Thursday, June 30, 2011

Appointment tomorrow

Tomorrow is my 27 week appointment with Dr. Balaskas. On one hand, I love these appointments because it is my absolute joy to see Tessa squirming around. It is reassuring to see the placenta blood flow, and that she has fluid in her bladder.

Unfortunately, I have my biggest episodes every weekend. I can't conclude they are related, but it seems like the hour of tugging and pushing to measure her agitates my placenta.

Please pray for a healthy little girl, lots of fluid in her belly, and a functional placenta.

I will update with any news after my appointment.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Short Update

A few friends have asked for an update. Not much new to share, honestly, but I appreciate the interest!

I am still having problems every night, but managing to stay in my own room. I am often in pain during these spells, and feel dread every night as 10pm rolls around.

The kids are adjusting well to going back and forth between grandmas and our home.

A very kind neighbor takes care of the dogs each night Josh stays here. He texted the other day that Cali has self-esteem issues.

My absolute joy comes from watching videos of the boys. A new favorite is them attempting the slip and slide.

Today was the first time in 17 days that I got outside. It was glorious to bask in the sun and watch the kids play hopscotch and run around with the wind blowing their hair. Both of them hold my hand the entire wheel chair ride. I love it.

Prayer requests:

No cord accidents. I know they are normal, but lately it is terrifying to hear the steady beating of her heart drop (and stay for a short time) in the 90's. This comes from her either holding onto her cord, or it getting trapped by a body part since there isn't any fluid to act as a cushion.

Tessa's overall health- good lung development, no placenta detachment, and consistent growth.

Peace for all of us as we wait on the Lord.

Thank you for sharing in our journey.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How we met

I was working at Rogers Department Store during Christmas of 1997 when I first met Josh.

My co-worker, Amy, helped him pick out a pair of pants. As his parents were browsing through the other racks near the entrance, Amy approached the check out counter where I was folding t-shirts.

"He would be such a good catch," she sighed, looking longingly at Josh. "A Christian teacher, living in California. Talk about perfect."

Amy got busy helping another customer, so I got to meet her 'great catch' as I wrung up the pants he was purchasing. All of the dress slacks came un-hemmed, so we chatted easily as we waited on alterations to measure him.

Soon enough, the pants were marked for sewing, and the Bird family was on their way out of the Young Men's Department.

Christmas came and went, with my departure from customer sales immediately after. I did not want to deal with exchanges and returns. My final day was December 26.

January 2nd, a letter was dropped off (by Josh's dad) to the store.

A while later, I went back to pick up an old paycheck for $1.34 and chat with friends still in the department. As I was leaving, my old boss drew my attention to the letter from Josh pinned to the bulletin board.

Inside, it read that he enjoyed our short chat, and if I ever got bored with the clouds of Michigan to give him a call.

Arriving home from a week long Newport Beach vacation, my return letter was in his stack of mail six months later.

Who is from Jenison, Michigan? Josh wondered as he opened the thank you card.

Thus began our snail mail courtship.

The letters got longer and more elaborate as each one arrived. In his scrawling penmanship, Josh detailed his life and interests. Slowly, feelings started creeping in and small gifts arrived with each package. Pictures exchanged back and forth, usually with Josh 100 feet from the camera. I would squint to get an idea of what he looked like.

All I remembered was that he was tall.

Summer flew by as we upgraded to e-mail. Rushing to the computer each time I arrived home, I anxiously awaited each message and spent hours typing replies.

Late one evening, I got the nerve to give him a call.

And thus began hours and hours of late night chats. With the 3 hour time difference, we often spoke in hushed voices early into the morning.

Summer turned into fall, and my 20th birthday was fast approaching. My birthday gift? Josh purchased a ticket for me to fly out and meet face to face.

My mother was so mad (rightfully so), she did not speak to me for three days.

I headed off to the airport in a torrential rain storm. As my umbrella turned inside out, my stomach felt uneasy. This was the first time I was traveling anywhere alone. Flying 3000 miles to meet a complete stranger, I wasn't 100% if I remembered what he looked like.

Back in the day, flights flew empty. I had a lot of time to think about what I was doing. Stopping halfway down the jet bridge upon landing, I wondered if it was too late to turn back.

I inched forward with my stomach in knots. Standing at the end, I saw Josh holding a dozen red roses with a huge grin on his face.

