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Monday, 10 December 2001

At last!

It is with a sigh of relief and a smile on my face that I sit in this chair and once again reach out to all of you. Life has finally settled and I am no longer dizzy from the intensity of this last week. Isabel is upstairs at this very moment, smiling and cooing as Melina sits by her side.

God has blessed us far too much for me to ever be able to doubt the power of prayer. Can you all believe that since the second day in the Hospital, she has not even spit up, let alone throw up ANY of her feedings? She has never gone this long on full strength formula without vomiting! Your prayers embrace our little Isabel and there is a peace surrounding her that has carried her through this ordeal.

I have had several moments of utter disgust in our "Children's Hospital." Just the other day, Isabel's I.V alarm was going off while flashing OCC (occlusion). I was holding Isabel but managed to find the kink in the I.V tube; however, the alarm must be placed on "hold" and then on "resume" for the alarm to register that there is no longer an occlusion. So the nurse came in and started fiddling with the tube. I said, "I already fixed it, you just need to resume it." Well, she continued with her fiddling and managed to clamp the tube within the compartment that threads through the machine. Needless to say, the alarm kept going off. I let her do her thing and finally, I said, "the tube is clamped on the side rather than coming out through the portal underneath." Finally, the situation was resolved; however, my faith in the medical system was severely wounded.

Not to mention the time a huge air bubble was in Isabel's I.V. I called the nurse and they had to remove the air AND they didn't clamp the needle going into Isabel's foot, so she bled all over the bed. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Also, her feeding pump was sounding off its alarm and this other nurse couldn't figure out why. I said, "it looks as though you've filled the compartment with too much formula." She said, "no, that's how it’s supposed to be." Finally, after many tries, she went and found the head nurse who came in and said, "Oh, you've got too much formula in the compartment." For the love of Pete! Are they pulling people off the streets and handing them Nursing Degrees or what?

I've shown up at the hospital with Isabel screaming all alone in the crib! (Sigh) I could go on and on and on. After these sequences of events, I asked what needed to happen in order for Isabel to come home. They wanted to see her go from a quarter strength feed, to a half and at last to a full strength at a rate of 40mL/hour. So I spoke with the nutritionalist and established a feeding routine. I showed it to the doctor and I said, "Is there any reason I can't take her home and work her up to these settings in a place where I KNOW she will be taken care of?" They were reluctant but I assured them that I would call the doctor should she start throwing up again.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, the medical team has learned not to mess with this Mama Bear. I bite, and I bite hard if my baby is not completely and totally loved and nurtured. I am her only voice and I promise that it will be loud and clear! So, yesterday, I brought my baby home where she belongs and she has done beautifully since.

But this journey does not end with only this week’s memories to fill our minds. We are left, also with the strains of crisis between husband and wife and finding a common ground with which we can find each other and stay strong. WE are left with a six year old who grieved over her missing sister, and who played with Isabel's toys and watched her baby videos as a coping mechanism. WE are left with a house in disorder and circle under our eyes. But we walk away triumphantly knowing that we can fall, and we can fall hard, but we will always bounce back and be all the more whole.

And never could we proclaim this strength had there not been a team behind us, an army ready to fight and protect us, a sea of love encouraging us with every step we take, and an endless sky of prayer reaching out to heaven and sending it down into our hearts. I want to thank you all once more for being a part of Isabel's life story, for being a part of ours. You reach me and you fill me. How can I ever thank you enough for the power of your faith and love?

God bless you all and know that this family will wake up tomorrow morning and be whole again. I will be whole again. My family. My life. Amen.

P.S. Your prayers have also reached our Victoria for yesterday, she walked out of that hospital with her four younger siblings and her mother by her side. How can anyone doubt after such incredible display of Divine intervention?

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