Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I have had all of my nurses that helped me through the 5 weeks that I was in the hospital, on my mind for so long. I mean to go up to the 6th floor all the time but have not made it yet. :(
I miss all of them so much. If you are a nurse, dr, nursing assistant, food and nutritionist, housekeeper, whatever field you may be in and were there while I was, please email me!!
I want to plan for when we bring Veiyah home, a time that I can bring her up to the 6th floor to THANK all of you for taking care of Mama and Veiyah and Aderah. :) I really miss you guys and I would NOT have made it more than a day without all of you guys. I'll do some shout outs:
Tara - I know you are out there, I miss Bingo! :)
Heidi in LDR -you know who you are, first one to get to monitor the twins~ :) You are awesome..how is your twin's preg coming along? You pregnant yet? ;) xoxo
Ashley in LDR - Awww, Aderah always came out of her SVT when you were my nurse. I miss you girl. xoxo
Sherry – Can I call you Cherry? Haha Good times babe~ I love the name Jovie! :) xoxo
Stacey - Can you get any sweeter that that? nope~ :)
Kathy - Just REAL. I loved our REAL talks. :)
Heather – Soft spoken, and such an amazing heart~
Kristen – You are not 30….there’s just no way. ;) You are beautiful and the sweetest thing.
Petrina - You made my last day the best it could have been. I had just lost a daughter, and almost another. You laughed with me and made me feel normal again. You will always understand my pumping feelings. You were the one that got me started! You introduced us! Hehe xoxo
Jackie – I still remember the day I gotback from L&D, you tucking me in and kissing me on the forehead. Where are you these days??….I look for you at home every morning, to tuck me in so I can sleep till 10.
Christina – We could go on forever, right? You are too fun to talk to. How is your house coming along?
Barb – I wouldn’t have made it in that hospital w/out things to do. You are awesome in your job, and so much appreciated. Keep it up~ Congratulations on becoming a Grandma!
Dr. Dunn, Dr. Hunter, Dr. Bonebreak (Anderson wouldn’t have cut it on the birth certificates ;) ), Dr. Stewart – I’m so thankful for you, you have an enormous heart~
There are so many more!! I have missed you guys like crazy. Please email me!!! Let me know you are there, and we’ll get something set up to where I know you will ALL be working on the SAME day. ;) hehe
I’m thinking of you all. Even the ones I didn’t mention cause there are so many names flying through my head right now.
Then there are you NICU and PICU and floor staff. I will get to you next time. I appreciate each and every one of you all so much.
Each one of you took time out of your shift….shhh, I won’t say HOW much….to sit and talk to me and make me laugh. I’m so not kidding when I say there are so many more of you. You ALL made me feel welcome and made Jeremy know that I was going to be ok, because I had all of you!
If your name isn’t mentioned on here, STILL EMAIL ME. You can yell at me when you do. ;)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It seems like it’s been so long since I last blogged. I was telling my friend, Sheila, last night that I hadn’t blogged since Jeremy’s parents were here. I then realized that I had completely forgotten about the whole SVT episode where I blogged 3 times. How did I forget such a time? I think my mind is playing some serious tricks on me.
So I realize that it’s been about a week since we’ve updated. This relationship is more demanding than you’d think. People want to know what’s up!! So, it takes me having to sit down and actually put things on “paper”. I enjoy it, but it takes me a few minutes to get into the groove of talking through feelings or emotions.
We have been to see Veiyah on and off since last Tuesday. I have taken milk down between visits as well. She is eating so much now that I can barely keep up with my pumping. It’s so hard because I had to do what is not of my nature and allow them to give her formula while I was behind in pumping. Why do I feel such guilt?? It wouldn’t be so much guilt if she weren’t a “heart” baby. I have nothing against formula feeding. As for myself, though, I’ve always been able to breastfeed with no complication and have always had plenty of supply. Without her here, it is not as easy to just feel my milk come in when I hear her wake. I have to get “full” enough to actually feel it come down and finally act on it. Let me tell you what fun it is to go into a room alone and sit in front of a plastic pump for 10-15 minutes while it has it’s way with me. We’ve definitely bonded pump to woman, but it just isn’t the same….and probably shouldn’t be, right?
Veiyah is doing SO well. SO well, that we are hearing words and phrases like, “when she goes home”, or “at home she will need this”, or “we’re thinking of SENDING HER HOME IN TWO WEEKS”. Yah, did you get that last one? Did your stomach drop like mine did when I heard it this afternoon? Good, cause I thought it was just me….
