Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sister Time

Today, Jen, Jayna & I continued our learning ways. Autumn is still progressing and her kidneys appear to continue to be healing. We thank God for that and thought that we would share a few pictures of some of our fun tonight!! I am super tired tonight, so hopefully will be able to write more about her progress later. Just know that she is still moving in the right direction.

Also, Jen is feeling alot better, still fighting this infection, but definitely doing much better. Thanks for your prayers for her.

Jen and I have recently touched base with a young couple (Al & Amanda) whose son John Francis Lake is going through almost the exact same thing as Autumn did. He is only a week or so into the process so they are very nervous, stressed, etc. Please pray for Al, Amanda & John Francis. If you have the time - send them a note of encouragement. They had a rough day today and could use a pick me up!! Their blog is www.jflake.blogspot.com.

Something is up and I can't load pictures. I promise to try again in a few hours.

Day 30 & Day 31

Sorry about not posting yesterday - it was a busy day. They are letting Jen and I do alot more things with Autumn to help us better understand how to care for her. We have been learning how to change the dressing on her IV, how to clean and change the dressing on her dialysis catheter and how to insert and position her feeding tube. It has been great learning these things and while some of these things can be intimidating, we have enjoyed learning and being able to do these things to care for our daughter.

Jayna is down here with us for a few days this week and has enjoyed spoiling her little sister. Yesterday, Grandma took her to a hands on children's science museum for a few hours. They had so much fun and learned some things too. It has been great to have Jayna and Mom around this week.

One last thing - Autumn's BUN yesterday - 26!! Indescribible!!

P.S. - Jen will talk to her doctor at home more today and I will update you on her status sometime later!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Day 29

Autumn's levels are continuing to go down. Today, her BUN was 34 and creatinine was 1.6 - in human realms this is impossible - with God though, all things are possible. We are praising Him again today that her levels are still dropping. I think that the 3 month time frame for her kidneys to heal is out of the question. Our God doesn't work within human averages or timeframes. He is so faithful,

Autumn also today had a wonderful visit from Great Uncle Robert & Great Aunt Linda from the Washington DC area, who happened to be in Michigan for the weekend. It is always so special to be able to spend time with them and we were so glad that they got to meet Autumn so early in her precious little life.

The only other thing for today is that her blood is down a little bit so they are (right now) giving her a unit of blood. They aren't too concerned about it - they know that they have been drawing alot of blood for tests in the past few weeks. That is another thing that I have learned through this - the importance of giving blood. If you are able - you should - often. We have blood to spare and there are so many needs. Why don't you find a local blood bank and do that this week. You have been such a help to us and I hope that you never mind us sharing what God is teaching us through this - hopefully we can learn some of this stuff together.

Have a great work week!! God is still on the throne!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Day 28

Just a quick note to say that Jen and Jayna had a great girls day today. They bonded and shared some great time that they had missed. Sep & I spend some time with Autumn, got soaked and froze at the Michigan game (we won) and spent more time with Autumn. She is still progressing - Her BUN was 42 today and her Creatinine was 1.8 - Still going down. God is Good!!

Thanks so much for your continued prayers - your faithfulness is so encouraging to us. Please also pray for Jen - she has some sort of infection and is running a fever, nothing that is contagious, so she can see Autumn, but still is pretty miserable. Also, please pray for some close family of ours who have experienced some loss in the past few weeks. Please pray for the Johnson family that God would give them strength, peace and comfort. As always we know that God is the one in control - he can do all things!! Thank You Jesus!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Miss Pops

Today, I miss my dad. As you know, Pops passed away six months ago today. It has been six months of learning to lean (as the old hymn says.) I am still finding more power than I'd ever dreamed. When Autumn was born 4 weeks ago and tragedy struck, I began to panic. How could we do this without Pops? Everyone who knew him knew that he was the strong one that helped us through difficulties and struggles. I learned more about why and how over these past few weeks.

When this struggle started and the doctor finally came out to let me know what was going on (Two hours after Autumn had been born) - he told me 'Your daughter is lucky to be alive and is still not out of the woods, the best thing that you can do is call your church and have them start praying.' I thanked him and told him that he was a couple of hours behind. We had people praying as soon as Jen was rushed into surgery and that Pastor Dave & Rachel were right down the hall with the rest of our family. He said let's bring Pastor Dave back to pray with Autumn right then (I hadn't even got to see her yet as they were still working to revive and stabilize her) - so Pastor Dave and I went to the operating room put on our scrubs / cleaned up and were led back where a team of about 15 to 20 people were working on Autumn. They made some room for us and Dave & I layed hands on Autumn and asked for God to work in her life according to His will and to heal her little body. It was an incredible moment where God took center stage. As we walked out of the room - I was reminded where my strength comes from - My Heavenly Father. You see my dad wasn't strong because he was insensitive or special, he was strong because he depended on our Heavenly Father for his strength.

A couple of years ago, I couldn't have imagined going through this kind of struggle without the support and help of my Pops. As we have travelled this road, it has been fairly easy (if that is possible). Jen and I know that God is in control and that he is our strength. We have learned to depend on Him and He is our strength. People used to always say that my dad was a rock (and he was), but that was because he was connected to The Rock - Jesus is the Rock and he has been our rock these past couple of weeks.

