Friday, April 30, 2010

So on Tuesday I got to see my baby! Yeah!!! AND I'm further along than I thought (by two weeks). But when you consider that the baby has to be taken almost two weeks early, that puts me almost a month ahead! Whoo-hoo! When my OB put in the ultrasound, it startled the baby and he totally jumped and flailed his arms. It was awesome! So fun to see and be real.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Almost two years ago I was introduced to Stephanie Waite's blog when she lost her little girl to drowning. I did read some of the Nie Nie blog which I understand a lot of people have followed, and I have also read the Stakers exposed blog and Natalie Norton's story of her baby who died from pertussis. (if you have no idea who I am talking about then go find out who I am a follower of and read it yourself) Jack used to laugh at me a little and didn't understand why I would follow these people whom I have never met and cry and get emotional when i read or even talk to him about them. He thought it would make me depressed. But here's the truth. THREE truths, actually, that I have discovered from reading these: first, I find the faith of these women oh so inspiring and am a better person and a better mom for reading them. Second, I am a firm believer in prayer and I do believe that me crying and praying for these family that I don't know has to be lifting their burden somehow. Are we not supposed to bear one another's burden? I have to believe that I am making their load lighter. Third, I am guilty of being selfish and ungrateful to my Heavenly Father for my own personal miracle. When I almost lost my own son last year, I was not afraid to tell people my story to their face. However, Jack and I didn't want it to be on the internet. It made it so much more real for me. And Jack thought maybe it would come back to haunt us one day. Maybe it will. I am not saying I am trying to be inspiring like these women that I look up to. I just feel like it is time that I shared my story to let others know that I KNOW I have a Heavenly Father who answers my prayers and is in charge.

On July 26th, 2009, our family was in Idaho for the Hoopes’ side “reunion.” For my family, that means we go to grandma’s house and do different activities each day. Not go anywhere because many of us have to travel just to get there and don’t want to travel more after that destination. As well as the financial part. It is just easier to stay at grandma's and not a hotel and food and activity and all that big vacations entail.

As our kids have grown up, it has been so fun to watch them play and get along with cousins. It’s interesting because it seems almost instinctive that they are family. They play so differently with cousins than they do with their best of friends where we live. It really is just awesome!

One thing that I also struggle with, I guess, is watching my kids when I go to my mom’s house. When my siblings are all together after several years of hit and miss I fall into a daughter and sister role as well as a grown up friend role. The daughter role is simply that I fall back into my habits from when I lived at my parents house. And I enjoy cooking and sharing my life with others so I will do the cooking (my dad is so good to do the cleaning up after my cooking) and I enjoy just talking with whomever will sit and listen.

This is how this Sunday afternoon was. We got out of church and were preparing to have a big feast. (even as I type I am already feeling the pressure of that day) Most of the adults were in the kitchen and my dad was outside at the BBQ preparing some ribs that I had only heard were oh so fantastic and was so excited about. I had the thought run through my head to check on my kids and I looked out the window and saw Jack outside playing with Emma and Crew. Where was Jackson? Probably just playing somewhere with Kannon. And I continued to cook.

