Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Whats in a year?

Whats in a year? 

Well I could break it down by the 12 months, the number of days, the date, the money spent and the money made. But there are many things of greater worth to be told, ESPECIALLY within our little family. 

This year was like a complete 180 from last year. Where we found out we were being blessed with another baby, I lost my job due to severe hyperemesis (bad morning sickness, to the point of losing weight in my 2nd trimester). On the day we found out about the sex of our unborn baby, we found out something was wrong with him. And the a snowball of effects that lasted the rest of the year and into this one. 

But THIS year our baby boy survived another open heart surgery, where he was extubated by the second day. Our baby was finally brought home after living the first 5 months of his life in a hospital, and he met his family! 

This year we made more memories than any pay check is worth (and most of them were FREE). Our whole family cuddled on our big bed so many times I have lost count. I have traced my babies scarred chest even more than that. We hiked up a mountain to look over the Kentucky river, ALL of us, with baby strapped to my chest through 4+ miles of  hills, trees, rocks, bushes and some mud. All while our baby was outside of 4 walls with beeping machines that were hooked to him, he was seeing nature!

This year we did a 3 mile walk for CHD awareness and to raise money for an organization that helped us out the year before by getting gas cards for us, meal tickets in the hospital, helping to rent a car so we could bring our bundle home for the first time from out of state and offered emotional support. 

We joined other organizations with the same cause in mind and have grown to love them just as much and mommy now sits at a table with other board members striving to help CHD families. 

This year we have all began and ended our days the exact same, with all of us under one roof, in our own beds. We are so BLESSED. 

This year we were on CNN to bring awareness of just how important TRANSPARENCY  in a hospital is, and which hospitals aren't focusing on it. We lost some friends because of standing up for what we believe, but we helped MANY more!  And because of moms hard work she was asked to come to a big meeting out of state that combines multiple hospitals that do the same surgeries and care all over that Waylon now receives from Michigan, all in an effort to provide the best care for the patients and continue to grow. 

This year we took simple trips to the park and watched our kids run free and smile, instead of cry because our family was split apart in different states. 

 We celebrated birthdays TOGETHER, one inparticular that we were unsure we would get to have. Our baby boys! 

Our once 100% tube fed boy now eats from a bottle and snacks on small banana puffs and other things. NO more placing a tube that was pulled out or ready to be changed because a month is up. Tightly swaddling a moving/growing baby and shoving a tube down his nose, and the back of his throat then taping it down on eczema covered cheeks.
We were finally cleared to stop lovenox injections because his blood clot in a major artery had FINALLY disappeared. No more jabbing him in knotted bruised legs with another needle 2x a day.

This year we LIVED!! We had hope for a better future for our CHD baby, for our family, for our selves. We found strength we didnt know we had, and found things we are good at. 
We have helped other families and been helped by others. We have watched our kids grow, not only in pounds, but intellectually and as people. 

We have also lost. We have mourned for our friends who lost their babies. We have offered comfort and love to them. And we will NEVER forget their sweet babies, and vow to fight for them and their parents so peace will be found. So these parents will know their baby was loved. 

As I sit with my beautiful family this evening, even with the next year of procedures, events and another open heart surgery looming over our heads, I will smile and even shed a tear. Because THIS year, we SURVIVED!! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Where it ALL began!

On this day 7 years ago my husband and I vowed to love, honor and cherish eachother until death do us part. Here's our love story!
Prom 2006

The beginning of the year 2006 was a very crazy one. I had just ended a relationship with a toxic boyfriend and found myself in a whirl wind of a mess in my head. My normal depression had greatly increased and I had began self mutilation. I found my self calling out for help and asking to be signed into a mental rehabilitation facility. I discovered I had lost my voice, my character had changed and I needed to center myself again and surround my life around those who actually gave a crap about me. I came out refreshed and found an inner strength I didn't know existed in myself.

