No, it is not a birthday. Rather, it's a day I will never forget...
He was my third son. So why would I worry? I had no reason to think anything was wrong.
How could I have missed it?
Even looking at him while taking this picture when he was just 3 weeks old, I didn't notice it. I can see it now in this picture, but I couldn't see it at the time. The blueness above his lips, the struggle in his face.He was all dressed up ready to go to his well baby check up. He was suppose to have had this 2 days before, but I called and canceled. I told Myrna, the receptionist, that with recovering from his birth, I was just too tired to bring him in. I reminded her McKay was my 3rd. I knew what I was doing. I knew he was healthy. She insisted I reschedule for 2 days later.
Oh okay, whatever.
If I am still feeling like this in 2 days however, I will just call and tell them I'll wait til the 7 week checkup.
Two days later I was still not feeling all that well. My blood counts were having a hard time coming back up again after his birth. Still, after my prayer that spring Friday morning I just knew I needed to keep the appt. Not that I felt anything was wrong with my son, but I didn't want to disappoint Myrna. Or should I say, I didn't want to have to explain to her again why I did not need to bring McKay in for his 3 week checkup. It was easier just to go.
My mom came with me. as she almost always did back then. On the way there I was venting to her, "I don't feel like going to this appt. This child is so healthy, he's boring." Yes, I actually said those words.
We are in the waiting room. I complain again to my Mom but smile at Myrna. Soon I am in the well baby room taking off McKay's clothes. In walks Dr. Weinberg. He does the usual quick checks on him but stops at his heart. He keeps listening to it. Then I see him look at the pretty gold watch on his wrist, at the same time his stethoscope is on McKay's little 3 week old chest. My mom tries to break the tension by complimenting the doctor on his watch. He doesn't say thank you.
I look at my mom. She looks at me. I try hard to think....does he usually spend this much time listening to a baby's heart??
See, I remember the details as if it happened this morning.
Finally Dr. Weinberg looks up at me and says, "His heart is beating so fast I can't count it. It's over 300 beats per minute." I knew as a newborn his heart should have been in the 120-140 range.
He tells me I need to bring him right to Children's hospital across the street. He said, "Don't go home. Don't go anywhere. Just take him right over there. I'll meet you there soon."
As we are dressing McKay, I can hear Dr. Weinberg in the hallway calling the hospital. I hear him saying, "His heart rate is at least 320, maybe 350....."
The first of 5 times that day Dr. Weinberg saw McKay in the hospital, he said to me, "Myrna told me that you canceled McKay's checkup appt 2 days ago. That's good you did. 2 days ago his heart was probably beating fine and we would not have caught this. If you hadn't brought him in today, he most likely would have died in his sleep over the weekend....Someone was looking after you."
Those were defining words to me. "Someone was looking after you." Meaning, someone was looking after me, and my baby. I have thought of these words many, many times over the past 25 years. Yes it's been 25 years.
To make a very long and winding story short...McKay was in and out of the hospital numerous times the first 3 years of his life. He was on heart medication for 5 years. He was suppose to "outgrow" this condition but he never did. Dr. Weinberg had seen this condition before in other babies, but he told me McKay's was the most uncontrollable, and unsolvable.
Just about anything would make McKay's heart beat too fast. The water in his bath being too warm. Being too cold. Tired. Hungry. Too happy. Upset. Sick. Just about anything could bring it on.
We were to learn that he was born with an extra circuit in his heart. A surgical procedure for this condition became perfected enough by the time he was 9. So after much prayer, we opted to have this done for him in San Francisco.
His life changed. He could suddenly swim, play sports, and run at the park..with no physical limitations. He has not had any trouble with it since. He has a 10% chance of the circuit growing back. If that should happen he will just need the procedure done again.
I hesitated sharing this here. I don't want to sound like this is the focus of his life.
It's not, not anymore.
But I don't want him to ever forget this. He has been so blessed.
We have been so blessed by having him in our family.As I was driving around today doing errands, I was so overcome when I thought of the day...that it has really been TWENTY FIVE YEARS! I'm so grateful we got to keep him here on earth with us. I know not every family does, and I know it could have turned out so differently. But I also know now it was part of the plan for McKay to grow up healthy and happy. I don't believe for one minute that what transpired that day, 25 year ago...taking him to his well baby checkup on just the right day, was a coincidence. I ache for parents who do get to have this outcome.
Postscript: I wrote the above this morning. Then today at 5:30 Den comes home from work as usual carrying our daily mail. In it is a letter from President Samuelson, stating that McKay will be graduating from BYU in a few weeks. Not that this is news to us, but for this letter to arrive TODAY of all days...my tears all came back again.
Monday, March 30, 2009
No, it is not a birthday. Rather, it's a day I will never forget...
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I hope Karen, my very-near-future-daughter-in-law does not mind me putting these pictures on my blog tonight. I found them on her blog, and could not resist.
I just wish Karen were in the pictures, too.
Then they would be perfect.They say brides have a glow. I think these pictures prove that grooms do, too!
Oh wait, I found this one.
I'm beginning to feel like a thief. Oh what a beautiful bride she will be.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I am impressed. Logan has been working hard getting his family garden ready. He has done lots of research and now he is going for it. When I heard he was starting a garden I got quite excited, and Austin standing next to me said, "Well the leaders of our church have told us we should do this." Yep, that's right.
