7.24.2011

Last few weeks in Boise, for now...

I have been slaving away here trying to organize the many baby clothes that we have for Judah. We have some pretty cute stuff, and I'm imagining Gabe will look pretty darn cute in all these things.

Slaving away isn't quite accurate, since the massive belly and fear of early labor keeps me going at 30 minute intervals... 30 minutes on... 2 hours off. Haha, slightly pathetic, but no matter what the fear of having Gabe is, the fear of having him too early is much worse- so I will take it slow and steady over the next 3 weeks.

While cleaning, I spotted my bible in the corner of our closet. I remember putting it there, though I didn't realize I would feel so guilty now when I looked at it. I want to pick it up, to find the comfort in there that I might stumble upon... But I know the one thing that I will be looking for will not be in there.

Why? The why's will not be in there, though I've formulated plenty of reasons why in my head- speculated that evil is the only thing responsible, but wondered if this was to train our hearts to be more open.

Nick and I talk about Gabe every day (though barely coherent, as it is usually 12:30 am when we get a moment to really 'talk'). We talk about our fears, our worries, our wonders, our joys, our blessings, our pains and our hopes. We talk about God and we wonder together what lesson we are learning, and if there is a different way to learn it.

One of the things we've talked about is the dramatic effect that pain has on lives. Pain, when we experience it... Through deaths, through traumatic events, through painful life events... It changes you. There's no way around it, no way to avoid it. The only thing you can do is let it make you better, rather than make you worse.

Pain can shut you down to the world around you. It can cause you to dry up where you are at, to sink into a turtle shell- with only enough room to stick your head out. But pain can lead to an immensely beautiful surrender. To making a life worth living, rather than quitting on life altogether.

Many women and men that have lost their little ones have decided to fight for other people's little ones. To do the many 'walks' in support of research and change to make their child's lives meaningful. Nick and I know that Gabe's life has been immensely meaningful already. We feel like we know him as much- if not more than we knew Judah when he was a month old. We are deeply in love with him, our Gaberham, our little tomato face boy. (He has very round cheeks!). We are so in love with him- that we plan for his future. We have planned for the good, for the bad, not as much for the ugly, but we don't want to plan for that.

This blog is not to mention only that we are prepared for pain, but we are prepared for the joy as well. Pain, is watching your child be ill. If for one second- if for one day- if for their entire lifetime. But to let it make you beautifully and wonderfully aware of the blessings that are small, the time to touch their lives, to let the touch other lives... To every milestone they get to hit... Celebration.

I hope that when Gabe learns to crawl, we aren't more excited than we were for Judah (I know we won't be, though it might seem that way). When Gabe gets to his very first birthday- CELEBRATION! When Gabe graduates kindergarten- CELEBRATION.

When Gabe proves to the world that he is a wonderful, miraculous child of God- CELEBRATION.

Just like we have had celebrations for all of Judah's over comings, though smaller they might seem- being grateful is what we have learned thus far.

We are now at 33 weeks- though I have a feeling we will meet Gabe a couple weeks earlier than his due date- like Judah.

Keep up the prayers, the bible says- "The fervent prayers of the righteous avail much."

I will go ahead and peel my bible out of the closet... Lets see what God brings me to! I think he might be saying.... "It's about time!"

7.17.2011

Overwhelming Support

Today, we got a morning to go to church. It was so nice to be there, to worship, to see friendly faces and to hear how many people are praying for us, thinking of us... Supporting us.

Again I find myself thinking of all the moments that I have felt a 'refill' of energy, of strength, of ability to handle this absolutely shocking diagnosis- and I feel like Abraham is the perfect middle name for Gabe.

I know that God hears all the voices that have been sweetly lifting up our family in prayers. I know when I feel an irrational sense of well-being that it's God bringing the peace to our family- listening to the prayers of the men and women who are thinking of us.

I had it in my head to create a facebook page for Gabe so that we could keep updating something while we were in Seattle, just for Gabe. Keeping family and friends in the loop while they prayed over him... So I made the page.

If you would like to be updated on Gabe through simpler means (less wordy- lol)- feel free to add yourself to the group.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/101611786604000?id=103309283100917&ref=notif¬if_t=group_activity#!/groups/101611786604000

We have received so many kind words and notes on his page- so many prayers too, through the past days since we created it. Thank you for all your support... It means more to us than pure gold knowing that so many voices our lifting up our Gabe.

