Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Specific prayer requests

As we get ready to head off on this adventure, I'd like to lay out our specific prayer requests. Unfortunately, because of the formatting issues I'm having with the blog, it might be a challenge to read. But, hopefully you will get the idea. Thanks in advance! ***** That we have a safe, smooth trip with Levi and an 8.5 month pregnant lady. ***** That there is a room available for us at the Ronald McDonald House when we get there. ***** That Alexis holds off until my induction date: September 9 at 8pm. ***** That Alexis is much stronger than the scans have shown so far, and that her heart is functioning better than anyone thought. ***** That the doctors know the right timing for when to treat her with the different medicines. ***** That we know how to balance our time between Alexis and Levi, and for peace of mind when not with one child or the other. ***** That everyone would have safe travels to and from Denver while we are there. ***** That the doctors would know when exactly the right time to do Alexis's surgery will be, and that God uses them to heal her little body. ***** Once the surgery is over, we pray she would heal quickly. ***** That everything with our insurance gets figured out before it becomes a big hassle. We thought it was already figured out but we got a phone call today saying we need to talk to our insurance company ASAP. ***** That Jason and my relationship withstands this enormous test and we come out of it even close to each other and closer to God after everything is all said and done. ***** That God uses Alexis to make a huge impact in this world for Him, and that she rises to that calling. She is going to have an amazing story to tell and we pray that she doesn't shy away from it. ***** That Levi and Alexis can bond, even through the difficult circumstances. ***** There are many more, but I will save them for another day. These are the biggies and we so appreciate all of the prayers. We know prayer works, and we are excited to see it work yet again.

Friday, August 23, 2013

One more week

I simply can't believe that in one week I will be uprooting my life to relocate to Denver for an unknown amount of time, but a minimum of 6 weeks. Jason will not be with me the whole time, but Levi will. One week and 3 days into the relocation a new family member will be added. That is the scariest part. I've had a hard time with my emotions because I'm so tired of being pregnant, but at the same time I know that having Alexis and finally meeting her is just the beginning of the pain and struggles we will go through as a family through this journey. I so badly want to meet her and hold her, but I know she is safe inside of me and for that reason I just want her to stay put as long as possible. I know I can't delay time indefinitely, and that September 9th will be here before we know it, but it has felt so far away for so long and now it feels like it is right here. I keep telling myself, "my baby girl is going to need open heart surgery" but that doesn't make sense in my human mind. How can something that is supposed to be so perfect, something that I feel squirming around inside of me at this very moment, be so so sick? So sick that she will die if we don't do the dreaded surgery. Then I tell myself that God has a magnificent plan for her life, and He is going to use her for amazing things in the future. I so badly wish I could go through the surgery for her, or that she didn't need surgery at all, but maybe that is required so she can tell a specific story and impact the most people through it. ***** Jason and I have started to talk about our plan for while we were there. Things like who is going to spend time at the hospital and who is going to stay with Levi? When is Levi going to come visit Alexis? Should I stay at the hospital the first couple of nights, until her surgery, so she can breastfeed as often as she needs to? Or should I go to our place to sleep because I will sleep better? What kinds of things can we do that are close to the hospital, just in case we need to get back there quickly, but still spend time together as a family while she is recovering? We don't know the answers to any of these questions yet, and for those of you who know how much of a planner I am, you know that is causing even more stress. My mom thinks we are fighting an uphill battle trying to plan anything, but I explained to her that trying to plan is keeping me sane. Even if nothing goes the way we think it will, at least we are not sitting idly by while the date just gets closer and closer. ***** One week, that's it. Our prayers at the moment are for an easy travel day when we leave, a quick and uneventful delivery, and that Alexis is even stronger than the doctors are anticipating when she is born. We are also praying that our relationship just gets stronger through this massive trial. Jason and I will do whatever it takes for our family, and we know that the strain is going to be tremendous, so we just pray that we continue to seek the Lord through every decision, every day, and that we can trust Him every moment of every day. We also pray that Levi is as resilient as we think he will be, and that we can continue to be the best parents possible to him through this as well.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Slight Change

