Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“In My Arms”

by Plumb

Your baby blues, so full of wonder
Your curly cues, your contagious smile
And as I watch, you start to grow up
All i can do, is hold you tight

Knowing clouds will rage in
Storms will race in, but you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down, waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Story books are full of fairy tales
Of kings and queens and the bluest skies
My heart is torn just in knowing
You'll someday see the truth from lies

When the clouds will rage in
And the storms will race in but you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down, waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Castles they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
Because i will always, always love you
Hey I, hey I

When the clouds will rage in
Storms will race in but you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down, waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms, in my arms

12.29.09 - A New Perspective

So last night and this morning, the Lord has had me thinking about what it truly means to love unconditionally, the Jesus type of love that surpasses any other. The Lord decided to use my husband to clearly display this type of love to me, so that I would gain a new perspective of what it really means.

Yesterday evening, as we were plodding our way through our daily routine (with a baby, I've realized there are certain things that have to get done each day, whether you feel up to it or not.) I began to realize a very special and honorable quality about my husband. As I was asking him to please load the dishwahser, get Liam's meds ready, do this, do that, I was struck by a sense of awe about his attitude. I realized that he always served and did what needed to be done with a joyful spirit, NEVER complaining or denying my requests, always looking to meet my needs and Liam's first, despite the fact he was probably exhausted from working all day too and just wanted to rest. I was humbled and convicted to say the least. My attitude never equally matched his, as I often mumble and groan, and sometimes go kicking and screaming (not literally, but you know what I mean when your tired) to take care of the things that needed tending to. Unbeknownst to him, the Lord was using him to teach me a very powerful lesson on love - that is to love others by serving them like you are serving the Lord himself. Dustin continues to do this everday, and as his wife, I am grateful, thankful and in awe of him for it.

This journey has been a tough road for both of us, but the lessons God is teaching me through it have been monumental...God purposed and spirit filled. We are storing up our riches in the throne room of His kingdom and that alone excites me. Thank God for my husband and the MANY lessons he has taught me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

12.25.09 - Liam's First Christmas

We are having such a wonderful Christmas holiday with Liam! It has been so great to spend time with family and enjoy this season of thanksgiving, love and joy. We are rejoicing for the life that God has given us, both in our Savior, Christ Jesus and our own son, Liam.

Last night. we shared Christmas Eve with Dustin's sister and her family. We enjoyed watching our three nieces open all their gifts and play in all the snow we got! What a wonderful gift - to have snow on Christmas in TEXAS!! I cannot remember the last time we had snow even around the same week as Christmas, nonetheless on Christmas Eve. It was so beautiful and truly a blessing to see!

Today we are at my parents house, spending Christmas day here with them, my grandma and my aunt. Liam received a really great gift today - My dad had his old rocking horse refurbished with new paint and rockers for Liam to have. What a cool thing for Liam to have from his grandpa. My grandma got it as a baby gift when my dad was born, so it is neat to see it passed down to our family.

I really enjoyed sharing memories of childhood Christmas's growing up and to remember all the things I want to instill in Liam for this time of year and traditions I would like to have for our family going forward. From leaving cookies and carrots out on Christmas Eve for Santa and his reindeer, to hoping to volunteer each year as a family to serve others, I want Liam to experience the meaning of Christmas - Love, giving and joy.
Liam is an amazing baby. He has grown so much the past month. He is awake and alert so much more now and just very happy and content all the time. He smiles a lot and is beginning to baby talk back at us when we talk to him. He is the joy of our life!
We have an appointment next Tuesday to talk with our pediatrician about options for a more permanent feeding tube. I just pray that the Lord gives us guidance, wisdom and courage to make the decision on what is best for him right now and in the future. The Lord has given me a great peace about what is to come with his feeding issues. I know it is all in the Lord's hand and is going as purposed by Him.

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord...
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:10-14

Saturday, December 19, 2009

12.19.09 - Growing stronger...

We had Liam's two appointments yesterday.  The cardiologist appointment went really well.  Liam's heart is doing great, his oxygen levels were at 85% (they like to see it anywhere from 70-85) and he now weighs in at 11 lbs. 15 oz.  He is growing right on schedule for where he needs to be.  Dr. Verma still thinks his next surgery will be when he is around 8 months old, which puts it in about May of next year.

After this next surgey, Liam will have to have a valve replacement surgery every 5 years or so until he is full grown, and then after that surgery whenever the valve wears out.  This will be a life long road for him, and us. Unfortunately, science has not developed a valve that grows with the body yet.  But, I have been researching online at the many discoveries and trials that are being done to help this issue. One of these advances is the use of a catheter method to replace the valve (article).

The swallow study did not go as I had hoped.  Liam is still aspirating at all thickness levels of formula.  This means he still cannot be fed anything by mouth yet.  We will not have anoher re-test for another 3 months.  At this point, we have to decide between keeping the NG tube he currently has or having a more permanent G tube surgically placed directly into his stomach.  There are risks and benefits to both methods, but I think the risk of the NG tube right now are greater than that of the G-tube surgery.  The OT told us that the risk of infection is greater keeping the NG tube he has now than it is with the surgery for the G tube placement.  This said, we have a big decision to make.  We still need to talk to our pediatrician and a surgeon to get answers to all our questions first, but I think Dustin and I are both leaning towards the surgery.

