Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reasons to Be Grateful

Throughout my life, I have been blessed with an unwavering testimony that Heavenly Father knows me personally. I have felt the power of His love and seen the blessings of His guidance. I have also seen Him work great miracles in my life, including helping me unite with my two sweet girls.

My experiences over the last week have reminded me, once again, that Heavenly Father is always mindful of His children, especially in their trials. Each day since arriving in Alabama, I have witnessed His tender mercies and found new reasons to bow my head in gratitude.

I am grateful that Daphne was born at UAB, where they have a team of doctors that specializes in neonatal cardiology. They have been very kind and patient in explaining her condition and answering my questions. They have treated me with respect and honored my role as her mother. I feel confident that Daphne is receiving excellent care under their direction.

I am grateful for the comforts afforded by the UAB RNICU. It has been wonderful to have a private room where I can sit and hold Daphne hour after hour, with no visiting restrictions. It has been a luxury to have Internet access and cell phone coverage in the room, because it has allowed me to stay connected to family and friends during this lonely time.

I am grateful for the kind and competent UAB nurses and support staff, who have gone above and beyond to ensure that both Daphne and I are comfortable. They have been both caregivers and friends, and each has touched my heart through unique acts of service. I am indebted to them all for making my time here in the hospital easier.

I have been the recipient of so many acts of service, large and small. I want to thank the following UAB staff members for their kind deeds:
  • Sara for dressing Daphne in a bow and vest and taking her first photos
  • Regina for putting to rest my fears about my arrival
  • Heather for introducing me to Daphne without delay, for posting our first mother-daughter photo in Daphne’s room, and for popping in just to say hi
  • Suzanne for checking on me on her day off, for finding me answers to miscellaneous non-medical questions, for reserving me a room at the Ronald McDonald House, and for stopping by to chat every day
  • Paula for loving my baby enough to consider taking her home and for checking up on me before I arrived
  • Kendall for giving me permission to hold my daughter all night long, for not waking me during my 3-hour “nap,” for finding me a picture of Daphne’s heart defect, for giving me a list of Daphne’s birth statistics, for sharing her personal life with me, and for talking to me scrapbooker-to-scrapbooker
  • Page for teaching me to read the vitals monitor, for directing me to a hospital shower, for reserving me a sleep room before I knew I needed one, for explaining a PICC line and calling me as soon as she finished inserting it, and for suggesting we might be able to transfer Daphne to SLC for surgery (even though it didn’t work out)
  • Stephanie for putting on Daphne’s Mary Jane socks when I wasn’t there, for letting me listen to Daphne’s heart murmur, for giving me baby wash so I wouldn’t have to go to the store at 10 p.m., for turning on classical music during the night, and for asking me if I would be okay alone during surgery
  • Judy for checking in so often, for trading out Daphne’s medication monitor just to be safe, for teaching me to read the medication monitor, for giving Daphne a sponge bath, and for caring about a minor spike in temperature
  • Jan for getting those unruly cords under control, for teaching me that Daphne’s blood pH should be above 7.35, for letting me take Daphne’s temperature, for recommending two of her favorite books, for asking me if I felt lonely, and for giving me a hug goodbye
  • Denise for knowing how to use a nice camera and for taking good pictures of Daphne and me
  • Tatiana for giving Daphne a pep talk during her blood draw and for telling me stories about herself
  • Miriam for offering me extra towels for the hospital shower and for wrapping Daphne's hand to prevent her PICC line from crimping
In addition to the facility and staff at UAB, I am grateful for the staff and volunteers at the local Ronald McDonald House, where I have been blessed to stay so that I can remain close to my daughter. I am also grateful for Brother Giles and Brother Norris, who—without knowing me—came to the hospital on Sunday to bless my little girl. In answer to an unspoken prayer, Brother Norris also provided me with a vehicle to use while I’m in town. It has been such an unexpected blessing, especially today, when I had to visit a local lawyer to sign some adoption-related paperwork.

These are just a few of the many blessings I have received in the last few days. If I have forgotten to name anyone by name, know that your efforts did not go unnoticed. Everyone I have met here in Alabama has left an impression on my heart and made my burden a bit easier to bear.

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