We’ve been staring and loving on our Gracie for a little over a week. She is so sweet. She’s a snuggle bug. She loves to sleep and eat. Eat some more, and sleep some more. And her big brother adores her to death.
There are so many ways we saw God’s hand in Gracie’s birth — times at the hospital, and so far at home.
We arrived at the hospital Wednesday (2/12) morning with Gage! We got our last family picture of the three of us and got to hang out in the triage room with him and some family until it was time for the c-section to start.
I (Jamie) was so nervous. In a matter of seconds, I was going to have three things happen that have caused such anxiety in me for months — have a c-section, grow to a family of four, and finally, put a face to “Gracie.”
It was amazing to see how God calmed my fears in the room. He put me with the most hilarious O.R. staff that told me jokes and talked about the snow that was coming that afternoon that would cause them all to spend the night at the hospital. As soon as my doctor popped her head in while I was getting prepped, I felt so much better.
When Les was outside waiting to come in, the nurse who would be taking care of Gracie as soon as she came, in the O.R. and possibly in the NICU if needed, talked to Les and told him she had a sister who has down syndrome. That is no coincidence. How amazing is that?
Back In The O.R. . . .
Knowing that Gracie had a heart defect, I had a few things running through my mind. One, she may not cry because she may not have the stamina to cry. Two, she may have problems eating for the same reason. I felt like that was going to be a reality for us. Not so much. As soon as Gracie appeared we got to hear her screaming her head off and a few minutes later, we heard her smacking her little lips ready to eat! It would have been ok whatever happened, but we are so thankful to God for her cries and her amazing appetite!
They had also prepared me that she might have to go to the NICU soon, but about 10 minutes after she was born, the sweet nurse taking care of her said she was doing so amazing and she was coming with us! This was the same nurse with the sister who has down sydrome so she was able to speak from a unique place when she said “Gracie is really amazing. She’s doing great.”
The next few hours . . .
Were a bit of blur. I just remember looking at her and not being afraid of her like I thought I would be. I know that sounds horrible or silly, but for so long, there has been so much unknown — and there still is, but the minute I held that baby, she was mine. The minute I saw Les hold her and love on her and Gage meet her, I knew it was all perfect. She was perfect and she fit in our family like no other. Thank you to all my friends who prayed specifically that I would immediately be overcome with these feelings, instead of more fear of the unknown.
How amazing that when everyone had left and it was just me, Les, and Gracie, that a beautiful snow came and gave us a few hours to just relax and breathe her in!
The next few days . . .
Brought some moments of uncertainty, but God blessed Gracie with a little feisty spirit that proved everyone wrong. She battled regulating her body temperature…then that resolved itself. She battled getting too red when she cried (which we found out was due to a high red blood cell count), that brought us to a 4-hour test in the NICU…which turned into a 2-hour test because they said she didn’t need to be there! Our lactation lady said she was her blue ribbon baby for being the best eater on the floor, and at our follow up appointment with a pediatrician on Sunday, she had gained 2 oz in 24 hours, which the pediatrician did not know how to explain. She didn’t even lose the expected amount of weight while in the hospital! What a blessing!
We had one nurse in particular, Cherie, that was amazing. She was very detailed and extremely dialed in to Gracie’s every need, which was perfect for us, and through the days we learned she was a believer and we got to share a little of our journey. She lovingly prayed over us before we left. I’m so grateful for all the staff at St. Vincent’s. Everyone was so amazing and loved our baby girl so well.
Ten days later . . .
We now wait for our follow up appointment with the pediatrician next week (2/26), and then the cardio doctor the following week (3/4). Please pray with us as we ask for wisdom for the doctors as they care for Gracie and wisdom for us as we navigate our new normal!
Finally (if you are still reading), let me give a shout out to my husband. Wow. That man bent over backwards in the hospital to help and take care of things. Since we’ve been home, he’s done all the laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. You name it, he’s done it, and let me just rest and recover. I am so grateful for his servant heart. He has spent time loving on Gage when I can’t get on the floor and play with him or pick him up and he has been so supportive of me. Such a blessing. Thank you God for such a wonderful man.