My apologies for the lack of a more recent update. We've just been plugging along the last couple of days, and I've been quite productive around the house and doing more errands that will be much more difficult once Elise comes home.
Speaking of Elise, she hasn't had any big apnea spells since Friday - praise the Lord! Today she had another eye exam, and everything looked good. The eye doctor wants to see her again in 3-4 weeks, which is a step up from the every 2 week exams she's been having. Her blood pressure is doing better. She'll be coming home on her medication and then following up with the pediatric nephrologist (kidney doctor) 1-2 weeks after she comes home.
Also, in response to my saying you could ask questions about Elise, someone asked why Elise has started having these apnea spells recently or whether she's been having them all along. She has actually be having moderate spells while eating as long as she's been bottle feeding. I guess I didn't really mention it because I didn't realize it was anything to mention until she started have the bigger ones. And the bigger ones started around the same time that she began taking all of her feedings by bottle. Before then she had been gavaged (tube fed) for at least some of her feedings every day as she was getting to tired to finish the amount of milk the doctor wanted her to get. It's something that's relatively common for some preemies to do and is something she should grow out of entirely with time. Hope that answers the question. Feel free to ask any other questions.
As I've been doing more processing these past few days, especially in response to comments I've received from the doctor and nurses about being so understanding of the situation we're in (I guess some parents get really antsy to have their babies home and are maybe a little aggressive when it doesn't happen in their timing). It's not that I don't want Elise home; I desperately do. But I'm also learning so much about myself, about Elise and about God through all of this and want to be open to whatever I can glean from this time.
With that, I've also realized something about the hardest moments we've gone through in the past 10 weeks and 3 days. In those moments where I am the least in control - the ones where there's nothing I can do but release myself and my baby girl to the doctors, nurses and ultimately to God - I have complete peace. And not because the doctors and nurses are in control (though they are wonderful and have obviously done a fantastic job taking care of Elise), but because God is in control. I don't have to worry about anything because the God of the universe is watching over me and my baby girl.
A friend asked me today whether I'm nervous to bring Elise home. While I am concerned that I don't know everything there is to know and I'll probably stay up all night for at least the first night after we bring her home, I have complete peace in knowing that whatever circumstances we encounter will be for a very specific reason. And again, I want to be open to learning whatever it is God has to teach me in those circumstances. By worrying about the what ifs, I could very easily miss out on the here and now, the experiences I'm actually encountering. And that's just not something I want to get in the habit of. I want to get in the habit of daily relying on God and of entrusting every part of me and every part of Elise to Him.
This is such a huge thing for me because I am definitely an independent, likes-to-be-in-control type of person. I'm usually very on top of things (though I seemed to lose some of that ability while I was pregnant - oh the joys) and put myself in situations where I know I'll succeed. So to be in a place where I have no control and to have peace is momentous. My hope is that this is just the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of releasing control and having peace in all circumstances (even in the little things).
So that's what's going on.