80% Good News

Yesterday Dayla was a total pill.  The kind of terrible that tests the strength of every cord of patience you have in your body.  If you are a parent, you know the kind of days I am talking about.  It was THAT kind of day.

Today Sebastian lay strapped on a table in the hospital for 45 minutes getting radioactive something pumped through his blood to check the function of his kidneys.  For most of the time he was on that table I couldn’t help but just stare at my boy and take it all in.  I didn’t feel sad.  I didn’t feel scared.  I didn’t feel angry or upset or any other emotion that I believe would have been an understandable reaction to the situation. I just wanted to memorize every nook and cranny in that room.  I wanted to burn into the folds of my brain each facial expression and movement that Sebastian made there on that table.  I wanted to truly stop and appreciate the miracle of medicine; that they can put radioactive things in his blood so they can essentially do an x-ray from the inside out of my 2 month old son.

I just felt present.

As I sat there desperately trying to soak it all in, I realized what I was doing was being present in the day, the moment, the blessing.  It is easy to be weighed down in the difficult moments and terrible days as a parent (because parenting is darn hard). Just the day before with Dayla felt so long, so weighted.    But as I watched Sebastian today on the table my heart was so full, an emotion on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.  Today I chose to be present in the blessing instead present in the terror; reflecting that each day with this little guy is a gift.  It wasn’t just his conception, although that was an answer to so many prayers, or the moment he was born, although that was most certainly a miracle to be a part of. The miracle is in each and every breath he takes; each movement of his body is a complete and total gift from God. And not just for Sebastian, but for every child.  Whether the child is prayed for and longed for, or a “surprise”, these little people change our lives. These little people are gifts, miracles, blessings….not just one day, but every day.

Yes, even on the terrible-I-am-going-to-do-everything-to-disobey-you-and-be-a-complete-and-total-pill kind of days.

80% Good News:

Sebastian’s two tests came back “good”.   (YES, PRAISE GOD).  But as I jumped up to hug the urologist, his enthusiasm didn’t match mine.  “The thing is,” his eyes softened with kindness and his voice gained a lot of hesitation, “his kidneys and ureter are slightly dilated and his urethra is narrower than it should be.  These are usually signs of another problem.  But, when we tested for all the other problems that it could possibly be, the tests all came back good and clear.  I don’t know exactly why his kidney and ureter are dilated and his urethra is narrowing….but I want to watch it. ”

He further explained that the above is in no way “normal” and causes him to worry a bit.  He said he promises to “keep his hands off him until we know more”, meaning no surgery until we have answers, but that he wants to continue to watch him and have him tested again in 3 months.  The catch is that IF there is something wrong, something causing this dilating and narrowing, it can be very dangerous to Sebastian’s life in the long term.

I felt like this was good news, an answer to all my prayers (and all your prayers)!  Clear tests!  Everything looks good!  I am overcome with thankfulness and joy and feel incredibly encouraged!  We will keep holding onto the hope that everything will remain clear and that each test that this little guy is put under he comes out of with flying colors.

For now we will sit back, relax, and enjoy the smiles and the snuggles of Sebastian….and trust God that in 3 months His mercy will rain on us again.

Thank you SOO much for every prayer.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am so thankful for each and every test that our little guy has undergone, if anything just because it causes me to slow down and bask in the glow of blessings.

I am so thankful for each and every technician, nurse, receptionist and doctor that has been a part of this journey for us along the way.  Each one so kind; each one so understanding that the heart of a parent bringing their child to get tested (whatever the reason) is a tender heart.

I am so thankful for this journey, because I am trusting God in whole new ways….and He is proven again and again that He is so good and so merciful.

I am so thankful for hope, because without the little glimmer of hope we have gotten at each leg of this journey, it would have been so much harder to trust God.

I am so thankful for each person who has said but just one prayer (and especially for those who have said many!), because it is the reminder that God is with us, that  He listens to each and every longing of our hearts, that He just wants us to come to Him humbly and ask.

