Saturday, January 31, 2009

Morning After Update!

There were a few complications in the beginning of Harper's surgery yesterday: one or both (not too sure) of her lungs collapsed when they turned her over to begin the procedure. That delayed the surgery a while, but when the doctors came out, they still counted it as a success. Yesterday afternoon Harper had some complications with her blood pressure, pulse and glucose levels and I asked you to pray that the doctors/nurses would be able to get that under control and that they would be able to get her off the ventilator today. I just got a text from Erin asking ya'll to pray that today would be a productive day. She said that they just had to give her blood pressure medicine again and that it would be probably be tomorrow before the could wein her off the ventilator. Please pray for Erin and Chad. They are both very anxious and can't wait to get Harper out of the cardiac intensive care unit so that they can get her healing process moving along faster. Because Erin is a nurse that works on heart cases almost every day, she knows a lot about Harper's condition and what outcomes/ complications can come out of her surgery. Pray that God can calm their nerves and give them a sense that everything with Harper is going to be okay. The God that we serve is the Great Physician and He can do anything! Now, get to praying!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Prayer Request for tonight!

I just arrived back in Meridian and on my way home, I received a text from Erin. Chad and Erin got to go in and spend some time with Baby Harper tonight. They have some specific prayer requests:
Harper's blood pressure and glucose levels are kind of high, so we need to pray them down. Overall, she is doing well to have just had such big surgery.
Also, since Harper is in the Cardiac ICU, and Erin and Chad can't be with her, please pray that God would place the right nurse to watch over her during her time in there.
Today was an exhausting day for everyone involved. Please pray for a peaceful night for Erin and Chad and that God would give them comfort and peace, since they won't be able to check on her or see her until the morning.
Most of all, praise God for who He is and for what He did today in Harper's life. We certainly count today as a miracle from God in our book and know that He will continue to watch over Harper and her family.

One Surgery Down...

Harper was taken back for surgery this morning around 9:00. It's now 2:15 and the surgeon just came out to talk with Erin, Chad and both of their parents!!
There were a few difficulties in the beginning, and the coaractaion (the narrow part of the aorta) was longer than what was expected, but all in all, the surgery was a success.
Erin & Chad will be able to go back and see that sweet baby girl in 30 minutes or so. The surgeon still wants to hold off the second surgery for *hopefully* 6 months. Thanks for your prayers! Continue to check back. I'll update again after Erin & Chad see her!


We just got word that the surgeon just started the surgery!! Pray, Pray!

YOU are Wonderful!

Chad, Erin and baby Harper-- the day after she was born!

I know that many of you are reading this morning and anxious to hear updates about Harper Anne. HARPER ANNE JUST WENT BACK FOR SURGERY. She's been back there almost 15 minutes or so. The nurse told Erin & Chad that it would take an hour to prep her and that the surgery should last about 2 hours after that. She looked real cute... if I do say so myself... all bundled up in her blanket! Right before they took her back, we were able to pray together as a family! Erin has a number so that we can keep track of her progress on a computer in the waiting room during the surgery. I'll keep you updated!!

I sent out a few emails on Monday because I needed your help with a project for Erin and Chad! What an OVERWHELMING response! YOU TRULY ARE WONDERFUL FRIENDS AND PRAYER WARRIORS!! I was up until almost 11:00 last night trying to put all of your e-mails, prayers and words of encouragement in a book!
Erin and Chad are reading the book now. Thanks so much for making Harper's first surgery day a little easier!

My church has a Prayer Shawl Ministry and it is made up of a group of ladies who crochet blankets and wraps, and who make baby blankets for the newborns in our church. Every time a prayer shawl or blanket is given to someone, our church prays over them. It's the prayer of our church that when a baby blanket is swaddled around a child, that the family feels the love and prayers of our church. The blanket was already beautiful, but I had it monogrammed for Harper's surgery day. The blanket says, "Haper Anne, Special Prayers for you

today: 1-30-09"

The CDC at Highland Baptist sent prayers and words of encouragement for Harper, too! Above: Jesselyn (Erin's mom) and some artwork!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Harper is Resting Today!