They have her on a couple of antibiotics to get rid of an infection in her bloodstream. With other infections such as Urinary Tract Infections or other pin pointed places, they would just give her an antibiotic for a good week to ten days. With it just being in her bloodstream, they have to treat it for a good SIX weeks to rule everything out. So, now a couple of the Dr’s have tossed around the question, “Do they really want to do surgery if she is still on antibiotics for an infection on December 15th? Maybe if we can get her to sucking out of a bottle up to the amount of feeds she needs, then we can get her …shhh listen to this word…h o m e…and then you guys can bring her back for surgery in January.”
As excited as I get inside to say that four-letter word, home, Jeremy and I also get scared to death and sick to our stomachs. What about monitors? How will we know how many breaths she is taking in a minute? What about her oxygen saturation? And her pulse? SVT????? Jer and I were talking about this and he finally realized that when it comes down to it, we are going to have to do something like…trust in God. So much easier said than done when it comes down to it.
We can’t shelter Veiyah her whole life because we are scared of what will happen next. There is NO way that these Dr’s will send Veiyah home if she’s not ready. We pretty much know that the Dr’s believe the caffeine they were giving her, to help her remember to breathe without her tube/ventilator in, caused her SVT. Once they took her off of it, she was fine. But….what if??
Jeremy held Veiyah for the first time when his family was in town. It was wonderful for him even though he had to wear a paper gown and gloves, as our other daughter, Madi, was sick with a cold. It is RSV season and we have to be extra careful. The girls both got to hold her as well this last weekend. They fell in love all over again. Jer AND the girls. Here are some pictures of Jer holding Veiyah a second time, and then the girls.
We will be going to see Veiyah more this week, of course. Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up are bittersweet to us. We were so excited to play pass the babies at these family gatherings. Now we won’t have a pregnant belly, which was supposed to be pregnant till this Sunday, or babies. Knowing we have a baby in the hospital reminds us of how blessed we still are. We are not under-blessed by any means. My friend Sheila said to me last night on the phone, Ani I wonder if one day, you’ll be able to have REAL joy in knowing that Aderah is with Jesus. I know you are happy now that she is safe and happy and perfect with Him, but TRUE joy. Pure joy.” I am looking forward to that real and pure joy, Sheila. Xoxo
I didn’t get to tell you about Jeremy’s family visit. It was a really good time. We drove to Iowa City to meet them for lunch so we could go see Veiyah afterwards. We pulled up and saw his Dad do a double take because he must have not recognized us, or maybe he was looking for our van while we were in Jer’s little car. Then we walked in and saw Amanda and Heather (his sisters) separately, but both had to do double takes as well as we caught them by surprise. We were the same faces they saw 10 months ago, only with different lives, touched souls, crazy emotions, and more children. It was going just fine till Heather decided that she wanted to cry. Darn it Heather! I wanted to at least get home before the tears started. She saw her brother though, for the first time, since he gave up his whole life to be with his wife 30 minutes away while we monitored the twins constantly. Since he watched his daughter go from a picture on the ultrasound… to our arms… to the ground. Since he watched his daughter fight for her life in the NICU. Since he handed his life over for a whole new life to never be that same brother she once knew, again. What emotions are mixed into all of that? I can’t even begin to describe.
We took his family to see where Aderah’s body lies now. It was windy and cold, but we all walked up quite a ways to the flower shop and all picked out a single flower to place on Aderah’s grave. Everyone then stood around Aderah in a circle and one by one, in no particular order, placed our flowers where we wanted to and either stood in silence or spoke a soft word that they had waited so long and from so far away to give Aderah. Little did we know, Aunt Heather had written to Aderah the day of her funeral. I thought it very appropriate to put in this blog so that we have it forever and so that you all are apart of each little bit of this journey.
We are so thankful for this visit. We were well cared for and quite pampered with our meals being prepared for us, and such healthy ones at that! We started receiving “where are you” letters from McDonalds and Taco Bell.
“Gramma”, Jer’s Mom, got to hold Veiyah while she was here. It was so special for her and so special for Jeremy. Then, Aunt Heather and Aunt Amanda got to hold her. Such precious times. They don’t know when they will see that baby again, but that 5-10 minutes of her in their arms will hold in our hearts forever.
I had to share this picture of the girls in their new outfits from Gramps and Gramma. They got their hair and make-up done by Mom and Aunt Heather! Fun Fun
Love you all~
Monday, November 17, 2008
We have been staying here at the hospital in the Helen Rossi Guest House. It is provided through donations for only $15 a night. It has been a blessing to be so close to Veiyah. The $15 can add up, so we can't always be here. When we can and they have a room, we try to do it as often as possible.
