Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 10-16

MOMMY

Sunday was a good day. Before service the Holy Spirit was definatly moving. During worship when we got the the song "Healer" I began to break down. Then a little girl at our church, who the doctors say the white matter around her brain is disappearing and there is nothing they can do (we know they don't have the last say in that), went up front and began to sing the line "nothing is impossible for You, nothing is impossible, nothing is impossible for You, You hold my world in Your hand." Hearing that the tears began to pour down my cheeks as all I could think about was Nathan standing up there someday singing that same thing as a praise report.

Monday back to the Perinatologist for another round of NST and an ultrasound to check fluid levels. On the way there I was stressing out a little bit about finances with everything going on. When I pulled up to a parking meter put my truck in park and got out to put change in I saw that whoever pulled out of that spot had left about an hour and 10 minutes worth of time in the meter so I didn't need to put as much money into the meter. Than you Lord for reminding me that You will take care of us.

Tuesday while Dave was at Men's group the kids and I went for a short walk down the block to get them out of the house. The weather has been horrible so they have been cooped up in the house. We stopped for a while at our neighbors house and her and I had a great talk. She has had multiple high risk pregnancys all of which have ended without problems but it is still nice to have someone to talk to about everything. After talking to her I was thinking to myself (which is not the best sometimes) that when Nathan gets here and Dave follows him to the NICU for his testing I won't be able to be there for my husband when he needs me. I know that he will have family there but it is MY job to be there for him (our job to be there for each other but I told him he had to follow Nathan). I know this situation is different then most because I will not be able to be there because of my own health at that moment. I had to remind myself that the nurses assured me that as soon as I am cleared by the doctor (hopefully soon after having him) they will take me to where he is via wheelchair. I know that I will be able to be there as soon as I can for my family. The neighbor also told me that it is ok if we need alone time when Dave and I are finally able to be together up on the NICU floor. She said that people will want to be there for us but should understand if we need a few minutes to be there together and cry/pray/whatever it is we need to do at that moment. I pray that I will have the wisdom to know what we all need at that moment.

Thursday I had a weekly OB appointment and NST. The NST went really well. We actually ran out of tape and when the doctor came in and looked he said that we got in 18 out of 20 minutes worth of readings and in that amount of time he did more than enough movements and Nathans heart rated changed enough that he was not worried about it. Then the doctor sat down and we began talking about delievery day and how he had been talking with all of  my other doctors and in our specific situation they all together agreed that it would be best to induce. He asked when my Amnio was set for and I told him. He said "ok and we are checking lung maturity on that day?" I said " Yes and how longdoes it take to get those results back?" He:"within a couple hours and if the lungs are mature enough we will induce as soon as those results come in." Me:"You mean like same day?" He:"Yes". WOW it hit me. That is in 10 days!!! Then he looked at the paperwork and said "oh, wait, we are checking for any chromosomal defects also right?" I said " Yes" then he said "well then that will take a little bit longer to get those results back but probably same day we get those back we will be calling you in to induce." WHAT?? WOW!! IT'S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN. We then talked about how long those results would take to get back and he said he wasn't sure that I would have to ask the doctor doing that procedure how long his lab will take. So now we are looking at the first part of July. This was all a lot to take in. I immediatly text my husband and told him doctor said induce and that's the final say. Of course because he wasn't there to ask questions he was asking me all kinds of things
going through his mind. I answered as much as possible but until I see the Perinatologist next week I will not know anymore than that. And even after that appointment I STILL will not have a SET date because it all depends on how long it takes to get the results and what the results say.

The end of this week I had to keep reminding myself that communication is going to be very important for Dave and I. We are getting down to the end, things are becoming more and more real and if we are going to make it through we are going to have to keep the lines of communication
wide open. All the emotions are going through my mind right now.

DADDY

Missy and I decided that the remaining appointments, minus the Amnio that I will attend, I will be missing, and remaining at work due to the fact that when Nathan arrives there is a chance that I may miss alot of work.