I still miss my dad and his strength - the strength that he taught me about. I am sad about the fact that he will never get to hold this precious miracle. My heart aches that Autumn will never get to lay on the living room floor and read the paper with Grandpa as Jayna has enjoyed so much. I am sad that Pops doesn't get to see me and my family learn to depend 100% on our Heavenly Father - he would have been so proud, but I am so proud to have had a father who taught me the value of these things. He taught me that God and my family were the most important things - in that order. I praise God for 31 years with my father and know that I will join him in that great getting up morning someday.

Autumn's First Bottle

I think that I might have figured this out (Thanks Sis). I have been trying to post it for a week since Autumn first started trying to use a bottle. Enjoy!!

Leaf Jumpers

We had tons of fun this afternoon. We missed Jen & Autumn, but still played and played and played and played and played.

Day 27 - She's Moved

In the NICU in Ann Arbor there are 4 rooms with about 10 babies in each of them. Rooms 2 & 3 are set aside for the most critical patients. Babies in these rooms have major physical issues and receive care from a one on one nurse 24 hours a day. When is baby is more stable but still needs specific care from the Intensive Care Unit - they are moved to rooms 1 or 4, which is a little more relaxed (if you can be in an ICU) and a little bit healthier. Since Autumn's arrival in the NICU on September 30th, she has been in room 3. Last night, they moved her to room 4. Hallelujah!! God is continuing to make her well and we give all the glory to Him!! For now, I must go pick up Jayna from school. I have a big pile of leaves in the yard that we are gonna roll around in tonight. Be looking for pictures later tonight!! Thanks for all of your prayers!! God IS listening!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Day 26 - Levels Keep Going Down

Lab results for today -

BUN - 46
Creatinine - 1.9

They have always said that as long as the creatinine stays below 2.0 - they won't consider dialysis - Yippee!! These levels have been steadily dropping since the initial kidney failure, but this is the first time that the creatinine has been below 2.0. All of these levels have been dropping since Autumn was removed from dialysis - these numbers are a direct result of her kidneys doing some work!! Praise God!!

Day 25

Sorry this didn't get posted last night - something with the Blogger server was down.

Today was a very stable and relaxing day for Autumn. She had a “lab holiday,” which means no lab work today. She will have some tomorrow morning, which will let us know how her BUN and creatinine levels are…we want them to be going down. Today, we worked on getting her to eat from me and the bottle. She is doing a little better with this. The occupational therapist came to help. She assured us that Autumn latches and sucks very well. This made me feel much better. Now, all she has to do is build up some stamana to take more by mouth. We can go home with her feeding tube, but it would be great if she could do it on her own. Grandma Hess and I enjoyed some really nice time with her late this afternoon. She was super alert and interactive, as much as a 3 ½ week old can be that is.

Aaron went home around 12:00 so that he and Jayna could spend some time together at home. Please pray for her. She is getting tired of all of this and really misses her parents. She didn’t even want to say goodnight to me tonight because it would make her too sad. This makes me very sad for her. I am going home late Friday, so that her and I can have a “girl day” together, doing whatever she would like to do. I hope this helps the both of us. Aaron will be down here with Autumn and at the Michigan game…thanks Dean! Thank you to all for your love, support, prayers, kind/encouraging words, etc., etc., etc. You are all so wonderful and dear to us! We love you! We praise God for you as we are in constant communication with Him! Keep the faith, we are!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Are You Ready For This?

As Daisy & Violet would say at VBS - 'Are You Ready For This?' Without boring you with too much detail - Autumn's ultrasound on her kidneys was this morning. When comparing it to the ultrasound taken 3 weeks ago (when her kidneys were not functioning at all) - her kidneys appear to have grown, which means that they are regenerating. They did visualize the blood running through them and it looks like there is scar tissue (which means that her kidneys are healing). That is right - AUTUMN'S KIDNEYS ARE HEALING. Those of you who have been praying for Autumn & us these past few weeks - please join us in this celebration to our Heavenly Father for reaching down and continuing to heal her. He is the Great Physician and continues to amaze these physicians down here. Praise God!!

Day 24

MRI looks great. They didn't see any problems after performing the MRI yesterday!! Praise God that there appears to be no brain damage at all. The ultrasound of the kidneys happened this morning and they will compare it to the original ultrasound from a few weeks ago to see how the kidneys have changed over that time. When I have some results, I will be sure to let you know. I can't say it enough how much your prayers and encouragement have been to us. I hope you don't get tired of me saying that because I mean it and want you to know it. I will share more later!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Day 23 - MRI

Autumn came through the MRI with no complications. She was put under a general anesthetic and did put her on the ventilator, but came off of both just fine. She is now able to eat again (she hasn't eaten since 6:00 am), so she will be a very happy girl in the next 1/2 hour or so. I will let you know as soon as we get the MRI results (probably in the next few days). Thanks for praying for us today. God answered two specific prayer requests today in a way that only he could. I promise to share more later. As for now, I must go and hold a bottle for my little girl.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Day 22

We had a great weekend with Jayna!! We had lots of fun and she got to spend some quality time with her sister.