He was the most handsome man I had ever seen.

We went back to the house I was staying at (one of his student's families), to another dozen roses and a journal to keep track of my thoughts for the week.

Whirlwind. That is how I would describe it. We went everywhere- Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hollywood.

I knew it that week.

I was madly in love.

I cried the whole way home.

Christmas found us back together again. We even got bonus time when he got snowed in an extra day.

I flew out in February and March. He came home in April for our engagement.

Each and every time we had to say goodbye was harder than the last. I was sure my heart would rip out as the airplane wheels lifted off.

We got engaged in the Spring, and set the date for Christmas.

Some tough things happened that year, and all I wanted was someone to hug me and tell me everything was going to be okay. Living so many miles apart, those seven months dragged as we waited to become one.

Yesterday, a good friend said to me "I know it seems like a long time, but you will look back on this hospital stay and it won't seem like forever."

As I look back, twelve years later, our engagement apart felt like a blink.

Distance has a way of doing that, huh?

About once a week, I have a mental break down when I feel like I cannot do this one more day. Ready to throw in the towel and go home to MY bed and normal nights where I can cuddle my boys in bed and watch cartoons and tickle them. Sit outside by the fire and roast marshmallows, or watch the boys ride bikes to the park.

This morning I hit the wall.

I am sure a year from now, this time spent on bed rest will feel like a short blip in time.

Probably even shorter for my kids.

Yesterday marked two weeks since we arrived, ten weeks since diagnosis.

Please pray that the time would pass quickly as we wait on an answer. It feels like an eternity currently.

A record?

We arrived at St. Mary's to deliver Bryce a little over three years ago.

I had been in labor about four hours when my water broke at home. Upon our admittance, the nurse asked Josh if he needed anything.

"Could I get a pillow and a blanket?" he requested.

10 minutes into the long night stretching before us, Josh was snoring in the corner.

He hates hospitals, and especially labor and delivery.

I sincerely think God has a sense of humor. Our five trips to labor and delivery this time around are penance for past naughty behavior:-)

Around midnight last night, just as my new IV was inserted and I was settling in to sleep, I started having the worst pain.

Tessa was immediately hooked up to the monitor, and she was not in distress. Still, I knew from past experiences that it was my placenta detaching.

"What is the record for trips to labor and delivery?" I asked as I was being wheeled down, yet again.

"You might already have it," my nursed teased.

We are again settled in our room, and trying to catch up on sleep.

Thank you for your continual prayers brought to the throne on our behalf.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hospital lessons this far

Although we have only been here two weeks, I have learned a few lessons about hospital life.

In random order:

It's just easier to refrain from makeup. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't dream of entertaining visitors without it. Here, oddly enough, I don't really care.

Things can always be worse. The other night, while in labor and delivery, the word commode was uttered. Thank the good Lord, that idea was nixed.

My kids love eating cafeteria food. Pretty sure Josh does, too.

Being bedridden, I make a very captive audience. I won't go into details; let's just say some conversations are fairly one sided. I learned everything there is to know about turkey preparation last week.

If you're here long enough, you get the corner room. The two ahead of me passed; we now reside in the suite.

IV insertion is far more pleasant with lidocaine.

Bedrest is hard. I am sure, from the outside, watching movies all day seems like a blast. And it is. For one day, maybe two. I cannot wait until I am no longer responsible for a life and can walk without tip toeing, shower without rushing.

If I learn more, I will pass it along:-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who's the Boss?

Our house in Redlands was sold.

Josh had left the day before with both cars, the dogs, my brother and his friend, and my dad. Our television was carefully packed in the trunk, leaving my mom and I very bored as we waited for our flight the next day.

We locked up the house one last time and waited for our ride.

Chatting easily the 20 minutes to the airport, my nerves were holding out, all things considered. Kayden was always an easy traveler; with my mom as my companion, I knew it would be even smoother. Getting strollers and carry-ons through the security checkpoint is so much quicker with two sets of adult hands.

As we approached the ticketing counter, I noticed our flight was delayed.

Like...15 hours delayed.

They offered to shuttle us to Orange County airport for a flight leaving in four hours, but it was possible to get all the way there and miss that flight as well. You can never tell with Los Angeles traffic just how long it will actually take. Being that Kayden was only 9 months old, we opted to wait.

No home to return to, we asked if we could check in our luggage and take a taxi to the mall, about 15 minutes away.

Sure, they said. Our luggage could be checked 12 hours before the flight. If we wouldn't mind waiting, they would be happy to hold it after that.

We spread out a sheet (thank goodness we had it from the night before), and settled in next to a slew of army soldiers. Watching their tearful goodbyes and easy camaraderie, three hours went by quicker than expected.

Bags checked at exactly t minus 12 hours, we called a taxi to take us to the mall. Explaining our situation, and therefore lack of car seat, they dispatched a cab with built in car seat.

We had a wonderful time at the mall. Kayden remained in good spirits, and I was thrilled to tire him out a bit before the flight.

Dialing back the taxi company, they informed us that we needed our own car seat in order for them to dispatch a driver.

After arguing with that operator, and her boss, and then trying back three more times to find someone that could find the cab we took... we were getting no closer to the airport and closer to our flight leaving without us.

Racking our brains, we called other cab companies, friends that might be able to come transport us. Something, anything, to get us there.

Dead end on all fronts.

There was a kids section in the JC Penny, so the final and only solution as we saw it was to purchase a $90 car seat for the 15 minute ride. Kayden did not fit in it correctly, it wasn't even strapped in, but the cab driver was clueless.

At the curb, we checked the new car seat in box and headed off for our flight.

Which was now delayed yet again.

The ticketing agent offered to re-route us, but it would take another two hours in the air.
My mom and I both agreed that it was the best option.

As we took out our tickets to board the airplane, I noticed I was sitting in 3B and my mom was in 16D.

I have never felt so weary. The events of the week- packing up our house, getting everything cleaned for the new owners, saying goodbyes- combined with the never ending day of trying to catch a flight made me a crumpled mess.

I went into the ugly cry.

You know the one. There is no hiding the ugly cry, and any soul around knows you are bawling. Mouth gaping, tears pouring.

An angel passenger offered to help rearrange seating for us. Her husband and her did not care if they split up, so she offered to trade.

As my mom and I fell into our seats, I have never in my life felt more relief.

Finally safe and on our way home.

I think that is how I am going to feel at the end of this.


This week has been a whirlwind of late nights, long days, shuffling of kids...and I feel weary. The lack of sleep definitely has something to do with it, but the larger picture of the unknown forces me to live each day not knowing if today is the day we find out whether we get to keep her.

Days like today, with such little sleep from last night, the ugly cry comes out often.

We again found our way to labor and delivery after bleeding from 9:30 last night to around 6am this morning. Josh had been at home with the boys, and woke them up at 5am to drop them off at my brother's.

She is already showing all of us who the boss is, huh?

To my mom's credit, my boys are adjusting very well and I am beginning to wonder if they will ever want to come home. They LOVE Grandma's house.

Please pray for the never ending shuffle going on over here. Either my mom or Josh are here with me every night, and I can tell this whole thing is starting to get old with everyone. Mostly me. I long for a good night's sleep. The world feels balanced when I am able to get a decent night's worth.

The ugly cry comes out far less often.

I turn 25 weeks plus 3 days tonight at midnight.

Ever inching onward.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Give

Well, at least she is consistent.

I have stopped fighting, and resigned myself that I am pretty much going to be up all night.

So if you work third shift, and need a buddy to watch movies with on your day off, I can offer you a reclining chair, surround sound pumped through my bedside control, and all the hand sanitizer you wish.

Oh, and happy father's day. My kids are blessed to have Josh, and I am incredibly blessed to have my dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ultrasound tonight

Tessa is still looking good. Weighing in at a whopping 1.5 lbs., she seemed defiant tonight during the ultrasound.

The source of my bleeding is the same- her placenta is deteriorating. This has caused a blood clot to form...which she kicks around in the womb.

I am still struggling to make it through the night without bleeding from 4-7.

Right now, we are just hoping to squeak out as much time as possible before my placenta detaches more.

Josh left the hospital tonight to spend some time with the boys. As they were taking a walk, Bryce looked up at Josh and said, "when is mommy coming home?"

I want to be in both places:-)

Pray request:

another good night tonight.

That my placenta wouldn't completely detach. Not only is this fatal for her, it can also be dangerous for me.