Many of you have sent me text or emails since yesterday afternoon because the blog had not been updated but once yesterday! It makes my heart smile to know that all of you are praying for Harper and for our family and that you're staying tuned into the blog because you're concerned and you want to know what to pray for. However... the last time I talked to Erin was yesterday morning and NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS!!
I did get a chance to talk to Jesselyn (Erin's mom) and Mrs. Anne (Chad's mom) last night and neither one of them had any updates! They are letting baby girl rest today because she has a big day ahead of her tomorrow. If you don't hear back from me before tomorrow morning, I wanted to give you a few specifics to pray for:
1. Pray most importantly for Harper Anne: We know that our God is almighty and ever present and that He'll walk this journey tomorrow with Harper. Pray that he will strengthen her and comfort her during the difficult days ahead.
2. Pray for the surgeon, other cardiologists, and nurses: Pray that God will give them wisdom and guidance during the surgery tomorrow and pray that they will be sensitive to Harper's needs before, during and after the procedure.
3. Pray for Chad, Erin and our family: There are several of us going to Birminham in the morning to be with Chad and Erin. We are all anxious and are ready to get this first surgery out of the way. Pray that God will calm our nerves and be with us tomorrow. Please pray that no matter what happens tomorrow, that we, as a family, will be able to give God the glory and that we will worship Him.
Erin, Chad and the rest of the family simply can't thank you enough for traveling this journey with Harper Anne so far. I read a note from someone yesterday that thanked Harper for allowing us to be a part of her journey through prayer. Many of us want to help and the greatest thing any of us can do is to fall on our knees in prayer and thank God for who He is and for what He will do in Harper's life. So for now... Pray, Pray, PRAY!!
**ON A SIDE NOTE... In the last post, I stated that the surgeon would be going through Harper's lungs to do the surgery tomorrow. I WAS WRONG! Erin said that they will be going through her ribs, using the thoracotomy approach... sorry :(

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Surgery Date Has Been Set!

Hey friends! I just talked with Erin this morning and she was able to take some time and give me some specifics on what all will be taking place at UAB this week with our little Harper. She will be taken to surgery THIS FRIDAY, at 8:30 a.m. During this procedure they are going to fix the coarctation in her aorta by going through her lungs. A coarctation is an area in the aorta that is too narrow for blood to flow through. So they are going to cut out the narrow part and sew the two fatty parts together so that the blood will begin to flow corrrectly. Also, they are going to place a pulmonary band around her pulmonary artery. This will be done to try and keep her healthy until her open heart surgery. As of right now, Harper basically has congestive heart failure because some of the blood is flowing back into her lungs and it's making her work really hard to breathe. This band will help prevent that so her breathing will come a little easier and she won't be so worn out. The doctors aren't sure how long Harper will have to stay in the hospital after surgery. They said that some babies never really learn to eat or breathe on their own and that some babies (if they already know how) can go so long without getting to eat, that they forget how. If Harper comes out of the surgery and is able to eat, she may only have to be in the hospital 5 - 7 days... however, the doctors told Erin & Chad that she could possibly be there another month.
As for the open heart surgery, the surgeon told Erin & Chad that he really wanted to wait until she was atleast 6 months old, possibly 8 - 12 months old so that she could gain some neurological development. Depending on how healthy she can stay, depends on how long the surgery will be prolonged. Erin & Chad have mixed feelings about the second surgery-- they only want her to have the surgery when she is strong enough, but the older Harper gets, she'll become more aware of pain and the fact that she's being taken away from her parents.
Friday's surgery will last 3-4 hours. Please remember our family in your prayers, not only on Friday, but today, tomorrow and for many days ahead. Harper's got a long road ahead of her, but we know that she's a fighter and that she's going to pull through just fine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Talked to Jesselyn

I just got off of the phone with Jesselyn and as of right now, Harper's aorta surgery will be on Friday. The surgeon's plane finally landed but they still haven't talked to him.
Dr. Toms (he's Norweigian) is one of Harper's neonatal cardiologists and he gave them some VERY good news today. He said that the fact that Harper was able to leave the hospital in Meridian and spend a week at home was great... and the fact that she's not on oxygen and that the nurses haven't been having to help her in any way is a good sign that she'll come out of this first surgery just fine. She sure is a little trooper!
On another note, many of you, and I mean MANY of you have expressed to me that you're worried because she hasn't been fed. Please know that it kills us all to know that our sweet girl is not being able to eat like a normal infant, but she is getting some protein through an IV... she's not TOTALLY being starved. Jesselyn said that Harper isn't crying anymore or acting like she's hungry. The nurse told Jesselyn that the reason she's so tired is because she's working so hard to breathe. If we compare her breathing to an adult... it's like an adult has been walking UPHILL for 5 miles. Bless her heart!


NO SURGERY TODAY!! The doctors have been working all night and the surgeon's flight had not landed whenever I talked to Erin a few minutes ago! I'll post more as soon as I hear...

