Miracles abound!

The day after we left for our trip to visit Harrison & Elsie and the kids in Maryland David and Camden had their baby. The day after that she was life lined to Riley’s hospital in critical condition. It was almost unbelievable that within a couple of weeks 2 grand daughters arrived in this world and all thought everything was fine only for both to be put into critical care units soon following.

Camden’s family lives in Indy and we knew they would be very helpful and attentive to them, so we went on with our trip (more on that in the next blog!).

Kenadie

The amazing doctors at Riley’s ran every test possible to try to figure out why this little infant was struggling. They thought it might be metabolic, but all tests came back negative.

Camden and Kenadie

A doctor told David & Camden that sometimes babies come out and their body is so used to having everything done for them in the womb, that it can revert back to those expectations.

Kenadie

After a week of testing and making sure she was functioning on her own they were able to bring her home yesterday!

Home sweet home!

Tawnymara and Dallin still have a couple of weeks to go before they can walk into their home with Emery, but they’re not complaining, Emery is a super star!

tubes being taken out

It seems like daily we get reports of more tubes being taken out and of her recovering at an amazing speed. She’s beating the time table projected. Tawny brought up yesterday;

“. . . she’s doing amazing! I was kind of skeptical about her seemingly flawless recovery, especially since her surgery was so rough and all the doctors expected a “roller coaster recovery”, until I remembered that her baby blessing said she’ll be able to recover from her surgeries with no problems¬†️ – what a manifestation of God’s power! “

Emery

While some might be concerned about the huge scar these surgeries will leave behind. Tawnymara and Dallin will have no problems raising Emery to think that she’s special and imbued with super power (which I quite think she is) and Emery will end up feeling bad for anyone without the cool scars on their chests.

Emery

Something occurred to me today. It was brought on by a comment one of my yoga students said to me. She was sharing about how her kids (15 & 17 in years) were chit chatting away late into the night and how it made her feel so happy to hear it.

I had told her that I missed those days. Then while in child’s pose my thoughts went to David and Tawnymara. Both with their newborns in critical care, both with unanswered questions and uncertain futures, both with amazing supportive spouses. I knew – without a doubt, that these two had been chit chatting with each other, I’m sure very late at night – or in the early morning hours. I know they have wept with and for each other.

The other siblings have also been so involved and aware of all the events and contact has been daily. I’m so grateful that this sibling bond is strong enough to be used in times like this. I’m so glad they love each other, serve each other, weep for each other, and make each other laugh. That’s them fulfilling their calling as brothers and sisters.

This realization was so touching and powerful tears came to my eyes and my heart was swollen with gratitude for this relationship they have with each other.

Emery Feet

I can’t thank you enough for your part in all this. Prayers ascended have wrought miracles transcended!

Emery – post op – surgery 1

Blessing day! photo cred: Rebecca Knudson

On Sunday Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s bishop came to the hospital along with Dallin’s huge family to bless baby Emery. It was a beautiful blessing with some pretty great promises, one being that she would live to the age of baptism.

Emery was in such good form that they took off her oxygen patch and they were moved to a different floor on Monday where they could relax a little more and enjoy each other.

family time – photo cred: Rebecca Knudson

That was very short lived.

They were told that no surgeries were scheduled for Tuesday and they could go ahead and get her in. Unexpectedly soon. It was heart wrenching that their time of cuddling and loving on her was so small. But it was promising to get things going as well.

The surgery was scheduled to start at 7:30 am and go until 1:00 pm.

her heart

What I understand from it was that she was on a heart by-pass machine. They patched some things, combined some tubes, and stuck a camera down her throat to keep an eye on things.

The surgery went over by over 2 hours. There were issues with her blood pressure and she had to be put back on the by pass machine for a bit. But she came through.

Her intubation tube will reside in her for about 3 weeks with that camera. Her chest will remain open for a few days until the swelling goes down and they know they can safely close it up- probably Friday.

Open chest tied together.

Seeing her with her eyes open and looking around was disconcerting for me. For some reason I thought she would just be ‘under’ until they had her sewn up and the tubes out.

I know she’s sedated, but I fear she’ll cry or squirm and hurt herself worse. I think I’ve used helpless to describe my way of feeling throughout much of this.

I need to start using blessed more. She’s doing so well that they’re pulling back on the Bp meds! She was expected to crash last night, but she made it through like a champ. So SO many good things happening right now. The next 2 nights will be touchy, then 3 weeks of recovery in hospital, then home! She’ll get a break until around 3 mos for her next procedure.

