Friday, October 28, 2011

Just what friends are for

The perfect distraction.  Yesterday David and I met with the surgeon at Duke, more
on that later.  Instead of going home after the appointment, we decided to go hang out with Dustin and Michelle.  

Riley, in her Halloween wear.

The girls made a nest.  

Then we all began to carve pumpkins.  Michelle and Vivian were able to 
finish there's, and then the carving kit knife broke.  So we'll have to finish ours tonight. 

This is the face Hannah drew for her pumpkin.  


Smiles and bubbles from Riley.  

A pretty fantastic day, considering the hard decisions David and I made that morning.  For dinner, Michelle made an awesome shrimp and grits recipe that took 30 minutes.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What it's like: having a child with congenital heart defects

I've waited a long time to make this public.  At first, it was because we didn't know how serious it would turn out to be, and it could have been a relatively simple fix.  Heck, it could have fixed itself.  But it didn't.  So here's the breakdown.  When Riley was less than 24 hours old, David and I were told that she had a medium sized Ventricular Septal Defect.  It was terrifying.  It felt like someone had ripped the bottom from our world when they told us.  I'll never forget sitting next to David after the doctor left our room.  The expression on our face was one of pure shock.  How could Riley possibly have something wrong with her, she looked perfect.  Our pediatrician came back to see us later, and talked some of our fears down.  At that time the diagnosis was a 6 mm hole in the wall separating her right and left ventricle.  Sometimes, the hole will close up on it's own.  In those instances when it doesn't, and surgery is required, it can be put off for years as long as symptoms don't become present.  On August 16th, I took Riley to see her cardiologist for a routine checkup.  At this appointment, we discovered that the hole was larger, over 7 mm and another defect was found, a problem with her mitral valve.  Surgery was talked about.  We knew if it didn't start to close up on it's own that this size hole would need to be fixed with surgery.  We knew the call would be made at her 6 month visit.  So David and I began to mentally prepare for open heart surgery in January.  On October 12th, her cardiologist said that he could feel her liver, a sign that it had enlarged.  This is a direct problem of her VSD.  I had also noticed some changes in her breathing while eating, another symptom associated with VSD.  Now surgery is next month.  David and I are traveling to Duke Children's Hospital to meet the surgeon. We'll schedule the surgery that day.  Miss Riley will be in ICU for a couple of days following surgery, then moved to a regular room before being released.  It looks like we'll spend at least a week at Duke. All in all, it's terrifying.  I think about my baby, less than 4 months old being hooked up to a bunch of machines.  I think about her possibly being chemically paralyzed while in ICU.  Doesn't that sound lovely.  I think about being there when they put her under and then having to walk away.  It's more than I think I can bear, but I do.  And then, I think about Hannah.  Mostly about being there for her less as I tend to Riley.  David has thrown himself into work.  Sometimes I look at him and can see him completely zoned out and I know what he's thinking about.  Through all this, an amazing support group has surrounded us.  Now, if we could be a little better about accepting help, things might actually get a little easier!  This is our life for the next couple of months and I hope that you'll all take a minute and pray for my family, if you're the praying type, because this is certainly the hardest thing we've ever faced.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

3 Months

Can you believe it?  I can't.  It's been a busy month, in so many ways.  Here's our girl over the last month.  

Hannah is so proud.  I hope it's like this for the long haul.  My sister, Casey, and I have pretty much always gotten along.  Now that we're grown with our own families, we're the best of friends.  That's what I hope for my girls.  

Gurgle talking

You could say I'm a proud mom.

Lots of smiles this month.  

On October 2nd, she was dedicated by the same person who baptized me 
and married her mom and dad.

She found her hands this month.

We are trying to learn to bottle feed.  There's some things coming up in the 
next few months and she will need to take a bottle.  

Love this face!

Our 2nd attempt.  We don't have victory yet.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Behind the Lens: Hannah Cernock

Yet more photo's from Hannah.  These came from my iphone, which is why the first photo looks like it does. 

This is my mom's living room, taken with the CamWow photo app for the iphone.  

And Hannah's foot.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kids Eat Free - Over 50 Kids Eat Free Restaurants!

Now I'm not a huge fan of eating out but I do think that it's a nice treat every once in awhile. This makes it even better!
Kids Eat Free - Over 50 Kids Eat Free Restaurants!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pow pow power wheels!

I always wanted one when I was a kid.  
So we had a yard sale Saturday with two other families.  It was slow for us, we didn't see much action.  David and I made a meager $20.  

Then David walked off so "check out the competition."  
And came back with this.  

You should've seen him, walking down the street carrying this thing, so proud of himself.  
It was a steal, only $20.  It's in excellent condition.  All the stickers 
are still in tact.  

She rode it so many times on Saturday that we had to charge the battery three times.  

I tried talking him into saving it for christmas but apparently it's too cold at Christmas for this kind of toy.  Dad was feeling rather proud of his purchase.