Saturday, May 30, 2009

The name game

I keep meaning to post about this but with all the baby Sam stuff, I have been thinking and writing more about that! Well, as you all know, baby number three is another girl which brings us back to the daunting task of picking out another girl's name. When we named Caroline I thought I loved it. But, as soon as we got home, I kept thinking,"This is not her name, she is not a Caroline, she is a Kathyrn(the other name I was considering for her). Jeff even says all the time, "She is totally a Katie." I mean we called her "Anna Kate" for almost a year. This was because for some reason Matthew,who at the time had major speech delays called her Anna all the time and our subconsciences must of wanted to name her Katie! So, you'd think when we found out we were having another girl we would automatically be like, "Phew, finally we will have our Katie!" Nope..not us. It is in consideration but the name I like best is Emma. Yes, I know its the number one name, don't care. I think its pretty and cute and traditional. I also love the thought of calling her Emmy. But,I also like Kathyrn and Molly and Sara. So, what do you think..after all,I did let you influence me in finding out that she was a girl.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Babies on vents

On Tuesday I drove Makenna and Avery up to see Jaime and Steve. They had gone camping with Jaime's cousins and Jaime was really missing the girls. Plus, I selfishly wanted to see her:) I wasn't expecting to get to see Sam, but was able to not only see him but also touch his little hands and feet and stroke his little head. What I saw there at Mott's Children's Hospital was remarkable. The technology that they have for these little guys and girls is truly amazing. But, it was so very disturbing on so many levels to see several babies on vents and all sorts of wires. We're talking all newborns too. The weirdest thing about seeing Sam is that he looks, despite the wound from his open heart surgery, chest tube and vent, like Matthew or Caroline did when they were a week old. It just seems so very wrong I guess because it is. I have never been one to take my children's health for granted, I am way too morbid and paranoid to be like that. But, I definetly think I take my life and the freedoms I have for granted. Jaime and Steve are tied to this little guy indefinetly. They are taking turns holding vigil by his bedside, never daring for a moment to relax, for fear that something may go wrong. There was another mom there whose daughter, Lindsey is somewhat of a "hypoplastic left heart" celebrity in our town. She is a little over one and has had two surgeries but now needs a heart transplant. Her mom has been with her at Mott's for over a year. They have two other children at home too. The strains have to be enormous for these families.
As I drove home, I prayed for Sam. I prayed for strength both physically and emotionally for Jaime and Steve. I thanked God for be so evident to them in these past months and begged him for more:) Immeasurably more!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

You can't go home if its not your home anymore..

Interesting title eh?! That is how I felt on Friday as I drove to and around the town I grew up in, Midland, MI. I haven't lived there full time since 1993 and my parents moved from there in 1999. But, I always felt that Midland was my HOME. I loved growing up there and have very fond memories of time spent there. But, as I came down the highway M-20 passed the mighty Tittabawasse and the world famous Tridge, ok..not really famous but usually mocked:) I began to cry. Probably b/c I was going to a funeral for a guy I have known since he was three, whose death was tragic and senseless...all reasons to cry. But, more than that I think I was crying that Midland was being somewhat tarnished for me. Most of the people I knew that lived there haved moved on, their parents have retired and left Midland. I rarely get back there except for weddings and now a funeral.
After the funeral I drove passed my old house and could barely look at it. It reminds me so much of carefree days now passed. I am not the seventeen year old girl who lived there anymore. My home is in Portage, the streets here are familiar to me. I feel at home..I am now starting to hopefully create the same sense of security in my children's lives that I was fortunate to have on Springwood Drive in Midland. I think I was maybe crying b/c I realized and yes, I know this is going to sound obvious and stupid that I am the adult now. That no "home" is really able to shield you from the bad stuff in life. That even while growing up in Midland, lots of crappy stuff happened back then too. I just didn't have to deal with it.
I was planning on hanging out for awhile but Jeff's surgery caused him to be really nauseous and he was in alot of pain, so I high tailed it back home. After I got the kids bathed and in bed and Jeff some ginger ale and chicken noodle soup:), I sat on my couch, in MY HOME and thought...its GOOD TO BE HOME:)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Sigh...

