Sunday, February 8, 2009

Serenity's Story Part 2 - Serenity Arrives

Upon her birth, Serenity immediately began having difficulty in breathing. They rushed her to the nursery and began placing IVs and oxygen into her.

Serenity's God given fight was noticed right away. It took two hours, four nurses and two different doctors to hold her down and place the IV. After being poked and prodded many times, they were finally able to secure a vein.

Serenity fought them tooth and nail through the entire experience. Then after a few hours of being confined under the oxygen hood, she began to get a little edgy. At just a few hours of age, she managed to maneuver her hands up under the hood and with one swift blow, knocked it off her head and onto the floor. (Believe it or not that attitude has since only become MORE aggressive )

Her nurses were absolutely amazed at her 'supernatural' strength. One mentioned that in the many years she had been a nurse she had never seen that happen before. She also mentioned that we might need to rethink her name, for she wasn't very serene. However, It was never her personality that made her name worthy. It was the overwhelming peace that surrounded her entire life. God had His hand upon her from the very beginning.

While in the hospital, they ran many tests trying to diagnosis the cause of her problems. Over the next few days most of the tests came back with positive results and Serenity seemed to be doing much better. They were able to wean her off the oxygen and she maintained her oxygen saturation level very well. Her blood and lungs looked great. The only test that we hadn't heard about was an echo cardiogram they performed to check her heart.

In the meantime, I knew something just wasn't right. I was a mother of four others, so call it instinct or maternal wisdom, but I just knew. Plus, I had heart problems as a child. I had a coarctation repair when I was just five years old and am living now with an unrepaired bicuspid aortic valve. Heart problems was a definite possibility and I made it known. I also sent her back to the nursery several times because of grunting with her breathes. The nurses would check her pulse ox level and then send her back saying she was fine.

After five days in the hospital, they sent us home without our echo results. The two days we were home with her were very long and sleepless. Serenity would wake up many times during the night crying. I now know it was because she was having trouble breathing. Not knowing then, I would pick her up, pray over her then lull her back to sleep. At first, Her grunting wasn't a constant thing. She would have little grunting phases that lasted only a few minutes at a time. Then return to regular breathing. Newborn babies breathe rapidly anyway. So it wasn't hard for others to convince me that I was just being paranoid.

The Monday after her birth, we went back into the pediatrician's office for her regular check up. On the way there, she slept very peacefully, breathing fine. While in the waiting room I began to notice her breathes coming more rapidly. After she was weighed, and placed on the examining table, we noticed her starting to grunt a little. Once the doctor entered the room, he sat down beside her and started reading her echo results that had finally been delivered. Even though he was very focused on the results, he suddenly stopped reading and looked up. Serenity was grunting harder than we had ever heard her before. With much concern the doctor asked, "When did she start doing that?" Very aggravated I replied, "She's been doing that all along! Just not this hard."

He then informed us that the results we had been waiting for almost a week were inconclusive on the cause but diagnosed her with severe pulmonary hypertension, which denotes some type of heart problem. Basically we had just spent the weekend at home with a baby who very well could have had congestive heart failure.

I thank God for sustaining her until the very moment we laid her upon that examining table. Whenever I think about what could have been if it weren't for our Heavenly Father.... well, all I can do is praise HIM for His mercy and grace.

courtesy of our story on

Added Information:
The point that I want so much to make, has nothing to do with doctor or hospital error. I want to make it perfectly clear that we have only the highest respect for the care givers God placed in our lives. The late diagnosis of Serenity's heart condition was due to nothing but a series of unfortunate circumstances. ( the file was misplaced, then found and forgotten. Finally delivered for reading by a pediatric cardiologist 70 miles aways two days late, then returned misplaced again by different people, then finally delivered to our doctor only after a stern phone call from my husband... a definite attack of the enemy)

Satan tried with all his might to destroy our daughter, but God had other plans. My point is simply this.... despite of all those circumstances, God substained Serenity. Satan can try all he wants to, but when we are truly walking within the shadow of the Almighty (psalm 91), Satan has no authority over us. GOD is ALWAYS in Control!


Rebecca Louise. said...

Thank God she was looked at there and then. Serenity is a fighter =] xxx.