Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday morning

As far as I can tell, God is watching over my beautiful and Kate and her tiny Spencer. I think these two photos say it all.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.  –Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday night...

Our little Spencer is hanging in there like the tough guy he is. The docs did order a ventilator today so that he could rest instead of spending all of his time working on breathing. He looks good, had another blood transfusion today and is remaining stable. Now that the C-pap is off, it's easy to see how handsome he is! What an amazing tiny boy. Hopefully, he can feel all of the love surrounding him.

Hope provides strength and life.
Hope is the handlebars of life we hold on to in life.
It is a process… 
author unknown 
(sent to me by a very special friend--thanks, CK) 


Spencer is holding his own this morning. He continues with the CPAP (a little mask that intermittently provides puffs of oxygen), which means that is he still breathing on his own with only a little assistance. The docs have given him some surfectant to aid his lungs' functions. Spencer is really something to watch. As I stood by his bassinet in the NICU last night, I was in complete awe. Thank God, literally, for miracles. We all have a lot to learn from this little boy. What a gift to our family! We appreciate the prayers, good thoughts and energy...they are obviously helping! Bless you for caring. More info soon.

The journey is the reward.   Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


It was a good day for Spencer yesterday. In his photo, he appears to be doing some praying of his own! Kate was able to touch him last night.  Bless her heart, I'm sure that was an emotional moment.

Kate just called to tell me that he has been diagnosed with an intestinal  infection. The nurse assured her that it will be treated aggressively and that 20% of all preemies get it. Kate is understandably distressed but she is hanging in there and maintaining a positive attitude. She will go home from the hospital tomorrow. I imagine she'll have mixed feelings--after all, she misses Logan and being with him, but it will be difficult for her to be so far away from Spencer. We'll all have to pitch in to help her feel like it's manageable. For the next few months, my daily routine will include visiting our precious Spencer.

Logan will stay with me again today, and we'll meet his Aunt Robin at the hospital later this afternoon so that he can go home with her. He has been with me since Sunday, and it will be good for him to have play time with his young cousin and friends.

In an hour, Logan and I will be going out to the Mannix Center to meet with Lee and Jyl regarding a plan for Zeke. Guess I'd better get him out of pajamas and into street clothes.  Likely I'll have updates after seeing Spencer, Kate and Joe this evening. Keep those prayers coming--they're working!

Once you choose hope, anything's possible.   Christopher Reeve

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tiny Spencer

Spencer is holding his ground...still breathing on his own and stable vitals. He is so tiny yet has made an enormous impact on our family. We all love him and are doing all we can to help him feel that love! When Logan and I went to the hospital today, I was relieved to see Kate looking so much better. Sure, her color was better, but there seemed to be a peacefulness in her eyes. It must be painful for a mom to experience that sort of delivery with complications. I'm sure it's hard not to take on responsibility and hurt about it. There is one thing I can state as a fact: Kate Lutringer Brown is an exceptional mom. She takes full responsibility for her children whether they be in utero or walking about. I hope she knows in her head and in her heart that this just happened...she was not the cause. It's difficult to understand why there have to be crises such as this, so perhaps we shouldn't spend energy trying to figure out why...just deal with what is in front of us and carry on the best we can.

After being on autopilot since this began Sunday morning, I had not let myself feel much emotion because I wanted to be sure Logan, Kate and Joe were all right. As I was leaving the NICU this evening, a gigantic wave of emotion and pain enveloped me. One of the NICU nurses saw me and gave me a long, reassuring hug. She kept saying that this was going to turn out well. What she didn't know was that part of the hurt was Mark's absence. I've made it through a lot on my own, but tonight I wanted more than anything to have him here to hold me and understand.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my special dog people. They are going to help me develop a plan to find a better home for my Zeke. Since moving to this smaller house and yard, he has become extremely nervous about keeping up with the neighborhood activities and continually runs back and forth between the east and west gates--over and over again. It makes me tear up just to think about having to give him up, but I love my dogs too much to see them frustrated and anxious. With my job and other obligations, it is almost impossible for me to work in enough activity for him. Now that Spencer has entered the world, my responsibilities have broadened further. Perhaps I'd been sensing that something was in the works and that is why I've been thinking about this situation with Zeke for the past few weeks. Lee and Jyl will steer me in the right direction, I'm sure of it. As a dear friend said to me yesterday, it will be difficult but it will be the right thing to do and I will feel better once I've done what I feel is best for Zeke. I'm sure he's right. Thanks, Paul.

Everyone reading this, please pause now and offer a prayer of hope and healing for Spencer. Thank you.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults.  Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.  ~George Eliot

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spencer Thomas Brown

My second grandson, Spencer Thomas Brown, was born at 9:58 yesterday morning, 1-24-10. He is  incredibly beautiful. There is one catch in this process...his due date was 5-13-10, meaning that he was born at 24 weeks and 4 days. He weighs 2 pounds and is 13 inches long. For a short period of time after birth, he needed some assistance but has been breathing on his own since. He will remain in the North Austin Medical Center NICU for an extended period, and he is receiving the best of care. I am grateful that I'll be able to continue visiting Spencer in NICU.

When I see him in his little bed, sleeping, moving his tiny hands and feet, it is impossible to describe the obvious presence of a miracle! God is good. I'm hoping that others will join us in offering prayers for his survival.

Kate, as always, is strong and determined. I admire that young woman. Aside from the unconditional love that a mom has for her daughter, I see a strong, willful, kind, loving human being. I know Spencer's early arrival has been frightening for her, and she must feel helpless.

Logan is staying with me for a few days, and I hope that it helps her to know he is here playing with the dogs, taking walks and playing outdoors. Of course, we will make trips up to the hospital to visit mom and dad, too. Jenny and Paul are coming by this afternoon to take Logan to play at the park and expend some energy. He will love that, and I can already hear the laughter! It was a good coincidence that Amanda and James were here this weekend, and Jenny joined us yesterday afternoon. How special it felt to have all of the girls together.

Times like this emphasize the importance of family. It is much harder to not have Mark physically present with me, but perhaps his absence here means that he will be able to help Spencer. As a friend of mine mentioned yesterday, we all know that Spencer has a special angel watching over him.

Every person is a God in embryo. Its only desire is to be born.
  Deepak Chopra