Monday, April 2, 2007

The Mighty Quinn

(March 22, 2006 -- Quinn in a pregnant belly, March 25, 2006 -- waiting for Quinn, March 31, 2006 -- Quinn is here!, March 31, 2006 -- Quinn's close up, April 2, 2006 -- Quinn in the NICU, April 2, 2007 -- Quinn at home!, March 31, 2007 -- Quinn and Dad at his birthday party, March 31, 2007 -- Quinn drinking his milk in his walker, March 31, 2007 -- Quinn opening a gift, March 31, 2007 -- Quinn checking out a present)

This morning I was thinking about the picture we took of Quinn's feet a year ago. March 31st at 10:10 PM Quinn was born at the hospital in Newberg. Ryan and I got to meet Quinn Jessup Dougherty for the first time--in person. Our families were able to visit him, to hold him, and welcome him with us. It was an overwhelming experience and what a blessing to have this 6 Ib, 11 oz little man with us. I stayed up most of the night wondering what to do with him and watching him sleep :) Ryan was asleep on the couch in the room with us.

On April 1st about 8AM a series of conversations began about Quinn's intestines and concerns regarding his lack of a first bowel movement. We weren't sure what was going on or what was going to happen. I don't really remember that day except hearing--we need for him to go to St. Vincent's in Portland. Then a flurry of activity as nurses prepared for a transport team from Legacy in Portland who would pick Quinn up by ambulance. A nurse giving me perscriptions and final instructions before discharging me. Calling my parents. Ryan calling his parents. Ryan riding in the ambulance with Quinn while my dad drove me behind the ambulance. Our first view of the NICU.

Meeting a nurse and the blur of coversation with pediatrician. Hearing that Quinn did have blockage in his instestines and that he needed to have surgery. All a blur. Not knowing which way was up. Having a nurse show me how to pump. Quinn's surgery. Listening to the surgeon as she used the words "cystic fibrosis" for the first time. Fear. Anxiety. Spending the night in a birthing room at St. Vincent's. Talking to a nurse in the middle night, unsure what was happening with Quinn or my own body.

Seeing Quinn with all the tubes and blankets. Not being able to hold him. Quinn's tiny feet.

Saturday, March 31st, 2007. Quinn's first birthday. What a day of celebration for us!!!!!! Sunday, April 1st, 2007. A year after Quinn's first surgery and he is HERE with US. To be held, fed, played with, chased, diaper changed, well. So Quinn does have cystic fibrosis. It will be a life long challenge for him that we will all navigate together but Quinn is doing so well. We'll do things differently than other folks but I've come to understand that we all do things differently than the next person. He won't be a center on the basketball team but he'll probably run the point.

I was thinking about the ways that people cared for us and Quinn a year ago. One memory leads to another.

My parents ferried us around, stayed in the hospital waiting room most of the days as we sat with Quinn, made sure we ate, reminded me that all parents worry about their kids whether in the NICU or living in Egypt.

My midwife saw me on the weekend and spoke truth and gave sound medical advice to me. Especially when I began to see a struggle with post-partum depression.

Ryan's friends who collected money amongst themselves to help with medical bills and were willing listeners and visitors. Those Munn House guys were (and are) so great. Andy and Jen getting us an RV to keep at St. Vincent's (I hadn't even known it was a possibility) so that we would have a place to take naps during the day or have another place to eat.

Courtney and Ken who kept us supplied in turkey for sandwiches.

Heather Johnstone's bread that appeared one day.

Cara coming to the hospital with food, a constant support and encouragement, organizing meals, delivering coffee to us.

The Kulpas sending a pump to me.

Carrie always willing to listen to me, help me figure out how to pump, stopping by our new house with her kids and taking me on much needed walks. Supplying us with at least 2/3rds of anything Quinn ever had--clothes, bouncy seats, swings, and more clothes!

Jamie flying Michelle down from Alaska so Michelle could just be in the same area--Carrie and Michelle making frozen meals, Michelle potting plants at our new house, trying to mow our grass :) Jamie and Michelle coming to the hospital.