We've been here since Saturday evening. Veiyah has been SVT free since I last posted. She has also had her oxygen tube taken out of her nose. She is being treated for an infection that they believe came from her IV (PICC) line. This can happen when they are in for a long time. So, she now has a line going through the side of her head by her ear. I know...it's not as bad as it sounds though. Jeremy explained it to me and it sounded awful. He said it was just a needle in her head with a huge syringe taped down. HAA, wow he had me scared. It's not bad at all, and it's a great vein to draw from and to give her meds through.
She is so dang CUTE! She is a little above `6lbs now and is acting more and more like a newborn baby. On Thursday, she’d stay awake and look all around. She’d respond to our voices and would stick her tongue out at us. ;)
I didn’t tell you all before the whole SVT problem, that she was moved out of ICU down to the Pediatrics In-Patient Unit. She wasn’t even there a day though, as that is where her SVT started. So back up to Intensive Care! It’s always a good sign when they say they are moving her to “the floor”. That means OUT of ICU. So when they called to say she is going back up, it was like taking 1 step forward and 30,000 steps back. …And I NEVER exaggerate.
Last night, Jer went back to Cedar Rapids and left us here to be with Veiyah. I took the girls to Steak N Shake….had to tell ya that because we’ve never been there and it was kinda fun. We came back and had kind of a girly night. Lizzie McGuire movie always does the trick. This is what Dreeeeeams are made of!
So, this morning my cell phone buzzes. I recognize the number as the hospital. GULP! Seriously, my stomach drops every time the phone RINGS let alone it being the hospital. “Hi Anna, this is VYE-UH’s (nobody knows how to say her name because Jer and I are idiots and we agreed on a crazy spelling) nurse up in the PICU. We just wanted to let you know…(insert here what I expected her to say…that she has gone back into SVT so get here NOW) that we are moving her down OUT of Intensive Care and onto the…..(magic word here)…..FLOOR!”
What? Good news you say? I’m sorry, this is Anna Karg. VAY-UH’s Mom, not VYE-UH’s. So you must be mistaken. We only get scary phone calls here. Thank you and good-bye.
No, but seriously??? Prayer works? Ya DON’T SAY! We have witnessed miracles with Veiyah over and over and we are still dumbfounded when God works. DOH!
Thank you all for following us and praying us through. We still have a long way to go, but each step we take is a little closer to home. Veiyah is still scheduled for surgery on her tummy December 15th…tentatively.
So, you never know, right? I like to be optimistic while Jer likes to be realistic. Maybe we’ll have a Christmas baby? Oh, forget that realistic stuff. I never liked it anyway. I like to be in my own world where everything goes great and I’m holding both Veiyah and Aderah in my arms while sipping a cup of my doctored up coffee….with my 3rd hand….okay now it’s just getting weird.
If I’m not funny to you, I forgive you. ;)
Going to see my baby girl down on “THE FLOOR”!!! Love to you allllll,
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I'm happy to report that Veiyah has continued to be SVT FREE since 6am yesterday morning!!
I know you all read that her breathing tube came out a couple of weeks ago. She then had oxygen put into her nose. That came out today! What in the world?
Jeremy and I were downstairs and I said to him, "I don't get why the SVT just suddenly stopped". He said, "Yeah, I know". Then I looked at him and said, "But I guess we DID ask people to pray???" We both laughed...like...um, yeah why are we asking WHY God answered our prayers? Amazing isn't it? How we question God after He answers our prayers so clearly? We have to remember who the GLORY goes to. It doesn't go to the medicine or the Dr's or nurses. If it did, Aderah would still be here. God had a different plan for Aderah. He has a different plan for Veiyah and is showing us plain as day!
I was expecting for Veiyah to slip away from us just as Aderah did. I should only expect God to be God!!!
More updates to come soon! We will be staying at the hospital tonight since I am feeling quite a bit better. A room opened up and that doesn't happen very often. We will take it now so we can be there for the weekend. We'll let you know the latest. You can EXPECT that. ;)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Well look at all of you fancy pray-ers! ;)
We've been getting updates all day from Veiyah's nurse. Veiyah hasn't had any bouts of SVT at ALL since 6 this morning!!!
When I first wrote to you they were still expecting her to go in and out. They are now weaning her off of the drug that stops it....I know, sounds strange, right? They are putting her on a different kind of drug that helps it but that I believe can be taken orally if it is something she will have to have long term. They had stopped her feeds when this started up because if blood wasn't being pumped correctly and got into her gut with food, there could be more serious damage. Obviously that all looks okay now, so now she can have a full belly. :)
I am staying home for the rest of the day, because I feel like I CAN since she's doing this good. I don't want to take germs over again and cause anything. You just never know.
