Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Over the past eight years, Jeramie and I have often celebrated our wedding anniversary in some not-so-traditional ways.  On our third anniversary, we were in the midst of a huge fight and had just brought Ethan home for the first time a few weeks prior (hello, stress).  Last year, on our seventh, Jeramie's car died on his way to work, and today, we spent a portion of our eighth anniversary with Ethan's cardiologist. You don't have to look far to see that these eight years have been marked more by grace than by glamor.

I can't say that this is how I envisioned our life -- our family -- on June 24, 2006, but that just makes me all the more thankful that it didn't turn out the way I wanted.  Without the trials we've endured together, I don't think I would understand joy, grace, love, and compassion the way I do today; the way I love my husband and follow my Savior looks drastically different than it did eight years ago.

Of course, those difficult times have been brightened by happier ones.  Just today, those couple of hours we spent with Dr. I were sandwiched between family pool time and a date night at a new-to-us restaurant.  Even on days we don't get the news we wanted, God is good and our life is so incredibly rich.

Leading up to today's appointment, I knew in my gut that something wasn't quite right.  Ethan has become increasingly tired with activity and often tells us that his "heart is tired".  Sure enough, the echo proved my suspicions and we've found ourselves at "go-time".

The pressure gradient across Ethan's conduit has gone from 50ish mmHG in March to 70ish today; normal is below 20. We are praising God that his heart function hasn't been impacted by this rise in pressure, but intervention is necessary to keep that from happening.

The short story is that Ethan will be going into the cath lab "much sooner than later" to address this issue.  We don't know when, but I'll be sure to update here once we have a date on the calendar.

The long story is that, in addition to the pressure in the conduit needing to be addressed, Ethan's pacemaker has about seven months of battery life left.  How those two facts intertwine has the potential to get complicated and muddy, but we are praying for clarity.

Here are a few of the possibilities:

A - The conduit can be ballooned or stented to relieve the pressure AND the pacemaker battery can be replaced in the cath lab.  This is best case as it keeps Ethan out of the operating room for a while longer and addresses both concerns at once.

B - The conduit can be ballooned or stented in the cath lab, but the pacemaker battery will be replaced in the operating room five to six months later.

C - The conduit can't be ballooned or stented in the cath lab and will need to be surgically replaced.  If that is the case, Ethan will likely stay in the hospital after his cath and have the surgery within a couple of days.  His pacemaker would also be replaced at that point.

There are also many variables that play into each of those scenarios but, again, we're praying that God would make the course of treatment clear and direct.  Would you pray specifically for that, as well? If that means an interventional cath isn't possible, and we go with "Option C", then I will be as okay with that as any human mother can be. And, of course, there's always the possibility that God will do immeasurably more than we ask of Him and blow A through C out of the water.  He's done it before!

While we wait to see how all of this will play out, will you be praying with us? Here are some specific things you can pray for over the next few days:

-continued health of Ethan's heart and body
-ease and quickness of scheduling the cath
-wisdom for the cardiology team in their decision-making
-peace for Jeramie and myself as we wait
-continued protection against worry and anxiety for Ethan
-trust in God's plan and His timing

This part of the journey brings about many opportunities to get tripped up on some rocks and become easily discouraged.  We appreciate your encouragement and prayers as we navigate another tricky path and continue to look to Jesus, who already has all this figured out anyway.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
-Psalm 63:3-4

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


A couple of weeks ago, Ethan graduated from preschool.

I sat on the edge of my seat through most of the ceremony, wondering how he would do.  He barely sang a single note of any song, but he did stay in his spot on the stage for the entire program.  That, my friends, is a smashing success in our book! Between inheriting his daddy's attention span and his mama's shyness, I don't think we have a performer on our hands!

My favorite part of the whole morning was after his class marched in and found their places on the stage.  The entire time, Ethan was intently studying the faces in the crowd, searching for us.  We were in the very back of the sanctuary and you would have thought we were waving down Jesus himself.  I willed Ethan to look in our direction, towards our flailing arms and gigantic grins, and when he finally found us he flashed the most precious, relieved smile, paired with the sweetest wave you've ever seen.

And, yes.  I cried.

Now, I'll be the first to admit -- the preschool graduation is a bit of a silly event.  The pint-sized caps and gowns are a bit excessive -- and what am I really going to do with a preschool "diploma"? But I would flail my arms and pose for pictures and remind Ethan of just how proud I am all over again simply because it all reminds me...

Every breath that child takes, every inch he grows, every milestone he reaches reminds me that God is good and faithful and worthy of our praise.  Had you interviewed doctors on the night Ethan coded, I'd be willing to bet most of them would have never envisioned a preschool graduation in his future.  But God knew, and day after day in that ICU he breathed peace into our hearts.

So that day, as I lavished Ethan with love and kisses and "I'm so proud of you"s, I breathed out praise and thanks to the one who created him -- to our Savior who sees us, and knows us, and delights in us.  That day was such a sweet reminder for me.

But, back to the graduate.

The day before his graduation, on his last full day of Pre-K, I snapped a photo of him and posted a side-by-side to Instagram.  The picture on the left was taken on his first day in September and the picture on the right was taken just a short eight months later.

Eight months!

We have a relaxed summer ahead of us before we set-out on the next leg of this journey -- kindergarten.  I am over the moon about the school he'll be attending and I can't wait to see how he'll flourish there! Just imagine that before and after photo...

Thanks for checking in and for loving our boy.  To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...