(Here is a picture of our little man hogging all your prayer time)  😉

 

Baby Buddies

Four years ago when we announced at our “Young Families” bible study that I was pregnant with Dayla, I was a bit surprised when two other girls said, “Me too!”  Four babies all due within a month…and Tabby just a few months earlier (and Kaitlyn just a few months later…but not pictured below since she wasn’t born yet at the time of this shot). Going through pregnancy and then becoming first time moms together with some of my dearest friends has been a huge blessing and is something I treasure big time.

Do you remember this picture? Dayla’s crew, October 2007:

(Ellie Friesen, Dayla Sundin, Ethan Vergne, Tabitha Lindsay, Haley Higgins)

Not quite with the exact timing this time of being in the same month, but once again we got them all the same year.  As it has been so awesome for Dayla to have friends just her age (for both her and I!) I am so delighted that Sebastian will have some friends his age too!

Here is the newest clan of kiddos, December 2011:

(Elizabeth Dennis – 7 months, Samuel Friesen- 5 months, Sebastian Sundin – 6 weeks, Henry Lindsay- 8 days)

And for those keeping track…can you see the resemblance of the siblings?

 

Praise and Prayer Request Again. What We Hope Is the Final Chapter.

I really feel like God continues to answer our prayers and I can’t begin to express the comfort and joy that gives me!  For all of you out there covering our family in love, phone calls, emails, messages, and prayers…..THANK YOU.  Here is our most recent update for Sebastian:

 

The recap/summary from today’s appointment with the urologist:  Basically the urologist said that with the 1. abnormal ultrasound (hydronephrosis) + 2. normal VCUG it could = one of three things.  (This is really similar to the news from before)  the three range from 1. all is good, that he just happened to have a UTI and all tests will come back normal, 2. condition that he could outgrow with time but would cause him to have to stay on antibiotics long term and need check ups & ultrasounds every 3-6 months, and lastly 3. he has a abnormality that could need surgery in the long term.

 

Feels a bit like we are at square one again, but I am re-assured that each of these tests are ruling out new possibilities/different potential problems and because God is so clearly answering our prayers along the way this news isn’t discouraging.

 

From here:  2 more tests.  It seems that everyone seems very nervous about just saying “all is well” cause if they take him off antibiotics prematurely it could cause more UTI’s and a kidney infection and bladder infection that can all be fatal in an infant this young.  The tests we have already done are not conclusive (they comment that it is hard to get conclusive results with his small size/young age) so we will re-test and hope and pray for conclusive results either way.  Test one is a Renal Scan, test two is another VCUG (we have already had one of these to look at the valve and there was indeed no back-flow to the kidney which is GREAT…meaning he has the valve he supposed to have, but the urologist said that the urethra looked “too big” so we need to re-test with another VCUG to look at the urethra specifically, as a swollen urethra can be a problem or symptom of another problem.)

That being said:

For Those of You Praying, This Our New Prayer Request:  That the two tests come back conclusive (no more tests please!)  And MOST OF ALL:  that all the tests on the 29th come back “normal” or “negative”!  That would be a HUGE relief and a HUGE PRAISE.  Again we know that God will take care of us and Sebastian no matter what, and that no path is the end of the world or too scary….as there are answers and healing for all (praise God for that too)…but our hearts desire is definitely for it to end on the 29th and for our little guy to get a “normal” bill of health.  =)

The biggest encouragement along the way is that God continues to answer our prayers!!!  In case you don’t know, I will shout it from the rooftops….God is SO GOOD.

 

Please Read and Praise God With Us for the Answered Prayers:

1.The urologist did disagree with my pediatrician…that in fact this could all just be an UTI and nothing more…that it is not necessarily the indicator of a bigger problem.

 

PRAISE GOD.

 

2. I told the urologist about our financial predicament and how we really wanted these tests done before the calendar year was over (for insurance and financial purposes) and he was SO KIND and sympathetic and purposefully put on the order that the tests had to be done in two weeks time so we could get them scheduled before the end of the year.  When scheduling the three appointments I had to schedule (two tests and one follow up) the receptionists I talked to each noted “wow..I can’t believe I found a spot for you!”  I can. God is awesome.  All three appointments are on December 29th.

