Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Giving Thanks

Never in a million years would I have ever imagined what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of the kind of  love and support we received over a week ago.  When I think about the tremendous outpour of concern and well wishes, I get so overwhelmed and end up crying.

Giving Thanks

What I originally thought would be a quick in and out visit at the hospital for an ultrasound for my four year old turned into a "We're flying you to Ottawa for doctors at CHEO to find out what's going on with [insert Little One's real name here]".

To be honest, the whole experience was rather dizzying.  For three weeks, Little One had been complaining of really bad abdominal pains, yet no one could figure out what was wrong.  One minute we were at the hospital on the Island, and the next minute we were being flown to Ottawa.

A Huge Thank You to CHEO

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario really impressed me.  Everything from their patient care to even the tiniest detail like giving their littlest patients stickers for doing a great job (like letting the nurses put in their PICC line for their IV or staying still for an X-Ray or ultrasound).  CHEO also makes the experience a happy one even though circumstances may not be so happy.  What do I mean by this?  Well, CHEO has a great play room for their patients.  Computers, an air hockey table, arts and crafts, and so many other activities to keep kids busy and having fun.

My four year old was excited to do some arts and crafts. She was all over the paints and glittery stickers!

Another thing that impressed me was CHEO's library!  A fully stocked library for patients to enjoy!  Little One had us reading princess book after princess book!

Thank You to the Blogging Community

Through Facebook and Twitter, my online friends were watching and waiting with baited breath for news about Little One.  What I didn't know was what was going on behind the scenes.  Some of my friends from the CBN and Blogaholics were gathering up funds for us.  

Thank you to all these amazing friends for doing something so thoughtful (and unexpected). A BIG thank you!

I was totally shocked, moved, overwhelmed, and in tears.  This was something I was not expecting and couldn't even imagine why people would team up and do something like this for us.  To me, it was more a question of "Why would anyone ever do this for us?  Who are we to deserve something like this?"

Our friends were all parents who could imagine the costs of being away from home and in hospital for an extended period of time.  This reminded me of the 72 days spent when Little One was in the NICU.  As a preemie born at 28 weeks, we had to stay at Mount Sinai for 72 very long days.  People don't often think of things like travel costs, food, etc.

Thank goodness I didn't have to stay in a motel or take public transportation every day to see my daughter at the hospital.  I was able to sleep in a chair that pulled out into a bed (right beside Little One's hospital bed).  

Having just the clothes Little One and I were wearing, I had to get my friend to run to Wal-mart and pick up some capris, t-shirts, socks, undies, and necessities for both Little One and me.  Things like toothbrushes and all the little every day items were things I didn't have with me (as I wasn't expecting to be flown to Ottawa).

Thank you SO much to all our blogging friends!  You have touched our hearts more than you can ever imagine. Thank you.

I think what surprised me too was that companies like TELUS and Mom Central Canada also sent us some love online.  I had been offline for a bit and when I saw this tweet from TELUS, I cried. 

I'm telling you, there was a lot of crying going on last week!  If you think of it though, it says a lot about a company when they reach out to their fans/followers/customers/community.  I'm more apt to go with (and stay with) a company that values their members and doesn't treat them as just a number.  Still wowed by the gesture from TELUS.  Yet another reason I love them and have been with them since 2000! The longest relationship I've had ;)

Giving Thanks to Some Very Special People

My friend, @flywithbaby has been one of my closest friends since we were 17.  She also happens to live in Ottawa and came to the hospital every day when Little One was under CHEO's care.  Being still in shock that we had to be sent by air ambulance and also being severely sleep deprived and worried about Little One, I was pretty useless.  Kelly (aka @flywithbaby) was the extra set of ears I needed  and asked the doctors questions I didn't even think of asking.  

She also did a lot of running around (going to the pharmacy to get Little One's medication, picking up clothes and food, etc) while I was by Little One's bedside.  She and her husband also housed us for the days following Little One's surgery.

