Monday, September 21, 2009

The end or the beginning of a new blogging experience!

I am not sure that I want to say that I am closing Avery's blog, but I don't want to post on it anymore. I feel like she is part of our family and this blog was to document her personal journey specifically, so I am inviting any of you who wish to continue to read about her on our family blog. Its nothing particular, I just don' t want to have 2 blogs to update. I feel like she is a part of our family and my feelings, dates of rememberance, etc. should be included in our family blog. I know you will all understand and quite frankly I am sure I will post more.

So please feel free to subscribe to

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Angels, Gardens and Butterflies

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Wow its been a while since I have posted, even with all this rain I still have not had much time to be on the computer. I think I made up for it when I was pregnant in the winter. Not that summer has arrived yet here in Heber but the rain does cease enough each day for me to venture to my gardens. I did square foot gardening this year and I sure am proud of my 3 little gardens, they do get plenty of water yet, the sunshine has been not so helpful lately. I also designated a small area in my yard as Avery's Garden. I planted lots of flowers that many of you have given to me, some bleeding heart, gerber daisies (my favorite), really a lot but they are not blooming as quickly as I would like, I was never blessed with an abundance of patience, and therefore I have yet to take a picture of it...but I thought who cares, I can take a pre summer and post summer pic. I wanted to order butterflies and ladybug off the internet but since its been raining so much, I decided I better wait a bit so they won't go seeking a better home.
Well in the meantime they have been coming to me everywhere I go. I see a Monarch Butterfly everyday almost and it doesn't matter where I am, California, baseball game, cemetery, friends house....butterflies come to me to say or should I say Avery comes to say hi all the time. My boys love it sometimes they just yell out, HI Avery! I hope its her way of telling us she is still so present. Lately I have been soooooooooooooooooooooooo longing for her to be around. I now understand when other moms says its like a roller coaster sometimes it just hits you and you never saw it coming. Well that is where I am now, much more emotional than I usually am and I am just trying to get through it with every emotion I receive.
I received a beautiful poem on Mother's Day, that I want to share, I don't have any idea who gave it to me but it is so lovely, I am sure you will agree. As I read through it again, of course I am full of tears, so be prepared.
Among those who could design the brightest and most beautiful flowers, of the students first to answer all the questions in school, Avery Ann was known as the most gifted. If Father wanted to find her, however, he always looked for the child who needed help the most that day. There, he was sure to find Avery helping with a homework assignment or telling stories about their Eldest Brother’s life of love. Today Father found her in art class, helping a little boy turn his paint smeared canvas into a masterpiece.

“Avery,” Father said, “It’s almost time.”

Avery handed the paintbrush back to the boy and followed Father out into the garden. “I’m ready,” she said.

“There’s something you need to know, “Father said, sitting on a stone bench beneath a willow tree. “You have done well here, so well that all you need for exaltation is to gain a body. Your spirit is so sweet and pure that your heart would hurt to see some of the things that happen on earth. So your mission to earth, my dear, will not be a long one.”

Avery knelt on the grass near Father and put her head on her chin. “My mother and father have waited for me so long. They will be so sad. Can’t you make there be a different way?” Father rested his hand on her head. “A long time ago, when your Elder Brother knelt in the Gethsemane, he asked a similar question. I didn’t like seeing him suffer, and I don’t like seeing your family sad either, but there are some things you will not understand for a while. What you must understand though, is that your Elder Brother and I love all of you.” Avery looked up at Father and nodded. “I know. And I know you will be there to help us.”

On another day, Father stood in the garden waiting. Avery ran into his arms and he held her as she told about her mission. “I’m so glad I got to see my mom and dad. My mom is so beautiful and good and my dad is so strong and kind. Do you think they know how much I love them?” Father looked into Avery’s eyes. “Very soon, my dear one, you will have the chance to tell them every day. In the millennium, when the earth is more like this world, they will have their opportunity to raise you. Until then, though, I want you to help me leave them love notes. Will you help me remind them of your love and of mine?

Avery’s smile was brighter than the flowers around her. “I like that idea. Where can we leave the notes?”

“They will be hidden everywhere~in the comfort of the scriptures, in the prayers of those that love them, in the peace of the temple. And when they are ready, your mom and dad will comfort others. Each smile they receive will be you smiling back at them. “Father swept his hand to the flowers in the garden around them. “And the flowers that bloom there will be the flowers you design here, each one a gift of love from us.”

Avery ran for the art room, pulled out a canvas and some paints, then started painting flowers. “These are for you Mom,” she whispered. I will see you soon!”
Soon is sometimes just not soon enough, I miss my sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial day has new meaning!