The remaining weeks  don't seem so far away in reality. It hit me the other day just how quickly Nathan will be here, one way or another, induced or come by God saying he's ready.

There are all sorts of emotions going through me right now. Everything from scared, nervous to being very excited in anticipation for Nathan finally coming. Above all of this we are finding great peace in the Lord, and in Him alone do I trust. My flesh may rise up and the enemy can try to steal my focus but I know that Jesus will see me through this storm as lond as I keep my focus on Him.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 3- June 9

This week we decided that Dave should work instead of missing a ton of work when he is already going to be missing a lot of work soon. Gotta make sure the bills are paid. So the appointments over the next couple weeks I will be attending alone.

Monday I had my second non- stress test with the Perinatologist. This time our little man was bouncing all over the place and then fell asleep and made no movements. However, I still had to be hooked up to the monitors for at least 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes was up the nurse took the script paper to the Perinatologist to look at and make sure it was ok. A few minutes later she came back and said "apparently he did everything he needed to in the first five minutes then went down for another nap, which is ok we got what we needed." I am so thankful that these NST's are going really smooth and they keep saying that he is doing great.

Wednesday after having a conversation with my friend and my husband I had a bit of a break down. I know that God is trying to work and I just have to wait and keep working for Him, but this waiting is SSSOOO HARD! Not having answers to big questions in our lives right now and yet still trying to handle the little things.... I know it will all work out and that God has us in the palm of His hand and He will see us through and He knows what is best for us but the patience is obviously something I am running low on. Lord please let us continue to hear from You and have patience to wait for you and have faith in You. Amen. Also today we spoke with the realtor trying to sell our house and she wants to do an open house this weekend. Ok so one more thing to add on top of everything else.

Thursday was an OB appointment and another NST. Again Nathan did everything he needed to do in the first few minutes of the test then rolled over and went to sleep. The doctor said it looked good. This was also the same doctor who had mentioned c-section a few weeks ago. We had a really good talk. He said they currently have another patient who is going through something similar and after talking with her Cardiologist (who is my Cardiologist's partner) they decided that natural would be the way to go to keep everyones from unneeded stress, and he was sure that it would be the same for me. Praise the Lord. One less thing to worry about. That would mean faster recovery so I can take care of my family.

Saturday we spent some family time at the mall then went to a graduation party. Some of the people at the party I had not saw in a while and knew I was pregnant but didn't know everything. So I used it as an opportunity to share our story and our hope with those people. I love that I get a chance to share the wonderful Hope that we have in Jesus. After getting home and resting for a while I was talking with my husband and we talked about how I we want to make sure we are spending a lot of time with our kids now before everything got crazy over the next couple of weeks. We have both also expressed that we want to start packing bags for everyone so when the time comes we are ready to go. That stresses me out a little bit as it makes me realize how close we really are to Nathan's arrival. Earlier today AJ and I were cuddling on the couch and he was rubbing my belly and saying "hi" to baby brother. I took this as an opportunity to tell him that the doctors say he is really sick so we need to pray that Jesus would make him all better and he closed his eyes and whispered a little prayer "dear Jesus, please make baby brother feel better. Amen" I am so proud of him. Thank you Lord.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekly updates

As we are counting down the weeks, from here on we will be posting weekly updates to keep you all updated on our NSTs (2x a week), weekly OB appointments, thoughts, emotions, etc... If anyone would like to contact us we can be reached at nathanielethan2012@gmail.com thank you and God Bless

