Kaleb Then (moments after surgery)

Kaleb Now
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV translation)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I find myself always thinking about it

I can't help it.  Almost every day I reflect on the journey we took a year ago with Kaleb, our family and Primary Children's Medical Center.  It is a dull ache but an ache nonetheless and it hurts sometimes.  Especially when I see all the scars on his chest and belly, it brings back such scary memories.  My paranoia is going away, however, so that is a good thing.  Kaleb's pediatrician told me, at Kaleb's last check up, that Kaleb is no more likely to have heart issues at this point that him or I!  That was such a relief to hear.  But these wounds are going to take some time to heal completely, and you know what, I don't know if they will ever COMPLETELY heal, but maybe they'll stop hurting.

Anyway....... I also think that I dwell on what we went thru to stop myself from dealing with current stresses and situations in my life.  In example, our home is being foreclosed on.  We have it up for sale and have gotten 2 offers already, we just have to submit them to the bank.  I'm afraid to have them submitted because if the bank accepts the offers then that means the hope of keeping our house is gone.  At this point, that hope is not gone because we are still  in the running for a loan modification, which the bank is taking there sweet time to deliberate over.  We have been trying to get a loan modification for OVER A YEAR!!!  Can someone please make up their minds already over there!!!!!  Yeah, I'm talkin to you Wells Fargo!!!  We'll see what the Lord has planned for us.  We are trusting Him with this situation as we trusted Him with Kaleb and He sure did not disappoint us there! (Praise God!).........  So why is it so hard to trust that He'll make everything ok?  Most days I do trust and believe but doubt tends to sneak in occasionally.  I pray my faith and trust in my creator will be magnified each day.  I do know that everything will end up ok.  Even if we have to move into a 900 sq. ft. condo again, there will be so much love packed into that tiny place it'll seem like it's one million sq. ft.  (Shane is always reassuring me about that :-)  Love my hubby!).....  So anyway, you are probably wondering how this all ties into "Kaleb the Conquer" as is the title of this blog........ Well, as Kaleb conquered the giant hurdles of open heart surgery when he was only 6 days old, and all the recovery and catching up in life he has had to do, it makes me quite confident that I too, can be a conqueror with anything that life throws at me.

"I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME."  Philippians 4:13..... Thank you Jesus, for the strength that you offer me each day, each moment, for each hurdle that is in front of me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life with a 1 year old

Kaleb is now 13 months, going on 14 months here in a couple weeks and it's hard to believe we were ever standing by his hospital bedside praying for his heart to heal right.  You look at this kid and just cannot even believe he went thru what he went thru.  I know I say on every almost post how grateful for his life I am, but man, it will never grow old!  I will always be so grateful for his life, for him, for who he is, and the little guy he is becoming.  His new favorite thing is putting his lips together to make, and excuse the term, but farting noises!  LOL.  He'll walk around for 20-30 minutes playing with his toys making these noises and it is just the most entertaining thing in my day is to watch these new sounds he's learning to make and to be able to push his little "popper-rollie-toy" AND make those noises at the same time is pretty impressive.  Just seeing how much he learns every day astonishes me!  Kids are amazing period!  Seeing what they learn and how quickly they adapt to life in just 1 year of life is absolutely a miracle in itself!

I can't wait for what tomorrow brings!  And the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


One day, while sitting next to Kaleb's hospital bed, monitors flashing and beeping, nurses going in and out, my mom told me that I would look back on this a year from now and not even remember all the sadness and fear we were facing...... She was right!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" Proverbs 3:6.......... Even when you are following God to your fullest capacity and placing all your trust in Him, things just don't magically go perfectly but "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.......... God will give you peace of mind and heart no matter what the circumstances.  God taught me all about this going thru what we went thru with Kaleb. 

I haven't checked this blog or posted anything new since his last check up in October, and praise God, everything looks great!  Kaleb got to go off of all his meds, including the aspirin and reflux meds.  It has been over couple months since the check up and Kaleb is thriving!  Gaining weight, growing, talking, walking, running, getting into things he shouldn't get in to.  I get to worry about all the normal parent worries now.... And I love it (fancy that!)  LOL.

I am so grateful for my little Kaleb's life each and every day.  Every day I change his clothes or get him in the bath the scars all over his chest are a constant reminder of what we went thru and I still flinch a little when I see them, but less and less day by day.  They are truly a reminder of my God's might and strength and power and grace and mercy and peace that He offered me thru this time and continues to offer me no matter the trials or triumphs.  I will always need Him!  I often find myself confused by what life throws at me, but God, the only true constant in this universe, keeps me grounded and focused on what is truly important and what really matters!

I praise God for the lessons learned thru the horrific time at Primary Children's Hospital.  I remain forever grateful to the people, whose hands God used to save my sons life, and to God who allowed my son to live!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's time for another sedated echo....

I can hardly believe it!  It's been almost ONE YEAR since Kaleb was born and we're less than a month away from it being a year since his open heart surgery.  Man I have gone thru so many emotions this last year all starting at my 3rd trimester of pregnancy but you know what God has taught me so much this year.  I have matured spiritually beyond anything I could have ever imagined and feel blessed that He would choose me to be the mother of our precious little Kaleb!  At times I still feel like I'm not completely over the emotional torment of the months of care and worry after his surgery, but I've gotten thru..... One day at a time..... March on brave soldier.  My mom said I would look back a year from then and be like "Whoa!" and I am so there!  Lol.

