Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quick Dad Update

Well, the last update was the best one thus far, and I'm happy to say that although my dad is bored out of his mind, he has continued to improve since Monday.  He's bound and determined to regain his strength and haul tail out of the hospital.  He was able to sit up today for 4 hours total, 2 hours at a time - which is much better than he's been able to do previously.  His voice still isn't at full capacity, but we've been able to understand a lot of what he's saying if we listen real carefully (and sometimes, not so much.  Like when my mom thought he was telling her that he had been cleaning with Jesus.)  His bed sore is starting to heal on its own, and the Wound Care Team and plastic surgeon seem to think that he won't need surgery - woo hoo!  He's still got his sense of humor, and tells us amusing stories about Indians he met and tropical islands he went to while he was away with the fairies.  All in all he is slowly improving, and like I've mentioned before, still has a long road ahead of him - but it's miraculous that he's still with us.  Dad's a trooper, and we couldn't be more happy that he decided to leave the Indians and tropical islands behind and come back to us!  Thanks, once again, for all the support and prayers in his behalf! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

MRI Results, Breathing Tubes, and Answered Prayers

-The results of the MRI came back and showed that there was no major stroke activity, although it showed several small strokes in the deep white matter of his brain.  However, the doctor assured us that they didn't find anything that would be unrecoverable - so that's really good.

-After the MRI, dad was a lot more alert.  He was responding to more commands than he has been for the last week - which was around when we started our fast.  He started to nod and shake his head when we'd ask him yes/no questions - which was so nice to see.

-The nurses were able to sit him upright and dangle his feet off the edge of the bed, which he tolerated well.  He was able to sit up with the help of 5 nurses for about 10 minutes.

-And the most current awesome news... They took out his breathing tube today!


Can I get a hallelujah?!  And because he no longer has the tube in, they were able to take off his restraints, so he can move his arms around now. Hooray!  We firmly believe that it is no coincidence that it happened the day after we fasted for him.  Sayonara, breathing tube!

-The next step is going to be physical therapy, to get him stronger.  Then speech therapy - he won't be able to talk for a couple days, because his vocal chords are so swollen from the breathing tube being there so long.  He also won't be able to eat or drink for several days until they can confirm that he can swallow without difficulty on his own.

We've been waiting for dad to turn the proverbial corner, and it's nothing short of a miracle and an enormous blessing from God that he's been able to progress so well this weekend.  He still has a long road ahead of him, but words can't hardly express how amazing it is to see my dad purposefully responding to us, and squeezing our hands, and blinking his eyes to tell us he loves us.  Tears of joy are much better than tears of sadness.  And like I mentioned before, it is no coincidence that this is all happening at the same time we've fasted for him.  He was able to communicate to my mom how strongly he felt the spirit while we fasted - and what a blessing that is.  So thank you to all those who have prayed and fasted so fervently for my dad.  I believe with everything that I am that it's what has helped my dad's condition improve - and for that, we're eternally grateful.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Updates and a Fast for Dad

-My mom was finally able to talk to the neurologist, who was worried that my dad may have had a stroke as a result of the atrial flutter.

-Yesterday they did an EEG to try and determine the likelihood of a stroke and/or seizures.  The results came back abnormal, because of the mild swelling in his brain - which we already knew.  It also confirmed that there hasn't been any seizure activity, which is good. 

-There are two main types of strokes, ischemic (blod clot in the brain) and hemorrhagic (bleeding in the brain).  The EEG confirmed that there wasn't any bleeding in his brain, so if he did have a stoke, it would have likely been a hemorrhagic one.

-Because the EEG results were somewhat non conclusive, they needed him to have an MRI - which he did today.  The transport for the MRI was a very risky situation.  They had to switch him to a special ventilator, make sure he was very sedated, and gave him a dose of something that would cause temporary paralysis, to avoid him from moving involuntarily.  We're happy to report that there were absolutely no complications with the MRI transport.  We should have the MRI results in the next few days.

-Just now, after the MRI, my dad was able to respond to the command to wiggle his toes and squeeze our hand, and while it took him great effort to do so, it is truly miraculous that he did anything at all.  He's currently not sedated, which may change depending on how safe or unsafe his condition is (blood pressure, coughing, etc.)

