This Time, Together

One year ago Sean and I were preparing to leave for Boston for the birth of our littlest princess, Julia. We packed what we could into two big suitcases and showered Kaitlyn and Claire with hugs and kisses before leaving them behind. This was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do. We were very lucky in that Kaitlyn and Claire were able to visit three different times while we were in Boston, but not having our family together was tough on all of us.

We are preparing to head back to Boston in April for another surgery for Julia. While this time will only be one month verses the two and a half months we were gone last year, we cannot bear to have our little family separated again.

At the beginning of the year Sean and I decided to pull Kaitlyn and Claire from their school and begin homeschooling them so that they could join us in Boston this time. Knowing we will all be together – and Julia will have her two big sisters with her (she absolutely adores them) – makes leaving home and our support system so much easier.

With quite a few things different this time around we have decided to set up a GoFundMe page. Over the last year we have had many family and friends ask how they could help us. If you are able, we are asking for help financially for our next visit. I cannot thank you all enough for following our little story, and for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers! xoxo, Tori

Another First

Today Julia had her first visit to the emergency room. She is OK, but has an infection in her left eye, so they are going to give her IV antibiotics.

Thursday her left eye became swollen. We put some prescribed eye cream on it and it seemed better at the end of the day. When she woke up Friday morning everything seemed fine, but after breakfast she started rubbing it and her eye became very swollen. I put a call in to her ophthalmologist at MUSC, but quickly grew impatient when nobody called me back.

Next up was the pediatrician. I gave them a call and was able to be seen in 30 minutes. The pediatrician checked everything out and recommended I take Julia to the Emergency Room. One of the main reasons was because she is already on two prescription medications – good ones at that – and she still got an infection in her eye. The pediatrician said they may want to do some imaging to make sure the infection didn’t spread to behind her eye. So off we went.

Now in case anyone is living in a cave, it’s flu season. An emergency room waiting area is the last place I want to bring an otherwise healthy child. Thankfully we were checked in pretty quickly and I opted to sit in a bed in the hallway of the ER to expedite being seen (we were called back in 5 minutes).

After explaining her symptoms and some history of everything related to Julia to a medical student and resident, I was told Ophthalmology had been told we were here and someone would be by to check her out. A couple of hours later the ER attending doctor came by and took a look at her. We were then told we could go home and just take another prescribed medication.

I again mentioned that Julia’s pediatrician sent me here because she is already on two really good medications and felt Ophthalmology would want some imaging done to check her eye. We were then offered to have someone from Ophthalmology come take a look at Julia and see if they agreed with the attending doctor’s plan. *Now didn’t I say someone from Ophthalmology was already supposed to be coming to see her?! Apparently no matter what state you are in, this department is very hard to see (no pun intended).

Finally someone from Ophthalmology came to see Julia. After a thorough examination it was determined that Julia should be admitted overnight for IV antibiotics and to monitor her eye to make sure the infection does not spread. So we are hanging out at MUSC Children’s Hospital tonight. Our fingers are crossed that the antibiotics will kick in and we can go home sometime tomorrow. For those of you who like the medical terms, we were told she has preseptal cellulitis. Thank you for keeping Julia in your thoughts and prayers! xoxo, Tori

Sean and Tori Start a Homeschool

With all of the Julia-centric posts, I think it is easy to forget that this blog is titled “Sean and Tori make a family“. So I thought I would fill everyone in with some big news concerning Kaitlyn and Claire.

Two years ago, we had decided to pull Kaitlyn from the private school that she was in and send her to public school. That turned out to be a mistake that lasted all of five days. In our struggle to figure out what to do next, we decided to homeschool her for 2nd grade.

While it was generally a success, we did struggle with the socialization aspect, mainly because at the time, we lived in a neighborhood without any children Kaitlyn’s age. So while she learned a lot, she was lonely.

Towards the end of that year, we discovered a small private school in the Summerville area called Trinity Classical Acadamy. After meeting with the director and some of the teachers, we immediately enrolled her for 3rd grade, and it was a great decision.

Then we found out we were pregnant. And that the baby had issues. Issues that were best solved 1,000 miles away from home. And that would take at least two months to accomplish. Two months in the middle of the school year.

I still have absolutely no doubts that moving to Boston for Julia’s delivery and surgery was the right thing to do. But leaving Kaitlyn and Claire was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life.

So as we approach another round of surgery on our little Julia, we made the decision that this time, the girls would come with us. Which means as of January 1, Kaitlyn and Claire are being homeschooled.

This wasn’t a decision we stepped into lightly. And we love Trinity and its teachers. But ultimately we need to do what is best for us as a family. And in our case, that means staying together.