Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Finally home!!!

Arianna's heart surgery was an amazing success!!!  The doctors are so amazed at the recovery and progress that Arianna has made.  We contribute all of it to God and thank all the prayer warriors who have been praying daily for our little princess.  God proved the doctors wrong on so many things.  We were told she would be in the hospital for 4-6 weeks, we were there 2.  We were told she would end up with a permanent pace maker, she has NONE.  The doctors even pre-wired her in surgery expecting to use the pace maker and her heart never once time showed any type of arythmia and this totally surprised the doctors.  She recovered and flew out of ICU very quickly.  She had a couple of days that were tense and hard, but overall her recovery was by far much quicker and easier than doctors had predicted.  We are home now and she is getting back to herself, except for not eating.  Not eating is the only issue we are trying to combat right now, but feel she will come around after being home and in familiar surroundings for a few days.

While we were in the hospital they ordered a swallow study and found that Arianna asperates when she swallows, but this is an easy fix with simply thick that is placed into milk and other liquid or thin foods and drinks.  Asperating can also be a contributor to upper respiratory illnesses, so that was an awesome find.

Again thank you to all of our prayer warriors and the wonderful ladies who have been bringing meals to my husband and kids while I was at the hospital.  Your help, thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gearing up for summer!!!

Our very busy school year is coming to an end.  Carissa completed her 3 year old preschool at the Montessori at our church, and Natalie is almost done with the majority of her home school, with the exception of the summer materials we will continue.  I have been busy planning and reviewing new home school material for next year for Natalie and getting prepared for teaching at vacation bible school next week.  The majority of my stress was trying to find a sitter during the weeks that Arianna is in the hospital and God has answered my prayers.  I found a wonderful college graduate who is waiting for her new job to start in the fall at a school district.  She is old enough, mature enough, drives, knows CPR, is a life guard and swim instructor.  Wow!  I am so excited to have her come to our house daily and watch Natalie, Carissa and Arielle while I go to the hospital.  This was a huge stress relief for me in being prepared for the upcoming surgery.  Kids are very excited as well because them getting to swim was depending on the person hired, lucky them she fits the bill!!  We are getting our pool ready for summer swimming.  With all the rain we have had, the pool cover remains on the pool.  But this week we are expected to hit the 90s with no rain, so its time to swim!

Arielle is almost walking.  She holds onto things and walks, she pushes and walks behind toys, she even stands alone and takes a few steps so she should be off and walking very soon!!  Arianna, is doing her own cruising around the house, on her belly!  We will have her crawling soon, I hope.  It looks like it will be after surgery since that is coming up quickly.

Both little ones have doctor appointments at ENTs, Arielle for possible sleep apnea and Arianna for nose bleeds.  Lets pray these are quick and easy fixes for both!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Arianna is such a trooper!!!

Yesterday Arianna had a procedure in the Heart Cath Lab.  They put her to sleep and inserted a catheter into her main artery and into the heart.  They were taking pressures of the interior of her heart to be better prepared for her surgery. When they were trying to put her to sleep they could not get her intubated cause the tube would not go down her trachea, they called in a pulmonary doctor who came and did a scope and found that her trachea did not develop normally and when you get below her vocal chords it narrows to a very tiny size.  He also found she has a second right lobe to her lung that is non functional and serves no purpose.  Anyways, they were able to get her to sleep in a different way and they performed the procedure with no issues.  However, the findings are exactly what they expected, but we did not expect to hear the news that she will be ICU for 4-5 weeks after her heart surgery.  Her little heart is enlarged so much they said her recovery will be tough and long. She is scheduled for June 16th, which gives us time to plan. We were not expecting such a long hospital stay and the hospital is over an hour away from our home.  Our plan is to find a sitter to come to our house daily and watch the other three kids, while I travel back and forth daily to the hospital and Shawn works.  I will probably stay one or two nights per week at the hospital and we hope for our whole family to stay the weekends down there so we don't have to travel.  It will be a long process for all of us, but we will get through it and Arianna will feel so much better afterwards.

Please continue to pray for little Arianna, she has gone through so many medical tests lately and now her upcoming surgery, but she is such a trooper.  Yesterday after her Cath lab procedure he had to lay for 4 hours flat on her back and she did such an amazing job!!  God brought this little princess here and into our lives for a reason and He will heal her and give her an amazing life.

Thank you all and God bless!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mothers Day....

Mothers Day was beautiful and full of love and joy!!  Arianna was baptized, we celebrated both her baptism and Mothers Day with wonderful loving friends.  We are fortunate to have very special close christian friends who love us and nurture our marriage and relationship.  They are always there for us through thick and thin, ups and downs and they always remind us of Gods love for us and His intentions in our marriage covenant with Him.  How awesome is that to have such friends, we love you Michael and Billie Becker and Steve and Kim Hofbauer!!!

Arianna was so beautiful in her baptism dress and full of smiles as usual.  We are so blessed that God gave us the opportunity to bring her into our family so she could bless us with her immense love for others.  She is a true light of God!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Arianna updates...

