Friday, November 12, 2010
So yesterday,after I dropped my precious Luke off at Bright Horizons, I went by the cemetery to change out Layah's flag and leave her an artificial white mum arrangement. The sky was a gorgeous blue. As I changed out the flag and stepped back to take a picture, the wind blew the flag...a sweet little "Layah" moment. I knew that it was already the start to a great day. I got down to UAB for the Patient Family Centered Care Team meeting. It ended up being a bit overwhelming because I was in this huge conference with high-back, black leather chairs around this conference table, surrounded by doctors, and men and women in business suits, some of these folks were very high up the totem-pole at UAB Hospital. I later realized that that this meeting was intended to incorporate us, the patients and families, serviced by UAB, to help define the standard of patient care that will be evolving over the next 10-15 years. I chimed in at one point to make sure that Jordan, the Assistant VP at UAB, I didn't know yet what my role was to be but my heart and passion is for the women with high risk pregnancies, but particularly the RNICU babies and their families. I think there will be many opportunities for me, my ministries and just the Lord to do His work through this committee I will be a part of. It's very promising.
Then, my parent panel meeting was to be at 3;15. I got there early, and of course chatted up Kristi, the bereavement nurse, and Kristin, the MOD nurse, before the training session was to begin. Rachael, my dear friend who lost her son Isaac (see early posts), to Trisomy 16, after only 18 minutes of life with him, December 13, 2007. I was so thrilled she came and shared her story to these nurses, clergymen and women, medical examiners, and even military personnel that came through this bereavement training. It was very purifying and healing to me. I spoke first and just gave them a little history of Tobi and then Layah's life and death and my grief process to follow. Rachael and I both talked the full 2 hours. It was great. We cried along the way, the listeners cried, but I think that we definitely made an impression of how these people could help those that they will encounter that will face death of a loved one or themselves. Several of them came up to us after it was over and mentioned how much they appreciated us coming and how it was great that I mentioned to them not to wash the belongings of the families who have experienced a loss. Many of them never thought about it, and would do so from now on. I was drained emotionally afterwards, but one of the sweet nurses that was there in the training and had been in the NICU when Layah was there but never actually kept her, had heard me say I wanted to go back and find Tobi's hand print, so she asked me if I wanted to come down to the nursery with her to find it, since she had to clock out anyway. So we did, and chatted along the way. I got to hear that another one of the moms, whose last quad, Canon, had died a week after Layah died, had recently given birth to an almost full term baby. I was thrilled to hear it! She did guide me around and we found Tobi's hand print. It was right where it should be, in one of the several family gathering rooms-which is not a waiting room, but a room where families can hang out, watch TV, eat supper around the table, kids do home work, etc. It's just a great place for these RNICU families to be able to relax when they are not in the room with the baby. Lisa, the nurse that gave me the tour, told me she had heard me mention the Foot Prints Ministry and she was interested to help. So, she gave me her email address. I'm looking forward to getting UAB on the role of hospitals we're able to provide care packages to for the families. Although the needs are different for the families there, with many of the families being teenage or unwed moms, I know we can stil provide a lot of prayer and support.
After I left the tour of the RNICU, I managed to go straight to the FPM meeting at St. Marks in Vestavia, by 6pm. Lurenda was getting stuff out right as I was about to start looking for someone to ask where to go in. The meeting was great. I really connected with Abby Nichloas, who lost twin boys a few years ago due to premature labor. We spent a few minutes praying for several of the boys we know that were recently born extremely early and the Prickett family who lost their little 9 month old, Olivia, to unknown causes when she didn't wake up a week ago. There were so many connections that we had in common, Abby and me. I'm really looking forward to continuing getting to know her. I think we're gonna be great friends, we are both go getter's.
Well, we had Tobi's soccer party tonight at Jump Zone, and I went down the slide a few times with Luke, did some back handsprings, and toe touches in the inflatables, so I'm pooped-beside my Tina's turbo class! I'm gonna try to do a devotional tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
My dear co worker and friend Tina, who is also a 'drill sargent' Turbo Kick instructor that helpped whip me into shape after my return to work after Layah, and here over the past month or so since I stopped pumping at work. Anyway, she is a very strong, kick-booty woman, however, her dad is very ill and may pass away soon. He's 68 and has had several heart attacks, stints, and bypasses. They have him on a vent, which they removed yesterday morning, but had to put him back on last night. She has seemed very "together" as she has continued to teach class tuesday, wednesday and thursday, but I can tell she is using it to disguise her worry and pain. My heart is heavy for her, because although losing a parent is not like losing a child, any loss will be difficult and extremely painful, especially if you, like I know I am, are a daddy's girl, and I'm pretty sure she is.
