Thanksgiving

What do you normally think of when you hear the word “thanksgiving”? Food? Family? Holiday? Day off? This year, for me, Thanksgiving is taking on a whole new meaning.

October 5th – I woke up with an urgency to take a pregnancy test. Grant had left for a meeting at church at 7 am and I decided I just couldn’t wait for him to come back home. So I took the test and it was positive!! So the next day, I called the doctor and scheduled an appointment for the following Friday. I go to the doctor and get an ultrasound and to their surprise, I wasn’t as far along as I thought I was – the baby was only measured at 5 weeks, 6 days. My doctor told me that normally you can’t hear a heartbeat that early, but lo and behold, we heard it!! One of the greatest joys in life is hearing that heartbeat for the first time and I was overwhelmed with emotion!

As the weeks went by, I felt awful. With Benaiah, I had morning sickness every day but this time it was different. I couldn’t really put my finger in it, but it just didn’t feel right to me.

November 5 – it was a Wednesday night and we had just finished eating at the Fellowship Meal at church. We were heading to bible study when I realized that something was wrong. I began to completely break down and I knew, something was wrong with our baby.

We rushed home, called the doctor, but they told us not to panic just yet. So we waited until the following morning and headed straight to the doctor. I immediately had an ultrasound, and my fears were confirmed. They measured and found that the baby was only 6 weeks 1 day old, which is only two days more than the first ultrasound. No heartbeat was found, and I was devastated. My precious ultrasound technician gave me the biggest and most genuine hug I’ve ever gotten from a stranger. I know, in that moment, God gave me her as a comfort.

As I gathered my things and scheduled surgery, I felt Gods presence like I never have before. He is our ultimate Comforter and I knew He was right there with me. In that moment, He gave me peace that surpassed all understanding, and I am forever thankful. Grant and I shed many tears, and hugged our two year old like we never have before. We were heartbroken.

The next day, I ended up having to go back to the doctor and didn’t have to have surgery (Praise The Lord!). But as the technician did another ultrasound, the screen was blank. My heart melted and reality began to sink in. We wept and grieved over losing our child, but we also rejoiced in knowing that our child was in the hands of the Creator and we will meet him/her one day. (As my friend told me today, you should rejoice that your baby is already in heaven because as believers, isn’t that what we want and desire for our kids?)

BUT, despite the loss, I have so much to be thankful for. I love my husband who is a thoughtful, loving, caring, compassionate, godly man and the best daddy to our little boy. Our beautiful boy Benaiah who just turned two and is happy, healthy and growing up so fast. My friends and family who have been so supportive of me and have been praying for our family. My mom and many other women in my life who have shared their miscarriage experiences with me, encouraged me and let me know that I’m not alone in going through this. Most importantly, I have a Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I’m fully dependent on. God loved me so much that he sent His Son to die for me. I will never be able to comprehend that kind of love, but right now, His steadfast and unwavering love is exactly what I need. Now for me, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

Prayers answered!

First of all, let me just say thank you to everyone who has called, texted, written or seen us over the past few weeks. We feel blessed to have the best friends, family and church family who care so much about us especially our precious little boy.

This picture greeted us as we entered the surgical ward of the hospital. I thought it was so sweet that they took the time to write every child’s name on sign.

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Today’s surgery went so smoothly. I’m thankful for all of the people at Kosair. We seriously couldn’t have asked for a better staff this morning. Our anesthesiologist was wearing a surgery cap with Thomas the train hat on it and Benaiah smiled SO big when he saw it. He can’t get enough of Thomas! πŸ™‚

Despite me having NO voice once so ever, Grant was able to communicate with everyone and voice our concerns clearly. Our doctor already talked to the anesthesiologist several times over the past week and a half to figure out a game plan for today. They decided to give him a glucose drip in an IV just to be safe. Since he was going about 9 hours without food when typically he can only go a maximum of 8 hours, this was great news for us. It put our minds instantly at ease. Then we were told they were going to do the anesthesia a little differently but nothing too abnormal. That was a HUGE relief to us. We were thinking we could possibly be at the hospital for monitoring for 6 to 8 hours after! So thankful :).

The nurses then began to prep Benaiah for surgery and gave them some “happy juice” as they called it. It comforted me that he was starting to relax. Then they took him away. It took everything in me not to break down at that moment…but then my phone started to buzz. Several friends started texting me at that moment saying they were praying and instantly, I was at peace. I was reminded that God is in total control and I know I’m not alone. (Again so thankful for all of you!!)

About 20 minutes later, our doctor came back and told us everything went great! What a huge relief and answered prayer!!

Then about ten minutes later, they brought Benaiah back. He was so groggy and cranky but just wanted to be held. We gave him plenty of snuggles, hugs and kisses while he drank some apple juice. After about 30 minutes, they told us that we could go home!!! Praise The Lord!!

