Baby Shower for Tina and Baby Tommy

Update posted by Tina Rodriguez On Aug 31, 2018

JESUS, WE TRUST IN YOU! This is another long post but I hope you'll read it to the end. 🙏🏻

Three weeks ago, we rushed to the hospital because, apparently, my water bag was leaking. I was admitted to the High Risk Pregnancy Unit and three days later, our fifth child was born, at 34 weeks old. We stayed in the hospital for two more weeks, and rejoiced that we were finally able to go home last week.

However, Baby Tommy still needs your prayers as he is not gaining weight as expected. We have already consulted his neonatologist and we hope that, in the coming days, his condition will improve so that he will finally be in the pink of health.

Truth be told, Anthony and I are oh so tired. The past weeks have drained us physically, emotionally, financially. We thought that once Baby Tommy was home, there wouldn't be any challenges anymore (beyond the usual challenges of having a newborn again at home). We went through something like this before (weight gain issues) with two of our other kids but still, it is a challenge that, if given a choice, we would gladly forego.

Yes, we are weary but put our hope in the Lord and Our Lady's intercession. We declare God's goodness, healing, mercy, and provision not only in Baby Tommy's life and the life of all our family members but in the life of everyone who reads this.

So, if you do get to read this to the end, may we request for your continued prayers? In your kindness, please keep praying for our Baby Thomas Anthony and the rest of our family. Thank you and please be assured that we are praying for you too. 🙏🏻 Let's also pray for all those who need healing in body, mind, and spirit.

Mama Mary, pray for us.

God bless us all!

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Update posted by Tina Rodriguez On Aug 31, 2018

“Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God’s heart.”

- Saint Maximilian Kolbe

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
- Psalm 23:1 (from today's Responsorial Psalm)

Today, August 22, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary (and the day that I renew my Marian Consecration), the Lord and Our Lady would like to give our family and all our prayer warriors such wonderful news: Baby Thomas Anthony can finally go home! ❤️😭

We praise and thank the Lord for His kindness and faithfulness, especially shown through ALL OF YOU, our prayer warriors! We thank God for those who visited us in the hospital, sent messages of encouragement and hope, offered up Masses and Holy Hours and other prayers for Tommy's healing, and even gave or have pledged to give Tommy "gifts" to help with our mounting hospital bills accumulated over the past two weeks. We are deeply humbled by the generosity of those who offered to help us even without us asking. At first, we were hesitant to accept help (we actually still are now) but as some of our friends would repeatedly tell us, "Don't refuse God's blessings. Allow others to be blessed by blessing your family." 😭❤️Thank you so so so much.

Indeed, we are truly blessed to have all of you in our "village." May the Lord repay you for all your goodness; may He be your Shepherd all the days of your lives. May Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, intercede for you and your loved ones, and shower you with graces that come only from her Son.

On behalf of our family, many, many, many thanks again! Let's continue to pray for all who need healing in body, mind, and spirit. There are so many people in need of our prayers.

God bless us all!🙏🏻

Totus Tuus, Maria!

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Update posted by Meme Natores On Aug 21, 2018

From Tina's FB post:

Dearest family and friends, our prayer warriors,

Sharing our latest update as of today, August 20, 5pm:

A repeat blood test was done today to check the bilirubin level in Baby Tommy's blood. From the previous level of 12 (last week), it's now 11.7 -- so he still needs to continue phototherapy treatment. For now, he also needs to stay in his isolette (incubator) until his body can regulate its temperature on its own.

When we asked, more or less, how many more days Tommy still needs to stay in the Neonatal Care Unit, the doctors said we are just really waiting for his bilirubin levels to go down.

So, for now, we wait. And pray. And worship! Let us continue to worship and praise the Lord despite all the challenges we may be facing now (I know you each have your own trials and problems).

Let us continue to offer up all our sorrows, pains, sufferings to the Lord through Our Lady's intercession, "in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world," as it says in the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

As we pray for Baby Tommy, let us pray for all those who need healing -- babies, children, adults, elderly... especially those who may not have the means or resources to seek proper medical attention.

