Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweet Little Blessing



Elysse Jayne Beadle was born this afternoon just past 4:00. She is 19 inches and 5 pounds 8.5 ounces. She has quite a head of hair! Very dark hair, and plenty of it, both of which are somewhat unusual in our families.

She is a very good eater. She ate quite a bit between 5:00 and 7:00, and then again just before I left the hospital at 8:30 she decided to eat some more. Perhaps she knows she needs to catch up from not taking in enough over the past month.

Tonya undoubtedly will post more details later, but for now, here are a couple of pictures and a video.

video

Soldier

This morning I can't help but feel like a soldier preparing to go off to war. I am completely unsure about the outcome; yet, I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing. I suppose this is fitting as we are upon Memorial Weekend. I am so grateful for the freedoms I possess and the opportunity I have to live in this wonderful country. We are not without mistakes and problems. However, I could not imagine living anywhere else.

As I march off into the unknown I am so thankful for the family I have. For the wonderful, patient, loving husband I have been blessed with. I love him with all of my heart and will eternally. I have two magnificent children. Nathan who has always loved me more than life itself. I truly have never experienced a love like Nathan possesses for me. Audrey is a beautiful, strong, independent little girl who has taught me that we do not simply roll with what we have been given. We embrace all that we are dealt, we learn and grow with it. Surely I do not forget all of my friends and family across the country that continually support me and my family. Family and friends are the essence of life.

No matter what the outcome today, I am blessed, loved and have a knowledge that we have a Father in Heaven that knows us, loves us and as the perfect parent, wants all that is good for us. Happy Birthday Zachary! I hope you are okay with sharing your birthday with your youngest cousin!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happenings of May 27th

Nathan was able to play at a friends house for most of the day. I ran around between Audrey's clinic where she received a blood transfusion and had her chemo and my OB's office where I was hooked to a monitor. Elysse is still doing very well. Great heartbeat and is bouncing all over the place. Maybe she knew if she were to get too much bigger she would have limited space in her swimming pool!?

Ryan and Audrey headed over to the hospital after she finished her chemo today. Unfortunately Audrey had a major upset stomach and was not able to fight the nausea. She will receive a bladder protection medicine and then receive hydration through the night. Tomorrow in the early afternoon she will have two very small chemo drugs that are pushed through a syringe and then she will be able to leave.

I arrive at the hospital at 5:45 a.m. and get hooked up to monitor Elysse for an hour then I will begin the induction process at 7:00 a.m. Sandy will come to stay with Audrey while Ryan bounces around between floors for a few hours, until he needs to stay with me. Nathan will be over at our friends' house.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wouldn't You Know It...

This has been a very busy week. Monday: Audrey's clinic appointment; Tuesday: OB appointment; Wednesday: Nathan's kindergarten graduation; ultrasound at OB's office to determine of baby has stopped growing; Thursday: Audrey's last hospitalized chemo!; Friday: induction; Saturday: ?

Nathan finished Kindergarten today and it was bittersweet. Nathan participated in the "kindergarten blessing" and read a couple of parts of the program. I was so proud of him. He gets nervous in big group settings and has never done a solo part before. As it turns out, he is much more comfortable doing solo parts rather than participating in a group song or recital.

After the graduation, Audrey and I went to my OB appointment where I had a growth ultrasound to see how the baby is doing, because I have been measuring on the small side for the past couple of visits. The baby is in fact small and is measuring at 33 weeks gestation rather than the 36 1/2 weeks that I am. The baby was confirmed to be a girl! She weighs just over 4 lbs. but appears to be finished growing inside my belly. She has a great heart beat and was moving all over the place during the ultrasound. We could even see her practicing breathing. So she looks to be healthy just not big and not growing at a pace that she needs to be. So, the plan is to get her out and plump her up. I am scheduled for an induction on Friday morning, May 28th. The doctor said the worst thing that can happen is that the induction fails and I will have to have a c-section. If we do not do the induction and wait a week or more, the baby could die. Obviously, we are going with the induction.

