Not too much is new on the Phoenix front today. They decreased her ventilator settings just a wee bit, but her little stomach is still producing weird green mucus stuff. She has her labs tomorrow morning, so we will find out on Saturday whether she has kicked her infection. Her nurse today (Lisa) told us that she is starting to tolerate touch a little better, which rocks my world because hopefully that means we will get to have a little more contact with her in the coming days. Preemies haven't developed the nerve synapses that allow them to process stimuli from their senses -- in other words, if she were a robot or a talking computer, she would respond to touch with a glaring metallic yell of "system overload"! In reality, she just makes funny little scruncy faces that communicate her displeasure.
She is still just as cute as ever ... see? (excuse the low picture quality ... took it on my phone)
She looked like a tiny, fragile little bird all curled up in a nest. Not just any bird, of course ... a firebird. For those of you who are under-acquainted with mythology and/or Harry Potter, a phoenix is a mythical bird that "has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again."
Reasons we decided to name our firstborn after the aforementioned bird:
1. Josh loves all kinds of mythlogical creatures ... but I vetoed "Dragon" as a potential name for my baby.
2. Phoenixes are literally born from ashes. This first seemed appropriate because my diabetes (and all it's potential complications) felt like ashes ... a difficult medium with which to bring forth new life. When we picked the name, the idea of a healthy baby felt like it would be a victory born only out of the kindness of god. And the name feels even more appropriate now -- her premature birth feels also like ashes from which we hope to watch our firebird rise.
3. Phoenixes are associated with rebirth. We pray fervently for the day that she is lit on fire, has her flesh burned up and is reborn into new life with Christ. "When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:4-7)
4. Because Phoenix Cash is a rock-star name if I have ever heard one. She is destined to be great with name so awesome. (Much to my dismay, someone told me that it sounds like the name of a girl who would be on the cover of Maxim. I certainly hope not.)
You are probably asking yourself how we came across such an awesome name. Well let me tell you. There is a customer who occasionally stops into the Barnes and Noble where I work who exudes a midlife coolness that I hope to embody in later years. We have chatted more than once when I have helped her find books, and the last time she was in the store she asked if we had picked a name yet.
"No, we can't agree on anything," I replied.
"You should name her Phoenix."
Just like that, she told me what she thought I should name my baby. I was normally annoyed by that kind of audacity, but I loved the name as soon as she said it. First thing when I got home that night, I ran it by Josh. And, miracle of miracles, he liked it too! It just felt perfectly right to both of us. I think Jesus may have had a hand in orchestrating that particular customer encounter.
And that's the story behind her name.
Please pray tonight for God to clear the infection from her body before her labs tomorrow morning ... it's going to be hard for her to move forward in any way until it's gone.
Love you all!