I decided it's time to share our story of our last few months. I am in hopes that I will keep up with writing on this blog and I will be able to use it as a journal of sorts. I am sorry if you are bored with my writing, but this will mean a lot ot us later in life.
As you know, our sweet Korver joined our family in January. Only a few short weeks later, Kory lost his job with Farmers Insurance. He had been with the company over 9 years and just like that, he was kicked out the door. We were devasted. Honestly. I felt like our world was over.
The day he lost his job, I loaded up all of our kids to go pick him up because he drove the company car there- and while Kory ran in to get some parts for a car he was working on, I sobbed and sobbed in the car. I could not understand why this had happened. Korver was only three weeks old, I was on leave from work and wouldn't be bringing home a paycheck--I didn't know how we were going to survive. I was also very hormonal and on no sleep for weeks, so I was a wreck. Parker climbed up to the front seat and looked at me and said, "Are you crying about dad again?" He had been used to me crying as we were somewhat preparing for Kory to lose his job...I responded "Yes." He then looked at me and said, "Mom, you can't just keep crying about dad. We need you. I need you, sister needs you and most of all, brother needs you."
Wow, to hear those words come out of my little 4-year old only made me cry more. He was right though. I couldn't carry on like this. Kory was stronger than I was. I broke down many times, but he stayed positive. It has only been three months since he lost his job, and already we can see that it was a blessing. He worked so many long hours and was never compensated for it and he was so stressed all the time. It has been hard, but I know it was the best thing for him. Kory has steadily stayed busy working on cars...busier than he has ever been. And, he is officially starting up his own business in the craft world. I know, from cars to crafts. It sounds a little strange, but we are so excited about this venture. More to come on that later...
I must attest to the power of tithing...I have always been told my whole life that blessings come to those who pay a full tithe. I have always had a hard time paying it and was honestly very selfish. It truly is a leap of faith. If you never count the money as your own though, and pay it immediately, you don't realize it's even gone. Kory and I struggled with this for years, but have now committed to paying it, and I can now say, I have been a receiver of the blessings of tithing. I don't quite understand how we are paying all our bills and still have money in our bank account, but it's happening...and I am so, so thankful. Kory is also staying busy fixing cars. Busier than he ever was before...I guess I should thank his brother and sister for getting into accidents...the point is, I know we are being blessed at this time in our lives.
Finally feeling like we were going to make it, and overcome this hurdle in our lives, we were then hit with another test. Korver had been sick with a cold, which turned into RSV at the end of March. I knew the cough wasn't normal for a 2 1/2 month old, but I had taken him to the doctor twice, and both times they told me it was just a cold. The day that we blessed him, he was acting very lethargic and wasn't interested in eating. Kory and I attended a church meeting that night, and when we returned, Kory's mom told us he still hadn't eaten and she had just let him sleep. I knew something was definitely wrong.
I took his temperature, which was 100.4, so not technically a fever yet. I decided to call the on-call doctor and she, thankfully, told me to take him to the emergency room. After 4 hours in the ER, they diagnosed him with a cold and RSV and decided to admit him. I was worried about him of course, but at that time they just wanted to keep his nose suctioned and be sure he would eat before they sent us home. So, Kory went home to gather up my belongings and we prepared to stay the night.
The next morning, the Resident and the on-call doctor on the infant floor came into the room and told Kory and I that they were worried about Korver and thought he was more lethargic than they normally see in RSV patients. They told us that they wanted to perform a spinal tap on him to rule out any bacterial infections. Of course I immediately became very worried and wanted all the information on the risks of the spinal tap. My dad had just gotten up to the hospital which I know now was such a blessing. He and Kory were able to provide Korver with a blessing right before he left to have the procedure.
Kory and I felt comforted with sending him to have the test, and waited in the room for him to return. He was gone for about 15 minutes when they rushed him back in, with 4 other nurses following alongside, and told us he had stopped breathing. They hadn't had a chance to perform the test and were now doing all they could to get him to breathe on his own. Apparently he was having spells of apnea where he would stop breathing for more than 20 seconds and he was continuing to do this in the room. I have never felt more helpless as a mother in all my life. The child life specialist came into the room and was trying to divert my attention, but of course I couldn't stop staring at my sweet baby as there were 10 or so medical professionals working on him. Kory and I just stood and watched as our little guy struggled to breathe.
