Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy 2 month Birthday Brenham!

My baby would be two months old today and yet at the same time I should only be 30 weeks pregnant right now. This is hard. I had a bad day today for so many reasons that I don't even know where to start. My mind is racing but I just cant find the words to explain it all. So I am just writing to ask you all for your prayers tonight. Thanks!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Katie's Kidney" Update II

Since many of you have been asking I thought I would quick give everyone an update as to what has been going on , sorry to those who have already heard this.
On May 6 we are going to GR for a kidney transplant seminar. After we attend this class we will be able to set up the evaluation appointment. At this evaluation I will have tests done to determine whether or not I would be a good candidate for a transplant. If I pass the tests my family will get tested further to see if we have a match. If I don't pass, it would most likely be b/c of the blood transfusions I got recently caused antibodies to form, we are still praying that did not happen. If that is the case from what I understand I would be put on the donor list and hopefully find a match eventually. But that could take years b/c it would be very rare to match up the same antibodies. It is hard for me to grasp that this is out of my control, what's done is done and there is nothing I can do anymore to prevent antibodies. I just pray all day, everyday that I don't have antibodies. Ugh, I just hate not knowing. I am so worried, Can ya tell?
Technically from what the culture showed, my site is not infected but the nurses are treating it like it is by giving me antibiotics for another week. But they say it is looking better everyday. I will finally be able to get my stitches out once I am off the antibiotics. I can't wait.
I am working on getting scheduled for a class on home dialysis. There would be A LOT to learn but it would be so much more convenient. I hate being tied down to it and like I have said before, it is not the funnest (I know that isn't a word but "most fun" sounds weird) place to be.
So I guess that's all for now. I will let you know more as it comes! Thanks for your prayers and remember, no antibodies!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Here it is..

The long awaited baby furniture. Robb and I picked it up from the baby furniture store tonight. As we assembled it I prayed for the future babies that will peacefully sleep in this crib. We are saddened that the baby we originally bought this for won't be using it, but we are hopeful that his brothers and sisters will be able to spend lots of time in it! Sweet dreams Brenham!

Isn't it cute? Robb calls it the "Cadillac of Cribs"!


Matching dresser/changing table combo

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh, the Places You'll Go

To my sweet baby boy:

Baby, oh baby.
the place that you'll go!
The heavens you'll visit
The friends you will know

Old Moses, just there
with the leathery face
who guided the tribes
through a desert placeNoah's the one
with a big wooden boat
when the flood waters came
his zoo went afloatYou'll sit on the lap
of Esther the queen
who rescued her people
from someone quite mean

You'll see other babies,
just like you,
great-grandpa's are waiting
there for you too.

And Jesus will hold you
if you feel alone
He planned you and made you
Then welcomed you home.

~Kevin and Erin Rebesh (I'll Hold you in Heaven Remembrance Book)
(I changed it a little so it would apply to him)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clinging to this promise:

God is not through with me yet ~ that my trials will bring me closer to Him.

I frequently feel so alone and afraid during this journey ~ angry with the whole thing, it's painfully clear that I am just a name on a sheet of paper to some; doctors, the insurance company, etc. ~ not a human with a life. And yet I still believe that all of this is happening to me and my family for a reason. It may not be the way I would have chosen but I believe time will reveal happiness once again.

