Tuesday, May 29, 2012

They don't prepare you for Kindergarten Graduation in the NICU!

WOW!!  Ok, so I am not ok.  Picking Bit up from school today, he just informed me that he had two....TWO days left of Kindergarten!  Where have I been???  I mean, I knew that this was coming.  I thought that I would have time to ask the doctor for a Xanax prescription just so I could make it through...just kidding. Well, maybe not... I don't know.

I mean, HOW do people do this??? Let their kids grow up and stuff. I think it is no secret, I adore my children.  I really do!  The Bit is a VERY wanted human being.  I begged his father for him. I had to check every little detail off the list: College degree...CHECK, Marriage.... CHECK, House....CHECK. I finally, stopped his little check list when he decided that we needed a storage barn BEFORE we had a baby! That is a man that likes to draaagggg his feet. 

Here I was pregnant and SOOOO happy!!!  Until I got SOOO sick!! I remember laying in a hospital bed and the doctor said these words to me, "Tonya, I am not sure that you should continue with this pregnancy."  I was on a lot of drugs (prescribed ones) in the hospital and at first I really didn't get what he was saying, so my initial response was, "huh?"  Again he said, "Tonya, I am not sure that your body can make it through this pregnancy. You need to consider not having this baby." I looked at him, still fuzzy...I said, " Wait a minute... you want me to TERMINATE my pregnancy???"  The next part of what I said to him could have been said a million other ways but remember, I lost 30 pounds in 9 weeks.  I was on so much medication I had lost control of my arms and my legs.  I couldn't keep anything down, and I had not had food or liquid by mouth in over a week. Let's just assume that I was a sick little monkey! I looked at that doctor and said, "Whoa buddy, I knew what I was doing when I put this baby in here and if you can't get the TWO of us to term, you need to find me someone that can."  And that is exactly what he did. He found me a team of high risk OBGYNs and they worked miracles.  Some days were better than others.  Bed rest.... well, it stinks!  I remember when my goal was to be able to walk to my bathroom from my bedroom (they are connected).  It was a hard 33 weeks.  But worth each and every minute of pure hell that it was!

They finally had to induce labor and he was born 33 minutes into my 34th week. He was huge, for a preemie. Born at a whopping 6 pounds and 13 ounces he was truly the biggest baby in the NICU with the crappiest lungs. You know, a wise man once told me, "it doesn't matter how big your baby is, if they can't breathe, you are still a scared Mommy." I was just that.

Finally, the Itty Bitty (now just Bit) got to come home- on MY birthday.  I was so happy!! I was so ready!! Finally, I got to feel like a real Mommy!  It was GREAT.  That day the phone rang off the wall...people were checking on Bit and making sure he was doing well. No one said, "Happy Birthday" to me. I didn't care!  God gave me the only Birthday gift I could ever ask for! 

There have been a few bumps in the road with his health- because he was born early, but nothing we couldn't handle. I like to think that Bit was born just to prepare us for Biscuit.  WOW! That is a WHOLE different story!

Seems like just yesterday my little man was in my arms. I can't wait to see what the future holds for my biggest, little man. He has taught me so much already. The first one being to "Believe in miracles, because the happen every day!"  So, enjoy the pictures of him growing up.  Personally, they break my heart!  Mommy loves you my ALMOST first grader!!

Brand new with my Dad

One year old

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old

4 with hair :)

5 years old.

6 years old. 
   WOW!! Where did the time go????

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fact or Fiction????

I have to admit, this entire situation is kind of weird.  Random guy adopts a special needs kid and has a six year old that is typically developing.  You would think he has his plate full, right?? Yes, yes it is!! His plate is full. Then, in his leisure time, he decides he is going to give a kidney to a little girl he has never met. Hey, he has two right??    Now is plate is REALLY full. This guy's plate is full like a  Thanksgiving turkey placed on a dessert plate... not the kind that you all actually use for dessert- those are called dinner plates :)  The small ones that you are SUPPOSED to use. 

Now that I am hungry for dessert, I will carry on :)

I get it.  We all get it. There is a little skeptic in all of us.  Especially me.  Sometimes skepticism causes people to talk to each other.  Usually when this happens, little things called rumors are born.  Now, usually these things are harmless.  VERY harmless, but have you ever played the game telephone???  Exactly. If you haven't played telephone, you were totally robbed as a child and I suggest you go to every teacher, youth group leader, coach and girl/boy scout leader involved in your life, and demand a refund!  Or you could just ask a friend :)

So, this blog post is entitled FACT or FICTION.  It is a compiled list of little things we have been told out and about, that may or may NOT be true.  Just to clear the air. Maybe, to make me feel better. Also, this isn't the result of one incident or one person. Again, just to clear the air. 

1.  Josh is actually Maggie's cousin.

Answer: FICTION- Maggie has a cousin named Josh.  Her donor Josh isn't her cousin.  I know that my 4 loyal blog readers already know this, but just in case someone didn't get the memo, they just met a few weeks ago.

2.  Josh is being paid by the Watson- Meador family to give Maggie his kidney.

Answer: FICTION- Selling/Purchasing organs is very illegal and just a really bad idea.  Josh is giving it up freely and willingly.  He doesn't mind.  We aren't expecting anything in return. Except, maybe an invitation to her birthday party or Kindergarten graduation. It isn't everyday that your kidney gets to graduate Kindergarten for the second time, is it?

3.  This donation will never work because Josh is so much bigger that Maggie. 

Answer: FICTION-  The kidney will actually go in Maggie's abdomen.  Not where her kidneys are now.  A kidney donor must be over 18 years old.  Therefore, ANY live donor Maggie received a kidney from, would be an adult. 

