Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We Love you Sarai Faith Michelle

Well I'm not even sure what to write. I have been reading my blog for the last week going through from beginning to end. I realize I have not written since February when we took our precious Princess home.

A lot has happened since my last post and I find myself here at this moment lost in a flood of tears, emotions and life changes.

Well I will back up to my last post.....Yes we took our girl home. We were settling nicely. Life was hectic and having Sarai home meant constant cleaning and disinfecting. We had to monitor the traffic in our home closely and when we had visitors we were constantly reminding to have hands washed and sanitized. We managed and her big brothers certainly enjoyed having their little sweet sister home.

Sarai had visits from her grandparents, and close friends and family. Our weeks home were filled with twice a week visits from the community nurses and doctor. We carried on each day as normally as we could. The boys went to school, Dad worked, mommy cooked and cleaned and tended to her sweet girl. Sitting at home and holding Sarai in my arms was such a wonderful feeling.

On March 10th, 2010 Sarai awoke with a bit of a cold! Due to her health concerns Mommy and Sarai were medevaced to Whitehorse General Hospital. There we stayed for 2 days and at that time Sarai was sent home. Because of mommy intuition I decided to spend an extra night in Whitehorse with Sarai. This decision was (at the time) a life and death decision. The next morning we were getting ready to head home to Faro, however I felt still yet a little hesitant. With in a few hours our world was coming crashing down yet again! Sarai became very ill and I rushed her into Emergency. At that time I got on the phone and called to the Cardiac care ward in the Stollery Hospital. It was at that moment that they immediately sent a medevac for us from Edmonton. As I sat there in the emerg with my baby girl, I felt helpless as she lay there with an oxygen mask covering her sweet little face. She lay there starring at me with her beautiful brown eyes as if she was telling me just how much she loved me.

I remember being so upset when the nurse told me I would not be able to go on the medevac to Edmonton with Sarai and I would have to get on a commercial flight. This was so very hard for me. At some point on that day me and my girl would both be in the sky en route to Edmonton in two different planes! (Lucky for Sarai she got to be the first patient to ride the brand new medevac jet)

Auntie Patsy, Auntie Mary and Auntie Mel were all quick to go to the hospital to wait with Sarai while mommy left on her flight! Let me tell you it was a very agonising 9 hours from the time I left my baby girl until I seen her again.

I arrived in Edmonton at 10pm that night and Nana picked me up at the airport, we then went to the hospital to wait for Sarai to arrive. I paced the hospital floor for 2 1/2 hours before they finally wheeled Sarai in on a stretcher and when I seen her, my poor girl she was so sick. I knew at that moment that this was not good at all. They took Sarai into the PICU and we had to wait in the waiting room as they worked to stabilize this delicate little girl. I was so tired and exhausted but there was no way I could possibly sleep until I seen my girl, so after 4 very long and tear filled hours the doctor came out to tell us we could finally see her. Oh how my heart ached when I walked in to her room and seen her hooked up to all those dreadful machines, lines and medications. At this point we were told that they almost lost her and she would be on ECMO alert for awhile.

Days went by as I sat by her side, singing to her, reading to her and holding her. Each day she fought through, she was such a strong and courageous girl.

Now back home life was falling apart faster than you could imagine. I can not begin to tell you what happened however all that we had already been through has triggered something in Dad and he could not cope. Mommy had to leave my girl in that PICU unit and fly home to get her big brothers. Nana and Auntie Patsy stayed with Sarai until mommy got back. This was so hard to leave her and know that I would be so far away from her for so long (It was only a few days however it felt so long) The whole time all I could think about was getting my boys into a healthy environment and getting back to my girl. I think the big brothers were so happy to be able to come and be with Sarai and I am so very happy I brought them.

Sarai spent 1 full month in the PICU and was then transferred up the Cardiac floors. At this time I was told by Sarai's doctor that Sarai would not be able to return to the Yukon as she needed to be closely monitored for an unknown amount of time. WOW! now I was left to make decisions for moving and relocating my children. It was at this time that Josh and Mick began attending the Stollery school during the days. What a wonderful school with wonderful teachers and not to mention the rest of the hospital staff who accommodated and made our stay so wonderful.

Everyday during breaks Josh and Mick would go to see their sister and if mom was not in the room at the time they would be assisting the nurses with whatever Sarai needed. It was definitely not an easy time for me. Each day I shuffled back and forth from the hotel to the hospital, and not to mention getting those boys out to play.....with 3 little ones and managed to look after my baby girl at the hospital. So let me tell you when they said we could take Sarai back to the hotel to stay not only was I ecstatic but those boys were so so very happy! Josh and Mick continued at the Stollery school for the duration of our time in Edmonton.

