Friday, November 30, 2007

Retracing our path . . . (Part VI)

After I recovered from the pulmonary edema things seemed to improve and we all hoped we were settling in for the long haul. After spending a week in the Labor & Delivery Unit I was stable enough for them to transfer me to the Ante Partum Unit. Here my days revolved around heart rate tracings and contraction monitoring. I had many wonderful nurses that cared for me and would always cheer me up. It was during this time that I really got into writing down what was happening and posting on the blog. It was so therapeutic to collect my thoughts at the end of the day and helped me to see the Lord's work and blessings in each and every day.

The nurses used to joke about my rascally babies because they could never find and keep them on the heart trace monitor. Andrew was VERY low in my belly, under my pubic bone and they could never find him. Usually it took a team of nurses to locate the babies and hold them there long enough to get a good reading.

Over the next few weeks my family would come to visit and Kenny, my mom and Kenny's mom would alternate staying with me in the hospital room. There was one sleeping bag that just about everyone took a turn in. My room in the APU was right next door to the NICU. In fact the nurses lounge was on the other side of my wall and they would get really rowdy everynight around 2am and you could smell popcorn through the wall. It was stressful trying to relax and sleep and hear the party going on next door. Plus I couldn't keep my mind off all the tiny babies in there and wondering if mine would end up in there.

I spent a lonely Thanksgiving there in my room, my family brought me a plate of leftovers from turkey dinner but it just wasn't the same. I was comforted by the flowers, calls, emails, and cards that so many friends sent to me. Every morning I would get a visit at the crack of dawn from the ob on call. And then my wonderful father in law would also come by to check in on me.

My awesome sister would make me a dessert every week celebrating every additional gestational milestone. We were no longer taking it minute by minute but now day by day. I was much more at ease but every so often fear and uncertainty would take over. I believe all the prayers going out for us helped to keep me from losing it into moments of despair. Knowing others are praying for you and that the Spirit is interceding provides so much peace. Plus the powerful kicks of those precious babies kicking within me continually encouraged and sustained me. They were so pure, so innocent, so oblivious to everything going on outside of their dark and quiet little home.

Every few days I would have another contraction spell and I always wondered if "this was it". My doctors were not all on the same page as far as using tocolytic drugs. I was at continued risk for developing another pulmonary edema if I went back on them but if we were conservative with the doses they might be worth using to help in a rescue situation. I was under the impression that if things took a turn then we would use them once again, that we were keeping them as an option if needed.

All the things they tell you not to do while you are pregnant I was now being told to do. It was really strange. They were giving me sleeping pills, taking x-rays, giving me narcotics, having me drink as many caffeinated drinks and fatty foods as I wanted. At all hours of the day I could order anything I wanted off the delicious and extensive hospital cafeteria's room service menu. Note the sarcasm here ;-). My main staples were dr pepper, pretzels, chicken noodle soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a variety of popsicles, and ensure milk shakes made with chocolate ice cream. Of course my favorite meals were when family and friends would bring me things from my favorite Houston restaurants, these meals always brightened my days.

It was really strange to be in one room all day, day after day without leaving. It was like being a prisoner at times and I missed my comfortable bed, I missed my little puppy dog, I missed sleeping next to my husband. I have to add in here one of my favorite memories of those weeks in the hospital. I know many have heard this before but a few nights before the babies were born Kenny looked over at me from his sleeping bench and said in the most serious tone "You know, I really think this has all been a lot harder on me than it has been on you" Excuse me?? Have you been in labor for over 2 weeks?? Have you not been able to leave this room and see real sunlight?? He couldn't spin his way out of that one and now I think it was pretty funny, a classic husband moment.

But I do think the walls were closing in on everyone and so many had put their lives on hold during all this. So it was decided that I was going to start staying a few nights here and there on my own. My first night solo was going to be Friday night. My mom was staying with me Thursday night and was going to head out of town Friday morning and then Kenny would come down on Saturday and stay until Sunday.

I was not really looking forward to staying on my own at all but I knew it wasn't fair for everyone to give up their lives to keep me company. Plus we were all beginning to let our guard down I suppose. But then I guess in the end you could say I "showed them" ;-) about trying to leave me over night alone.

To be continued . . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paw Paw's Obituary

Billie Tom Harris

Billie Tom Harris, age 87, a lifetime resident of Italy, passed away Monday, November 26, 2007 at Trinity Mission Health and Rehab. He was born February 17, 1920 in Italy to Henry and Callie (Scalley) Harris. He was a lifetime farmer in Ellis County, a member of the Park Presbyterian Church and a former member of the Italy City Council. Billie Tom served in the U. S. Air Force during WWII for four years. He was based in England and made 70 missions across the English Channel, two of those were made on D-Day.

