Friday, July 11, 2014

From Burlington to Nashville... Events from the past 2 weeks

So the past two weeks has not been without some events.  On the Monday that Kelly and I were supposed to drive the babies down south from Burlington, we went to the cardiologist prior to getting on the road only to find a small pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart) at the posterior aspect of the heart.  Hudson was not showing any symptoms.  She delayed our trip for the day, and called it stable the following day, allowing us to make the drive.  We had a great 2 1/2 day trip to Nashville, and headed straight to Vanderbilt, where the effusion still seemed to be stable.  Hudson continued to be asymptomatic.  Kelly and I visited the house in Huntsville on Saturday to find that the unattended workers had made a disaster zone of our new house.  Since all seemed stable, I stayed in Huntsville to be a contractor on our house for the next 2-3 days.  His follow-up cardiology appointment on 7/7 found the effusion to be a bit bigger, still with no symptoms.  On Tuesday 7/8, Kelly noticed that Hudson's breathing seemed labored.  She took him to the ER to find that the effusion had shifted over the left ventricle, which was causing compression.  I came up from Huntsville, and it was absolutely providential that my dad had just decided to come to Huntsville that morning, so that he could take over supervising the workers in Huntsville.  Hudson was admitted to the CICU at Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday morning, he began to have an arrhythmia (atrial flutter).  They tried to get him back to sinus rhythm for about 2 hours with various meds and D/C cardioversion (shocking his heart) 3 times with it finally converting to normal rhythm.  He subsequently underwent an open surgery Wednesday afternoon to relieve the effusion and place a drain around the heart.  His recovery has been good since the surgery.  We have been cleared for transfer from the CICU to the floor this morning.

Throughout all of this, our family has been indispensable (as if they were dispensable before).  While I was in Huntsville, the two sets of Nashville grandparents have really helped Kelly divide and conquer with the four kids.  Even more, once Hudson was admitted to the hospital, these grandparents have become the sole caretakers of our kids.  My dad remains in Huntsville as my contractor.  I don't know what we would do without all of the help they have provided!

God has also taken care of us with the moving logistics as our moving truck was supposed to arrive on Tuesday 7/8, but has now been delayed until Sunday 7/13.  We are hoping that Hudson will be discharged by this time.  Taylor and Will are definitely ready for our family to reunite, and all of us are ready for some normalcy.  I don't know how far away that will be, but please pray that God will continue to give Kelly and I strength and patience.  We both are feeling a bit numb at this point, reacting day by day to whatever is thrown at us.  If you get a chance, please pray for the following:

1) that Hudson would continue to be stable, that his recovery would be without any events, and that this would be the final surgery for him to have a functional heart.
2) that Taylor and Will would continue to understand why we have to be separated right now, and that  God would give them patience and strength.
3) for strength for our parents as they complete this marathon of taking care of our kids.  We know they are exhausted!
4) that God would revive Kelly and I's hearts, so that each day we would be able to see his mercies afresh and allow us to trust that he is still holding us all in his hand and in absolute control.
5) for our house in Huntsville, that all of the renovation tasks would move toward completion in a timely manner so that we would be able to have a peaceful environment in Huntsville once we finally move.

Thank you for prayers and support!  We love you all, and will continue to keep you posted.

Hudson continues to be strong during his recovery from surgery #2.

Friday, June 27, 2014

First week at home / Last week in Burlington

It's been a crazy week, but we wanted to do a quick post with some new pictures.  We were discharged on Sunday and made it back to Burlington late Sunday night.  The kids were ecstatic to see the babies the next morning!  Brett's boards are actually today (Friday), so he has been intensely studying all week.  We have the packers coming tomorrow and the movers coming Monday, so in between taking care of little ones, I've been trying to get things prepared!  Hence, this is why I'm just now doing a blog post!

Brett and I both agree that Boston seems like one big dream.  We are having a hard time wrapping our heads around everything, but are very thankful (and a little shocked) that we are to this point!  Thank you again to everyone for your prayers... He heard them and answered them!  Please continue to pray for Hudson- that he would gain weight and continue to have normal endocrine levels.  Also, we would appreciate prayers for the kids in this big transition time of new babies and moving to Huntsville.  

Here are a few pictures from the past week!