While we're thrilled that my dad has made some progress, he still has several more hurdles to clear.  Our family will be doing a fast for my dad this weekend, and we'd like to invite any additional family members, friends, neighbors, or anyone who feels so inclined to join with us.  Our family has seen many miracles and experienced many tender mercies as a result of fasting, and we truly feel that this will help my dad.  Thanks in advance for your continued prayers and support throughout this journey - words will never express how deeply grateful we are!

Friday, May 18, 2012

More Updates on Dad

-Although he's still intubated, he's been initiating breathing on his own - which is good.  We're still not sure when we'll be able to get rid of the breathing tube once and for all, we have to take that day by day.

-He still has a pacemaker, but at this point it's being used for backup.

-His heart is infusing to 40%, which is a lot better than they were expecting.  (They were only expecting it to reach 35% capacity after recovery.)

-His kidney function wasn't as good yesterday, but today it has improved and is doing well with the diuretic that he's on.

-His pressure ulcers (bedsores) haven't healed quite yet - they're calling it a deep tissue injury at this point, and are keeping a cautious eye on it.  That said, it appears to be healing slowly but surely.

-They removed his chest tube today - which is a tube that removes any drainage - and that's good news.

-He did respond to a request to open his eyes, but couldn't track finger movement.  Beyond that, the only purposeful movements he is making is to try and get the breathing tube out - which is understandable, I can only imagine.

-Today they did a CT scan to check for hemorrhaging in his brain, and there was slight/mild edema (swelling), and they aren't quite sure of the cause quite yet, but they are consulting with the neuro physicians to find out the cause and treatment going forward.

The respiratory therapist said that even though this is new and scary for us, they see this all the time, and are confident that he's in a positive place.  With as many complications as he had going into surgery, it's no surprise that his recovery is off to a slow start.  Again, we deeply appreciate all the support and prayers in my dad's and family's behalf - thank you!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Updates on Dad

More updates on dad...

-Yesterday was a pretty rough day for him.  The doctor's were attempting to do an Echo, which agitated my dad, and put his heart rhythm into an atrial flutter (AFL).  They put him on medications to get his heart back into a normal rhythm, and that didn't work like they wanted (his heart rate was too high) - so they had to shock his heart into a normal rhythm - and that worked.

-Originally they had taken him off all his sedatives to wake him up, but because he's been so agitated and trying to get out of bed, they've put him back on some of them.  The doctors want to be able to wake him up, but they don't want to rush anything that my dad isn't quite ready for.

-His fever has gone up and down, and this morning he doesn't have a fever - so that's good.

-His kidneys are still compromised, and probably will be for a little while.  And  because his kidneys are what would normally help get rid of all the toxins and medications in his body, that's part of the reason that it's taking longer for him to get over the confusion and delirium of waking up.

-They were going to try and see if they could take the breathing tube out this morning - and that doesn't look like it will happen.  They need to get my dad to respond to commands, so they know he'll be able to breathe on his own when they take it out.  Right now, he isn't responding to commands like he should be, so unfortunately they need to keep him intubated.

-The doctors did a PICC line (peripherally inserted catheter) - which is basically them moving the IVs from his neck to his arm to make it easier for him to get up and move around when the time comes.

-He's currently restrained, as he's been trying to his hardest to get out of bed.  And is still not responding as well to external stimuli as they'd like to see.

So right now they're pretty much just walking a fine line of keeping him safe, and trying to wake him up and get him to follow simple commands.

Your continued prayers are very much appreciated!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Update on Dad

A few updates on my dad...

 -On Sunday his kidneys started to slow down a bit, which we were told is common for heart surgery patients.  It isn't necessarily a step backwards, just another hurdle to get over.   He was put on a diuretic drip to help, and he responded really positively to it, so that's good.  Today they dialed the drip back to see how his kidneys would function, and they slowed down again - so he was put on a different medication to see how it would help.  If worse comes to worst as far as his kidneys are concerned, he will be put temporarily on dialysis.

-Today they removed the balloon pump that was assisting his heart function - which is great news!  He'll need to be flat on his back for about 6-8 hours afterwards, after which a physical therapist will come in and assess my dad's situation, and what he'll be able to handle as far recovery is concerned.