We did many many things with Sarai in the big city! We got her ears pierced, did a lot of shopping and since summer was approaching what girl could have only one pair of sandals and shoes? We took Sarai to many parks and on many picnics at parks, at nana and poppa's river property and to Cam and Jeanine's farm as well. Sarai frequented the West Edmonton Mall, Costcos, Walmart, Baby's R us, and many other stores with mom and brothers. We went on an overnight trip to Nana and Poppa Franks in Red Deer, went on a huge picnic there as well with their family and another picnic with Harmony, Auntie Candace and Uncle Jason.
Sarai went to the Rodeo, where she watched her 3 biggest brothers take on the Wild ponies. We also had many many visits and dinners with Nana and Poppa as well as visits to Oma's where she was always getting her cheeks squeezed by little old ladies!

Our days were filled with much happiness just being able to watch Sarai smiling, laughing and growing. Sarai loved to just lay on the floor and play with her little toes and her toys. What a precious little Princess!

We made frequent visits to the doctor for various tests ranging from cardiac ultrasounds to blood work. In mid May Sarai was readmitted to the Stollery Cardiac floors for an adjustment to her meds. At this time it was discussed between a team of doctors that it would be in Sarai's best interest to begin the stages to work towards a heart transplant! Heart Ache!!! However if this was what Sarai needed than this was what we would do for Sarai. The next few weeks were very hard for me and much more stressful on my precious little girl. Everyday Sarai had to undergo and array of tests and procedures and not to mention the blood work. That little girl she was such a trooper, she had that smile on her face all the time. A star patient you may call her! She caught the eye of everyone who walked past and stole the hearts of many.

We had many meetings and met so many NEW doctors who would now be involved in Sarai's care. Our team went from about 10 doctors, social workers and other professionals to about 25 in just one day! Overwhelming is the only word I can use to express how I felt.

The hardest part for me was watching helplessly at Sarai's bedside as she underwent test after test and poke after poke and not to mention all the prodding. Then on June 3rd, when Sarai awoke she had a slight fever and was not feeling too well. I remember holding her and dancing her around beside her bed singing to her, and praying in my mind that God would give her healing. My heart hurt so bad for her when the lady came in to do her blood work. The look in Sarai's eyes when she turned and seen her coming in.....my sweet girl, she just looked at her and screamed at her. I knew that my girl was so tired. I sat there after they took her blood and held her tight and cried for her. I remember that day so clearly; how she was so upset all day, so grumpy, and so tired but restless. I took an hour break to take the little boys to the playroom and let her try to get some sleep. The two oldest boys came from their classes and Josh sat in the playroom with Noah and David and Mick, Danny and I went back to Sarai's room. I changed her diaper and picked her up trying to console my sweet baby girl. It was at this time that I was very concerned about what was going on with her. I called for the nurse who had already called the doctor to come. Within 5 minutes the room was flooded with doctors and nurses and Sarai was being whisked away to the PICU.

I took the boys quickly to our hotel room and returned to the hospital. It was about a half hour from when I last seen her to this point and when I came in Sarai was on the ECMO circuit and and she lay under a mess of tubes and needles. All I could think as I stood there rubbing her head was "Lord how much more can such a tiny baby take?" I meant that thought as a cry for healing for my little girl. That night Nana and Poppa came to stay with me and Ron and Shelia came to pick up the boys. When I left my girl that night, after 6 hours of no response, I went to her, kissed her and told her how much I love her and how much more Jesus loves her, at this point she moved her head and arm.

I returned in the morning to find Sarai still unresponsive and she was being sent for yet more tests. It was like being in the middle of one of those nightmares you just can't wake up from. So after spending 3 days with my precious girl, singing to her, holding her little hands and feet, it came time to let her go. This is the hardest thing any parent will ever have to go through. All I could think while I was looking at the monitor was how ironic this all was, that this whole time we were fighting to keep this delicate little heart beating, and in the end it all came down to the lack of oxygen in her brain during CPR.

So on June 6th at 11am surrounded by Mommy, Daddy, Nana, Poppa, Auntie Candace, Auntie Jeanine, Pastor Randy and Joan, Sarai went home to be in heaven. The healing we prayed for was done, she would now be healed with a new heart and body.

I sit down often and think how, if only I knew the last time she looked at me with such love would be the last, I would have starred longer. The last time I held her and danced and sang, I would have held her tighter and sang longer. The last time I told her how much I loved her I would have said it a million times more.

I am so thankful we could have the time we had with her. I am so happy her brothers were there almost all the way. I am thankful she was such a beautiful, happy girl and even now as much as it hurts me that she is no longer here with me, that in Heaven she is whole and she is smiling just as hard as when I held her in my arms and sang to her.

So now I am on a new adventure with my boys and life has definitely thrown us some curve balls; however we are going forward and doing all we can to remember Sarai. Life is not that same for us nor will it be, but we will make it new and full of new adventures. Thank you all who have supported us in the last year. You are always in our hearts and will forever be!