Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shining Lights of Hope

This afternoon and evening have continued to go without any additional flow of urine after the 1cc we got last night. I feel very strongly about a message that was meant to shine some light of hope upon us.

Almost to the second, I received a text message picture from my mother while Annie received one from a dear friend. Both pictures were of Double set was shining down over the hospital and the other shining down near our home 90 miles away. These two pictures have to represent how the almighty is looking down upon us, both at the hospital where we are and simultaneously where we live. Both messages we received said "A double rainbow for Drake and Kennedy." This has to be a message of hope and not sheer coincidence.

Drake is remaining stable and continuing to fight very hard. His vitals are staying in check, however the swelling continues throughout his body. The doctors keep fighting for Drake, putting their heads together they have come up with a combination of things. They are going to give him some of mommy's milk, some other proteins, and higher doses of the the two diuretics. This should trick his body into drawing more blood into his vascular system and into the kidneys. Confusing to me, but then again I'm not a doctor. If there is no urine by tomorrow morning, there is still the oral diuretic they can try.

Kennedy had her first bath tonight. This was quite an experience for her and mommy both...arms and legs were going in all different directions. She was not too excited about the bath until they got to her head. She completely relaxed once she was wrapped in a warm blanket. See that wasn't so bad.

We are surrounded by such great people. Starting with the doctors and nurses, everyone cares about their well being. Nurses that have had a shift with them continually come in checking in on them even when they are with a different patient. The doctors call on their day off to see how they are and there is even a doctor that will be coming in on Monday during her day off just to see how they are.

Then there is family...What more can we say. Both sides go way out of their way to do anything and everything, just to make sure we can spend as much time with our babies as possible.

Friends...our other family. We have such great friends that drive long distances just to bring care packages and mail all to help us out and catch a few minutes to say they care.! What a wonderful world it can be when everyone comes together to support a family and sick children. The kind words, prayers, and ideas you all send are wonderful.

You all shine a light of hope into our lives...Thank you to everyone!


  1. I have total FAITH that there is gold at the end of those rainbows! Thank you for all your updates! Praying non stop for all of you!

  2. Thank you for the update.
    The first bath is an amazing experience. My family and friends near and far continue to pray for your family and the doctors and nurses around you.

    Jolain LaMott

  3. Rainbows are a wonderful and scriptural reminder of God's promises! I believe those two rainbows were symbols of hope for Drake and Kennedy! What a beautiful message you just shared with us. Your posts are our lifeline to your family. The Lord is speaking powerfully through you Brian. He uses your words to direct our prayers and encourage us. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to share your thoughts with us. The pictures are absolutely adorable. Parenthood looks amazing on you and Annie! Your babies are incredibly blessed to have you! Prayers continue for your family!

    Covenant of the Rainbow~Genesis 9:12-13
    "And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you...I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a token of a covenant between me and the earth and every living creature...."

  4. Continuing to pray for your precious babies and for you & Annie. God is so good! Tell Drake that there are people all over the world praying for him & his sister and we stand in faith that they both will continue to grow, get stronger and have all those organs functioning in ways that they should. God bless you all. Keep on fighting, Drake & Kennedy!

  5. I got chills reading about the rainbows. How amazing! Still praying for Drake several times a day. He is such a fighter. The pictures of bath time are precious. I used to love giving my babies baths in the NICU. It felt like a tiny piece of normal in the chaos of the NICU. Praying for all of you.

    One of my fellow preemie mom friends who had 25 week twins sent me the message below on Facebook. I think she thinks I know you guys personally and asked me to send this to you, so I'm sending it on. By the way, our entire preemie parent group here in Austin is praying for you.

    from Allison Castle:
    Thanks for sharing the blog for Kennedy and Drake. We are praying for those little babies. I cant tell where they are-what NICU/city? In one post the dad mentioned doing research for a nephrologist. We saw Dr. Berry while we were in the NICU. One of my girls was thought to have a kidney disease. Thankfully it didn't turn out to be that. But Dr. Berry is apparently one of the very best in the state. If you want to pass along the name:

  6. Jannah InnerarityJuly 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Love that she got her first bath tonight! We saw the rainbow in Dallas too. It was great visiting today. Keep up the positive spirits. Still praying for Drake's kidneys and Kennedy to continue doing well. It is amazing to watch and read how sweet strangers are you to guys. Your family has already touched so many peoples lives already and I know will continue to do so.

  7. I saw the rainbow in Tyler tonight and thought of how it is the symbol of God's promise to us and immediately thought of Drake and Kennedy.
    It is great to hear what good care you are getting from the drs and nurses. God puts you all on my mind all throughtout the day, so the prayers are constant. Love the pics.

