Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thankful

Photo by : Toy Rabbit Photography (Laura Bule Trinnamen) love it.
I know this is about a month late... but better late than never.
I love this time of year because you can really reflect on what you are thankful for.
And I am Thankful for
My Family.
Man 0 Man...
we are so blessed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holden's Surgery

Pre-Op
I think this photo is an all-time favorite. So great.

One week today we took our little angel to Primary Children's to get a little operation. I was a little nervous going into it, but did much better than expected. :) I just know my son is a strong little guy and he would do just fine. I just hated that he had to go through one more thing. Anyway, the doctors went in and did what they needed to do and we were there for three days total. Holden did extremely well. Doctors said he did amazing under anesthetics. That was what I was most worried about.

When I walked back into the recovery room I got to see my little guy. He was just laying in his diaper on this massive bed. He was coming out of anesthesia so he was still a little groggy. I didn't really like seeing him like that, but I knew he was not in pain and comfortable. It was nice to be able to scoop him up and cuddle him. He couldn't eat until about 32 hours later. It was hard but honestly he did much better than I expected. He really is so sweet. The nurses all quickly fell in love with him and couldn't even believe he was born so early. I love hearing that. Anyway, we finally got to come home on Friday. I was so so ready to come home and sleep in my own bed. One bit of bad news is that he is going to have to have another surgery. The doctor that removed the cyst also saw that he had a hernia. It is extremely common in premature boys. So we will be back in a little over a month and hopefully never again!!

We are lucky to have Holden in our lives.

We love him to the moon!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

my mime


Lennon: mime Me: mime B: guess Holden: skeleton of course :)

Becca and Chris

umpa-dumpa-do-pa-de-do

all the girls

Becs and I

Lennon. Random but added it for good measure.
Happy Halloween!!
This year was a good one. We had a good friend party on Friday night and Saturday lots of family, trunk-or-treat and tons-o-food. Really. I thought I was going to explode. I made donuts this year. It was quite the task to take on but it was well worth it I must say.
Lennon loved every ounce of this holiday. He couldn't even believe that people were just freely handing him candy. He was so stoked.
Lennon + Candy = one happy camper
It is bad. Really. Like he won't eat if it is not candy. We're working on it though. :)
Anyway, we had a great time and can't wait for next year.
Man I love the Fall.
PS. I did a multiple post. Update on Holden and other things below. :)

Introducing... Holden minus O2

Can you even believe this cutie?! Sometimes I can't.



Holden has been off his oxygen for about a month now! He is doing amazing. I haven't updated in so long and feel so so behind. He is growing and thriving just as expected... or better then expected. Man we are blessed. Lennon loves him more than anything. God really knows what he is doing by sending me these two. It is a perfect combination. really.
As I have mentioned before, Holden has a cyst in is abdomen that needs to be removed. He will be getting it out surgically on November 10th up at Primary Children's hospital.
Before all of this, the doctor ordered an ultrasound to make sure it is still there and if it was, where it was located. I took Holden in and three doctors later they said they didn't see ANYTHING. I was shocked and though it was too good to be true. Well, sure enough, it was. I just continued to have this hunch that it was still there and wanted to get another scan done. I went back to the doctor and he ordered a CT Scan which is much more intense and accurate. Turns out they did end up seeing it and the doctor explained because we know it is there, they need to remove it. However, some people may be walking around with the same kind of cyst and never know. It poses more of a harm leaving it so I would rather just get that thing out and move on. They are going to go through the belly button with a scope, drain the cyst then pull it out and cut out part of the intestine and sew it back together. It is not too crazy of a surgery but because they are taking out part of his intestine, they want to keep him for a couple days... hopefully not longer.
Prayers for Holden would be much appreciated :)
Doctors say it is not a major surgery but there is always risks. I am just ready to put this behind us and move forward.
As for Holden's heart... it is functioning normal. The Doctor is very optimistic that he will just grow out of it and that will be the end of it. I am hoping the same. I am pretty confident she is right.
Other then those two things, he is right on track developing. The home nurse came today and weighed the chunk. He is....
11 POUNDS 8 OUNCES
75% percentile in weight for his adjusted age. What a stud.
Lennon is loving having 'little brother' home. Honestly we haven't had one bad moment with those two... yet. Lennon seems to understand that Holden is a special one and takes on the perfect role as big brother.
Man I love them.
I will keep you all posted on Holden's recovery next week.
Once again... maybe just a little prayer for my man would be appreciated greatly. :)

Hogle Zoo 2010

W.O.W.



Doesn't get much better than this. Really.


