Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brave little one

As I sit in room 723 next to a smiling little girl I am still in shock about all that has happened in the past 30 hours. Anna has been incredibly brave and stayed sweet and polite to each person she has met. Although crying for her I.V. and the horrible ENT scope she was still so sweet as each person left the room. She has been through so much and hasn't complained one time. No whining and always asking questions to help ease her anxiety. This is a scary place and I am so proud of her. This afternoon she has eaten pizza and is watching scooby doo. I went to the gift shop while daddy was here and she has two new well deserved pigs.
I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for all of the prayers. As we prayed together last night before her surgery it helped knowing how many times she was lifted by others. We are also incredibly thankful for my mom,dad and sister. They have cared for wy and Sammi since we have been gone. Taking wy to the doctor and caring for my high Maintenece baby. It has been a terrible feeling having my babies apart. But, I am so thankful to be able to be here with Anna. There is something about needing mom when you are scared. 
The past few days have been a whirlwind. I have been updating facebook and have gotten a few questions on how this happened. I thought I would share a little of what we know here. 
On Friday Anna came home from school saying her eye burned. She had no other symptoms and I assumed it was just irritated. Wyatt began running a fever on Friday evening so I scheduled him a doctors appointment the next day. When we woke up on Saturday Anna's right eye was a little red and she felt awful. I drug her along to Wyatt's appointment. When we arrived there had been a scheduling error, this actually worked out to our advantage because we were able to add Anna to the appointment an hour later. When we went back Anna had a slight red throat and a fever of 103. They were both tested for strep and we chalked it up to a virus. By Saturday night Anna's eye was a little more red. 
On Sunday morning she woke up and it was a little worse, although her fever was gone. We decided to head back to the doctor. They diagnosed her with an ear infection and cellulitis both on her right side. Neither had been there the day before. She was put on strong antibiotics and took them twice on Sunday. By Sunday night it was a little worse.
She slept well and we hoped the antibiotics would kick in, but when she woke up it was worse. I posted this picture on facebook looking for advice on how to help soothe her eye- 
It wasn't long after that I received a phone call from a friend that she had seen the picture. She works at childrens Opthamology and had made an appointment for us. I am thanking God for Debbie doing this for us. She recognized what was wrong and took action we wouldn't have known to take. Around 10:45 on Monday we went to the eye doctor at children's. Her eye was getting worse. 
They diagnosed her with orbital cellulitis and wanted a cat scan with contrast done to see the extent of the infection. We went to the ER and Anna was amazing for the cat scan- although she may have traumatized the student trying to get her I.V. In her arm. The cat scan showed that the cellulitis had caused an abscess to form near her brow bone. We were to be admitted and stay for I.v. Antibiotics. While we waited for a room she was seen by an ENT- she sent a "spaghetti camera " up Anna's nose. This was the worst for her and for mommy as she yelled help me mommy please. Trying to reassure her it had to be done to help her, but I can't imagine how awful it felt. After that we went to our room. The nurse had barely introduced herself when a team of 7 people came in to announce she would need surgery tonight. I tried to contain my fear so she would not see it. Anna was scared and as I tried to comfort her I was secretly trying to comfort myself. They explained they had the best surgeon available and room in the OR. We thought we had a few hours and then someone came in saying they wanted her now. Looking back it was probably better that way. Less time to think- TJ signed the papers, which I looked at after and thank God I didn't see. As we left the room I lost it. Being able to let the fear out without scaring Anna tj and I both cried together. Praying for her safety. This is the first time she has ever been in the hospital or ever been put to sleep. The thoughts that flooded my mind were beyond terrifying. As we waited the two hours the time passes so slowly. When the doctors came out to tell us how well she did it was the first wave of relief. They had gotten much more from the abscess than anticipated and were very glad they drained it. It was very close to her brain sitting near her brow bone. This could have grown and gotten so much worse/ leading to menengeitis. This word is so scary to us, it is what my brother died from. Thank God the surgeons made the quick decision to operate when they did. Not only did they drain the abscess, but the ENT did sinus surgery and drained four pockets of puss on her sinuses. This child has never had a sinus issue or an allergy in her life. 
After we knew she was okay we asked a few questions. The ENT said in kids her age they may he their first case ever of sinusitis. It gets infected and causes cellulitis and in some cases forms an abscess. Usually that abscess is towards the nose, so Anna's was more rare, but this does happen to a lot of children. 
We were not prepared for the incision we saw in recovery, but we're so happy to hear she had opened her eye and was sleeping peacefully without pain. 
She woke up for a short time back in her room and was able to tell us she dreamt about American Girl dolls. She went to te store and was able to spend $240. We were happy that she was alert enough to tell us that. After she fell back asleep for a few hours. Daddy went home to be with Sammi and I slept on the foot of Anna's bed. I didn't want to be far if she needed me. 
She slept well throughout the night. Waking when they came in to check on her and when I noticed her face was red. Seems she has a topical reaction to the iodine used on her face for surgery.
Luckily this vanished on it's own as mysteriously as it appeared. Today she has been to Opthamology and seen by about 20 doctors in her room. She has continued to be an amazing brave girl who has made us so proud. She has been getting two kinds of I.v. Antibiotics every 8 hours as well as sudafed, Afrin and ibuprofen. She has not even whimpered a complaint through it all. Her eye is swollen from surgery, but looks much betterh than an it did.
She has continued to be the upbeat happy girl we know and love. 