Another VERY special person to us is @CanadianDadBlog!  He and his family were such a great support while we were in Ottawa.  This experience has really shown us how blessed we are to have such great friends.  Canadian Dad visited Little One when she was released from hospital and then brought us back to CHEO when Little One had a fever and was ill post surgery.  Not only did he drive us to the hospital, but he also stayed with us for a few hours until @flywithbaby came to join us.  So thankful for such amazing friends when I was so emotional (and Hubby was 9 hours away tending the farm).

If all that wasn't enough to give thanks for, Canadian Dad also chatted with Official Princess Parties and got Little One's favourite princess to visit!  That experience will not be forgotten.  Belle made Little One a very happy girl!  

I was so touched when Canadian Dad told me that he had spoken to Official Princess Parties and that though they were fully booked for events that weekend, the owner put it out to her princesses who were off day to see if anyone was interested in doing this for us.  Within minutes, she received three "yes" replies! That totally made me cry!

It's no wonder they are so popular! What a great company. Find out more about all the great things they do for kids' charities here.

Thank you to Team PTPA for the beautiful flowers and teddy bear for Little One. They arrived right before her surgery and totally made her day.  I have to say that PTPA is a great company to work for.  They're my second family!

Little One's BFF had her grandma in Ottawa bring over a Hello Kitty.  Other special visits included a visit from one of my old friends (we went to kindergarten together and the last time we saw each other was maybe high school graduation or perhaps sometime in c.e.g.e.p.), may aunt, uncle, and cousin, one of my old students from when I taught in Toronto, @LilMissKateCo, my childhood friend & my parents' best friends.

Giving thanks to all the special people in our lives

We are so blessed to have all of you in our lives and we really appreciate all the love and support you have given us.

** We were going to do a special Vlog Thank You to everyone, but I couldn't bring myself to make it go "live".  I was crying too much and really had the "Ugly Crying Face" thing going on! **


Country Mouse, City Mouse said...

You and your family are so loved, Christine. I am so glad you got the medical attention needed and you are now back home safe and sound.

I'll be seeing you soon to give you an IRL hug, but until then {{hugs}}

Love, Pam

Maya FItzpatrick said...

You and your LO deserve this and more! You're obviously one loved momma both by your family, friends and blogging community. We should all be so lucky! The most important thing is that LO is on the up and up! Sending love & well wishes from Toronto

Shari G said...

Oh sweetheart - the fact you asked why we did this is why we did this. I mean you are so sweet and kind to everyone else, and have touched all of our hearts.

I was recently in the hospital for surgery with 1 boy, then another time with another. I was so lonely and could've used someone to run and get something. Just having a friend there, or knowing others were thinking of me made all the difference. I didn't have anyone come in person, but got tons of texts, and calls, and it really hit home. I couldn't imagine going thru it in an emergency kind of way.

My grandfather spent a lot of time at the Ottawa hospital and I've always heard good things about it too.

Positively Pampered Patty said...

What you give in love and kindness you get back tenfold when you least expect it. So glad your little one is on the mend. Much love to you all on the road to recovery. Xoxo. In hindsight however I should have sent cakeballs. ;)

Fab Frugal Mama said...

You are a special person - that's why we all love you! So glad R-A is better...sending many hugs, my friend. :)

Julia said...

Sheri said it so well. You give so much that it's not surprising that when you are in need people flock to help you. I am so so very glad that LO is doing better.

Fariha Naqvi-Mohamed CanadianMomEh said...

What a beautiful post. So glad to read your Little One is feeling better. Your blogging buddies were here cheering her/you on. You're one strong mama :)

Jodi Shaw said...

Okay I cried reading this I really did. I'm so glad things went well. I'm bummed I wasn't online to give to you and didn't see what everyone was doing for you on CBN but tha'ts life lately. I love you and so glad little one is better. How great from all your friends and family and brands to support you like this.

Jennifer Van Huss said...

