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Monday, June 21, 2010

My Visit with Wrenn, by Lisa M - June 21, 2010

It's been over a month since I've paid Wrenn a visit at Winnie Palmer. I was sick for a while, then my kids were sick, then I went out of town on a business trip, and then I had surgery. But finally, I was able to be at the hospital this afternoon while Nicole was there with Wrenn. We had a great time!

It's rare, I'm told, that Mom lets anyone hold Miss Wrenn. Perhaps I was lucky because Nicole had to go use the ladies room and then pump some breast milk for Wrenn, but whatever the reason, I was fortunate enough to score an hour of Wrenn-time. I was fascinated and amazed by this little girl, and fell totally and hopelessly in love with her once again.

My first observation was that she had grown so much. The last time I saw her, Wrenn was about 5.5 pounds and quite scrawny, to be honest. Her little legs were very thin and you could see every rib on her chest. I wouldn't say she is now a chubby baby, but at just 8 pounds she has a very healthy look about her. I next noticed that although she still breathes quickly much of the time, her breath rate has slowed down quite a lot since last we met. There were even times while I was holding her that she seemed about to doze and at those times, her breathing was close to what you'd expect from a baby without a surfactant deficiency. It was encouraging to see her doing so well. She was thrilled to lay in my lap. I rubbed her head and her legs, and she loved the touch. She especially seemed to enjoy watching her mommy's every move as she went about her motherly ministrations - folding Wrenn's clean laundry, brought from home, and packing up her dirty clothes.

I even got to change a dirty diaper, which was neat. I've changed plenty of little girl diapers, but this was the first time I had to do so around three monitor wires, an oxygen tube, and a feeding tube.

Let us make no mistakes. Wrenn is a perfectly healthy child in all ways but one very important way. She cannot breathe without being hooked up to oxygen. Although there are days when her oxygen percentage can be lowered to 40% or so, she was above 70% during my entire visit, and this was a fairly good day. Wrenn will not be going home any time soon, and she will most likely never go home without an oxygen machine.

As we sat and talked, Nicole told me how difficult it is to remain upbeat all day, every day. I don't think anyone expects her to do so, but she feels that this is the best thing for Wrenn. She does not want to share with you in her posts the difficulty she experiences every day, going into and out of the hospital, watching moms being wheeled out holding their little pink and blue bundles of joy - none of them hooked up to oxygen machines.

I had not given this a thought as I breezed into the hospital, in such a rush to get up to NICU and maximize my time with Wrenn and Nicole. But you'd best believe I could think of nothing else on my way out. As I walked by a new mommy being wheeled out with her pink bundle, tears welled up in my eyes. So many people have been helping the Parris family in so very many ways, but this family is far from being done with their crisis and they still need so much help.

What can you do to help? Here are some ways you can donate to Wrenn's uncovered medical expenses:

1. Visit NTA Fund and search for Wrenn Parris. You can make a single donation or set up a monthly payment plan.

2. Participate in Wrenn's Golf Tournament at North Shore Golf Club on July 17. Details can also be found on Wrenn's NTAFund page (see #1). There are over a dozen teams already signed up to play, but we have room for 30 teams and there are still $100 hole sponsorships remaining. If you can't play but you live in Orlando, come out and help! Shotgun start at 7am and I will be there.

3. Check out the amazing original artwork of Marshall English. A portion of each sale of North Shore art work goes directly to the Parris family.

Also, if you are a friend of the family, contact Nicole and set up a visit. Nicole spends most of every day at the hospital and loves some company. Wrenn also loves to listen to and see new people. She is incredibly alert and enjoys interaction.

At the very least, please keep the positive thoughts and prayers headed Wrenn's way. Thank you to everyone who is helping - for me, you've renewed my faith in the goodness of people.

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on." - Carl Sandburg

(A not-so-private message from me to Nicole - you are truly an amazing mother to both of your children, and an inspiration to us all. Never forget that! I love you!)


L. Ellis said...

I am in total agreement with that "not so private" message to Mrs. Parris.

MomToTracyNSheri on June 26, 2010 at 3:03 PM said...

I think sometimes when someone goes this, as a Mom, you feel helpless. I just don't want Nicole to ever feel that way - she is doing everything she can do for both of her children and with more style and grace than most of us would be able to muster. Thanks for the comment. :)


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