With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted list many of the things I'm thankful for this year but first a quick update on Gaines. His appointment today went pretty well. Because of his cold it ended up being more of a sick appointment, but it went well. We've got a new medicine to add to every other albuterol treatment (can't remember what its called), steroids and an antibiotic prescription to fill if he's still not getting better in a few days. Hopefully that will get him over this cold and we can keep him healthy for the rest of cold and flu season.
The doctor wants us to cut his lasix back to a half ml a day once he gets good and healthy. We'll make that change in about a month. He doesn't want us to over do it. He was very pleased with his weight gain...14 lbs 3 oz. Gaines is now in the 25-50 percentile on weight and in the 50-75 percentile in height...for his adjusted age that is. This is great news. Also, I asked if my new goal of being off oxygen by June was a realistic goal and he thought it was. So, please pray for no oxygen by June. I really want to take both boys to the beach this summer and I'm just guessing that sand + oxygen tank = disaster.
Moving on...thankfulness. There are so many things that I'm thankful for this year. I think that maybe I have a heightened sense of thanksgiving this holiday season. We had our Thanksgiving program at work today and the pastor from my church gave a short Thanksgiving message (yes, a religious based Thanksgiving program at work...hard to believe but something I love about my company). He spoke about being thankful for all things, all the time...even when its not something you want to be thankful for. He mentioned various examples but the one that struck me was the example of when a doctor gives you some bad news...know that feeling!
How am I supposed to be thankful that my water broke at 24 weeks in Washington DC, 900 miles away from my 18 month old? How am I supposed to be thankful for the months and months of agonizing days in a NICU? The thing is that I don't have to be thankful for all of those things...I'm to be thankful that God has the power to take those awful circumstances and use them for His glory. Because of this extremely difficult time in my life, I have a relationship with Him like I never had before, I have so much more compassion for people in need, I have a stronger relationship with my husband, I appreciate so much more about the simple things of being a family...just to name a few.
This year I am thankful for:
My relationship with God and that the creator of the universe loves me and wants a relationship with me. How awesome is that?
My family all being under one roof. We could so easily be a family still running between home, work and hospital...or a family of three.
My parents. I cannot say enough. From many trips back and forth from DC, to dropping everything the moment we need them and EVERYTHING in between...I could not ask for better parents.
My extended family...all of them. Grandparents, sister, aunts, uncles, in-laws...I am so blessed to have in-laws who love me like their own...all good, bad and ugly of me. They have all supported us in so many ways...I'm including friends that we love like family in here.
My husband who has been my strength through everything. He is my best friend and the only one who truly understands how hard this has been, how rewarding it has been and how much effort goes into managing our new daily life.
Doctors and Nurses...all of them. The doctor who told me I was not going anywhere when I wanted out of DC, the OB nurses who became my friends, the DC NICU doctors and nurses who I credit (other than God and ALL of the prayers) with keeping Gaines on this earth. The doctors and nurses in Montgomery who saw us through the loooong process of getting Gaines ready for home. The pediatrician who prays over Gaines. So many people who are dear to my heart.
My church. I'm so thankful to have a church and Sunday School class who have gone above and beyond with their prayers and support for our family.
Terri (the nanny) who loves Gaines like her own. She has made my working so much easier than it could have been. Being 100% comfortable with your child's caretaker is no small thing...especially when your child is on oxygen and kind of a handful at times.
My company. My boss and co-workers for picking up my slack and for welcoming me back. Everyone at work that supported us while we were gone and everyone that still asks me how Gaines is doing. The leaders of my company who took time out of their busy schedules to visit us in DC and prayed for our family and Gaines.
Strangers. There are so many of you out there that I do not know and you faithfully read our story and offer your prayers. Amazing. Strangers that we lived with and forever have a place in our hearts.
Reed. Well obviously I love him (even with his haircut) but I'm so thankful of the joy that he has brought in our lives this past year. In a really tough year he has been constant joy.
Gaines. What can I say about that child? He has been the source of so many emotions in the last year. My heart has ached over him but its also been filled with joy as he's progressed. I have worried and agonized over him. I have prayed for him and praised God for him. He is certainly not easy by any means but I am so thankful for him. Ok, probably not quite as thankful as I should be at 3 in the morning when he has pulled his prongs out of this nose AGAIN but still thankful for those times.
I'm thankful for my sanity which I very easily could have lost by now.
I'm thankful for Diet Mountain Dew, Target, yellow mums in the fall, warm chocolate chip cookies with milk before bed, the fancy eyeliner my mom didn't want, the cheap lip gloss from Walgreen's, INSURANCE, Alabama's awesome football season, hair that will grow back (Reed's), clean sheets, vampire books, a dog that forgives me for abandoning him, stylish baskets to store toys in, pizza, how cute Reed is running around in his big boy underwear, remote controls, my dining room chandelier (I didn't choose it, I just lucked out), when the dishwasher is dirty, the foaming soaps from Bath and Body Works, monogrammed towels, good jeans and perfect long-sleeve (or short) white t-shirts.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things.
Love to all,