This is not something I would ever wish for for my daughter and her husband. But throughout it there has been an outpouring of love, support, and care that I haven’t witnessed before with our family. It’s humbling to know how many people have been cheering Emery on and even crying tears of compassion on her and her parents’ behalf.

I know this is only the beginning of Emery’s journey, but now it has begun with gusto! She has more friends than she’ll ever know. And hopefully her story can give others strength as they go through their own trials.

Emery Update

I just texted Tawnymara to send some love – her reply, “It’s going to be a good day”.

She never ceases to amaze me!

This calm and joy and positiveness I attribute to the love and prayers friends, and friends of friends are sending by the bucket loads! I’m humbled by your love, truly! Heavenly Father is acknowledging and sending peace.

This morning I was in a yoga class, at the end the instructor had us connect with our heart. My hand went to my chest and I felt my heart beating. The miracle of it all. And of course my mind went to the heart that’s somehow still beating in this precious girl’s chest.

Hippie headband (Oxygen reader:-)

I have been good at staying away from the ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’ that generally creep in when a trial besets me. But I wanted nothing more than to let her have my heart! I know it’s not possible, I know it wouldn’t work. But I broke down and wept at the unfairness of it all.

This baby’s heart is so messed up – it really is a miracle that she is alive! Arteries and veins are backwards, valves are leaking, tubes are incomplete. There are a whole bunch of technical terms that make my brain hurt.

The Dr.s diagram of Emerey’s heart. The green are tubes they need to make or fix for her. The scribbled green is showing the leaky valve.

Tawny sent me a half dozen photos she took of me with Emery. When I received them yesterday my heart filled with gratefulness for all the precious time I got to have with her. Then I realized I didn’t get any with Tawny and her baby. Grrrrr, what was I thinking?

Baby doll!

Thankfully I have news and images fed to me whenever I ask through Dallin’s mom, Rebecca, she’s my connection. Tawnymara shares often as well, always with a smile even when the news sucks.

This morning she shared that the arch (big purple arch in the image above) is not strong enough for the Dr.s to do what they initially planned. All the while she reported it with a smile and found the good in it, like now they know better what direction they need to go. Surgery will be bumped up to Monday or Tuesday.

Today Emery will get a name and a blessing. That’s when the infant is blessed by the priesthood. It’s not necessary for entrance into heaven. because we believe all children are born innocent and don’t need baptism until they are the age of accountability (usually 8). But it’s nice to hear the individualized blessing for the child, and have her name known for our records of the church.

Emery’s bilirubin is great so she’s off the light and enjoying snuggle time with the family.

More updates to come as they happen! Thanks so much for your bouee-ing powers being sent our way!

Emery

It’s amazing how quickly life can change. This last week has been one wild ride. It’s been so emotional. Couple that with my lack of sleep I’m probably too emotional to write this. But I’m going to anyway, I want Emery’s incredible arrival and story told.

I arrived in Utah on Tuesday of last week. Tawny’s due date was the previous Tuesday. So we were in high hopes of Emery coming soon.

We spent a lot of time in the pool. Tawnymara could bounce without high impact.

We walked all through the aquarium.

We hiked Prov Canyon.

We went to the temple. We also visited many shops and delicious restaurants.

Day after day we planned fun things, then – finally- Tawny started feeling contractions. This was on Saturday. We decided to help time pass by watching a movie. We saw Tolkien (amazing movie BTW)!

Sunday around 2:00 am Tawnymara woke with heavier contractions, they were keeping her awake, so we made sure we had everything ready. She did a home-pool-birth.

From here on out it was eager anticipation. If I were a gambler I would have put good money on Emery arriving on Mother’s day- good thing I’m not a gambler! By 9:00pm Tawnymara called the midwife and a group of 5 ladies came over ready for action with duffel bags of equipment for any conceivable situation. After checking her though they thought it might be a while longer and left us to have an enjoyable night in labor, and watching Scrubs.

Dallin was an amazing ‘daddy doula’. Throughout every contraction he would put pressure on her hips or stand so she could lean into him.

It was a long hard night. Around 2:00am things cranked up, it had been 24 hours since Tawnymara woke with contractions, and now the real work was going to start. A call to the midwife brought the crew and duffel bags back.

From then until 7:00am it was full of hard labor. Tawny would try to catch mini naps between contractions, it was excruciating watching my daughter go through this kind of pain and work and not being able to do anything for her – truly excruciating!

