Thursday, November 1, 2007

the latest

Well, the countdown continues. Yesterday I went to my regular doctor, and today Nathan and I both got the chance to meet with the neonatologist who will be in charge of Poppy at the hospital where we will deliver. Our idea of what a "good" appointment is has had to change to fit the circumstances, but that being considered, I would say both appointments went well because they gave us a better idea about what to expect when Poppy arrives. Yesterday when I went to see my doctor the focal point of the conversation was the size of Poppy's head. It makes me smile when I think about it, because in addition to having hydrocephaly, Poppy just didn't have small head genes going for her. Ever since I can remember, my head has been squarely on the large side of the spectrum. It's humorous, but I'm really not kidding! Some sunglasses don't fit without having to strain against their screws, and I've never been able to wear a base ball hat that didn't have an adjustable strap in the back. I'm sorry Poppy! Anyway, because of the size of her head, my doctor explained that he might have to do a different type of a c-section that would involve a vertical as opposed to a horizontal incision. This would be necessary in order for him to be able to safely deliver her head if it does in fact continue to grow at the same rate it has up to this point. He told me that we will do another ultrasound on November 14 to determine if the growth has continued, and at that time he wil make his decision about the type of c-section that will be necessary, as well as a final ruling on the delivery date. He is leaning toward delivering her on December 6th, and if that stands, that means 5 weeks from today we should have her! Dr. Sullivant explained that having a vertical incision isn't the end of the world, but it does require longer to heal. Because of that, I ask that you continue to pray that God will slow the growth of her head, while at the same time allowing the rest of her little body to continue developing at the same rate.

The meeting with the neonatologist provided us with a clearer picture of what to expect during our stay in the hospital. Dr. Jenkins confirmed that there is no way to know how Poppy will do until she actually arrives. It is possible that upon delivery she will not respond in any way, and in that case, we requested that he stimulate her (although not artificially through a respirator) to allow us to spend some time with her before she goes home. However, if she is born and is able to breathe, he told us to expect anywhere from a day to a couple of months with her. He explained that the goal of the NICU in cases like this is to make her as comfortable as possible and to stay away from any kind of invasive procedure that would cause her pain. He did however recommend that if she lives long enough for us to take her home that we first take her to Le Bonheur (a local children's hospital) where a feeding tube could be placed into her stomach and a shunt be placed in her spinal cord to help drain off the fluid from her brain. If this does indeed happen, it would require a 1-2 day stay in the children's hospital approximately 3-5 days after she is born. Overall, this meeting left us feeling better as it helped to clear up as many of the "unknowns" as is possible in a situation like this. Of course I realize that every detail rests in God's hands, but I still want us to do everything possible to be equipped with as much information as we can going into her birth. I feel like the more we get out of the way now, the more we will be able to focus just on Poppy when she arrives. That is my priority-enjoying every single second God gives us with her on this earth.

There is a song that has been much on my heart over the past couple of months, as I have felt the words become a reality in my life. The song is titled "More than You'll Ever Know" by Watermark, and it is a tribute to the faithful people in our lives who lift us up in prayer through difficult times. The chorus and the refrain say:

Cause you've been more than a friend to me
You fight off my enemies
Cause you have spoken the truth over my life.
And you'll never know what it means to me
Just to know you've been on your knees for me
How you've blessed my life! More than you'll ever know.

You had faith when I had none
You prayed God would give me a brand new song
When I didn't think I could find the strength to sing
And all the while I've been hoping that I'll do the kind of praying for you
That you've done for me. That's the way it ought to be.

You have carried me, You have taken up a burden that wasn't your own
May that blessing return to you a hundred fold!

I didn't write these lyrics, but they speak the words of my heart for those of you who have taken it upon yourselves to lift us up so faithfully in prayer! We are forever indebted, and it is my prayer that I will be able to do the same for many, many people in the future. This is how God wants us to function. Not as individuals fighting on our own, but as a body, caring for each member when it is hurt. I can't tell you how much your words, prayers, and encouragement have meant to Nathan and me so far, and I know it will only continue as we quickly approach Poppy's birthday!


jeweljannie said...

Oh how I love you, my dear little Angie! Mom

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the update. I haven't commented before (I don't think), but I do read all your updates. Wow, just five more weeks until you meet Poppy!

I'm praying...


Anonymous said...

I came across your blog through a friend in Nashville. I will continue to pray for you as sweet Poppy's birth approaches. I will be praying for your delivery and that you get to enjoy your precious daughter.

Just to encourage you... My best friend had a vertical c-section with her first child. She just delivered her 4th last week (by c-section too). Her recovery with each child has really not been any different than that of someone having a normal c-section. Her doctor just requested that she wait a little longer between pregnancies.

Elizabeth S said...

I can't imagine how difficult these decisions must be, to know what the right things to do are. You exhibit such strength and patience and have taught me so much. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Jeanne said...

