Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another year has come and gone. It has now been 3 years since Tatum died and I am sad to say that it has gotten easier. Part of me wants the pain to stay fresh only because it is hard to hold onto such few memories and my mind forgets things that I thought I would never forget. This year we decided that on his birthday we would put out all of the pictures blankets and stuffed animals, things from the hospital and his first outfit. It is all on a table in the front room set up as a memorial. The plan is to keep it all set up from his birthday till his death day. It has been so nice to have the constant reminder of how real it all was and to have things out that I can touch and hold. The kids ask more questions and we are able to talk about him more and remember how it was to have him here and look forward to when we will all be together again. On his birthday I took all the kids out of school at lunch time and took them for a picnic at the grave. We came home and made birthday cards for him and went and got balloons for his grave. We went to dinner that night and then went to fiesta fun. It was nice to spend the day doing fun things my kids all enjoyed and to make the day all about him. We have made it a tradition to go to the Temple every year on his death date and do sealings to help others become forever families. Every time we have gone the spirit has been so strong and I get such a strong sense of love from my Heavenly Father and my son Tatum. All we have now is pictures memories and the traditions we make a priority.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

For Tatum's 2nd Birthday we Cleaned the stone and repainted the black lettering. It's crazy what the hard water does to those grave stones! It hasn't been there a year yet but after we repainted the letters black and scrubbed off all of the hard water spots and polished it again it looked like a totally new stone.

Happy birthday buddy!  We miss you so much.  It is crazy to see little 2 year old boys running around giving their parents chaos and love.  We wish you were here doing the same things! We are surrounded by 2 year old boys- Graham (Still close by picture updates) Jaxon, Issac, Taegan, 2 year old boys of our close friends and family, all with close birthdays, it doesn't seem fair that you can't be here with the gang. We love you and can't wait to be with you again!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We finally got the right headstone after much waiting and we love it!  It turned out great!

July decorations!  And Tate's picture got put on the front.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I remember the way you looked at me,
Your blue eyes would open wide for me to see.
You know I'll always be missin' you,
And though it's hard you know I'll make it through.

You are the one thing that I adore,
The one thing I know is worth dying for.
I'm so, so sorry for the way,
Things turned out that day in May.

I can still see the snow as clear as day,
I close my eyes and I just drift away.
Though it's dark my eyes can see,
The sunshine your spirit poured back into me.

I still feel your love surrounding me,
And though you're gone your peace is here with me.
I'm so, so sorry for the way
Things turned out that day in May.
But I'm so, so glad that I can say,
I'll see you my love, I'll see you again some day.




So today for Tate's birthday we went to IHOP for breakfast and had planned on going to Snow Canyon Park to hike and have a picnic, but the weather wasn't coordinating with our plans.  Once the rain cleared up we did end up going to the family farm and having a hot dog roast and just hanging out with the family.  We then went to Tate's grave and wrote our birthday messages on some balloons and tied the balloons to his cute flower basket that Grandma and Grandpa E. gave him.   

One year

One year ago today my life was turned upside down by the beautiful baby boy I was blessed to be able to call my son.  I had no clue what this amazing little spirit that was inside me was going to do for me!  He has changed me so much and continues to do so from the other side.  I can't believe it's been a whole year, and at the same time it seems a life time ago. 
The kids are so cute when they talk about him and what they remember.  Olivia continues to pray for him every night and gets offended if anyone else forgets to mention him in their prayers.  Asher loves to look at the pictures and talk about how things will be when we get to be together again.  Avaree likes to go with us to the grave and every time we drive away, she waves at the grave and says "bye baby Tatum!  I love you."  We all are missing him so much and it seems that the pain gets easier with time, but occasionally it comes back full fledged and consumes me.  I am so grateful for all of the pictures and memories I have with him and can't wait for more to come!  I love you Tate!