Monday, January 26, 2009

**Surgery Update**

Hey Ya'll! I just got off the phone with Erin and we're pretty sure that Harper will have her first surgery tomorrow. Erin & Chad didn't get a chance to talk to the surgeon today and everytime the doctors came around, her mom was in the room and received vague information, so they haven't actually talked to them to see what all they are going to do. We know that the only surgery Harper will have tomorrow will be to fix the problem with her aorta and that they will go through her lung to reach her heart. If they can fix that, then that sweet baby can finally eat!! As far as Erin& Chad know, the open heart surgery will follow sometime in the next few days or weeks. We were hopeful that she could have both surgeries at the same time but don't want to push for that if there are many risks involved. The surgeon's flight is landing at 8:30 in the morning and the earliest Harper will go into surgery is 11:00 a.m. The surgeon will come in, re-check Harper and sit down and talk to Erin & Chad, and if everything is okay, they will proceed with surgery. Again, this post is strictly under the assumption that our sweet girl will have surgery tomorrow. We'll know more information in the morning.
Please continue to lift our family up in prayer. We know that this surgery isn't the "biggie" but it definitely is a risk because Harper will only be 11 days old tomorrow. The surgeon is coming in from a conference and we're all just a little nervous because we're scared that he'll be tired. Pray that God will be right beside him tomorrow through the procedure and that he'll strengthen him. Pray that Harper will continue to have the strength to get through the surgery and that she'll be strengthened after she is able to eat. As always, pray for Erin & Chad and their parents tomorrow who will be at the hospital. They are all exhausted and need to feel God's loving arms wrapped around them.
Until next time...

Valve Function Update!

The cardiologist came in and said that Harper's valve function was good. She will probably still need the first surgery, but the fact that the function was good was GREAT news because that prevents further complications! Thanks be to God!

Monday Morning Update on Harper

I just got a text from Erin and she wanted me to ask you to pray specifically today for good aortic valve function for Harper's heart. Also, they are praying that these set backs are the ONLY things that Harper, Erin & Chad have to deal with. Pray that once she has these surgeries that her body will be totally healed and that she can live her best life!
"...for I am the Lord, who heals you." Exodus 15:26

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby Harper Update!!

Hey prayer warriors! I just got access to a computer and wanted to give you a quick rundown of what all is happening with Harper. My mom and I arrived early this morning at UAB around 1:00 and were able to see Erin and Chad and the baby. Bless her heart, she looks so precious laying there with all of those monitors hooked to her!! Erin and Chad didn't get a good report at the hospital in Meridian and we were all praying that God would place his hand on Harper Anne. Through texts, phone calls, facebook, emails and word of mouth, people began to pray and we truly felt the presence of God in our family.
The cardiologist was able to see Harper last night and gave us much more hope! She is NOT going to need a transplant!! Praise the lord! However, she will need several surgeries. The first surgery will take place this week. Her aorta is pinched and the left side of her body isn't receiving the amount of blood flow that they need to receive. Her intestines aren't receiving enough blood flow either, so they can't feed her because of several different risks.
The second surgery revolves around the hole between the two ventricles of her heart. The doctors don't want to perform this surgery quite yet because they want her to be a little stronger. This open heart surgery can be done this week, next week or three months from now... we're not sure.
Please be in prayer for Harper. Pray that God will give her the strength to continue to fight and be the strong girl that we all know she is!! Pray for Erin and Chad and that God will give them a peace that passes all understanding. Pray that they feel the presence of God in their lives each day. Pray for guidance and wisdom for the doctors that will be working on this sweet little life. We know that God works all things together for good for those who love him and that Harper is sitting right in the palm of his hand.
I will keep updating this blog each time we hear something new. Our phones are ringing and buzzing with all kinds of words of encouragement and we can't simply reply to each one of you. Please know that our family appreciates your love and support. Please feel free to leave comments on this blog and I'll email them to Erin & Chad.

Friday, January 16, 2009

She's Here!!!

Welcome to our world, baby girl!

Harper Anne Miller

January 16, 2009

6 lbs. 9 ozs. 19 inches long

5:01 p.m.

Me and the mommy!

WOW!! What a day! I have been at the hospital since around 9:00 this morning and I'm absolutely thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Miss Harper Anne came into this world just a few hours ago... flawlessly, might I add.

Erin was a champ. She refused her epidural last night because she didn't want it to wear off. At 6:00 bright and early this morning, she decided to go on and get the epidural. She had an absolute PAIN FREE delivery... NEVER felt a thing. As a matter of fact, her OB/GYN made the anesthesiologist (who was precious) cut the epidural off because she wasn't making any progress pushing.

Erin asked me to be in the delivery room with her and Chad (baby's daddy :) and Erin's husband) and her mom, Jesselyn to take pictures. I was SO excited because I knew that all of the blood and guts on Grey's Anatomy had prepared me for this moment! (I am known for throwing up when I see someone else throwing up... and for gagging when I have to wipe a snotty nose...) Ha, Ha! I took my post and after about an hour of pushing... that sweet precious baby came into our world! What an amazing thing to be apart of!

Erin and Chad will be the BEST parents and Harper Anne is a very lucky girl to be surrounded by a TON, and I mean a TON of family members that are already eating her up with a spoon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My cousin, Erin (that I talked about in the last post), has just been put in the hospital due to some blood sugar issues. They will induce her late tonight/ early in the morning. Please pray for Erin and Chad and for the doctors as they prepare to bring Harper Anne into the world. I'll post pictures just as soon as I can!