Update

Update: 7/31 – 11:00AM:  Matthew will be coming home tomorrow. However, we aren’t out of the woods yet. We will be waiting for 2-3 days or so for the results of the lab to come back. They need to culture his blood to see if he has a bacterial infection in his blood. This is the hard part because if he has it in his blood it could take weeks or months of him being in the hospital 4 hours from home in order to treat it. It can be fatal too. Here’s an article I found recently about his condition:

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Acute+Lymphangitis

He has cellulitus too:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cellulitis/basics/definition/con-20023471

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Update 7:20PM: Apparently what my husband has, if treatment was delayed further it would have gone into his lymph nodes, then the organs.  It’s not the reaction to the sting, it is something that got into it that caused this. They are still awaiting labs to see if he has the infection in his blood.

Matthew is going to be hospitalized for 1-2 days with an IV with steroids, antibiotics and an antihystamine. He had a CAT scan on his arm and he has a severe infection and inflammation. They shared that another day would have been too late and he would have required surgery in Wenatchee on his hand and arm. When they took his shirt off, he had red/purple lines going from his hand all the way up to his shoulder from the infection. He has watery blisters and the colors of yellow and purple on his hand and arm. Thank God he is going to be okay.

I had Hannah make the toddlers sandwiches and she is more than willing to help. I had to increase my medication (after talking to the doctor again) as my blood pressure still is too high. Somehow we’ll get through these next couple of days. At least I have medication and kids that are old enough to help.

The doctor treating my husband couldn’t understand why he didn’t come in sooner. She soon realized while talking to me on the phone that she treated me two days ago in the Emergency Room and that he’s been taking care of the family and me. He could have gone in yesterday but I had an appointment with my regular doctor regarding my blood pressure.

Anyways, all is crazy here but all is going to be okay. I’ve been in tears of course but I’m trying to see the best in all of this. Thank God they don’t have to do surgery on my husband and he won’t lose his hand. Thank God I have some medication for my blood pressure and some older kids to help. Let’s keep praying though… maybe all of this will be behind us very soon.

Please Pray

We need prayers for the Geraci home. My husband is in the emergency room right now and I am supposed to be on bed rest. He went in for an appointment at 2:30 today for a simple wasp sting that has turned into a bacterial infection on his hand over the past 4-5 days. His hand is purple and his hand and arm have open blood spots on them due to the severe swelling. He couldn’t go in yesterday because of my need to be seen with the high blood pressure. The doctor shared that this is serious and he could lose his hand if he doesn’t get it taken care of and sent him to the emergency room. They are giving him an IV right now. I’ll update as to what this condition is with my husband as we find out more soon.

Postpartum Hypertension

I’ve been diagnosed with Postpartum Hypertension. The doctor explained that because I didn’t lose hardly any blood with my c-section, I am still carrying all this pregnancy blood while my body is going back to normal. I took my blood pressure 2 days ago and it was 167/92. It went up to 208/118 so I was referred to the emergency room where they did an EKG, blood work, urine for protein, etc…. All results were fine. No eclampsia – Thank God. They gave me something in the IV to lower my blood pressure and make me lose the excess water. I then saw Dr. Bradford yesterday and it was up to 200/100 again. I am now on Labatalol for 14 days and strict bed rest (so I will lose more fluid) until Monday. The medicine is a beta blocker and makes my mind feel a bit numb and tired. Since I need to stay in bed, I may not be able to be online much other than writing family occasionally. Thank God, I took my blood pressure the other day just on a whim or I could have had a stroke. I have had severe swelling in my legs for a week so I’m sure it’s been with me for a while. I’ve had lots to think about these past 2 days. I so value my life more now than ever (family and friends) and hope the Lord will keep me here for some time.   : )

I’ll catch up on pictures soon enough….

Our Birth (Love) Story

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One of the most wonderful things to start off our birth story is our doctor and how he drove 30 minutes North to deliver our baby in another hospital and on his day off (we found out later). We are in awe that a doctor would go out of his way to even do such a thing. I shared with him many weeks ago that I would probably have to transfer to North Valley Hospital as our neighbor would be watching the children. We didn’t want to impose extra time on her though we know she loves kids and wouldn’t mind, we still felt it was best to come closer to home. The doctor told me he’d be happy to do the c-section at the hospital that I felt I needed to switch to. I was so happy because I really like our doctor. What doctor would do such a thing? We are just so grateful. I think of the verse about how the Lord sometimes allows us to find favor with men.

On the day of the delivery when they gave me a spinal it didn’t seem to be taking. As agreed previously, the doctor put me out under a general. I remember asking just before going out, “Matthew won’t be able to be in here with us, huh?” They shared, “Sorry, no.” Upon awaking, I found that they DID let Matthew come in. Listen to this, this is the best part of the story. He was holding my hand while I was out, and he was praying for me and the baby. All of a sudden my limp hand started to squeeze his hand very firmly and stayed on with a nice grip. He couldn’t believe I would squeeze his hand while I was under general anesthesia. You just don’t do that while under, it’s like you’re in a coma. It touched my heart so much when he shared this with me. I know our love for each other and our unity in Christ has brought us so close together that somehow this would happen supernaturally from God.

