Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 5 And........We Are Coming Home

Today Olivia was allowed to get out of the bed.  It began with letting her sit up in a chair to eat breakfast.  She was so excited.

 Then the catheter was removed and we began to practice our walking we were wobbly at first but in no time she wanted to let go of my hand do all by herself. She was doing great!  The surgeon came in and said as soon as she was able to pee pee she could go home!  WoW!  After 4 days in the bed we were now moving at record speed.  It was as important to sit as it was to walk, so child life brought in some crafts.

We took some walks and played some in the playroom and took a drive around the halls.  She was thrilled to be moving.

But there was no pee pee....this was the hard part.  Bags packed and waiting and waitng.  We drank a glass of fluids, and then sat on the potty - repeat repeat repeat from 9:00am - 6:00pm.  What a trooper her brother was to read to her while she sat.

I thought she would never go and began to think we would be there another night.  They were giving her until 6:00 before they called the doctor.  Although it is common to take a while to go becasue of swelling from cathetor we had to make sure that things did not close up which can happen from cathetor as well.  Now I will say my girl can hold it forever and she is like a camal when it comes to going pee pee anyway.  But at the very last hour when nurse was coming in to see if she had gone before she made the call, she had just finished another glass of juice and I was getting her up to go potty and her panties were wet...she said that wasn't me (haha right) not where we wanted her to go but good thing was she went and we could go home.  She did finish in the potty.  From what  I understand this was no uncommon either.  It feels more like pressure than having to go pee pee at first and we had visitors so once she realized and was wet think she was embarrassed so didn't say anything.  Yeah we were out of there though and that made us all happy!
and before shower at home she went in the potty and again in the night and has been going like a big girl all day today as wel, full function! 

God is so good - all the time- always faithful - always on time  - never late!  We are blessed!  We are home and we are happy! 

Pray for speedy recovery.  Taking things easy for next month, none of the fun stuff she enjoys like swing set, trampoline, bike, scooter, swimming.  Doctor's appointment follow-up in 3 weeks. 

This girl is doing amazing!

Thanks for all your prayers, words of encouragment, visits, gifts and love you have poured out on Olivia and our family!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grace's Gotcha Day - 2 Years Ago!

In Februrary of 2010 we got a phone call that I rememeber vividly the voice on the other end said "I have a little girl's file here that wants to know if you want to be here mommy"  my heart hit me feet.  Shortly an email came with this photo. OMG she was so beautiful!

 Then on June 28, 2010 we met our little girl - one of the most special days of our lives

Oh my gosh I loved this girl so much my heart was about to burst this day. Only God can put this kind of love in the heart of a mother for a little girl in a land far away, a little orphan girl, that would never be called orphan again.  A little girl who would get a new name and a family.  Our double portion of Grace.

On June 29, 2010 she legally became ours!  Adoption day!

Our little girl with us in China - isn't she adorable.  Putting on Daddy's shoes.  22 months old

Now I'm 3!  Almost 1 year later

2 years later, our beautiful girl just keeps getting more beautiful don't you think?

 Oh how I love this girl. I am emotional just typing this. I can't imagine my life or our family without her.  She brings a joy we never knew possible.  She makes us smile and laugh every day.  She teaches us so much.  She embraces life with all she has.  She is fearless.  She is one of the bravest girls I know. She is a fighter.  She has the courage of a mighty lion.  She is the queen of the roost or so she thinks, she is her momma's daughter for sure, type A, a bit controlling and knows what she wants. It will serve her well in life.  Honestly she is alive becasue it already has.  Our miracle child.  Our double portion of Grace.  We love you Grace and celebrate you today and give thanks to God for allowing us of all people in the world to be the one you call Mom and Dad!