I never knew what Memorial Day was for, except that it was a holiday and no school or work had to be done! Well now I know and will continue to honor that special day in a very new way. We decided to stay close to home over the weekend to be near Avery and celebrate if you will, the day of Memories. It was a day of remembering, of mourning, of sorrow, of gladness, of beauty, all together. The cemetery was absolutely breathtaking, the flags, flowers, balloons, wreaths, people, blue sky and sunshine only added to the beauty. In the past, every time I visit the cemetery I feel peaceful and connected but this time, I didn't, it was more of a celebratory event for some reason. We celebrated the small amount of memories we have about Avery there. The boys were running around looking at the headstones and decorations and were acting as if they were at a party it was surreal, that is what the ambiance felt like that day for us all. I have to say it was better than I expected however, not all days are like this. Last weekend we were having a garage sale and a friend of a friends was trying to pay for something and I said, I will hold your baby for you. She handed her to me and my friend said how old is she and she said, she was born March 1st...well I just started to bawl, it hit me out of no where. I hold babies all the time and NEVER do I get emotional, it was just too close to how old Avery would have been and it was a sad memory of what I don't have right now. I wish so badly to have her in my arms today and everyday but I know that wasn't the plan for her nor I. For now I hold close the memories and mementos I have of her. I love you sweet Avery Ann and you will never be a distant memory.
My sweet, precious baby girl
Why you had to leave me nobody knows
I wish I could be with you to hug and to hold
And eventually watch you grow old
My heart aches each and every day
Wondering what you would be doing today
If only I could kiss your face
It would make my heart be in a better place
But I know the day will come
When holding you will never be done!
I wrote this poem about a month ago in remembrance of Avery!

As the weather gets nicer, I find myself less and less on the computer so forgive me for not posting more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Autopsy Results

Our dreaded appointment with the cardiologist, going over the autopsy results. Well it was NOT a dreaded appt. after all, it was refreshing as refreshing could be for such what it was. Dr. Puchalski, I absolutely love that man, he is the complete opposite from what I remember our first visit to be. I reached out to shake his hand, he said no, pulled me to him and gave me the biggest and tightest hug I have ever received from a doctor, besides my sister. He said, I am so glad you guys decided to come in, I think its good to get closure, we couldn't have agreed more.
The words on the 9 pages were a bit bigger than my vocabulary can handle.

Long story short it was not exactly what the in utero diagnosis was. Orginally they thought she had the left ventricle, a common atrium, aortic atresia and she had fluid that came and went around her lungs. Well the findings were that she had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC) and 7 other defects with her heart. In additon this sweet baby had Pulmonary lymphangiectasia which in english translates to dilation of the lymphatics in the lungs. I was overwhelmed with the amount of issues with her heart and both Steve and I felt relieved when we left there knowing that her passing was by far the best thing for her. I couldn't imagine her quality of life being that of which I had only dreamed about. She now has the perfect life, one that we only dream about.

We are so sad to not have Avery with us today and everyday, as the weather gets nicer and the days pass by......all I get to do is imagine what she would look like today, what she would be accomplishing and the fun times she would be having with her brothers who adore her even though she is not here in person.

A wonderful friend who had lost here son to SIDS a short time ago, brought us over 3 piggy banks for each of the boys. She said that each time you see money on the ground that is Avery saying hello to you. The little boys think that is the cutest thing and everytime they spot money, I hear them say...Avery is saying hi! It may or may not be true but for some reason before we got the banks..I told my friend that I kept finding dimes everywhere I went lately..and now we are believing she really is saying hello to us. A simple tender thing that puts smiles on our faces and in our hearts. The simple things make the hard things seem much easier to bear. I for one always try to see the bright side of things and make the most of any situation, this one has been the most challenging to accept but I believe that acceptance is part of my journey. I will learn acceptance graciously today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Heaven on Earth

I love my new blog background! A friend of mine sent it to me and said it was as though it was made for Avery. I couldn't agree more. She is my special angel and I am sure she is watching out and protecting all of us. I have been asked by many to post a pic of my pink hair, my special tribute to Avery. As my world is filled with minimal amounts of pink I thought I would put some in my hair as a constant reminder of the little angel girl I have waiting for me in heaven. Its a little piece of heaven on earth.

Not everyday is heaven on earth for me, there are days were my heart explodes with such emotion I can hardly think before my eyes are filled with tears. I sometimes feel my heart in my throat. Mother's Day was one of those days. I was really quite happy then I got a flood of sadness, then joy, then I was fine. That was kind of how it went all day long. I knew it was going to be that way, I was prepared, I accepted it and I was happy to be able to experience another process of the grief. But I had a special helper that day as well and it wasn't my wonderful children or husband, it was my Heavenly Father, who lead so many people to me that day. Whether it was a warm Happy Mother's Day hug from a great friend, a wonderful box of chocolate truffles and a card from my neighbor, a lovely post on Facebook from my teenage son, to a thoughtful friend who anonymously left the most beautiful story about Avery and a single rose or a visit to the cemetery with my husband and children. I am grateful for what is was, as it could have been worse seeing it was my first without my Avery in my arms.

To all you wonderful mothers remember our children are on loan to us from our Heavenly Father and are mission here is to raise them and prepare them for life so that they can someday live again with him. Do your best everyday with them, they will make you proud one day. Hope your Mother's Day was as lovely as you all are.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Touched by an Angel

Yesterday I felt the need to go to the cemetery to just sit, be still and enjoy whatever it was that needed to be. It was a semi overcast day, a bit windy but still nice. I had an arrangement someone made for me to take to Avery's grave and last week the headstone was set so off I go for my first real visit. I had a truly amazing experience there, one I am sure I will never forget but wanted to document it anyway.