A few hours before discharge

Right before we left the hospital (thank you Marms for the beautiful gowns)

The first night back together... Hudson seemed really excited and couldn't stop staring at Harper!

 First morning with the babies

 So happy to have all of my babies under one roof!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Boston End in Sight

So the last 3 days have been slow and steady.  Hudson continues to make strides.  Calcium has normalized, he's eating great, and he just had his first documented weight gain last night.  His demeanor is starting to calm a bit (I think he was just a little mad from being starved in the CICU!)  We are gearing up to probably go back to Burlington tomorrow.  He's looking forward to being able to get some full naps without interruption (He said his first words yesterday, which were "stop bothering me."  We thought that was a good sign).  Sweet Harper is also doing very well, eating and sleeping on schedule.  Still a sleepy baby.  Again, all thanks and praise be to God for seeing us through this journey.  We have felt his hand guiding us all every step of the way.

Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

 Harper at her 1 week  checkup.

One of Harper's rare awakenings.

Hudson is taking the "car seat test" to make sure that he is ok to be strapped in for a ride home!

One of Hudson's favorite places to be is in the window with the sun shining on him.  Great for his jaundice and vitamin D levels, but we told him he shouldn't make a habit of it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boston Strong on Day 7

Hudson continues to race towards discharge.  All of his tubes and even IV's are out!  He is taking full feedings, and we are really just waiting on him to gain a little weight.  His calcium levels were completely normal this morning, which completely surprised most of the docs and staff around here!  They are talking about a possible weekend discharge! 

Taylor and Will left to go back to Burlington around noon today, but Kelly and I had a really sweet 24 hours with them while they were here.  Some tears were shed last night, but both kids seem to be comprehending the situation and understanding that we have "1 more week" to go.  We could not be more thankful for the mental position that they are in, and for all of the comfort, support, and stability that their grandparents have provided for them over the past 4-5 weeks.

We've really felt so much love and support from everyone throughout this process.  Thank you so much!  Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Slow Two Days, Then a Sprint

Sorry for the silence in posting over the last 2 days!  It's been a bit of a whirlwind, but thank you for your continued prayers.  Today is postop day 6, and we are really thankful for Hudson's continued progress, and for God's faithfulness amidst my skepticism.  Most of the last two days have been really slow progress, and then a sprint here in the last 12 hours!  To catch you up, we waited for him to start breathing enough to remove his breathing tube for all of postop day 4.  He had met the milestone to remove it by the end of that day, but it was too late in the day to remove it.  After much anticipation for all of yesterday (postop day 5), he finally had the breathing tube removed late yesterday, and started bottle feeds last night!  This morning his final chest tube and central line came out, and he has now gone to the step-down unit!!  He is making amazing progress, despite our impatience.  Please pray that Kelly and I and family would trust God with his timing, and know that every event is in His perfect timing according to His perfect faithfulness.  As for Hudson, he has some calcium imbalances that we are still trying to figure out what's causing it, with a possible issue with his parathyroid gland.  Please pray that God would allow them to find a root cause sooner than later (my impatience again), and/or that it would correct itself over the next few days now that he has started breastmilk again.

On a different note, Taylor and Will have come into town this morning to meet their new brother and sister for the first time.  Please pray that their level of comprehension of the situation would be enough for them to understand why our family has to continue to be separated for the next week or two (especially Will).

Thanks again for your prayers!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time . . .

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.  God has done it, so that people fear before him.  That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.

Matthew 6:27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Postop Day 3

We keep seeing steady improvement in Hudson's status, and our peace continues to be beyond ourselves.  He is almost completely off of sedation, yet still seems quite comfortable (as Jesus's swaddle should be!)  His alertness has really increased.  His blood pressure is becoming more stable with less dependence on his meds.  He is still trying to wean off of the vent, and could possibly be extubated tomorrow (false-expectation that I gave you 2 days ago).  Hopefully he will get one of the tubes out of his chest, which will be good since they're half the size of his little chest and may be hindering his breathing due to pain.  We are also really excited that he got to start breastmilk through a feeding tube today!

Matthew 19:14-15 but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."  And he laid his hands on them...

I want to thank everyone again for the much prayer and support that we continue to receive.  We continue to be strengthened daily by you all.  Philemon 1:7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hudson is Awake!!

Brett and his dad went to say goodnight to Hudson, and to their surprise he was awake!