May

MOMMY
This month started off with Elisha falling down the basement stairs and a trip to the emergency room. After 2 hours of being in the ER they said she was just fine and walked away with only a few little scratches on her belly. I told my husband that "God must have something BIG planned for our kids because the two we already have had so many things happen to them where they should have been seriously injured and have only walked away with minor bumps and bruises." After getting home from the ER I started having sharp pains in my right side. I could breathe and any movements I made made it hurt worse. After suffering for five hours with no relief from tylenol, a warm shower, drinking lots of water, and rest, I finally called the OB on call. He told me it sounded like a gall bladder attack. He also said that I was already doing all the right things that I could be doing at home and if I went in to get checked out all they would do is give me pain medication and send me home. Right when I hung up the phone with the OB Dave got home from work and I told him what was going on and he said that if I wanted to go get checked out that he would take me. I really didn't want to spend more time in the ER than I already had that day, plus I didn't want to be taking perscription pain medication while pregnant. So I decided to tough it out. Dave left for men's group and I stayed home with the kids just resting on the couch as much as possible. Around 8pm that night the pain got so bad I ended up crying out in pain to the Lord. I eventually dried up my tears got up and gave the kids their baths and got their jammies on. Dave got home shortly after that and said that the men had been praying for me. Around 10:30pm I felt the pain start to disappear and by the time I woke up the next morning the pain was completely gone. And now writing this I have still not felt any pain.

About a week after Elisha fell down the stairs I was cleaning out the car for a friend to use and the kids were playing in the back seat. I turned my back for a moment and AJ decided to open the car door that Elisha was leaning against. She fell out and hit her face on the driveway causing her to almost bite through her lip and cause one of her teeth to be offset. I took her to the dentist and they said she damaged some of the muscle fibers that hold her teeth in place but it looked like she would make a full recovery. Thank you Jesus.

Today during church Pastor talked about people needing to make sure their heart is right. I pray that
all that I do brings Glory to God and that I don't let myself get in the way of what He is trying to accomplish through Nathaniel's story.

The first OB appointment of this month we met with another doctor (there are five of them and it depends on who is on-call is who will deliver the baby.) This doctor asked if we had set a c-section date yet. We told him that all the other doctors had told us that it would not be needed. This doctor seemed confused by this he said he would rather we not have one either but with how controlled the situation has to be (bypass machine, surgeons ready, etc.) that a c-section might be best. He said he would talk to the other doctors and they would let me know.

When Mother's Day came around it brought an array of emotions. I was so thankful to be a mom and have two beautiful healthy children and on the other hand I was struggling inside with all that was going on with Nathan. I still have hope and I still believe that God can and will preform a miracle it is just the human part of me that wants to be "prepared" for what is coming no matter which way God decides. A couple days later a lady from church called me and said she was talking with the receptionist at one of her stores and the lady just happened to mention that her granddaughter was going in for surgery in a couple of days. My friend asked her what the surgery was for and the lady responded "she was born with half a heart." They started talking and my friend told her she knew someone who was getting ready to go through the same thing. The lady gave my friend her daughters number for her to pass on to us so that Dave and I could reach out to them if we felt the need. She also wrote down a website for people who have friends and family members going through serious illnesses to communicate and build eachother up.

A few days later I had a bit of a scare and was told by the on-call nurse to go to Labor and Delievery to get it checked out. This was terrifying to me. I was home with the kids Dave was at work and I didn't know where to start. I had to get the kids dressed, call Dave and tell him what was going on and what I was told to do, and find someone to watch the kids. I made a few phone calls and everyone seemed to be busy and Dave and I decided he shouldn't leave work yet because he has already missed so much for doctors appointments and with more on the way it was just best. Finally I was able to arrange for a neighbor to come to the house and sit with the kids. At first when I got in the truck and was making my way to the hospital I was ok, a lil nervous, but ok. It seems the closer I got to the hospital the more I began to shake. Trying to find a parking spot I began to cry. Walking through the parking garage and making my way through the maze they call a hospital to the Labor and Delievery floor I was trying to calm myself down and fight back the tears. I was so upset that I could not even read the clock right next to me to write down my check in time. This whole thing was making it seem so real to me that this is all really going to happen. If not today very shortly. I know I had many people praying for me while I was going through this as well as trying to keep my focus on God and believe that He was taking care of it all. At first the nurse I had was really crabby and made me almost cry. After explaining to her the full extent of why I was there and why I was so worried she had a change of heart and became very understanding. About three hours of monitoring the doctor assured me that everything was ok and they sent me home. One of my close friends afterwards told me that God probably allowed that to happen so that when the real time came I would be better prepared for what I was getting into. I am so thankful that He has been putting strong women of God in my life just when I need a reassuring word because I am so wound up in what is going on that I am not hearing it from Him myself.