I cant imagine losing my dad. I gave him a book not long ago, called Letters from a Skeptic, which is a book of letters from a father to a son, who is a professor of Apologetics, defendeing the Christian faith. The father is not an atheist but he knows more of what he doesnt believe that what he does believe. Over the next 3 years, through many 'battles' of the mind, the father eventually becomes a believer, his eternity forever changed, and he died but a year or so later. I so want my dad to pick up the book. I know that all God's Word is 'active and living and sharper than any double edged sword', and I pray so much that the words on the page will come alive and penetrate his shell of deception and lies that Satan has trapped him in for the past 50+ years. I want so much for him to be changed, for that place in all of us that seeks Truth, to be reached and that my dad would be drawn to repentance and see how we all need a Savior. I dont know if the book will be the key, but I know that the Lord will continue to draw him in and one day,( "I stand at the door and knock, and if any man should open it, I will come in and dine with him and he with me." Revelations 3:20 ) he will be unable to ignore the knocking on his heart, and he will open it and let Him in.
If you read this, please pray for my dear friend, Tina and her dad.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A psalm of David.
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. 5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. 6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
This song is one on this blog, and for some reason, I just thought about it. When I looked for the video on 'YouTube'. I found this version set to The Passion movie. It's very powerful. I wept as it just reminded me the depth of His love for us, what he chose to endur for us. It's a bit graphic at times, but afterall, that's how it happened when Jesus was beaten and tortured a horrific death.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
THE AFTERMATH...NOT BAD.
MY PRECIOUS FRIEND RACHEL WHO HAS A LITTLE BOY, ISAAC, BURIED ABOUT 25 FEET FROM OUR SWEET LAYAH. I COULDNT HAVE MADE IF AFTER LAYAH DIED WITHOUT HER.
The same God that spoke the earth into existence is the God that loves me and my family and has a plan for us. Wow!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wow! I mean, I can hardly believe that Tobi is 8 years old today! Just remembering the emotions of that early Sunday morning, terror, pain, worry, panic, fear....all bad, however, once I got to see Tobi, all 2 lbs 3 oz of his tiny 14" long little, skinned-squirrel-looking body, I fell in love and knew I would do anything to move heaven and earth to save him. They are supposed to be the weakest, whimpy little white boys, but he was and is so strong, such a fighter. I'll never forget that night when he was a little over a week old and he took a turn for the worse and a female fellow called about 1am and said that he was not doing well and we may have to come down to the hospital, but they were gonna try to put him on a different type ventilator, an osscilator, to see if that would help. Of course I could not sleep after that. I kept the devotional from that night, and put it in Tobi's time capsule. It was on September 18th, 2002, and the verse was
Psalms 46 NIV " God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress . Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought to the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shield s with fire. BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. I will be exalted amoung the nations, I will be exalted in the earth . The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. "
Here is the devotional from that day:
"In the fall of 2001, a thunderous storm blew accross Lake Michigan for 36 hours straight. Sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, with gusts much stronger, whipped up the highest waves in 15 years. One frothing roller after another, some up to 18 feet high crashed over the breakwaters and pounded the shore with great fury.
The writer of Psalm 46 must have experienced a sustained spiritual and emotional crisis like the incessant pounding of a giant storm, for he wrote of troubled waters and roaring seas. He also mentioned the quaking of the mountains.
That may describe how life iin this world feels to you right now. If so, continue on to verse 4, which tells of a quiet river that delights and refreshes the people of God. Its cool, peaceful waters flow continually as a never-ending source of joy and blessing.
This psalm describes God as our refuge and strength. We have no need to fear, even when the nations of the world are angry and pounding one another with their tools of war, for "the Lord of hosts is with us".