We even had a nice little birthday party (just the three of us) at the condo - complete with Fiesta (my birthday dinner of choice for about 25 years now) and a maize and blue cake (Thanks Deb).

Any material gifts that I have received for birthdays in years past we surpassed greatly by this. One of the best hours of my young 32 years.

Thanks to Anne (the night nurse / photographer) we now have a great new family photo. We are a truly blessed family and believe that God is guiding our every step.

Autumn is scheduled to have a MRI on Monday (to determine any brain damage from the loss of blood) and an ultrasound on her kidneys on Tuesday (to look at them to see how they are healing) I will be sure to update you when those tests are finished and results start rolling in!! Thanks for you encouragement to us.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Day 20 - I Am Thankful

There are lots of things that I have realized that I am thankful for these past few weeks.

  • My Girls (All Three) - I am so thankful that I didn’t lose Jen or Autumn on that day 3 weeks ago. Jen is my lifelong partner and best friend. Jayna has my heart like none other. Autumn is the most precious thing that I have seen. They are all a blessing to me and I love them all dearly. Guys – hug your girls close today. They are special

  • Family – I haven’t been worried about Jayna being away from us when we have been here. Family has stepped up and just cared for her. One less thing that we have to worry about is great. They love her just about as much as we do and are caring for her like their own. They have put our needs above their own. They have been a blessing for sure. Treat your family right. Love, honor & respect them. Lean on them. Help them when they need it. They need you and you need them.

  • Church Family – Where do I begin?Prayers, Calls, Cards, Gifts, Gas Cards, Finances & Encouragement have all lifted our burden.We haven’t faced a thing alone and never will.We will go through this together also.If you don’t have one, find one. Being a part of a church family is just like being a part of a body. One Body, Many Parts, One Function.

  • Our Heavenly Father – He promises to give us nothing more than we can handle. I know that we can do this because of His promises. Matthew 11:28-30 reminds us of this – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We have found so much comfort and rest in our Heavenly Father. Even when we haven’t rested well physically, we have felt rested emotionally & spiritually, which has given us the strength to function physically. If you don’t know Him, get to know Him. Ask how. All you must do is ask Him to come into your heart, Receive Him, Repent of your shortcomings, Believe in Him and Live for Him. Do it today.

  • Generosity of Others – Even people who don’t know us have brought us food in Northville, Offered places to stay, and showed us kindness that is a true blessing from God. Co-workers, cousins, friends, aunts & uncles, parents, siblings & lots of other people have showed us kindness. I can’t express our thankfulness for this kindness. We all need to recognize other’s needs and show kindness to them. Don’t wait for a tragedy to show someone kindness or to give to them generously. Do it everyday.

  • Neighbors – I need not worry about my lawn, leaves, mail, paper, or anything else @ home. Neighbors are a blessing. Be a good neighbor. Be the kind of neighbor that other people want to live next to. Take care of each other.

  • Job / Boss – I am thankful for a great job and boss everyday. To be able to go to work everyday is a blessing and something that I never take for granted. But, in this crisis, I am more thankful for a boss / company that understand that my family is my priority and I don’t have to worry about losing my job just because I have to be here. Today, I am thankful that I am still a valued employee of Select Electric, Inc. Be an employee that your boss can’t do without. Someone that will help carry the load when someone else needs you and someone who will be welcomed back with open arms when you are ready to come back.

  • Prayer – Many people have done many great things for us, but none more powerful than praying for us. James 5:16 tells us that “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (A righteous man being anyone who has accepted Christ as their Savior) I am thankful that I am able to go to our Father and ask Him to heal Autumn, to comfort Jen, to strengthen Jayna, to guide the doctors, to protect me on the road, to give us rest, or anything and he will listen. And if I ask in Jesus’ name, according to God’s will – He will answer me. One of the best things that you can do someone is pray for them. If you are a Christian – you have that ability, so do it. There are people in your life who need prayer; it is the most powerful thing that you can do for them.

There is lots more that I am thankful for. This is just my start. I am thankful for each of you too. I must sleep now. More tomorrow, I promise – be looking for a new family picture.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Here are the pictures. She is getting more precious to me every day.

Day 19 - Waiting Game

The doctor this morning said that they are still comfortable with her BUN and creatinine levels and plan to keep her off dialysis for another day. Still thinking that Friday / Saturday to reevaluate the actual amount of kidney function and determine a plan. Praise God!!

I do have a couple of pictures to share of Autumn in her night gown without that IV in her head (they removed it last night) so be looking for them later today. Jen is meeting right now with the lactation specialist to help her learn how to feed a 'sick baby' with all sorts of tubes and lines. They have lots of tricks to help her and Autumn learn how to do this. Pray that Autumn and Jen will learn this together as this is what is best for both of them. Thanks for your love and concern for us. We value you and look forward to sharing Autumn with you in person some day!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Heading In The Right Direction

The renal doctors are comfortable enough with her levels that they plan to leave her off dialysis for now. They will monitor her levels a couple of times a day and if her BUN goes above 90 they will start it back up. They have set Friday as a day where they will sit down and reevaluate her levels and determine just how well her kidneys are working and decide from there what we are going to do. We are praising God that she has taken this step and know that He is continuing to heal her. Thanks for all your love that you have shown to us. It is a true encouragement.