Monday, April 21, 2008

He gives Beauty for Ashes, Strength for Fear

I could feel everyone's prayers today as I sat in the doctors office. A peace came over me and I only had a few quiet tears, unlike the loud sobbing kind I was anticipating :) It is amazing the feeling you get when you know hundreds of people are praying for you that very minute! Thank you!
So basically this appointment was just to talk. We talked about what happened with Brenham, he is quite confident that what happened was because of the lack of blood flow to the placenta caused by my unknown at the time kidney disease. But he is also confident that I WILL be able to have babies in the future! God willing. Obviously that is if everything goes as planned and the kidney takes well. He thinks 2 years after the transplant would be a good time frame just to make sure everything is going well. Since pregnancy is hard on kidneys no matter what, he suggested not to plan on having 8 babies (don't worry, we weren't!) but 2-3 (i may push for 4!) should be okay. I will be forever grateful and feel extremely blessed with however many miracles God chooses to give us. The doctor said his heart couldn't take that much stress 8 times. I don't think Robb's heart could take that either!
Since my future pregnancies will be considered high risk, I will have see a specialist in GR a few times during the pregnancy and possibly have to deliver at Spectrum.
Let's see what else... He also would still like to do a cerclage when I get pregnant again just to insure that I don't dilate so fast again. We had talked about doing that anyway. He said he wants to take every precaution there is just to make sure everything can go as smoothly as possible next time. He said every pregnancy is valuable but mine will be extra valuable, so no cutting corners.
All of this is fine, I am willing to do whatever it takes. But there is hope!! And that definitely lifts my spirits.
So now I just have to leave everything in God's hands and hope that this is in His plan. God is good and He will carry us through, maybe not in the way we would want, but it's His way, and His ways are higher than our ways and His plan is perfect!
~Katie

A different kind of "baby blues"

Tears are streaming down my face as I write this. Today at 10:45 I have an appointment with my OB doctor. I am not sure what we are going to talk about but I know I will have a hard time there. Just seeing all the happy pregnant girls and all the pictures of babies hung up on the walls is going to be hard. I used to love going there, to hear our baby's heartbeat and to learn about his growth inside me. Now, I am dreading it. I just know that after this appointment it's going to be a long time until I get to go there again. And that makes me sad. All I have ever wanted was to meet a great guy, get married and have lots of babies. So I am 2 for 3 and I know I should be grateful for that but I have longed to be a mommy for as long as I can remember. And knowing that dream will be delayed if not shattered, breaks my heart. It makes me think that maybe God doesn't think I would be a good mommy. I know there are better ones out there ( I see them all around me ) but I would do my absolute best and love them with all my heart.
I also got a call from the baby furniture store. Our crib and dresser combo is in. The lady on the other end was probably wondering why I wasn't more excited. So we have to pick that up sometime this week. And then what am I going to do with it? I can't sell it, too much sentimental value to put a price tag on it. It will just sit there in the nursery along with everything else, as a reminder of what could have been. And hopefully will be someday. Another obstacle to overcome.
Please pray for my appointment today, I hope we hear positive things. I will post back later tonight maybe on the news.
Katie

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Broken Body, Broken Heart

I feel like my world is crashing in, but I hold in the tears and fake a smile. I am broken. Only God knows how I really feel. I pray that He will continue to hold my hand, pick me up and carry me to the next "good day". I pray for Him to heal my broken body and my broken heart. He is able, more than able to handle anything that comes my way. So I'll just wait.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
~Psalm 147:3

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thank You

Wow, today I was reading through all the cards(over 150 of them!) sent to us after Brenham's death and I was humbled by the amount of people who took the time to send a card, email or post a comment on here. We've even received them from people we don't even know.

I added this sitemeter application to this blog and it tracks how many hits this blog gets a day and from where. I am amazed at the fact that my blog gets an average of 534 hits a day by people all over the world, including those from all of the 50 nifty United States, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, France, and Italy! How cool is that?!? I pray that through this blog God will be glorified and others will see the love of God! "Let this life I live, every moment, all I say and do, be all for the glory of You." ~Mark Harris

I feel truly blessed to have so many people in my life who care, and pray for us. So I wanted to take the time to thank everyone for that. You are all amazing people and I hope you all know how much I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and words of comfort and encouragement.

~Phil. 1: 3-8

1. I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from this day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus



May God bless all of you, in return for blessing me!

