Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 7

Due to the flu being so prevalent that time of year, the hospital had a strict visitors policy. Ryan and our parents were the only ones allowed in the room. Before the birth, I remember feeling so disappointed that Caroline couldn’t meet Carter right away, and that we couldn’t have other visitors those days we were in the hospital. But, by the end of our hospital stay we knew that God had even a purpose in this, too.

You see, those days were so important for us as a couple and a family. We were in shock, to say the least, for awhile. We also needed time for Ryan and me to process all that we were thinking and feeling. We had so many questions…some for God, some for each other, some for nobody in particular. How did this happen? What did I do wrong while I was pregnant? Is it my fault? I knew they said it was nothing I did…but still, what if they were wrong? Is Carter going to be sad? Is he going to be okay? What will Caroline say? People are going to make fun of him, aren’t they? How will he crawl? How will I teach him to tie his shoes? How will Ryan play ball with him in the yard? Is it going to be okay? Why? These are only a handful of what all we talked about. Questions we asked ourselves. I won’t lie and say it wasn’t a tough couple of days. Yes, we were overjoyed with our son. Our son…a precious gift from the Lord. We were just unsure of so much and trying to pray our way through it all. We were really leaning on the Lord. This was/is the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

As I was saying before, if we had been allowed to have visitors, there would have been friends and church members showing up at the hospital right away that morning…not realizing the situation they were coming into to. I would have felt bad for them, because I know it would have been difficult for them too…they had walked through the pregnancy and all the ultrasounds with us…praying along the way too. And I know they would have felt uncomfortable because of all we were dealing with as a family.

Also, Ryan and I needed those days to have privacy…a time to talk together and begin this journey together. We spent the nights (and days) thinking, talking, crying, and praying through everything. We needed to talk about all that had changed in just a few short minutes…or at least what had changed to our knowledge. It was always part of God’s plan for us. We needed to leave the hospital together…in more ways than just physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. And we needed to just love on our little boy.

I also cherish the days I got to sit in the hospital room with my mom or dad or both of them, and talk about Carter and what God had planned for him. To just sit quietly, or cry with them. Whatever emotion came at whatever time.

So, as I said before, God had a plan in even the little things. If we could have had visitors, it wouldn’t have been a quiet time away for us…a time to do all that I mentioned above. This time was so special for us.

I am also so grateful that my parents were there for Caroline. They took care of her, brought her up to see Carter, had lots of fun with her. That allowed us not to worry about that aspect of life at that time. We knew she was taken care of. And instead of Ryan trying to coordinate her whereabouts, he could be with me and love on sweet little Carter.

We also had the opportunity to have conversations with my siblings and their spouses during those days in the hospital that were very special and meaningful, as did Ryan with his family. They were nothing but encouraging…and it was so good to know that they loved our son so much.

I can also remember walking out to meet Caroline at the nursery so she could see Carter. She was such a big girl now. She had only seen Carter in the nursery window, so I wondered what she would say about his arm when we brought him home.

I appreciated friends' emails and phone calls. I can still remember one dear friend calling not longer after he was born and saying, “Kim, I just wanted to call and say I love you.” And that Ryan and I were going to be awesome parents for Carter. Then, she cried on the phone with me. How meaningful this was for me.

Those days were so important.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 6

Ryan and I just spent the day loving on Carter. My mom hung out with Caroline during the day and visited with me and Carter some too. Ryan and I had some time to begin to talk, work, and pray through all that had changed so quickly (to our knowledge, but not the Lord’s, of course). It was so emotional at times. It is hard to explain. Maybe in the next post.
There were lots of joys during the day. All the nurses said Carter was the cutest little man they had ever seen. Carter nursed way better than Caroline ever did. The nurses were the best ever…and really took wonderful care of me and Carter. (And they were never there unless you needed them!) It really allowed my mom and Ryan to care for Caroline and be there for me emotionally.

My dad was supposed to come up the day after Carter was born, but when he heard about Carter’s arm, he left right away. It was a blessing to us to have him with us, and meant so much to me to hug my dad that day. He got in around 10:00 that night and came to our room to meet Carter. What a special time. I can see it so clearly in my mind.

