Monday, May 9, 2016

What Were You Doing 3 Years Ago?

What were you doing three years ago at this time? We were gathered around a table with family. It was a satisfying evening. We ate together and played a board game together. Kate and I had been in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for about two weeks. We had a lot of highs and lows in those two weeks. The highest being that the fetal surgery to save our daughters life was successful. The lowest being that somewhere after a week had passed our daughter had a level 4 brain bleed on both sides of the brain.

Even though we were in New Jersey and not Belpre, it was good to be with family and not in a hospital. Little did we know what the next day would bring.

Hadassah decided it was time to make her grand appearance. The doctors tried to stop Kate's contractions but they wouldn't stop. So we had to deliver. Who knew that the the next hour would be such a defining one in our lives. Doctors came in and told us the odds weren't good and asked us some hard questions about resuscitation and other impossible things to answer like that. They tried to prepare us for the worst. That's their job and I don't hold it against them. But it was our job to have some faith in a God who can do whatever he wants with 2lb 7oz baby. And so He did.

And here I sit 2 years 364 days later in a chair and I look at a little girl who has come a really long way. She's taking baby steps. No, she's not walking...yet. But she is progressing. And that's more than we could ever ask for. She's going to go to preschool in the fall. She's going to be a big sister in the fall. She has friends. She has a personality. And we marvel at what God will do in her and through her next.

Haddie in her stander. She can stay in it for over
an hour and can stay at almost 90 degrees for
20 minutes of that without her head
flopping over. Progress!
And I imagine 3 years ago at this time I know what some of you were doing. You were praying. Praying for us. Praying for a miracle. Praying that God would bring us through it all. And we can't thank you enough for those prayers. God is good. All the time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Get Ready, Get Set

You know that moment right before a race starts and the runners are taking their marks. They are mentally picturing what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. And no matter how much preparation they have made, nothing really prepares them for when that gun goes off and the race actually starts. That's how I'd describe where we are.

We are preping for the race which starts in August. We know we have to get in shape for that but we also know there's no way to truly prepare for it.

In August, Haddie will start preschool at Ewing in Marietta. We have had a lot of meetings recently where they are evaluating her and making sure she gets what she needs when she's at school. The state requires a lot of paperwork and a lot of meetings just for our kid to go to school. But we are looking forward to her going. We know that she will benefit from being with other kids, having daily therapy, interaction, and weekly swims in their pool!

And we are also getting ready for this little person:
Pac Man is due August 18th. However we found out today that they really do NOT want Kate going into labor. So they will consider doing a C-Section at 35-37 weeks. That's the end of July which just so happens to be the same week my brother's wife, Bethany is due. 

So we have a baby's room to paint. We also are trying to reorganize our lives a bit. We know that with Haddie and Pac man, we are going to have our hands full. So right now we're trying to spend time doing the things that matter. Less time watching TV and more time preparing for the things coming up at the end of summer. 

So far everything is going great. We are tremendously blessed to be in this situation. We recognize not everyone gets this opportunity. So we try not to complain about anything but rather rejoice. We have a wonderful Fall coming. The time between now and then will be a tad hectic but we are up for it. So Get Ready, Get Set....

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Introducing Pac Man

Many of you already know. A lot of you have seen the video. Haddie's expression is priceless. In case you missed it here you go:

Yep. That's a heartbeat! And it's not mine, Kate's or Haddie's! We are expecting! Haddie's brother or sister has a due date of August 18th which currently puts Kate at 13 weeks. We found out before Christmas but decided to keep it quiet until we met with the doctor, had the ultrasound, and heard the heartbeat.

Obviously we are a little nervous. If you couldn't tell from the previous 113 post...Hadassah Marie has kept us on our toes for almost 3 years! But we are excited and blessed to have this opportunity again. The doctors at CHOP told us in 2013 that we'd have to wait two years to try again and we'd have to have a C-section. Otherwise everything should go fine for our second pregnancy. And so far, so good. Both the ultrasound and the heartbeat were good. Our doctor says we will probably deliver a couple weeks prior to Aug 18th to ensure Kate doesn't go into labor.

We have also decided not to find out what we are having. We tried that last time and it didn't work out. Every ultrasound we had before Haddie was born we told them not to tell us the gender. We forgot to mention that when a doctor asked us to read through an MRI report. So this time we will go for the surprise again. So until then, Pac Man will be the name. (Some of you video game types will make the connection from Pac Man to Frogger) If we end up having a girl we'll just tell her she was "Miss Pac Man" all along and we didn't know!

God is good and we are very happy to let you all in on this. We ask for your prayers. Most issues occur in the first trimester and we are almost out of that. But we didn't find out about Haddie's condition until the 22 week obviously we are still a little nervous. Kate has been feeling okay. No morning sickness but she has had some pretty rough headaches and even a couple of migraines the last few weeks. But all in all she is doing well.

We thank you for your prayers and support. It means a lot to us. And as always...God is good.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quick February Update

Thought I'd just share a little of what's been going on with Haddie for those of you that want to know. She's doing pretty well these days. Still scooting when she crawls and she gets in that mood maybe 3 times a week. She's doing very well with her therapies and working her switch toys. She seems to be more alert than ever. We've lowered her seizure meds a little bit and she's reacted fine. We met with a dietician this past week and she felt Haddie was doing well. She's plateaued a bit so we need to increase her calories some but overall Had is eating and drinking well.

