Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moving, Moving, Moving!

Caring Bridge was good to me, but I like the freedom of Blogger.  I have much more room for creativity on here, can post pictures easier, and can respond to individual comments.  I know, I know, you will miss having my blog notifications emailed to you.  If anyone knows how I can set it up so that we can do the same thing with Blogger, let me know.  Please, please, please don't stop reading just because you don't get them emailed to you!  I promise to continue to update you often on Abby's progress if you promise to continue to eagerly await the next post.  :)

I'm cutting-and-pasting the last few updates here so that you can read them if you missed seeing them on Caring Bridge.


Matt and I have both taken to playing songs on our iPods for Abby while we're with her. I have found that the music (carefully selected!) really calms her down when she's agitated. I feel like she is even starting to recognize some of the songs, like "Our God." Maybe it's coincidental, but she gets really excited and usually smiles when it is played. :)

Another song I play a lot is "What Faith Can Do" by Kutless. Here is a link to the music video on You Tube.

And here are the lyrics:

Everybody falls sometimes

Gotta find the strength to rise

From the ashes and make a new beginning

Anyone can feel the ache

You think it’s more than you can take

But you're stronger, stronger than you know

Don’t you give up now

The sun will soon be shining

You gotta face the clouds

To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains

Hope that doesn’t ever end

Even when the sky is falling

I’ve seen miracles just happen

Silent prayers get answered

Broken hearts become brand new

That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard

Impossible is not a word

It’s just a reason for someone not to try

Everybody’s scared to death

When they decide to take that step

Out on the water

It’ll be alright

Life is so much more

Than what your eyes are seeing

You will find your way

If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains

Hope that doesn’t ever end

Even when the sky is falling

I’ve seen miracles just happen

Silent prayers get answered

Broken hearts become brand new

That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds

When you don't have a chance

(That’s what faith can do)

When the world says you can’t

It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains

Hope that doesn’t ever end

Even when the sky is falling

And I’ve seen miracles just happen

Silent prayers get answered

Broken hearts become brand new

That’s what faith can do

That's what faith can do!

Even if you fall sometimes

You will have the strength to rise

In other news: One of the respiratory therapists who especially loves Abby brought her two outfits today! She is so sweet...she said she was shopping for a baby gift, saw them, and just knew she had to buy them for Abby! I tell you, to know Abby is to love her!

Carrie Underwood
Last night, Matt and I had the opportunity to go to the Carrie Underwood concert. Tickets for various events often get donated to RMH, but this is the first time we've accepted them. I was hesitant and struggled with feeling guilty or that people were going to judge us. I didn't even post anything ahead of time because of that! But Matt (and others) convinced me that it wasn't a bad thing to take one night off, and Matt and I have not been anywhere alone together besides RMH and the hospital in 2 months!

It was a really nice evening, even if it wasn't quite Matt's style of music. He appreciated the musicians and the performance though. Carrie did some crazy stuff that including being suspended on a swing, flying through the air on the back of a blue pick-up truck, and wearing a LED-lit dress that had it's own light show! We both agreed that it was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any pictures because they wouldn't allow me to bring my "professional" camera in. It did NOT say on the website that SLRs were not allowed! Sigh...

I missed my Abby and we called twice, but she was sleeping off the anesthesia and didn't wake up at all anyway.

Abby's g-tube placement went well. There were no problems and she is sleeping it off now!

Here is is...the last installment of the Q & A! (with a few light-hearted ones too!)

Since your hospital stay was sudden, how did you do your plans for school? Well, I didn’t! Thankfully, I have a wonderful team and administration who all pulled together to make it work. Teaching honors reading means that I am pretty much on my own, which made grabbing stuff a little harder on my team. Unfortunately, those first few days of my hospitalization were so full of stress, procedures, and ridiculous amounts of mind-altering medicine that I was absolutely NO help at all to them! Once things at the hospital slowed down and I was able to focus again, I did a lot of typing and emailing things to my sub. However, the bulk of that first week or so was taken care of by my team. They are awesome! I have to also say that my long-term sub has really taken on quite a responsibility and just run with it. He stepped into a difficult situation and has done really well!

