Feb
26

Thinking about our journey

Over the past few weeks I have really been struck by how thankful I am for our daughter. The journey to meeting her was a hard one and the time spent apart from her while she was in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was very trying as well. But as I continue to look back at our journey and in telling people about what we went through, I find myself being so thankful for every bit of it.

Like I had expressed back in October, when we arrived in Gainesville, I was very sad. At that time we didn’t know it, but we would be in Florida for exactly a month before we met LJ. That was probably the longest month for both Ben and me. It was long because we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. We had no idea the severity of LJ’s condition (though we had been given tough news that first week, which basically told us that her condition was not good). We were afraid of her coming too early, as we wanted her to grow as much as possible before being born, so that she would be big and strong to fight. We were afraid I would go into labor and not be at the right place at the right time for the sake of LJ getting the care she needed. We were emotionally drained from being alone in a new city and the constant doctor’s appointments, which brought more news (good and bad) about our baby. On top of our emotions, I was also VERY pregnant. I was pretty uncomfortable standing, sitting, and even laying down, which did not help. That was a very long month!

Once LJ was born, Ben and I actually breathed a sigh of relief. There was no longer the unknown of her coming out alive. In fact she came out and gave a few cries, which we never expected, but will always remember. My mom likes to describe the scene in the operating room (I gave birth in an OR because we needed a lot of room for my and LJ’s teams of doctors and nurses) as a football being handed off. Once LJ was born almost all of the doctors and nurses, which my mom counted to be at least 20, went from my bed to her table and started working on her. I think at that same moment my focus went from the experience of giving birth to the survival of my daughter. I no longer cared about my pain and comfort; I immediately began to think about her and how she was doing. I remember laying on the delivery table listening to the doctors in the corner with LJ and wondering what was going on and how she was doing. There was one machine that kept making a dinging sound and I kept wondering if that meant something was wrong. Later on I discovered it was one of the machines that monitored her and in fact those sounds were good ones!

As I think back to these moments I am always reminded at how faithful God has been to our family. In our month before meeting LJ, we received cards and boxes from friends and co-workers who were encouraging us and letting us know they were thinking of and praying for us often. As we posted on the blog we were reminded that people all over the country knew about our story and were praying for us. People we didn’t even know, cared enough to pray for us… Ben and Katie Horton from Dallas, Texas. Why would they bother to do that for us? The best answer I can come up with is because God loves us and wanted to show us His love through his people.

The main reason I thank God for all we have been through with LJ is because His light was shown through her little life. LJ’s story has been far more impactful than anything I could ever have imagined. We met people we would never have met. We got to tell them about our God who held us together and He was the reason why we were able to get through the hard times. We trusted that God had a plan for us and it was far greater than anything we could imagine. As I look back at what we went through, I cannot even begin to deny that truth. God truly provided us the support and comfort we needed and He healed our daughter at the same time.

I hope to share more of our journey in the coming weeks as I continue to process all that we experienced. I have so much to share and find myself wanting to lay it all out there, but there is far too much to write in one sitting. As I write this I can’t help but be filled with joy as our 15-week-old daughter lays on my chest sound asleep. It’s times like these that I am so grateful for God’s healing hands. 🙂

 

Dec
23

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE HORTONS!

Dec
04

Back in Dallas!

Hey Everyone,

Sorry I have yet again been behind on the blog. It was a crazy journey getting back to Dallas. After 1100 miles in 20 hrs, while pulling a trailer, we made it back safely. Words can not express how we felt when we got in our apartment with our daughter. Our apartment is a crazy wreck after moving everything in, but I’m sure we will have it in order by the end of the week. It’s exciting to have LJ in her room that we decorated before we left for Gainesville, even though we didn’t know if she would ever see it. Over the next several weeks I hope to work on a video of our journey over the past 2 months. Thanks to all of you for being a part of it.

Home at last.

Love,

Ben, Katie, & LJ

Dec
02

Headed for the Great State of TEXAS!

Well, the car and trailer are loaded and we are headed for the great state of Texas! Looking forward to getting home after 2 months. 900 mile trip here we come!

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Nov
30

LJ – Out of the Hospital!

