Tuesday, June 3, 2008

To All Our OBX Friends...

We can't tell you how much we're looking forward to seeing you and introducing you to our Gwyneth Rose! I don't think we've looked forward to anything more than the day we drive home to the OBX after this long journey!

Unfortunately, because of the precarious health of both the girls, they won't be able to spend much time with you all for a while, yet. Tricia literally has no immune system, meaning that the smallest bug could get her extremely sick with no way of fighting it off on her own. Because Gwyneth is still so small and still developing, she also is at great risk (more than most newborns) of becoming extremely sick. If either one of them were to become sick, it would probably mean another stay in the hospital, and it could mean a lot worse.

Fortunately, the summer is the easiest time to stay healthy. So, we kindly ask you for a few things over the next several months to help us make the transition back to a healthy, normal life...

1) You probably won't see much of Gwyneth and Tricia out in public, crowded places for at least a few more months, including at church. When you do see us out in a public/crowded place, please, resist the temptation to give a hug or even shake a hand (including with me). Feel free to come up to us and talk...again, we can't wait to see you! I don't mind being the bad guy, and Tricia is getting good at cutting people off before they can make that contact, so don't be hurt if we seem less friendly (physically) than we normally would. Remember that, even if you're not sick, and even if you just washed your hands, you still have the potential to pass on any germs you may have picked up from anything or anyone that you have touched.

2) If you have been sick within a week leading up to seeing us, please, stay far away, even in a large, public place. I don't mind having a yelling conversation with you from across the room if it's cool with you. This includes me, because if I get sick right now, it's not a fun thing for any of us.

3) If you're feeling healthy and clean, and you would like to hang out, please, let us know by phone or email. We do have to take precautions, but it doesn't mean we can't see you and hug you and hang out with you at home. We can have a pretty normal life away from those crowded places, and, again, we are really looking forward to hanging out. This may mean that you'll need to find a babysitter for your young children, but hopefully that's something we can make happen.

I think that's about it for now. As long as you understand why we have to be extremely careful for the time being as well as how you can help us stay healthy, we should be working our way toward getting back to a more normal life.

Have I mentioned we're excited to come home?!?

See you soon!

Nate

71 comments:

Florida_Mom said...

Yeah! I have a feeling we will hear the cheering down here in Florida.

Praying that you are soon home and stay healthy. Of course I can't wait to see the photos.

Keeping you in my prayers.

Myra in Florida

Debra said...

We CFers play this game all of the time. It's hard for people to understand who don't have a problem with their immune system. And for Tricia and Gwyneth (and you!) there's so much more at stake. I'll be praying that people will show good sense and that you guys will be germ free!

I'm so excited for you that you are going home! Yippee!!!! I know Grandma and Grandpa are excited to have you, too!
Aspiemom

Laurie said...

I am so happy for you to be heading home. You are a wonderful husband and daddy, setting down some real serious rules to keep all risk away. Since I live on the West Coast, I won't be running into you but you all will be in my prayers. Wow, this is really happening for you. What a journey this has been in seeing Gods mighty hand and thank you so much for including the world in this trip of miracles. Love you guys.

Laurie in Ca.

Andrea said...

Congrats on getting to home!! I'll be praying for all of you to stay healthy!!!

Lee said...
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Lee said...
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Apple said...

I know that your family and friends are absolutely thrilled to have you back.

Seth, Jen, Hannah, and Cailyn said...

I've never met y'all in person, but I'm soooo excited that you are finally on your way soon back home!

I pray sincerely that everyone will truly understand what you have just requested, and will realize that the best way to show their excitement for your return is to do what you've requested.

May God continue to bless your family, and may your return to the OBX be a blessed, ecstatic, wonderful, amazing time for you, Tricia, and Gwyneth!

Lee said...

THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!

You have such a wonderful knack of covering all the bases in such a loving gentle way. I will refrain from asking the many questions running through my mind....knowing you have no doubt thought of everything!

Good luck on this next phase of the rest of your life. We will continue to pray for your family

The Tranas said...

I SO remember living like this after we brought Lily home from the hospital. Thankfully, it doesn't last forever. I'm very excited for your family. I bet nothing will feel so great as to finally be HOME again. .......And, two became three.

Congratulations to you, and may God's blessings continue with you as you move on to the next phase in your lives.

~Robin

Carlie said...

I wanted to leave a message to say thank you for your wonderful blog.

I happened across your story a few months back and have looked forward to visiting it each morning (different timezone - Australia 10.30pm) and to see your beautiful family smiling back.

