Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Playing the catch up game!

Time is flying by before my eyes and I am not sure if I am liking it or not. Van the Man is growing into such a "big" boy and Eva the Diva is not my "newborn" anymore.  I can't believe in 3 weeks she will be 6 months!

Where is the time going?

Can we stop it or make it go in  s l o w   m o t i o n?

A girl can wish, right?

Van will be graduating 3K in a couple of days. I have enjoyed taking him and picking him up from school these past couple of months. I wasn't able to do so the first part of the year due to "bedrest". He has had a great school year learning how to write his letters and numbers. My favorite subject he is learning about is the love our Father has for us. His favorite is play ground time!  He has made some great friends this year and so has Mommy.

Eva has changed so much since the day we brought her home. Right now she wants to "sit up" all the time. She will tri-pod sit for long periods of time. But have something behind her, she likes to push herself backwards really fast! She loves to give open mouth kisses, you may get a surprise tongue from time to time. Poor girl is teething. She wants everything and anything in her mouth. It makes momma sad when she is hurting and I can't take it away instantly. We are still having spit-up issues and some minor sleeping issues. Other than that she is the best baby!  She loves to smile at everyone. It takes twice as long to do anything out in public. Everyone wants to see her and of course they talk about how cute she is, oh and how chunky! Makes momma proud!

Who wouldn't want to love on this precious baby?

Travis is doing good. I thank God everyday for giving me such a hard working husband. He works a lot and never complains about it. He is just thankful! With him working so hard it is allowing me to stay home with our precious kiddos. Awesome, huh? I think so!

 God has placed a ministry in Fort Valley on T's heart. It is called the Feed Center Outreach Ministry. They are a non-profit organization that helps people get off the streets and back on their feet through many programs. Some programs they offer are drug and alcohol treatment, an emergency food bank, a youth mentoring program and a free medical clinic. He has gone with Pastor Al, founder of the ministry, to a big neighborhood outreach and loved it. He talked about it for days! God has given T such a loving and giving heart. Who would have thought a quiet and shy guy growing up would be in evangelism? This is defiantly God and the Holy Spirit working through him and I love it!

Last but not least...

I am doing good also. I am done with doctors for a while...which makes me really happy! My white count is still elevated but after many many rounds of lab work they still cannot find the source of infection. I wanted and needed a break so I said I would maybe be back in 6 months. I know that God has healed me completely and this is just the devil making me question or doubt my healing.

I will not become "faint or weary" for I know my God has healed me!

"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

For my trust is in the Lord!

I have been praying the "God where do you want me prayer" for the past few months.  I know I have been called into ministry. But I am still waiting on God's reply...sometimes I panic in the quietness and question:

 "did I miss you God?"

I know my answer will be revealed soon. I am praying that I have ears to hear, a heart that is open and eyes to see!

For my trust is in the Lord!

Until then I am excited to start serving along side of my husband. I know God is moving us out of our comfort zones. The devil and our flesh can play such harsh mind games...telling us we are not worthy, we are not smart enough or that we don't know enough to share God's Word. But I am reminded of all the stories where God used ordinary people, where their past were a total wreck, and just full of junk. I want to be that ordinary person that God uses to bring more people to Him!

I just love how God is changing mine and T's heart and the way we view things now. Sometimes I can just cry tears of joy and be is awe of God's goodness and faithfulness!

I am not going to make any promises...but I have it on my "to do" list to keep this blog more updated.

Oh, only if time could go in  s l o w  m o t i o n!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mommy got sick- this is a LONG one!

The whole first week after bringing Eva home I wasn't feeling that great but I thought it was expected after having a c-section. The swelling was awful. I could barely walk it hurt so bad. I was told by friends that swelling was normal after having a c-section. My breathing was always labored during pregnancy and still was afterwards. I thought it was just taking time to get back to normal. On Friday I started coughing a lot and couldn't stop. That night I was up and down all night. I was coughing so hard that I started vomiting. Early Saturday morning Travis called my mom and Teresa to come stay with the kids so he could take me to the ER. At this time I felt like a huge elephant was sitting on my chest.