Well, we left the hospital last night at around 6pm, EST. Yesterday LJ was exactly 3 weeks old. Words can not express how happy we were to leave. It was almost surreal. We did have some bittersweet feelings about leaving, especially all the wonderful nurses, since we had been there for 3 weeks, day in and day out. We immediately ran home to our apartment to pack up the car with a few things, including the dog, and hit the road to drive south to Fort Myers, FL. Since Katie’s Dad has cancer he isn’t really able to travel and we wanted to make sure he got to see his granddaughter before we left. We are just here for 1 day and then will head back to Gainesville tomorrow to start packing up and getting ready to head back to Dallas. The goal is to leave Friday morning and split up the drive in 2 days. We should arrive in Dallas some time late Saturday evening. We can’t wait to get home. We will have been gone for 2 months.

Thank you for all your wonderful support and prayers on this journey. God has definitely given us a miracle baby.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. – Psalm 77:14

Love,

Ben, Katie, & LJ

Nov
29

LJ – GOING HOME!!!!!

So we just found out that another doctor looked at the MRI and feels very confident that the blood clot in LJ’s brain is going away. So they are discharging us today! They aren’t even saying we have to get a follow up MRI! However, we have asked for a referral to get one in Dallas just to be on the safe side in about a month. This is AMAZING news! God is Good! Thank you all for your prayers!

Love,

BKL

Nov
29

LJ – Brain Blood Clot Update

Hey Everyone,

We just heard from one of the doctors and the second MRI from last night shows that half of the clot has almost completely gone away and the other half seems either the same or gone down a hair. The side that is still there has some flow through it so it isn’t a full clot. They are currently recommending to have us stay until Friday in order to do another MRI to see if it has gone down before they decide to do any treatment. So as of right now it looks like we are doing the waiting game in the NICU until Friday. Prayers are that it goes away and gets better by Friday. Thanks for your prayers. We will need to stay in the NICU due to issues with getting discharged and then trying to do outpatient, even though LJ is perfectly fine besides this little clot.

Lots of Love,

BKL

Nov
28

LJ – Not going home yet

We just found out that they are wanting to do another MRI on LJs blood clot in her brain. The hope is that it has gone down. If it has they won’t do treatment in hopes it will go away on its own. If it has stayed the same or gotten worse she will get treatment consisting of shots that will continue by us at home. Looks like either way we won’t be leaving the hospital until the end of the week at the earliest.

Prayers would be great for her MRI results.

Love,
BKL

Nov
28

LJ – Last Day

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for not postings since Thanksgiving Day. Today is LJ’s last day here! We are suppose to be discharged this afternoon! We are waiting on a doctor (since Thursday) to look at LJ’s MRI that shows a blood clot in her brain. They think it is nothing, but wanted this certain doctor to see it and confirm. LJ was fine to go home last Friday evening, but because of having to wait for this MRI reading we had to wait til today. The MRI is suppose to be read between 10am-noon today. We are DEFINITELY ready to leave. It has been a rough week due to some bad communication on the hospital, but we are blessed to be where we are and going home today.

If all goes well and we get discharged today, tomorrow we will drive down to Fort Myers, FL to see Katie’s Dad and family since he wasn’t able to travel up to see LJ. We will be there just for 24 hours and then come back to Gainesville on Wednesday AM. Then we have to finish packing up our apartment as well as get a trailer hitch installed on our car and a UHaul trailer rented. Then the plan is to start traveling back on Thursday. We will take 2 days to travel back, getting to Dallas Friday evening. Words can not express how anxious we are to get back home. Not only back home, but back home with our miracle baby.

Thanks for all your prayers and support through this journey with us. God has truly shown us grace and love in letting LJ be where she is. She is definitely ready to come home as well. 🙂

Will hopefully post once we are able to leave today.

Love,

Ben, Katie, & LJ

Nov
24

LJ – Happy Thanksgiving

Well…it’s Thanksgiving Day. We are 900 miles away from home and we are in a hospital surrounded by crying babies. Yet, it’s the best Thanksgiving Day I’ve ever had. I get to spend it with my two favorite girls on the whole planet. On top of that, my daughter is tube free and waiting to go home any day now. God has showered us with grace, blessings, and love. We have more to be thankful for today than I can express in words. Katie, LJ, and I would like to wish all of you a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you all have as good as of a Thanksgiving as us…but I think it will be pretty hard to top. No offense…

Love,

Ben, Katie, & our Little Turkey LJ

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