Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

I know it's been over a week since your last "Bean Blog" and for that I apologize! However, I am not sorry to say that the past week has been spent WONDERFULLY at home!!! We were released from Packard on Tuesday, one week before Christmas and words can't describe how good it was to walk through that front door after 17 days at the hospital. It would have been picturesque were it not for Lilee's "welcome home tantrum" that lasted from about 10 minutes before arrival to about 2 hours before bed time. Miss Grumpy Pants!

In the past week those "vocalizations" have been mixed with wonderful happy home time. Mimi (grandma) Krug came down and rescued Erin so she could get a real nap since Lilee hadn't been sleeping more than 10 minutes at a time for more than 2 days. One morning I wheeled her out into the living room, started the dryer and she slept solid for an hour and a half!!! I think we realized that she is now beginning to readjust from being in the hospital for almost half of her life. After nurses, doctors, cleaning crews, mom & dad, food deliveries, grandmas and grandpas and more coming into her room 24/7, the dead quiet of her new home has been more than she can bear!

The good news however is that with each day she adjusts a little more and settles in to her new routine. We’ve spent a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between the Finch and Krug houses and have just had a much needed time of rest and family time. Thanks for still checking up on Lilee’s blog. I’m hoping, now that the major action has died down a bit, to be updating her page once a weekish to keep you up on all the latest “Bean News.” We love you all and hope you had (and are still having) a wonderful Christmas season with your families as we are! God bless and a Happy New Year!
C, E & the Christmas Bean!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

FREEDOM!!!!!

Today is the day we've waited for. If all goes according to plan we should be discharged late this morning. Thank you Lord! Today is Day 17 in the hospital and it's well time that we take our little baby home. I feel like we're getting an award after all of this work and stress. So when you get an award you have to thank all the people that made it possible... so here goes!

First and foremost, we thank and praise our Lord for his enduring faithfulness and mercy to us and to Lilee these past 2+ weeks. He has been nothing but a Rock for us to lean on throughout this incredibly trying time. The peace that He has given Erin and I truly has been inexplicable. Thank you Lord.

We also must thank this incredible hospital and all of its' wonderful staff! ALL of of our nurses on 3 East, when we got here, the CVICU where we were after surgery and in 3 West where we've been since Sunday night. AWESOME all of you, thank you for the bottom of our hearts. Also to the skilled and professional doctors that Lilee has been in the care of since her arrival; your talent and ability has been a life saving blessing to our little daughter for which we could never repay. The folks in admittance, patient relations, all those who cleaned our rooms and cooked our meals, thank you for making our stay as pleasant and as comfortable as possible.

Thank you to the hospital Chaplains who have lifted Lilee (and her parents in prayer throughout our stay. Also to "Uncle Don" our kind hearted friend at our hotel, thank you for your understanding and patience these last few weeks.

A special thank you to our social worker, Lindsey Evans! What an awesome young lady who has been a source of comfort and sanity in this often crazy place. She has been "heaven sent" to us and helped us with everything from hotels to stay in, food while we've been here and just stopping by to say hi to see how we were holding up! Thank you so much Lindsey, you've more than earned a special place in our family for years to come! :o)

We also must thank our families who have been by our sides throughout this entire ordeal. What a blessing you have been to us, I don't know how we could have done this without you! All our love and all of our thanks.

Lastly but definitely not least, to all of you faithful members of "Team Lilee" who have regularly checked her blog; your many prayers, thoughts and encouragement have been a been a constant blessing to Erin and I. I' m still amazed at how many people this little site has been able to reach and impact.

We will still continue to update her blog, perhaps not as frequently as in the hospital. :o) I'm pretty sure we're going to keep her around for a while so we'll have to keep you updated on her progress! :o) We truly love you all and can't thank you enough for all of your love and support over these past few weeks. The next time we write, it should be from home! Finally! Praise God!

Chris, Erin and "The Goin' Home Bean"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Party Hat!

Well, It's not time to celebrate our release just yet but we tried to make the best of it this weekend in the ICU. This is Lilee with a make-shift "Queen Party Hat!" Isn't she cute? She looks even better today (Monday) as we've been able to take her off of her oxygen, take those tubes out of her nose and stickers off of her cheeks. She did NOT like that part! :o) (This morning's picture is below.)

