Monday, October 08, 2007

My Greatest Prayer

I could blog about my trip.

I could show you some glittery pictures of my travels in Europe, but I really could care less about my worldwide adventures at this point.

Because the only thing I can think about is my niece the Maevey Bean and her fight to stay alive.

My sister and brother-in-law went to Northside Hospital in Atlanta last Friday after a regularly scheduled appointment with the OBGYN. The doctor determined Brigid's blood pressure was high and the baby's was low - and decided the baby should come out early. Brigid and Steve thought maybe the doctor met a few days early ~ and had no idea the MD intended for a delivery that day at 4:30 pm.

The doctor said the urgent delivery was necessary because he said he didn't want Brigid to "deliver a dead baby."

Ouch.

So off they went to have what they thought would be a happy, healthy newborn girl.

They had no idea how much their strength would be tested.

Maeve Elizabeth arrived at 5 pm Friday, October 5th. She weighed 7 pounds, and was 19 and three quarter inches long. Tufts of blonde hair and dark skin. The delivery was pretty traumatic - even though it was a C section, Maeve didn't come out easily and doctors had to use the forceps to pull that sweet child out. She didn't cry as loud as doctors would have liked and they only let Brigid hold her for a minute and a half before whisking her away.

That night Brigid and Steve learned Maeve has a list of health problems, some of which doctors have no answers for.

She has a slight heart murmur apparently caused by a separation in two of the heart's four chambers. Doctors believe time will help correct this situation.

The baby also has a discrepancy with an artery that leads from the heart to the lungs. This particular artery is supposed to have three valves ~ Maeve's artery only has two valves. The doctors say this is likely not a big deal but will have to go down in her permanent medical record and will need monitoring.

The baby has something called "shallow breathing" and is also battling acid reflux.

Maeve's most critical health problem has to do with her platelets. The baby has extremely low blood platelets and has undergone four blood transfusions. The levels go up after each transfusion but have consistently dropped afterwards. At this point doctors have no idea what is causing this problem but suspect one possibility involves a scenario where Brigid's platelets are attacking Maeve's platelets inside the baby's body. Doctors have taken some blood from Brigid and are sending them off to a lab in North Carolina for analysis and hope to have a better understanding of the problem then.

Maeve's jaundice has disappeared after she spent some time under bright lights.

This little baby is three days old. She's hooked up to a slew of IV drips and monitors in the hospital NICU. Brigid hasn't had many opportunities to hold her - in fact, in the first 24 hours of life, Brigid had only held her baby for a minute and a half.

Today my sister was elated because she got to hold her baby for one hour.

Last night was quite a different scenario - doctors initially thought the baby's brain was hemorrhaging. My sister, brother-in-law and his parents could not contain their anguish.

Today doctors said the Maeve's brain is fine.

Brigid leaves the hospital tomorrow. She will pack up her belongings and leave Northside Hospital, and her flesh and blood in the NICU. Doctors expect Maeve will stay in the hospital for at least another week while they care for her and try to determine how to best help her get better.

My heart breaks because I am so far away. I wish I could see this beautiful baby. I wish I could kiss her.

I wish I could hug my sister.

My parents arrived in Atlanta today. They're there to help my sister through this rough time. My mom originally intended to stay there for two weeks to help Brigid cope to the stresses that come with motherhood.

Instead, she'll help my sister as she copes with the circumstances of loving and caring for a sick child.

The only things I have to offer are tears and prayer.

3 comments:

NB-C said...

Kate-

I am so sorry to hear this. Your sister and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

The Notorious N.A.T. said...

You, your niece, and family are in my prayers.

My love to you,
N

Kate The Great said...

Thank you, n-bc and Nat for your kind words and thoughts. It's amazing - I've yet to meet this tiny, beautiful girl and yet I love her so much already!