Monday, January 28, 2008

A letter from Neal

I had to share this letter that Neal wrote to our friends and family. He says things so much better than I can...I love him so!

Hello everyone,

I wanted to update you on the amazing story of our third son Luke Britton Watson.

After two miscarriages in 9 months we found out in April 2007 that Lindsay was pregnant again. We were not emotionally ready, but we had no choice but to trust God in the situation and look for strength in him. We were quiet and nervous until we got to the 14 week mark, and the doctors told us that all was good. We finally started telling everyone and started to relax a bit.

At the 20 week ultrasound we found out that we were having a boy, which we were very excited about, but we also found out that he had a very serious heart condition called Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. Simply put, this meant that his heart rate was erratic and would jump up to 250-280 beats per minute (that is REALLY fast). We were told to see a specialist immediately. We did some searching and found a pediatric cardiologist at Vanderbilt Hospital. Among other things, he told us that this was rare but in some cases it could heal itself. The scariest part was that his heart was working so hard that it could have caused him to have a heart attack at any time.

For 5 weeks Lindsay went to the doctor twice a week for check-ups and ultrasounds to see how it was progressing. We also sent out the word for prayer to most all of you. We found such amazing support, and I have to say, that I have never felt so cared for. Your prayers provided a literal feeling of protection that we had never experienced. At the cardiologist appointment in the 4th week we were told that it seemed the condition was lessening. The swelling in his heart was down and so was the fluid in the sack around the heart. This indicated that the strain on the heart was lessening. Two weeks later the cardiologist told us that it seemed the problem was completely gone. We were so thrilled and relieved. The doctor told us that he didn’t need to see us again until December when he would do one more check before delivery, which was set for January 15, 2008.

We were hopeful that the December appointment would verify with certainty that there were no problems and that he was healthy. Instead what we found was that the Tachycardia was in fact still non-existent, but there were two new potential problems that had not been found before. The cardiologist found that his aortic valve was too small or may have only had two leaflets instead of three, and there was a possible blockage in his aortic arch. The valve is a problem he could live with. He would have to be monitored but he could live his whole life with no surgery as long as the valve held up and stayed strong. However, the blockage would have required surgery in the first week to ten days. This was obviously hard to hear.

We thought we were going in for a simple check up and left being concerned that our newborn baby might require heart surgery in the first week of life. We were thankful that he was not in danger inutero, but the thought of surgery scared us. The cardiologist told us to go ahead and have a normal delivery at Baptist Hospital and that he instruct the nursing staff of what to watch for in the nursery. If symptoms were found there was a plan to care for him. When we were discharged from Baptist we were told to go straight to Vanderbilt for a scan of his heart to find out what needed to be dealt with.

On Monday the January 14, 2008 Lindsay and I went into Baptist Hospital at 6 a.m. to induce labor. For seven hours we watched as Lindsay’s blood pressure and Luke’s heart rate bounced around; both of which set off the computer alarm bringing in nurses and doctors in a slight panic. Lindsay’s epidural didn’t work for the first 3 hours so she was in considerable pain until they finally got that right. My eyes were glued on the equipment the entire time with my concern for both my wife and my unborn child.

I watched heart rates and blood pressures rise and fall. After a few hours of that, my stomach was in knots. I was concerned and torn in my prayers. I have always been very aware that I should ask for the desires of my heart. However, I never presume to know, better than God, what is right for me. So my prayers of request are always laced in a deep desire that if Gods desire for me is different than my own, that he override me regardless of human pain that may follow. I want what he wants. The only thing that got me through the day of delivery was the thought and prayer, “Your time, your way.” That was repeated in my headed hundreds of times during the day and this was the only thing that brought me peace through the entire week.
Finally at 1pm the doctor came in, saw that there had not been much progression and gave us the option for a C Section. Lindsay and I were both ready to have Luke out of danger and so we agreed. Around 2:30pm we went into the OR and at 2:43pm Luke Britton Watson cried his first cry. Lindsay and I were both so exhausted and yet so relieved that he was here and the first hurdle was behind us. The C Section went perfectly and Lindsay was back in recovery 30 minutes later. He was beautiful.

He was still crying so loud in the OR and the nurse asked if I would like to go to the nursery with him. As we started walking down the hall the nurse asked if I would like to hold him while we walked. I, of course, said yes. He had been screaming from his first breath, but within two seconds of being placed in my arms he stopped crying and opened his eyes and just stared at me. Now, most of you know me well enough to know that I am not one for tears. But in that moment even the strong will break. The emotions took me. Thankful for the gift God had brought. Thankful that we were through the first step. Overwhelmed at God’s mercy.

