All of Kirsten's vital signs, blood work, and lab results came back and there was nothing but good news to report! She and mom were discharged from the hospital Saturday afternoon and have both taken to breast-feeding perfectly. We are all tired but handling this parenthood thing pretty well so far!
Many of you may have seen the letter I sent out, but here it is in an expanded and edited format:
Kirsten Anysia Ioanna Thienes, was born Tuesday evening at 5:20pm by emergency cesarean under truly miraculous circumstances. Truly, God was glorified!
Even though she was born post-term, Kirsten was a tiny 5 lbs/ 6 oz and 18 inches at birth. When Kirsten was born:
a) she had a non-functioning and discolored umbilical cord that was half the size it should have been b) the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck twice, her shoulder, and her abdomen c) she had a fully expired placenta d) she emerged from the womb so covered and full of meconium that the two chief doctor's at the birth (with 45 combined years of experience in high-risk, emergency births) said without a doubt it was the most dire meconium situation they had ever seen
Not only was our little girl not a still-birth, but she was healthy beyond all scientific explanation. The staff who saw the birth and those who have seen her file since have told us, many in tears, that they are convinced this birth was a miracle.
The chief surgeon pulled me aside after the birth and said, "I don't know if you're religious or not, but we don't have answers for you. I hope your faith does."
I was there as Kirsten was delivered, and I was allowed to follow her into the adjacent NICU where her Apcar score (the measurement of a baby's response to birth and life outside of the womb that is taken one to five minutes after birth) went from "1" (basically dead) to an "8" in less than 3 minutes with no oxygen, IV, or other medical treatment. The NICU respiratory specialist who worked on her said it was literally "impossible" that her blood-oxygen levels could have been that good since the meconium was fully impacted below her vocal cords and her placenta had already died.
I truly believe she was resurrected from the dead in front of my eyes.
We are also convinced God richly poured out His mercy and love through the prayers of St. John Maximovitch (whose oil was used to anoint Carrie during the pregnancy and whose relics were placed on Carrie minutes before the surgery). We thus have given Kirsten a second middle name, Ioanna, in honor of St. John. May his intercessions continue to bless those, who in faith, seek to emulate his love for Christ.
Glory to God for all things!
Update: I have pictures I can send you if you email me.
Update 2:Seraphim says it well: "Oftentimes it seems that miracles are connected to our own fragility. The fragility of spiritual *and* physical vulnerabilty and need...in spite of the development of the human race into a people that has 'conquered' and discovered so much...we are still left open mouthed, awe struck, on our knees with gratitude."