We thank you all for your prayers and even your offers to help our family in other practical ways... we are truly blessed to have you all in our lives!

To end, allow us to share with you this excerpt from the book "33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration":

"When we let Mary into our lives, when we entrust ourselves to her care, she intercedes for us, consoles us, and gives us courage and strength to unite ourselves more fully to Jesus' own consecration of himself for the life of the world. In other words, she brings us to the Cross of Jesus, which is the final meaning of Jesus' self-consecration, and she inspires us to spend ourselves for the salvation of the world, to take up our part in the work of redemption. As we take up our cross, as we live within Christ's own consecration, we may become spiritually thirsty, desolate, and tired. That's when Mary carries us to the pierced side of Christ, the Fountain of Mercy, where we find a ceaseless source of strength and holiness."

Together, let us earnestly seek His Divine Mercy, and proclaim, "Jesus, we trust in You!"

Many, many, many thanks again to all of you for your prayers and support. God bless us all!

(This beautiful image of the Divine Mercy is in the hospital chapel. May it give you comfort for whatever trials or challenges you may be facing right now. Jesus loves us very much!)

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Update posted by Meme Natores On Aug 21, 2018

From Tina's FB post:

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS! Please keep them coming. We are praying for you too!

Sharing with you our latest update as of Aug 15, 4.30pm:

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We had been hoping and praying and asking for Our Lady's intercession for the best news about Baby Tommy's condition but "good" news will do for now. Counting the everyday miracles, big and small, helps a lot. God is moving, we know, and we thank you again for all your prayers!

Tommy's repeat blood tests done this morning show that his bilirubin levels decreased slightly so his neonatologist said his phototherapy lights can be decreased from double to single (thank You, Lord!). His blood culture results showed no growth, which is a good sign (thank You, Lord!). His last antibiotics dose is scheduled for this evening (thank You, Lord!).

His weight is being monitored now because he wasn't feeding that well the past few days. Now that he is nursing better, we hope that his weight gain will improve (thank You, Lord!).

As of now, we still don't know when Baby Tommy can go home. We are hoping and praying that it will be very soon, and we surrender to God's will.

Once again, we thank you all for your prayers, messages of encouragement and support, and even offers to help our family in more practical ways. We truly appreciate you all, and thank God for showing us His kindness and mercy through you!

Sharing this photo of Our Lady and snippets of today's reading in "33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy" because it speaks so much to us, and maybe it will speak to you too:

"But it's faith, it's trust, that unleashes the power of his mercy."

"It's because in this present time of mercy, Jesus wants to work the great miracle of forming the littlest of souls into the greatest of saints. But he needs our trust to do it. So, will we give it to him?"

Let's proclaim it together: JESUS, WE TRUST IN YOU!

P.S. To be brutally honest, my trust in Jesus can be "shaky" at times, and the past week has tested my trust in Him more times than I'd like to admit. 🙈 So I praise God for encouraging and uplifting me -- especially through Anthony and my family, and through ALL OF YOU, our prayer warriors!!! Thank you again and God bless you all!

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Update posted by Meme Natores On Aug 21, 2018

From Tina's FB post:

Day 4 of Baby Tommy's life outside my womb, Day 4 of relying again and again on God's grace and Our Lady's intercession 🙏🏻

It's sometimes hard to believe that one week has passed since the amniotic sac in my womb started leaking, causing an earlier than expected labor and delivery of Baby Tommy into the world.

But God's ways are not our ways. His plans are not our plans. He always knows best, even if we sometimes don't understand what that "best" is or can't see what it looks like.

So, like Our Lady, Our dear Mama Mary, we just say "yes." Be it done to us according to Your Word, Lord.🙏🏻

"Listen and let it penetrate your heart…do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?” (Our Lady of Guadalupe's words to her servant Juan Diego.)