As most of you know, I am a sun lover, not fanatic just love the heat and sunshine whenever I can get it, which hasn't been much lately in Heber. I walk to the grave and its still a tad overcast, I am there for a few minutes and a ray of sunshine just embraces me with warmth, I look up to offer my gratitude, I relax on the green grass, looking up at the heavens and it begins to sprinkle on me, ever so lightly as if someone is crying. I sit with that for a moment and it stops literally in less than two minutes. I was crying and so where the heavens. I knew she was there but sometimes I am a slow learner. My family and I are making a small garden in our yard as atribute to Avery (along with my pink hair) and we are going to buy butterflies and lady bugs to release when its all complete. My boys think that is so cool. So I am still sitting there and I feel this hair down my shirt, I ignore it and then I feel it moving, can't ignore that anymore, so I look down and in my shirt is a ladybug. I looked up and said, "thank you thank you Avery for letting me know you are there, your ok and the confirmation that life is eternal. I was crying tears of joy but yet I felt as though I needed to share and be comforted by this experience. I was planning to go to my friends house but as I drove by my own home my husband's truck was there and he is never home at 2:30 in the afternooon. I went inside to find his loving arms, a perfect ending to a perfect experience.

This experience which I have been praying for over the past 8 weeks was all I wanted to validate my need to know Our Sweet Avery Ann was watching over us and waiting for our arrival someday. I know that this earthly life is only a short part of our journey but the confirmation I received made me believe it in my heart as well as my mind.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Children!

This weekend we went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house and on the way home Kaden (my 4 year old) was sitting next to me in the truck and he was looking down, I asked him what was wrong he said, "I am sad, I miss Avery." That of course made me sad. Later that night for family prayer, Colton (my 6 year old) volunteered to say the prayer. He was so reverant, something he isn't usually, he folded his arms and bowed his head so preciously. He gave about a 2 minute non stop prayer all about Avery. I so wish I had a recorder as it was so touching to hear his deepest, most sincere thought about her. He has been the only one that hasn't been very vocal about how he feels or felt about her passing.

So Steve and I are sitting here tonight trying to remember what he said in his prayer. He repeated a lot of the same things but he must have needed to do, it was his way of processing. Here is what we remember of the prayer...........

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day, thank you for Avery, we miss her, we love her very much, we wish you didn't have to die, we know she is with Jesus~he loves her very much, I wish I could play with her, we know we will be with her, we wish she could stay here and live with us, we know she can see us but we can't see I said, he repeated some of the same things over and over again but it truly was heartfelt and genuine.

My children have taught me so many things in my life, lessons I would have never had without them. Even Avery who was here for such a small amount of time, has made me a better person, a better mother, a better friend, a better everything. I am grateful I am still able to learn each and everyday something that will further my progress in this life. I thank you my children!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Avery's name in the Sand

Avery Ann Hallows
March 10, 2009 she was born into heaven
Heber City, Utah
Our Sweet Angel Avery Ann
You flew into our life for a brief moment but touched our hearts forever.
We include you in our daily life and even though we aren't physically with you today
We rejoice in the knowledge that someday we will all be together again.
Until we meet again, fly on fly on Sweet Avery Ann

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thank you, Thank you all!

I know this is not the most appropriate way to thank you all for the outpouring of love, support, calls, visits, cards, flowers, gifts, pictures, books and delicious food we have received. It truly is amazing to see this in a community. I often times felt embarrassed at the amount of help and support we we received. I am not used to so much attention either. I absolutely felt more love than I ever felt before in my entire life. The selfless acts of giving were just what we needed during such a time.

What a blessing it is to friends and family who love you so much and to have the comfort of my Heavenly Father who has not left my side during this entire time. Most of the time, I feel life I am almost enveloped in a cloak that shields me from anything not healthy, not safe, or not uplifting. I now understand the true meaning of the poem, "Footprints". That has been my favorite poem since before I can remember and now to see it benefit me in my greatest needs today is absolutely a testimony of the pure love of Christ.

Today I am full of gratitude for all that has been done for our family, all you continue to help us with, your love, support and friendship. You all have been an example to me of genuine service. Thank you again!

Friday, April 10, 2009

One month!

March 10, 2009 was an exciting day that turned into by far the worst day of my life. The girl that I have been wanting all my life was finally here, she came fast and furious and I was so excited to have given birth to her with absolutely no pain meds (till after birth) and no epidural, something I wanted to do for her safety and my quick recovery. I saw her for just a brief moment after she came out then not again until my little girl was in the NICU with wires and tubes and more people around her than I cared to ever see. I was able to put my finger in her hand for a few moments and that was the first and last time I was able to do that. I feel cheated and saddened that my life long desire for a girl was now nothing but a depressing bad dream. I try not to ask why and accept what is but some days I find myself questioning more than others. I am not sure if I am still numb or just simply healing but I have strength, peace and comfort most of the time. I was anxious to get on with my new normal life (not cooking though) and start to be a mother and wife again. Its been easier than I imagined. If every day I have a good cry, I release the grief and can move on with life. Its simply not what I thought it would be like....I know that my Heavenly Father has some extra special something for me and general conference Oh my I thought that was all sooooooooooooooo applicable. I expected that blessing, I needed it!

