Monday, March 21, 2011

Home Sweet Home?

I've had this entry rolling around in my head the last couple days, but just don't know how to start it.
I love my house. I really do. It just doesn't feel like home, yet.
The people who lived here before us, lived here 34 years. They raised their family here. The neighbors have all been here equally as long, with the exception of one set, who has been here ten years.
We knew that the previous owners may be staying in town, and it felt weird. In the back of my head I pictured them driving by, criticizing everything we may do to the house. Always thinking of it as theirs.
And really, I don't blame them. I feel like my childhood house is my house, still. Even though I haven't lived there in a very long time. So for them to always think of this as their house..I get it. I just don't want to know about it.
We heard from the neighbors that the POs (previous owners) were staying with their son in Texas. Most likely moving there. What a relief.
And then it happened.
The day before Nannie went in the hospital, there was a knock on the door.
I answered it and was greeted by Julie.
Julie is the daughter who grew up here.
She was in the neighborhood and brought the keys by.
Only it was really weird.
She told me all about how her mom didn't want to move, and they never expected the house to close.
She then told me that her parents were now homeless because it all happened so fast.
She confirmed my thoughts when she let me know that she and her parents drive by often.
Now, is it my problem that they are homeless? Homeless meaning they haven't decided where to live, because it is my understanding that they are pretty loaded.
Is it my problem that Mrs. PO didn't want to move?
I mean, really, if you don't want to move, why put your house on the market?
AND, they could have not accepted our offer if they truly didn't want to move. Or if they truly felt like we took them to the cleaners.
It is frustrating to me to know this.
And it doesn't help that I feel like all the neighbors are watching us and reporting back to them. I mean, that's how it would be if we left somewhere after being there for so long. I get it. But like I said, I don't want to know about it.
Then, like a slap in the face, their mail started being delivered here again. Like they only temporarily had it forwarded. I've taken it to the neighbors, who have them come pick it up. Again, so weird.
Last night, I met the girl across the street. She has a two year old daughter. She and her husband moved in recently to care for her grandmother. She never lived here till then, just her grandparents. It's good to have at least one person who I don't feel is watching every move we make.
And it's all nonsense...people have been so nice to us. I just feel like we are house sitting, with our furniture, trying to fit in where we don't belong.
How long do you think this will last??

Friday, March 18, 2011


Just a few thoughts that are too long for status updates on Facebook.

~Collin, about Nannie, "We are so lucky we got that kind of baby. She is so funny." Apparently, there are different kinds of babies, and we got the funny kind. YAY!!

~Speaking of at the vet, a tech commented on the fact that Nannie is so small. She has a 16 month old who she says is huge. It's true though, Nannie is small. She weighs just 19 pounds. Most of my kids have hit 20 pounds long before a year old. Nannie is 14 months. At her last appointment, they were concerned about her weighing 19 pounds, because her growth curve has changed so much. She gained a pound or two, and now after her time in the hospital, she is 19 pounds again. She's just little, and oh so cute!

~This illness is making it's rounds. The last day Nan was in the hospital, I got really congested and felt awful. I'm down to just a runny nose. Two days ago, Matt had the same thing. A day of horrible congestion, oh and a fever. Today, it's gripped Dillon. I hope it's just one bad day for him too.

~This stinks because they wanted us at church tomorrow to do our second reading and vote us in. Our new church has been amazing. They brought all sorts of food to Matt and the kids. Two days, I had elders come sit and visit with me at the hospital. Collin and Zachy's teacher also came to visit. It would have been so lonely if they hadn't come.

~I do have a new friend. Well, I may have mentioned her before, but she is the teacher I just mentioned. She's great,and has kept me sane here. Her kids are Collin and Zachy's best friends, so it's been a blessing.

~Pathfinders here isn't going so well, and it makes me sad. Matthew hates going. And it stinks because there is just one local club so we can't even try a different club. Adventurers is kind of the same. And they are sooo organized...Adventurers and Pathfinders are having their investitures on the same night, at the same two different churches. So yeah, how will we split ourselves up? And seriously, are we the only ones with this issue?? It's just really frustrating, but I'm trying not to complain.

~I really want to love it here. I'm hoping that as it warms up, I will. I'm just so over the cold weather. It's nice today, but still overcast. I need some sun to help my mood. I am missing Texas so much right now, but like I said, really wanting to love it here.

