Over Spring Break, Jake and I decided to go and visit Grandma Ellinger in Sacramento. It was a LONG car ride, but I'm grateful for the car dvd player. I'm not sure what Elisabeth sees in the movie "Bolt", but it kept her pretty occupied. We made a ton of potty stops on the way and even Ellie decided she'd rather hold it then have to stop at the side of the road to use the bathroom.
On Friday morning we went to see Grandma. It was so good to see her! She loved looking at the kid's scrapbook pages and hearing all about our adventures with Nathan. She asked lots of questions and was in such a happy mood.
The best part of the morning visit with her was that she was able to hold Nathan. He LOVED sitting on her lap and when he was given his favorite BYU blankie, he held it and fell asleep on Grandma's lap. I think she really enjoyed holding a baby and she was thrilled that Nathan was comfortable with her enough to fall asleep on her. That made our trip! We really wanted Grandma to meet Nathan and he was so sweet that morning with her.
Its easy to tell that Grandma is slowing down and that she isn't able to walk or function for herself. She does have some dementia, but she has a good long term memory. She remembered that we hadn't been there to see her in 3 year. (What can I say, its been a BUSY three years for us!) We spent the last 3 years helping mom when she was sick, going to graduate school, Jake getting his bachelor's degree, dealing with Mom's passing, buying her home, having Nathan... and then spending 15 months of surgeries, hospital stays, numerous doctor appointments... I think she understood but we should have been better.
We spent an hour and a half that morning with her and then went back for dinner that evening. The kids had a harder time in the evening as they were both extremely tired. We took Grandma for a walk around the grounds and then took her back to her room. She asked so many questions about Nathan's health and was truly concerned about him. She laughed at the jokes and loved hearing about the time that Ellie peed on the grass after getting her bike last summer. She truly loved being around and seeing her great grandchildren. We also went back for an hour on Saturday evening and left Elisabeth with Erin at the hotel. Both Jake and I wish that Grandma were closer. It was hard to visit her and have to leave her behind. I'm not even her blood grandchild and I was in tears for having to leave her.
Maybe it was because we watched mom pass away for a year, but it wasn't that weird or hard to be around Grandma. Elisabeth did well around her for the most part too. I'm not sure what our vacations will look like for the summer, but I'd like to go back again for a visit.
1 in every 120 babies are born with a heart defect. What if that ONE was YOURS?
Our Little Man
We unknowingly became elite members of a world no one wants to be a part of on January 22, 2008 with the birth of our little boy, Nathan, but looking back we can't imagine life any differently. Nathan has had to endure 21 surgeries in the first 25 months of his life including open heart surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot, jaw surgery at 3 days old, 5 cleft surgeries and many surgeries involving his airway, ears, and eyes. He has a g-tube which he uses as his sole source of nutrition. In February 2010 he underwent a second jaw distraction as he was showing signs of right heart failure.
Nathan is our little hero; our witness that prayers are answered individually and that we couldn't be blessed with better family and friends to support us.
One day my world came crashing down, I'll never be the same. They told me that my baby was sick. I thought, "Am I to blame"? I don't think I can handle this. I am really not that strong. It seemed my heart was breaking. I have loved him for so long. I will not give up on this child. I will listen to your advice. I will give my son any chance. No matter what the price. I will learn all that I need To help my baby thrive. I'll even use that feeding tube. My child must survive! Will he need a lot of therapy? Will he gain the needed weight? Please God, help me do this. As I accept our fate. When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder. How many parents would love that sound. Tomorrow I will be kinder. As another Angel earns his wings, I run to my baby's bed. I watch him sleep for quite a while. I bend down and kiss his head. I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken. I look to You wondering why? Oh Lord, I just can't know your ways.... no matter how I try. And yet, I trust you hold his life, and guide us through each day. My mind says savor each moment he's here, but my heart begs, "PLEASE let him stay"! From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by his bed. From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med. From wondering, "Will he be alright?", to watching him reach out his hands. With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands. For all who see that faded line. I look to them and smile. You see my child is loved so much. I would face ANY trial. That scar I trace with my finger (It's the door to his beautiful heart). God must have known how much I'd love him (Just as He loved him from the start). A heart mom is always a heart mom. Now wise beyond her years. For those who have angels in heaven, Our hearts share in all of your tears. Every day I will try and remember, I was chosen for him (and no other). I will always embrace that beautiful day....... When I became a "Heart Mother".
~Stephanie HustedMommy to Braeden HLHS post FontanCarepage name: babyhusted
I "borrowed" this poem off of another blog. I'm not sure who the author is, but it truly touched my heart.(Original version found at http://garyandcamille.blogspot.com Thank you!) Heart Poem:
It's a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus "I don't want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you". He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that she is just going for a visit. She is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, "How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?" The angel smiles and says, "I guess that will work". But the little angel is still a little scared. She asks,"Will I be okay with only half of my heart?" Jesus replies,"Of course you will, I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine." Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says "When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves."