Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Our experience at CHOA

I have not blogged in a while but this seems the perfect time to blog.  I have always known that God uses bad for good.  Sometimes it is hard to see when you are in the mist of the bad.  I decided to record our experience at CHOA because one day I will look back at this and smile!

Here is a list of things that I have learned over the past few days and our experience at one of the most amazing hospitals I would say in the world.

1.       Friends are just as important and become like family especially in a time of need.  Thank you so much Katie, Abigail, Merideth, Jessica, Pastor Tommy, Lindsey Dolph for coming to spend time with McKinley and I during our stay.  You are what kept me sane during those 24 hours that seemed like an eternity.

2.       CHOA I have always heard was the best hospital but that is what scared me.  If CHOA was where we had to be then it must be serious.  When you walk down those halls it puts everything into perspective.  It is the best and thankful that the best is only an hour away.

3.       The SIX letter word (cancer) is the scariest word in the world especially when they are talking about my 11 month old daughter.  When this began they did not know what they were looking at other than it was a mass and she could not bend her leg.  As the hours progressed and the tests were done the doctor was leaning towards cancer.  I am thankful I serve a God who is even a better physician than the best and He had a different plan.

4.       God’s prognosis and doctor’s prognosis are different.  As I stated earlier the doctor was almost positive this mass was cancer.  All the nurses told me we would at least be in the hospital two or three days or longer depending on the MRI.  When the doctor called to tell me that the MRI came back normal and that we could go home she seemed so unsure of what she was telling me.  She was baffled that it did not show cancer.  I however know without a shadow of doubt that God is never baffled and that He is all knowing and His prognosis was good!

5.       Never take anything for granted.  Easier said than done.  As you walk down the halls of CHOA you see children who will never leave, or who have been there for a really long time, or who take it not a day at a time but hour by hour because that is all they have.  As we left the hospital on Monday evening we were in the elevator with a mom and son who were also going home.  She said I have only been here for a day and I was going crazy.  I said yes ma’am I completely understand.  Thankful we were getting to go home.

6.       I have always believed in the power of prayer but even more so now.  There were so many people praying for McKinley and for that I am grateful.  As I held her each of the ten times they stuck her to get her IV started I felt His hands just wrap around us.  As Pastor Tommy prayed with McKinley and I while we were in the sedation/MRI room I was surrounded by His presence.  I am thankful that the veil was torn so very long ago that I can directly approach the throne.

7.       MRIs scare me.  Not having one but having to lay my daughter on the table.  Pastor Tommy and I were taken into a room where they would do the MRI.  McKinley had already fallen asleep so I help her in my arms as they sedated her.  I laid her down on the table and watched them hook her up to so many tubes.  The nurse said mom you can kiss her one last time.  I cried as I kissed her and I truly felt that I was really kissing her for the last time.  Thankful this precious angel woke up happy and I got to love all over her once again.

8.       CHOA truly has the best staff in the world. I have heard the interview and application process there is crazy.  I can see why.  They only want the best of the best.   Tony met us in the triage in the ER.  He was a sweet man.  Later he came to help attempt one of her 10 sticks to get the IV in.  As he was leaving he said I have ordered a very special something since she has been through such torment.  Later arrived a blue elephant.  I cried as the lady handed it to McKinley.  Nurse Kerri and Donna were amazing.  They took super care of my precious girl.  We were blessed.  Ann (the IV team) by far the biggest blessing.  If your child has to have an IV she is the one you want.  Tony in ER told me that and so did my friend Nikki.  She is the best.  She even came back by later that day to check on us.  Dr. Brooks who was our doctor while we were there.  Thankful for the knowledge that God has given her.  Brook from radiology was there in sedation, in the MRI while McKinley test were being ran, and she escorted us back to our room.  After the MRI they gave McKinley a new toy.  We were spoiled while at CHOA. 

9.       Being separated is for the birds.  I missed my family being completely together. Scott was very torn.  He was on call for his job, needed to be at home to get the girls to school, and separated from McKinley.  We were in constant communication but it is not the same as face to face.  The minute they walked into the room last night to take us home McKinley let out a huge squeal.  She missed her daddy and sisters too. 

10.   I have learned through this ordeal that even when my kids are too loud that at least they have a voice to be loud with, as they are running around at least they have the potential to run, and as they argue with each other that at least they are all here to argue with.  There are families who are in such turmoil there.  I don’t know how people go through something like that without the power of peace from the Heavenly Father.  He is the only thing that can sustain us.  I am thankful that this ordeal is over.  I have cried more in the past few days than I have in a long time.  I know that one day I will be able to laugh at this but for now I am loving on my babies and praying for those families who are still at CHOA.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Haleigh leaving us for 4 days