~I was so pleased that it warmed up...I had bought clothesline and was looking forward to hanging the diapers out today. Then I realized I didn't buy clothespins!! Whoops!!!

~The kids are dying to go for a walk, it will be short because of Dillon, but I guess we will go. We all need the exercise and fresh air.

~Oh...last thing,check out this article from USA Today, pretty awesome

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Yesterday, Natalie got to come home from the hospital.
What I learned through this illness is how quickly kids go downhill, and also how quickly they get better.
One day she was on oxygen, the next, going home.
I am so, so grateful to have my little girl. Things were so scary. I'm glad to be done with that, and never ever want to experience something like that again.
I am certain that RSV is the devil. Seriously. To see all the itty bitty babies on vents because of this awful illness was just heartbreaking.
But...we are home now. Ready to put it all behind us and move on.
I am so thankful to all the people who brought meals to my family, who offered to watch the kids, and most importantly, I am thankful to everyone who prayed without ceasing. God is good...all the time.
It's time to get back to living. we lost a week there, and it is hard to get back into the swing of things. Today is just a kick back and relax kind of day, even though there is much to be done. The work will always be there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stop the Ride, I Want to Get Off!

I sit here updating my little blog from a room in the PICU. We have been living here since last Saturday. One week in this little room. It's been quite the ride, and if you don't mind, I'd like to get off now.
Last Wednesday, Natalie had a bit of a cold. A little cough here and there, but nothing remarkable. I think on Thursday, I commented on Facebook that her breathing was off, but nothing too exciting, just fast breathing.
By Friday, I was calling the doctor, certain I would take her in and have them tell me it was a virus that had to run it's course. These things always happen on the weekend, so if something bad was going to happen, I needed to get into the doctor on Friday.
We went and the doctor was concerned about her mild retractions. She swabbed her for flu and RSV. The rapid test on both of those came back negative, but she had to send them off to grow more. She wasn't comfortable sending her home though, because of the retractions, and oh yes, the fever she now had. She wanted Nannie to go to the children's hospital for observation.
When we got there we were to check in through the emergency department. They didn't have a room for her, so we sat downstairs for two hours, waiting. During this time, Nan was up and down, acting pretty normal. The thought did go through my head that this was all ridiculous and total overkill.
We finally got into a room to wait through the night. Tylenol was given. Her retractions got worse and her O2 sats started to drop. I don't remember when, but at some point in the night, they started her on O2. They tried doing a breathing treatment, but that didn't help at all. In the middle of the night the resident called for another treatment, which also didn't help. We took her downstairs for a chest x-ray which revealed what they had suspected, bronchiolitis.
Through the night things worsened. At some point Saturday, they wanted another x-ray, only this time she wasn't well enough to go downstairs, they had to come to her. She went downhill that quick.
We were on an observation floor and the nurse was trying to get us into a room elsewhere because she needed more care. The residents were all dumb and no one wanted to take her. Our nurse felt she needed the PICU but they refused to take her. She was going downhill so rapidly that the nurse informed me of the response team they had there. She wanted me to know that she was right on the cusp of crashing, not a code blue, but she was certain she would be calling them to intubate her. She said you can only breathe so fast for so long before your body quits. Finally, they moved us to another room, on a regular pediatric floor.
Things continued to deteriorate. I was the only one who could see the monitors unless a nurse was physically in the room with us. We stayed on that floor for a matter of hours before they deemed her bad enough to go to the PICU. So, since Saturday, we've been here.
At first they didn't know what was wrong, but the slow test for RSV came back positive. It is a virus that just has to run it's course. By Sunday morning, her chest x-ray showed pneumonia as well.
They told me the peak of the illness was about 3-4 days. However, day after day, we saw no improvement.
She has been on high flow O2 since last Saturday night. Throughout the week they've tried to wean her, to no avail, and have in fact had to go up on the flow several times. Currently, she's on 3 liters at 50% flow.
She has developed horrible diarrhea. She did have an ND tube in, but it kept coming out so because of the dehydration from the diarrhea, she is back on IV fluids.
Yesterday, they tried to sedate her for an echo. They wanted to look at her heart just to see if anything was going on there to explain why this is taking so long. Let me tell you, she doesn't sedate well. They gave her full doses of three meds and she fought all of them. Finally, they gave up. She was soooo crabby yesterday, it was awful. It was like she would go to sleep, but her little body couldn't relax. Finally, they decided to sedate her using something that the doctor had to be present to administer. Even with that, when they pulled a sticker off her she woke up.
She has had a horrible week. Everything they do to her is so awful. They deep suction her by sending a tube up her nose down her throat and just sucking it all out. She has been on compression vest therapy where they just shake the daylights out of her to loosen the junk in her lungs. It's just been awful. She is so afraid when someone new enters the room, and it just breaks my heart.
As of yesterday, we seem to be making progress in the right direction. She went from 60% flow to 50% flow and it's just kind of a waiting game now.
When they rounded they said, "she's making progress, just slower than we'd expect, but at least she isn't backsliding".
At this point, I have no idea how much longer we'll be in the hospital. She has to be off the high flow to get out of the PICU. From there she'll spend some time on the regular pediatric floor, before being discharged.
Through all of this, I am so thankful that Matt is able to take time off to be home with the kids so I can stay with Nannie. I haven't left since Friday, but that's OK. I can't bear the thought of locking her up in the crib just so I can leave. I mean it's not like the nurses can stay with her and hold her. If she were sedated, that would be one thing, but since she's awake, nope...can't do it.
Anyway, that's where we are. Playing the waiting game. It's been a stressful ride, and I'd like to get off now!

