“I’m Back. I’m Back. I’m Back”
That is a direct quote from Richard (Christopher Reeves) in “Somewhere in Time”. That part probably makes people cry, but for the Stewart kids, it is extremely hilarious.
I haven’t posted for a long time. In fact, I feel like I’ve been in a cave for a while, buuuut things are pretty much back to normal so I’ll give you the update…
The month of April was a doooozie!!! I have written the extremely detailed, horrendously long version in my journal and I already tried to blog about it once but after typing for…a LONG time, the computer crashed and none of it got saved, SOOO here come my April Cliffs Notes…
My sister, Jessi, had her 4th baby (also her 4th boy), Spencer, on April 9th. Everything seemed fine, Spencer was a little early so he had jaundice, but other than that, they both left the hospital two days after the birth. After being home a day and a half and having a fever and almost fainting the whole time, Jess went to the emergency room at about 4 AM. They admitted her. The next morning, I went over to help my mom at Jessi’s house with the kids while Gary took Spencer to the hospital to have his jaundice tested. While he was there, he checked on Jess.
At 11 AM, my mom and I were so happy to hear Gary pull into the garage to see how things were going. I will never forget the scene that followed. Gary hadn’t slept in days and he stumbled slowly into the house carrying Spencer in the car seat. We were taken aback by his paleness and said “Gary, is everything alright?” Gary slowly shook his head, and as he held his brand new baby, he broke down crying and told us that Jessi was in the ICU and her condition was serious, that there were eight doctors when he was there trying to figure out what was wrong. What they did know is that she had a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in her lungs stopping blood flow to her heart) and infection throughout her body. We all just stood there for a while crying, feeling completely helpless. When we gained control, we knelt down and prayed together, of course.
I was trying to round up the kids who were outside in the neighbor’s backyard. The neighbor, Sherry, was outside and asked how Jessi was doing. Trying not to loose it, I gave her the update. Sherry said “Oh that happened to my sister when she had her first baby.” I said “Oh really? But she’s okay now?” And Sherry said “Well, I didn’t want to tell you this but, no…she died. I’m sorry! She had all kinds of infections, though, and the antibiotics couldn’t kill it. I’m sure Jessi will be fine.” I was thinking, ‘But Jessi has all kinds of infections!’ So from that point on, I was almost certain that Jessi was not going to make it. That was just the beginning of so many tears, so many desperate prayers.
So I brought Spencer home with me that day. He was such a perfect angel baby. He had jaundice for the first week. Here he is with his very cool jaundice blanket (why did it take so long for this to be invented, instead of a huge tanning bed for babies?)
Look at this baby! He is just so perfect!
After a week, the doctors finally found out what Jess had (don’t ask me the name, it’s long and scientific, it involved Strep A) but they weren’t totally sure how they were going to take care of it. The infection needed to be fought with antibiotics and by the end of the week, they were running out of antibiotics to try! (Please refer to my conversation with Sherry) Whenever I closed my eyes, I would see Gary crying in the entryway holding Spencer, or I’d imagine Jess having to say good-bye to her four little boys. When my eyes were open, I saw Spencer and I would wonder if he would ever know his cute, hilarious, spunky, fun-loving mom. I was pretty much beside myself this whole week. I have never cried so much or prayed as hard in all my life.
To make a long story short, yes, this IS making it short…Jessi was allowed to leave the hospital ten days after she was admitted. I kept Spencer for one more day but then she and Gary wanted to be all together again at home. She was in horrible pain still and had a fever but I guess the antibiotics were finally working and would just take time…
I do not know why Heavenly Father is so good to us. I know that families have to deal with sudden and tragic deaths all the time but I’m sure that this would have been too hard for me. Two weeks after this all started, Jess made it to Cari’s BYU graduation, in a wheelchair, but it was truly a miracle.
Jessi, Gary and Spencer at Cari’s graduation lunch at Thanksgiving Point
Jess went to the doctor today (May 21st) for a check-up. The doctor told her that when he found out what she had, he pretty much did not expect her to live. He said in his 10 years of practicing, he had only seen 4 cases and three died, the other woman had to have her arms and legs amputated! It is truly, truly a miracle that Jess is alive and I cannot thank my Heavenly Father enough!
We had such a great day celebrating Cari’s graduation and Jessi’s life continuing….The next day, my Grandpa Harris passed away. It was bitter-sweet. He had suffered through kidney failure and dialysis for about ten years and had truly endured to the end, being happy and joking all the time. My Grandma was there with him when he passed away and he went so peacefully and quickly that it is almost comforting, knowing that it was definitely his time to go.
The next week, all of the family was together a lot, that is always good. The funeral was on Friday. Then on Sunday, we had a huge reunion in Jessi’s ward. It was arranged for three Stewart grandbabies to be blessed all in Jessi’s ward (Jessi and Gary – Spencer, Eddie and Lindsey – Westin, Angie and Shawn – Anastasia (born on April 17th, I think, in the midst of Jessi’s hospital stay). It was such a great day, a wonderful way to end such a crazy month!!!!
This is my Grandma Harris helping Jessi walk. (She was making Jess take a nap after all of the blessing festivities. ) These are the two strongest women I know, both helping each other, thinking about each other and not the hard road they had just traveled or the rough times to come…