While I was at the OB's office I called Ryan to come over. When he arrived I had him take Audrey across the street to the oncologists to have her blood work done and see if she is even close to being ready for chemo. I fully expected that she was not ready and would not be ready for a week or more. Well, I was wrong. She is perfectly ready and so she will begin her final hospitalized chemo Thursday and will be able to leave the hospital sometime on Friday.

Thankfully we have Sandy here with us as she will be helping out with both kids at various times. We also have several friends that we have already called on to help out with watching Nathan over the next couple of days.

It is only fitting that Audrey ends chemo the day Elysse will be born. After all, the day I discovered the growth on Audrey's back is the same day I found out I was pregnant. Maybe these girls just need one another...

Tonight at dinner I began to talk to Nathan about the fact that Elysse is going to be born this weekend. Then came the hard part, I had to tell him that we need to be prepared for a couple of things: (1) Elysse probably won't be able to come home with us for a couple of weeks as she is very small and will need to be kept warm and given lots of food while she lives in a little box for awhile; (2) Heavenly Father may need to have her back. Nathan was very unhappy about the prospect of not being able to take Elysse home immediately and didn't even want to think about her leaving to live with Heavenly Father again.

As we knelt together to pray this evening as a family I passed on my usual turn to pray (mostly because I am emotionally warped right now and I didn't want to cry) so we asked Nathan if he would pray. He happily accepted and then came the most sincere prayer from a sweet little five year old.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We are thankful for this day. We are thankful I could play at Aunt Sandy's today. Please bless us to have a good life. Please bless Elysse not to die. Please make more dinosaurs.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pictures

I just thought Audrey looked so cute this day. The shirt is even better in person, she looked like a wrapped present!
This is part of the Field Day activities Nathan had last week. Grandpa and Grandma Beadle took him to Field Day. I warned them that Nathan probably wouldn't participate as he is very hesitant in group situations. But he surprised us all, he was happy, excited and took part in various activities.
Fun climbing a tree at Field Day. Not a scheduled activity but many of the kids enjoyed doing doing the same!
Remember the Greatest Day post from a few weeks ago? I was sent some pictures from that day (because I neglected to bring my camera).
I love this smile! More fun at the NC Arboretum.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Release

We are being permitted to leave the hospital today. Though I think the doctor only consented because she was afraid I was going to throw a fit.

Audrey's white count is not very high right now but it is definitely headed in the right direction. I had a great case built up and I was ready to launch into all of my reasons why we should be released but it didn't get to that, thankfully.

  • Audrey is feeling better, has energy and is eating well.
  • She hasn't had a fever since first admitted.
  • All of her other numbers are good.
  • We already have an appointment scheduled for Monday morning at the clinic.
  • Ryan and I are very responsible and we will not chance Audrey's well being.
  • She has been home for days at a time without any white count and she currently has a little white count which is still headed in the right direction because she is receiving shots each night that help build up the white count.
If I didn't feel like she would be okay I would not feel so strongly about this.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Scare

Audrey is back in the hospital. She wasn't feeling well after her outpatient Vincristine yesterday. She was really dumpy and pale. After a few hours she was asking for more clothes to put on because she was so cold. None of that made sense to me because her hemoglobin levels were fairly high. So I just figured she was feeling dumpy because of the chemo.

As we were getting ready to put her to bed I held her and immediately knew she had a temperature. Ryan grabbed the thermometer and we took several readings, all of which were alarming and needed to be followed by a call to her oncologist. We were told to drive into the hospital.

All of her counts dropped, fairly dramatically. Her white blood count is extremely important. It is our white blood cells that fight off infection. Because these blood cells multiply rapidly the chemo targets and kills them (because cancer sells multiply rapidly the chemo kills all rapidly multiplying cells - thus the loss of hair, etc). Once her white count is down she is susceptible to any kind of infection and her chances increase dramatically when she is running a fever. If she contracts an infection while running a fever she could die.

