Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Surgery day {November 19, 2015}

Caleb couldn't have anything to eat past 1:30am.  So I woke him up to feed him.  I am not sure I slept much after that until my alarm went off at 4:15am. Quite honestly, I'm not sure anyone slept well that night.

I got up and showered, put on make up and comfy clothes.  Caleb was restless and I felt so sad that I couldn't nurse him back to peaceful sleep.  We gathered bags and a baby and off we went.  Our arrival time was 5:30am and we were the first to check in.

A friend showed up at 5:40am in the waiting room.  He chatted with us while we waited and prayed for us right before we were called back. It was nice to have familiar faces and faithful prayers.  We walked back to pre-op where so many nurses and doctors came in and out.  The PA we saw the day before came in and it was nice to know she was on Caleb's side for surgery.  He still sounded and looked great, but we were waiting for the final "OK" from the anesthesiologist. 

Two other friends came by to pray and encourage us while we waited.  Time seemed to fly by and creep on all at once.  It was weird.  Caleb was in and out of sleep until about 7:15am.  The neurologist, Dr. Yaun, came by and checked in on Caleb {and us}.  She gave us a brief overview of what she wanted to do, the time it would take and to see if we had any more questions.  She's really so great. 

A few minutes late the anesthesiologist came by, checked Caleb out and gave us the overview of what she was going to do.  At that point, everything became heavy and real.  We changed Caleb into his surgery gown and the OR nurse came to get us.  I held him so close and so tight as we walked back to the holding room.  We took a few pictures with him, gave him as many hugs and kisses as we could and then she looked at me and said, "Okay.  Are you ready? Someone will come get you when he's done." And I handed my tiny baby over to her. Exactly at 7:30am.

I am not sure how I did it.  Now that I really think about it.  I suppose abundant grace? I just gave her my baby...knowing she was taking to surgery.  And she held him close, his head peering over her shoulder.  Forever burned in my memory is watching him, our eyes locked, walk away from me.

Patrick and I walked toward the waiting room.  Tears filling our eyes.  As we both were caught up in the emotion of the moment, we stopped and took a few breaths.  We grabbed some food and then parted ways.  Patrick was going to sit in the waiting room and I needed to go to the nursing moms room to pump.  While I was there Patrick got a call at 8:30 that they were starting surgery and that anesthesia  was done and went well.

I hurried back to the waiting room and was met with dear friends waiting with Patrick.  They brought treats and prayers and comfort.  I'm forever grateful for their kindness and the distraction they were to us. We got a call around 9:45 that surgery was almost done and that everything was going really great. We were so surprised by this because we were told that surgery would take anywhere from 2-3 hours and we would be separated from Caleb for 5-6 hours. Either way, we were so grateful.

We sat waiting and talking and watching the screen to tell us if he was moved from the OR to recovery.  From where I was sitting, I could see the hallway. I looked through the windows to see Dr. Yaun walking down the hallway into the waiting room.  She looked so content with a little hop in her step.  Surgeons are unique people ;) She smiled at us and pulled up a chair beside us.  She told us where she cut and how much she cut from the skull.  She told us how wonderfully Caleb did and how feisty he was coming out of anesthesia.  She brought, in a tiny plastic bag, the very small amount of hair she needed to cut.  It was so thoughtful of her. She talked and at one point I don't think I could hear her words, I smiled and took in the moment -- it was done.  She talked as if she were cutting fabric and preparing for a dress to be stitched. 

{A few highlights: He was a great patient and was flirting with all of the nurses in the OR/He didn't need a blood transfusion during surgery! But after surgery his blood was showing he was a little anemic, so they gave him about half of a pint of blood in recovery to help/She cut two parallel areas on both sides of the fused suture, two horizontal cuts on both sides of his head and two parallel, diagonal cuts on both sides of the back of his head.  I believe they were a little less than a centimeter wide cuts {removal of skull}/He didn't have any trouble with his oxygen.} God answered SO MANY prayers.

We exhaled deep sighs of relief and our bodies relaxed as the surgery was complete and our little baby was a champion! Of course he was! Of course! God was with him.  People were praying for these very things! 

Right at 11am, someone came to the waiting room and told me I could go back to recovery.  Only one parent was allowed at a time, we were told, so I went back first.  I brought the pumped milk incase he couldn't latch on.  This, my friends, was the moment I was most nervous about.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  What would he look like? How big would the incision/scar be?  Would be be bruised already? Swollen?  What if I couldn't look at him? Oh, I prayed so fervently that this moment would not be scary or hard, but sweet and tender. 