Once again I had the thought to check on Jackson. I continued to cook through several more “thoughts.” Finally, dinner was ready and I began calling everyone in the house to eat. BJ suggested the adults eat first and then we will invite the kids in. However, at that moment even as I said “ooh, i like that idea” Mom came in to ask if anyone had seen Jackson or Kannon. Apparently the spirit had to go elsewhere to someone who would listen. So I went looking. I began yelling around the house and out the back door and then looked out the window across the street and told someone to run to the playground across the street to see if they had snuck out to go play. Mom and I walked out of the house and I instantly had thoughts go through my head of stories that I had heard so many of in the past of children being locked it the cars. It was 95 degrees outside at the time. I told mom to check the other cars while I did the ones close by and then I ran to the back of the house. Mom checked all but one car. When I ran to the backyard again there was no sign and I ran through the house and out the front door again just in time to see Jack going to the one car that hadn't been checked. He later told me as soon as he walked out the front door he was knew instantly to walk to that car. We opened the door together to see two lifeless boys in the backseat of an old van that is my brothers. Jackson was lying on the seat and his cousin, Kannon, was sitting up in front of him resting his weight on him with a blanket wrapped around him. Kannon's head fell to the side and he opened his eyes and was able to mumble that they had been yelling but no one heard them. Jack, with much relief pulled him out and hugged him and said it would be okay. I got in the car to Jackson, who when I touched was gone. He was lifeless. No response. No breathing. We failed to check his pulse at this time. I yelled "Jack" and pulled him to my arms and Jack was able to see what I saw. He grabbed Jackson and began to run. I picked up my nephew and followed into the house and I began screaming to my sister in law that our boys needed fluid and she needed to come help. It wasn't until she saw her son that she realized how serious this was. As Jack ran Jackson to the bathroom and turned on the shower, Jackson went into a seizure. My understanding is that this is one of the final things your body does before quitting. Jack turned on the some lukewarm water to bring down his temperature and began administering CPR on our baby. I handed off Kannon and called 911, but was walking into the bathroom and dropped the phone and began screaming the scream only the mother who has lost her child knows. I cannot describe what I saw. I do not have the words. Jack had gotten a shallow breath to come back and told me later that his pulse was near gone, also. Each time his eyes rolled into the back of his head Jack would slap his face and I would cry for him to come back to me. My dear sister in law, Carime, I will forever be indebted to. She was in the bathroom holding her baby close and crying and yelling at my brother to give Jackson a blessing. It was a command. Not an invitation and my brother administered an absolutely incredible and seeming impossible blessing to my son who was staring death in the face.

Within minutes the EMTs showed up and got Jackson in the ambulance. I got to go with him (although as soon as I got in, I wished Jack would have). Of course I wouldn't let him out of my sight, but they were really struggling getting all the needles in him and I knew Jack could have done it with his experience. How grateful I was for the knowledge and experience Jack has had that prepared him for this moment with our own son. Jackson was still not getting enough oxygen and was unconscious and unresponsive, but was not gone. I watched as they cut his favorite shirt off and wanted to grab and kiss and hold the shirt and I watched him being poked over and over again and show absolutely no sign that he felt it. I wanted him to jump or cry or show some sign that he felt it. I held a bag of ice on his groin area to continue to bring his temperature down and get down by ear and talked to him and sang primary songs to him. My brother, BJ, rode with us holding Kannon and watching on the entire time, quietly. Kannon threw up on the ride down which was such a good sign for him. He would be fine.

At the hospital, I followed him into the emergency room where workers were all over putting up bags of fluids and asking questions and poking and and checking. How grateful I was to all those who worked to get to where they were. Jack came with my mom and dad not 30 seconds behind the ambulance and took the other side of the hospital bed. Jackson was officially on oxygen and his levels were coming up and his heartbeat that was once near gone was getting stronger. My boy was alive. I prayed and thanked my Father for blessing me with matter what challenges were ahead for us. I was so grateful he was alive. He was with me. The doctor told us we wouldn't know much until he woke up and then the tests would begin.

Somewhere in here, Jackson opened his eyes. He wasn't responsive with sound but would look around and watch people around him move. After some time, my parents and brother and his wife and Kannon decided to leave. They said goodbye and began to walk out and Jackson began to cry. He was scared. I was so happy. Jack and I stayed by his side and sang him his favorite Star Wars and Indiana Jones songs for the next 30 minutes and would ask him if knew who his mom or dad was. Nothing. A nurse came in to tell us we would be moving to a room on the pediatric floor soon. At this point Jack asked "Jackson, do you know who your mommy is?" He made eye contact with me. A tender mercy. "Do you know who your daddy is?" He looked at Jack. He was behind those eyes. This was two hours after being found. It seemed like an eternity. But this is my miracle.

When the nurse moved us to the upstairs she told me I could carry him. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just wanted to hold my boy. When the elevator doors opened on his floor, it was cheery and fun. The wallpaper showed kids running with dogs and holding balloons. Jackson picked up his head and tried to tell us about it, but couldn't talk. It was a lot of mumble. In the room we cuddled and held and cuddled and held and cried. I asked if he would like a drink of milk (his favorite) and the nurse brought it in and he downed it. Could this be happening? He began speaking more and more, too, and it became more clear with practice. for the next six hours (until 12:30) we stayed up talking and watching movies and exchanging grateful loving looks. I was still nursing Sadi so it was decided that I should go home to be with the girls. I still don't know how I walked out of that hospital. I bawled the whole way home and had nightmares all night long. But I slept with Emma and pulled Sadi into bed with me, too. When I couldn't sleep and it reached 5:30, I got up and showered and hugged Emma. We decided to go to the store before going back to the hospital. I knew they would still be asleep.