I had seen this boy everyday on the bus, setting alone, with head phones on sticking to himself. I knew of him because my best friend spoke about the guy she had JUST started dating the day before and he ended it within the same day saying they were more like brother and sister lol. It made me strike up conversation when he had to sit behind me one day and HAD to listen to me because his headphones had broken *score*. There was something about him, I just couldn't place a finger yet on what that was. Days followed and we spoke more, finding we had many of the same friends. The day came that my best friend tried to set him up with a freshman, he was a senior (I was a junior). She made the mistake of telling me her intentions. I smiled and volunteered to go with, but all the while in my head I thought "this chick isn't getting my man, Ive been working on this for weeks". I had to step in and take a chance. Numbers were eventually exchanged and deep talk about our intentions came into play pretty quickly. To many it seemed quick, and silly of such young people to talk about such things. But he and I were made to grow up early through our childhoods. I had to assume the responsibility of taking care of my younger siblings because my parents had to work to provide for us. And he, well that's his story to tell.

December 2006, Christmas.

Just on the cusp of our young love my parents informed me that we would be moving out of state for my Sr year because my grandfather was in bad shape. A discussion was brought up with my parents and he told my dad his intentions with me and that he would like to move out of state with us when he turned 18.

The day of his graduation he came over to help us pack our things and to say good bye for a little while. After breaking down about our circumstances he firmly tells me "MARRY ME". Yeah you got it right, no asking involved, that's his way lol. Months later we came back to pick him up to move out of state with us. He left his family, friends and all he knew for me, and all without me asking him to.

We had searched for a few weeks for a church and pastor to marry us but were very strapped on funds. Eventually we had my mom takes us to the court house to sign the papers, but I was only 17 so my mom had to sign me over. Even though we signed the papers my parents wouldnt let us share a bed because we hadn't said vows in "front of God", so after a few weeks searching we were set up with a family friend who would marry us.

The night before we had went to a dance at my high school and danced the night away. That school had never seen such dancing besides music videos lol. We didnt care who stared at us, we lived the moment up and held eachother close. The next night we laid on the bed talking when the phone rang and the preacher told us he could come RIGHT then to marry us. Talk about fast moving. But there was no question, we knew what we wanted and had already signed the papers. Who cared if no one else was going to be able to be there.

Standing in the living room of the house we shared with my parents, and two younger siblings we vowed our love for eachother and promised our lives to one another.

A crazy way to start out a life together and so many were against it because of our age or the fear of it not lasting. But here we are 7 years later. Our marriage hasn't been all glitter and pixie dust, we have had our ups and downs. The first couple of years were hard, just like with any other marriage. But we pulled through because we love eachother and we have learned lessons that 20 year long marriages have not learned from yet. Had we not had a lasting relationship and knew how to work together on things we would have NEVER made it through the things we have. Our families fighting with eachother, our families fighting with us, and especially not the required seperation of our family so that our son could get the best care.

Which also leads me to another fun fact of this date. On this day one year ago we were told that our son was in heart failure by our local hospital and that the surgical program for CHD kids there was at a halt at the moment ( we would later find that it had been on halt for a few months before we were informed). Instead of being able to enjoy our anniversary together we were making plans to split our family up for an unknown amount of time. 3 days later that conversation changed to action from the decision to move our son out of state.

We have been through so many things, this past year has been the hardest. But our strength and love for eachother has pulled us through. We are bumped, bruised and affected, but we are breathing and still holding eachother through it all. And we always will.

Our love story doesn't consist of a couple traveling the world together, having all of the riches in the world. But it consists of two people who are still madly in love with eachother. He is my back bone when I am at my weakest points. He has helped me to be a see my own self worth.

Lucas and baby Anthony, November 2007

Pregnant with ms.McKayla, april 2009

Pregnant with Waylon 2012

Happy anniversary babe. I wouldn't choose anyone else to walk this life with, even when you get on my last nerve lol.