Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Squash Surgery Update

Yesterday was a day I hope to never do again. I fed Squash at 3:00 to 3:30 a.m. - the last time the doctor wanted him to eat due to anesthesia. Then, we got up at 4:00 a.m., and left home at 4:45 a.m. to get to the hospital by 6:00 a.m. We walked in at 6:05 a.m. A children's hospital is definitely a place to go to if you have a child in need of medical care. They had their program down pat of where to go, wait, and what to do when. We went to admission, and waited to see a lady behind the desk. Then, he got his i.d. bracelet, and we paid our co-pay. They give a 20% discount for paying the co-pay. I found this interesting. In my mind, you HAD to pay the co-pay so why would they give you a discount for doing it right then? (Interesting irony for my Ramsey friends.) Then, we went to another waiting area. Then, we went back to the short term stay area, and met with the nurse practitioner who approved him "well" for surgery, and had his blood pressure and temperature taken. They have these really modern scopes that have a ball on the end that they run over the babies head to take the temperature (maybe they have been around for years, but I have never seen one). I thought it was really neat until I noticed they don't seem to clean them - so basically it "appeared" that they ran it over his head and all the other "well" kids waiting for some surgery... anyway, I digress. Then, he was dressed in a children's gown, and we were sent to wait in a waiting room we just came from. It was full of play cars that looked like they had NEVER been cleaned... of course, we let him play on them, but I was still wanting not too... anyway, we were called to go back to another room with a lot of other families and kids waiting on beds to go to surgery. We met with the anesthesiologist back there and talked to his doctor before surgery. Strangely enough, there was NO privacy in this room. We heard about the other families, and they heard us. I saw a family with a baby that was probably about 4 months old talking to the doctors and anesthesiologist. They were up before us, and I saw them kiss their baby goodbye. I tried not to look or pay attention, but I saw the tears in her eyes when she walked by. There could be a better way to do this...

So, they make you part ways in a hall, and they promised he would be asleep in 5 seconds. Kissing my baby goodbye and watching him be carried off - and hearing and seeing him crying and looking at me was HORRIBLE. We both needed more than a few tissues at this point.

The surgery was supposed to take an hour and a half. It was scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. He actually went back for surgery at 7:45 a.m. Then about 9:00 a.m. a nurse we had met came out and said he was doing well that the doctor had less than an hour of surgery left. Well, 10:00 a.m. rolled around, and still no doctor. Did I mention we were freezing. I put on an extra t-shirt I had brought in case I needed a change of clothes and had to spend the night. I had on 2 t-shirts and a light jean jacket and jeans. It was so cold back there. They let me use a blanket, but the blanket they gave me was icy cold. Also, we waited in a tiny individual "conference room." So, you did not wait with anyone else... we were given a pager so we could go to the cafeteria, but we did not want to leave the area. So, the doctor comes about about 10:15 and lets us go back to see him. He was laying down with a blanket up to his chin holding a bottle (very small) and was drinking glucose water. Actually, the nurse said he chugged 6 ozs and asked me how much he usually drank. Since he is breastfed, I had no idea. Mostly, he eats food - not milk. So, they let us follow him to the short stay unit and stay with him. We immediately left the short stay unit. He had been out of surgery about 30 minutes, and had been awake about 15 minutes. He was really calm and quiet. Not fussy. Then, when we got to the short stay he started to fuss to be picked up. I got to pick him up and nurse him for about 30 minutes. He was content and not fussy. He was a bit cranky after nursing and was not happy. The nurse said she would check back in about 30 minutes. She checked back and took the i.v. out of his foot. She checked his fingers for good blood flow. Then, I asked when we might be discharged, and she said, "Right now." So, that was it. The longest time there was the surgery. He did not seem to need any more pain medication, but we picked some up before leaving the hospital. We left about 11:30, and pulled out of the parking lot about 11:45. We were home about 1:00 p.m. and exhausted. Did I mention we had been up since 4:00 a.m? Also, it was extremely stressful waiting.

Now, he has a huge cast up to his shoulder to immobilize his fingers and hand. In 10 days, we go to have the cast taken off to see his hand. Then, the doctor will put it back on... So, he should be in a cast about 3 weeks. The cast or weight of it seems to throw him off balance. So, he is not walking as good as he was before. Also, he is having to play and use his sippy cup and eat with one hand... so, it is a bit challenging to scoop him up (he is heavier) and arrange his arm.

