Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome home, Emma!

Your first car ride in the bright Tucson sun can be a bit distressing, especially after the dim lights of the NICU.  But one day before her 2nd week birthday, Emma Joy got to come home!
But it was with great rejoicing that everyone not only got home safely, but began to relax immediately!

Emma likes her new room...

And her bassinet...

And untethered time with Grandpa (not to mention Grandma, Mom and Dad.)  Thank you all for your prayers. She is doing wonderfully!  And we are all sleeping better.  Our first outing tomorrow will be to see the pediatrician, and we'll report all th good news tomorrow, Lord willing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another, more exciting update

This little cutie petootee has been doing so well, the doctor has just decided that at 4:00 this afternoon, she can have all her monitors removed, and go wire-free for the first time in her short little life!  She will get to spend tonight in the parent room in the NICU with her mommy and daddy-- their first time to care for her out of the watchful eye of staff, and with no monitors to beep at them.  Hurray!  God is being so good to help Emma to grow and develop, and to give her parents the instincts they need to care well for her!  And best of all: if she gains weight tonight, and her night with her parents goes well, Emma will be coming home tomorrow!  Please pray with us to that end, and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Saturday with Emma

We've had several busy days, some ups and downs, and many blessings since I last posted, Gentle Reader.  Dave and I are in the NICU waiting room, our home-away-from-home, with new photos and news to share.
Praise reports:
  • After her 84 gram gain, she had a small 7 gram gain, then a 5 gram loss, and last night, a 13 gram gain.  So she is generally going up. The doctor wants 48 hours of consistent weight gain before he sends her home.
  • Tim and Nikki's church family has taken wonderful care of all of us, brought food, sent their love, and prayed for us.  They have been such a blessing!
  • Emma continues to do well, with no difficult episodes of any kind.  All her functions are working, and she is eating very well.
  • Tim and Nikki are being excellent parents.  Despite their bodily weariness, they are caring so very well for Emma!
  • Emma's Grandpa is here for the weekend.  He is getting a little Emma time, and making Grandma very happy indeed!
Prayer Requests:
  • Please pray for Emma to continue to gain weight well and eat well.
  • Please pray for Tim and Nikki to get good rest.  
Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednseday, with only a few words...

I hope you will bear with all the Emma posts, Gentle Reader.  This is important news for family members far away!

Our little Joy gained 84 grams yesterday, which is fabulous!  And we know we have to praise God for this progress, and thank all of you who have diligently prayed for her.  Now she just needs to mature enough to eat on her own every time, and we must be patient until that happens.

We so appreciate all your love and support!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More of Emma to love...

Miss Emma gained 14 grams yesterday: that's only about half an ounce, but it is upward movement! We are so grateful to God for this improvement! And we are grateful to all of you who are praying diligently for our little one.  Thank you!

Our goal is to keep mamma rested and Emma rested and eating.  Please continue to pray for growth, for peace, and for going home as soon as Emma is ready.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another day in the NICU; other ways to pray

Emma is as adorable as ever today... but there is a little less of her to love. She is down to 4 lbs 13.1 oz, and the doctor doesn't like it.  So we are back on feeding every 3 hours, with nursing every-other time, and feeding breast milk through the GI tube every other time.  She is expending so many calories nursing right now that she can't gain weight that way, so we will alter.  Please pray for good rest and feeding and growing for our Joy!

Jaundice is also threatening again, so please pray that it will not become an issue again.

More pictures are below.  While exhaustion still reigns, none of us are crying as much as we were.  We sure appreciate your prayers!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emma Update; Sunday evening

Sweet Emma Joy had a very good day today, and consequently her mamma did, too!  The good news is that Emma's blood sugar levels are staying up, so the IV was removed.  Hurrah!  One less tube/connector!  She still has her GI tube (from her nose to her tummy for food transfer) and several monitors, but having the IV gone is a huge step! She lost a little more weight: she is now 4 pounds, 14 ounces, but that is not too bad, considering.  She is now nursing at least a little bit at every feeding.  But after every good 12-18 minute feeding times, she is just too tired for the next 1 or 2 feedings to eat more than a few minutes.  Then they top her off through the GI tube with more of her mamma's milk.  Her billirubin counts continued to drop today, so we hope to be out of those woods for good.  Now she needs to be able to eat all her meals on her own without using the tube, and she needs to start gaining weight.  Those are the tickets home for this little girl.  So please pray with us to that end!
Grandma cuddle time is pretty wonderful.  Thank you for your prayers, Gentle Reader.  While we are all exhausted (Emma and all the adults), we are so grateful for God's abundant grace to us!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Like father, like daughter

The first picture is our Emma on the day she was born.  The second is her papa on the day he was born, 25 years ago.  Tim was almost three pounds heavier than Emma, so he looks like a little porker compared to her (she was a little over 5 pounds, he was almost 8.) I see a little family resemblance, don't you?!