'Show me your teeth Lennon!'
Hogle ZOO was a good time had by all. Really, it was a blast. It was a beautiful day, no people and a bunch of happy kids. It couldn't have been better. Lennon and Holden loved every minute of it. Holden chilled in his seat all day. What an angel.

EVANS!!!


Nothin like a nice sticky popsicle and two cute babies shirtless. (are they babies? I think so.)


Lately Lennon, Holden and I have headed southbound to hang out with Farrah and her kiddos. Honestly, Lennon loves it. He can't get enough of Rae and Evan. When we pulled up to their house Lennon yelled with both arms in the air, "EVAN!!!". So great. He is finally getting to the age where he is able to play and interact with other kids without getting frustrated.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

due date... and more :)

Home at last.
It has almost been two weeks since we got to bring our sweet Holden home. Man what a good day that was. What is so amazing about all of this is that he left before his due date... 2 weeks before! When I was in the hospital, I was told, because of my situation that we would be spending months and months here if Holden made it past delivery. That was what I was prepared for. In fact, as silly as it sounds, that is what I was praying for. I didn't want to go through the other option. I wanted to ride the NICU rollercoaster. I remember when I was having a really bad day in the hospital my sister, Farrah, came to visit me. She knew I was struggling. I remember sitting in that room and sobbing to her telling her that my situation could end in two extremes... one, I could bring my baby home with me someday and be the happiest mamma on Earth, or two I wouldn't get that opportunity and my biggest fear would become a reality. I never really spoke much about my situation but this particular day I remember just repeating through tears to Farrah, "I want a baby so bad. I want him SO bad." I never really let myself go there just to be extremely dissappointed in the end. Just the thought of bringing Holden home was too much. I didn't want to get my hopes up.
So two months and a week later, you can only imagine the joy I had when I got the opportunity to bring this lump of heaven home to our family. The tears are streaming down my face. I am so full of gratitude. I got the opportunity to ride the NICU rollercoaster and Holden has beaten all the odds.
Man are we blessed.
finally coming home
September 2, 2010
Being home has been wonderful. A bit stressful, but amazing. Lennnon is adjusting so well. He really does love his "baby brudder". It was so cute, the other day I was laying in bed and Holden was in his bassinet next to me sound asleep. He had one arm peaking out of his blankets with his hand in a fist. Lennon came strolling in and I was faking asleep just to see what he would do and sure enough, Lennon put his hand in a fist and gave Holden stones. After stones he was yelling "high five! High FIVE! HIGH FIVE!!" Holden didn't get it apparently and Lennon was not having it. I had to tell Lennon that he doesn't know that yet but he can teach him,
So cute.
Holden has already seen most of his doctors for follow-up. He has kicked three of the meds he came home on and we will try taking his oxygen next week. His heart function is perfect! Doctor says that everything looks normal. Growth, beat, contractions, etc. Phew! Such a relief. She is the one who cut his meds and said she wants to take him off the oxygen next week.
Holden does have a duplication cyst on his intestine that will need to be removed and he will be at Primary Childrens for a few days just to recover. It is a minor surgery (i've been told :) so hopefully all goes well. The strange thing about both his heart and that cyst, it they are NOT premature related. He would have had those regardless and it may have been worse had he gone full term.
Another blessing.
Holden's eyes are perfect and need no follow up.
His left ear passed his hearing test while his right one failed due to retaining fluid. The doctor said it is a good sign that he passed in the one side. I am not worried about it. Especially since she checked for fluid in the right ear and sure enough... there was fluid. We follow up in a few weeks.
So far so good. Holden has blessed our lives more than we can even comprehend. I feel so blessed to have this sweet spirit in our home. What an amazing trial.
*Below are some pictures I have been meaning to post. Enjoy.*

We had to "room in" at the hospital just to make sure we were all good to go.

It was hard saying goodbye.

Linda was one of Holden's primary nurses. She was a true angel. I love her.

Lennon's first time meeting his "baby brudder".


Lennon and his eggs. He would rather step in them.



Lately we have been trying to teach Lennon to only color on paper. He doesn't listen.
Holden digs his new bed.


Before I brought Holden Home, Farrah and I took the kids to Thanksgiving Point. They loved it. I didn't :)


Maycie Joe

Amazing.



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

coming home!!

I never thought this day would happen... truly.

Holden is coming home!

