Cinderella with Lizzy

A fun mommy-Lizzy date was planned weeks before we knew of the miscarriage. Oh, who is like our God, knowing that we’d both need a day like this?

I picked Lizzy up from kinder (preschool) and we ducked into the bathroom and changed her into her dress-up outfit for the ballet, then headed to the train station where Scott and Joshua dropped us off for the afternoon.

The train ride into Melbourne might have equalled the ballet in what Lizzy most enjoyed about the day.
The train ride into Melbourne might have equalled the ballet in what Lizzy most enjoyed about the day.
A double-girl-date with dear friends, Smitha & Naomi.
A double-girl-date with dear friends, Smitha & Naomi.
So dark it was hard to capture the beauty of the theater and stage.
So dark it was hard to capture the beauty of the theater and stage.
What a cute sight! This little Cinderella surely has it made...with two maids (or grown-ups) escorting her to hold up her gown. Can I be 4 again?
What a cute sight on our way back to the train station. This little Cinderella surely has it made…with two maids (or grown-ups) escorting her to hold up her gown. Can I be 4 again?
Another foiled public transport endeavor. Smitha only had 1 car seat so couldn't take us home, but I told her that Lizzy thinks buses are a great adventure, so we'd just take one home from the train station. I pulled up the app on my phone and it looked like 1 bus. How hard can it be? Looked like we'd need to walk a bit to catch it, so we started down the street. About 10 minutes into the walk, I realized the flashing "you are here" dot on the tracking system didn't have us making much progress. Meanwhile, my little Cinderella's new dress shoes had eaten into one of her heels, so I'm carrying her in her puffy pink coat, piggy-back, on my back and trying to balance my purse in the mix.  I decided to wave the white flag, and walk/carry her only to the next bus stop bench I could see. I called to tell Scott of my misadventure when Lizzy keenly announces, "Mommy, it's spitting." We both start laughing. No cover and a bit stuck, we giggle.  Thankfully, it didn't rain more than just a bit, and we successfully caught a bus 15 minutes later. It took us to the shopping center by our house, where we waited for our men to come pick us up (once Joshua woke) and warmed up. A fun adventure the Lord new we needed.
Another foiled public transport endeavor. Smitha only had 1 car seat so couldn’t take us home, but I told her that Lizzy thinks buses are a great adventure, so we’d just take one home from the train station. I pulled up the app on my phone and it looked like 1 bus. How hard can it be? Looked like we’d need to walk a bit to catch it, so we started down the street. About 10 minutes into the walk, I realized the flashing “you are here” dot on the tracking system didn’t have us making much progress. I misread that the walk would be 40 minutes. No!!! Meanwhile, my little Cinderella’s new dress shoes had eaten into one of her heels, so I’m carrying her in her puffy pink coat, piggy-back, on my back and trying to balance my purse in the mix.
I decided to wave the white flag, and walk/carry her only to the next bus stop bench I could see. I called to tell Scott of my misadventure (and see if Joshua had woken from his nap yet) when Lizzy keenly announces, “Mommy, it’s spitting.” We both start laughing. No cover and a bit stuck, we giggle. And take this selfie.
Thankfully, it didn’t rain more than just a bit, and we successfully caught a bus 15 minutes later. It took us to the shopping center by our house, where we waited for our men to come pick us up and warmed up. A fun adventure the Lord new we needed.
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Lizzy’s letter to Micah

Just picked Lizzy up from kinder (preschool) and her teacher, Nicole, handed me this.

“Lizzy initiated this. She wanted to write a letter to Micah so I wrote down what she said.”

So grateful for a window into her heart today.

Not Just Sitting at a Desk

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“I go office and tell people about Jesus,” Lizzy said.

My jaw unhinged. What did she say?

Our two-and-a-half-year old walked to the door with her purse over her shoulder, just like she sees her Daddy do (sans purse) every morning.

Early on, when Lizzy wondered where Scott went once he left the house, we told her “the office” but then realized that it’d be a good opportunity to try to explain to her what he does.

We could have said that Scott fixes computers or Scott helps missionaries. Those descriptions are accurate. But somehow–by God’s grace–we landed on this: “Daddy’s at the office, telling people about Jesus.”

Turns out that our little sponge was, indeed, listening.

Every time she makes her departure proclamation, purse in tow, God uses it to remind me the real purpose behind what we do.

Yes, Scott fixes computers and helps missionaries. Yes, I’m helping missionaries become more healthy.

But the real truth–and what motivates us–is this: we are helping tell people about Jesus.

And do you know what that means? For those of you who pray and financially invest in the ministry God’s given to us–that’s exactly what you’re doing, too.

I’d say that’s about the best thing you can do with our lives!

Lizzy’s EEG results: normal!

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Objects in the photo are happier than they may appear.

Fueled by Diet Coke and Cadbury Mini Eggs (I mean, have you had these crunch-coated tastes of wonderfulness??), I write this update. Then, I hope to break last night’s stat of 4 hours — non-consecutiv hours, mind you — of sleep. Just when things are getting better for Lizzy, Joshua’s newly-diagnosed reflux is rearing it’s burning head and making our happy baby red-eyed with tears.

