Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

God is always our shield and defense in time of trouble! Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you. He is our leaning post. He is our Everlasting Father. He is Lord of Lords. In Him there is no shadow of turning. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He is and always will be!! Thank you Jesus for dying for me and creating in me a new life! Thank you Jesus for taking care of me, even when I don't deserve it. Thank you for loving me in spite of me! Thank you for cleansing my heart and for making me clean. Thank you for life and Life Abundantly.


This week has been FULL of food, fun, family and laughter. These are just to name a few of the great things about this week. We started the food with our life group at Tony & Nicki's house. It was a lot of fun to visit with the families from our life group and to eat great food. Brad made an awesome cheesecake....we had ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and so much was yummy. The kids all had fun too. =)
Our next stop was on Tuesday night at Chad's mom's house. More great food and fun. We ate till we couldn't eat anymore and then the rest of the family played their favorite game (Quarters). It had another name but this name is definitely more friendly. =) I was soooooo tired that night. I had finally cleaned our bedroom the previous Sat. and had gotten all the piles of laundry sorted out and had done 6 loads earlier on Tuesday before we went to his mom's house. I was also baby-sitting plus being a mom to beautiful Amaya. Needless to say I was totally worn out! I don't think I had been that tired since the first trimester of the pregnancy.
On Wednesday we left for Shipshewana (which is where we still are). We arrived around 7:30 and I had to go see Alice. She had a baby two weeks ago and I had not seen him. He's such a beautiful baby!! Even though he was over 9 lbs, he still seems so tiny.
Tristan Jace Keiser - 11/11/08
He's cuddling in the blanket I made him. =)
Kinda blurry but so very cute.

On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. It was a lot of fun to see everyone again. My dad had everyone go around and say what we were thankful for. Along with this everyone shared some favorite childhood memory of family. Some were quite hilarious. Everyone was thankful for family. It's a beautiful thing when a family can still all come together under one roof even when there is a total of 34 (plus two more on the way). (18 adults - 16 grandkids) Plus we had my grandma Mary and Aunt Wilma here with us too. We had lots of good food again!! I think I'm all fooded out....Ok so that's not really a word but hey it seems like it could be one. =)

Today, I took some pics of Tristan and Amaya....they are pretty cute.
Amaya has learned how to smile "on cue." It's quite hilarious...Tristan is wondering what is going on.

Amaya kissing baby "Chistan" (her version of Baby Tristan)

Update on Amaya's Boo Boo....
Tonight it looked the best it has so far. It's a nice fleshy pink color and there was very little that I had to stuff inside. I basically just laid it on top of the hole in the skin. Praise God for this. I'm looking forward to the day when it's down to just a small band-aid. I have some pics that my mom took on Wednesday evening when we changed it and I will post when we get back to Bloomington. We forgot our USB cable to upload pics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Family

Note to Amaya
To my sweetheart, every day you are getting bigger and bigger. You are no longer my little baby but I still call you my "baby." You are saying small sentences now. I can't believe that you are already that big. Yesterday you played a game with me. It was so cute. (The night before you dropped something and I said, "Mommy get it.") You got up on the chair and left your water on the floor. You looked at me and said, "Mommy get it." I thought it was cute that you remember and then you got back down from the chair and put the water on the floor again. You then got back on the chair and again said, "Mommy get it." You're such a smart little girl. Not only did you know how to use it, you played a game with it.
You're fighting both Daddy and I a lot more because you want to do everything by yourself. I pray that we raise you up in the way that we should go. You're just a toddler learning the ropes. I am so proud of you. The words you say are so clear. You remember things that Mommy and Daddy teach you.
You can be a "lil stinker" at times but what is a toddler without that. You like to play and "get Mommy" by pushing her over. It's getting harder for mommy to get down on the floor since "Baby Sky" is giving Mommy a bigger belly. I love playing with you and I will continue as long as I can. I love you!

You've done a great job with the bandage changes and the hole in your neck is getting smaller and smaller. I have glory to God for a quick healing like we prayed for.

