Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prayer request & special moments

Anna needs to come off ECMO as soon as possible. The doctors hope to do a trial to see how she does within the next couple of days. They turn the machine off temporarily to see if her body will take over and do the work on its own. The current obstacle for that is too much fluid in her lungs. We ask that you pray for the fluid to drain from her body tonight. They take a daily x-ray to check her lungs, so I hope that tomorrow morning's picture shows that her lungs are clearing up.

I read some scriptures over Anna this afternoon. I started compiling special ones in a small flipper several weeks ago - some I found on my own and several are from cards and notes from all of you. I speak healing, wholeness, life, and peace over my baby in Jesus' name!

Matt & I got to spend an hour with Anna - awake! This was way more than a couple of eyelid flutters. She was looking around, making faces, moving her limbs and holding our fingers tighter than ever. 

I sang "Healer" to her, and the chorus of a special song written just for her by a friend. It was so exciting to see her this way!

Here are the lyrics to the chorus of the song for Anna Joy:

You are safe in His hands
And though my tears fall like rain
Though I don't understand
God is real, He is love
You're already a part 
of His marvelous plan
And all I need to know
is you are safe in His hands

It was hard to leave her tonight. We got to check in at the Ronald McDonald house today, and the plan was to spend the night there together, along with my sister who came up for the night. After Anna opened her eyes MORE tonight when we were saying goodnight, Matt decided he didn't want to leave the hospital. So he's staying there at least one more night. She's got him wrapped around her finger. But he admits it's been that way since the day we found out she was a girl. (I love my husband!)

Well, we wanted to share the exciting moments of today, but don't forget to pray for the fluid to drain from Anna's lungs. THANK YOU!


  1. She is so darn adorable Alissa! Her chubby little face is precious! (Have I mentioned how much I love chubby babies?) ;) Such sweet pictures. So happy for you that she opened her eyes and you guys had that awake time with her. I will keep praying for all of you! I pray that the fluid is gone tomorrow so they can take her off of the machine.

  2. Her eyes are so captivating. I love the alertness in that face. And that grip!--Still feel it today. Thank you for the specific prayer request, praying, praying.

  3. I am praying for you little precious one Anna and you both. I think you are all going to be alright. She looks like she is of good weight. I think that is working in her favor. You are all lucky to have each other. Some people have no one. I do feel you will all be alright. God Bless you all. Love, Kitty

  4. How wonderful to see her little eyes open and so much joy in your face! Praying with you for the fluid to drain from Anna's lungs and praising God for the miracles each day holds!

  5. Leaving your baby is the hardest thing to do. It seems like your schedule is completely dependent on what she is doing. It never fails when you want to step away for a bit to eat or to take a little nap, she'll open her eyes, do something to peak your interest, it's time to pump (we're assuming you're doing that), or the docs will come by. We know that story or so well.

    Everyone says take care of yourself, which routinely is very easy to do outside of this situation. You'll soon discover how difficult that is in the CICU, in your case. It becomes a vortex and time and space are lost. Our best advice is to take advantage of family here to help, but remember it is okay to say no to visitors, even family. Scheduling visitors and trading in and out can become overwhelming.

    Once you get a feel for your nurses, ask about them becoming your primary. This means they will most likely have you whenever they are on shift. Don't be afraid or stubborn to ask for some juice, crackers, etc. Our nurses would force us to have some in the beginning, then we learned that it often would be some of our only nourishment until dinner!

    Take full advantage of the many amenities that SCH and RMH have to offer. The free massages in the Family Resource Center (Train 5), free coffee and tea in the family lounge (Train 5), and the occasional coffee cart that comes to the lobby outside of the CICU usually around 10:30am. Also, those 5 o'clock dinners at RMH are very wonderful! We're glad to see you enjoyed one tonight. Get there a little before 5 because as you may have witnessed the line can become quite long. This still is something we intend to do but something always comes up. Check the family fridge in the pantry and get leftovers for the next day's lunch or dinner. Above all, as hard as it can be, try your best to get some sleep and nourishment.

