Thursday, March 28, 2013

The aftermath and a new normal

So when a couple gets married and starts a life together they have to find a new normal.  When a couple has a baby they have to find another new normal.  There are some things in life that happen that cause a family to have to find a new normal.

Almost three weeks ago Jay had a heart attack.  Add to that the fact that I was still stumbling through the first trimester of our fifth pregnancy and well here we are needing a new normal.

Pre-pregnancy we had a set school routine and I was doing a decent job keeping on top of housework and cooking dinner every night.  First trimester I was barely managing a school routine and thanking God daily that Kayd does most of his work independently and then we check it together.  I also couldn't stand the idea of food so making dinner - well any meal really - was excruciating to me.  Going grocery shopping was one of the hardest things to do the first 13 weeks.  So much food.  So much nausea.

Pre-heart attack I did my best to cook healthy meals but now I feel like there's so much more pressure to make sure their super healthy.

I am very happy to say that I am coming into less food aversion - though raw ground meat isn't something that I am currently able to make myself touch or even look at, and I'm finding more energy - though a daily nap still definitely appeals.  And I wish I could say that I'm super excited to be getting back into a hopping hands on school routine but the truth is the sun has been out the past two days and even though the temps haven't quite reached 50 yet all I want to do is call "SUMMER BREAK!".  Ahh if only.

One good thing that came out of Jay's heart attack is that my grandma's mind has apparently been changed about our homeschooling.  I wasn't sure I'd ever see the day but my great aunt watched the kids two of the days that Jay and I were out of town at the hospital and she bragged to my grandma about how smart and polite they are.  And I am so pleased that all of the kids did very well, all in all we were both gone from them for four whole days and four nights.  Once they saw that Daddy was ok on Sunday they thought that the rest of the time we were gone was one grand adventure, spending the day with this person and the night with that one.  It had been previously posited to me that my children wouldn't be able to be independent because they've been too sheltered never having gone to public school but I say with pride that my children all did well, they had never met my great aunt before the first morning that she watched them and my sister reported that they went right in without any hesitation.  I figure that my children knew that they could trust that we'd be home when we could be and that we love them enough to only let people who would be good to them care for them in our absence.

Ahh well, we'll find our new normal soon I think of course once we get used to that this fifth little baby will join our family and we will once again be looking for a new normal.  Now that I think of it, it seems like life is one long adventure of constantly trying to find our new normal.

I do hope to blog more again in my whole new normal of life.  I also hope to blog with some pictures of fun stuff with the kids and home projects.  Oh and sewing projects.  I have a few up my sleeve that I'm hoping to start working on next week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life changing moment

It is a life changing moment when your husband walks into the room clutching his chest out of breath and says that he is having chest pain.  It is a life changing moment when you decide that yes, you should call 911 because it's not going away.  It is a life changing moment when the paramedics tell you that he is having a heart attack and they are transporting him to the hospital an hour away where the heart specialists are.

My life was changed this past Saturday when my twenty eight year old husband had a heart attack.  I wanted nothing more than to climb into the back of the ambulance with him but I had our four children to take care of.  KOJ was life-flighted from our local hospital to the bigger hospital.  I had called my mom before the ambulance got there to arrange for her to watch the kids but when I realized they were taking him so far away a voice of wisdom told me that I needed to have someone go up with me.  Thanks Steve.  So I called her back and my sister said she'd keep the kids and then our new game plan was set.  We weren't at home when this emergency happened so we had to stop at home to get clothes and overnight stuff for the kids.  Kayd really stepped up to the plate.  He got clothes for him and his brothers and helped me gather loveys and I appreciated his help.  It felt like it took forever to get the kids to my sister's house.  Then it felt like it took forever to get up to my husband.  His flight only took 18 min.  He was probably at the hospital before I ever even left my sister's house to meet him there.

When I got to my sister's she hugged me and was amazed at my calm.  I didn't have a choice.  I had four kids who didn't need to be freaked out because their mama was.  Being anxious and upset wouldn't have helped Jay anyway.  I'm very logical like that.  It can be a blessing in a situation like this but it can make me seem heartless and emotionless at times too I think.  My mom gathered my four children, my sister's four children and my sister and I in a circle and we prayed for Jay before we took off.  A strand of 11 cords isn't easily broken right?

My mom talked mostly on the way to the hospital and I listened and I didn't think too much about the fact that I had NO idea how Jay was.  When I tried to fathom that he could die my brain wouldn't compute and absolutely refused to have that thought.  Finally we got to the hospital.  Finally we found Jay.  Finally I saw that he was alive, and he was a little bit loopy from various drugs.  I was so happy to see him.  Thinking about it now makes me want to cry but I did not cry that night.  I was just so happy.  We were updated on how he was and what had been done before we arrived.  He'd had a complete blockage in his main artery.  They put in a stint and things were much improved.

Someone told me that I saved his life.  I guess I know logically that if I hadn't called 911 and we ignored it that it could have been much worse, it could have meant death but it feels so dramatic to say that I saved his life because I just dialed a number that anyone else in my situation would have dialed.  It feels overwhelming, I think, to consider that if I hadn't known the signs could mean a heart attack, if we hadn't known that he had high blood pressure and cholesterol which we'd only learned about in the past two weeks, that I could have ignored what was happening and thought he'd be fine on his own.

Lots of people called, "How are you?" they'd ask.  "I'm good." I would say and genuinely mean it.  My husband is alive.  He will come home to our bed again.  He will be here to meet our fifth child.  I am not good, I am great and I am blessed and I give every glory in this situation to God.

I finally returned home Wednesday evening to be with our children and Jay should be able to come home this afternoon.  Friends and family took turns with our children and they had a blast.  Smart move on my part to leave my van with the kids.  That way whoever had them could have the van and all of their seats.  That worked out great.  We've seen God in so many people this week, we've been so blessed.  A friend of my sister, a person I'd never met before, welcomed me to her home down the street from the hospital to shower.  People were asking when they could bring meals.  The friends and family who watched the kids and loved on them while we were gone.  Some anonymous angels came and cleaned our home.  Another friend who had the kiddos cleaned our van.  The blessings have been amazing and so very appreciated.

My life changed on Saturday night.  I became the wife of a man who had a heart attack.  My children now have a father who had a heart attack.  But one thing didn't change.  God was with us.  He was with us in the weeks leading up to the heart attack.  He was with us during the heart attack.  He is with us now in this recovery process from the heart attack.