Day 18 - Update

Still haven't heard any official word from the renal doctors today. As soon as I know how her levels are and what her kidneys are doing, I will be sure to post something. Thanks for praying for Autumn's kidneys last night.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pictures I Promised

Big Day Tuesday - Day 17

Sweet little Autumn had a great night and even spent about 1 1/2 hours in her dad's arms this morning. Jen took some great pictures and I will post them later today. She is bottle feeding breast milk now and is doing very well. They have continually increased her amounts of milk every 12 hours or so. She is taking steps each and every hour.
The renal doctors want to test her kidneys, since they have been showing signs of wanting to filter waste, so they plan to stop dialysis today at 5pm and see what they do. Please pray for Autumn today and especially tonight that her kidneys will work when they stop dialysis at 5:00 pm today. The doctors are amazed that she has even shown any signs of filtering in this short amount of time and that is why they want to stretch her. They recognize (as we do) that she is a fighter. We know that God is continually healing her and performing more miracles in her little body. She looks great and is even a little cranky this morning if she doesn't have her pacifier in her mouth. We are so thankful for you all and your prayers and concerns for her. Please continue to lift her up to our Most Heavenly Father. That is where our strength is coming from. We love you all. If you are reading this, you are special to us. Thank You!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rewarding Day - Day 16

Today has been a very rewarding day for us, as you can see in the pictures! First, we spent a bit of encouraging time with some dear friends from church who stopped in as they were one their way home from a vacation. Next, Autumn’s fever is gone and she has had a really great day! She is now sucking on a pacifier, rooting a bit when her cheek is touched and sucking on her fingers. It was fun watching her perform these very normal baby “tricks!” As you can see, I also got the chance to hold her and help feed her from a bottle! She is only eating 1/6 of an ounce, so it was a quick feed, but it was very worth it. This mom is so enjoying these super special moments! These times are rewards from God!

We are finally all settled in the condo. It is nice to be in a place that feels more like home. It is also nice to settle a bit more because we know it is going to be a more long term location. We are so thankful for the generosity of others through this trial in our lives. God’s provisions have been amazing! We are going to be with praises on our hearts for a great day all around! We are still praying for Autumn’s kidneys to heal. Thank you for all your love, support, praises and prayers! God loves you all and will bless you greatly!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Weekend Is Over - Day 15

Today has been a busy day for us, so that is why we haven’t updated this until now. Autumn looks much more relaxed today. She is still fighting some sort of infection, but she seems to be a bit better. They were able to successfully perform a spinal tap today and we are awaiting the results. She handled it very well though and we are very thankful for that. They are giving her some Zantac for acid reflux. They hope this will help her not gag so much and eventually heal enough to eat again. Her kidneys have thrown another curve ball at the doctors. They seem to be filtering sodium and potassium. We want her kidneys to filter, but not these two very important nutrients. One of her renal doctors did seem a bit encouraged by this. He said maybe the cells now know to filter and will just have to learn what to filter. We are praying this is the case. Of course if this is what is happening, it still could take quite awhile for the kidneys to fully recover. We are praising God for any step though, knowing that He is in control here.

It was nice to see some good friends who were in Ann Arbor for a wedding. They asked if it was O.K. to visit. Since Autumn was having a good day, it was a nice short visit for all of us.

We also moved some more things over to the condo before Jayna departed. She wanted to see it because she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to find us next weekend. She liked the condo and was very comfortable about staying there next weekend. Of course, she did ask if Uncle Sep and Aunt Allison knew where to bring her on Friday. She feels all set now. We enjoyed some very good family time today with her. She kissed her sister five times as she said goodbye. It was very precious to see her love on Autumn. They are going to be great together! God knows exactly what to give a family when he adds another member! I love His plan!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Weekend - Day 14

Today, we are praising God that Autumn’s creatinine and BUN levels are going down! That means that the dialysis is working, which is the first step towards her kidneys getting better. Once her levels are “normal,” they will slowly decrease her amount of dialysis to see if she can filter on her own. She still has a ways to go, but anything in the right direction is encouraging. We do have a prayer request for our little one though. She has acquired some sort of infection. She has a fever and cannot have any milk until this passes. They are treating her with medication. They have run some tests and are waiting for the results to see what the infection is. They wanted to perform a spinal tap, but were unsuccessful. We are just praying that this is something minor and will disappear quickly with antibiotics.

We are enjoying our time with Jayna this weekend. She loves the crafts from Mrs. Bremmer. We have done four of them so far. Right now, she is coloring with her daddy. She is making sure he only does it the way she wants him to. It is amazing how fast the time with her goes. We treasure every moment that she is with us.