She also got another EKG this morning and a visit from a physical therapist. Can you have a physical therapist when you can even sit up on your own? Oh well, it's a full service operation around here, Iguess. Her college counselor is supposed to come by later followed by her investment advisor! Just kidding but I wouldn't be surprised! :o)

The rumor on the 3rd floor is that our "magic day" will hopefully be tomorrow or Wednesday. They want to make sure she is still eating regularly and gaining weight. I tried to assure the staff that "weight gain" was a family tradition and that I'm sure she'd carry the baton with pride but they didn't seem to share my optimism! Oh well, we'll just have to prove it to them! Hope to have some more good news soon. Hope you're enjoying the biggest Post Office day of the year. Talk to you soon,
Chris, Erin and the "gettin' fatter bean"

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We've moved!

Not home, but we're getting closer everyday! Erin and I were awakened last night at our hotel at about midnight. As you can imagine, I wasn't quick enough to stumble my way to the phone in time to pick it up. The message was from Lilee's nurse, letting us know that she was about to be moved up to the 3rd floor. Great news... odd timing but great news. Lilee is now in "3 West," the cardiac recovery wing of the hospital.

Good news to report: first of all, moving has been great news in itself because it means that the doctors feel Lilee is progressing well and is stable enough to move to an area which is less frequently monitored by the nursing staff. Secondly, doctors believe that the air pocket above her lung has cleared itself up. And lastly, our new room means that we'll be able to stay the night with Lilee again!

We're still hopeful for a release from the hospital the early part of this week. I'm sure we'll learn more when Lilee's doctors visit tomorrow morning. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Looking forward to being home and enjoying the season soon. Merry Christmas,
The Finches

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Friday!

"His mercies are new every morning!" That promise has proved true for us yet again on Day 13 at the hospital. We arrived this morning to a room full of doctors, nurses and staff at Lilee's bedside. A pretty scary looking scene but in reality they were just doing their normal morning rounds checking on each patient. All in all, Lilee has great news to report this morning. Lilee's midnight X-ray last night showed her "pneumothorax" or small pocket of air above her left lung is still there. However the doctors say that it is small and doesn't seem "problematic." Because of this, they are not going to go in with another tube and try and remove it! Thank you Lord! Also, due to her great stats in terms of her heart rate, blood pressures and blood gasses, they are going to allow her to have her first bottle this morning! YEAH!!! In fact, Erin is downstairs in Lilee's room right now giving her long awaited breakfast!!!

That's not all! Good news comes by the buckets this morning. Also in their rounds, the doctors signed her transfer orders to move her up to recovery on the 3rd floor! That news is HUGE because it means first that she's stable enough to be moved and even closer to going home! Oh, I forgot to mention this big news to: They also took out BOTH of her big chest tubes last night so now she only has a couple of IVs still in her and the rest are just her regular monitor wires! There is a monitor that is still in, that actually goes to the right side of her heart and monitors Right Atrial pressure. That one is also scheduled to be removed today. This is fantastic news because that is the last thing that needs to go before mom and I get to pick her up and hold her again! Wahoo!!!

As I said before, moving to the 3rd floor is news that we've been hoping and praying for the last several days! The "short clock" begins ticking once we get up there. If she continues to improve on schedule, we could be discharged as early as Sunday!!! "E" and I are planning on Monday or Tuesday but Sunday would be a welcome surprise and early Christmas present!

Wow, lots of good news today. Praise the Lord. It came at just the right time I think. They say that it's always the darkest right before dawn. Yesterday was a pretty low day for mom and I as mentioned in yesterday's posts. But a new day brings new joy. Romans 5 reminds me that "tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, character and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit." I know the love of God has been poured into Lilee's new and improved heart much because of the faithful prayers and support from all of you, our friends and family. I think what Erin and I have felt through all of this has been an overflowing from Lilee's little heart to ours. Thank you Lord and thank you all! Looking forward to getting to come home soon. Have a wonderful weekend.
Resting in His grace,
Mom, Dad and a rapidly healing Bean!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Snail's Pace

Sorry gang! Things just don't run at lightning pace around here. You'd think we'd learn that by now after our 12 days at "Hotel Packard." Unfortunately we have not made any progress in getting Lilee that first post-op bottle. The X-rays came back earlier to show that her little air pocket above her lung was still there. Before they were forced to insert an additional tube to remove the air, the doctors wanted to try one more thing first. One of Lilee's chest tubes was scheduled to be removed today and that tube is located very close to where that pocket of air is. The surgeons are going to attempt to remove that tube today with a little added negative pressure (suction). Hopefully as they remove that chest tube, the air pocket will come out with the tube. This was the plan we heard about at a quarter to 1:00 this afternoon... the hangup is that the surgeons needed to perform this "tube-ectomy" (my word... I'm becoming a doctor here you know :o) they are still in surgery with another patient. Back to the "juggling doctors" game.