Note to Chad - My wonderful
I just want to thank you for always being faithful! You are a rock in our marriage and I am so blessed that I have you. You lead and guide our family. Most importantly you lead and guide me into knowing the Lord better. You've helped me when I haven't been very positive. You've given me perspective when I needed it. You've spoken scripture when I needed it. You've given me hugs when I've had a bad day. You speak words of truth! When I look at you I see a changed man. One that the Lord has taken and molded in His image. Thank you for giving me you. Thank you for being you! I love you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our Riley Appointment

Everything went well!! We are down to 1 bandage change a day. That was exciting news. They gave us some new bandage stuff to put in the hole. One thing that I haven't been doing correctly was to stuff it in a little harder into a small hole in the back. Doctor Engum didn't seem too concerned about it and just showed me how to do it. It sounds bad though because I have to use the stick end of the q-tip they gave us and just poke the "stuffing" in there.

The wound dressing is much smaller so hopefully Amaya's soreness from having tape on her neck in the same area for a week can heal now.

Other good news....she can now take a bath. She loves splashing around in the water so I know she will enjoy that again. I'll post a picture when she gets up from her nap. We had to wake her at 7 this morning so we could get to Riley on time.

They still don't know what caused the infection unfortunately. It was definitely not MRSA. He (doctor) again mentioned that he would have to wait and see what it looks like at the next appointment - in two weeks.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support during this time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Updates

Amaya's wound is looking better and better every day!! Praise God!
We are so thankful that it's healing up correctly and it's getting smaller. I timed the process of changing her wound and it took 7 minutes from start to finish (taking the tape off and putting the new tape on). I'm definitely getting better at it. =)

We are down to 4 more bandage changes until our Doctor appointment on Thursday!!!!! Yay!

Yesterday - Chad's attempt to take a picture of the wound

We had Aunt Erin (Chad's Sister) take a video today of the wound changing process but I decided it was not appropriate to post on here (it doesn't look too good). There is a lot of crying but we do have a picture of the hole. One from yesterday and one from just a few hours ago. It's still a big hole but it's definitely not like it was before.

Today during the afternoon wound change.

Amaya also knows now what it means to change her "boo boo". She sees Mommy with her green gloves on and knows it's about time. This morning she was clinging to Daddy b/c she didn't want to be bundled up. It's like swaddling a newborn. Daddy does a good job of wrapping her tightly. We don't want her hands to get free and touch the wound.
A tightly swaddled Amaya just after a wound change

Sometimes her hair gets caught in the tape and she gives me a "look" when I try to take it out. She screams if it's during the wound changing process.

How we know she's back to her normal self:
Just a few minutes ago she was what we call "torturing" Reggie our little dog. She had him locked in his bed (i.e. cage) and was pushing him across our floor. Then she decided she wanted to climb in his cage with him. We were too late to get a video but it was quite humorous. She doesn't ever hurt him but he gets very nervous when she's in there with him. She loves playing with him. He doesn't always see it as playing but he's never bitten her. He acts like he will and then ends up licking her. They are quite the playmates. Here's a picture of her in the act - with Reggie safely in the background somewhere. (He gets out as soon as he can get an opening.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Updates

This morning we had a bit of a scare when we changed the wound dressing. Inside the hole it looked a lot different than before. It had more white pus drainage and it concerned us. We called Riley and talked to Dr. West and she assured us that it was normal as long as Amaya didn't have a fever or lack of appetite (which she has neither). We were advised to start changing the wound dressing 3x a day now. =( Chad has been counting down the number of times we have to change it and now we have to add several more changes.

Since I am not a doctor or a nurse (neither is Chad), I do not like to see any sort of changes that are seemingly negative. (They told us to contact them if we were concerned.) Changes might mean we have to go back to Riley and they have to do something more with the wound.

We are daily praying and believing for a speedy recovery!! Please agree with us in prayer. One thing that has been a challenge is to continually trust in HIM even when it seems like it's a negative situation. My heart knows to trust and believe but my head is trying to tell me otherwise. (I take my thoughts captive in Jesus Name!!) Jesus knows all and is in control of this situation and every one that we will ever face - Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!!

One of my favorite verses:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Recent Journey

Sometime more than two months ago, I noticed a small bump on Amaya's neck. It had a pimple like head to it but no redness. I decided I would watch it and at her next appointment I would have the doctor look at it. I wasn't too concerned about it. I even forgot to mention it to Chad. He found it a few days later and we decided again to watch it and have it checked out later.