We were advised that they may need to call for a transfer if they felt they weren't able to care for him and also that they may have to intubate if they aren't able to get him breathing on his own. At that point, Kory and I realized how truly serious this was and all we could do was watch...we just hugged each other and cried. There was nothing we could do for him. I will never forget the look on my sweet baby's face as they worked and worked with him to get him to breathe. As they worked with him, he would breathe on his own and then stop...breathe on his own and then hold his breath. Because he would hold his breath for such a long period of time, they became worried about the level of CO2 in his blood. So, after rushing blood tests to determine the CO2 levels, the head nurse called for a transfer. He would be life flighted to Primary Children's. That's when I officially lost it.
The life flight team entered the room and at that point we were told they were going to intubate. While the team was getting set up, the respiratory therapist started bagging him...in and out, in and out. I felt like I was in a dream and this wasn't really happening. I thought I was going to lose my little guy and there was nothing I could do. When they were ready to intubate, I left the room because there was just no way I could watch them put a tube down his throat. Kory was strong and stayed in the room with him and would come out to check on me every so often. The nurses asked if we wanted to give him a blessing before he left, and of course we wanted one. We were so lucky to have the head nurse in the unit, who was a Bishop, come in and help Kory administer to Korver. What an amazing blessing he gave. There were about 10 of us all surrounding him with our heads bowed while the blessing was given...what an amazing feeling this was. I felt immediate comfort in sending him and knew they would take care of him. At the time the ambulance team was standing by, and also the life flight team. It had been snowing that day, and they weren't sure if they would be able to fly. Minutes after they had Korver ready to transfer, the clouds lifted and they were given the go-ahead to fly. Once again, I feel this was another tender mercy.
We were able to walk out to the helicopter with him and say goodbye...I reached in and gave him a kiss and had to just walk away. I walked away and couldn't look back. I didn't want to see the helicopter take off with my baby. This was honestly the hardest and worst moment of my life. I kept having horrible thoughts enter my mind. What if we get there and they tell us they did all they could, but we couldn't help him? Or, we think he might have brain damage for lack of oxygen? What if, what if, what if?
Kory and I drove to the hospital and entered the pediatric intensive care unit. There my little guy was, all hooked up to machines. He had already been extubated though, which I was so thankful for. He was now breathing with a ventilator. He didn't look like my little boy though. He looked so sick.
Korver spent the next two days in the PICU while they slowly weaned him off the ventilator, then to high flow oxygen and then to regular. He began to heal quickly...much quicker than the doctor's expected. What a little fighter he was. He fought in that room so hard to breathe on his own and now he was fighting with all he had to get well. We were transferred to the infant floor two days after being admitted, and we only spend one day there. We were able to go home only 4 days after he was life flighted. What a miracle.
I had such mixed emotions about leaving the PICU and then leaving the hospital. We were there such a short time but while there you witness and see all the other sick children fighting. You see the parents by their bedside feeling helpless and praying that their child will get well. Why were we so blessed? Why did he recover so quickly? I know I should just be thankful, but it was somewhat bittersweet.
This whole incident really put into perspective Kory losing his job. What a trivial thing it was. Jobs come and go. Children can't be replaced. How truly blessed we felt. Why this all happened to us in a matter of two months, I don't know. Maybe this was God's test for us...maybe not. All I know is, I thank my Heavenly Father every day for my three healthy children and for my good husband. Material wealth and 'things' on this earth don't matter. Yes, it's nice to be able to pay your mortgage, don't get me wrong, but I knew we would survive this job loss after our hospital stay.
We received such an outpouring of love and support during this difficult time in our lives. I don't know what we would have done without our family and friends--they watched Parker and Preslie, brought us dinner, cleaned my house...wow, we truly have so much to be thankful for.
The pictures below are definitely hard to look at, and at the time, I was really bothered that Kory was taking the pictures. I guess I didn't feel it was appropriate in that moment. Now, I am so thankful to have them. They go in order from one being the emergency room and the picture of his little head after they tried and tried to get a vain, to the room at the hospital where they rushed him back in to try to get him breathing (this is where he is sitting up with oxygen), this is the hardest one for me, to the PICU and then last the infant floor. They were taken with Kory's phone, so they aren't the best quality and are a bit blurry--but these will always be a reminder of what we went through, a reminder of just how hard our little man fought for his life, and will always remind us just how blessed we were and are.
Remember to count your blessings daily. We all have much to be thankful for.