A Great Day

Hello Friends and Family,

I know its been a while, but Papa Pandesal is back in (blogging) action!  We had a good day yesterday.  Yesterday, Desmond was the most awake he’s ever been.  He hung out with mom and dad and breast fed the most he’s ever fed, nursed on both sides (he has a preference), and enjoyed his physical therapy time.  And today we saw the fruits of the PT: he was moving his left leg around in the same way we were doing PT on it the day before!  Yay!

Additionally, he’s most likely going to join the ranks of the six-pounder club tomorrow. (Remember, he was born just over 2 lbs, so this is some serious progress!)  He’s got some good meat on his bones.  His arms, legs, and cheeks are filling out nicely.  It’s so nice to see my boy getting chunky like he should be.

And that’s about it.  Small updates are the best updates.  When we go to the NICU and ask the nurse what the updates are, it’s usually that he pooped, he bottle fed, and he gained weight.  And it’s music to my ears and joy to my soul.

I do have one other thing before I go.  Today Pastor Jude preached on praying those crazy stupid prayers.  The big prayers.  The prayers of power and faith.  The prayer that you know that you know that you know that God can and will answer.  I know we have some prayer warriors out there with big faith.  So please stand with us in faith for the prayer points below.  Thank you!

Prayer Points:

  • For 100% healing in Desmond’s head, for 100% motor function in his body!
  • That Tanya is able to produce more milk than Desmond needs.
  • That Desmond is able to bottle feed and breast feed more and more every day.
  • That my phone interview on Friday goes awesome and they want to hire me ASAP (and for a great work environment, culture, boss, pay, benefits, co-workers, etc for the new career that God has for me).

Love you all!  Please leave a comment, and let us know how we can pray for you as well!

Always Hoping

I wouldn’t say everything is back to “normal.” This morning, Nick and I woke up well rested and able to joke with each other. It’s so nice to be married to someone who makes me laugh. It is still painful to laugh but it is definitely good for my soul. Honestly, I think Nick is having fun torturing me by making me laugh all the time. Sneaky husband.

My spirits are high. The sun is out. My baby is doing soooo good. I was able to have skin to skin time with him last night. And it felt great to have him in my arms. No incubator between us. Just mama and baby having some good time together. When the nurse put him back in the incubator, he went back to sleep right away. Usually, he gets a little fussy. But I think he was so happy that he got to spend time with mama that it was easy to go back to dreamland.

I have faith that Desmond will get to come home healthy and strong. The only hard part is the wait. I trust that God will use this as a testimony on how He loves me and my family. How great He is and how He never once left us.

My tears are slowly becoming tears of joy but there are still moments when I think of how surreal everything is. I keep asking, “Did that really happen to me?” Obviously, I am still processing things.

I know I haven’t had the chance to thank each and everyone of you. I had to ask Nick to talk for me because I had a hard time just talking about it and explaining how it all happened. The moment someone asks me “Are you ok?” I just start crying. So now while I am in good spirits, I will thank you.

Thank you all for your encouraging words. For reaching out to us and offering to help in any way possible. For sending us food not just at the hospital but at home. For being there when we both needed someone to talk to. Thank you so much for being our prayer warriors and standing with us in faith. Nick and I are so blessed to have amazing families and friends. We are sooo glad that we are part of the Belltown church as well. For someone like me who doesn’t have family here in Seattle, you’ve made me feel like I am a part of your family. I feel so loved by you all. Thank you. I would like to be specific with names to thank you, but I will save that for later. I really just one to name one person right now.

Thank you Nick. My dear dear husband. Thank you for being such a great best friend. You’ve wiped my tears, held my hand when I couldn’t walk and hugged me until I fell asleep. I am a blessed woman to be married to you. Thank you for praying over me and Des. I am so happy to see how in just a few days you’ve already shown yourself to be a great father. I am glad that I am going through this crazy journey with you. It’s what makes it easier. I love you.

