Saturday, July 16, 2011

funeral talk

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for coming. A simple thank you really doesn’t seem adequate for all of the kindness, the thoughts and prayers, and the love that has been shown to our family, so I hope that you feel it from my heart just how grateful I am and how much love I have for all of you!!!
There have been many things running through my mind the past few months, and as it came time to think about this talk, the list got longer and longer. So, I wanted to share just a few of the things that I have pondered as we have been going through this trial. As Cale died from a congenital heart defect, things of the heart have been at the front of my mind since we found out about it in March. I also have felt like my own heart was and is breaking for my baby. These things lead me to think about a broken heart and a contrite spirit – As I searched in the scriptures it says in second Nephi, “Christ’s sacrifice answers ends of law unto all who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” and also, “may the gates of hell be shut before me, because my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite.” I definitely feel like these are some blessings that I would like to have, but they are contingent upon my actions and attitude. It was interesting to me to realize that a broken heart – which basically means humility and a contrite spirit – which signifies a repentant soul refers to both the physical aspect and the spiritual aspect of our lives. Those two things, our bodies and our spirits both have to be in line with the will of the Lord, and if not, our offering to the Lord, or our lives, will not be accepted. I have come to feel a deeper love and understanding of the Lord’s sacrifice for all of us. I know that we all have to go through a tiny bit of our own Gethsemane, and as hard as it is, I am grateful to know that this trial has brought me closer to Christ.
The next thing that, honestly, I had to keep repeating to myself many many times, was a familiar scripture found in Proverbs 3:5-6. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Another scripture that I feel goes very well with this is found in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” These words have really helped me come to the conclusion that life is really just hard, and sometimes – if not all the times – it doesn’t make sense, but if we trust in the Lord, and follow His ways, everything will work out the way it should.
There is a story that circulates support groups and blogs of families and patients with heart defects, the author is unknown. It tells of a beautiful day in Heaven when Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus “I don’t want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you”. He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that he is just going for a visit. He is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, “How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?” The angel smiles and says, “I guess that will work”. But the little angel is still a little scared. “Will I be okay with only half of my heart?” Jesus replies, “I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine.” Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says “When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. And when it’s time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves.”
This story was finished by another mom who lost her baby to the same heart defect as Cale had. It went like this, I have changed it to read Cale’s name:
“When he returned to Heaven, amid tears of joy and hugs in reunion, Jesus asked, “How was your turn on Earth?” The little angel replied, “It was beautiful- so many arms of warmth and love to hold me, smiles through teary eyes to greet me.(I’d like to add, flashes of light and sticky fingers) A king couldn’t have asked for more!” Then tears appeared in Cale’s eyes. “My sweet angel, what is wrong?” Jesus asked and pulled him close. ” I think when I left, I broke their hearts,” he whispered.
“Quietly, Jesus reached in His pocket and pulled out the other half of Cale’s heart. Tied to it with fine silvery threads, were the pieces of hearts of all those the little angel had touched in his brief life. Even as he looked the chain grew and grew.
“My dear little one,” Jesus said, “You did not break their hearts. You brought a piece of them back with you. And one day, they, like you, will return to me for the other piece of their hearts.”
I know that Cale has pieces from many of your hearts, I would like to ask all of you that if there is something that you have learned, or an experience that you have had with Cale, please write it down and share it with me – I would LOVE to have those memories as well as my own.
I’m now going to give myself some advice that I have learned though this trial, so that I won’t forget, and if you want to follow it too, feel free.
1. Make each day count – never before in my life have I lived so day to day. It has been difficult for me to not be able to plan on anything. It was also so wonderful that we had so many days that Cale was still doing well that we could go and do things together as a family.
There is a quote that goes:
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have - so spend it wisely” Kay Lyons
Spend your time wisely!!!
2. You never know what people are going through – show more kindness and love to strangers and friends instead of judging them. Everyone is going through trials, they may not be big to everyone, but they are big to someone, and small acts of kindness mean a whole lot when you are feeling a burden. Don’t let it deter you if you don’t know what to do, just do something without being asked to do it.
3. Be a better parent – give your kids what they need and not what they want. The only way we will truly know what their needs are, is by being prayerful and diligent in doing God’s will concerning our children. Remember they are God’s children too. He knows their needs, ask Him and He will guide you as you are parenting. Our time is so short with them while they are small, love them, be patient with them and teach them what is right, so that they will love you and love the Savior.
Many people have wanted to know what they could do for our family during this time. It’s hard to know what to say, but as I have thought about everything that has happened, I would like to ask you all to do something that is the most important thing of all, and might be the most difficult, but if you can try, it would be the greatest gift of all. I want with all of my heart to be with all of my family again someday – I include friends and neighbors as family too – and that means that I want everyone to make and keep their covenants, do what is right, be faithful and diligent in having a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Trust in the Lord that His ways will become your ways, and that we may walk in His paths together. Please also, help me when I struggle, be there for Carl, and for Fisher, Ainsley, and Jovi – be a good example to them and love them. I know that this is the way the church is meant to operate, as we lift each other up, we bind families together forever, not just for this short precious time on Earth, but for all eternity!
I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us, and He knows us so personally that it amazes me. He is in charge of all things. I know that our Savior lives and loves us too. I know that His church has been restored in these latter days, and that the power of the priesthood is real and here to bless our lives. I know that we have a living prophet who leads this church in the way that our Father in Heaven wants it to be led. I know that temples are houses of the Lord, and that there is such a mighty and important work being done there. I know that the scriptures are there for our benefit to come closer to Christ. I have been so blessed with this knowledge, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Our Family is Forever!

