Just being Together
It feels so good "just being together" again! We love to hang out and just be us. Last night at the apartment we really enjoyed decorating the mantel and hanging our stockings. It looks really great. Dave drove us to the apartment and before he left he and I were sitting on the couch for a brief moment together. I could see in his eyes that he was feeling the same sense of loss that I was. As wonderful as it was watching Blake and Al hang the stockings, our hearts still felt an emptiness inside. Ash was not with us, and she was supposed to be. I tried to shake off the saddness and concentrate on the joy of the holiday. I realize that Ashley is still with us even though she is not at the apartment celebrating. Unfortunately, I know too many mommies who will not have the opportunity to hold their precious babies this holiday season and I know they would give anything to trade places with me, so I am still blessed.
Today we will be picking up a Christmas tree that one of Ashley's nurses is letting us borrow this season. The kids and I will spend the evening decorating it together. They are so excited. After it is decorated and they have fallen asleep I will begin to slip a few of their packages under it. One of the saddest things for me has been knowing that our tree at home is empty of packages. Usually I place a few new packages under our tree each evening as the kids are sleeping. Then in the morning they race to the tree and sit there with each other admiring the new gifts that have arrived. I know they will be excited tomorrow morning when they see gifts selected for them sitting under our newly decorated tree. I can hardly wait to eavesdrop on their conversation!
In the overall picture of things we feel as though Ashley is improving. If you could see the way she looks this morning you may not agree. "Cosmetically", as the surgeon put it to us, she does not look good. The encouraging thing is that on paper all of her labs do look better. Her chest x-rays are still looking yucky showing the middle and lower lobes collapsed on her right lung, but the pnuemonia looks to be making a slight improvement. The intesivest doctor feels as though her films are actually lagging behind the progress he thinks she is making. She has now gone from the low extreme of her blood pressures to the HIGH extreme. Today they will be battling it trying to get it to come back down into range. I know things seem so confusing, but there are so many factors to be looked at and considered in managing her health. She is making good progress on the ventilator and they have been able to wean her oxygen support from 100% down to 30%. This is definitely something to give praise about! Her stool output is high. The cellular result of her bowel biopsy tells us that she is not in rejection. Thank you Father! It did however show an enormous amount of bacterial overgrowth in the distal portion of her bowel and this may be causing the high level of output. Unfortunately this is a side effect of the extreme amount of anti-biotics she has been on. We have alot of things on the schedule for Ash today. She will be busy trying to recover.
I am so thankful that all 5 of us are here today and that we have the opportunity to "just be together". It is a wonderful feeling to scan the room and see the faces of my three children. Each one of them are so amazing. It gives Blake and Allison great peace to be here with Ashley and to know that they are involved. I realize that He has been more than good to me and to my family. I am so undeserving of all that I have been blessed with. I pray that today you will be able to go home and spend precious moments with your families "just being together". There is no greater feeling in the world then to know that you are loved. May He give you peace today as you hussle and bussle, and may you pause to reflect and realize just how very much He loves you. Trish