Although she does look like a 'skinny minnie' she is still very healthy, relatively happy and looking better every hour. We know this is but a temporary thing but I think because it is day 12 for us, Erin and I are starting to feel the effects of this whole ordeal. We are kind of tired and Erin is anxious to just be able to hold and feed her baby again soon. We know that each little step that Lilee makes is one baby step (literally) towards getting to go home and making this a memory. For me, it reminds me of the feeling I get after a long flight home after a long trip. Yes the long flight's over and it was pain but now you still have to drive home from Sacramento of San Francisco before you can really be home. I know we WILL really be home... I just hope it's soon. Good night all! Merry Christmas!
Chris, Erin and Lilee Jane

PS. Another Grandpa picture for you... two in one day! We're "Equal Opportunity Grandpa Reporters" around here! :o)

Hungry Bean!

The good news is Lilee is awake and bright eyed this morning; the most alert we've seen her since her surgery on Sunday. The bad news is she alert enough to know she's somewhere she doesn't want to be and most of all that she hungry! Poor little thing, in order to bring down her post-op swelling, they have given her a lot of diuretics. Well they have certainly worked! She looks so thin now and her little "hangy" skin makes her look so sad. Her little tongue is motoring non-stop in search of the 'magic bottle.' We were able to give her her pacifier (her best friend... aka: "the binkie") this morning with some sugar water on it and it was like we took her to Disneyland for the first time... YIPPEE!!! Due to the removal of the breathing tube yesterday she has the most pathetic, labored raspy cry. Tear your heart out...oh my goodness!

So where do we go from here? Well the doctors did their rounds this morning and one told us that yesterday's X-ray showed that Lilee had a small pocket of air above her left lung. They are hoping that has gone away on its own. They have scheduled another X-ray for 12:00 today, in about an hour from now. If the results of that scan shows that the air is gone, she will be able to have her first bottle then. If the pocket is still there, they will need to place a small tube in that space to try and remove that air. Obviously, we're praying that that air is gone and Lilee can start eating ASAP. We will let you know the results of that X-ray as soon as we can but as always, your prayers would be appreciated for her at this new crossroads. Merry Christmas! We'll talk soon,
The Finches

PS. Lilee's picture with Grandpa was taken last week. Didn't want you to think she was looking "that good" yet. Soon enough, she'll be back to her happy little self! :o)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Extubate & Celebrate!!!

Yeah, good news! Mom and I just left Lilee's room because her doctors and nurses were getting ready to take out her breathing tube. That is a huge step in her recovery and ability to move to the recovery level of the hospital. Dr. Roth (pictured left), the doctor in charge of the CVIC unit where Lilee is right now, says if all goes well, she may be able to move to the 3rd floor as soon as Friday. That puts a tentative release date of early next week. Hallelujah!

"Mimi and Papa" Krug headed back home this morning to rest and regroup. It sure has been a blessing having family close by for support and encouragement. Sometimes this mom and dad need their moms and dads too I guess! :o)

Happy Wednesday all! We hope you're enjoying the beginning of this wonderful Christmas season. Even in this sterile hospital,we are enjoying the lights and decorations that are beginning to show up around here. Tis the season for peace, love and joy! Thank you for being a source for those 3 things for us in these crazy times!

With love,
Chris, Erin and the "tubeless bean" :o)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Making Progress

Good Morning all! Baby Lilee is moving forward little by little. Erin and I just got out from visiting Lilee this morning. Visually, our poor little girl still looks rough from a mom and dad’s perspective. However, from a doctor’s standpoint, she is progressing very well! It looks like she may be extubated (take her off the breathing machine and remove the breathing tubes) tonight or tomorrow morning. She also just had her first milk since her surgery (through her nose but hey, we’ll take what we can get right?! :o) All in all her doctors and nurses say she’s on a great recovery pace and is moving along as scheduled and expected. Fabulous news!

From Lilee’s view yesterday was pretty slow and uneventful, however, for the rest of us on “Team Lilee” it was a pretty busy day. Grandma and Grandpa Finch headed home yesterday morning to prepare for their church’s huge Christmas dinner this Friday. We also got a surprise visit from Pastor Edwards, Mr. Higgins and his daughter (and my former student) Jessica from Century. Grandpa Frank and I made a quick run home yesterday also. Well it was supposed to be a quick trip but you know how it goes! :o) We were off from Palo Alto to Lodi for laundry, water the grass and a quick check to see if Jack was still kicking. Then it was up to Burson for more laundry and cat checking. From Burson we headed over to Amador County to swap cars with my dad and get our car back from the shop. (Ouch, that’s another blog!) We finally made it back to the hotel at about 10:30 and called it a day… Whew!

