Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Me?

Tonight, as I snuggled my sweet boy to bed I was completely overcome with emotion as I sang him our nightly lullabies.

Scenes from 2 years ago flashed through my head. I can remember so distinctly the first fetal MRI I had after finding out about Owen's diagnosis. As I lay in the tunnel I had never been more afraid of anything in my life. Afraid of the diagnosis, afraid of hearing the doctors grim prognosis for my baby, afraid for our future.

But while in there, I began to sing to Owen. I could feel his little kicks and wiggles as I became more confident and my voice rose. And as I continued I was completely overcome by a sense of peace. Knowing, that as I poured my heart and soul into those sweet lyrics of Jesus, Lover of My Soul, my Savior was indeed lying right beside me.

Tonight, while snuggling in my bed, I began to sing as Owen drifted off to sleep. After a few minutes, I decided to sing our favorite song. With a trembling voice, I scratched out the words as Owen's eyes locked into mine and didn't move. His eyes penetrated to my soul, once again, affirming the strong connection we've had since before his birth. Tears streamed down my face, as I praised my Savior for this gift of life. How amazing, that just 2 years ago, I lay in an MRI machine, fearing for the life of my growing baby. And now, tonight, I can lay beside this miracle and see my faith before my eyes.

At the beginning of Owen's diagnosis it was so easy to fall into sin and feel sorry for myself. There were days where I was angry with God. If He knew my heart so well, and my strong desire to be a mother, why would He do this to me? Why would he choose to afflict me with such sorrow and pain? What did I do to deserve such affliction? It took a while for me to learn to praise Him through my suffering. To use my walk through this valley for His good. To choose joy in my time of sorrow.

But tonight, I realized something. I'm still asking why me, but for a completely different reason. As I lay with my precious miracle, his sweet hands caressing my face I asked God, why me? Why choose me for this miracle? What did I do to deserve this blessing? Why did you choose me to be so changed and moved by this sweet boy's miracle life? Why did you choose to trust me with this miracle?

I'll never know. But wow, am I glad He chose me. I can't image my life without Owen, and I can't imagine him being any different than the way he was perfectly created.

Thank you again, for your prayers and encouragement leading up to our big day on Tuesday. We are confident of the Lord's hand of provision and guidance for our doctors. Who better to place in charge of Owen's care than The One who so carefully and lovingly created him?

Jesus, you're the lover of my soul,
Jesus, I will never let you go.
You've taken me,
From the miry clay;
Set me feet upon the rock and now I know,
I love you, I need you,
Though my world my fall,
I'll never let you go.

You're my savior,
You're my closest friend.
I will worship you until the very end.
I will worship you until the very end.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


There is one week left. One week cuddling, loving and squeezing this precious boy that we have known for 19 months.

In one week we give him over to wise, trustworthy surgeons who will aid in transforming Owen into a new, healthy 19 month old.

In one week all I will have is HOPE. I am so blessed and have been since before Owen was born by the song Hope Now by Addison Road.

I've attached a link to view the video. I encourage you to close your eyes, and soak in each and every lyric to this beautiful song.


If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free

Am I scared? Beyond belief.

I don't want this. My sweet, precious, innocent baby does not deserve a life of sickness, surgeries, needles and medications. I would give anything I could to take his place. I still don't understand. And I likely never will on this side of Heaven. I can't understand why God chose to place this burden and suffering on my baby, but I know it's for His greater good. I know there is a plan far more intricate than I could possibly understand. But the truth is, it still hurts. My heart literally aches in pain for the overwhelming love I have for Owen. I am so grateful that God chose to reveal one of His sweetest, most excellent works in allowing us to raise Owen. However, it is our prayer that next Tuesday will be a glorious day, filled with honor and praise to a King who chose to give Owen a life of purpose and meaning. A life that many "world renown" doctors deemed impossible. A day to praise the God who showed that nothing is impossible for Him. When I question why God didn't just heal Owen, why he didn't choose to spare him this hard life, I am comforted in knowing He is molding us for His work. "Yet when God delays, He is not inactive. This is when He prepares His instruments and matures our strength. Then at the appointed time we will rise up and be equal to our task."