And it was. It was so very sweet.  Warm tears filled my eyes as I saw my baby boy. I barely recognized him! He was clean and crying.  In fact, I could hear him down the hall and I ran. I did. I ran to my baby until I got to the recovery rooms doors. He was a little pale and he was hooked up to so many wires.  They had just started his blood drip and the nurse was so kind and explained everything to me.  I asked a thousand questions. I held him in my arms and just looked at him, kissed him and tried to keep him calm.

Caleb came out of anesthesia fighting.  Everyone kept saying he was feisty and I laughed, thinking "Well, he has three older siblings!".  He was a strong and brave baby.  He wouldn't latch on to nurse right away, but after he calmed down a little he took a bottle.  Once he realized what he was doing, he didn't want the bottle and started nursing like a champ.  This was equally calming for both of us. He had some fluid build up on the back of his head.  It was normal and would reabsorb, we were told, in 6-8 weeks.  We called it the "water bed" and I could not touch it.  At all. 

I asked if Patrick could come back and the nurse was so kind to let him! We both stood there looking at this tiny boy.  He looked so much more like Benjamin AND Elise. His head was immediately different -- more round and chubby.  He would cry some and then relax.  Clearly, he was uncomfortable and in pain.  It was so hard to be helpless.

After about an hour in recovery, they moved us to the PICU.  The floor was quiet and the rooms were small. There was a rocking chair and a sink.  The nurses were great and so helpful.  I was so scared to hold Caleb {re: wires and water bed} and they helped me each time and encouraged me.  We had a hard time getting Caleb's pain under control, but once we did it was tolerable for everyone.  He had crying fits and his little voice was so hoarse from being intubated. It was heartbreaking. 

He was on a consistent dose of tylenol and we tried morphine, too.  That didn't seem to help.  But tried valium a little later and that worked like a charm! His body was able to relax and rest. He started eating a little more consistently and didn't seem as easily bothered. It was so nice to know what worked to manage pain.  

Dr. Yaun stopped by to check on Caleb and told us that she couldn't have asked for a better surgery.  She said, "You know those days when everything goes just how it's suppose to? That was today!" We prayed for that. And God gave that to us, to her. 

Friends were in and out and Patrick left the hospital to go home with the other kiddos around 6pm. It was just Caleb and I.  It wasn't relaxing because nurses came in every hour and when it would get close to medicine time, he would get restless and fussy.  My main concern was loving him and helping him.  Dr. Yaun told us that a mothers love is stronger than morphine -- and I really believe that now.  I sat in that rocking chair holding Caleb for hours through the evening and night. 

I fell asleep a few times and probably slept about two hours through the course of the night. I missed the dinner cut off from the cafeteria and ate an apple and a rice krispie treat for dinner.  It could have been worse.  There wasn't a parent restroom with the room, so I had to go down the hall to use the bathroom.  BUT I rarely wanted to leave Caleb, so I usually went when the nurse had to do a more thorough and longer check. 

All in all, it was a long and hard day.  There's no way around it. Prayers were answered, though.  Hope was strong, peace was surrounding us.  God's grace was sufficient and we all made it.  That day changed me.  I would never want anyone to walk through this, through watching your child have surgery and suffer -- but I would never, ever change this.  God gave us this trial to walk through and I won't ever question His plan.  I am a different woman because of this -- praise God. 

PS. SO many pictures. 

In pre-op, talking to nurses and doctors galore.

One last side shot!

Sleepy baby.

Hospital gown.

Quick family pic.

Saying goodbye with hugs and kisses. In the holding room.

Love and snuggles from daddy.  But a good shot of the top of his head {ridge/length}

Watching the screen waiting to see Caleb's pin number show up in recovery! He was 3371 and in recovery in this picture! 

My very first look at him.

Holding him as soon as I got back to recovery.

Incision immediately after surgery.

the blood machine.

A restful moment.

Accidentally touching his water bed. 

He already looked SO different!

Patrick holding him for the first time. 

Closer picture of the incision.

Taking a bottle and eyes open! {Patrick is holding him, I'm giving him the bottle}

Cozy and ready to move to the PICU.

Eyes open once we were in the PICU.

So much pain. So much fussiness. SO much sadness.

Patrick trying to comfort Caleb while they were doing a blood draw.

More checking and poking. 

Resting in my arms. I didn't mind sitting like this one bit.