That is what I am feeling like today. I woke up this morning to a bright and sunny day. It was Matthew's last day of preschool so I was showered, coffee'd and ready to go at 8:30. I made the mistake of checking my email quickly to see if there was any updates. There was, telling me that yesterday was a rough day for the little guy and one from my dear friend Sarah telling me her twenty eight year old brother who has struggled with alcoholism died in his sleep last night. I then discovered she had left me a voicemail at 2 am but unfortunatley I didn't hear the phone. Then I read the update about Samuel being on a vent now and what a rough day he had yesterday. I started to cry and my sweet little boy was so cute and came up and patted my back and said, " Why are you sad mommy?" " Are you sad at me?" I reassured him that I wasn't "sad at him". That my friend had found out some bad news and I was sad for her. He then gave me a hug and kiss and said, " There..its all better!" I wish little man! I called my mom on the way to school to tell her and she told me that her friend and neighbor just found out she has a malignant brain tumor. Relaly cheery news from our end of things right now.
Thankfully, the weather was beautiful today and I was able to get out in the yard to do some much needed weeding and just think and pray. Makenna and Avery came home this evening and I spoke to Julie, Jaime's sister who said that things are going ok in AA. That Samuel is hooked up to all sorts of machines and tubes but is doing as expected. My prayer for Samuel on Thursday is that God would do immeasurably more through this little boys life. That Thursday is a success and he heals quickly and able to come home soon. Please lift my friend Sarah and her family in prayer as they prepare to bury their brother and son whose life was filled with sadness in these past years. I pray he is finally at peace...
Also pray for Jeff, who is having an outpatient procedure done on Friday. The same day as the funeral. I have pieced together childcare and Jeff's mom is going to be taking him home from the hospital. But, I feel really badly that I won't be there for him b/c he is always there for me. He knows how important that it is to me to be there for my friend and her family though. Its a routine, so it shouldn't be a big deal. Hopefully, this weekend this will start to look up around here!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Blessings abound

Last Friday night I went to a blessings shower for Jaime in Grand Rapids. It was about ten of us, just sharing what Jaime's friendship means to us and special Bible verses that we hope she finds comforting while she is going through this all with little Sam. It was needless to say incredibly emotional for all involved..especially Jaime. There were lots of moments that I was so overcome with the power of what it actually means to be a Christian to see how palpable Christ is always but especially when people truly need him. One of the most profound moments that I told Jaime about yesterday was when she was talking about how much Christ has grown her through this ordeal and how she is handling this so much different then when her dad was sick. To back up, two years ago, Jaime's father had to have a liver transplant. I didn't know Jaime until right after he had the transplant and I remember last summer we would often talk about his health, my mom's health and of course all the blogs of people I know and don't know. You could defintely sense a fear and a mistrust in Christ from the both of us!:) But on Friday night she said that when her dad was sick she would also be pleading with God during prayer "Please God, don't let him die" and now her prayers for Sam and this situation are "Please God, whatever your will is, I trust you but please don't leave me" She said there is such freedom in not being exhausted by feeling like you have to plead your case for Christ but to instead let Him carry you through..especially through the valleys!
Its interesting to me to be someone that is actually close to the person going through the valley/crisis. Before I have always been an aquaintance or an outsider looking in. But, with Jaime, we're close friends and neighbors, which has allowed me the privledge to have a closer look at what people actually go to on a day to day basis in situations like these. I will admit its a crappy situation. No one should have to deliver their little boy and then turn him over to surgeons two days later so he can have his chest opened up. We all know that our lives could end at any moment but to know that there is more of a likelyhood that your precious little boy may only be here days...yuck. One thing I know for sure is that I would never want to do it without a faith and more importingly FAITH in CHRIST. He does sustain us and give us all we need.
Please pray for Jaime and Sam on Monday..Sam's birthday! More importingly pray for Sam and his surgeons and the entire family on Thursday as he undergoes his first open heart surgery. Pray also specifically for their daughters Avery,6 and Makenna almost 4. That those of us, back here in Kalamazoo that will be taking care of them in these coming weeks have the right words and actions to keep them happy and occupied and not too stressed and anxious about this new life.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I got my test results from my quad test today...a week early! and they were normal! AMEN!! AMEN!! AMEN!! I am so happy and thankful but honestly with all that Jaime is going through with the impending birth of Sam in a few weeks my heart is still so heavy. I actually can't write more b/c I am on my way to go to a "Blessings shower" for her in GR. A bunch of us are getting together to read scripture,poems,good thoughts and to just pray over this little one and their entire family.
I will post more later about the name game:)


Friday, May 01, 2009

More girl drama!

First of all...its a girl! I wish I could say absolutely for certain that this baby is perfectly healthy. She is a mover and a shaker and it was hard for the tech to get good measurements. So, out of four fetal neucal mesurements one was slightly elevated so I am having the Alfa Fetal Protein test to hopefully definetively rule out down syndrome.
I am slightly worried..but since I saw how much she was moving and the levels weren't even that high I am not in total panic mode. It is going to stink waiting two weeks to find out and perhaps longer if more testing is needed but at the end of the day we love this little girl already...down syndrome or not!
Please pray that we would get through these next two weeks by leaning on our faith not our fears!