The first three days were spent in Baptist Hospital. The doctors and nurses all had nothing but great words about Lindsay’s recovery, Luke’s demeanor and temperament, and most importantly his test results. Granted, these were simply preliminary and would not take the place of the scan to come later, none the less, they were good test results.

On Thursday we were released from Baptist and headed over to Vanderbilt to meet with the cardiologist. It was a long appointment. They did the scan immediately when we arrived. Then they took his vitals and we waited for the cardiologist to review the scan. Finally we were asked to wait in a room where the cardiologist eventually joined us. This visit would not have been anywhere near as tense as it was if Lindsay and I weren’t holding our breath in prayer for our three day old baby boy.

Dr. Cavanaugh came in and the first words out of her mouth were, “Let me start by saying everything is perfect.” Lindsay and I almost hit the floor. She continued by walking through the 4 month history of Luke’s chart. All of the problems or concerns to make sure we knew what she had looked for. She then told us that his aortic arch was completely open, clean and working as normal. The valve that we were concerned about would not have required surgery and therefore it was lower on our list of priority. However, even this valve was built completely normal and was exactly the right size.

We had been in prayer over this precious child’s heart and health for 4 months. We had reached out to all we knew for prayer and support through this time. We had gone through moments of pain, fear, joy and then the cycle started all over again. All of that to finally be brought to such an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.

We had lived with trust in the Lord and the acknowledgment that God’s way is not always ours. During the first seven hours of delivery day I watched my wife and unborn son struggle. Luke could just have easily required surgery on his heart. I KNEW God would deliver us, strengthen us through it and therefore if that was to be his desire I would thank him.

He chose to show favor on our family in this situation. He poured grace and mercy on us that we do not deserve. Lindsay, Luke and I drove home from Vanderbilt and I was frozen. My heart was in pieces that God chose to answer all of our prayers with, “I will heal this child.” We are so unworthy and there is nothing we can do in life to deserve such blessings. All we can do is acknowledge this and thank him through our life and the example we set for our families and others. Thursday night, the first night at home with our entire family I prayed that the Lord would give me the wisdom and strength I needed to honor him with my life regardless of what that meant. This is all I can do.

Friends, my family has never felt so loved, so cared for or so supported as with these last 5 months. I dare say that we have felt God, and your prayers, physically carry us through this time. We will never be able to truly thank you for this. I pray, though, that if we can return this in any way that you will not hesitate to ask. We don’t deserve you in our lives, but we are so thankful.

With all my thanks,
Neal Watson

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two Weeks Old!

Here are some new pictures of my little two week old. He is such a little sweetie and we are just eating him up. I know first hand how quickly they grow out of this sweet little newborn phase, so I'm trying to enjoy every moment, every cuddle, every stretch, every yawn, every cry. I know it will be gone in the blink of an eye. The middle of the night feedings and little sleep don't seem as hard this time around. It's hard to get out of bed, but once I've got him in my arms, feeding him, I can't help but marvel at the precious gift of life that the Lord has blessed us with.

Tonight, when I was feeding Luke, Sam and Gabe were running around the living room getting the bad guys and simply being boys, I was amazed at that fact that I'm now a mom of three boys. It seems unreal, can that really be true? How crazy is that? I have three (THREE) boys! What in the world? In a few years, my grocery bill is going to be out of this world, my car and house will stink of sweaty boy smells, and I'll be driving all over the place to drop them off at their various activities. So much to look forward to and so much to soak in right now. I pray that I will find joy in all three of my boys each day and that I will know how to mother each of their sweet little hearts.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Getting to know you

Here is yet another "Getting to know you" questionnaire. Oh, come on, you know they're fun to read!
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Lindsay after The Bionic Woman - Lindsay Wagner and Diane after my aunt.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? last night, around 3am, when I was feeding Luke, I'm still so amazed at my 3rd son with a completely healthy heart! So grateful...



5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 3 boys...Sam is 5, Gabe will be 3 in March and Luke is 1.5 weeks.





10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? not a big cereal fan


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? physically and emotionally? Yes to both, although I'm not as physically strong as I used to be!

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM ? Blue Bell's Cookies n Cream


15. RED OR PINK? Red


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Carly, Carrie, Shana, Laura, Amy, my family

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? everyone post on your will give me something to read in the middle of the night nursing!

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? black sweat pants and ugg-like house shoes.

20.WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Cozymels fajitas and queso



23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Fall, my kids, newborns, the soap at Baptist Hospital


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Absolutley, she is one of my favorite people in the world!

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I'm a huge football fan

27. HAIR COLOR ? blah

28. EYE COLOR? green

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Since 6th grade

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Mexican

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings for sure.




35. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Creme Brulee and Chocolate Cake with hot fudge



40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD no mouse pad on a laptop


42. FAVORITE SOUND? my kids' laughing



45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can take a great picture, I'm a super fast reader...I can read a good sized book in just a few, uninterupted hours

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Lyons, Kansas

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hi Everyone!

We are finally home from the hospital and it's sure good to be back at home with all of our boys! We were discharged this afternoon from Baptist at 2:30 and went straight over to Vandy to get Luke's heart checked out. Aside from the difficulty of waiting rooms with a 3 day old and a mom who just had a c-section, our visit went wonderfully well! We left Vandy with the good news that Luke's heart looks "perfect and boring" to the Cardiologist! There was nothing at all on the Echo that looked out of place, everything measured perfectly and we don't ever have to go back!!!!! Neal and I barely held it together until we got to the car...what a relief to hear that our precious little Luke is perfectly fine and we have nothing (but the normal stuff) to worry about. We are so overwhelmed by God's goodness and faithfulness and are praising His name for bringing us through this in His perfect timing. We were thrilled to bring Luke home tonight knowing that he is here to stay, that we don't have to bring him back to the hospital.

Luke is a little angel. He looks a lot like both of his big brothers, but already has his own personality. He is pretty quiet and easy to calm so far. He took to breastfeeding like a champ, we've already got a little routine going. He responds so much to Neal's voice, today, at Vandy, he got really upset and Neal got down in his face and started talking to him and Luke literally stopped crying in an instant and fell asleep! It was a magical moment, Neal and I just looked at each other in shock and then started laughing, which isn't something I should be doing right now, so please, don't be funny around me. :)
Sam and Gabe are excited about their baby brother and are so glad to have him home to look at and laugh at.

Thanks for all of your prayers over these last months. It has meant the world to us to have your support. I'll post more later, when I'm not so doped up on pain medication!

Neal, Lindsay, Sam, Gabe and Luke!


This is my (Carly) last update for you...

Neal and Lindsay are being released from the hospital today and are taking Luke straight over to Vanderbilt for his echo cardiogram to determine if the ductus has or will close and where to go from here.

Be in prayer today that the results of this test will indicate that they are bringing home a heart-healthy newborn. Also pray for strength and rest for the Watsons as they start their new life today at home as a family of five!

Welcome home, Luke!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Luke's Heart

A few of you have been asking about Luke's heart and how he's doing in that respect. I hope you assumed that no news was good news!

As of this afternoon, all of the tests run on him have shown that his heart is functioning properly. Neal & Lindsay have been told that the ductus issue (detailed on the right of this blog)...

"They are worried that when Luke's Ductus closes, the Coarctation will appear."

...can take anywhere from 24 hours to 5 days to close. While in the hospital, the nursery is running a test at the request of the pediatric cardiologist every 12 hours. So far so good!

Her pediatrician saw Luke this morning and had nothing but good things to report.

She appreciates all of your prayers and asks that you keep praying that this will be a non-issue and they can take home a perfectly healthy little boy and continue to get good reports regarding his heart.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Luke Watson

He's Here!

Luke Britton Watson
2:43 pm
6 pounds 11 ounces
20 1/4 inches long

He has tons of hair and long feet and fingers!

Going in for her section

Kandice just called to say that they just took Lindsay back to take Luke via C-section. Lindsay started running a fever in the last half hour and the doctor felt it best to go ahead and get Luke out. Lindsay was relieved. We should have a baby in the next 20 minutes so I'll post as soon as I hear.

Be praying!

Luke Update

Hello to all of Lindsay's cyberfriends.

This is Carly, blogging on Lindsay's behalf to update you with the latest on sweet Luke.

8:30 I talked to Lindsay and she was in a lot of pain.

10:30 Kandice (who is there at the hospital) called to report that the epidural Lindsay had received had only taken on one side so they gave her another one and she was finally resting comfortably. She was only dialated to a 4 and not progressing along very quickly.

12:45 Luke's heart rate was continuing to drop when Lindsay would move so they completely turned off her Pitocin. I spoke with Lindsay and she said that her doctor decided to give her an hour to progress on her own but if she hadn't when he returned at 1:45...they would take Lindsay in for a C-section. She said that she was relieved to hear that.

Please pray in this hour that God takes care of little Luke and Lindsay and that if she does end up having to go in for a section...that all would go smoothly.

I will continue to update her blog as I hear what's going on.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This is it folks!

We enjoyed our last day today as a family of 4. I picked my mom up from the airport this evening, so everything is in place for tomorrow. I'm feeling anxious and very excited. It's such a surreal feeling planning your day around having a baby, surreal and of course, not very easy, since we have no idea when he will come and what the day will bring. I'm sure I won't sleep a wink tonight. Carly will be updating my blog (for the 2 of you who really read it) as she gets updates from us here and hopefully, we will be able to get some pictures up.