We arrived at the ER and Dr. C was waiting on me so they took me right back. I don't remember the ride there at all because I was so out of it. My blood pressure was sky high and I was only sating 75 in respiration (normal is in the 90's). They put me on oxygen right away. I use to work at the Med Center so I knew most of the crew that was caring for me. It took them many tries to get an IV. That was and is one of the worst parts for me. I was stuck so many times. They even tried in my neck (never again will I let them do that), it was the worst pain ever. Dr.C ordered a chest x-ray to see what was going on. They found out my lungs were filled with some type of fluid. I was admitted and taken to the 3rd floor. At this time Dr. C told me he was calling in a pulmonologists and an infection control doctor. Dr. D (pulmonologists) came and ordered several test and a lung biopsy. Many reasons were thrown out causing problems with my lungs- congested heart failure, cancer and several other things. I was on high levels of oxygen and the longer I was there the more respiratory had to up my levels of oxygen.

I was missing my babies so much and I just wanted to be home. I cried a lot when I was alone because my heart was so broken. I couldn't believe all this was happening. I remember only bits and pieces after the first 2 days. I asked my sister, Ginger and Travis to write the rest of the blog about when things went from bad to worse. My last memory I had was Pastor Dave from our church coming to pray over me and having communion. What a wonderful last memory!

This is from Ginger:

Melissa has asked me to write about her visit in ICU a week after she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl Eva Faith. So I will do my best to keep it short, to the point and to keep my wits about me as I type.

I am a little fuzzy on what brought her the hospital, so I will start with what I know. Melissa went to the hospital on Saturday, she was having trouble breathing and was put on oxygen. As many of you did too - Melissa and I text and spoke often. She was heart broken about being away from her sweet new baby Eva. I would call and check on her everyday, but on Wednesday she did not answer the phone. Tommy (Melissa's Dad) answered and said she was sent to ICU and put on a respirator. That she was not breathing on her own and needed the respirator to help her. She was put into a medically induced coma.

On Thursday I arrived to be by sisterʼs side and to be with our family. It was the worst day of my life. Our mother had to tell me that Dr. D had told them that Melissa was very, very sick and may not survive. They said that they believed she had amniotic fluid in her lungs and it was fatal. All I could think about was how Melissa and Travis just wanted to be parents. Why was all this happening to them? I thought of how much Melissa loves Van and what she went through to get Eva here. How Eva would not know her mothers voice, touch, laugh or smell. All the things that you take for granted. How Travis would handle losing Melissa- how I would or anyone would. Then, I thought, NO, NO, NO this is not happening!! Melissa WILL get better, she HAS to get better even though her lungs are full of liquid, she has a fever of 104, her white blood
count is off, her protein levels are off and she is malnourished. Her body was so full of fluid she was unrecognizable. She had a feeding tube in her nose, a machine breathing for her and a fever that would not break. It felt like a bad nightmare, but was very real once we took one look at Van sleeping with his arms wrapped tightly around his two “sleep dogs”. He was so innocent and so unaware of what was happening. While he was sleeping in the room next to me his Mom was in ICU fighting for her life.

Friday was not much better. Her lungs were still full of liquid even after they had been washed twice, she had a draining tube in her lungs and she had two lung biopsies (these things had already taken place on Wed). The only thing we could do was pray for her and keep encouraging her to fight. Melissa was non responsive to any and everything, she had been placed in a coma on Wed. Dr. Lu came by and began to ask Mom and I many questions about the sequence of events from Evaʼs birth to Melissa arriving at the hospital. Dr. Lu did not believe it was amniotic fluid (which test later that day also said there was no amniotic fluid in her lungs) she thought it could be a blood clot. She ordered a CT with contrast. It took four hours to prepare Melissa for the CT. At 11 p.m. that night we found out that there was no blood clot. We were in shock. Everyone said it had to be a blood clot and that if it was it could be treated. Once again our hearts sank. We had to go home not knowing if the phone was going to ring in the middle of the night with bad news.

I believe it was Saturday or Sunday night when Mom and I went for one last visit to say goodnight to Melissa when we got another bad scare. The nurses name was also Melissa. She was working on Melissa frantically, placing large bags of ice on Melissaʼs core body parts and turning the cooling blankets on. Melissa fever was sky high with no signs of stopping. The nurse had ordered a new antibiotic to help Melissaʼs fight to get well. This was a huge set back for us,we had been told that the top portion of Melissaʼs lungs had suddenly cleared! Which was amazing! The doctors could not explain why or what had worked. Now we had to leave for the night broken hearted. Mom and I would try to update facebook when we could. It was hard to put updates, we wanted to but struggled with what to write. We would read the caring posts that Melissaʼs friends and loved ones wrote. It helped us to know that so many people were praying for Melissa to recover.

