Friday, May 2, 2014

These Days...


I do sincerely apologize for being over three weeks since our surgery. I'm still so far behind in everything, so I'll tell the story in pictures. 

Biggest messages: 

PRAISING GOD FOR GETTING IT ALL!
PRAISING GOD FOR NO DAILY HORMONE THERAPY!
PRAISING GOD FOR QUICK HEALING!
PRAISING GOD FOR HOLDING US UP AND CARRYING US THROUGH!!!!!!!!!

Before surgery, Mr. Hudson was all smiles. We got some video of him laughing and, of course a few of him with his new friend here. ;)  His little surgery gown was too stinkin' cute! Looking at him in this picture, I see those rosy cheeks and I am so thankful for how different he looks now. How healthy. However, I will admit this is a really adorable picture that I will treasure forever. :) 

Our parents sat with us through the whole surgery. We hung out in the cafeteria. We laughed. We enjoyed each other. My heart dropped every time my phone rang with updates of Hudson's surgery, but we made it through. A little over three hours from open to close, and we were thankful for every minute we were not siting in the waiting room. Instead we had our biggest support system right there with us helping us cope, and more than anything put our total trust in the Lord. No need to worry--we laid this at HIS feet! 

Hardest day of my entire life--yes, harder than diagnosis day. This was horrible. I saw him and I fell apart. Then our family came in and we all took our turns crying and crying. Hudson moaned and cried for about five hours until he got some relief. After that, he slept an hour, but was back at the crying and moaning on and off the rest of the night.The NG tube in his nose was the hardest part. I couldn't nurse him for five days. He had a tough time finding comfort in me because his comfort is nursing many times. Looking at this picture three weeks and two days later, I have mixed emotions. Happy it's out of him and upset with the fact he ever had to look like this at any point in his life.  This was just a really trying day. He lost one adrenal gland and part of another.
My baby.
 We were finally able to find a comfortable spot for him to be held. 
Grandpa and Hudson
 Somebody turned three our second day in the hospital!
Our picture with the birthday boy at exactly 8:04 p.m. April 10. Happy third birthday, Cohen John! I can't believe three years has gone by already!
Great Grandma Helena and Grandma Marshall came by to visit. Four generations :)
Sleep was basically non-existent. With monitors beeping constantly, lights on, nurses in to check on him, and just not being comfortable, we got two to three hours of sleep most nights.One night he was having such a hard time I held him from 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning. The time seemed to fly by, oddly enough, but it had to be done. It was so important for him to get rest, and being hooked up to the machine was not the way he was going to rest and heal. God gave me strength in those moments...I promise you that!
As soon as she saw Hudson after recovery, she looked right at me and mouthed, "I'm not going anywhere," and right there she stayed. By my side. Night after night after night until the tube was out, I could give my baby comfort, and handle it on my own. 
Momma, you are a blessing beyond measure.
The best part about being in Grammy's arms was that she offered comfort when he couldn't get it from me. It was almost like it upset him more at times to be with me. Something about Grammy's snuggle got him to sleep every time, and bonus for me-- I could catch much needed naps here and there.
The NG tube in his nose was the hardest part. Everyone keeps telling me I won't like breaking him of this thumb sucking habit, but for this moment in time it was so wonderful. 
Jeffy soothing Hudson before running home and taking care of my sister's kids while we had another family emergency. Jeff was also the first one to the hospital the day Hudson was diagnosed holding me upright. A true blessing to our family. Could not be more thankful for him as he watched over my baby, tears rolling down his face. We love you, Jeffy! 

Our new friends, the Young family, has a little boy named Aiden. He is two-years-old, and he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma as well. Their family sent us this sweet lion and their prayer bracelet. I have put it on and will not take it off until Aiden is cancer free. Sweet Aiden has a journey ahead of him, but it's nothing our God can't do! We ask that you please join us in daily prayer over this amazing little man.CLICK HERE for the link to support their family through a Monte Carlo night in June!
 Once that NG tube came out of his nose, we were back in business! His demeanor dramatically changed back to our happy Huddy Buddy! It was such a sigh of relief. Though tough to slowly ease back into nursing when he really wanted to gorge himself, we did it (after being puked on three times)!
 Back to chewing on Sophie girl :)

As much as we ADORE our nurses, and as much as we LOVE our oncologist, by day six we were R-E-A-D-Y to GO HOME! After an hour of education from the Endocrinologist nurse on how to administer stress dosing of hydrocortisone if Hudson is under mild stress (fever, broken bone, vomiting) and how to administer a shot (vial, needle and all) in case of a more serious stress, we were OUTTA THERE!
THIS is the face of a CHAMPION on his way HOME!

