Friday, July 13, 2012

A Step in The Right Direction

Someone I look up to taught me the lesson about the importance of celebrating the small wins. I am Drake and Kennedy's coach in the game of life so I had a long discussion with him and told him to focus on the small wins. In the game of football, you want to focus on celebrating the three yard plays. If every time you snap the ball you get three yards, you are guaranteed to get a first down. With enough three yard plays, you will eventually get a touchdown.

Team Drake got a first down today...about 1cc of urine out of the catheter!!!! This is not the touchdown we ultimately want to help us win the game, but it is a huge step in the right direction.

Like all of our days so far in the NICU, today was still a very long day. My fatherly duties, knowing that I am the advocate for my helpless children, I continue to drive my determination to make sure Drake is getting everything that medical science has to offer. I spoke to the doctors letting them know that I am requesting a consultation visit with the nephrologist of my choice, I asked them to set this up. That nephrologist happens to be on vacation until next week and they said we could set something up then. I pushed the fact that we needed someone to talk to today. Don't get me wrong, the doctors here are wonderful and very smart, Annie and I just need to know that we have exhausted all resources. Finally getting to speak to someone, we had a long conversation about what specifically is going on with his kidneys. They reassured us that the NICU doctors are doing everything in their power and all the right things. We just have to keep hope that the kidneys will start working before we run out of time.

The small amount of urine gives us a new spark of hope that I cannot explain. It means the kidneys actually did filter something...which is a whole lot more than nothing. The new medicine seems to have helped kickstart something. Instead of giving him another one time dose, they are beginning a consistent drip through the IV to provide sustained release.

Tonight could actually be the winning TOUCHDOWN!

Pictures: Kennedy and mommy with our wedding rings, Annie and her dad with Drake, Mommy and daddy during kangaroo treatment

40 comments:

  1. I have tears of joy right now. Small wins add up to big victories! Way to go Drake! And a blessing to be hiding Kennedy. I can only imagine the joy that is there and the love that is flowing from your hearts to hers. I will continue to pray that tonight yields more victories for both sweet babies.

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  2. Kim and I continue to pray for Drake and your entire family. We are happy to learn about his improvement.

    Josh Galloway

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  3. He's got all of us cheerleaders clapping for his victory! Go Drake go!!!!

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  4. What amazing news! Keep fighting Drake! The pictures of Kennedy are beautiful, hopefully you will be experiencing holding Drake close to your heart again very soon.
    I can't help but think of the amazing stories of triumph and determination your family is going to be able to share.

    We will continue to pray for your family and for the wisdom of the doctors and nurses.

    Jolain

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  5. Yea Drake!! I knew you could do it!!

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  6. This post brings so many tears of joy! I'm giving thanks with a very grateful heart. God is SO faithful! The pictures are more beautiful than words can express. You have been blessed with a beautiful family. I am thrilled to celebrate Drake's 1st down with you. Way to go Drake! We love you so much! Kennedy you are one gorgeous girl! Prayers will continue!

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  7. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!! What exciting wonderful news! My tears of worry have turned into tears of joy. I love your football analogy - the small victories absolutely matter. I can't wait to wake up and hear even more good news in the morning. I will pray tonight for restful sleep for you and Annie, so that you can continue to be so incredibly strong for your babies. And of course for a full cath soon!

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  8. Amazing news! Keep up the good work!
    Julie Cathey

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  9. Yeah Drake! We will keep on praying!!!

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  10. Praise God!!! Brian, you remind me of my husband when our son carter spent his time in the NICU. I'm in awe of the fight God gives you sweet daddys to protect your children from day 1. Tonight Carter (he's 2 1/2) prayed with us before bed time "Jesus, heal baby Drake's body". We are ALL lifting you guys up.

    Andrew, Katie, and Carter Guernsey

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  11. Go Drake go! Literally!!!

    Love,
    Kim & Josh

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  12. God is so good!!! Keep up the good work Drake!!!!!!