SO exhausted.  He was pushed to every limit possible. 

In my arms, again.

Big yawn.

My view of his bed from the rocker. Taking in a few quiet moments in the middle of the night...

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Ten Commandments of Motherhood...

Maybe it's just fun to think of how I get by each day.  Maybe you need to laugh a little or shake your head.  Maybe you need a few tips on how to get it done.  But I was thinking of these this morning as I was walking to the park with the littles.  I was near the edge of my limits and thinking of this list made me laugh and remember that these days are, well, tough.  But they are also so very good.

1. Thou shall seek the Lord for grace each day and look to Him for sustainment.

2. Thou shall drink plenty of caffeine.

3. Thou shall laugh often so you don't go crazy.

4. Thou shall leave the house when necessary and remember that fresh air cures a lot of woes and insanity.

5. Thou shall find a theme song and dance to it frequently {Mine: Up in here, by DMX. Other good options: We are the Champions, Queen/I gotta get through this, Daniel Bettingfield/Mind stopped working, you'll find one... I just know it.}

6. Thou shall not compare thyself to other moms or people who do things awesome in their own way, BUT celebrate your differences and the way YOU do things with awesomeness. 

7. Thou shall find a good friend or two {or four, whatever} and stick together. 

8. Thou shall not be afraid to use the TV or iPad or loud toys as a distraction so you can take a deep breath or two/clean the house/not hurt anyone. Seriously, it won't ruin them and everyone survives!

9. Thou shall read as many books as possible, play with legos and blocks, wrap babies in blankets, play hide and seek, brush hair, change clothes, and tickle children whenever you can because children should be children.  And you should enjoy these days, too. 

10. Thou shall kiss and hug and snuggle your small people at least one thousand times a day.  They still like it when they are bigger, even if they put up a fight.  Everyone needs these things, even if you don't want to be touched one more time by any living thing.  Hugs do a world of good to any breathing human.

Pre-op day!

I had good intentions of keeping up with all of Caleb's pre-op/surgery as it happened, but all the things came so quickly! I was thinking about how the last two months have been like "speed sanctification" -- everything was a rush and a whirl, then surgery, then over. Whew.

I'm grateful to be on the other side of all of this, but I'm still processing and stewing. And basically just sitting still and quiet before the Lord. I can't think of where to even begin when I sit down to read and pray. It's so much.  But so good.

Caleb got croup on Sunday, November 15th.  On Monday we found out that croup could delay surgery to December 10th.  I took him to the doctor and he got a steroid shot.  We asked people to pray. Caleb drastically improved over night. We gave him steam showers and sucked his nose out a lot.  And we wrestled with the fact that we may very well need to hold off of surgery until Caleb was perfectly healthy.

By Wednesday Caleb was so much better! We went to the hospital to do pre-op and that was so overwhelming.  As the nurse was talking to us, I started feeling hot.  Everything was becoming so real, so fast!  The PA talked with us and told us that the anestheoloigst on call didn't feel comfortable moving forward with surgery because Caleb had croup over the weekend.  Then she basically told us that had we not gone to the doctor and got the steroid shot, they wouldn't have concern.  They left the room and Patrick and I talked and prayed for a few minutes to make sure we were on the same page.

The PA came back in and explained the "risks" to us {the main concern would be needing to do a breathing treatment during surgery if his oxygen dropped too low} and we talked through everything again.  We decided to move forward based on the facts we were given and that Caleb's lungs sounded perfect {which meant the infection did not go any other place than his throat}. When we were finished asking questions and talking, the PA told us that she would have made the same decision.  That was extremely comforting.

The nurses had the hardest time finding a vein and stuck him three times.  Caleb was a wreck and I was a wreck. Patrick is a hero.  At one point, the needle slid out of Caleb's hand and blood was everywhere.  I got a little light headed and sat down.  Luckily, by God's grace, I didn't pass out! Those two hours at pre-op were so stressful and felt like a thousand hours.

To say that it was a hard day would be an understatement.  It just felt like such a heavy day.  Even though we were moving forward with surgery, there was a chance that the anesthesiologist on call could say "no surgery" -- so it wasn't a sure thing.

I didn't pack a hospital bag prior to Wednesday, so that needed to be done.  I wasn't sure what to pack or how much, but it was weird packing a bag for myself that didn't include things to bring home a newborn baby. It didn't take long to get things together and I was glad because I really wanted to spend the evening together and doing family things and trying to not worry about the "what ifs".  Plus, it was my birthday.  Even though nothing about that day felt light and fun, so many people celebrated me and let me know I was loved. It was a kind reminder that even in the trenches of life and trials and motherhood, we are not forgotten...

