Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!~

Praying that everyone has a wonderful and meaningful Christmas...


Christian, Lauren & Family

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Well, as you can see, I've changed my blogger template. I think it fits me.


Christian has basically stopped eating for almost a week now. He caught some gross stomach virus that's going around. He was vomiting like crazy starting from Monday night. I had to wash two of his bed sets, one of my bed sets, one of ben's bed sets (he sleeps on the couch due to his chronic snoring) and lots of other blankets. Have you ever seen a toddler projectile vomit down to his feet while laying flat on his back? It was so sad and so awesome at the same time. I've never seen anything like it.

Anyways, he's been puking and diarrheaing all week. One day, after washing sheets and cleaning up puke all day long, I really had a bad bout of depression. It really hit me when Ben and I were kneeling next to Christian as he was puking into his puke trash bag - I just started crying..and then Ben started crying...and Christian was puking... and I was thinking, "how much more can God throw at us right now?!" I wanted to seriously die right then and there.

I feel so bad for Christian. Poor guy. On top of that, since he's not feeling well, he's grumpy and testy and defiant - so he keeps getting in trouble from his parents. He's not liking life too much right now. AND...he looks like a lollipop. He's got this big head with this skinny little malnutritioned body that's just screaming for food but all he'll eat is a couple of nibbles of this and that.

In spite of his sickness, he managed to go to school on Friday for his school's Christmas performance. He didn't sing - he just sat there on stage. He clapped a few times and did some hand motions but that was about it. It was still insanely cute though and we even captured a moment where he looked like he threw up in his mouth a little bit and kept it down. lol...


There is good news and bad news about Lauren.

The good news is that she's almost 4 lbs now! Can you believe that? She weighs 3lbs 14oz now. Just a couple more ounces and she'll be 4 lbs. She looks so big to me now... She's beginning to look less sickly and looks more like a very small infant.

The bad news is that she was diagnosed with early onset of stage 2 ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) on both her eyes. ROP is a common micro-preemie condition where the blood vessels in the retina grow abnormally. There are 5 stages with stage 1 being the least damaging (maybe needing glasses) to stage 5 (blindness). She's been getting weekly eye exams. The exams prior to this diagnosis showed no signs of ROP but then it jumped to stage 2. That's not good. She gets another exam on Tuesday and it needs to either stay the same or regress. If it gets worse, she may need to undergo surgery. If that happens, she may lose her peripheral vision and there is risk of scar tissue building up and that would do damage to the retina and then screw up her sight even more. They say alot of stage 1 and stage 2 ROPs can resolve on it's own. Let's hope that's what happens here. It just scares me more because it seems like it's progressed rather fast which is a bad sign.


Prayer Requests

Please pray that Christian gets better from this virus - he's been a wreck physically, mentally and emotionally as a result of all this. He's not his usual spunky self. He seriously looks depressed. Doesn't want to eat, doesn't want anyone near him except his mommy and daddy and all he wants to do is lay in bed.

Please pray that Lauren's ROP resolves on its own. The mere thought of her undergoing surgery just makes me sick to my stomach.

Please pray that Lauren gets off her nasal cannula soon. She has RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and if she continues to have to rely on any type of oxygen assistance it can progress to BPD (Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia) which is a lung condition where she continues to have breathing difficulties.

There's a ton more prayer requests but I'll keep it at the immediate ones for now.


I know everyone is probably very curious to see pics of Lauren. At first, I was hesitant about posting any pics of her because, well, they aren't very nice pictures when it's of a teeny, tiny infant laying in an isolette with wires and IVs all over her body. Also, posting pics or providing updates on this blog gives me a sense of control in a situation where I basically have no control over (I'm a HUGE control freak). So I wanted to find the right time to begin posting pics of Lauren's progress and I think I'm beginning to feel a little more comfortable with the idea. However, the times when I'm writing up new posts, is when I'm usually in bed on my laptop and all of my picture files are on my mac in the living room and I'm too lazy to go out there to use the computer. But, one day very soon, I will begin posting pictures.

