Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sydney Grace - 24 Weeks 5 Days

Today is Sydney's 1 week birthday! Thank you Lord for this week! If you would have asked me if I thought she would be here with us today exactly one week ago, I doubt I would have said yes. I am amazed at God's grace and love everyday. She is still here with us! She does however have some hurdles to overcome.

We have visited Sydney everyday since Erin left the hospital last Thursday. It's hard. The nurses discourage us to even touch her hand because they say that she needs as little stimulation as possible. That goes against every parental instinct Erin and I have!! There is my beautiful baby girl laying in this....incubator.... and she needs me! She needs my help. She needs me to take care of her. But, I can't. I can't do anything for her. Not being in control is something that is very hard for me. When things are out of my control I tend to get very nervous and anxious. Those of you that know me well understand this. Maybe God is using this to get me to learn to give everything up to Him. I don't know. If that's the case, Sydney is sure having to pay for her old man not getting it all this time.

Our visits are very short but very meaningful. There just isn't anything we can do for her and it's frustrating. A friend of mine that was in this situation once before, mentioned to me that you have to trust a bunch of different doctors and nurses to take care of your baby. That is so true. Almost everyday we speak to someone new about Sydney's progress. In fact, I had an interesting conversation with the doctor that Erin had previously visited with in the hospital before Sydney was born. This was the doctor that told her if it was his baby, he would not attempt to save her because the chances of survival at Sydney's age were so low. Because of how "remarkably well" Sydney is doing (those are his words), I think Sydney is really touching his heart. Maybe God is using Sydney to turn this doctor to Him.

As I said, Sydney is doing great, but she has some hurdles to overcome. The doctors told us on Friday that Sydney had a problem. Without getting into the specifics and science of everything, basically Syd has a duct underneath her heart that isn't closing. With term babies, the duct closes very shortly after they are born. But, with preemies this duct often has problems closing on it's own. They started Sydney on medicine for this problem Friday and immediately stopped her feedings. If I haven't mentioned this, Sydney has begun to "eat" a little bit. When I say "eat" I mean they are pumping 1 milliliter of breast milk into her tiny stomach every 4 hours. But hey, it's progress!! She even has had a few wet diapers. She has already finished taking the medicine. Prayerfully, the meds will close the duct. If it doesn't, they will probably try one more round of medicine. If that doesn't work, unfortunately surgery is the next and final option. Although the procedure is fairly simple, at her age and size we obviously would be very concerned about surgery. They are doing another echo cardiogram tomorrow to see if the hole has closed or gotten smaller. Please pray with us that God heals this hole and Sydney will get back on track.

That is our most recent hurdle to jump. They are also doing another sonogram on Sydney's brain tomorrow to determine if she's had any bleeding in the brain. Her first one, done only 2 days after her birth, came back negative for any bleeds. The doctor did say that there is a chance that the bleed won't show up until a week has past. Please pray with us that the sono will show no bleeds in Sydney's brain.

We should get the results of the echo cardiogram and the brain sonogram either tomorrow or Tuesday. Despite these two HUGE tests looming that will definitely effect Sydney's health and treatment, I feel inexplicably calm. I've often prayed for the peace that "transcends all understanding" that Paul talks about in Philippians 4:6-7, and I've never really felt like I've gotten to that point. Not peace that literally CAN'T BE EXPLAINED! Well, I'm there now, and I can't explain it...

I also have to tell you this God moment I just had. I was pretty sure I knew that Philippians verse above just now, but I wanted to double check. So, I just went to to confirm. Take a guess what the "verse of the day" is on that sight today.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.

Isn't that amazing?! If you are reading this on 8/30, go to and see for yourself. Unreal!!

Thank you God for your miracles! Thank you for your miracle that you made in Sydney! What an amazing and awesome God we serve!

Maybe God is using Sydney? There's no MAYBE about it...


  1. Praying, Praying, Praying for the two tests this week! A closed heart and a bleed free brain. You have not idea how much God is using Sydney. EVERY time I'm at church - which is 3 or 4 times a week, I get asked about how Sydney is doing and people let me know they are praying for her and ask if there is anything they can do! She is loved as are you all! We continue to praise God for using her, and you! We Love You!
    Roger, Amanda, Karys and Hannah

  2. certainly! No maybe about it! God has already used little Sydney to impact SO many lives...many that you will probably never know until you get to heaven! Praising God with you for an amazing week with your precious baby girl, and praying for the upcoming tests today!!
    The McCollums

  3. I found this by way of Heather's blog. I will indeed be praying for your precious daughter. May God continue to give y'all much grace for the days ahead. I love the name you picked!!

  4. We also found your blog via Heather's blog. . thanks so much for sharing your journey. .we too have been praying every day for your family. . .we as a body of believers are on this journey with you. . .you are not alone, as you well know. . .it is a honor to stand in the gap for you. . .please keep writing. .

    blessings to you all,
    bonnie & todd huckabee

  5. Hello,
    First of all Congratulations on your Preemie Princess! Although this is a sad time its also a celebration. A wonderful miracle has just occurred. Just wanted to let you know our thoughts and prayers go out to Sydney and you all. Its an amazing and crazy time. My daughter was born at 28 weeks gestation and lived at Cooks Childrens Hospital in Fort Worth for the first 5 months of her life. I just wanted to send you a note and let you know we care. I read she is getting breast milk and that is such a wonderful gift. I would like to pass on some encouragment to Mom. Keep up the good work! Its a very difficult to pump and not be able to nurse, but just know that you are giving her life saving cells and immunity. My daughter was very sick and the only thing I could do for her was pump breast milk. We will continue to keep you all in our thoughts. The NICU life is a roller coaster. Please know that we care and send all our thoughts and prayers up for you. we found your blog through a hometown friend Jodee Melton.

  6. Hi Brandon! I'm Sara Kritschgau, your family brought food to us when our daughter Emily Faith was in the NICU. She was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1lb 5oz.
    Reading your blog has brought back so many memories for me. I actually posted practically the exact same blog when Emily was 1 week old. Life in the NICU is such a roller coaster ride! I remember feeling so overwhelmed and scared and helpless! I remember at one point thinking the doctors had no clue and were just all pessimistic jerks.. After one particularly bad (doctor) day a nurse pulled me aside and explained to me there isn't some magic "preemie" book or reference manual the doctors can turn to that has all the right answers.. preemies aren't like that! We all need to pray for Sydneys doctors and nurses that God's hand will guide them in their decisions. There are a few things you do have control over.. find out if Sydney can have Primary Nurses, this was so beneficial to us. These were the nurses that saw Emily everyday and learned the best way to care for her and us! Take in pictures of your family and put them on or in her isolette, I love now looking at pictures of her with our wedding picture in the background, she knew we were always there!.. find out when they change her diaper and be there to do it. Also, remember you and Erin are Sydneys number one advocates! You are the ONLY ones that see her everyday, if you notice a change in her color or if something seems odd, speak up!! They will listen!!

    Emily is now 19 months old.. She's a little gal but full of energy and truly a miracle! Isn't it amazing to be chosen in this way? To see God's work right in front of you!

    My prayers go out to your family and Syd's caregivers!

    My email address is
    and phone is 817-937-1819
    Please feel free to call ANYTIME!!
    I do know how you feel!

  7. Brandon-Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family as yours were with me and mine during Asher's time. Thank you for those, so much. It is really amazing isn't it, the peace that you can feel from Him during a time like this. We will continue to follow Syd's progress on your blog and pray for you and yours as we do. If you need to talk, as you know I understand what is happening right now, feel free to call me @ 325-212-9655, ANY TIME. Much love-Mike, Chevi, Avery,and Asher