Wednesday, September 30, 2015

May Catch-Up

May was an absolute blight on our year. In the last week of April, our littlest, baby Katie, got terribly sick when she contracted E. Coli. She was hospitalized for a month at Stanford Children's Hospital, three weeks of which was in the PICU. Not only did she have E. Coli infection, but that turned into a severe complication called HUS, which produces a toxin that shreds the blood vessels and organs of the body. Her organs started failing and then shut down one by one. She needed dialysis for two weeks of her hospitalization because her kidneys stopped working. 

It was the worst thing that we've gone through as a family. There were several times we literally didn't think our little one would make it. I learned the meaning of the word "faith": having complete trust in God, even when circumstances look grim.  Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” We lived by nothing but prayer and faith for the month Katie was in the hospital fighting for her life. It was a hard lesson, learning to trust that God would answer our prayers even when the situation looked hopeless.

Mark stayed with Katie in the hospital most of the time. He lived there. He came home every few days for a few hours to get fresh clothes and a long shower, and then head back out again.  His employer allowed him to take a bit of time off, and then afterwards work from the hospital. 

Every few days, the kids and I would make the trek up to Stanford in Palo Alto and visit with Katie, and then Mark would sneak away for a few hours so we could spend some time together as a family. In fact, my Mother's Day was spent in Palo Alto: a few hours holding baby Katie, and then sneaking away for a quick lunch and ice cream with the kids.  

Besides Katie being hospitalized, our other children also contracted E. Coli. Lucy escaped with barely any symptoms (even though she was tested and we knew was a carrier), but Ben and Tommy got very sick. For a week, they did nothing but throw up and have diarrhea. We didn't go anywhere except to the doctor's office every other day for blood draws and urine tests to monitor the development of E. Coli. Tommy developed HUS, but thankfully his pediatrician caught it early and he got treatment before it developed very much. Did I mention this time was truly, truly awful?

 At Stanford, waiting to visit with Katie. 

 Mother's Day at Stanford. Not how I expected Mother's Day to go, but still thankful to have my family together.

Katie was finally released from the hospital in late May. This photo is from the afternoon when we brought her home (we can't show her face on this blog until she is officially free for adoption). Even though Katie was much improved by the time she came home, her health issues weren't completely solved. She developed diabetes because of the damage her pancreas sustained from HUS. She also came home with an NG tube (you can see the little tube in this pic of you look closely) that she got her feedings from. 

I don't think it is an accident that Katie's middle birth name is "Faith". It will remain her middle name after we adopt her. 

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