Day 4 - Catching Up on the Blog

So today was a big day.  We got to incline the bed 30-45 degrees.  She did amazing!  Laying there playing with all her balloons.

and makes it much easier to color

and feed herself

 by evening she is delerious

my beautiful girl....prayers for Friday - she can walk, get cathetor out and we pray for full mobility and full bladder function because those are our last two hurdles to jump before we are home free!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Couple More From Day 3

She loves Jonathon's phone and the games he has downloaded for her to play when he visits
 Mommy and Olivia being silly, it has been 3 days folks we are giddy

Day 3 - A Little Delayed

Yesterday was like a blur for me - nothing real eventful but was tired and never got to blogging about our day.  Olivia continued to be in the bed and flipping side, to stomach every 2 hours, practicing her breathing and stretching her legs and feet for some PT.  She did come off her IV fluids, and is done with her antibiodic so that was good news.  She also didn't need any of the harder pain meds, morphine or oxicodine which is just amazing.  She didn't complain of pain so we just used the one pain med (ibuprofin based).  She still is the best patient ever!  We enjoyed many visits from family and friends which helps pass the day for her too.  You all are such a blessing and I know Olivia feels the love.  I am going to post a few posts because for some reason the blog is only allowing me to post one picture at a time.  So below you can see Olivia with many of the gifts that people have brought her, you all rock! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 2 Prizes

So yesterday Grace and Nana surprised Olivia with a balloon, she loved it! 

Then today Grace drew her a picture - Cars of course...

then today Uncle Fred surprised her with a visit and a huge Panda, about her size, oh you know she loved that

Olivia and her Panda

She has done well this afternoon, after a 2-1/2 hour nap late morning.  She is doing so well with the moving her but she doesn't like it and sheds a few tears.  She is doing amazing.  She has been putting out A LOT of urine. It looks good but seems more than she is putting in so they have stopped IV fluids to see how she does.  Keep that in your prayers that all is normal there. Fever is hanging between 99-100 so low grade not high but not normal yet either so continue to pray for fever as well.

Thanks everyone, gonna go feed her some dinner and Nana and Jonathon coming up soon.

On to Day 2

Well we were told last night and today would be tough, day 2 will be worse than day 1.  But guess what?  Olivia slept from 9pm last night until 8am this morning. They came in during night to do vitals and give meds but she went right back off to sleep.  I tell you she amazes me. 

This morning has been good as well.  She is the most amazing patient ever and these nurses are blown away at our precious girl.

So this morning she has had a sponge bath and did well with that. Today we also begin moving her, every couple hours side, to stomach, side to stomach.  The first move was no fun and brought tears. Second move she did much better - no tears.  She also has to begin doing a breathing exercises every couple hours as well to keep her lungs open and clear.   But for now she is resting well...been almost two hours so that is great! Seeing her so peaceful does my heart good.

She did start a fever last night went from 101- 99 - back to 101 and 99 this morning.  Pray that this breaks today.  Not uncommon after surgery but if can't keep normal today will have to run labs to see whats going on. So join us in praying for God to break that fever and keep it down.  It was back to 99 this morning with no meds so that is a good sign.

Long term a little disheartening, PA had told me 3-5 days at our pre-op appointment.  So to me that meant we go home Wednesday-Friday.  I was hoping for earlier but thinking maybe later just knowing what lies ahead.  This morning PA said they will start moving her more tomorrow afternoon 48 hours after surgery but take it slow, hopefully home Friday.  Okay thinking 5 days but we can live with that. Then doctor comes in and ran that by him and he said ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What?  Minimum 3-4 days flat before move her, so he said earliest moving will be Thursday most likely Friday!  That means earliest we go home this weekend, most likely Sunday. Ugggg... oh well, settling in, bottom line is I want my daughter given the best care,  I do not want this rushed and I will do whatever it takes for however long it takes to ensure that happens.  So we are hanging in there and I still think she is the best patient ever!