For everyone who has been praying for us, and asking how we are, here is our latest update as of 3pm today, Aug 13:

Praise God and thanks to your prayers, Baby Tommy, who in the first few days was not nursing properly, is now much better at it... he has learned how to suck properly and is getting to be quite good at nursing. The nurses still cupfeed him with my expressed milk as needed but they prioritize direct breastfeeding so I still try to go to the IMCU every 2 hours to feed him. Though the nurses sometimes tell me to rest and let them cupfeed him, especially at night and during the early morning.

Tommy's first blood test to determine the bilirubin level in his blood showed a level high enough for his neonatologist to double the phototherapy lights used in his treatment. The results of his repeat blood test came out earlier today and his neonatologist said that there is no change which means he still needs to have double lights (she had been hoping that it could already be reduced to single light today). Let's pray that his bilirubin level will go down so that he can be off phototherapy already.

Tommy's last day of antibiotics is on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so we are praying and claiming that it will also be the day when we will be given the good news that we can be discharged already. 🙏🏻

Thank you so so so much again to all of you for your prayers, support, calls, and messages of encouragement. Thank you, too, to those who check on us regularly via private messages, and those who came to visit. Special mention goes to Ate Betty Beatrice Lugay-San Luis, an awesome doula and sister in Christ, who brought this beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to us in the hospital before Tommy was born. Since Ate Betty couldn't be my doula anymore, Our Lady became my doula instead!

We are truly, truly grateful to God for you all!❤️

We praise and thank God for His everyday miracles, especially the blessing that there are no serious complications in Baby Tommy's condition, even with his being born prematurely. Anthony is also feeling much better now, and I know that we are being sustained in body and spirit because of God's grace and all your prayers too. Your prayers are truly powerful!🙏🏻

Together, let's claim God's healing and provision not just for ourselves and our own loved ones, but for everyone who needs it! There are so so so many people in need. Let us remember them in our prayers every day.

God bless us all! Totus Tuus, Maria!

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Update posted by Meme Natores On Aug 21, 2018

From Tina's FB post:

TO ALL OUR PRAYER WARRIORS: Praise God and thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement! Sharing our latest update as of Aug 10, 7am:

Early yesterday morning, on the Feast of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Baby Thomas Anthony was born after around 5 hours of induced labor. Your prayers for a swift delivery worked; thank you!

He came crying loudly, which was a good sign, and his APGAR score was 9/9 -- more answered prayers! Thank you again to all of you, our prayer warriors!

We had our Unang Yakap before he was brought to the Neonatal Care Unit for further assessments. At present, he is in the Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU) and is undergoing phototherapy for his jaundice caused by BO (blood type) incompatibility, like what his brothers had before as newborns. His blood culture results will come out only after 5 days (blood was drawn yesterday) but even without the results, they already started him on antibiotics due to his being in my womb for 48 hours with the amniotic sac already ruptured, making him prone to infection. His blood sugar level is also being monitored. His lungs seem to be working fine -- praise God and thank you again for all your prayers!!!

So far, that's all we know. We will try to get updates from the pedia later.

As for me, I am ok and recovering, only by God's grace and Our Lady's intercession.

Clinging onto God's promises of healing, strength, and provision. Trying to rest as much as I can in between trips to the IMCU to do kangaroo mother care and breastfeed (please pray that Tommy nurses well soon; he's still getting the hang of it -- we both are!).

Anthony, on the other hand, is currently not feeling well. So please do include him in your prayers too!

Please also pray for everyone else who needs healing all around the world. Being in the IMCU with all the babies around reminded me once again of the need to pray for others, especially those who do not have the resources to get good medical care and attention, especially for their children.

As we end this update, allow us to share the reading in "33 Days to Merciful Love" by Father Michael Gaitley, on the night I went into labor:

"The way you live trust (in Jesus) is by praise and thanksgiving, to praise and thank God in all things. That's what the Lord said to St. Faustina."

Father Michael quotes Saint Thérèse of Lisieux in the same reading:

"Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude. Has he not said: 'OFFER TO GOD THE SACRIFICES OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.'"

So, in all things, and with what's coming up for us in the next days, please join us in saying, "WE PRAISE YOU, LORD! WE THANK YOU, LORD! WE TRUST IN YOU!"

Many thanks again for all your prayers!

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!

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