It's obvious that you are a great Dad and husband, and that you love your family very much. Good luck with your move back home.

- Carlie

KimberlyL said...

Don't feel like a "bad guy" - feel like a "good guy" -- I cannot tell you how many truly horrendous bouts I have had with major respiratory/pneumonia illnesses that have left me sick and struggling to breath for 10 to 15 weeks, the thousands of dollars involved in getting me well, the decrease in long-term lung function/endurance/stamina/overall even steven status, and even yes the risk of death - pneumonia does kill.

All because people DO NOT listen when I explain to them that my immune system is compromised. They stand there and hug me, talk right in my face, and 10 minutes into the conversation decide to share that little Suzy, themselves, etc have been 'sick as a dog' that week.

It is to the point that I no longer can function freely or normally in cold/flu season and even for a few weeks before because people just choose to not take my health situation seriously even after it's explained to them.

So, advocate away - and don't feel in the least bit wrong for doing it! I've been known to attend church, shop in the wal-mart, etc with a respiratory mask on to protect myself - the heck with the stares - it's not them that ends up taking a major unnecessary risk or having to struggle to breathe!

Cara said...

I'm so excited that ya'll will be able to go home soon! I will be praying that germs will stay far away from your girls!

The Rosetto's said...

How exciting for everyone that you all will be going home soon. I pray that everyone will be understanding and helpful in keeping the girls healthy!

Jane said...

I'm so glad that you all are going home!

Instead of hugs and hand shakes ... we do "elbow bumps." Its really caught on ... I'm sure some people think we're crazy, but its sure fun!

Congratulations!

TruePraise said...

thrilled you are headed home so very soon!!!! WooHoo!!!

Elaine said...

I am so glad to hear that you 3 will be home soon. Miracles do happen and you are proof of that. I sincerely hope that everyone respects your wishes and keeps their distance. Sure would be hard not to kiss Gwyneth's cute little cheeks and give Tricia a huge hug. But there will be plenty of time for tha. Will be praying that you all stay happy and healthy for many years to come.
Elaine from MT.

Emelie said...

I am so happy that you are heading home to your families. It has been a long journey for all of you. You'll be able to finally "relax".

God Bless You,

Em (Massachusetts)

ladergurl said...

I'm so excited for you guys to get back to a normal life! I know it will take some getting used to but it will be so much fun!

When my mom was diagnosed with leukemia she took things into her own hands. She wore a mask everywhere. She made people coming into our home wear masks and she stayed far away from people.

Was it awkard? Of course. But my mom is still here today. 10.5 years after her bone marrow transplant. She did was she needed to do to be with her kids. I hope that no one gets offended by the things you are asking. And if they do, they'll get over it. You guys need to do what is best for Tricia and Gwyneth, if they are truly your friends they will understand.

Good luck you guys. I have loved reading your journey and I look forward to hearing about your homecoming!

Amy from nopeanutsplease.wordpress.com

~j~ said...

Whooo Hooo! heading home.
The excitement must be incredible.
Thanking God for bringing you all to this point and know that we will continue to see more of HIS provision over your lives.
The Lord continue to bless you and keep you...

Jen in Al said...

You are almost HOME!!!!! so incredibly excited for you 3! it is so wonderful how you are seeking to protect the health of your family! Honestly, i think we could probably all use some better backbones in this area. i can't tell you how many times we have had sickness in our family all from either not using enough common sense or because we didn't want to be viewed as the bad guy when others were not thoughtful in this area! this is a great reminder to me to be thoughtful for my family and others. thanks! praying that everyone will make it easy on you guys because i can imagine how much you want to be with your friends and family! Stay strong! rejoicing with you!!!!! jen in al

boltefamily said...

Praying for you all to avoid germs and enjoy your time at home!

Nadine said...

Good for you Nate for putting some clear boundaries in place to protect your girls...sometimes it is hard for people to understand but if it is explained why things have to be a certain way for a certain amount of time..most people are very receptive and loving and understanding...
God has surely blessed you guys with wonderful understanding friends...
God Bless your family...You guys have to be beyond excited to get back home...
Blessings

Nadine and Family

Blessings From Above said...

I am so happy for you all!

Last year my son had an unexpected four month stay in a hospital 1,000 miles away from home. The day we finally made it back home was the happiest of my life!

Sending prayers and well wishes from Ohio

Kim said...

I feel fine and not too germy, but since I am on the left coast, I'm cool with a yelling conversation! : )

Glad you are almost home.

Gloria said...

