Sunday, July 18: Update

I heard Heidi’s tears from the other room tonight and asked her what was wrong. She came around the corner red-eyed and said she missed Mommy. I held her while she explained that she keeps seeing things that belong to Tiffany, and they make her sad. These seven weeks are taking their toll and even the strongest are showing the weaknesses in their armor.

Heidi has always been our valiant family warrior. She is fiercely loyal and burns for her family. She abhors strife in her family. She’s very protective. When she was small enough to be in a high chair, I’d come up behind Tiffany, growl and bear hug her. Heidi would provide the soundtrack yelling all manner of protests for me to leave Mommy alone! When she walks she bobs her head from side to side. She makes me smile.

Heidi also internalizes her feelings. Heidi is most like Tiffany emotionally. She is easy stung and takes things personally. She is eager to please and make peace. The last thing she wants to be is a burden to her family. And this is why we watch her so closely right now. When we were still at Medical City, Heidi went home with Grandpa and Grandma one night. I found out the following morning Heidi was discovered in the middle of the night crying by herself. When I asked her why she hadn’t gotten anyone, she said she didn’t want to wake anybody up. Heidi thinks of herself last. So we’re working extra hard with her to draw out what she’s feeling so we can grieve with her.

It is hard for me to watch my six and eight year old daughters deal with such a maturing event. They love their little sister and miss her much. My heart hurts for them.

Some more healing will come in a week when we bring Claire home. Both girls are helping us prepare her room and space. They are eager for us all to be under the same roof again. It’s not the cure all, but it will be a much needed salve.

Claire still has some work to do before she’s homeward bound. We’ve been working in getting her feeds to a normal schedule and had a setback today. She lost her dinner – and then some – tonight after finishing her last feed. We suspect the amounts are too large for a single feeding and overtax her little stomach. We will moderate tomorrow and hope she does better.

Otherwise, Claire continues to show signs of increased awareness. Her malice toward the hospital grows every day, and she looks forward to the time she escapes to the outside each day for her walk. We’ve started encouraging he with tales of finally going home. That usually calms her down.

The week ahead will be busy. It’s the last full week before discharge. We have a lot to accomplish both here at home and at the hospital. More family comes in on Tuesday. Our friends have been brilliant the past few days bridging the gap until in-house guests arrive.

Thank you for your prayers and support. They continue to sustain us.

17 thoughts on “Sunday, July 18: Update”

  1. I just wanted to send a little note of love and encouragement for your week ahead. May it be filled with many accomplishments, joys and few setbacks. You and Tiffany are loving, caring, ensightful and tender parents. I know my words sound redundant, but know that you are loved and that the prayers for your family are ceaseless. God bless you on your journey.

    Aunt Maureen

  2. It will be so good for the girls, and for you and Tiffany, to have Claire home. Yes, it’ll be difficult, and sad, and a huge adjustment – but just being able to curl up beside her will do their wee hearts and souls a world of good. Things instantly become more “normal” when everyone’s together.
    Prayers for your sweet girls as they figure out a new way of being sisters to their beautiful Claire.
    Thinking of you all.

  3. I’ll specifically keep the girls in my prayers. We had our 3rd, a son, in the NICU (2 hours from home) for 4.5months. Our 2 girls (7&4) were home, going to school, living life, while I spent 95% of my time w the baby. It was torture. And it was even worse that it was during flu season & the girls were not allowed to even see their baby brother. They didn’t see him until we brought him home @ the end of Feb. Sadly, our battle wasn’t over once we got home like we had hoped. He was struck w pneumonia just 3 weeks later and passed away — next door to where we had spent the first 4.5 moths of his life. It’s not fair for kids to have to grow up so much & so quickly. I grieve for the loss of their innocence. Your Claire is in my prayers always.

    1. That definitely sounds like torture. Our hearts hurt for you and your family. It’s sad that we have similar concerns for our children. Thank you for keeping Autumn and Heidi in your prayers.

  4. You both see each of your girls as an individual, and know what they each need–what wonderful, caring parents you are! I know you grieve for them as you watch them grieve for and with Claire. God watches over you all in this week of preparation to bring Claire home. Blessings and constant prayers that it all go as smoothly as possible, with as few glitches as possible. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief as you learn to readjust to being together again as a family at long last.