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  13. My heart and soul are dancing for the small victories! Go babies GO!

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  14. I got a text from Teresa today while i was out shopping "we have pee..."....I cried tears of joy right there.

    You put it so perfectly- small triumphs, baby steps --they count! But I am convinced your son has a big win up his sleeve, he is simply amazing.

    Kennedy seems to love kangaroo time, I bet thats when mommy is most relaxed too. I just cant wait to see both of them doing the kangaroo! Its mythe prayer that This drip is gonna put him in her arms in no time!

    You keep up the drive! You both are doing exactly what the best parents do-- praying hard, fighting harder, and loving even harder. Never make apologies for following your instincts! These kids were designed with you both in mind ....

    I have been praying for the Drs and nurses there. I am praying for wisdom and relentless effort from each of them. Also praying for their sound minds and careful hands, as they tend to your most precious possesions

    Praying continuously. Praising Joyfully.

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  15. WooHoo!Thank you, Lord! Way to go Drake! That's awesome, buddy! Keep up the good work! You can do it! Your amazing fighting spirit has captivated us all, Drake! Im sure your Daddy has filled you in on the game plan.....We'll continue to pray for more kidney function & you continue to fill that catheter!You & your sister have won permanent homes of love in the hearts of multitudes of people! Sweet Miss Kennedy, you must be loving your special Mommy time! There's so much more of that to come! Just keep eating & growing, baby girl! Mommy & Daddy, your wisdom, strength, love & endurance is unbelievable!!! What a testimony of a parents love! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! The four of you are continually on our hearts! Our twins, Conner & Brailey, are praying for Drake & Kennedy, as well. They ask me for updates all the time. May the Lord continue to bless you & give you His strength, His peace, His wisdom & His perseverance!

    Scott & Lori

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  16. Thank you Jesus..... When Prayers go up, Blessings come down. My heart is overjoyed as tears stream down my face. There is a testimony! What an awesome God we serve!!!!
    Love you Drake and Kennedy, always praying for the Gilstrap Family......
    Demetria, Kornequiah, and Corvonte Edwards

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  17. Both of the updates today have made me want to get up and do a happy dance. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. So thankful for this miracle of a first down with Team Drake. Joining you in praying for that winning touchdown. So thankful that Miss Kennedy is continuing to improve and got to have another date with her mommy today. Love, love, love the precious pictures!

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  18. Two large boxes of diapers $40.00
    Two million dollar precious babies being prayed for by hundreds of people (if not thousands)
    One miracle cc of urine - priceless!

    God is so good. Brian and Annie, I am so very happy for this progress. I pray that God continues to hold your children in His hands and heal them.

    Thinking of you,

    Noni

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  19. Sweet Gilstrap family! What wonderful news! Drake and Kennedy, you have inspired so many people all over the country. Prayers are flowing nonstop for your health and strength. You are amazing little bundles of joy! You will soon learn what a wonderful mommy and daddy you have been blessed with! They are your #1 coaches in your lives. Brian, thank you for sharing your sweet pictures with your followers. You are a strong and faithful man. Your guidance for your sweet family is admirable. Annie, my sweet friend, you are so beautiful! You are a natural mommy . . . that is quite evident in the beautiful pictures. Our prayers are with you . . . My children have spread the word about Team Drake and Team Kennedy! Your prayer list continues to grow. May God bless you and keep you all. My favorite poem is "Footprints in the Sand". It seemed fitting to share that with you guys as you "tackle" each new day. (http://www.footprints-in-the-sand.com)

    Thinking of you always . . .
    Love, Rhona

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  20. Stephanie HilliardJuly 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Praise the LORD!!! This IS THE BEST NEWS!!! So excited for you guys! We have been thinking and praying for Drake and your little family constantly. We will continue to pray for Drake and that his kidney function resumes fully. We are so excited that Kennedy is well enough for her to do skin to skin with her mommy. Its truly the best thing for mom and baby. We will pray that Drake can begin to have that with his mommy soon. Much love to you all, Stephanie, Jeff, Drew + Quinn

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  21. Though I should have been sleeping hours ago I have stayed up to read your blog from beginning to end. What an inspiration all four of you are. I lay here expecting my own first miracle sobbing with prayers of hope for you. How brave you are. Please keep us all posted and know that even strangers are praying for your sweet miracles.