I didn't get pictures of Valentines day but we did decorate with a really cute heart wreath and valentines from us and the kids.  We love keeping his grave updated!  These are the decorations for St. Patricks Day, we hung decorative clovers on the posts too with notes from us on them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My First Christmas in Heaven

I see the countless Christmas Trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars, reflecting in the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas Choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, but the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description to hear the Angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me my dear ones, you know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above,
I send  you each a memory of my undying Love.
After all, "LOVE" is the gift more precious than pure gold,
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as our Father said to do,
For I can't count the blessings or Love He has for you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
Remember, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holidays with Tate

We had a really cute scarecrow and fall flowers with a hay bail but when the cemetery did their clean up we weren't aware of it and they took all of Tatum's stuff so this is what we got to replace it.  It's cute but not as cute as the other stuff.  I just wish I would have gotten a picture before it had been taken.

The day after Thanksgiving we went and gave him his own tree and stuffed reindeer and some solar Christmas candy cane lights.

On Christmas Eve we all decorated ornaments for his tree and took them over to him.  The kids loved decorating the tree.

This is the finished product!  They did a great job and it put us in great Christmas spirits to be able to do something for Tatum.

We also made it a new family tradition since we can't put actual gifts for Tatum in his stocking we've decided to have everyone on Christmas Eve write down a service they have done during the Christmas season and put it in Tatum's stocking and those are our gifts to him.

Friday, August 6, 2010

19 weeks ago my precious baby Tatum was born. 5 weeks and 6 days later he passed away and life hasn't been the same since.  I'm grateful to say that we have learned and grown so much from this experience.  It has brought my family closer to our Father in heaven.  We are stronger as a family and as much as we miss Tatum, we are so grateful for the grace of God and the way he has helped us through this most difficult trial.  My kids have a strong testimony of their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and they know that we will be with Tatum again.  We miss him so much, but we are so grateful that we'll be with him again.  Our family is forever.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If any one of you have any stories that you can share with me about Tatum or how he has touched your lives or anything that has anything to do with anything that I might not have remembered to write down or that I don't know about. Really anything. I am putting together a keepsake journal/scrapbook of him his life and how he changed others, and I really want to have many peoples points of views. I received my midwifes version of the birth story and I had totally forgotten some of the things she wrote about and it was nice to have her side of the story as well. I liked her feelings and emotions that I couldn't have ever known about had she not written them down and given them to me. I don't care if you think it's small and insignificant, it doesn't even have to be about me and Tate, maybe just something that his life inspired you to do or change. It would really mean a lot to me. Just e-mail it to me at zeffie_13@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Funeral for Tate.

Tatum has left us here on earth and we will miss him dearly. He has done so much for us in such a small amount of time. Thank you all for your love and support. I pray he has touched your lives as much as he has ours. I am glad to have been able to share him and his story through this blog. It is a great reminder for me to be able to look back at all he has gone through and how blessed we have been. The funeral for Tatum will be on Wednesday may 12th at 11 am. The viewing is from 9:30-10:30 am at Spilsbury Mortuary. Thank all of you so much for the love and prayers you've given for us. We love you all.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We are so blessed to have so many friends and family supporting us through this hard time in our lives. We have been so blessed to have such an amazing spirit sent to us and know that his place in the kingdom of heaven is secure! He is such an amazing strong spirit and we will miss him dearly! It has been nice to have today and yesterday to say goodbye to him. He is on life support until tonight and when we feel comforted in letting him return to our loving Heavenly Father we will remove the ventilator and heart medication. Thank all of you for your continuous prayers on our behalf. We are so blessed because of him and all of you! We will hold a funeral for him and keep you posted on when it will be and where. Thank you all for your love and support! We hope to keep all of these memories with our precious angel close to our heart for all time!