  5. YAY for increased awareness! I am so pleased to hear that.

    I am going to be honest. 3 1/2 years down this road… I will say that dealing with my other boys is FAR more harder than Santana’s needs. It is SOO heartbreaking to leave them while I stay with Santana in returned visits to the hospital… or leave for weeks at a time for a therapy adventure. The balance… or trying to make that balance is the hardest part of all this. To distribute time and love. And I am going to focus my prayers on that for you guys. But please… no worries… God just fits things together like a puzzle and it works out. But know that I and I am sure other parents feel like they HAVE to abandon their other children. It is heart wrenching… but they will understand cause they want their brother or sister to be the best they can be.

    Hang in their and know you are on my heart and mind all the time. Prayers go up for you guys! Stay strong and in HIS grip!

  6. Praying for your girls this week. Every day I pray for your family even though I don’t know you. I can tell how much you all love each other. Please continue to be strong. Even in life’s darkest hours, you are in God’s hands and he has a wonderful recovery plan in store for you all.

  7. Sensitives like Heidi might do better with either you or Tiffany much of the time, resisting the urge to shield her, but instead, include her in and through the hard process–the isolation of excluding might prove worse. I’m a sensitive too and experienced family trauma.
    Looks like Claire is coming along beautifully. When you get home, reading storybooks and singing to her tend to be familiar soothers; maybe the girls can take turns with Claire:)
    Prayers up!

  8. No doubt our heavenly father is the great physician and can heal. He will be your ultimate healer. He should be the first one to seek. But in such a big event such as your family is dealing with, you should seek family therapy to continue in the healing process. Medical professional can be one of the best tools to use in crisis. But God should be your first resource.
    We are praying without ceasing!!! Love you all …….

  9. Yesterday as I was praying for you all God put in my heart the song by Matt Redman. I felt like I needed to share that with you and all your fellow readers. I would like to ask everyone to join me in sing this song through out the day as we think and pray for your precious family and our sweet angel, Claire. May you be bless by the lyrics.

    You never let go
    By Matt Redman

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
    Your perfect love is casting out fear
    And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life I won’t turn back
    I know you are near

    And I will fear no evil
    For my God is with me
    And if my God is with me
    Whom then shall I fear?
    Whom then shall I fear?

    Oh no, You never let go
    Through the calm and through the storms
    Oh no, You never let go
    In every high and every low
    Oh no, You never let go
    Lord, You never let go of me

    And I can see light that is coming for the heart that holds on
    And there will be an end to these troubles
    But until that day comes
    Still I will praise, still I will praise you

    Oh no, You never let go
    Through the calm and through the storms
    Oh no, You never let go
    In every high and every low
    Oh no, You never let go
    Lord, You never let go of me

  10. I have been reading and praying since Day 1. I am friends of Scott and Kristi Herring. My heart aches for you as I read, and that is when I pray. Sometimes there are no words. Just tears. Then there’s times when I rejoice with you about Claire’s progress in one area or another.
    Blessings on you all…

  11. I will conitnue to pray for that homecoming. What a wonderful (and yet possibly scary and confusing) day that will be. Little Heidi…just wish I could hug her. I pray that she finds understanding from the Lord in only the way that He can do. I pray that for you and Tiffany as well.

  12. Thank you for your updates and for sharing such an intimate part of your family. We are continuing to pray for Claire, but a little extra for Heidi and Autumn. When my son was a toddler, we went through a life-changing event, it was diffcult (as an adult) to help him understand what was happening to our family when we had difficulty “digesting” all that was happening as well. I found that a temporary leniency of simple rules helped a great deal (examples: The kids were allowed to have indoor camp-outs in our room-Smores included-they need to feel close to the adults, a family movie night on a school night, 1:1 mom/dad time for a special treat (game of Candyland, ice cream sundaes and a chat at the table), etc. My son is just like Heidi (keeps it all inside). My pediatrician suggested, I buy him a doodle pad and let him draw, “write”, or color and let him share with us. I do not know your family personally, but I do know that your family is FULL of love, affection, and faith in Him. Blessings to you as you begin the next chapter of bringing Claire home.

  13. Your kids are awesome – all of them.
    Tough, determined, and lovers too.
    Care to the caregivers; love, hugs, and prayers to all
    Susan Davison

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