The Heart of Christmas

HELLO DECEMBER. Two years ago today on December 1, 2011, I met the guy who made my heart stop and skip a beat. Where you may ask? On an elevator of all places! In my wildest dreams I never would have guessed we would be where we are today. After a weekend of chasing Mr. Wuf around, I imagined he would ask me out on a date! NOW- a marriage proposal, a wedding, and identical twin girls only two years later? This I did not imagine. I was just so happy to have met the one and only Mr. Wuf!

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Not only is it hard to wrap my head around the fact that Andrew and I have only known each other for two years, but that another year has brought us back to December. In the past, the month of December has always been made special due to the Christmas season, social gatherings, and the vacation time from school. For the readers who are teachers and students, you are rocking it out! Only two more weeks! When I met Andrew, December became even more special. Now, when December rolls around the butterfly feelings reappear again. The feeling I had as I was falling in love with Andrew is one that I will never forget and will always keep close to my heart. As a newlywed couple, this was not how I anticipated seeing our first Christmas as husband and wife. When Andrew proposed last November and we rang in the New Year on the streets of “Music City”, I did not foresee spending the majority of our Christmas season in the NICU of UNC Hospital as parents. As we prepare our hearts and minds to the reality of how we will spend our first Christmas as husband and wife, our priorities have shifted. As December begins, we are no longer concerned about having the perfectly decorated home or finding the perfect gift for one another. This December, we are slowing down to appreciate the reason for the season. In the past few weeks, I have grown to realize that to truly enjoy life is to appreciate the simple things. For example, I have never been so overjoyed about someone being able to breathe on their own for two minutes without any assistance. I have seen other families who have struggled and watched their babies fight. So, this Christmas– it is not about the decorations, social gatherings, presents, or perfecting and remaking every tradition. We are going back to the heart of Christmas.

Since our last blog posting, we have had some awesome days in NICU! This past week the girls moved from their “warmer beds” to the “condos” or isolates. While being in the isolates, the girls are learning how to control their own body temperatures and are allowed to wear clothes! Can this fashionista Mama get a Praise the Lord?! I am so excited to play dress up with my girls in all of their precious outfits! The girls are both tolerating their feeds very well, which is awesome! Our little girls have been doing amazing for their gestational age, but the Lord is still preparing their tiny hearts to handle all the love that is surrounding them. Amelia’s first round of indomethacin did help in improving the PDA found in her heart. We were very grateful the medicine showed signs of improvement and were hopeful the PDA would begin to close on its own. Last week, an echo-cardiogram was also done on Leah. The cardiologist found that Leah had a very small PDA and two tiny VSDs. They were optimistic for the discovery in Leah because her defects were much smaller than Amelia’s. Earlier this week, our team of doctors performed an echo-cardiogram on both girls to follow up from their test results last week. Both of our girls heart conditions had not changed or progressed. Therefore, we did another round of “baby ibuprofen” to see whether medication could help our girls close their PDA’s on their own. On Friday, another echo-cardiogram was performed on both Leah and Amelia. Leah’s echo-cardiogram showed that the ibuprofen did not improve her condition. Friday night, she began her first round of indomethacin. She received two more doses yesterday. We are praying that this medicine will work, and her PDA will close on its own due to its small size. Amelia’s echo-cardiogram also showed that the ibuprofen did not improve her condition. Therefore, Amelia will have to have surgery to close her PDA. Right now, between the size of Amelia’s VSD and size of her PDA, the two are working together in dilating her heart (making it bigger than what is needed). Due to Amelia’s blood flow in the heart being disrupted, she was given a blood transfusion Friday afternoon. Our team of doctors would like to perform surgery to close the PDA before something too drastic happens to our baby girl. SO. CALLING ALL PRAYER WARRIORS!! Amelia’s surgery is scheduled for Monday afternoon around 1:00pm! Please join us in praying for our two baby girls and their tiny hearts. Please pray that Amelia’s surgery is successful without any complications, and that her recovery time is quick and painless! Also, pray the medication will close Leah’s PDA and be gentle on her kidneys. The indomethacin tends to cause some complications to the kidneys– we really don’t want this for our precious Leah!

Andrew and I have faith that the Ultimate Physician is healing our girls. We believe in the love we have for one another to make our first Christmas the best one ever by embracing the simplicity, relishing in the birth of the Christ child, and keeping our eyes on the hearts. What a miracle it would be to have our sweet girls home for Christmas. It is the Christmas miracle I am praying for each and every day. Although, no matter whether the girls come home on December 24th or February 24th, it is going to be a far better “First Christmas” for Andrew and I than we could have ever imagined. This Christmas season I encourage you to live while you can- cherish the moment– make sure the ones that you love– they know it. And last but not least, don’t miss out on the heart of Christmas.

Andrew and I would like to thank everyone who has been praying for our family. We are comforted by your love, support, and prayers. We truly feel surrounded by the presence of your uplifting prayers and a could of witnesses. We are blessed that our girls are even in the prayers of people whom we have never met. For those that we have yet to meet, thank you for praying for our girls. We love you all!

Happy December,

Mary Kate

4 thoughts on “The Heart of Christmas

  1. Althea says:

    Andrew and Mary Kate, praying for you and your precious little ones. So wonderful that we serve an awesome God and He holds them in the palm of His hands. I have lunch at one o’clock and tomorrow I will be praying!!!! Love you.

  2. Gail says:

    That is truly the most precious video I have ever seen! It really made me stop and thank God for miracles. You guys have a beautiful family and I admire your dedication and strong faith. May God hold you ALL in his hands and be with your team of doctors as they perform what is needed for your precious baby girls. Happy December to you guys….

  3. Sherry Reeves says:

    Mary Kate & Andrew
    Wow! These two little miracles are so blessed to have you guys as parents. I truly believe God chose you to be their parents for very special reasons. Praying things not only go well tomorrow but in the weeks to come.

    Sherry Reeves

  4. Beth Horne says:

    Praying for your family. God is the great physicians and the prayer warriors are praying for healing,comfort and peace. Your message is so true, we all need to remember the true meaning of Christmas and who birthday it really is and to be thankful for what we have and what He has done for us.

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