The next morning after the ice bags and cooling blanket was nothing short of a miracle! Melissaʼs fever finally broke and her breathing was getting stronger. The doctors were able to turn the air flow down on the respirator. We were over come with joy! The swelling in her face was also gone and she was beginning to look a little like herself. As the day went on her breathing was getting better and better. So strong that it was time to let Melissa wake from her coma and see how much she had recovered. Travisʼs reaction was priceless as you can imagine. He was so determined that Melissa would be home for Christmas. That she would be their Christmas miracle. Eva was the first miracle and Melissa would be the second. Until now, the rest of us were not so sure. The doctors told us IF Melissa made it, she would be in ICU for weeks and at least a 6 month recovery after ICU.

Travis would not leave the hospital that night. He slept in the ICU waiting room. He wanted to be the first person Melissa saw when she opened her eyes. And he was! We were all so happy that Melissa was getting better. Dr. D was very shocked when he saw that Melissa was awake and breathing with oxygen- not the respirator. He was at a loss for words. He just kept saying he could not believe it. Her x-rays also showed
that her lungs had cleared. She still had a little crackle, but all was good. Over the next day, little by little, she was able to lose more tubes from her battered body. She was moved out of ICU and into the cardio unit where she had to start physical therapy.

Each day we saw Melissa getting stronger. Her will to get home to be with her new baby girl Eva, her sweet son Van and loving husband Travis was amazing. I was so happy to see her beautiful blue eyes, to see her smile and to hear her laugh, a laugh that I love so much, was the best Christmas gift EVER! At that moment I did not care that there was no explanation for what had happened to Melissa. I was just happy that she was
becoming Melissa again! She still was not 100%, but she was well on her way!

Melissa was released from the hospital on December 23, with the doctors still unaware of what had caused Melissa to become so sick.

On behalf of our family, I would like to thank everyone for praying so hard for Melissa and her family. Dwayne and Al thank you for your many prayers, Crystal and Carolyn thank you for being there, Shane
thank you for helping us understand all the many machines that Melissa was hooked up to, Josephine, Deidre, Fawn and Uvlyn thank you for the treats and magazines. Jeremy and Amy thanks for picking me up from the airport and getting me to Macon. Also thank you to all the visitors that came to show Melissa and the family your love. It really warmed our hearts to know that we were not in this fight alone.

This is after the swelling had gone down some.
I am only showing this picture just so you can see what a miracle!

From Travis:

The night Melissa was put on the ventilator I anointed her with oil and prayed over her in the Spirit. Friday they called me at work around noon and her mother told me she had a 50/50 chance of coming out of this. So I jumped in my car and headed that way. I called Dwayne, Al and Tim and told them I needed them to come to the hospital to pray over Melissa. I talked to my mom on the way there and I broke down and started crying. I told Satan that he was NOT taking my wife and she will be home for Christmas. When everyone got there including Melissa's mom- Debbie, Ginger and the nurse we all laid hands on her, anointed her in oil and began to pray. The next day her lungs began to clear a little but she kept running fevers. The doctors told us to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst.  I told Melissa's mom and dad that I didn't care what the doctors said that she WILL be home for Christmas.  Saturday night her lungs were clearing up more and the doctor told us it was a miracle and he couldn't explain what was clearing them up!

Sunday they started to wean her off the vent to see if she would wake up on her own. She didn't that day but I had a feeling she would in the morning. So I told her mom and dad I was staying the night. I wanted to see her first thing when she woke up. Sure enough 5:30 Monday morning I went into her room and her beautiful blue eyes were looking at me! She said "Hey Babe!"

Tuesday they started getting her up into a chair. It was hard for her to talk because her tongue was very swollen from the breathing tube and her tongue had been cut as well. She asked for a slushy and on my way to get one, I called everyone I knew to tell them she has asked for a slushy! On Wednesday they moved her to a room on the step down unit. They began working with her to help her walk again with a walker. Her strength and determination to get home was amazing. The Thursday BEFORE Christmas she called and told me they were sending her home late that afternoon!

So my hope to whoever is reading this will see by faith and holding onto what you know is true of God that you will never give up on what you believe no matter what other people might tell you. God comforted me and assured me that Melissa was coming home! Our little girl Eva Faith was our first Christmas miracle and Melissa was our second!

