Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Baby Justus

Baby Justus is HERE!

Ellie holding him.

This was actually as Phillip arrived before the delivery.


A purple foot, not quite as dark as it did get later.

In the NICU - day three.

Justus Theodore Browning.

A superb NICU nurse.

Going home!!!!

We welcomed the arrival of our sweet baby Justus at 12:56pm, Monday - May 11th. It was an adventurous labor. I started having pretty consistent and regular contractions around 9:30 am with them picking up intensity around 10 am. Amanda drove me to the hospital, where Phillip came in shortly after us. Little Justus made his debut very quickly in probably the easiest labor and delivery I have had thus far. It was a very sweet time.
We were able to enjoy him for several hours. Napping, suckling, all the normal newborn "things". Then when our Pastor and his wife visited we noticed something. Justus' feet were a very alarming dark purple. We immediately called for a nurse, who was followed by a pediatrician. The pediatrician listened to his heart and determined he heard a murmur. He continued to say he thought Justus also had Down Syndrome.
I was caught by surprise. However, my husband was quickly by my side speaking words of comfort by reading scripture to me. I can't explain the peace that evaded my soul. He truly was used of God to help me focus and lean on my Saviour.
The nurses and pediatrician took little Justus into the nursery to monitor him and do x-rays, etc. Phillip followed his son. I rose from bed and got dressed to go down and learn that they were readying my baby to be transported to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit in another city and hospital. They would transport him via ambulance. We could follow in another car. My heart sank. I had never been away from any of my babies in this fashion. All I could do was pray. It was a tearful goodbye. I was quickly discharged so I could follow my son - for what would be a total of four days in the NICU. Once in the NICU they monitored his oxygen saturation levels, did an echo cardiogram, and abdominal ultrasound, and some other things. He had about three or four "lines" hooked to him. I do have to say that those nurses and doctors are so very good at what they do. They are truly in a position of caring for those who cannot care for themselves - a noble "job" and one that requires much strength. I am so very thankful for them.
We kept receiving comments or questions that assumed we knew prior to our delivery that Justus had Down's. We did not. We decline the genetic screening you can do during pregnancy that checks for it. One doctor commented that if we had done the screening we would have at least been prepared. To that, my husband replied later to me: there is no better "preparation" than that is made by the Holy Spirit.
He is so right.
Plus, if the nurses and doctors had been awaiting a child with a heart defect upon delivery - they would have taken him much sooner. Thus, no nap, no suckling none of the normal things Phillip and I relish after every delivery.
The genetic screening is not very reliable. I am thankful we did not have it done, and will not have it done in the future, if God so allows us to have more children.
The cardiologist determined that Justus has a congenital heart defect that is called Tetralogy of Fallot. About 50% of Down Syndrome children have a congenital heart defect. This will require open heart surgery in a few months. Let me say right here: the down syndrome is not a big deal to our family. We look forward to the simple joys that Justus will bring. We know that his life was created with purpose by our Lord. I have a gift that most mothers will never experience. I have a child of whom will probably live with me for a much longer time than any of my other children. I get to experience his love and companionship indefinitely. The real concern regarding Justus is his heart. I would covet your prayer for our son. The cardiologists would like him to get a little bigger prior to surgery. He may have what are called "blue baby" spells. This is where he turns blue. This is normal with his heart condition, however not normal for a Mom and Dad to watch their baby turn blue! I ask my Lord for wisdom and for guidance in determining what to do in those situations. The doctors have given us some advice at how to manage them and when to call the doctors. Once these spells start to occur they will put him on medication to help so he can get a little bigger before the surgery. We also are trying the best we can to keep illnesses at bay. He is more susceptible to infection. So... I carry hand sanitizer everywhere we go and keep it all over the house. This has been a challenge as it seems we are in the middle of a cold running through all our children.
Please enjoy the pictures. Please know that your prayers over the last week have been a huge help and much felt. While in the NICU, Justus made huge leaps of getting better everyday. For that we are grateful to our Lord. He is so good to His children. We feel both humbled and thankful by the encouragement and prayer of the saints.
I will try and continue to update as I have time.
I have to say that Christ has truly manifested Himself in ways that would have to take a much longer "post" to illustrate to you during this time. God's hand has been "in it all". It is unmistakable and ever so clear. What a comfort!
I also want to mention how thankful I am for my sweet friend, Amanda. She stayed with my children - no complaints, no questions asked. She is a true friend that I was able to lean on in a very difficult time. I had complete confidence that my other kiddos were well cared for and loved. Thank you Amanda - and thanks to my Saviour for His provision of her in such a timely fashion.
Again, enjoy these sweet images of my precious baby. He is already such a joy. Such a good, mellow baby. I treasure the gift God has given me in my family. I am blessed BEYOND measure!


Anonymous said...

God is so good! What a beautiful baby boy, a sweet blessing to such a sweet family. I look forward to seeing just how God is going to continue using your special little boy for His glory! A great journey lies ahead for all of you. Our prayers are continually upon you and your family, esp. baby Justus. Love you lots!!!


B.E.Hughes said...

So thankful he is in your arms at home... God is good! Sweet little fella! Praying for his future surgery to be successful, as they are most often! God is watching!