I was both encouraged and challenged in spending time with the Lord when I came across this in my devotional:
 Even though "deep calls to deep" (Ps. 42:7) , the clear cadance of the Lord's song will be heard. And during the most difficult hour that could ever enter a human life, it will be possible to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure or to chose God's will, but to rejoice in it with 'inexpressable and glorious joy' (1 Peter 1:8)

That is my prayer for next Tuesday, that during those grueling 8 hours in which my baby lay on table, his life in the hands of skilled surgeons, and me, helpless and waiting on the other other side, that I will choose joy. That during those 8 hours, I'll be a blessing to the One that is not only holding me and keeping me from selfish, fearful weeping, but also holding my sweet boy, safe in His arms. That I will rejoice, knowing that the Lord has chosen to bless me in showing me just how powerful He is, by choosig to trust me with my most precious gift, Owen.

We are so blessed and humbled by the encouragement we have already been receiving in light of his upcoming transplant. We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for your love and dedication to being in prayer for Owen. It is our prayer that Owen's story will continue to encourage and inspire others, while exalting the King of Kings whose hands has been firmly placed placed over Owen long before conception.

Surgery will begin early Tuesday morning. Carrie will be taken back first, and about an hour or so into her surgery Owen will go back. Once the kidney is removed, Owen's body will already have been prepped and open to receive his new gift of life. The transplant will take around 8 hours. We are still uncertain as to the work that needs to be done to Owen's bladder at this time. We are praying for wisdom, as the doctor will be making his decisions as transplant is taking place.

It's almost hard to even grasp the reality that will be happening in just one week. Each day brings new anticipation, fear, and gratitude. I will never, ever be able to express my heart's thankfulness to Carrie. Because of her selfless love for my son, he will live a new life. Because of her sacrifice, my son will finally feel normal. It's because of her that Owen will live.

I can't praise God enough for the way he has carefully orchestrated and planned my life. From meeting my husband, to creating Owen, knowing from long ago that one of the kidneys he made inside Carrie would be perfect for our son. I'm simply overwhelmed by the power of Christ.

I will be updating facebook and the blog as often as possible. We covet your prayers and are asking that you take time to prayer for Owen, Carrie and our doctors. Pray that the light of Jesus will shine brightly as we wait in anticpation to see a new, healed baby boy, protected by the love of Jesus.

Phillippians 1:6
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Time for a Change :)

Well, just because we like to keep things exciting around here we thought we would
1. Schedule our son's transplant for the spring
2. Graduate Medical School (well, one of us at least)
3. Move
4. Start Residency (one of us, again)
4. Find new doctors (for the pregnant wife)
5. Have a baby (that will be 2 under 2 for a short time)
6. Move again in a year

Needless to say, things are going to be hoppin in The Daugherty household for the next year!

Last Friday we celebrated Match Day. For those that do not know, this is what 4 long years of blood, sweat, tears, late night studying, early morning surgeries and little sleep lead up to in your 4th year of medical school. This past year Michael decided that he would pursue a career in radiology and spent the majority of is first semester travelling to over 20 cities for different interviews. After the interviewing season was over, he ranked his top programs in which he felt our family would benefit from and he would get the best training. Among some of these programs were University of South Florida (Tampa), UK, Louisville, West Virgina, Virginia Beach, Toledo, Memphis, and Knoxville.

Match Day is the day in which you find out where you will be completing the rest of your training (only as an actual MD this time!). Michael's list is only half-the programs he chooses must also rank him. So, it's a big, confusing game, in which all  knew was he ranked Tampa #1 and UK #2. Although it was a tough decision, he really felt as if he fit in with the program and residents at Tampa and that Owen would actually benefit from the warmer climate, rather than our current option of quarantining him through the winter months. Not to mention the close proximity to the beach and Disney! :)

Of course we wore matching attire...it was Match Day, after all! :)

So, for match day there are a few options. You can have your envelope handed to you at your table and you may open it at your leisure, you can not go at all and get your envelope later, or you can go on stage and reveal (for the 1st time) where you matched. For those of you that know Michael well, you would find it to be of no surprise that Michael (public speaker extraordinaire) chose to go on stage, in front of 300 or so people and announce our family's plans for the next 5-6 years.

Owen decided he would go with Daddy on stage. Like his father, there isn't a shy bone in his body! He made a bit of a speech of his own, just to get the crowd going. :)

After what seemed like a million minutes, Michael revealed our family will be relocating to TAMPA, FLORIDA! Although the excitement of the beach, Disney, Sea World, the beach, Lego Land, Animal Kingdom and of course, the beach is very enticing. It is very bittersweet to leave our family and friends in Kentucky. However, I feel like we may get a few visitors, did I mention we will be near the beach? :) And in case anyone was panicking, we will still be True Blue Fans while living in the Sunshine State, go CATS!

