Please pray for Tuesday. My heart breaks for this little girl and her family. Here is an excerpt from their most recent post.
My deepest fears were confirmed. Tomorrow we take our precious daughter home. Her cancer doubled in size in less than a week proving once and for all that it is horribly aggressive and no longer chemo sensitive. We have no idea how to do this but we have no doubt we will be cared for every step of the way. This is all I have in me. Please pray for peace for our children, our parents and our siblings. Tuesday, full of grace, you are our so very loved.
God is so awesome. Prayer is the most powerful medicine.
Well, we made it home around 3:00pm on Thursday afternoon. All the tests came back clear. That is great news except for the fact that we don't know what caused her to have that episode. They ruled out a seizure and heart issue. At least she is okay now.
The hospital stay was a little rough. They did vitals every four hours so by the time I got her back to sleep it was time to get up again. The worst part of all the tests was the EEG. She was a trooper though. We sang our way through and in the end she impressed the nurse who administered the test.
Everyone was great. Super friendly and helpful. I have to say, St. Mary's is at the top of our list of hospitals. They have been great!
I couldn't help myself at 4:00am when Syd sat up for her vitals. Her hair was a mess!! She is still adorable, can't say much for mommy at 4:00am, but we made it through together.
She was so excited to see her bubbies and sissy when she got home. She ran to all of them and hugs were all around. She was on cloud nine until round 5:30. She started throwing up. It was the nastiest smelling stuff I have ever smelled in my life. I was gagging uncontrollably. Poor girl. I no sooner got her out of the tub when she did it again. I called the doc to see if she thought everything was okay. We cut her off all fluids and solids for 2hours. After that she handled some Gatorade. I slept with her in the basement and my sister stayed upstairs on the couch. She came home from Olivet when she heard what was happening. Thanks Kate! You have been a lifesaver the past few days.
Rob has been horribly sick the past two days. He went to he doctor on the verge of needing IV fluids. He has rounded the corner and is starting to come out of it. I however was hoping to make it through the fog unfazed. However, my stomach has been hurting all night and I don't feel quite right. I am hoping that it will all pass tonight when I go to bed.
Thank you for all your prayers and concerns. It was so uplifting to hear about the people around the country praying for our family. It is truly amazing how God has taken care of us. You all are family to us.
So, in case you haven't heard yet, we had a huge scare today. The morning started like usual. I got breakfast ready and the kids ate like champs. Everyone was done but Peyton so I decided to start changing diapers. I think every one of them were poopy. I grabbed Jenna first because she was in reaching distance from where I plopped down with my diapers and wipes. The usual play was going on around me. Sydney was sitting about 3 feet away in the little recliner with a cell phone. Ethan and Landon had a little spat the I had to deal with and I was finally getting Jenna cleaned up. Luckily I had already gotten Jenna's diaper on when Syd walked over to me.
She was really pale and was holding her arms out looking for help. I knew immediately that something wasn't right. I thought she was going to pass out. She melted into my arms and I was asking her if she was okay. I looked at her again and she still didn't look okay. I tried to see if she could stand up and she couldn't. So, I left Jenna half undressed and a poopy diaper open on the floor and ran with Syd in my arms to the bedroom where Rob was. I flipped on the light and told him that I thought Syd was going to pass out.
When I laid her on the bed her lips and eyelids were blue and her eyes rolled back in her head. I immediately stood her up and tried to wake her up. She started to gasp for air and couldn't breathe. After about 6 gasps she collapsed. She wasn't breathing and was lifeless in my arms. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the phone and dialed 911. Rob ran in and he took the phone while I tried to get her to open her eyes. The entire time I was thinking that she couldn't go without breathing for more than a minute or she could have brain damage. All I was trying to do was get her to breathe. Her eyes were rolled back in her head and she couldn't come too. The dispatcher told Rob that I needed to push really hard and rub really fast over her heart. So that is exactly what I did. I was rubbing as fast and hard as I could. Like magic she opened her eyes. She was lifeless and pale but she was breathing. Praise God!!!
In those few moments I thought I was losing my baby girl. I thought she may die in my arms. My little girl who I fought so hard to bring into this world needed God to bring her through those moments. She couldn't fight what was happening to her. I wanted to throw her in the van and drive her to the hospital myself. I shouted to Rob that I was leaving at least twice. But I knew she needed more than that. She needed me to help her. So, I kicked into mom gear and yelled at the dispatcher to tell me what to do. At that moment I would have cut my own arm off if it would have helped her.