Oh, and Ryan took Caroline out to dinner that night. She got to choose where to go…and where did she choose? Waffle House. Yea, that was odd. But, it made for a good laugh. And yes, that’s where they went.

(read more tomorrow)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 5

Ryan headed off to the nursery to be with Carter while I was stitched up. I sat there trying to figure out how this was all mistaken on the ultrasounds. I realized the first technician had her lefts and rights wrong the whole time. Before I was taken to recovery the doctor talked with me for a moment. I cried through all he had to say. He just apologized for all the mix ups on the ultrasounds, but assured me that Carter seemed healthy in all other ways. He said he would be just fine, that he was a beautiful baby.

My mom had come into town the night before and was at home with Caroline. Ryan had called her after Carter was born so she and Caroline could come up to see him. I was taken to the recovery room and minutes later my mom showed up. They brought Carter in right away also. I can still remember holding him, all wrapped up in the blanket, and just crying with my mom. I don’t know how to explain what I was feeling, really. I feel bad to say I was crying, but it wasn’t a sad cry necessarily. It was a cry of joyfulness at this birth, yet also being scared of what was ahead, and partly sad, wondering why he would have to deal with this. My mind was racing…will he be okay? How will he do things with one hand? Is this real?

I can vividly remember pulling Carter’s blanket back to look at his arm. It was so hard. My mom cried with me. I was so worried for him and scared. Why did this have to happen to him? His arm stopped about a third of the way between his elbow and where the wrist would be. This is when I noticed that he also had a few really tiny fingers on his arm. That worried me too…why did he have to have those fingers there? Wouldn’t that give something else someone could make fun of him for? I felt bad for him. My heart ached. But overall, I felt such a strong love for him.

(I'd love to know if you are reading this and God is using it in some way!)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Many months ago I posted a link asking everyone to sign up for swagbucks as a referral from me. I thought I would give some more information in case you are interested! I have already earned over $130 in Amazon gift cards by cashing in my swagbucks, and have 5 more to purchase the first of the month.

Swagbucks is a website that is just a search engine like google or something else. (It's actually powered by google.) However, as you use it to search the world wide web you earn "swagbucks", which can then be used to purchase gift cards to places like Amazon or Starbucks (lots more to choose from.) You can also shop at a lot of online stores through their website and earn 1 swagbuck for every $5 you spend. When you sign up using my referral link I earn swagbucks every time you do. Plus, you can have someone sign up under you and earn more swagbucks for yourself! Since starting this, I have already earned tons of swagbucks for doing nothing but what I usually do! When I get to 45 swagbucks, I can buy a $5 Amazon gift card! They add up quickly, and I have bought lots of things we need and want but couldn't otherwise buy. It's pretty cool!

And here's a tip....if you sign up, you can make swagbucks be your search engine on your internet page, and then even search the things you know the web address for. That is what we do and it is how we earn the most bucks. (like facebook,, etc.) I type it into the search box, then clikc on the website that shows up is just as fast and I earn bucks every day!

Consider doing it....

If you are interested, sign up at Swagbucks.
Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 4

I had to have a c-section on November 20. Minutes before his birth, Ryan and I chose a name for our son, Carter Luke Vermilyea. We loved it! While the c-section was taking place, I was asking Ryan what he was seeing. I could tell from the light in his eyes that he had seen our son! Within seconds, I thought about the hand/arm situation and asked, “Ryan, does he have both arms?” Ryan couldn’t see yet, but within seconds they were holding Carter up for us to see. Dr. Ralsten said, “Here’s Carter Luke! He is a beautiful baby boy!” They held him up and I saw right away that he was missing his left arm and hand. My heart stopped I think. I can still remember it like I was still there. I thought, “But wait, they saw his right arm. They said that it was all there.” Then I realized that it was his left hand/forearm that was missing, not the right as had been suspected originally.

Despite the shock, he was the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. I was excited, yet overcome with all kinds of emotions.

