Thank you to every single person who has prayed for and been thinking of and following Gwyneth's story. The cards in the mail, the emails, the comments here and phone messages - the extended prayers as you passed the story on to others - when I look at her, I think of all of you as her angels. I think about how I can't wait to someday tell Gwenyth (and Lillian too) about all of you who are sustaining us through this.
Please, take time to include prayers or a moment of thought for the many other babies in the CICU (Cardiac ICU) and hospital wide. CHOP, and all children's hospitals exist in another dimension of reality. All day long I see smiling faces of children or little babies in their beds and can read the faces of the parents, anywhere between cautious hope and drained, depleted reserves. The phrase "dedicated parent" simply is too weak a description for all that I witness here.
So as for Gwen, at the moment, besides the fact they decided to "take the edge off" by giving her some "calming" meds (which I wish wasn't protocol), things are slow and stable today (I say with very, very cautious optimism). I am waiting to hear about her blood work. I am waiting to learn more about how her lungs look. I'm hoping the potassium did in fact correct the "benign arrhythmia." There are many, many little details and details upon details all day long that we try to follow and understand.
Sometimes I just want to grab her and run. I want to take her away from all this. But, I know she is still in recovery. She is still being watched and needs her doctors nearby and the monitors (do you know how stressful it is to change a diaper while your baby is hooked up to a monitor - her O2 stats go into alarm as you hurry to finish up - it is actually not a big deal, she is fine, but still, you have this alarm going off and a flashing low number...). Anyway, Gwen is holding her own...but she still needs to be here and keep improving day by day. But, she has come a long, long way...she has over-come so many hurdles - just being born was an amazing feat!
Thanks be to God for giving Gwen to me and letting her stay with me this week and two days...I do not say that lightly, I say it with a humble heart that knows more than I ever have before how precious and fragile is life. The "real world" outside these windows is foreign to me and I will never feel the same when we do at last, return to join the daily grind. I pray it will be soon, I dream of springtime with two little girls and the usual craziness that is daily life with kids. I will soak it up with appreciation like never before. I will try not to think to much about the fact that we will return here again as her heart will need more surgeries as she grows. Never will a day go by that I don't think about the kids and families here. Till that day, we'll just be here as Gwen heals as she needs to, no rush or hurry.
And, so keep praying her along, please. She still needs all of you, she is just a tiny little thing and she is still here, in the CICU which means she is still working towards getting to the point where her heart will tell the doctors "I'm okay, I've got this now, I can do this...thanks for fixing me."