Through FH and the support groups I am apart of and also through this blog, I have had the chance to become close friends with many other women/mothers who are going through the same thing as me and my family. I've become close with some who have been through it all already and have been there to answer questions and offer support. A few of us went through amputation surgeries around the same time and brought me so much comfort during some of the hardest moments we've experienced thus far. I've also had the chance to become close with some new moms who are just starting their FH journey...I hope I have been a source of comfort to them. Most are women and families whom I have never met in person and may never meet (although I would LOVE to!), but will be friends with them forever. I have had the chance to meet a few families in person and I treasure those families and the relationships we have built and continue to build.
Karin contacted me through email after she found Dylan's blog (I'm not sure how she found it). She was pregnant at the time and they had recently found out at one of their ultrasounds that their new baby had FH. We emailed back and forth throughout her pregnancy and through our emails we found out that we lived in the same state. Just a few hours away from each other. We were able to refer them to Dr. E (Dylan's surgeon) and after they visited many surgeons and did their own research, they too chose Dr. E to care for their now born, little baby boy, Jack. So they come into our area every once in awhile. We've been trying to set up a time to meet up and haven't been able to do so, until this past week.
Karin was going to be coming into our area for some shopping with her mom and baby Jack. Bryson happened to have the week off and we all met up together for lunch. It was SO great to finally meet Karin and baby Jack and it was so great to meet Karin's mom, Joanie, as well. It was so nice to be able to answer questions and for them to see how great Dylan is doing. Baby Jack is SO cute and I loved seeing his little foot (made me miss Dylan's little foot). :( His little leg looks so much like Dylan's did. Jack also has a short femur, like Dylan. Their cases are pretty similar, it's crazy.
Anyway, I'm so glad that Karin found our blog and that we've been able to connect. She is an amazing mom and woman and I know we'll be great friends for life. I feel for her and her family, because I know that what she is going through right now is NOT easy and I wish I could say something or do something that would help take away the anxiety and pain. All I can say to Karin and to anyone going through this...it DOES get better...it DOES get easier. I know it's hard now and it'll be hard for awhile as surgery approaches and through surgery and recovery, and I'm sure there will be moments in the future that will be hard too (for all of us)...it's definitely not easy, but it will be so worth it. Bryson and I think back to how hard those times were, how hard the decision was to amputate, how hard surgery and recovery were, how emotionally hard those months were after his birth and leading up to surgery...but seeing Dylan running around now and we KNOW without a doubt that it was the right thing, that it was all worth it, and we don't look back. Dylan is going to excel in this life, no matter what life throws at him...he was born to. And so was baby Jack...and baby Beau, and Anna, Reagan, Anna, Jack, Hannah, Noah, Laura...every FH child. We have little fighters among us. :) I truly believe they were prepared for this life and for this trial and they have a purpose here that is so much more than we can imagine.
Joanie (Karin's mom) brought her camera and I'm SO glad she did. She is as obsessed with taking pictures as I am, so I'm so thankful she was there to document our time together, since I was to busy talking and chasing kids. :)
We spent some time outside talking after lunch while my boys played in the water fountain. :)
This picture cracks me up. I LOVE the group shot...but between my half opened eyes and Bryson's overzealous smile, we laugh whenever we look at it. At least Karin and Jack and my boys look good! :)
Can't wait to meet up with you again, Karin. And thank you again, Joanie, for all the pictures!!