Friday, July 30, 2010

Moving Baby Stuff Out

Today we took down both cribs and put them in the garage.  Ashlyn has been sleeping in the "big bed" (my old twin-sized daybed) in the downstairs bedroom, so to make more room in her bedroom, we decided to take her crib (which had been converted to a toddler bed a while ago) out to the garage along with Lynnea's.  Since Ashlyn has claimed the downstairs bedroom as her own (she moved down there during our last stay at home with Lynnea because she didn't like listening to Lynnea's monitors go off all night, and she didn't like the nurses coming in and out of the room all night), we've decided to turn the upstairs bedroom into a "toy room" for the time being.  We took out Lynnea's crib, and the bassinet (that had been holding many, many stuffed animals) to make room for some extra toys that we had been storing in the living room.  We also took the baby play mat and the pink bouncy chair out to the garage.  It was hard to take the baby stuff out, but I'm sure it will be nice to have a play area upstairs for Ashlyn when we are done with all of the rearranging. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interesting Feeding Method

When we got rid of Lynnea's medical supplies, I kept a few things, like the backpack for her feeding pump (we donated the feeding pump itself because I couldn't think of a use for it, but the little backpack was pretty cute, and we had two of them, so I kept one), and a few of the unused feeding bags.  Well, Ashlyn discovered that I had kept these things, and she asked me if she could have one of the feeding bags and the backpack to use with her dolls (she's also confiscated some other things for in her doctor's kit).  I decided that it was fine for her to play with this, so I gave her the items she had requested.  I watched her pretend to fill the bag, and then pretend to prime it.  She took a bowl out of the cupboard and put it in the little backpack, pretending that this was the feeding pump.  Then, she went to feed her baby, only to discover that it didn't have a G-tube.  She thought for a moment about how she should proceed, then decided that it would work to put the end of the tube in the baby's mouth instead.  I questioned her about this, asking, "Ashlyn, wouldn't it work better to just feed the baby with a bottle, since it doesn't have a G-tube?"  She replied, "Nope.  I don't want to feed her with a bottle.  This is easier."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doctor Ashlyn

Today I went shopping with Ashlyn, and on our way home, Ashlyn became very upset because she missed Lynnea, and then she was afraid that "everyone in her family would die, and she would be all alone, and would miss everybody very much."  We talked about these things, and eventually she calmed down, but this is probably the biggest meltdown I've seen from her yet over Lynnea's death. 

After we got home, she decided to play "doctor" (this is incredibly common for her -- playing "doctor" has been one of her favorite things to do over the past two years).  This time, I was the patient (sometimes I get to be the nurse, but not today), and there was "something wrong with my heart" so, I needed heart surgery.  Initially, she thought that I should be awake for the surgery, but after much arguing, I convinced her that I wanted to be asleep if she was going to do heart surgery on me.  Then, after surgery, she was going to "put some dressing on me."  This made sense -- she had heard us talk about Lynnea having a "dressing" on after her surgeries.  Well, I asked her what kind of dressing it was, and she replied, "Ranch.  It's ranch dressing."  I couldn't help but laugh really hard at this.  She was very serious about it, and had no idea why I was laughing.  I was laughing too hard to try to explain to her that there is a difference between salad dressing and wound dressings...perhaps someday I will get around to pointing this out to her, but for today, I thought it was OK to just let her think that ranch dressing is an appropriate thing to put on someone after surgery. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Getting Wet

Ashlyn and the boys before launching their water rocket.
Tim builds himself a barricade during the water fight.
Ashlyn looks for someone to squirt.
Watch out, her aim is better than you might think!
Time to reload.
Apparently, it's more fun if you get in the bucket of water while you reload.
Ashlyn had fun playing in the water today.  First, she "helped" her uncles and cousin launch a seven-foot water rocket, then she enjoyed joining them in a water fight.  She used her cuteness to her advantage -- she would go and ask them if she could "please have a turn with the water squirter" only to then turn around and squirt them with it when they gave it to her.  She also loved throwing water balloons at everyone. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Moving Forward


Over the past few days, we've been working on moving forward.  Some of the things have been harder than I would have expected -- getting rid of Lynnea's old medications, sending medical supplies back to where they came from (there are a few things left, but it should all be gone soon), and rearranging our living room after taking Lynnea's medical stuff out.  I know that these things needed to be done, and there is a certain amount of relief that comes from having accomplished them.  Ashlyn continues to do pretty well, and is enjoying her time at home with Mommy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just the Three of Us...Again


