Monday, August 20, 2007

A New Life, Prayers, Prayers and More Prayers

MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2007 05:22 PM, EDT
A New Life
Brianna was born on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 9:45 pm. She was a beautiful yet petite baby girl. Weighing in at only 5 lbs. 8 oz and 18" long. After a beautiful pregnancy and relatively easy delivery, we had our baby angel in our arms, literally. At delivery my husband and 15 year old daughter noticed that Brianna was petite with cute little "elf" ears and a tiny little nose. Nothing else seemed different about her at all. So we took in the wonder of our little baby girl and it was love at first sight.
The Beginning of a Very Frightening Journey.
The bunny picture was taken the next morning and it continues to be one of our favorites. Family and friends were making their visits when to our total surprise, we were visited by three doctors from the hospital. One of them being a geneticist from Winnie Palmer Hospital. They said they had something to discuss with us. It was at that time they told us that our beautiful, normal-looking baby girl, would probably die within the next 24 hours.
I don't think you can imagine the shock and absolute horror of hearing something like that. One minute you are in heaven and the next, hell. They told us that she had the characteristics of a condition called Trisomy 18. And believe me, when you hear the words "Trisomy 18" for the first time, you say WHAT? mostly because it was something that we had never heard of before. Of course there was denial, on no, you're wrong we told them. Look at her, she's beautiful. But once they started describing the characteristics, and as much as we didn't want to believe them, the indications were there. So, they told us to prepare. Prepare for losing her within the next 24 hours.
Prayers, Prayers and More Prayers.
At this point, Jerry's parents, Doug and Helen, started a "Celebration of Life" that was held every afternoon for Brianna. We were so thankful to have her with us and we wanted to make sure that God knew we were thankful. Many of our friends were angry with God for this happening to us, but somehow, I wasn't angry with him. I was just thankful for every minute.
Brianna fights back.
What they didn't know is that Brianna is a fighter and I mean BIG TIME fighter. Right away, it was difficult for Brianna to drink. As much as I would try to nurse her, she just wouldn't cooperate. We were constantly trying to get her to take to the bottle, but hour by hour she was losing weight. By Saturday, they had to put a tube in her nose going to her stomach in order to feed her. When the nurse gave her the food, her daddy put a pacifier in her mouth, encouraging her to learn how to drink from a bottle. By Sunday afternoon, it WORKED!!!! The tube was removed and she was drinking from a bottle. Slowly but surely, she was thriving. All we wanted to do was take our little princess home but the doctors wouldn't let us. They wanted to run tests, tests and more tests.
By Tuesday, we were at our wit's end. We wanted to go home. Brianna barely weighed enough to fit into her car seat, 5 lbs. 1 oz. but home we went.

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