Daisy in the PICU

Originally published on June 22, 2011

My Daisy Belle is sleeping in the PICU, sedated, with a tube down her throat. There are wires and monitors attached to her tiny body and her little chubby arms are restrained to keep her from pulling out the breathing tube. She is tiny and perfect, her dark eyelashes resting on her soft cheeks. More than anything I want to pick her up and hold her, kiss her, nurse her. I don't want to move her though. I don't want to bump her. When we kiss her we are so careful. We want her to hear us and feel us - to know that we are here. But we want her to sleep.

Last night was the single most terrifying experience of my entire life. I held my baby while she convulsed and vomited and screamed and I KNEW that at some point she was going to stop breathing. In my mind I raged against the damn scorpion that stung her behind her ear and with my heart I screamed for Jesus to keep her breathing. I waited for the lights from the ambulance to slide around the dirt road to the ranch and willed them to come FASTER. I held her strong, shaking, kicking body while the paramedics held oxygen over her face and tried to assess the situation. I held her on my lap in the ambulance while we drove to the helicopter. And then I left her alone with the EMT's and drove away trying to get to the hospital as quickly as I could.

While I was away from her they lost her airway and had to drive her to the nearest hospital to stabilize her. She stopped breathing. And I wasn't there.

By the time they wheeled my little bug into the ER she was strapped down, intubated and had an IV placed in the bone of her leg. She was fighting the sedation and my husband said he felt like he was watching her in a silent scream.

I have never felt so grateful for a group of strangers in my entire life. Those EMT's saved Daisy's life. The nurses and doctors gently and carefully hooked her up to machines and set an IV in her teeny tiny arm. They let me kiss her and touch her. They brought us up to the PICU, brought me a breastpump and pulled out a couch for us to try to sleep on. They have fed us, talked to us and offered support.

My dad stood by Daisy's bed, touching her and whispering to her while Joe and I slept. When Daisy stirred and opened her eyes a little we talked to her until she fell asleep again. Brooke and Alisa killed the scorpion, called 911 and drove me to the hospital. They made me laugh in the long tense hours of waiting for Daisy to arrive. They wept with me and made sure I was safe and informed. My aunts and my mother in law have watched Aravis and Judah, making a comfortable space for them while we fight for Daisy. My mom and my brother drove down this afternoon and have taken turns whispering to our girl. Our friends Charity and Aaron and Kennon have helped us process and survive (thankfully both Aaron and Kennon work in this hospital). And everyone has prayed. They have prayed and flooded our phones and facebook with support and love and genuine hope. I could never acknowledge every person who has reached out and made us feel the strength of community. You know who you are. Thank you.

It's not over yet. Her little body is still struggling to flush out the toxin. She has a rising fever and her pupils are still dilated. Her lungs are clearing up and she is trying to breathe on her own. But she's still fighting. And she IS a fighter. She fought to breathe. She fought to survive. Cause she's Daisy. And Daisy NEVER gives up. Not ever. She's stubborn. I love that about her.

Now we wait. We wait for change. And we stroke her head when her blood is drawn. We kiss her when they insert the tiny catheter. We love her in every small way we can.