Our Best Day Yet!
It's been 5 weeks today since our sweet Ashley had gotten sick. We took her into the hospital for what we thought would be an overnight observation while she received some fluids. Little did we know that our tiny pickle would not come out, but would actually be sent back to Omaha. The early weeks were filled with heart break and disappointment, fear of major surgeries and the diagnosis of rejection. What a roller coaster of emotion.
Today our little one returned. Full force. She has smiled, played, giggled, sparkled, and brought such joy and encouragement to our hearts. I saw Ash in her eyes for the first time in over a month. She was silly and ornery. Refusing my kisses and shaking her head "no, no" each time I asked her if she loved me. She would lean her forehead into mine as I would say, "I love ya, love ya, love ya!" To which she would smile that amazing smile and cut those twinkly eyes. I truly do love this child. What joy she brings! My heart is encouraged. Although she struggled this past month, she held on to her spirit and today was the day for it to shine.
So what is our exciting news of the day? Ashley Kate is having dinner tonight! That's right, we have just hung her first feeds in exactly 5 weeks today. Our sweet baby has not been fed in 35 days. Her bowel has suffered much injury in the past 5 weeks. It has come out of rejection and is still healing from a severe case of numetosis, but tonight is our trial run. We have started with a "thimble full" of neocate to test it out. Although I am SO excited to be at this place, it could possibly be a dangerous place for her. We have no idea what her bowel will do with the food we are trickling into it. Will it absorb? Is there motility enough to move it through? Is the numetosis infection healed enough not to react to the feeds and flare back up? We just don't know. What we hope is that she does not become sick, does not become distended, does not vomit, and does not spike a fever. We need for her bowel to do its job and do it well. This is our first step toward making our way back home to Texas. I was so surprised to find out we would be taking it tonight. If her bowel does not react the right way then we are at great risk of developing another case of NEC. NEC is the original condition that led us all the way into transplant life. If her bowel allows the formula to sit stagnant inside without absorption or motility then bacteria will set in and could possibly cause the tissue of the bowel to necrose or die. That would be disastrous. We have decided to keep her antibiotic coverage going just in case this occurs in hopes of protecting her against bacterial infection. Excited and anxious. Thats is exactly where I find myself tonight.
Without a doubt this has been our best day yet in Omaha. I am praying that she will continue to do better and better. I hope she stays like this and that she will be ready to play and play and play when Dave and the kids arrive this week. I couldn't help but feel blessed over and over and over again today as I enjoyed the return of our Ashley's personality. This transplant life is so very hard, but on days like today you become so very thankful for the gift that was given. God has been so good and so faithful to us. Thank you for checking on Ash tonight. I hope your smiling as big as I am knowing we have taken our first step toward home. Your prayers are going to get us there. I just know it! Take care my friends and good night. Trish
The Tarheels won the tournament tonight. The second game was 13-3 and the third was 10-1. Yeah Tarheels! We are so proud of you guys. To top it all off, the Red Sox are on their way to the World Series against the Rockies. Now who are we supposed to root for? I can feel a division in our family rising up.