Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hunter Update 8/29

Hunter's behavior post-surgery has exceeded all of our expectations. God has answered all of our prayers far beyond our requests. Hunter has been so happy, active, smiling at everyone, kicking his legs at all times with lots of energy.

Our only concern is the amount of blood seeping through his bandages and blood coming out through his urine. We've called the doctor twice, but don't feel it's enough to warrant a visit to the ER. If it continues at next diaper change, we'll head on to TCH ER.

He's responding well to the meds so far. The pain med, however, istead of making him sleepy, it's causing him to be!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Released from Hospital

Daddy finally able to feed Hunter

tiny little foot...reminded us of Madison in the NICU

His hospital bed

Bye! I'm outta here!

Hunter was released from the hospital early this afternoon. We went into the recovery room - it was a sad and yet surreal many children in individual beds recovering with their parents by their side. Many cancer patients and very sick kids. It really put many things in perspective for Mark and me.

We went to Hunter's little crib and he was wide eyed and already awake. He was hooked up to many tubes and oxygen. It instantly reminded us of when Madison was in the NICU. When Mark said a big hello, Hunter smiled so big. We were so relieved! Even though we know that he won't always be so comfortable in the next few weeks, we breathed a sigh of relief when Hunter smiled his famous smile at us.

He was starving and drank several ounces of Pedialite and then they allowed him some formula. He's on three medications, with main concerns around his bladder spasms and infection. We are now home at Clareanne and Raymond's and they are treating us just like family. They are so sweet to us. Hunter is resting now. He will have a cathetar until Monday and a strict medicine regimine. We go back to the hospital on Monday and they'll assess him and remove the cathetar. Full recovery will take 2-3 months.

I'll update soon. Thanks again, friends, for all your support. We love you!

Hunter with Daddy prior to surgery

Hunter Surgery Update

***Update 12:20 pm
The surgery only took about 2 hrs. We just saw the surgeon and he said all went well. He explained everything - the procedures they performed and next steps. We'll be called back to recovery in about 15 mins or so. Hunter will be in recovery for at least an hour. He'll be in a lot of pain, but he has 3 different meds to take for infection and pain. He'll have a catheter for several days. We can take him home to Clareanne's later today and watch him closely, but we have to stay here in Houston. We'll see the doctor again on Monday.

***Update 12 pm
We got a call from OR nurse saying surgery was going well, may be a half more hour and Hunter really liked his blanket. Thanks, Rachel Witten, for the little blanket you gave him!

***Update 11:35 am

We drove to Katy last night, where we're staying with our former neighbors and close friends, Raymond and Clareanne. Since their kids are in college, their house will be relatively quiet - ideal for Hunter's recovery. After a sleepless night (Mark has sinus infection and perferated ear drum, but on antibiotics/rec'd two shots so he could come to the hospital and I was just nervous and restless the whole night), we arrived at TCH before 8 am this morning. Our Pediatric surgery floor looks more like a children's museum than a hospital! So bright and colorful, lots of ride-on toys, fish tanks, computers and games. The doctors and nurses even take the kids back for surgery in red wagons lined with pillows, rather than the stale hospital bed on wheels.

Hunter couldn't have any milk after midnight and only clear liquids until 7 am. We were afraid he'd be screaming this morning due to hunger (the boy likes to eat!), but he did just fine. In fact, once he was in his little hospital gown, he was so happy. Smiling and laughing with us. We met with several nurses, anesthesiologist, doctor's asst. and the surgeon. All were very warm and nice. Mark asked great questions. I just felt nauseous - still do- and wanted to faint. Hope I don't later, as I did the last time we met with the Pedi surgeon. It was awful. Never done that before!

After all the papers were signed, procedures/risks explained, recovery instructed, it was time for Hunter to leave our arms and be taken away for surgery. I kissed every inch of his little face and rubbed my fingers over his fluffy hair. I hugged his body tight and smelled his soft skin. I tried to take everything in all at once. It's not because I was overwhelmed with the potential risks, it's only because I love him so much. I told him to be a brave little boy and that I love him with all of my heart. When they took Hunter away, I watched them carry him all the way down the hall until I could no longer see. Then I started to cry. I want to be the one to protect him. I want to be there to hold his hand. I want to be there to ease his pain and comfort him. I miss him already.

Thank the Lord that He is in control. I'm so grateful to Him. I know without doubt he is surrounding Hunter with angels now. Thank God we can take comfort in that and trust His almighty hand and protection and guidance. We always remember that, but I think sometimes when life is going smoothly, I take that for granted. It unfortunately takes crisis or a large event to draw us back closely to Him. But thankfully, He is always there waiting for us.

Hunter went into surgery at 10:30 am. He got an epidural before surgery, IV with meds, as well as a breathing tube down his throat for respiratory assistance. The surgery will last 2 1/2 hrs, minimum. He'll then be in the PACU (Pediatric Post Anesthesia Care Unit) for a minimum of an hour, where Mark and I can wait by his bedside for him to wake up. Will update again soon. Thank you all for your comments, texts and prayers!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Please pray for Hunter's Surgery

I'm interrupting the (somewhat) order of my posts, as I had wanted to catch us up in succession via pictures. However, this is more important.

