Hello - This is Jennifer's sister here. Jennifer has asked me to post an update on what has happened over the last few days: herself and Louise are back in hospital and baby will have the first operation on her heart tomorrow, Thursday, a bit earlier than we thought.
We were all delighted to meet this little baby we'd been waiting for - she looks perfect: I'm not sure if it comes across in the pictures just how dainty she is - a real little lady! Her sisters and brother are delighted with her - not to mention all her cousins, aunts, uncles, friends etc etc. I think Jen had to fight to see her at all! It was very easy to forget that Louise has a few battles ahead of her before she can focus her full attention on finding where the best toy boxes in the house are kept and how quickly she can empty them out!
On Monday, Jennifer told us to get the candles lit and prayers going again: Louise's breathing had increased over the last few days and the doctor had asked them to bring her up - he didn't want her to use up all her energy breathing and not put on the weight she needs for her first operation, scheduled for when she is about 5 weeks old.
I think Jennifer was hoping to be home again that evening - she didn't even bring a towel up - but when the doctor saw Louise he said she needed to stay in: they need to get her breathing regulated and would bring forward the first surgery - it would be next week. That was a worrying night as Jennifer told us baby's breathing had not slowed down, but that the doctor had given her diuretics that should help.
Next morning we were delighted and relieved to hear that the medicine had worked - Louise breathing had returned to normal and her blood saturation levels had improved again (the amount of oxygen circulating in her blood). Her surgery would now be this week and she would stay in til then. Thinking of the long hours Jennifer has ahead of her sitting in the hospital while Louise sleeps and John can't be there, myself and my sister Maria jumped into the car. Strictly speaking, there isn't room for visitors in the little baby rooms, but we walked in looking as if we were on a mission. I'd say Jen was glad of some company - just before she saw us arrive we could see a rare look of worry on her face. Both Jennifer and John have been so upbeat through all this - not that they (and us too!) haven't shed a few tears along the way, but they have really been a great example of how to accept the difficuties and challenges life throws our way. There is no doubt their strong faith has been their anchor and will carry them all through this.
Louise will be operated on tomorrow - Holy Thursday. I think they will all be living the events of Christ's passion on Friday in very real way. But Easter is on Sunday...