The EMT's and fire department were at our house in no time. They all came in and checked her out. Once they determined that she was stable they had me get on the gurney with her. We were covered up and strapped down. She didn't like that at all. We made it to St. Mary's Emergency Room and they did a urine sample and chest X-ray. When they were cleared they sent us home. After lots of questions we reluctantly went home.
I called Dr. Goldman before we left the parking lot. They were away to lunch so I couldn't tell her what was going on. By the time I got through to them we were almost home. She wanted us to turn right around and come back. She is the best!! So, after making more plans for the other kids I headed back down to see Dr. Goldman. Thankfully, she wanted to admit her to run some more tests. I don't think I would have slept at all tonight if we hadn't tried to figure out more.
So, we came back to the hospital and admitted her for more testing. So far we have had a Cat Scan of her head, blood work, an EKG, and in the morning she will have an EEG. Rob and I have narrowed it down to a seizure or something heart related. Neither of us know though. That is just our opinions. So, I am typing away in the bed beside Syd. She is in her little cage of a bed.
Poor thing, I tried to baby her and love on her and rock to her to sleep. That was going no where. I finally laid her down in the bed and tried to get her to fall asleep. That wasn't working. In the end I had to put the rails up on the bed and walk away. She didn't care. The room was dark and she had something stuck on her foot that made her foot glow red. She thought that was the coolest thing. She likes that bed. Now she is sound asleep. The nurse said she was going to come in every four hours to check her vitals. That stinks!!!! They have her hooked up to the exact same monitors that she had in the NICU. I had dejavu (sp?) when those monitors started going off. Every time she moved they would go off. At least she is safe here and we will find out more in the morning.
Thank you for all your prayers and support today. It was really uplifting to see how much everyone cared. I also want to thank the Princeton EMT's, Fire Department, and dispatch for coming so quickly. I'm not sure if the police came too, but if they did, Thanks! You all did GREAT!! I will keep you all posted. Here are a few pictures I took tonight. In the ones where the bars are pulled up. the lights are off and the room is dark. My flash made it look light but it really isn't.
So here soon I am going to bow my head and thank God that he was here. He took care of my little girl today. It is amazing that it happened when I was right there. If I had been in the kitchen I don't know what whould have happened. God is so good! I will keep you all posted!
We woke up this morning to much more snow than anticipated. Rob called me before the kids were up to tell me about it. I got up and started planning the morning. Kathy Yager gave us adorable snow suits last year. They are size 12 months but all we needed was the leg length. So we let out the straps at the top and put their coats on over them. After we did all that we tried to put their boots on. Those things are really hard to get on kids who don't help push their feet at all. After about 40 minutes of piling on layers we were ready. They were more than ready to go outside. The video speaks for itself. They weren't quite sure what to do in the beginning. Next year will be a lot of fun when it snows. There is also the perfect example of what I do when something happens. Take a quick picture first then tend to the child in need. Enjoy!
Congrats to the Jones family in Austin, TX. They had 4 girls and 1 boy on January 16. They are beautiful. It's always great to see another successful birth! Check out their blog at http://www.joneslife.net/blog.htm
I took some video the other day. This is a little blip of what it is like around here. They are full of life and constantly into something. If you watch closely you will see that poor Jenna gets picked on a majority of the time. They are getting really bad about hitting and pushing. Rob is working 3rd shift right now and he was on the couch while they were screaming. Poor daddy, sleep is hard to come by in our house during the day.
Run Run Run. That is what they do all day long. They are really starting to talk and do more on their own. Happy Sunday!
This was their Christmas present from Grandma and Pappaw Friedman.
They LOVE them!
I have been so busy lately! Luckily, staying busy makes time pass more quickly. RSV season is enough to make any HOMM (higher order multiple mom) go nuts. We are trudging along day by day waiting for the weather to break. I read other HOM blogs and they all live in Texas and down south. They are going outside and doing all kinds of fun stuff right now. Here in Southern Indiana it is about 30 degrees and windy.
