Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baby Austin

It's about time for an Austin post! We are so blessed by him. He is full of happiness, chubbiness and seriousness. He is either super smiley and happy, hungry or he'll just sit there and soak everything in with a smug look on his face. He's hilarious. He loves to put his fingers in his mouth constantly. He devours them. It's really funny. He's already rolled over a few times which isn't good since I'm usually just leaving him on the couch while I go fix lunch or do something for Braylen.

It has taken him a few months to feel more comfortable and content. We really had a rough start with him. We decided with my doctor to schedule an induction on his due date. I have had a few friends that were induced so I just didn't think there were ever any complications with them. I'm not sure why I trust everything without researching it, but I do. I'm trying to not blame myself or keep looking back to the past but I do think a lot of Austin's current issues may have to do with him being induced. I tend to blame myself for not letting him come on his own but I know there is nothing I can do about that now. When I was induced we learned that he was face up which resulted in pushing for 2 hours and led to my doctor using the forceps. Which led to his face being completely bruised and had a swollen lip. The bruising led to Jaundice- the red blood cells that are part of the bruises are broken down and produce bilirubin as a byproduct. Which led to 3 days in the ICU under the lights. From there he started sleeping and looking only to the right side, never to the left. I started to notice this around 6 or 7 weeks. He was diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephally. Ever heard of those things before? Me neither. Torticollis is a muscle condition in the neck- "twisted neck." He is going to physical therapy to help strengthen his neck muscles. Plagiocephally is basically called "flat head syndrome." He has this because of the torticollis and sleeping on the right side of his head so much. He has torticollis from either his position in the womb or because of a difficult delivery (ie: forceps). To repair the shape of his head, he will more than likely need to wear a helmet for a few months. And now my heart is breaking. They have to wear the helmet for 23 hours a day from 2-6 months. I know that in the long run it will be worth it. We have an appt in a few weeks to determine if he needs it or not. Shew. That is a lot of info.

I love Austin so very much. We all do. We are thankful that God has given him to our family. I am thankful that his current issues are "fixable" and are not something that we will need to be concerned about in the future. God has really allowed alot of things to happen over these few months. We continue to try and trust that he is still in control and knows what is best for our family. I am telling these things as a way to keep account of our life but also as way to inform other parents. If I had known about the difficulties of an induction I may have taken a different. Not everyone has these issues either! You just never know I guess. But now you know about torticollis and plagiocephally. :) And if you see a little babe in a helmet it is more than likely a way to repair their sweet little heads.

Here are some photos of Austin when he was born. It's amazing how quickly his bruises and swollen lip disappeared.













And now! These were a few weeks ago so he's even chubbier now! 



Monday, June 25, 2012

Chemo Cycle #3 & The Surprise Carpet

Since my last post on June 4th, my mom's white blood cell count was still too low to begin her treatment. Her last treatment on May 24th and 25th really took a huge toll on her body! She tried to receive chemo the following two weeks and her count was still too low. Crazy! But her doctor decided to not push her schedule back and just skip her day 8 treatment (in a 3 week period, she receives treatment on day 1, day 2, day 8 and blood work on day 15). She was a little apprehensive to receive this news but Dr. S reassured her that her body is responding well to the chemo and it's not a set back. Mom actually had 4 weeks off from getting chemo! She gained her energy back, her appetite and got some extra snuggling time with baby Austin. Austin LOVES being held so it was a win-win for the both of them. :)

Mom started her third cycle this past Thursday, June 21st which was also my sister's birthday. Kind of bittersweet. Jess was away at Young Life camp ministering to some sweet high school girls. Mom found out that her CA-125 test (which is a blood test that they use as a tumor marker) was at a low number of 18! Her original number during surgery was 120! You can have a number of 35 and NOT have cancer. We are so very excited for this and thankful that the chemo is doing its job. She went through her hard treatment on Thursday and Friday and recovered over the weekend. She was very tired, super exhausted and a little bit nauseated. However I don't think it hit her body as hard as before. Mom! You are so very strong and an amazing example of courage and sacrifice. We love you so much!