About two weeks ago, I asked Chad to help me remember to call the doctors office and we would have it checked out just to make sure. We never made that call...I got busy and so did he and we forgot to remind each other.

Thursday, October 3oth
On Thursday night of last week, we noticed that the bump had gotten noticeably bigger. It was right before bedtime so we decided to call the next morning. (Thursday morning had started with me waking up to find that Amaya had thrown up all over the bed - raisins grapes and icky stuff that stains.) We still don't know if there was a connection. She didn't eat very well on Wed. night so I thought maybe something had upset her stomach.

Friday, October 31st
We continued to watch the bump throughout the day. We made a doctor appointment for Monday. All was seemingly good until about 5:30, Chad felt the bump and thought that it had gotten much harder and bigger. We had a bonfire planned that night but were willing to do to the doc office if they suggested it. They had an appointment early Sat. morning with our pediatrician but none Friday night so we took that one.
Amaya was a little more fussy than normal but no fever just a large bump on the side of her neck.

Saturday, Nov 1st.
Our doctor appointment was early and Chad had to park cars for the IU game so I went alone. The dr. wasn't too concerned since there was no redness on the bump at all. She prescribed some antibiotics for us and said we could give her tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain if she had any. She said she would refer us to a general pediatric surgeon at Riley for a check-up the following week.

Sunday, Nov 2nd
We went to church as normal and I gave her ibuprofen for the first time for the bump b/c she woke up and was a lot more winey than normal. Usually when I drop her off at the Children's ministry area she is ok but she didn't want me to leave and had to be pried from my arms. (Not normal for her).
In the evening I started to see some signs of redness around the bottom of the bump but the doctor mentioned that was just signs of infection and I assumed since she was on antibiotics it was working and doing it's job.
Sunday Evening

Monday, Nov 3rd
I got the call from the doctor's office that our appointment at Riley was for Thurs. @ 8:45. They said it was the earliest they could get her in. She had an appointment with Dr. West. She seemed ok but not truly herself. The bump got a little more red as the day passed.
Monday Around 3pm

Tuesday, Nov 4th
She woke up and the bump was even more red (more signs of infection which I thought the antibiotics was taking care of). Around evening sometime I sent this picture to my brother to see what his suggestion was. I talked to him the next morning. At that point it was red and shiny and I knew the shiny part was more infection.
11:30 on Tuesday

Wednesday, Nov 5th
Amaya had a very fitful night of sleep. Tossing and turning and crying but never waking up. When she finally did wake up, it had gotten much worse with a scab a the bottom of the bump and little white puss filled areas. I called the doctor and the earliest appointment they had was at 11:45 with one of the other pediatricians at our doc. office. I took it and then was trying to decide if I should just send Chad. I had a meeting I was supposed to be a part of at 11:30. I was thinking that Chad could take care of it since they would just check it out and tell us what to do next. I talked to my mom and she said I should go b/c what if they send you straight to the hospital. (I laughed and said yeah I should go but I never thought it would actually be that way.)
We were at the doctor's office forever!! Her appointment was right over her nap time so she was fussy and she hadn't eaten much except for snacks since breakfast so she was fussy about that too. While we were waiting in the outer waiting room, one of her puss sacks burst and ran out - it was just a small one but gross anyway. =)
We were taken back to a room but had to wait back there for what seemed like an hour (probably only half hour at most) but we gave her some crackers, water and fruit snacks to tide her over until we went home. We saw the other doctor and he said 'What does your afternoon look like?" We said - "Open." He didn't say much else except that he was going to call Riley to see if they wanted them to give her a shot of antibiotics or have her sent up right away. Then he left. He came back and said they wanted her to come and then he saw her with a fruit snack and said she has to stop eating right away b/c they wanted to do surgery. Dr. Franklin our reg. pediatrician came in and looked at it for a few minutes and said, "Wow, it didn't look like that on Saturday." That was pretty much it since the decision had been made to go to Riley already. We stopped at Target to get her a pacifier since she still sometimes took it on trips for when she was tired and then stopped at Taco Bell for food and we were on our way, just like my mom had said. =) (The pacifier did not work....she is over that now)