Baby Cale returned to our Father in heaven yesterday just before 7:00 in the morning. We had decided at 4 weeks old, we wanted to go to Primary Children's and check out what was going on inside of our little guy. Our appointment was on Tuesday at 10:00 - it went well, and surprisingly Cale didn't cry one bit for the echo. However, the cardiologist told us that things mostly looked the same with his heart, and that the right side was starting to wear down, and she thought he would be gone within a few days. This appointment, as hard as it was to hear, was really good to kind of prepare ourselves for what was coming. Even though we knew from the beginning that this would be the outcome, I had been in a little bit of denial, and had developed some hopes that something inside of him had changed, especially since we kept having such great days with him, and he seemed to be such a perfect normal baby. Looking back, I have realized what a huge blessing and miracle it was to have him in our family for so long, I really know and felt how much Cale loved us, and he wanted to stay with us for as long as possible so that we would have some really great memories to look back on for the rest of our lives. I am truly grateful to Heavenly Father for allowing him to stay for a whole month! I just really wish it had been a few hundred more. I have been taught a deeper way to love in the past few months, and I know many others have been changed by the life of my sweet baby Cale. I know that I will miss him so much, but I have a much greater appreciation and need of my temple covenants than ever before. I also have more anticipation and desire for the second coming! I cannot wait for that day to see my sweet precious baby again!
Here is a link to his obituary:
www.allenmortuaries.net

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

3 WEEKS OLD!!!

Cale is 3 weeks old today!!! We are so excited to still have him here with us! We have been able to do lots of fun things with him, and he has been able to meet SO many people who love him! I just have to say, I have the best family and friends in the whole world! We have been well taken care of the past few weeks, and I am so grateful for all of the love and support that we have received from everyone around us! The prayers of those who are not around us have been felt and much appreciated also!!!


Cale and Grandma on the swing after the parade.

Watching the parade in Hyrum!



Getting ready for the fireworks to start!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baby Cale

























































Well, after much anticipation, Cale Dean Mackley got here on June 14 at 1:36 pm. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 3 oz. and was 19 inches long. We went in at 8:15 am, had an ultra sound, and he was head down! So, they got the IV hooked up and started me on the pitossin. We waited for a little while, then the doctor broke my water, and a little bit after that I had the epidural. I was feeling so relaxed after that was in, I even got a little rest! When I was complete, they got everything ready, and I pushed through about 4 contractions and he was here! It worked out so great, and everything went as well as we hoped - my doctor had to be in surgery at 1:45, so we made it just in time for him to deliver, there weren't any other complications, he wasn't struggling to breath, or anything else that they had kind of prepared us for just in case. That's really a blessing that everything with the delivery went so well, but at the same time it's kind of the hardest part, because everything is so normal, and he is seriously perfect! It is hard to believe that our time is so limited with this perfect little angel! The kids have been so great with him, and we've had so much kindness and love, support and prayers, we can't even begin to describe how grateful we are for the blessings that have come to our family. Keep praying for us, we know that it is helping so much, and I know that the hardest part is yet to come! We love you all, and thank you again for everything! Hope you enjoy these pictures of our little sweetie!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here comes baby Cale!!!