I often thought able not keeping this blog going after what happened but, I had a change of heart, if nothing else its therapy for me to write out whatever it is that I was feeling especially this first year. I want to never forget that 7 lb. 11 oz. busy baby that was inside of me for 9 months. My little boys have been so sweet and so forthcoming with whatever thought comes to their minds about Avery. Kaden is 4 years old and he has been doing the best with all this, everytime he sees me with no clothes on, he says "Avery misses your tummy, Mommy." Then the other day he said, "do you think Avery gave that yellow flower on her hat to Jesus?" My 6 year old Colton has had a very hard time articulating his words about Avery. On our way home from St. George this week, he was drawing a stick figure with Angel wings and said that was Avery. Then he asked me if we can make a baby that will live? Today he said he wanted to die so that he could go and live with Avery. That was heartbreaking for me to hear, I can so relate to these innocent, pondering thoughts as I have had them myself.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting 3 other heart moms, 2 from Arizona, Liz and Heidi and Gracie's mom, Michele. We had instant love and connection, we sat and talked at a restaurant for 5 hours, it was a joyous time, uplifting conversation, so natural and no tears...expect I teared up when they gave me a gorgeous necklace with Avery's picture on it, I have worn it everyday as I feel like she is close to my heart always, Kaden and Austin haven't taken theirs off either.
I am grateful for people like them who have suffered a loss but still reach out to help and comfort others despite their own grief. I hope I can somehow pay that forward one day.

I feel like I have been rambling but I don't care...its out, its documented and it is what it is!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Avery's Funeral

Angel Avery Ann
March 10, 2009
Arrived at 2:10pm

Returned home 11:00pm

Truly she looked like a porcelain doll, so pure, so precious, so sweet!

Uninhibited Kaden, wanted to kiss her, hold her and take her home.

Until we all meet again someday, this is Mommy and her 4 children.

This lovely table shows all the wonderful and special things we have to remember our sweet angel, Avery. I have almost the same display on my fireplace mantel in my bedroom that I look at each and every day & night. When I lay down and wake in the morning this is the first things I see and it brings me comfort.

My precious boys carrying precious Avery! This picture is so touching to me.

Although this was a hard time for us all, we are finding peace in knowing Avery is resting just a couple of miles away so we can visit her often. We hope and pray that she will come to visit us too and we can feel her spirit dwell with us when we are in need of strength and comfort.

I am finding myself speechless and for those of you who know me, you too will find that to be hard to believe. I don't quite have a grasp on what to say, feel, do, or where to begin my new normal life. I know that this is appropriate but, I still feel so lost without this baby in my arms or sitting in the hospital room watching over her recovering.

For now, I will try to learn acceptance!
Your thoughts, prayers, gifts, acts of selfless love, comments and support are more than we ever imagined possible in such a time of need. We love you all!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Avery's Obituary

Avery Ann Hallows
"Our Sweet Angel"

Avery came down from heaven for just a brief visit on March 10, 2009. She came and left us, both on the same day. She didn’t have to be here long to touch our lives forever. She was absolutely beautiful and flawless in every way except for her heart which broken and now, so is ours. She had to go back to her Heavenly Father due to congenital heart defects which were beyond repair.

Avery is the only daughter to Steven and Leah Hallows, the only sister to Austin, Colton and Kaden Hallows, the grandchild of Koze and Andrea Hallows, and the first granddaughter of Fred Pokrinchak and Barbara Pokrin. Avery also has one great-grandparent living, Carol Stoker. She was also loved by many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.

As hard as it was to say goodbye to this precious infant, we hold faith in our Heavenly Father’s plan that we will see her again and be able to enjoy the time we missed with her on this earth.

A viewing with be held on Sunday, March 15 from 6-8pm at Olpin-Hoopes Funeral Home in Heber City. Private family services and burial will be held the following day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sad ending to a long day...

At last update, I (Steve) said and thought Avery was stable and doing okay. I came down to check on Leah and spend some time with her. I was with her for about an hour when my Dad called me approx 9 pm and he said the Doctors said that me AND Leah both should come up asap, as we did. The head Dr there informed us Avery had been having additional complications. He informed us that the outlook was not good and that there were two veins that they couldn't see, OR that they were not connected properly. Long story short is that, over much tears, grief and stress, at about 11 pm, we had to say goodbye to our little Angel, Avery Ann. She was so beautiful and looked so perfect. But her little heart was broken too severely, as is ours. We could have kept her on life support and drugs, for who knows how long, but the head Doctor there, said the outcome would still be the same, regardless of how long we used machines and medicines to try to keep her alive. We thank you for all your prayers and continue to ask for them for our strength and our boys will need it, as will we, Steve & Leah Hallows.