As always, that Tessa's little lungs would beat the odds and surprise us all by being developed.

Thank you, prayer warriors!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I heard the Alleluia chorus as I awoke this morning.

We had a good night.

Other than one bathroom break and one vitals check, I slept from midnight until around eight.

Praise the Lord!

Can I tell you one thing that bugs me, though? In general, before I see people in the morning, I like to be showered and have my teeth brushed at the very minimum.

Doesn't really happen here:-)

Tessa is moving around quite a bit, and I relish those moments. Michelle bought an over the door basketball hoop, so my kids are officially entertained when they are here now.

Prayer requests:

A few more normal nights and days
Tessa's development to be right on track
Kayden and Bryce to adjust easily to the never ending shuffle.

Peace- I admit it, I am scared to know how all this is going to turn out. I want to know, but I don't if it's going to be bad. Laying around all day makes me ripe for overanalyzing. I imagine 100 different scenarios and work through each one wih her and without her. It's maddening.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We moved to Michigan in summer of 2005.

The following spring break, we decided to go back for a visit to California. Since it was a quick trip, my parents offered to watch Kayden.

We had a great week, but after two days, I missed him terribly.

That was the last time I left one of the boys for more than one night.

Being away from them right now is brutal.

I miss them so much.

I miss cuddling with them in bed. I miss watching them play outside. I miss bath time. I miss playing Wii with Kayden. I miss being able to pick up Brycer or have him run to me with a great big smile on his face. I miss seeing Kayden 'dive' in the pool.

I miss it all.

Although I know we are in the right place, this is hard.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last night was better, thanks for your prayers. We managed to stay out of labor and delivery.

Between 3:30-6:30 am, Josh and I were up and still dealing with bleeding. Thankfully, Tessa stayed strong and it did not kick me into labor.

Visitors: we have been asked by quite a few of our loving and supportive friends if they could come visit. We are honored:-)

Right now, since we have been up all night, I am trying to catch up on sleep during the day. Hopefully, I can actually have a few uneventful nights, finally get a shower in, and feel normal soon:-) I am looking forward to 'boring'.

Thanks for your prayers and words of encouragement! I appreciate each and every one!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm in the right place.

Eventful night #2

Yesterday was an uneventful day.

It did not prepare me for what was coming.

Around 1:30, I again started bleeding. Sorry to the one male that reads this blog, with it being all about bodily functions.

Far worse than the night before, they decided to transfer me to labor and delivery for full monitoring and also in case I needed a c-section right away.

The doctor on call actually told me that if I could not start clotting on my own, there was little he could do from preventing her arrival.

Tessa's little heart is trucking right along between 135-150 bpm, so I am thankful she did not seem in stress.

So thankful to be back on our way back out of labor and delivery.

Please pray for an uneventful day, and especially an uneventful night!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quick thought

Tonight, as I was looking through facebook comments and e-mails, I am struck by how incredibly blessed we are to have all of you.

I am having a really hard time responding individually, like I desire to, so hopefully this will suffice.

Weeks behind on thank you notes, I am not even sure where I left off, honestly.

Someday, I hope to be able to reciprocate how loved you have made us feel!


A representative from the NICU came to meet with us today.

It was a blessing and a curse, all rolled into one.

I am one of those people that like to know what is coming. It eases the anxiety. Working through the various 'what if' scenarios were hard, though.

My nurse said everyone on this floor is a ticking time bomb.

When my time is up (hopefully a while from now), the NICU will be called in once she is ready to brave the world.

The plan is to stabilize her in the room, and he said after that we will be allowed to see her for a brief time. Give her kisses, and send her for further monitoring.

Once I am in recovery, they will take me to see her before coming back to my room. Hopefully at that time, they will have some idea of lung function.

Worst case scenario- that they cannot stabilize her, then they would bring her recovery so I can hopefully see her alive.

All this is very hard to take in and visualize. I have been a bit weepy today.

Overall, the care here is wonderful. Nurses are so compassionate, the doctors are awesome, the food is great ( especially the chocolate cake!)

I get to hear Tessa's heart beating away after breakfast and dinner- the highlight of my day. I can't say she likes it as much as I do-she kicks the Doppler the entire time.

I hope she fights this much once she is out.