Thank you for your kind words, your support, your love. I hope we seem as grateful as we are, because it's hard to express in words how humbled we are becoming through this experience...

7.15.2011

I think we all start out with this preconceived unrealistic idea in our head that life will go as we anticipate it to. It doesn't seem so unrealistic, because it seems like everyone's life tends to go in a pretty forward direction..

But then the bottom drops out from under you. The plans you had vanish and are met with a jaw dropping moment where you have no idea what direction you are going in.

Wait... What just happened? Where did all our plans go? And you are staring at your life, your spouse, your future with this dazed look...

This wasn't what we had in mind... This wasn't what we expected... Is the only thing running through your head for a moment. Then you are stuck in a puddle of mud paddling as fast as you can in no certain direction. All you know is that you have to get back into the regular pond because you were not cut out for this. You need a large bathtub, at the very least- to sink up to your chin in. Bubbles too, please. It wouldn't hurt to have a novel to escape into and a large glass of iced-something.

I've been going through pre-traumatic stress disorder. I think it must exist, since I seem to be going through it. It has some moments of near hyperventilation followed by long- super squeeze hugs from my sweet husband to bring me back out of it.

But I cry it out, get my hugs in, and keep on paddling in the mud- because eventually someone will throw a hose in and it won't feel quite as hard as it does right now.

7.12.2011

I miss my childhood imagination. It was so real- I could practically live anywhere I wanted and be whoever I wanted while I was playing.

I had lots of imaginary friends (with three brothers and no sisters, you need at least a few), each one of them with their own unique background. I remember one was in a wheelchair- though I don't remember the reason why now.

We lived next door to an orchard- the perfect play area for me. Trees to climb- grass taller than I was to run through. It was perfect for my imagination, since I hardly had to imagine anything with all the beauty.

I find myself lately wishing I could use that imagination to escape for just a little while. Just to imagine being in Africa- or in a cottage of my own having tea- relaxing.

Thank goodness for long relaxing baths that take me far enough away from reality to keep my sanity.

9 weeks is too soon. I wish life had a pause button. So we could prepare adequately.

<3

7.09.2011

Dear God,

Why do some live and some die?
Why are some prayers answered, and some not?
Why do people who smoke and drink their whole pregnancy get healthy little miracle babies- but not us?

Why do I really not want to know the answer?

What lesson are we learning through these challenges? Isn't there an easier way?

Can't we take the easy road?

Right now I am focusing on the beauty around me, but it is very bittersweet lately. I am enjoying the sun, the beautiful Boise landscapes, my little Judah bear, the kicks from Gabe, my husband's sweet face...

But it feels bittersweet. I know we are blessed in ways that many are not. I know it could be worse... But couldn't it be at least a little less challenging?

I've been waiting for life to settle down around me. For routines to kick in with our family so that we can plan out playdates and friendships. Will it never settle down? Will there always be some crazy thing going on that I can't find someone to relate to on?

I guess I am praying for peace again. The weather of this is definitely coming back and I need peace.

Peace and healing for Judah's chest and aspiration.
Peace and healing for Gabe's heart and other possible complications.
Peace and comfort for not having my parents in Seattle through all of this.
Peace and healing for how much I miss church lately.
Peace for my husband's hectic school and work schedules.
Peace financially.
Peace for the future.
Peace in knowing that there is nothing I could have or can do to change these circumstances.

God- please give me that overflowing crazy peace where people think I am in denial just because of how well we are handling things. I'd like that once again.

And please bless all the Mommas and Daddas who are going through these painful feelings.
<3
Bless every broken heart and every sick baby and child.
Bless all the little ones who don't eat well.
Bless us with the ability to keep on moving- even when it's scary.

7.06.2011

Prayers please...

How little control we really have over anything. And comforting, too.

The little things are piling up, we have a lot to do in the next 5 weeks and I don't know how we are going to do some of it- or any of it. The hormones of pregnancy have kicked in pretty harshly- and I am trying so hard to not fall apart- but it's definitely frustrating.

I miss worship- church worship. MGT worship. I have dreams about being in congregations worshipping from time to time- gosh I need that break. Just to absorb the love that God pours over when you truly lose yourself in His presence. It's better than any energy drink, than any airborne vitamin drink... God I need you.