Goodbye Tatum

The Angel of the book of life wrote down my baby's birth, and whispered as she closed the book, "Too beautiful for earth..."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Okay so today we realized that we haven't given an official list of everything that is wrong with our precious Tatum, so here goes; he has a cleft lip and pallet, abnormal outer ears, only one kidney, absent gall bladder, spinal deformation with a possibility of scoliosis, a heart condition called an unbalanced atrioventricular septal defect with decreased function of the right ventrical, a leaky av valve and aortic coarctation and aortic atresia (his heart is really sick). He also had a tracheoesophgeal fistula (tef) that was repaired when he was 3 days old. He now has developed chylothorax. He also has developed asides in his abdomen. Having mentioned all that we would be ungrateful if we failed to mention all that is right with him. He has the most beautiful eyes that we have ever seen. They look deep blue like the sea, but the depth is more than just the color. It's a depth of emotion and feeling and passion and desire and most of all love. He has ten fingers and ten toes and two feet that would intimidate Bigfoot. His skin on a good day is pink and beautiful and rosy, and the spirit that Tatum is, in that little body, defies description. When I think of it the words that come to mind are; powerful, peaceful, strong, calm, loving, pure, and compassionate. He has consumed our thoughts and our hearts as we fall more in love with him every day and he has turned our world upside down and we feel so blessed that he chose to come to us and let us be a part of this miracle that is Tatum. Despite all his physical disadvantages, to us, he is perfect.
Today has been the craziest day since we've been here. Every 30 minutes someone new is coming to talk to me. Cardiologists have been in twice to let me know where they are at and what they are waiting for from tests and just checking on Tate, which is weird. Cardiologists are like a mythical creature rare to be seen in this hospital I swear! He has had 2 different ultrasounds. One durring a procedure to put in a chest tube and tap some fluid out of his abdomen, and the other ultrasound was to check his liver again and look for his gall bladder. He doesn't have one of those, but it's nice to know that it's not causing any problems. He got 2 chest x-ray's and has had many blood tests. They are testing the fluid from his abdomen to see if it's the same thing as what is in the chest. If it is not the same thing then they will want to do a liver biopsy to see if his liver is failing. They said his liver tissue looked good still last week. I hope it's not failing as well. Cardiology doesn't think that the heart is causing all of these problems because in the last echo they did the function of the heart was still doing well with the medication he is on. Every one else is thinking that there is no other reason for this all to be happening except for the heart. We'll see. They continue to burn out his iv's on a continuous 12-24 hour basis. He is receiving calcium and it is really hard on their veins. They won't let the nurses poke him for an iv anymore. They have to call in the iv team that has a special light to help them find good veins. They are running out and would hope that they can get a central line put in during a surgery so he doesn't have to have all of these peripheral iv's. Earlier this afternoon the cardiologists and the surgeons and the neonatologist and nurse practitioner all met together to talk about Tatum and get on the same page with things. They all finally agreed to tap his abdomen and get a small sample of the liquid to test to see what it was. His bed side has been constantly surrounded by doctors and techs and many extra nurses. He had 2 full time nurses today all to himself, which was lucky because they have been running non stop since 8:00 this morning. I am glad they are finally doing something but I hate that it's taken so long and is all of the sudden so drastic!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cardiology came by today to tell us that Tatum is no longer a surgical candidate. He has too many problems that they can't over look. They are going to talk to all of the other cardiologists and surgical staff in their conference on Wednesday morning to see what they think the best action will be to try and get him turned around. They know we are frustrated and upset that they didn't get him into surgery before all of this chylothorax (that's the right spelling) started showing up. I feel that as cardiologists they should have known that he was a priority and should have gotten him into surgery when he had a chance. They are still trying to be optimistic by telling us that there are some other options they can try but they want to get all the information presented at their conference and many different opinions before they give us all the options. I'm hoping that we still have a chance, but the way the nurses look at me and talk to me I feel as if there is a black cloud hanging over my head. I pray with all my heart that he will get to stay with me, and I am afraid to listen to what the spirit will say in fear that I won't like what it's telling me. I just want to hold onto him any way I can. I don't want him to go. Not like this. They let me hold him today which is totally against protocol since he's got his breathing tube and arterial line in. I'm glad to hold him, but I take that as another bad sign.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

