I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Carter, Meagan and Brandon!

 Daddy and his puppy..

Since my last post Carter has been able to stop his antibiotics.  He is still recieveing his TPN 24 hours a day and lipids 10 hours a day. He is still infection free and doing well! We go for our normal every Tuesday appointment with our surgeon tomorrow. We have another appointment at UAB on Monday, although I am uncertain if Carter is stable enough right now to travel that far.  I will find out tomorrow. Carter really enojoyed his second Halloween.  He trick-or-treated at my families and carved pumpkins!  Happy Halloween!!!

Here are a few pictures of Carter getting ready to carve pumpkins!

Oh how I LOVE this little thing!
Carter's pumpkin's...Can you tell who rules our house?

Well this one is just too cute not to share! :) 

I have to start with an apology. I am sorry for such a brief last update. I have been overwhelmed with all of Carter's care. I did not realize how hard it would be. I thank God everyday for leading me to my career. Although, it is hard to admit, if I was not a nurse there would be NO WAY I could do all of Carter's care right now.
The past few weeks have made me realize just how fragile and temporary our lives are here on earth. We are all here with one goal and that's to get to heaven. I sometimes question how God could forgive me for all of my sin and why he chose Carter (the son of two very ordinary people) to carry such a heavy cross. Then I am reminded "For Christ died for sins once for all the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." 1 Peter 3:18a. I also know there is no stronger little boy that could and would fight through all of this pain. I know I couldn't. His strength amazes me. One day his cross will be lifted and oh how I cannot wait to be in heaven to see that day. If God had the strength to give his only Son so I could get to heaven then I have the strength to climb this small hill on Carter's journey.
So a little about my little gift. Carter's day consist of constant TPN, 10 hours of lipids and back and forth antibiotics going through his PICC line. Of course, his antibiotics are not compatible with his TPN, so we are constantly flushing, cleaning and starting or stopping fluids. We are also closely monitoring his intake and output and he has multiple dressing changes a day. So as I said before to say that I have been busy is an understatement. Again, thank God I am a pediatric nurse and already had the knowledge to provide Carter with the care he needs. We would most likely still be in the hospital if not.

Our heads are still above water and Carter is doing great. Carter clapped and smiled for hours once we got home from the hospital. I guess, since he has had to stay home so much he loves it. There is no other place he would rather be. He is a different child at home. When Carter got discharged from the hospital, he was unable to sit up on his own. He is gradually building his strength and has started crawling again and can sometimes pull himself up. I have been very impressed with his progress. He is a different baby than he was a few weeks ago. Carter's TPN has made a huge difference. He has hair! His teeth have really started to come in and his personality and speech have really developed. When he is awake he is much more aware and alert. He is still sleeping a lot during the day. He spends most of the day sitting in his boppy playing with his toys watching Veggie Tales. I usually try to minimize his TV (he is an addict) but right now he is healing and it makes him happy.

Every Tuesday we see our surgeon, get blood drawn for our GI Dr. and go to our home health agency for Carter's weekly PICC line dressing change and physical. I am very thankful everyone worked together, so I only have to get Carter and all of his supplies out one day a week.
Even though we have been extremely busy, I cannot say how happy I am to be Carter's mom. He melts my heart. I have no other desire in the world, but to be his mommy. Of course, my heart melted a little more while in the hospital, he started saying "I want my mama!" during one of his dressing changes. Now Carter's vocabulary consist of mama, uh-oh mama and now I want my mama! Don't feel too bad for Brandon. He calls him mama too.
For right now Carter will stay on his IV medications and we will continue to closely monitor him. If he stays infection free he will have his next surgery in 5-7 weeks. If he gets a fever or has any signs of infection he will be admitted back into the hospital. I ask for continued prayers, specifically for healing, strength and for him to stay fever and infection free.

I cannot begin to say how thankful Brandon and I are for each and every one of our followers on this crazy little journey called Carter's Journey. We honestly could not do it without all of you. You have no idea how much an encouraging word or even a short e-mail means. This past year I have been blown away by the growth and amount of love our family has received by followers of Carter's Journey. I am thankful to each and every one of you and as always..To him be the Glory!

Busy, busy, busy!

 To say that we have been busy may be an understatement. The good news is Carter is home and doing great! He is still receiving two very strong IV antibiotics, TPN and lipids. He is still infection free and his wounds are healing well. If everything continues to go well, we will return to Batson for another surgery in 6-8 weeks. This will be to repair the complications he had with his last surgery. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and continued prayers.

Yesterday, Carter had his PICC line put in and he did fantastic.  The wonderful PICC team allowed me to stay in the room the entire time and talk to and love on Carter.  The PICC is working great!  Today, Carter's incision, that stool is coming out of, decided to open up even more.  It opened to the point there is visible intestine.  There is still nothing that can be done right now.  The plan, for right now, is to take Carter home on Friday with the PICC line.  He will receive two different antibiotics and TPN. TPN is an artificial way to feed Carter through his IV.  It fully bypasses the digestive track.  Carter started TPN last night to give his digestive system a break.  The only negative part of being on TPN is that while being in the hospital is, Carter cannot eat. Once we are at home, Carter will be allowed to eat even though the TPN will still be his primary source of nutrition. Our family appreciates all of the prayers and words of encouragement. God is good...ALWAYS!

Laying around watching Veggie Tales!

 Last night the flood gates of complications opened for Carter. Stool started pouring out from his old incision and his new stoma has stopped producing(or ever so close). This is as it sounds...Not good. It is not possible at this time to make a repair. The intestines have been through so much in the last seven days that the risk out weigh the rewards. It could actually send his progress backward if a repair were unsuccessful at this point. There are a lot of risks with the current situation and the main one is infection. Carter will remain in the hospital a few more days to run IV antibiotics and to make certain there is no stool spilling into the abdomen. Also, tomorrow Carter will have a PICC line put in. This is a central catheter  that will be inserted in his arm and will go to a large vein in his chest near his heart. The need for this is pretty large as he has had to have five IVs in 7 days. His veins are very fragile making it tough to keep a good site for any length of time. We appreciate all of the prayers for Carter in the past weeks and we appreciate the ones to come in the next few weeks. There is no doubt God will see Carter through this as He has all other obstacles.

Carter is such a trooper! He is still smiling even though he is so sick!

 To start I had already written this blog entry and planned on posting it until our night went a little crazy. So here it is and a new blog update will follow. The past few days have been overall uneventful.  One of Carter's incisions opened the night before last, around midnight.  It took until around 2:30 to figure out what needed to be done for it.  The on call Doctor and I decided to clean it and place a clean dressing over it until in the morning.  In the morning another on call Doctor decided to do the same thing until Monday.  Right now we are keeping it as clean as possible and watching it.  I am praying we can keep it infection free and it will not set us back. Carter woke up feeling great this morning! He woke up at 6:30 and stayed awake until 11:30. This is the most he has been awake since surgery. I think it may have been a little too much for him though. He went to sleep at 11:30 and slept until 4:00. When he woke up he seemed to be in pain and needed pain medication. Although, I am happy he is finally able to rest. Carter still has a long way to go, although he is doing MUCH better! Thank you so much for all of our prayers and continued prayers. Please continue to pray for healing, continued pain control and for his incisions to remain infection free.

Just playing!
 Loving on Mommy!