Let the Lord quiet the storms in your heart. For He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My dear brother tuned me into this song. The first time I heard it, I wept. There are so many dear friends of mine, Amber, Johanna, and girls I know of, Kim, and Christie, and Allison, who have lost a child\children. When I heard this, I just thought, "there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God"...Here are the lyrics:
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
I ended up taking Tobi to the ENT last Tuesday, July 27th, cause his horrible nose bleeds were getting worse. He'd had 4, heavy bleeds the Thurs before with Nana & Papa, and since Nana is a nurse, she agreed it'd be a good idea to get him checked out since our assessment that they were related to the BP problems he'd had since he was 2 were not longer present. I also had mentioned it to the school nurse when I registered him and she was glad that I made an apt because of how often Tobi had to go see her for nose bleeds. I went ahead and picked Luke up early so that I'd not have to go back by there after Tobi's apt. He'd been running a fever and that seemed to be his only symptom. I thought it might be teething, but I didn't think it would get as high as it was for that. As the nurse practitioner got all of Tobi's info, I asked her to look in Luke's ears since he had 102 fever and I'd given him some Motrin while we'd been waiting to see the doc. She said that I needed to get him registered as he had an ear infection. So, it was decided that Tobi would have his blood vessels cauterized with the silver nitrate that was used to remove the overgrowth of tissue around Tobi's g-tube when he had it. Dr. Hill said he'll also check for polyps in Tobi's sinuses. Although I think it's a bit soon, they're gonna go ahead and put tubes in Luke's ears. He's only had 3 infections but I guess they want to be proactive. They are gonna be done on the same day, August 19th at TCHA since both boys will have to have anesthesia precautions.
My dear friend Amber has been doing really well considering. I'm very proud of her. I cannot imagine, nor do I want to, going through what we've gone through, 3 times. She's going back to work Monday. I had to take a lot longer off after Layah died. The devotional's verses today on Our Daily Bread web site reminded me of something. It's John 20:19-29. What stuck out to me was the last verse, " Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not see and yet believed." I thought about how it's very easy to have faith when there's no turmoil, tragedy, or trial one is facing, but when any of these occur, that's when faith is refined and purified. Now don't get me wrong, I don't WANT to go through any problems, or EVER face a tragedy like we experienced with Layah, but I do know that my God used that to draw me closer so that He doesn't have to "yell", 'I'm always with you' because my face is resting on His chest, feeling His peace and assurance.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I thought the title fitting since that's kinda what happened to my heart the Friday afternoon I started on this blog entry. My dear friend, Amber, who has walked the path of a grieving mother twice before me, now grieves a third time, her precious baby girl, Shiloh Hope, who came at 22 weeks, on the 2nd-she same numeric day of our precious Layah. We all were so sure this baby was going to make it. This pregnancy would be full term, after all, she wasn't even supposed to have been able to get pregnant again. That was a miracle in and of itself. My heart, happy, excited, energized about my date with my "wolf", was darkened by this news that I received through her friend Alison, on facebook. I was in shock. I was angry, devastated, and it wasn't even my child, but why? God, why? How could you not intervene? How could you not keep that baby safely in her protective womb at least for 4-6 more weeks? This fallen world, Earth, is so full of unfairities. The scale of good things for good people and bad things for bad people is so mixed up. My heart continues to ache for her, just trying to fathom the emptiness her arms feel, having this 3rd baby taken from her, along with all her hopes, dreams, and plans for her. I just don't understand.
