Saturday, October 23, 2010

New life and Ontario here we come

The double wave

Super silly guy

So we, like many of you, have peaked our heads up again after the fall flu. It spread rapidly through our church community, and then we kindly gave it to my family. Sorry. Of course super-star Noah did not exhibit any vomiting - what a handy surgery that fundoplication is :-)

Noah had a tough 10 days. His "sore" turned out to be a recurring infection on his tube site. Poor guy has probably had this for weeks and weeks. It is frustrating because the treatment for a sore actually complicated the infection. It kept getting misdiagnosed so I am so happy that the ped. was able to start him on meds. The meds. caused severe runs, making Noah miserable. It reminded me of the week following his surgery when he didn't smile for days. Finally, he started to adjust 7 days into the meds. We are finished the course of antibiotics and though some granulation tissue is starting to form on his site, the worst is behind us. Just in time for our trip to Ontario. Whew. We have to treat the granulation tissue still this week but hopefully we'll have no big issues when we are at the farm.

This week, I've been pondering the idea of new life. Brace yourselves people. Jared and I are humbled, awed, nervous and joyful to announce a growing life inside my body. God willing, baby #2 will join us in May. Yes, Noah will be 18 months. Yes, we are sorta crazy. I know lots of you folks have children close together in age but our little tube feeder makes things a little unpredictable so we will have our hands full. But we figured we'd see what will unfold for us in our journey of raising kidlets. Obvious question: what if "this" all happens again. Answer: then we do it all again. I think every single one of us can play the "what if" game when we move forward in life. When we take risks. When we challenge ourselves. There are no guarantees. I'm not seeking a "way out" but a "way through." Life is tough in many ways. I knew that before Noah came into our world. But I understand it on a deeper level now. I also understand how to move forward. Thanks, Noah, you have blessed me so many wonderful lessons.

I have to thank a few trusted friends who have been praying for me about having another child. For many months I was sure I wouldn't be able to do it. But I knew I needed help in discerning what God's plan was for our family. These amazing women walked through the questions and struggles I was having. I don't take this hesitation lightly. I know of many paining to have a child, or those have had to go to great lengths to bear children and perhaps I sound selfish and small. Nonetheless, for me it was a real journey. I feel peaceful now.

The next obvious question, considering my pregnancy with Noah, is that of nausea. Oh, it is on. In fact, this time even worse than with Noah. BUT my mental and emotional state appear to be stronger. The evenings from 4pm onwards are by far the worst. But Noah drags his suitcase and I drag my bowl around after him and we make it work. Many of my momma friends feel me right now. You've been there, many of you throughout your entire pregnancies. So, I certainly do not feel alone! We are used to having to modify most activities in life due to Noah and the same policy applies now to me.

Next blog will be a HUGE CELEBRATION of Anika and Andrew's wedding. I'll be sure to post lots of pics. Thanks for reading, for sharing your life with us through cards, emails, coffee visits, phone calls etc. It all is very meaningful to us.

ps. a special thanks to Jonah F. who graciously shared a ton of books for the airplane ride to Ontario. Thanks buddy (or should we say duckie?) Also, a thank you to the "K" family for the stunning Noah's Ark table and chair set. You so spoiled Noah and we know he'll enjoy this beautiful set for years to come. I have personally never seen such beautiful artistry on children's furniture! (see photo below)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


What Can I Do (Paul Baloche)

When I see the beauty of a sunset's glory,
Amazing artistry across the evening sky
When I feel the mystery of a distant galaxy
It awes and humbles me to be loved
By a God so high

What can I do but thank You,
What can I do but give my life to You
Hallelujah, hallelujah
What can I do but praise You,
Everyday make everything I do a hallelujah
A hallelujah, hallelujah

Hello fine readers!

This is a day for giving thanks. I love the Paul Baloche song above that reflects on that topic. I hope you had some time to check in with yourself and take stock of the goodness that surrounds you. And if this time was a lonely or sad day, I pray that you won't be overlooked in your sadness.

I've been thinking about suffering lately. Not that I think I have it so bad, I really don't. I have many around me right now on their knees with sadness and pain. You will have your own list of sadness or challenge going on in your life or in the lives of those you love. What I find so interesting is that when we find ourselves suffering, we can be embarrassed by any sign of struggle, weakness or tears, and instead hide our trials under feeble smiles. Instead of bearing each other's burdens, we so often pat each other on the back, mumble, "I'll pray for you" or "thinking of you" and then walk away and forget. I've been guilty of this time and again. I've had to ask for forgiveness often.

I have learned from Noah's story that putting on a happy face undermines my true identity. We should not find suffering an embarrassment. Sharing lament can deepen your relationships, even transforming sorrow into praise. I have such a hope after the last 10 months that you can be deeply sad (or in case of depression, a feeling of emptiness) and still survive. God doesn't condemn emotion. I am reminded when I hear stories of others hurting that I am not the only to have suffered in life. I am also reminded not to shut down, especially when I'm in pain. Simple? Not at all. But like all things, a journey.

Jared and I are surely grateful for the blessings each day brings to our life with Noah. Sometimes the blessings are not straight forward. To that end, this past week Noah was discharged as a GI patient. It was hard to hear that there is simply nothing they can do for Noah. And then in some ways, it was good to know they weren't willing to subject him to more invasive testing. Time will tell us much about Noah in terms of his potential allergy to milk/soy, his ability to take faster feeds, if the Neocate is necessary etc. We have decided not to yet test Noah's sensitivity to milk. We'll wait perhaps 6 months so that we do not subject him to multiple attempts at switching his formula. That act alone can cause complications, so it was advised not to attempt it more than once or twice.

I give thanks that the Dr. agreed with us about Noah's medication dose. We dropped it in half and although I'm wondering if he is experiencing some discomfort, the side effects of this drug have always concerned me. We'll give this a trial run and see if he can sustain a lesser dose.

We were also pleased to know we will continue to have the help of our OT (feeding issues), Speech Pathologist (important for tube-fed kids), Home Nutrition (supplies, skin care advice and treatment), Dietitian (helping to calculate Noah's formula requirements) and Home Care Nurse (weight and general help). This group of wonderful women have provided such practical help through the last year.

Unfortunately Noah has developed yet another sore under his bolster on his g-tube. Grrrrr. So begins the 2-3 baths a day to clean it and keep it well creamed. The trouble is, he is getting stronger and more sure of himself which means he isn't as agreeable to having me turn his bolster, clean the tube site and apply cream and gauze. Really this is minor but it just reminds us that Noah's care isn't always simple. THANKFULLY, we feel confident in our ability to help him and care for his skin. That same attitude applies to retches: it is so hard to watch but we have the tools to at least give him some relief by venting the tube.

Here are some pictures of our sweet boy.....he is loving his first fall experience and we enjoyed a great hike with Oma this weekend at Heart Creek. Lots of lovely memories.

From our household to yours.................happy thanksgiving!!

ps. Here is a picture of our host family in Abbotsford. That's a lotta blondies in one room!! Thanks again, Susan & Jeff! Friends are great.