Today both babies had eye exams.  Arianna has astigmatism, but not enough to warrant glasses just yet, probably 3-4 years out.  Arielle has some nearsightedness, but not enough to warrant glasses, again probably 3-4 years out.

Open heart surgery has been scheduled for Arianna.  June 16th she will have both holes fixed and a new valve created.  She will be in the hospital for 10-12 days.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Arianna has changed so much since we got home on March 26th.  She is scooting all over the place now, whereas before she just laid still and cried because she did not like tummy time.  She is gaining so much strength in her upper body, she can also sit now unassisted without falling backwards at all anymore.

Arielle is just about ready to walk, she is pushing everything she can to walk, not much longer and she will be taking off on her own!!

Both girls are so amazing and loving and bring so much joy to our family!  Please keep Arianna in your prayers as we embark on her journey to good health.

Gob bless!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Things are going great!!!

Our family is enjoying all the bonding, playing and fun we are having with Arianna.  She is changing every day.  When we first brought her home, she could sit alone but had to have a pillow behind her because her back muscles are so weak she could not stop herself from falling backwards.  As of today, she sits alone without a pillow and has not fallen backwards in a couple of weeks now.  This means her muscles are getting stronger just by being allowed to sit on the floor and use them to gain strength.  We also give her lots of tummy time, even though she is over the age of two, since she was never allowed to stimulate her body through exercise, she could not crawl or move anywhere.  Now she spends lots of time on her tummy, she can scoot herself backwards and turn her body around in circles in an attempt to get the toy she wants.  All I can say is progress!!!  She may not be crawling yet or doing the things she should be doing at her age, but she is making amazing progress.

The results of her blood tests and poop specimans are in.  She is positive for parasites, which we pretty much knew would be there and her thyroid is not working properly.  So now we have an appointment to see the Endocrinologist to get that straightened out. We are working on a short time schedule here, because all these things have to be addressed and under control either through medicine or some other way, before May 20th when she has her heart cath surgery to measure the pressures within her heart and lungs.

Arielle and Arianna are so much fun to watch.  Little Arianna will be playing with a toy and here comes her sister Arielle to take it away.  She has decided to fight back, so now they play a game of tug of war with Arianna looking Arielle right in the eyes and squealing at her to let go.  Arielle just stares at her and moves on.  Arielle is very mobile with crawling and pulling up to stand and starting to take steps of walking, while Arianna sits back and watches.  But Arianna is very verbal and picks up on signs very quickly.  She can sign, eat and more and she loves to read books.

So next week both babies have an appointment to have their eyes checked.  Another item on our list of checking those things that could possibly cause issues in a Down syndrome child.

Thank you for visiting and sharing our story!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Making changes in my blog..

Now that our adoption of Arianna is complete, my blog will focus on our family growing together as one and learning to lean on God.

My husband and I are of the Catholic faith and are raising our children the same.  We are committed to our marriage and our love for one another, even through tough times.  Recently, our marriage was tested yet again, this time his family did not start the drama another outsider did, but as soon as his family learned there was conflict, they jumped on board to see what they could do to end our marriage.

I am saddened by a comment that my husbands brother made to him during this conflict.  "I don't support divorces since I am Catholic, but in this case divorce is the best option" hmmm, really? Sounds like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.  How can a person consider themselves a faithful Catholic and support divorce?  Even our priest commented that those words did not come from a truly faithful Catholic, because as Catholics we are commanded to save and protect the sanctity of marriage, no matter what.  I believe the best words of advice coming from another Catholic should be "I am sorry you are going through such hard times with your wife, perhaps you should seek counsel from your priest before you consider the option of divorce,  When you married you made a covenant before God, one that should not be taken lightly."

Nobody is perfect, life is not perfect and we are tested on a daily basis.  When people try to break into my marriage and cause conflicts I find it very hard not to retaliate, but this time I am not.  I have been praying everyday for God to give me the strength and wisdom to overcome the words that have been said against me and to forgive the people who say them.

Life is moving forward for our family, we are growing closer together and spending more time in bible study and prayer together.

Now on to the updates:  Arianna saw her cardiologist this week and things don't look good for her. God knew exactly what he was doing by moving our adoption timeline up many weeks.  Arianna will be having heart surgery soon, they are preparing her for it and running many tests to be ready to repair and fix her broken heart.  She was diagnosed with Complete Atrioventricular Septal Defect. This means she has a small hole in her Atrial chamber, a very large hole in her Ventricular chamber and instead of two valves she only has one.  She will need to have a second valve created and the holes closed so she can be healthy and no longer face the possibility of death.  Without the surgery her lungs get way too much blood flow, which results in her not breathing and turning blue, which can at some point result in death.  She also saw the Gastro doctor, who is running some tests and checking her anatomy to make sure everything is working great.  She will have a tough road over the next 2-3 months, but once she is recovered she will be healthy and should thrive and grow!!

Pray for our angel girl as she endures her many tests, procedures and surgeries.  I will keep updating as we move along this path.

God bless!!