August 4, 2008

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corintheans 9:8

Hello to all our friends and family-

Gavin and I had a little chat this morning about life. I was telling him all about his big day coming up and he just grins at if to say, yeah yeah mom! I shared with him about all the times we have shared together. Some of them have been scary, some of them momentous, some of them downright funny, and most of all, they have all been shared in LOVE. I want Gavin to know more than anything the outpouring of love that he has. He will always know what great family and friends we have. He will always know the important role that each and every one of you have played in our lives over the past year.

Looking back over the past year, I am flooded with memories. Memories of bedrest at home, memories of bedrest in the hospital.....oh those nights when my room was filled with people and we would just laugh (yes Jill Tasei, this one is for you) for hours. Memories of a delivery room filled with over 25 people all anticipating the birth of our "little" boy. Memories of that first time I saw his face. Memories of meeting other NICU families.....Nikki, I am not sure where I would be without you! The list goes on......we have so many, over the course of the next few weeks we will share with you our memories of our experiences with Gavin the past year.

These are the memories that I have not shared because The Chronicles began after Gavin was born. So much of the love and support began well before Gavin was born so I will share those with you.

Today our memories start in July of 2007. I had been seeing the doctor 2x a week for high risk pregnancy issues. We knew at this point that Gavin's growth was a bit behind....however, not really anything too scary....just yet. I followed the orders and stayed in bed here at home for about 5 weeks. Ian and Brooke spent a lot of time with Grandma and Papa and other friends while daddy was at work. Ian started a new school. I was able to take him to school that day but then immediately came home and went right back to bed. He was in the midst of his huge popcorn sale for Boy Scouts as well. I was able to get caught up on some movies I wanted to see. I mastered the task of riding in those silly little scooters at King Soopers and I came to like eating in bed more than just for breakfast. The kids went with Jann and Jim to Elitches on August 26 for Lockheed Day. The Black's so graciously took them since mommy could not go.....they are ever so thankful for that day! I woke up on the 27th feeling like something just wasn't with that, I called the doctor's office and went in right away.

They were able to locate Gavin on the doppler right away with strong heart tones and movement. My doctor is not in on Monday so I saw his partner. We decided together that I probably should take a walk next door to the perinatologists office just to be safe. I think, looking back, this was one of the most terrifying moments in my life. I recall being by myself....knowing what the outcome of the day would be. I was scared and I was alone. The perinatologist did several scans which clearly revealed that Gavin's growth had fallen way behind. She was very concerned with the fact that on the scans she was seeing absent flow between the placenta and Gavin. In that moment I had an amnio performed...much against my own will......the outlook was grim. She recommened full bedrest in the hospital for the duration of the pregnancy. In addition to full bedrest she wanted 24x7 monitoring on Gavin.

After about 5 hours of monitoring it wasn't clear yet that I would not deliver that day. Gavin was having heart decelerations and you could see he was clearly in distress. His heart rate was not reflecting that of a normal healthy baby. At about 6 pm the doctor's decided that I was ok to make it at least through the night. At that point all I wanted was food. It is really a scary thought when you begin to crave hospital food in desperation.

I spent 4 days on complete bedrest before the world came crashing in. Each day held new challenges and new fears. I was surrounded by family and friends and short of late nights, there wasn't too much time that I spent alone. My kids would come and visit every day when Ian got out of school. They would not stay long because Ian was scared. My heart would break to see them leave. Brooke struggled being away from mommy and she would just cry. I remember fondly those nights of my room being filled with friends and we would just laugh and laugh for hours. They say laughter is the best medicine and when you are faced with delivery at 25 weeks, I really do believe them. Each day someone would bring me food from different places so I had some variety because it was clear I would be eating hospital food for quite some time. Oh the cheesecake, the Fazzoli's, the Pei Wei, Red Robin, Fat Burger and the list goes on. I ate well when I was there. It was in those quiet moments, those moments spent alone during those four days I came to realize that the only thing that was going to get me through this was faith and nothing else. My family could not change this, my friends could not change this and even the doctors could not change this. God alone was in charge and I had to believe he would take care of me, he would take care of us, and he would take care of Gavin. A final ultrasound on Friday revealed almost complete reverse flow between the placenta and Gavin. There was no other choice but to deliver. On ultrasound, Gavin was estimated to weigh only 1lb even.

So today, as I address envelopes for his grand birthday, I am feeling a bit teary eyed thinking about last year and where I was. It was a scary time for all of us but through it all God is good. His steadfastness has endured forever and he has always been there by our sides even when I thought I could take no more.

After our little chat where I got all teary eyed Gavin just wanted to cut to the chase. He was checking out his invitations wondering who all we were going to invite. When I say checking out, I really mean trying to eat them.....somehow he thinks that braille is done with your tongue and to really see something you must eat it, mangle it and make it all soggy. We are going to have to teach him the benefits of using those eyes of his...instead of his tongue.

So, he asked me to unveil for you the grand invitation. He posed for this a couple of weeks ago and we have been feverishly working to make it just perfect. He told me to only show you the front though cause he didn't want to spoil all of the watch your mail boxes for the real deal.

Gavin has been sick the past few days with a virus that we seem to be passing around this house. We all like to share alike so it comes as no surprise. If you could keep him and us in your prayers and continued thoughts for a speedy recovery that would be great.

Thanks again for all of your continued love and support. I know I have said it before but I will say it again and again that we would not have made it to where we are today without all of you. Each of you has played such an important role. We are forever grateful.

Peace and Love-

Colin, Juanita, Ian, Brooke and Gavin

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