Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Confessions of this ...

...transplant mom.

I carry a little secret with me every where I go. Its a nasty little secret, but pleasantly disguised. In my wildest dreams I never would have guessed that I would someday grow up to carry such a secret. Few people know about it, but those that do have just embraced it and accepted it just as I have. I can't believe I am about to disclose to the world what my secret is, but in order to share with you how blessed I was tonight it has become necessary.

I have a ... brace yourselves please and hang on for the explanation... a POOP BOOK!

Yes, I realize that may sound disgusting, a little puzzling, and perhaps even a little intriguing. Before you begin to make judgements about my sanity or my methods let me try and explain.

Since the day Ashley Kate was born our world has literally revolved around her poop. When you have a "short gut" child(the term used to describe a person who has had some or most of their bowel removed) poop is a big thing. Before transplant our little Ashley would go through 20-25 preemie sized huggies supremes a day. That's right, in a 24 hour period. Thank God for our diaper brigade! That is what Dave and I affectionately called the families in our church who choose to shower us with packages of huggies and wipes on our door step. Nothing Ashley was fed stayed inside her little body. It all ran right through her short gut into her colon and out into her huggies. No absorption. No weight gain. No growth. Ashley Kate weighed a whopping 12 or so lbs at 14 months. Thus explaining our need for a bowel transplant. The liver transplant was just a bi product of the destructive elements of her TPN and lipids and the pancreas was included just for good measure. Anyway, I am wandering off the path of my "POOP BOOK" and my blessing.

My "POOP BOOK" is a lovely little book. It is actually a journal. One given to me to record my thoughts and our every day occurrences while here in Omaha, but the journal took on a different life. I guess it does actually record my thoughts in some ways. Inside the beautiful pink paisley cover(I know you didn't expect it to be any other color did you?) you will find our good days and our bad. It is full of dates and numbers. Smiley faces and tear stains. Praises and blessings. I carry it with me every where we go. It is as essential an item in Ash's diaper bag as the diapers themselves. Without I would be lost. I wouldn't be able to tell you if it had been a good day or a bad, but lets move on to the blessing I was overcome by tonight.

As I sat down to tally our daily number I almost had to dance. Do a little poo poo jig you know. Over the last 24 hour period Ashley Kate only stooled out 470 ccs of poop. I had to add and re add that number to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I still can't believe it! Do you know how far she has come in the last 2 weeks? She has gone from 1500+ to a mere 470! That is poop worth dancing over! I HAD to draw not only a smiley face indicating a good poop day, but an actual thank you to the Father for such a small amount of poop. Can you believe that I thank Him for her little poops? I told you I would have never imagined my life going in this direction. I could be praying over world peace, the presidential elections, or lost souls, but instead He has placed poop on the top of my list. Its a crazy life I tell you.

Anyway, I began to look back through the pages of my "POOP BOOK" and my heart was overwhelmed by the goodness of the Lord. There were pages stained with tears. Pages with scribble after scribble as I tried to make the figure turn out better than it actually was by convincing myself that I must have miss calculated. Pages with big ugly circles around large numbers indicating the amount of fluids I needed to replace. Then tonight I realized that the last 5 pages had smiley faces on them. As I looked at them I realized that each day the smile on the face got a little bigger than the last. Then tonight's page couldn't contain the smile I wanted to share. The numbers began to trend down last week. 910,795,765,660,630,530, 470. How can I not be grateful? God is good. Her bowel is recovering. It is taking its time, but it is beginning to absorb and function again. She is receiving NO replacement fluids today. NONE! IF only she can keep this up then we can have that line removed and then we can be removed. Please, please, please God let her poop continue on this trend!

I find it funny realizing that He is so involved in such details. I never would have thought the Creator of the universe would care how much poop came out of one of my children. I don't know why? After all He is the one who created our bodies to rid themselves of waste and He did design the bowels that now reside inside of Ashley Kate.