Finally...we think she's stable

After a very intense 4-5 hours after her delivery, we think sweet Avery is fairly stable now, but not out of the woods yet. I (Steve) did not enjoy enduring feeling helpless while all those people worked on my little helpless child - and the whole while being separated from Leah. The baby had some air somehow on the outside of one if not both of her lungs that was prohibiting her from getting her lungs full of air as if she wasn't having enough difficulty. Anyway, they finally got her somewhat stable as of about 7 pm tonight. At one point, they had to recessitate precious Avery with manual CPR, other drugs, etc etc. She is intubated so she can get enough oxygen and the cardiologists tell us all of her valves that they want to stay open are, but that the lung problem was scary and has set us back some. Not sure how much yet. Doctors said do NOT plan on a surgery Friday, there would be no way she will be strong enough by then. We'll update more later and post some pics. The whole trip from the U of U to the Primary Children's hospital was touch and go, she was having problems en route, it was scary! Dad had a good cry and now I feel better, and now I'm with Leah and her spirits are doing better also, even though she has not been able to see little Avery yet, but will sometime later tonight.

Avery's Arrival...she came at 2:10 pm

She came quick, after not much pushing by Leah. She wanted the epidural and the nurse said, "There's no time" and wisked us off to the delivery room. Avery did let out a "beller" scream of a cry, so in our eyes that was a good sign. She was kina mauve/ maroon as we expected, but she looked beautiful and Mom and Dad get to go see her in a few minutes in the Newborn ICU. I got some cute pics coming soon. Leah's now on pain meds, she did the whole thing naturally. She was a real trooper. Now we've just gotta worry about baby.....We'll get back shortly I'm sure.

...Hurry up and Wait...

It's just past Noon, our time and we got up at 4 am this morning. Roads were snowy, but thankfully plowed. We got to the hospital at 6:30 am. Leah has been on pitocin since about 8:30 am and she's not feeling much in the way of contractions yet, even though the computer says she's having them every couple of minutes. They are not too intense yet. My best bud, Brad is here and bought me a drink in my boredom. Leah is only dialated to about a "3" right now, so they're going to come back about 2:30 our time and re-check, so it may be a long day. Well, either way, it'll be a long day. Anyway, this is Stevo (the husband, father) signing off until later.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

As we embark on our journey tomorrow!

I can't believe it is finally here, its bittersweet! I am so excited to meet my baby girl, yet I am scared of all the unknowns.

I feel at peace, I feel strong, I feel energized, I feel humble, I feel I can do this and whatever is to be will be! I struggle with the lack of control I have over this situation but I have faith that I will be taken care! I can't explain my peace and strength but I know its not from me! I am just living and my needs are always met.....I hope and pray for this feeling to cross over to my dear husband as I think he is taking this a lot harder than I am.

I am so humbled by the love and support that I have felt from so many of you, thank you, thank you, thank you! You all ask what can I do for you....what we need most right now is for you to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!

Last week was a tough one but we made it through and we will make it through this week as well. We will take each day one at a time, maybe last week was Heavenly Fathers test for us, to see how we would handle all that he is about to give us...(See honey, last week was just a test for us to see how much we really can handle!)

Once again, I am grateful.....We got our trailer out of the snow and mud, thanks to my father and brother in laws, who got it out for us on Wednesday. The boys are on the mend from being sick! I didn't get sick! My mom arrived safely! I only have one day left of being pregnant! My Dr. said the fluid is not visible still, I am dilated more than 2 cm and 50% effaced, so I am ready to be induced. I was hoping to go on my own but its not in my control apparently! For all this, I am grateful!

I have been asked by so many of you about visiting, calls, updates, etc. Here is the plan right now....If I can update the blog myself I will, otherwise my mom will do it for me after we call her to let her know that Avery arrived and any other information we have at the time. As soon as I get access to an Internet connection, I will update with any information. I know that so many of you are anxious and want to know whats going on, so we will be as diligent as we can to update fast.

I am not sure about visitors just yet, we will have to wait and see once she is there what we can anticipate in that dept. but, will post that as well. I do know that you can bring your computer into the hospital rooms and have Internet service. So with that, email probably will be the quietest and easiest way to communicate with me. My email is, yes I know that I will have to change that soon, but for now that is the best way to reach me. I also have a skype account and my screen name is hallowsfam so if you want to see or talk to me use that account and we can use the web cam....I got that so my boys can see their sister, as they will NOT allow children under 14 in the intensive care units until RSV season is done. Understandable!

I have to get off this computer, as my back is a bit sore now! But I just want to close and let you know that I know I will not be alone in this journey, nor have I ever been. Thank you Heavenly Father for the undeniable strength, faith, comfort, peace and hope that you have offered me every second of the way! I know there are lessons to learn from the trials we are given and if I have learned one thing so far, it is that my testimony of a divine power is real and when you need him most, he is there! His outstretched hand will guide you and let you know you are never alone, EVER!

Monday, March 2, 2009

We are only given what we can handle, right??

Well, if I remember correctly I was full of gratitute last week...and still am as many of my aches and pains are GONE....I feel like a normal, pregnant woman, hungry, tired, anxious, scared, worried, hopeful, excited, emotional...ok ok I will stop! No seriously I am still very much full of gratitude but I posted that I was happy no sickness fell upon us this winter...Well Colton and for those of you who know wind, full of energy, never rests, etc., is in bed with a high grade fever, cough, sore throat and vomitting. WHY this week, I can't afford to be sick? Neither can my husband......Well after a few hour dr. visit, a trip to the hospital for x-rays....Colton has some kind of lung infection, not pnemonia, not rsv, but something that is not reducing his fever very well. We sent him to Steve's moms I hope she doesn't catch it..but if we caught it, oh my that would be tragic..we couldn't be around our newborn baby and could I even have the energy to birth her. YIKES!

