Well... sweet lil Bella Renae Blehr made her entrance into this world December 21st and what a rough start she has had into this world since that day! Things were fairly smooth in her first hours of life, however things started to go downhill quite fast. She was taken by ambulance to Winchester, a larger hospital and shortly after arriving there was flown to UVA Children's Hospital. The reason for doing so was they do ECMO, should Bella need to have that. It proved to be a smart move as she ultimately needed that last resort life saving surgery/treatment. She did great on the ECMO and was successfully weaned off the machine. Unfortunately, her body did not repsond like most babies do after coming off ECMO and her body went into distress. I can say in just a few words that this entire ordeal has been a complete nightmare and we have all been distraught over what has occurred. A more detailed journal will follow from Day 1 until now from Maryann. It is difficult to write but it's important.. This will surely be a story to tell later on that miracles really do happen. Coming from the aunt/sister point of view.. I can only sympathize with what Maryann and Ryon are truly feeling. This is just soo unfortunate that something like this happened to their baby. Maryann did everything right throughout her pregnancy and they both live life the right way. Things like this just aren't supposed to happen, especially to my family, and yet it did. I speak for myself, and I'm pretty sure on behalf of Maryann and Ryon that the support they have received has been amazing. It has helped ease the pain, just a little as they battle this emotional rollercoaster. The power of soo many prayers for Bella and the family has been overwhelming. I believe God is watching over Bella, this most precious miracle that has been created. He is healing her, slowly but surely. A message I found says, I must trust in your will and have faith You will answer my prayers on Your time.
So, I was able to go visit December 31st-January 4th. I was able to see Bella in her more peaceful moments- at least in the first day or so when she was fairly stable. Of course I also saw the more unstable times when her sat's dropped. Pretty scary when that happens! Her color looked good the first few days, though towards the end she was a little on the pink side. I was a little fightened when she had one her episodes, and it seemed just about every doctor in there came over to help get her back to normal levels. It was a little reassuring when the doctor came over to talk with Maryann telling her not to be alarmed with all the commotion. How can you not feel that way though! It seemed the time I was there Bella was pretty stable during the day and when evening came she had her episodes and spiraled downward. She is on every medication she can possibly be on, so it's a mystery as to why she is not getting better. Doctors seemed to be stuck in the mode of keeping her stable more than anything, and not having the best of luck with weaning her off of any of the numerous medications. I think I did fairly well handling my emotions, for Bella's sake anyways. I was told beforehand that she likes peace and quiet and too much stimulation would send her numbers down. Didn't want that by any means! The day nurses were really great and felt at ease talking with them about everything. Even though they were on the realistic side, not sugar coating any of the news, they said it in a personable way. The night nurses on the other hand I was NOT fond of at all. It was soo difficult to see Bella this way, being soo heavily sedated and on life support. In spite of all the tubes, she is just soo preicous and sweet looking. She has beautiful black hair.. like Maryann and I had when we were born. Poor thing had to have a hair cut already since they had to put a tube in her head.. I kept having the urge to cover her in that sweet baby smelling lotion as her skin was dry. but her body is super senstive to touch so that will wait until my next visit.. She'll be better by then, right?? The night before I left Bella was baptized. It was a tearjerker for all of us! We know that this was just an added measure of healing for Bella!
As of yesterday January 6th we were given a glimpse of hope as Bella had a good day. Of course we all remain hopeful, and faithful and believe there is a happy ending for Bella and her parents. It will be a long time before she can go home I do think, but that is ok! We will remain patient as the doctors work to heal her completely. We/I thank everyone for their donations that have come in, but most of all your continued prayers and support. They sure have helped! The days have been pretty foggy since day one- but I think now that is being lifted little by little and we can envision the bright sunny days that will follow, and an even brighter future for Bella. Keep praying!
Love, Tammy (Bella's awesome aunt who will spoil her rotten.. and get to give her back to mommy and daddy afterwards :))