-He's off his amnesia medicine, but is still extremely sleepy.  While he still isn't able to respond very well, he can hear what is going on around him.  He follows my mom's voice with his eyes, even when they're closed.  It's really sweet, actually.  For me, it's nice to know that he's still in there somewhere, even if we can't currently communicate like we'd all like to.

-He's developed a fever today, which may be an indication of an infection.  But they're proactively putting him on antibiotics while they wait to grow the cultures.  Results from a culture will take 2 days.

-Today they're putting him on a feeding tube, which is another step forward.  This will tax his heart a little bit, which is necessary for a healthy recovery.

 All in all, he's still stable and doing well, all things considered.  Not very many changes, but there have definitely been baby steps towards a successful recovery.  He's expected to be in the ICU for about a week or so, before he's transferred to a different floor.  We continue to receive an outpouring of charity, love, and prayers from friends, family, and neighbors - and we can't continue to thank everyone enough.  Know that your prayers are infinitely helpful, and our lives are being continuously blessed as a result.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Dad's Heart: An Update for Friends and Family

As many of you may or may not be aware, my Dad has been in the hospital for the last couple days, due to a very recent diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure.  We're aware that many of our friends and family are very concerned for him and are eager to know how he's doing.  So this will be an update from the very beginning to now - and I'll continue to update my blog if/when there's any more information.  If you don't have time to read the entire post, you can find his current condition at the very end in bold.

Last Friday my Dad woke up and noticed he was having a much harder time breathing than he normally does.  With a family history of Asthma, we figured that was probably the problem.  He tried an Albuterol inhaler, and it seemed to make his symptoms a lot better. The next day, my family was scheduled to clean the church, and even with the inhaler, he was still having a really hard time breathing.  Even though he was having a really hard time, he continued cleaning, because he knew he could use the extra blessings.

By Tuesday, it was evident that he needed to be seen by a doctor.  His own doctor couldn't see him until later that afternoon, so he got an appointment with a different doctor that would be available within 45 minutes.  They did a chest X-ray to check for fluid in his lungs and an EKG to check on his heart function.  They returned, and reported that my Dad had a small amount of fluid in his lungs, and his oxygen saturation was at 96% - at which point they were able to rule out Asthma.  The doctor went on to say that there were also abnormalities on his EKG and that he needed to see a cardiologist.  They didn't say much beyond that, which left my parents a little confused at what the problem actually was.

They were able to get an appointment with the cardiologist for a stress test and an Echo for a few days later, on Thursday.  They performed the Echo first, and confirmed a left bundle branch blockage (LBBB) in his heart.  Because he had the blockage, they were unable to perform the stress test due to safety and health concerns.  So instead of doing the stress test on the treadmill, they gave him what was virtually "liquid exercise" via  IV. (How do I get my hands on that?!)  and performed a CT scan so they could see what was going on more clearly. 

Before the CT scan, the cardiologist made it a point to tell my parents to make sure that they came and talked to him after the scan was complete.  When they went in to talk to him, he informed them that my Dad had Congestive Heart Failure and there was extensive damage to his heart.  He reccommended that my dad get an Angiogram that same day and that they would probably place a stent in his heart.  At this point we were all getting understandably a little freaked out.  My mom asked the nurse if we should be worried, and she flippantly said, "No, don't worry.  But don't let him drive and don't let him walk across the parking lot." 

The first cardiologist they saw was more for diagnosis - he referred my Dad to a different cardiologist at a different hospital.  They performed the Angiogram there, and afterwards calmly let my parents know that they didn't end up placing a stent, and then proceeded to tell them that they would have to perform a triple bypass open heart surgery and transfer him into the Cardiac ICU.  Beyond that, they hadn't given my parents much more information, and told them that the surgeon woiuld be in to tell them about the triple bypass.

10 enormously long hours later, the surgeon (Dr. Bill Caine) finally came in to talk to my parents.  He let them know that Dad has had several "silent heart attacks" (which are basically symptomless heart attacks - who knew?  So now instead of worrying about normal heart attacks, we have to worry about the sneaky ones too.  Awesome, right?)  He also had an aneurism (blod clot) in his heart, which was headed straight to a major artery called "The Widow Maker" - which is just as morose as it sounds.  They continued to talk for another hour about the risks and benefits of the surgery he would have, and let them know we should plan on the surgery taking 5-6 hours.  Afterwards, my Dad had the pleasure of experiencing his first manscape - which is a whole other amusing story for another day.