Anyway, I wanted to give a brief update on what has been going on around here. The kiddos are doing great. We got RSV shots last week and had our weights checked. Things switched up a bit this time. I was pretty surprised when it was all done and over with. First of all, they have reached the age of remembering. We are at the point now that when we get into the elevator to go to the office they start crying. They do okay in the waiting area, but as soon as we get into the small room where we wait for Dr. Goldman to come in, all bets are off. It is a free for all. I hate it that they know what is coming. Every time we go to the doctor they get shots. They are ending soon I think. Anyway, Rob and I survived and Terri, Dr. Goldman's nurse, did a great job. Ethan is still leading the pack weighing 27lbs. Surprisingly Sydney leaped ahead of Peyton by a pound. She weighs 21lbs 12oz. Peyton stayed the same weight as before at 20lbs 13oz. Landon is finally catching up and is right on Peyton's heels. He weighed 20lbs 9oz. Jenna is still bringing up the rear at 18lbs 10oz. We still haven't gotten over the hump with her yet. Hopefully we will see 20lbs by the time she is 3. HAHA!!
They are really starting to talk more. Sydney can say anything and remembers most words you tell her. Every morning we get her out of bed and she rund to the boys room and shouts Bubby!! The others are picking up a lot from her. They are starting to understand what we are saying and I can see communication starting to build. It is so neat to watch their little minds at work.
Now to the pictures...
Syd sleeps like a Rock!
Peytie was really exhausted after dinner at Grandma and Pappaw's today.
Ethan's hair after a bath. He is due for another haircut soon I think.
Landon is finally starting to get hair!! It is only on the top and it is so blonde that you can't see it. Except for when he gets it spiked after bath.
Our Christmas card included these two pictures. They were the best ones we got out of about 50 consecutive shots.
I love the way Landon chews on his blankie. He does it all the time. Even in his sleep.
The kids got lots of play food for Christmas. Peyton tried everything out to make sure it wasn't real.
They really enjoyed opening gifts this year. Especially once they saw the toys inside.
Christmas picture with the cousins. Left to right: Monica, Sydney, Jenna, Tameka, Noah, Landon, Peyton, Ali, Ethan, Patrick
This letter is especially for you. You amaze me more than any of your brothers or sister. You see, you have had to fight the hardest of all. Being pregnant with five of you in my belly meant that you all were going to have mountains to climb to survive. The nurses tagged you as stubborn and bossy. There was one trait we didn't realize about you back then. You would go to the ends of the earth and back for mommy, daddy, or your sissy and bubbies. You took 90% of the struggles and fought through. Being born at a meager 1lb 13oz, you were 2nd biggest. Hard to believe that, but it's true. You were faced with the same hurdles as everyone else and worked through those beautifully. One day we came to visit you in the NICU and were faced with devastating news. You contracted MRSA Staff. That is a deadly staff infection. You were quarantined and confined to your isolette for weeks. We had no idea how sick you were until after you were home. I hated seeing you stuck in that little space and all swollen from the medications. We couldn't touch you or feed you or help you in any way. It was in that time that God carried you through. You were too sick to fight all by yourself.
After what seemed like an eternity, you were healthy enough for us to hold you with gloves and a mask. You had a couple weeks of being healthy before you were faced with another hurdle. You had ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity.) The doctors told us one day and the next you were having surgery. We got to hold you and carry you back to the table. When you were coming out of the anesthesia your body kept twitching everywhere. I was relieved that everything was going to be okay. They said your vision would not be affected since you had the surgery. Once again you overcame the odds. You were back on track to come home with the rest.
Peyton came home first, a week later Ethan, and two days after that you were joining the crew. Rob and I drove down with Peyton and Ethan to get you. Rob parked outside the doors and I headed up to get you. When I got in the NICU Dr. Vincent found me and said he needed to talk to Rob and I . He left the NICU and we rode the elevator down to the van. That elevator ride was the longest ride ever. Dr. Vincent then told us that they did a routine brain scan on you and found a cyst. How in the world did this cyst all the sudden show up after countless brain scans? Dr. Vincent was really upset that this incurable problem arose. There was nothing we could do. You were at extreme risk for CP (Cerebral Palsy.) The cyst is in the front right part of your brain. We wouldn't know how it was going to affect you until you started crawling and walking.
Time passed and you grew like the rest. You hit your milestones later than a term baby would, but that was to be expected. Every milestone we were looking, waiting for you to fail. You never did. PERFECT!!!!! You beat the odds and are absolutely PERFECT!!!! You are amazing! You took the brunt of the problems and overcame them all. It amazes me to think of what you have accomplished in your short little life.
Now you are leaping past your siblings in most every category. You love books and remember most every word we tell you. You talk to us and tell us what you want. You love to do things for us and follow directions. Every morning you get every one's cup and take it to them and then tell them thank you. You love kisses and hugs and laughing. Your personality definitely makes up for your wild hair. Born with the most, you have a mop on your head that no one can touch.