As for Amy. She is still dilated to a 2, and she is 75% effaced. She takes her last "stop the contractions" pill tonight! Tomorrow she will be 36 weeks! We are all so thankful the babies are still enjoying their very cramped home. But not for long...
Amy thinks she will go another 2-3 weeks and then have to be induced. I think not.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
And our birthday roll continues...
Ryan is the husband of Den's daughter Kim.
I first met him in 1999. I just sat there in awe over the way he was so hands on with his baby Emily. Whatever she needed...diaper, to be fed, entertained...he was there doing it. I remember how he would place her little swing by the table while we all ate breakfast. That way he could feed her, while also flipping the pancakes.
Now let's hear Dennis' summary of this great son in law of his:
"Well, to tell you the truth...Ryan is really nothing to brag about. Just kidding, Ry. I always have a good time with him. In fact, his sense of humor is about the same as mine. We both laugh at a lot of things when others might not "get it." He is a terrific Dad to my grandchildren and the same kind of husband to my daughter. His family and the Gospel are most important to him. He is very knowledgeable about the Internet and is always willing to answer my questions. He and Kim always have some kind of new project in the works. He's a fun guy to have around in the family. Happy Birthday, Ry! You're the man!"
We hope you have a most wonderful birthday, Ryan!
You deserve it!!
This gorgeous baby arrived 8 years ago today.
She was going to be named Morgan Macie, but they decided instead on Macie Morgan.Macie is such an interesting child. She is very determined when she wants to do something...and if she doesn't, well, she just does not worry about it. I wish I could be as easy going.
I remember the very first time I met Macie. She was only 3, and she came over to our home with Amy. She was dressed in a little short play outfit, complete with brand new dressy church shoes. Amy said those were the shoes she wanted to wear, so she did!
I was also impressed that she had a mom who 'did not sweat the small stuff' and let her wear those shoes. Remember, this was the very first time I met both Amy and Macie. Amy could have been more worried about the impression she was making on Logan's mother. Instead, she was more concerned about her little girl's feelings. That in turn, impressed me immensely. No wonder I loved Amy and Macie from the beginning.
Macie has such a good attitude. She puts this big smile on her face and she is ready. She has what I call "people charm" I hear the kids at school just love to be with her.
I sure do.
Macie is not a big talker. If she has something to say, she says it. Otherwise she doesn't.
A shrug of her shoulders is sometimes a paragraph from her.
What an adorable dancer!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Before Den and I even met, he emailed this to me.
These are his 2 very first grandchildren,
Jessica and her cousin Emily.
He also sent me these 2 pictures.
This little baby made Den into a Grandpa.Any man who is this proud of his grandchildren...
Well I was falling for him before I even laid eyes on him, and I really think these pictures had something to do with it.
If he was using his first granddaughter to win my heart, well it was working!
Good job Grandpa!
Every little girl should have a Dad like Mike.
Her dad's birthday was coming up so Kris took Jessica with her to buy Mike a watch for his present. She told her several times "don't tell Daddy we got him a watch for his birthday"
So soon after they got home Jessica fell asleep on the couch. In walks Mike and I guess he got near the couch...while Jess was asleep, she sort of rolled over...and as soon as she saw her dad she said, "We got a watch for your birthday." She wasn't even completely awake when she told him! Den and I still laugh about that.
Happy 12th Jessica!
We love you, and can't wait to see you again hopefully soon!
Now a little message from Grandpa:
"Jessica...when you were just a baby, I thought I loved you more than was possible. But now, almost 12 years later, I love you so many more times than I could describe."
Monday, March 23, 2009
My sister lives less than a mile from our home. Den and I went over last night to take more pictures. I started with 2 photos in a post 2 days ago.
Her husband Dave built this house, and Robin of course put all the personal touches on it. Together they make a great team. So, here are some more of my favorite parts of their home.
Click any picture you want to see larger.
As Robin points out to me, this wall of awards are not necessarily full of top place wins. In fact, she estimated 90% of these plaques were just for participating in a sport or activity, etc. But what a great display.
Robin has her desk right off the front door. I really wonder how much she actually works at it being it is so spotlessly clean, always. Notice her name plate from when she was secretary before she got married.
They call this garage sale find, their "vintage phone". The kids had to actually learn how to dial it. Her modern children did not realize at first that you need to bring your finger all the way to the bottom each time. Sorry, but this does not look vintage to me.
Nice handy display of snacks on the kitchen counter.Robin looked a long while before she found this great mechanism to rotate canned foods in her pantry.
On another shelf in her pantry. Click it to see her labels.
She found some of these containers at garage sales.
Other storage in their garage. All labeled and easy to find.
She found this cute desk for McKenzie at a garage sale. I think Robin goes garage sailing just about every Saturday when the weather is good.
Robin made McKenzie's name out of painted Popsicle sticks.
What boy would not want a sword in his room?
Davey brought this home from the stake musical he was in last year.
The shoe part of it, serve as the book ends.
Oh how I love the plaque below!
Robin found this mannequin at another garage sale. Brooke uses it to put her outfit on that she plans to wear the next day. I guess this little black number just stays on it during the weekends?
Have you ever seen a more organized hall closet?
A picture she keeps on her wall of our Dad and his brother Gene, taken in the 1930s.
Three of Robin's favorite books displayed by the fireplace.
Robin is the only one I know who wears red, white, and blue when she goes out to vote. She is also the only one I know who keeps a big flag by her front door.
The last picture did not come out the best (because of the photographer), but don't you love the teeny tiny door they have up top? That is Davey's face coming to greet us.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!