Hunter is having surgery tomorrow at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. We leave for Houston tonight and will be there until Mon/Tues. I'll have my laptop and try to keep you up to date.

We've known he would need this surgery since birth, but have kept it private until now. The surgery needed to be performed between ages 6 months - 12 months. The surgery focuses around his urinary tract. We have met with several Pediatric surgeons and feel the Lord has led us to a wonderful doctor in Houston. The surgery should not be long, but it will depend on what they find after surgery begins. Recovery will be long and uncomfortable.

I'm sure the experience will be harder on me, emotionally, than Hunter. Thank God he won't remember it! I'm sure the surgery will go well. I'm just nervous about the anesthesia and recovery. I cried myself to sleep last night thinking about seeing Hunter in his little hospital gown and having to say goodbye to him as he's wheeled away for the operation. I'll have to relinquish all control and protection on him, into others' hands. However, I know that God will keep Hunter safe in His arms when I can't be there myself. Thank you, Lord, for your tender care.

Sarah and Dave's Wedding

Again, I know I'm going out of order here, as I had wanted to post pictures in succession as they happened, finally catching up to the present. However, I'm interrupting the flow of things by posting some of the wedding pics - more to come soon.

Here are a few pics from the wedding - it was beautiful! Sarah looked absolutely amazing. Madison looked precious in her flower girl dress and she performed very well. Daddy ended up walking her down the aisle. When she got to the end, she cheered and dumped her flower petals out in one big heap, then tried to play in them. What I think is special, is that Daddy was the first man to walk her down the aisle, and eventually, he'll be the last. How sweet! The reception was a huge (and gorgeous) party! Madison danced on the dance floor for four hours straight. I think she thought the celebration was all for her. We had a great time. I'll post more pictures soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Madison's Flower Girl (aka "Shake-Shake") Music

My Dad composed music for my wedding and now he's composed music for Sarah's wedding. Well, Madison is his biggest fan! She absolutely loves her Flower Girl part. She calls it her "shake shake" music. Without giving the whole processional away, you'll hear Madison's part and then it goes into Sarah's part when Madison (loudly) announces, "Princess"!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Papa and Grammy visit

Papa and Grammy visited our house the beginning of June!

Papa, Madison, Grammy and Hunter

We held a water-themed playgroup date at our house in the beginning of June. We really appreciated the help from my mom and dad! We had a water table, inflatable tent thing, a pool, sprinkler ball, and a splash pad. We also had a cookie-cake (Madison's favorite) to celebrate her birthday with all our playgroup friends!

Jojo, Madison and Avery eating lunch

Playing at the water table

Down to the diaper in the splash pad

Trying on my flower girl dress...

Oh no, oh no! I can't believe my Aunt is getting married! Or that you made me wear a dress!

Daddy....this is what I'll look like in 25 years...oops, I mean 40 years, as you say.

June pics

How beautiful...almost 2 years old!

My handsome little man...almost 5 months old here!

We're in deep conversation. Or a staring contest.

I won! hahaha.

Hey Mamma! Chee! (That's how she says "cheese" for the camera.)

My not-so-crabby little crab!

Soon enough, I'll grow big to fit on this couch, mom!

(Every month I take a picture of him on this couch to see how he's grown.)

Summer Fun

In June, our neighbors had a end-of-year school party in their backyard. We were invited to come over and play with them the next day, and it was so much fun! This is Madison and Collin sliding down the inflatable water slide.

Madison going on the long favorite!

4th of July party at Craig and Celia's house

All of our much fun to be had!

Daddy and Madison love the water!

Ohhh, I'm so excited!

Madison and Hunter...sibling love...!? Definitely.

Madison's End of Year program

Madison's teachers and school director told me that every day this week and last week, Madison has been "belting the songs out" during rehearsals. She has been "stealing the show" each day, according to other teachers. She sings the songs for me at home, too. In fact, they placed Madison in the middle of the classes on stage, for this reason. And, we could hear the teacher continue to say "Madison" during the performance because none of the kids were singing...and she was trying to get Madison to sing, at least! Alas...Madison was too excited/distracted/preoccupied with the older kids behind her and her new audience in front of her...but she did get some motions going!

Yay! I officially finished my first day of preschool for 1 year olds! Whew, it was a tough one.

Our family after Madison's program

Mrs. Mendi and Madison...last hug goodbye! We love her so much!

Playing with my boy friends one more time

Hunter listening to the program...what a cutie! This was Mark's outfit when he was baptised as a baby.

And we celebrated with outdoor pool fun and blowing bubbles.

Madison's Last Day of School, May 2009

On Madison's last day of school, I came to her classroom and helped with their end of year party. After Sesame Street cupcakes, the kids were all on a sugar high! We enjoyed attending the art festival and Madison's school program - it was adorable!


Me and my friends

And here are my other classmates.

Yeah, Hunter totally had a blast, too. As you can see...

Mad's teacher wanted to do Father's Day gifts and so I offered to do them for her. I came into the classroom and took pictures of the students with a tie around their neck. I then painted frames that said, "Dad, my heart is "tied" to yours". Turned out pretty darn cute.