Friday, August 15, 2014

Times like these

Do you ever feel like everything in life is a bit on the bumpy side, a bit out of control?

Your future is floating along, nothing is concrete?

Must feel a bit lost at times, a road unestablished.

A bird flew into my house today, right through the back door that was left open and into my living room.  It fluttered right over my head and bolted into a window nearby.
Banging its tiny face on the pane, I felt pity on, as I crawled through the house, I opened my windows wide, one by one,  in hopes that he would find his exit.  A bit comical to watch, I'm sure.

My brave 2 yr. old trudged through the chaos pointing to each spot the bird would land as I let out a squeal and shut my eyes when it traveled overhead.  He continued to have crash attempts till finally one of his journeys led him right out to freedom.

As I bang my head through this life looking for the right path, I can only hope I have someone who is like my little guy.  Someone who points and says, "I see you, and this is the way you should go!"  Life doesn't always line those "somebodies" up for us though.  Sometimes you may find yourself friendless in a sense that there just isn't anybody available for you at this time.  It sounds rough, but its true.  Sometimes you have battles you have to fight alone, free from human advise or leadership.
These are the times that require faith in the unseen and an increase in your hearing abilities.

Times like these are uncertain yet they encourage us to be a bit still and rely on the Lord to open the window for us and give us the perfect route to freedom.  Its true that you are never alone, yet sometimes your cant see a friend around for miles, but the love you have with the Lord obligates Him to remain intact to you, this being the only thing you have that is concrete.

The seasons that people come and go in your time will be many.  During hard times you may find people around that you never thought would be, and those that you expected to be close will be unavailable...have grace for this.  The Lord rises people up at certain times according to their time & talent, to come to you.  One thing that is established undoubtedly is that the Lord does not waver and his relationship to you is not seasonal, it is stationary, and it is forever. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I'm one of those

In my last 16 years of infertility I have been able to relate with people in many of the infertility categories..

Secondary Infertility:  At age 17 I bore a son, Tanner, with no complications, 6lbs 9oz...I had no idea that I was taking it for granted.  He has a beautiful daughter who reminds me of this, as I watch him as a father.

Adoption: Our daughter Ilana was our first adoption, brought home at birth.  Following behind her was Liam and Abel.

Adult Adoption:  Our son, Karlos, was brought up in the "system" since he was 7.  At the age of 19 we adopted him legally into our family and he also has brought us a beautiful daughter in law and two brilliant grandbabies.

Ectopic Pregnancy:  Thaddeus is what we named him...ten weeks along, strong heartbeat, emergency surgery.

Clotting disorders:  Diagnosed with MTHFR and PAI-1 causes me to be reliant upon baby aspirin, heparin shots, and L-Methafolate

Implantation Failure:  Progesterone is just not my thing...apparently.  Shots, suppositories, or capsules are my friend during pregnancy

Immune Disorder:  Total complete DQ-Alpha Matching for me and my spouse...really!  One in a million. 

Immune Therapy:  During pregnancy I sit in the cancer unit with IV intralipids running through my veins for 4 hours.  Tiresome and not to mention extremely boring.

Recurrently Pregnancy Loss:  This is the part that seems unreal.  Each baby that has left us seems hard to swallow.  First it was our first, then our second, now our tenth.

Ten losses.
This is the group that I didn't want to belong to.  Not that any of them sounded celebrity-like.  This is the group though that sets you apart from others more.  This is the one that makes you weird, where people don't know what to say to you.  This is the one that entitles you to a T-shirt that says habitual.

"Habitual Aborter" ...that's what the world of infertility and RE's call you in this category.

We just said good-bye to our 10th baby.  Boy or girl, I'll never know.  The color of their hair or sound of their giggle.  Never.

This walk at times has felt alone mostly, although I know that that's not true.
I live proud of each little one, each warrior of Christ..each one waiting for our reunion.
I added another star to my remembrance of you.  I think of you as a fantasy but I know in truth that you are alive and well.

Yes, I'm one of those!  Habitual mothers!  A big load of them..and I love every single one!
If you happen to find yourself in any of the categories I mentioned, please know that I get it.  I totally understand, and if you find yourself alone..just know that its a lie.  Im right here with you.

You can do this!

Today is a day that I needed to be encouraged.  To be told that "I can, I will"....not "you might" and "you wont."  Today is a day that I needed to listen to someone who loves me and sees my heart other then listen to the lies that I hide within myself.

Now that I am back on track, I would like to talk to you.

Whatever you have ahead of you is big...bigger then you.  Bigger then money or friends, bigger then life.  Whatever you have ahead of you is huge and I see that.  I know you don't know how you are going to do it or get through it.  If its not today that you are overwhelmed by it, its not far off.  The hectic-ness of figuring it all out is on its way.  Soon, you will be in the middle of it, and soon you will wonder what you are going to do.

Listen to me.

Its not bigger then the Lord.  Ever.  Its just not.  I know you've heard that before but its true.
Your gonna just have to believe that He cares for you beyond your own ideas and thoughts of love.  Your going to have to trust that there will be a day soon that this will all be figured out, it wont be a problem wont be the first thing you think of when you wake up.  It will be resolved, and wont take up your energy any longer.

