Friday, December 17, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus Here Comes Santa Claus....

Well, we did it. We took the kids for their second ever encounter with Santa this week. Although we has to drive all the way across Austin just to visit the "real deal", we had a great time. You see, "Santa" i.e. the real deal in our book, hangs out at Lakeline Mall these days....same place as last year.

Jenna gave him the look over but seemed pretty comfortable sitting on old St. Nic's lap. Being the busy little gal she is, she didn't want to just sit around for too long. She did great smiles but no cries or screams either.

Blake did great too. He was a bit cautious as we placed him on the lap of this large, plump, old guy dressed in red and with a beard of white sitting there talking to them. Blake sorta looked at him, looked toward us and tried to make up his mind about how he felt about mommy sitting him there and asking him to smile. What the heck is going on here, is what I imagined him thinking. Then is began to cry a bit after the pic was taken so I went to him and let him stand at Santa's feet. He didn't want to come to me. He turned around and gave Santa a big hug around his super sized waist and cried. It was as if he didn't want to leave his lap. It was realy cute. Santa was kind and calm, which helped a lot. He told me, "Hmm, I've never gotten that before...a cry and a hug, it's most defintely either one or the other".

We stood and talk to Santa a minute or two more then walked around the mall a bit. There was a veteran's group there that included one of our neighbors. He gave Jenna and Blake a dumdum sucker. Boy did Jenna go to town!! This was her first experience with a piece of candy, let alone a sucker. And to beat all, it was a blue sucker. She loved it. Her tongue, lips, hands and cheeks were blue. I called her my little smurf for the rest of the day. :) Blake was not interested in his, he was too busy "mall walking".

Oh yea, and Jenna's hair? Well, it was all spiffy until they played in the mall play area.....they had a great time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So very very grateful.......

I am sad tonight, very sad. I am also so very grateful. Grateful that my babies are healthy and well. So many of us take our health for granted. Some take their children's' good health for granted. Tonight I feel a tightness and torn feeling in my heart. I have just learned of a precious little girl who is losing her battle with cancer. She recently underwent a bone marrow transplant and her health continues to decline. She is in a very fragile state right now. She maxed our her ventilator and is now on the oscillator. I cry as I envision this horrific truth. Reading those words" "on the oscillator" brings back a very real feeling anxiety, fear and sadness. Blake was on the oscillator. This was one of the most terrifying things to witness while we were in the NICU. The oscillator, unlike the ventilator, does not inflate and deflate the lungs rather it keeps the child's lungs open with a certain pressure (PEEP), and vibrates the air at a very fast rate (up to 600 times for SECOND, yes, second!).The vibration helps gases to quickly diffuse in and out of the baby's airways without the need for the "bellows" action which may damage delicate lung structures. Seeing Blake on the oscillator was truly terrifying. Watching his chest vibrate, rather than seeing the up and down movement of natural breathing seemed very artificial....granted it was but witnessing your child lying there alive but seemingly otherwise as his chest vibrates is beyond heart breaking. It is a reality-filled slap in the face, seeing your child lying there in a lifeless-like state, the movement caused by the oscilator reminds your eyes that your baby is on complete life support.

I can not imagine what trauma this family is experiencing. I can not imagine the pain and exhaustion this little hero of a gal is feeling. It is clear that she is an extreme gal when it comes to being a fighter. I pray that this most deserving "baby" receives the miracle she so desperately needs. Please join me in praying for Aubrey Deno of Indianapolis. She is two years old but has the "fight" of a pro.

If there was one thing that Jason and I learned from our NICU experience, there were hundreds. One of the most amazing and incredible things that we learned was that even in the darkest of situations, miracles really can occur. Our amazing support system that included friends, family members, co-workers, acquaintances, friends of friends, nurses, spcialists, strangers, our blog followers and those who simply only heard of Jenna and Blake's fight for life all came together to send tremendous hope. That very hope was exhibited in various ways....from a kind word, a daily, sometimes hourly prayer, a hug, a loving gesture, a visit, a letter, an email, passing along our story and/or blog, positive thoughts and energy. Those very acts along with lots of amazing efforts by our medical team helped to see us through, day by day. That very hope for life and the strength of Jenna and Blake was so powerful. I can not sayoften enough, how we know in our hearts that hope and positive thoughts can help create miracles. There were a many times that Jenna and/or Blake's frail bodies, pushed beyond their limits appeared to be on the brink of giving in. Terrified, confused and forever changed, me, Jason and our supporters continued to be hopeful and continued to stay positive. I prayed and prayed. Many continued to pray. From that hope and from their sheer will, Jenna and Blake beat all odds....more than once or twice.

I write of power of hope and prayer, knowing that Aubrey also has an amazing amount of support from her family, friends, and strangers. I do not know this little girl personally but she has touched my heart nevertheless. I know that God is great, as I am witness to the amazing things that come from his and our positive energy. I pray that he feels Aubrey's time here on Earth is not over. I am confident that with him and with us who care for her and with hope, she will pull through....that her mommy, daddy and big sis will be able to see her smiling face for many years to come. Please keep her in your thoughts.

Positive thinking and hope creates a beautiful foundation for miracles. I truly believe this.

Tonight, I thank God/positive thinking and energy for the miracles Jason, Jenna, Blake and I have been granted. I pray that a miracle will be granted to Aubrey.