Monday, June 25, 2012

We are Hanging in There

Olivia has done amazing today.  This girl is a real trooper and has blown my mind with her courage.  I told her how proud I was of her and how brave she was and she said yeah mommy I haven't even cried.  She woke up and first words were my back hurts and I am thirsty.  We could help with both of those.  Then she said "Where are my panties?  Too funny right.  Then I had to complain the folly catheter and why no panties.

We moved on to the Progressive Unit. No ICU that was great news. This is a step down from ICU but better care than a regular room.  They have been great with her so far and doing good to stay up on her pain at the faintest whisper which is about all she gives you that she hurts.  A little tear my fall but mostly just a whimper and the look of pain on her face.  She cracked me up when they first checked her vitals and she realized she did not have her clothes on and said to the nurse with a surprised look on her face, I'm naked.  This girl didn't know where the clothes went she had on when she went off to surgery.  She got sick one time after surgery when tried to give some peaches but gave some meds for that and she has since at some crackers, fruit cup and some mac and cheese.  She has also drank oj and water.  Oh and some ice cream tonight too.  She was a little sad when Grace went to play in the playroom when she visited and she wanted to play too.  That is the hard part as well.  But she is doing so well with it.  My mom has spent the day with us and went and even brought Grace up to visit.  Olivia had been asking for her since she woke. PawPaw also came by.  Our little one only slept about an hour this afternoon. 

Here are some pictures from this afternoon.   Can you believe the girl is still smilin? It took all she had but she pulled one out.

the one hour nap

Grace feeding Olivia ice cream

Jonathon and my sister Kelly and niece Morgan are on their way up with dinner for me - thanks!  And my sister is going to spend the night with me tonight...we just roll like that - she is good to me! I know it has killed her to not be here today because she had kiddos to tend to and a husband a work. So she has night shift!

So tonight and tomorrow are suppose to be rough days so pray for a good nights rest and we weather this storm.  Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement.  You all rock!  We feel the prayers.

Please keep Grace in prayers too she was not happy at all - big tears - when she had to leave tonight.

The Big Day Has Begun

Our princess was sound asleep this morning at 4:45 when we woke her for the big day (excuse quality of photos for now - taken with my phone)
 but as usual she was a good trooper and ready as she could be based on what she understands about her day.  She brought her bear, Pinky, to hang out this week.
 3 bracelets she said - super excited about that and that they were all different colors

 vitals all good
 getting all ready
 angry birds

Taking her back to OR was the hardest.  She did fine but my heart was breaking, when she said "I love you mommy" as she wheeled away I lost it.  My brave little girl. 

Doctor is very matter of fact which is good but hard too. He said my job was to pray for no bleeding and no spinal fluid leakage, so  I am asking you to join me in this.  He said surgery would last 2-1/2 to 3 hours minimum.  Took her back about 7:10am; just came out at 8:25pm and said just began the surgery. 

This is hard on my heart and honestly I am working hard to bind fear and walk in faith because God did not give me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mine right! 

2 Timothy 1:7...For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I am focusing on the blessing and promises of God for Olivia.  I am holding my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

I tell you God is here, right here with us, right there with Olivia.  Here are just two tangible ways God showed me this just this morning.

1.  Anesthesia came in and guess who is with her all day?  A lady I know Caroline, from our adoption small group we are in locally!  I am bet fell out, overwhelmed with God's goodness. She has met Grace but not yet met Olivia until today so didnt' recognize her name right after when get her patients yesterday.  She said last night for some reason she decided to go look at some blogs.  She opened up my sisters who had written about Olivia's surgery today (no coincidences there) and then she opened my blog.  Blown away she said and humbled God would let her care for Olivia.  She promised to take good care of her and treat her like an MVP and she told the others with her the same.  I was in tears. God is so so good! 

