Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fierce Love

Mother's Day - 2013

Mother's Day is celebrated in two different ways.  The one way that I'm most used to celebrating is how I've spent the last 35 years doing:  honouring MY mom!    That will never change.  I love my mom and am so grateful for each way she shows her love to me, her child.  She loves each one of her children so dearly, that much is clear!  So whether it is shown through her words, prayers and encouragement, or her desire that we zip up our jacket and for sure that we cover our ears when it's cold's all done in love.  And we love her so dearly!

Then, the newer type of celebrating Mother's Day began 7 years ago, when I first became a mom.
My thoughts and feelings about Mother's Day this year are a little bit different than other years.  There are several reasons....mostly stemming from the intense time of 'mothering' I am in right now.

If there is one thing that has been going through my mind the last few days, it is this:

Being a mom hurts.

Now before you jump to conclusions or opinions, hear me out.

This love, the love that a mom inherently acquires the moment she becomes a mom, and the love that continues to grow exponentially through each 'mothering moment'.....this love becomes fierce.

Fierce love.

And anytime you allow yourself to love so fully, you open up and expose your own heart to the hurt that can come along with it.

In my moments, I have been hurting for the pain Nate has been in.  For every confusing moment, every out-of-his-control moment, every physically painful moment.

This fierce mothering love desires.... yes, longs to take any pain and hurt from your child.  And when we can't - it hurts.

And when you become one of the only people your child reveals their inner turmoil and anger to....that's when this fierce love needs to be the strongest.  In many ways, I'm so thankful that Nate is able to express his 5 year old emotions to me, in his own way....even if it isn't positive.  He needs his voice to be heard in all of this.  And for now, he needs to feel safe, protected and loved.

And in the moments where he can forget about all the yuckiness of the last while;  when he shows the little parts of Nate that we know - the laughter, the twinkling eyes, the silly and goofy little boy who hums The Imperial March while building those moments, this momma's heart breathes a sweet breath, and thanks Jesus for the gift of being able to love.

To love.  Fiercely.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sweet surprises.

Isn't it just like our God to send us little surprises to brighten our day!  We've been talking about Kingdom Moments in church recently - and we've had a few of them!!

Just one example:  After a bit of a rough morning (after Don had left for work) getting Nate's meds in and doing his finger poke, and getting him happy - or at least compliant enough -  to head to Brady's school at 10:30 for their Spring Concert, Don called me after lunch and gave me a little patch of God light for the day.

An envelope, addressed to us, was sent to Don's work.  In it was a card with beautiful words that touched us both.  Someone that we don't even know, but is a friend of our friend (that's you, Shawna!) had heard about Nate and was following along on our journey through this blog.

In the card were also instructions to use the gift they sent to go out for a meal, and treat Brady and Nate to special treat.  When I told Nate about this person, whom we didn't even know, but knew all about him and his operation.....and wanted to do something special for our family - and that HE could pick the restaurant for supper, you should have seen his little face.  His eyes got big and looked at me excitedly, and yet he was trying SO hard not let his mouth turn into a smile.  He didn't succeed - and soon that cute little smile broke through his lips.  I told him that he could tell Brady about the special surprise and he did that with pride and excitement.  He picked his favourite Winkler restaurant - Twisters!

So, to the dear one, who made my boys day today, I thank you!!!

Tomorrow we head back to Winnipeg to the heart clinic.  It seems like we were just there, but it's been a week already.  He still had some fluid around his heart last week, and hopefully the echo will show that it's been resolved.  They'll also do blood work after the echo, and get our INR machine calibrated to the lab's INR results (please pray they get enough blood this time).  His INR numbers have been a bouncing around a bit.  From too low at 1.9  late last week, to too high at 5.0 on Sunday.  The sweet spot is 2.5-3.5.  But I suppose this is to be expected at the start, especially with the sporadic diet he had at the beginning, which has been increasing (changing the absorption of the warfarin) to getting a method of having him ingest the whole dose (my kitchen counter is turning into a drug lab as I crush and mix pills and try to hide them in different drinks, etc.!)

Thanks again for your love and kindness - for your prayers, emails, meals and hugs!!

Love you all!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Life at home....

It's hard to summarize and explain how life is back home. If you've ever been in a situation, even remotely close to this, you'll know what I mean. Yes, there is a huge relief to be home. To be together as a family, surrounded by our family and friends, in the place we are most comfortable...home. And yet, I'll be honest, flying home that day, my mind and heart were in conflict. It's a little scary being away from our doctors and specialists, for one. But probably, a bigger issue I was battling was what life was going to look like for us now. Like I said before, this wasn't a fix-it-and-forget-it type of surgery. To be sure, we did this to preserve and prolong the function of Nate's heart, and we will see the benefits of a less stressed (left sided) right ventricle, but there are many more and many new cautions that are a part of our life now.

This immediate time after surgery likely would put anyone on edge....watching for any unusual or unexpected signs and symptoms. So when Nate started throwing up in the middle of the night yesterday, you can bet I was alarmed. Thankfully no fever accompanied this episode, and the nausea did not continue, so today was a 'movie and games on the sofa' kind of day.

We're still battling with two of his oral meds. I would love to say everything is just wonderful and Nate is completely cooperative, but since you're reading this, you probably want to know the real deal. It takes both Don and I to do these tough ones. It is done as calmly as a mother soothing her child and with gentle and encouraging words, but it takes both of us to restrain him. It's horrible to do, especially for this momma's heart. And the hardest and most frustrating part is the spitting. We've done a couple in which he didn't spit any out and there feels like such victory with those. However, it is entirely defeating when it does happen. Especially with the Coumadin (blood thinner). While we are still getting his INR levels up and stable, his dosage changes based on the finger prick test. So you can imagine the pressure we face: when he doesn't take the whole dose - resulting in lower INR levels - which results in increasing his Coumadin dose - which really isn't accurate to what he may/may not need.

There have been wonderful glimpses of sunshine in our days though, too. Hearing him laugh, seeing a smile, especially when he is trying very hard not to! Even hearing the boys fight over their's a good and normal sound. Then there are the ways that we are being blessed by friends and family, as they show the love of Jesus to us.

The local church that some dear friends and family go to, surprised Nate with a special gift. Their Sunday School kids had been collecting money to make build-a-bears, and then donate them to a hospital for the kids there. Since the church had been praying for Nate, they chose to present a specially made (by a special friend) Jets bear to Nate. Even though Nate tried to be very stoic as he opened it, there was no denying that little smile that peeked through. Thank you to Bethel Church for their prayers and love!! And that's what it's all about, isn't it. Showing the love of Jesus to others. Being his hands and feet. Being the encourager, the listener, offering a hug. Being surrounded by people like this has added strength to our own. To my own dear family and friends and church family thank you for being part of Nate's story and our family's journey!!