They did a tap on the fluid that's in his chest cavity by his lung today. I couldn't believe how much fluid came out! There was a ton and they said that there is probably a liter in his abdomen as well. They won't tap that unless they have to. They tested the fluid that they pulled out to see what it was and where it was coming from. He has what is called kylothorax. (don't quote me on the spelling) It isn't a good thing. It's usually requires long term treatment. They don't know if he has it from having the TEF surgery or if it's from so much pressure on the abdomen and the problems with the heart. We will find out tomorrow morning (Monday) if cardiology will clear him for surgery or not. If he's not cleared then chances are that he will never get the surgery. I still want him to have the surgery because I know it's the only chance he has, but this makes it so much harder. I just want to hold him and be close to him. I love him so much and I pray that he'll be allowed to stay with us longer. Please pray for us! Thank you all for your support and love!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tate is 5 weeks old today! I can't believe that. He is 8lbs 2oz. The doctors and nurses are working on figuring out why his stomach is distended but they keep going back to the heart and thinking that's the problem. Right now his conjugated billy tests are showing a jump from .6 to a 6 in the last 5 days and his liver is large and looking swollen. They are doing tests to make sure he dosent have an infection in the liver and they have said that it could be doing what it's doing from being on his tpn for as long as he has been. They are ruling out everything they can so that on monday when they talk to the cardiologists they can say this is what has been done, we've looked into everything and it's the heart so he really needs the surgery asap. His nurse practitioner is saying that they probably won't push surgery back any farther unless it's an infection and he dosen't think that it is. We just keep praying that he can get his surgery and be able to have a good recovery. It's scary and with every passing day I grow closer to him and get to know him and what he likes and doesn't like. I love him so much more today than I did yesterday and I know I'll love him more tomorrow than I do today.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Surgery When?

Did I say Friday or Monday? Wrong again lets try Wednesday... we'll see. His stomach has been distending over the last week and are now starting to worry about it. First they thought that it was because he wasn't pooping, so they stopped feeding him and gave him some suppositories. That didn't help the stomach to go down, so they took x-ray's and found the bowels looked normal. The next thing they checked for was his heart to see if it was failing again. Usually when the heart is in failure it pumps too much blood to the liver which in turn puts out a lot of fluid, so they thought that might be the problem. Nope. His heart is still doing well on the medications he is on so that wasn't it either. They are now thinking that it is a thing called albumin. It's a small protein that can leak out of his veins and they tested his blood for that level and it was low. So they are giving him large doses of albumin and that is supposed to help suck the extra fluids back into the veins. It really sounds weird to me but that's how they explained it to me. If that doesn't work by tomorrow they will have the gastric intestinal team come look at his g.i. I am a little exhausted today with all of the wondering. He looks really good today and was so alert this morning for long periods of time. I love him so much and I just want him to get as well as possible so that he can get his surgery! He is such a fighter! And have I mentioned how cute he is and that pictures can't do justice for how cute he really is! He seriously is so cute!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tate is doing really good today! He doesn't have any iv's in his feet. One of his hands you can at least hold, though it still has an iv in it, it's not all taped up to a cotton pillow so he can actually wrap his fingers around mine. His ng tube is gone (the one in his nose that wasn't ever used for anything at all). His color looks good and his blood tests are all good. He is breathing well and seems to be very comfortable. His stomach is less distended today due to the stools he has released. Hope that's not too much information :) He is cleared for surgery for Friday, and I know how important it is for him to get the surgery but I have asked them not to do it until Monday. They have told me that one of the surgeons is not working because they just had a baby, and another one is on vacation, so he won't actually be for sure on Friday and I am really tired of getting my hopes up for a specific day and then having my hopes let down. This way Brandon can work this week and take off next to be here for the surgery. It is just more likely that he'll actually get the surgery on Monday rather than Friday. That's the plan for now, but I have learned to not put too much into plans that come from this place. We're just here till we're not. Keep praying and thanks for the support! Love you all!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Today they ran his tests again on his white blood cell count, and surprise, no more infection! I don't know why, but there just isn't any sign of one. They still had infectious disease specialists come look at him today, but they haven't had any reports back yet of what they might think it is. They are still postponing surgery till Friday at least, if not next week. He really does look really good today though. A lot of the swelling in his face and stomach have gone down. They have started feeding him again, more than just his tpn. (Tpn is just his calories and proteins and any extra nourishment that he needs) So he is getting breast milk at least for the next few days. They don't want his intestines doing too much work during surgery so they'll stop the feeds before surgery day. He was so alert this morning I couldn't believe my eyes! He was awake and looking at Brandon and I for about 20 minutes. Brandon's parents were there too. Apparently it's not his first time being that alert because aunt Dawn and my mom have seen him really alert as well, but it was my first time seeing him actually looking at me and not wondering does he see me or are his eyes just open with that drugged look on his face? I know he saw me and he kept looking at me with this face of "Mom this really sucks, but I'll do it any ways." I feel so bad for the pain he must feel and it's so hard not being able to kiss it better. I hope we have more good days like this morning. It really was so cute!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No surgery again