Gosh darn hormones don't leave room for the face I can usually put forward- the face of 'I'm doing good, I'm doing great, I'm doing okay.'... It's turning into the face of "God how are we going to do this? Why do we have to do this? Can you please keep us from going through this? I'm not ready- not in 9 weeks- not in 9 years. I don't want to grow up this much right now. I don't want to go through the pain we are going to go through, watching this- going through this. I've seen this and I want to run the other direction as fast as I can."

So right now- dealing with some major financial issues still from when we got married and went from 2 well paying jobs to 1 not so well paying job, having a baby, dealing with car issues... and School too (Nick is seriously overloaded right now- poor guy)- and then dealing with the mental and emotional battles this is bringing... Along with running out of juice to keep up with Judah already... I need some prayers- some good, maybe long prayers.

Please keep our little family in your prayers if you have the time- we so appreciate it.

7.03.2011

Anemia

Dizziness, lightheaded, exhausted constantly, irritable, eating ice cubes like candy...

Could Iron be the cure for many of my problems lately? That would be nice.

I crave watermelon and strawberries, but just kicked in with wanting bags of icechips (I had that last pregnancy too).

Ahh something with a fix, I truly hope that is the explanation for my worst 'symptoms'. I am so tired of feeling exhausted- feeling like I can't even pick up Judah. Now waiting to hear back from my nurse- but even so I have a feeling iron will improve things.

Apparently I am not a very good iron absorber through prenatal pills- if so.

Gosh- I am much too sleepy to think about anything else today. <3

7.01.2011

Breathe

Every time I sit down to write more- all I can think is just 'breathe'. Just breathe and keep breathing. Keep moving forward and keep breathing.

The one thing I was glad to hear, although I had already suspected was the case was that the hospital would not want to do a c-section or induce labor even. That was awesome to hear confirmed. Something that is going to happen normally- without complication. Its healthy for heart babies like Gabe to be born naturally- it clears out their lungs in ways that they can't simulate for c-section babies. Gabe's lungs are effected by his heart. Half of your heart works on pumping blood to your lungs, you see. The other half pumps blood to the body.

In Gabe's heart- the half that pumps blood to the lungs is the large- functioning part. The half that pumps blood to the body is relatively non-existent.

The reason why this isn't a problem right now is because of two things. The first is the placenta is doing a lot of the circulatory work at this point. The second is that the PDA artery that is present in utero is allowing blood to be pumped to the body. It's an extra artery that closes in healthy babies within 48 hours of birth. The prostiglandin (sp) that they give to him after delivery will keep this open to give surgery more time to be successful.

So they will work on making it so that the lungs get 'enough' oxygen, but not too much (there is a balance, apparently)- and making it so that his body is getting enough blood to work right. In a few months- hopefully around 4-6 months after the first surgery, they will need to do another fix to keep it working well.

After the final surgery, at 4-5 years of age- his heart should work and do a good job until he is in his teens. At that point, he will likely need a transplant. So that is something to pray for. I'm hoping and praying for a superior heart that works until he is older than I am.

They have said that nothing is set in stone. All heart babies are different. All hearts are like fingerprints, unique. There is still opportunity for some change in his heart before birth, small or great- and even that surgery is more successful than they could imagine. Both things I will pray for :).

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We feel like we know much more than we did before, and if you are wondering something that I can't answer, it's probably something I need to ask myself!

Judah is doing wonderfully with all the traveling and all the things going on. He is at that point of life where he is getting his boundaries all figured out, and it's definitely been interesting. He is a little bit mischievous and likes to smile when he does something he knows is naughty- but he also knows when he is in serious trouble. It's kind of cute :)

Nick is hard at work with school and work keeping him continuously busy. Sometimes we stay awake extra late to watch a show together, and we have deep conversations every night about all the things we are dealing with and all we have dealt with.

We are happy- though exhausted. We all came home with a virus which left Judah and I pretty puky. We are feeling a lot better and hoping to be at our 100 percents so we can get to church on time for once this year, lol.

We were told by the cardiologists that taking Gabe to church is a no-no due to his immune system being rattled by his heart. I half expected to hear this- but it's still a big life changer. Our church better get some audio video presentations with live links soon ;)

Well, this is more of a journal situation lately- so I will head off to bed.

Love to all of your families.
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