Sunday, August 29, 2010

A quick update and prayer request

First, our girls are continuing to grow.  Bella is up to 9 lbs 8.5 ounces, while Gloriana is up to  6 lbs 4 oz.  Every little bit helps… they’re still on the every-three-hour schedule, so it’s been a little tiring for all of us.

Many of you know that we had a cardiologist appointment at the University of Chicago on Friday.  We received mixed results.  We’ll go with the good news first.  They couldn’t really hear Bella’s VSD (hole in her heart), and they had trouble being able to see it on the echocardiogram!   Woo-hoo – great news!  She pretty much has a clean bill of health in terms of her health; it looks like the hole in her heart has closed up!  Praise God!

More good news: it looks like Gloriana’s hole in her heart is getting smaller, too!  Very encouraging news – and reason to give thanks!

However, we got some not-so-good news, too.  The echocardiogram showed that one of the four chambers of Gloriana’s heart looks enlarged.  Although the doctor couldn’t make any definite diagnosis, an enlarged chamber of the heart is typically associated with a problem with the mitral valve in the heart – that valve is most likely reducing in size.  Of course, we wanted to ask a million questions – “What’s the prognosis?” “What kind of treatments are there?” “Will this be tough to treat?” – but they wanted to follow up in 3 weeks before doing anything else.  What we do know is that trying to fix a valve is quite a bit more complicated than the one-time-surgery-fix of a hole in the heart.  That’s a little tough to hear.

But our hope is in God.  We trust that He will bring good out of this.  We are praying boldly that things will look a lot better in three weeks and that the chamber is back to normal size.  Please join us in calling on our mighty God during this new challenge.  God is good, all the time.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Baptism Video

Today we rejoiced at the baptism of our two girls.  We are so very thankful for the way that God blessed this day - we had hearts full of joy to see God's faithfulness in such a powerful way throughout the last year.  Church was full and so was our home... and, of course, we wouldn't want it any other way. =)

One of the special parts of the service was a video we put together this week.  It includes a song that's very significant to us - my sister Laura put it on a CD to encourage us during our week in Cincinnati for the laser surgery.  The name of the song is That's What Faith Can Do, and it's by a band called Kutless.  (If you'd like to see the video a bit larger, you should be able to double-click on it and see it on its youtube page.)


Saturday, August 7, 2010

An Overdue Update

First, an apology: I am very sorry for neglecting my responsibility to update everyone who has faithfully prayed for us throughout this journey.  You – both near and far, both close friends and folks we haven’t met – are vital components to the health and well-being of our girls.  Your prayers have been effective, but I have not with regard to keeping you updated.  My sincere apologies.

Second, an excuse: for years I’ve said how busy our family has been, but it truly doesn’t compare to the pace of life right now.  On a typical day, I get up and help with breakfast for the “big” kids, go to work until noon, come home, eat lunch, clean up lunch while Lisa feeds the twins, put the big kids down for nap, go back to work until 5:30, come home for supper, clean up dinner/do dishes, go outside (sometimes) with Lisa and the kids, bathe the big kids, give them snacks, put them to bed, feed the twins with Lisa, soothe Bella between the 8:30 and 11:30 p.m. feeding (that’s her most awake/irritable time), feed the twins one after the other, and get to bed between 12:30 and 1 a.m.  Repeat. =)  Oh, and sometimes church meetings get mixed into the evenings.  So it hasn’t been a lack of desire to keep you informed, it has been a lack of time.  Nevertheless, I’m sorry and will do better in the future.

Third, an update: (this feels like a sermon with three points!) the girls are doing really well.  Gloriana’s weight gains have been up and down at times – from losing 6 ounces over 6 days to gaining 2 ounces per day.  Our doctors and nurses see this as normal – as long as she’s gaining over sustained periods of time, then everything is fine.  And she has been.  She’s up to 6 pounds even, as of yesterday morning.  Just like the last update, I can honestly say that she’s looking more and more healthy.  She still has occasional Brady’s – it seems like when she gets into a really deep sleep her body forgets to breathe… it makes us thankful that we have the monitor because it usually startles her enough to get her breathing back on track.  Belladia continues to do extremely well.  She weighed in at 8 pounds and 14 ounces yesterday.  She doesn’t seem to have any major health concerns, so we’re very thankful for that.

Our next big doctor appointments come at the end of the month – on August 29, we’ll be seeing the cardiologist at the University of Chicago again.  That could be the time when we figure out what – if anything – to do about Gloriana and Belladia’s VSDs (holes in their hearts).  We’re already praying for clarity and discernment as that date approaches.

It’s a celebratory week here at our home… Daylia turned 2 on Thursday, our marriage turns 6 today (Saturday), I get to baptize the twins tomorrow morning (one of the things we prayed about here), we’re having 60 (!) of our closest friends/relatives to our home for lunch to celebrate tomorrow, and Kruesie turns 4 on Wednesday.  Did I mentioned our lives are busy? =)

We truly thank you for your prayers.  If you happen to be around DeMotte tomorrow morning, the worship service at First CRC starts at 9:30 central time.  We’d love to have you celebrate God’s faithfulness with us.  If not, continue to rejoice with us wherever you are.  God is good, all the time.


PS – Enjoy these (long overdue) pictures, too! =)

This was the night we took Gloriana home!
Gloriana on the left, Belladia on the right.
A very happy and thankful Daddy
Bella on the left, Gloriana on the right

Daylia is showing her personality in this picture!

Yes, they do cry on occasion... and sometimes at the same time!

Here's our whole family - we are so blessed!