Aaron and Sep moved some things to the condo that has been offered to us. This is about 20 minutes from the hospital, and will be a much more affordable situation while we wait for Autumn to continue healing. We are amazed at how God works through people! He has been such a wonderful provider for us! As we continue to pray for Autumn, we first and foremost thank our Lord for his grace, provision, healing, love, strength and faithful servants! Our God is an awesome God!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Check This Out - Day 13

Because they put the long term catheter in Autumn yesterday (this is the type of catheter that she could go home with), her nurse Michelle said that Jen could hold her for an hour. They had to schedule so that they moved her to Jen's lap while dialysis was draining and moved her back during the next drain an hour later. It was the happiest hour that Jen has had these past 13 days. Praise God for Jen finally getting to hold her daughter this morning. I hope that you all enjoy these beautiful pictures of a very proud mom and very content baby!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Long Day

Thanks so much for you support and prayers for us today. It was His strength that saw us through today.

Jen was very weak this morning & almost passed out so Mom took her to get her blood levels checked out. As she was waiting to get her blood drawn, the kidney doctors came in to see Autumn and decided to send her to surgery to remove the dialysis catheter and place a more permanent one in. Needless to say, Jen wasn't about to wait for the blood to get drawn - she left there and came to be with Autumn until surgery. They took her for surgery at 12:00 pm and they finished up around 4:00 pm. I will spare you the gory details, but they ended up putting in a long term IV port and a long term catheter to use for dialysis. They also cleaned up alot of the other needles, holes and wounds that she has collected over the past 12 days of life.

Once the surgeon explained how the surgery went to Jen & I, she finally gave in and went to take care of herself for a few minutes. They discovered that her hemoglobin level was climbing from the 8.7 that is was when she lost all that blood, but at 10.1 was still well below the 13/14 that is normal. They gave her some iron medicine and reminded her to take care of herself and rest when she is not with Autumn. We will keep a close on her and help her take better care of herself.

Then, Autumn got back to the NICU and we got to spend some great time with her. She is still fairly sedated from the surgery, but looked very peaceful and didn't appear to be in much pain. A couple of great things that happened in the next few hours -
  • Autumn was taken back off the ventilator immediately after surgery. Even when she was still sedated could breathe again on her own. Praise God.
  • She had a bowel movement about 4 hours after surgery. This is great, because it means that she will be able to start having milk again soon.
The next few days will be a healing time for Autumn to get these cuts to heal and her body to accept the new foreign objects that are now inside her body. Thanks for your love, concern, prayers and encouragement for us today. It was hard and took quite a bit out of us emotionally and physically (we should rest well tonight), but we know that His strength is perfect. I will try to update you sometime late morning tomorrow after meeting with her doctors in the morning. Jayna is coming down to spend the weekend tomorrow. We are looking forward to loving on her so much these next couple of days and can't wait to see you all again.

Surgery Complete

We will post more details later; but surgery is complete and was successful. They are moving Autumn back to the NICU right now.

Jen is on her way back to triage as she couldn't get in. We'll post more later as to both of their improvements.


Please Pray - Surgery - Day 12

The kidney doctors have decided to put in the permanent catheter for dialysis, because the other one is not sealed very well and is leaking quite a bit. It is 10:30am right now and they will be taking her in for this major surgery within the hour. The procedure will take a couple of hours. They had to quit feeding Autumn this morning due to the forthcoming surgery. Please pray for the team of surgeons and the rest of the medical team as they perform this surgury. Please pray for Autumn for strength. Jen had another episode this morning in which she got a little light headed and almost passed out. She is in triage right now getting checked out to see what may be wrong so they can treat the problem. Please pray for Jen that her body would continue to heal and she would have the strength she needs to be a mom and wife. God continues to work in the lives of the entire family. He has been so good to us. After the surgery Aaron will post a note giving you all an update on Autumn's progress. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Pictures / New Prayer Request - Day 11

Some of you have been bugging me for more pictures so here they are. You will notice that Autumn has been taken off the ventilator today. She has been breathing very well on her own since about 2:30 pm today. We are so happy that she is not struggling to breathe by herself. She has been very alert most of the day today as you can see. It has been a joy to sit by her bed today.

Keep praying for her kidneys to begin to filter. This morning her levels of BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and Creatinine were going in the wrong direction. They have said that when these levels go the right way - it means that her kidneys are beginning to work. This process (for a damaged kidney) normally takes 3 months. But, as we know our God doesn't work within the normal / average time frames. Please pray with us that her kidneys begin to work now. We are believing that she will continue to be a witness to God's amazing power. Join with us in this request. Your faithfulness to our Heavenly Father and care / concern for all of us is encouraging for sure. Thank you very much!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Meeting Day - Day 10

Today, we met with a team of doctors that have been working on Autumn. We wanted them to give us a big picture of where we are going and what will it take to get there. The doctors are outstanding and answered a lot of our questions. Basically they told us that Autumn is putting out a good amount of urine on her own, actually she was a bit dehydrated this morning. Now, their goal is to get the kidneys to filter. This could take days or months. They want to gradually take her off dialysis and see how her body responds. Please pray that her kidneys begin to filter.

This would be a huge step to a healthy baby. After she is off the dialysis, they are going to take an MRI of her brain to be sure there isn’t any major damage. They are pretty sure there isn’t because she is so responsive and “feisty.” Please pray that her MRI will be clear.

