Thomas again. Let's see, last I updated was Saturday. What's happened since then... a lot, but nothing bad, thank goodness.
We feel so blessed to have so many people thinking of and praying for Whitney, Alicia, and I. Perhaps its because of all of you that Whitney has been doing so well for so long. As we've had more and more time to get to know Whitney, our love for her only gets deeper and more profound, which we think is a good thing, no matter how things turn out in the end. So many of you have offered your help and services, even from complete strangers. One such good Samaritan is a professional photographer who offered to take professional pictures of our baby for us at no cost. The walls of the NyICU are lined with beautiful pro photos of recovering babies and Alicia and I have thought of maybe getting some someday but with being so busy it wasn't going to happen. When this photographer offered her service, it was like a prayer being answered and she came over that very same day (Sunday).
The photographer is Leslie Styler from the East Valley here in Arizona. You can visit her website at www.lesliestyler.com. She did an incredible job and the finished product nearly put tears in our eyes because they were so beautiful and bittersweet. I'll be posting some of the photos today.
Sunday night was our last night that they allowed us to stay in their Koala Bear Room, which is a basically just a room they allow parents of critically ill babies sleep in so they don't have to travel from home. It was sad to go because now we can't be just 30 seconds away from our baby, but because God loves to answer our prayers, we were able to stay with nearby friends that live only 10 minutes away from the hospital.
As we've been fairly regular patrons at the NyICU, we come to get to know most all of the nurses that take care of Whitney. All of the nurses absolutely love Whitney (with the exception of one of whom I will not say more). We were bedside with Whitney yesterday evening (Monday evening) at 7pm, which is when the daytime and night time nurses hand the shifts over to the night time nurses. As the night time nurses came, two of them were begging to be Whitney's nurse for the night. One said to the other, "I called ahead so that I could be Whitney's nurse." And the other would respond, "But I took care of her last night and I know her so well!" Alicia and I know both nurses and they're both really good, so it was funny, even heartwarming to know that Whitney is loved so much.
This morning, Alicia and I returned to the hospital and to our surprise, we found the nurses all gathered around Whitney. Nobody had worried looks on their faces, but just a little concern because for the first time Whitney was wide awake! For the first time we got to see Whitney conscious and awake with both eyes open. The nurses explained to us that she just woke up less than an hour ago. They were concerned because if Whitney was awake, then it probably meant she was in pain which lifted her from her sedation. We were there for at least an hour trying to get Whitney to "sleep" again (they increased the sedation medicine and gave her some more morphine). But after continued monitoring the nurses were amazed, saying that Whitneys vitals looked better when she was awake than when she was fast asleep. They said that that's just the opposite of what they would have expected normally. And just to be on the safe side, they wanted her resting again.
But while Whitney was awake, Alicia and I took full advantage of it. While awake, Whitney wasn't so agitated by physical touch, so we got to hold her hand and arms, and touch her legs, feet, and her head, and give her a kiss. We took lots of pictures and video for keepsake. Whitney was aware that her mom and dad were right beside her. Whitney took turns looking at mommy, and then back at me. We softly sang to her the Hymn "Families Can Be Together Forever", and that seemed to calm her down quite a bit. We eventually got her rested up and back to sleep. It was a moment I'm glad I didn't miss.