We went in for our appointment today, and the doctor thought he was head down, but we had an ultrasound to make sure, and sure enough, he was still breech! SO, we are going to go in on Tuesday the 14th and see if they can turn him around, (or maybe he will already be head down?) and then they will get me started with pitossin and break my water. If he stays breech however, they will just do a c-section while we are there. So, all things said, we should be having our baby on Tuesday! Yea!!! I have a lot of mixed emotions about it, but right now, I'm pretty excited to be able to meet him and hold him in my arms! Thanks for all of your prayers and support, we will need them especially soon, so keep it up! Love to everyone!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Difficult Post

I don't even know where to begin this post. I have been thinking that I need to, but I am struggling hard to find the right words. About a week ago, Carl and I started feeling separately that we were no longer sure if we wanted to do the surgeries for baby Cale. We were both feeling so discouraged, and had thoughts and feelings that we didn't think he was going to make it - even if we did the surgeries. Then last Sunday, we were able to discuss our thoughts and feelings with each other, and were surprised to know that we were both feeling the same way. I have been in contact with other families and moms that have children with HLHS, and I have looked at a ton of different blogs, so I feel like I kind of have a sense of different experiences we would have if we chose to do the surgeries. So, I decided to research our other option, and see what it was like for others who did not choose surgery. I still felt like I wasn't sure what we should do for Cale. We also knew that we were going to Primary's later that week, and we wanted to talk to the people there about our options as far as what would happen if we didn't choose surgery.


Needless to say, this week has been a heart-wrenching, faith-building week for me. I have been torn to pieces, I have felt so much love and sadness for my baby, but I have also felt peace and comfort in knowing what we should do, and what will be the best thing for our family.


At Primary's they told us everything looks about the same with Cale - so really nothing new to report there. We asked them, out of all the heart defects there are, where does HLHS rank in severity? They told us that it is about at the top - it's one of the worst ones, which is what we already kind of knew.


We asked them about our options, and what we would do if we chose not to do the surgeries, and they gave us a lot of information about that. They are so amazing there, so supportive of our decisions, and our feelings and thoughts, I really appreciate the people that we have met and been able to talk to there. As we learned about the option to do what they call "comfort care" to let the baby be born in Logan, possibly come home with us, and have him with us until he passes away, we both continued to feel good about not doing the surgeries. We feel like Cale only needs to come to this earth to get his body, and then he can go back home to watch over our family, and continue the work that Heavenly Father has for him.

Please continue to pray for our family, it has helped so much, and we have felt your love and support through this very hard time in our lives.

Monday, April 18, 2011

latest ultrasound pic

I haven't updated many pictures lately, since we still don't really have a camera, I haven't been taking any. So, here are the most recent pictures of the kids - they were taken at the family snowmobile trip in February. Thanks Micki for always taking a ton of pictures of my kids, and p.s. you could take a few less of me :) Here is a cute ultrasound picture - I can't believe that one exists! Baby Cale at 29 weeks. He already looks like a Mackley!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Second visit to Primary's