It sounds like “I’ll be home for Christmas” may be a reality after all. Thank you Lord! As always, as things develop, we’ll keep you posted. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

C, E & the B

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"She looks good!"

This is what Dr. Roth told us as be stared at sweet little Lilee this afternoon. What a sight, "looks good" would not be the words I would have picked but I know he was speaking in "doctor's terms" when he says she looks good.

We got a very good report from Lilee's ICU nurses and doctors. With more details of her surgery and current condition we learned that save a miraculous healing today, her procedure could not have been more successful. They had very little problems in the OR and were able to close up her chest and stabilize her quickly. She is recovering very well as we speak. Doctors hope to have her off of her breathing machine in a day or two and feeding normally be Tuesday!

We've been told if all goes well, this time next week we may be going home!!! WOW! We don't want to get our hopes up but that would be fantastic! Well enough for one night, just wanted to share with you a little more of a detailed update after the surgery. More to come tomorrow, please keep checking! :o)
C, E & the B

Lilee is out!

This just in! Dr. Reddy, Lilee's surgeon, just came into the lobby at 3:30 and told me that everything went very well. Six and a half hours after we handed her over, she has had her surgery and is on the way to recovery and going home. Praise you merciful Father!!! Let Your name be praised for all that you've done for our sweet daughter!

And thank you to the hundreds of our friends and family who lifted her up today! A "thank you" could never say it enough! We have rested in His peace and your encouragement from the beginning. We are headed in to see her for the first time in a few minutes. I'm sure that will be difficult as you can imagine but we are now on the other side of the mountain and each moment now brings her closer to going home form her first Christmas!

Thank you Lord, thank you family and thank you everyone who reads this today. As always, we will continue with regular posts and keep you updated with her recovery. For now,
Chris, Erin and the new and improved Lilee Bean!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Lord's Day

Praise the Lord, Lilee's day has come at last!!! She is the only cardiac patient on tomorrow's schedule and we've been told that barring an emergency heart transplant or something that critical, Lilee would be taken in at 8:00 in the morning for her heart surgery. We are so thankful that the wait appears to be over. Tomorrow around 2:00, Lilee should be on the road to recovery!

We had to take her into the ICU tonight so that we’d be sure she had a bed after her procedure. So tonight we had the incredible task of leaving our only daughter that we waited so long to get, in the hands of strangers in the hospital. It’s a unique emotion to know in your head that she is ok and in the care of some of the best staff in the world and yet have your heart have a completely opposite reaction screaming “no, I can’t leave my baby!!!” The leaving was definitely the worst as we had a wonderful “recovery dinner” with the grandparents at Chevy’s tonight. I trust we will get some good rest tonight in preparation of the long day of waiting ahead. We will covet your prayers tomorrow in the hours between 8:00 and 2:00 throughout Lilee’s surgery. Please lift up the doctors, nurses, technicians and every other staff member involved in this amazing undertaking. May He guide their hands and direct their path to truly be His instruments of healing for our baby. Also we’d appreciate your encouragement and prayer for us and the rest of her family as we expectantly wait for news of her surgery.

We’ll keep you posted as we know… good night for now and a good day to come.

In His care,

Chris, Erin and little Lilee ‘bean’ :o)

Friday, December 7, 2007

In Good Company

Tonight’s Lilee news is short but sweet. We were told earlier this afternoon that Lilee would not be able to have her procedure done today and that she was placed on the list for hopefully Sunday. We were glad that we found out early enough that she was able to stay pretty close to her feeding schedule.

I have spent much time on this blog sharing with you about Lilee’s story, her progress, how her family is doing, her doctors, nurses, schedules etc. Tonight as Erin and the grandparents are off to their hotels for some much needed rest and “the bean” sleeps peacefully beside me, I can’t help but to reflect on the week that has past and what we’ve been able to see while we’ve been here. I wanted to turn the attention to some of the other patients that Lilee has shared her room with these past 6 days. They are just 3 stories that represent the hundreds maybe thousands of individual stories that could be told by families who have shared these quarters.

