Friday, February 12, 2010

Extremely Grateful..................for my strength...

On January 27th, we are at Krystal's house in Orem Utah just minutes away from driving to the Missionary Training Center in Provo about 5 miles away,where Jonathan will spend 2 months learning Spanish before he takes off to Mendoza Argentina. Here we see Jeff, Krystal, Addison ( a favorite cousin that also lives in Orem (ditching school to say goodbye to Jonny), Kimberlee, who, needed to get her braces tightened by the new orthodontist in the family, Krystal's husband Jeff. Then there is Kevin and Heidi, 2 more cousins that love Jonny (also ditching school) and you can see me holding Kyla on my lap and Allie next to me, and I hope it is obvious to you, that Jonny is the one with the suit on. Then Dale is next to him.Boy, am I HAPPY to get him on a mission! I have looked forward to this for 19 years, and the last 10 months have been anxious ones for me. I have to admit, he sure is good looking in this picture , isn't he?

Notice here, that Krystal is 8 1/2 months pregnant, and they said their goodbyes outside the parking lot because now-a-days, you LITERALLY DROP off your missionary at the curb!!
Notice Damon is missing because his parents wouldn't let HIM ditch school. :) He was sad :(
Well, after we dropped Jonny off, there was only ONE person crying!! It wasn't me, it was KIMBERLEE. I know why she was crying though, not so much that she was going to miss Jonny, (she gets his room, his car and everything else she wants), but she DOES NOT want to be alone WITH DALE AND I!!!! This means that she is our ONLY child left at home. (Another thing I have waited many years for :D )
Well, since the Dr told Krystal that she was only dilated to a 1, or 1 1/2, I decided to drive home to St George and go back when she had the baby, maybe in a week or two. Her due date was February 14th, and that was 18 days away.
I was home for about 30 hours when I got a phone call that baby boy was in a little distress. His heart rate was having de-celerations when Krystal was submitted to a stress or non-stress test. The Dr was inducing labor right then. I jumped up, showered, quickly packed and took care of any details that I thought were necessary, like pick up Rx's that I would need, etc. I got on the road about 2-3 hrs later, took about 4 more hours to drive to Provo and when I was 22 miles away, Jeff called me to tell me that she was "pushing" AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I started to cry, how could I miss it when I was so close? I shouldn't have taken time to shower or pick up that Rx. Well, I still hurried along the best I could and when I arrived on University Avenue, I called to see if he was here, and Jeff said that they were at a standstill because he was face up, and they were going to have to use a vaccuum. "YES", I shouted. I had a baby face up, so it's only fair that this one is so I can make it in time. (My mom wasn't allowed in the delivery room for my face up baby)
I walked in the delivery room, and the nurse questioned, "Grandma?" , when I said yes, the Dr who was at Krystal's feet, said "OK, here we go ", and he put a suction cup on the baby's head and pulled him out: Can you see the suctioned circle on his head?
For 16 days early, he was a good sized baby, 7 lb. 1 oz. 19 1/2 inches long. Good thing she didn't go until her due date. The only thing unusual about him was his umbilical cord. It had 2 vessels in it instead of 3. The Dr showed it to Jeff and I and it looked like a wet noodle, very flimsy in a couple sections. They say 80% of babies with 2 vessels are completely normal, but some of them have kidney problems later in life. About 5 years ago, Krystal delivered a stillborn baby boy that had, interestingly enough, a 2 vessel cord. The Dr's back then said that the cord had nothing to do with him not making it. Her water broke at 20 weeks, and for 5 days, that little boy fought for his life inside with no fluid, until her body went into labor and delivered him, at 12 oz, and 10 inches long. She went on to have 2 more children, both girls, and now this baby boy was very much wanted in this family. Nerves were only a little on edge during this pregnancy, but to see him come out healthy and whole was a big relief. If he has kidney problems, Krystal and Jeff feel like they will just deal with it.
I decided I wanted to stay for a while (I mean after all I had my Rx's that I needed for 2 wks) and help out, even though she had an easy labor, I knew that there would be 3 other kids needing attention and I wanted a chance to spend some time with them, I don't get near enough of these little darlings.Damon is 7, and I ran him back and forth to school, Allie is 4 and has either pre-school or a computer class 4 days a week that she needed a taxi for, and Kyla is 2 and really needed someone to play with to prevent her from mauling the baby. Of course, I REALLY wanted to sit and hold a new born, and hope I could get to look into his eyes if they were ever open. That is one of my favorite things to do, hold, smell, and look at a newborn!! I love it.

While I was there, I took advantage of spending some time with my sister since we don't do that enough, and we went to Michael's to learn more about decorating Valentine cookies. I wanted all the kids to come with me, (I tried to let Krystal have quiet time with the baby as often as I could) 2 of them played at a cousins house, while Kyla came with me. We were surprised to see how color-coordinated we all 3 were :)

When we got home, I just HAD to have some cookies, so I made some dough, and the next day, all 3 kids helped me cut them out and they (only they, not me), decorated these lovely cookies. They were pretty proud, and really enjoyed eating them.Damon is really a craft lover, and wanted to make his own Valentines. I helped him for 4 days. He had 24 kids is his class and each valentine had 3 different colored hearts cut out, and some of them had a pop up message inside. He is just starting here by using a cookie cutter to trace around.
Krystal had been trying to get a black and white picture of Carter, oh BTW, that's what they named him. The first set of pictures, the baby had been awake and didn't cooperate well, so one night , I was holding him and as he fell asleep and curled up his little legs, I grabbed a white blanket, laid him next to a white wall, and asked Krystal to get her camera. She caught this sweet one. If you look closely, you can see he was having a sweet dream about how wonderful heaven was. :)
He is a beautiful child. I got pretty attached and didn't want to leave him
His mom was pretty crazy about him too. Yes, she is tired, OF COURSE, I told her women would hate her if she didn't have the normal routine of trials after a new baby.
I took this picture, cuz I think he is so dang cute.
Oops, this is out of order, Damon and Carter at the hospitalAllie climbing up on Krystal thinking she is going to stay the night next to her mom :)Kyla trying on grandma's glasses. (She wouldn't give them back either, even though I gave her a sucker)Yes, I had a LOT of fun with my grandkids. I helped Krystal with Carter during the night. After she fed him I would try to keep his binky in and rock him if necessary. I loved every minute of it. I felt like I was on vacation at times. (My roommate from college took me to 2 Jazz games while I was there) I even found a night to attend the Mt Timpanogas temple.
I did a lot of laundry and a lot of cooking, and baking. Jeff said I really came through when I made him a lemon meringue pie. :)

But the day before I left, I was trying to straighten out my hair because chemo made it SO curly.Krystal and I had to take a picture and have a good laugh; THIS is what 2 WEEKS with 4 kids did to me:

BUT : I am VERY grateful to have strength again. It is amazing to me that 2 yrs ago, I found a lump, then had 2 surgeries, 8 doses of chemotherapy, 6 wks or radiation, then another surgery, and that was followed by a year of fatigue.
I have my energy back, and I am so blessed. The cancer, however, is not back. What more could I ask for?
I am a lucky girl. I know that.
I want to be a good girl. HE knows that.

I still love you all,
Love, Karen (the Kancer Killer :)