March for Babies

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Day in History

Many people will be donning green today to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. We with the name Riley get a little special attention, mostly the question, "Oh, are you really Irish?" To be honest, I do not know the answer to this question. I believe if I had to make a claim, there is more British blood in me than not. But, today, who is counting? Saint Patrick died around 460 A.D. Celebrating his life on this day has evolved from reverence for a Saint to wearing cheap green plastic accessories and drinking green tinted alcohol (All hail the Appletini!). However, in my small nuclear family today is special for more personal reasons.

You will remember that Amanda celebrated her third birthday one month ago today. Three years ago, that was one very rough month. They told me when she was born that if she lived through the first 48-hours we would have a better idea of how she might do. We got that far and then held our breath for the next time limit, and the next. At two weeks she suffered serious breathing issues, even while on the ventilator. They tried solving her trouble through three separate courses of drugs but it didn't work. She needed surgery. Surgery required her to be moved from our hospital to a different hospital up the hill (SO lucky* to live in Grand Rapids!) She was transported (on the vent, with all the monitors in a rolling incubator) up the hill to the huge NICU with the higher tech equipment on March 14 and she had her surgery. Two e-n-d-l-e-s-s days later, she was moved back "home" to "our" NICU. The surgery worked, she started to get better and we were able to breathe a sigh of relative relief.

On March 17 of 2006 I tried to convince Daddy to go to a concert he had been thinking about. The band Seven Dust was in town and I knew it would be a good break for him. A bit of a stress reliever. He decided what he really wanted was to visit Amanda with me that night. He made the right choice. That evening on her one month birthday, he was able to hold her for the first time. Coming from a family of three boys and having never been around a baby before, much less a tiny fragile preemie girl hooked up to tubes and wires all over the place, he was incredibly nervous, but ecstatic at the same time. After the drama and trauma of the month preceding, we were able to huddle together as a family and smile. Two days later, she moved from the ventilator to the CPAP machine. This was a major improvement which would not have been possible without the surgery.

Daddy's First Hold

Daddy's Girl

Today, after more drama and much more trauma, we consider ourselves VERY lucky*.

*Luck o' the Irish?

1 comment:

Lala said...

Piper turns three tomorrow. I remember reading your birthstory with my heart in my throat. Is it on this site somewhere?
Happy belated third Manda Meow!