Then, they are going to take her off the ventilator. A chest ex-ray shows that her lungs are clear, but her airway is irritated. They have been giving her steroids to help heal this. Please pray that she is able to be off the ventilator and breathe well on her own.

Finally, she started having some of my milk through a tube today. This is the best thing for her as long as she can handle it. Please pray that she will be able to digest and absorb the milk appropriately. We have lots to pray for, but we also have lots to praise God for. He has brought her so far in these 10 days of her little life. He is an AWESOME God who can do anything! Thank you for joining us in prayer! We love you all!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Video - Now Working

If you had trouble viewing the video, try it again - just a minor technical glitch. It will melt your heart.

Also, they have lowered Autumn's blood pressure medicine from 10mg slowly down to 3mg. When they are able to take her totally off this - they will try to give her some milk. So please pray for Autumn's blood pressure, she lost so much blood that they have had lots of trouble trying to get her blood pressure high enough to not be so dangerous. This has been so much better these past few days, so keep praying.

Also, now that she is producing all this urine we need to pray that the kidneys begin to properly filter the urine. It is an incredible praise that she is producing urine, but they have reminded us that we still have many steps with these kidneys in order to get them working properly. Please pray that her kidneys will begin to filter correctly.

Thank you all for your encouragement, notes, calls, prayers & work. YOU are a blessing to us and we thank God for you every time that He brings you to our minds. You are loved and appreciated and as I told my cousin Ryan (in Virginia) tonight - I can not wait for all of you to get to see, meet, hold, hug and love this little angel that you are connected to now. Until then - keep checking back - Jen and I have a long meeting with her doctors tomorrow to get some in depth information so I am sure that we will have more information to post tomorrow afternoon. Thanks Again!!

Busy Day - Day 9

Sorry we didn’t post yesterday, but it was a family visitation day for us and Autumn. We really enjoyed this, but we were all exhausted last night. Autumn had another good day with her dialysis and urine output. She is looking so slender and beautiful! Now, you can see her thin legs and arms. It is a blessing! They tried to take her off the ventilator yesterday, but her airways are just too swollen from the tubing at this point. With some steroids, that inflammation should go down, allowing her to be taken off. We have been reassured many times that her lungs appear to be very healthy. That is encouraging to us! We are just taking things one day at a time and often one hour at a time. We are praising God for each little step!

Jayna went back to Coleman yesterday. Goodbyes were very hard for all of us. However, we know that consistency is best for her right now, and she definitely needs to be in school. She loves school, which is a big help right now. I have learned a lot through this whole situation, but walking by faith and leaving things to God’s control is probably the biggest lesson I am learning. Our girls are God’s. He is their Creator, Provider, Protector, Physician, etc. These ladies are just on loan from Him for us to enjoy, help guide, love and care for. We have to allow God to have to ultimate control. We walk by FAITH!

-Jayna & Autumn’s Mommy

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hail to the Victors!!

Daddy & Jayna dressed and ready for the game! Tucker joined in the fun - Aunt Jen got his hat on for him!

Sorry, Jen...you must sit alone in your MSU shirt....and sorry about the score....Hail to the Victors! Thank you God for a nice time tonight - it was a fun night and much needed.

A Good Day again..

Someone had their eyes open wide today when Jen & I (Allison) were visiting...
Daddy & Jayna got her a Michigan bear today so she'd be rooting for the right team today!
Mommy & Autumn...ever seen a Mommy so happy???I have...look at this one. She was really interacting so well with Jen. It was so precious! A very happy Mommy...and a stronger Autumn today
Jen is loving loving Autumn...
What is Tucker looking at so attentively?Oh, he's so happy to meet his newest cousin...look at our next post to see what made him so happy!!! You're gonna love it - turn your sound up!

Autumn Eyes


It's The Weekend - Day 7

Autumn has really had a good couple of days. She had another great night - still producing urine - dialysis is still going well. They did have to add another IV in her arm last night. Too many medicines going in to keep pushing them through one IV (last count she had 9 different things they are trying to push in her). Praise God for medicine, it all is helping her get better. Look for a couple of pictures later today. She looks great and I can't wait to share with you sometime this afternoon. Thanks so much for your love, prayers & encouragement.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Last week I would have thought it not polite to say "pee" in conversation but these days it's A-OK to discuss pee...How do I say that Autumn had another very good day today. We're not surprised by God's provision, but amazed at how much HE truly does care to share his power with us. Since her catheter change and a few adjustments to the "recipe" the Dr's and nurses are thrilled to share that they are pulling off twice as much fluid as they're putting in!! As well, she is urinating on her own very well. Hallelujah!

Thank you for your continued prayers for Autumn, please pray for her blood pressure to stabilize. They have limited our touching to Autumn to see if that will help to stabilize her pressure since she gets so excited when she is touched with our love (especially Mommy & Daddy's).

Jayna came in tonight, thanks to Uncle Justin, and it's great to have her around. She's such a joy in so many ways and warmed her Mother's heart especially tonight. It was a treat for Jen to get to help her change her clothes and help her comb her hair...she was a Mommy to her and it was just what her heart needed. God is good to provide for all needs.