I miss my boys terribly, and mostly I miss simply being up and around. I realize this is temporary, and between daddy and grandpa and grandma, they are in great hands. Still kills me when they say 'we miss you, mom'.

Thanks, as always, for joining us on this journey.

Settled in, for now

Well, we made it to 24 weeks.

Wasn't sure I was ever going to get here.

Yesterday was a long day, and even longer night.

The maternal fetal specialist appointment went good. Tessa is measuring in the 36th percentile. Her fluid is about the same.

The cause of the bleeding was found at the edge of my placenta. A small tear was found. All things considered, it could be worse.

We headed straight to Spectrum, and spent the afternoon filling in doctors and nurses with our medical history.

The kids came up around dinner, and we had a great time watching a movie in bed together.

Josh took them home, and my parents were helping me to the bathroom one more time when I started bleeding again.

Off and on all night, we monitored Tessa to make sure that she was not stressed out.

Long night.

I am hoping and praying for an uneventful day.

I believe we meet with the Nicu doctor sometime today or tomorrow. Tessa got her first steroid shot, and will get one more today at five. Josh teased that he wanted to do it, since he got so good at shots.

My biggest prayer right now is that I would stop bleeding, that Tessa's lungs would be developed, and I remember to take things one day at a time.

Thank you for your prayers and concerns!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today, I again found myself visiting Dr. Dood. Thankfully, he has such a pleasing personality and doesn't treat me like the nuisance I feel like:-)

Same deal as Monday. Bleeding, but not sure why.

My appointment with Dr. B has been moved up to Friday morning, so unless something changes, the plan is to check into Spectrum after that and see how long we can ride this out.

Please pray with me. Specifically:

That this bleeding is not related to placenta separation or my water breaking.

That she would be measuring right on track.

Thank you, as always, prayer warriors!

Monday, June 6, 2011

False alarm #2?

Nothing about this pregnancy is going to be 'normal'.

At 6:50 this morning, I awoke to a gush of fluid. This could be too much information for some of you, but I also was bleeding.

My mom was already on her way, so I called Natalie to see if she could come early for Bryce. She had already plannied on being here since Kayden's appointment was this morning. My dad left work in Holland to come meet us.

Josh called in a substitute teacher, and we were on our way to meet Dr. Dood downtown.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that we switched OBs?

The fern test for amniotic fluid came up negative.

Next was an ultrasound. My fluid one week ago was 3.5, and today it measured it most likely was not my bag of waters.

Jeff listened to her for a while, and also monitored contractions.


Not really sure what that was from.

Please praise God with me for another false alarm.

Please pray that I can keep Tessa cooking for a whole lot longer!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I have never watched Oprah.

I must be in a small percentage of Americans, considering it has been on for 25 years.

Since I have more time than usual on my hands these days, I was watching one of her "master classes", where she recounts lessons she has learned along the way.

One afternoon, after she moved to Chicago for the local morning show, she popped into a bookstore and came across The Color Purple. The first line had her reeling- someone else had the exact same story.

She learned that Steven Spielberg was making the movie, and decided to audition. Her first read through, the main characters name was Harpo. Oprah spelled backwards.

Oprah said she felt Jesus himself was telling her that role was meant for her.

Weeks went by, and she did not hear from the casting director. Finally, she called to check the status of the part.

The casting director said, 'you don't call me. Who are you? You are a nobody. Big stars are auditioning for this role.'

She got off the phone, and knew she did not get the part. Questioning God, she thought about why God would do that. Bring her to audition for this part she wanted more than anything, and then not give it to her.

Maybe it was because she was fat, she reasoned. She headed off to a fat farm to lose weight.

As she was circling the track, the song "I Surrender All" came into her head. As she started singing it, she felt herself letting go of the part. Truly letting go. Knowing it would all work out, and she would be okay.

In the exact moment of surrender, Steven Spielberg called her to tell her she got the part.

The life lesson is that when you have done everything you can do- prayed, begged, pleaded, bargained... You have to give it up. Surrender to the power greater than yourself and know it will be okay.

The three times I have had labor scares, I have remembered this lesson over and over.

I have done all I can.

I am doing all I can do.

Now I am working on being in a space of complete surrender.

I can't say that it is easy. I want my daughter. I want this situation to be different and not so hard. I want better odds. I wanted an easy pregnancy.

