As promised I am going to tell you Emma's story! I have been praying about how to present this and what words to use and it's so funny because God has kept reminding me that I don't need special or fancy words....I just need God! My words are good enough as long as God is guiding the way! He's already given me the words....he's given me her story......I just need to make sure I continue to tell it! SO HERE IT IS....... Emma's Story!
Emma was a blessing to us right from the beginning! We had to go through a lot just to get Emma here and then when she finally did arrive....she was quite a bit early! 5 weeks early to be exact, but we knew from that day that she was going to be special...she was born on her PaPa Hammonds birthday! Can anyone say SPOILED!!! Anyway...My mom stayed with me for the 6 weeks I got at home and it was scary for all of us just because of how small she was when she came home. She was 3 pounds 13 ounces when she came home from the hospital and we had to give her formula along with breast milk just because she needed more than I could give her at the time. When my 6 weeks were up, I thought my heart was going to rip out of my chest. I didn't want to leave her, but I had to go back to work. I went back to work on Sept. 6 and my mom stayed home with her and I called a few times to check on her...of course she was great. I rushed home when 3:30 rolled around and rushed in the door to hold my baby girl!
Later that night I was sitting on the couch with my laptop (surprise) checking some e-mails and playing around while holding Emma and mom said, "I will hold her while you do that." I said sure and handed her off. When mom picked her up she felt something weird. What followed was about 5 days of chaos! I will leave you with a blog that I had posted on my myspace page that explains what happened in detail....
Sept. 8, 2007
O.k. everyone, I know you have read my blogs about my precious baby Emma, well now I need your prayers for her more than ever! Many of my dear friends have already posted a bulletin asking for prayers, but there are others of you who don't know what is going on. SO HERE IT IS....Late Wednesday night we were changing Emma's diaper and felt a bump on her hip. When we looked at it, it looked as if her hip was out of place. We immediately jumped into the car and went to the emergency room. They took x-rays and ruled out that it was anything to do with her hip. They then TRIED to take a CT scan of her, but little Emma just wasn't having it and the results came back inconclusive.So the doctor thought it was just fatty tissue that may have developed because of her growing and gaining weight so fast. He told us to just follow up with our pediatrician the next day.Well many of you know Dr. Caballero in Anniston is an amazing pediatrician, and when he saw her and felt her bump he looked at us and said this was not there when we were in for our last checkup. You could see it all over his face that he was worried. He decided to make a call to Children's Hospital in B-ham and wanted to just make sure of what was going on. So we took off to B-ham from the pediatricians office. Once we got to Children's, they immediately had us in a room and the Neonatologist was in looking at her within 10 minutes. She was really concerned when she started feeling of the lump and wanted to do some more tests. The first test she wanted to run was a simple sonogram to get some pictures of it to see if it was connected to anything, and if it had any blood running through it, and just simply to get an idea of what we were looking at. After looking at the sonogram the doctor was still not sure of exactly what it was so she decided it was time for an MRI. As a mother, that had to have been the most painful thing I have ever had to witness. To sit and watch your 6 week old baby wrapped up in blankets and taped down to a machine and see her go through the tests and there is nothing you can do!!! No one should have to go through it! EVER!When the MRI came back the doctor still couldn't tell exactly what it was so the next step was a biopsy. So we set up the surgery for Friday morning at 7:15. We left our house Friday at 4 a.m. with grandparents in tow. You know they were going to be there no matter what! She went in to surgery and had to have (excuse the spelling) anesthesia so we were going to have to stay the night to keep an eye on her. When they doctor came back in and talked to us, I knew she was holding back. She was beating around the bush about something, but I didn't want to know what it was anymore than she wanted to tell us. Justin couldn't take it any more and just asked what she thought it was. She unwillingly told us she thought it was a cancerous tumor and that we may have a long road ahead of us. As I sat there in a complete state of shock, I looked around the room at all of the distraught faces of my family. My mother was a complete basket case, my dad was trying to be strong but you could see it in his eyes he was crushed, my sister sitting in the corner in disbelief with tears running down her face, and my husband...my best friend.. with a blank stare on his face and tears welling in his eyes as if his life had been completely torn apart. All I could do was sit there. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I could see people talking, and the doctor beside me holding my hand, telling me we were going to fight this and get through this, all I wanted to do was hold my baby girl, the blessing that we had to fight for in the first place, the baby who had already come through so much and fought so hard to survive 5 weeks earlier than she should have. The doctor reassured us that there was still a chance that it was benign and that she had seen it happen before. She told us that pediatric cancer was not like adult cancer and that it was very treatable. She was so wonderful and understanding of the fact that we were all completely lost and confused and mad and sad. She offered for us to speak with the oncologist there at the hospital and Justin immediately said yes. So the nurse told us we were moving to another room and that Justin and I could peek in and see Emma in recovery before we went. We got in there and all I wanted to do was pick her up and tell her everything was going to be o.k., but I couldn't touch her, not even a kiss on her little chubby cheek. It absolutely killed me! About 15 minutes after we got into the room, they brought my precious fighter in and asked who wanted her!! There was no question who was getting her, and I didn't care who wanted her! She was mine. All the wires and IV's were hooked up to her and it was heart breaking.The oncologist came in a little later and told us that they did a freeze section of the biopsy during the surgery and that it came back malignant, but that didn't mean it was. She seemed convinced and talked to us about what was next. She said they were going to put a little tube right below Emma's collar bone and from that tube they would be able to take blood and give her chemo. As you prob did just as you read this, I said WHAT???? She said this would probably need to be treated with chemo, radiation, and then they would try to take the mass out. NEVER would I have thought I would be having this conversation about my precious 6 week old baby!!! She also mentioned that we are looking at about 1 to 2 years of treatment! We are still waiting on her labs to come back and we are praying for God's hand to be in this. We want benign results!!!! We want our baby to be o.k.!! We need your help! PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR BABY EMMA!!! She has fought so hard already! We know she is strong and we know she will come through this, but with your prayers and God's hand, we can get through this stronger and better! God has a plan for my baby girl, and it may be that through this we all become closer to him, but right now we are struggling to understand it! My family has been through a complete nightmare in the past 4 days! Please keep us in your prayers, and lift our baby girl up to the Lord, for through him ALL things are possible. Thank you to all of you who came to the hospital to visit. It was so nice to see a smiling and loving face and to even laugh every once in a while!! We love each and every one of you. Please pass this along so that we can have as many prayers as possible going out for Emma! We will keep you updated and we are supposed to find out the results of the tests late next week. Whenever you have a second, please just lift up her name!!!
Love,Justin, Kelli, and our sweet baby Emma!
I will stop there for this post and continue hopefully tomorrow night! Sorry for the cliffhanger suspense...haha!!! Stay tuned!!
A verse that I lifted unto the Lord daily throughout this ordeal and still today....
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds....declares the Lord.