You are the life of the party and love to talk to everyone around. I can't wait for you to get a little bigger and I can dress you in funky clothes. You have that personality that can pull a funky look off and make it look great. I love tip toeing in to check on you at night. You are like a dead person when you sleep. It is hilarious to see you. Arms and legs strewn about. Your head is usually buried under a mound of covers and pillow. I make sure your legs aren't caught between the bars and then pull the covers off your head. I pick your arms or legs up and they just flop back to the bed. I think I could pick you up and drop you on the floor and you wouldn't wake up. Okay, maybe not.
Syd, you brighten every day and never fail to bring a smile to my face. You make me so proud as a mommy. I look back at how tiny and frail you were and can't believe the little girl you have become. I hope you don't let anyone steal your happiness. You are fun, outgoing, and energetic. Most all the pictures I take of you look the same because you are always happy and smiling. I wish a lifetime of laughter and happiness for you. My prayer is that you grow up and change the world. I know you can do it. You have a captivating presence. People pay attention when you are around. God has special plans for you Sydney Shea. He carried you through all the struggles in the past and will be there as you grow up. Hold onto him and you will be just fine. I love you baby girl!
I remember sitting on the couch like usual about 23 weeks in. I was watching the same television shows and my belly did something weird. I can't really explain what it felt like. It didn't hurt, but I couldn't control it. Like a twitch that won't go away. I didn't think much about it. Rob and I went to bed like normal but something wasn't right. I laid there like every night too uncomfortable to sleep. That sensation kept coming over me. I started thinking it might be contractions. Any mom who had a high risk of preterm labor knows what happens after that.
The stress and anxiety of a few contractions causes more contractions. Around midnight I decided to call Tanya. She had had experience with this kind of thing and she is a nurse to boot. I was so upset when she told me it was contractions and I should call Dr. Turnquest. I remember telling her that I didn't want to wake Rob up because he had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go to work. I was such a worry and burden to everyone around me that I didn't want to waste any one's time with false alarms. After some persuasion, Tanya convinced me to wake Rob up and call the doctor.
Like I suspected, she told me to count the contractions. If I had more than 4 an hour I had to go in. So, tried to rest and count and it was a big mess. I was so scared that I couldn't tell you what was a real contraction and what was my imagination. Have you ever had that overwhelming feeling like God made a mistake by giving you such a huge responsibility? I had absolutely no idea what I was feeling. That scared me more than anything. Come to find out, I had been feeling these contractions since about week 18 and never figured out that it was a contraction. Around 4 a.m. we called Dr. Turnquest back and confirmed that I had more than 4 in an hour and she made us make the drive to the hospital. Luckily it was after 5:00a.m. when we got there. Otherwise we would have had to go through the ER and that would have cost us $100 up front. We went straight up to labor and delivery.
I was amazed at how together they were. They already had my room reserved and ready. They didn't even know I was coming! Once I got to the hospital the contractions slowed down. The nurse told me that is typical because I felt safer once I was there and my nerves calmed down. I was having more than they wanted so I got a shot of terbutaline to slow the contractions. They warned me what would happen, but I didn't think it would be as annoying as it was. terbutaline makes your heart race really fast and you feel like you have had 100x the caffeine as you should have. It is really uncomfortable. Another shot of terbutaline and 48 hours later we were on our way home again. That was a big scare. If I had waited and gone into really active labor, they may not have been able to stop it. My kids wouldn't have survived if they had been born. Whew!!!
Thank you God for watching over my sweet little ones. I am so thankful that when I know I have no control, you have complete control. Your hand was on my sweet miracles inside me. I had no idea what great miracle you had in store for us a few short weeks later. You are an awesome God! Thank you Lord!
I am having my Grand Opening of my own business. I make birth bracelets, mommy bracelets, and other girly bracelets. All five of my kiddos have a birth bracelet. It will be a cherished heirloom when they get older and see how little they once were. We are really excited about this new endeavor. I want to do whatever I can to ensure that if something happens to Rob's job we will be okay. I also want to try to have an income that will allow me to be flexible, and available for the kids when they go to school. I want to go to their school programs and help out during events. A job from home is just what I need.
Check out my website. It is live and brand new! www.quintjewels.com Tell everyone you know. My plan is to have my brochure passed out with the birth packets in some of the local hospitals. I also will go to some local shops and see if they would be interested in selling.
I would be forever grateful if you would pass the word and link around. If you or anyone has any questions just leave me a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Check out the link and leave me some comments. I would love to make this the best it can be. Any ideas or critiques are appreciated!