God's richest blessings to you Nate, Tricia and Gwenyth Rose as you head home! We share the great state of NJ with you via my husband born and raised in Bergen County, we lived in So Jersey for 14 years, so our love of WaWa's, italian ice, the shore is fierce! Our daughter shares the same birth year as Tricia and still considers herself a 'Jersey girl and we have a son Nate also! BTW, our two rose bushes planted in Tricia and Gwyneth's honor are blooming beautifully here in the desert of NM. I found another Christian nurse here in NM at the hospital I work who reads your blog, what joy what fellowship we share as we celebrate God's working in your lives.
Gloria
p.s. hint: place a large hand sanitizer at your front door! May "elbow rubs" rule these next few months!

clara said...

I am so happy that you are all going home. I pray that you stay as healthy as possible & thank God its summer!

Shari said...

I am so glad you are so close to getting to your home-town area. Yay! I pray all of your friends are understanding to the situation at hand.

~GWITHIN~ said...

I'm so excited for all of you! I have been blessed by your beautiful family. I look forward to reading your blog and jumping around to the other links from time to time. I have seen you allow God's light to shine through your lives. You've been spreading God's word from a hospital bed. (Best idea about the cot!) I sit with lots of people at the hospital and it's very hard on one's mind, body and soul as you get sleepy and well you know. But it's also a time when you can "check yourself" which is good for our souls! I'm not far from the beach and I can't wait til you are able to go to church cause I would love to hear your testimony when you give it cause the presence of the LORD is gonna be thick! You're latter will be greater than the rest! Only the Best for us!!! Now to a serious business note...:o)...when is the book coming out? You should write one for those people you can reach who don't have a computer! The SON is shining and I think it's because of that hugh smile on GOD'S face! Gentle Hugs from across the miles! ~May Showers Of Blessings Follow You Everywhere You Go!!!~TERESA~
If you would like to read my blog email me at...gwithn@yahoo.com I've learned a lot through the years and the best thing I've learned is God loves me too!

marcia said...

Soooo happy for all of you! Certainly people will understand and respect your necessary precautions...especially those from "home" who know you and love you the most! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Thank You, Lord, for all you have done, and all you are going to do!

Marsmile said...

How exciting! So glad you three are headed home very very soon! It'll definitely be sweet home sweet!

Prayin' that people understand in regards to both girls' immune systems and to avoid contact when sick or even potentially healthy but uncertain. Also, that both girls remain healthy for a long time to come!

Hope this doesn't sound selfish or anything but I wish I could meet you three in person... perhaps that could happen someday... I've never been to the Outer Banks and hear it's a popular vacation spot for many... so who knows--and I'd like to visit your church as well. :-)

Again, glad for your homecoming and wishing you all the best!

Hugs,
Marissa

Melissa Dovel said...

Yeah for you and your family. I am sure that no thinks your a meanie for trying to keep your family healthy. Yeah for the summer time. My nephew was born at just shy of 24 weeks and my brother and sil were crazy on keeping the germs out. The DID it!!! I think they had bleached tee shirts and masks at the front door to put on after the scrub down. You can never be to safe. Tell them all you can hug Tricia for them. WE PRAY NO MORE SICKNESS! What an awesome tetimony that you have had faith to share as it unfolded before our eyes. You are blessed and WE are blessed to see pics of the 3 of you together as it should be!

Tricia Moran said...

Tricia and Nate :) We are all smiling here at the thought of you finally getting home. There is nothing quite like it. We will continue to pray for all of you - especially that you remain healthy and infection free. Enjoy each other and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. You have taught us all so much about faith and hope and we wish you everything good when you get back home. Prayers, thoughts and hope always for your beautiful family,
Tricia and Clan (N.VA)

Mrs. Wilson said...

You have an amazing way of saying what needs to be said in a loving way.

I'm glad you three get to go home!!!

walkingbyfaith said...

I'm so excited for you, Tric, & Gwyn. :) :) :)

I can't wait til you're home and able to visit with friends & family.

What a blessing that God has finally allowed this day to come!

Love to y'all!

Rebecca said...

Ahhh... it does my heart good to hear about your going home.

Thanks for educating us on how we can help keep immune-system depressed people healthy. (And please forgive me if I didn't use the correct term.)

Rebecca

Heidi said...