I'm off to do a little last minute packing. Here is my last preggo picture...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Monday it is...

I learned today at my Doctor's appointment that I've progressed all the way to a 1! Yipee. That's a little crazy for my third baby, 4 days from my due date. Dr. P even said that and then told me I was just really special, to which I replied...I'm a little sick of being special! :)

The good news is that, no matter what, we will see Luke's precious little face sometime on Monday.

Today was a super crazy day. We woke up to gross rain and everyone knows it's a big pain in the you know what trying to get kids anywhere when it's raining. We made it to school on time, but not because I was nice about it. Then, after my appt, I had to go pre register at the hospital and ended up having to walk my tall, heavy black registered...and had to walk all the way back to my car. I thought I was going to die! THEN...I went to lunch with some dear friends I haven't seen in forever and right as I finished my delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup, I got a call from Gabe's teacher at school saying that I had to come pick him up because the weather was so bad they were closing all Metro schools early (it was raining for crying out loud!!!!). So, I had to skip out on the last 45 minutes of freedom and some serious good dessert (we were at the Puffy Muffin) and book it to school to get the boys, so all the teachers could go get their kids.

Inevitably, it's days like this when your kids decide to go deaf and not hear a word you are saying and are as slow as Christmas!

Tomorrow is a new day - thank goodness!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pregnancy Update

I really don't have much to update, other than it's looking like they won't induce me until Monday the 14th. I go back for a check up tomorrow morning, so I should know more then, hopefully I will have dilated some! When I wasn't dilated last week, Dr. P changed the induction to Monday to give me a few more days, so if he doesn't decide to come on his own, we will be having him sometime Monday. My mom has already made her flight arrangements to be here Sunday night. I don't think he will decide to come on his own because I sure don't feel like my body is getting ready to have a baby. I'm barely even having Braxton Hicks contractions, which I was expecting to come on in full force with the third baby. Maybe I'll have more info tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Grab a girlfriend and a box of Kleenex and go see it!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Can you say obsessive?

I'm so obsessed with Photoshop Elements. I'm going to go cross-eyed from all the time I spend in front of this computer staring at the screen. I'm having so much fun though! I'm actually going to make it to bed before midnight tonight. Yes, my new obsession has kept me up well into the night. I need something to be obsessed with this last bit of pregnancy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Stupid Doctor's Appointment

The title says it all. Today's appointment was one of those terrible visits where you walk in with high hopes and leave with them all crushed. That might be a little dramatic, but hey, I'm feeling a little dramatic right now! I'm not dilated at ALL! He already has me on the books to be induced Friday the 11th, but I'll go back in Thursday to be checked again. If I'm not progressing at that point, I don't know when he will do it. The one thing I know for sure is that I'll have him this month! I've never gone past my due date with the other boys, so I feel pretty sure that I only have 2 weeks left, but you can just never be sure, can you? Now, I just need to get myself through these next two weeks without losing all my friends and making my boys and my husband crazy, and myself for that matter! :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Nothing like a pregnant picture of me to wish you a Happy New Year - but this picture was taken on New Years Eve, so there you go. This is me at 38 weeks...and yes...I'm wearing a dress...a real dress, not a "tunic". Neal's boss's son got married last night, so Neal and I got dressed up for the wedding. Me in a dress and Neal in a suit! That NEVER happens around here! It's been awhile since I've been to a wedding, so it was fun to go and be reminded of our wedding day and how far we have come! It was also great to spend some time with good friends. My friend Stacey watched the boys for us, so after the wedding (and after we ran home to change back into our normal clothes) we went over to her house and hung out the rest of the night with more friends.

We have enjoyed our last lazy day at home for the holidays. Neal goes back to work tomorrow, and I go to the Dr for another check up. I'm hoping that I'll leave his office with a date set for induction. I know that it will be sometime in the next two weeks, it all depends on how far along I am. My official due date is two weeks from today. If we get any news I'll be sure to post. I finally had some motivation today to get some stuff set aside that I know I'll need to take to the hospital. I got the infant car seat out and all cleaned up and I even pulled out the dreaded breast pump (ugh!) to see if it's still working from 2 years ago. I don't feel like I'm ready, but I don't really know what else I can do, short of actually packing up my bags, so I guess I am ready. Scheduling the induction (they want me to induce, rather than go into labor on my own so they can monitor his heart rate from the very beginning) will probably send me into a tizzy of activity...or panic...

I woke up from a nap this afternoon to see that it was snowing outside! It stuck, but didn't snow long enough to go out and play in it. It was sure beautiful though, a nice treat for the first day of 2008. It's supposed to be 28 here tomorrow!

Happy 2008!