Coming Home

Today Tanya was discharged from UW Medical.  It’s bitter sweet.  On the one hand, yay, my wife’s blood pressure is finally at a semi-normal level thanks to loads of great drugs.  Yay, I don’t have to stress about the possibility that my once very healthy wife might keel over at any moment from a stroke because of a freakin pregnancy disease (which can take up to six weeks to heal).  Yay!

On the other hand, my baby boy is still in the NICU, being cared for by an amazing staff (doctors, nurses, nutritionalists, physical therapists, respiratory technicians, and countless other people) all working diligently and with great care to keep a few dozen lucky premie’s alive.  Including my Desmond.  And I count my blessings.  I really do.  But we came home today.  And because we’re home, it means it’s no longer just a quick jot up the stairs and around the corner to see my boy.  And that really, really sucks.

But the good news is: Tanya got to hold him today, for the first time ever with some “skin to skin” time.  The NICU nurses pulled up a recliner, carefully removed Des from his incubator and onto Tanya’s chest for an hour of pure bliss.  My wife and child, together at last.  I know Des loved it because before removing him from his incubator, he was making some unhappy-four-day-old-premie moves: flailing his little arms and legs and squealing like a little mouse.  On mom’s chest however, he slept, well, like a baby.   It was very therapeutic for both of them.  (I think she’s going to blog about it tomorrow, so stay tuned).

Right here I wanted to write something about pouring my heart out, but I’m so tired I can’t think anymore.. So I’m going to end this short post while it still makes sense. So I will summarize: I’m blessed because things are getting better, God surely has His mighty hand on my family, baby time is like a slice of Heaven, and being a parent (with or without Des at home yet) means: “sleep, what’s that?”

Oh ok one last bit.  Tanya and I just want to thank you for all of your care, concern, love, support, prayer, and all that you do for us.  I want you to know we truly appreciate it.  There are a couple of things that I would like help with, if you wanted to help us out.  One thing is if anyone wants to help me pack and get ready for our move on the 21st, that would rock.  The other would be to help us move on the 21st.  And then perhaps help us unpack so that Tanya can come home to a brand new apartment without having to think about it.  (I’m not letting Tanya be a part of moving because it would not be good for her health.  So if you want to take her out for the day, that would rock).  I’d love the help for the move.  Please let me know.  Keep praying for health, unity, peace (for our minds) and strength.

Love you guys,

Nick, Tanya, and Desmond

A New Day

Hello Friends and Family,

Today was a much better day than yesterday.  Thank you all for your encouragement and faith.  Happy Easter, by the way.  Christ has risen!  He lives, and His power is at work in us all at this very minute.  I know so because I saw it happen today with my own eyes.

To start, my dad, mom and sister came and spent a few fun hours at the hospital with us for Easter, and a few precious minutes with Desmond in the NICU.  (I think this is surreal to them too).

Last night was really rough.  Tanya woke up with a severe case of the baby blues.  She woke me around 4am to a very sad, sad sound; so I wiped away the river of tears.  A few times.  And then a few more.  And then she got herself composed enough to go upstairs and have a twilight visit with Desmond. And it was a good visit.  We spent a little over an hour just talking to him, looking at him, and loving on him the best ways we know how.

After we arrived, the nurse told us that Des made the biggest poo she’d ever seen from a premie.  It was so much in fact, that it more than filled the whole diaper.  It made Tanya laugh through her tears, and made daddy proud.  I mean, if my premie son is going to do something, sleeping, eating, and pooing is about it.. so go for the gusto Des!  That-a-boy!  Then, right as Tanya was about to pass out from exhaustion, I wheeled her back to bed.

We woke up this morning to a beautiful sun, gorgeous blue skies, and hope.  Hope that Desmond is going to be very healthy.  Hope that he is in great hands.  Hope, that in spite of all these circumstances, we are here, at the UW Medical Center (one of the best hospitals in the world).  God could have arranged it any way He wanted it…  But in spite of us, He put us here where Desmond will receive world-class “premie” care.  Trust me, it is still very difficult for us.. but we know that that somehow, in someway, this is part of God’s master plan.. and He’s going to work this out for the best.