No matter how Poppy comes it will be exciting to finally see her and hold her. Children are such a blessing. I know you're excited no matter what too. We love you!

Brandi said...

So many times I read your posts, and type out a comment only to delete it because I feel it is inadequate to express my sympathy for you or that my words will not be a comfort to you. If I, as your friend do this, I can only imagine how many others out there are doing the same. So, I wanted to take this moment to let you know that I love you, admire you, and am praying for you all the time. You will get through this. You are loved by so many people who are lifting you up in prayer each moment of the day. Love, Brandi

Anonymous said...

Angie - I continue to pray for you everyday especially as you look forward to the celebration of Poppy's birth. She will share my daughter Morgan's birthday if she is born on the 6th. Please know we are here to help you in any way, especially with Marianna. Love Livona

Laurie said...

Hi Angie,

I am so glad for you to have some clear answers for the unknown concerns in your hearts. My prayers for you continue, that you are as free as possible in your spirits to look forward to Poppy Joys birth with great joy. As you know, I am always in prayer for a complete healing miracle and I know He is able if it is His will. I pray that the time you have with her will be the exact amount of time you need to love her, this miracle you wait for who is growing every day and that she is excited to meet her mommy and daddy. She is perfect right now in Gods plan for her life, however long it will be. May He draw your hearts in line with His these next 5 weeks, providing peace, comfort, and pure joy for her Birthday. You are loved by me.

Laurie in Ca.

Marlina said...

Hi! I came to your site through Copeland's site. I just wanted to let you know that our family is praying for you and your family, and especially little Poppy! What a wonderful post you did today, it's so exciting to know more about your sweet baby, and her upcoming birth. Children ARE such a blessing, and I look forward to hearing more about how Poppy will bless your life, and also people who don't even know you, or her! Her story so far has been such a blessing to me.
Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.
Vancouver, Washington

Emily said...

As a girl who once broke the strap on not one, but EIGHT pairs of her friends goggles because of my big head and whose baby girl is now dancing with Jesus, my heart and soul are with you tonight. I am lifting you up with everything in me and I am believing God for the miracle of the perfect number of sweet moments shared with your baby girl before she receives the healing you so pray for. You are in for an amazing ride, one that will leave you as an even more amazing person than you before sweet Poppy Joy came into your life. Know you are being lifted up by a mother (with a big head) that has a heart that understands. Be blessed tonight. Pat Poppy for me. ;)

Neighbor Joan said...

Angie and Nathan: I'm so glad that you have such good and caring doctors to explain things and I'm sure that they will be able to guide you in the decision making process when the time comes. You already know how many people are praying for you and with your faith to strenghten you , the prayers offered up and the good support system from the medical team-- you will be able to get through this.

I really like many of the old hymns that are no longer sung in favor of the more contemporary songs. I find myself thinking of you, now, when a refrain from one of them comes to mind. I always think--"I wish I could get the words of this song to Nathan and Angie--what strength they would have from these words".

Jessica said...

Praying for you,Poppy, Nathan, and Marianna daily. I love that song, and is the echo of my heart as well.

Jessica Fiveash

Jana said...

Angie, what a precious song. I adore the words, and I am so happy that there is such an enormous body of believers who is lifting you up in prayer each and every day of this journey. I amazed at the consistency with which total "strangers" come to this site and write such sweet words of encouragement. they are such a blessing! I'm glad to have another update from your team of Doctors, and I look forward to sharing Dec 6 with you as we are all able to welcome Poppy Joy into this world that has been praying for her for so long.
We love you guys SO much. . .
Carey, Jana, Olivia & Hillary

Emily said...

Hey Angie,

Thank you for your words! You teach me so much. I'm so glad you had good appointments. You have inspired me to learn how to knit, so as I am making this blanket I am using each stich to lift up Poppy, and Amy's baby, and the baby that I am so longing for. Know that I am standing in the gap--praying for you when you may not have strength to pray for yourself!
Love you!

Laurie said...

Starting out this new week with prayers for you that peace and hope are big in your hearts. Poppy Joys big day is coming and praying for the most wonderful moment you look into her face for the first time. This time will be so sweet for you. Prayers continue daily for you to have peace and no fear. It is all in His hands and you can trust Him with your hearts.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

susan said...

I, like many others, found your site thru Copeland's. Just know that I pray daily for you, the Farleys, the Hopkins, the Edwards, the Mooneys, and all those who are experiencing the unthinkable. Prayers & Blessings to your family. Susan in Ama.TX

Anonymous said...

This message just to let you know once again, Angie and Nathan, that I continue to lift you up daily to our precious Lord. Nancy Gray

JMom said...

Still praying for you in Georgia.

Anonymous said...

love you and admire you. God shows so many fruits of the spirit through your life. You encourage me all the time just by your life. i am blessed to have had you for a friend for so long. i have been praying for you and thinking of you and nathan. i am looking forward to hopefully meeting poppy very soon! love you