I am so thankful for everyone that prayed. Please continue to pray for his healing. I have to admit I feel that I have a scar on my heart. It is painful to watch your child leave you for surgery and be in a cast. I wish he could tell me if he is in pain or hurts or is uncomfortable. He also has an incision and some type of stitches where they took the skin for the skin graft. We have not taken off the bandage yet - and aren't supposed to remove the special tape. He found the spot during a diaper change, and tried to rip off the bandage today.

My handy husband put duct tape on the end of the cast to keep him from pulling out the stuffing and bandages after he succeeding in pulling some out. Later, I talked to the doctor and he recommended a sock. Well, the tape is off now, and the sock is working just fine... He is really missing his bath time. I am glad I let him play in the bath a long time the night before the surgery.
Did I mention his cast is bright blue?
If you read this, please comment. Also, if you prayed, please let me know. I want Squash to know someday about all his friends and loved ones praying for him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Thinking of all kinds of verses for fear. Squash is having syndactyly surgery on his hands tomorrow, and the surgery will include a skin graft. Many people that saw him every week for the first year of his life never knew he had syndactyly. I really did not want to talk about it, but now, I do. Why? Birth defects are scary and hard to understand. Why? My child's toes and fingers are so precious to me. As his mommy, I did not want him to be talked about or remembered for his toes or his hands. I wanted his stunning smile and his giggle to be what people associate with him. Not his differences. I suppose differences define each of us.

"God has always been faithful to me." That is the lyrics of the Sara Grove song on my blog that I am hearing as I write this. So true. The pediatric plastic surgeon said Squash's syndactyly is the mildest he has ever seen. What a blessing is that. It is a blessing that he has all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, and that he has all his bones.

My parents style is more of a "worry" style that I inherited. I don't "like" worry, but I am working on it. I think God gave me a husband that helps me with worry. I don't trust babysitters or sleep overs or others with my children... it is not that I don't trust the PEOPLE - but I just want to be with them, and I want to know they are SAFE. I want to be their protector. God gave them to me, and I always think that no one besides the Prince would love them as much as me.

So, tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. I will hand over my baby to someone I don't know. I will trust a doctor that I have spent less than an hour with to take my baby to surgery. I type with tears in my eyes as I ask for your prayers - for an easy surgery, for his safety, for the doctor's skill, for minimal scars, for quick healing, and for the waiting for me and my husband. My other two children will be staying with a close friend that I really trust, and they are so excited. It is hard to go and pack for their exciting sleepover - when I know in a few short hours I will be waking up my little SQUASH to nurse at 3:00 a.m. and waking up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready to leave for the drive to the hospital. I have waited 15 months for this surgery, and though you may have never heard of it before - I have thought about it every day since the day he was born. Every time I wiped his fingers and washed him at his bath.

So, I crave and beg you to pray to God for this child. I love him so much. There are sicker children and children with more needs. This is a minor surgery in the eyes of the world, but major in this mommy's heart. So, I go to hold my baby and pack our bags.

God, Bless this child. Use him for your purposes. He belongs to you. Heal his hands with this surgery and watch over him bringing him safely home to us. Be with the doctors and nurses. Bring his parents peace. Thank you for the incredible blessing of these three children. We are richly blessed. Thank you for letting us know you. I know you alone love this child more. May this surgery be the last. Your child and baby - Andrea

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ten and Counting

Yesterday, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. I had the most beautiful post written about my sweet hubby - but he disliked me sharing it - anyway, to avoid any further embarrassment - I guess you got to be "super fast" to read this blog. I posted it - then deleted it. I sent a post about posting it on face book, then deleted it. I am curious if anyone read it... anyway, it was worthy of reading. I love my husband (that was the gist of it). I had 10 reasons I love him - but I could name 100. Anyway... did I mention I really WANTED you to read it. I am excited about 10 years - not everyone makes it.

Well, moving on... guess what God showed me yesterday... I am reading through the Bible in "90 days"... I asked a few of you if you would keep me accountable and read along. Needless to say, there were NO takers. So, I started it last July, and it is well - a few more than 90 days - but God really cares that I read the Bible, but I KNOW he does not care if I read it in 90 days or 50 years. Well, maybe 50 years. But I started in Genesis, and I am now in Proverbs (past the middle if you are not Bible literate). God has taught me a lot.

