Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Well, it is the eve of Thanksgiving. I am still typing on a fussy wireless keyboard in the NICU, hoping I don't make too many egregious mistakes.

Sarah's g-tube was placed on wednesday a week ago. Last week I was discouraged when Sarah threw up, just after surgery. It set back feeding by two days. Two days is forever when you are counting down days to go home. Yesterday I was discouraged when, at the end of the day, I got sick. I do not know whether it was the republican debate or the hospital cafeteria salad that did it, but it was awful. I left without even kissing my baby goodbye. Today, I am determined to stay encouraged. It is Thanksgiving, after all. Here is what I am thankful for this year:

I have two beautiful daugters. They delight and amaze me every day.

My husband. He has kept this family focused on Christ, even, maybe especially, when things seem hardest. Sometimes when it has been a few nights since we have seen each other, I miss him awfully. I have to remember what a blessing that ache is. I love and am loved by a wonderful man.

My parents have provided food, rides, support and love. Mom put up, and kept up to date, the caring bridge page. They kept Lily singing and praying. Importantly, they provided consistency through the chaos for Lily.

Which leads me to Aunt Kathie, who came into town expecting to help me at home with a baby but instead was a full time caregiver for a three year old. Sarah and Lily's (truly) Great Aunt made the impossible possible. Figuring out DC traffic so that Lily could come in and out of the city.

Martha, Ann, Denise, Michelle, Jackie-- above and beyond.

Sarah has the best possible care. She is doing better than anyone who met her in her first week imagined. This hospital is amazing, but even before she was born she was cared for by a whole slew of caring, intelligent, amazing doctors.

We have health insurance. Really good health insurance. The tests, the surgeries, the consults, the ICU- It is a blessing to be able to consider what Sarah needs without worrying about money.

Friends. We have made new friends here. Our old friends have been amazingly supportive. We are blessed to have the company of such wonderful people.

Community. St. Paul's community embraced us with prayer and support. St. Paul's Church has had us, at times, wondering why we left Maryland. St. John's, thankfully, reminds us that there is a vibrant and warm community in VA as well. They, who do not know us yet, have reached out as well. We have felt the warmth of being wrapped and raised up in prayer.

Our neighbors are awesome.

Our faith. It is easy to forget that Faith is a gift. Ours has sustained us this year. This year, God told us, very clearly, that going through the motions is not and never was enough. He used difficulty to direct us toward Him.

Music. Lily sings and our hearts are lifted. The radio plays a song with just the message I needed in that moment. I leave Church humming. Pandora makes the hospital room a little less hospital-like. I am thankful for music.

We have our own home.

We have food.

We even have coffee.

With all of these blessings, I refuse to be discourged that the doctor cannot tell me when we can go home. We have to get the sign off from so many teams- it will not happen tomorrow. But, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving, Sarah will be eating more than she ever has- just like the rest of us. She will be getting full amount of food the needs by tomorrow. That has been what we have been told was the final benchmark for her to go home. So, benchmarks accomplished, we go home soon. Just as soon as neurosurgery, plasic surgery, ENT, nefrology, pulmonary, general surgery and (of course) our own NICU team say she can go. Maybe cardiology too. But they will because, as Lily told me, "Sarah is fine now. So we should all go home to sleep."

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