    I also must share something a friend told me years ago-when you say a prayer, it is like having a light shone on you so heaven sees 'right here, we need you.' Imagine now the light upon you that shines with every prayer said for you and your family.

    Drake and Kennedy, our lights shine for you.
    -Angela

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  22. Drake's three yarder brought tears of joy to my eyes! Way to go little man. Keep up the good fight. So happy to see these updates today. I continue to keep your family in my prayers.

    Chanti

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  23. Go Drake! Although I haven't met you, I have been reading your blog (a friend shared on fb). After I read your post tonight, I stopped what I was doing, knelt on the floor, and offered a prayer for Kennedy and Drake, specifically that Drake's kidney's will start functioning properly. I will continue to pray for all of you...

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  24. As I am quietly reading this post in one room and absorbing this wonderfully great news...Allen was reading in another room and yells out to me " they got urine!!!" whiich made me smile thinking about how exciting those words are to all of us and what a blessing it is to hear! Still praying for each yard.
    Allen and Karen

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  25. Praise God! Such good news that Drake's kidneys are responding. Keep up the good work Drake! Kennedy looks so precious and happy sleeping on her momma. Love you all!

    Paul & Kelley

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  26. I am so touched by your strength. No matter what happens, thankyou for sharing your story. Thankyou for giving our family something to pray for. What a blessing and miracle that your darling babies are still here. I pray that God's will be done and deep down I hope so badly that His will is for them both to live b/c I cannot even imagine losing a child. I pray that angels will watch over and protect your precious children and that they will not feel pain. I pray for peace and hope to be in your hearts. I know that God does hear prayers. He is there; He is aware; He is listening; and He will help you all through this. When my oldest daughter was almost a year old she badly burned her hand touching the glass window of a fireplace. We rushed to ER after giving her a father's blessing. She was so tired from screaming so much and would keep falling asleep for 2 seconds only to be awoken by the pain and start screaming again. It was the longest 5 min. drive of my life. I prayed so intently that she would not feel the pain, I begged the Lord to let me take that pain for her. I jumped out of the car carrying her and ran into the ER and the front desk lady asked what was wrong with me and it was then I realized that I was the only one crying. My baby was no longer screaming. God heard me. He helped. He took away her pain. He listened. He loves his children. Don't give up. I'm so excited Drake's kidneys worked a tiny bit. Thankyou for the reminder to cherish every single day for we never know what tomorrow holds. I pray that I can be a little more loving and patient with my children. Your story has me praying more and asking Heavenly Father to help me make the most of each day. I have 3 little girls and they are so precious. Today I squeezed them a little tighter, gave them a few extra hugs and kisses, and told them how much I love them multiple times. I'm so glad Kennedy gets Kangaroo time! That is so very special. We'll keep praying.

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  27. Thats awesome news! I'm so glad to hear it. Just hang in there and know that we are praying for all of you. Hope Drake gets that touchdown tonight.

    Andy

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  28. Yesterday our 4 year old grandson was swimming with us in our pool. He announced that he needed to go "peepee" and asked if he had to dry off and go in the house or if he could "go" in the bushes behind the house. All I could think about was how wonderful it will be for Drake to be able to ask his grandparents when he is 4 years old if he can go "peepee" in the bushes!! I have a feeling that they will say yes!! In case you are wondering, I said yes, too, in honor of Drake!! Keep fighting Drake!! There are lots of bushes out there waiting for you!! I'm praying for you and for your beautiful sister. God is there for you both, holding you ever so tightly in His loving arms.