Here are a few pictures:
Sad baby with croup. Plus helpful meds.


So glad daddy was there!

Looking for veins.


Exhausted after such a day... :(

My four babes the night before surgery!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Appointments overview {rather long!}

Our pediatrician recommended, right away, a neurosurgeon in Fort Worth.  The doctor used to be here {in OKC}, but moved to Texas about ten years ago.  Since our doctor had not seen a case of craniosynostosis in roughly seven years, that was simply who he knew to refer to. After making the appointment and some strong encouragement from friends, we found some connections and reached out to a neurosurgeon here, too.

Both doctors were way backed up and originally gave us appointments in late October.  This seemed so far away to us and we asked to be put on waiting lists.  I suppose the ladies I talked with could hear the urgency I was feeling and were so kind and very helpful.  And by the grace of God, both of the ladies I talked with about making appointments called back the same day and got us appointments within ten {10!} days.  Humbled again by God's kindness and faithfulness in all of this.

Our first appointment was with the doctor here at OU Children's, Dr. Yaun.  It was, I suppose, really our "second opinion".  Patrick was able to meet me there and she was so kind and so thoughtful.  She had Caleb lay down and looked him over.  She checked his eyes and obviously looked at his head.  She told us that based on his head shape that he had a saggital suture fused and that the radiology report just couldn't be accurate. {whew.}  She said he looked so good otherwise. {whew. again.}

She had us sit down and drew a picture of what was going on with his skull and then showed us how the surgery would go -- where the cuts would be and such.  We knew there were a few options and the one she did was more invasive, would most likely require a blood transfusion and a longer hospital stay.  However, Caleb wouldn't need a helmet because the surgery would be immediately effective.

At one point, she looked over at me and said, "I know this is scary.  Anytime a baby needs surgery, it's scary.  Especially when it's on the head. But of all of the things he could have, this is the best one.  It's treatable."  I so appreciated her thoughtfulness of me -- his momma -- in the midst of all the chaos and questions and words.  She spoke to my hurting heart and reassured me that it was going to be okay.

Two days later, we drove down to Fort Worth to meet with the other doctor.  It's a 3 1/2 hour drive, so we needed an early start to get through traffic and construction plus a nursing baby.  We got to FW a little early, but just went to Cook Children's hospital and hoped to get in a little before our appointment time. The facility is incredible! Andrew and Elise LOVED playing in the waiting room and I was able to nurse Caleb while we waited.  It didn't take them long at all to call us back and the room had a TV with Disney on -- Andrew was delighted.  In fact, I'm not sure he made eye contact with the doctor or even knew he was in the room. Ha!

Dr. Honeycutt came into the room after looking over the x-ray and CT scan discs. He did not show us any of the scan results, but he confirmed what we knew and showed us this little mold of an infant head that allowed us to see what Caleb's skull looked like.  He went over the surgery he would recommend, an endoscopic surgery with two small incision lines and a helmet for recovery. He then told us he would do that surgery in about two weeks! {Say what?}

We asked some of the same questions to gauge his perspective of Caleb's situtation and his answers were very similar to Dr. Yaun.  He was friendly and kind, but was quick to the chase and didn't have the same warmth and bedside manner at Dr. Yaun.  He didn't even examine Caleb. So there's that.

We found out that with the endoscopic surgery, it's a 50/50 deal.  Half surgery, half a good helmet.  This means he only uses a helmet company in Fort Worth and we would need to drive down once a week after surgery for fittings -- for 6-8 weeks.  Then twice a month, once a month until Caleb didn't need a helmet any more.  He also said, basically, that if we didn't mind the more invasive surgery it could easily be done here or there.

We prayer fervently before these appointments for wisdom and unity between Patrick and myself.  And after leaving Dr. Honeycutt's office -- I feel like those prayers just blanketed us and we knew.  There was no question that we wouldn't stay in OKC.  There were pros and cons to each procedure and it was overwhelming enough to consider what we would choose for Caleb, but thinking about leaving Benjamin, Andrew and Elise and not being close to home felt even more heavy.

