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What a Week!

alec vanderboom

Wow! I'm wandering around the NICU at Children's Hospital right now, dazed and overjoyed. What a week!

On Friday morning, my 4 day old newborn passed her first doctor visit with flying colors. We merely left the appointment with a prescription for Zantax due to her "reflux".

At 7 PM that night, the doctor and I were trading frantic phone calls to each other. My daughter suddenly refused to nurse for a full nine hours.

At 8 PM, I took a sick and yellow baby to the ER. At midnight we got admitted to the pedatric unit on the hospital where I had my baby a few days before.

Jon and I started a 36 hour vigil trying to get our daughter healed of jaundice. During this time, her vomiting trouble increased.

Sunday morning I broke into tears because they put my daughter under a heat lamp (meaning that had to go even more hours without being able to hold her at all.) By 3 PM that day, I'd signed a consent to transfer her to the NICU at Children's Hospital for emergency surgery. It turned out that Tess had a birth defect in her small intestine. The poor kid hadn't been able to process ANY food for the past 6 day. How she hung on to a weight of 7 pounds and 2 ounces with a complete blockage is a miracle.

Monday we waited for Tess to recover from her dehydration.

This morning, we got a call at 5:30 AM that we needed to come to the hospital to sign a consent form for surgery. We had a beautiful morning. We got to Tess room in the NICU in time to watch a sunrise over the view of the National Basilica from her hospital room window. I got to hold Tess (with all 20 of her IVs) in a chair while Jon read her chapters of "Winnie the Pooh." We prayed a rosary. We took a million pictures.

The time before her surgery was so intense. I had no idea if Tess would make it through her surgery. There were a mass of 20 residents who showed up to do runs while I was holding Tess and I started to flip out about her upcoming surgery. I held onto her body with a tight grip and thought about running away with her. At 11 AM, I had no idea how I'd survive the long 3 hour wait during her surgery.

Prayer works!

By 1 PM, the surgeon met with us. For the first time, I had confidence in Tessie's surgery. I fet comfortable handing her over to this surgeon.

Tess left for surgery at 2 PM. In the waiting room, a friend with a sick baby stopped by to give us a friendly chat. We were sitting next to the Dad of our NICU roomate. It was so sweet to see these three Dads of sick infants chat about God and humility and life in general for 90 minutes.

Then our friends left. Jon and I were all alone waiting for our girl to finish her surgery. We prayed the Daily Office together. I got so nervous counting down the pages until our official Carmelite prayers were finished. I had no idea how we'd handle the long wait once the Daily Office was finished.

We finished. We freaked out together.

Then we saw a part of the surgery waiting room labled "the Quiet Room." Inside, we found a copy of the Torah AND the original English translation of the Latin Vulgate of the Catholic Church from 1606. For the next hour we read Tobit. The Scripture was filled with foreign spellings and "thees" and "thous". Yet Jon and I read in amazement about how closely the Sacrament of Marriage is tied to healing and the promise of "strong children born of Saints."

We were so into our Scripture studies that we missed the first update of our daughter's surgery. Then we had a tense 20 minutes while we waited again for the doctor to come out of surgery to update us on her condition. Jon prayed a rosary. I was so tense I could only pray "Jesus" or 'Mary" with every breath.

Then the surgeon came out and changed my life. It was the simplist type of surgery for Tess' condition. I asked about follow up surgeries and the doctor said "she's cured for life!"

Tess is now in her NICU room with a nurse recovering from surgery. We are waiting to see if she's got any complications from surgery. The next task is for her to eat and poop on her own. Once that happens we can go home!

We promised Mary that our first stop will be at the National Basilica. We'll put Tess at the Statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and give great thanks for her healing.

Thank you for all of your prayers! God is very, very good!