having asthma and other breathing related problems. Well, we just stake a claim in faith that these things will not happen. We renounce any illness, any infection, any damage, any complications in the name of Jesus Christ. We bind the power sickness and deterioration, and we loose the spirit of health, strength and wholeness upon Alicia and her lungs.
Hearing that Alicia might take a bit longer to heal completely than others, was hard for me. I am from New York, the city that never sleeps, I'm a go, go, go kind of person. I want Alicia healed and healed now. But over and over again, God keeps reminding me to slow down and to trust his timing.
This morning, we were a little late to leave the house. So I was feeling a bit anxious as I was driving and try to go as quickly as I could. Thankfully, we hit most of the lights, but then as we got closer to the hospital inexplicably cars, scooters, buses and trucks kept cutting in front of me, and then driving really slow. I was starting to get worked up about it, when Linda said, "Honey, it's OK. Maybe God has the perfect parking spot for us and he's just timing it so that we can get their just as the guy is pulling out." I was like, yeah, maybe. But come on! We're almost late! So ignoring what she said, I did my best to get around these slow moving vehicles.
And now, I definitely don't want to blame God for everything, but I think in this case it really was God. We got to the hospital and there were no parking spots, but as we pulled up to a stop light, Linda pointed out that behind us there was a car pulling out of a parking spot. A spot that had we arrived maybe one or two minutes later, we would have arrived, just as it was pulling out. But because I was in such a hurry, we ended up being in front of that spot and would need to loop around the block to get back to it.
Thankfully, God's grace covered it, and he not only saved us that spot as we looped around the block, but there were actually two parking spots within a couple of feet of each other.
Silly story, but I think it's a good illustration of just going with God and allowing him to direct our footsteps. Sometimes we are in such a rush to get somewhere, but God is saying, hold on a minute. I've got something better. But you know the beautiful thing, even when we don't listen, even when we do rush ahead, God's everlasting love and overflowing grace covers our folly. Like this morning, even though I rushed ahead of him, he still provided a parking space for us. And not just one, but two spots. Granted we did have to make the extra loop around the block to get there, but we still got there.
So I guess the lesson for me is to slow down and trust God's timing. I need to do my best to follow his leading, and not rush ahead of him. But also to realize that when I do mess up, not to beat myself up but just get back on track. It might take me an extra loop to get there, or some extra time to get there to make up for my folly, but by his grace we will still, I will still get there.
OK, on to prayer requests.
1. Definitely pray for her lungs. The damage is going to impair her ability to breathe on her own for awhile. Please pray for complete healing and development of her lungs.
2. The nurse said today that Alicia is a really vigorous little child. She moves around a lot, which is great! She also said that she and all the other nurses think that she's a really pretty, adorable girl. We couldn't agree more. =) So praise the Lord for that.
3. She still continues to have trouble with her breathing after she eats. Doctors are working on resolving that.
4. She's now eating 12cc per feeding now. Praise the Lord. Pray that the nutrients from the milk would help her to continue to grow big, healthy and strong. Pray also that she will continue to digest and process the milk well.
5. Linda and I are doing well. We're enjoying this time to be with each other and to just grow in our relationship and in our new roles as parents. Thanks for many of your encouragement to slow down and focus on my family. It's a challenge for me, but I think it's a good reminder.