Then, Saturday, I found out that the associate director at Bright Horizon, Kembra Gordon, drowned at Orange Beach on Friday the 2nd, trying to save a friend's 2 year old. Tradgedy. It's something you can never prepare for, never anticipate how you're going to respond or react to it. All of the teachers' faces at BH were blank, not sure what to say, or if they should even say anything, afraid they might start crying in front of the children. It was obvious how much Kembra meant to all of them. Even Luke's precious teacher, Mrs. Durlyn, who is a sweet, Christian, kindred spirit, had a very unfamiliar look about her. I've never seen her without a smile, always singing and talking to our babies, yet she was quiet. Kembra leaves behind 3 daugthers, the youngest about to be a senior at Spain Park. I heard that Kembra had planned to move to the beach after her youngest graduated. Plans made, that she would have no incling would be so far removed from her future. There's another song that I heard (I hate to say I haven't been listening to much music lately since I've been listening to the books of Twilight, no on Breaking Dawn), but it's called "No Matter What", by Kerri Roberts and it cut so close to home as I heard the words:
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Psalm 31:1-16 (New International Version)
In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth. ..... I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. .....But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love " I didn't ever get to meet him, but from what I can tell, they're relationship had it's problems. Johanna told me that they had always had a "volatile" relationship, is how she phrased it. Matt and I have our share of fights, but I'd never say it's "volatile". She's in a very dark place right now. From all she's told me about the days and weeks preceding this discovery, Scott had been a bit sneaky and scheming. My heart breaks for her. She feels that she's just wasted 5 years of her life with him. At first I felt that he'd left because of the baby thoughts consuming Johanna but it doesn't seem to be just that. The whole situation is just bad. He told her that if she didn't make it difficult, he'd take care of her financially! I told her, given her fertility difficulties, she better make him pay for egg harvesting since she knows she'll have to do IVF anyway, if she remarries later on, which I think she would. It sure would have been weird if I had run into him when I went for my follow up appointment with, Juan, the cardiologist in his group.
Speaking of that visit, let me tell you how it went. I just knew it was going to be a waste of time and money. That I'd get there and be told, "yes, you had a panic attack. There's nothing wrong with your heart, " BUT he came in and said I have a PFO Patent Foramen Ovale, which is a hole in the left and right atria of the heart. A patent foramen ovale (PFO) allows blood to bypass the lungs. A baby's lungs are not used when it grows in the womb, so the hole does not cause problems in an unborn infant. The opening is supposed to close soon after birth, but sometimes it does not. In about 1 out of 3 or 4 people, the opening never closes. So apparently it's pretty common. He thinks it might be related to my migraines. There is some controversy over this idea, but both have supporting arguments. He gave me some beta blockers to take if I experience any of those same symptoms I felt that day. It's a bit scary since there is no real treatment, or no prospect to close it, unless you have a STROKE caused by a blood clot to the BRAIN! So that's comforting.... well, Juan said to make sure to let Dr. Rothrock know about this when I go and see him-in OCTOBER for all my headaches and migraines. So, who would have thought? Of course it would be me!
Luke has had the croup and currently double ear infections. I had to take him today since we are heading to the beach on Memorial Day, Monday. I'm looking forward to being on the beach to celebrate Layah's birthday. It's gonna be a bit emotional and challenging, but being able to see some of God's beauty, knowing how beautiful she was and is, will be very comforting. Sunday, during the Q& A series we've been having, one of the questions someone asked was, why do women have miscarriages or lose babies, and I just lost it as Pastor Chris' father in law explained how he and his family had first hand experience with this twice, with Tammy's sister's babies. It just came upon me like a rushing wave, and caught me off guard. I just felt such a loss, such a part of me missing at that time. My longing and aching heart's memory came flooding back. As I've said before, grief apparently is a life long journey. I will be on it until I meet my precious baby girl. Having Luke and knowing his disposition and what a happy baby he is reminds me how much not only He loves me, but how much sweet Layah loves us, to give up her spot here with us, so that Luke could come. Wow!
Friday, May 14, 2010
In talking to Johanna, having Dana round up the prayer warriors, and in talking with Amber, I think she's on a better page today. Amber can really relate more to Johanna's infertility than I can. Amber actually is celebrating her 36th birthday tomorrow! So, Johanna still has time. Amber said she'd fought infertility for 6 years before getting pregnant. Johanna, I dont think, has been trying quite that long. I'm keeping all the emails she and I shared so when she brings home-probably multiples,- she's gonna look back and realize that His plan has always been better than hers. Johanna said that Scott doesnt talk about his emotions but she said that she can tell when he's really depressed. I pray that they will comfort and encourage one another. When talking to Johanna about her trip to Maryland on the 21st to consult with the doctor she's chosen to have the IVF with, I asked her how she found him. She said that she ran across a blog and this woman had had similar problems and in talking with her by email, she felt very positive about this doctor. I assured Johanna that finding this doctor, was no coincidence. I know He has a plan for her, she just has to know she must trust Him.