So Kaleb's check up is on Friday (October 8th), which is less than 2 days.  He will have a sedated echo cardiogram, where they knock him out and put his little body in all sorts of weird positions to do an ultrasound of his heart from every possible angle; then, he has a check up with his cardiologist Dr. Mack after he wakes up and eats a bit, that is when the doc will give us the results of his echo.  Oh man just talking about it makes my stomach do somersaults, I get queasy and dizzy just thinking about going back there and I think what if some thing's wrong, what if he needs more surgeries, what if this, what if that, what if, what if, what if......  Point is.... I don't have control over it.  God does.  He knows the outcome so I'm just going to do my best to rest in Him and I do trust Him no matter what happens (Lord, help me not forget that!).

I'll let you all know how he does.  I'm hoping for everything being perfect and that he can go off the aspirin and the antacids.  It'll be so weird that day.  The day where I don't have to give him medicine in the morning and at night.  I'm going to feel like I'm forgetting something every morning and night for a while. 

But really!  I feel so so blessed.  This time of year was HELL for me last year and I'm hoping and optimistic that this year will be just the opposite!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What's done is done

I don't know if I need to finish telling the story of Kaleb's surgery.  He made it thru.  There were some rough patches with having to have a second surgery because of an infection in the surgical site but other than that he was home a week after that surgery, off his oxygen 2 weeks after that, off of his feeding tube I think 6 weeks after that then 2 weeks later he was off of is PICC line that was in his arm giving him antibiotics to stop any infection from returning.

The surgery day was hell.  I almost passed out after seeing Kaleb the first time after surgery, I was an absolute wreck, but he's here.  He's healthy.  He's growing.  He's happy (except when his little toothies that are coming in really bother him).  He's just a good baby.  I am so lucky to have him.  So lucky that God would choose me to be this little boys mom!!!!  I look forwards to him growing and reaching each new milestone but am actually soaking this time in while he still isn't quite crawling and where he's just little enough I can still snuggle him.  I know it's going to go by all too fast.  My mom always says "I just had YOU two seconds ago!"  So I know time flies and soon he'll be married with his own kid.  Just the thought of that is insane. 

So ya, I'm not going to write his/my story in chronological order anymore, I find that I'm not wanting to do it like that.  I'll just write what's on my heart and on my mind.  It's not like anyone reads this stuff anyway.  It's my verbal release and I get to practice typing I guess.  But I enjoy blabbing on and on about what's going on in my life, in my odd mind and that matters on my heart.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The week before the surgery.......

Kaleb was transported up to Primary Children's Hospital October 27, 2009 within a few hours after being born.  He was wheeled into my room in a little box where he was all strapped down and hooked up to all these tubes, wires, and a ventilator.  The moment I saw him I thought "He's my little monkey in a box!" (and from then we decorated his room with monkey's, when I buy him new clothes I'm always drawn to the monkey stuff first!!!!  It's funny!)  Anyway, so they open the box for me so I could touch him and my hand was more than half his size it was amazing how little he was (5 lbs. 9 oz. 18 inches long).  I got to touch him and pet him and stroke him, it was my first touch with my new baby.  I was overwhelmed.... and from then on I cried almost all day every day until the day he came home.

When they got to Primary Children's they took him up to the NICU where he spent the next 5 days just hanging out, surviving, doctors trying to let him and his lungs get stronger before they did the surgery.


October 30th I finally got to hold my baby!

I was so emotional!  That day and the 5 days to follow we met with nurses and doctors to discuss what was wrong with Kaleb's heart and what they were going to do to correct it.  The death rate was only 15% but that is too high of a number when you're talking about your newborn and the possibility of death, it's insane to think about but so many I know have gone thru just that!
What Kaleb was diagnosed with was Transposition of the Great Arteries (meaning his pulmonary artery and his aorta grew in backwards so the blood was being pumped thru the wrong chambers, in turn, not allowing enough oxygenated blood to get to his entire body) and an Aortic Coarctation (where there is a narrowing in the aorta).

The charts above will really helped me understand better than putting it into words.

On November 2, 2009 Kaleb was 6 days old and wheeled in to have major open heart surgery.  The surgery would take about 6 hours.  That day is a story in itself, so much went on that day in that one little waiting room at Primary Children's Hospital.  I will never forget that day and I will tell you all about it on my next post, the K-Dub Meister is waking up from his nap!!!  :-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The grass is always greener my ass!!!!!!

The Lord has taught me something very important today........... The grass is NOT always greener on the other side.  So many people, people you wouldn't have even expected, have gone thru such difficult times and come out just fine in the end and the things they went thru are much worse than I have ever had to go thru.  I met my friend Brittany's room-mate Michelle last month and just today came to find out that she has a tumor in her body, one that is so wrapped around her insides that they won't operate, one that could get bigger, it has given her so so so much medical debt that no one will treat her and she cannot qualify for ANY medical assistance.  She is supposed to be getting MRI's every 3 months to monitor the tumor but hasn't been able to for who knows how long.  This same tumor was the reason she lost her son while still in gestation and one that could any day grow larger and end up killing her.

Michelle is always smiling!  Always laughing!  At least when I'm around her.  She is so down to earth.  So normal.  And she has gone thru so much more than me, that gives me so much hope and at the same time makes me feel ashamed for feeling so sorry for myself and what I had to go thru with Kaleb.  The grass is not always greener on the other side!

Something I read on a little embroidered old lady decoration (that my Grandma Garrett happens to have on her wall in her bathroom, that is why I say old lady decoration..... Love you Grandma!!!), was HAPPINESS IS NOT HAVING WHAT YOU WANT BUT WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE --- This has stuck with me and will for the rest of my life.  I need to always be grateful for my circumstance because God put me here, He put me what I went thru for a reason, He has a purpose for letting me go thru certain things.  So my prayer today, Lord, is that you live out your purposes thru me.  Lord, that you would open me up to your guidance and open my ears to hear you speak.  Thank you for what we went thru with Kaleb, thank you for Kaleb.  Help me focus on You, looking forward to what You have for me instead of backwards.