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  29. Keep fighting Drake! Turn that first down into a touchdown!!!

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  30. Praise the Lord!! I almost screamed in excitement when I read this post, which would've been bad in a house of sleeping people! ;-)
    I heard of your story from a friend on FB, and have been praying for your sweet family ever since. You are such an amazing example of Faith for your kids, your wife, your extended family, and even strangers like myself.
    Drake- I pray for your little kidneys to return to a full functioning state, for all infection to be gone from your body, and for kangaroo care to be in your future soon.
    Kennedy- I love your name! I have a Kennedy, too! Keep being a sweet angel for your mommy and daddy. I pray that you get stronger every day, that your body continues to grow and function as it should, and that you have plenty of wrestling matches with your brother down the road. Just let him win once in a while.
    Mom and Dad- I pray for your continued strength and faithfulness. That this brings you closer to each other, and more importantly, closer to the amazing God we serve. Thank you Lord, for blessing their 10 year journey with these two amazing miracles. You never slip up, never make mistakes, and are always, ALWAYS good. I pray that mom and dad continually feel your presence around them and their babies.
    Amen

    Now go, Drake, GOOOO!!!!

    Love,
    Jonna from McKinney

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  31. I went to sleep praying for Drake to pass urine (ha! I love being a nurse!).....And woke up to read the blog before I go to work, and I got to read this!! I am so excited! I agree with some of the other comments, Kennedy looks to be so happy and calm kagarooing with Annie. This post brought tears of joy to my eyes, and lifted my heart. Have a even better day today, Kennedy, Drake, Brian and Annie. God is watching over you.

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  32. So thankful and full of praise as I check in for a report and see AMAZING news! I have never cried over pee, but this is such a great victory. The pictures are beautiful and your determination is inspiring. Go Team Gilstrap....I pray you feel the amazing strength from everyone in this community--old friends, new friends, strangers..you have some prayer warriors fighting right along side of you. Stay strong! Much love and prayers

    Lyndsey Peden Newton
    Azle, Texas

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  33. Jannah InnerarityJuly 14, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    I t makes me happy to hear about the small step Drake made today! That's a wonderful way to start your day. I love the Kangroo time with sweet Kennedy! I know mommy loves it too. Prayers are still coming for these two! Stay strong Coach Brian and mommy! You guys are amaze me. Hugs, love, and prayers!
    Jannah Innerarity

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  34. So so so thankful for this news. And, as always very appreciative of Brian's spirit & spirituality. (must admit football analogies are always my favorite).

    We continue to pray many times an hour for these tiny blessings, these important babies.

    We often watch our neighbor's granddaughter play in the river & remember the pictures of her in NICU wearing her parent's rings as bracelets. It will be a joy to watch these little ones. I have never seen so many people Invested & so much faith poured into two little ones. We are all touched just as strongly as precious Kennedy & Drake.

    Much love & constant prayer,
    Nita

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  35. Yay!!!! So excited for pee!!! Praying, praying, praying. The pics are beautiful with kennedy and mom.

    Yesenia

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  36. Amazing!! Brian and Annie you are the lineman paving the way for those 3 yard gains. Keep pushing,praying, and fighting!

    Greg

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  37. Woo Hoo. Praise the Lord! I'm starting a prayer blanket. Will be praying and praising God for these precious babies with every stitch i make!!!!

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  38. I have been praying every night for Drake and Kennedy's fast recovery. I almost cried when I read the good news. I will continue praying for your angels..

    Issang from Guam

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  39. Thank God for small victories! I still pray for Drake to make that touchdown, hopefully today! Praying for you all! In Jesus name! (Max Meadows-Va.)

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  40. Each morning and throughout the day I come to my computer looking for any news about what I have come to think of as "my babies" So thrilled to hear of the progress this morning and waiting to hear more as the day continues. You certainly have a BIG extended family praying for your sweet children.

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