Thank you so much or the prayers and please keep them coming. Praying to be home in a few days. 

** update- 4-3-15
Anna has done amazing. She continues to surprise the doctors with how quick her recovery is going. She made thank you cards and gifts for them and has still remained the sweet,  polite and happy child that came to the hospital on Monday.
On Wednesday they lifted her no contact order and she was able to see the zoo animals in child life. Since her plans for spring break included the zoo she was so excited. 
She has continued to be brave through every step of this crazy journey. Besides by taking her medicine by mouth she never once cried, whimpered or whined.
We were so blessed by an amazing staff of nurses and doctors who made her feel comfortable. Wy, daddy and sam came to visit Which made things a little better.
Grandma and Papa came each day too. Sissy, pepaw and Aunt Stephie and Logan stopped by to see her as well. She may not remember it, but Nate Granny and Aunt Shari were with mommy and daddy while she was in surgery. Each day she felt better and was able to open her eye a little more. 
Anna was released on Thursday afternoon! She spent three nights and 4 days in the hospital. Most of those days included strong IV antibiotics and she has come home on the oral liquid forms of those. Anna does not like any medicine and is not easy to get to take it. She has to have 17 Mls every 8 hours of one- this is more than 3tsp, so prayers to help her get the meds down easily are appreciated. She had an excellent nights sleep last night and is happily playing in her room today. 
She has a doctors appointment tomorrow, Opthamology on Monday and ENT in a few weeks. She still has a big recovery ahead of her and we are so proud of her strength. 
Thank you so much for all of the prayers, messages, texts and cards. We cannot begin to describe how much they have meant to us. This was one of the scariest things we have ever been through. So happy to be home and praying for a continued speedy recovery and to never have anything like this happen again! The doctors keep telling us how incredibly rare it is to see an abscess form where her's did- they see orbital cellulitis everyday- but not with an abscess where she had one. So blessed to have a hospital and surgeons who knew what to do. We are forever grateful to all of the medical team who cared for Anna.  Now we have this amazing little girl on her way back to healthy! 
God is so very good...

*****************update 5-4-15****************
It has been a month since Anna came home from the hospital. Her progress has been amazing. She finished her medicine like a champ (having the entire ever after high collection to prove it;). She has had 2 follow up appointments with Opthamology and one with ENT. After the dreaded nose noodle scope Dr. Meyer signed off on her last week. Today she saw her opthamologist one more time.
Dr. Prosser saw her this morning and said she is good to go! Anna loves her, but is happy to not have to go back! 
We only need to call or come back if needed. Walking out of the hospital this morning it was hard to believe this all started a little over a month ago-
So incredibly blessed to have our girl back to herself.

She is finally feeling safe enough to play, run and take gym again. Trying to worry a little less each day about getting hurt again. So proud of this kid for not only being brave through all of this, but for turning it around and donating to the hospital. As I type this she has almost 150 games and $250 in iTunes gift cards for her challenge. I spoke with the woman in child life today and we are dropping them off the week of May 19- Anna is so excited to give back. 


Blessed beyond measure and thankful every moment! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Brown eyes blue eyes

Brown eyes
Beautiful, deep and loving
Caramel skin 
Smooth and soft
Dark brown hair
Curly and coarse
Every little thing
Is perfect 
Each freckle
Each eyelash
Each crooked Little tooth
The gap 
In his smile 
The bass 
Of his voice 
All parts of 
who he is 
All parts of 
Where he came from
All parts of 
Who he came from
When he asks 
Who he looks like
Whose eyes he has
Why his eyes
Aren't blue 
My heart breaks
The answers are not easy
As his mom 
I am always learning
Always looking 
for answers
for reasons
Making sure
To be honest
To protect him
Perfectly made 
Amazing boy
With brown eyes 
And caramel skin 
And a heart of gold 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Baby wait...

Twenty pounds up from a year ago. 

Nearly 8 weeks postpartum.

Ten years ago I would have been stressing. 

Worrying about losing the weight. Trying on every pair of jeans and feeling defeated as they failed to button. 

Not this time.

Not today. 

This time I am happy in my "big jeans". 

Proud of each stretch mark. 