Friday night, still in observation...I thought she looked so sick here..little did I know what was in store!

Getting sicker, I'm not sure what night this was..but she was one sick little girl.

Shaking her. This picture breaks my heart because her eyes are pleading with us to help her. I've seen that look too many times this week.

Cute dinosaur masks to nothing for 14 month olds!

This was last night....she hadn't slept all day, nor most of the night before. She's making up for it now though.

OH!!! And I forgot to mention...on Sunday, Emily and Zachy got fevers and started breathing poorly. Nan's nurse said Matt needed to take them to the ER. Thankfully, they were sent home on tylenol and fluids and are doing much better!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our Decision

I've been asked about our decision to have another baby after having a heart baby.
I figured I'd write about it here.
I am aware that our decision is not the popular one, but that's ok.
To understand our decision, you sort of have to know some details.
After we had Zachy, we had no idea what we were going to do. We had always wanted lots of kids and hadn't made a decision about whether or not we would have more. We kind of assumed we would but had never said yes or no, for sure.
After awhile, I had my usual baby fever. I couldn't imagine not having another baby. Matt was pretty scared about ever having a heart baby again, but I was pretty confident that we wouldn't have to worry about that. After all, the chances of having another heart baby only raises to 3% after having one heart baby.
We finally had decided to just let go and let God.
Shortly after that, we were surprised to find out we were pregnant with Emily.
I won't lie, that pregnancy with her was super stressful.
Because of Zachy, I was given monthly level II ultrasounds and a few fetal echoes. I chose my doctor based on where she delivered. Everything I did was centered around having another heart baby.
Thankfully, it was all for nothing. Emily was born perfectly healthy. We were so thrilled and were reassured that the TAPVR that affected Zachy truly was just a fluke occurrence.
After that we were open to however many kids God wished to bless us with.
When Emily was 2, we learned we were pregnant again. I now had the doctor and my pregnancy went along like Emily's. Including the level II ultra sounds and fetal echoes.
We were in such shock when we learned she also had TAPVR. My pregnancy was pretty stress free because we didn't know, and we assumed it wouldn't happen again. I'm grateful for that.
We have now been told our chances of another CHD baby are pretty high. What to do.
We have talked and talked and prayed and prayed about this. The only decision that brings us peace is to continue to allow God to bless us with however many children he chooses.
I know so many people think we are crazy. And that's OK. When you are in constant turmoil over what to do, and when you both agree that the only decision that brings peace is to go on, you have to go with it.
Are we nervous that we will, at some point, have another heart baby? Absolutely. It terrifies me. However, missing out on a blessing terrifies me more.
We have been blessed in the fact that our children are OK and alive. We know how easily this could not be the case. And how it could turn out bad for future children. We have faith, however, that whatever happens, God is in control. He chooses when we live and die. His plans are certainly not always ours, but we have to have faith that they are best. Someday, all our questions will be answered.
Again, I realize that our choice is not the popular one. In fact, there are very few people I can think of who would choose to have more after what we've been through. It's OK though, because we are confident in our choice.
We won't ever consciously try for another baby, but we won't do anything, other than nursing, to prevent a pregnancy.
I hope this answers some questions people may have. I know that I always wanted to hear other's opinions when we were in the midst of choosing what to do. :)
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