Monday, June 30, 2008

A Regular Room WOO HOO!

This is as close to normal as we have gotten with Lindsay. The move into a regular room came as quite a shock to Suzie when she and I arrived at the hospital this morning. I can't even begin to discribe to you what it's like to watch my daughter care for this special gift from God. The look in her eyes when she holds her or just stands by her bedside is the most precious sight I've ever seen. Lindsay has to feel how much she is loved.

OK, little Lindsay will be three weeks old on Wed. and grandma finally gets to hold her. What a thrill it was for me. Tonight I fed her and she took the whole bottle, which means we didn't have to tube feed her. We've heard a rumor that the chest drainage tube might be removed tomorrow. If so, she'll be much more comfortable and that much closer to coming home.
What a wonderful day we had today!
Heart Hugs,

Our little Princess

Bill and Elaine (U of M alumni) and great friends came to visit just when Lindsay was getting released into moderate care. They couldn't have picked a better time to visit. Lindsay continues to improve every day.

Imagine the joy it is for Suzie and JR to finally dress their little princess.
I arrived back in Ann Arbor tonight and wanted to upload some pictures from the last few days. Yes, the time on this posting is now correct and it is late. Suzie has so much more to do with Lindsay now from feeding her (bottle and tube) and changing her. She's so hands on and has even learned how to insert the feeding tube. The more they learn to care for her, the sooner she can come home.
We're tired and I'll post more pictures tomorrow. I just knew that these would encourage everyone that our prayers are being heard. Keep it up!
Heart Hugs,

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Movin' on up!!!

Well, we had an exciting day here in Ann Arbor. Lindsay was able to get moved to the moderate care area and we had Elaine and Bill visit this evening. They were generous enough to take us out for dinner too. Man, did that feel good!
Lindsay will hopefully get her last chest tube out tomorrow and start doing normal baby things. I can even start dressing her!! So, stay tuned for more cute pictures! Can you tell that I'm excited? We still have to keep a close eye on her but things are going well for the most part.
If you haven't guessed yet, it is finally Suzie posting! Mom is back in town for the rest of the week and will be joining me again on Sunday night to take over for JR as he returns to work next week and will be back on Thursday the 3rd. We have had a long and exciting day but time for bed. Until tomorrow.........
Love and heart hugs,
Suzie and JR my UT&T girls.......People magazine page 54.....HELLO Slater!!!!!! This is what I do while waiting at the hospital :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An update from yesterday's family day

I realized that I left Cruz out of the pictures from yesterday. He doesn't quite understand what's going on when he looks at this little baby, but he did understand how fun the playground was at the hospital.

Suzie really likes this type of picture, so I thought
I'd share it with you. Lindsay has long fingers and
her nail beds look like her Great Grandma Lindsay's.
What an appropriate picture with her blanket as the
background. Just a little punture wound healing up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More great moments to share

This kind of puts our last two weeks into perspective. Normally within the first 24 hours you go over your new baby from head to toe. When Suzie and JR have been able to hold Lindsay, it was such a process with the nurses getting everything just right so as not to loosen any of the tubes, no one noticed that Lindsay has a beautiful raspberry birthmark on her neck. I had forgotten that Suzie had one on the back of her neck when she was born, also.

I took the kids back to Ann Arbor with me last night after I attended Pam's mom's funeral. I don't know who was most excited to see who? The kids were thrilled when we had a pajama party at my hotel and mom and dad had picked up a movie for the kids to watch.
Today we had lunch in the hospital waiting room while we took turns going in to see Lindsay. Then, we explored the playground area at the top of the hospital. After enjoying a popcicle, we took the kids to the children's hands on museum. I told the kids that I had a shortcut to get home because Cole always asks if it's a long drive. I slipped in a portable DVD player so it kept him occupied and broke it up treating him to his first milkshake. He thought it was cool to drink ice cream. Cruz just slept most of the way home.
So, I came home tonight to get some things done, hopefully Suzie will be able to post updates for the next few days. I will return to Ann Arbor on Sunday when JR returns home to go back to work.
Please continue to uplift Suzie and JR's spirits with postings because I really mean it when I say that it's their highlight of the day to come back to the RM House and get on the computer to read your messages to them.
Thank you all and heart hugs too,

So many good pictures to share

It had been a week since Suzie and JR had held Lindsay. How special for them. JR was planning on returning to work this week, but just couldn't leave.

