Clearly I am late posting this, but let's just say we've been busy the last 8 days... So, in a nutshell here is what the last 8 days have looked like for us:
Jillian Lylah was born Wednesday December 15th at 9:22 pm after 12 intense hours of labor... okay, that's a lie- it was really only 45 minutes of "intense" labor and roughly 11 hours and 15 minutes of hanging around...
She tipped the scales at an enormous 5 pounds 15 ounces and was 19 and 3/4 inches tall. She came into this world screaming at the top of her lungs and had lots of DARK HAIR!!! She was greeted by JR and me and her "Aunt" Tammy, along with the doctor, nurse and the 3 member NICU team.
Shortly after making her grand entrance into this world, she was taken to the NICU at Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital where they evaluated her and started preparing her for surgery.
Grandpappy and Grandma Bink came to meet her the next afternoon and after 20 or so hours JR and I were finally able to hold her for more than the 5 or 10 minutes we were allowed after her birth. We scrutinized her every detail, coming to the conclusion that she somehow looks like both Oli and Athan, has JR's almost everything (except for my nose!) and apparently has my temper- which should come in useful for her over the next few years :)
Friday she was transported via Denver Flight for Life in an ambulance going roughly 10-15 miles per hour under the speed limit to The Children's Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) where many more doctors and nurses poked and prodded her. Grandma Donna and cousin Taylor, Uncle Ryan and Aunt Sonia came to visit her and JR and I got to visit Oli and Athan for the first time in a few days :) :) :)
Saturday brought Uncle Ryan and Aunt Sonia back, along with Aunt Vicki and Uncle Shane.
Sunday was a very important day- she met big brothers Oli and Athan for the first time! Oli's immediate reaction was that, "Aww! Her's is cute!" but later confessed to his Uncle Chad that she didn't look very good because "she doesn't have any clothes on!" and Athan observed that, "Jilly is not in your tummy..." Other visitors that day included Grandma Donna, Grandpa Gene, Uncle Chad, Uncle Blaine, Uncle Eric, Aunt Jenna (and cousin Moriah!) and Grandma Bink and Grandpappy.
Monday was spent eating like a little piggy, being cuddled by mommy and daddy, surprising doctors and nurses by how well she was doing, and getting a pic line put in for surgery. Also, Aunt Tammy came to visit again and escorted JR and I out of the hospital for a bit to enjoy some non-hospital food ;)
Monday night into Tuesday morning was hard for JR and I knowing that the next morning they would be taking our perfect, beautiful baby girl away from us early in the morning for surgery... Not much sleep was gotten, but plenty of cuddling, hugging and kissing our baby girl took place. She melted our hearts with her strong willed personality and shocked us with her beauty everytime she opened her eyes. Our little girl truly is a doll... Many, MANY tears were shed as the time for them to come get her was quickly approaching. Finally they came and took her away, us just asking her to be strong and keep fighting.
Tuesday was spent in a haze waiting with a knotted stomach and complete anxiousness for every update to come...
Finally 9 hours after leaving us, we were FINALLY allowed to see our baby girl again. Words can't describe what it was like seeing her for the first time post surgery, but regardless of how swollen, black and blue, and covered in wires and tubes she was- not to mention the fact that her chest was left open with only a white patch covering her beating heart- she was and still is our perfect, beautiful, sweet, strong baby girl. She came out of the operating room doing amazingly well, surprising the doctors once again.
About 12 hours after surgery, she had a little slump in her vitals- something that happens with all babies at some point after this surgery. She spent the next 24 or so hours taking the nurses and doctors on a roller coaster ride before finally deciding to level herself out and behave so that this morning (Thursday, Dec. 23rd) she could have her chest sewn shut. Our little girl is whole once again :)
She is doing amazingly well. She is awake and alert and responds to our voices. She holds JR's fingers and loves for her cheek to be stroked. All of her vitals and most important her cardiac markers look very good. She is winning over the hearts of the doctors and nurses and continues to amaze us beyond words.
We're so proud of our little girl for having the will to fight as hard as she is :)
We are so very, VERY thankful for all the thoughts and prayers and well wishes that have been sent our way. A million thank you's cannot thank everyone enough...