Dallin was able to deliver her. It was such beautiful event. Emery was immediately brought to Tawnymara’s chest and all our hands helped to rub her little body and get the circulation going.

Soon Tawny got up on trembling legs and made the trek to their bed. Mom and baby had the go over check up and while some of the midwives did that others were in cleaning up the birthing area like champs.

My favorite picture of this little family!
Aurora time.
Eve time.
Pretty in Pink

The midwives came back on day 2 and checked Emery over. Then again on day 3. It was during that check that the midwife felt she should be taken in to the hospital for more in depth oxygen tests. Nothing was glaringly wrong – it was a feeling. They went in and found Emery has Tricuspid Atresia. This is a heart disease that basically means only half her heart is working.

She was life flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. This is where my heart crumbled. I knew Tawny was still in so much pain from her 30 hours of labor. Then all the pain that come with healing and breastfeeding. Adding on the nights full of waking to feed I knew she was on the point of collapsing. Getting the news that her infant had this disease that will require many surgeries and hospital stays then she was told she couldn’t ride with her baby to the SLC hospital because the pilot said there was an imbalance. It seemed too much! I was back home by then feeling very useless and helpless.

I am in awe of Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s strength! They have taken every step of this with faith and courage. I don’t know how they’re doing it. I think I’d be in a fetal position in a corner somewhere- in fact I feel like doing that now. I think there are now hundreds of people praying for them . I know there’s such power connected to that, and I attribute so much of the fact that Tawnymara is smiling and loving on her baby in their last Marco Polo, and Dallin’s voice is upbeat and positive.

Dallin’s amazing family is heading out to rally around them. I’m so grateful they will be there to support and love them through the next little while. The future plans for Emery include many surgeries and the possibility of a heart transplant. It’s going to be a long journey. I’m hoping to get back out there and help through some of this. The distance sucks!

Between getting back so late on Tuesday, then teaching early morning seminary, then finding out about Emery the last night around midnight, my sleep has been very minimal. I’m kind of a wreck. I’m yearning for the peace of the temple and Bill and I will be going tonight. I’m trying to balance all this with the faith of knowing Emery is in Heavenly Father’s hands, and what ever transpires is part of a bigger plan. I got to spend a day with this precious angel and I feel so blessed for that.

If you’re reading this- chances are you’re praying too, THANK YOU! Thank you .

I will share more of Emery’s story as it unfolds.

While mom is gone…

Image result for dad home with kids

I very rarely leave the family and venture out on my own.

Last time I did Bill decided to remodel our kitchen, but had only gotten to the dismantling of it and when I walked in I almost started crying. Actually I think I did cry for a second.

I had just finished a week long camping trip with a group of young women from our church. It was a wonderful time, but I was bone tired emotionally and physically.

Tomorrow I leave to be with my oldest daughter. She is now 6 days overdue and I’m hoping to get there in time for the big delivery! I had planned it this way so that I could help her and her amazing husband by waiting on them for a week while they could just sit and love on Emery (Baby’s name).

Yesterday a friend asked me if I had all my plans in order to leave.

You can laugh- I did.

But then I realized I actually did plan it out a little. I left this day clear so I could do what I need to get done, only now I realize that I need 2 of me to do everything I thought I could do.

Things I can check off my list: clean kitchen, wash laundry, make bread, make food, mow back yard, take care of businessmen & seminary emails.

Things I have yet to do: clean kitchen (… I made food after I did it last time….), get a pedicure (this is not a must, just a wouldn’t it be nice…probably won’t happen) , take a meal to a friend (last minute thought- glad I made a lot of food), go grocery shopping, fold & put away laundry, pack, take dog for a walk, pick up pottery (Danni & I took a ceramics class), & I really should set aside some time for a shower and family time.

The house will not be pristine when I leave, and I have no expectations of it being that way when I come home. My children are old enough so that Bill can work and they are fine holding down the house. Danni is an exceptional cook and all Enoch will eat is cereal, sandwiches, smoothies and pancakes (and pizza – he loves cheese pizza), so the food I made ahead is more for my own peace of mind.

Bill has a ton to do with our business, so I know he’ll not have any chances to remodel anything (BTW – I love my kitchen now!).

A few deep breaths and it doesn’t look as impossible as it did before. I’m so blessed to have a family that can survive without me here, even if I don’t act like they can.