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Henri,  You are turning into a boy.  Your baby chub is gone.  You’re getting so tall.   You started kindergarten and boy does your teacher love you.   I’m glad she thinks you’re as amazing as I do. You are gentle and soft. You are smart and witty.  You are really starting to show your funny side.  You love to joke and make us laugh. You are also very serious and determined.  You are tough.  So tough, you’ve never cried for a shot or getting your blood drawn, ever.  You can finish a 500 piece puzzle in a matter of days. You are brilliant and I am lucky you are mine.  Love you so bad.

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Ava,  You are growing up so fast.  You turned 9 in the blink of an eye.   I think back to being in the hospital after having you.  20 years old, clueless and in love.  So in love with you.  You made me a momma.  We’ve grown up together.  You are strong willed and can test my patience.  You are kind and have the biggest heart.  You are wise beyond your years, understanding and caring.   You love animals and we’d have a farm if I let you.  You are outgoing and life is a party.  You are innocent and still my little girl.   You are brilliant and things just come natural to you.  You have a strong testimony of your Heavenly Father.  You are so good to your brothers and sister.   You are my best friend.   You are beautiful.  I love watching you grow into a beautiful young lady.   I love you so bad.

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Here’s to a new year

2013 I say you were a terrible year and Ivan disagrees and says it was the best year of our lives.  I say I’m glad to see you go.  I had the hardest pregnancy of any of my pregnancies.  I had debilitating anxiety.  I don’t know how I made it out alive.  I have never and hope to never feel that way again.  I am sad for anyone who suffers from anxiety on a regular basis.  It is very real and very emotional mental and physically exhausting to live in a state of constant fear and worry.  My midwife told me I had the  pregnancy I did to prepare me for what was to come.  I think she’s right.  I’d say this year changed me more than any year, possibly all other years combined.  Jack was born with a sick heart and its been a long recovery.  Not long in terms of chd but long for what I thought was a healthy baby.  I am so blessed and the last half of the year really was amazing.  I have a whole new respect for the amazing man I married.  The father he is to our babies.  The babies we have and all the happiness they bring to this family.  I really do enjoy every single day.  Maybe its come with age maybe its come with grieving what I thought would be the loss of my baby.   I emotionally prepared myself for Jack’s passing.  I hardened myself in a way.  I knew Id have to be strong.  I stuffed down those feeling of not thinking I could move on and live without this baby.  The baby I loved more than life itself.  The baby I wished over and over I could change places with.  I imagine a piece of a mother dies when she loses a child.  I didn’t lose him and I thank my heavenly father everyday for that but I think that part of me is still fragile, still trying to come back.

//This year I’m going to focus on my family all the other stuff can wait.  My house doesn’t need to be spotless.  I know someday Ill miss those filthy hand prints on everything.
//I’m going to make sure my kids know how important they are to me and how much I love them.
//I’m going to date my husband.  Marriage is something you always work on,  you don’t take it for granted.
//I’m going to work on raising money for hospitals and families in need.  Something as small as a blanket or toy or someone letting you know its okay to be sad and angry when you are in the hospital can make a world of difference.
//I’m going to be a good friend and be there for friends that need me.
//I’m going to work on finding my strengths and talents.  Ive got to be really good at something besides diaper changing.
//Most importantly I’m going to enjoy myself.  Happiness is what you make it.  Its not a place or a thing.  Its a decision you make and I chose to love every minute or at least most of them. To laugh off the hard ones and cherish the good.

A year in pictures

^^^I laugh every time I see this picture of Ava this is the look of a child whose being tossed from family member to family member while her parents are in the hospital.  I can only imagine what the photographer thought when she walked in looking so disheveled.

Here’s to 2014
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Cardiologist TAPVR 8 month check up

We just had Jacks 8 month cardiologist appointment.  I get so nervous for these appointments.  I worry about what they will see in his echo.  Will he need another surgery?  Will the pressures in his heart be where they should?  Is his confluence growing?  All these thoughts and emotions run through me the week before.  Jack still has a hole between his right and left chambers.  All babies born with TAPVR have it.  Its the only thing that keeps them alive.  Normally they close it when they are reattaching the veins to the heart.  Jacks couldn’t be closed because the pressure in his heart was too high from him being undiagnosed for 2 weeks.  His cardiologist said we’d watch it and best case scenario its closes on its own, worst case he has a catheter procedure and they go in and close it when he’s a few years old.  We also watch to see how his confluence is growing, where they attached the veins.  Its scar tissue so it can be unpredictable.  Ideally it will grow with his body and get bigger as he does.  If it doesn’t grow then they would have to go back in and do another open heart surgery and make it bigger.  So I worry, I can’t imagine him going through all of that again.  At his four month cardiologist appointment everything looked good but still unchanged from his 2 month.  I have to be honest I was a little discouraged.  I get sad that they couldn’t close the hole initially.  I just want this all behind him.

We always start with an echo.  The best advice I can give any parent when taking your child in for an echo is be prepared.  It can take an hour and babies hate laying flat for that long.  I pumped milk, brought toys and had his favorite music.  The other option is a sedated echo and no parent wants to do that.  Of course they can’t tell you what they see on the echo so we head into the room and wait for the doctor.  Our doctor was at lunch so we had to wait an hour in between the echo and actually seeing the doctor.  Pure torture I tell you.  The doctor came in and looked over Jack.  He always tells me he can’t believe how bad he was and how great he is now.  He’s putting on weight and growing like a champ.  He said his confluence is growing and his hole is closing!  I really was shocked and amazed.  Jack is a fighter and blows me away everyday.  This really is the best news we could have ever gotten!  We don’t have to go back for 8 more months and if everything continues the way it is we can go to once yearly appointments.  Wahoo!!!!

Cardiologist appointment

His scar is really starting to fade
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Joys of sitting in the waiting room for an hour I want that picture above Ivan’s head to hang in Jack’s room
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