We are so excited, intimidated, nervous, happy, etc. As I am writing this B and I are in our little hospital room with our sweet baby boy laying next to us in his crib. What an angel. I can't even tell you how good this feels. I never thought I would be so lucky. I feel so grateful. This experience has been the most amazing, rewarding, challenging, spiritual thing I think I have ever experienced in my life thus far. The relationships I have shared will be treasured forever. We got the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing nurses and grew extremely close to them. They truly are angles. I know God knew what he was doing by sending them to me and Holden. We will miss them with all our hearts. They are special and will never be forgotten. I hope to keep in touch with them.

Holden is doing great. It is going to be busy bringing him home. Lots of follow-ups, medications, oxygen, no sleep, etc. I am so excited to have this opportunity. I really can't believe it. I know that this little guy is here for a purpose. He has fought a pretty intense battle to finally get to this point and he has shocked many people in the mean time. I feel incredibly blessed.

I love him.

He is the best and I am anxious to see how Lennon handles everything. I think he will be great. He is a sweet one. I will keep everyone updated on Holden's progress and I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and sweet thoughts. We really couldn't have done it without you. I know God is real. I know he is mindful of us. I am grateful.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

**just a little side note**

Becca... I love you. I love that you have taken on the role of Lennon's second mommy through all of this. I am tearing up just thinking of all that you did these last few months. I know you sacrificed a lot by serving me and I don't think thank you is enough. You are young and should be out with friends every night, but instead you have been helping me so thank you and I love you. I hope I can repay you someday.


Friday, August 27, 2010

two months and some!


**so I wrote this last week and didn't post it cause I wanted to add more pictures but I thought I probably should post it now and more pics will come soon!**



man-o-man

I sure need to update. It seems like so much has gone on and I have no time. I have been back and forth to the hospital twice a day now and it is crazy to say the least. We have been busy around here.

Holden is doing great. He is now two months and a week! I can't believe it has been that long. Time really has flown by. So much has changed since the last post. First things first, We have met with the Cardiologist twice now for his heart and function is.... drum roll....

NORMAL!

He is still on the meds but what a relief that things are normal. He didn't end up having Parvo. That was a false positive. Phew. I have a love hate relationship with false positives. The doctor is pretty optimistic that Holden will just grow out of that heart problem by his first year. Obviously she can't promise, but she anticipates that he should be just fine. I will be honest, I have been stressing about that so it has been nice to hear Normal function. I will take it.

He has also been moved to "nursery B". That is where they put all the stable babies that just need to grow. He has been there for a couple of weeks and doing great. Just one step closer to home.

Holden got his eyes checked a second time and they are normal. No eye problems. That is a big one.

His oxygen needs are now down to a quarter of a liter and may need to come home on a trace. He seems to be improving quickly.

He also got another brain scan and still no bleeds. What a great relief.

Holden is now on the "feeder grower" plan and is now taking his feedings three times a day orally. He has been doing great. Taking full feedings almost every time. Because he is doing so well with it, they say he has about a week!!! Can you believe it?! I can't. I am so so excited, but also sad. I have grown to really love his nurses and feel like they are family. It is going to be intimidating leaving but it will be so nice.

Holden also got to meet his big brother! It was hard to choke back the tears. There was just something about seeing the two of them together. Something I honestly didn't see happening. It was another testament of how lucky we really are. I feel so blessed. Lennon loves his brother. When he sees pictures of him he points and says, "Brother!" . So sweet. He got to hold him and rub his head and right before he left he gave him a little kiss on the forehead. Man I love that boy.

Holden now weighs


6 pounds and 15 ounces!!

He really is growing so fast. I love it.

So as you can imagine life as been great... busy but great! We feel so blessed and feel so lucky to have an opportunity to be with Holden. What a miracle. Truly. I pray he will continue to do well and keep surprising everyone!

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of the past week.


This picture cracks me up... This is Holden's two month photo. I showed up one morning to find this picture on a poster made by Linda (one of our favorite nurses/people). It made me laugh for a good half hour. amazing.
Smile

So sweet.

All of these pictures were taken by the NICU photographer, Linda ;) We love her and are going to miss her

She was one of Holden's primary nurses.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

6 weeks

Holden graduated into a crib this last week.

What a big boy!