Oh, back to yesterday - Proverbs 21:9 &19.

"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman." (vs.9) "Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman." (vs.19)

Contentious women. Are you one? Am I? I hope not. What in the world does that word mean? Contentious? Webster says - "likely to cause an argument... exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes." Wow - how can a word so close to "content" or "contentment" mean something so different.

My commentary in my Bible said - "The wife is commanded to respond to her husband and respect him."

So, this of course, sent me over for some cheering up - since I do tend to be a bit argumentative - so I turned to Proverbs 31 - THE VIRTUOUS WIFE. Well, for some reason, when I read Proverbs 31 - I feel a bit lacking. This is so beautiful -

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." Proverbs 31: 10-12

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." (vs. 26)

I have to admit even at 10 years, I was a bit contentious yesterday. You see I like BIG - Big EVENTS, Big PRESENTS, Big DEALS... Bigger is Better as they say in Texas. So, it was a nice day, but it is/was 10 years... we are planning a fabulous trip somewhere after Squash's surgery. But on THE DAY, God showed me that spending time with my husband was what was important- having a nice lunch and dinner - but I have to say the best meal was breakfast with the banana pecan pancakes my husband made for me. The point? Not sure if I had one. I find that my expectations are contentious. I know my expectations are wrong. No one could jump through those hoops, but I want what I want in my own selfish heart. I want AMAZING all the time, but I really want to learn to be CONTENT with today. So, my prayer is:

Lord, grant me contentment with today, and joy with the daily everyday moments. Grant me many more years of marriage, and give us peace in the upcoming days. Help me not to be a contentious wife that is "continually dripping" (Prov. 19:13).

Squash's surgery is scheduled for Monday, and we will be at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Your Invited to Visit

My Life from my Perspective
Perspective – that is what holds me back from writing. I want to share – my story. Whatever unfolds I want to share my story of how God leads and guides me and my family along the way. I want a Miracle. I want an Amazing Life. I am learning that a miracle and amazing does not mean scaling Mt. Everest (which I have no desire to do). A miracle is God’s presence. The answer to prayer. I prayed for a husband to lead my family, and to be the spiritual leader. God granted this request. It meant leaving a church and church family I loved to find a church to serve – and a new family to love. Now, I am a Deacon’s wife which the Bibles says… . “their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.” (from 1 Tim 3:11) Goodness, that is not me – but I am a work in progress. I am trying each day to be more of what God wants me to be. I am excited to see the work God is using my husband to accomplish. I have not felt so in love with God as when I was first introduced to God at the mere age of 9. I want to tell and SCREAM of the wonders that is going on in my life. I CRAVE your prayers as you read this. Prayers that God would use my family and direct us on his path.

Seeking the Narrow Gate. Why this title? I want to live differently – not punk purple hair different – but differently as “not of this world.” I want to have Fruit of the Spirit – (Church language for the ability to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.)

I will use this blog to answer the WHYs in my life… perhaps you can share a clearer path with me – take a few stones out of my path with a few kind words or a simple prayer. Share the journey. Things coming up…. Homeschooling? Preschool? Starting a Business? A Dream?

Down the path a bit – I will be learning lots of new things this year – and if you read my blog – you will be the the “know” or one of the first to know… I want to open my Etsy shop (Mere Rubies & Trifles). I want to learn to homeschool my daughter as God leads me. (First I have to find out if homeschool is one word or two – “home school”). SURPRISE – Yes, we have decided to homeschool Sweet Pea next year. I am exploring which preschool to send my son, Pumpkin . Did I mention I have visited NINE – yes, 9… I don’t take very lightly who will be teaching my son.

Did I mention that I will be using their online names instead of their real ones? Meet Sweet Pea – the first adorable daughter we had – who taught me patience as we waited two years to conceive her. Then, there is Pumpkin – I never knew I could love a boy so much. Now, there is Squash – well, being #3 – means you get squashed A LOT. Hence, he is the one who got stitches on his first birthday party. Besides, squash are ripe and juicy – and so great fried! Believe it or not, these are their real nicknames. They don’t answer to them, but they know them as nicknames… so, if you want to “follow” me on this journey. You can….

Tomorrow I will tell you about “Seeking the Narrow Gate.” (or whenever I get around to it).

p.s. I love to read and to learn… so as I “learn” something new this year I will share it. If you leave me comments, I will be so excited that someone bothered to read this.