No surgery tomorrow. I am getting used to this and I guess I was prepared to hear that he wouldn't be getting the surgery tomorrow. We just can't seem to catch a break. His white blood cell count went down to a 1.1 which is a good sign that there isn't an infection, but his premature cells are high indicating that there is an infection somewhere. He is currently on 3 different antibiotics and his cultures are all clean so they don't have a clue what or where to look for an infection. They will have an infectious disease team come look at him tomorrow to see if they can give them a better idea of where to look for an infection. They'll probably do some ultrasounds to see if they can see anything that they can't see from the outside. I am grateful to the Doctors and Nurses that are taking care of him and making sure that he's in the best shape possible to go into surgery, so that he'll have the best chances. It is very frustrating though to have so many set backs and not even know what they really are. For now I will stay here with him and Brandon will go home to be with the other kids until they know more. They have mentioned Friday as a possibility for surgery, but I'm not getting my hopes up. The surgeons want him to be off of the antibiotics before the surgery. I am thinking maybe next week. So for now this is home, and we'll make the best of it. Keep him in your prayers and know that we love you all and are grateful for your support!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy one month Tate!!!

Tatum is officially four weeks old today! There have been times that we didn't think we'd make it even this far, but we have! So many people are praying for him and it must be the lords will for him to be here still because he has made it so. We Love you Tate!!! He has so many Angels watching over him from the other side, and there are so many Angels that are here on this side that are taking care of him and me and my family. Thank you to all the nurses, ward members, baby sitters and family members that are doing everything they can to make this as easy as it can be. We really appreciate all that is being done for us. The meals and gifts are phenomenal and we're so appreciative of them and we're so so grateful for all of you that are praying for us. It may seem a small act to you, but it means the world to us! Thank you all! Surgery is still looking good for Monday, so keep praying that it will happen this time. We would like to get it over with and move on to healing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tatum is doing better today. He's more comfortable. His lungs sound more clear than they have in a long time. His white blood cell count is going down, so the infection is going away. He is resting well and isn't needing any extra doses of medication. His nurses and doctors are taking very good care of him and I know Heavenly Father is watching over him and taking good care of him as well. Our family is so blessed with so many family members and friends praying for him! We feel he has a purpose to fulfill while he is here and I just pray that he is meant to be here a while longer. Surgery is scheduled tentatively for Monday. They will let us know for sure when it gets closer. Thanks to all who are watching the blog for updates and caring so much about my family! Love you all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fuzzy hair Tate!

I love seeing him with his eyes open!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