Praise reports: Emma is out from under the lights for now (hurray!) and we hope for good.  She is eating well, breathing well, and doing all bodily functions well.  Mom and dad (and grandma) are getting pretty exhausted, but everyone is holding up pretty well.  And a few minutes of cuddle time with Emma makes it all worth it!

Prayer requests: Ask our merciful God for real rest and peace for Tim and Nikki.  being separated from Emma is particularly stressful, and the NICU waiting area is not very well set up (for instance, no bathroom!). And please pray the jaundice stays away, the feedings keep going well, and Emma starts gaining weight.  She is strong and feisty and resilient, but tires easily.  Pray that the Lord would allow all her needs to be met.  And ask the Lord to be with the nurses and doctors caring for her, and for her fellow charges and their families in the NICU.  It is a difficult place to be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Emma under the lights

Miss Emma is under the lights-- the billi-lights, that is.  And she is NOT happy about it.  She started some jaundice yesterday, and has been laying there ever since, except for feeding times with Mom.  And the feeding times are going well: though she should be too young to do it, she has had a couple of real nursing sessions.  We are all proud of our little girl and her mama for persevering under tough circumstances.
  • Emma is doing great!  God is so good!
  • Her weight is about 5 pounds, very little loss from yesterday.  Hurrah!
  • Nursing is starting to click; now we just need to be patient while Emma develops
Prayer requests:
  • While Emma is prospering, there are many struggling babies and families around her.  Please ask God for mercy for them!
  • For the jaundice to resolve soon
  • For eating to go well and weight gain to start
  • For no bumps on the road.
Below are two of the premie outfits we have for Emma Joy.  They are both HUGE on her right now.  Her mom's shirt is beneath to show you some sense of size. She can't wear anything but a diaper right now because of the lights, and we have to be able to work around her IV and leads.  So no clothes for now, but we are getting ready!

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emma Update

Here is Emma with a couple of the important men in her life.  Isn't she something? I'm afraid there has been very little face-to-face time for Emma and Grandma, but I am patient, and know that will come. Here are some updates and prayer requests for this little darling.

  • Emma continues to amaze the doctors, and is without any serious incident!
  • She continues to breathe on her own, maintain her own body temperature, and has been moved up from the critical care area of the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)  into the less-critical area.
  • Nikki is doing amazingly!  She has been discharged, but they have found her a room to "room in" for a few days so she can stay close and help establish feeding.  She has been brave and strong and amazing through this whole process!
  • Emma's next big hurdle is to figure out the whole eating thing.  At 34 weeks gestation, she is just almost to the time that the capacity to nurse and swallow and breathe all at the same time is developing.  She is being "fed" through her little IV, and also, they added a little feeding tube through her perfect little nose yesterday, and she is getting everything her mama can provide that way, along with beginning to figure out the whole nursing thing. She has only lost 3 ounces (She is at 5 lbs 2 oz as of this morning), so at this point they are not worried about her weight.  Please pray that nursing can become established, and little Emma can do all the things she needs to be able to grow well. The pediatrician hopes she may be feeding and off the IV by this weekend possibly.
  • Please pray for Tim and Nikki as they face going home without their daughter.  It is tough, but they understand the reasons for keeping her here, and have been blessed by the great care both Emma and Nikki have received. The doctor estimates she will be here another week or two, possibly more if there are any unexpected turns.
  • Please pray for Tim as he tries to sort through work and family leave issues and keep both his job and his family on track. It's a lot of responsibility to shoulder, and he is doing it admirably!
And I am staying as long as I'm needed, and hopefully that will be long enough to get a little more cuddle time with Emma my Joy! Thanks for your prayers!  God is being very gracious to us!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome to the world, Emma Joy Finnegan

Emma Joy Finnegan was born this afternoon at 1:34 PM, weighing 5 lbs 5.2 oz, and measuring 17.5 inches.
She is starting life breathing on her own, but in the NICU for the first week or so.  Please keep this sweet little girl in your prayers, and her mom.  They are both doing well.  And Miss Emma is absolutely perfect!

