|Brayleigh in her hospital bed|
It has been nearly a week since Brayleigh had to be readmitted to the hospital. She appeared to have breathing trouble, but this time, it may have been associated with acid reflux or some other gastrointestinal issue. Coming to the emergency room, this time, was certainly better than our last visit a month ago. We felt more confident after having our baby girl home with us for some time. We knew her medical history well. We could better communicate when she appeared to have dips in her oxygen levels. We knew what soothed her and what didn't. We knew our baby! We also knew that we were not going to let anyone tell us that she could not be helped and that there was no hope for her.
Once again, though, we had to hear the speech about whether or not we would want to put the breathing tube down the little one's throat if, for some reason, she could not maintain breathing on her own. Once again, we were faced with the decision of whether or not we would give Miss B. a chance at life if we came to such a critical juncture. And once again, our answer was a resounding YES!
I see that when you have children with a chronic illness and have to spend a bit of time in hospitals, the medical staff begins to know you by face and name. We have, fortunately, been able to have some of the same doctors and nurses that we had before in the pediatric intensive care unit. One doctor, in particular, has always been reassuring to us that we have been making the right decisions for our little girl. That has been more than encouraging to both me and Chris. Instead of labeling Brayleigh as a Trisomy 18 baby or blaming every occurrence or hospital visit on her condition, he reassured us that any baby can have gastrointestinal problems and many babies will have changes in their breathing and oxygen levels. We just do not always know it because they are not connected to machines 24/7.
Regardless of whether Brayleigh would have some of these 'normal' baby issues outside of her diagnoses, I continue to be inspired by her strength and many of the other little fighters at this hospital that I see walking through the cafeteria or the gardens with IV fluid bags, oxygen tanks or pulse oximeter machines close by. They are all being given a chance at life, and have chartered their own stories despite their medical histories. We expect Brayleigh to come home in the next day or two, but as I sit in her room at the hospital, watching her rest peacefully, I cannot take life and this moment for granted. While we have been here before on this same floor at this same hospital with some of the same staff in a similar situation, this time is different. Miss B. is different! She is even stronger! She has not needed a breathing tube and is breathing fine on her own. We are stronger, more faithful and confident and even better parents through her journey!