Last night was the worst night yet. Samantha’s breathing got very ragged and raspy, and we ended up calling the hospice line for help. The on-call nurse, in conjunction with the doctor, ordered oxygen and a nebulizer for Samantha which were delivered in the middle of the night. As we lay awake with her, listening to her breathing get more and more labored, we realized that church in the morning was going to be impossible for us. So my dad filled in for Travis this morning and the two of us tried to get a little extra sleep.
The oxygen seemed to help her somewhat, though I wonder if it was more that it helped us to sleep because over the noise of the machine we couldn’t hear her wheezing. Samantha’s regular nurse came today and spent a few hours with us. She gave us some new orders, which included ceasing Samantha’s feeds and shifting her meds around. Now we are only giving Samantha morphine, Tylenol 3, Ativan, and phenobarbital. And we are giving all but the phenobarb more often than we were. All of this is to keep her comfortable as much as possible. The nurse believes that she will just stop breathing, and that the end will come very soon. She doesn’t know exactly when, because Samantha’s breathing is still very even albeit shallow. So this afternoon we went online and picked out a bulletin cover for the funeral and ordered it. We’re making sure a lot of the details are done so we don’t have to worry about it when she is gone. And we have been spending as much time as possible holding her and just spending time together as a family.
We have had some folks want to stop by, and I think at this point we are just going to stick to family. I’m sorry to all of you who would like to see her again. I wish we could have taken her to church one more time but I don’t think taking her anywhere is a good idea any more. Truthfully we just want to be the ones with her when she goes, and I am struggling with allowing even Travis, my parents or my sister to hold her when I just want to hold her myself. So adding others to the mix would be even harder.
Please keep us in your prayers tonight and as we keep this final vigil with our little girl. Each moment is so precious and we are soaking them up as much as we can. We also try to rest, but it is hard to go to sleep when it could mean the last time we see her. At the same time we really do just want to release her into the arms of Jesus. We are at the end of our abilities to care for her, and we have to release her to God.
When she does pass, we will begin with calling hospice and family. We will share via the internet once we know that immediate family has been notified, although if she passes during the night we may not post anything until the morning. We will also share information on the funeral as soon as we can, since we will have to make plans based on travel arrangements for family. All of you have been such a blessing to our family. Thank you.
Well, all joking aside, Sammy is a little fighter! Once again she has shocked us all, even her nurse. We are all so surprised she is still hanging on. Don’t get me wrong, Steph and I, and all the family thank God for each and every precious moment.
Last night, Aunt Allison stayed up with Sammy a good chunk of the night. The family just wants as much time with little Sam as possible! It helped Steph and me to know that we could get a couple hours of sleep while Samantha was held, loved, and snuggled safe and sound!
It has been a hard day. Sammy’s respiration is still slowing. At times her breathing is very ragged, slow, and even has periods where she stops breathing (apnea). Then there are other times when she breathes slowly but steadily. She continues to build up her thick secretions and is choking and coughing quite a bit. When she breathes it is very obvious that her lungs are filling with fluid. We did get to see her eyes open today and even without her tube as the nurse was changing it! Oh what a beautiful little princess. We know that each minute our time with Sammy is getting shorter, and truthfully we are excited that Sammy will soon get to see Jesus face to face and meet her brother Jonah! O what joy and peace we have in Jesus! Praise His Holy Name!
Today I found myself thinking a lot about the visions of Heaven that St. John gives to us in the book of Revelation. How awesome, wonderful, and beautiful the paradise, the eternity our Lord has won for us and gives to us! No more tears, as He, Jesus wipes them away! No more pain, sickness, sin! But there, with Jesus in Heaven, is a beautiful perfection and peace beyond all our imaginations! Oh, how awesome the thoughts! Oh, how awesome our God!
God has certainly blessed me through all this. I have come to see each day that there are so many more beautiful and important things in this world, and how often I used to make big deals out of things that never mattered! Sammy’s story has inspired us all, for me…I am even more excited, pumped, on fire to tell people about our Savior Jesus. Many have remarked to us, “How can people without faith do this?” Well, the truth is, I am not sure! But all the more what joy there is to get to tell people the story of what Jesus has done for us! For Samantha! For you! Praise the Lord, O my soul! Praise His Holy Name! What a mighty and awesome God we serve.
As I finish this post, I must go…little Sammy is having trouble breathing and is really weak. We will be calling our nurse once again (praise God for her!) Please continue to pray, “Come Lord Jesus. Send your holy angels to bring Samantha home and healed to you! Amen. Come quickly!” Love to you all!
Next post coming tomorrow.