And that's about it really. It's so crazy to have a sense of normality considering how hectic the first year or so was. I was reminded of this when I was at Akron Children's hospital this past week. Haddie and I hopped in an elevator and a guy my age walked in as well. He looked beat. I asked him how he was and he said "so, so. We've been in and out since August". I knew what that meant. In the hospital, things get better, you get out and before you can get settled you're back in the hospital. I told him I'd been there and simply encouraged him to hold on and hang in there. I wish I could've said more before he got off the elevator.

People often ask why I don't update this more. The main reason is there isn't a ton to update. Haddie continues to impress us with her growing abilities and her funny personality. We are so blessed to have calm and uneventful days and months. We know full well that could change in an instant so we try not to take that for granted. But I am humbled that people still ask and ant to know. That tells me that Haddie has a special place in a lot of peoples hearts.

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Haddie- Cember Update

Hey Folks,

Thought we'd give you a quick update on Haddie since it's been a while. Hadassah has been doing pretty well recently. People always ask how her development is coming and we say slowly but surely. She makes some progress and then we have a minor set back. But we thank God these days have just been minor setbacks. Shes had an ear infection this past week but is coming out of it.

videoHaddie's therapy sessions have been going well. They currently have her working with switches where she can activate a switch and it turns on a moving toy. She seems to like some toys better than others. This could help us out greatly down the road in communicating what she wants. They make switches that are way more advanced. However, we still believe Haddie girl will talk some day so we the switches may just be for fun anyways. Don't tell her but Santa may be bringing her her very own switch toy for Christmas.

We also found out that Haddie has a temper. We thought she was having seizures at first. Her face would turn red, she'd kind of lock up, turn her head to the side and let out a scream lasting around 10-15 seconds...quite startling if you've never seen her do it...extremely startling at 3:30 in the morning coming through her video monitor which amplifies sound (envision a pterodactyl dinosaur coming down on you). Our neurologist investigated and doesnt believe those are seizures. Kids with seizures do not turn red. Kids who are mad turn red. Which makes sense because just about every one of those screams can be related to her being angry...pooping, laying on one side for too long, being hungry, or waking up in the wee hours of the night and no one is awake...etc.

 Slowly but surely we figure this girl out. And two nights ago we figured out it was time to crawl. She gets in these moods from time to time when she's fixated on crawling and she refuses to do anything but crawl. So we give her some pressure on her feet for a push off and away she goes. Out of her bed room and half way down the hall. She was working hard. She went to take another crawl and fell asleep halfway through it!

Thanks always for your thoughts about us and our family. God is still using Haddie to show people that He's good and in charge. Hope you all have a great Christmas. Never forget about the miracles God gives us through Christ.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Toys

Hadassah has been doing okay the past few months. She got over her UTI and was starting to get back to crawling when a cold set in...and stayed around for about 3 weeks. We gave her nebulizer treatments and just waited for her to get better. It seems to take Haddie twice as long as everyone else to kick the ailments she gets.

But she's doing better now! It's tough because during those times she loses some of what she has gained in the areas of crawling and head control. But we have bought a few things that we think will help her out:

1. A Cute Pink Helmet. Many kids have these because of seizures that cause them to collapse. Some kids have them because they hit themselves. Haddie has it simply because she gets rug burn when she crawls! The therapist had never seen anyone get a helmet for that reason but they said it makes sense. We just got it two days ago and you can tell by the picture that Haddie isn't used to it just yet.

2. The Firefly Upsee

 My dad saw this on Facebook and so we looked into it. Basically this will help Haddie experience what walking feels like. It will also put some weight on her legs which is also good for her. We don't know how well it will work but we are willing to give it a try. It's in the mail and we are super excited to try it out!

3. Curly Hair. She has so much hair! And it's very curly. So last night we decided for fun we would straighten it. We made the mistake of posting it on Facebook. The outcry against us was great! Apparently, you all like her curls...and so do we gave her a bath and they came right back this morning!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Haddie continues to impress us and melt our hearts. God is good.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Waking Up

The past three days Haddie has slept a lot. She would barely wake up in the mornings. She would stir a little in the afternoons and would catch up on eating a little bit in the evenings. We keep giving her antibiotics and waiting. She wasn't getting worse and there was no sign that this was anything other than her dealing with a UTI. A lot of people we talked to said they slept several days when they had theirs.

But today...she woke up! I went upstairs to say goodbye before work and she was wide eyed and looking around! She looks way better. Hoping this continues throughout the day!

I was very humbled yesterday. As many of you know, a great member of our church passed away yesterday morning. I had the privilege of going to the ER and being with the family right after he passed away. His wife's first words to me were "how's Haddie?" Mary, that meant a lot considering the moment that you were in. I cannot express how much all of your prayers and thoughts for Hadassah means to us when we go through moments like this.

Please pray for the Miller family.

(I asked Kate to send me a picture...looks like Haddie decided to close her eyes again!)