The last time I carried the extra baby weight I did not have a baby to carry. 

I had the body of a woman postpartum. 
Without the joy of the baby.

I I lost my baby weight 
As I dealt with the loss of my baby. 

Today I am blessed. 

I can sit here with twenty of the forty pounds I gladly gained. 

I can sit here with ten perfect pounds in my arms. 

It is hard this day in age, with everyone body conscious, to focus on the miracle before you as you struggle with the new body pregnancy has left you. 

For me I have spent so long waiting for my healthy baby that it more than makes up for the baby weight. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Working on a new normal...

Hard to believe it has been 9 weeks since Meech left. I would love to say I have received updates on how he is now. That I get pictures and phone calls, but I don't. I have received a few texts and that was all. As time and space separate us from him it seems to get harder. Part of grief is like that. The shock and newness have worn off and we are left to deal with a new normal. A normal where we don't listen to frozen anymore because it makes us sad. We avoid monsters inc and jack skellington. Someday we will like them again, but now it makes us sad. To have this little person with us 24 hours a day for an entire year and then one day he is gone is hard. I miss him. I try not to think about it because the pain is awful, but it creeps up on you. Tonight someone asked if I knew how he was. I told them I am sure he is doing well. I know nana loves him and they are a good family with a lot of support. She then said how he could have had such a good life with us. After hours of wondering why God sent him home, I have come to realize the truth. He would of had a great life with us, but he will have a great life with his family too. It may not be the life we would have given him, but being different doesn't make it any less. I know he is destined for bigger things. His personality and sweet nature will pull him through. I would love it if he were here. If we could hear his voice and see his smile one more time. If things had been different. I hate that the system kept him away from his family for so long. That it failed his Aunt and allowed us to fall so deeply in love. The goal of Foster care is for a child to form attachments. For a child to be loved and cared for. Not every foster child is treated like Meech was. As much as it hurts, as much as I hate to see my kids saddened by him leaving, it is not up to us. I can't change anything. I can only tell my children that he is home with his dad. That nana reads to him everynight. That I am sure they bought him a buzz light year and that he looks at our pictures everyday. That he will always remember them. I tell Anna and wy what they need to hear. In reality I hope he has forgotten us. I hope he doesn't remember anything. I hope he keeps the love in his heart, but erases us from his mind. I would never want him to think that we didn't want him. I was his mommy. I would have never let him go if it were in my control. This is Foster care. This is grief. Praying for Meech tonight. Praying that someday I will get a response and an update from nana. Praying for peace and healing in all of our hearts. 

"Birthday party"

Since the rain finally stopped we made a trip to the cemetery to visit Emma and Connor. We took Emma balloons and sang happy birthday.
Anna decided today would have been her party day anyway since it's the weekend. We decided that this year her party in Heaven will have Lucky the clown, since he went to be with God too.
As we drove away Wy had his usual 20 questions. His first was how they died. I explained they were very sick and couldn't live on the Earth. He agreed saying that they did not have a brain and you need a brain to live. That they could live in my body because my brain kept them alive. (He has asked this before;) He then asked what if their soul came down from Heaven and their body came up from the ground -and they came together and they were fine and Alive. I told him that would be amazing, but it isn't possible. He then said- yes it is, that happened to Jesus. He got me there! What could I say? I told him he was right and that would be super cool. He then asked a few more questions and Anna decided where we could all sit in the van if they were here. We talked about having 5 kids and how neat that would be. Wy asked what if we had 19 kids and counting. I said I would love that, but daddy would not. Anna said they could call us 19 kids and no husband. Smart girl:)  So thankful to have this time with my kids. To have their knowledge of Heaven and  the importance of life. To hear that Wy does listen when we talk and tell him about Jesus. Such a blessing to have my kids have a relationship with Heaven, God and their siblings who are not here. Makes me a proud mommy of 5 precious kids.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

7 years later

Seven years. Where has the time gone? It is so hard to believe you would be in 1st grade. Probably on the dance team with Anna. Playing American girls and wearing sparkly clothes. I used to spend hours a day imagining how my life would be with you in it. How different it would have been with you on this Earth. It used to be a healing thought, until one day it wasn't. I stopped thinking of you in every situation. I realized that making myself feel worse would not make things better. I eventually learned to grieve for you without causing myself more pain. Every moment since you have come into my life has changed me. You have changed me. I am so thankful for you. For the time God blessed me to carry you. For the love we have for you. For the strength and knowledge you brought into my life. On your birthday and the day we lost you I feel lucky to celebrate you. You are my baby girl. You will forever be my baby girl. As much as I wish you were here to blow out your candles, I know you are watching us from above. Thank you for the gift of being your mom. I love you more than words can say. Happy 7th Heavenly birthday sweet baby. 
Love, mommy