Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rain, Rain GO AWAY

I was given a blog address by a friend and co-worker of mine, Krista. I have been compelled to read it daily ever since. It is audreycaroline.blogspot.com and it is an amazing, inspirational read. Tonight, as the kids were outside playing and Cae and I were sitting inside, I was reading it and became so emotionally overwhelmed. It was like God was speaking to me saying, "Trust Me, You will get through this". In brief, the blog is written by a then pregnant mom with a special needs baby growing inside of her. They were given the option to abort early on but knew that was not the route that God had intended for their little girl. The blog spoke of her journey and struggle with why God would allow this to happen and why he chose their family to be part of this little baby's short life. It is such a powerful read. Should you choose to read it, have a lot of tissue handy. I only hope and pray to have as much peace with Caedyn's diagnosis as this mom had for her baby. I can relate to her story of pleading with God to heal her daughter and allow her to live a healthy life, I understand her frustration with God's plan and how it doesn't always go the way WE hope it will and finally,I, like her, believe that hard situations can only make us stronger. Here is a tiny excerpt:

In the middle of the night, I heard the voice of God.

It was one of the very few times that I felt like He was audibly speaking to me. I sat up straight in my bed.

Thoughts rushed through my mind like a slideshow at a speed I could not control. I was reminded of the pilot's voice, the thermometer that read in celsius, the storm clouds, the political wars...all of it, like a movie, and then just a few words.

"It takes a lot of rain to make grass this green."

I started crying like a child. In a foreign country, in the middle of the night, in the midst of facing my greatest fears, God taught me a lesson about life that has (I promised to tell you!) inspired the name of this blog.

In the span of a few minutes, I committed to God that I would stop praying for sunshine and start welcoming whatever made the soil rich.

And so, a year later, here I sit. Many of you have asked how I am so strong. The answer is that I am not strong, but my God is, and He is in battle for me. My end of the deal is held up by praising the One who has chosen me to walk this. And I do.

As for my little Prophetess, Abby? Her words drifted back to me as I cried that night, and they bring tears to me now.

He will show you a rainbow.

It occurred to me that He had chosen this metaphor before, long ago, with a man named Noah, and He has, for generations, made good on that promise.

As I recall, Noah wasn't afraid of a little rain either...

Please praise Him with me in this moment. Praise Him for being the same God who inspired Noah to hope and to build. Praise Him for loving us enough to grow a garden with our lives, no matter how much it hurts.

Even though we had a minor seizure set-back last week, we have had a good week. We are in the process of the dreaded medicine wean and doing well so far. I need your prayers as my anxiety is through the roof. I am reminded numerous times throughout the day that I am not the one in control of what transpires with Caedyn's diagnosis. God is in control and He has a plan for all of us, even if it does include a little rain.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crash and Burn

Every new venture can come with its set of obstacles. The art of learning to ride a bike came easy to Case. However, it hasn't come without a handful of tears and owies. Case had his first run in with the pavement last night and the pavement won. Thankfully, there were no lost teeth and only a broken ego.

A Lesson in Bike Riding

It is hard to believe Case is old enough to ride a bike without training wheels. He has been begging Jeff to take the training wheels off his bike for nearly two months now. This past Saturday, Jeff finally took them off. Jeff turned his back for one second and Case was riding down the street. All by himself! I caught a few pics of his big day - minus the training from dad. Of course, Jeff sure isn't complaining!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sneak Peek - Hennip Family Photos

Here is a shot from our family photo shoot. For some reason I couldn't download more than one photo. Check out lanadenharderphotography.com for more great pics of our family!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hurdles, Hurdles