They just did their rounds for today. They are saying that the cultures are showing that there isn't any infection but that his body is showing signs of having one. At this point they are thinking that it's a respiratory infection because of how much goopy mucus they are suctioning out of his mouth and throat. They have started him on a new anti-biotic and are running more cultures. They said it will probably be 3-5 days before they will allow him into surgery if the anti-biotics have done their job. They won't do a surgery on the weekend unless it's an emergency, so they think it could be Monday before they get to him. I am grateful that they are taking every precaution with him, but it's very frustrating to have to sit and wait not knowing what's going to happen next. Brandon and I have decided to go home until they let us know when the surgery is. So unless something bad happens in the next few days we'll be back in St. George.
Today is not such a good day for our little Tate. They have raised his morphine level so that he'll be more comfortable. He has a lot of thick secretions that they have to suck out frequently. His right lung is looking really hazy. He hasn't urinated for quite a while, that's due to the anti-biotic he's on. They'll change that today. I am scared that all of this is happening because of his heart and they won't do anything about the heart until he's more stable and his lungs are clear. I'm just afraid that it's going to keep going in this vicious cycle of no surgery because he's too sick, he's too sick because he needs the surgery... on and on. I pray there is an answer soon to what they will do to fix this. We should be getting more updates today, so I'll keep it all posted as I find out. So far his cultures are clean and showing no signs of infection, but they still think it's an infection. Please pray for us! Love you all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tatum is not going into surgery today. We arrived at the hospital this morning ready to say our temporary goodbye, only to find out that it's not happening today due to a risk of infection. They ran some pre-surgery tests this morning on his blood and are now running cultures. We are hoping that the cultures will come back negative. But it could take as long as two days before those test results are available. He was the first cardiac surgery for the week so the surgery schedule is being rearranged. They are not sure when they will be able to fit him in again. It will most likely be late in the week. We are very frustrated. We know that the doctors and medical staff are doing what is best for our little boy, but it is difficult sitting all day just waiting for the unknown. However, we are also aware that our Heavenly Father has plans that don't always fit our schedules and we must learn to be patient and submit to His will. We pray at this time for the ability to do that. Thank you all for your prayers. Please don't stop. We appreciate all of you so much and feel so blessed by all the support that we have received. Thank you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Again I am amazed at how many people are praying for our little Tate! We have so many people fasting and praying for him and I'm sure there are many that are praying for him that I don't know about. Yesterday Olivia went back with us to see Tatum. The other two kids wouldn't wear a mask or gown so they couldn't go back. I think Livy has been the most confused about the whole thing, so I was glad that she went back. Tomorrow at 7:30 am is the time they have him on the schedule for his surgery. I am filled with a peace and comfort knowing that we have done all we can in our power to save him and that it is now in my Heavenly Fathers hands. I can't explain how much I love him and want so badly for him to stay with me. He truly is surrounded by Angels. We're all praying and for now that's all we can do. Love you all! Thanks to everyone who has supported us this far. We are so blessed!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sleep away!

My poor little guy has so many wires and tubes in him now and it's so not natural which makes this whole thing seem barbaric, but I pray that because of all the barbarism and modern technology, he'll survive this awful time in his life. He is a fighter and there are so many people praying for him and for my family which is giving me strength that I didn't think was possible to have in a situation like this. I am not saying it's easy by any means, but My heavenly father is blessing me with such a peace about the decisions we are making for our little guy. With the procedures they are going to do he has a 75% chance to make it out of surgery, and then recover for 2 months and a 65% chance to make it back for the 2nd procedure in the series of procedures that he'll need. His life is not going to be an easy one, but I really do feel a peace that what ever happens to him, I know I will get the opportunity to raise him, weather it's in this life or the next. I know that I am so blessed to have him as a son! You can feel his amazing spirit just being close to him. Heavenly Father loves him and my family and is giving us the strength we could never have on our own.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting to hold our Angel!

Last weekend we were able to hold him before they had to put him back on the vent. These are our happy moments that we are hoping to have many more of!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tate's heart

Okay so here's the short version of Tate's situation: after the lung collapsed they took a look at his heart because there was too much fluid in the lungs. The echo cardiogram came back with not very good news. Tate will have to undergo open heart surgery on Monday. As of now he is sedated enough to be comfortable and he is on 3 different heart medications to get his heart pumping stronger. He will get to meet his siblings before he goes in for surgery, and we will give him a name and a blessing as well. Keep him in your prayers, we will be doing a fast for him on Sunday so if anyone would like to participate we'd love all of the support and prayers! We love you all!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We had a set back yesterday. I know I should just expect to have a few of those, but it's so hard! It's even harder not being there with him when they happen and having to hear it all over the phone. I hate it! His right lung collapsed and they both have extra fluid in them. The cardio team thinks that it's because his heart is working too hard so they may have to do a heart surgery to put a band on his pulmonary valve so it won't put as much blood into the lungs. It looks like we're not coming home any time soon. I am so grateful to have him at primary children's though! He's getting the best care possible and I am so thankful for the doctors and nurses that are attending to his every little and big need! They are running all sorts of tests today and will make decisions tomorrow morning. I'll keep you all updated. Thanks for all the prayers! Love you all!