Yesterday Steve went to get our trailer to bring home from our camping property and his truck broke down..had to leave it up there, call a neighbor for help and still couldn't bring home the trailer. We can stay in a hotel if we have to for a few nights if the land is too muddy to pull the trailer out yet! We will pull through this I am certain.

Then I woke up to read the blog about this young baby, Gracie and how this morning her parents decided that there was nothing more they could do to save this precious being life anymore, she was being called home to her father in heaven.....I don't know this family personally or this sweet baby but I know them from the heart world we will be joining soon. It had me sobbing, I am so saddened by their pain and sorrow. Why does life have to happen this way or not happen? I am much more calm this afternoon, I feel a sense of comfort and peace and hope that these things shall pass and we will be ok. (Gracie Gledhill's blog is listed on the side of my blog)

I know we are only given what we can handle....I appreciate how much faith my Father in Heaven must has for me...but I think I am done for now!

My heart is broken for another broken heart! May you all remember how precious life is and enjoy every second of it! Remember to say I love you as often as you can...but more important show it! I love you all for your continued support!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Full of Gratitude!

I had my appt. with the Dr. again today and all is well. I was having a lot of small contractions so my body is getting ready for this birth. I am so ready as well! Its gettting harder and harder to see Avery on the ultrasound as the bones are become more and more like real bones that you can really see lots of shadows instead of the organs, face, etc. Although once again, noting we have a new ultrasound tech each time we go...they always mention her hair and that there is a lot of it from what they can see! I am so looking forward to putting my first bow in her hair as that might be the extent of what I can dress her, in the beginning. Growth is progressing nicely as well, they estimate her to be about 7 lbs. and 1 oz. right now but will now know when she gets here what her weight is as I have only ONE yes, ONE more appt. next Thursday and then on Tuesday, March 10th is the induction date. The journey is getting closer and closer!

Yesterday I wanted to post but my computer was not functioning and therefore, I couldn't but I wanted to share how grateful I am and how much there is to be grateful for despite the things we may be facing.

Sunny days, when your children can go outside to play

Friends that come over to give you a massage in the comfort of your own home

Little boys bums that run around after a bath

Dinner that is so delicious and that you didn't have to make

Friends tand family that call just to say, how are you doing today?

Connections from friends that work at the hospital or in the PICU

People that go out of their way to make sure you are getting what you need

A husband that is so sensitive and nuturing

A sick free winter for everyone in our home

Other heart moms who are loving & thoughtful

The Priesthood and the blessings of healing

Massage chairs and laptops that friends lend just to make your life a bit more convenient

Chiropractors and Doctors who are so dedicated in providing healing

Little boys who will put your shoes on you, for just a quarter

Friends who grocery shop just like you shop

Moms who are willing to take a month off of work to take care of your other children

Warm therapy pools that make you feel weightless

The weekends when you can truly relax

DVR's, so you can watch the shows you fell asleep watching at 8pm in the middle of the night

Guest bedrooms

The answer to prayers

Heating pads, ice packs, Ben Gay and Tylenol

Husbands that say let me worry about that

This list could go on and on..........................Remember you can choose to tend the garden of negativity or nurture the garden of positivity!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Echocardiogram

We met with our cardiologist again....I like him more and more each time I see him! Found out today, he lives in Park City, goes to the same pediatrician as I do already! He said during our scanning that when we see you more than 2 times, you become family, we treat you well. This is our 3rd appt. with him and I feel much more comfortable each time.

He said that he is delighted that I have gone this far along in my pregnancy and that the fluid is very minimal, there are no valves leaking, the heart functions well and nothing looks different or concerning right now. I asked him to draw me a picture of what Avery's heart looks like and what they are going to do right after she is born. Encouraging new, he said that when she is born, they will try NOT to have to intubate her(breathing tubes) as they want her to breathe on her own, as they are finding now that it really helps them in the long run with feedings, gaining weight, infections, etc. Interesting, I thought and Steve said well that makes sense if you enable a system that can make it on its own then the body just says oh well don't need to work hard there and goes into a lazy state..then when it does need to work it won't do it as hard as it needs too! Makes sense to me now!

He also said, that they will probably do the surgery on Friday, most likely, and the Dr. mentioned that since its one of the more complex surgery that it will be done by the chief surgeon, Dr. Hawkins, with an assistant, which is comforting to know. Essentially what it is that they will do is merge her Aorta and pulmonary artery together and then put in a shunt from her right ventricle to the new merged arteries. This is very complex surgery but if she can do well through this surgery then her chances of success increase drastically. I am thankful today that there are people out there that sacrifice years and years of their lives studying and going to school to improve peoples lives...what a blessing.