Lindsay's pink blanket is extremely special to us. Lindsay's Great Grandma Lindsay made this for Suzie when she was born. Grandma made all 6 of her grandkids these blankets.
Since Lindsay is being fed with feeding tubes, she's learning how to suck on the pacifier. So far she's taken to it and we hope this will prepare her for taking a bottle.
She's still in intensive care with one on one nursing care, but hopefully she'll move from there soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Best day ever

Ok, I admit, I fell asleep last night when Bill put in a movie that's why you're getting a morning post from me. Pam (my sister in law) followed me home to Kalamazoo to overnight before returning to her temporary home in Iowa. I understand that John is meeting with the insurance adjuster today.

Yesterday was delightful starting out with Pam's visit, followed by Jeff and Carol Simpson fitting in a visit while in the area from New Jersey. While Lindsay had these visitors, Lindsay's respirator tube was removed and it was wonderful to see her face without so much tape. We're hearing a faint cry (something we haven't heard since she was born) and later in the day Suzie and JR were able to hold her. She was awake for them for about 4 hours falling asleep in Daddy's arms. Something we all take for granted with our children is such a huge deal to them.

I wanted to update these pictures including those without her respiratory tube and know that you will share our joy in this accomplishment.

I will be returning to Ann Arbor after I attend Jan's (my friend Pam's mom) funeral this afternoon. Everyone at visitation was so supportive of our plight with Lindsay joining in on our daily prayers for this new little life.

Heart Hugs,


Saturday, June 21, 2008

It was a good day!

Suzie and JR were able to catch Lindsay with her eyes open earlier today. What a sweetheart! I'm just hopeful that we're on the other side of the hill now and we take 1/2 step forward every day. She's only on morphine now and her breathing tube has been cut back so they're slowly weening her off of it. She's still a little touchy when she's moved to a different position but they get her stabilized quickly.
We're expecting company tomorrow, so we'll catch you up on that after I head to Kalamazoo.

Heart Hugs,

The rest of the day went well

Aunt Retta surprised Lindsay today with a visit. Thank you so much for coming to see Lindsay.

The Dean's drove over today, JR's mom, sister Deb and Samantha and JR's brother, Ken and son Zach.

This company really helps pass the day for Suzie and JR.

Little Lindsay's tummy is still swollen, however she's eliminating as they would like her to. So, that's good news! We'll take all of that we can. She'll have another little battle scar on her chest from the chest tube. The nurse told us tonight that adult patients say that that hurts worse than the open heart incision.

Suzie and JR received a surprise from Amanda and Ryan today with a fruit bouquet. I'll tell you that Terry family keeps us feed. Suzie loves her fruit and some of it even had chocolate on it.

If Lindsay is doing ok, I plan on driving to Kalamzoo Sunday for my friend's (Pam) mother's funeral. She passed away yesterday a.m. I so want to be with her for that special time. This has been so hard for the two of us when we've wanted to be there for each other, but knew we were where we were suppose to be. I can't tell you the times Pam would just call and pray with me.

Well we had a late night visit with Lindsay and they sedated her so she would have a peaceful evening. It's amazing how the nurses recognize their pain, because after all these little babies can't cry while they're on the ventilator.

Hopefully we'll have a recovery day tomorrow.

Heart Hugs,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another bump in the road FIXED

Well, last night Lindsay had a lung collapse. They were right on it , did an xray, found an air pocket, inserted a chest tube and fixed it. Her other lung has some stuff in it and their working on loosening it up.
The chest tube was left in just in case.

Her tummy is a little bloated so they're continuing the diuretict to get the fluid out.

The "goal of the day" is to get her regulated on her meds.

Heart Hugs,

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What a day!

