No major updates to report as of today...she slowly improves each day. Continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to hope for answers.
Jacob's parents have been a huge help in watching the babies as we switch hospital shifts..the one day I came home to the picture below-it was a pretty pathetic scene how sick everyone was! The girls were both napping on grandma and grandpa had the boys contained trying to lower Leighton's fever. Luckily Giovanni never got too sick-he probably made it out in the best shape!
Leighton finally got a prescription and I think the medicine has finally kicked in…wondering if grandpa might have taken some too ;)
Katie got the girls a couple baby dolls with bottles and some cars/trucks for the boys. Giovanni would much rather feed a baby though--he is such a nurturer. He loves his football too--footballs and babies! haha….
Brooklynn continues to make strides in the right direction--slow strides but at least they are headed towards improvement! The past couple days were really hard on me--I think the combination of it being Christmas, not seeing Jacob, not being able to interact with Brooklynn and sick babies at home drove me to the edge! A lot of tears have been cried but friends and family are always right there to pick me back up. When I'm alone with Brooklynn I turn to the pins everyone sends me to remind myself that this is not in my hands.
I seriously have some of the best friends a person could ever ask for!! Tonight I got the following text message from Toni:
My family does wish lanterns on Christmas and this is Dawson's wish.
...and now it's Leighton's turn!! While the other three are getting better Leighton can't seem to shake his cough and temperature. Considering what Brooke is going through we thought it would be best to have him looked at before it became too serious. I started Christmas morning in one hospital and I'm ending it in another!
Brooklynn and I are spending Christmas morning together here in the PICU at Main Campus. Santa still managed to find her and dropped off a big sack of toys...if toys, kisses, and prayers alone could heall this girl she would be home by now! Her bed is being taken over by stuffed animals and there isnt a day that goes by that I don't get countless messages of people praying for her recovery.
Jacob and I continue to see each other in passing as we switch shifts at the hospital. Times like this remind us of how strong our marriage is though-even though we can't be together in person we are there for the other mentally and emotionally.
On rounds today we were told to expect at least another week of the ventilator. Her lungs loom better with each X-ray and she is improving each day but they are such tiny improvements in such a big setback that it's going to take some time.
Please continue to keep Brooklynn and our family in your thoughts and prayers. We truly appreciate all the support we have been given through this and I know if she could Brooke would be giving you all her signature head-butt followed by a kiss to thank you!!
Early Tuesday morning (about 2am) Brooklynn started to show signs of trouble breathing and wheezing again-very similar to the last time she was admitted to Akron Children's. Jacob had already left for work by the time she woke up and I realized how much worse she sounded. After calling him we decided to get her in right away to the pediatrician to hopefully avoid the hospital visit like last time.
At the pediatrician's office they gave her steroids and several breathing treatments but weren't able to make her breathing any less labored for her.
They recommended we take her to the hospital that evening. I left work early and we drove her to Fairview. Immediately upon being seen in the pediatric ER they called for transport to have her taken to Main Campus so that she could be in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
After being in the PICU at main campus for less than 24 hours Brooke's team of doctors and nurses decided that she needed to be intubated. Her breathing was not improving and putting too much stress on her body. She tested positive for rhinovirus but that was it--we are still waiting and hoping to receive answers about why this has effected her respiratory system so severely. Jacob and I both wonder if maybe she does have asthma and the virus caused it to react…doctors all say asthma is too hard to diagnose before the age of two so i'm not sure we will ever get a definite answer.
The hardest part right now is not having a definite answer as to what is causing her to be so sick. We like answers because we feel like we can devise a plan or see a finish line in sight but we've just been hanging here waiting for several days now. As far as treating rhinovirus goes there really isn't anything they can give her to help fight that either…unfortunately it has to take its course and Brooke's body has to defend it on her own.
Jacob and I have seen very little of each other this past week. We have an hour or so together at the hospital as we switch shifts. We want to be here for Brooke but at the same time we need to keep some consistency at home for the others. One of us will spend the night here with Brooke while the other is at home. Thank God for our amazing network of friends who have helped us around the clock with home too. It doesn't help that the babies at home are sick as well so they have not been eating or sleeping well themselves. Shvonne, Amy and Kathy are getting a bird's eye view of how much fun it can be with that many sick babies sharing one room for sleeping! They have rotated nights at our house for the past few nights--God love them! We've also had friends and family in and out during the day, coming over at a moments notice to help out while Jacob and I go back and forth to the hospital.
If that weren't enough Lexi is sick too--she went home for the weekend with my mom so that she could have Christmas with my family and see her cousins. We were all supposed to make the big trip but couldn't now that this happened. I think it will be good for her to get away from this for a few days…she has been handling it very hard. She is a great big sister who loves her little sister and hates to see her sick. Lexi decorated a little Christmas tree and stocking to put in Brooke's room to spruce it up a little bit! She also recorded a book so that Brooke could hear her voice while she is in here.
I've spent my time here at the hospital getting some school work done. Its not often I have quiet time where I can spread some papers out and get quality work done on the computer!
I do of course pamper my little girl while I'm here though too--Yesterday I spent about an hour giving her a pedicure and manicure..I went for penguins on her nails--I think she'll love them when she sees them:)!! Thank you to my best friend Pinterest for the idea!! haha...
Thank you for all your continued thoughts and prayers--we truly appreciate your support through this!
Sunday was the last Brown's game Jacob had tickets for…we divided the babies out amongst friends and had a really good day. Brooklynn and Kensley stayed home with me. We got a lot of work done around the house and ran some errands as well. They were such good little shoppers! It was comical to hear people talk about how much work "twins" were! haha…some days I've got too much of an agenda to accomplish to stop and explain our situation to everyone who talks to me.
Giovanni spent the day with the Kavlicks. He LOVED their dog--except getting his face licked and was on his best behavior at the neighborhood party that he got to go to.
Shvonne spent the day with Leighton and as you can see they had some quality bonding time together! He slowly warmed up to their pug Hugo and I'm pretty sure he is crushing on Shvonne;) haha...
Jade was with my friend Kathy…She is our little social butterfly and gets along with everyone--she even cuddled up to Kathy's husband Tim for a little while!
Today we did family pictures at home…by Amy of course…and then took them to see Santa! Luckily Jacob's parents and Amy came with us so it was a 1:1 ratio of babies to adults. Considering Jacob waited in line over an hour they waited very patiently!! I think there was just so much to look at that they stayed pretty occupied.
See these pictures larger on the page titled Looking Back.