Our first days home looked a lot like this plus Cohen hanging on to me and Hudson, determined to never let us go again. 
I'd say Hudson speaks for both of us in this picture...we didn't want to be let go of, either. Having our family under one roof after being told Hudson could possibly have a very good chance of being healed...nothing like it in the whole world. 
 Then, it warmed up! I don't think I've ever scrambled so fast to get shoes and jackets on. We were going OUTSIDE!!
Hudson had his first swing experience. Little pushes and he really enjoyed it. :)
Best friends, even the little ones, find their hearts connected are much more cozy snuggled up together. It's before bedtime...can you tell with Hudson's thumb!? :)


 Some other Marshall happenings since being home these last three (busy) weeks:

Daddo making one of Momma's Pinterest dreams come true :)


 Hudson Xavier Marshall turned SEVEN months old!! PRAISE GOD FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF LIFE!
 Cohen got to play with other kids and learned that he did, indeed need a nap regardless of what his three-year-old self told me over and over again :) 

"Babyproofing" in this house means renting an auger and putting up a much awaited fence! Cohen is getting a little too daring for this momma's liking, so fence it is! Beyond thankful for our friend, Matt (and Kimber for letting us borrow her hubby!) to get this done!

Our fence inspector, Sir Cohen John. Also note the shirt bought specifically to support one of our favorite superheroes, AIDEN YOUNG!! :) 
The neighbor kids are so kind to our kids (and dog!) and this night was no exception. Here's Cohen playing with them on their see-saw. :) He's getting SO big!
We got to meet up with a dear high school friend of Steve's at Bill's doughnuts. So glad Sarah finally got to meet Hudson! He and Cohen were both very snuggly with her immediately! :)
 Hudson had some work to get done...
...so did Cohen ;) 

We got specially made tee shirts from two of our best friends living in Turkey for the boys. LOVE YOU Danny and Meggy!
Mommy didn't quite get the slowly easing in to two kids out in the world thing, so managing this trip to Hobby Lobby was a new, interesting task full of pee in Cohen's pants and a sleepy Hudson, who wanted held. For a minute, though...I TOTALLY had it all under control! ;)

Took the boys to their first baseball game!



 EASTER HAPPENED!
Since diagnosis in December, I kept telling myself that if  we could just make it to Spring and get to Easter, we'd be past the hard part, and I really think and pray we are. 
Easter is such a special time for our family. The LORD really puts Himself front and center at this time of the year. We got engaged on Easter, we lost our first baby (were held up by the Lord and overwhelmed by him GIVING UP HIS SON for us...wow!!!) around this time, gave birth to Cohen two weeks before Easter, and now this. It has always been my favorite holiday, and having our whole family home, together, and HEALTHY...PRAISE GOD!!!!!!


Easter egg hunt at Grammy and Jeffy's! SO much fun! Next year Hudson will be right in there with Cohen, Landen, Aiden, and Isabella grabbing up all the eggs he can!
 Church at Apex then brunch with some of our very best friends in the world. Love the Browns and loved sharing our favorite holiday with them. They have been such a source of love, support, encouragement, and even a little babysitting, so it was so fitting to celebrate this first big event out with them! THANK YOU, LORD for such wonderful friendships!
 Easter egg hunting champion!
 After running into this (my sister and myself):
I had to create this: 
 Tie dye Easter eggs! We got so much coloring on our hands we looked like the Hulk (thank you Emily Dew for that description!!) for a day. Totally worth it! :)

 An Easter craft at Matty and Kimbers with besties!! :) Cohen isn't exactly quite the crafter I'd like him to be, so he did this for about five minutes and spent the next hour out back tugging the hose around their yard hooking it up and running it up the slide. That's our Cohen :) 


 And last, but definitely not least...one of my favorite pictures of all time. The three older boys were so hungry after church, but we aren't rookie mommas any more, so we knew we had a very small window in which to get the desired picture. What did it take? Three graham crackers of bribery and one very bossy seven-month-old. Hudson...you ROCKED your Easter picture, bud! :) 




Psalms 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long!!!!!!!!!!!!





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