Julia Dawn Hansen Jan 12, 2011 – Feb 25, 2011
Early this morning our little Julia returned home to her Heavenly Father. After coming at 23 weeks gestation and fighting for 6 weeks, her roller coaster ride is complete.
Her major fight was with two things. her lungs that were so weak and damaged, and what ultimately got to her, a fungal infection. For the last 4-5 days, it has been touch and go and really tough to watch her not improve. The infection made her cells weak and she had a lot of swelling(edema). She had almost 2lbs of extra water weight, so she looked quite swollen, given that her “real” weight was only about 1lb 10 oz.
I never knew the heart ache that could come with this. When the doctor’s told us that there really wasn’t anything else they could do for her, I think I went numb. Somehow, I knew that it was coming, but it was still hard to take. We’d been waiting so long for Julia to “declare” to us what she was doing that I wanted to keep holding on. late last night it became clear and she did declare her path. She had a few episodes that showed that she was about to go.
We did get to spend time with her before she passed. Erin’s parents had just driven up from California, so their timing was perfect to be able to see her and be here for us. A number of other family members were able to come and see and say goodbye to Julia. All of our daughters were able to finally come and hold their little sister. I was even able to hold her for the first time. I had never done it before then, and it was a great daddy-daughter moment. (heart-aching, but wonderful) After everyone had left and had a chance to say goodbye, it was just Erin and I with her when she passed on. (about 1 am this morning)The nurses disconnected her from everything and we were able to hold her some more. It was nice to see her without all the tubes and things. The last hardest thing was to let her go and come home. I think we said multiple goodbyes as it was tough to finally hand her back to the nurses. Parental instincts run deep.
We can’t thank enough all the nurses and doctors, family and friends that have supported us through this. It has made a huge difference. I’m sure that there are more rough days ahead, but we are so grateful. That’s it for now, and I’m sure Erin will post her thoughts when she is ready.
Primary Children’s did everything possible to make things easier for us.