I got a phone call today that my induction date has been moved back a day. Apparently there is a scheduling issue that has come up in the hospital so they needed to move my induction to the evening of September 9, rather than September 8. Nothing major, but I just want to keep everyone in the loop that is interested. I have all of my Non-stress Tests scheduled for when I'm in Denver before Alexis is born, as well as an OB appointment and a fetal echocardiogram. I will have a baby girl in 4 weeks! Aah!! ***** I had another baby shower this weekend thrown by some fantastic friends. I feel so spoiled! Many of them went in together on a pretty big gift (a genuine Coach diaper bag... Hot Pink!), and I know how expensive it was so I am scared to use it! But, as another friend pointed out, I better use it or why have it? Ok, ok, I guess I'll just use it and not feel guilty about it. ***** I've been working on getting Lexi's room ready for her to come home to and it is finally starting to come together. I just got the last of Levi's things moved into his room (while he napped). All that is left in Alexis's room is to finish painting (I'm thinking one more day and I'll be done!), move the furniture back to it's original spot, and dust/clean everything. Then we will be ready to bring her home! I even have hot pink letters that spell out her name to go on her wall above her crib. These are the activities that make it seem so real that we are about to have a daughter. I also have two ultrasounds each week where I get to see her cute little baby body and face, and although the ultrasounds seem a little unnecessary, I am not complaining one bit about the drive into Albuquerque, the small expense (thank the Lord for insurance!) and sometimes there is a bit of inconvenience, because every time I see her I get an overwhelming sense of pride that I am going to have a baby girl! God has already blessed us with her and I can't wait to hold her in my arms. ***** As I've been cleaning I keep running across things specifically for children in the NICU that have been given to me (clothes, blankets, a care package from an HLHS support group, etc.) that make it hit me each and every time that our journey is not going to be so easy in the beginning with Alexis. She is going to have a rough time, which means we are going to have to figure out how to be the best parents for her while we are not the only care providers in her life. Not only that, but we have to be the best parents for Levi, too. That has been giving me more anxiety than anything else because the last thing I want is for Levi to suffer because of all of the care and attention Alexis is getting. I know kids are very resilient, and he is only 2 years old, but he is my child, just like Alexis is my child, and I want him to know constant love just like we have been up until now. I guess that is my current prayer request, that we would find the appropriate balance between caring for and giving attention to both of our children while Alexis is in the hospital and things are not "normal." ***** Thanks, as always, for the prayers and support. I will post as things change or more details become available!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Prayer Warriors

This weekend my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in front of their closest friends and family. It was a tremendous success and it was so great to see all of these people that I have grown up knowing. Part of me felt a little bad, though, because I felt like I was taking the spotlight off of them because of everything going on with Alexis. I told the same story countless times to everyone I said "hi" to at the party and all I really wanted to do was celebrate my parents. However, looking back a few days, I realize what a blessing it is to have all of these people we know and love praying for Alexis and sharing her story. They are also learning some things so hopefully more people will know about HLHS and we can all be aware of it. There were even a few doctors at the party and it was interesting hearing the questions they asked compared to everyone else. The police chief and the chief of the fire department also happen to be very close friends of our family, and they said that they will be keeping an eye on our house for however long we are gone. They will make it their personal job to make sure nothing happens to our belongings while we are gone. Another blessing! ***** I could not have been born into a better family or married into a better family. My own mother has offered to come to Denver with me and stay as long as I need her to, especially before the induction (and before Jason joins Levi and I up there). What a blessing she is! My in-laws have done countless things for us, including watching Levi during all of my appointments, making us dinners, and helped relieve a few financial burdens. We had a "Celebrate Baby Party" for Alexis this weekend (where, I might add, I asked that people NOT bring presents... I just wanted to celebrate with them!) and we were given a ridiculous amount of money in gift card form. We are set for meals in Denver, I think! I really believe people want to help in whatever way they can, and so far we have been the recipients of some amazing amounts of generosity. My mother-in-law also made Alexis a BEAUTIFUL Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt that every family member signed for her. It is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to get her room painted so I can hang it up on the wall. ***** People keep asking what they can do for us and for now my only answer is PRAY! The more prayer we have, the better, and we are firm believers that God answers prayer. We pray that Alexis is healed, either by miracle or through the doctors and surgeons. God is the Great Physician and He holds all of the healing power in His hands. She is going to have an amazing story to share, and we pray daily that her story brings people closer to Him who made her.