Stacking, pulling, checking, banding, and shipping was the task at hand for FBC Florence church members, particularly those in our Sunday School class. In just three outings all 3,072 t-shirts were sorted and organized. This would have been impossible without the incredible turn-out each time we met. Carter even made a brief appearance to survey the sea of light blue t-shirts in our church's library. With a system that was a smooth as silk the job of getting the shirts out was very efficient and for that we appreciate all of your hard work and organization Laura Clark and Melissa Banks. We also want to thank each and every one of you that showed up and helped us. The love and support of FBC Florence has been absolutely overwhelming and we can never thank you enough. You have adopted us and you love us as you love your own families. We love and thank each and every one of you.
Would our sweet baby survive? Would he have Trisomy 18? If he did survive what would his quality of life be? We had so many questions and so few resources. I remember feeling so out of control. I remember thinking how could my sweet baby be so sick? I took care of myself. I was healthy and even took prenatal vitamins before I was pregnant. Brandon and I had wanted a baby for so long and now the baby given to us may not survive? Why? Why did you choose us God? Why did you choose my baby to go through all of this? Now, I know exactly why.
God’s plan is so perfect. Even if we did not understand it at the time, God had big plans for our little family. Brandon and I are so grateful and honored that God chose us to be Carter’s mommy and daddy. With the power of our God on his side, Carter has overcome the odds. We were told Carter had a high chance of having Trisomy 18 (incompatible with life). He did not. We were told due to all of Carter’s birth defects he may miscarry before being compatible with life. He did not. We were told Carter had a large open myelomeningocele. The doctors said it would affect him mentally and he would have no sensation below his waist. Carter has full sensation and right now he is mentally 100%. We were told to expect up to a six month stay in the NICU after Carter was born. He was discharged after 4 weeks. We were told, due to all of Carters birth defects we should consider an abortion. Just as God chose to give Carter life, we chose life. I could go on and on about all of the miracles I have seen in Carter’s short life. Carter is a miracle, a blessing and most of all a precious gift from God.
Carters surgery started around 7:30 am. The surgery was anticipated to last around one hour. Due to Carters anatomy it lasted 2 1/2 hours. The Doctor was able to repair Carters hernias, just not to the degree he preferred. There is a chance the hernias could occur again. The toughest part of the surgery for Carter was pain control. Due to Carters spinal defects, he was unable to receive the usual epidural they use for pain. After Carters pain was under control he started having complications. Carter first started having EXTREME swelling which developed into two hematomas (bleeding under the skin). The Doctors were extremely concerned and monitored Carter closely. With pain medication on board, Carter was able to relax and the hematomas stopped bleeding. The swelling gradually went down and the Doctor felt comfortable allowing us to go home the next day. We go back to the Doctor Monday to see if the hematomas have reabsorbed and the swelling reduced enough to avoid another surgery. If the Doctor feels like there is too much swelling or the hematomas have not reduced enough, he will perform another surgery to drain the fluid and blood. Carters swelling continues to go down daily and he continues to be full of smiles!
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths:
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God,
my savior and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25 4-5
Here we are again, kneeling at the feet of Jesus. Asking for comfort, strength and healing for Carter. He is scheduled to have surgery on Monday the 9th at 8 am. He will stay in the hospital approximately 1-3 days. I know through all of this madness, there will come good. For God said whoever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life. I know one day Carter will have no more pain, no more surgeries and no more tears. God's plan for Carter is perfect. God gave me a precious gift and I cherish it everyday that I have with him. I have been told many times that I am strong, but the truth is, I'm not. God has peeled me down to my core many times and he has always brought me back up. God has placed his arms around me and allowed me to only focus on the important. I like to say I am in my own little bubble that God has created for me. I may not be able to tell you what I did the day before or what day of the week it is, but I can tell you anything about Carter and his medical needs.
“He makes my feet like the feet of deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.” Psalm 18:33
No matter what happens or how hard it gets I know God will be right by my side. He has already brought Brandon and I through so much and for him I am grateful.
“God is my refuge and my strength, an ever present help in trouble therefore I will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46: 1-3
I will not fear! He knew Carter before I ever knew he would exist. He cared for him in my womb and will continue to care for him until the day he calls him home. God already has Carter's future all mapped out and to God I am overly grateful.
“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High , the great King over all earth!” Psalm 47 1-4
Please pray for Carter to stay comfortable and pain free. Please pray for strength and healing. Please pray for strength, patience and comfort for Brandon and I. For your prayers we are truly grateful.