Monday, April 12, 2010

We were starting to think that we weren't going to be able to hold Tatum this last weekend. It was Sunday afternoon and we'd decided we'd leave about 4 PM and it was after 12. The surgeons still hadn't given the go ahead for us to hold him and I figured it just wasn't meant to be. By 1:00 I'd given up hope. Brandon and Kelly were back sitting with him and Shelli and I were sitting in the waiting room when Kelly came back and let me know that I could hold my baby! I have never scrubbed in so fast in the whole 2 weeks we've been there! Brandon let me hold him first and the only pictures we got are on Brandon's phone, so I'll try to get them on here soon. Brandon held him next and then Shelli was able to hold him for a few minutes, but he wasn't doing well with all of the movement, so I held him again after her and just sat with him for about an hour. It was really nice having him in my arms, but there were so many tubes and wires that I could only hold him in one position and it takes about 3 people to get him moved without any issues! It's quite the ordeal! I am home again for the week and I'm missing him like crazy! They are feeding him breast milk through a tube that goes directly into his stomach. I'm hoping they will be able to continue to up the portions throughout the week and that I'll be able to breast feed him on Friday. Even a bottle would be nice! Through the mouth would just be great! I don't care how he gets it though, I just want him home! The plastic's team came by yesterday to take a look at his cleft and they said it would be 3 surgeries at the least and a possibility of 10 surgeries. They will also have to coordinate with the cardiologists to see if they can do surgeries before the heart or have to wait till after. He's going to have a rough first year of life that's for sure! I know that he has a purpose to fulfil here on earth though! He is here for a reason and I pray that my Heavenly Father will allow him to stay here much longer! He is such a blessing in my life and many other peoples lives.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No more Ventilator!

Tatum is doing really well again today. He is off of the ventilator, but they are watching him closely to make sure that his gas levels are normal. They were high when they first took him off of the vent, but they have given him some steroids (very small amounts) to help reduce the inflammation in his esophagus, and it seems to have helped because he's doing better now. He sucks on a pacifier now and it's really cute and surprising that he can with his cleft. We're very proud of him for that! We still haven't gotten to hold him yet, but we're hoping that before we leave we'll get to. I am sad that it's Sunday and we have to go home, but I do miss my other 3. The prayers are working and we hope to have this strong little guy home with us soon! Lots of love to all!

Friday, April 9, 2010

They have told us now that they are going to take the vent off tonight or first thing tomorrow. he had his 2nd esophogram today and passed. No leaks in his esophagus. He was so upset during the swallow test, he was crying, but no sound comes out, so you only see his red face in lots of pain and no sound coming out. It's so sad. He calmed down quickly though. We're still hoping to hold him this weekend, but it's possible that we wont get to. I guess it's just good that eventually we will get to hold him and bring him home! Being patient is really hard though. We miss the other kids while we're away, but it's nice being with Tate too. Keep praying for him and thanks for the prayers! Love you all!
They are hoping to get his ventilator tube out today. He had another echo yesterday to check his heart and so far they are just going to keep an eye on how it's growing and plan on doing the surgery that he requires at 6 months. They did an ultrasound on his head to check and make sure he didn't have water on the brain or anything abnormal. That all went really well and now they are going to start discussing when he can go home or at least to the neonatal in Saint George. He just needs to be able to eat a full feeding now to be able to go home. He was really alert this morning and it's the longest Brandon and I have seen him with his eyes open. He is so cute! One of the nurses did a big no no yesterday and took out the tube that was in his nose for feedings and now they will have to do another swallow test to make sure she didn't damage his esophagus. Keep praying! We're hoping all will go well, but we know he's a strong little guy and that the Angels are watching over him!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FW: Tatum Update! NO LEAKS!

  • Tatum made the trip downstairs to the x-ray lab at around 9:30 this morning. They graciously let me go into the room and watch the monitor that shows when they put the barium liquid into his esophagus to see if there are any leaks. They let me know that they couldn't give me any info because I wasn't mom or dad, but I watched as the liquid went down into the stomach. Dr. Prince turned said out loud - No leaks. It was amazing to watch the care they took with Tatum and how difficult it was to keep his oxygen at good levels (John the RT was incredible! I gained a new and great respect for respiratory therapists.) Debbie had to lift him from his bed onto the x-ray table which was no easy feat! There are so many wires and tubes and they moved him an inch at a time while unwinding cords, monitoring oxygen and keeping it consistent manually. It was amazing to see the team (and I mean team!) work together and show such respect and communication. These doctors, nurses, RT's ... everyone....are amazing. They are truly angels and our Tatum is in such wonderful gentle care. There is hope to remove a few things today-perhaps the chest tube. I can't tell you how much I love this little guy. Thanks for all your prayers - they are working!
Love to all...
Take Care,

