Friday, February 27, 2009

A Few Questions

What do you do when both of your children are screaming at the same time and you are the only one in the house?

Why will Owen not poop in the freakin' potty?

How can a 7 pound little girl poop and pee more than she seems to actually consume?

Does breast-feeding frustrate all women on earth or is it just me and most of my friends?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Charlotte is home. I cannot tell you how surreal that is. She had open-heart surgery a week ago today. I am blown away. Sometimes I'm holding her close, and I start to cry. I'm overwhelmed by God's answers to our prayers. There was a point at which I was afraid to walk in her room, because I was afraid she wouldn't make it through surgery to live there. And now she is just like any other newborn (minus the giant healing wound on her chest)--sleeping, eating, and pooping. By the way, she projectile pooped on me today. Will thought that was absolutely hilarious. And on a similar note, Owen let out a giant poot the other day and declared, "I made a honk!" I should really be getting some sleep, so that's all for now.

P.S. Isn't Will the best dad ever? He started a fire outside in the freezing cold, just so Owen could roast some marshmallows. Too cute.

Friday, February 20, 2009


These are pre-surgery pictures (plus a bonus picture of Owen having fun with his Papa). I didn't think everyone would want to see Charlotte with all of her tubes, but hopefully we'll have some post-tube pictures soon. I am so excited to report that she is improving every day. She has been extubated and had her chest tubes removed, along with her arterial line, catheter, and a periferal line. From here on out we're waiting for her lungs to stay clear and her eating to improve. As long as she has some lung congestion, she has to undergo chest PT. Please pray that this problem resolves itself quickly. This mommy is not very good at watching her baby girl get drummed and suctioned. As for eating, she is still very sleepy from the anesthesia and pain medications, so that makes eating a little more of a challenge (I'm not so good at drinking milk in my sleep either). Thanks again to all of you who are reading this and praying with us through this challenging time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Praise be to God

Charlotte's surgery was successful! We have not been able to see her yet, but we have met with her surgical team. They reported that it could not have gone better. We are so excited right now. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. Please continue to pray for her recovery. She will be in the PICU for the next seven to ten days. The big hurdles are getting her lungs cleared of the excess fluid, getting her to breathe on her own, and making sure she can eat well. I'll try my best to keep you updated, and hopefully post some more pictures soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Charlotte Grace

Charlotte Grace arrived on February 12th at 2:02 am. At birth she weighed 7 lb 4 oz and was 19.5." Labor lasted most of the day on Wednesday, though it wasn't overly consistent or strong until around 6:00pm. Will was a fantastic birthing coach, and my midwife and nurse were incredible. I won't burden you with the details, but if you'd like to hear the banshee screams, I could try to replicate them for you.
Charlotte is absolutely lovely. We are so in love with her already. And we need your prayers. I know that some of you are very underinformed at the moment, so I wanted to put all of the information in one place. As we suspected months ago, Charlotte does indeed have a heart defect. It was confirmed late in the afternoon on the 12th, and she was immediately transferred to the NICU. She has been scheduled for a cardiac catheterization for Tuesday and then open-heart surgery for Wednesday or Thursday to block the connection between her two vessels. She is currently under close monitoring to make sure that the heart defect does not cause any problems before the upcoming surgery. We have been spending all of our free time at the hospital with her, getting lots of good cuddling time before things get more complicated next week. We have been blessed to have family and friends watch Owen for us while we are out of the house (PS. Owen has an awful cold...please pray for him too).
The other concern is that we're not sure what has caused the defect. Charlotte was born without thumbs and with irregularities in the bones of her right lower arm. This probably indicates that she has some type of syndrome. One in particular called Holt-Oram Syndrome (aka heart-hand syndrome) is the leading guess at the moment. She has had a huge number of tests and blood-work done, but the answer to this particular question will take weeks to arrive. All of the other tests appear to be normal. As for improving the hand issues, this is something we're going to be getting more information on, but is not an immediate concern.
Please pray for all of us. This has been such a roller coaster of emotions. Most of the time it's easy to trust in God and His plan in all of this, but then the moments come when you start thinking about the "ifs," and you're fighting back tears. I can use His word to combat these thoughts, but it's still a battle nonetheless. And then there are the moments when you don't even have to think, the emotions just well up and overwhelm you.
Thank you to everyone who has blessed us during this time with help, love, support and prayer. I don't know what we would do without you.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Missing the Point

Owen has the games that you all remember from your wee days--Memory, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders. The funny thing about playing with him is that he has no concept of winning. You can tell him until you are blue in the face that the point is to get to the end first or collect the most matches, and it won't make the least difference. In each game, he has his very own goal. In Memory it is to get the pair of cards that he likes the best (the birthday cake). In Candy Land he loves the gingerbread space (near the VERY beginning of the path) and yearns to draw that card. And in C & L he only wants to climb the tallest ladder (not so he can get near the end, but simply for the joy of climbing it). I am a very competitive individual, and this way of playing games makes me want to tear out my hair. And then the other day, I realized that I live out his game theory on occasion. I become so fixated on some random goal or idea, that I miss the whole point of the journey. And I imagine that God is watching, trying to tell me that the point is not to find the stinking birthday cake cards, but I'm so determined, I can't hear Him. And then when I don't get the birthday cake match, I freak out, and can't be happy with the perfectly good pair of dinosaur cards that I found.