Has your principal been supportive of your situation?

If she weren’t, I certainly wouldn’t be answering this question! J YES, my principal has been amazing!! She has not only been really helpful in lesson-planning and providing support to my sub, but she has also been incredibly encouraging to me! She often sends me “just thinking of you” emails and posts notes on the site. She has also been great about answering the more technical insurance and job-related questions because she knows that my detail-oriented mind needs those answers even now! I seriously couldn’t have asked for a more supportive principal through all of this.

Does Piper [the little girl who also has CCMS] live in the hospital?

Yes, she does. Her condition is too serious for her to be safe at home. Living in the hospital is just the best place for her to be. I’m sure that must have been a difficult decision for her parents, but we all want to do what is best for our kids! You can check out Piper’s story at In case this question is come up, our plan is for Abby to come home. Her doctors believe that she will be able to, but we will ultimately do what is safest for her.

What is your favorite food?

I like Fuddrucker’s bread, broccoli casserole, crab chips, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Brussels sprouts (for real!), and pomegranates.

Do you miss driving?

Actually, not really! I haven’t driven since September 19th and haven’t really thought about it at all! I’ve had other things on my mind, I guess. Plus, I really like the walk from RMH to the hospital and am starting to feel like a real city girl. I never thought I’d see the day when I would cross streets in between cars and navigate my way around a humongous hospital. I’m doing a lot of things I never thought I’d do…

Is it safe for you to drive?

Yes, I believe it is. Thanks, Amy, for the vote of confidence. If I am a bad driver, I blame you. You taught me!

Do you think you’ll be getting your own TLC or Discovery Health show?

Well, if they will help pay our medical bills, we most certainly will!!! J (Betsie Camilliere, you make the call and we’re there!) In all seriousness, we’re definitely learning about insurance benefits in a whole new way. Major medical claims take on new meaning for us!

How are you juggling the demands placed on you?

Ha, I really don’t know! Yes I do. That’s a lie. It’s God…100%, totally God. I could never, ever, EVER do this on my own. I would have had a nervous breakdown by now. God has truly granted us enough grace for the moment to get us through. We are starting down a path that is unknown and scary, but God knows exactly what is going to happen. He loves Abby and has an amazing plan for her. We just can’t quite see it yet!

We are also relying heavily on lots of wonderful family and friends! As I have mentioned many times, my sister has been amazing with taking Caleb. He can be a handful and she is taking it all in stride. My family has been available to bring us things from home, watch Caleb here, bring dinner, etc. Matt’s brother raked leaves and cut our grass for us. We’ve had lots of friends helping out by making meals, sending care packages, watching Caleb at church, etc. We could never do all of this alone. We’re definitely blessed!!

The nurses in the NICU have been amazing and we are incredibly thankful for them. They allow me to participate in Abby’s care and are beginning to teach me some of what I will need to do when we take her home. Every little thing I learn is helping me to feel more comfortable, so I eagerly do whatever I can! I know I’ve mentioned the awesomeness of Megan before, but Carrie, Wendi, and Christie have also been wonderful at allowing me to be an active participant in Abby’s care.

I’ll say it again; RMH has been such a blessing to us! Every meal they provide means one less that I have to worry about making (or, more likely, buying!) and the activities they have for Caleb are so wonderful! The books that were donated this weekend were a lifesaver for us more than once! I really can’t say enough about this wonderful organization. It’s not home, but it is as close as we can get right now.

How are you doing? As a new mom recovering from delivery, have you been able to rest?

Well, no…not so much! I blog at night after getting back from the hospital, wake up several times a night to pump, and my alarm goes off at 6:45. However, God obviously knew that I would need to be there for Abby. He gave me an easy delivery and an almost non-existent recovery. I seriously felt absolutely fine just a few days after having her. By the time I left the hospital, I didn’t feel like I’d had a baby. And no, I didn’t have an easy delivery/recovery with Caleb—quite the opposite! I’m so thankful that God allowed me to focus on Abby. He is also giving me a lot of energy that I didn’t know I had—all without the assistance of caffeine!

If you read all of this, good for you!! You're pretty darn dedicated. :) Shoot me further questions and I'll answer them every now and then on here.

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