Wow! Our God is an awesome God! I am still so overwhelmed by the miracle my Father did for me. Every time I think of it (which is daily still) I think of the song "Shout unto God" it says, " the enemy has been defeated. Death couldn't hold you down. I'm going to lift our voices in victory and make our praises loud." Even though death was spoke over me, once again in our journey the enemy has been defeated!! Praise God!!

I can't tell you how thankful I am for such wonderful family and friends. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness that was sent my way during such a horrible time. I know hundreds of prayers went up in my name and I thank every single one of you! You knew myself and my family were in a battle against the enemy. It says in 1 Chronicles 5 that the people cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayers because they trusted in him. Thank you for trusting in our God and going to him in prayer on my behalf. When I awoke from the coma I could literally feel the presence of the Lord. We laugh and say that God was tired of hearing my name so he just went ahead and healed me! I can't imagine the waves of emotions that my family and friends went through during those weeks. I am so blessed to have such great family and friends to be there for me even when I was unaware of their presence. How sweet that my Dad would always be at the 5:30 a.m visiting hour and all the others throughout the day. He never really wanted me to be alone. My mom and sister would take care of me everyday and would do whatever they could to make sure I was comfortable. My best friend Crystal came to be there for me from FL. She would talk to me and encourage me to wake up. Travis' mom, Teresa and Aunt Twila took care of my precious babies when I could not. We never had to worry about them- just miss them terribly. The names could go on forever all that helped and were there for us!

I stand here so proud of my husband for being so strong and brave during it all. He leaned on God the whole way through! So blessed to have married a God loving husband, one that will stand in the gap for me when I am unable to pray myself. So thankful he held onto and believed God's Word even though words of death were spoken over me. He stood in faith, fasted and believed I was coming home before Christmas- and I DID!! TWO days before!!! Praise God!! It brings me to tears every time I think or talk about it. Once again I am just so overwhelmed! The radio was playing in the car the other day, I wasn't really listening so I have no clue who or what the song was but one statement stood out to me and I know it was God's way of talking to me. It said "it's not what we choose but what He uses." We wouldn't have choose any of this to happen but I am so glad God is able to use us through our life journeys to honor and share about our Father's love and faithfulness! I just can't thank and praise God enough for the goodness that He has done in our lives!
On Christmas Day our family was all together!

When I arrived home I had to have 24 hour care. I was unable to walk without a walker or do anything for myself. I lost all muscle control and strength while I was in the hospital. My nick name for a week was the "paper weight"! It took everything I had just to get out of bed. I was unable to hold Eva for long periods until about the 5th or 6th day home. I was unable to carry her for the first 2 weeks. I couldn't be home alone with the kids for those weeks. I had to learn to do everything again. My brain would think I could but my body could not. Daily task like showers, fixing something to eat, and even going to the restroom were difficult. Travis and I had great bonding times that first week! For Christmas I got a walker, shower bench and a raised toilet seat!! But Praise God my recovery was quick! By the 4th week out I had stopped using all 3 of those items. To this day I am doing great! I have a minor cough but my lungs are clear!
Only God could do this kind of miracle!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

First week home with Eva!

Bringing Eva home was so surreal! We couldn't believe it. I wasn't happy that she had to be under the lights due to her being jaundice but I was just so happy that our family was all together.

The first couple days I spent on the couch right next to her. Eva could only be out of the lights for feeding and diaper changing.

Travis had to go back to work the day after we came home. That was so hard because I was beyond tired. Teresa, Travis' mom would come get Van and take him to school for me and would keep him so I could sleep when Eva slept. Also she had to drive Eva and I to the baby doctor about Eva's jaundice levels. On Tuesday her numbers had doubled! I was heart broken! They told me if the numbers went any higher we had to take her back to the hospital. That night Travis and I prayed over her and asked God to please heal the jaundice and make the numbers go down instead of up. The next day we took her to get her blood drawn and the nurse called me that afternoon and said  her numbers had been cut in half and NO more billi lights!!! Hallelujah! I was so happy! I packed the lights up, called the healthcare provider and told them to come get their lights!

Now I was able to put her in her cute clothes and love on her the way I wanted too! It was so much fun to see Eva and Van interact with each other. He wanted to hold her constantly and give her kisses.  Who wouldn't though? She is just so cute!

Then I started to get sick...

Eva Faith has been Here...a long and overdue post!