Look at those cheeks. Can't wait to kiss them off!

sweet little holden...
I can't believe it has been six weeks already. It really has flown by. Here is a little update on our little guy.
He now weighs...
4 pounds 12 ounces!
He is chunkin out big time. He has had kind of an interesting week. It is a long story but I will try and do my best to sum it all up. Holden was retaining more than normal fluid. He was starting to swell up a little so the Nurse Practitioner decided to start him on a diuretic to help release some of that fluid and then also get an ultrasound of his heart to see how that was. Turns out that in the ultrasound there was a little bit of fluid surrounding his heart. Because of that they continued the diuretic to release some of that fluid and they also scheduled an appointment for a cardiologist to come down and check out his heart. Well, the cardiologist came and found that his heart wasn't contracting as hard as she would like. She called it a "low normal". Because that is concerning she started him on a med that will help his little heart contract harder and in turn release some of that fluid. I asked her how long he would be on the medicine for his heart and if it was treatable and she said that he could be on it for a year and that babies usually do grow out of it. She explained that it isn't very common but she has seen it plenty before and knows how to treat it. That gave me a little peace of mind. I have sort of been a stress case because no one wants to hear that their baby has a heart problem, no matter how big or small, it is scary.
Well turns out that the cardiologist wants to keep Holden on that med for a year now because it is working so well. Within four days on the medicine they noticed a big improvement. I was shocked that he would need it for a year, but as long as he can grow out of it, I am fine. I am praying that he will be able to grow out of it. They ran a bunch of blood tests on him to see what the cause was. All of the tests came back negative but a couple. One was a low normal and not too concerning because they can supplement what he needs and it is no big deal, the other was a negative positive for parvo. They said that if he has it, he will most likely just grow out of it and it won't cause any real harm because it would have already done that and they would have noticed. His symptoms don't show that he has had any struggle. So they are running a few more tests to see if he has it or not. Either way, there is nothing they can do for it and I will have some answers as to why his heart has this problem. I am still praying it comes back negative. The strange thing about all of this is that Holden would have had this problem with his heart regardless, whether it be now or if he was born full term. In fact the doctors told me that it would have probably gotten a lot worse if he was born at 40 weeks. Crazy.
I am glad the medicine is helping his heart and I pray that it will continue to help him and that he will really grow out of this. It is an uneasy feeling but overall I think he will be okay. Other than his heart he is doing great.
He is starting to do non-nutiritive feeding {that is where you pump everything out before you breastfeed and just see if they can latch on}. Holden did really well. In fact he did so good that he was able to suck 9mls the third time we did it. I guess that is really impressive knowing that breast feeding is one of the hardest hurdles in the NICU. Holden handled that like a rockstar.
The eye doctor came and looked at his eyes and said they look great. Just a little premature but everything looks normal. Phew!
He has another appointment with the cardiologist this week just to check up on him. I am pretty optomistic at this point and I pray that she will be as well when she comes to check him out.
Thank you all for your prayers and please know we love them and need them.
We were told that Holden is out of the most critical time which is nice. I am anxious to see what these next few weeks bring. Like I said before, I pray that he can continue to progress. So far just one bump in the road and we are still cruisin. Please keep up those prayers.
Thank you and we will keep you posted.
{scroll down a little for Lennon's 2 year birthday post. Man I love him.}

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hi mom...

its me...Holden. I need to tell you a few thing, but because I cant speak for myself, I have asked someone to help me out.

Mom...thank you.

Thank you for sacrificing so much of you...for me. Thank you for giving me life, and not giving up. Thank you for hanging on...all those days and night, alone in that room, but not really alone, cause I was there and so was Heaven. Thanks mom, for believing in Heaven. And believing in me.

Thank you for whispering to me, encouraging me, and promising me. Thank you for loving me so so much, without even meeting me. And for loving me MORE and MORE every time you look at me.

Thank you for being with me, and taking care of me. Thank you for being strong enough to leave me, with others to care for me, so that you can care for our family. I know thats hard. Thank you.

Thank you for holding me close...so close. Close enough for me to feel so safe, and loved. So close to hear your heartbeat - the beat that sang to me, that sings to me...peace. The very beat that feels at times it may burst, with the most intense love this earth has to offer...a mothers love.

Thanks for being so tough. So brave. For showing me how to have courage. How to be humble. Hopeful. Grateful.

Thank you, mama, for being so grateful for me. Im not perfect. I never will be. But I know in your eyes...I am...and always will be. I know you will always be grateful for me. Just to have me. Here. With you. With our family...our eternal family.

Thank you for your fight, mom. Your fight is my fight.

Please, mom, please know that our Father loves you and will lift you through this. Call on Him. Whenever you need. He is with you. He hears you. I know....because I hear Him. Everyday. I visit Him...often...in my dreams.

With this letter, I speak to you. Through the Heavens, I speak to you. Through dreams, I speak to you. Through your family, and friends, I speak to you. Through the angels that watch me through the day and night....I speak to you.

Listen.

I know you listen.

Keep listening. Hang on to those...they are real and true.

I love you mom.

Love,
Holden

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lennon turns TWO!

{i wrote this the day after lennon's birthday. Just haven't posted it yet.}


Two years ago {yesterday} my life changed forever.