Later on (and after much effort) Desmond got his first few drops of “liquid gold” thanks to Mama’s hard work and dedication.  (You have to understand how momentous this is: most new moms don’t make the goods until 3-5 days after delivery.  Mama T is on day 2).  How great is that!

Also, Tanya’s dressings were removed and she was able to shower.  In her words: “I feel human again.”  Then I was able to take her outside for a few precious minutes of fresh air and sunshine.  Then we went back and watched the nurse take Desmond’s vitals, change his poopy diaper, and feed him the liquid gold.  A very exciting day for brand spankin new parents.  What’s more, this morning Des was on 33% oxygen, and by the end of the day they weaned him down to 22% (the same as ambient air, which means his lungs are getting much stronger)!

That’s all for today.  I can’t thank all you guys enough for your encouragement, support, love, kindness, and generosity.  We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.  One last thing: Please leave a comment!!  We’d love to hear from you!

Happy (Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death and sin once and for all) Easter!  Love,

Nick, Tanya, and Desmond

Time with Desmond

Hello Friends and Family,

I’d like to tell you about Desmond.  Desmond is now 33 hours old.  Desmond’s torso is about the size of my outstretched hand.  His legs are about the same length.  His head is smaller than my clenched fist.  Today, as he was sleeping and growing in the incubator, I put my hand over him, very, very gently.  His entire chest and arms fit under my palm.  My hand made him rest, and he slept just a little warmer.

Desmond has peach fuzz on his tiny little body.  It is so precious that I don’t have the words to describe it.  If he were to grab my thumb with his little hand, it would wrap around just the finger nail.  The doctors have started him on a very small dose of caffeine because he is so young and new to the world that sometimes he forgets to breathe. The caffeine helps his body remember to breathe.  The things we take for granted…

This feeling of fatherhood, of motherhood, is still so surreal.  We know that we’re parents.. we know that we have a son.. but the feeling of parenthood isn’t fully there because we can’t hold him against our chest and lull him to sleep.  We get to see him, talk to him, touch him, but at some point we have to leave him so that the nurses can care for him, and he can grow and get big and strong, just like daddy.  It’s so, so, sooo very difficult for Tanya and I because all we want is him here with us.

We’re so beside ourselves that we don’t know what to do.  We feel helpless.  I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do but spend a precious few hours with him, talk to him, gently place my hand over his little body.  And wait.  And pray.  And then take care of my wife.  And repeat.  When Tanya talks about him, she cries, because we are not able to be together all the time.  It is going to be a difficult ten weeks.

So here’s the part where I try and make it a happy ending.  My mom and sister came over today and had a surprise mini-baby shower (just the four of us).  We continue to be so blessed with all of the generosity and support that our family and friends are showing us.  Thank you.  And thank you work + boss for this time off to be with my family.  Most importantly, thank you Lord for sustaining us and for giving us hope.

We love you guys.  Until tomorrow,

Nick, Tanya and the D-man

Today a Child is Born

Hello Friends and Family,

Today my son, Desmond Marcelo Hayes, entered the world.  Ten weeks early.  On Good Friday.  By cesarean section.  He entered the world at 2 lbs 4.8 oz (1046 grams).  He is in the 16th percentile for babies born at his gestational age (how old he’d be if he was still in the uterus).  I almost have no words.

I actually don’t even know where to start, or if I should start. So I will keep it short.  The severity of the preeclampsia caused Desmond to be better off outside the womb than in it.  So that’s what happened.  Tanya is recovering, and we’ll spend a few nights here at the UW.  Desmond, on the other hand, will spend about 10 weeks in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  We’re so very blessed that he was born in one of the best hospitals in the world.

I will not be posting any pictures here for a while (or on Facebook for a long time).  I intend to keep it that way for good reason.  My son is small, in an incubator, and under great care.  When he’s big enough and healthy enough, you will all get to see a photo.  And in 10 weeks or so, you will all get to see him face to face.  For now, thank you for your patience, support, love, prayers and friendship.  We cherish it dearly.