When I called this last time, I heard Veiyah just WAILING in the background. ANOTHER FIRST! I'm SOOO wanting to be there to just rock her and let her know I'm there. You know, I probably would go anyway and just wear a mask, but it is RSV season and there are MANY children that are VERY sick up in the PICU right now. By the way, Veiyah was just crying because she had her heel poked for cultures. Poor thing!
Anyway, Jer is going down to the U right after work to be with her for a little bit. There is a football game tomorrow and it is absolutely crazy to get in and park and be able to leave during those games. So, we will go in the evening to be with her.
PLEASE keep doing that fancy praying of yours and let's keep this baby girl SVT FREE! :) I almost don't know WHAT to do with these feelings of JOY, because I was so prepared for the worst!!! How awesome is our God!!!
You guys are just amazing and I am so thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for praying for my healing as well. If I don't feel better by tomorrow, I may go into Urgent Care to get a culture on my throat. Until then, I will just rest and know that my baby girl is being held in the arms of our Almighty and that "God's POWER" is on her!!!
That girl sure knows how to live up to her middle name!
Ani~ *sips on her pretend chicken soup* ;)
Jeremy and I left the hospital around 9pm last night. Veiyah would come in and out of SVT constantly. She'd wake up though, and not have it for the full time she was awake. It was really strange. They felt good about her going out of it on her own with the meds they have her on, enough for us to get rest at home rather than finding a motel that we just can't afford right now.
It was good to get home for me. It's a sense of peace. I started to feel sick close to when we left last night. My throat started feeling sore whenever I swallowed. So, it was good to go home rather than let it sit around Veiyah. I woke up with my throat completely closed this morning. Jeremy was going to take me to the University before going to work, but we both didn't feel good about it. I called Veiyah's nurse to let her know that we will be in as soon as I start to feel a bit better.
Veiyah had a few SVT bouts here and there during the night. All of the Ekko's look good and it hasn't touched her blood pressure, which is good. So, they don't know what is causing this. They are cutting her caffeine a bit today to see if that has anything to do with it. They had her on caffeine to help her to breathe on her own w/out the tube. Otherwise, she'd get too sleepy and forget to breathe. So, the risks are tough to take, but we have to get a handle on things.
Please pray for her as she goes off of the caffeine so that her breathing stays normal. Pray that her SVT goes away on it's own and that we can move past this. Please pray for me, Ani, to get healthy. I will be home alone today as Jeremy went to work and my girls are with my sister. Hopefully i can get the rest I need. It's not easy being alone and sick and worrying about all my kids. :( I can't risk letting any infetion into that hospital though. So, please pray for guilt!!!
Veiyah is ALIVE another day! This is what I'm thankful for. A lot of scary memories came back yesterday. They still are. I have to keep trusting God though. We can't give up.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers! You are all so awesome and we wouldn't be where we are, mentally, spiritually or even physically without all of you. We appreciate the encouragement given. It's something to hold onto. We don't feel a lot to hold onto right now, so thank you for that.
Love to you all,
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We got a call early this morning from the hospital telling us that Veiyah was having SVT. SVT is the extremely fast heart rate and for some reason she has been going in and out of it this morning. She is taking medicine right now that is supposed to slow the heart rate and hopefully stop the SVT. Please be praying today that will happen. Please also pray for Ani and I as it was SVT that caused Aderah's heart failure and so this is bringing back painful memories. We can not handle having anything happen to Veiyah, so please pray.
We will be at the hospital all day, so e-mail is the best way to get ahold of us for now. I will try to call later if possible.
***Ani here - Veiyah is going in and out of SVT every few minutes. It does not seem to be getting better. Please pray you guys! I can't lose her! WE can't!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
My In-Laws got in yesterday. :) After hiring myself, Jeremy and my kids to do a "clean sweep" of our much needed clean sweep house, they are here and I'm okay with it. Meaning I wouldn't be, if my house was any different than what it is now. We've been preparing for a couple of weeks for them to arrive. We had goals. Goals are always good, but they are even better with such motivation. You see, my sister-in-laws are their own maids. They do everything that I do in my life, i.e. be a Mom, Wife, Teacher, Taxi, Cook, etc. except that they run their own business of something called "Cleaning Our Own House". It's this new thing. "Organiza-shun" or something? Yeah, they are really good at it and I on the other hand only have the other things on my list...and well, cooking is pushing it...I may be stretching the truth on that one.
