So we were finally able to hold Jayna for the first time on March 24! It was such a blessing to hold her to our chest and feel her warm little body breathing. We have been been able to handle her during her major handling times which occur every 4 hours. On March 26 Jayna’s oxygen levels fell below acceptable levels, so she was placed on a small amount of oxygen to keep her levels up. As of today, March 28, she is still on O2 and her body temperature has risen (not quite to fever level, but borderline), to the point where they have had to consistently be lowering the temperature in Jayna's incubator in order to regulate her body temperature. That, coupled with her increased need for O2, had prompted a chest x-ray and a blood work up to determine if there was some factor, perhaps an infection, causing these anomalies. The blood work came back normal in every respect, and the chest x-ray turned up nothing. Praise the Lord! The nurse is saying it could be that she just runs a little hot. In fact, they’ve discovered that she’s not happy unless she’s only half covered while she’s sleeping, which I can attest is something in which she definitely takes after Mommy! The nurse also told us that once we get Jayna home, we will have to be careful not to overdress her, and it’s funny, but just that little bit of talk about getting her home was a tremendous encouragement to me. Finally, tomorrow should be the day Jayna regains her birth weight of 1170 grams, just a little larger than a package of pasta! At this point they will begin to adjust the quantity of milk they give her beyond the 12 ml/2hrs which she is currently receiving. This presents a new challenge for us as Candy’s milk production will have to pick up in order for us to keep up with Jayna’s feeding requirements.
On the home front, we continue to enjoy meals from many of our friends and fellow believers in Jesus and have been blessed by all the encouragement we’ve received from everyone. We really feel like our burden has been lightened because so many of you have borne it with us. Candy’s health has been improving markedly as she heals from the surgery. Her blood pressure has improved to the point where her meds are slowly dropping off, and it is our prayer she will eventually be able to come off all blood pressure medication.
Just this past week-end we enjoyed a lovely visit with Candy’s parents. It has become tradition now that every time they visit, Grandma Acheson organizes the kids games in the family room (no small task indeed) during which time there is also the customary lecture regarding how easy it is to put a game away after you play with it so that "Grandma won’t have to do this EVERY TIME SHE COMES TO VISIT!”. :) It’s wonderful to have our family room back, so thank you so much Grandma! Between Grandma's talent for organizing games, puzzles, cards and various other pieces, and Grandpa’s superb broom wielding we can finally walk through the house without sneezing OR mangling the underside of our feet on some deadly bit of lego. Also, on March 26, all the other children as well as Grandma and Grandpa Acheson were able to meet Jayna for the first time! I’ve attached a pic of our tin-grinning oldest child with Daddy and Jayna.
I know I’m rambling on, but one last little thing - the most important thing actually. We had been so consumed with all that was going on here that Thursday we looked at each other and realized we’d almost forgotten that Easter week-end was upon us! Now on the other side of the week-end, despite that realization I feel as though this Easter has been the most meaningful for me in a long time. We were able to sit together as a family around the Word on Friday and talk about the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus and what His death accomplished for us, then on Sunday we gathered together again to look at the glorious victory of His resurrection and what that means for us now. I was so overwhelmed this week-end at the beauty of His sacrifice, and the power and majesty of His resurrection - it’s hard to really put it into words. I want to thank You Father for Your great love, for Your sweet mercy, and for Your gift of eternal life freely bestowed on us when we first believed. You are!
More updates to follow….