Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Storm's A Comin!

On a Wednesday night back in early October I had a headache. Dinner was just on the table, and the girls were extra chatty as they are every Wednesday evening, excited to go to AWANA that night. I took some Tylenol and was out the door, chauffeuring them and having a coffee date with my friend Mindy. Once everyone was home and tucked in bed, I noticed my head was still throbbing. I was hoping a good night sleep would help. 
I woke up Thursday morning with my headache still there, but significantly better, so I took some more Tylenol and was off to the office. I was feeling a little behind in my work with all the time I missed with Josie out of school because of her burn, so I dove right in. After staring at a computer screen for a few hours, my headache was much worse. I decided I would call the doctor to be on the safe side. The office was closed for lunch and so I decided I would eat some lunch too. The dining hall was probably not the best option (with all the noise) so I had a quick lunch and went home to put Isaac down for a nap. 
I told Josh at lunch that I was going to call the doctor again after I put Ike down, and to be on alert that I may need to go in for an appointment, so he should try and keep his schedule a little loose. He was heading into a meeting at that time, and told me to just let him know. 
When I got ahold of the doctor, they told me to go into labor and delivery to get checked out. I felt so foolish. It was just a headache. It wasn't horrible. It didn't effect my vision, and I wasn't having contractions or anything. I called Josh to let him know he would have to cut the meeting short. He came home to be with Isaac and I walked out the door. "I'm sure it's nothing honey. I just want to be careful. I will be back before dinner."
I walked into the triage room on the fourth floor. They asked me why I was there as they took my vitals. I told them of my headache that wouldn't go away. That no, I wasn't seeing spots, and no, I didn't have any abnormal swelling. The cuff stops squeezing my arm. "Um, you aren't going anywhere until we get this BP down." My blood pressure when I checked in was 227/127. Yikes!
They hooked me up to a monitor for the baby's heartrate, one to measure contractions (I wasn't having any), and a blood pressure cuff that was going off every 30 minutes. One nurse had me lie on my side, another said it was more accurate to have me sitting up. Nothing was actually bringing it down though. 
"We are going to have to admit you. We will run some blood tests and a urine test and see how you are doing."
I snapped a picture of my belly all hooked up to monitors and sent it to Josh. "I may be here a while. Can you get dinner going and get Emma a ride home from soccer?"
During this whole time, I really am pretty clueless as to how bad things were. I knew they said my blood pressure was high, but I didn't realize that it was dangerously high. I heard of preeclampsia before, but didn't really know much about it. Anyways, I felt fine everywhere except this headache. 
They place me in a room with a nice bed directly across from the nurses station. Even though this is baby number 5, I had them all by csection. I had never been in a labor room. My bed had these big blue pads being strapped to the rails. Was this standard? I didn't know they were putting the pads on my bed to protect me if I had a seizure. 
I really don't know why I was so unaware of how serious this was. Maybe the nurses were trying to protect me by not letting me stress and worry. Maybe my brain wasn't working at full capacity because of how sick I was. I just know that as I was lying there in bed, I was worried they may put me on bedrest. I don't know how we would handle bedrest! We still have burn clinic appointments every other day for Josie, plus two girls in soccer, and a toddler! Little did I know that bedrest is something I would look back at and long for. I had no idea what lied ahead. 


This is the picture I texted Josh, and incidentally the last picture I have of me pregnant. 





Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcome Ezra Henry

I have been trying for a while now to write a post on the birth of my newest son, Ezra. I just haven't been able to put it into words yet. It was pretty traumatic for me, and I am still processing some of it.
In the meantime though, I want to shout to the world that he is here!
Arriving at 31 weeks and 3 days, little Ezra Henry Mathew was born on October 12th, weighing 3lbs 8oz and 16 inches long.
He has a long road to go before he can come home, but he is a fighter!


Here is the moment when I first got to hold my sweet, tiny little boy, five days after his birth.

I am so thankful for God's protection for my life, and the life of my son. Praise be to God!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

Today was a day we have been looking forward to for so long!!! Josie went back to school!
She had her morning burn clinic appointment and after she got bandaged, we headed over to her school. She actually squealed when we pulled into the parking lot! So adorable.
It's no wonder why she missed school so much. When we went to drop her off in class, kids were shouting her name in the hallway, and greeted her with lots of cheers (and a charging group of hugs her awesome teacher intercepted, and I was very grateful for!).
The class filled the board with sweet words, and fun drawings. Josie was really feeling the love!
Jo wanted to bring something for the class to let them know how much their care and concern meant to her these past weeks, so we brought in muffins. She was glad to be able to give something back, even though it was little.
I don't know if it was pregnancy hormones, or what, but I teared up as I said goodbye to my sweet girl. I know she is in good hands though, with a class that is excited for her to be back, and a teacher who cares for her like she is one of her own.
I can't thank everyone enough for your prayers for Josie. These past weeks have been quite a trial. We are grateful for a God who brought us through.
She will still have to see the burn clinic every other day until her burn is healed up, but this was a HUGE milestone!

Josie in front of her special board full of messages.






Josie and Miss Campbell. Josie told me today she was going to knock her over with the biggest hug. I'm glad she didn't actually knock her over, but she probably could have!