For this reason we didn't play around with Tylenol and trying to lower the fever on our own. She had another blood transfusion last night and will likely have platelets (helps with clotting blood and helps to prevent against bruising among other things) tomorrow. We do not know how long she will be hospitalized. We are expecting at least through the weekend. However, it may be longer as the doctor wants to see Audrey's numbers start to climb before she is released. In the meantime she is pumped full of fluids for hydration and given antibiotics to fight any infection that may come our way.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crazy Week

We are in the middle of the craziest week!
  • Audrey had an appointment on Monday and Tuesday,
  • Nathan had a singing program at school on Wednesday,
  • today (Thursday) Audrey has another appointment (for her outpatient chemo),
  • Nathan has field day at Fletcher park in lieu of actual class today,
  • TJ has a vet appointment later today,
  • Friday, Ryan and I are signing Nathan up for kindergarten (yes I said kindergarten, I will explain later)
  • I have to leave registration a bit early so I can go to my OB appointment
  • Just left Audrey's appointment (Thursday) and was asked to come back for blood counts on Friday - just in case she needs a platelet transfusion before the weekend.
  • after registration, Ryan is going to golf with his dad and a friend from church
  • None of this includes the little things like grocery shopping, a Sam's Club run, car washes, cleaning out the garage, laundry, vacuuming, oil changes and car inspections...
So you are probably wondering how we are going to do all of this. Well, don't think I am absolutely nuts...we have help. Ryan's parents came in yesterday morningish and will be with us until Sunday morning. Oh, and I figured out how to use the calendar function on my cell phone, that has been helpful but I still put everything on the calendar, it helps to see everything. I think on Saturday I am going to have a manicure (a gift from some of my friends), possibly a pedicure (never had one and I am kind of nervous, not a big "hands on" person but it is my Mother's Day gift) and go to a movie - totally girly Letters to Juliet, I have been waiting to see this one!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Greatest Day

The first Tuesday of each month the NC Arboretum (which is 5 minutes from my house) has a free pass day, allowing people to come and enjoy the grounds without paying. Last year we took advantage of this a few times and when the weather turned nice I was really looking forward to it. As it turned out Audrey's blood counts were great and we decided there wasn't much risk in getting together with friends and enjoying a picnic outside.

So, we made plans and were able to meet with four other moms and their children for a picnic lunch under some nice trees on the hill. We met at noon which meant that Nathan was going to be left out... So, I decided to spring him from school early. It was the first time Audrey has been around any of our friends since October.

We felt almost normal. It was sunny, a tad breezy and near 80 degrees. The day was perfect. As I drove home with totally exhausted kids I just smiled and felt like we had had the best day!

Nothing Short of Miraculous

I took Audrey in for a clinic visit to do regular lab work. It had been three weeks since her last chemo and I was sure there was no way she would be ready for another hospitalization. After all, the last two each took six weeks for her counts to rebound and her body to be ready. In fact, I was talking to someone this week and mentioned that it would be a miracle if she were ready this week. Miracles still exist and Audrey is proof of that.

This hospitalization was a bit different than the rest. This is our second to last hospitalization for chemo and it was just overnight. Knowing that we only have to spend one night makes a huge difference to both Audrey and me both mentally and emotionally.

I also took a bit of a different approach to the way I looked at this hospitalization. I took myself out of the equation. I usually think about what it is like for me to be stuck in the hospital with a terrible back and 8 months pregnant. Last night I didn't care. I hardly slept and it didn't matter to me one bit. When I woke up and saw Audrey's angellic face I immediately thought of the song "Good Morning Beautiful." I know the intent of this song is to be from man to woman but I checked the lyrics and they fit - from mother to beautiful daughter.

Good morning beautiful
how was your night
mine was wonderful
with you by my side
and when i open my eyes
and see your sweet face
its a good mornin beautiful day

i couldnt see the light
i didnt know day from night
i had no reason to care
since you came along
i can face the dawn
cause i know youll be there

chorus

i never worry
if its rainin outside
cause in here with you girl
the sun always shines

Good morning beautiful
how was your night
mine was wonderful
with you by my side
and when i open my eyes
and see your sweet face
its a good mornin beautiful day