The baby came out fine and Matthew even got to cut the cord. They took pictures of this that they will send by e-mail from the hospital. The doctor did NOT have to do a hysterectomy. To the contrary, he shared I had a non-bleeding uterus. Unfortunately, I had the largest uterine window he has ever seen in his 30+ years of practice. He had the other doctor look at it with him. A uterine window is where you can see through the scar tissue (from previous c-sections) and it looks like saran wrap, you can literally see the baby through it. He shared that it would have ruptured in 2 more days. A rupture kills the baby in 10 to 15 minutes and I believe kills the mother soon thereafter too. It is rare but it does happen. God was with us. It looks like we are done having babies.

Matthew had to head home to care for the kids after I woke up. We were going to talk that night and they were going to visit the next day. A backhoe tore up some lines (phone, power and internet) that very day and we couldn’t not talk to each other until the next day when I got a hold of our neighbor to watch the kids so he could use their phone. Our neighbor really went out of her way for us as it so happened that her husband went to visit his mother in Western Washington and she passed away. Our neighbor was watching our kids and trying to take care of things on her phone on her end. : (

With my husband and my lack of communications for over 24 hours after the birth of our baby and not being able to talk about it with each other, we were love sick. We have spent nearly 10 years, almost every waking moment together as he is medically retired. When I got to go home the next evening after the birth, I never seen him so broken from missing me. He said his eyes hurt from missing me so much. When I got home he had three deep hearted letters laying around the house for me to find about how much he loves me. It touched my heart so much. Benjamin’s birth story reminds me of our love for one another more than anything. The love a husband and wife should share between each other especially under Christ as we are brother and sister too. Thank you Lord for using little Benjamin to show us how much we mean to each other. Our days go by and we take each other for granted. We take the beautiful things that God gives us for granted too. It’s good to see things from a different perspective sometimes.

Our Little Sunshine

Our little boy has a little jaundice as most babies do so we put him out in the sun for about 6 minutes a day as the sun is really intense up here. Here he is taking his little sunbath. It’s been in the 80’s and 90’s so it’s plenty warm for him. His skin (the yellowing) is looking good for day 4 when it’s usually the worst.

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Two to Three Days Old

Here are some pictures of Benjamin just two to three days old. They always look so much better in pictures once you get them out of the hospital for some reason.  : ) DSC_0050

Maybe I’m partial but I think he’s beautiful!  : ) DSC_0063

I love these pictures of Leah holding Benjamin. She is really taken the most by the new baby. She seems like she’s in la la land loving baby and loving Mommy. If I go out on the deck and she sees me, she comes running in to be with me. Having a new baby has really affected her in a good way.   : )

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Baby Benjamin

One day old hospital pictures of Benjamin Manasseh Geraci. The hospital will send pictures of after he was born in the surgery room still. I’ll update when they arrive.

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Tomorrow Is the Day!

Well, tomorrow is the big day. We are scheduled for a c-section at 1:00 Pacific time. I am nervous because when I had my first c-section in 2006 the spinal didn’t take. I felt EVERYTHING and they wouldn’t put me under for the sake of the baby. I still have bad dreams on occasion because of what both my husband and I went through. Since then, I have demanded to be put under and they can see why my determination as they wheel me into the surgery room and I start to shake horribly from fear. My doctor wants me to have a spinal and give me something that will make me so relaxed and out of it that I won’t remember much until after the baby is born. Then the anesthesiologist will back off on the medicine so I can enjoy the baby. I told him I would be willing to try with the promise that if the spinal doesn’t work that he would have me put out immediately. So, we have an agreement and I can’t ask for much more than that other than prayer.

Last week the doctor shared that they may need to do a hysterectomy due to all the babies I’ve had. There is always new scar tissue in the uterus with a new placenta from each baby. I have had troubles with bleeding excessively in the past after birth so this we have been thinking about throughout the past week too. We are okay with it though as my husband did pray that by faith we’d have 8 children together.

On a good note, we are excited. The kids are excited. We can’t stop thinking and talking about Benjamin. We are in joy that he has made it this far and it looks like we will meet him tomorrow. This is the joy that comes at the end.

Anyways, prayers are appreciated. I’m sure all will be just fine! I have never taken a computer to the hospital before but think I will tomorrow so I can share pictures back home as the kids won’t be able to come with dad until the next day to see Benjamin. Also to share with family. I’ll try to put up one picture on the blog sometime after he is born and write later after I get home.   : )

Cherries, Cherries, Cherries…

We are blessed with free cherry wood and fruit throughout the year here. Last winter Matthew stopped by where some men were trimming the cherry trees and he asked if they would mind if he picked up some of the small pieces of wood. They said, “You don’t want this, come over here as we have a pile for you. Surely there was so much wood that it took months for Matthew to clean it up for them for free. They don’t have to sit around and burn it for days. The Supervisor, Santos is more than happy that Matthew helps “clean up the wood”.

On the other hand, Santos told him to come pick as much cherries as he wanted to and to also glean the trees after they left. Well, between the first picking as you see below and then the gleaning, we got about 100 lbs of Rainier Cherries and Bing Cherries. We don’t like to can much as you lose the nutrients and enzymes in the fruit so we pit and freeze and put in shakes, etc… Matthew has a 6 cherry pitter and he pitted all of them over the course of a few days, by himself. He finds it relaxing to do monotonous work like that. DSC_0004

Here’s the first little batch. I didn’t take a picture of the big one as we kept it inside in a cooler. DSC_0008

See the quality of the cherries?DSC_0009