2.We were blessed to have 3 wonderful friends from church with us this morning at the early hours (God bless them) and they stayed with us until the doctor came in and then they took Olivia back.  They prayed with her and encouraged her.  The even gave Olivia this card of Jesus with the surgeon during a surgery.  It is an amazing picture but even more it depicts my exact prayers over this week as I cried out God invade that OR, show yourself, guide the hands of her doctor, may he walk out and know he has been in the presence of God Almighty and give credit to you the Great Physician. May Olivia know your peace and your presence there.  But even more Olivia took a card for herself, she was very drawn to it and asked many questions, who is that with the doctor, what are they doing, where is his mommy?  It opened a door for us to explain the mommy is right outside waiting for the child to wake up, but Jesus gets to go in with you and help the Doctor and you.  She just smiled. She wanted to take the card with her into OR and so she did, a tangible picture of what is occurring in there right now

Good friend and our past pastor Craig came to hang with us to which was a sweet surprise.  Mom just got here as well. We just hit the 3 hour mark in surgery and have just been told they are wrapping up so doctor will be out soon.  More later....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day.  Olivia will have her surgery tomorrow morning at 7:00am.  She  is sleeping soundly tonight ready to embrace the adventure of tomorrow and trusting us completely.  We have explained things to her in a way she can understand and praise God this has brought no fear and i am praising him for that.  Just  a few questions....what will I eat?  where will I sleep?  will it hurt?  and the repeated question where will you be mommy?  Which I repeatedly answer right by your side. 

Olivia is having her spinal cord untethered. Basically this means tissue has attached itself limiting the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column. The cord is attached at the area where her spina bifida repair was done. The good news is she is not having any of the symptoms of a tethered cord yet, but we want to get ahead of any symptoms emerging. The reality is that children between 5 and 9 grow very fast and this can trigger the on site of these symptoms. But right now there is not a great strain being placed on her spinal cord but over time this would occur as she gets older if left untreated.
We are to be at CMC-Levine in Charlotte at 5:30am tomorrow (stop laughing all you people who know I am not a morning person and will have to be up at 4:00am!) and her surgery is scheduled to begin at 7:00am. I am told that the surgery should last about 2-1/2 hours, but they have the operating room reserved for 4 hours just in case they need it.
Olivia will most likely be in ICU the first 24 hours to manage her pain and keep a close eye on her to make sure there are no signs of infection or spinal fluid leakage after all this is spinal surgery… she should then be able to be moved to a regular room and we should be there from 3-5 days on average. Olivia will have to be flat on her belly for the first 24-48 hours.
Her recovery will be about 3-4 weeks with limited physical activity and no swimming. No pool or lake for 2 months!
So for those of you who asked me to keep you posted so you could pray here is what I am specifically asking for prayer on.
1. Pray for Olivia’s procedure and that she comes through with no surprises or complications. That God himself the great physician guide the hands of her surgeon and may he himself know he was led by God in this procedure.
2. Pray for no infections
3. Pray for no spinal fluid leakage
4. Pray for no side effects of surgery to her bladder, bowels or mobility
5. Pray for her pain
6. Bind fear and release peace for Olivia , Guy and I and our boys and Grace
7. Be with Guy and the boys and my Mom and sister who are juggling the kiddos at home for us
8. Pray for me to be calm and at peace as I take care of Olivia
9. Pray for Guy and I to rest in the fact that when we hug our little girl goodbye tomorrow morning we are placing her in the hands of the one who loves her more than us and has the power to do all things, including taking care of Olivia and bringing healing and wholeness to her body.
 We covet your prayers We know he has great plans for her. God has been clear from the very beginning when we accepted Olivia as our daughter that she was our “eagle” and we hold on to the scripture God gave us for her life from Isaiah 40:31 “ Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagle; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” So with that said we will hope in the Lord. Please join us in claiming this for Olivia especially in this season.
I will be trying to keep the blog updated while we are there so if you want to follow along and see how she is doing that is the route I am going to take it is the easiest way to keep everyone up to speed.
 I will try to update it at least once a day or as there is news to report on her progress.
Thank you all

What a Week ....And the end of a Baseball Season for One!

