Jessica’s First Big Miracle Jessica | My Life 16 NOV 2010

So the good news is that we’ve already received our first big miracle. We learned yesterday from doctor Edson that the initial x-ray of Jessica’s chest was not good at all. The x-ray showed up her chest as being completely white, in other words rock hard and incapable of working. However, according to him, you would never have been able to correlate the x-ray with its real life counterpart because our little daughter has been breathing just fine from the start, completely on her own and only with the slightest assistance via some increased oxygen flow via a CPAP machine. Currently she hovers between oxygen levels of between 21% and 25%, and if you know anything about us humans then you’ll know that we breathe in about a 21% oxygen mix, meaning that she’s breathing as pretty close to normal as possible!

The other exciting news to come out of yesterday is that they took the initial necessary scans to look for blood on the brain, and those all turned up negative, so it looks that Jessica has so far managed to dodge that bullet as well.

The final tests that will have to be conducted will of course look at her heart, more specifically its valves, but from current indications it would seem that she should pass those as well.

My beautiful daughter, fast asleep in her incubator, despite all the fussing going on around her

In other words, my beautiful, extremely tiny, little 1.4kg daughter is doing just fine, in the capable hands of Kuilsriver’s fantastic NICU staff as well as the loving embrace of her very own little heated miracle bed.

Oh, and just for the record, she has a fantastic hand grip, which can be attested to by mommy’s finger, and more importantly, she most definitely responds to our voices and touch, which is absolutely brilliant to behold!

This should give you a better indication of the incubator and all the various machines, tubes and sensors that little Jessica is currently hooked up to

And did I mention that she is the most beautiful baby in the world yet?

Another little discovery made yesterday is the confirmation that my daughter did indeed come out with a head of hair, dirty blonde by the look of it to me. Seriously. My little long-legged swimsuit model wannabe is already well on her way to stealing the hearts of everyone around her! :)

Now on to Mommy. Shame, Chantelle is in absolute agony, her wound really eating away at her at the moment. Because of her high blood pressure and extremely swollen limbs, the doctor has to keep her on a relatively low dose of medication to help with the pain, meaning that for now she pretty much has to grit her teeth and just grind it out. She’s being encouraged to walk as much as possible, but the strain of getting in and out of that bed is certainly taking it out of her – never mind the constant manoeuvring to get up and go to the toilet every 15 minutes (which is thanks to the increased fluid in her body left over from all that swelling!).

Though at least now she can start eating solid food again!

Chantelle about to tuck into the fabulous food that the hospital has been cooking up for her from their rather decent menu choice (Also, note the blog print-outs beside her!)

But despite all this, believe it or not, my wife is in excellent spirits and that for one cheers me up to no end. Now that she’s able to shuffle over to see Jessica as many times as she wants, the maternal instinct is now kicking in, and the fact that she now also has try and get her breasts to produce some of that life-giving milk that little Jessica so badly needs ASAP (which is an amusing process to behold mind you) means her value to our daughter has shot right up – in other words it is all fun and games for mom and dad at the moment, basically because everything that can go right is currently going exactly as what we could have hoped for.

And for that we are thankful. God’s hand, Jessica’s fighting spirit and everyone’s support WILL make this work.

As for me, I’m still beaming ear to ear with pride and still insist on telling every single person I meet, whether they want to hear it or not, that my precious baby girl has just been born – it’s an overwhelming feeling of elation and joy that I simply can’t seem to shake off at the moment.

I’ve been spending each and every day with Chantelle in the hospital so far, helping her with whatever I can (and yes, in the beginning that even meant bathroom duties), arranging her belonging every five minutes, dozing off with her at the side of her bed (much to everyone’s amusement) and of course reading these blog posts out aloud to her which she seems to thoroughly enjoy for some or other reason – in other words I’m thrilled to be a part of her recovery process, no matter how small or inconsequential my part might currently be.

The flowers and presents have started rolling in now, as have the visitors, and despite the draconian two at a time, only during official visiting hours rules, we’ve already entertained ma and pa, mom and dad, Dean and Zania, Claire and Riley, and look forward to a couple more faces as Chantelle stays over for what should hopefully be her last night tonight. These visits mean the world to us (and they’re awesome because they make the time go by faster), so thank you to everyone who showed their faces!

Flowers, flowers, flowers! (And still in a ward all of our own mind you!)

So in summary, everything is going well – Mommy and Daddy are in high spirits, little Jessica looks as cute as a button despite all the tubes and sensors and whatnot surrounding her, the hospital remains a most excellent host and so far everything looks like it is going 100%. (Heck and even the medical aid now appears to be in order)

Of course, we know we still have a long way to go before we can relax, but for now we’ve allowed ourselves the joy of the moment and that is the most important part I think. Its going to be a tough five weeks looking ahead, but with everyone’s continued support and well wishes, the three of us should pull through this with flying colours! :)

Thoughts and prayers please people, thoughts and prayers!

Chantelle snoring away in the afternoon. Shortly after taking this snap, I too joined her in the job of livening up a quiet hospital with our duet of tranquil snores.

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.