Sunday, July 26, 2009

Praying for Stellan

Stellan is home now! He never had to be airlifted to Boston and gets to wait at least a little while longer for his surgery.

Stellan is going to be airlifted to Boston to have another surgery. This is probably going to mean being dependant on a pacemaker for the rest of his life but as his mom said "If he ends up with a dead AV node and is pacemaker dependent for life, at least he'll have a life."

Last night Stellan was actually SVT free for an hour and a half which was a nice break for him and for his parents. Please continue to pray for Stellan and his family, for a safe trip, wisdom for the doctors, success in the surgery and for a quick recovery.


I know not many people read this, but for those of you who do, please be on your knees in prayer for Stellan. Long story short, he was diagnosed with heart problems at 20 weeks gestation and they thought he would die in utero, but he was born alive and without any of the heart problems he had been encountering. Then at about 4 months old his heart problems reappeared. Since then, he has been in and out of the hospital and had surgery. He's in the hospital now and things aren't going so well.

After what we went through with Logan, it's hard to see another Mommy going through this. Stellan and his family need prayers for health, faith, wisdom, and comfort in the coming days. Hopefully I will be updating soon to say that Stellan is doing much better.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Mission

One year ago today Doug's parents, Grandmother and Aunt came to see Logan. We had already been told that his kidneys were not functioning properly and he had started swelling up. When I went in to see him it was so heartbreaking I just cried.

Doug had to leave for work early the next morning so we had told the nurses that we would be back early to see Logan. Around 4:30am the NICU called us. They said that they wanted to prepare us because they had changed Logan's ventilator to a bigger one and his color was slightly gray because his oxygen saturation levels were low. Doug and I decided to go on to the hospital.

When we got there Doug noticed that his eyes were open and I think I knew right then that he was saying goodbye. We stood over him for a few minutes and then the nurse practitioner took us aside to explain what was going on. They told us that Logan wasn't getting enough oxygen and that they were making plans to possibly transfer him to another hospital that had a different kind of ventilator. They then showed us to a room where we could sit and talk. Doug decided not to go to work and I layed down because I was worn out. We called my parents and asked them to bring me some clothes (I was wearing my sweatpants) and the breast pump so that I would have them if we went to the other hospital.

Then the nurse practitioner came in. She told us that Logan was deteriorating quickly and that we needed to go in. She warned us that the nurses were performing chest compressions. It is all like a big fog to me really. I remember walking into the NICU and going over to Logan. Doug was standing behind me and I reached out to touch him. The nurses were talking and the machines were beeping but it was like I was underwater. I couldn't really hear anything. Until the nurses asked me if I wanted to hold him. I said yes and they got us two chairs. I sat down and they handed me my precious little boy. Doug and I were both crying and I didn't want to let Logan go but I handed him to Doug and Logan breathed his last.

The nurses told us we could go to the room and they would unhook Logan from all of the wires. They brought him to us all wrapped up and we sat holding him for quite sometime. It was a crazy morning and eventually we left with Logan to make the drive to Troy to the funeral home.

When I look back, the moments immediately prior to Logan's death were very peaceful. I knew he was going to heaven and that he would be okay. The hardest part for me was standing by Doug when he called his parents to tell them. I can remember his words and the look on his face like it happened 2 seconds ago. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment.

And then came the anger. I was mad at God, that he took my baby. I was mad at the chaplain, that he didn't come sooner. I was just plain mad. And I coped by planning: for the funeral, the cemetary, the stone.

I remember feeling like I should have said something. Like I should have yelled at the nurses to keep Logan alive or yelled at Logan to keep fighting. But I didn't say anything. Then at the funeral and the cemetary I wanted to rip open the coffin and just pull him out. I wanted to scream at everyone to leave me alone.

The past year has been hard. But we've made it and we're stronger for it. Yesterday at church we read the story of Amos who was called by God to deliver a message and then rejected by the people of Israel.

12 Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. 15 The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.
The priest talked about realizing the mission God is giving us and that we have to be open to it, even if we don't think we want it. I cried all through his sermon. I felt myself thinking "I don't want this God". I don't want to be the woman whose baby died. I don't want to be the one to comfort other women because I've been in their shoes. I don't want to be making these bears to help other mothers of angels. Because I want my son here.

But that's not God's plan. This is the mission He has given me and I just have to do the best with what I've been given.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

God's Ways

While I do believe that God is always there for us, no one has convinced me yet that God is in everything we do. When I accidentally send an email to the wrong person, or fall and hit my head on a window sill (both things I've really done) I just don't believe that God is there, making that happen for some reason. But sometimes, He really does work in mysterious ways in our lives. Sometimes things happen that give you goose bumps and you know that He made it happen.

Yesterday, my boss walked into my office with another man. He asked me if the guy looked familiar. As I sat there looking at the guy I knew I recognized his face but I could not, for the life of me, figure out where I had met him. Then the guy says "I sat in front of you at SE200 training in Colorado". Immediately I knew who he was, Hank.

In May 2008, almost exactly one month before I was admitted to the hospital, I went to Colorado for some training on some new equipment we were getting at work. Hank was from Oklahoma and his company was getting the same equipment. What you have to know about all of this is that I went to Colorado the day of my 20 week ultrasound. I was showing those pictures off like a proud mama should.

When Hank walked into my office he looked at the pictures of Logan that I have hung on my walls and I thought to myself, oh boy, I'm going to have to explain all of this. I've explained the story many times before. Putting his pictures on my walls encourages people to ask and I normally enjoy telling them all about him, but with it being so close to the anniversary I knew it was going to be hard.

Hank told me that he moved to Alabama and is working for a company that may do business with us. He was basically here to do a sales pitch and so we went into a meeting room for that. After the business part was done, my boss left. And Hank, the guy from Oklahoma who I met in Colorado and is now living in Alabama, pulled me aside.

He asked me if the pictures were of my baby and I immediately said "Yes but he passed away". And then I got the shock of my life when Hank said "I heard that and I wanted to tell you that you are not alone". I asked how he had heard and he told me that he couldn't remember but that when he did hear about it his heart sank. "No one should have to do that" he said, before telling me that he and his wife had lost a son to a cord accident 10 years ago. Tears welled up in my eyes as he told me his story and let me tell him mine. He asked my son's name and told me his son's. He told me that if I wanted to talk I could call him, not to hesitate. I thanked him for sharing his story and sat down at my desk, amazed that such a coincidence could happen.

And then I realized that it was no coincidence. God put Hank in my life. He introduced us at a happy time and reunited us when I needed it most. Hank also told me that after their son, his wife had a miscarriage and then had fertility problems, which happen to be similar to mine. He told me that they went with Clomid for several months and then decided to give up. They already had a son before the stillbirth and thought that would be enough. And the very next month, they got pregnant with a little girl they named Anna.

God gave me HOPE yesterday through a guy named Hank.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Father and Son

Most new dads hold their child for the first time just moments after the child is born. For Doug, it was 7 days after Logan's birth before he was able to hold his son. But he was just as happy, just as proud as any new daddy.

From the beginning, Logan responded to Doug. Logan's heart rate would sometimes get too high or too low in the early days but when Doug would talk to him it would always level out. You could feel the love between them just watching them together. It's a love that's still there in our lives every day. Sometimes it's a painful love, but it's always there. Just as Logan is always with us.