Well what a week this has been - crazy busy.  If it all could hit it has.  As we gear up for Olivia's surgery (tomorrow!) we have had a lot to get ready for this week to make sure I had all in place for the rest of the family since me and Olivia will be at the hospital if not all week.  Everything that could hit at work - hit and so late nights were put in there, we pulled off a play date at our neighborhood pool with their friends from a great group we are part of with families who adopted from China (last swim for Olivia for a while!), a pre-op visit with the neuro surgeon, a visit to the hospital with child life, and anesthesiologist an orthodontist visit, baseball practices, a baseball tournament and two boys got new bedroom furniture so all furniture out (buyer picking it up today) and new furniture in and of course I had to get food in the house, and packing to do.  Did I mention next week is also Grace's Gotcha day so had to get stuff together in advance for that?  Are you all tired yet?  I am!  But yeah you do what you gotta do right?  We are almost there.  I am sure I missed something along the way but you get the gist. Oh and my mother was on a mission trip this week who normally helps me with kids if I need it as she does with my sister and this week we both needed here. So let's see Kelly had my kids some on Monday and Wednesday and I had hers on Tuesday and Thursday!  You do what you gotta do! Oh here is another detail Logan is also leaving Thursday to go to the beach with my sister and her family for 10 days so packing him up too.

Anyway enjoy some photos from yesterday. This weekend is Logan's last tournament of the season. 

I keep reminding myself as I put one foot in front of the other - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  More to come a little later today on details of Olivia's upcoming surgery tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Olivia's Pre-Op Visits

So today we went to Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine for Olivia's pre-op appointment. They were great and patient with me in answering all my questions.

We then moved on to CMC-Levine Children's Hospital to get her registered. She met with Child Life and they explained the surgery and her stay well to her and gave her a doctor's kit with items she would see at the hospital on Monday - you can tell she is enjoying those.

And then we met with the nurse and Anesthesiologist. All went well. Lots of information to take in, lots to emotionally prepare myself for but I am not going there yet. As I prayed for her on the way home I was in tears. She on the other hand is ready for the adventure. We have explained it in very simple terms to her in a way that doesn't bring fear. She trusts us (that is good). The only two questions she had were 1. When I told her she would be flat on her belly for 1 or 2 days - Q-How will I eat? (she is her momma's girl!) and 2. Where will you be mommy? That question I have gotten a lot. As long as I reassure her I am with her the entire time she is good. She is telling people all about her big day on Monday and our trip to the hospital. When we were there today she wanted to know where her room was and where her bed was. Girl wants to check out her pad. What a trip. So I am going to stay in her court and look at this as an adventure for now. In all seriousness, come Sunday, I will post how you can pray....because that is where I need you the most and that is when this momma will begin walking out my faith in a BIG way!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fathers Day

We had a productive weekend shopping for new beds for two of the boys who have outgrown their bunks, so Christian and Logan are getting full size beds that will be delivered next weekend - new bedding and all they are super excited and honestly it is a bit overdue.  We closed the weekend out Sunday by going over to my sisters and hanging out with her Fred, and the kids.  We grilled out and enjoyed the pool.  The only thing we were missing was one of my boys Christian and the guest of honor for the day - Guy, aka DAD!  They were in Georgia for the final day of the East Cobb Baseball Tournament.
 Logan enjoying an Icee

 Olivia now loving the water - only third time and down from 3 flotation devices to 2 - progress!  she did not want to get out of the water, stayed in for hours!

 Would you say the girl is chillin?

 Her facial expressions crack me up

 Throwing water balloons at each other

 Going out to try to catch the pass - not a football but a water balloon. Trying to catch without them busting


 busted again!!!

 Some Corn Hole..Jonathon and Fred played some - I believe Jonathon got creamed pretty bad this game.

The girls - Olivia, Grace and Lily