Melissa Laine (My 2nd Granddaughter)
Last year this time my daughter and her husband were expecting their first child, a baby girl, to be born in the middle of August. Unfortunately, on July 2nd my daughter was rushed to the hospital with a severe case of pre-clampsia. I didn’t know much about this pregnancy complication, but it is life-threatening to the mother and child. The only way to cure it is to deliver the baby – which meant their little girl was going to be born six weeks premature.
As Anna was in the delivery room, all of the grandparents-to-be were waiting in the hallway for our little Melissa (Missy) to be delivered. We were praying and trying to be hopeful that she would be ok. We were in a location where we would see the baby being taken from the delivery room to the NICU. I commented to my husband that we would know what condition the baby was in by how fast the nurses would be moving. Well, as they rushed past us and we got a quick glimpse of our tiny new granddaughter, we knew we were in for many challenges ahead.
Missy–a few hours old. (still cry every time I look at this picture)
Little Missy weighed 5 lb. 11 oz. which is fairly large for being 6 weeks early, but she was born with Pierre Robin Sequence which caused her to have a cleft palate and other issues with her jaw and tongue. This created serious difficulties with eating since she could not produce any suction without her palate. The first 6 weeks of her life were spent in the NICU which meant daily trips back and forth to the hospital for my daughter and son-in-law. (1 hour drive each way). Her feeding issues meant that my daughter had to pump in order to be able to give Missy breast milk through a feeding tube.
The day they brought her home from the hospital was a joyful, yet frightening one, because she was still on heart and breathing monitors as well as the feeding tube. I watched my daughter and son-in-law handling things that most parents don’t ever need to think of—removing and inserting a feeding tube, learning how to tape lead lines for monitors, learning infant CPR, etc……
All parents have some amount of fear that their baby might stop breathing, but for them this was a very real possibility and did happen several times. The first time I was with them when the monitor went off it broke my heart to see my daughter and son-in-law rush up the stairs so fast that they were literally falling over each other. The panic I saw them experience was something I will never forget.
For many months they endured difficult times including a week in the local Children’s Hospital where Missy struggled to breathe due to an inflamed esophagus. Their life consisted of constant keeping records of feeding & weight gain, reading monitors, sleepless nights, and with my daughter continuing to pump her milk. Little by little Missy began to overcome the feeding issues and was finally able to eat without the feeding tube. She has grown and developed in many miraculous ways.
Beginning to Crawl
Now that nearly a year has passed and Missy is approaching her first birthday, she is clear proof of what amazing love and care she has been given by her parents. They have gone through things they couldn’t have anticipated, but have handled each hurdle with the strength that comes from loving a child. They have made tough decisions along the way and have chosen wisely.
As I watched my daughter go through all of this I was continually amazed at the amount of strength and courage she showed and am very proud of the mother she has become. Missy is now a happy, healthy, 24 pound little girl who is already trying to take her first steps. When I look at the first picture of her I could never have pictured anything this wonderful one year later. As I watched little Missy fight to overcome her various struggles, I have come to realize that my daughter isn’t the only one with incredible strength…..she passed it on to Missy.
Anna and Missy at the Beach.
Missy with her amazing Mommy and Daddy
Missy will be having the surgery to correct her palate this Fall and she and her Mommy will need that strength.