This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.From this point forward, I’m going to be sharing the text of posts as they were written at the time. Some will come from this blog; others, from our CaringBridge site. I may from time to time write my own reflections after re-reading, but mostly I will just be sharing words as they were written. So much of this journey for me is revisiting what happened, and realizing just how difficult the journey was for us. And now, seeing how far we’ve come since that time.

Looks like I actually got ahead of the calendar, so we are back to one post per day. I will still be combining posts from a few days, especially since towards the end of Samantha’s life, the posts got shorter. We spent more time focusing on being present with her. In addition, as she slipped away, there was less and less to share with friends and family. We are headed into the final weeks now.

Journal entry by Stephanie Pittock — 

Today was another roller coaster day with Samantha. This morning Travis and I gave her a bath, the first time we did this for her since she went into the hospital. Since we brought her home, the nurse has been bathing her. However, she was doing so poorly the beginning of this week that the nurse didn’t bathe her, and then we haven’t seen the nurse since Wednesday due to her family circumstances. So we decided to give her a bath today. It was wonderful and sad at the same time. Wonderful because we got to care for her in that way, and sad because she didn’t wake up at all. Normally a bath wakes her up and gets her fussing. I figured we just wouldn’t see her awake again, if even a bath didn’t wake her up.

Ha! She proved me wrong in less than 12 hours. This evening, for the past three hours, she has been wide awake! We have been loving looking into her eyes. She doesn’t focus well, but she does turn her eyes toward our voices. And they are such beautiful eyes. What a gift this evening has been. She started out pretty quiet and comfortable. As time has passed, she has been having increasing difficulty in breathing and has even let out a couple of cries. But she did cough up some stuff. We are hoping she sleeps comfortably tonight once we put her on oxygen. I never would have expected after last weekend for her to still be with us, but she just keeps holding on. She is most comfortable laying on her stomach against someone’s chest, which would be fine if I could sleep like that. But I don’t trust myself to hold her while I sleep, so we put her in her crib.

Tomorrow is another Sunday. Travis is going to preach and do the service, but I will stay home with Samantha. She needs to be close to the suction machine and she is so up-and-down when we shift her position that I don’t want to put her through riding in a car seat. So she and I (and Aunt Allison and cousin Micaiah) will hang out at home. I will miss seeing our church family and I know they will miss us, but it will probably be a light-attended Sunday anyway since it’s a holiday weekend. But I still miss being there. So much of our lives right now are about being in the present with Sammy and putting off things until “someday when this is all over.” That’s a phrase we use to postpone a lot of things right now, from organizing the house to shopping in Houston to volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House. We’re constantly surprised by how long our little girl has stayed with us, and we are soaking up every moment.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share with you a link to Samantha’s Flickr photos. We’ve been trying to upload as many photos as we can of her to share with everyone. I don’t know how to embed a link that works here, so you’ll have to copy and paste into your browser. Enjoy!

Next post coming tomorrow.