Thanks everyone for all your support and prayers. Despite the problems Lauren is facing, she is still considered to be doing relatively well for her size/age...and I know that has everything to do with all of our friends and family praying for her. Please don't stop praying - she still has such a long ways to go before she can come home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

God? Is that really you?

For weeks and weeks, I've felt very... abandoned by God. I felt like God wasn't there for me when I needed him the most. I felt like this was all his fault - that he made it this way. I blamed him and I was angry at him. Not to say that I don't feel this way anymore - I do. I still feel angry and frustrated at times. I still feel like God sucks for allowing something like this to happen to our little girl. I'm still mad at him. But despite all the hate I felt towards him, I felt like I had to pray. Because I had no other choice. Because he was my only hope. And I even said to God that I thought he was sick. Sick in the head for allowing this to happen to Lauren only to make me come to him and pray to ask him to fix it.

As time passed, I began telling God that I needed to just 'feel' him - to know that he was there for us. For weeks, I got nothing. You have no idea how abandoned, how unimportant and how unloved I felt. To have this type of devastation in your life and feel so bitter and angry at God... and then putting your resentment aside and praying to him to please, make things right and praying to him to please, make his presence known. And still... I got nothing. So I gave up on praying for a little while. My prayers didn't flow. It didn't feel sincere because really, I had no idea who the hell I was praying to and if it even made a difference.

But then, Lauren's daily blood gas results (where they prick her foot to get a sampling of blood to see how well her lungs are getting rid of the CO2 in her body) were getting high. Her CO2 parameters of what was considered acceptable was anywhere between 40 and 60. If it was too high, then it meant that her little body wasn't getting rid of CO2 well and then she'd have to be re-intubated (breathing tube down her throat). It was always in the mid 50s. Then, it increased to 57..then 58...and then finally it was around 59.

I panicked.

I began to feel so worried that out of desperation, I prayed. This time, my prayers flowed. I began challenging God.

I recalled when our pastor came to pray for Lauren he read us a scripture and gave us a message about the mystery of God - that basically, with our mortal minds, we're not able to understand or comprehend what it is that God is working towards but that he has a plan... and the magnitude of God. That he's so capable and so powerful that we, often times, don't ask for enough because we don't expect that it'll happen. But we need to realize the magnitude of what God is capable of.

So I challenged God.

I said, "You're supposed to be powerful right? The magnitude of what you can do is beyond anything I can imagine? You're that awesome? Then I can ask for specifics, right? So here... I'm asking. This is what I'm asking for. That you bring her CO2 level down. And I don't mean down, I mean ALOT down. And I want her off this machine, Lord, please. I don't want her to be on it anymore because it's not good for her. It's not good for her lungs. Please, make her lungs strong and develop more healthy alveoli (air sacs) and let her rid the CO2 better. And her eyes, please make sure her eyes are developing properly. In fact, I want her to have better than 20/20 vision. I want her to not have any type of preemie issues. I want all of her organs -her brain, heart, liver, lungs, stomach, intestines, kidneys - I want all of that to be IMMACULATE. STRONG. HEALTHY. PRISTINE. I want her central nervous system to be PERFECT. I want her to have strong, healthy bones. Please, this is what I'm asking for. I know you can do it. I know that all you need to do is just put one finger on her whole body and she'll be healed. Just do it, Lord. Just place a finger on her - just breathe on her. Do something. Do whatever you need to do, because I know, for you, it's supposed to be a piece of cake - you're more than capable. " And then I included an, "oh, and please, please, make her head shape round out perfectly." =)

A couple of days later, on Friday early afternoon, I called the nurse to get an update on Lauren since I wasn't going to be able to make it to the hospital (Christian was sick). She told me her blood gas was down to 49! It hadn't been in the 40s in weeks! All of the sudden, her blood gas dropped! I was ecstatic. I thought to myself, "could it be? did God really answer my prayer?"

