Thank you all for interceding and for your notes of encouragement…Our assurance that God is in control and holding our wee one in the palm of His hand is the only comfort we can cling to right now!
Some big praises for today:
-Swelling in her leg from the shunt they put into her heart yesterday has gone down! They are now getting a pulse reading where they weren’t yesterday. Circulation is improving!
-Evie’s oxygen levels in her blood have improved tremendously! She was on 80% oxygen last night. They weaned her down today and she is holding her own.
-After two trials, she proved strong enough to breath on her own. They removed her respiratory tube around 6:00 today.
-Evie was able to breast feed tonight. This was a HUGE praise after 48 hours of not eating. We got in two feeding this evening. Getting to hold her was as therapeutic for mommy as it was for Evangeline!!
-We were given a house only 10 minutes from the hospital to stay in for the next few days – what a blessing!
Continue to pray:
-Our consultation with Dr. Bradley tomorrow afternoon. This will entail scheduling of her surgery. He currently has surgeries scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, but the nurses who have been attending us are advising him to push Evie’s surgery up to Tuesday rather than waiting till later in the week. Pray for wisdom for him!
-She is getting medication to help her pee. They are a bit concerned about some retained water and the possibility of water building up around her heart.
-Pray that her vital readings would remain stable so she can continue to breast feed and be held and gain strength before the operation.
We ask you please to be on your knees for our precious Evangeline.
Friday night, respiratory difficulty lead us to have her checked out in the ER. Initial admission indicated that she had lost a pound and her oxygen was way down. At one point, her body temperature measured 70 degrees (normal is 98.6) The ER kicked into a frenzied state and called in a team of 12 people who immediately pulled around a tiny stretcher and began working on our baby. We watched her symptoms escalate and Evie turned completely white as they worked for two hours poking, prodding, running x-rays, doing a spinal tap and drawing blood, looking for Group B Strep or Meningitis. It was apparent that they didn’t think she was going to make it. We watched and cried as our daughters precious life almost slip away as they tried to incubate her. The defining moment was when by God’s grace (after many unsuccessful attempts) they finally got an IV in her tiny veins.
The initial prognosis was pneumonia. Lexington, the hospital we had her at, did not have pediatric ICU, so they stabilized Evie just enough to call an ambulance from a hospital downtown to come and get her and transport her to their PICU. There we were left waiting while they ran more series of tests. A first ultrasound indicated a deformation of the left chamber of the heart. A second more detailed ultrasound clarified her condition as Transposition of the Great Vessels…a congenital heart defect. The two major valves coming out of the heart feeding the respiratory system and the body are reversed, hence, the blue blood and red blood do not run in a pretzel pattern through the body (as it should) and mix, but just runs in circles. When the blood doesn’t mix, there is no oxygen in the blood and slowly Evie was suffocating.
At 5:30 Saturday morning Evie was transported by helicopter to Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston where open heart surgery will need to be performed. We situated the other kids at Grandma’s and followed by car. A preliminary procedure was done yesterday where a physician inserted a catheter up her leg into her heart, inflated a balloon to open a space between the right and left chamber so that there is some mixing of blood. (they will repair this hole when they do the surgery to switch the valves.) This is to try and raise her oxygen levels a bit so she is as healthy as possible going into surgery. She is fairly stable. We will meet with the surgeon monday when he returns from vacation and the surgery will be scheduled for early sometime this week.
1) That Evangeline’s heart would continue to mix oxygen. the level needs to stay above 70%.
2) When they did the spinal tap they found one case of infection. They are re-confirming the results, but if it is infection they will have to continue antibiotics and it may push surgery beyond this week.
3) Strength! Her little body needs to be a strong and healthy as possible before the surgery. Today they may take out the breathing tube and let her breath on her own as well as allow Mandy to breast feed.
Sorry to be so long winded, but we ask that you be praying over all these details. It is a surreal experience to watch your tiny child hooked up to dozens of cords and wires and beeping monitors. We see God’s hand already in so many of the details and are claiming the verses God gave to us weeks ago even before Evie was born…before we knew the reality of giving her back to the Lord.
9)Yet you brought me out of the womb
You made me trust in you
even at my mothers breast.
From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb, you have been my God.
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
14) My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me
My strength has dried up and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth
19) But you O Lord, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly and help me.
Deliver my life.
24) For he has not despised or destained the suffering of his afflicted one.
He has not hidden his face from him, but has listened to his cry for help.
31) They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn – for he has done it!
Our precious bundle has FINALLY, in God’s perfect timing, joined our family!
Evangeline “Evie” Shalom Smith
(Bringer of joy…and peace)
January 16th 3:05pm
9lbs. 20 1/2 inches
On Tuesday afternoon, two weeks overdue, my midwife advised that an induction would be in the baby’s best interest. It was a bit disconcerting. This isnt want we wanted it to come to! Declining an induction was number 1 on my birth-plan, but this little cookie was just happy and content to be the center of attention and not have to compete with the pecking order of 4 older siblings:-) ….and everyone was running out of patience with this little one!
Yesterday morning, we checked in. After the very fast and frenzied deliveries of the last two, it was actually pleasant to be admitted to the hospital and do all the paperwork at our leisure before they broke my water at 10:15. We were very prayerful that this would trigger labor and that an IV induction drip would not become necessary. The next hour was low-key. We hadn’t yet agreed on a girls name, so we put both our favorite names in a hat, prayed over it and drew – C won! 🙂 About an hour later, contractions began. We walked the halls and peeked in the baby nursery for inspiration. Around 2:00 I could tell I was in transition. The next hour
was the hardest. Excruciating back labor put C’s massage skills to the test! He was a wonderful and patient coach! At 3:05, Evie made her grand entrance into the world…a whopping 9lbs. of sweetness! She needed a little oxygen to pink up, but is looking beautiful now!
Our precious Midwife Marie. She delivered the twins 5 years ago and we came back especially to see her for this birth. She has 25 years of experience and actually doesnt even keep call hours at the hospital anymore, but has maintained all her hospital rights so she can take friends and past patients…we were so grateful she cleared her schedule and cancelled all her appointments yesterday to be there to assist our delivery! What a God-send!!
My mother who has been visiting for two weeks now…patiently waiting…cooking for us…waiting…doing our laundry…waiting… reading and bathing little ones…and waiting some more, brought all the kiddo’s in to meet their new baby sister last night. It was love at first sight!!
Sweet “Patti-Cake” made a BIRTHday cake and brought candles and flowers to the hospital for a party to celebrate…what fun!!
Had a conversation with Tristan a couple days ago where he was expressing how much he wanted a brother.
“But you love your sister Izzy” I reminded him
“Yeah,” he said, “but that’s cause she’s really pretty”.
“So you’ll like a new baby sister if she’s pretty?”
….Tristan had breakfast with me this morning and concurred…”She’s a really pretty baby sister!”
We’re bringing our little princess home tomorrow. Thank you for praying for the birth and anticipating with us the arrival of our newest little angel. We praise the Lord for the safe delivery and joy of this new one!
Happy to be the seven Smiths!!