The following morning we went to visit him before his surgery.  He was obviously scared, but putting on a brave face for his family.  Like all of us, his emotions were very close to the surface, but he felt like everything would be okay.  He continued to crack jokes all morning, because apparently that's the prominent coping mechanism we use in the Chamberlain family.  If you're not laughing, you're sobbing.  He told us that when the nurse let him know they'd be putting dressing on his wrists, he said, "Yes, I'll take Thousand Island, please."  And when I brought up his "silent heart attacks", he said, "Shhhhh.  They're silent."  He had great spirits considering how scary of a situation he was in.

They finally wheeled him off to surgery, and was fully sedated by 8:15am.  They let us know the surgery should be complete by 3ish that afternoon.  We, along with everyone else and their dog, waited patiently for more information on how the surgery was going.  Mom finally got a call from the surgeon himself a couple hours later saying that they hadn't actually started the surgery yet because they weren't able to find any usable veins in his legs like they normally would have.  My Mom immediately asked if she could donate her veins, and he said that that wasn't an option, because (apparently) it's always better to use your own veins - and they needed something that would last.  He let her know that they'd need  to get an artery from his right arm, and my Mom was concerned that it would affect his artwork, to which the doctor responded, "At this point, it's life or death.  We need to use something."  So then we had to wait for them to hopefully be able to get a useable artery from his arm.

The surgery was delayed 4 hours, due to the complications of finding a vein/artery that would support the bypass and be long-lasting.  They finally called and let us know that they were able to harvest enough veins to perform a double bypass - although he needed a triple.  They assured us that the collateral circulation would compensate for what they wouldn't be able to bypass.  They also let us know that he was intubated and on the heart-lung machine that would take the place of his heart during the surgery.  Nothing is more freaky and scary than knowing your Dad's heart has temporarily stopped beating.

Just when I thought a blood pregnancy test was the most suspensful thing in my entire life, that quickly changed as we all waited to hear how how my Dad was doing.  The mortality rate for these surgeries is normally about 2%, for my Dad it was 5%.  And although the chances of him surviving very much outweighed the chances of him not, we all couldn't get the ominous 5% out of our mind.  It was difficult not to go there.  Longest. Wait. Ever.

The next call we received was that his heart was beating on his own, without the use of the heart-lung machine - which was great news.  However his heart was only functioning at 10% (15% less than what it was before his surgery).  A normal person's heart functions at 60%, so he obviously needed a little help.  They inserted a balloon pump in his groin that threaded up to his heart, similar to the angiogram that they had done the day before.  The pump compensated for what his heart couldn't do on his own.  The day of his surgery, the pump helped with every beat of his heart.  Today it's helping with every other beat, and they will continue to wean him until his heart can function independently.  Along with the pump, he also has the aid of a temporary pace maker, and four different medications being administered via IV to help his heart function. 

They were able to reconnect his chest-bone via surgical wires, which was the last hurdle inside the surgery he had to get over.  The fact that his heart is so enlarged, made that a potential difficulty.  But we all know my Dad has a big heart, right?  The surgeon finally came and talked to my Mom about the surgery.  He told her that this bypass, of the thousands that he has performed, was in the top 5 most difficult he's ever done.  He continued to tell her the extent of his heart damage, which was, and still is, extremely extensive.  He had known it would be bad, but it was much worse than he had expected.  He also let her know that during the surgery, they discovered a hole in his heart that he had been born with which is a pathway to his brain.  In his younger 20s, my Dad had what we now know was a mini-stroke (TIA) due to that same hole in his heart, and that mini-stroke exacerbated the hole.  They were able to correct this hole during the surgery, to prevent any more complications in the future.

Which brings us to today.  All in all, Dad is thankfully doing well for the most part.  He's in stable, but critical condition in the Thoracic ICU.  He's still very heavily sedated.  They dialed the sedation down a bit earlier today, to see if he would respond to commands, which he did.  They dialed it back up for his own comfort and healing.  He's still using the balloon pump, the pace maker, and various IV medications.  He's also having to deal with pressure ulcers (bedsores), due to the length of the surgery.  Because of all the meds and sedation, he isn't responding well to external stimuli quite yet.  He's a fighter, and is taking baby steps towards recovery - and eventually will be moved to a regular care floor, which will be the best time to visit him.  He has a long road in front of him, and it's important for him to take this time to recover.  He's expected to be in the hospital for another 7-10 days from now. 

