Thursday, February 26, 2009

Answered Prayers

Our prayers have been answered. The x-rays this morning showed that Gwen's lungs looked well enough for her breathing tube to be removed. At 9:30 am our little Gwenners took her first breaths on her own. She is doing wonderfully well. Better than any of us expected. I was driving to the hospital when Jon called and told me they had just removed her breathing tube. When I walked into the Pediatric ICU Gwen smiled and said, "mommy"! She then started to cry and so did I. I have never felt such joy. The nurses and doctors are keeping her pain free. She still has a feeding tube in her nose but that will be removed tomorrow morning. We held our baby today for the first time in 6 days. Tears of joy streamed down all of our cheeks. Jon and I were in heaven. She is being closely monitored and we will stay here for another 5 to 7 days. As I sit and watch her I feel the heavy weight that has been on my heart lifting. This has been a faith promoting experience for all of us. Even our sweet Elle has gained a greater appreciation for prayer. We know that Gwen has been watched over and we will be forever grateful to the countless number of people that have been so mindful of our little family. Please know how deeply appreciative we are to each of you for all of your kind words, thoughts and prayers. Life is such a precious gift.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Things

I am home with my sweet Elle tonight.  Jon is taking the night duty with our little Gwen.  Elle asked when mommy and daddy would both be home so that we could "do the elle sandwich". That is where we lay in bed, Elle in the middle, Jon and I on either side hugging her.  She misses having mommy and daddy together at home.  Tonight Elle did my make-up for me from her Hannah Montana make-up kit she got from Santa.  Elle says I look fancy.  Apparently sparkles are a good look on me.  She said, "mama, this is really fun but still not really fun. I miss Gwen". These sisters really do love eachother.  Yesterday I put the phone to Gwen's ear while I was at the hospital so Elle could talk to her.  When Gwen heard Elle's voice she smiled through her tubes for the first time. So, so sweet.  I also was reminded of the sweet little life inside of me today.  I am 4 1/2 months pregnant.  While sitting next to my Gwen, I felt the baby move for the first time inside of me.  A sweet reminder of another blessing in our lives.  These are the little happy things I don't want to forget or take for granted.  Tomorrow is a big day again.  The doctors are going to take another chest x-ray in the morning in hopes that we can pull the breathing tubes out.  Say a special prayer for Gwen that her lungs will clear up and we can move forward.  We are having withdrawals from her sweet personality and laugh.  I am needing one of her signature neck hugs.  Until tomorrow, may we all have sweet dreams and healing thoughts for Gwen.  


The tears kept flowing last night. Tears of sadness but mostly gratitude. There is something about the blanket of night that makes things a lot more raw. I laid in the chair next to my gwen watching her breathe through the bars of the hospital crib. The only sounds were those of machines and other parents just like me comforting their little ones. All of us in our daily routines until the fragility of life was thrust upon us. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I still have my little girl. She is going to come out of this stronger. I think we all will. My eyes well-up just thinking about how our family has been showered with love. Countless acts of kindness, love and concern. I have read each email and text message and listened to each caring voice mail. Thank you. The doctors have decided to give gwen another day to rest and heal. Too much fluid still in her lungs. So her sweet dreams can continue uninterrupted for another day. We are a blessed family.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sweet Gwen Update: Day 5

First I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your love, support and prayers.  It is humbling to be in this position and we are so grateful for each of you.  Our sweet gwen is stable and doing well.  Yesterday was a rough day.  They took her breathing tubes out to see how she could do on her own.  In order to do this, she had to wake up from her anesthesia.  Jon and I hovered over her and the doctors asked us to keep talking with her to encourage her to open her eyes.  She slowly opened her eyes and made eye contact.  As she woke up she also became quite aware of her pain and her situation.  As a parent this was the hardest part.  She had big tears coming down her cheeks and kept looking into our eyes and saying, "owwwwwe".  We kept encouraging her and kissing her little forehead and I sang a few of her favorite songs into her ear.  It is amazing how just those little things calmed her down. She just needs to know that her mommy and daddy are there and love her.  As the tubes were gently pulled from her throat, they put an air mask over her mouth and nose.  We all just sat and watched and waited.  I watched as her chest rose up and down with each breath.  It was like watching so many other "firsts" as a parent.  Her first steps, her first word...this was her first breath on her own since the accident.  Her little body was struggling.  The doctors and nurses who have been amazing through all of this, watched intently for a few hours.  Jon and I stayed right in her sweet face the whole time sending reassuring words into her little ears.  It was eventually determined that the breathing tubes needed to go back in.  More time for her wounds to heal, more time for her body to rest.  As they sedated her there was a feeling of relief as her body started to relax and she was again having sweet dreams unaware of her situation.  Tomorrow we will try again.  For now her sweet little body and mind are resting and healing.  Jon just called and gave me her latest stats: her chest xray looked the best it has looked this morning.  They have her on antibiotics to fight some of the infections that are common with suction tubes. They will take chest tube out of her side today which has been draining the blood from her lungs. The burn unit team comes to her twice a day to clean her road rash which they treat as a burn.  Her doctor is pleased with her progress and when they pull the tube tomorrow, he said he would sit with her and monitor her the entire day (we love dr. knight).  Once the tube is pulled it will be a game of watching how she is breathing and keeping her calm and out of pain.  Either Jon or I have been at her bedside continually.  We are together with her during the day and we switch off sleeping next to her each night.  It is important for us as well that Elle also feels loved and involved.  We naturally love and care for her just as much.  She loves to visit Gwen and has been having fun playdates with friends.  We have tried to keep her schedule as routine as possible.  We told Elle that until Gwen comes home from the hospital she gets to have a sleepover each night in mommy and daddy's bed with whichever one of us is home.  She LOVES it.  Last night we snuggled in bed together and watched the Wizard of Oz until she dozed off to sleep.  This morning I let her sleep-in and miss preschool so she could have some much needed mommy and home time.  Please keep our little Gwenners in your prayers.  Again, we are confident and have faith that she will make a full recovery.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your love.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sweet Gwen

