Monday, February 20, 2012

Generations of Kisses...

We heard from the surgeon and MDs today that Elise's PDA surgery is scheduled for 8am Tuesday (tomorrow). After getting the news this afternoon, we packed up the car and off we came!

She still looks, sounds, and feels great for her age! We are supposed to meet the surgeon tomorrow at 7am. He will begin her surgery at 8:00. The nurse says the preparation time is longer than the surgery itself. If she needs a lot of support after the surgery, she will show us what she needs within 12 hours. This made me feel more at ease. I was so worried we would go home in a couple of days knowing she was stable, but then get a call at home saying she was having more troubles.

We thank you all for your prayers in advance. We have good Momma and Daddy's always scary sending any child through a surgery...let alone a 1 1/2 pound preemie, but we are confident that she will get through this and we can proceed forward with her growth. We so badly want to get those feedings started! We had to chuckle to ourselves that we rejoiced over her first poopy diaper today. My, how priorities change! ha! We hope for many more poopy diapers to come. Nothing like poop being a high-five moment...ahhh.


As I posted on FB earlier tonight, February 20th marks the one year anniversary of my mother's passing. My mother, Lisa, fought a respiratory illness for over 20 years. She single-handedly raised 3 children, put us all through college, taught elementary music to many many students, and directed a tight-knit church choir for 20+ years. She was simply amazing.

My mother and I were more than just mother and daughter. We were sisters. I remember her dropping me off at college for the first time. My eyes weld up with big tears and she hugged me tight. She said, "You can do this. 3 weeks until you come home, but we will talk everyday. I love you." I had only made it through overnight stays with friends before going to college. 3 weeks felt like an eternity. I did make it-- only by calling her... oh, 5 or 6 times a day. ha!

Momma knew I needed to have a soul mate before she could leave this Earth. Grant got very close with mom in the little time (2+ years) he got to spend with her. He would call her after a long day. We would always go to dinners with her or go visit her at home. She loved how happy we were together. She was a Momma to both of us. As you can imagine, our wedding pictures are so precious to us. You can see the pure joy in her eyes in our pictures. She made it to Punta Cana, Segway and all, and my brothers escorted her down the sandy aisle so she could witness G and I tie the knot. I've posted some of our wedding photos for those of you who didn't get the chance to meet my (our) fabulous Momma Lou.

Momma Lou and her boys

Yes, Segways go in the sand! 

Love, Love, Love

Hand-stitched by Momma...a forever keepsake

When Momma saw me for the first time all dressed up as a bride...

Mother-Daughter Love

After thinking about Momma all day and knowing my own daughter was facing surgery tomorrow, Elise's night nurse gave me exactly what I needed tonight. During 8:00 hands on time, the nurse raised the lid to the isolette. We've never had the lid raised...we usually go through the arm holes and stare and talk to Elise through the glass. Tonight, nothing stood between us and our daughter. After we did our normal routine (change the diaper, take her temperature, etc), the nurse said, "Ok Momma, kiss on your girl." I looked up at her and started to cry. It was if someone had said something and my brain just stood frozen; unable to digest the beauty of it. Through big momma tears I said, "Really?! Can I??" The nurse replied, " are a Momma and need to love on your daughter." I didn't waste another second. Daddy got his camera ready and I started to kiss away. I could've kissed her all night long. Two generations of mother-daughter love...

Elise has a special guardian angel that is holding her hand tonight as well as during the many days and nights to come in the NICU. Although our hearts ache that Momma can't be here with us to experience her first grandchild, she IS with Elise and made her a special delivery from Heaven. 

P.S...Don't think Momma was a softy all the time...she was a school teacher for many years and had 3 teenagers of her own at one time. Therefore, you better believe Lisa Raynor will give the "what for" if any nurse or doctor is not on his/her "A" game tomorrow during her granddaughter's surgery!

All will be well.
All will be well. 

G & J & E 


  1. My cup runneth over.

    Just when I think your updates can't get any more touching.. BAM! Wasn't expecting the picture of YOU kissing your DAUGHTER, right after the picture of your mother kissing you! Blew me away, seriously. I couldn't be more proud to be a sister and an aunt right now. Love you.

  2. Wow! You know how to write! You do it with such heart and honesty. Prayers continue .

  3. Wow!! This one left me in tears and speachless! Your mother sounds amazing!!

  4. That was very well written and made me tear up! Your mom was a super swee lady and I'm sure she will be holding Miss Elise's hand through her surgery tomorrow. I will be sending prayers for sweet Elise as well as Mommy and Daddy. She sure is a lil' trooper!

  5. I, too, am left with tears and completely speechless after reading this beautiful blog post and looking at these amazing pictures! What a February 20th for you HAPPY you got to kiss your baby girl!! It is absolutely the most precious moment! We will be praying for Elise! Love to you all!

  6. And to think I just put on eye make-up for work!!! What treasured memories...and wonderful pictures! Will be praying for Elise and Dr. Abraham this morning! How comforting to know that she will have a special guardian angel looking out for her.

  7. Prayers. Prayers. prayers. Your mother was an awesome lady and a wonderful teacher.

  8. Prepared with tissues before starting to read this! So glad to get on and see her surgery went well...Praying for your confort and her healing!

  9. Oh, Jess! What a beautiful gift to be able to kiss your sweet little Elise. If I didn't already know you, reading your posts would make me want to know you. You are a special lady and you have developed quite a ministry of touching hearts through your blog. Sending lots of love! Kelli

  10. I found your blog through Amanda (Robbins) Rosenfried. I'm also a chaplain at St. V. and live in the neighborhood, so I'd be happy to help in any way I can. Just email me

    Your mom was a coach for one of the academic teams I was on in middle school. You're right when you say she was tough AND soft. I loved her for her passion and intelligence, and I can tell you are following right in her footsteps. I have no doubt Elise will be the same!

    Lots of love to you, your husband, and the little lady...