I think we are going to try something new today, we are both going to write this entry together. Machel can tell you all about what she did and I will tell you about what I did and then they will come together at Bella and mass.
We both woke up this morning at 8am (it was the first time we had slept in a about 2 weeks). Then we went up to the NICU with Nana and Papi (my parents) so they could say good bye to baby bella before Luke and I took them to the airport in Richmond. (For those of you who don't know Luke, he was my best man in Hawaii and the one who introduced me to Machel, he flew here last night to spend the weekend with us.) So after my parents got to see Isabella, Nana was reading to her and talking to her this morning saying goodbye and Isabella kept opening up her eyes and twitching for her grandma! So Luke and I drove them to the airport. (They have been so amazing, they helped us out tremendously! Setting up the apartment, they brought us a vehicle, they have been fantastic!) It was great having them here and I know they wish they could stay longer, but don't worry, we will take Bella to visit lots and you guys can take her to Disneyworld a bunch!! (They live in Orlando!) When we got back from the airport we went up to the NICU and mommy Machel was still there. So we got to hear all about rounds and how she was doing.
The morning for me started off rocky. I didn’t sleep well last night, kept tossing and turning; luckily not because of worry or anything, just anxious I think to get some things done today. We all headed over to the hospital and got there to visit about 8:30. Right when we walked up, Bella started dissaturating, they had to suction and bag her. Not the best way to start out my day. I spoke with the nurse for the day shift, Sarah, about a variety of labs they had run. Even though we are trying to take everything with a grain of salt and chalk them up to normality, we still want to know everything that is going on with her and what it means. (At one point Sarah asked if I was going to give up accounting to become a nurse…I’m too emotional for that.) Sarah kind of prepared me for what to expect on rounds today…Bella’s PDA has not closed; she also said that her CDP came back borderline so they were going to check her for an early onset of infection. So between the dissat, the PDA still open, and a possible infection, I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible gazing at her beautiful little body. We went back to the hotel so I could get us checked out and Chris headed off to Richmond with his parents. I drove over to our new temporary home to set a few things up and then went back to Bella. I read her four books and then got to listen to rounds. It is always nerve wrecking before they walk up, there is so much anticipation of what they are going to talk about. Susan, her nurse practitioner, did most of the talking (as she did the day before). The only thing that I really got from her discussion was that the PDA was still there and there needed to be some serious analysis of how to proceed; there will either be a third and final treatment or they will have to do surgery to clamp the valve shut. Cardiology is supposed to fully evaluate her tomorrow to make the best recommendation. Dr. Boyle was happy with her chest x-ray and her relatively low vent settings. Before they walked away, I asked, “To kind of give me some piece of mind…how is she doing?” He looked at me, kind of pouched his lips, and motioned out his hand as if to say “she’s riding smooth”. Susan elaborated that she is still an A/B student…so I leaned in and told Bella she needed to start studying! Not long after that, Chris and Luke came in to rescue me. I was exhausted and needed food. We spent the afternoon doing a couple of things…but most importantly I NAPPED!!!
After Machel woke up from her nap we decided to go to mass. There is a church right down the street, St. Luke's. It is a classic building, an old church probably over a hundred years old. It was a nice church, a small congregation and the pastor appeared to be a very nice man. What happened next was completely unexpected. The pastor told a story about a monastery in Poland and how the monastery was shrinking. No one wanted to join the monastery and the abbot did not understand why, so he prayed to God to give him an answer. So the abbot went on a journey to get an answer on how to bring more people and faith to his monastery and surrounding community. In his journey he ran into a sage rabbi, and he told the abbot go back and tell your monks that the Messiah is amongst you. He was not sure how that would help but he had been looking for an answer so he returned to monastery and told his monks, that the Messiah was amonst them. They all looked at each other and then went back to their rooms for the night. The next morning they all came out and their attitudes were different, everyone was more joyous, they saw the good in their fellow man, loved a little more and were more patient. This spread to the surrounding community and soon many men wanted to join the monastery.
This really got me thinking about what Isabella's birth has done. She has brought that joyous spirit into our lives, she has brought faith and hope and love and friendship. It has always been there, just like in the story, but it simply took God speaking to us to truly remember that the Lord is always with us and lives within each of us. We simply need to let him guide us a little more. Love a little more freely, laugh a little more, spread the goodness and joy in our lives with others. After mass we went to the hospital and I don't know if I have looked at my little angel and seen so much love before. It was almost like she radiated a little more love and I was overcome with utter joy.
I feel truly blessed and know that all will be as the Lord wants it, because only through him do we find the best in ourselves. He is watching over my little girl and for that I am truly thankful.