Anyway, so while trying to get some last minute chores done the night before, we got THE phone call. It was 5:36...I know cuz I was taking a nap ...cuz that was one of my last minute chores...;)... and my phone rang and woke me up. Veiyah has been extubated! She is breathing on her own and doing a GREAT job with it! I practically ran downstairs to tell Jer. He says, should we go? YES! So we do some actual work so we feel okay about going. We get there and oh my, she is waving her hands around like she was hailing a taxi! So, I pulled over and let her in~ haha My "funny" way of saying that I held her. AGAIN!
This was my 3rd time. I just looked at her for so long. Her mouth still held the shape of a tube on the right side...like a fish on a hook...too funny, but all funnies aside, I just bawled. Tears were dripping off of my face and onto hers...I'm sure she appreciated that. Jer and the girls asked why I was crying. I just said that I love her SO much and it's just so amazing to me that she has come this far. That I can see her little nostrils breathing in and out. That's such a small thing we take for granted! YES, I AM talking about the nostrils flaring while we breathe that we take for granted. Sounds trivial, yes? I'm telling you from where I am at now, that it is no longer trivial to me. I'll gladly watch my kids nostrils flare while they breathe any day.
I was talking to Amanda, my sis-in-law last night, about all the "firsts" that I am getting with Veiyah. When someone normally has a baby, they are handed them their new child, they hear them cry, they don't even have to look to see if they are breathing, because they are crying so loud that they already know. They cradle them right away and then bring them to their breast to feed that child as he/she moves their mouth from side to side showing Mommy that they are hungry and are ready to not only eat, but to bond. This baby is squriming around, stretching their arms and legs, opening their eyes, squinting to see this new environment they have entered into. This all happens at ONCE! It happens so fast that we don't necessarily call them "firsts". They are all just one thing...it all just happens...if that makes sense.
Veiyah and Aderah were taken from me instantly. I didn't hear a cry. The nurse told me to listen carefully as they were trying to "revive" Veiyah with oxygen, but with that mask over her, it was so faint I didn't know if I was imagining it or not. From that point as we all know, not only did Aderah sleep so soundly, but Veiyah was induced with paralyzation. She slept for days into weeks, and didn't move a muscle.
I saw a machine making her chest go up and down. It was like watching a video of a CPR class for babies.
I am just NOW witnessing my firsts with my child that was born 42 days ago. To see her move is like seeing her come to life. To see her stretch and wiggle or even jolt from her nerves realizing that she is not really paralyzed is all a big "First". With her tube being out, I am able to witness her nostrils actually doing the work of breathing in and out. There is now LIFE to her breath, not just a machine.
I can hear her try so hard to let us all know she isn't happy or just wants to be heard. Her voice is so hoarse from that tube being in since birth. She hardly has a voice to cry, but you can bet that when that voice box heals, you'll hear her from wherever you will be reading another one of my blogs. ;)
I can just now exchange looks with my daughters eyes. We can study each other to get to know one anothers eyes, faces, movements...etc. She can hear mine and her Daddy's voice and actually respond to it. She will look one way to see my face when she hears my sound or smells my smell, and the other for Daddy's.
I can change her diaper. I can smell her poop!! I can get peed on! These are so gross aren't they? Not to me~ I love them.
I can hold her.
I still have so many firsts to go! How exciting is that? It's not all at once for me, so it's not a blur. It's baby steps. LITERALLY. I find this much more precious than any other way now. I'd rather go step by step to see the awesomeness that God has created for this life to do or to be. He created these things as STEPS and FIRSTS. Just because they normally happen all at once, doesn't mean we shouldn't stop and try to appreciate them as steps.
Think about that. When God made man, he breathed life into him. This life was not just a ball of rubberbands already put together to make that ball. It was rubberband by rubberband that was held together by each one that made each STEP progress further and further into that ball, until finally it was whole and colorful and bouncy! Us as humans can't conceive this as time is so quickly rushed and we find ourselves missing things like even going into labor, pushing the baby(s) out, that first moment...STEP.
PS. Please pray for Veiyah as she continues to breathe on her own. She is doing so great and she can throw a fit like no other. Well, except for her Mom. We share that. ;)
Here are some pictures!! :) These are from when the tube was in as well.
Later I will be posting pictures of Jeremy's family getting to meet Veiyah for the first time. It was seriously a precious time for all of us. We haven't seen each other since Christmas and oh so much has happened in that time. God is so good to let us be together now. That's my next blog~ ;)
Look at that Red hair! I'm seriously predicting this child's hair color~
Yes, I got my hair did~
God bless all of you awesome prayer warriors and amazing friends of ours!!! We love you~ xoxo