 

PRAISE GOD.

 

We come to you again with what we hope is our final prayer request regarding this UTI and our Sebastian.  Again….THANK YOU for each and every prayer.  THEY ARE BEING HEARD!!!  Please say another.  Please.

 


Big Sister

She doesn’t shower him with affection every second or even every day…

…and she gets annoyed when his cry is too loud and interrupts her videos…

…but on the first day we brought him to her school, she asked me to stay so she could show her brother to all her friends…and as each 4 year old walked into the classroom, she would grab their hand, pulling even the less than excited classmates over and say “Come meet my baby brother!” with the biggest smile on her face I have ever seen.

She is not overly enthusiastic about having a baby in the house, but if you hang out with her for a couple days you will know how much she truly loves her little brother. It isn’t  inflated love or unrealistic infatuation, but what seems to be a realistic and genuine affection.  She talks to him, laughs at him, puts his pacifier in when he is crying, kisses him, strokes his head,  sings him songs, and even requests pictures with him. I love seeing her love…her genuine love and affection for the little guy…

 

…and I have a feeling she is going to be the best big sister in the world.

Our Answered Prayer and Prayer Request Continued…

As I drove away from the hospital for the third time in one month, I felt nothing but comfort.  It was like God was wrapping His arms around me.  My heart and mind felt still; peaceful.  If you have ever felt this feeling, you know that it is a peace and comfort that is different than any other; you know that it is a peace and comfort that words cannot describe.  I believe this is what it feels like to be covered in prayer.

To all of you out there who are praying for us and specifically for Sebastian…although these words will never be enough and can’t even begin to express my gratitude…Thank you.

I would have never guessed that in one month’s time so many pleas for prayer would be sent out, or that so many prayers would be answered.  I think that if I were to name him again I would have to find the name that means “answered prayer”.  I have never been on my knees as much as I have for this little guy, and I have never had so many answered prayers.

Thank you God.

The back story:

Sebastian was hospitalized for a UTI about 20 days ago and as a part of routine he had an ultrasound of his kidneys.  The ultrasound came back “abnormal” (he had hydronephrosis which means he had liquid around his kidneys).  We were told this was normal for a UTI, but that because he had an abnormal ultrasound he would have to be scheduled for a VCUG (to test to see if he was missing a valve causing urine to not only go down but also back up)  We were told 40% of baby’s with UTI’s are missing this, but fervently prayed and begged your prayer to be that he would not be in this 40%.

Two days ago the radiologist said, “All is well.  Everything looks normal.”

My heart leapt.  The tears welled up.  OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED!!  PRAISE GOD.

Although there is a “however”.  I asked the radiologist what this meant, “Are we in the clear?”  She said to follow up with my pediatrician.  Yesterday we had an appointment with the pediatrician and she brought a “however” into our lives.  Our pediatrician noted that “there is no way he could have the abnormal ultrasound that he had (pretty bad) and a normal VCUG. There must be blockage or something else. You need to follow up with a urologist.”

WE ASK FOR PRAYERS AGAIN:

The prayers that are already being answered are huge and have been met with overwhelming gratitude in our hearts.  The power of prayer is mighty.  However, as our hearts are filled with gratitude and thanks, they also long for more answered prayers.  I don’t know exactly what to ask for, but I ask for your prayers.

We have an appointment with the urologist on Monday December 5th,  and I am hoping and praying and begging God that he gives us the “all is fine”.  Whether it is a miracle (why not?!), or my pediatrician is misinformed, our hearts long to hear those words.  If we need to do further testing, we hope and pray that it can be done in this calendar year, as we have reached our insurance maximum for this year and if we go into next year the financial burden will be heavy to say the least.

 

 

Again we say a huge thank you to each and every one of you.  The outpouring of emails, calls, messages all expressing your sorrow and prayer are beyond what I could have ever imagined…your love and prayers are indeed heard and felt.

And thank you for your continued prayer for our little Sebastian.  If I could give each and every one of you a hug or a reward or a gift of some kind for each prayer sent up to God, I would.