Today the girls finished up cheer camp much to my dismay.  However they loved it.  We finished camp at 11:30 and I worked in my classroom for about 30 more minutes.  At 12:15 we stopped by Dairy Queen to pick up lunch and then headed towards Clarkesville to the church.  Haleigh had to be at church at 1:00 to leave for her Junior Drama Mission Trip.  On the way Haleigh asked had she ever been away from us this long before?  The answer is no.  Scott and I have been away from her for this long or longer but she was always with family or at least in her own home.  I think she was a little anxious.  She has been preparing for this trip for a long time.  In the fall, she joined Juinor Drama.  They had a competition in South Carolina and spent one night, a sleepover at church, helped out with VBS, and now to conclude the year with their mission trip.  I think she is super excited but a tad bit nervous.  I know she will have a blast.  I reminded her today of the main purpose for her going.  It is to teach others about Jesus.  She has done so good with hiding His word in her heart.  Now it is time to make Him shine to others.  I know that He has prepared her for this task.  I pray that all three of my girls will continue to hide His word in their heart and tell others all about Jesus.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

McKinley at 4 months

Happy 4 months old McKinley

I cannot believe it has been four months already.  Where has the time gone?  You have changed so much in just this little bit of time here on earth.  At 2 months you weighed 12 lbs 5 oz. and at 3 months you weighed around 14 lbs.  Here what you are doing:  You are eating every 4 hours.  If you take a bottle then you drink between 4.5 and 5 ounces at a time.   Your last feeding at night is around 8 and you are ready to be laid down between 8:30 and 9:00.  You will then usually sleep until 3 in the morning and then go back to sleep until 8:30 or so.  For the month of May you stayed with Mrs. April during the day.  We are forever grateful that she decided to take you in.  I am sure between you and her boys you were a handful.  Now it is summertime.  You are beginning to coo and make noises.  You also like to drool.  I think you soak at least two outfits a day.  You love to smile at the people you love.  Your sisters like to read to you and talk to you and sing to you.  You just smile and smile at them.  You do not like to lie down.  You are trying your best to pull yourself up.

You have already been on your first road trip.  At the end of May we took a trip to South GA to visit Mama.  It is hard to believe that Statesboro is not where you were born.  Both of your sisters were born there.  Mama was so excited to hold you and see you.  You did great in the car for such a long ride.  While there you had some visitors: Mrs. Pete who is Mama’s best friend, our cousin Keri, Aunt Latrelle, and Uncle Joey.  Of course they thought you were cute. 

In June, you attended your first VBS.  I have to say between the many Mrs. Lynns, Mrs. Sharon, and Mrs. Pam you were spoiled like crazy.  You also attended Mosaic Art camp.  You stayed in the nursery while I helped Mrs. Lindsay teach the God Rods.  Two sweet ladies spoiled you that week.  Two week in a row of being held whenever you wanted can we say rotten?  You had your first visit in the swimming pool at Mrs. Amy’s.  You did great and fell asleep in your float.  At the end of June we headed to Cape San Blas, Florida for your first beach trip.  We were in the car for 9 hours and you did great coming and going.  You loved the pool and played in your bumbo while at the beach.  You even went snorkeling with the crew. 

On Monday we went for your 4 month checkup.  You weighed 15 lbs and 10 oz. and stretched to 25 inches and some in length.  You are in the 90th percentile for both weight and height.  You are growing.  Within the last week we started you on cereal and have tried carrots.  You loved the rice cereal but not a big fan of carrots.  I know in the next few weeks you will change so much.  I pray that time does not fly by and that I will relish my time with you.   

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy 10th Anniversary Scott

Today marks the tenth anniversary of marriage for Scott and I.  But this story began a long time ago.  It was a softball game in the summer of 1993 that would change my life but I just did not know it.  My friend Emily and I went to play ball with a bunch of guys. Who knew that the guy pitching would become my husband many years later?   I still remember my first group date with Scott. It was 4th of July and a bunch of us met up at Mill Creek to watch the fireworks.  Crazy I can still remember what I had on.  I guess I was trying to impress someone.  Our first date without a group was to Savannah and we went walking on the beach.  So many more dates would come after that as we dated for six years before we got married.  Throughout those six years I would graduate high school, go off to Young Harris five hours away from Scott, we would break up once, and then eventually we would be married.  My same friend Emily would go wedding dress shopping with me.  I still remember the day that I got married like it was yesterday.  My bridesmaids spent the night at our house.  We got up the next morning and went to Shoney’s for the breakfast bar.  I would then head over to William’s to get my hair done by my friend Angel.  Next I went to Belk to get my makeup done.  I arrived at church in the parlor area where I would get dress.  I took many people to help put my dress on.  Several who shared in this occasion were Kristy, Nikki, my sister, Carol, Marybeth, Stacy, and Sarah.  We decided to do pictures before the ceremony so I went into the chapel to see Scott for the first time.  I think there were tears in both of our eyes.  You hear that most people say they were so nervous on their wedding day.  I could not have been calmer.  I felt like if you were marrying the right person it should feel extremely right.  And it did.  Since we have been married we have moved twice, had three beautiful daughters Haleigh, Zoie, and McKinley, I have earned three more degrees, and bought a house.  I could not be more blessed.  Scott is my best friend, he is the one that I want to talk to when I come home from work, who I want to vent to, who I want to hold me when I am sad, and sometimes when I am in the mood for cuddling he is who I want to cuddle with.  Those who know me know that I am not a touchy feely person.  Scott I love you always and forever and I hope to have many more anniversaries with you.  Happy 10th Anniversary! Ruth 1: 16-17