Nate and Kim's encouragement--and I still know that if I had asked Kim to move us from the apartment to the house she would have gotten it done the same I way I would have done it :)

The admission and student life crews generously giving us money for medical expenses and supplying us with food in May and June. I swear I didn't know how I was going to cook anything in July. I thought we might starve.

The Queen of Insurance in Human Resources at GFU...our insurance changed on April 1st to a different administrator so when Quinn was born on March 31st and then needed continued care we began a huge journey into the world of insurance. Lisa was an AWESOME help and Kacy, with our insurance company, was a HUGE help. They know us by name and are actually celebrating Quinn's birthday in their Arizona office. I'm not kidding.

Aunt Judy and Uncle Graydon coming up from California to meet Quinn once Quinn came home in May--what a special, special treat. Then their above and beyond the call of duty with my parents packing up our apartment on campus and moving EVERYTHING May 8th to our new house AND unpacking many things so things didn't just stay in boxes. I'm not even kidding--they did it in one day by themselves. That includes moving beds, couches, tables, bookshelves, EVERYTHING!!!!

My colleagues and RAs working together to get residents checked out of HMS and settled for the summer. It was like I went into Spring Break and then everything was done...HUGE, HUGE, HUGE.

Phone calls from my cousins. Talking to Melanie in honest and transparent ways.

Flowers from Indiana friends, Oregon friends, and family.

Everyone who read through our updates and prayed for Quinn. To be able to share the journey with others, to share the experience, to know that the prayers of many were being offered--oh my goodness, I can't say thank you enough.

The HMS 04-05 staff for the chalk decorations to welcome Quinn home as well as making nursery decorations for Quinn that I hadn't been able to get to yet.

Gift certificates to the cafetaria at St. Vincent's.

The fight song that cousin Carolyn FedEx-ed to us--I still read it and cry because it was an anthem for Quinn.

My parents moving from Redmond to Dundee.

Seeing Becky Ankeny at Baccaluareate, crying, and knowing the words to Dylan's "Mighty Quinn".

The stories that people shared about struggles their kids had and how they came through.

A phone call from a gal who has cystic fibrosis and the conversations we've had since then.

Meeting with one of my dad's former basketball players who has cystic fibrosis and who graduated from Western Oregon and works in Corvallis--asking him questions over dinner at my parents.

A generous gift from the Tree of Life and Schoepke's to help pay medical bills.

Our first conversation with Dr. Wall at the CF clinic..."whatever they told you at St. Vincent's, forget it." Getting accurate and up to date information.

Feeding Quinn in the middle of the night and my dad getting up with us to "just hang out" at 2AM.

I know that I haven't named every single person who shared with us and blessed us through action, words, notes, and work behind the scenes.

*In this past year, the journey has been a stretching,
S T R E T C H I N G,
one for me...

How to be a mom.

How to be a wife and mom.

Dealing with and coming through the post-partum depression.

Transition from work with people everyday to life with one little man most days.

6 months of no dairy or soy and pumping for 9 months.

Slowing down.

Dealing with anxiety.

Asking God questions.

Listening for God.

Learning to talk to other people about what I'm needing and feeling. I'm not in control of everything and I do need help.

Remembering what I like and what makes me laugh.

Doing things I enjoy.

And Quinn? He is curious, inquisitive, and loving. He says "hi" to people at the store and is very, very interested in other kids. "Hi" is his first word. He likes the clock and the lights and will point them out when asked. He says "ight" for light and went through a phase where he said "tick-tock" about the clock. He has turbo speed when he crawls and has only one hand on the furniture when he walks along it. He has taken steps but prefers the convenience of crawling :) We discovered he doesn't like the feel of grass. Hopefully that will change this summer! He gets excited when he sees a dog and points them out in his books. He loves to be read to and likes to look through books. He has a little walker that he speeds around the house in. He can fly! He thinks Daddy is pretty funny. He loves to read his verse posted on his wall. He likes to look out the window for birds with Grandpa Jessup and thinks he is a TREAT to hang out with family! He likes for new people to hold him (thanks Jeff and Sarah for the impromptu visit and holding session)! He likes to shake things and gets a little groove going with some music. His hair is still growing REALLY fast! A 7th haircut will happen soon enough.

Quinn's verse:
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better." Ephesians 1:17

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