Amaya's neck on the way to Riley

We get to Riley and they pretty much get her in right away but we had to wait for the doctor on-call (Dr. Rouse) and he was on his way back to Riley from another hospital. He came in and looked at it and barely touched it and she we would be scheduled for surgery sometime between 8-10 that night. It was only about 3:30 at this time. Long time to wait.
At this point we were still unsure if we would have to stay the night. Dr. Rouse said his partner Dr. Engum would make that decision at surgery time so basically we wouldn't know until after the surgery. I was a little concerned b/c I had only a couple diapers with me at the time. Marty and LoraLee so kindly brought us dinner and some diapers that night and helped us pass the time. Chad's Mom also came along with Ron. Amaya's little bump was very infected now and you could see it getting worse and worse. We finally got the call to come upstairs around 9 that night. We talked to the surgeon for a few minutes and he explained what he was going to do and that she would most likely spend the night just for observation. We got her all ready and they gave her a relaxer (don't remember what it was called - starts with a V). She was sitting on my lap and all of a sudden the bump burst and it was pretty gross. They told us not to mess with it so it wouldn't make a bigger mess then it had.
We then gave her kisses and said good - bye and she just kind of looked at us - she was so tired and obviously the medicine was working b/c she was relaxed. =) The surgery itself didn't take long. It was about 1/2 before the doctor came back out and told us what had happened. The skin on the bottom was dead and therefore fell off. It left a hole about the size of nickle in her neck. The infection had spread into her neck leaving a hole inside the neck too. It was about the size of a small grape. We were able to go to the recovery room around 10:30 and see her - she was asleep which we figured.
They took her to a room and I waited until she was settled in and sleeping for the night and then about 11:45, I left and went to Marty & LL's house while Chad stayed behind in the little reclining chair. She slept that night until about 4 when Chad said he had to hold her but she did fall asleep again.

Thursday Nov 6th
I got back to Riley around 9 (a little later than I anticipated due to traffic - I'm definitely not "Indy Smart"). When I got there, Chad informed me that we will have to stay another night. They wanted to make sure we were prepared to change the wound dressing when we got home. That was another bubble burst for a short time. It just seemed like one thing on top of another. That morning around 11 they (nurses) changed the wound dressing for the first time and we just watched. It's heartbreaking to see your little baby screaming as they take out a piece of gauze from a hole in her neck. It took everything I had not to burst out in tears. The hole was "huge" even though we had been told it was.
We got through that and then I held Amaya until she fell asleep. She was still getting IV fluids at that time. She was also getting a dose of antibiotics through the IV. She slept for 2 1/2 hours while I held her. (Enough for me to watch two episodes of one of my favorite shows - "TLC's What not to Wear". ) Chad decided to drive back to Bloomington and get some fresh clothes and shower and take a small nap. During that time, the nurse said Amaya doesn't have to be attached to the IV anymore except for her doses of antibiotics. We were then able to walk around and distract her for a while when Chad came back. Marty and Jack visited again and so did Chad's mom. Again it was great distraction for us and her. =) She fell asleep earlier until they had to get her vitals and flush her IV after antibiotics again. Chad then took her and she fell asleep and I went to Marty & LL's house again around midnight to sleep there.

Friday, Nov. 7th
Early in the morning she was sound asleep and the doctor decided he needed to see the wound. =( He pulled back the tape obviously waking Amaya and after that she didn't fall asleep so soundly.
I got back to the hospital right around 8 and Amaya had forgotten the tape nightmare =) and was having fun playing that morning. Chad and I had to change her wound dressing for the second time. We basically realized that it would be easier for me to do that while Chad held her down. It was just something I had to do. I couldn't think about what I was doing. Anyway, we passed this test and we got to go home today. We left the hospital about noonish sometime and it was wonderful to be driving HOME!! It felt like more than two days. On the way home Amaya slept the whole time - something that she hasn't done since she was a baby. She does not like the carseat to sleep in. When we got back here, Chad's grandfather was here and so he played with her for a little bit. Chad then left to go do some things at the church and I decided to lay down with Amaya. She wasn't sleeping with me so I put her in her bed and she slept from around 2 until 6:30. Home must have felt good for her too. Her dressing change went well and she fell asleep again about 9:30 and slept until 8:30 this morning.

Amaya is completely back to toddler normalcy now. She only protests during the wound changes...otherwise she is fine. We don't have to give her pain medication except for right before the dressing changes.

Her wound dressing after this morning.