Monday Morning Mini-Finni Update

Here is Mini-Finni providing a nice table for his or her mom!  This photo was taken on Saturday.

Early this morning, Tim headed unexpectedly into the hospital.  Nikki's water broke in the wee hours, and so we are waiting to hear if we will have a baby today or not.  We are just over 34 weeks, so please pray for Mini-Finni to be strong and healthy, and for Nikki to remain clear from infection and the allergic reactions to antibiotics that have plagued her to this point.  And for Tim to do well on little sleep and lots of stress. Dave has postponed his flight out until tonight at this point, so that we can make a wise decision about his heading-out.  It may be further postponed if this becomes a birth day! We really appreciate everyone's prayers!

I will leave you, Gentle Reader, with a view of the amazing sunset we witnessed from Nikki's hospital room last night.  It was a reminder of the One who creates such things, and does all things well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend update

Saturday: As soon as the Mag sulfate was stopped, the contraction returned.  Bummer.  But terbutaline was started, and after a bit of a rocky day, the evening found everyone calmed and resting.
Sunday: No contractions this morning!  So the terbutaline is working, which is a blessing! Nikki  has been moved to a "regular" room, meaning we don't have to be checked in and out all the time.  The hope is that of things stay steady, they may let her return home on bed rest by the middle of the week.  Keep up the prayer support, Gentle Readers!  
Dave heads back to NM tomorrow, and Tim heads to work, and Nikki and I will be hanging out.  Please pray that Mini-Finni will stay in place until at least 36 weeks (we are now over the 34 week mark!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Update from Tucson

We arrived last night and i am doing my first ever update from a smart phone. Nikki and minifinni are doing well. They are staying put for now and hopefully will remain stable. We hit 35 weeks in a bit over a week. Please keep all in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Here is my sweet dil (daughter-in-love) Nikki, and Mini-Finni right where he or she belongs.  In two days, I am heading to Tucson to help out while Nikki is on bed-rest, and to await the entrance of this little person into the world.  I can't wait!  And I so appreciate your prayers for Mini-Finni and Nikki as they wait.  You can pray for Tim, too, but he is not as critical to this equation...

My good friend B. said I had lots of mini-Finni pics, but not nearly enough of Nikki.  So here you go.  Isn't she adorable?

Friday, August 06, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to my blog...

I decided to read a few blog posts blog posts before lunch today, and as I read a post by my sister and commented on her blog, she was apparently reading my blog.  Funny to cross paths in cyber space, but so nice to keep in touch. 

Mini-Finni is still where he or she should be, nicely inside mama, but mama is on full bed rest, and we are all continuing to pray that this little one stays put for several weeks yet. I am heading to Tucson some time next week, though the details are not set just yet. 

Enjoying company, preparing for a new part-time teaching job, and  packing to do everything I need to do from Tucson has kept me from getting to my blog lately.  Thank you for your patience, Gentle Reader!

Life is a little too exciting at this point! But we are trusting in a God who majors in the exciting, and has a way of making it all work out wonderfully in the end.  So I am holding on to that thought!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Reflections of a pot...

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
       and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
       we all shrivel up like a leaf,
       and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
 No one calls on your name
       or strives to lay hold of you;
       for you have hidden your face from us
       and made us waste away because of our sins.
 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
       We are the clay, you are the potter;
       we are all the work of your hand.
~Isaiah 64:6-8 
It was one of those nights.  I woke up with leg cramps, and hot flashes, and several little aches and pains.  And post-cancer, no little ache or pain is just an ache or pain, but a potential problem. So my early morning rising was not as one terribly refreshed, but more as one who needed to remind herself of what is important. So at 6:10 I rolled out of bed, turned on my heating pad, and opened God's word. The above verses are part of what I read.

Here's the thing about being a pot: you don't get to choose what kind of pot you become, you are not the one who designs or the one  plans the usefulness. You are the pot. But when the Potter is not only skilled but good and wise, there is also a lot of peace in being a pot. you can rest in the purpose the Creator designed for you, and not fritter away time worrying about whether you should have been some different kind of a vessel or not.  You can trust the Potter. And that's what I am trying to do, Gentle Reader, day-by-day, moment-by-moment.

And how is my health?  Excellent, actually!  I am mostly feeling very well, continuing to lose weight and build strength and stamina.  Next week I see the oncologist for my regular check-up.  That may be why I'm wondering about the other pots right now.  But I am determined to trust my Potter. And that is my prayer for you, Gentle Reader!