Lennon Jay Nilsson was here!



I will forever be grateful for what this little guy has brought to our family.



Man do we love him.



Lennon buddy, you have changed me for good. You make me want to be a better person. You are my motivation. Through all of this craziness with your brother, you have been the one who has pulled me through. You truly make me happy. I remember when I was in the hospital and hadn't seen you in a while, when you would walk through those doors you would bring tears to my eyes.



I love you... with all of my heart and more.



Thank you for being you. I love your hugs and kisses. I love it when you throw a fit and your fake cry... I really can't help but laugh in your face. You are a stinker. I love how you try to make everyone laugh. Your sense of humor is already genius. I love how you are starting to say full sentences and how you can understand me. I love when you try and help. I love how much you love balls... really Lennon, you are abnormal. I can't wait to watch you someday. You are going to be one heck of an athlete. I love how much you changed my life. I love how you make me feel. Nothing will ever come close. I love how you already love your brother and you haven't even met him in person. He is one lucky dude to follow in your footsteps. Lennon you are one of a kind and we are lucky to have you. I thank heavens every day for you.



love you more and more each day



xoxo

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 weeks and four pounds...



{isn't he sweet?}

Holden is now 5 weeks and some.

He is also just a little over four pounds and gaining every day. It is so nice to see some meat on his bones. He is really so sweet.



He is still on the high flow nasal cannula and they have been trying to ween him down. He didn't like it at first and they were having to keep him at four liters. The nurses noticed that he may have acid reflux and that could be why he isn't able to tolerate less oxygen. I noticed that as well. During every feeding toward the end he seemed to have a harder time breathing because he was trying to keep his food down. After noticing that {i guess it is extremely common in all babies} they started him on prevacid which helps to control that. After they started him on that medication he seemed to do a lot better and they were eventually able to ween him to three liters. We are now waiting for him to ween to two and they might get brave and try that today. He was on two and a half on Sunday and had to go back up to three after five hours. I think it wore him out. He was also a little swollen and seemed to be retaining more fluid than normal. They started him on a diuretic so he could pee that off and it seemed to be working. He is less swollen and it is also easier to breathe. They did an ultrasound of his heart yesterday because he was swollen and turns out he had more fluid then they wanted and it was a good thing they started him on the diuretics. They are going to have a heart doctor come look at him on Thursday to see if we should continue with the diuretics or if he has shed most of the fluid and it is okay to discontinue. His heart seems to be fine, they just want to be sure. I don't know how I feel about that. I guess a little nervous. I just want my little guy to progress and eventually get out of there. Right now it is his oxygen. I pray that he will tolerate the lower flow and is able to come off that quickly... you can pray too ;) As soon as he is down one more liter then I can start breast feeding.



Other than his oxygen he is doing great. He is able to tolerate his feedings and gain weight appropriately, he is also able to maintain his own body temp, he is alert when he should be, etc. Everyday that passes I become more and more attached. I love Holden and pray he will continue to hang in there. Thank you all for your support. Please keep him in your prayers. I know that is what is pulling this guy through.



thanks again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3 weeks and counting



Holden is now three weeks and two days old. I honestly can't believe that was three weeks ago. Holden is doing well. I know that your prayers are helping and I appreciate them more than you will know. Please keep it up. Last post I mentioned he had an infection. Turns out he responded well to the anti-biotics and the infection is gone. What a blessing. He is no longer jaundice, he is on full feedings with full amount of calories which is great. He is gaining weight every day. He is getting big fast and I love it.

He now weighs 2 pounds 12 ounces.


He is still tiny but I will take what I can get :) He is still on the nasal cannula and still in need of assistance that way. They say it is very common in preemies to need oxygen. I honestly can't complain. Every day I just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. I continually remember how lucky I am to even have this little fighter. We are so so blessed. Please keep our little Holden in your prayers. They are going a long way and we are going to be forever in debted to you all.




Thank you.




In the meantime, I have been thoroughly enjoying my time with Lennon and B. Here are some pics of these last three weeks.



{It has been so nice being out of a bed}



**o ya... we finally moved completely out of our house in West Jordan and are now Alpiners, thanks to my parents.



{another BIG blessing}



** one more thing... B deferred a year for law school. Too much going on right now. We just need to get back on our feet and we will stress about that next year :)





these nut jobs went on that








fun was had by all!


oh and I can't forget my Lennon...


check him out.

cute little guy.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2 weeks down

holden lloyd
{isn't he precious?!}

I have been meaning to update but my life seems to be insane lately. Holden turned two weeks on Sunday. In a way it seems like it is going by fast, but on the other hand, it seems like a year. I feel like I already know him so well.

