Dave wrote this posting:
As I reflect on the past year with Faith it has been filled with an immense amount of stress, worry, concern, joy, excitement and at least a thousand other emotions with the roller coaster Raeanne and I (and our family and friends) have been through. Both Raeanne and I are SOOOOO grateful for all the love, support, prayers and help that we've received over the last year from everyone. If we have not personally thanked you let me be the one to pass along our thanks your love and prayers have definitely been felt!
It has been a year since I got the call in the middle of the night from Raeanne's Mom that Raeanne was in labor. I was at our house in Loveland and the two of them were with Noah and Nathan at the campground just East of Children's Hospital. I think I got the call at about 2am and immediately woke up gathered myself, made coffee and raced to Aurora. I still remember the excitement and nervousness that I felt the WHOLE way down there just like it was yesterday. To be honest I'm really surprised that I didn't get a speeding ticket on my way down to Aurora.
Once I made it down to the camper to meet up with Raeanne and Toni (Raeanne's mom) to head over to the University of Colorado Hospital (where Faith was born) we had to wait a few minutes for Raeanne's dad to come so that he could be with the boys while they slept. When we did finally make it over to the hospital little did I know what a long and exhausting process it would all be. And I wasn't even the one giving birth!!! Thinking back on those hours when Raeanne was in the midst of giving birth to Faith I think of how proud of Raeanne I was and still am to this day. She did such a great job enduring the long delivery. I think all told we were at the hospital for over 14 hours before Faith was finally born. Over that time I remember Raeanne was in and out of the tub, which I'm quite sure she'd have stayed in if it weren't for the fact that some doctor somewhere said that Faith needed to be constantly monitored. Raeanne was also on the birthing ball and sitting in the chair next to the bed. I really think she spent more time sitting anywhere and everywhere she possibly could to avoid spending time in the bed. Which to be honest I can't blame her because I know she wasn't comfortable and was trying desperately to do anything and everything she could to get comfortable. All the while Toni and I were doing anything we possibly could to make her comfortable.
Once Faith did finally come that's when the fun REALLY started!!! (Please attempt to sense the sarcasm that I fully intend here) As many of you already know when she was born Faith's umbilical cord actually separated and caused a lot of additional bleeding than expected. Raeanne had warned me that this could happen but to be honest I had forgotten prior to it actually happening. In a number of the first pictures that we have of Faith there is also one nurse in particular there as well... that's not coincidence. She's there because she's actually holding the tiny piece of cord that was left to prevent Faith from bleeding out. Once the nurses were able clamp what needed to be clamped off and get Faith stabilized we were able to get her baptized and get her set for transport to Children's.
I rode with Faith on the ambulance to Children's from University hospital which is literally across a parking lot! Talk about the most expensive ride I've ever seen in my life. If we would have paid per mile for the drive over there I think I figured out that it would have been something like $4500 a mile just for that trip or more. We then went inside and took the elevator to the 4th floor NICU and went directly into the first room that Faith had in the NICU. At the time I remember not having a clue where I was even though weeks before Raeanne and I had done a tour of the NICU in preparation for Faith's birth.
Once we were in the room I remember how crazy everything was and how overwhelming it all seemed. I had nurses shoving papers in my lap to fill out and I had a bunch of doctors, surgeons and nurses introducing themselves to me asking me a million and one questions all while I was trying to make sure that Faith was okay. I look back on it all now and think that perhaps they were purposely trying to distract me so that they could give her a full evaluation and not let any of their concerns for her condition be noticed by me. All the while I was trying to keep and I on her and keep in contact with Raeanne about everything that was going on. When everyone was done evaluating her and doing what all they needed to do (at around 7:30pm) I met Dr. Sandoval for the first time and he told me that they would be taking Faith to surgery at about 10pm that night and he had me sign the first of the many waivers that Raeanne and I have signed for Faith's surgeries over the past year. He then suggested that I go get something to eat which was a GREAT idea as I had barely eaten anything all day up to that point.
So I heeded his advice and went to the cafeteria to hang out with my two oldest sisters Stephanie and Laura in an attempt to eat something. I say in an attempt to eat something as I still had the surgery and all the worry associated with it to get through in a few hours. Not to mention Faith was upstairs, though being monitored, by herself in the NICU. Steph and Laura were great company prior to the surgery as my parents had headed home, Raeanne was still admitted over at University hospital until the next morning and her parents were with her and/ or the boys.
After a little while of hanging out down in the cafeteria I decided that I wanted to go back up to the NICU to be with Faith. Both Laura and Steph came up and met their newest niece for the first time. They both hung out for a short time and then headed to their respective homes to be with their own families. At around 9:30 or so the team came in to get Faith ready to go downstairs for her first surgery and to have the silo installed which would hold her intestines for the next 6 days until they were finally able to do the final closure. I had every intention to remain awake for the full 2 hour surgery... until I got to the really quiet surgical waiting room and then I just crashed! The next thing I knew I had Dr. Partrick waking me up to tell me that the surgery was done and she would be back upstairs in about 15 to 20 minutes and that was at about 12:45am or so. Still not knowing completely where I was going I proceeded to go back upstairs to wait for Faith and to make sure that she was settled before I went to bed.
The next morning around 8:30 or so Raeanne called to tell me that she was going to be released from University hospital and she, her parents and both boys should be over at Children's around 9 or so. When Raeanne, Toni and Dana (and both boys) arrived I went down to greet them and bring them up to the NICU to see Faith post surgery.
This is obviously a small snap shot of all that Raeanne, Noah, Faith, and I (along with our families) have been through over the course of the past year. It's funny looking back on Faith's first 12 to 18 hours of life and at the time thinking how overwhelming it all was and then comparing it to all that we've gone through since that was NOTHING. I want to take the quick opportunity to publicly tell Raeanne what I tell her every day. And that is how much I love her and how amazing a wife and mother I think she is. Raeanne you are the love of my life and I thank God everyday that he brought you into my life. Even with all we've been through in the past year I wouldn't change it for the world.
Thank you all again for all of your love, support and prayers over the past year and please keep up with Faith's blog as I'm sure that we will have more to update everyone on in the months and years to come!
8 months ago