Lilee has had 3 roommates since we first checked in on Sunday afternoon. Her first, Tasha is a 16 month old blondie that had already had a long day before we even checked in. She was rushed to the ER the previous day with a very serious infection that resulted from a ruptured cist in her abdomen. By the time we were admitted, she had already undergone her first surgery and was very heavily medicated. We will not easily be able to forget Tasha’s woeful cries of “Mamma, maaammaaa, mamma” that we heard day and night during our first 48 hours here. Her parents later told us of the 6 hours of hell they endured in the Emergency Room and how the nurses tried over a dozen times to find a vein in her little dehydrated body by which start an IV. First her arms, followed by her hands and then her feet, even her scalp but were not successful. Just as doctors considered a vein in her neck as the next option, nurses were finally able to start an IV in her wrist. Although Tasha’s road to complete recovery is still long, she was moved to a different room earlier in the week. We can still hear her low and loud voice down the hall, as she continues to cry her “Mamma, maaammaaa, mamma.”

After about 6 hours after Tasha’s departure, our next roommate Lucia arrived. Although they had just checked in, this was not their first visit to this hospital. For the past several months, they have been in and out of the LPCH with unexplained seizures. Lucia is 4 or “cuatro” as she says when the doctors ask her “cuantos anos tienes?” What a painful age to watch in such a place. She’s old enough to know something is wrong but still to young to understand the process. All she knows is that there is a steady stream of “big people” that come to see her throughout the day; some come just to talk (usually the doctors) but the majority she knows arrive to stab her with needles. One day, it seemed like every few hours a new team arrived. Some were quick and the cries were brief but the others… oh the others. The cries of helplessness and pain would shred the thin curtain that divided our world from theirs like jagged steel claws at your heart. Why? Why? Why Lord? Why does it have to be the babies? I cannot understand. You can imagine the joy we shared with her family when they where told that the doctors were satisfied that with this new cocktail of medicines, her seizures would be reduced and she would be allowed to go home that night. As she rode out in the hospital’s little red wagon, with her big brother by her side, I prayed it would be a long time before that precious little one would have to come back to this place.

Little more than two after Lucia and her family received their pass to freedom, our third roommate moved in for the night. She was Hispanic like Lucia and her family and yet that is where the similarities ended between Esperanza and our previous little roommates. Esperanza is 15 and she arrived to our room alone as her father had not gotten off work yet. At first it was odd to me that that would be allowed but I quickly observed that of late, visits here had become commonplace for her and her family. Esperanza is battling leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy in efforts of fighting her attackers. This visit however was to receive surgery on her leg. For the past few weeks, maybe months, she has had a sore that now has become infected to due her depressed immune system and now it must be operated on. Her demeanor surprises me although she is not unfriendly or unpleasant. Esperanza exudes a very business like disposition as though she is here for a job and there is work that needs to be done. I come to realize that she has become more than a child but a seasoned veteran of the war on children known as disease. Just as battled hardened soldiers who no longer wince at the sight of death and destruction, she faces her reality with a bravery and courage not seen in grown men twice her age and experience. So contrary to my own little daughter and her two previous roommates, Esperanza has come to understand the futility of tears or excess emotion in a place like this. She speaks directly and deliberately to her doctors and nurses as she remains focused to the task at hand. From my side of the curtain I witness this teenager (though still very much a child) spending the hours following her surgery painfully vomiting from the nausea caused by the anesthesia with all the dignity and strength she can muster… all without a tear. She only pauses long enough to rinse her mouth and ask the nurses, “Can you get some shampoo for my dad? He wants to take a shower.” Her single dad, who speaks no English was here last night by her bedside, arose at 6:00am to go to work and is now back to spend the weekend with his daughter as she recovers. As they say their prayers in Spanish at their bedside tonight, the realization sets in with me that this is but another night spend in a hospital like so may before it and so many yet to come for Esperanza, her family and so many like her.

Until this week, I’d never seen first hand the strength that can emerge in a child and the devotion that can exist in a family who are tried to the limits. I tell you the stories of these 3 little girls not that you would be saddened or that you would extend them your pity. I feel I must share what I’ve witnessed this week with you in hopes that you might be able to draw on just a bit of the strength that these children and their families possess. So that next time you are faced with one of life’s hurdles, when you happen on challenge that seems to tough to endure, you might be able to recall this mental snapshot of courage that these little ones hold on to so that they may get to see tomorrow. Hug your family today, make that call to say “I love you” to that someone that you just haven’t had time to connect with and most of all, would you take just a moment to thank the Lord for the countless blessings he has bestowed upon you and yours? I suppose if we can all do that, then little Lilee’s trials this week will have a bit more purpose, meaning and victory. Thanks for reading the tired ramblings of this daddy’s late night diary. We love you all, and look forward to sharing and hearing good news soon. Have a great weekend, we’ll talk soon.
Chris

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Holding...