Our sweet little Gwen was hit by a car yesterday.  She is stable and doing well.  We know that she will make a full recovery.  From the accident she sustained a collapsed lung, 5 broken ribs, a dislocated elbow and her arm is broken in 2 places.  The miracles (and I do not use that word lightly) are that she has no brain damage...her CT scan came back normal as did the MRI on her neck.  We know that she is being watched over and protected.  She is doing wonderfully well considering the circumstances.  A breathing machine has been working for her to let her lungs rest.  Tonight they are trying to reduce the amount of help from the machine to see if she can breathe over it on her own.  Our prayer is that Gwen can start to breathe on her own.  Jon and I are overwhelmed with the amount of love and concern we have received from our family and friends.  Please know that it is because of each of you that we are able to be strong for our Gwen. Please keep her in your prayers.  
All our love,
Jon , Amy and Elle

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Morning

Lazy morning...lots of rain, pajamas, waffles and syrup dippies.  Heaven.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Little Valentines

Jon and I went away for a few days.  It was a much needed break for both of us.  A beautiful hotel, room service, sleeping in until 9:30 both mornings and lots of time just to be together. Little outings like that make me realize that I just don't love Jon but that I am in love with him. We were dying to get away but the funny thing was that what we talked about most was what we had just left; our two little girls. We had an amazing time but it was so nice to get back to our little valentines.  When we got home they were both asleep.  Jon and I snuck into their rooms and kissed their little cheeks and whispered how much we loved and missed them in their ears.  This morning they were soo excited to see us and were even more excited to open up their valentine gifts...matching valentine jammies.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Little Things

Today these simple recycled glass vases made me smile.  They looked so pretty with the light shining on them from our windows and front door. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Simple and Sweet Request

I was folding laundry on my bed this afternoon.  Gwen was napping.  Elle tip-toed into my room and said, "mama, can you teach me how to fold"? Her only pre-requisite was that I open the shutters and the window so that we could hear the raindrops.  I was happy to oblige.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tough Love

Bedtime.  Elle has a bath, brushes her teeth, gets a book read to her, says her prayers and then falls fast asleep.  Well, all of that is true except for the falling fast asleep part.  There is NOTHING fast about getting this girl to sleep.  Elle has artfully extended her bedtime each night.  It wasn't that big of a deal at first but over a period of time the nighttime routine became just the never ending routine.  We would get her all settled and then she would pop into our bedroom for some reason ie, thirsty, thinks she needs to brush her teeth a little more, just not tired, you name it, she has thought of the reason.  Jon and I decided we had to nip it now.  Here was our plan...and we were not playing around.  She gets the bath, brushing, book, prayers, snuggles but then that's it.  We told her that she can leave her door open but has to stay IN her bed.  If she gets out we will lock her door.  I even made her a chart.  Every night she stays in her room she gets to put a sticker on her chart in the morning.  Four stickers on the chart= a prize of her choice! She was pretty excited about the sticker chart.  So the first night she tested us and we held strong.  She popped out of her bed and came in for some excuse so back in her room she went and we had to lock it.  It wasn't an exercise in scaring her so she was allowed to have her light on but we did lock the door.  The crying was so sad to me.  But Jon said, we had to be strong...for her.  She cried herself to sleep. And you can bet that as soon as I knew she was asleep, I opened that door right up and snuggled her in her bed while she slept.  The next morning she begged for a sticker.  We had to tell her no.  That sad routine happened again the second night as well.  But the third night on (when she realized we were serious) it worked!  She now stays in her bed with her door open.  Each morning she puts a sticker on her chart and she has earned four prizes!  That is 16 nights of staying in her bed!  Her first two prizes she asked for were pretty cute.  All she wanted was to go to the mall and ride the glass elevator five times in a row!  So funny and so cute to me.  Her other prize was to go to the candy store.  We combined the two prizes and made a day of it.  We went straight to the glass elevator and rode that thing 5 times in a row.  She was in HEAVEN and could NOT believe that we really were doing it.  So, so fun.  We also headed to the candy store where she got a bag full of her favorites.  I love this little girl, and I must say that Jon was right.  We did it for her.  She is so much happier at bedtime now with her set rules and is so proud of herself each morning as she puts a sticker on to her sticker chart.  It was tough but so worth it. 

Monday, February 2, 2009