Chris and Jeanne' Broxton said...

O he is such a cutie!! We are SO excited for you guys!! LOVE the pictures!! Still praying for you all!!

handstrustinhim said...

I too am thankful I was(am still) here Charrissa....GOd has used this time to work on my heart, mold me, and even give me showers of blessings through all this. I love you all. YOu are my family. I love your kidos down to the little squabbles our girls are having:)LOL. THank YOU for having me here for so long. THANK my Savior for HIS perfect will, HIS amazing grace, and HIS awesome sovereignty. I stand in awe of Him and his majestic creation of your little Justus. I cannot wait to watch him grow and get lost in his sweet smiles and joyous ways. GOD IS SO GOOD! (and yes I just yelled that)

Lisa's Blessed A Latte said...

My first thought...when I heard was....Wow... God has seen you and Phillip fit above ALL others to BLESS you with Justus. Down Syndrome children/adults are a precious gift. I am Praising God and Rejoicing with you for being so Blessed....(((Hugs to you ALL)))

Jenny B. said...

Praise the Lord for giving this precious gift to you, such a loving family. I am so glad to hear, I have been awaiting your news, after hearing about the surgery on facebook. :) We will continue to pray for you and for little Justus. My younger sister has a heart defect and due to this other effects that make her situation somewhat similar and she brings constant joy to our whole famiily. We also declined the screening, and agree with you about not doing it again, as we feel that the Lord knows what is best and what we can handle, and that a baby at all is a wondeful blessing. Also, as you mention, it is not accurate even, so why? I love you and am so happy for you and will continually keep your baby and family in my prayers.

Garth and Becky said...

Once again, Charissa, your family is such a blessing to my heart and a testimony of our Lord. I'm weeping with tears of joy for what He is doing in your life and will continue to do through baby Justus. We love you all and are praying for you.

Jenny said...

What a beautiful post that was such a blessing to read. It is so wonderful how God is being glorified through this wonderful baby. The pictures are wonderful, I especially LOVE the one of you and Phillip after he arrived at the hospital. It conveys so much emotion. This will be a beautiful journey to watch as Justus grows. Seeing God's peace and comfort in you is a great blessing to me.

Amanda said...

I know God gave you and Phillip such an amazing blessing in Justus! I am so excited for the unity in your family around Justus as you follow Christ! Your little Issac was so strong and loving to his younger siblings when we were over! We love you guys!

Karilee said...

God is good! What an honor to be entrusted with this special little boy.
My uncle, Danny, is his name, is 56 years old and was born with Downs syndrome. He was born in a time when very little was known about it. In addition to many terribly exaggerated things, my Grandmother was told that he probably would never walk or talk. Today, at 56 years old, he not only walks and talks, but has been doing so for the last 54 years! He has recently retired from his job and currently lives with my Grandma.
Danny is the sweetest, most loving person I know. His life is a wonderful testimony of our Savior and his unconditional love for us. Whenever I think of him I am reminded alsoof the amazing things that The Great Physician can do in the life of one of his precious children. What an amazing and precious journey you have begun! I will pray for you and your family and look forward to hearing how the Lord will use you all.

Charity said...

Charrissa, it was such a sweet story you wrote of the birth of your son and his short life with you thus far. It brought tears to my eyes. You are blessed beyond measure with him. I have prayed many times that if God would bless us with a Down Syndrome child, I would love to have the joys and challenges of raising one. It shocked Scott when I told him I was praying in that way, he could not understand why a mother would want a disabled child. Down Syndrome children/adults are some of the sweetest people one will ever know! I look forward to reading your blogs as you share the special joys and challenges you will face. He is all the more blessed in that he has 5 older siblings to nurture and love him, in addition to two loving parents. I will pray for a successful surgery to repair his heart. Love Charity

Anonymous said...

Charissa & Browning Family,
Praise God from whom ALL blessings Flow. A child is a precious gift from God. Justus is so adorable he looks just like Gabe and your other children. I am so looking forward to being able to hold Justus as soon as my cough goes away so thank you for the blog. For now its my way of holding him and knowing about him. You are all in our prayers as we continue to rejoice over the gift of this precious boy.
God is GOOD!!!!

Jackie Harper

Shannon said...

Justus is so adorable.... He is & always will be such a blessing to your family & all those around him. I will pray for his heart & for the strength you & Phil need during this time. I love you both & pray for the best!!

Anonymous said...

We Love You All, Justus has already touched our hearts in many ways. You are all a blessing to the Burger family. We praise the Lord that the Burgers and Brownings are able to have a part in each others lives. God is so good!! We are praying for baby Justus. We are praying for all of you. Glory be to God forever!!

Love 'ya,

Mrs. Pizo said...

I am so glad that he is home with his brothers, sisters, and loving parents. He will be loved beyond words. You all are such a testomony to everyone of the way the Lord wants us to handle life as He gives it to us everyday. We will be praying for you all as you enjoy this precious life that the Lord gave you!

B.E.Hughes said...

I left a 'gift' for you at your email. Please let me know whether you received it or not. Thanks!

B.E.Hughes said...

I blogged the scrap page since I could not see if you received it by email.

Anonymous said...

YAY!! He is so cute!