All wonderful advice, even for us CF'ers who were transplanted a long time ago. I made the mistake of playing a slot maching (we live in Vegas) in FEB...well even after my hand sanitizer, it was too late. I got a major bug. I don't even touch door handles if I can help it. Most of the time people don't really get it, but just be stern about it...because sometimes they think you're joking!! I was at the doctor with my husband and a woman was in the waiting room hacking and coughing and looked awful. Well, when we were checking out, I saw her with a mask on...well around her ears but not covering her nose and mouth. I politley said that the reason her doc gave her the mask was to protect everyone else from the bug she had! She looked very embarassed...the doc did give her the mask for a reason! I just think people don't understand how much is at stake for us.

I'm so happy you are headed home. Still sending prayers your way.

Heidi

mjdav said...

I'm so happy for your family that you will be going home very soon. I know this is a day you have dreamed about for so long. I will pray for continued good health and that others will be a blessing to as you have been to others.

Sara said...

congrats on getting to go back to obx!!

sending virtual germ free hugs from London :)

pearlsandchocolate.com said...

Good Luck!!!! on staying unsick!!!

Erika, Matt and Emily said...

Congrats on being ready to make the move home!!! How exciting and such an awesome milestone in your lives. God is soooo good :) Good job Nate for being so proactive and smart about protecting your girls. They are so lucky to have a great husband/daddy like you. Again, yippeee for home!!!!!

elizabeth engelhardt creations said...

how exciting that your heading home!! good luck with your move and be safe on the roads.

~GWITHIN~ said...

Ummmm...pst. hey u 3...I gave the wrong email addy...Pastor Rick told me...thanks Pastor Rick!
Awww here's the right one...gwithin@yahoo.com
( yep...I used copy and paste this time...:o)!
Bout' to tear up here but I can't make this Sunday our youth pastor is out of town and his wife (from Riddle PHC...they have been to your church) is recovering from surgery so I have to pass out cotton balls to the kind people who have to hear me make a joyful noise unto God. But...I'm sure you're gonna share it again! I know God is gonna give me the blessing of hearing it in person...good things come to those who wait and who knows Tricia and Gwyneth Rose may even be there. May God continue touching your lives as you continue touching the lives and SOULS of so many! Our GOD is so GOOD!
~TERESA~

tripleblessings said...

Wishing you a smooth journey and a safe and joyful homecoming - how wonderful!
Don't apologize for having to be the "germ police". It's hard but it's absolutely necessary, and people need to be reminded about these invisible risks.
Praying for all of you, in thankfulness and joy.

Emily said...

I am so very, very, very excited for all of you! I know that going home must be so thrilling, especially that you are going home as a happy family of 3!!!! I hope that everyone you know is understanding & just happy to have you all near! I hope we get to keep getting updates as I have become addicted to them & feel in a small way like I already know your sweet family. I can't wait to hear that you have been released to go home & are back where you want to be!
Sending love & prayers for all of you from Mississippi!!
Emily

Debbie said...

How exciting to be thinking of going home. I pray everyone will understand and respect your needs.

Pauline said...

Your blog posts always seem to make me smile ... :) STAY HEALTHY and enjoy home ...

megasam said...

I am very excited for you three to be heading home. I know I have been praying for that for a long time and I am so pleased to see the prayers finally answered. I understand the need to be germ free. And I understand how some people are just not going to totally get it either. My husband has a compromised immune system and recently my Grandma had a virus that could have been life threatening if he were to contract it. So many in our family did not understand the severity of the situation and why it was not okay for our kids to be around Grandma either. I just had to ignore them and focus on how important it is that my husband stay safe. I continue to pray for Tricia's healing and Gwyneth to grow and thrive. I have grown to adore your family so much and it brings tears to my eyes to picture the three of you going home.

Scott said...

Nathan,

If my wife undergoes that operation. I was under the assumption that she shouldn't be in any large public settings for the first year of the transplant. The last thing you want to risk is infection.

amy smith said...

so excited for you guys!

Jennifer said...

Wouldn't it be cool if you could get Tricia and Gwyneth a popemobile? They could stay safe in there, and still see all your friends and family! (And perhaps have a cool parade, lol)

On the serious side, I'm excited for you. There's no place like home.

Irene said...

Nate, So happy that you are all going home very soon! God is Good All the Time!
I liked your post about the germs, and you have to keep reminding people.
I even put a friendly little note on our front door when I got home that stayed there for a long, long time, reminding people that if they are sick, have recently been sick, or had been around other sick people, that we appreciate the thought, but a visit at a later time would be better because of my compromised immune system. It worked, and it also even helped remind our regular visitors and family that this is an ongoing issue and they too need to be always aware of it.

I am so excited for you 3 in beginning this new phase of your life!
Irene

Hurricane Hurst said...

We just started reading a few weeks ago and I was gettign concerned b/c no posts for a few days. So pleased to hear you rae gearing up to return home. God Bless....