The solution is already in place!

So, giving up isn't the answer.  Face it head on and without worry.  No matter what news comes your way, & how you feel about the events of your day/week/month.  Your good!  Your good!  And God says, "You can do this!"

This is what He told me today...all of this.  He says it for me and for you.  So into the storm I go...with help beside me.  I will keep my head up peering ahead to see the hope ahead of me.  I encourage you to do the same. 

You can!
You will!

Our big secret!

Written: Summer of 2014

I think it may be time to announce our secret...well, first announce that we have a secret..then tell you what it is :)

Its all about our Liam.

Actually our whole lives have been all about Liam for the last two years.  All about Dr appointments, surgery's, tests, heart-breaking results and miraculous healings.  Its been about prayer, and nights that never end and never offer sleep.  Its been all about mucus, vomiting, and choking...tears and smiles all in one.  Its been about days on end researching information for possible hope and many long discussions between a very stressed out Mom and Dad who both are relentless on finding help for this sweet boy.  Liam...Liam...Liam...all night, all day, for the rest of our lives. 

He has changed us in so many ways that I cant begin to effectively reflect on the truth of that statement.  It is too deep, and in many ways much more then I can handle to look back on.  I am just glad we were ushered through the last 2 years and all the fear that came with it by the very hand of God.  Thank you my Lord.

Ready for the breaking news?? 

Well it begins with a time line and it goes something like this.

First, Liam was diagnosed with DeGeorge, 22Q Deletion...and permanent sickness so they say.
Then, they told us the many things he wouldn't do, which he does do and we are pretty proud of it :)
Next, we were released from physical therapy but at age 2 he still eats primarily via G-tube and speaks very few clear words (but uses sign like a pro!!) Go Liam!

Then we plateaued.... Anyone who has special needs kids understand the time of "plateau" and how long, boring, and hopeless it can be.  It is a time when all progress seems halted, they don't seem to gain new understanding or move in any direction at all.  Sometimes it only lasts a few weeks and sometimes a few months...sometimes, it remains.

This plateau was different from the rest.  It was around November when it started and we were heading in the direction of surgery.  The Dr says, "Liam just isn't a clear case, we have to keep trying to understand what is going on with him."  This is the same as saying, "We are not really sure, so lets try surgery and see if that helps."  The procedure was to inject botox into the muscle at the top of Liam's esophagus to see if they could relax it.  Their philosophy was that the muscle was tense and not letting food pass through into the stomach, thus making Liam choke and have a potential to aspirate.

Nothing about it every settled right with us... so we prayed.

2 weeks before surgery, Liam got sick.  I took him to his regular pediatrician who explained to me that if I didn't feel right about having Liam's surgery done, he would inform the other team of Dr's that he didn't feel it was in Liam's best interest to have surgery due to his recent illness/fever, and that we should postpone it for a later time.  This would give us time to regroup and decide if surgery was the route we really wanted to take.  I love it when you have people in your court like that, those that understand that sometimes a "gut" feeling may take you down a whole new path.  And that is exactly what happened.

Our delayed surgery meant more time and so we decided to have Liam tested for some not so popular things.

We had previous lab results from our team of Dr's in Columbus, OH. One was a sed-rate test that told us how much inflammation Liam had in his body.  It came back extremely high, so high that the numbers were in conjunction with someone who was fighting off cancer, had juvenile arthritis, or one of the many autoimmune disorders that can attack children.  Liam was evaluated and didn't show symptoms or signs of any of these things, the Dr's couldn't tell us where he was inflamed.

This didn't really settle very well with us as parents and so we decided to take him to an integrative Dr who checked for nutritional deficicies along with diatary allergies such as gluten, soy, and yeast. As we sat in the office listening to his test results, the nurse correlates with our previous testing and tells us that Liam is inflamed and it is only going to get worse. She explains that the inflammation will eventually cause a severe condition in him and to expect a autoimmune disorder to arise in the future unless we take charge now.  She revealed that the inflammation was in the gut and intestines, so much so that it was effecting his entire make-up...everything was related!

The first thing we had to do was get rid of sugar!  The yeast have a major overgrowth all throughout his little body.  First thing in the trash was baby formula.  This was huge for us...this formua is the same formula we fought to get when Liam was diagnosed with Eosophilic Eosphagitis, it is extemembly expensive and sopposed to be the highest of grade.  BUT...after looking closer at it, we realized that it consists of 45% corn syrup solids as its main ingredient.  This could clearly be part of our problem, this had been Liams only source of nutrition for nearly over a year.

Now here is the news we are celebrating at home!

Liam is eating everything by mouth!  His tube has been removed!  He is gaining weight for the first time in a year!  He is not sick!  His inflammation is gone!  His runny nose has decreased along with the complications of swallowing!  He is getting stronger!  He is being healed!

Could sugar have been the root cause?
Could it have almost killed our son?

It is a possibility and a good candidate at that!  We are so thankful to have witnessed this improvement and be a part of seeing Liam feel so good.  This is his first summer to be outside without sickness, be outside as a boy...running, playing, and learning.

All glory to the Lord for his hand upon this boy!