I feel much better every time I go there, as the time is vastly approaching its only 18 days away before we get to meet our sweet little girl, Avery. I have a ton of emotions, good, bad, indifferent, I am not sure how I really feel about having her naturally (no meds), being induced, leaving my boys for a long time, having visitors, my husband being gone from work for a while....ugh there is a lot to think about and prepare for, but the one thing that has not changed is that I feel still very positive that all is well and Avery will come out of this strong and as healthy as healthy and strong can be for her. I know nothing, as my friend Marcy always says.

I have another appt. with the OB on Feb. 26th to check her growth...I am certain that is happening well and good trust me! I will post again then.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What more could a pregnant woman want???

Well the list could be really long, but I am not about to do that because quite frankly I could spend days on a list. My laptop has been in the repair shop so I haven't really had the desire to actually sit in front of a computer and type....So 90's ish....just kidding.

I just wanted to quickly update you on my appt. on Monday at the OB. The ultrasound showed no traces of fluid anymore, after having the ultrasound the tech comes back in and says, Dr. wants me to take another pic of the heart to show her that there is no fluid, then she is going to be coming in. I said is something wrong, because she has NEVER come in to see the ultrasound even when the fluid was increased. I think the Dr. couldn't believe it has gone that along with the fact that I lost 2 lbs. this week....YES LOST.....2 lbs. this week, I couldn't have had better news!

I have only 26 days until they induce me but I am hopeful that I can get things started on my own earlier, with some intervention of course.

I hope that everyone has a very special Valentine's Day, I am in charge of this day this year and am so looking forward to it. This day has a whole new meaning now to me....I haven't even seen my little precious girl to fall in love yet...but I know that I have fallen and her hold on my heart is the strongest and deepest connection I have felt since I met my sweet husband way back when.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all, cherish the ones you love and make sure they know it each and every single day!

I will post next Tuesday as that day we will see the Cardiologist again!

Monday, February 2, 2009

She has hair!

Had our OB appointment today, non-stress test and then the steriod shot! Ouch that was less than desirable....even better today I have to give one to myself...Colton and Kaden think its funny and want to give it to me or watch! Silly boys. Well it was an exhausting day....driving an hour both ways, 3 appts. one after another, then I met with my doulas who will be there with us when we deliver. I get two of them...I am so excited to have 2 women and my husband helping me to make this delivery as short and painless (is there such) as possible. I asked my OB about how she felt about Doulas and she said as long as they give you what you want and aren't anti-doctor she has no issues with them. I met with them yesterday and immediately felt good energy and knew these ladies were going to be perfect for us. I told them my expectations and what I wanted to accomplish and they are right on board. They even gave me a list of positive affirmations to say, ah like anyone who knows me knows that I am SO into that! I listen to my positive affirmation cd in the car and on my itouch all the time. It was just perfect...not to mention one of the doulas has 9 kids...I feel confident she can handle this will ease. Since Avery will need to go to the PICU immediately, I feel its in the best interest of her and I to have a drug free birth, so we can get on with fixing her asap! I am so excited to have these ladies, although I slept or should I say didn't sleep last night very well, thinking about birthing this baby and why I am nervous, I have done this 3 other times...I think its going to be so different and I am so type A that the fear of the unknown is beginning to creep into my thoughts.

Enough about that....Miracles happen was my motto yesterday, a friend of mine, mailed me a shirt and I got it yesterday that said "Miracles Happen" on it.....On my gmail tag says "Miracles Happen" that said the same thing...and yesterday sure was holding true to that postive affirmation...My ultrasound showed the fluid around her lungs to have drastically reduced?????!!!! Strange, Answer to prayers, miracle???? We were so thrilled with that news and so was the doctor...she can't explain it but all my labs came back normal as well! We are just thankful this week for that good news and are going to continue with what we have been doing as its serving us well and we are ok! When I got home there was a voicemail that said she has scheduled my induction for March 10th, Tuesday....Although its 35 days away or 5 weeks, I am grateful that I know it won't be longer than that! I want to not have to be induced so I am petitioning the universe that I will go into labor before that date, your help in this would be appreciated....Anytime in March not before as then it could be you know we need a big, strong baby. Yesterday she measured at 5 lbs. and 6 oz. I don't make little babies thankfully so that is good news.... I also am happen to report she has hair as you can see in the ultrasound pics, I was hopeful she didn't take after her daddy in that department! Well until next week...thanks for your comments and prayers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another ultrasound...

Today I had my check up at the OB and I did my NON-stress test, which was totally normal, had ultrasound and then spoke with Dr. Main reason for ultrasound was to monitor the fluid around Avery's lungs and heart. Well it looks like the fluid around her lungs is increasing and they don't know why. Typically increased fluid signifies heart failure but that is not the case...The OB and Cardiologist spoke on the phone and they both agreed heart and lung function is working fine and don't know why the fluid increase. There has been a virus going around the elementary school where Kaden attends and last visit they tested me for exposure to that and it was negative so they drew blood again, to test and make sure that remains the same and that its not an infection of some kind. Strange, and since they are the professionals and are stumped that creates some concern obviously. My OB wants me to come back next week to check again the fluids and then give me steriod shots to make sure that if we have to take her early her lungs are developed or they might do a tap of the fluids depends on what they see next week. Sometimes when they do a tap that instigates labor, so that is not always the best option but on the other hand they don't want to take her early as they need a strong big baby to repair her heart.