In a movie we recently watched, an actor playing, God said something to the effect of "If you pray for things, God doesn't answer those prayer by 'poof'... giving you those things. He gives the process by which you can get or be given the things you prayed for. Praying for a closer family? God gives you the circumstances by which your family can grow closer together. Patience? God sends us opportunities to by which to develop and test our patience.

Well I believe Erin and I (and our families and all of you) are undergoing a holy Master's Degree program in patience and trust. Today is day 3 that Lilee's heart surgery has been hoped for and then cancelled. Yesterday she went 12 hours without eating in hopes that she may be called down to the O.R. at any time. Today we awoke with the chance that her surgery would be at 1:00 this afternoon. 1:00 changed to 4:00, 4:00 to 5, 6, 7and finally 8:30. At 8:30 we were finally told that Lilee could eat again (after 10 long hours without anything) as her surgery would need to be delayed again. We are still hopeful and prayerful that tomorrow may be her day.

Standing here rocking her tonight I couldn't help but crack half a smile and wonder if we've been delayed so many times in wait for God to do a miracle of His own and heal her! How awesome that would be! Oh that it would be so!!! Although I know He is able, I don't know that that is His plan in this case. Still, a fun thought tonight! :o)

So all you faithful Lilee-watchers and prayer warriors; tomorrow is a new day and we'll awake expectantly for our little one's road to recovery to begin soon. We look forward to writing you with the good news tomorrow. Happy Friday to you all! Talk to you soon.
Signed,
Sleepy dad

PS. Caption for the above picture: "Lilee gets a brief 'pass' to walk the hallway for a while with mom and dad this evening! Waiting...waiting...waiting :o)"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Called off for the day!

Well the good news is she gets to eat... the bad news is today is not the day for Lilee's surgery. One of her doctors came in and told us that there was an emergency surgery that needed to be done on another child today that meant Lilee would need to go later. Kind of sad for us but we praise the Lord that she is stable and healthy enough to wait until the time is right. We would hate to see her go before a more critical or needy baby or child.

The doctor said she is "on the schedule" for Friday. Even though that is two days away, that news is actually consoling for us because up until now, she has never been "on the schedule" for anything. The doctor also said there is a chance that she may go tomorrow but chances are better that it would be Friday.

Looks like since we may have a 24 hour window at least, I might go home tonight and do some laundry, grab supplies, feed Jack our cat and sleep in a real bed! Not much else to say but wanted to keep everyone up to date with the latest. We know God's got a plan, we just need to be patient and see it through. Thanks again for your fasting and prayers. Keep in touch soon!
The Finches

Have patient, need patience

It's about 12:00 noon on Wednesday. Lilee has not been able to have milk since about midnight awaiting her possible surgery. She got to have some Pedialite (really expensive hospital Gatorade,I imagine) at about 3:45 this morning but nothing since then. Just waiting, waiting, waiting for her to get the call. They said possibly this afternoon. Poor little thing, I feel so bad for her each time she cries because she must be hungry by now! :o(

Not much new to report since this morning... eggs were cold, shower was nice, lots of phone calls, tons of support, heaps of love. You all have been wonderful! It's been awesome to see posts and e-mails from literally the world over these past few days! Lodi, Amador County, Calaveras County, California, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Indiana, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and more! Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It would be cool to set up a map on the blog that people could register on... well we'll just have to use our imaginations!

Hopefully we'll post more (good) news this afternoon as we hear!

Chris, Erin and a hungry little bean! :o(

Not today :o( *which was yesterday*

***I’m sorry everybody but this post was written yesterday. When I went to upload it, the internet connection went down at the hospital! Bummer! Anyway, day late and a dollar short… here you go!***

The wait continues... Lilee's surgery was delayed until hopefully tomorrow. We found out at around 3:00 that she was not on today's list. Hopefully if all goes right, she will get her turn tomorrow. She has been very patient I must say! :o) She's been happy as a clam (except when it's blood draw time) since we've been here. It's hard to believe there is something wrong with her as perfect as she looks and acts.

