Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's Been A Year


Today is Grant's "Cranioversary".
And if you saw him on the street, you'd never know the story his first year of life has to tell.

One year ago today he had his surgery that took us to "the other side" of cranio.
The miraculously quickly healing side of craniosynostosis.
Today's tears are joyful.
They are reflective.
They are proud, relieved, mesmerized, & grateful.

I've referred to this last month or so as the final step in the cycle of emotions this journey has taken me on.  I've looked at pictures, read my blog, and watched videos I didn't even know Doug had taken in the hospital because I was so focused one thing - remaining faithful and calm for our Sweet Baby Grant. I've read and reread notes and emails and comments and prayers. 
"My staff is praying for Grant".
"We've been praying for you guys at faculty meetings".
"Our church is praying for healing".
At this time last year I knew hundreds of people were praying for Grant and our family.  What I realize now is that number is exponentially higher than I had ever imagined.

I feel "fall to my knees" humbled and blessed by the love and support that kept us lifted up this entire journey.  The mercy and grace bestowed upon us by our loving God was eminent in you all as the hands and feet of Jesus.  I couldn't imagine going through this without the promise of hope the Almighty Healer ALWAYS brings as He truly is good ALL the time.  And I most certainly could not imagine how this would have looked without the love and support of our friends, family, & and our church family.

So how are we celebrating this milestone?  I am behind the mic this morning at church and am thankful for our dear friend, "Mr. Jeff" for letting me choose a few of my favorite songs for praise & worship today.  And DOUBLE shoutout for putting together the video that would have taken me forever to figure out on my own.  Thank you for saving me hours of frustration!  ALSO to his "other half" Diana for supporting this task on Jeff's already crazy long "to do" list.  We love you guys!

I've mentioned before that this blog will be printed for Grant as a keepsake.  I want him to always know how brave he was and how brave he made me.  How much he is loved and how unshakable God's love is.  When Uncle Teddy baptized him, our congregation welcomed him into the Lord's family as a child of the same Heavenly Father to work together in His kingdom.  I pray he uses this story as a testament to his own faith one day just as I use it to mine.

Thank you all for being a part of his story. Thank you for joining us on this journey. 

 Lord knows we never could have done it alone.  

I LOVE his beautiful noggin'.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Year Ago Today

I knew this day was approaching.
I've been thinking about it for weeks.
There are lots of solid, vivid memories that jump out at me as a mother.
The positive pregnancy tests, the first ultrasounds, the losses, the labors and deliveries.  First steps, first words, first slobbery kisses, first unprovoked, "I love yous".  The list goes on.
But August 20, 2015 was the day my mommy radar was SO off that it knocked me on my butt.

This photo showed up in my Timehop this morning....

I remember EXACTLY what I was thinking when I took this picture.  I was going to show this to Grant when he was older and reminisce about "That day I had to take you to see a neurosurgeon.  It was a 'better safe than sorry' appointment".  That word alone, "neurosurgeon", sounded a little scary, but two days prior our pediatrician told us it might be a good idea so I made an appointment ASAP just to "get it over with".  

Doug was away on business (at the same convention he's been attending this week) so my dad INSISTED that he come with me.  I kinda thought he was overreacting but didn't turn away the opportunity to have him with me, "just in case."

A year ago today I had moments of speechlessness.
A year ago today I was heartbroken,
A year ago today I cried a LOT of tears and slept almost ZERO minutes.
A year ago today I heard a word I'd never heard before.....

Thank GOD my dad was with me because as Dr. Tomita waltzed right into explaining what exactly he was going to do to my precious baby's head without skipping a beat, HE was the one listening to the details.  I was the one whose brain was acting like the panel from the movie, "Inside Out", run soley by "Disgust" and "Anger".

"You're gonna do WHAT do my baby?"
"You aren't touching him".
"I'm getting a second opinion".
"So WHAT if he has a misshapen head.  Doug & I can raise a tough kid".
"Where's the "but" or the "or" or the "option" here?"

I only shut those emotions down when he started talking about the repercussions of NOT having the surgery and that's when "Sadness" and "Fear" stepped in.

"Why is this happening to HIM?  I can't imagine watching my baby experience this pain".
"Will this surgery be successful?"
"Could he die?"
"How soon can we do this?"
"What is he going to look like afterwards?"
"How hard is this recovery going to be?"