I held Ryan’s hand. We talked about how beautiful he was and briefly mentioned his missing arm. We thanked God for him. The doctor was so gentle and kind and the nurses couldn’t have been more wonderful. They were all talking about how beautiful he was. And he was. He is.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It was two weeks later when it came time for the Level 2 ultrasound. We went into this ultrasound with the same ideas as before…trusting that God was in control and was Creator.

An assistant began the ultrasound before the doctor came in. She spent a lot of time looking and finally asked, “Does anyone in your families have birth defects?” We answered no. She said she was having trouble finding it too. When the doctor came in, she said right away that she could see the right hand and forearm. We were quite relieved! She checked the rest of his body, and said she couldn’t see the left arm and hand, but that she was not able to get him to roll because he was so big! Her words were, “I can’t see both arms, but I can see the right arm and hand, and if they saw the left, then it is all there.”

We left, relieved about the news. Not because we didn’t want a child with one hand, but for all the same reasons as before. Life can be hard enough at times, and we didn’t want any extra struggles for our child. However, we both said that there was a part of us that wouldn’t believe it until we saw him for ourselves. We still trusted God to be growing and forming our child.

After that day, we never really talked about it again because both hands/arms had been seen. That was at 35 weeks or so. A few days before our son was born, I never even thought about it at all.

(read more tomorrow)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 2

Week 32 arrived and we went back to the doctor for the follow-up ultrasound. I was a little hesitant, but felt like we would find out everything was normal with our son’s arm. Once again, the technician could not see the baby’s right hand and forearm, but said it was unclear whether it was actually not there, or just hidden under the baby. Ryan and I talked about it with the doctor and decided we wouldn’t do any more ultrasounds, since the baby was getting too big to really see well anyway. We knew the ultrasound wasn’t going to change anything, so we didn’t plan another one.

We left the doctor that day feeling differently than we thought we would. We thought for sure that we would leave having seen both his arms/hands. Instead, we left more unsure than before. But, once again, we knew that God was in control. We continued to pray for God to heal him if it was true about his missing limbs, but also prayed with the confidence that no matter what, God was forming a baby in me the way He planned him to be. He was being created by THE Creator. We still hoped for him to not have to deal with extra difficulties in life, but we trusted in the Lord. The next day we talked with the doctor again and decided to have one more ultrasound, a Level 2 (just more indepth) to see if it would be more clear. We just wanted one more opportunity to have some clarity. So we scheduled a Level 2 ultrasound.

(read more tomorrow)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I have had several people ask that I share more about Carter, his situation, where our family is at this point in time, and how God is working in the life of our family. For many months I have wanted to share, but haven’t been able to put into words all I want to say. I still don’t know that I can, but I thought I would never know until I try. It’s a lot to share, so I will just do what I can whenever I have a chance. Some of you know that I can be real wordy, so it may get long. But, I have wanted to write it out because I don’t want to forget anything. I’ll just post a little bit of it each day, until I get caught up. And something tells me our story will continue for many years to come. I pray through our story, through Carter’s life, that someone will come to know the Creator. That God will use our family for His glory.

So, here goes.

Just about a year ago we found out we were pregnant with baby #2 for our little family. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to find out what we were having and to welcome the sweet baby into our (then) family of 3. The pregnancy progressed nicely and we were excited as the appointment came for the 20 week ultrasound. We found out we were having a boy! At this same appointment, the ultrasound technician and doctor let us know that they were unable to see the baby’s right hand and forearm, but that they were sure it was just because of the baby’s positioning at that time. A follow-up ultrasound was planned for 32 weeks.

We left the appointment a little concerned, but pretty confident that the baby’s arm was there and all was fine. We prayed that it would be okay, and that God would heal the baby if there was something not quite right. Of course we didn’t want him to be born missing a hand/arm, but only because we know life can be hard enough and we didn’t want him to face extra struggles. However, Ryan and I both said that no matter what came about, that we knew that God was forming the little one, and that he would be perfect no matter what.

Even despite all this, I never really thought it would really be true.

(Read more tomorrow!)