Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Felicia - Rosemary's Perspective

To put it short - my pregnancy was healthy, Felicia was healthy up until I went into labor. Then they couldn't find her pulse when I arrived at the hospital.
I had an emergency c section, and she was close to death with an apgar score of 1, she was completely blue and had her lungs and stomach full of meconium. The neonatal doctor saved her life by quickly cleaning her lungs out, pumping her full of drugs and intubating her to give her oxygen. No one thought she would survive.
When I woke from surgery, they brought her into my room in an incubator for me to see her and touch her, and basically say goodbye. She was taken to a special ICU unit in Budapest where they did hypothermia treatment for 72 hours, cooling her body to reduce brain damage and other damage she would have from the time she was without oxygen.

Nick and I were in shock. I then had nothing that I could do except lay in the hospital and recover and get strong enough to travel and be with my son, Nate, who is 2 1/2 and doesn't understand the confusion and doesn't deal with change well. I could only pray and rest. I had seriously no time to worry - but I was in shock and carried by all your prayers to be in God's grace each moment of the day. Nick was strong and took charge of the family, and traveled to Budapest to see Felicia. Both our phones rang all day long as we answered questions and talked about our daughter.

It was disturbing for me to have to say over and over again that my daughter was near death - and to quietly thank people who didn't know what to say and would tell me not to worry and that she would be fine. God had not yet answered prayers to heal Felicia, so those were empty promises people gave to make me feel better. Nick and I felt alone - but very strong in the love of God.

We were so encouraged to hear how many people were praying. We know that God did finally answer those thousands of prayers from all over the world to heal Felicia. We were told on day 4 the first good news about her - that she was improving; it was the first time I cried. On day 7, we were finally told that she will surely survive and her lungs will be healed. I cried again. I still was trying to prepare myself for a child with special needs and possible brain damage.

I have a hard time in an ICU unit. I have visited there too many times - with my mom and dad who have already passed away. My dad had juvenile Parkinson's and finally died of pneumonia. My mom had a bacterial infection in her lungs for years and she also succumbed to pneumonia. Felicia now had pneumonia, and I was glad that she would live - but concerned.

When I was being prepared for the emergency surgery, I was amazed at how quick they were and also that Felicia was able to receive such good medical care in the best unit in Hungary. I knew God was with us, and looking back now, I could see how He took care of so many details along the way to save her life. In preparation - I had planned on staying home for the labor as long as possible, but I started worrying that something was wrong when my labor sped up, so we called my doctor and immediately went in. Had we waited 10 more minutes, she would surely not have survived.
The neonatal doctor on duty in Eger that day was doing training in the Budapest ICU with babies with the same lack of oxygen that Felicia had. She was very experienced and was also the one to treat Felicia all week long in the unit in Budapest. She told us that she felt like Felicia was her own daughter.

We were hanging in limbo, not sure what would happen. We couldn't be angry - at whom? What would that accomplish? We didn't "fall apart"; we had too much to take care of - Nate and Balázs, for example. We put one foot in front of the other each day - and in each moment of the day, we were focused and trusting God. What else could we do? Nothing else made sense to us except to go on and do our best. We could only pray and Nick wrote each day so that others would pray for our daughter and family.

I felt nothing at the time. I was in shock. I didn't know what would happen, and accordingly, how I should feel - grieve, rejoice, what? My tears began to flow with relief as Felicia improved. She was called the miracle baby by every doctor she came in contact with, even in the best hospital in Hungary. As we talked to the doctors and medical staff, it became more and more clear to me what had happened and how big of a miracle she is. I came home, and started to educate myself online, and I just became amazed. The tears began to flow more and more as I am thankful that God gave us back our baby girl and I feel so humble that He would do this for me, for us. We were preparing for the worst - and then we came out with the best.

After the stress of the situation, we are now dealing with the emotional part. Nick and I were exhausted as well.
I spent 1 week with Felicia in a developmental neurology unit where they tried to determine how much damage she has - and she amazingly has minor muscle tone problems that show some lack of oxygen in her brain. We were taught a unique physical therapy to give her at home, 6 times a day for 30 minutes. She does exercises to stimulate her brain and cause it to repair itself. Its quite a lot for us - we are able to manage 4 times of therapy a day. Nate is learning to love his baby sister, and we are learning to be very disciplined with our time.

Thank you for your prayers. It gave us our daughter back, in an amazing way.
Please pray for us to manage her therapy, which will be adjusted each month when we go for check ups to her neurologist in Budapest. Its hard for Nate, and Nick and I are so tired. As Felicia grows up, only then will it show if she is developing well or has problems.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:06 PM

    "God had not yet answered prayers to heal Felicia, so those were empty promises people gave to make me feel better." (Are you sure they were empty promises? or faith.) Faith can move mountains. That is quite th