Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dear Clarity,

 You,  my  dear  daughter,  are  spending your last  night cradled within me.  Shortly after 1p today  Clarity  Elise  Hartman  will  make her entrance into the  world and you will  have to start the fight for your life. Since your water broke early  Monday  morning (1a!)  at 35w2d,  we've been in the hospital.  Antibiotics every 6  hours have kept you infection free and  labor blessedly didn't come on  as we waited through  getting you two steroid shots, 24  hours  apart.  Your doctors are amazing and  one, Dr.  Reeves,  worked all day  managing to cobble together a  team  of  about 40 (!)  people needed to deliver you by  caesarean section at Children's  Hospital  Colorado, 2 1/2 weeks before your scheduled arrival.

Tomorrow afternoon, I  have to come back to the other hospital to recover but Daddy is going to stay by your side every moment that he can.  I  told him how I've been  singing  Twinkle  Twinkle  Little  Star to you.  He's bringing a  cloth that I've kept resting by my heart all  afternoon so my scent can maybe linger  near you.  He  loves you dearly  and  you're lucky to be the daughter of a  wonderful man.

Not far away,  waiting  outside the  NICU,  your  grandparents,  aunts,  uncle,  cousins,  and  big  sister  Willow are  going to be praying for your safety.  I  hope you get to know your sister.  She loves  babies and although she's too young to understand that you're on the way,  she will smother you with love and attention from the moment she sees you.  My   big-hearted,  enthusiastic  girls can grow up having grand adventures together and being the best  of  friends.

Father afield,  your family and friends and complete strangers who only know about you because of your CDH  are praying for you across the country and around the world.

Your  Grandma  Sue  is coming back to the hospital with me and we're going to sew  the binding  on to the quilt I  made for you.  Daddy has promised to send pictures and updates when he can.

This afternoon, I spent several hours on the monitor just because I  wanted to  hear you and now,  in the middle of the night,  I'm  back  on.  Your heart  rate is strong and  gets faster when you move around  or when you get excited by one of my contractions.  The nurses always comment, " Your baby looks  great!"  They let us keep the strip from the monitor this afternoon and  Daddy  recorded a  sound file onto each of our phones  of your heartbeat.

 I  know you're facing more challenges than we thought.  You're so early  that they think you only weigh about 5  pounds.  You're latest MRI  showed more bowel has ascended into your chest than we had thought which means they didn't see  nearly as much  lung  volume as  we'd been  counting  on. Everybody's very worried.

I  also know  that you were constantly  practicing breath movements at your last scan.  You somehow figured out how to regulate your amniotic fluid after almost having too much,  suggesting you've figured out ways to swallow adequately, a  good  sign for your intestines.  Your liver is still  down in your abdomen, which is something that always makes the doctors more optimistic.  We  know your heartbeat is strong and  regular.  You don't have fluid built up anywhere in your body where it shouldn't be and besides the pesky problems caused by the missing piece of your diaphragm,  everything else about your anatomy is just as it should be. I  think you look like your sister in your 3D  ultrasound pictures.

Although you're measuring in the 12th  percentile for growth,  that number may be low because your abdomen is so empty.  You're  head is in  the 90th  percentile.  Your sister was in the 25th  percentile  for  weight  and 98th  percentile for head circumference so I'm  trying to hold the picture that you're perfectly on track for the size of babies in our family.  By the way,  always keep in mind that you got your huge head from  Daddy and  diminutive stature from  Mommy.  I'm betting you're another perfect  half and half blend of your parents.  Hopefully you've gotten the best  parts,  although  I'm hoping you got my stubborn  tenacity.  Inheriting Daddy's calm, dogged  patience for hard tasks would also serve you in what lies ahead.

I know that in the grand scheme of things you chose us and we chose you because we needed each other  for whatever our destinies on  earth  are  right now.  We've promised that were going to do our best to do right by you and try to make choices in your best interest,  unbiased by what we may want  Thank you for entrusting yourself to us.

 We love you so much already and can't wait to meet you tomorrow.  We're anxious to spend as much time as we can with you,  hopefully the rest of our lives.  Be strong,  my  sweet  girl,  and  fight, fight, fight.  The world's a beautiful magical place that will be brightened even more by what you bring to it.



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