Had another OB appointment toward the end of the month. Again, saw yet another OB and the way she talked it sounded as if it was going to be a c-section but they are not going to set a date until we get the results of the next ultrasound, the next cardiologist appointment, and a couple non-stress tests to see how all is going. I was also advised to set the appointment for my amnio.

The song that is really helping me get through my days right now is "He said" by Group 1 Crew. The words say " I won't give you more, more than you can take, and I might let you bend, but I won't let you break, and know I'll never let you go." God is right there with me going through this and He will not give me more than I can handle.

DADDY

It sounds wierd to tell people that "the only thing wrong with Nathan, is that he has half a heart." In the beginning of this journey, that simple phrase sent my world crashing down, because it wasn't just half a heart, there was this possibility and that one, that something else could be linked to his condition, and he could have even more problems, Thank you Lord that none of that was the case.

In my men's group we are going through a Chip Ingram series called R12, its a study on Romans 12. Which by the way is a very good series that I would recommend any small group doing. Through this series I, probably others but I can't speak for them, am learning to REALLY open up, that it's ok to be vulnerable. The main focus thus far of this study is that the REAL YOU, meets REAL NEEDS, for the RIGHT REASONS, in the RIGHT WAY.

Through all this I find that when someone asks me, "how I'm doing?" I'll tell them. I no longer just say, "good," but I'll sit there and talk thier ears off. A good  friend of mine asked me the other night how things were going. I though for a minute, then it seems like out of nowhere, I just started talking about anything and everything I was involved in, this friend seems to have that effect on me. We talked about work, family, ministry and eventually we got to the topic of Nathan. I found myself opening up and admitting that as of now I find it's easy to hold it together, because all of the appointments seem to be all the same up until now, nothing new, praise God, Nathan is growing normally, heart rate is good... But after the "scare" we had earlier this month, it all got real, really quick. I admitted that when the time comes for Nathan to join us, I'm probably going to be a royal mess.

So many things, worries, concerns try to steal our focus from WHO GOD IS, and WHAT HE IS DOING through all of this. The same can be said for all of us in everyday life, the important thing to remember is that the only thing that counts is our relationship with Christ, that we love, trust and obey Him. Everything else will burn, it has no eternal value.

Lord help us to keep our focus on You, oh God. Forgive when we loose track of who you are and begin to worry. We try to figure things out in our flesh and it seems that all we do is get scared and make a mess of things, forgive us for trying to your job Lord. Your grace is sufficient for my family and I, its your grace that has brought us safe this far and I thank you Lord that you haven't brought us here just to leave us on our own, you will see us through this season. Lord I pray that you would bless all who take time to read the story of what you're doing through us, Lord you said if you be lifted up you would draw all men unto you. God there are so many of our friends and family who need you Jesus, as we give you the glory and praise and lift the name of Jesus higher, may you begin to draw them unto you Lord. In the mighty and matchless name of Jesus...Amen.

May 27-June 2

MOMMY
I have been staying home a lot  lately as the kids have been passing around a bug with a high temperature. I have been trying to use this time to pray a lot and try to mentally prepare for everything. This week we have a ton of appointments lined up. Tuesday I ended up taking Elisha in to the doctor because she had been having a high fever since Friday with no other symptoms. The doctor ended up sending her in for lab work at two other locations. Then Tuesday afternoon I had an ultrasound appointment and my first non-stress test. They started me off with the NST which wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. At first he was moving but his heart rate wasn't adjusting the way they want it to when he is moving. So they had to wake him up by using a lil buzzer. That just made Nathan mad and he moved away from their monitors all together and they spent 10 minutes looking for his heart rate again. Then he didn't want to be bothered so the lady had to hold the monitor on him and follow him around with it instead of just using the bands to hold it in place. Then went in for the ultrasound where he decided he didn't want to be looked at so he kept putting his hands and his feet in the way. Little stinker. By the end of it the Perinatologist said he was still growing good and everything looked the same. Thank you Lord! Got another good 3d picture of his face. He definatly looks like his daddy. :). Tonight after Dave came home from Men's Group we got to talking about everything and he mentioned about how it was getting so close and expressed some of his concerns like how he was worried about me if I have to have a c-section and everything else. I tried to assure him that I would be fine but inside I was trying to tell myself that at the same time.