Debbie

DJ Holly Rock said...

Great post Nathan...make sure you bump this post every now and again. My husband is 2.5 years post transplant and will have to be very cautious of crowded places for the rest of his life. A small illness could be a long hospital stay for transplant patients. Luckily, we've avoided that so far but have come close on more than one occasion.

Don't think of yourself as the bad guy because you can never be too safe.

Glad to see that you are all going home.

:)

Busy Momma said...

how wonderful that you get to go home soon. I'm sure most people can understand your situation and respect your needs.
How long until Tricia has enough immune system back so you all don't have to worry too much?

The Hull Munchkins said...

Very well put! You described the best ways to keep your family healthy in such a clear, friendly, no nonsense way.
We had a devil of a time trying to explain how important it was to keep our micropreemie healthy when we brought her home. No one seemed to understand how critical it was! I think they thought we were the "hand washing nazi's"! ( I only use that term from Seinfeld... no disrespect intended)

Hope you all can stay healthy, and continue to grow stronger and happier! Lord Bless your family!
-Patty

ladergurl said...

I have to laugh. The person who said they wish they could meet you in person reminds me of myself. We actually do vacation on the Outer Banks (Corolla, and yes we say it right! Lol) and I think it would be awesome if we bumped into you. We're going next year so hopefully you guys would be a little more public at that point. I hope that scenario doesn't freak you out. It's not like I stalk bloggers. Lol! You guys have just touched so many people, you have become "normal people" celebrities.

To be honest, I think it would be more fun to meet you guys than any celebrity on the movie or tv screen. Honestly! You guys are so awesome it would be an honor to someday meet you.

Amy from nopeanutsplease.wordpress.com

Jane-Jane said...

I remember four years ago when our friends brought their triplets home at just over 4 pounds....we had to be VERY careful who they were exposed to...and with triplets and a recovering mommy, they needed a TON of help.

Better safe than sorry with sick girls!

still praying for you!

ZazFamily said...

the west coast is going to celebrate with you both!! we're all well and healthy come on out to california and hang with us!!!

richard

Kelly Brown said...

I am very happy for you all! When you get to go home, I wish you a safe, healthy journey!

I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

Kelly Brown

Deb said...

I wish I could see you guys! I hated having to tell everyone that they couldnt visit if they were even thinking about being sick after we brought our preemie home. Especially long distance relatives that had to plan a long trip. And we dont have any CFers in our house. We'll be praying for you all to stay so healthy and for you to have a safe trip home!

Rachel Marini said...

Dont' feel bad. My son had his BMT over a year ago and we still make people wear masks when they come over :) Better safe than sorry! Blessings,
Rachel

Kimmybeth said...

You know, I don't know why but this part of being out of the hospital didn't occur to me. You're right though, it's very critical. I hope that your friends, family & everyone else understands and does well with it. I'll be sure to pray for your family to stay healthy once you're all home. I'm so happy for you all.

twin power mommy said...

We, too, had to be oh so cautious.
it's hard to tell family members not to touch and friends they can't come over, but it's the difference between another hospital visit or not!
i would always tell people to please not touch my twins because they were really sick and get sick super easy.
It was hard...
most people will understand, though!
glad you guys are getting to head home!!!! YAY!!!

Debbie said...

We are so excited, can't hardly keep from dancing around the room.
I would be honored for you to yell at me from across the room. Praying for safe travel.

Gotzfamily said...

I so glad that you will be heading home. I hope that people understand, for people that have been through it, it makes more sense. We will continue to pray for your family as you start to make the next season in your lives.

Camille said...

I am so happy for the three of you. :-) I've been following your blog for about two and a half months now. Following your journey has made me smile, laugh, and cry. You are truly blessed. :-)

I have a suggestion to keep people from touching Gwyneth: wear her in a sling. I've been slinging my baby since birth (she was born March 9) and being that close to me deters people from touching her.

Scott said...

Nate, Trisha and Gwyneth,

I've been envisioning this day for you for a long time. I can't wait for you to get to go home. I imagine that will feel like one long ride! I'm so excited for you all!!

JonesFam4 said...

I have a feeling that your friends will be sooooo excited they won't even mind a hasmat (??) suit! :) Stay healthy and enjoy HOME

turtlemama said...

This is so thoughtfully worded. It should be included in every immunocompromised person's discharge packet.

Thanks again for educating the masses.

Kira =] said...

Nate- do you guys need something like this?

http://www.mytinyhands.com/

just wondering. =]