Please continue to pray for our mom. Pray that our TRUE PHYSICIAN heals her body 100% and that the chemo continues to do it's job. Pray for her thoughts and for peace, as it is hard controlling her wandering mind. Our family verse has always been John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me." It's amazing how we are forced to live this out now. How easy it is to trust in the "seen." Doctors, medicine, people; even things like sleep, comfort, relaxation, media, etc. Please capture our hearts Lord so that we are only trusting in you!

The next two and a half weeks look like this:

Thursday, June 28th: Day 8 treatment
Thursday, July 5th: Blood work
Monday, July 9th: MOM'S BIRTHDAY! We're so excited because she will have an off week during her birthday! Looking forward to some extra special birthday fun!

As an early birthday present, my parents came home to a super fun surprise after her treatment this past Thursday. They have an AMAZING group of friends who LOVE them so well. Prior to my mom's diagnosis, my dad had been working on refinishing the basement. Here is the video of the their surprise via YouTube! Please keep praying! If you want their address, message me-she still LOVES getting cards.





Monday, June 4, 2012

Chemo & 2nd Cycle Update

I'm a little bummed that it's been a few weeks since my last post. I've been trying hard to keep this updated with how things are going with my mom.  However, as if life isn't crazy already, Austin was diagnosed with torticollis and now has to go to physical therapy. :( His first appointment is this Thursday morning. I started to notice that he only looked to the right and had a lot of trouble looking to the left. I thought it might be his hearing but when I brought up to his doctor she said it was torticollis. I had no idea that was an actual diagnosis. She said it's nothing to be worried over and that PT will help his movements. Poor little guy. He has had such a hard few months. He is the sweetest little babe. Sleeping through the night, smiling like crazy. He is so adorable. He has a hard time napping but we're just going with it. Whatever works, right? SO NOT BABYWISE! Funny how things and routines are so different with baby #2.

We had the BEST time with my mom during her off weeks of chemo. She felt really good! My sister and Kaleb were still here and we went shopping, out to eat, to a Florence Freedom game, went swimming, and just got to be together! I was so thankful that my mom felt well enough to do these things. It's hard for her to be cooped up in the house all the time.

On May 24th and 25th, she started her 2nd cycle of chemo. She had a treatment to her shoulder on Thursday and then a treatment to her abdomen on Friday. Guy and I took the boys to Young Life camp for a leader retreat during Memorial Weekend so we were not here during this cycle, but Jess and her family stayed. On Saturday morning Jess called me and said that mom was feeling really good. She was up and walking around, and even sat outside for a bit. However, by that evening she started to feel pretty bad. She came down with a super swollen throat. She couldn't speak, eat, or take her medicine. I tried talking to her Monday morning but I could tell it was painful for her to speak. When you think you have a handle on your chemo symptoms something else comes up. It's best to have no expectations. With medicine my mom started to feel better by Tuesday. Her taste buds are still giving her a hard time and eating has not been fun.

My mom is an example of such strength and beauty. She is living her life in complete trust and faith that  God is in control. She is going through such a trial. We all are.

Something that one of the speakers said at our leader retreat was that when we are with Jesus in Heaven, we will no longer experience pain or heart ache or trials, etc. So when we experience them now on Earth, they should be special. This is the only time in our life on Earth that we can cling to Jesus for comfort and peace. We won't need to do that in Heaven. So for now we will .......

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

My mom was supposed to have chemo last Thursday but her white blood count was too low. As much as we hate that she has to have chemo, it's hard when you're told you can't do it. We're hoping that she is able to do it this Thursday. It's hard when her schedule gets pushed back; prolonging everything. Please be praying that she is able to go on Thursday. Please pray that God is healing her body and that the chemo is working. Pray that God continues to work in her heart and controls her thoughts. All of our thoughts!

Thank you for your support of our family. My parents feel so loved! Keep the cards coming too!