Madison's Birthday:

June 8, 2010

From the Word:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Miracle has Arrived!

Good Evening Everyone!!! This is Dustin posting the first official update on Madison's blog, so you will have bear with my wordiness and length. First off, what a day, and our Lord God is awesome! He showed His power and mercy today in ways that can only bring tears to my eyes.

It is just a little bit after 8:00 pm, and I just got back to Mandy's room. I will do my best to recount the days activities from my perspective...

Mandy woke up at 5:00 am, so that she could put on her makeup before coming to the hospital. She said that if she was going to be in pictures all day (with or without Madison), she wasn't going to look like death. Pretty funny if you ask me, but I really always think Mandy is beautiful, but I guess I am biased. We left Brentwood at 6:45 and arrived at Vanderbilt around 7:20. As soon as they checked us into Mandy's pre-op waiting room, I don't know that I have ever seen more doctors and nurses in such a short amount of time. We might as well had one of those revolving doors you see at hotels or department stores. They finished prepping her just a bit after 9:00, and we only had 25 short minutes to get as many visitors back as we could. Right on schedule, they wheeled Mandy away on time, and I began my wait to be called back. Those of you that know us well, know Mandy had spinal fusion surgery two years ago, and there was some fear amongst the anesthesiologists that the spinal block might not take. If that would have happened, I wouldn't have been able to be with her in the OR.

I waited...

15 minutes (little anxious, and a little perspiration)

30 minutes (more anxious, and beginning to really glisten)

45 minutes (stressed out, and full fledged sweat)

Finally, I caught a glimpse of a nurse that I recognized, and she told me the block took effect
(after the fourth and final attempt), and they would come to get me shortly. As soon as I got into the OR, they had a chair set up for me behind Mandy and a big curtain. Within five minutes, Dr. Bennett (who is a fantastic Advanced Maternal Fetal Medicine OB) said that Madison was on her way out. Within moments, we heard Madison's first cry which immediately roused Mandy and cause our simultaneous cry. We heard oooh's and ahhhh's from everyone in the room about how great she looked, acted, and about how much hair she had on her head.

After they cleaned quite a bit of the goop off, they asked if I wanted to come over and see my daughter. I gave it a thought after deciding I had nothing better to do, so I moseyed over to take a peek. She was (and is) the most beautiful site these eyes have ever seen!!!! They asked if I wanted to see her lesion, and I did, but I was amazed at how small and resilient it appeared. I returned to Mandy's bedside to support and encourage her through the rest of the procedure. Just as I thought they were about the take Madison to the NICU, someone asked me if I would like to hold her. (My goodness, I am really tearing up right now) When I got her in my arms, I could have just gone on to be with the Lord. I was able to lean over so that mommy could give Madison some kisses on her head, and then they took her away to the NICU. I wouldn't have access to Madison in the NICU for some time, so I stayed with Mandy until they finished the procedure. She did so great, and I am so proud of her. I escorted her back the post op holding cell, took off my OR paraphernalia (that pick is worth a laugh), and began to go down Mandy's phone call and text message list. After about an hour in the post op room, we made the call to the NICU, and I found out she was stable and ready for me to come over.

I left mommy... When I got to the NICU, Madison was even more beautiful than when I saw her in the Operating Room. My poor, sweet little angel was hooked up to more devices than a computer. Shortly after I got there, they had to draw some blood (which required another stick), and her cries and tears absolutely broke my heart. So, I decided the only right thing to do was cry along with her. I don't know if this helped her, but it helped me a little bit. After drawing the blood, they nurse taught me how to hold her so I didn't bother her Spina Bifida lesion. I stared at her as though the world didn't exist! I was holding our daughter, God's Creation, in my arms, and it was the most humbling, rewarding, fulfilling, and incredible feeling in the world. Madison's surgeon (Dr. Noel Tulipan), stopped by when I was holding her to check her lesion. After we rearranged her, he took one look at it and said matter of factly "Oh, that doesn't look so bad. I'll be able to take care of that no problem!!!!" How cool must it be to be one of the leading pediatric neurosurgeons in the world and look at a Spina Bifida lesion and say "I'll fix that no problem and make my tee time by noon???" (He didn't say exactly that, but come on you get the point...) He encouraged me so much, because he felt Madison has an excellent chance to show very mild symptoms or even be symptom free. He even mentioned that if her ventricles looked as good as they have been looking, we may leave Vanderbilt days early because there will be no need for shunts! Tell me that is not an answer to prayer.

I finally agreed to leave Madison for a little while and go eat. While I was eating, Mandy was able to make her way to the NICU and really see and hold Madison for the first time. Mom's experience was much like mine, and she sure didn't want to put that baby down and return to the room.

Finishing up, Vanderbilt Medical Center lived up to it's reputation today. I have never experienced more professional and patient centered medical personnel in my life. I am so thankful that God made it clear that VUMC was the choice for Madison, and I hope these doctor's and nurses get the credit and praise they deserve!!!

Last addition, and I promise you won't have to read anymore. Something was brought to my attention that I just had to share, because I think it proves God's hands have been over and inside Madison throughout this journey. If you have been following along, you know that one of our biggest concerns through this process has been Madison's low weight seen through ultrasounds. We were excited to share that last week she scanned at 6lbs. 1oz. However, today she was born weighing 7lbs. 7oz., and I just want to remind you all that seven is a perfect number both mathematically and theologically. I believe in my heart of hearts, this was no coincidence, and that we all were reminded that there is a God, He loves us, and He is always in control.

God was honored today, and we couldn't have asked for anything more! I love you all, and we'll post again soon.

(hopefully for your sakes, it will be Mandy posting)



  1. Absolutely awesome to read such amazing things about Madison. Give God the glory for answering so many prayers. Enjoy your baby girl and may she continue to grow perfectly. - Kristy Cunningham

  2. Quit making me cry at work! No, keep the story coming. I'll tell anyone who asked that this is worth tears of joy no matter where I am.

    Karen Lykins

  3. Thank you God for answered prayers! She is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to meet her!
    Tricia Lee

  4. Hi Dustin,

    You showed up on my Facebook friends suggestion list this morning, and I noticed the sweetest little face as your profile photo. And I just had to go have a look. Oh my goodness! She is so beautiful!I'm crying at work too! Such a miracle! And so many answered prayers!

    One of my most dearest friends is a nurse in the NICU at Vanderbilt. Her name is Bonnie Parker. Nursing is her passion, and she is truly one of the very best. You all are in very, very good hands there.

    Happy Birthday to sweet Miss Madison!! Congratulations to Mommy and Daddy!

    -- Lorie Worley

  5. We serve an awesome God! This is just one of many things that you will never get tired of sharing with everyone you see. I am so happy for all three of you.

    Jamie Sims

  6. So glad God has been with the three of you.
    He is an awesome God. What a miracle you have seen the last few days.
    We will be praying for your family.

    Brenda Flatt

  7. I am so happy to hear such wonderful news. She is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this experience with me. Once again, this shows God is alive and active today. Praise Him! Janet