Speaking of blood draw... thank you all for your prayers for that ordeal for us. She did get a very nice lady last night who did the best she could to get a sample from her foot. Unfortunately it was not enough to do the necessary tests. Another lady this morning tried and was unsuccessful and then Ricardo came in around 10 and he got the most out of her of anyone so far! He was very fast, accurate and professional... just who we've been praying for. I think he was able to get enough for all of her blood work praise the Lord! You'll be relieved to know that she has done much better each time they've tried to get blood from her. Poor thing and I hate to say it but I think she's "getting used" to it! :o(

I'm so glad she'll have no memory of this... her parents however... they may need therapy! :o) God has been SOOO good to us throughout this whole ordeal. We all say in passing that there is "a peace that surpasses all understanding." Erin and I know that now in so real a way you can taste it! What a merciful God we know! He has covered us with His peace, protection and provision since the day we knew of Lilee's existence and he continues still today.

My friends and family, even though we sit in this room alone, the 3 of us, I have never felt more supported in all my life. My co-laborers of love at Century have bathed us in prayer faithfully everyday. Our parents (all 4 of them) have given us so much both tangibly and intangibly to help us take on each new day. Our neighbors, friends, family, missionaries, pastors and kindergartners around the globe have truly been a testimony to us of the power and love of God's big family. I wish I could write, call or hug all of you who have written on the blog or send Erin and I e-mails. We draw strength from your encouragement!

Wow, a long one tonight I guess, I hope you don't mind. Again, as always, as we know, you'll know. Tomorrow is a new day and his mercies are new every morning. Good thing too because I've used all of today's up! :o) Love you all, we'll talk tomorrow!
C., E. and the Bean!

PS. I told Dr. Olson that I'd get her picture up on the website too. She (and her awesome team)have been Lilee's primary Cardiologists (Primary as far as we're concerned as we seen and talked to her the most in the past few days). Here ya go Dr. O., now you’re famous! :o)

PPS. Thank you all for lifting up the staff of this hospital, from lab workers to the nurses, doctors and everyone else who has been so good to us this week. Let's continue to make sure they're in His hands as Lilee is in theirs!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Maybe TODAY!

Good morning Lilee-watchers!

Well the good is mixed with the tough today, I'm afraid. The good news is that there is a chance that Lilee might have her surgery on her heart this afternoon. Depending on the more critical cases ahead of her, Dr. Reddy, Lilee's surgeon, (pictured below) has one surgery this morning and then the second one this afternoon may or may not happen. We've been told that if the second family doesn't work out fro today then Lilee may be moved up till today. We are so thankful that she may even have surgery less than a week after she was diagnosed! WOW!


The sad news is mainly just sad for mom and dad. The staff is having a VERY difficult time drawing enough blood from Lilee to do the lab work needed for her surgery. That means she's been "poked" more than 10 times by 8 different lab techs. That's been the hardest thing this dad has ever had to do! The worse news is they're still not done trying. They have an important one that must be done this morning. Oh Lord, please let them get what they need.


We should know more late morning or this afternoon and we'll be sure to put a post up with new details. As a side note, the person that came and talked to us about the surgery said to count on at least 2 weeks being in the hospital after her procedure. I think we knew that before but that was a new rrealization last night... 2 weeks, maybe longer. "I'll be home for Christmas" will be sung with new resolution in the Finch family this year! :o) Hope to have some good news to report by lunch time!

Lilee J. & The Heartbreakers (that's our new band! :o)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tests, Tests, Tests

Quick note this morning! Lilee and I went for a "tour" of the hospital today as mom got a shower and freshened up from her night in the hospital. We did a sonogram on her head, bladder and kidneys (boy did she not like that goo on her head!). Then we went for an Echo cardiogram where I got a cool tour of our little one's heart. It turns out she also has a small hole in between the right and left ventricles in her heart that is allowing the oxygen rich and oxygen poor blood to mix before leaving her heart. Not good, they'll fix that too. The tech that did the sonogram said that she was very surprised to see a 5 week old with Truncus and joked that she thought it must be a misdiagnosis because she's doing so well. (We know the real reason she's done so well thus far! :o) Anyway all that to say she's in great hands here and we feel blessed to have her at such a wonderful place. Erin met the doctor today but didn't have much to say yet. I'm sure after all of Lilee's tests we'll get a better idea of what we're up against. I know lots of people are checking the site regularly so I wanted to get a "mid-morning" update your way! Love you all, talk to you soon,
Chris, E & the bean! :o)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We're in