To make the decision even easier, Dr. Yaun called us as we were driving home from Fort Worth.  She "just wanted to share the CT scan results" with us.  It was so nice to know that she took him out of her day to call us and explain what she saw! And as a bonus: the scan confirmed that there was only ONE suture closed, not two and a half!!! {whether it was a bad x-ray or a Healing touch from the Lord, we will never know...}

As I was talking with her, I shared that we wanted her to do the surgery.  She was kind and said she was happy to help us and walk with us.  I asked for a tentative schedule and she said, "Well, he will be three months on November 13th.  So we could do November 19th or December 3rd.  Whichever works best for you all." Oh wow, okay.  Nothing like having a date set! She told me that she would be on vacation, but that she would leave a note for her nurse to make sure there was room on whichever date we chose.  And before we got off the phone she made sure to tell me that it was a pleasure meeting us and she looked forward to helping Caleb. {bless it.}

After discussion and talking with some family about coming down, we decided on November 19th.  A day we will never forget, for sure! The day after my birthday and the day before our anniversary.  This week will be a week to celebrate in years to come for so many reasons! :)

We covet your prayers and trust that God is already moving and using this for His glory!

Here's how you can pray:
*For no long term developmental delays.
*For a easy and successful surgery.
*For an easy blood transfusion, or even no need for one!
*For a quick and smooth recovery -- and for a shorter hospital stay {opposed to being there more than four days!}
*For Caleb to continue being resilient and brave.
*For Benjamin, Andrew and Elise to have hearts to love and minds to understand as best as they can as we walk through the next few months.
*For Patrick and I as we make decisions -- wisdom, deep unity, love than will meet all needs, peace and for strength.

Here's how you can praise God:
*There's only ONE suture that is fused.
*Caleb has been such a champ and is doing so great despite everything.
*We have seen such love and kindness from so many people = people are providing and caring for us so tangibly and through prayer and encouragement!
*We were able to get into appointments quickly and schedule a surgery date that was best for our family.
*We have family that quickly, gladly and willingly made arrangements to come and help us!
*We have friends setting up meals, extra hands, medical advice and so much more before, during and after surgery! Wow!!!
*God has been so faithful through all of this.  He has been our rest, strength and peace.  Praise Him for being so real to us right now!

I'll keep you updated as things get closer and as we move forward.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Motherhood is a sacrifice...

Never in my life have I felt as spent and overwhelmed as I do right now.  Three kids was our hardest adjustment, but four kids has challenged the deepest love of self I cling to and has caused me to throw my hands up.

Just imagine me waving a white flag.  And drinking a lot of coffee.
Left hand, coffee. Right hand, flag of surrender.
And prayer.  I can.not stop praying for my children.

But this surrender isn't just because there are a lot of small people in my home and under my care.  This surrender started way before I ever held my sweet Benjamin.  Because whether we recognize it or not -- deciding to have a child is the beginning of {so, so slowly} letting go of self love.

When I saw Benjamin for the first time, my heart melted and I gave up some of me.  His first year was H.A.R.D because, well, I couldn't wrap my mind around simply putting his needs first all the time.  Andrew came and I melted again and gave up more of myself.  Two small people is hard work! And then you realize that it's okay to love your people so much that you do more for them and less for you.

By the time we wrestled through so many rounds of Clomid, being pregnant with Elise was a gift after months of struggle and surrender. When I saw her, I melted and gave up more of myself.  This time night time feedings weren't awful, I enjoyed them.  Day time snuggles were not hard to hold on to. But three babies is a lot of babies.  Going from two hands, two children to THREE children and having no idea how to manage and survive, that's tricky.  It threw me for a loop.

Here I am with Caleb.  This sweet little miracle that has seen me through a very trying year of sanctification.  I went through so many emotions when I found out we were pregnant again.  And I was so upset to "lose myself", to "give up my body" again. I worked through things slowly as we approached his arrival.  Then he came out and was in my arms and the world could have stopped and I wouldn't have known.  He was this treasure that I just could never have imagined would be ours. I melted again.  But this time I just couldn't think about myself.  {I mean, I do and I am mindful to be alone and take naps and go for a run.} There, in my arms, was this tiny baby that needed me.  And running around my feet were three other children who needed me. And I have a husband who needs me.  This is my life, my calling.

Night time feedings are part of tiny babies and end so quickly, so I treasure that time to quietly pray and feed my baby.  Day time snuggles are never a burden and allow me to rest and give attention to the other children by reading or talking.  It's just that everything goes by so fast -- if I don't surrender now, I'll regret not giving up more of myself to know these small people that have been entrusted to me!

