Saturday, November 01, 2008

gratitude in tough times

it's been a very difficult 13 months for us since kaia was born. i've told you bits and pieces along the way about kaia's health problems, but there's been a lot more that's gone unreported. the longest kaia has been healthy throughout her entire life is six weeks. JUST SIX WEEKS. and it's not any one thing, it's LOADS of things. pneumonia, roseola, ear infection, bronchiolitis, thrush, about eight zillion colds and so on. last week we found ourselves in the ER because kaia wasn't breathing well. they gave her steroids, put her on a breathing machine and shoved tubes in her nose. in and out of the hospital since then, with a breathing machine delivered to our home. thursday they drew oodles of her blood (a horrifyig experience) to begin testing for immune disorders and a slew of other scary things.

i'll be honest. i'm not doing super awesome with all this. i'm tired, i'm drained and i'm terrified. it's difficult to keep my imagination in check. what if all of this is coming from some awful underlying problem? what if we're one of "those families" with a terminally ill child who practically live in hospitals? WHAT IF WE LOSE HER??? not having answers is just about the worst part. not knowing how to help her, not knowing where it's all coming from, not knowing when/if it will stop. because we don't know a lot about her current illness, her doctor has advised that we not be around other people, especially children. this, combined with the fact that we have no family nearby, has led me to feel intensly lonely and isolated. not going to our weekly playdates and various playgroups means that i'm not getting time to talk with other moms, processing all of this with women who can be sympathetic and compassionate. it means that EVERY SINGLE DAY is comprised of being with a precious child who has been fully entrusted into my care...who i can't heal. i am face-to-face with all my weaknesses, failures and shortcomings at a time when those things impact the life and well being of my sweet baby girl. the days are long and intense. i'm just not sure i'm cut out for it.

throughout my life i've looked to my friends to serve as the family i lacked. this last year i have been even more grateful for those people in my life who have become my chosen family. the people that will pray for kaia and for our little family. the people who call or text to see how the day is going, if her breathing has improved since yesterday. the people who make a point of remembering the exact time of her next medical appointment or procedure. there aren't a lot of these people in our lives, but i know that i can call them any time of day. i know that when they say they're going to pray, THEY'LL PRAY without ceasing. they'll come and just sit with me, watching television and drinking wine and talking or not talking, when there are plenty of other places they could be having fun.

i am thoroughly grateful for these friends of mine. as hard as these 13 months have been, i'm convinced they would've been infinitely more difficult without the support and love of our close friends. so, thanks friends...for bringing ice cream or coffee or dvd's or lunch to the ER. thanks for the text messages and words of hope. thanks for loving us through these times.

last thing (i promise)- since kaia can't be around people right now, we couldn't do anything with her for halloween. this was particularly sad because she had picked out (ie started chewing on in the store) a super cute halloween outfit. so, we used a coupon for a free professional portrait to have a record of this holiday, and i'm sharing it with you so that SOMEONE will have seen them and uttered "how cute" or "awww." we couldn't afford to buy any, so the pictures have that watermark thing because i just lifted them from the website.



The Canadian said...

Sweet pictures of your sweet girl!

Also - love you friend!! (Even if I am a stalker on your blog.)

Gina said...

Breanna, I had no idea that you guys were dealing with so much health wise. I'm so sorry to hear that and I will be praying for Kaia and for the Dr. to figure out exactly what's going on. If there's anything that I can do for you, please let me know, and I really mean it! My number is 503-515-2572.
Love, Gina Amburn (Addy's grammy)

c.hill said...

"Awww!" Kaia is definately one of the cutest bugs this Halloween and certainly THE CUTEST bee! I'm so glad that you shared her photos.

And for the Mom of the cutest Halloween bee:
The Lord, who has great mercy and compassion on you, says that even though the mountains (health challenges and unresolved tests) may move and the hills (play date limitations, friends kept at a distance) disappear, EVEN THEN His faithful love for you & Kaia will remain. His covenant of blessing will never be broken.

Every Blessing,

The wife said...

Your little girl is PRECIOUS!!! Where on earth did you get those pics taken??

I'm so sorry to hear about her health problems. I can't imagine going through that as a new mom. If you ever need anything please let me know. :)

Rondi & Karis said...

My heart goes out to you Breanna...and I pray the Lord gives you all the peace and strength you need during these times of uncertainty. I pray He gives full health to your adorable little girl. She is a very sweet little honey bee too :) Great pictures! From one mom of a little girl to another...God bless you!!

Love & Hugs,


breanna said...

the wife: we got them at Picture People in the mall of all places! the best thing is that once you've gone in, you can be on a mailing list and get coupons for free pics once or twice a month! that's what we did...went in, picked our favorite off all the pics, and walked out with an 8x10 for zero dollars and zero cents. hooray!

thanks ladies for the prayers and encouragement. it helps the loneliness to know that we're cared for from afar.

LoriLoo310 said...

Kaia is precious. It's posts like these that make me wish that we lived closer to each other. I would bring over fattening sweets and trashy magazines while our children entertained each other. We could get lost in the world of fancy clothes and chocolate surprises. I'm so glad you have friendships that you treasure. You are always welcome to call me if you want.

Corine said...

Hi Breanna!

I've been meaning say thank you for visiting my blog and for commenting :)

We really do have a lot in common.. its a little scary ha ha.

Im so sorry to hear Kaia is sick, and hope she is doing better! My Delaina is being treated for a hemogiona on the bridge of her little nose, and even though its not too serious-- its scary! Especially if you start with the internet searches--- just dont do it! PURE EVIL I tell you.

I'll keep Kaia in my prayers... she looked adorable in the bee costume by the way!

Keep in touch!

Ps-We just closed on our house in NJ this past spring & it was a headache and a half... so the move to Oregon will have to be put on hold for now, (ha ha)

O yea, and 2 more things we have in common:

- No family close by
- Loving the picture people and their freebies!!

Nana Cheryl said...

Dearest Breanna & Kaia,

We love you both (and Ben) so much! I sure wish we were able to be there for you. I know its hard with no family close by.

When our boys were little we were so far from family, too. I know exactly what you are saying about the dr and hospital visits. Micah turned 6 months old in the hospital. It was a very lonely time.

But, we also know that God will sustain you during this trying time. We think of you and pray for Kaia every day.

Love, Grandpa and Grandma Holsonbake

breanna said...

sorry for not commenting back sooner friends. corine, i'm so sorry about delaina! i disobeyed and google imaged it and....YOU WERE RIGHT! yikes! i'll be praying for her as well!

cheryl, thank you! dylan is so lucky to have you and lance so close by!

tabitha and jon said...

too cute!

how are things?