4.  After Maggie receives this kidney she will be cured.

Answer: FICTION- This is just another medical treatment for Maggie.  As much as it hurts me to the core to admit it, Maggie won't be cured by this.  Maggie WILL get to be off of dialysis.  Maggie's new kidney could last 20 minutes, 2 years or 20 years.  No one knows.  But, I guess we will all find out together.

5.  Our family is moving. 

Answer: FACT- Yes, we have a contract on our current home. We are moving to Gallatin so we can live in a town that has an ER (for our own son) and be closer to Vanderbilt.  We also need more space!  We have a contract on a home and are schedule to close around June 8th.  Josh WILL NOT be able to do any heavy lifting OR excessive exercise during this time.  This is to reduce the risk of an abnormal urinalysis. Exercise can cause protein in urine and would stop the donation process.  So, if any of you know a good mover or have a magic wand. That would be great!!

6.  We have lots of help for Josh's recovery. 

Answer-A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH :) While we don't have "lots of help," the help we do have is loyal, loving and good.  To be totally honest, I am scared to death about this.  Josh won't be able to do a lot and our life is...well, intense at times. It will be hard.  I will not decline a casserole being tossed in my direction during this recovery. 

We did have to make plans to include Biscuit being hospitalized at the same time that Josh is in the hospital or recovering.  He is actually due for a hospitalization, so it could very well happen.  PLEASE pray that it doesn't. 

7. A not for profit agency is paying our family's bills while Josh is out of work recovering from the surgery.

Answer: FICTION-  Without going into too much detail about out finances, I will say this.  Josh has a short term disability policy from his employer. This policy will pay him a percentage of his pay after a one week waiting period.  After 6 weeks of payment, that amount will reduce as he will transition to long term disability.  Our family has budgeted for him to be off work.

8.  Josh will be responsible for his medical bills from the surgery.

Answer: FICTION- No donor is required to pay medical bills from their procedure.  This is paid by Maggie's insurance.  Normal annual follow up will be paid by the donor's insurance.  But, he will not be responsible for medical bills.  We will have increased expenses from living in a hospital for a week, Vanderbilt isn't a cheap place to be, but neither is Walmart :)

While we are on the subject of expenses. Raise the Praise is the weekend of June 1st and 2nd. Laura, Maggie's Mommy, and Josh will be speaking about Maggie and bringing awareness to live organ donation.  In addition, they will also be selling Tshirts to off set some of the medical expenses.  These shirts also remind people about Maggie and that there is power in prayer.  It reminds people to pray for Maggie.  So, I strongly suggest that you all buy one :) Personally, I know I will be sporting mine on surgery day.  I am still trying to convince Josh to put a little pink hair bow on for the transplant surgery. Just so the doctor's remember where that kidney is going :)  Wouldn't it be great if on June 25th (surgery day) EVERYONE had on a Maggie's Prayer Warriors Tshirt??

I hope that this doesn't come accross as mean, snotty or just ugly. That isn't the intention at all. But, maybe when you are sitting at the local diner and you hear about that guy that is giving that little girl the kidney, you can just set them straight.  Really, we don't have anything to hide. If you want to know, just ask.  Yes, people can just be willing to help with no strings. Maggie is a child of God and we love her like she is our own.  If everyone felt that way about EVERY child in the world, things would change quickly. Too may of us wait to see if someone else will help and nothing ever happens.  Then, we all sit around devastated because no one did anything.  Be the one that does something.  It is OK to be the minority!! 

So, with all of that said and TOTALLY off the subject. The Bit was the groom in the QU wedding at school. His "friend girl" (not a girl friend, but WAYYY more than a friend) was the bride. We had a lot of fun with it. Here are some pictures! ENJOY!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Josh and Maggie's "First Look."

You know that moment?  The one where you see your future spouse on your wedding day. The one where your new baby is placed in your arms for the first time.  That feeling of magic and euphoria, where time stops, the world stands still and you forget everything else in the world, except that one human being you have just locked eyes with.  The moment Maggie met Josh wasn't so much like that.  What did you people think that this was? A fairy tale or something??? 

Ok... seriously,  Maggie is a 3 year old little girl.  Three year old children don't usually go running to anyone that they haven't met - through a field full of wild flowers in slow motion- and say, "Oooohhhh Thank you."  No, Maggie did just what any 3 year old in the world would have done.  She curled up safely and comfortably in the loving arms of her Mommy and looked at Josh out of the corner of her eyes until she decided that she wanted to get down and see what this weird grown up was all about.  

Finally, when she decided that she was ready, she got down and with careful consideration started to boss him around.  They played, they swung, they talked about princesses.  Finally, she let him catch her on the slide.  Eventually, he was able to pick her up, swing her around and give her a great big hug! 

Honestly, watching this sweet embrace was...well, epic!  I just don't know of another word to describe it.  I am pretty sure that I am an expert on my husband.  He thinks I can read his mind... yes, it scares him :)  Well, when I watched Josh hug this little girl, take in the sweet, angelic sent of her blond hair, I know we both realized that this wasn't an abstract thing anymore. This was the baby that HE was going to give the gift of life.  How many men can say they gave life to someone??? 

The entire thing is just very humbling and amazing.  So, after all was said and done. After the media left and the kids got good and dirty playing together... we all went and enjoyed Mexican.  Maggie's  Mom, Laura, and I have decided that the best way to say "thank you" for an organ (although thank you isn't necessary... being allowed to help is thanks enough) is through the gift of CHEESE DIP :)

Oh one more thing... To the Meadors and their family, you guys are AMAZING.  Thanks for being sooo awesome!  Thanks for allowing us to spend time with you before this crazy adventure goes into full swing.  Thanks for letting us help Maggie. It is truly an honor.