**Side note, we actually won't be moving to Tampa until next summer, he has a preliminary year in Cincinnati, which will require a move up north just a tad, but still holding on to our Kentucky roots.**

I am so, so proud of Michael and what he has achieved. As if medical school isn't hard enough he has endured the stresses of having a child with many medical needs and being a steady rock and Godly leader of our family. I could brag on him all day, but you should know that for Tampa position he received he was competing with other students from all over the nation, for only 3 spots. What an achievement! :)

                                                           He was very, very excited!

So all in all, things are going to be changing around here, but we welcome this new season in our lives. We are excited to start this new chapter in our lives and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for our family!

Since this post is incredibly long (thank you to the faithful readers who have made it this far!) I'll just do a quick picture re-cap of Owen's first trip to the Zoo. We celebrated going to Owen's LAST dialysis clinic appointment by greeting the animals, making monkey noises and getting dizzy on the carousal. It was a blast, a very hot, hot day, but still a blast!

 His favorite way to walk with Daddy. :) We were looking for jungle animals, Owen was more interested in pulling Dad's hair. :)
                                     Looking like a very big boy waiting for the train ride to start.

On a bit of a sugar high, from his Cherry Icee. :)

                                                    First Movie! (and a 3D/4D one at that!)

                                                Such a big boy, he loved the Merry Go Round!

                                                   After a few spins, this boy was pooped!

He was out before we made it to the interstate! :) A sticky, sweaty, mess, isn't that what summer time boy is made of? :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In Just One Month...

In just one month I'll send my baby boy off for the longest surgery of his life.

In just one month I'll say goodbye to the baby I'll have known for almost 20 months.

In just one month I'll say goodbye the "Baby Owen" who has been so desperate for healing and prayers.

In just one month I'll say goodbye to dialysis.

In return...

In just one month I'll say hello to new medications and new daily nursing routines.

In just one month I'll say hello to a new, healthy, bouncing boy.

In just one month I'll say hello to the "Big Boy Owen" who has been dwelling inside his sick body.

In just one month I'll say hello to a new life, full of even more joy and happiness.

One month, it's almost surreal. In one month our lives will be drastically changed, again. In one month I'll be caring for a transplanted baby. In one month Owen's life is going to turn around so drastically, I fear the baby I know now will be long gone. Although I know his sweet, loving spirit will remain, I know that this transplant will finally allow his body to take off and I know my strong boy will never look back.

I can't imagine life any differently than it is now. I can rest assured knowing that it's going to get even better.

Most days I don't realize how sick Owen really is. I don't think about the fact that a machine supports his life by doing what his little body cant. I don't think about the fact that without his feeding tube, he would not get nourishment. I don't think about the numerous medications his body requires to have "normal" labs. I don't think about it because it's us. It's all we know. It's our normal. But in just one month things will be so different. Yes, his body will need medications, but he is going to feel so, so much better. He doesn't know what it feels like to feel good. To feel healthy. I can't wait for it.

I am asking a big favor from a our family and friends for this one, short month. I am asking you to devote yourselves to daily prayer for Owen and Carrie. I ask that you pray the Lord keeps a hedge of protection over Owen and Carrie this month. That He will prepare their bodies for surgery. That His hands are over Carrie, carefully molding and preparing her kidney to be a perfect fit into Owen's little body. That the Lord will prepare Owen's body to receive Carrie's kidney and accept it as his own. Pray for our families, that our hearts are strengthened by the love surrounding us and we will be warriors for the Lord, spreading His good name the day of transplant. Pray for the surgeons. That the Lord has chosen them and anointed their hands to do His good works on April 3.

It would be impossible to put into words the emotions I have running through my body. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for Carrie, and the sacrifice she is willing to make for my son's life. I am overcome with joy and praise as I sing to the Father, and praise Him for bringing us this far. But, I am scared. Surgery is scary in itself, and I absolutely hate it that my sweet baby must endure this surgery in order to find a better life.

I am asking you to dedicate a time of day to fall to your knees in prayer. Storm the gates of Heaven in Owen and Carrie's names. Let's cover them in prayer and encouragement this month as we enter the home stretch of the life we now know. Thank you in advance, for using a portion of your prayer time to bring our family to the foot of the cross. Thank you for walking this long journey with us. As we begin a new journey, and a new life I continue to ask for your prayers and encouragement. The support we have received through this has touched our hearts in ways we that could never express in words how thankful and blessed we are.

Join us for just one month of fervent prayer and dedication to going before the Lord and asking for the blessings He has promised.

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:5