We were able to talk to Christian in the mission field today, and he's aware of what is going on.  Our family has literally felt and been sustained by the prayers of all those praying for my Dad, and we'd like to say thank you.  We sincerely appreciate every meal, every dish washed, every single person that has called to express concern and make sure our Dad and the rest of my family is okay.  Going from Asthma to open heart surgery in a matter of hours has been quite the adventure.  We have felt a very special Spirit as we've gone through this together.  We're very aware of the Lord's tender mercies, and are confident that the Lord has our best interest in mind, and that ultimately, everything will be okay. 

If you're wondering what you can do to help my family, prayers are the most helpful.  You can never have enough of those.  And you know, if you feel like going the extra mile, my parents have a few weeds that need pulling.  ;)

Thanks again for all your concern.  We hope we've answered any questions you may have, if not, leave a comment and let us know.  Keep in mind that at this point, no news is good news - but we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bangs, Applebees, and Husband Toots.

Sheesh, with all this talk about my broken pipes, I'm starting to think I should change the name of my blog to something catchy.  Like,  "Infertility: Adventures in Vagina Land" or "Mission Impossible: Make a Person" or "5,000 Things You Never Wanted to Know about My Uterus."

Bazinga.  Totally kidding.

I promise I'm not trying to turn this blog into infertile whiny boob central.  It just happens to be the most interesting, albeit irritating, thing going on in my life right now.  So, you know, I could tell you about my trip to the doctor today, and how I have another enormous cyst, and how I'm back on birth control for three weeks, and how if I could bitch slap my ovaries, I would.  Hard.  But since I've already posted a pretty much identical story here, I think we all get the gist: Cancelled cycles suck balls. Shitdamnhell.

That said, I promise I do other stuff other than have epic meltdowns, and spend my days Googling the most embarrassing, ridiculous infertility-related things ever.  (Seriously, if anyone ever saw my search history, I would die a little inside.)  And although the other stuff may not be nearly as interesting* as self injecting myself with hormones, or getting inseminated with a fancy turkey baster - it's a nice change of scenery.  So here are some bullets, to prove I have a life outside of trying to get myself knocked up.

-The other day my bangs were bugging the ever-loving crap out of me.  You know those days.  The ones where if someone handed you a buzzer, you'd shave your entire damn head, a la Britney Spears.  Luckily I wasn't feeling overly psychotic, and decided I would try and trim my bangs.  Long story short, I couldn't find normal people scissors, so I cut my bangs with a nose hair trimmer.  Because I'm special.  In my defense, they're still technically scissors, just smaller and a hell of a lot more dull.  And my bangs?  They're pretty special now too.

-We saw The Avengers, along with 4832904893204789790482 other people this last weekend.  I thought it was a great movie.  And I still think Thor is the sexiest piece of ass on that show.  Greow.  Though Iron Man and the Hulk definitely won me over for comedic value.

-Today we went to Applebees because we had a gift card, and that is the only way you can make us go to that restaurant.  It was around 3:30 or so, and we walk in, and there are literally no other customers in the place.  None.  I tried to take a picture... But it didn't do the actual desolation of the place an ounce of justice.

Anyways, our waitress comes over and asks what we want to drink.  Shawn sees a drink on the menu called "Realberry Lemonade."  So naturally he asks our waitress what Realberry Lemonade is.  And she gave us the most judgmental "you're a dumbass" look and replied, "It's lemonade with real berries in it."  You don't frickin' say?!  Turns out it was just strawberry lemonade, with real strawberries in it.  You know, opposed to the fake ones.       ?!       Anyways.  In the meantime, a few more people sauntered into the restaurant.  We finally ordered our food, and I asked for a thing of ranch dressing.  I had to ask the host, that was right next to our table to get me some ranch, because it didn't come with my food.  Our waitress comes over about 10 minutes later, and apologizes about the ranch and tells us that "things got really busy."  Um, there were literally like 7 people total in the entire restaurant.  The hell?  So with that, on top of the chicken fingers that tasted like fish, and the warm lemonade - I can safely assure you if we ever get an Applebees gift card again, it will be re-gifted.