Hugs hunny!! You are totally worth it!

Alyssa K said...

{hugs} We are just happy everything turned out and little one is on the mend :) You're a brave mama and a wonderful person Christine! :)

Ourfamilyworld said...

Hugs and kisses to a wonderful woman. Glad your little one is doing better.

Julia Suppa said...

I'm so happy to hear LO is on the mend. My thoughts were with you and your family. Your LO is a fighter and was one from day 1!

Brandi Yee said...

SO happy little one is getting better!! You were all in my thoughts and prayers during that week (and still are as she recovers). Big hugs to you!! You're such a beautiful person inside and out, of course people would surround you with support! We all know you'd do the same for any of us :) xoxo

Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel said...

As a mom of twins who were born at 32 weeks and underwent surgery at just 6 months old (all in cities far from home) I absolutely understand just how challenging this time would have been for your family.
To be a part of something that was a gift of love and kindness and hopefully eased your worries for a moment was so wonderful.

Sending lots of hugs.

@BusyMomofTwins1 :)

Christine McN said...

Oh, goodness! I know I am going to cry when I see you! You give the best hugs, by the way! Looking forward to seeing you again this summer, my friend! Xoxo

Christine McN said...

Eeeeek! Reading your comment just made me weepy! Thanks so much for the love and well wishes, my friend!

Christine McN said...

Your comment just made me cry! Sending lots of hugs your way. I was following up on all the updates re: your son. It really is amazing how people band together to support one another in times of need. I wish I had this kind of support back when Little One was in the NICU. I had just started really blogging back then and didn't have the community I have now. It does make a world of difference knowing you are not alone.

Christine McN said...

You, my dear, make me laugh and cry all at once. Love you, my friend! You had me at cakeballs!

Christine McN said...

Fab Frugal Mama:
Awww! Thank you so much...Although I still can't see why you guys think that! LOL xoxox

Hope to see you next time I am in the GTA.

Multi-Testing Mommy said...

Did someone sat cake balls?! Leave it to Party!! Lol. Love you, Christine! I'm so glad that you were showered with the love and kindness that you deserve! Xo

Cheryl Kirkness said...

I am so happy to hear that Little One is doing better! We were all so worried about both of you! I'm proud to be a part of such a wonderful group that gathers together to help each other. You're an awesome mommy and it was our pleasure to help. We know you wouldn't hesitate to do the same for us if we were in a similar situation.

DeBalino said...

I just hopped on to the CBN just as word was posted about you and your little one. I could tell within moments how much you are loved from your online friends. Not even knowing you quite yet - I was already finding myself wondering how you are doing, and worrying about your sweet little girl. This post made my week - so heartwarming. Loved seeing LO in her princess outfit with that big smile on her face :) Priceless. Sending healthy, happy vibes your way! Looking forward to getting to know you :)

Little Miss Kate said...

Love you a million times over! So glad you are back at home with LO.

Mom vs. the boys said...

you are well loved doll

Monica said...

I am so happy to hear your daughter is feeling better Christine, like all of your many friends in the CBN group I was very worried and had you and your family in my thoughts. And what about that Chris R., how awesome is he!

Cyn said...

The outpouring of love shown by everyone is so touching. I'm so glad your little one is getting better!

Manager to Mom said...

Like many others, I was following your updates closely and was so happy to finally hear that Little One was on the mend! I was really touched reading your post as it was such a wonderful recap of all the love & support your family received. Let this be the memory that prevails when you look back on the last few weeks. xxoo

MamaLad said...

So happy that everything worked out for Little One!
You are such a beautiful person and I was more happy to help out! I love chatting with you on Twitter and FB. I hope to meet you in Real Life one day!
I am also touched that so many people came together to help you out. Your thank you message was very heartwarming.

Deborah Coombs said...

Good people inspire good deeds :) You are an awesome, giving, loving person, and we adore you! So glad to know that Little One is in recovery mode and doing so much better.


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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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