Thursday, October 10, 2013

Living in ICU

Most statistics say that 90% of parents who find out their unborn baby has Down syndrome will terminate the pregnancy.

During Jaycee's 7 years of life, I have done everything in my power to keep her alive. Through 2 heart surgeries, 2 heart ablations, and over a dozen hospital admissions for illnesses, I have prayed for Jaycee to live. Jaycee's went blue so many times at home that I have lost count. Through every emergency and every illness and everything that has tried to steal my Jaycee's health away, I have prayed, willed, and wished her to stay alive.

The past 2.5 weeks in the intensive care unit (ICU), I have intensified my efforts. One of the first things I told her after seeing her on a ventilator for the first time was, "Jaycee fight. Live Jaycee. Hold on and fight." I have continued speaking this in her ear throughout this time in ICU. 

"Jaycee, I know you are tired, but fight. You can live; don't give up."

On Sunday, things got bad here at ICU, I thought I was losing her. Even the doctor later admitted that he was scared. But things have turned around through God's grace and a lot of medical professionals using their skills. Jaycee is living. She's still on the ventilator, but she's doing better.

Sometimes, I think about the people who terminate their babies with Down syndrome. I wonder if they met me, fighting to save my child's life, if it would make a difference. While Jaycee has been laying in bed, I have missed hearing her giggle, seeing her sweet smile, hearing her say "mama," and watching her dance to Barney. Her brother misses playing with her. Her daddy misses her hugs and kisses. Her school friends, who have special needs, sign for Jaycee and wonder where she is. Her teachers miss her outgoing personality and the dynamic it adds to the classroom. Her kids church workers miss seeing Jaycee run and invite herself on stage to dance to worship music doing all the motions perfectly. I'm sure our local gas station owner misses seeing Jaycee run through his store straight to the juice and then to the counter where she tries to pay him using the "take a penny" change. Everyone is rooting for Jaycee; praying that she will live.

Strangers may see a child with Down syndrome who can't talk and doesn't always listen to her parents. But the people who know her, see a girl with personality, attitude, love, a strong will, and surprising abilities.

So, we will keep on fighting to save her life. I won't give up on her. She's too important.

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