That night as I was walking out of worship team rehearsal, Ashlie sent me a text saying not to send my parents home (they were at our place watching the boys) because she had been feeling a little strange. So I ended up sending the boys home with my parents and I went to the hospital to be with her. Overnight, doctors eventually decided that her body was in the beginning stages of labor and began planning for a C-section since Piper was still breech. Doctors would not allow labor to happen for long because it would not be safe for Piper.
So after an exhausting night of being on the edge of our seat, wondering what was going to happen, Piper was delivered at 9:06 am on Thursday, April 30th at 30 weeks and 2 days, weighing only 3lbs 2oz.
The first thing I can remember thinking when I saw her for the first time was, “Oh my! She’s Huge!” In the weeks prior, I had been preparing myself for a possible pre-term birth, and expecting a super tiny baby. But that was not the case. Don’t get me wrong, she’s tiny, but not shockingly small like I had anticipated. I’m thankful for in the moment I first met her, it was a reaction of joy and encouragement, and not of fear and worry. There was no flurry of drama in the minutes after Ashlie delivered, and we were able to spend a few moments with Piper before she was taken to the NICU and Ashlie was taken to recover from surgery. From the first moments, we were told that Piper was doing great, and they expect her to do very well. Carrying her for the 5 extra weeks was quite literally a life and death difference.
Piper has now been in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit for a week! She is doing very well. She is in an incubator to keep her warm, but she has made some pretty incredible strides in just 7 days. Piper is no longer on an IV, she is able to digest enough milk (via a feeding tube) to sustain herself, and she is also no longer on additional oxygen support. She still does have a breathing tube to inhale lung development medication, but her oxygen levels are the same as room air.
Doctors expect Piper to remain in the NICU until around her due date (6-9 weeks), but they also said that they will send her home as soon as she starts living as a full term baby would. There is no age goal, no weight goal. So in theory she may be able to come home a littler earlier if she does well.
I’m overwhelmed with how this continues to play out; how God has been guiding this situation, and brought Piper to us at this time. I’m trying to soak as much in as I can. I have not felt like God has ever taken a personal interest in my family’s life like this. For a man with many words, I have few that come close to describing this high level of satisfaction.