A different version of "The Thinker"
Yeah!!!! She's closed...

As you all might guess, we were happy to leave the hospital after seeing Lindsay to come back to my hotel for some Tina Lasagna. Suzan Dean came to visit and was in on all the action today, but she did stop by Tina's to pick up dinner and brought it up to us. Boy did we look forward to that after the day we had.

I wouldn't want anyone to go through this roller coaster!!!

The respiratory therapist is trying to find Lindsay's "sweet spot" to keep her stable. She seems to like things just right.

I know you all like pictures, so here they are.....
Heart Hugs to all,

Update on surgery

It's 5:00pm and the Dr. just came in....he used that "fantastic" word again and that Lindsay's doing great. He went ahead and closed her chest after fixing the shunt and said that will never have to be fixed again. He mentioned other bumps in the road may happen, but this one's fixed.

He also said that they knew right away that Lindsay has a good heart (even if it's half) because it started pumping right away.

I hope to do pictures when we're allowed in and it's going to be exciting to have her chest closed.

Heart hugs and continued prayers.


A little kink this morning (literally)

Suzie and JR received a phone call about 8:45am concerning Lindsay. When they arrived at the hospital the surgeon was there working on her "bedside". Her saturations (SATS) had gone down during the night and had come back up but this morning they went down and didn't come back up.

The Dr. did an echo and found that the shunt had a kink in it. He temporarily straightened it out, right there bedside, until they can take her back to surgery about 12:30pm to go in and actually shorten the shunt. In the mean time, they are keeping her blood pressure higher. The Dr. is fine with the size of the shunt, it just needs to be shortened.

Luckily, they didn't think she was ready to close yesterday and he can get to the problem without having to open her chest again.

I'll update as soon as possible after the surgery.

Heart Hugs and a prayer request to all,

Update and other family happenings

Elaine is exactly right about the timing that shows when blogs and postings are listed. Suzie and I just had that discussion about that today and she said there is a way to change that. To tell you the truth, guys, I am so proud that I can do this for them, to heck with the time issue. I'm afraid if I get in there to change it, I'll screw it up!

I e-mailed the Kalamazoo Gazette today to put the birth announcement in the paper and received a response that it would go in tomorrow or the next day. If some of you could save a few papers for us, that would be great.

I would like to take this opportunity to update my extended family about Dan's (my son) condition following his car accident. He returned to the Dr. today and they want him to start PT and is still on restricted duty 'til at least July 1st. He's working locally (in Pensacola) and working cases by phone. He's feeling terrible about not being here with the family at this time and has told me that this blog keeps him going. Seeing pictures of his little niece has been his therapy up to now.

Also, because of the Iowa floods, my brother John Lindsay and his wife, Pam have had their home on the Cedar River destroyed this past week. Then our prayers for them were answered by John's company (formerly Bandag) stepping up and offering their furnished corporate apartment for them to move into and Pam's employer, Wal-Mart has donated money to them. The entire county where they live has been declared a national disaster so FEMA is now involved. We just hope that organization has learned a lesson from Katrina. So they now have a place to live after they actually canoed out with their dogs to escape the rising water.

John cannot get over the fact that I've been so concerned for them when we are worried about a little life over here in Ann Arbor. Those of you that know our family realize we can spread our love for one another as thin as we need to.

When the water (that was up to the countertops) subsides they will go in and salvage what they can and decide what they're going to do. My other brother, Rick Lindsay and I would give John and Pam the shirt off our backs if we needed to. And then there's JR who said to me, "if we lived closer, they could move into our basement. It would be all set up for them." That's family love.

Trust me, this past week, I have had to remind myself that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. He is making me stronger for a reason. He spared my life when I was sick so that I could be here to help my daughter. I wondered why and now I know the answer.

Thanks for letting me catch my family up to date on my life through this blog. ( I figured there weren't any pictures tonight so what the heck.)

LOVE.......pass it on!

Heart hugs to all,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's over 48 hours now

We are pleased with our day today. Lindsay's vitals still look good and they're starting her back on her mountain dew mixture for her so called food.