I started this blog just a couple of weeks before Lynnea was born, and the first posting was about how I couldn't imagine what it would be like to go from being a family of three to a family of four.  After spending 20 months as a family of four (and loving it), we are all forced to once again live life as a family of three.  As I was reading that original blog post today I was reminded that we were happy as a threesome before, so I'm sure it must be possible to be happy as a family of three once again.  We all miss Lynnea very much -- Ashlyn randomly tells me at least a couple of times each day that she "misses Naya," I can't ignore her lonely blue toddler rocking chair now occupied by two of her pink Bear-Bears, and I can't bring myself to remove all of her medications from the refrigerator -- but life has to go on, even in the absence of one.  This afternoon Ashlyn enjoyed helping with her daily task of watering the tree that we planted in memory of Lynnea, and then she had fun helping Daddy wash his car.  At dinner, I couldn't help but laugh at Ashlyn's continued creativity at mealtime -- we had hotdogs and mac-and-cheese; when I offered Ashlyn bread to go with her hotdog (we were out of hotdog buns) she asked for peanut butter on it, and then she proceeded to use it has a hotdog bun.  After a couple of bites, she decided that it wasn't a great combination and took the hotdog out of the bread, but continued to eat the entire peanut butter covered hotdog anyway.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Remembering Lynnea

videoThis week has been spent remembering sweet little Lynnea.  I had prepared a PowerPoint slide show for the funeral that I had hoped to post on here, but due to some technical difficulties, for now I am just posting a collection of some of my favorite video clips of Lynnea while she was at home with us.  The videos make me smile and laugh as I remember how special each moment was with Lynnea.  Even before she was born, I knew that God had a plan for her life that went far beyond anything that I could imagine, and I found myself trusting in that reassurance time and time again.  And now, even though it hurts a lot to be here without her, I am amazed at how many people and how many lives she touched in such a short time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lynnea's Funeral

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend Lynnea's funeral and celebrate Lynnea's life with us; we appreciated being able to share this occasion with so many of our friends and family. Even though it has been very difficult to say goodbye to our sweet little Lynnea, there is an immense comfort in knowing that all of her "owies" are "all done" and that we will see her again someday in heaven. Many people have asked how Ashlyn is handling all of this, and overall, she is doing quite well with everything so far. She has lots of questions (my favorite one from today came after bringing the casket out to the hearse and putting it inside -- she asked, "Hey, why are they putting Lynnea in the trunk of that car?!") that we answer for her as simply and as honestly as we can, and I'm sure the questions will continue for a long time as she tries to cope with and make sense out of losing her baby sister.

I know that this blog has been primarily about Lynnea and her struggles, but I started it before we knew about any of Lynnea's health problems, and my intention was for it to be a "mommy blog" about the events in our lives as a family. I intend to continue it because, even though our family now has a giant Lynnea sized hole in it, we are still a family, and we will go on as such, so I will continue to chronicle our lives to share with all of you the same way that I have for the past 20 months.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Services for Lynnea

Services for Lynnea:

Visitation:
Sunday, July 11, 2010
4-7pm
Dare's Funeral Home
805 Main Street
Elk River, MN 55330

Funeral:
Monday, July 12, 2010
11am
Trinity Lutheran Church
3812 229th Ave. NW
St. Francis, MN 55070
(Viewing one hour before service.)

Please join us as we celebrate Lynnea's life!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lynnea Hope Callison

Lynnea passed away this afternoon at 5:15pm.

More Discussions

Lynnea's blood pressure continue to drop, and at this time we are not doing anything to actively prevent that. She has been comfortable and peaceful, which is exactly what we hope for right now. Corey and I had a long discussion with one of the cardiologists last night about the possibility of letting them do an autopsy after she dies to get a better look at her heart and lungs to see if there is anything they can learn from her that might help them treat other children with her condition in the future. We also talked about meeting with the people from Life Source to see if Lynnea would be able to donate any organs (we are guessing she probably won't be able to donate much, but we were interested in knowing if there's anything that she could). These things would both be ways for her to help others even after she is gone.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Unstable

Lynnea was not as stable today as she has been over the past few days. She appears to be in the end stages of heart failure. The doctors and nurses continue working to make her as comfortable as possible.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Quiet Day

Lynnea had a pretty quiet day. All of her pain and sedation medications were increased to help keep her comfortable (she's still a huge fan of Ativan). I began putting together a PowerPoint presentation with photos and videos of her; this was both fun and hard at the same time. The videos made me laugh, while some of the photos made me cry.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mementos

Today we had molds made of Lynnea's hands and feet to make plaster keepsakes for us. Lynnea tolerated this process pretty well. We did one of just her hand and her foot, one with her holding onto one of my fingers and one of Corey's fingers, and one of her holding Ashlyn's hand. Ashlyn enjoyed this process, and was very excited to get to help the Child Family Life specialist mix up the plaster and pour it into the molds. It was good for Ashlyn to get to have such an active role in making this memento. Ashlyn also started making a memory journal of her favorite memories with Lynnea. Both of these activities were perfect for her and her love of "doing art."

Corey and I have decided that we will take Lynnea off from the ventilator on Monday afternoon, and just let things go from there. Any family or friends that would like to come to say their goodbyes to Lynnea are welcome to do so between now and then.