Katie

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Operation "Katie's Kidney" Update

I just thought I would update everyone as to what is going on with the new kidney process. I still don't know a whole lot yet but we did sent over my transplant request form to St. Mary's and they did receive it. So we are waiting to hear back from them so we can set up an evaluation appointment. This is when I will be tested for the antibodies and other things to make sure whether or not I would be a good candidate for a transplant. As most of you know, everyone in my family is O positive blood type and so is Robb, making them great options as possible donors! As far as more testing on them goes, we are waiting until after my evaluation before they go any further. The further tests will include x-rays, ultrasounds, urine tests and a tissue match ( i am not sure how they do that one, maybe a biopsy?) But chances are that one of them will be a good match. We have a date set for a transplant seminar on May 6 from 6-7:30 where we will learn more about the whole process.
Dialysis is going okay. My labs are looking good, showing improvement. Physically, I feel good except for after dialysis days, that just drains me and I always end up with a killer headache. The last two times I went there, the nurses have been concerned that my site looks infected. The first time they did a culture on it and it did come back negative but the second time they didn't test it. So hopefully this last time it isn't infected either but it is a big concern if it would be. I would be given antibiotics to hopefully clear it up but since the bacteria would be growing on plastic, it is hard to kill and they may need to take it out and put a port back in a different place. Not good. I will ask the nurse about how it looks tomorrow.
In the mean time, we are just waiting. Still praying for a miracle.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The day that changed my life forever.. (Robb's Story)

February 29, 2008

This day seems like just yesterday, and yet at the same time with everything that has happened it seems like it was a long time ago. So many thoughts and memories have been flying through my head in the last 6 weeks. Writing about these things brings me through a whirl wind of emotions. I still remember my cell phone ringing with Katie on the other end saying that I needed to pick her up and soon! She told me that she was having terrible cramps and pain. I quickly left work and went to pick her up. On my way to pick her up I was worried, but nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen. If you are anything like me you never expect something terrible to happen to you. I try to be an optimist on most issues in life, and I treated this situation no differently. Besides I was a rookie at being a soon to be daddy and wasn't sure of all the things that go along with being pregnant. I guess I kept on telling myself that everything would be ok. We will see the doctor he will make this pain that Katie is experiencing stop and we will get to go back home. Even though I knew that this was very serious I never really expected this to happen. I raced to the ER entrance, ran inside to get a wheel chair for Katie and flew to the elevator to the 3rd floor OB. Minutes later Katie was in a gown in the hospital bed hooked to a monitor. We could see Brenham's heartbeat on the monitor, phew!! This made me feel better. But the pain that Katie was experiencing was contractions and they were coming every few minutes. I thought can't the doctor give her something to stop these contractions. Several minutes later our Dr. came in and checked Katie. He said something that changed my life forever. The words will forever be in my head. He said "Katie you are going to have this baby now" I immediately broke down. My glass half full attitude was drained in an instant. At 5:15 PM my beautiful son was born. 13.4 oz, 10.5 in. and 100% miraculous.
The following days were a blur but we were fortunate to be surrounded by lots of family and friends which helped us to cope with this. I find myself asking why us, what did we do to deserve this? Now with Katie's kidney condition it leaves me with more questions. I know that this is not in our hands and I trust God will take care of us. Pslams 23 .... Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil ... I pray that through all of this that God will be glorified. I pray that this trial in our lives will be the story that leads others to God. Katie and I keep asking "what would we do with out our faith?" There is simply nothing to live for if it was not for our faith that God will provide. I look forward to to seeing Brenham in heaven one day, but until then we have a lot of living and learning to do. I never take a day for granted. Every breath is a gift from God. We truly are blessed in more ways than we can even understand. By the way God has filled my cup again and I trust that he will give us many reasons to see it as overflowing in the future.
Robb

Friday, April 11, 2008

Life Is Hard, But God is Good!

