Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cana Lynn Milbrandt : Her Birthday - Oct. 8, 2008 pt2

Mitch had traveled to NICU with Cana and the team and i stayed in the room for about an hour to recover before they moved me to my room on the mommy floor.  My dad, terri, and my little sister allissa were in the room, and my grandma and my mom stayed too.  After a few, the hospital chaplain came in.  We had requested our parish priest to come to baptize her, but he had too many meetings.  So the chaplain was requested and it was about 5 pm when he came in.  Cana was born at 432pm, i forgot to mention that!  Fr. David Noble was a twin australian priest!  He is adorable!  He had been the TCH chaplain for almost 20 years if i remember correctly.  It was so neat because Cana's godmother - my sister, was IN it made me feel better to hear that accent.  Just a nice touch, Lord.  When i told him our daughter's name, he paused..."you mean, as in the wedding at Cana?"  "yes, father."  "oh, i will never forget that.  What a beautiful name."  He explained that when he did marriage encounter weekends, the saturday night is called "Cana." It's a renewing night for the married couples of those retreats.  I have a whole talk on why we named her Cana, but it goes pretty know i'll save that for another time too.

Fr. asked me if i wanted him to wait to baptize her till i could get there..i said no. I didn't want any time wasted.  He explained that he had actually waited for us to deliver and he was suppose to leave at 4.  So it was approaching 530 and it was time.  He prayed with me, We video'd it.  For diana, my sister in australia.  He left for NICU, to find Mitch and Cana.  The rest of my family left for NICU with him and my mom and grandma stayed with me.  It felt like hours till they got me to my room.  They had to wheel me..but i could's so humbling to be wheeled around.  So after we checked into the room, the nurse there had to release me so I wasn't so patient to get her in there to have the niceties and then get me on my way!  I told my mom if she didn't wheel me any faster, i was going to jump out and wheel myself.  We were a short walkway to NICU.  about 4 minutes.

When we got there, my whole family was at Cana's side.  Along with the priest...even tho it was already 645 and he was overdue to go home.  He stayed for us.  I jumped out of the wheelchair and got to cana's side. I called her name.  She opened her eyes to the sound of my the sound of me saying her name.  (video below)  it's one of my favorite moments with her. That sounds so funny...because i didn't know how limited our moments would be at this moment in time.  I just treasure her looking up at me....

We baptized her and my whole family got to stay in the room/unit.  In NICU, it has to be so sterile, and after this moment, we were only allowed 1 visitor at a looking back, it was so kind of our nurses to allow this.  But i think they knew.

Around 745, we finished her baptism, and we were asked to leave NICU.  They had to start a line in her belly button.  Because she was so tiny (found out then that she was 4 pounds, 16" long), that it was better to keep the umbilical cord long on her belly because the line was better there, than starting her on an iv and poking at her all the time.  This was painless.  But it was a sterile procedure. we all were asked to leave.  We took it as a chance to get momma some food.  I know it seems so strange to want to eat at a time like that...but at the same time, i think human nature longs for something NORMAL because seeing your newly born baby in some sick box is just too horrible to conceive. 

After travis was born, all i wanted was a burger and fries.  I'm all about burger and fries it was.  Mitch wheeled me down to the cafe, and we grabbed a bite. It felt weird to eat.  We were waiting for our friends Courtney and Jeremy to come up to meet her.  They were the only one's we wanted that first night.   As we were finishing up, we looked over and saw Fr. David at another table.  He was eating. I felt so badly that we ran into him because he looked so tired, like he just wanted to go home.  But he was happy to see us, came over to sit with us, asked us how we came up with Cana...and prayed over us.  He was wonderful.  As he was praying over us, court and jer walked up.  I love that they came in to find us being prayed over.  Court and J are a strong Catholic couple and it's one of the things that unifies our friendship.  It's how court and i met church..serving together, in LIFETEEN.

Fr. David finally went home.  And we took court and J to meet her.  We couldn't wait to show her off.  They weren't done getting the line started in Cana so we had to wait another 45 minutes outside of NICU.  We enjoyed that time with our friends.  It was so encouraging to have them there with us.  It was around 10 pm when we were able to introduce our daughter to them.  They both got to bless her with some purified, sterile blessed water.

We spent some time kissing on her.  We found out from her night nurse Amanda, that Cana had already had her heart echo and we had to wait until morning for the doctors to look and determine what came next.  But Amanda said "but you can see that she is syndromic, right?"  it seemed a funny thing to say...all we saw was tiny tiny tiny feet, pink cheeks, black hair, and the cutest little crooked ears.  It wasn't until the morning that we heard "trisomy 18" again.


  1. I ate not long after Carleigh was born. I ate a turkey sandwich as she was passed around to family. Father David sounds like such a wonderful man. I am glad you had suching a caring chaplain.

  2. I can believe that you only saw your precious little girl, and not her Trisomy 18. The T18 doesn't matter. She's still perfect to you. Thanks for sharing, even the little details about burgers and fries.

  3. This so takes me back to my story with David and his birth and days in the hospital. The words they used that day are forever etched in my mind as well. There are differences, but the heart aches touch all our hearts just the same.