We are big fans of Nemours Children’s Hospital after this. First of all, get me on the phone with the interior designer. I feel like I want to jump on the colorful, cool-lookin’ furniture when I’m there. It’s like what IKEA Children’s Hospital would be if there was such a thing. Both our appointments today were actually — are you sitting down? — early. They took us early. Thankfully we were there early, thanks to my on-time husband.

At 11am, we found another blessing of Lizzy having little hair. Less mess when the tech puts on 25 probes (Is that what they’re called?) on her little blonde head. The pix above is Lizzy with her new “hat,” covering the 25 “stickers” they put on her head as i sat behind her, holding her. She did great — better than this pix suggests. 🙂 it was cute/sad how as Helen, the tech, put on the probes, Lizzy would say after every couple, “Ahhh done.” More like a statement than a question. Then, Helen wrapped her head and then we tried to sit still for her to run the tests as we watched a Winnie the Pooh movie.

A little less than an hour from the time we went back, she had the probes off and the goop mostly washed out of her hair. Should note that Scott had his head wrapped, too, to help her not be scared.

Clearly, another kindness of the Lord was that Lizzy did so well (after so many people probing her between the ER Wed and pediatrician yesterday) and our now-very-fussy-refluxy Joshua SLEPT thru her who procedure. Wow, we are grateful!

We had lunch in the cafeteria, a Lizzy ran around outside for a bit before we headed to the 5th floor to meet the neurologist. Dr. Finkle gets great points for telling us, just moments after we met him, what the results were. “Her EEG came back normal.”

He was a kind man, but Lizzy wasn’t about to trust him right away but I think the Elmo stickers from the nurse helped as a distraction for a bit as Scott and I answered his questions about what happened. He checked Lizzy’s reflexes and watched her walk barefoot down the hallway. We didn’t offer anything about the suggested reflux root cause until the very end, right before we left, because we wanted to see what he’d say without that prompt.

Upon comparing notes when we got home about the time, Scott mentioned that the doctor had said that the EEG showed no signs of a seizure. What? I think I’d missed that when both Lizzy and Joshua were crying and I was slightly distracted. That’s great news! But, Dr. Finkle thought our description of what happened sounded like a seizure though. Hmmmm. Confusing. The great thing is that everything checks out normal with our 22-month-old. When we talked about reflux, Dr. Finkle said (again I insert my disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and I’m hoping I’m saying this correctly) that it was possible but 2 things seemed different about our experience and what would most likely be true if it was reflux-based.

1) The episode would have lasted only 1-2 minutes and Scott thought it was 2-3. Of which, can I say, I can’t imagine what my beloved had to witness and can only guess it felt like an eternity. And no one had a stopwatch. 2) With reflux, the child will vomit and then often snap out of the episode and cry. Scott said Lizzy was slow in coming back around and didn’t cry.

So, there’s much, much, much to be thankful for and yet we would have loved a resounding “yes” from the doctor that it can be blamed on reflux.

What next? We don’t have any more follow-up appointments but still have the big question of what caused it? We’ll watch her and see. I’ve been so encouraged by the emails, calls and comments friends have left and have been surprised to hear how many children out there have had one seizure at some point in their life and then never another one.

I feel like our family got to experience what is true of all of us, but usually we don’t face it: we aren’t invincible. We aren’t as strong or as in control as we think we are. We’re one episode away from having our entire world as we know it shifted. I’ve been hugging Lizzy a little tighter and showering her with a few more kisses the last 2 days.

Going to bed thankful, yet again, for a “big and trustworthy God” as my dear friend Marcia reminded me when she wrote. And thankful for amazing praying friends. (And thankful for cooking friends–a shout out to Anna and Amanda for feeding our family these two days, letting this mama use those moments to rest instead of standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make.)

Lizzy update after the seizure

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Both kids are sleeping (strike that–Joshua keeps stirring) and I’m longing for the pillow, but wanted to write an update. Partly for you and partly for me to document before my fuzzier brain gets fuzzier with time.

How grateful we are for the influx of texts, calls and messages. What a community of praying friends we have across time zones!

Long story short, it looks likely that the seizure episode last night was a result of acid reflux. (That sounds crazy even as I write it.)

After our last 2 appts with Dr. Nielsen–our pediatrician/medical sleuth–I’ve started feeling like I’m watching some kind of CSI episode because I leave saying, “How did she figure that out?” Last time it was her figuring out that Joshua was really older than we’d thought and our due date had been off by at least a week.

Yesterday at the end of  lunch, Lizzy had a few-second shudder “something” of her head that made Scott and I both look at each other with a What was that? exchange. And Scott had been with Lizzy when she had the seizure after dinner (I was at Jazzercise). It was about 15 minutes after she’d eaten dinner and he was changing her diaper in her room upstairs. At some point, she started staring off and he couldn’t get her attention. Her lips went from fleshy to purple to fleshy and back to purple. She vomited 4 times. Somewhere in that he was able to call 911. Oh, how grateful I am for Lizzy to have had her calm Daddy to be wise to get her on her side, loving and caring for her through those agonizing 2-3 minutes before she became lucid. It was about 6:20pm on Wed, March 6.