Little did I know, though, the surrender I would walk through over the next several weeks.  It's funny how the Lord kindly and tenderly prepares you for things.

As we found out about Caleb's craniosynostosis, I was brought abruptly to the realization of ideals and expectations I didn't know I had.  My so-called "American dream life", if you will.  In the span of two weeks my baby had a birth defect and needed skull surgery, my toddler threw tantrums every day and exerted her strong willed nature so forcefully I was brought to tears, my four year old wasn't doing well in preK and we had to move him back to preschool, and my six year old was struggling in first grade, with things we thought he knew.

Humbled. To the max.
My little dreams of a perfect family were brought to the light and I'm here to tell you this: perfection is fake and always, always a very awful place to dwell.
So I wave my white flag.  Not because of tiny babies.  But because we have no hope in perfection.  It's a false security. *waving white flag*

Little by little, I have had to "give up myself"...
   ---I cancelled my Y membership because I can't use it right now, or for the next three months.  And that costs money that we could be putting somewhere better in our budget. The one thing that was mine, that kept me mentally sane. But you know what happened, after I cried, I saw sin.  My hope and mental sanity isn't in working out, although it is nice to have!, it's in Christ.  He's my anchor.
   ---I committed to donating blood for Caleb's blood transfusion.  I realize that's really not a big deal, but I truly hate needles and being stuck with them.  And usually I don't handle a lot of blood being taken from my body well. But the Lord, He sustains me.
   ---I realized that there are days that I simply cannot make it to school to pick up my child on time.  I've had to call friends to help.  It's more wise to let the small people sleep, or to take care of a nursing baby than to be the mom always on time, with a snack in hand, to pick up my child at the sacrifice of my other children.  But God has provided so many friends that go to the same school and I can easily call upon them for extra hands.
   ---I realized that I simply cannot handle all of my children at important doctors appointments.  So I have to call and ask friends to watch Andrew and Elise {and sometimes just Elise}.  I can't mentally handle asking questions and holding a conversation while keeping three children calm and still.  And that's okay.  They are children.  And I'm not supermom. But God has provided the sweetest friends who are like family to us that love my children and care for them so well.
   ---We have gotten so many meals.  Like, more than we deserved. I'm usually the one to offer meals, but this time we have taken over and over. And it was the most helpful thing ever.  The week of all of Caleb's appointments, I cooked twice! People just kept calling with meals to drop off.  And I cried at the way God met those needs.  We needed to eat, and I didn't have the ability to function well enough to plan dinner.

Over the last few weeks I have noticed this: whether in good times or bad times, the most beautiful reflection of motherhood is being deep in the trenches -- spending and being spent -- for the souls and lives of your children.  There are some seasons full of tears and sacrifice.  There are some seasons of laughter and joy.  But every season should be covered in pleading prayers and daily surrender - of your children and yourself.

"I will most gladly spend AND be spent for your souls..." 2 Corinthians 12:15 {emphasis mine}

Now more than ever I know that my children are not mine.  They are incredible gifts from the Lord and they are His.  He chose me to love them and care for them and guide them -- but they are His and He created them just as they should be.  They are His creation, my earthly treasures.

Right now, friends, I'm spending and being spent in ways that I never knew were possible.  Perhaps that I never knew I could be. Surrendering myself so that I can most gladly and fully care for my children. But I will do it most gladly so that my children see Jesus, feel loved and know hope in Christ.  And I do it whole heartedly so that God may be glorified in my sacrifice of motherhood.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Family pictures -- September 2015

I really wanted to get family pictures done before Caleb's surgery.  It was a last minute search to get something done very soon.  I wanted to remember his tiny head without a scar because for the rest of his days, there will be a big scar on his head -- whether you can see it or not!

A sweet, dear friend of mine takes pictures and offered to take some of us real quick on a Sunday evening.  She knew how important it was to me to have this memory and extended such kindness to our family. What a treasure she is.  Ashley {my photographer friend!} worked so well with what we had to offer -- four kids with differing personalities, right before dinner.  She just had her third baby, so kids are not foreign to her!

I am beyond grateful for these pictures.  They mean so much to me!

Benjamin, 6/Andrew, 4/Elise, 2/Caleb 7 weeks

Look at Caleb!


Elise's life is so sad and hard... ;)

Kisses! {and an unfortunate way of standing that still makes me look pregnant!}

Personalities, captured.
Daddy's girl.

Tiny smiles!

A quick shot of his fused saggital suture.

P.S. I love you forever and will give you a thousand kisses.