My Aunt reminded me of this song the other day. I have heard it on the radio before but never really listened closely to the words until now. And oh wow, how perfect! I wish I could add it to my song list for you to hear but it is "unrecognized" on that site. But here are the words:

You turn the key
Then close the door behind you
Drop your bags on the floor
You reach for the light
But there's darkness deep inside
And you can't take it anymore

'Cause sometimes living takes the life out of you
And sometimes living is all you can do

Life is hard, the world is cold
We're barely young and then we're old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard, but God is good

You start to cry
'Cause you've been strong for so long
And that's not how you feel
You try to pray
But there's nothing left to say
So you just quietly kneel
In the silence of all that you face
God will give you His mercy and grace

Jesus never said
It was an easy road to travel
He only said that you would never be alone
So when your last thread of hope
Begins to come unraveled
Don't give up, He walks beside you
On this journey home and He knows

Life is hard, the world is cold
We're barely young and then we're old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard, but God is good
~Pam Thum

I sit in silence before God a lot, just like the song says. I try to pray but I have ran out of words. Or sometimes I just feel too angry to pray. But then other times God gives me His mercy and grace, sits right beside me and wipes away my tears as I talk to Him. I am going through tough times right now, but God will be faithful! He is Good!

My new fuzzy friend

A friend of mine stopped by today with a gift. I didn't open it right away and now I know why, when I finally did, I just sat on my bed and sobbed. It was a sweet letter written by her along with a teddy bear in memory of Brenham. The bear is 10.5 inches long just like him. So that whenever my arms ache to hold my baby I can snuggle with the teddy bear and remember what it was like to hold Brenham. How sweet is that?!?Lately I have been thinking that this whole experience has made me so much more mature, but then other times I think the opposite. I sleep with Brenham's hospital blanket (yeah I took it home with me, sorry to all the nurses reading this, I hope you understand) every night, even while I was in the hospital. And now I find myself carrying this teddy bear around with me all throughout the house, wherever I go. I will probably sleep with it too. Thanks Lynnae for all you have done for me. You've been more than a friend to me, a true blessing in my life, and may that blessing return to you a hundred fold!
Katie

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I must have jinxed myself

I was just reading through some old emails I've sent to Robb and came across this sentence:
"I just love our baby so much and don't want anything to go wrong." from 2/29 at 12:24 pm - just hours before everything went wrong. Little did I know then really how much I would love that baby. But I know now, words cannot express a mother's love for her child. I love you so much Brenham. Can't wait to hold and kiss you again someday.

It's Official

The dietitian that I met with today confirmed the fact that I no longer need to be on a low sodium diet! Hooray! I know it probably seems crazy to get so excited about it, but it really has been quite a challenge for me. Who wants to go out for french fries with me?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Phew, I did it

I am very proud of myself and of what i accomplished today. I know it may not seem like a big deal but I did it all without crying! First of all, I finally came to terms with the fact that by the next time I am pregnant the maternity clothes i have now wont be so stylish anymore, so i got up the courage to return them (the unworn ones of course, which was quite a few since i just went maternity clothes shopping for the first time just 3 days before Brenham was born). That is something i have been wanting to do for a while but just couldn't. But now they are mostly gone. I don't even know why i care, they weren't even that cute. I guess its more of a sentimental thing.
Then, we went and ordered a headstone for Brenham. Another thing i have been wanting to do. I know there isn't a rush to do something like that it just felt so empty there when we visited. It still won't be in for another 6 weeks but at least its ordered. That was not fun, for one thing the lady there was like a stone (haha, get it!), she showed no compassion. That just made it hard, i know its her job and she does it everyday, no big deal. But it was a huge deal to me. I never ever want anybody to have to pick out their child's headstone again. If only i had the power to make that happen. It is just horrible, back to the fact that i should be picking out bibs and blankies right now but instead my baby's headstone.
We recently started a budget and i was feeling pretty good about it this morning after returning $70 worth of maternity clothes, but tonight, not so much anymore after paying for the headstone all in one clump. Gulp! That was ridiculous and we even had a coupon! Goodbye budget! (no, dont worry, you know who you are :) , that is what our emergency fund is for right!?!)
Anyway, on the donor note, we found out we have 3 more possible donors so far! My mom, my dad and younger sister all have O positive blood type too and we are guessing that my older sister would have it then too, but i don't know how that all works. But she will find out in a week possibly. She donated blood, Go Lisa! So it takes longer for the results than it did the rest of the family who just got a blood test. Actually, I should add that Robb and Mindy also donated blood in high school, Go Robb! Go Mindy! There now you can't say i play favorites, I know you were thinking that Mindy :) Love ya both!
So Robb gave me a much needed pep talk last night. My thoughts have been so consumed over the whole antibody thing, and I have been pretty negative about it. So from now on I am going to be positive about that. If you believe you can achieve right? So i keep telling myself, you don't have antibodies, you don't have antibodies. Say it with me, Katie doesn't have antibodies. I do believe! I pray constantly, will you join me?
Heavenly Father,
You are the Giver and Sustainer of life, my life is Your hands. If it be Your will, please Lord, let my body be free from antibodies and lets get me that kidney so I can be well again. I will give You all the praise and the glory! In Your most precious name we pray, Amen

