I'm not sure if I mentioned that when Brigham was 2 weeks old, he got a little "girlfriend" in the room next door who was born with the same condition, congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Her name is Alana. Between the time she was born on the 21st, and when Brigham died on the 27th, we became quick friends with her parents, Trent and Christi. We were all going through the same things. They even took time to come to Brigham's memorial to support us, even though Alana was "testing them" that day...
I'm sad to say, Alana passed away last night. She was 18 days old.
She and Brigham had some similarities and some differences. Alana was "healthy enough" in the beginning that she had her surgery at only 5 days old. Brigham didn't have his until he was 2 weeks old, and even then, it wasn't because he was healthy enough yet, it was because it was really the only thing left to do.
We went to visit them last Friday. When I read the blog update on her and found out she would be coming off ECMO that morning, I told Justin, "We have to go to the hospital and see Alana." With Brigham, the day he came off ECMO was the day he died. That's all I knew. I had a twisted-gut feeling all day. When she made it through Friday, then Saturday, and then Sunday.... it started to look like things might get better. For a while she was having decent blood gases and high oxygenation numbers pretty consistently. We were hoping and praying that she would pull through. She lived 5 1/2 days after being taken off ECMO. Like Brigham though, her lungs couldn't keep up well enough. (to read more, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/alanalarson)
Heavenly Father is building quite the "baby angel army" in heaven. My good friend Corynn also lost a NICU baby a few years ago. This morning when I told her Alana had died, she texted me, "Even though I know this is better for the babies, it doesn't make it any easier on us mommies and daddies."
Trent and Christi, if you're reading this, we love you. We know exactly what you're going through. I wish it were otherwise. We just went to the funeral home today to order Brigham's headstone. We chose the one with a giraffe on it... We will always remember Alana.