Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday Paige!

Paige is our strong willed child, and we are so grateful for it.  Sometimes when Paige and I are butting heads I have to remind myself that I am thankful for that desire in her to fight and push the limits.  Without that natural desire to fight she wouldn't be with us today.

Alexandria Paige Wiggins
July 30th, 2006
8lbs 9oz 20 inches long

Paige's delivery was hard and complicated... I will try to make this short as short as I possibly can.  Paige suffered an Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury at delivery, her apgar scores were 2/6.  She also suffered from Erb's Palsy and was born with a Sacrococcygeal teratoma.  Very, very scary and stressful time for Craig, myself and our family.  Within 24 hours of deliver she was transferred from Trident Medical Center to MUSC Children's Hospital where she spent the next three weeks in the level three NICU showing us how strong willed she already was.

The day we were given Paige's diagnosis was a very emotional day, I was nursing Paige in a rocker in front of her incubator, something I wasn't able to do until she was about 15 days old.  Craig was there and we were very cozy behind the folding screens they put up for privacy.  Her team of Dr.'s approached us and said that we could stay on the floor if we liked since I was nursing, that normally we would go discuss these types of things in a conference room.  The Doctors told us that basically Paige would never be "normal (what ever normal is), she would most likely suffer from Cerebral Palsy, physical and mental handicaps".   The seizures, MRI & MRS results, clonis and hypertonia all indicated a serious brain injury caused most likely during delivery.  They did tell us that babies brains are amazing wonders, that they are super resilient, we held on to these statements for the next two years.  We asked questions, they answered and then they left.   We sat there starring at each other full of worry, and scared beyond belief.  God was with us and we soon realized that, when on the other side of the NICU, just three feet away, behind another set of folding screens we heard the anguished cries of a Mom and family as their baby was taken off life support and passed.  God wrapped his arms around us and at that point, we decided we were blessed to have Paige in our lives ALIVE no matter what the Dr's said she would or wouldn't be as she grew. 

Paige looked very peaceful just hours after deliver, but was already suffering from serious seizures at this point I didn't know what was going on.

She was so big.. 8lbs and 9oz... just two ounces shy of being 2lbs bigger than her older sister, Reese.

This is her ready for transport from Trident Medical Center down to MUSC Children's hospital.  They brought her to my room and took a picture a Polaroid picture of her for me.  I remember doing this all by myself and calling my Mom bawling.. Craig had gone home to shower and see Reese for a bit.  She was pretty content.

this is how we found her at MUSC... bloated, fully intubated and her brain would not stop seizing.  Was very, very upsetting.  She looked terrible, not at peace and it was heartbreaking.

after a couple of days on Topomax she was a bit better and didn't look so bloated

I think this is right before she went for surgery to have her her tumor removed.

a few days later finally able to hold her

off oxygen, still had a feeding tube.. awake and adorable.

My sister, Kelly (14 at the time) was visiting us for the summer, I don't want to speak too much on her behalf but I know this was one of the hardest things she had to witness and go through. The day before she flew back to CA I was finally able to get her to hold Paige. 

just a few days before we took her home.. we were down to just a PIC line.. here she is all snuggled.  It was always hard to go home at the end of a long day in the NICU but when we go to this point it was a lot easier knowing she was at least healthy.  Craig would go into the NICU really really early like 3-4 am and he would find the nurses snuggling on Paige.. though she was one of the sickest babies they had at birth she was by far the largest.  It amazes me the strength and devotion those neonatal nurses and doctors have.  Without them... well we had them, that is all that is important.

She has still gone through so much in her short 6 years, withdrawal from phenobarbital, high risk clinic visits, a lot of physical therapy, occupational therapy, oral aphagia therapy, SPEECH therapy, three surgeries, a handful of MRI's, allergy testing, annual hearing tests, finally done with semi annual blood draws.. more than most adults have to go through. Thanks to amazing providers, teachers, family and friends, Paige today is "normal." She will continue speech therapy at school and will work through her Apraxia for years to come, and that is about it. She is smart, energetic, flexible, funny and frustrating. LOL. We do love her so much, and I can't wait to see what kind of young lady she grows into. 

Happy Birthday Paige Poo!!!


MaeMae said...

I remember hearing the news of Paige being born but then slowly understanding what was going on, as I was at home taking care of Reese. I dropped to my knees and begged God to hold his daughter in his arms and heal her. I was so excited and nervous to go see Paige in the NICU. She was with many other babies and as I walked in,I could feel the since that not all babies make it out of here and I knew this was not Paiges final home. When I was able to hold her, I noticed her eyes closed and a few different tubes connected to her. I sat in that rocker, and as I prayed, I truly felt the power of the Holy Spirit covering Paige with his presence. I told him (God) that we needed Paige in this world. I quoted so many scriptures that claimed God grace and mercy. I had faith like a mustard seed and I knew I could move any mountain at that very moment, with my bare hands. I whispered in her ear that her MaeMae loved her and I couldn't wait see her at her home. As I went to leave, I learned that one of the babies had just passed and that many didn't have parents staying there 24/7 like my brother and sister!!!! It was a huge sacrifice they gave to drive 20 minutes into town, parking, food out to eat, and being away from Reese. I love everything about Paige, but mostly that when she loves, she loves with her whole heart. She gives the biggest hugs, with the mightiest stronghold. Anyone who has ever met her, will never forget her. I absolutely adore her and look to her like my own daughter. These Wiggins girls are what grounded me even more when my life was still wavering in the wind. Hugs and kisses to my sweet girl on her Birthday! Love you so much!

Denise Wiggins said...

MaeMae, you are so right about Paige does give some of the biggest hugs around.