And, finally I'm sure Aaron & Jen will post when they get a chance (they're with Autumn right now and asked me to get an update up on here for them) but they received many acts of love today from many of you who are reading. Thank you for helping carry the burden in many ways...you know who you are and you should know you are a huge blessing. Thank you for responding to God's prompting and providing for a need. You are beyond precious.
I thank my God upon every rememberance of you...and we think often of you and how we're all being loved right now.


We've Got Pee - Day 6

As of this morning - Autumn is at a -1, which means that her body is producing more urine than they are putting in her for the dialysis. Last hour they put 20cc of fluid in for dialysis and she urinated 25cc on her own, plus they pulled out 20cc for the dialysis. They still want her to continue to pee more, but they are soooooo encouraged. Her weight is even coming back down. Yesterday she was at 8.82 pounds and this morning she was at 8.16 pounds. She still has some extra weight from all that fluid that has been retained, but we are moving in the right direction. All these things are pieces to the puzzle that is going to make her well. Our God is an Awesome God. The nurses and doctors have been commenting how God is playing such a big part of her progress (duh!). She is a testimony and we are praising God in this storm. You all are such a blessing. Thank you so much.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Autumn's First Toys

I love my first little bear. When my big sister is here she squezzes it and puts it up to my ear so it prays a nighttime prayer for me. I can't wait for her to come back and see me. My mommy and daddy said she will be here on Friday after school!! Thanks Scott & Jeannie!!

Here is my first doll. If I turn out anything like my big sister I will probably have about 25 of these by my first birthday. Thanks for starting my collection Grandpa & Grandma.

Update - Thursday Night

So the renal doctors really didn't want to put Autumn through the trauma of a major procedure like the permanent catheter just yet. They decided to remove the old one from her abdomen and replace it with a new one - not the typical protocol but they are just trying to get her through the night or so with it.

They have seen the power of our God through this little girl and feel that she may be producing enough urine in the next few days - she has already doubled her output, but still has a long way to go.

Jen reminded Autumn tonight to hold on to Jesus, because He's holding on to her!! Your love and support for us is wonderful and much needed. God is using you to encourage us. Thanks for being obedient.


Within the Hour...

Within the hour the surgical team will be coming to put a long term catheter into Autumn for dialysis draining. Please pray this will go well and be an answer to the catheter not currently draining correctly. They will be giving her platelets the entire time she is having the procedure done.

Her blood pressure is also low.

Please, if you came to this site on purpose or accident, we ask you to take a minute to pray for Autumn.

(Aaron & Jen are downstairs, he asked me to post)

A Note From Jen - Day 5

Autumn had a pretty stable night. She did put out more urine during the night, which is encouraging, but not enough. So she is not close to where she can be to be taken off the dialysis. They gave her a bit of a break from dialysis last night because they were not able to pull off as much fluid as they were putting into her. Now, she is on a special drip to help her urinate on her own more. They are also starting dialysis again, with a stronger sugar concentration to try and pull off more fluid. The renal doctors told us that it is difficult to determine at this point if her condition is a more temporary one or a more extended condition. This will take time. The cells in the kidneys need to learn their job with the temporary condition. Once they learn their job, the kidneys will not only put out urine, but also filter and function on their own. With the more permanent condition, the kidneys will not learn their job and have to have help indefinitely. We are willing to wait this one out and let God heal our little angel. We know that God has a perfect plan and purpose of Autumn no matter how well her body works. We have even been able to see some of His plan in these last few days as she is touching the lives of the nurses and doctors who are working with her.

Thank you so very much for all your love and prayers. Our hearts are overwhelmed with God’s love and faithfulness to us, as well as your love for us. Aaron finally got a pretty good night’s sleep last night. He still needs more rest, so please continue to pray for that. I am planning on getting my staples out today and am still recovering. Our sweet Jayna is doing well with Uncle Eldon and Aunt Vicki, as well as with school. She is being so very patient. We are looking forward to spending the weekend with her. We love and miss her so much. We love you all and thank you for your prayers, support, help, gifts, kind words and kind deeds. Thank you doesn’t even seem adequate for what we are feeling. May God continue to bless you all for your faithfulness.

Written with love and tremendous appreciation,


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Praying For Pee - Day 4

Autumn is holding steady and taking small steps toward improvement. The Kidney team is pushing her kidneys a bit tonight with a Dieuretic "cocktail". The dieuretic has a bit more sugar and nutrients than her body has given previously. And, the wait is on...this should make her body urinate a good amount more. Why more???

Autumn's catheter for dialysis and for urination are inserted through her belly button (most tubes are right now). The catheter is seeping and leaking some dialysis fluids and urine. They have attempted to tighten this catheter with tape and if they can't "fix the leak" the other option is a surgical insertion of a permanent catheter (permanent until another surgery to remove). So...we must pray for pee...(the nurse asked for us to perform a pee dance, ha ha) If she urinates a good amount with this dieuretic they will take the catheter out completely and let her be on her own...The timeframe for this extra urination is this evening until morning.