Tomorrow might be her chest closure. That seems to be step number one in the recovery.

Sorry it's so late tonight. We went in at 8pm and we're sent out with an emergency down the hall. I had gone in with Suzie and JR hadn't been in yet. So we just waited until he could go in. I borrowed a really tiny computer to update you and will add more later, I just wanted to let you know that we had a good day that even included naps for all of us.

Heart Hugs,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's going well

We saw Lindsay's eyes today and she's still doing very well. It's so nice to get some reaction from her.

Her blanket with the little heart on it is from Angel Annabelle and the bunny is from Grandma Dean.

Day 1 Post Op

Hi everyone:
I've been working on travel today and will meet Suzie and JR for some Tina food this evening and then visit Lindsay with them.

Their afternoon visit was delayed because when they work on any babies in the same area, no one can go in. We understand that.

The current update from them is that Lindsay is being weened off of the epinephrine and back onto morphine so she was a little more alert and actually opened her eyes and reacted to their touch. Suzie said that her eyes actually look blue. While they were in her room they met with her surgeon and he said that she's doing fantastic. Yes, those were his words.

It's a small world sometimes. When we were in talking to Lindsay's nurse yesterday she told us that she's been here for 20 years. I asked her if she remembered a family by the name of Grainger? She said, you mean Taylor? She actually took care of Taylor 16 years ago. Taylor is our special angel now ( I wear a wrist band in her memory every day) and this meant a lot to us that this special nurse (Jen) was our baby's caregiver. If Barbie and Ken (I mean Rob and Karen) are reading this, I hope in some way that gives you comfort.

I'll do my usual update later this evening.

Heart Hugs,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Post Surgery Evening

Cole made this sign for Lindsay's bed.
Mom, Dad, and Lindsay with their special bonding.

Happy Happy Father's Day, JR. There's nothing he would have wanted more. Not even tickets to the MIS race even though JR won.
I knew that I needed to do the post surgery update as soon as we got into the cafe to have a bite to eat so I quickly downloaded the pictures 'cause I know you all love them more than what I write but now I'm back at my hotel after going in again to see Lindsay and I'll do my evening update.

I wish you all could have seen the love in the room between Suzie and JR. They held each other with so much caring. I wish now that I had taken a picture of them. They are so going through this together.

One thing I left out is that the Dr. said he had only seen one other baby with such a small aorta. This was a concern to him, however he seemed confident with the shunt that he installed. He explained how the heart will still be doing double duty until the next surgery. I guess I really hadn't understood that.

Lindsay is being ventilated because they don't want her to do the work of breathing on her own yet. They've told us that's perfectly normal.

We have had our friends, family and other heart families reach out to all of us and we're thrilled to have each and every one of you checking this blog so faithfully. We're all witness to the power of prayer. We're thankful for every day.

Jen had asked if she could send something to Suzie and JR. They are living at the Ronald McDonald House in Ann Arbor, Room 14, thanks to all of you with your contributions.

Trust me, this blog is a gift to them each and every time they bring it up. I just hope you all realize that you are helping no matter how far away you are.

I hope you enjoy these pre-surgery pictures of JR's special Father's Day with his daughter. It was interesting to hear Suzie and JR explain how complicated it is for them to prepare her to be held with everything that's hooked up to her. Notice Suzie got in on the Father's Day action too!
Heart Hugs to all of you!

Lindsay's out of surgery and stable

Sorry for the delay. I didn't have signal in the waiting room, so I couldn't get online. Don, Sue, and I stayed right with Suzie and JR and we didn't want to leave the room. We got updates every hour with the last one being scary. Lindsay had a hard time getting off the heart lung machine and she was also bleeding. The Dr. stayed right with her until the immediate danger was gone. We were informed that the next 24 to 48 hours will be critical.

We all were able to go in to see her in ICU and we were pleased how she looked. She's not too bloated and is eliminating fluid as they want her too.

Lindsay's chest cavity is completely open with clear tape over it. Suzie choose not to show that picture. God has truly blessed our family today. We thank you all for your continued prayers.