Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30th.

A year ago today, I was suppose to be in Fort Worth preparing for the Cowtown Classic Sale and celebrating my birthday at Tim Love's Lonesome Dove Bistro. Instead I was doing exactly what the doctor ordered - laying in the bed.

You see January 30, 2014 was my first day of bed rest. We had just returned from Denver and I was having one last baby check up before we headed to Texas. Instead I found myself headed to the Labor & Delivery floor to be admitted for blood pressure monitoring. After spending my first (turns out - of many) nights in the hospital, I was sent home not to travel and not to do anything. Well, we did go out for Mexican and then we came home and sat on the couch.

Birthday night 2014

In hindsight that first day of bed rest was pretty easy to what started spiraling after that first initial hospitalization. But as this 21st birthday (yes I have age issues - get over it) came around this year I couldn't help but reflect on what a different person I am this year than I was last year.

First being that I a mom to a precious -almost 11 month old - heart warrior who is my hero. That precious little boy has changed my life (literally, emotionally, physically, mentally) more than I would have ever thought possible. I have learned a lot about myself, my husband, life, medicine, the city of Columbus, and faith. I am a stronger person than I was a year ago. The person in the picture above would have been in the fetal position (and I was at times) when hard things came my way.  I have a stronger marriage. Not that we didn't have a wonderful marriage before, but going through the past year and having him stick by my side, hold me when I have cried, slept on hospital couches, and became the best daddy has made us both appreciate each other and marriage more.

Though 2014 brought Knox to us, it definitely wasn't my favorite year. It was hard. It was sad. It was nerve wrecking. It was the year that changed me, but I am so glad for that. I know that because of that year, that this year I am able to be a better mother, wife, and person than I was a year ago, and that is worth celebrating.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Reason

Dr. Cottrill (Knox's cardiologist) told us sometime ago that she writes Knox's name in the prayer book at her church. That book is prayed over several times throughout the week. But it wasn't until our return visit after Knox's second open heart surgery that Dr. Cottrill told me that after our initial meeting back on February 13, 2014 - she prayed for me.  I was a WRECK. They had just confirmed my worse fear that something was wrong with my baby. They were sending us off to another state to have our baby. She told me that she would take care of my baby upon return, but what she didn't say was she was scared too. She said that when she gets scared; she prays. And that day she prayed for me and my baby. 

I think Dr. cottrill is a saint, and like Dr. G I feel like she was placed in our life and Knox's life for a reason. 

One of the only ways you can cope with all this is to believe it all happens for a reason. That we were all suppose to go through this for some reason

I have learned that congenital heart defects (CHDs) are like a community. Families need support and sometimes others just don't get what you are going through. After Knox's first surgery I emersed myself in Facebook groups for CHD. I read about others stories, and even found other members of our Nationwide Children's Hospital. It wasn't until October that I finally felt my reason. My best friend Salena told me her preacher and his wife had a newborn who after a pulse ox test was diagnosed with a CHD. I immediately asked for their email and reached out to them. I needed them to know they weren't alone. I felt God leading me to their family and their new little boy. To make a long story short, they saw Dr. Cottrill as well and ended up at Nationwide. He is doing well. 

Just recently the wonderful world of Facebook led me to a blog written by a young lady who was apart of my FFA story. Her pregnancy sounded a lot like mine met with preeclampsia. We messaged back and forth, and I shared my story with her and hopefully words of encouragement. Sometimes I think it's just nice for someone to know all the medical stuff you are going through without having to explain it. Her baby was born at 28 weeks and unfortuntately now they have found a CHD. My heart ached for her as they prepare for surgery tomorrow. 

Where am I going with all this? Like it or not, this is our story. This is my story. And if sharing my experiences, knowledge (or lack there of), and emotions helps someone get through a trying time than it makes it all a bit easier to understand. As we sometimes wander why we are put in situations; I realize now that God has put my family through this experience with Knox so that I can hopefully lend support to other moms finding themselves surrounded by medical talk, doctors, monitors, and hospitals. 

Dr. Cottrill prayed for me. I feel like it's not fitting if I pray for the moms who were scared just like me. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One Month Post-Op

It is hard to believe that a month ago today we had just endured one of the longest days of our lives. Well, labor was long - all 28 hours of it, but I don't remember much of it so doesn't seem that long to me! 

Instead I speak of the 7 hours of surgery for Knox and the 7 hours of waiting for us. Now it seems like it was so long ago. Maybe I fee like we have put that behind us now, and only look forward. 

Anywho, for those of you who don't know we were released on Christmas Day from the hospital. Though it was a wonderful gift, NEVER try to get released from a hospital on Christmas. Of course, we arrived to family, friends, and neighbors welcoming us. 

Our Christmas was low key, but very good for little Mr. Hatmaker. We did things the day after, but Santa found his way. We have tried to stay at home nestled away from the germs and the flu as Knox continued to heal. 

We have been back to our local cardiologist Dr. Cottrill, who was very happy to see us and very happy with how things went in Columbus. Knox lost some weight from our hospital stay and our recent battle with the stomach flu so we are working on getting our appetite back and gaining some weight. 

With our 10 month birthday behind us now, we are now in full party prep mode! One year old! How can that be? I had a hard time with 10 months. Double digits and growing up. It's been quite the journey thus far. 

This week, mom and dad and all of our friends are enjoying Denver. We are spectating from home, but have been prepping Knox for his National Western time in the future.

I will leave you with this. No statement could be truer, and I am so glad that I get to be his mommy,