So after staying in town for a few hours to make sure he was ok, we are finally at home and settling down. It has been a bumpy road but hopefully (fingers crossed!) we are in the clear!

God’s plan is always best…

All week I’ve been a little nervous, and so has my husband. Last night, neither one of us slept well. We tried not to be anxious and prayed for Gods peace that surpasses all understanding. Sometimes it’s much easier said than done….

When I woke up this morning at 5:45 (mind you this is about 2 and a half hours earlier than normal), I felt fairly calm. My husband and I were getting up extra early to take our little boy (21 months) to the hospital to have tubes put in his ears.

We get to the hospital at 6:30, and get him settled in his room. We put his tiny gown on, and let him walk around the room. The nurse comes in, takes his vitals, asks questions, the usual. Then the anesthesiologist comes in and starts asking questions. We tell him about his VLCADD and my husband hands him the emergency protocol, just in case they might need it. Little did we know, that document was going to be very important.

Then we waited for about 30 minutes, and right at 7:30 when the surgery was going to take place, our doctor came in along with the anesthesiologist. He informed us that because of his metabolic condition, they wanted to postpone his surgery and do it at Kosair in a week and a half. He said he had done tens of thousands of these surgeries and not once had this happen to him. He was doing it as a precaution because the anesthesiologist was doing some research in the 30 minutes we were waiting. Apparently he found cases in which children’s body’s (with metabolic disorders) couldn’t break down the general anesthesia normally. So since he had this, they thought doing it at a hospital that is familiar with these kinds of things would be a better idea. They also said that may just mean that he needs a different narcotic, but we will just wait and see. This could also mean that a procedure that takes about 2 hours total in the hospital, could mean 10 hours instead (because they may want to monitor him for a bit afterwards). We should be having a pre-op appointment so we can be informed and know what’s going to be best for him.

In what may have been a big headache for some people, we were ever so thankful. I’m thankful that the anesthesiologist took the time to do his research with something he wasn’t familiar with. I’m thankful for all of our friends and family who were praying for us (and will continue to pray for us in the weeks to come!).

Most importantly I’m thankful for a God who loves, cares and watches over His people! His plan is always the best plan, and today, more than ever, I’m grateful for it.

Quick Update…

It’s been over 6 months since I have written a post, so I thought it would be nice to give a quick update on our little boy!

He has been blessed with good health, other than a few ear infections here and there. His diet has been a struggle but we are learning to adapt. It’s becoming easier in counting his fat grams, but coming up with different meals has been a little tough. One of my favorite recipes is Ranch chicken tacos, and Benaiah loves it too! I’m always open to low fat meal suggestions, especially dinners πŸ™‚

We have our next appointment with the geneticist and nutritionist in the middle of August. This is just a routine checkup that he has to have every 6 months. Please be praying for the three of us as we go there, and learn if there will be any new updates to his diet/health.

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A scary moment….

Well it happened. For those of you that are close friends and family, you know how much we have dreaded our little boy getting sick. By that, I mean not being able to get fluids or food down. For most kids, this would simply mean a trip to the doctors office. For us, it’s a trip to the ER.

Monday morning, Benaiah started to eat some breakfast, then we gave him his milk. Shortly after that, he began to vomit. My heart sank and Grant and I tried hard not to panic. We thought that maybe it was just because he had too much milk, he ate too fast, or was too active after he ate so we waited. I took his temperature which was thankfully normal. About 30 minutes later, it happened again three times in a row. We knew at that point that we had to make a phone call. (With Benaiah having VLCADD, any time he vomits or refuses to eat, we need to notify our geneticist.)

We were instructed to give him 4 oz of milk, wait an hour, and then give him 4 more. He did great with the first 4 oz. He even took a short nap and we were hoping for the best. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. The next 4 oz did not settle well. We called the geneticist back and were told to go straight to the ER. Frantically, we packed up everything we needed in about 10 minutes and hurried out the door. We then made the 45 minute drive to our local children’s hospital.

When we got there, I handed the lady at the front desk the emergency protocol for Benaiah. (He has step by step instructions from the geneticist with what to do in a situation like this. It includes being admitted immediately, starting an IV, and running a bunch of labs) She didn’t even look at the paper. I was not pleased but the nurse called us to a small room almost immediately. He was weighed and we were asked some questions. Then we got called back to a room. And we waited. And waited….and waited. Finally after sitting for almost 30 minutes we realized that no one had taken the protocol seriously. Grant went and found another nurse who was awesome and got everything set up and ready for us in about ten minutes. We were sent to a room so Benaiah could get blood drawn and an IV put in. This mommy and daddy were strong through all the tears and cries of our little boy.