Monday, April 7, 2008

Roller coaster of Emotions

Roller coaster of emotions: that phrase has new meaning to me now. Last night I cried myself to sleep, I can't remember ever doing that ( i am sure my mom remembers me doing that though). I cried because my baby died, I cried because i have kidney disease, i cried because i really try to be a good person but i cant figure out why this has happened to me, i cried because i wont be able to have children of my own until this is all done with, i cried because i hate dialysis, i cried because i have this ugly tube coming out of my chest, good-bye public beaches, i cried because no one should have to go through any of these things, but i have to go through all of it, i cried just from the thought of having antibodies and having to postpone everything even longer. Last night was the worst.
But yesterday was the best. I haven't had that good of a day in a long time. I felt so at peace with everything, it felt so good to be at church again and to be outside with my family and to visit with a good friend in the afternoon.
These up and down feelings are really tough on me. When i am sad, i feel guilty for not being happy and when i am happy, i feel guilty for not being sad. I never even liked roller coasters very much. Now i hate them!
Thank you all for your kind words and support!
Katie

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Words from Robb

So Robb mentioned the other day that he wanted to get in on this whole blogging world. But I know he will never take the time to do it. So I thought I would help him out and post a very special e-mail he sent me a couple weeks ago to make him feel like he contributed! His words are perfect! It is amazing that he has just right the words when I needed them most. He truly is a gift from God!

Here is his e-mail to me:

Katie-

How are you doing? I hope that you feel a lot better when you are reading this e-mail. I have been praying for you a lot lately. I love you so much Katie and I wanted to tell you how proud of you I am. We have been through something that no one should have to go through. You have been so strong through this whole thing and I know that we will get through this tough time with God's help. I'm sorry if I have not been supportive to you. I love you more than anything (besides God of course) and I don't want to put anything in the way of that. Please let me know if I get my priorities messed up sometimes. I pray that someday we can both go see Brenham in heaven and live as one happy family for eternity.
I also pray that when the time is right that God will bless us with other children here while we are still on earth. We are way to good of people to not have kids to teach and have fun with. Brenham was the cutest boy that I have ever seen. Everything about him was just perfect from his tiny little (katie) nose to his masculine (robb) feet. It's amazing how you look by his imperfections (bruises and not fully developed system) and absolutely love him with all your heart. It's definitely Jesus love that is shining thorough us. He loved us even though we were sinful and not (fully developed in the faith). Anyway I will stop preaching now. Just thought I would let you know what was on my mind.

I love you with all of my heart
Robb

**I know he is really great, but sorry ladies he is all mine!! : ) **

This is Brenham's hospital picture that we just picked up on Friday.

Robb and I went to the cemetery on Saturday afternoon to see Brenham's grave, we still don't have a stone for him yet. That is the project for this coming week hopefully. Not something I am looking forward to. We also visited a new friend of mines daughter's grave who also passed away @ 21 weeks. They are buried in the same cemetery. I thanked little Emma for taking care of my little boy. I am sure they are great friends! Heaven became an even better place when Brenham got there!