That night, Ben went to go see Lauren. I decided to stay home just in case I was incubating Christian's cold - I didn't want to take the chance and take cold germs over to the hospital. Ben texted me when he got there and said that Lauren was OFF THE SiPAP MACHINE!!! She was put back on the nasal cannula.

Then, last night, Ben's mom calls me. She had just gotten home from church and said that a former pastor's wife, who has the gift of dreams, had a dream about Lauren. The lady said that she saw Lauren in the hospital...and that Jesus himself was holding her. And he was feeding her. But it wasn't milk. It was something that was steaming or something like that. I wasn't exactly understanding what she was saying because she wasn't able to explain to me what certain words meant in English. But whatever Jesus was feeding Lauren, it was something spiritual. And he said not to worry. That he's taking care of her and that he has a plan for her. That she'll live and not to worry.

That made me feel good. Then, my cynical side comes out and I wonder why would someone we don't even know have a dream about Lauren being okay and not us?

When we went to church the other week, the message was about God making himself known. Our pastor talked about the story of Elijah. How he was tired and discouraged. And an angel told Elijah that God was going to reveal himself to him. Then a strong wind comes but it wasn't God. Then a big earthquake hits... but it wasn't God. Then a big fire breaks out...but it wasn't God. Then, after all that, a gentle whisper comes ... and that was God.

God, is this really you? Are you speaking to me in these subtle ways or are these all just coincidences? If it's you, please, please...continue to answer each and every one of my prayers. Make her strong. Make her healthy. Make her perfect. I want nothing less.


Lauren went from nasal cannula to CPAP and then to the SiPAP machine on November 14th. On Friday, December 5th, 21 days later, she was taken off the SiPAP and she's back to the nasal cannula. For her being born nearly at the cut off of viability as a 'micro-preemie', being on a SiPAP for only 21 days is supposed to be super good. We are so very happy... you have no idea. But at the same time, we're scared because it's not uncommon for babies to go back on the machine after they've been taken off of it. It's already happened once with her so we're trying to be cautious and not get too overly excited.

Please continue to pray for Lauren. Her eye exam is tomorrow. Please pray that she will pass with flying colors.

Monday, December 1, 2008

So much....

My dearest Christian,

Thank you. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful, sweet, caring, loving son. You have been so patient with mommy and daddy as we're trying to juggle the many obstacles we're being challenged with. You have been so understanding about us not spending as much time together so that we can go to the hospital to be there for your little sister. Times with you should be more difficult since you are smack in the middle of what they call the 'terrible twos' and with all that's going on and the lack of attention you're getting, you have every right to act out. But instead, you're more aware and I see you try to be a good son - to make mommy happy - to be a good big brother and pray for your sister every day. I feel so blessed and so extremely privileged to be your mommy.

You are the sweetest, funniest, happiest boy ever. Whenever you think about Lauren, you mention her and you say you want to pray for her. So then, you clasp your hands together and squint really hard to keep your eyes closed and you begin praying. And each time I see that, it hits me so hard in the heart. My heart cries that you have to carry such a heavy burden at your young age. Already, you have taken a role in this family where we are dependent on you. You are our rock. You keep us grounded. You keep us from giving up. You keep us from breaking down. You fill us with hope...with joy...with love... and gratitude.

But sometimes, I get so stressed and upset with everything that's going on I lose focus of how precious you are. And then I feel terrible. And at times like this when I'm reflecting about my life and I think about your adorable little face, the realization and weight of my love for you crushes down on me. My heart hurts because I love you so much. Because I want to do everything I can to make you feel safe, healthy, happy...loved. I know I don't always make you feel those things and I know my love is inadequate...and I'm sorry.

Thank you for being so pure, so good, so sincere, so sweet and so forgiving.

Me: "Christian, do you know how much I love you? Hmmm?"

Christian: "So much, mommy... So much!"