Christian Taylor Buchanan

Christian Taylor Buchanan

Monday, May 23, 2011

Team Christian Block Party and Car Show

Some wonderful friends of mine got an idea one day that they wanted to help me and Chris ou and raise some money for us, so they came up with the idea of a car show in Woodbury. After they got the square reserved for the day, everything started coming together. They decided to have t-shirts made to sell, and through donations, the shirts were completely paid for. They decided to have concessions, too and almost 100% of the food for the concessions was donated. Then came along some bands who volunteered to play at the event and someone who offered to loan us their sound equipment. And along with about a million other things, it all just fell into place. Channel 4 News even got whiff of the event and showed up at my house one day to talk to me about the event and broadcast it on their 5 o'clock news.  Here is the link to that story if anyone wants to see it!

Here is the shirt that was sold at the benefit.

On May 14th practically the whole town of Woodbury came together to support Christian and us. We were blown away by the amount of support we received. People we have never met donated to the benefit in various ways. People whom we hadn't met until that day drove to Woodbury from all over the area to show their support to us. And friends we've known for years came out and lifted us up.

Fox 17 News came out to do a story on the benefit and interviewed Chris and I. Christian has just become a TV celebrity! Here is the link to that:

Another wonderful and new friend of ours (because of Christian), Pamela Randolph, drove her RV to Woodbury for the day to support us and so that Christian could have somewhere to stay in case of nasty weather, and that RV came in handy.

It rained twice during the event and never got above 75 degrees for the day, but it raised more money than anyone had expected.

Pizzas being delivered from Little Cesears!

Anita Witness - The Local Clown came to entertain the kids!

Fox 17 News

Silent Auction

More great friends, my praise team, Megan and Kelby

Beautiful shot of our group at the Court House

Our newest and VERY loving friend, Pamela
This helped me and Chris so so much. We were so worried about how we were going to pay the bills when I had to miss weeks of work to be with Christian during his surgeries and recoveries. We had no idea how we were going to afford the gas to get back and forth to Vanderbilt 2 to 3 times a week for appointments. We were so worried about how to get Christian the absolute best care possible, and now, even though this money won't last forever, it has taken a  huge burden off of us. We know now that no matter what, Christian WILL get the best care and everything that he needs. And all of this because of the love and generosity of people, some we know, some we don't, some we just met but I know will be life long friends. And from the bottom of our hearts, from me, Chris, and Christian, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Going Home: Our NICU Experience

March 15, 2011 was a fantastic day. I was finally getting to take Christian home from the Vanderbilt NICU. But to get to that point was grueling, exhausting, and heart breaking.

To describe briefly the experience of having a child in a NICU, it's like watching someone you love be imprisoned. You know that them being there is what's best for them and that you really can't complain because they are being well cared for; But somehow, there is an emptiness in the pit of your stomach and sometimes you feel like just grabbing the prisoner and running out the doors as fast as you can. There is this constant pit in your stomach. That pit is caused by the lonely drives home every night. It's caused by the phone calls that you make at 2am when you wake up and start wondering what he's doing. And by every family you see out in public enjoying their baby.

Getting discharged from the hospital was a hard day. We packed our bags and the nurse wheeled me to my car. And as i got up from the wheelchair to get in the car, I remember looking in the backseat and seeing Christian's car seat, empty, and his diaper bag. We cried the whole way home. We had to leave our baby boy 60 miles away, and go home to an empty bassinet all ready to hold a sleeping baby, and a quiet house that should've been ringing with the sounds of a baby's cry, and it was hard.

I know Christian had to be in the NICU, and he needed to be there. But at the same time, I hated it. I wanted him home. I wanted to have a normal baby, and a normal experience. I wanted to take him to visit family, and cuddle up with him at night. I wanted to hold my baby and not have to worry about ripping his IV out. I wanted to lay beside Christian and not hear the constant beeping of his monitars. I wanted to be with him every second of the day.

And because he was in the NICU, I couldn't. I had to drive an hour and a half one way just to "visit" my son. I had to ask a nurse how his day had been. When he was hungry I had to ask someone to bring his food, I couldn't just go make him a bottle.  I felt like I wasn't really getting to be his mom and that i missed the first 25 precious days of Christian's life. I was stressed, and broken, and exhausted.

Before I was allowed to take him home, Vandy made me take a baby CPR class, a class to learn how to run his machines, and spend the night to take care of him for 24 consecutive hours, and it made me furious. I know it was all in Christian's best interest, but why did I have to go through so much extra hassle when I was already going through so much? It just didn't seem fair to add more burdens ontop of the burdens I was already carrying. I was already bitter because i didn't get to have a normal baby and I couldn't.

Finally though, the day came, and I was able to take my little boy home and try to begin to be a normal family. Of course, normal for us means weekly trips to Vanderbilt, eating through a feeding tube, and constantly tracking and planning doctor visits, surgeries, and procedures. But despite the fact that we will never get to be "normal," I think we're finding our place.

If I had to do it all over again, the only thing I might do differently is stay at Vanderbilt more. I regret not being there more than I was.

Christian's first NICU room.

Our first famiy photo, at 7 South Vandy NICU.