So hard to believe that the nursery that has been closed since January of 2008 is now in use! The room that I dreaded to go in and never really did is now so full of LIFE!

Travis and I checked into the hospital on December 2nd at 11pm. I was being induced at 37 weeks due to my blood pressure being so high and the meds at this point weren't helping. Plus I was ready! I was ready to see my daughter's face and hear her cry! I was very nervous. I was nervous about the delivery in general and nervous about how I was going to handle being back in the same area where we had to say good-bye to Landon.

They took me to L&D, I was praying in my head, "Please God don't let them put me in the same room as last time." And they didn't, I was relieved. The nurse hooked me up to the monitor and started the first part of the process. When I got to the hospital I was already 2 cm dilated and having contractions. The contractions were every 3-6 mins but they stopped about 2 hours after I got there.Then it was time to sleep so I could be prepared for the early morning activities. Well, my dear sweet husband went right onto sleep and he snored ALL night long and VERY loud!! Even the nurses were making comments! So with my nerves and Travis cutting logs there was barely any sleep for me and I was the one about to do ALL the work!

The next morning I was so happy that I got a nurse I knew named Ashley. She knew our story and just her knowing that really helped my nerves. They started the meds and Dr. C broke my water. Boy did the contractions start then! I was having horrible back labor. I had the same with Landon. I asked for an epidural soon after. With me having the cerclage my cervix was very tender and I was in a lot of pain with every check they had to do. Once I got the epidural I was able to relax but never really went to sleep. But a few hours into the wonderful epidural it stopped working!! The back labor was back and oh so painful! They tried fixing it but it would not work so my only option was for another one to be placed. It took 3 people trying to place the second one. With all 3 having 2 tries...I was stuck 6 times! Plus during this time I was having strong contractions with horrible back labor. I am not really sure how long this epidural lasted before it stopped working . All the pain came rushing back..AGAIN!

We started the process around 7am and at this point it was around 5-6pm. I made it to 8cm but come to find out Eva was stuck and turned wrong. She was NOT coming out this way and I was in so much pain that a C-section was the next step. Everyone started moving fast to get me prepared for the c-section. I started getting nervous and was a little sad, but the pain was so bad that is all I could think of. It took a little while for the anesthesiologist to place the spinal. That was the most painful part. I held onto Ashely and just cried. As soon as the spinal was placed there was instant relief! Then Travis was able to come in and the process started! I was shaking like crazy which freaked Travis out. He kept asking, "are you sure you are okay?" I was and I was so excited that it was actually time to meet our daughter! It didn't take long at all and at 7:37 p.m. we heard " Here she is!"

I cannot explain the flood of emotions that came over me!! She was actually here alive and healthy! She was beautiful! She didn't cry right away and I held me breath until I heard it...then she let out the loudest "I am here cry!" It was music to my hears! I thanked God for His faithfulness and provision over my little girl! They took her away for awhile but I could hear her crying to whole time.

Travis came back with her. Eva knew she was in her Daddy's arms, she was so quite and peaceful. It was a beautiful site to see my husband holding our daughter! After Travis left they gave me some meds to sleep and boy did I!

I woke up in the recovery room but something was different about waking up this time...I knew I had a baby waiting on me!!! I have been in that same recovery room 2 other times where the outcome was different. When I was rolled down the hall to my room I saw our sweet Eva Faith in the window, she was so beautiful! I couldn't wait to hold her and love on her!

This is the first time she was placed in my arms!

Our first Family Picture! (It was almost midnight- poor Van is so tired!)

Proud Big Brother! So blessed with the children God has given us!

We had some very sweet and tender moments at the hospital. It was like a dream I didn't want to wake up from. Travis and I couldn't believe we had a little girl! So many family and friends came to visit and see our little miracle!

 I had her on a Friday and we left Monday afternoon. Sunday she started getting really yellow looking.That night poor Eva just screamed. I had to introduce the bottle to her, which I didn't want to do but she was starving and had jaundice. 

Monday early morning was crazy. Several doctors came in to see about her and then the lights were brought into the room. I hated to give Eva up to the lights. 

We were able to go home but the lights were waiting on her when we got there.

It was just so good to be home!!
Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for our little Eva Faith and myself! God is so good and he protected myself and Eva during my whole pregnancy. He provided comfort when I needed it to calm my nerves! So thankful to God that I can hold our sweet Eva and to see Van be a big brother to his little sister!