Josephine Elizabeth Bennion was born on Wednesday, October 22 at 10:35 am. She weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces and was 17 inches long. She was born by c-section as she was not tolerating the pitocin or the contractions at all. The c-section went well, and I was very lucky to have a very supportive husband holding my hand through the entire thing. I was also lucky enough to have the OB nurses that I had gotten to know during the last month with all of my non-stress tests there to assist during the surgery and delivery. It made for a very calm experience.
Josephine is now in the NICU at Columbia Regional Hospital. She was transferred here on Wednesday night after having a moment where she stopped breathing. She spent her first night here with her dad and her Uncle Paul in the room with her. And she was able to do so without extra oxygen.
The prognosis is that she has Trisomy 18, or Edward's Syndrome. We should have preliminaries back tomorrow (10-27) and a definite diagnosis by the middle to end of this week. At this point, we will be surprised if it turns out not to be Trisomy 18. She has many of the outward characteristics of the syndrome: the way she holds her hands, her right foot is rocker-bottom, low-set ears that are folded, and a small mouth and chin. Unfortunately, the outcome of this syndrome is fatal. Josephine will unlikely make it to her first birthday.
But she has shown that she is a fighter. Even in utero, when we thought she was just being finicky, we realize now that she is a miracle. The placenta was only the size of a chocolate chip cookie, and by all reason, she shouldn't have made it this far. Now, as of today in the NICU, they have taken her IV out, and she is being fed only through a feeding tube and a bottle from time to time. I have been able to pump breastmilk for her, and she does like it a lot more than the formula! She was also able to have the oxygen sensor removed. The only two things that remain for her to accomplish before we can take her home are for her to gain some weight (she's down to 3 lbs. 13 oz.) and she has to come out of the isolette. She's getting close to being in the open crib; they keep turning the temperature of the isolette down because she's been able to maintain her temperature fairly well. Our wishes are to bring her home, so that we can be together as a family for her short time with us.
Now, with all of this news, I'm sure you're wondering how we are coping. The answer is very well. We are looking at this time as a gift and a blessing. Jon and I are comforted through our faith and knowledge in the gospel. We feel very humbled that this wonderful spirit child of our Heavenly Father has chosen us to be her earthly parents, even if for a short period of time. We are thankful for the blessings and covenants of the temple, so that we are able to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity, and to know that she is our daughter forever. Please know that the feeling here is one of peace and joy. We are so proud to be her parents. We know that the time will come for grieving and mourning, but the time is not now. Now is the time to rejoice in the blessing of a new child, and love her every moment!!
Josephine has had many visitors over the last few days. Most importantly were her older sister and brother. Marian had a chance to sit and hold her, and I know she was VERY proud! Marian is a smart girl and knows that something is wrong and has been worried. She is such a tenderhearted little girl. She already loves her baby sister with all her heart and wants her home as much as we do.
James loves his new baby sister, too. As soon as he saw her, he started saying, "My baby. My baby." He loved to pat and stroke her, and thinks she is just the coolest thing he's seen. Maybe he'll get to hold her soon, too. He was just too excited the other day.
Please feel free to contact us here. We are staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbia, but both of us have our cell phones with us. We will be updating the blog on an almost daily basis so all of our loved ones, friends and family can see how things are progressing. Thank you to each of you for all of your love, support and prayers. They are definitely helpful. We are very appreciative to have each of you in our lives.