As far as Holden goes, he is doing exceptionally well. He is on a nasal cannula still. I am shocked. I thought that he would bounce back to the ventilator but so far he is shocking us all. He is pooping and peeing like he should, they did his ten day brain scan and everything came back NORMAL. No brain bleeds!! {Those are extremely common in preemies} I was so glad to hear that. He is on his full feedings and tolerating them well. He is gaining weight and already passed his birthweight. He lost a lot of weight there in the beginning. I desperately wanted him to start gaining. He is just so so small... cute but small. These last couple of days he has had a little set back.

He got an infection.

They caught it fast and were able to start him on antibiotics. I am just hoping that can clear up soon and am crossing my fingers all will be okay. It truly is a roller coaster. The nurses and doctors are still pleased with his progress and they say in spite of his infection he doesn't seem to act sick. He is still responding normally. The one thing that was kind of frustrating was they were taking him off the high flow cannula and going to put him on the regular cannula, but with his infection he needed to be put back on the high flow. I still can't complain. I feel so blessed that he has been able to hold his own. Honestly, it is shocking. I was talking to one of our favorite nurses, Linda {all the nurses are great, I just love how Linda takes special interest in Holden} and she was saying that they were not expecting Holden to do nearly as well as he is. She said that it was extremely abnormal. I will take it!! I know this is going to be one crazy ride and we have already had one bump in the road, hoping that it will pass soon with no permanent damage, but all in all I fell blessed to be able to watch my little one grow. I love him. He is a special spirit already. I know that he is doing well because of all the love and support people have shown. He has so many people praying for him.

Please continue to pray. He needs them.

I will always feel so indebted to you all. I will definitely keep everyone updated on a more regular basis. I am just trying to figure out how to balance everything. Lennon is doing great and so is B. We really can't complain. Thanks again for your positive vibes! Please keep up those prayers.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

holden lloyd nilsson

June 20th, 2010
2 pounds 5 ounces

It has been one week since I had my sweet little Holden and let me tell you, it feels like a year. It has been one crazy week. It is so nice to be home and hug and kiss Lennon all day. I missed that so much. At the same time, I yearn for my little guy. Leaving the hospital to come home was interesting to say the least. I was so excited to get out of there and never ever sleep there again, but I was also leaving my baby... fighting for his life. Wow... it was hard. I guess I should start at the top. I have so much to write I honestly don't know where to start.

Well, it all started Saturday evening {June 19th}. I was really uncomfortable and started bleeding quite a bit. I was having irregular contractions all day and knew something was different. My body was trying to tell me something. I let all the nurses and doctors know that I could sense a change and to keep a close eye on me. As the evening rolled in my contractions were beginning to be more and more consistent. As night came they were every five to ten minutes and wouldn't let off. B was sleeping and I was trying to do the same but it was hard... I was a little uncomfortable. It was frustrating because with my situation the doctors were hesitant to check me because that would cause infection or possibly even put me into labor so it was basically my call. I remember laying there, rubbing my sweet little baby inside my belly and just hoping that we would be able to fight through this. I knew he was ready to come. I prayed all night long that I would know what to do. That I would know how to direct the doctors and make sure I was making the right decision.

At around 6:00 am I told B to get ready because the baby was coming. I just knew it was time. Right after that the doctor came in and asked what I thought. I told him I knew it was time and I am ready. Because I was so sure he decided to check me. Sure enough.... I was ready. 100 percent effaced and at a four. The doctor seemed a bit stunned and looked at the nurse and said, "oh ya... she is ready. good decision."

As soon as he said that... BAM! Three nurses and an anesthesiologist were right by my side. Before I knew it, I was being told to roll over and a little poke and there was the epidural. After that they rolled me in my bed down the hall to the operating room. B following in his all white suit. I can only imagine what he was thinking. I could tell by the look on his face and his sweet little rubs that he was a bit nervous to say the least. They finally got me to the operating room, right next to the NICU and started the c-section. It was not what I expected. Sure enough after ten minutes baby was here. I didn't get to see him because they rushed him right in the hands of the NICU staff. There they began to stabilize my sweet baby. B was in and out... room to room. In one room his sweet boy was being surrounded by nurses and doctors, and in the other room his wife's insides were all ripped out :). I honestly think I lucked out there. I don't know if I could have handled that. He did great. He was so concerned about me and at the same time so worried about his little one.