I have been so grateful for Emma in all of this. She was downstairs the day before and only caught me as I was running up the stairs to get in the ambulance and I told her nothing was wrong and I had to go. Why did I not stop to hug her? I guess I thought she was not aware of what was going on and was better off not knowing. Apparently, she was outside watching her family drive away in the ambulance and her cousin told her that her brother was dead because he saw him. Dear Emma ran to her room crying. How scared she must have felt. This is one of my many regrets of that day. I should have hugged her and loved her and comforted her for even ten seconds before I walked away. She later told me she prayed in that room and HEavenly Father told her Jackson would be alright and she wasn't scared anymore. How perfect and sweet and faithful. I have such a strong little girl with maturity beyond her age.

The next morning as we went to the store I wanted to get Jackson a toy to bring to the hospital. There was a Buzz Lightyear and Woody doll that were on sale and Emma wanted a my little pony. All I had was cash and I knew it would be close. When the cashier rung up the total I was almost forty cents short. I got teary (I'm sure the cashier thought I was looney) and Emma began to cry and told me it was okay. She said she didn't need the toy, but she was tearing up also. What a selfless act of love. I promised her we would come back for a toy for her and she would have her My Little Pony. And we left for the hospital.

They had just awakened when we arrived and Jackson already had a balloon and stuffed animal there. I guess when the nurses gave him shots that morning he was so brave and didn't even flinch. This is very typical of him even at the doctor's office. They gave him a teddy bear donated from a local small business. It was all very touching. It's incredible how loved you feel by those who do small acts of service. I will never throw that bear away. The doctor came in and told us he would be released that morning and all was well. We had our last day of reunion at the pools and tubes in Pocatello. We weren't planning on going, of course, but the pediatrician said there was no reason not to.

We left the hospital, went back to the store for Emma's toy as promised and went home to get ready for the pools. It was so surreal. I watched him swim around the kiddie pool for several hours that afternoon feeling like I was in a dream. Was he really almost gone not 24 hours earlier? I held him close as we watched his sister and dad go down the waterslide with the cousins. We had so much fun that afternoon. I couldn't believe I had such a miracle.

For three days I didn't sleep from reoccurring nightmares. On Wednesday, Jack gave me a blessing and they were simply gone after that. I have been so blessed. There hasn't been a day in the past nine months that I haven't had images and thoughts go through my head reminding me of how blessed I am. I can't help but go lie in my sons bed at night when he's gone to sleep and hold him tight. I never do want to forget.

And FYI, Jackson has done well, I think, emotionally with what happened. He didn't talk about it much in the beginning other than asking why I didn't come sooner because he was yelling for me and he was scared and crying. That, too, has been hard to hear. I can't imagine the fear and pain that he had to go through before going unconscious. He seems to do well. He'll make reference to it every once in a while and I hope he'll continue to talk as needed.

I wanted to post this. I needed to because I have felt like I have been ungrateful for not shouting from the rooftops how good my Father in Heaven has been to me. He answered my desperate prayers and pleadings and comforted my heart and blessed my family. I am SO blessed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

These may get old for everyone else, but at least we're still laughing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I'm pregnant. Due sometime in November. Yeah for me!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sadi and I are home alone today. She is seriously the easiest kid. And she's so funny and cute. She follows me around all day serenading me with abc's, twinkle, and the temple song. If I turn around and look at her she just laughs like she is hilarious and sways back and forth to her music. I love this girl. She has become my sleeping partner. A little over a month ago (maybe two, who knows?) when she was sick I pulled her into bed next to me and just got used to having her there. now I don't sleep very well until she climbs into bed with me at some point in the night. I'll so regret that when I have to put her back for good when her spot gets taken. Jack and I love having her there, though, which is funny because neither of us has ever been able to sleep with Jackson or Emma between us. She is spoiled, I tell you, SPOILED!!!