Wednesday we were home for the day. Kids are still sick so didn't want to take them out anywhere. So made dinner and sent Dave off to church tonight while the kids and I had more time at home. The kids went to bed really early so I took advantage of this time to rest and read my Bible. It just so happens that this months devotionals are on Faith. God knew that was just what I needed at this point in time.

Thursday AJ woke up with a fever so back to the doctors office we go for him. again no other symptoms except the fever. The doctor gave us reccomendations for the fever and sent us home. We had enough time to rest before I had to take the kids up to our friends house who was going to watch them during my appointments today. First off was the Cardiologist. He said everything looked the same and said to have the OB call him so they could get some sort of a game plan down. He then sent us for more tours. We went through the PICU (Pediatric ICU) This is where Nathan will go after his surgery. The lady that gave us the tour was very informative. She talked about visiting rules, security rules, how many nurses per child there were etc. This was hard for me at first because she mentioned older siblings coming in to visit and I just imagined how hard it would be to explain to our other two kids why their baby brother isn't coming home right away. But I know the Lord will be faithful and if it comes to that (I pray he would be healed and we won't have to go through any of this) He will give me the words and the kids the understanding. It was a lot to take in but also very calming to know how well he would be taken care of. Then we looked in the Surgery waiting area where she said that is where we will wait while he is in surgery and how they will inform us of everything that goes on. Then we went downstairs and toured the Labor and Deliever and the Mother Baby Units. All of the nurses there seemed very nice. Then back up to the NICU(Newborn ICU) where he will be taken right after birth to run his tests and get hooked up to monitors and be preped for surgery and all of that. After all of this we sat down with a Neonatologist who will be the people that take Nathan from my room to the NICU and will be the ones who run the tests and hook all his tubes and monitors up. She explained to us the "routine" for a baby with this diagnosis and assured us all would be ok. Then down the street we went to my weekly OB appointment. Not much new at this appointment either. Nathan and I are still measuring on target, his heart beat was nice and strong, and my blood pressure was perfect. AMEN. One thing that was mentioned today was the OB thought about doing a steroid shot to make sure his lungs were maturing well. He chose to leave that decision up to the Perinatologist. After spending a few minutes on the phone with the Peri they decided that it was not necessary because we did not plan on delievering in the next week and after that time we would be that much closer anyway. So we made sure that the NSTs were on the agenda for my weekly OB appointments and headed to pick up our kids.

By the end of this day I was so exhausted and felt like a human pin cushion from all the poking and proding and walking. When I was laying in bed I began to giggle from exhaustion. Eventually it shifted to crying for a few minutes because everything we had just gone through today is so close and making it all REAL. I was able to calm myself down and pray until I fell asleep.

Friday morning woke up sore physically but mentally refreshed from the time I spent praying. Thank you Lord. I know He has it all under control.

DADDY

Although it was a lot of information to take in on one day,  I left the appointments Thursday feeling reassured.  The tours were especially helpful to me, I got to put places and rooms to the "plan" that the doctors had been talking about this whole time. We met with a neonatologist while on the tour, and she took the time to explain the process to us, and show us around, she was very nice and answered all the questions we had.

We were re-informed that with Nathan's condition, best case we would be spending at least a month at the hospital. We are still praying and beleiving for a miracle healing, as fun as spending that much time in a hospital sounds, we still know that God performs miracles.

I would like to thank all you again for visiting our blog, sharing in our story and for all your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate it more than you will ever know, and may God bless you as you are blessing us.