It’s certainly not easy for Tanya and I to be separated from our brand new baby boy.  I mean, we’re going to have to go home at some point, with him in the NICU.  We will get to visit him as much as we want while he’s here at the UW.  And trust me, when the time is right, I’ll let you know when you can come scrub in and see him too.

So here we are.  11pm on a Friday night.  And I’m totally beside myself and out of words.  All I can say is that God is still in control, still has a perfect plan, and all we can do is trust Him.

Please keep praying for Desmond and our family.  We love you guys.

Nick, Tanya, and Desmond


Time to Induce

Hello Friends and Family,

The time has come, Tanya is slowly being induced for labor.  What this means is that Desmond will be born within the next few days.  Induced labor is not quite the same as “natural” labor.. and according to the nurses and doctors, there is no real “average” time for an induced delivery either.  What we do know is it can take anywhere from one to three days before we get to see Desmond face to face.  We also know that this is part of God’s perfect plan.

Tanya is doing good.  Every time I slide off the side couch next to her bed where my laptop is, I create some static electricity.  So far I’ve manged to zap her (on accident, of course) 3 or 4 times through the sheets!  I’ve made her laugh a few times as a result.  I’ve also managed to shock myself on the bathroom door handle twice.. the last time it made me jump so far that it made Tanya and the nurse jump too and then break out in laughter.  So, all things considered, spirits are good, for now.  We can’t do anything about what nature or God has planned.. so we’re just taking it stride by stride.

This morning we woke up to the sound of labor from the room behind us.  Right now, as a matter of fact, there is another one in labor in that same room.  So I have music playing to distract Tanya from the sound of labor.  And now she’s sleeping.

Anyways that’s the update so far.  Please pray for a quick, safe, and low pain delivery!  I’ll keep you guys posted.

Love ya’ll.

Papa Pandesal

Wednesday Update

Hello Friends and Family,

Last night Tanya was taken off magnesium, and shortly after her blood pressure went sky high and they had to put her back on it very quickly, as well as increase the dosage of blood pressure medication from twice daily to three times a day.  Today she is back off magnesium, which is good.  Her blood pressure remains very high (170/100).  The doctors came in earlier and said that if the high blood pressure trend continues, it may reach an unsafe level at which point they may suggest inducing labor.

It’s great that the doctors are asking what we want to do (more importantly what she wants to do).. but on the other hand, if a doctor comes up to us (with a bunch of years of experience under their belt) and says they think its best for mama to induce, well, I trust their highly educated professional opinion.  God still has His mighty hands on Tanya and Desmond.  If he is born tomorrow, well, he’s going to be born in one of the best hospitals in America.  That’s a God thing.

This (preeclampsia) thing is weird.  You ask “how is Tanya?”  Well, sometimes it looks as though her blood pressure is stable and she’s going to be in the hospital for a long time (which means a longer pregnancy, which is great), and the next it looks as though they’re going to induce labor at any minute.  But Tanya is alright, all things considered.  She took a shower today.. which is a massive accomplishment for someone who just had 2 days of magnesium.  (Imagine being in the tropics with 100% humidity, limp as a wet noodle, sweating).  A shower after getting off magnesium is very refreshing.

As for me, I went home last night and got some sleep, (I don’t know if I got any more or less than Tanya and my mom got, which wasn’t much), got up and worked from home today.  It’s good because its been my first full day of work since this ordeal began last Thursday.  I’m staying here tonight, 2 feet from Tanya.  I sent my mom home to our place for the night to relax.

We’re taking each day as it comes.  It’s almost impossible to plan (if I can go to work, for instance).

The good news is that today I put down the deposit on our soon to be new apartment!!  We get it on the 15th, and we’ll shoot for moving in on Saturday the 21st.  All muscles are warmly welcome (I’ll buy food/beer/juice), and the ladies are welcome to come decorate the place.  I’d like Tanya to be no where near when we move so that there isn’t an ounce of stress.  If you can help, we can’t thank you enough.  You know I’d do the same for you.

Thanks for all of your continued prayer and support! Thank you Belltown moms for helping get baby stuff together just in case.  Love you guys!

-Nick, Tanya, and baby Desmond