We had our second appointment at Primary's yesterday. It went well. There wasn't really any significantly new news about the baby and his condition, but we were able to ask all of our questions, and get some answers, and then go on a tour of the hospital, and see where we will be staying with our baby. There was even a little boy that we saw that had HLHS, he had been out of surgery for about a day, so he was hooked up to a lot of stuff. It was a little bit hard to see, but it actually helped a lot to see that there were other babies there, with other families that were going through the same thing. After we left, I turned to Carl, and said, "I think maybe I can do this." I think one of the hardest things, but also the most helpful, is having time to process everything, and prepare for whatever will come our way. It is hard to worry and wonder about every little thing, and possibility and outcome that may or may not happen. I am grateful though to know before hand, so that we can be a little bit more prepared for our special little Cale. It feels like at every appointment we have there, we're becoming a little bit more prepared, and we know that we'll just have to take it as it comes, and deal with the issues as they happen. It was so nice to have general conference last week, it felt like so many of the talks were meant for me and our situation. I feel a profound gratitude for temples, and for my temple marriage that seals my family together for eternity! This is such a HUGE blessing for our family especially right now, we know that whatever happens, we can have our baby forever! I also have been so grateful for the priesthood, and for the power that comes through priesthood blessings. Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts on behalf of our family, we have felt such love and comfort, and we appreciate it SO much! We will go back to Primary's one more time the beginning of May, and then I will deliver the baby at the U of U around 38 weeks. I will keep everyone posted about any updates as they come.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's potty time!

I am excited to say that Jovi is pretty much potty trained! This must be a tender mercy with everything else that is going on right now. Last week, Ainsley was having potty problems, I thought it was a bladder infection, the doctor said she had a yeast infection, and some bacteria in her urine that was making it hurt when she went potty, and go more frequently - if that is even possible for that girl! Needless to say, we have spent A LOT of time in the bathroom lately!!! Jovi has also had a new obsession to be naked all day long, and she wants to fight me on everything! Welcome to the terrible two's, huh? I'm going to focus on how great it is not to have to change dirty diapers for a little bit. Also, I just wanted to express my love and gratitude to everyone who has been thinking and praying about our family! We have felt strengthened and comforted by your prayers and concern. Thank you so much!!! I've been stressed a lot about our baby's name, since we found out about his heart and everything, I've wanted to find the perfect name, something that means a lot, and nothing has really hit me. Then, the other day I was searching for names that had the word "heart" in their meaning, and I found the name Caleb - which means (depending on the website) dog, heart, or whole-hearted. It also said that dog was meaning faithful or loyal. Anyways, enough about Caleb, because that's not the name we chose, but it is a name derived from Caleb, which is Cale. When I looked up Cale it said, uncertain - which is kind of how we feel about this baby, and on another website it said slender or thin - and most babies and kids with congenital heart defects are smaller. So, with all of that explanation, we are going to name our baby Cale Dean Mackley. I have to say, after I found the name, I was very nervous to tell Carl, I thought he would hate it, but I guess it must be meant to be, cause he likes it too. We chose Dean for his middle name because my grandpa's middle name is Dean, and Carl's grandpa's first name is Dean, and they have both passed away, I call them our angel grandpas. I hope that they are with Cale now, and watching over us as we go through this trial. Sorry, mom if you hate it, I think we are sold on it, unless something else changes. It's so funny how much better I feel now that we have a name picked out - I don't know why it stresses me out so much.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not what we expected

In February we found out that we are having another boy! We are very excited to even up our numbers. At the ultrasound they thought something might be wrong with his heart, so they scheduled us to get a fetal echocardiogram at Primary Children's hospital, we had that visit the first week in March. We found out there, that our baby has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or HLHS, which basically means that the left side of his heart is underdeveloped, so it's kind of like he has a half of a heart. They can do a series of 3 operations to make it so the right side of the heart takes care of the left side's duties. The first operation will be 3-5 days after he is born, and the second is at 4-6 months, and the third is around 3 years old. They told us that he has a 60% chance of survival to age 5.
Obviously this news came as a bit of a shock, we are feeling overwhelmed of course, but we are hopeful for the best possible outcome. We also have felt so much love and support from our families, that we know we won't have to go through this alone, which is a huge blessing. We are just planning on taking things one day at a time, and putting our faith in God that whatever happens will be the best for our family.
If you know of anyone that has had a baby with HLHS, please let me know, I would love to talk to some other people that have gone through this.
This blog will probably turn into more of an update on the baby's status, so that I won't have to tell a million people the same thing over and over. We appreciate everyone's concern and prayers for our family, I never thought that I would have a trial like this in my life. Feel free to check back, we have another appointment the 8th of April for another fetal echocardiogram at Primary Children's.