The 12 or so hours that followed can be described like "That Scene" in a movie where the main character hears life altering news and a musical montage of images flashes through the screen.
Driving home with a tear streaked face.
Calling "Daddy" and Grandma and the other few close friends that had been praying for him.  You know.... "Just in case".
Friends rallying to help before I could tell one foot to step in front of the other.
The look of horror on the faces of those I had to tell in person.
Friends coming over to help put my kids to bed.
Our devotion from that night that still makes my heart skip a beat.
Then there was the googling and searching and more googling and more searching.
And the praying.  Lots and lots and lots of praying.

The sun came up and I was a changed woman.  A changed mother.
A year ago tomorrow I faced life with the most unwavering, unfailing faith I never knew I could muster.
A year ago tomorrow we started preparing for doctors appointments and surgery scheduling and an upcoming hospital stay.
A year ago tomorrow I embraced the fact that this was going to become a part of our story.
A year ago tomorrow I felt peace.

I never discounted the scariness of the facts of what Grant was about to endure, but I thanked God EVERY day that in the realm of things that could go wrong with one of our children, this was to be a short season of a scariness that is reality for some families on a daily basis.

We all know what happens next.
Thousands of people prayed for Sweet Baby Grant.
Surgery was successful.
Recovery was miraculous.
Our lives have been forever changed,
I'm not invincible.
My kids are not invincible.
Faith is certainly bigger than fear.
And most importantly, God is good ALL the time and ALL the time, God is good.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Tomita, Toofers, & THANK YOU

Grant had his follow up visit at Lurie's on Tuesday morning where we heard the words, "He looks fabulous!" along with, "See you in 6 months".

Six MONTHS?!  Really?!

Grant and his main man, Dr. Tomita
I was both shocked and excited to be able to make his next appointment for the week AFTER his first birthday hoping to have a much less eventful back half of his first year of his life.

I have to say that I while I've been absolutely thrilled with how well (and QUICKLY!) Grant has been healing, I realized I was breathing JUST a little bit easier after that appointment.  After all, my instincts weren't in full effect when this whole thing started so I just admit to myself I have no idea what to think or expect until I hear it from the people who know what they're doing!

Aside from not sleeping and just a little bit of normal, residual swelling on the back of his head, Grant is back to his absolutely sweet self.  I don't know if it was the hospital stay that threw him off, or perhaps it has been a sore tummy from the antibiotics, but I tend to think we can blame his sleeping issues on a combination of all of the hoopla with the main culprit being these adorable toofers making their appearance in his smile!  It's that smile along with his giggles and sweet demeanor that completely make up for the interrupted nights.

And last, but CERTAINLY not least, I wanted to share with all who have been praying for Grant and our family for the last number of weeks a letter I sent out to all the people who have physically been helping us.  For, as you'll read, it has taken a family of believers and lovers to get us through this and for all of you we are SO blessed and SO thankful......

To know Lindsay Coil is to know I love nothing more than to write a timely, heartfelt “thank you” note upon receiving a gift.  I very genuinely want to sit down and write personalized notes to each and every person who has been an integral part of helping us survive the past few weeks.  The problem, as you can imagine, is time.  It would take me forever and I want to thank you NOW!

While it’s very much NOT my style to write a blanket “thank you”, I came to realize as I pondered what I wanted to say in this letter, that in this circumstance it’s actually very appropriate.  Because, you see, whatever you did, whatever you said, whatever you made, whatever you gifted, YOU worked together as a family of God to help and watch Grant make a miraculously quick recovery.

Maybe you made us a meal or brought a gift.  You may have sent a card or visited or watched my big kids.  You brought coffee or sent words of scripture and encouragement or offered a perfectly, well timed hug.  You prayed for Grant in the quiet of your bedroom or your car or even directly over his head.

You were thoughtful, you loved us, and you kept our spirits up.  And for YOU I am eternally grateful.

Thank you, thank you, a gazillion times thank you.
Thank you for loving Grant.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for loving my family.
You are very much loved back.

With All My Love,

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Brave Boy

Let me preface this story by saying I am not shocked nor offended by people who ask me what happened to Grant's head. In fact I welcome it!  It's interesting to me that more often than not, it's a younger child who will be more inclined to approach me. 

But someone made a comment the other day that has stuck with me as a most memorable moment in this journey. 