Both Dustin and I had our work Christmas parties this week.  I was able to take Liam to visit everyone at our offices yesterday after his appointments.  It was a nice follow up to what turned out to not be great news with his feeding issues.  It helped to keep my mind off things and just enjoy my wonderful little boy I love.  I know the Lord has purpose in every outcome of every test and appointment.  I am praying that I can focus on the bigger picture and know that God is using this for His glory...

12.14.09 - Busy time of year

So I have been meaning to post more each week...It's amazing how time flys by in general, but especially around the holidays. From making my christmas cards and baby announcements to finding time to decorate our Christmas tree, it seems like time is not on my side right now. That said, Liam is growing like a weed! Last Tuesday, he checked in at 11 lbs 6 oz. He is also awake more during the day while staying with grandpa Steve, but luckily still sleeping well at night.

This past weekend was quite busy. Liam finally got to meet his GiGi Ehrlich, as my grandmother came in town and will be staying here for about a month. I am so glad Liam gets to meet her! My uncle also came down for a short visit, so Liam got his first official Missouri Tiger stuffed animal. Although, my uncle is also a HUGE Giants fan, so will have to keep a watch on Liam's contact with him through football season! LOL =) Only Cowboys for us!!

Dustin also ran in the White Rock marathon this past Sunday. He ran the 1/2 marathon which is 13.2 miles in 2 hrs and 1 minute. He is an amazing athlete, who I hope Liam gets his athletic ability from! I went to watch the runners finish up - it was such a cool event! In fact so inspiring, I have commited to run it next year along with a coworker of mine. I thought it would be a good way to get back in shape post pregnancy and also have something to work for!

We have a busy rest of the week too. Liam has two appointments this Friday. The first is his check up with the cardiologist and the second appointment is to repeat his swallow test to see if we can finally start to bottle feed him. Hopefully since he is compensating so well with his vocal chords, he will be able to take something by mouth now. He is also holding his head up really well now and seems to have grown a lot stronger since we were there the last time. I really think this could be it...Keep praying for us!

Speaking of busy...I forgot to post this when I wrote it!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

12.7.09 - ENT Visit

We had Liam's ENT visit today. Despite Liam's changing cries and louder vocals, the ENT did not think his right chord was moving at all still. He looked at it for quite a while, and even though he thought at first it mught be moving, he said after watching it for awhile, he concluded that the left vocal chord is overcompensating for the right one, making it look like it was functioning. This was not all bad news, the good news is that he is compensating for the right one being paralyzed, therefore they are closing. As far as his eating goes, we will have to repeat the swallow study and see if he has made any progress getting his swallowing stronger. The ENT said the vocal chord issue just makes it more dangerous if he were to aspirate because his chords do not close hard enough to block his trachea from getting fluid down it.

It's been hard not to get my expectations up about appoinments like this. It just always seems like Liam is doing so great on the outside, but his inside workings are not lining up. This is a true test in surrendering indeed...And it's hard you know? I have always struggled with drawing a distinction between giving up on something and not caring about it to surrendering it to the Lord...Ifeel almost a guilt about laying it down and letting God take over. The guilt thing needs working on amazes me how God is using Liam to help grow me spiritually. I can sense the Lord has a much greater purpose for Liam's journey than I had ever imagined...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12.3.09 - Back to work...

I started back to work this week.  It is good to be in more of a routine during the day and be able to get my work done at work so I can come home and spend time with Liam.  But I do miss my little guy a lot!  Dustin and I have settled into a pretty good routine I think too as far as getting up in the morning and managing the early morning and evening feedings so we can both do what needs to be done.  Liam has been a great sleeper at night too, so I hope that continues.

I am so thankful that my dad is able to take care of Liam everyday for us so we do not have to put him in day care.  My dad does a great job and just loves being able to be with Liam all day every day!  It's neat too because I leave a little schedule notebook for him to write down all the events of the day, like diapers, feedings, what kind of mood Liam is in, etc. and it is so fun to read everyday to see what they did and how Liam was.  What a great little keepsake we will have for Liam to when he is older!

This past Monday Liam had his 2 month well check at the pediatricians.  He is doing GREAT!!  He was in the 35th percentile on height at 22.5 inches and 25th percentile on weight at 10 lbs. 9.5 oz. He is growing so much and we are thrilled.  We have an appointment with the ENT to check his vocal chord next Monday.  Our prayer is that his vocal chord has healed completely.  From the sound of it, I think it has!  Depending on what the ENT says, I am hoping to schedule a repeat swallow study again to see if this time Liam can pass and start taking a bottle.  That will be a long road too though.  Building his strength to take a whole feeding will take some time, so we will probably have to keep the tube in for a bit longer I am expecting.

I am looking forward to the weekend!  Dustin will be watching Liam all on his own for part of Saturday while I go out for a girl's day.  Then I will be working hard on getting his birth announcements done!