    We hope some of this info is helpful for you, if you haven't already discovered it on your own. Although our child's condition and road is not the same, after 39 days in the NICU, and now 11 on the floor, we understand all to well the roller coaster you are on. We continue to pray for Anna and both of you as we follow your story. If there is any questions you may have don't be hesitant to ask your nurses, doctors, or even us. Thank you for sharing, not only is it a wonderful source for family, friends, etc., but it is a wonderful reflection and memory of the miracle that is Anna.

    God bless you all,

    Andrew and Katy Rondeau

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these pictures! I especially love the one where Anna is holding onto each of your fingers! I'm so happy that both of you were there to share this time. I will be praying specifically that the fluid will drain away from her lungs.

    I love you all...Aunt Jaime

  7. What a gift to spend that time with Anna looking around! Reading about it and seeing these pics of you together just fills me with joy and thankfulness! She is such a treasure and each of you is too! Praying specifically for the fluid to drain so she can come off the machine. Thank you both for posting after another long day. I'll be hearing "Healer" and singing along with you today. Love you all!

  8. Matt & Alissa,
    Hi, it is your cousin Gentry! My mom sent me the link to your blog and I have been praying and crying with you ever since! I want you to know...you have such a band of belivers who are constantly praying for your family. Keep posting all the pics and updates we are really enjoying them. Baby Anna is so beautiful, we love you so much.

  9. Matt and Alissa,

    God sent your blog to me via my sister who noticed the link on our cousin's FB. (my cousin, Erica, lives in Nampa, ID and we are in N.CA) I have been praying since.....feeling for what you are going through. Anna Joy is such a beautiful baby girl! God had given you an amazing treasure!! My youngest, Zach, had a major surgery at 8 months and it was such an incredibley hard thing to go through. There were many times I felt beyond words, exhausted, the emotions too much too even express. I wanted to pass on something that my aunt told me during that time. She said that at times like this, when we are too overcome to even find the words to pray, God gives blesses us with friends, family and loved ones to fill that gap and pray for us.
    So please know that your family is being hugged, loved and held up in constant prayer. It is an honor to be able to pray for little Anna Joy! Our God is the Great Healer and He promises to work all for the good of those who love Him.
    Please continue the prayer requests and updates as you can - we will be waiting to see what God does in her life.
    Much love,

  10. She looks amazing!!! Praying so hard they can get the fluid drained and can get her off ecmo SOON!!!

  11. The story about beautiful and blessed Anna Joy came to me through a dear childhood friend Melinda Olver in Washington. Her original due date was my own birthday, December 5th, plus I recently had a daughter who was sick at birth, so your story touched a special place in my heart. Since reading your blog during Thanksgiving, I have been praying for your family and especially for Anna Joy. Please know people across the country, including here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, are praying that Anna Joy continues to improve. God is holding you in his hands!

    Kathryn McPhail

  12. What an amazing thing to pray scripture over your sweet baby! So excited you got this special time with Anna with her eyes open! She is getting more and more precious by the day! Love you and praying specifically!

    Carrie Hays

  13. I am sure you've thought of this one, and I know maybe this is not what it was intended for, but I will be praying that God does this for your sweet Anna.

    "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
    Psalm 147:3 NIV

    Carrie Hays

  14. My family is continuing to pray for your sweet Anna (I was linked to your story through Sarah from your church).

    So many of your moments bring back so many memories for me...fighting through the tears to talk and sing to my sweet girl, waiting desperately to hear her cry because it meant the ventilator was out, longing to sit and hold her for the first time, waiting for my husband to get well so he could see her, even singing you are my sunshine (while balling through the last line)....and the pumping. I know the time feels like an eternity and it is challenging, but God is so amazing in the way that He sustains you and brings people from all over (even Texas) to help pray and hold your arms up. You will be transformed (as well as others around you) and in Jesus precious name, Anna will be healed!

  15. I love that you are praying scripture over her - so precious and so indicative of your spiritual mommy heart and family heart for Christ in all of this. We, as always, are with you in prayer and spirit. Lord, touch Anna tonight. Would You cause the liquid in her body that is pooling where it should not, to disappear in Jesus' name. We believe You can. Thank You God. Amen.

  16. Oh, Matt and Alissa, what precious photos. I continue to pray for beautiful little Anna Joy.
    ~ Karla Stecker

  17. Matt and Alissa,
    We're blessed by your story and praying for Anna and your family.
    Steve and Kathy Hunt
    (Denise and Robb's parents)