-I decided to get a little more aggressive with my real estate classes, even though they're the most absurdly boring classes ever.  So far I've finished a whopping 14 of the required 120 hours.  But I'm learning fancy words like 'encroachment', and 'escheat', and 'eminent domain', and 'testate'.  Check me out, miss fancypants Real Estate poser.  I'm hoping that I can finish the classes this Summer/Fall and have my license by the end of the year.  So we'll see how that goes.

-My animals are really special.  Mostly when they're sleeping.  Remember this post?  Well I've got a few more gems to add to the bunch.

My favorite pictures are when we catch them snuggling with each other.

How embarrassing.

-The other day Shawn came into my office while I was working and sat on the floor and played with Bob.  And out of no where he rips the loudest fart I've ever heard in my entire life.  He was instantly embarrassed when he realized that the guy living in the room right below probably heard and felt it.  And I laughed for about 10 minutes.  Because I'm 7, and still think farts are the funniest thing on the planet.  I'm pretty positive that I'll still be laughing at farts when I'm 80.  Because if there's anything funnier than farts, it's old people farts.

And you know that when a paragraph has the word 'fart' in it 5 times, it's probably time to peace out, before the internet judges you even more than they already have.

*Told you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Turns Out, I'm Going to Survive

So, my last post was admittedly abrupt and depressing.  I knew there were plenty of people waiting with bated breath to find out whether the procedure worked or not - so I decided to go the quick-like-a-bandaid route.  The nurse sure took her sweet ass time to call me with the results.  I went in at around 9ish in the morning, and as the tech took my blood, she asked, "So, are you hoping for a positive?"  And just when I thought my eyes couldn't roll further back into my head, I managed to mutter, "Yes." while subsequently semi-hating any woman that answered her question with no.   So 3 o'clock rolls around, and I'm pretty much dying by this point.  So I call and leave a voicemail for my nurse to call me the eff back.  I'm convinced that they spent the whole day arguing over who had to call me with the results.  I can't imagine it's too fun to call already hormonal women, and basically say, "We know you just spent a gigantic crapload of money for this procedure, but turns out your lady parts are still giant assholes, and you aren't pregnant."

I was able to maintain my composure long enough to thank the nurse for finally calling and hang up.  And then I cried.  If there's any silver lining, some of it would be that I was about 98% sure that it would be negative beforehand.  I had been peeing on sticks like an obsessed lunatic, and that morning, they were still negative.  My only 2% glimmer of hope was coming from Google, where I read about stories of women who had gotten negative pee sticks, but had positive blood tests.  And then those stories about women who don't even get positives 'til they're 4 months along.  All stories that were the exceptions, not the rule.  I wanted to be the exception.  But something in my gut told me that I wouldn't be, at least not this time.  And I think knowing that, softened the blow a little bit.  So that day, there surprisingly wasn't any full blown mental lady breakdown.  Just a lot of silent tears.  And yes, that's still super depressing, but hey, the good news is I can finally take a break from the vagina bullets, and wearing the most massive pads at night that were nothing short of big ass people diapers, and still waking up in puddles of progesterone.  That I will not miss.  Silver lining, baby.

Even though I'm diaper free, I'm still a little sad.  And as it turns out, my mental lady breakdown happened the next day.  You know, the one where you blubber, and hyperventilate, and snot all over the damn place.  It so conveniently triggered while I was working, when my husband came in and thanked me for working so hard.  I burst into tears as I told him that this isn't the work that I'm supposed to be doing right now.  That I'm supposed to be a mom raising children.  And thus my pent up emotions flowed like a big snotty river.  Shawn just sat and held me, as I sobbed about how unfair life is.  He is a wonderful man, and even though I know his heart is aching too, he's been an amazing support to me.

Speaking of support, I have to say thank you.  Thank you for all your kind words and prayers.  Thank you for being so concerned for us.  Thank you for caring.  I have literally felt your prayers, and I firmly believe that it's what has kept me from completely nose-diving into a really dark place.  I know that the Lord has been right by my side, holding my hand and easing this heartbreaking burden.  I know He will help me through this, and some day we will have the blessing and privilege to raise our beautiful children, who I already love more than anything in the world.  The fact that there are so many people on both sides rooting for us, is more comforting and wonderful than I could ever possibly express in words.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012