We went back to the room and had to sit for awhile to await the lab results. He had his IV dripping and he was able to sleep for about 30 minutes. About 2 hours after the labs were taken, we got good news from the doctor and said that it was probably just a little stomach bug. All of the labs came back normal so there was no concern there. We were given some medicine to help him with the nausea and were told we could leave very soon! What a huge praise!!

So after being there 4 hours (it felt like 14…), we were able to come home. It was a scary experience, and one we don’t want to repeat, but we will definitely be more prepared the next time.

Right now, Benaiah is doing much better, but probably won’t be completely back to normal for a few more days. Mom and Dad have had a rough few days of not feeling good either, on top of stress and worry. We are just very thankful that it wasn’t any worse. We are truly blessed.

This picture was taken the next morning. Our beautiful happy boy πŸ™‚

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One Year Update!

I know in my last post I shared about the big birthday party, but I failed to mention the developments of his growth πŸ™‚

When we went to the pediatrician, Benaiah did great! He weighs just over 24 lbs and is 30.5 inches long. The doctor was very pleased with his development and told us he was in about the 70th percentile for both height and weight! That’s great news because a lot of babies that have VLCADD have a hard time gaining weight. That’s definitely not an issue with us πŸ™‚

After leaving the doctor, I knew I needed to contact our nutritionist with his updated information so she could tell us his new dietary restrictions. When she emailed me back, I was thrilled with what she told me. Benaiah could now go 6 hours between feedings (instead of the previous 5) and his fat grams per day increased from 5 to 12!! That’s very manageable and was very exciting to hear. Also he will be having 1% milk and we have to put MCT oil in three of his servings. That will be how he will get the majority of his fats. The fat from this oil is good fat that his body can digest.

Here is a picture I took on his birthday shortly after he had his first haircut!

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I haven’t really made any new recipes yet but I’m hoping to do that soon so I can share it on the blog!

Benaiah is One

Our happy birthday boy! (Grant actually ironed on the “1” and the monkey! He did an awesome job!)

Benaiah celebrated his first birthday last week and let’s just say, I’m exhausted from all the fun. πŸ™‚ We spent his actual birthday celebrating as a family by going to Chick-fil-a for lunch, running a few errands for his big party, and ending it with breakfast for dinner!

Then, on Saturday, we had his big party! I decided to do a Curious George theme, because it’s one of Benaiah’s favorite shows, and he likes the books too. πŸ™‚ I went a little crazy with the decorations, but I couldn’t help myself…I found WAY too many cute ideas on Pinterest so I had to incorporate them!

Two of my best friends came down that morning to help me set up everything. Β It would have taken me all day, but with their help, it only took a few hours. Β Here are a few pictures of the decorations right before the party started!

The silverware with Curious George cutout
The silverware with Curious George cutout
Hundley's puppy chow party favors (I used baby food jars and made Muddy Buddies. Then I added the label and made the tops with a picture of Benaiah!)
Hundley’s puppy chow party favors (I used baby food jars and made Muddy Buddies. Then I added the label and made the tops with a picture of Benaiah!)
The yellow "hats"
The yellow “hats”
The tables
The tables
I had Curious George and the Birthday Surprise book for everyone to sign so he would know who came to his party!
I had Curious George and the Birthday Surprise book for everyone to sign so he would know who came to his party!
The awesome streamers my friend Danielle did!
The awesome streamers my friend Danielle did!
Pictures of Benaiah from his first year
Pictures of Benaiah from his first year
The front of his high chair. I made the cutouts with my Cricut
The front of his high chair. I made the cutouts with my Cricut
The dessert table (minus the punch my sister made). I made the banner with my Cricut. My friend Sarah made the cupcakes and put banana runts on top!
The dessert table (minus the punch my sister made). I made the banner with my Cricut. My friend Sarah made the cupcakes and put banana runts on top!

Then the party began! We had spaghetti (with whole wheat spaghetti and ground turkey), salad, bread (something VLCADD friendly πŸ™‚ ) and delicious cupcakes made by one of my best friends who is a FANTASTIC baker! She even made a cupcake specifically for Benaiah that he LOVED.

The birthday boy! He's not too sure what to think about his cake...
The birthday boy! He’s not too sure what to think about his cake…
He picked at it at first...
He picked at it at first…
Then, he picked up the whole thing.....
Then, he picked up the whole thing…..
and he ate it all!!
and he ate it all!!

And don’t forget the presents! Benaiah enjoyed “opening” his presents, but I think the other kids had more fun than he did πŸ˜‰

Opening gifts

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He loved his tractor from Nana and Papaw
He loved his tractor from Nana and Papaw
Curious George Jack in the Box, he loves playing Peek a Boo with it!
Curious George Jack in the Box, he loves playing Peek a Boo with it!
Walker from Grammy
Walker from Grammy

It was a really great time spent with family and friends.

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Friends and family hanging out

My parents with my nephew

Thank you to everyone who was a part of his special day in one way or another!! We love you all!!

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