07 September 2010

Eliminating unknowns

Thank you so much, heart moms, on your tips and advice!! I can honestly say that those are some of the most practical, helpful, and nurturing bits of advice I've gotten. I know your previous experience will help us navigate the crazy territory we're about to enter into. I know your wisdom was hard-earned, and I'm so grateful for it.

The biggest and most important unknowns are ahead of us and entirely out of our control, but we are doing what we can to eliminate what unknowns we can. We've arranged to take see the NICU at Valley Medical Center (the hospital where I will be delivering) and on Thursday, we will be getting a tour of the NICU and cardiac area of Seattle Children's Hospital. I know just having the visuals and something of a sense of familiarity when all this really starts happening will help us adjust more quickly and provide the best care for Ewan that we possibly can.

My emotions continue to ride one incredible roller coaster as we get closer and closer to Ewan's birth and all we can do is anticipate. Ugh. I know all we can do is pray and wait.

And just a reminder about my "Virtual" Baby Shower. Unlike other normal baby showers, this one isn't about baby swag so much as it is having a tangible reminder of your encouragement and prayers to keep with us, and one day (Lord willing) to share with Ewan when he's older. Click on the button below for details.

babyshower_safe

9 comments:

Andrew and Brooks said...

1st: Love your belly!!! You look awesome!!
2nd: I had a preemie who spent 45days in the NICU, something I found that helped me was: Zakeez hands... (http://www.zakeez.com/en/home/index.php)They allowed us to leave our scent with Asher each night as he slept apart from us. We got a pink one for Mommy and a blue one for Daddy. 20mnths later we still use them in the car for head support for him when he is sleeping. They are a little pricey, but I found them so worth every penny emotionally and even physically for him and us!
3. Our church was the biggest source of support for us during our NICU stay and first few months at home. They brought us communion on Sunday mornings as we sat with Asher, they did healing/anointing prayers over his incubator and body, they brought meals to the hospital and left them in the family area frig on the NICU floor so we didn't have to spend $ on cafeteria food or go home to eat. I highly recommend spending some time with a few people at your church to strategize realistic ways people can help and bless you all so you are not overwhelmed with well meaning offers to help when Ewan arrives.
4. Family got us a house cleaner a couple times to help with the stress load and that was a surprisingly awesome gift. Cleaning as the last thing on our mind, but it was stressful to have a messy home. I highly encourage your friends or family to "give" the gift of cleaning during this coming season of life.
I will continue to pray for you all. Beth Gilbreath Otto is a good friend of ours and a mutual friend of hers passed your blog on, so I could pray for you all. Love how the body of Christ works!
Much Joy in Christ, (even in this hard season!
)Brooks

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

I think you are doing a great job at preparing, by going and visiting and really SEEING where Ewan will be. It doesn't matter how much you are told and think you know, seeing it is a whole different game.

I don't have a heart baby, but I do have a daughter with multiple disabilities and a history of cardiac arrest. My biggest suggestion is that when he's in the NICU and has constant nurses watching over him, try to sleep. There were many nights where I sat by her bed all hours .. and she had constant care. She would have been fine if I had gone to the Ronald McDonald house or even the parent lounge and slept for a few hours.

You are getting so close to meeting Ewan, and I am so excited for you. You look absolutely BEAUTIFUL in the latest belly shot!

Stefenie said...

You're going to do great. I just know it.

Taking the tour of the hospital will be a bittersweet moment for you for sure. On one hand it is an exciting moment knowing that you will be meeting your precious baby very soon but on the other hand it is a scary thought seeing the intensive care unit where your reality will set in. Makes it feel more real.

In the upcoming days just focus on seeing that beautiful precious baby boy for the very first time and getting to finally tell him how very much he is loved.

Praying!!

Chocolate Mousie said...

I'll keep praying for you and Ewan!

Tahnie said...

Hi there!

I found you through Megan at inthiswonderfullife! Even though we are strangers, I admire you so much and although I didn't have a baby with congenital heart defects, I have a tremendous amount of empathy for the roller coaster you are on right now. You see, there are only about 5 other women in the world with my disease, Cystinosis, who have had successful pregnancies. I had my little miracle girl on February 1st of this year. She is doing fabulous! My days leading up to delivery were very scary, I was so consumed with worry that neither of us would make it through the birth. But, please know that miracles do happen and that ANYTHING is possible. Our little Sookie Sierra is proof of that. ;)

Anonymous said...

Taking a tour is what helped us as well. We were actually able to peek in on a few babies who had just went thru OHS so we were able to prepare for what we knew was ahead. NOTHING, and I do mean NOTHING can prepare you for that initial moment when you first see YOUR precious child hooked up to all those wires, tubes, machines and gadgets. I called our room NASA central because we had so many monitors and whatnots. But, just knowing we had "seen" it before somehow made it a little less scary. They actually had a male nurse stand behind me in case I fainted - and I honestly did sway a few times, but I was able to stay on my feet (I contribute it to having just had a c-section but my hubby likes to tell people I almost fainted).

Just remember the single most important thing you can do is REST. You may not feel like a "mommy" at first because you have all these nurses doing your job for you - but trust me, in no time you are gonna be "up and running - front and center" and be the one changing the diapers (you will learn how to manuever all those wires and tubes)and feedings as well.

Reach out to those around you. Don't be afraid to say "I need help" I wish I had done this!

Keep your faith strong and remember it is a dance. Some days you will go forward and some days you will go backwards - but you are making progress!

How exciting that you soon you will be seeing Ewan's precious face for the first time - THAT will make all this other "stuff" just fade away for a moment.

You are blessed!

Shannon Egan

Katie said...

You are doing such an outstanding job preparing for Ewan...I'm so impressed! Heart hugs to you and know you're in our prayers!

Nikki said...

I LOVE the belly shot!!! You look so cute :)

You have probably heard it already, but there is a song by a local artist here in Utah that is so amazing and fits us heart parents so well! Her name is Mindy Gledhill and the song is called "All about your heart" It brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it...hopefully you find it comforting :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAgF364s2yI

Anonymous said...

Hi There. I just stumbled on your blog and I just want to give you a shout of support I am a heart mom too. And I found out my baby Liam had TGA at 18 weeks. So I am so proud of you guys getting your support group together. I didn't read all the advice. But here is mine. Most everything was covered from what I read but I would say Just remember not to be scared to touch and enjoy your baby. All the hook ups can be a little antimidating and I wish someone had prepared me for that. And The nurses are amazing they will help you with anything. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Jean-Marie