As soon as they finished with me, they wheeled me back to my room... my cell for the past month and a half, and once I got in there I lost it. I want to loose it right now even thinking about it. I finally melted down. I couldn't do that the whole time because I didn't want to stress the baby out. I took a look around and realized that hell is done. That chapter of my life is over and I am now beginning another chapter that is going to be just as challenging. I remember B coming in the room and asking about the baby. Asking if he was stabilized. B told me he was. I was more than relieved. I remember telling Holden when he was in my belly and I was in the hospital that I would fight as long as he would do it with me. All I wanted was for him to be stabilized. For him to have a shot. When B came in and told me that I think I asked like ten times. I just wanted to hear it over and over again.

Holden was stabilized.

B told me that he had blood in his tummy and lungs but they were working on getting that out. My placenta had ripped away from the uterus and that is what caused the bleeding. That is also why it was a really really good thing I told the doctors it was time. I could have bled out and Holden probably wouldn't have made it if I had waited any longer. Anyway, after I had a total breakdown and couldn't even speak... {I really couldn't wait to do that} the anesthesiologist came in and literally told everyone to quit talking to me and that I needed to sleep. I hadn't slept all night. I also couldn't calm down. I literally freaked out. The doctor then had to knock me out through an IV. I was gonzo. It was probably a good thing. I think that is the only thing that calmed me down. The anesthesiologist stayed by my side after that for about another half hour. He was so so so sweet. He was the best and was so encouraging the whole time. He was literally the best. I also know his kids and maybe that is why he took special interest in me. Whatever the reason, I was grateful. I remember waking up from being knocked out and the doctor that had delivered Holden walked in the room. I just remember crying again and thanking him for everything. Thanking him for taking care of me and also for getting my little guy out as fast as possible. He was tearing up as he was watching me cry and expressing my gratitude for him. Those doctors are truly a blessing.

Finally I was stabilized and was able to go see my little baby. They wheeled me, in my bed, into the NICU to go check him out. He was a small lump of heaven... truly. He looks so much like his brother. So sweet. I asked the nurses if B and my Dad could give him a blessing and they were more then happy to let them. What a sweet experience. I love both of those men.

Holden was on the ventilator that first day. I was expecting that so it wasn't really shocking... what was shocking is the next day he was already off of it. All he had was a nasal cannula blowing oxygen through his lungs. He was doing really well. They also got all the blood out and were able to maintain good blood pressure and a strong heartbeat. They weaned him off all meds for his blood pressure. They also thread a feeding tube down his nose and into is belly. They had him on antibiotics just in case he gets an infection of any sort.

I love him.

So it has been a week and it feels like a year. Holden has been doing remarkable. Doctors are stunned by how well he is doing. I know that the NICU is a major roller coaster and we may have our ups and downs, but this weeks was a good one. Holden is a fighter. He is keeping up his end of the deal. I couldn't be happier. In fact, I feel so in debt to the Savior. I feel so lucky that my little one has a chance. What a blessing. I know I need to update more and I will. I want to keep everyone posted on my little one.

This experience has been unreal. The hospital stay was definitely the lowest of lows for me. I honestly can't believe it even happened. It was one of the most trying times of my life. Lots of tears, prayers and strength. It took every ounce of me to stay sane. Although this is the hardest thing I have ever gone through, I feel like I am a different person because of it. I feel like my relationship with my Savior is that much stronger. In my darkest hour I know he is there and understands how I feel. He sent people to me in the hospital that I would have never expected, to lift me up. And they did. I had many nights by myself experiencing some of the craziest spiritual experiences of my life. God is mindful. He does hear mine and others prayers and is real. I feel those prayers. It is almost tangible. I feel I will forever be changed. I am more than grateful to those who have sent nice thoughts and prayers. I don't know if you realize how much it means to me and our family. What a blessing it is to have so many people pray for us. I truly am grateful and ask that you please keep them coming. My baby is doing better than I imagined and I pray he continues to fight. I love him. Thank you all for your prayers.

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

I will keep you all posted on Holden.
I, on the other hand, am doing great. I love being home with my family again and I love even more the time I have with Lennon. I want to be at the hospital all day and all night but I know he is in the best of hands and someday I can be with my Holden and Lennon at the same time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

a real miracle...

its me, farrah, rachel's sister. im going to be posting and updating you all on rachel, b, and baby holden. oh, our sweet little baby holden.

last night, rachel starting bleeding. she started contracting as well. all through the night the bleeding never let up and her contractions became very consistent and painful...about every 5 minutes. the staff kept a really close watch on her and the baby, and about 6am the doctor came through the door and told rachel she has a choice to make.