We were checking out at Walgreens and the young lady behind the counter looked me in the eyes and said, "Wow, what a brave little boy you have there". 

How awesome is she?

I share this because she is such a positive role model for fostering acceptance and compassion.  Stick that comment in your repertoire for the next time you're wondering whether or not you should approach someone. 

After giving her the quick story (yes, yes - Lindsay Coil IS capable of keeping it brief, believe it or not!) she said, "Rock on, Little Buddy, you're a stud."

I completely agree. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Half Birthday

Our littlest man is half a year old. 
He's quite an experienced little guy!

Could his shirt be any more true? He sure did nail it!

Imagine my excitement when the doctor came in our room yesterday morning and told us to get out of there and go home! I always make a little bit of a fuss for my kids half birthdays, but this one was extra special in my mind and I REALLY wanted to be home for it. 

It was at his 5 month visit (August 18) we were told to call the neurosurgeon. 
August 20th we met Dr Tomita
August 25th he had CT and bloodwork 
September 11th was surgery 
September 15th discharged from Luries
September 16th admitted to NCH
And finally home for good I HOPE on the 18th. 

That's QUITE a month!

My mom and Trevor came to get us from the hospital. The boys were happy to see each other!

And then I had my friend Katie pick up Mallory from school and take her to Berry Yo so I could surprise her there. 

On the way home she said, "Mom, when Katie told me we were going to Berry Yo my body said, 'Man I wish Mommy could be there'. And then you surprised me!"

Katie's kids were happy to see Grant too although Mallory let them know there were "too many people up in his grill". What a character!

I decided to ignore the piles of laundry and all of the other catch up housework and just spend a fun afternoon with all three of my kids. We baked a skillet cookie for Grant, danced in the kitchen, let Trevor cover himself with bandaids, made popcorn & snuggled up for a movie, and Mallory and I read "just ONE more chapter" four or five times at bedtime. 

It was perfect. 

Grant's swelling continues to go down every day and as it does I see him looking more and more like his brother and sister. 

I am one BLESSED Mommy. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Still Here

Found out at 6:30pm on Thursday that we were gonna be spending the night here again. All afternoon I had been led to believe we'd be going home. 

Needless to say, I wasn't very happy. 

Dr Jung walked in and talked to us at great length about WHY he was keeping him. It's important, yes. I understand. I get it, but I don't really want to get into the specifics. 

ALL I needed to hear was....

"If it were MY baby, I would want him here."

Thank you, Dr Jung for putting on your Dad Hat for a minute because those ten words resonated with me more than anything about wheezing and bronchioles.

Doug stayed with the baby so I could go home, shower, grab some things, and most of all, SNUGGLE my big kids. They've been through a lot this week too. Hearing Mallory's choked up voice say, "I just want us to be a family again" was enough to make the tears flow. 

But (there's always a but!) her bedtime devotion was focused on allowing God to be in control. We looked at each other and giggled because time and time again her "Jesus Calling" devotion for the day meets us EXACTLY where we're at. 

Biggest victory for the night was the best sleep both Grant and I have had in a week. That doesn't mean I'm not counting down the minutes til my first sip of coffee.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Poor Buddy!

Took him to the pediatrician for a nebulizer treatment hoping it would make him a little more comfortable. He has a bit of a cough and some wheezing that was getting progressively worse. 

Taking a conservative approach given what he's been through, we were sent to the pediatric ER at Northwest Community. Chest X-Ray confirmed bronchiolitis, which is basically baby bronchitis. Thankfully he tested negative for RSV and X-Ray showed no pneumonia.   

They decided to admit him for monitoring which I think was a really smart move. Last thing I would have wanted to do was have to rush here in the middle of the night should his condition worsen. 

The worst part of this whole ordeal was watching them try... and fail.... twice. to start an IV. I pleaded to let them try loading him up on pedialyte to hydrate him instead and they gracefully obliged. I couldn't watch another vein blow. I know all too well how badly that hurts!

Long story short, the tentative plan is to be discharged after his 5pm breathing treatment, continuing the treatments every four hours at home. OBVIOUSLY I will stay another night if that's what docs deem safest and best, but I'm ready to be home!

And our Sweet Baby Grant?  He continues to schmooze and flirt with nurses. Everyone here loves him. His personality is DEFINITELY returning and I even got some giggles out of him today!