Survivors include his wife, Paula Harris of Italy; children, Billie Mills Harris and wife Becky and Henry Harris and wife Susan all of Italy; Debbie Moore and husband Kent of Iola, TX, Melinda Walker of Dallas and Julie Rice and husband Bob of Plano; Stevan Varner and wife Kim, Sandra Graves and husband Macky all of Italy and Paulette Smith and husband Don of Ft. Worth; his brother, Joe Glenn Harris of Nacogdoches: 17 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

Billie Tom was preceded in death by his first wife, Kay Harris; two sons, Christopher and Timmie Harris and grandson, Clifford Harris. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 P. M. Thursday, November 29, 2007 at the Boze-Mitchell-McKibbin Chapel in Italy with Reverend Jim Brown and Bill Lamberth officiating. Interment will follow at the Italy Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Casey Moore, David King, Michael Harris, Billie Harris, Robbie Rice, Shawn Locke, and Kenny Bolline. Honorary pallbearers will be Johnnie Davis, Billy Ward, Lee Harris, San Davis, Don Creighton, Robert Owen and Mike Boyd.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 PM Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at the Italy Chapel. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Park Presbyterian Church, the American Heart Association or the Alzheimer?s Association of North Texas.

To view an online obituary or leave the family a personal tribute, please visit our web site at Arrangements are under the direction of the Boze-Mitchell-McKibbin Funeral Home in Waxahachie.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In Loving Memory

Billie Tom Harris

"Paw Paw"

February 17, 1920 - November 26, 2007

We will miss you Paw Paw!!

Today a good man passed away. A simple, honest, hard working, proud and brave war veteran, a father, husband, grandfather, great grandfather. Our Paw Paw. He was my last living blood grandparent. He was kind hearted, salt of the earth, loving, genuine, dependable, and completely unpretentious. He loved his 5 children dearly, his late wife and the mother of his children Kay, and now his sweet wife Paula and he would do anything for them.

For years and years he farmed the family land to provide for his household and rarely have I met a man as hard working who also enjoyed what he did. I never knew my grandmother, she passed away before I was born. Paw Paw has been married to Paula for as long as I can remember and I've always considered her to be one of my grandmothers. They were a set "Paw Paw & Paula" and I can't imagine one without the other. Paula is such a wonderful part of our family, we and Paw Paw have been blessed to have her. Please keep her in your prayers.

I will always remember Christmas in Italy, TX growing up. The same old artificial tree, a delicious home cooked meal, and Paw Paw always in his red button up Christmas shirt ready to welcome you with a kiss and a hug. We won't have that Christmas this year but what a blessing that we all got to be together with him one last time for Thanksgiving. God's sweet gift to our family, one last goodbye wave from the front porch of his red brick house.

We love you Paw Paw.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Weekend

We've had so much fun at Grandma & Grandpa's house all weekend. We've especially enjoyed spending time as a family and getting to see Aunt Amy & Uncle Steve.

Adam's physical therapist would be proud to see that he is assuming the "crawl position" in his sleep now ;-).
If only he'd do it during the daytime!

Shop 'til you drop!

Today the boys got to accompany the girls on some holiday shopping. They were such troopers, they are much better shoppers than their father ;-)! Check out the fun hats I got them!

Gig'em Aggies!

Thanks to Kenny's family for watching the boys so we could attend such an exciting football game! It was a lot of fun!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Is he swimming or flying?

Andrew Trying to Crawl

The Great Mule Deer Hunt

Pictures from the guys' mule deer hunting trip in Craig, Colorado. They all claim their deer was the biggest ;-) but I guess everyone is correct since they all look pretty much the same to me!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So VERY MUCH to be thankful for!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Adam showing off his new skill: WAVING!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lots of News!!

Today Kenny & I celebrated our
Third Wedding Anniversary!!
It sure feels like we've been together longer than that! This year's anniversary was so much better than last year. Last year we spent our anniversary in the hospital watching episode after episode of season 1 of Grey's Anatomy on dvd and I ate a hospital peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an ensure milk shake. And then I slept in a hospital bed while Kenny slept on the cold hard ground. This year Kenny took me to Christopher's and got me beautiful pink roses. These pictures crack me up because we (or skinny Kenny rather) look like high school kids on a first date. Thanks Granny for babysitting!

And a few milestones to announce:

Drum roll please . . . . . .


Less than 2 weeks to go until their 1st Birthday and Andrew is the first to get a tooth. I guess it's only fair since he's the bigger, er I mean, OLDER brother!

AND . . .

We finally have a baby in the house that can hold his own bottle.

and finally . . . .


That's right, BOTH boys have graduated from their cranial bands!!

We got to keep the molds that were made of their heads before banding as souvineers, I guess it's one more thing to add to our future "show & tell" collection ;-).

I don't have any "aerial after shots" of their heads yet to show you but here are their crazy heads before cranial banding therapy. If you or someone you know is concerned about their child's head shape I'd encourage you to be proactive. I'm SO glad we were able to do this for them and we really had to take up the cause ourselves to make it happen. Most pediatricians are very lax about this condition and say that eventually it will get better but after speaking with surgeons and other parents that "regret" not pushing the issue, in most cases the head does not improve on its own after 6 months and often by the time parents seek help it's too late to get treatment.

Before Treatment:

ADAM my little canteloupe head


Not only did I brave another solo trip with the twins but on the way home from Houston we stopped at McDonald's for our very first Mommy and Babies lunch together without any help, that's a big milestone for me! First the three of us crammed into a stall in the women's restroom so I could change their diapers. Then we managed to eat a little bit of lunch and to top it off the three of us split a milkshake to celebrate their graduation from their helmets. The boys looked so cute wearing their very first pair of tennis shoes, Adam was so proud he banged them against the stroller really loudly everywhere we went.

I'm so proud of all their recent accomplishments!!