I am really not worried at all for some reason, I hope I am right in my instincts but you never know and I will keep sending positive messages to the universe and praying that all is well....I can say I am pretty confident I don't want to have do this again. Pregnancy alone this time around in my senior age has been much harder and my husband says I am much harder to deal with this time. I feel good just worn out and heavy....I need some self nuturing I think of some kind but that is hard to do with 3 boys, a cat and a husband!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Promising News from Cardiologist!

Yesterday we met with our Cardiologist for the much dreaded lay on your back for over 1/2 an hour of probing and proding around my belly as my lung capacity was shrinking at the same time! Needless to say I survived! Dr. Puchalski came in and saw me on my right side, he said oh is that more comfortable? AAAAAhhhhhhhh a bit, then go ahead and stay they I will scan her heart that way! NOW you tell me after 5 ultrasounds appointments, 5 episodes of potential losses of lung pressure and I can lay on my side...Well you learn something new everyday don't you. Well today what we learned was much more promising and uplifting to our ears. Dr. P, was very jovial, upbeat and different from our first meeting with him. I don't always agree with first impressions, never have, never will...I like to give people second chances as sometimes like myself I am different on first meetings (my guard is in place), second time, its me like it or not. Well, he said to us that the fluid around her lungs is increasing more than the last time he saw it and he will communicate with my OB, side note (the same OB that delivered his baby, he added) Good to know your Cardiologist and OB are seeking each other out...I feel like I am in great hands....They want to monitor the fluid to make sure it doesn't increase drastically or pose any risk to her lungs which are continuing to develop. If it does, they can do an in utero tap, or if she is ready take her early. But right now with bi-weekly ultrasounds they will continue to monitor.

About her heart, the news we heard today was much more positive than we remember it to be at our last appt. This time they could actually see the Aorta, previously they assumed it was there due to the technology of the echo and saw the blood flow just didn't see the aorta. Its very tiny 1.8 mm should be 8mm at this gestational age but we knew it was going to be small. This doesn't change anything, its just that they now know its there. She will still require the Norwood Procedure surgery which will include enlarging the aorta, creating a single atrium by removing what part of the septum she has intact in her common atrium and creating a conduit(shunt) from her right ventricle to her pulmunory artery. Don't ask me what and how, because quite frankly I still don't know all the details and specifics. Its so complicated I can't believe how our body works, its truly a miracle.

Dr. P said to us that he feels good about this and that quite likely our little Avery will be taking care of us one day as we will be to her. That was music to our ears and we are going to hang on to that positive statement and send that out into the universe for attraction.

We took a tour of the hospital where Avery will stay for the first part of her life called the PICU. It was different than we expected but very comfortable. Its an open unit but the heart babies are usually segregated to one area away from the sick children. I expected a PICU to be very sterile and different but it was quite normal compared to any hospital ward I have visited.
Monday, we have another OB appointment, beginning NON Stress tests...stressing the NON...I am really getting excited now as we are targeting just 6 1/2 weeks more and her journey into this family and world will begin.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ultrasound Pics

You can really see her face in this one!
Posted by PicasaToday, I met with my new OB, Dr. Jan Byrne, she is a high risk ob and a geneticists. I really enjoyed her calm, soft demeanor. I had a little tour of the delivery room and the pass through window that the babies go through after they are born. I don't get to see her until after she has been to the team that gets her stable but, I will get to see her before she is wheeled over to Primary Children's Medical Center. I had an ultrasound today, all looked the same, she is about 4 lbs. 3 oz. right now and Dr. Byrne said that she will most likely induce me anywhere from 37-38 weeks depending on how all is progressing. She will be the one to deliver me unless I go into labor when she is off, but from what others have told me she is extra fond of the heart babies and takes special care to make sure that her patients are in her care most of the time. She said that since the fluid around Avery's heart and lungs is still there not increasing, she wants me to have an ultrasound every two weeks now and then also non-stress tests, to make sure they are monitoring her very closely. If the fluid increases they will need to take her earlier so they can intervene but it doesn't look like that is going to be an issue...although the thought of being pregnant for less than I have to is quite its harder the older you get and the more kids you have to deal with at home. I feel fantastic other than at the end of the day, I am bit tight, heavy and need to rest. I am still exercising about 4 days a week, with yoga, water aerobics, treadmill/elliptical, chasing, cooking and cleaning for 4 boys at home.
Next week, January 20th, we see the cardiologist, Dr. Puchalski, again to get a more detailed plan of what is going to happen after birth and tour the hospital. We found out that we can take our camp trailer up to the hospital after she is born, as they have hook ups, so that will be so nice to have our own space and be able to retreat there if we need to and not sit in a hospital room all day long. Then we can have as many visitors as we need, cook and eat dinner in our own space, but most important we can have the boys can come camp out on the weekends with us. That was great news for us. We want to make things as normal as possible for us all if we can.
I have met so many wonderful people on my journey in preparation for Avery's arrival and I have included their blogs for you to read, cry, and look at, just as I have. But these kids are amazing miracles and we are hoping for the same strength and for Avery and our family.