But at the end of the day, all I can do is surrender. Give Tessa up to the higher power and know that, one way or another, God will see me through.

Where there is life, there is hope.

Today marks a new day, and each day brings new perspective.

Where there is life, there is hope. The only thing I can do is love her well, while she's here.

Or as my dad says, "Do what you can, forget the rest."

I don't really know how to smoothly transition to this. It has been on my mind for a while, so I thought I would share.

Last summer, a good friend from Redlands came to stay with us. He was in town to photograph a wedding.

A little back story about our friends from Redlands: most of us were displaced. I found that very few people were indigenous to Southern California; immediate families were elsewhere. Setting down roots took more effort, so in turn it made our friends closer.

Contrast that to West Michigan, where roots extend far. It is not uncommon to hear of third and fourth generations going to the same Christian school. I remember one of the first things someone told me when I came to Caledonia CRC, "Be careful what you say, and to whom. Everyone is related."

We were really excited for Mark's visit, and catching up on the happenings at Redlands Christian School.

Late one evening, it was just Josh, Mark, and I sitting around the table recounting old stories. I could tell Josh was nostalgic, as California will always be his home.

Those people became our family.

A few weeks ago, Josh forwarded me an e-mail sent out from that group of friends. Mark and Jill's 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

I cried out to God, why? Why do you keep doing this to our children?

I am not sure I will ever understand it.

Pain can't really be compared, only experienced, so I can't say I know exactly what they are going through.

Some parts I understand- the endless waiting for answers, the shuffling of siblings, the uncertainty.

Please keep our friend, Mark and Jill, and their entire family in your prayers as well.

Maddie's Carepage:

Thank you for all your prayers,comments, and e-mails of encouragement. It keeps me going on days like yesterday.

Friday, June 3, 2011


It's tough to publish posts like this.

Difficult to admit that I am struggling.

Reading blogs about women in this situation, it dawned on me: everyone thinks they are going to be in the 10%. But the reality is that 9/10 people walk away from this with empty arms.

Knowing it is the same God that gives and takes, I am having a hard time staying positive. I find myself identifying often with Jacob, who refused to let go until God blessed him.

I incorrectly assumed that since it has already been one of the worst years of our life, we were getting to the end of our trials when we had a positive pregnancy test.

Oh, how wrong I was.

This post from Molly Piper explains exactly how I am feeling right now:

I want so badly to believe in God's goodness in all of this, but so far all I have gotten is calamity.

~the never ending sickness this year

~being in the 5% that overstimmed.

~We paid for two cycles up front in case we did not get pregnant the first cycle. If we did not get pregnant after those two, we would get close to $13,000 back. Banking on being in the 98% of people that go on to a live birth when normal fetal growth is seen at 8 weeks, we overpaid $9,000 for one cycle. This was definitely always our worst case scenario.

~The hopes and dreams of having a little girl, then finding out I might only have minutes with her. I have dreamed of this relationship for so long. I don't want it to seem like we value a girl's life more than a boy's, because we don't. But dealing with the potential loss of two dreams, this baby and also my dream of having a girl, has made it more difficult.

~Thinking of sitting in the hospital away from my boys all summer without knowing the outcome.

~My brother and his wife also having a girl, and knowing that I will forever be reminded of exactly what we are missing.

I am in a bad place right now, so any prayers you would offer up for that would be appreciated.

It is also difficult not to feel like a burden. My mom has graciously come every day to help run up and down the stairs chasing after the boys. She never complains, but I feel guilty monopolizing so much of her time.

Josh came home Wednesday, informing me that our insurance is changing. Staring at an extended hospital stay and hopefully the NICU for Tessa, it is entirely possible that we will have to pay $4,000 that we did not plan for on September 1st. I am in no way trying to get political about the new healthcare laws. It just stinks, considering how much we pay every month already and how much we have put out of our own pocket for medical care this last year, that we owe more.

Kayden goes in for an esophageal study on Monday, so please pray that all turns out well with that. I would love to think that since we are already knee deep in one trial, we would be precluded from others....but we all know it doesn't work that way.

More than anything, I am ready for the favor and the blessing of God and starting to wonder when we will be on the "blessing" end again.

Sorry for the downer post. I wish I could tell you I was cheery and upbeat all the time, but right now it's hard not to feel dumped on.