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy One month old to McKinley

I cannot believe how fast these past four weeks have flown.  I feel like it was just yesterday that we headed to the hospital.  I know how fast time will fly as I look at your sisters and see how quick time flew in their lives.  I am trying hard to cherish the time while I am at home with you.  I know all to well that these next three weeks will fly by and I will be back at school and you will be playing with Eli and Ty.  How I will miss you!  Your daddy and I were talking just yesterday about how we can tell how much you have grown.  I am not sure what you weigh since we don't go back to Dr. Lathem until month two but you have grown.  Last night you stayed with daddy for the first time while mommy took your sisters to Disney on Ice.  That will be a blog all to itself.  Daddy stayed at church with you and fed you a bottle which you ate 3.5 ounces of.  He took you to Walmart to buy your tree.  I am sure you are wondering about that.  I would post a picture but my camera has died and I don't have a charger.  When each of you and your sisters were born we bought a tree to remember.  T did the same thing with Aunt Heather and I.  Our trees along with your sister's trees are at the farm in Statesboro.  One day I will take you back to visit so you can see their trees.  This time we decided to get you a Japanese Maple.  After church daddy took you to Walmart and bought your tree.  It is beautiful and now we just have to decide where to plant it.  Happy One month McKinley and I can't wait to celebrate many more with you.  We love you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

2 week checkup

Well today we headed to Gainesville to meet with Dr. Lathum for your two week appointment. Thankfully no shots were in store for us today. Last night was rough enough. It seems sweet girl that your days are mixed up with your nights or you like to have what people call a witching hour. More like four hours for you. Last night you were awake from 8 until 12 and that is pm sweet girl. I think I said earlier you will learn momma likes her sleep. But if that is all I can complain about with you then we are good. McKinley you are doing great for a two week old. You have now outgrown newborn diapers. Funny that you are my only child who ever wore them. Your cord has finally fell off so we can now take real baths. We got your stats today. You weighed in at 9 lbs and 2.5 ounces. You are in the 50% for weight. You love to eat which explains your gain of almost 2 lbs in 2 weeks. Your height measured at 20 and 1/4 inches. You have grown some there as well. But looking at your genes you are destined to be short. You are only in the 20th percentile for height. Your head circumference was 14 and 1/4. That ranks you in the 25th percentile for your head. Dr. Lathum said you look great. We talked about how you don't like a pacifier. We are working on that still. I think you might be my thumb sucker. Time will tell. We don't go back to visit Dr. Lathum until you are 2 months old. By that time mommy will be back at work. Time is going by way to quickly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

McKinley Jade Holland

Happy Birthday McKinley Jade Holland. We arrived at the hospital on March 1st extremely early. You will learn sweet girl of mine that momma likes to sleep late. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30. Yes that would be AM. Your sisters spent the night with T the night before so we could get there this early. We checked in and were taken to a room. Around 7ish Dr. Lake came to check on us. At 7:15 they took us back to surgery. At 7:30 they allowed Daddy to come in to surgery. Dr. Lake and his team were ready. At 7:45 Dr. Lake told Daddy to stand up. He could not quite tell what you were. Dr. Lake had your parts covered well. He finally lifted you over the screen and revealed to us both that you were a girl. At this point we did not have a middle name. Your first name came from my friend and co-worker Carrie. We decided we loved it and began working on a middle name. We contiplated Ruth, Rae, Hope, Faith, Grace and Jade. Your middle name would come later as we were late picking Zoie's middle name too. After they weighed you at 7 lbs and 8 ounces at 39 weeks Daddy went with you to recovery. You were my smallest of our girls. Once I was taken to recovery Mrs. Abigail met us back there and she began taking pictures. It was in recovery that your middle name came to be. I love Jade because it means green which is my favorite color. But we called to talk to Haleigh and Zoie and Haleigh really liked Jade. So Jade it was. As we were wheeled from recovery to our room, in the waiting room was Mrs. Andrea, Mrs. Laura, and Brooks. It was such a welcomed sight. You had some amazing nurses while we were at NEGMC. We had Ms. Jenny, Ms. Cindy who was our night nurse and favorite, and our last day we had Ms. April who lives in White County. The girls came to meet you with T. Haleigh and Zoie were smitten right away. They want to hold you all the time. Several more people came to visit you at the hospital too. Mrs. Katie came and spent the night and brought you goodies so that you would be "Dolled up". On Friday evening we had to evacuate into the hallways as tornado's were spotted. That was a little crazy. On Saturday the doctor said that we could go home. At lunch, this party of five headed to Shelter Cove. It has been a world wind since. McKinley we love you and are so excited that you have completed our family. I could not imagine our lives without you. Now let the drama of 3 girls begin. Your sisters will clue you in well. Above are some pictures of that special day we now call your birthday. We love you sweet girl!