after praying all night through her contractions, she felt strongly that there really wasn't a choice and that her little holden needed to join us. the doctor checked her and she was dialated to a four and completely effaced. he looked at her and told her how right she was and they took her in immediately for the c-section.

in fact, moments before the doctor even walked through the door, rachel told B to get ready cause little holden will be arriving shortly. not 5 minutes later, the doc came in. what a true miracle too, that rachel felt that intuition and followed through with it. she very well could've ignored it and they could've waited, but when the procedure was done they informed us all that if holden had not come at that very second he did, things would've been....much different.... thank you rachel for your strong will to follow your heart...and listen.

they performed the c-section, with B in the room. as soon as they saw little holden's bumb, they asked B to come have a first look at his new precious fighter. i think B is still in shock from the whole scene, but what a strong solid person he is. he has taken this all in, and been there. been there for rachel....especially there for rachel...physically, mentally and emotionally. bouying her up and keeping her alive, and breathing. i love you b...so much. i couldn't be more grateful for you, to be the one to hold rachels hand through all of this and be so so strong. wow. that's why i have a really special place in my heart for you. you have taken such good good care of my very best friend...our sister...and daughter. we love you. thank you.

as soon as rachel was through, they wheeled her back to her room, and as she entered the room, she went into hysterics...much deserved if you ask me. she freaked out. the doctor literally came in and tranquilized her. she kept saying 'wow'...'wow'...'that was so so so hard'. it was....and that phrase is an understatement.

she fell asleep. finally. she fell asleep. she was snoring. finally. she was resting. i was so happy to walk in the room and see her with her mouth gaping open...snoring under her oxygen mask. i cried. i was crying before then, but i cried when i saw her asleep. finally, she can sleep. but only for a time. she woke up, came too, and never stopped talking...can't blame her.

during that time of rachel's rest, the doctors and nurses were working on little holden. getting all his tubes, monitors, ventilators, and everything else going, to get him stabilized. the one word rachel has been asking to hear, praying her little heart out to hear...that one crucial and life-changing word. stabilized. it came. he is stabilized.

he is stabilized. he swallowed a lot of blood, so the first few seconds of his life were focused on that. getting all that sucked out and under control. it is under control. his lungs look good, and looking better and better by the minute. his heart is strong. his brain looks perfect. he has already peed...his kidneys are working well, and as for his oxygen levels, well, they aren't having to assist him with that as much as they anticipated. he looks perfect. his skin is very pink, he is perfect from head to toe, his muscle mass is great...squirming a lot more than normal...which is really really good. looks like a really small newborn:) he weighed in at 2 pounds 5 ounces, surprisingly large...considering. and thats for real. that is very good for his gestational age...27 weeks and 4 days. miracle.

i know this is long, and it may just get longer. when i walked into the hospital room and saw rachel sleeping, the spirit overtook me, and i could literally feel my heart swell. the room was so quiet. so calm. everyone around her had wet faces with tears, weeping. but quietly. everyone in there own Heaven...literally. that little hospital room was one very sacred room...at that time. as rachel layed there, i sobbed. i thought to myself...your done rach. that is done. no more of that...rach. i sobbed some more, quietly, and looked at her again and thought, wow, i never knew such a strong bond existed...between sisters. it took everything not to stroke her head or hold her hand. it took everything not to wake her. i can honestly say that rachel is the toughest person i know. what she has been through, and conquered so far, i still can't wrap my mind around. to see her at her lowest, but stay so strong...and fight...the only word i can think of is insprirational. truly. to see her fully submit herself to the Lord, and submit the future to Him, yet stay faithful and fight for her wish, her prayer, her most desired gift of all, is truly a miracle in and of itself.

rachel, i can't find the words...i can only say thank you. thank you for being who you are, fully and completely, always. you are unbelievably strong. brave. and tough. so tough. we love you so much. i know what you would wish for me to say right now. and i will...right now.

this is what i hear rachel saying if she were to write right now:

everyone: family...friends...acquaintances...neighbors....strangers...everyone...thank you for your prayers. thank you so much. if i could ask one more thing from any of you who have tuned in to our long and difficult journey...please keep praying...for my little holden...please. we feel them, and i know he does too. that is all we can do...and i beg of you to join us in calling to the heavens in prayer, for him. i promised him while i held him in my tummy all those long days and nights, that if you fight, i'll fight. you fought, and i'm still fighting, and im asking you to all join in the fight...and pray pray pray. i love you all so so so much. thank you, everyone. thank you.

ps...everyone who wishes to join us in fasting tomorrow for our new precious arrival, please know you are more than welcome. thank you again and again!

ill keep posting, until rach feels up to it.

precious

precious