I was gathering my things after class when Scott called. I’ll never forget his tone. Calm but very firm.

“I need you to come home. NOW. Lizzy’s ok but she’s had a seizure…” I have little recollection of what he said after that.

I ran out, calling to friends to pray. My sweet friend, Christy, asked if she could drive me home or come with and I readily accepted.

I sprinted into the kitchen from the garage, dropping my bag and running to my baby on her Daddy’s lap, who was shaking and crying, surrounded by 4-5 big EMT kind men in our not-so-big living room. Vomit covered a good portion of her head.

I understood, really for the first time, how parents say they’d change places with their child. It’s a no brainer.

They checked her blood glucose and it was fine at 105 (a relief to this diabetic mama) and tried to get vitals but she flailed a lot, undone.

Thankfully, Joshua was asleep almost this entire time, just waking up when we were getting Lizzy cleaned up and ready for her and I to go in the ambulance. Thankfully, Christy was there to hold our little 2-month-old blessing and be there to help Scott get Joshua packed up to meet us at the hospital. (A shout out to her for cleaning up an incredibly-undesirable changing table and putting away/tidying up our kitchen. We came home to no clean up needed. What a blessing that was!)

We’re grateful that Nemours Children’s Hospital just opened in October, just 15 minutes away, so it was a quick no-sirens ride. They saw us right away with no wait, another blessing. They were great, but Lizzy’s a little girl who’s slow to warm up to strangers on good days–and you add the reality of a small room busting with people talking and she was a mess. Oh, the mama heart to calm her! (Thanks to our wonderful pastor, John Gullett, who surprised us at the ER.)

After drawing a vial of blood from her heel 😦 and running an EKG, she checked out OK and the ER doctor said it seemed like an “Absence Seizure.” About right now I should give the obvious disclaimer that I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV so this is my best go at explaining what we heard. If I heard correctly, that term is for seizures that aren’t explained another way. He didn’t seem concerned but they always refer a patient who’d had a seizure to a cardiologist or neurologist.

We were discharged about 10pm…I think.

We’d already had an appt for Lizzy the next day (today) with her pediatrician for another issue, so we were glad to get in to talk with her. She listened to what’d happened. Her thoughts are that Lizzy has late-onset reflux or might have had it awhile and it’s been “silent.” Scott’s noticed that she’s had some coughing spells recently that would make more sense if that’s true. The lunchtime episode would also make sense because it’d have been a reaction to the gross taste of reflux.

Scott was the one to catch the fact that both happened after a meal. She asked how long after dinner that he had her on the changing table. He said 15 minutes and she said that how he described the seizure could have been a result of reflux. (This is where I can’t do justice in how she explained it.) Even the issue that had made us originally make the appt for her has potential ties to reflux.

The interesting thing was how we were in the office for Joshua’s 2-month check up, too, and the question we were going to ask was about his potential reflux that we’d just been starting to notice the last week or so that he his spit-up was curdley, a sign often of reflux. His birth weight has shot up from the 5th percentile to the 50th, and she was asking about how he was nursing and how often he was feeding. I wearily told her he’d eat all the time if I offered and how it was about 2-3 hours during the day and 2.5-3.5 at night. This mama’s desperately needing an answer to his not transitioning to longer sleep stretches. She said, he was actually getting too much, she thought. (What a total contrast to when I tried to nurse Lizzy!) She speculated that he, like us when we have indigestion, wanted to drink milk to soothe the burn.

Oh my word. If this solves the sleep problem, I’m putting her in our will! She wrote a prescription to start him on a low-dose Zantac for kids and he should see some improvement soon. The little guy is saying yippee!

We have a follow-up with the neurologist–best in the state, we keep hearing–tomorrow, back at Nemours where his office is. The EEG will be at 11am and the appt with him at 1:30pm EST.

The only factor that we’re not sure how it would factor into the diagnosis Dr. Nielsen proposed with Lizzy’s poor coordination the last few days (worse that normal, because I always joke she’s a step away from falling–blessed late walker that she was). She also was really leary of getting down from chairs and stepping down off steps yesterday both Scott and I noticed. But today, she’s been fine.

When we got home, she got a bath that got out most of the smell of the night we’ll never forget. Then, she hit the pillow and was out in minutes. The night was uneventful. Whew. We were glad for our video monitor our friend had given us to be able to have a little witness in her room all night. Soothing balm for our hearts to watch her rest so soundly.

Today she’s been fine–back to her fun self apart from being tired. That nap? She didn’t sleep as much as I’d thought or as she needed but it was a good start. I knew she was tired  when I was singing to her before I laid her down and she said, “Bye.”

Well, ok then.

Bye bye night we’d like to forget but one in which we got to experience God’s grace for each moment. Dependency opportunities never come in the easy moments. More than ever I was made aware that these kids aren’t really ours–they are on loan from the Lord for a period of time…hopefully a long, long time. I thought it was so true when Scott said, “I take by faith that God loves them more do because we love them a lot.”