Monday, October 6, 2014

We Have Good News

We had a very eventful weekend in our home. Thankfully we all pulled through!
Sunday evening I went for a stroll with Isaac to just get out of the house and see some fall colors that I have only been able to enjoy through the window, or from people's Facebook pictures.
I only made it around the block and I had a horrible sharp pain on my side. It lingered for much longer than I was comfortable with, and I had to call Josh to come walk me home! So much for my stroll!
Anyhow, as I was walking I felt what can only be described as a pop on my upper right side of my abdomen, and then a warm sensation across my stomach, and relief from the pain. So weird, and slightly scary knowing that I had a bad gallbladder that I need removed after the baby comes.
I called the nurse hot line. I didn't want to go to the ER, since I was no longer in pain, but I was nervous because of the baby. I wasn't sure what to do. The nurse hot line told me to go to Labor and Delivery.
Meanwhile, Josh just called and learned he was to report for jury duty the next morning at 8am, and we had a burn clinic appointment for Josie at 8:45 am, and he is not sure what is going on with his wife. I think to say that it was a stressful evening for Josh would be an understatement. He may have an extra gray hair or two in his beard this morning. 
I felt silly being in Labor and Delivery for not really being in pain, no contractions, or other distressing pregnancy related things, just this weird side pain and popping. When I got there though, my BP was ridiculously high! They decided they did not care about the side pain and popping, but my blood pressure was going to keep me there for a while!
Long story short, my BP went down a sufficient amount, baby boy's kicks and heart rate were excellent, and I got home a little after midnight with a clean bill of health, and no idea what the weird pain was. I guess no news in this case was good news.
Now, onto our exciting news. I took Josie to the appointment this morning. She WALKED in (no crutches) FULLY CLOTHED (granted it was sweat pants, but that is fine with me!) and left with a note from her doctor saying that after her Wednesday appointment, she was okay to GO TO SCHOOL!!! What awesome answers to prayer from a God who sees the details! 
Tonight, Josie is sleeping upstairs in her room for the first time in weeks. She is excited at the idea of going back to school Wednesday, and we are too. She misses her teacher and friends so much!
I know that she is quickly on the way to full recovery, but I am going to miss hanging out with my Josie girl. She is a neat kid, and I have cherished the extra time I have had with her, and I know Josh has too! If only it was under happier circumstances!
Thank you all for praying for her! She still has a bit to go, but has made HUGE strides!



Josie spending some quality time with Isaac this morning. I love their special relationship!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Time Slowly Whizzes By

That is what this last week has felt like. The days are long, but the weeks go fast.
There hasn't really been much to report on the home front with Josie's healing it seems, but then we have a day like today that makes us realize how far she has come!
She has been going to her daily appointments at the burn clinic. There is continually new growth of skin. We are so thankful for that! Sometimes I think I am expecting more progress, and there isn't, and then I think there won't be much, and that day a whole bunch of new skin growth will have taken place!
Today, after they dressed the wound, we talked about the high possibility of Josie returning to school next week sometime! That blew me out of the water!
There are a few things that need to be able to happen for her to go to school, the first being able to wear specific items of clothing! I had to order a few uniform dresses for her to wear to school. She generally wears pants, but they aren't really a viable option at this time. She needs to be able to wear underclothes as well, but due to the location of the burn, we have not been successful in that yet.
She needs to be able to shower. She has had old maid's baths, and we have washed her hair, but she hasn't been able to get into the shower yet and that is necessary!
She needs to be off her pain meds completely. At least, I think this is the case. For sure she needs to be off narcotics completely (which she is almost there), but as far as Tylenol and Ibuprophen,  I am thinking she will have to be off of those too, as that is something she would have to get from me. I will be checking into that soon though.
Something this momma is worried about is her being emotionally ready. She has suffered a trauma, and sometimes she is in tears over it. I am afraid of her getting overwhelmed at school. I am also afraid a classmate may bump her accidentally and her be in a lot of pain! It really still hurts to touch.
I would also like to see her off the crutches soon. I think she is able to do this, but too nervous to try.
If you could please be praying for these things, we would really appreciate it.
I wanted to thank you all for praying for me, specifically my back. It is feeling much, much better, which is such a blessing because I can now help Josie (and the family) out more.





Time passing as the balloons start sagging. So thankful for how far we've come!





Monday, September 29, 2014

One "Step" Closer to Recovery

Today was another great day of healing for Josie. This is truly an answer to prayer how fast she is recovering, as everyone who cares for her burns remarks at how quick and unheard of her recovery is. 
Today was the last day of the arm bandages, which means that out of her torso, arm, and thigh, she only has a bandage left on her thigh! The open part of the wound is getting smaller and smaller in circumference daily!
Getting completely off the Norco has been great for her. The Tylenol 3 doesn't seem to effect her moods so much, and she is awake more. We've spent a lot of time drawing, watching movies, and reading. Today she was even able to start some of her school work that she missed out on last week.
Tonight we tried out some crutches too! It was great to see her be able to move around (a bit) again! She pushed it a little too much, and is feeling it right now, but hopefully sleep will come soon.
We cannot thank you enough for all your prayers, visits, calls, meals, packages, and hugs. They mean SO much!


Josie received a special quilt in a package today, made just for her! She was so excited!




Thrilled to not be completely couch bound! Notice her guard dog always at her side. 





Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunshine Therapy

Today was such a beautiful day! We talked Josie into letting us take her outside for some fresh air and sunshine, and I think she enjoyed herself!




Thanks for all the prayers. We have an appointment at the burn clinic tomorrow morning at 9am, and we are eager to see how much skin growth occurred over the weekend. 
She's getting better every day! Thank you, Lord!