Hello all! Well, we are home from Ft. Worth, somewhat settled back in. We had a nice leisurely drive back home today. We weren't in a hurry, we could stop as needed, play when we wanted and still make it home before dark and in time for dinner at the house, some veggin out and for Ava to play play play before bed. Poor girl had enough of that car seat today. We were able to stop more on the way home today. So we had Jack in the Box for lunch, stopped at one of the peach stands in Hedley and let Ava walk around and we bought some great produce. It was nice to not be pressured to get anywhere too quick. :) We had a nice trip, though. The best one yet. I have come home empowered, confident and excited to count down these days until we meet our baby boy! Truly! I am aware of all that lies ahead as much as we can know right now, but I am not worried or anxious so much as I am excited and looking forward! So we got to Ft. Worth Tuesday night, late, but got in and Operation Keep Ava Asleep was successful. She fell asleep on the way down and we got her to stay asleep and got her to bed as soon as we got to the King's. YAY! She slept all night. It was great. I was so hoping she wouldn't struggle with sleeping this trip and she did great! Wednesday Nick and I had the day to ourselves with all the appointments and tours. It WORE us out!!!! We had so many things going on with a small lunch break. I had swollen ankles for the first time this whole pregnancy. We were exhausted. haha. The echocardiogram went well and everything Dr. Roten wanted to see looked good. She said getting down to Ft. Worth next weekend was a perfect time to be back down. No sooner. yay! We were able to tour the NICU, PICU, the children's wing where he will be recovering after the 2nd and 3rd surgeries. Cook Children's hospital is amazing! There are sooo many things that will cater to our family while we are there. We were very impressed and everyone is so nice. We met with Dr. Tam the surgeon and he was very thorough in his explanation of the surgeries, their history, answered our questions and was very serious yet light hearted and positive. If that makes any sense. :) We finished with touring the Dodson clinic where we will go for routine exams later on. We were able to have some good mexican food and visit with Nick's aunt. We relaxed at the house and got some rest. This morning we got up, packed up and went to my obgyn appointment. Got through traffic, got nick coffee at starbucks and got to the appt. We were in and out in 30 mins! haha! So quick!
Here is our big news of the whole trip. We have a delivery date! At this point, our son Noah's birthday will be September 24th! They will do a c-section that morning. Since I had one with Ava they are just doing a repeat c-section and will be able to schedule all of his stuff easier with a scheduled c-section. I am totally ok with that! :) I know what to expect and will be ready to go. :) Noah right now is 5 lbs 9 oz and doing great! Other than his heart condition, he is a perfectly healthy, growing baby and is on his way to doing great out of the womb too! :) We are proud of him already. :)
So, once he is born, there will be a few days BEFORE they do surgery. They will keep him on IV nutrition and medicine until surgery. The surgery is a LONG procedure. It will be around 5-6 hours of surgery, on bypass, and it is not an easy surgery. That day will be a long day for all. When they are done with surgery (which they will be updating us throughout. We're glad about that) They will take him to the picu, (pediatric intensive care unit) not the nicu. He will not be completely sewn up at that point, for swelling reasons. They will be monitoring him closely, and the beginning of the "fight" starts. He will begin to be weaned off of the ventilator in the picu and other "lines". He still will not have eaten anything, just IV nutrition. Approx a week or so in the picu is what we're looking at, but obviously we will see how he does! Then it is back to the NICU until he is ready to go home. That is when the battle to learn to eat happens. I am not worried about it, I know God has our son in his hands. He also comes from a long line of eaters. hahahha. :) Seriously though, he could struggle and need a g button or he could do amazing and go home on a bottle. We'll see how he does. We have no expectations as we go in, we want things to go at his pace and in God's timing. We know that it will be at least a month from birth to going home. So that helps to know and plan. It might be just short of a month but it could be 2 months or so. We'll just have to take it a day at a time.
This trip has helped build my confidence and having Nick and Ava come was nice. I'm so thankful my sister was able to go with me the other times, there was definitely a different feel with our little family there. Made it feel more real.
So, Ava and I will be staying in Ft. Worth the few weeks before we deliver. We are leaving next weekend (september 8th after noah's baby shower). We will be staying with Nick's cousin and her family in North Richland Hills. I scoped out a few things while we were there this weekend, like the walmart, sonic, etc. :) just to be prepared. haha. I am glad that we'll have the jeep down there with us so we can get out and about. We'll enjoy going to the King's church a couple of times and hopefully Ava can play with some kiddos on those sunday mornings. (mommy will have to be a big girl and be ok with it haha) So, we'll get settled in next weekend and begin our adventure. Nick will fly home sunday and will work the next few weeks until we're ready for the big day. He will probably be working on the house some and veggin out, playing video games and being a "bachelor" for awhile. :) I'm glad. He'll be on single dad duty when him and Ava come back home. So, he can soak it up. I do hope I come home to wood floors in the living room/hallway. Maybe he can conjure up some help with that. :) :) any volunteers, I can hook you up. :)
Overall, things are falling into place. God has prepared the way for us. He has answered my prayers and has given me confidence, peace, and excitement. He has prepared the way in so many ways I can't even begin to explain in detail all the valleys he has raised up and mountains he has made low. I'm thankful, humbled and I know we are not approaching easy times. We are approaching one of the hardest seasons of our life, yet, our faith is strong and we are ready to face it with our Lord leading us on.
Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for prayers, for encouragement, comments, emails, cards, love gifts, etc that y'all have already poured over us. Thank you to family for housing us, helping with Ava, keeping us positive, for support and love. Thank you to strangers who just know us through our friends and family who pray for our son and have shown such love through that. We are humbled and so thankful and Noah is not even here yet. I have had some people ask me what they can do for us and at this point, if you live near us, just hold tight and pray for us. I am quite sure that when we get back we will come across some needs such as meals and occasionally some possible help with Ava, etc. So, we will let y'all know. Until then, we are thankful for the prayers and love. Keep em coming.
I can't think of anything else at this point. My brain is kind of fried.