What’s in a name – a “Bridget Regan” by any other name would be as cute! As any new parents do, Mitch and I talked a lot about potential names for our baby. We had two solid girls’ names picked out, and after Regan was born (we are calling her Regan, by the way), I immediately asked Mitch if he agreed Bridget Regan should be her name. It just seemed right. For anyone reading this who doesn’t know, Bridget is my sister’s name and Regan is my grandma’s (Mah’s) maiden name.
Bridget is an Irish name whose derivative means “exalted one”, “high one”, or “strength”. My sister (we call her BB) has been my role model as long as I’ve been alive. By choice or not, she was the first person I looked up to and she certainly has helped guide my life path to where I am today. My mom has told us that after I was born, she would have to tell BB that she (BB) was not the mom. Again like it or not, BB took on the role of my teacher, my boss, my manager, all depending on the situation.
When we were kids, I was incredibly jealous of BB. Not the most honorable trait, but it’s true. BB is beautiful and always has been. She had no awkward middle school stage that most of us suffer through. I have distinct memories of both friends and even complete strangers stopping my mom to tell her how gorgeous BB is, even from the time we were little. She’s also brilliant and one of the hardest workers I know. When I was lazy in school, she would ask me what my grades were and how I planned on improving them. As a Freshman in high school, I got several Bs on my first report card (GASP!), and she told me I better work on making them As lest my GPA suffer for the rest of my high school career (this really happened). When we were in college, she encouraged me to break out of my shell and helped me adjust to life on campus. When I was about two years old and BB was four, she (allegedly) accidentally slammed my pinky finger in the door because she was in the middle of cleaning the bathroom and I disrupted her routine. What four year old cleans bathrooms?! Answer: BB.
It would be impossible for me to capture BB’s role in my life in one blog post, but she has made such an impact on my life that I couldn’t imagine honoring my daughter with any other name. BB is the epitome of her name – strength.She is strong-willed, smart, compassionate, patient and so full of love. I am so grateful that she’s been by my side through this process and I quite frankly don’t know how I could do this without her.
I can only hope that Bridget Regan will inherit all of her aunt and namesake’s best qualities. She has already shown that she is a strong, sweet girl with a mind of her own. Just the other day she did NOT want to eat and let it be known to her whole NICU room; she had us all in stitches with her little squawks.
Regan is Mah’s maiden name and to be honest, I have just always loved the name. I don’t need to go into detail of how much my grandma meant to me, but if you’re a new reader, you can read more about Mah here.
Regan has had a few ups and downs (no pun intended) since she was born, but I’m so very happy to report that the general trend has been up. Initially, I was in a rush to get her home, but I know now she needs to take her time while we’re under the best care here at CHOP. Regan was born at a healthy birth weight despite her being a few weeks early, and they want her to keep her weight up and continue to gain at a healthy rate. We started working on her feeds right away, but she has needed the help of a feeding tube along the way. Her feeds improved to more than 50%, but earlier this week she started having episodes of SVT . Basically, this means she has some electrical issues with her heart that causes her heart rate to increase for a period of time before it either returns to normal on its own or a “shock” to her brings her out of it (this can be done a myriad of ways – one example is ice to her head which was very effective for her). This condition is not related to her heart condition and was a new discovery – something we did not know prenatally. The cardiologist has told us that it is not uncommon in newborns and most babies grow out of it by the time they are 12-18 months. Until then, it is managed with medication. Regan started this medication after her first few episodes and I am SO happy to say she has not had an episode in over 24 hours. The doctors expect the medication to control the episodes completely. Just a side note – the episodes of rapid heart rate do not cause her any pain; it is mostly a “nuisance” condition that would only cause harm if she was in an episode for many hours.
Now that the SVT episodes are under control, we can refocus on getting her feeds in. She has been much more alert the past few days and when she’s hungry, she’s a great eater! She just tends to tire out quickly, primarily due to her being a few weeks early and her heart condition. She is such a strong, sweet girl and we fall more in love with her every day.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support, sweet messages, phone calls and prayers. Regan is a fighter and she is getting strength from all of you!