If possible, we don't want her body to have to undergo the trauma of a surgery, please - pray for her body to urinate above and beyond and produce more than she has yet...In the last three hours she produced 9cc's, 4cc's and 7cc's so it's starting to work...another dosage of diueretic is on the menu yet this evening.

God is allowing us to feel your prayers, support, love, encouragement and much more. Thank you for showing us your love this past week and for many of you in the past months. We are truly blessed. Please continue to give God the glory for the steps Autumn is making - we know they come from our Soverign God.

Jen is healing well - she will have her stiches out yet this week. She's moving around better and better everyday, please pray for her continued healing. Aaron is hanging in there as well but could use some good sleep, please pray for a peaceful sleep for him. Jayna is back at school. Please pray for clarity of mind for Jayna and her to feel very loved while her family is away.

We'll update as soon as we have any news.

- Allison (Aaron's Sister)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Here She Is

Just a few pictures - I will write more tomorrow. She is beautiful and we love her so much. I know that you all are going to fall in love with her also!! All of you are so important to us - I can't express how much help you all have been to us. Thank You!! It doesn't seem like enough, but thank you!!

Here is our beautiful girl!!

One Proud Daddy

Our 1st Family Picture

Resting Peacefully

There is gonna be alot of pink in our house!!

One last picture - shortly before they started dialysis

Update - Tuesday Afternoon

I promise to post some incredible pictures of this little angel tonight. I am going to run home to take care of a few things and will do that when I get home. I did want you all to know that when I just left the room a few minutes ago - Autumn was producing a tiny bit of urine on her own. The nurses and the doctors are ecstatic (as is her family). Keep praying - the Great Physician is still listening. He is still holding her!! We love you all and are so encouraged by your many comments to us on the blog. You are a blessing!!

Update - Day 3

As some of you know, Jen was allowed to leave the hospital in Midland late Monday afternoon. She was finally able to meet and spend time with her baby daughter. Because of that we have been in Ann Arbor for the night. Please pray that Jen's body will continue to heal and she will take care of herself first.

Autumn has had an eventful 24 hours or so. Because her kidneys are not working, she has become very bloated and 25% of her body weight is the waste that her kidneys are not filtering out. They decided to enter a catheter in her abdomen and started dialysis. It is not like most people have where they are on it for 3 hours / 3 days a week. She will be on this indefinitely (until they determine whether the kidney damage is permanent or temporary) 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Please pray that this process will begin to give Autumn some relief / rest and that her swelling will begin to go down as they slowly remove this waste from her body.

The procedure to enter the catheter went well (they were very concerned since her blood isn't clotting on its own yet) and it appears the dialysis is going well these last 12 hours or so. Because of the pain that was caused her during this initial procedure, they did give her quite a dose of morphine to help her with the pain, which greatly relaxed her body. The problem is that it also relaxed her breathing, so they put her back on some oxygen. Later in the middle of the night, she began to sporadically stop breathing, so they have decided to put her back on the ventilator. Please pray that she will start breathing on her own again and doing it very strong.

Thanks for all of your support, kind words, love and prayers that you have given our family of the last couple of days. We are very grateful and love you all. We know that God is still in total control of Autumn and her situation. We know that His ways are better than ours. Pray that we will understand Him and His ways more in these next few days. Keep praying and know that you are a blessing to this family who is so broken right now.

I do have some great pictures that I want to share, but am limited until I get a place to plug in my laptop. I plan to do that for you all sometime today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Update - Day 2

Just wanted to give you all a little update - Jen is doing great and looking at maybe being released from the hospital on Monday or Tuesday. Autumn on the other hand is having a little battle still. The doctors in the Neonatel Intensive Care Unit in Ann Arbor are concerned that when she was not breathing and her heart not beating - it caused some real damage to her kidneys, liver and bladder. None of these organs are functioning at this time. They are giving her lots of blood, frozen plazma and platelets. All of these things combined with other treatements, they believe could cause these organs to begin to recover. Please pray that this happens. They don't think that there is much major brain damage, but plan to run many tests tomorrow to check more in depth for this. She looks great and responds to us well. Jayna got to go with us today to finally meet her new baby sister. She talked in her ear and held her hand. Autumn opened her eyes and turned toward her and she squezzed Jayna's finger. These are all great signs for her physically as they continue to be concerned about her nervous system. Please pray for these things with us and for Jen that she may get out of the hospital in the next day or so and be able to travel down to Ann Arbor to meet and spend time with her new daughter. We love you all and are so thankful for your prayer and support this past 30 hours or so. I will take my camera with me tomorrow and will post some pictures of this beautiful girl when I return home.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Our Miracle Baby - Day 1

Just wanted all of you prayer warriors to know, that God reached down today and healed baby Autumn. The doctors and nurses don't know what happened of the 2 1/2 hour ride from Midland to Ann Arbor today, but Autumn is doing great. She has a great heart beat, she is breathing on her own and looks great. She has received a couple of blood transfusions today and they are very encouraged by her progress. When she got to Ann Arbor she was doing great. Join us in praising the Lord today for continuing to prove to us why He is the God of this universe. He is the Great Physician and performed a miracle today in our lives. I will post more later this weekend.