I start this entry believing we are so blessed. Even in the most trying of times I know that God is good and there is a plan in store for each one of us. It is convincing my head at times that bad things can happen to good people for reasons unknown and we just have to be faithful.
God has been really testing my patience and faith the past few days. Caedyn started being more fussy than normal on Saturday. Of course, Jeff left for California on Friday for a week so it is just my luck my weekend starts so great. Sunday, she was way more irritable than her normal happy, content self. I was attributing her fussiness to teething and didn't think a lot of it. Monday morning she continued to be irritable. Irritable to the point I couldn't console her with anything, wasn't able to get ready in the morning for work and it became quite frustrating! I just couldn't bring myself to send her to daycare so I stayed home with her. I am so glad that I did. All day she was very lethargic and it took a lot of effort to rouse her. I made an appointment with the pediatrician in the afternoon to rule out an ear infection.
At the Dr her temperature was 105 degrees. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I was feeling like Mother of the Year, let me tell you. She was not the least bit warm so I didn't even think to check her temp. It wasn't until a while later I figured out why her skin wasn't warm and she wasn't sweating with her fever. One of her AEDs (Anti Epileptic Drugs) causes her body not to sweat or react when it gets overheated. Therefore, she felt perfectly normal and she wasn't "feverish". Dr. Schipper wanted to send her to ER right away because of the high temp and her lethargy. So off to ER we went. I swear this stuff always happens when my husband is out of town! Thankfully, I have a great mom who came and stayed with me as well as my wonderful neighbor and friend, Angie.
After doing a series of tests including a chest xray, it was concluded Cae has right lower lobe pneumonia. Unfortunately, this quite possibly could be from her aspirating her medications when we give them to her. What are we to do? We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either we force her to take her meds or she suffers from seizures. We can't win.
Anyway, there is a good side to this hurdle. She had a 105 temp and NEVER ONCE had a seizure. This is a miracle as even healthy kids without epilepsy would have likely had a seizure with a temp so high. So I start this post off saying and believing we are blessed. We are. Beyond Measure. While we struggle with the best way to get her to take her meds and experience a minor illness setback, I am reminded that she is here and part of our lives. I am also reminded that we have wonderful friends (Lana, you have blessed me beyond measure) and God is in control - Now, we just have to Let Go and Let Him. Thanks for your prayers, as always.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Neurologist update

We visited Lori, the PA at the neurologist's office today. She is so nice and Caedyn seems to like her as well! Lori was really pleased with Caedyn's progress. It is a real positive thing that she has been seizure free for over two months. While I am still anxious about weaning her Valium, Lori reassured us that it is way more likely the Topamax is keeping her seizure free rather than the Valium. I asked the question I am sure every parent of a child with epilepsy asks, "will she outgrow this?". Of course, she couldn't give me a definite answer. She said the next few months and the wean off of her Valium is crucial. If she can remain seizure free during the wean and also during bouts of sickness, fever, heat, etc. these are very positive milestones. A child well controlled during these times and with as minimal meds as possible, makes it more likely she will outgrow this! Typically, before all meds are weaned, she needs to be seizure free for two years. WOW. Hard to think about two years from now. The goal is to get rid of the Valium, then the Keppra and maintain her on Topamax. We are positive that with the power of prayer and our faithfulness, she will remain seizure free. Thanks again for your continued thoughts and prayers. We know that there are so many of you keeping her on your church prayer chains and in your daily prayers. There is nothing more comforting than this. We will keep you updated again soon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Caedyn 8 months

Time goes so fast when you have a little one. They grow right before your eyes and before you know it they are in school,learning to read, write and do math problems better than adults. I am not looking forward to those days for any of our children, especially not my little princess. She has grown so much in the last few weeks. She is finally sitting on her own with very little help, doing better with solid foods and talking up a storm. While "dada" and "gaga" tend to be her words of choice, I have hope that "mama" will not be far behind. I have no doubt I am still her best girl. She and I have this crazy bond I cannot describe in words! We have also been seizure free for 2 months and meet with the neurologist tomorrow. We will give you a report as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. We appreciate each one so much!

JPS 1st grade Field Trip

As a working mom, I strive to make it a priority to attend each one of the kids school functions, including daily field trips. Last year, Cam and I went with his class to the farm, this year, Frederik Meijer Gardens. We had a blast. Last year, I had the priviledge of riding the bus with fifty kids to our destination. Now, for those of you parents that have had the pleasure of riding the bus before, you know I am being very sarcastic when I say pleasure. Riding the bus is no fun. Call me spoiled, but I am too old and yes, too spoiled to ride in vehicle with no air and screaming kids. I did my time for 10 plus years when I was in elementary school! So, this time, I drove with two other moms, one of who graduated with Jeff. Small world.
Once the kids were off the buses and settled, we divided into groups. Kathy Shavinksi and I were paired with Cam, Jordan, Logan and Jack. Each child was given a to-do packet about 10 pages long of places to visit and learn about. Who would have thought we would be doing school work on an end of the year field trip? Nonetheless, it was fun and entertaining.

We took time to read a story and make bracelets in between our adventures. There was a lot to see and do. We visited the Log Cabin, The Treehouse, The Children's Garden, The glass artwork (amazing!) and even stopped to see the turtles. We got a little nervous when visiting the waterfall as the boys decided it would be fun to try and sit and walk along the rocks on shore. There was one time I think that there was about 8 boys all messing around the same spot and you could hear all the moms gasp in horror as we thought FOR SURE one would fall in.

It was a beautiful day, mid 70's and sunny. We couldn't have asked for better weather or better company. I am reminded at times like these how important it is to be a mom and even more importantly, an involved one. I am blessed to have a flexible job that allows me time away to participate in such fun events. I know Cam and I had a wonderful time, just the two of us!