Sorry gang for the short update tonight. It's about quarter after 10 on Sunday night and I'm just heading to the hotel. Erin and I got Lilee down here to Stanford at about 10:30 this morning. We did a bit of admissions paperwork but they said her bed would not be ready until noon. Well noon turned into 3:00 but we finally got in. They've just been doing some preliminary analysis right now (oxygen levels, breathing rate, heart rate, etc.). It sounds like we'll get to meet with the doctor (Dr. Feinstein, pictured right) tomorrow and really get the ball rolling. We had our first glimpse into what's ahead today when they tried to get a blood sample from her tiny little vein in her arm that can't be any thicker in diameter than one of our hairs. Needless to say it was a very tough thing to watch and help try to hold our little one down as the nurses worked. :o( I know it's a necessary evil but it's torture none-the-less.

We hope to have some solid news to report to you tomorrow whether it's a surgery date or that she's healed and we're coming home soon. Both are in His power, we just are waiting for which one it will be. I know I've been saying this a lot but thank you all, our family and friends, who have continued to lift our family up to the Lord. I can tell you that Erin and I have had a peace these last few days that can only come from Him. Thank you Lord and thank you all! We'll be in touch tomorrow!
Chris

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Late Night news!


At about 10:00 tonight (Saturday) we got a call from the hospital. Praise the Lord, they have a bed for Lilee! Tomorrow morning we will head down to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Depending on what the doctors say, Lilee should be having her surgery sometime this week. I'm sure we'll know a lot more this time tomorrow night so for now, good night. Thank you again for your support. We look forward to being able to share more news with you tomorrow.
In His care,
The charm of Finches! :o)

Saturday Morning

Hello all,
It's Saturday morning and Erin, Lilee and I are enjoying a morning together and are "playing the waiting game." The doctor told us yesterday that Stanford says they do not have a bed yet but one may come available over the weekend. Should they call, we'll have to leave right away and head to the Bay area.

We wanted to thank all of our friends and family who have given us so much encouragement and who continue to pray for Lilee and her heart. We are so blessed to know that there are literally prayer warriors around the WORLD who are lifting her up daily. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you would also pray for more than Lilee for us as this has truly been "one of those weeks." The car that Erin and I just bought last week seems to need a new transmission... yikes! We received news Thursday that my 'Grammie' is in the ICU in Stockton and not doing well. We're headed over to see her today. And last night, as I was in Ione picking up my parents car, which they've let us borrow until ours can get fixed (thanks Mom & Dad :o), we found out that my Aunt's sister's husband just had a major heart attack and is in the hospital as well. Wow! Believe it or not there is more but for the sake of time and room, please just continue to pray for my family in this unbelievable time of need.

We will try to use this blog in the future to keep you updated on Lilee's progress. Please feel free to e-mail me at graninteridge31@hotmail.com or Erin at sunflwr_21_99@yahoo.com
I wish we could write everyone back who has written to us but please know that we love to hear from you all and appreciate your support more than you can know!

That's all for now! Lot's of love,

Chris, Erin & Lilee Jane :o)

First Report

Good morning friends and family,
It seems like I just sent our mass e-mail to all of you to celebrate with us Lilee’s birth. Unfortunately, this round of news is not so celebratory. Lilee’s pediatrician Tuesday said that he detected a bit of a heart murmur and wanted her to see a pediatric cardiology specialist. We had that appointment yesterday and the news was not good.

Lilee has a heart condition that will require that she has surgery to fix it soon. The two main arteries from the heart, the pulmonary artery (which feeds the lungs) and the aorta (with sends blood to the rest of the body) normally in the womb begin as one vessel and then, as we develop, divide into the two arteries that you and I have. Lilee’s did not fully separate into two. The result of that is that some blood that is meant for her lungs is going to the rest of her body and the oxygen-rich blood that comes from her lungs that is meant to go to the rest of her body, some of it is going back to her lungs unnecessarily.

The doctor says that the surgery has a 90%+ success rate and he has called Stanford to check their availability. Right now we are just waiting for the call. She could go in today, tomorrow or in the next couple of weeks. It just depends on the hospital.

As you can imagine, your prayers are coveted in this stressful time for our family. However, Erin and I stand firmly in God’s perfect faithfulness for our daughter. He has blessed us in giving her to us and I am thankful that He has chosen her, at such a young age, to display His glory, power and ability. He is the rock of our past, our peace in the present and our hope for the future.

We love you all and wish we could call everyone and talk with you about “the latest.” For now, we’ll do our best to keep you updated as things develop. Thank you for your many prayers and constant support.

For His glory,

Chris, Erin & Lilee