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

We are home...

We are already home from our quick trip to Johns Hopkins Hospital. We met with Carter's wonderful Urologist and Neurosurgeon. They were both extremely impressed with Carter's growth and overall health. His Urologist gave us the go ahead for Carter's "BIG" surgery. The first unofficial date available is in April. They are suppose to call me next week to verify all of the surgeons will be available that day.

Carter's Neurosurgeon wants him to have another MRI of his spine and brain and if anything has changed we will possibly have it repaired while we are there for his big surgery. His Neurosurgeon just wants to make sure there is not a change in his spinal cord that could be causing all of the unexplainable vomiting. The good news is we can have the MRI performed here at home and have the results sent to him. So I will call our Pediatrician later this week and get the MRI scheduled.

Our urologist went over the entire process of the big surgery and showed us pictures of what to expect. The images were extremely hard to look at and I am a nurse. We have felt so many mixed emotions about the surgery. We know it has to be done for Carter to survive, but we are still not looking forward to it. We are so blessed that God has led us to our amazing Urologist at Johns Hopkins. He is one of the main reasons children with Carter's condition survive today. He is not only a great Urologist, but a great person. We know with all of our heart that he will do whatever he can to provide Carter with the best quality of life as possible.

The "BIG" surgery will last 12-18 hours. They will first break Carter's pelvic bone in four places and cut four triangles of bone out if it. They will then place him in traction. He will go to the PICU where he will stay for at least 2 weeks. Everyday his pelvic bone will be stretched with an attempt to pull it closed in the front. To better understand this, right now Carter's pelvis is open like a book. They are going to try to close the book like a normal pelvis. The stretching procedure will allow for new bone growth and for Carter's pelvis to be even and round like ours. This is a newer procedure and was invented by Carter's orthopedic Doctor at Johns Hopkins. It is one of the many reasons Johns Hopkins success rate of closing bladder exstrophy is the highest the world. After two weeks Carter will go back to surgery and have his bladder put into his body. They will then put a metal plate over his bladder to help secure it and his pelvic bones. Then he will be on the road to recovery. He will be in traction for 6-8 weeks and our hospital stay will be up to 3 months. We are so ready to have this surgery behind Carter.

We are so proud of all the things Carter has overcome in his short life through God's blessings. We know that God will continue to rain down his love on us and provide us with the strength we need to get through all of this. Thank you all so much for all of your prayers and continued prayers for our family. We know that Carter would not be where he is today without them. As always... To Him be the Glory!!!

Poor Carter was not happy about the trip. He was ready to go home as soon as we got on the plane.

Carter stayed on the phone the entire time we were in the room! I think he was trying to call someone to come pick him up! :)

Watching a movie and being such a good boy on the plane!

After Carter's appointments on Tuesday we walked downtown. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful and very clean Inner Harbor.

The new Children's Hospital recently opened at Johns Hopkins. It is absolutely beautiful. For anyone who knows how big The University of Mississippi Medical Center is, Johns Hopkins is probably seven times bigger! It's huge!!! Here are a few pictures of the hospital.

Brandon Brags!

On Monday, before we left for Johns Hopkins Carter got to meet with the Mayor of Brandon. Carter was named the Brandon Brags citizen of the month. He is the youngest one yet and we are so honored and humbled Carter was chosen. Carter was extremely interested in Mayor Coulter's fish and could not figure out why he could not pet him. He tried several times! Thank you all so much for all of your kind words, messages and love given to our family over the past two years. No matter how far away Carter's medical care takes us we will always be honored to call Brandon, Mississippi home.

Come here little fish!

Hand in the poor fish's bowl trying to pet him! :)

Out and About and to Johns Hopkins...

Carter has really enjoyed the past few weeks. He has gotten to enjoy getting out more than ever. Carter has gone to the fair, Mitchell Farms pumpkin patch, Canton Flea Market and had his Papaw down for a visit! He has really enjoyed life these past few weeks. We fly out to Johns Hopkins today for an appointment with Carter's Urologist and Neurosurgeon. We are praying for all good news and the ok to go ahead with Carter's "big" surgery. God has truly blessed us and I know he will continue to do so! Thank you so much for all of your continued prayers. Here are a few pictures of Carter's new experiences the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Carter absolutely loved petting the animals at the fair! He danced,jumped and squealed for them!

Trying to get in the cage with the goats.

Nana and Carter.

He loved feeding the goats.

Having a blast at Mitchell Farms!

The Peanut Festival at Mitchell Farms was so much fun. I would highly suggest it to anyone with children. We had a blast!

All of these new things have left this baby exhausted! :)

Working hard...

One of the things Cincinnati's G.I. Department wanted us to work on was Carter carrying his own feeding pump backpack. He has to be hooked up to his feeding pump for 16 hours a day. I usually follow him around with the backpack, but now that he is 2 they really want him to carry it for a few hours a day. So this week we have started working on it. Carter is not a huge fan, but has done ok. I feel awful making him carry it, but I have to say it has been really nice not having to follow right behind him all of the time! Here are a few pictures of our big boy carrying his backpack!