  8. Double rainbows can only be a good thing! Please tell Drake Aunt Elenis flying 2,000 miles tonight to see that wet diaper! Love you guys!

  9. ribbons tying Gods heart to theirs.

    You are all in our thoughts and prayers continuously.

    Go Team Gilstrap!

  10. praying for your sweet family! go Drake go!

  11. It was great to see you and spend time visiting today. Drake and Kennedy have no idea how blessed they are to have such amazing parents and family. We will continue to pray each day for Drake and Kennedy along with thousands of others.

    P.S. Tell Annie she looks great in the pictures!!

  12. Thank you so much for the daily updates. Being a mommy of a 25 weeker myself, I understand how tired you are by the end of the day and how mentally exhausting it is to write about your precious one's day. Just know that by doing so, you have built a wonderful and strong support system all across the world of complete strangers who are praying and pulling for your little one. I wanted to share with you something that helped me through the four months my son spent in the nicu. There are a couple books on premature babies but the one I was received was the Premature Baby Book which you can find at Barnes and Noble and I think places like Target or Walmart might carry it. It walks you through just about everything you will encounter in the nicu. From what each bell and whistle mean to the high tech lingo the doctors use. It will share with you the different stages your micro preemie will encounter. It made a world of difference for me to help understand what was happening to him on a daily basis. There is a song I wrote for my son that encompasses his fight for both our lives together and if you are ok I would like to share it with you. It is called Tender Warrior. I pray that it will help you find comfort in knowing that GOD performs miracles every day and that Drake will continue to fight for you both with every ounce of his being. Drake is your tender warrior and will grow stronger. ( )
    Every day will be a rollercoaster but just know that GOD is with you always and will be with you and your precious babies through each hurdle. Miracles happen every day and I know because I have one who is now 4 years old.

    To Drake and Kennedy: Your mommy and daddy love you so dearly and are fighting for you every day. You are such a blessing to them more than you will ever know. Continue to fight hard and be their Tender Warriors. You are truly gifts from God. May God bless you both and may you grow to be God's shining stars! All our love from Houston.

  13. Absolutely beautiful.... Syd listents to a song on her iPod every day called This Ones a so reminds me of your 2 precious babies and the two of you. Your sweet little miracles are touching so many lives. The pictures you post are priceless. Lots of love and prayers continuing to be sent your way.

    Yvonne and Sydney

  14. Go Drake! Go Kennedy! You two are doing great each day that goes by to make you stronger!

    Drake, some people make no difference in decades of existence, yet in just barely three weeks now you have touched so many lives and blessed people so much with your strength, courage, determination, and willpower to survive. Keep fighting and never give up as victory is right around the corner! I believe in you as does every one of us!

    Kennedy, you may feel Drake is getting all of the attention but know we love you too, just so focused on getting Drake well so he can be your big brother growing up. Keep encouraging him and telling him how much you need him to.

    Brian and Annie, just keep trusting God right now, knowing he is in control and while we as humans may question him, know his ultimate plan is beautiful. Keep fighting for your precious little angels and know you have all of us here rooting for you!

    God is present in a big way right now, having each new day be a miracle in itself. Let's continue to all pray for everyone and keep the faith!

    God bless you Gilstrap family and continue to touch your lives!

  15. Continuing to pray for Drake & Kennedy as well as you and Annie! God's promise - the rainbows! What a beautiful sight. Drake so many people all over this beautiful world are praying for you. Keep fighting sweet boy with all your might. I just know we are going to see progress. Praying your kidneys work soon and continue to do so. Praying for your doctors and nurses to be given the wisdom they need to help you through this! Kennedy you are doing wonderful - keep up the great work sweet girl. People all over this world are praying for you as well and it's so awesome to see the reports of how well you are doing. God has big and mighty plans for you both Drake and Kennedy. You are making such an impact on so many people's lives. Mom & dad keep strong and keep your faith in our precious Lord & Savior. He will see you all through this. Keep it up Team Drake & Team Kennedy. We all love you precious little ones. God Bless! Sandra

  16. You don't know me I've been following your story since a friend posted your link of facebook. I have a special place in my heart for premies, my brother was a premie and my parents were told he would not make it. Well he is still here 29 years later and almost finished with his PHd. So not only did he overcome what the doctors told my parents he wouldn't he is doing fabulous. I pray your babies everyday and know they will have a sucessfull outcome like my brother did. It will be challenging for a while but so worth while. Know that many are praying for your around the world. Keep strong and you will overcome this.

  17. Drake and Kennedy - You are God's gift to the world!

  18. May God be with your family. Keep faith and keep praying. I currently have twins in the NICU. It can be a rough ride but if you keep praying, God will answer your prayers! Best of luck!

    I got info on your blog from a past NICU mom. Please please keep faith! The road looks long, but there is light at the end!