So tonight I admit it. I carry this secret, and if you are ever close by when I am emptying her ostomy bag you just might here me say, "Would you mind handing me the "POOP BOOK" please?" Its been known to happen. Just ask my sisters. They looked at me like I was crazy last Wednesday as we passed through town on our way back to Omaha. Even they, my closet friends in the world, had not been made privy to my little secret until then.

Just another chapter in Ashley's story. One I am sure she will laugh about someday. God has been good to us and we are encouraged. Good night and God bless. Trish

Ash and I have been in our jammies all day as we battle this crazy cold. Where in the world did it come from?


At 10:00 PM , Blogger Dee Dee said...

Yay! And in spite of her cold!
Praying for lots more good reports and lots more smiley faces in your book!
Let's see, where did the cold come from? Well, it sounds like you've been protected from getting such things for some time. Maybe God let it happen this time because He knew Ashley could handle it now....

At 10:01 PM , Anonymous Vicky said...

Trish, your joy is so evident throughout the post. I'm praising God for Ashley's poop too tonight :)
It seems a visit home was just what the Great Physican prescribed. And it amazes me that even though Ashley is sick with a cold right now, her ccs of poop are still dropping!!! I don't know much about all this, but it seems like that makes this even more amazing! God is so good! And He definately cares about every tiny detail of His wonderous creation.
Praying that you and Ashley will celebrate Christmas at home!!!!
Thank you for sharing all the ups and downs of Ashley's story. Tonight your readers rejoice with you!!!!

At 10:17 PM , Blogger Marianne said...


At 10:38 PM , Blogger Marianne said...

I had to post tonight because as soon as I opened the comments to see what had been said about the poop book, I got really confused. You see I saw my name and a smiley face and for a second, thought, now when did I do that? But it wasn't me, just another person with a great name!
I am so glad things are slowing down and Ashley is getting to the point she needs to be. A Christmas miracle right before our eyes!


P.S. I know my sister is also a faithful reader so if she sees this--Hi April!!!!

At 11:17 PM , Blogger Shari's Page....... said...

Trish--it's OK to admit you have such a journal. I was giggling just a little, but also realize the seriousness of it. I am SO SO excited though that she had a LITTLE poop today! I am praying that nasty cold away from both of you. Know I love you, pray for you, and think of you often.



At 12:37 AM , Blogger Jenny said...

That is wonderful news, Trish! I do hope and pray that this "little poop" trend continues!! Stay warm and get well soon!

At 4:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Trish,

A poop book filled with smiley faces is a BEAUTIFUL thing! We all share your joy.

At 5:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it! the little poop, the book and the fact that God is good!! Still praying.

At 7:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Trish I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at this post....besides the fact that I was jumping up and down for JOY!!!! GO ASHLEY GO!!! WOOHOO! lol...well I think we all probably have some sort of "poop book" in our lives ;o)
I am just beside myself to hear this news though. Thank you JESUS!!! Thank you LORD!!! Praise GOD!!! May our Good Lord continue to hold ya'll in his arms and keep Ashley going in the right direction!!
God Bless you all! Merry Christmas!

At 1:24 PM , Anonymous Kathleen said...

I'm sure you would've never dreamed that so many people would get excited to hear about your Ashley's poop and her poop book but it's such GREAT news!! I'm praising God for her healing bowel. It is so awesome to watch Him working in your lives!

At 4:06 PM , Blogger Sunny Day Tag Girl said...

Such great news!!! For your colds you should try "little noses" nasal is only saline and water but boy does it work!!!!! My 2 and 4 year old actually ask for it now and it really does dry up the mucus. I kind of think of it like putting salt on slugs. The best thing is that it isn't medicine and you can use as much as you need.

At 10:39 PM , Blogger Gretchen said...

So excited for you and the lack of Ashley's poop! Praise God for His faithfulness. Continuing to pray you home. xxxooogretchen


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home