Robb and I really enjoyed this weekend. We had dinner and fun fellowship with two sets of friends on Friday and Saturday night. We are so thankful to them for a fun night away from home and for making it easier to remember life like it used to be!

The weather this weekend was perfect. Sunday we had my family over for lunch on our new deck. We really enjoyed the beautiful spring day.

Robb mastering the grill!!

Let's hope the weather in the week to come is just as nice! It sure feels good to be out of the house and seeing neighbors again for the first time since fall! Welcome Spring!

Friday, April 4, 2008

its been five weeks

I wonder what it would be like to have a five week old baby at home. Would he be a good sleeper? Would he be mommy's boy or would he prefer his daddy? I will never know.
I wonder how it would feel to be starting my 3rd trimester this week. I wonder what my belly would look like right now if i was still pregnant.
You would think that after everything thats gone on this past week i would focus more on myself than on the loss of Brenham, but no. It is worse than ever. I miss him so much. I am such a mess right now, I cry over the craziest things: mud on my shoes, spilled water, my dog barking, robb yawning when i talk to him, when a baby magazine comes in the mail, having to return all my unworn maternity clothes. I am usually so tough. Now i have changed, in five weeks.

The kidney specialist we went to yesterday was great, he told it how it was. He had the same prognosis as the first doctor but was much more informative and gave us an hour and a half of his personal time to help us and answer our questions. One thing we didn't know was that i may have formed antibodies from the blood transfusions i got and they would reject a new kidney. GREAT. That would be the last thing i need. If that is the case i will be on dialysis for 5+ years. I will not know for sure for 6 more weeks until i get tested. That means we all have 6 weeks to be on our knees praying that i don't have antibodies.
A good thing we learned of is that Robb is also O positive blood type! That makes him a candidate as a possible donor! Ideally a family member would be a better option b/c then we share similar genes but at least we have a back up! Obviously there is more testing to be done on him, but it's a step in the right direction! Keep praying!
Katie

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Results

Tuesday morning my kidney specialist came into my room and told be that the biopsy of my kidney showed lots of scaring and every single cell tested showed abnormality, so basically i have chronic kidney disease and need to be on dialysis 3 times a week until i can get a transplant. The waiting list for a kidney transplant is anywhere from 3-5 years unless we find a live donor. We also found out that this was going on during my pregnancy and caused a lack of blood flow. That is why the placenta detached. That is so hard for me to deal with. I cant help but think it is my fault that Brenham didn't survive. I feel like a very bad mommy.
And even more disappointing is the fact that i can not become pregnant again until at least 2 years after the transplant. My dreams are shattered. Now i will have to face our baby's nursery almost all decked out and ready to go for a baby that will not be here for 5-7 more years. We are expecting the nursery furniture that we ordered months ago to arrive any day now. That will be a rough day. Please pray for peace as we deal with that.
But the good news is that i came home last night! Whoo-hoo! The surgery went well, but i am very sore. But at least i am home. Robb and I along with our parents are going back to the hospital today for a second opinion. My brother-in-laws' friend's mom has a son who has had a kidney transplant (got that?!) and her son goes to a kidney specialist that said he would like to re-evaluate my disease free of charge. So we figured it wouldn't hurt to get some other opinions and some more questions answered. We are praying for a miracle, nothing less!
Katie

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ok Lord, Enough is Enough

I am just not sure what to say, we got some bad news this morning. I am not quite ready to share all of the news but it is worse than we thought. I need prayers, I am trying to stay positive, but i am so discouraged. I just dont know why God picked on me. Sorry for my bad attitude, there are times I am stronger that i am right now. I have to get a permanent port put in tomorrow morning, similar to the one i had before only that was temporary. That will be a surgical procedure. I also will have another dialysis and hopefully go home for awhile. Keep me in your prayers, I know God can work a miracle! I will post more details another day after I have had more time to process everything.
Katie