They did his esophogram today and found no leaks! I am so grateful for all of the prayers everyone has given on his behalf! We are truly so blessed! I will be able to hold my baby for the first time this weekend, and my heart feels like it might burst with joy! The ear nose and throat specialist will take a look at him today and determine if he's ready to have the chest tube removed, so I am hoping that when I get up there he'll have a few less tubes in him! Angels have truly been with him and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending him to me!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today the nurse practitioner called and updated us saying that Tatums esophagram wasn't scheduled yet but that it would be on Wednesday or Thursday. If it goes well then they'll take him off of the vent. They said that the ventilator is currently set at minimal settings and that he was breathing mostly on his own and the oxygen levels were minimal from the ventilator, so he's basically breathing the room air. If they are able to take him off of the ventilator then we'll be able to hold him this weekend. I'm hoping it all goes well. I want to hold him so badly! Pray for him! Thanks to all of you for the prayers so far. We feel like we have received so many blessings already, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We love you all! Oh they also said that he was very alert today and that he was keeping his eyes open and looking around. I can't wait to see him!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hello my beautiful little cousin! I am so happy that you have been here almost 1 whole week to bless our family! I just want you, your Mom and Dad and brother and sisters to know how much we all love you guys! You are all such a blessing to us! Keep getting stronger each day you rest, so that your body can do what it needs to do!

Christopher Robin said to Pooh, "Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter that you think."

Remember that forever!

Love you always, Simone and the whole family in Alta

Missing Tatum!

I am at home now with Tate's siblings who have needed me here so much that I couldn't neglect them any longer! I am torn between the two places and I miss Tatum so much right now! I called to check on him today and they are weaning him off of the vent. They started that yesterday and they took him down to 20 breaths per minute. It was at a 34 before that. They had to raise it to 24 this morning because his gas levels were low, but they said that's normal and okay since they can't take out the tube until he passes his swallow test, that as of now is scheduled for Wednesday, so keep him in your prayers and pray that he will pass the test! We want him to come home asap!!! We got a voice recorder and recorded some messages for them to play to Tate while we're gone. His nurse this morning said he was really excited to hear the kids voices singing to him and he kept trying to open his eyes and look for them. I can't wait till they can meet him!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tate is doing really good. He is starting to breathe on his own and so they are starting to wean him off of the ventilator. He will do his swallow test on Wednesday. We are praying that he will not have a leak in his esophagus so he can start eating. If he does have a leak then it will just mean more healing time and more time on the vent and more time before he learns how to eat and be able to come home. Please keep him in your prayers! It is so nice to see him moving again though! He is opening his eyes more and is more conscious of having people talking to him. It's going to be hard leaving him here alone this week, but I need to be home with my other children for a few days. We are grateful for Aunt Dawn for being able to come check on him every night we won't be here! She's another one of Tatum's Angels! We are hoping to be able to get back up here by Thursday night and we bought a voice recorder so that he will still hear us every day. The Nurses are so kind and helpful and very supportive! They will play our recorded messages for him everyday that they are doing cares for him since that's when he's most alert. I can't wait for the day he'll be able to come home, but I am just grateful to know that that day will come! He will come home to us! Love you Tate!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My first hair style

I was able to wash his hair and face today. He looks good with a mow hawk!

Amy Rich LITTLE ONE by A. Rich

Little One, I wonder
What is in your eyes
Spiritual thunder
Innocent yet wise
Not long ago you left
Our Father in the sky
Tell me what He said
When you waved goodbye...

"Follow me. Remember me.
Promise me you will always be
My Little One, Tatum, my child."

Day by day I wonder
Are you really there?
Heavenly Fat...her
Show me that you care.
Can you feel my burden?
You feel so far away.
In my darkest hour
You come again and say...

"Follow me. Remember me.
Promise me you will always be
My Little One, Tatum, my child."

Become as a child
Submissive and mild
Humble, patient, full of love.

"Follow me. Remember me.
Promise me you will always be
My Little One. Forever my child."

Written for Tatum Christensen, April 1st, 2010

The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. Get busy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chill day