The calm before the storm

We last left off with the story of Elijah with Ron and I attending the multidisciplinary conference. After hearing all about Elijah’s heart defect and learning our treatment options we were left to process all the information handed to us. As well as choosing a hospital and staff to treat Elijah.

Life moved on, kids had activities, we had work. I had always been a number #1 performer in my sales position and I had moved to 4th since the diagnosis, this was not acceptable for me (the good news was I did accomplish this, while in the hospital it was one of the only pieces of good news I got, however I realized it did really matter). I had to regroup and figure out how to be in the top position again, be a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and take care of Elijah and myself. The good part of this was my morning sickness had finally subsided after 5 months of throwing up daily, only to be replaced with horrific heartburn.This is just par for the course of how my pregnancies go. I also had to go through the emotions that go along with a diagnosis like Elijah’s. How to cope, fill myself with faith. I threw myself into God’s strength asking him to work through my weak and weary body. I prayed at a new level and I could feel the hope rising in my weak body. Daily I felt better about the future, by no means did I think it was going to be easy but I did think it would all work out in the end.

In January I started getting my medical treatment at U of M Mott Children’s Hospital. I picked a surgeon Dr Richard Ohye, and we met with him, in late February. He looked of Eli’s fetal Eco cardiogram and in his words “It should be a simple procedure relatively speaking”. He was the first doctor that would go over mortality rates. For the first surgery the mortality rate was 5% and all three combined is at 20%. But once the babies make it through they aren’t sure about life in their 20’s and longer, a transplant may have to happen. I held hope that medicine would advance and that something new would come to help by then. I was filled with hope all around, Dr Ohye gave me something no one else could.

I had ultrasound after ultrasound the baby always looked healthy and strong. A little on the small side but he was doing great. I was scheduled to deliver Elijah April 20th at 36 weeks. I had refrained from buying anything for Elijah until February and decided it was time to get started. I bought clothes and bedding, a changing table and pad, a boppy, stuffed animals, lots of hats, and blankets. I bought diapers, wipes, a diaper bag. My mom bought his stroller, and Pat and Ron bought him his car seat, and Mama Roo. We were all ready. The kids were getting excited and loved they could feel Elijah kick and see my tummy move. Ron and I would lay in bed together every night and talk to Elijah, Ron would push on his little feet and he would kick or push his hand away. I would sing to Elijah all day and so would little Ryan Mae. For the first time it felt a little like my other pregnancies. The only difference being when people would say they couldn’t wait to meet Elijah and see him they were so excited all I could think was I was afraid.

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2 responses to “The calm before the storm

  1. Sherrie Nunheimer

    I remember (back in the day before ultrasounds) when I was carrying my babies I always had that bit of worry about them being ok. I can’t imagine how your emotions must have been during this time of knowing something is wrong and trying to stay positive. To have so many ups and downs to deal with just shows how strong of a person you are. I know you had to deal with all of this, but you did so with so much grace. The kind that comes from belief in God. Your sweet baby Elijah was so lucky to have you for his mommy.

  2. I read many of your posts on Friday night and I’ve been thinking of you since! Grieving is such a hard thing and we all do it differently. I am so glad that you are able to share your heart with the world. Packing up Micahs room was so hard. We kept his room closed for weeks and then one night, I just did it… There are many things and moments that take my breath away or make me tear up even almost 6 years later. You will probably find that too. But it’s okay. I u derstand how you and Ron feel/felt. Not seeing your son grow up, playing sports, celebrating birthdays is so hard. Even knowing that our sons are in the arms of Jesus and with those we lost before them, there’s still that ache. I will continue to pray for your healing and your hearts.

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