Friday, December 9, 2011

lllongg day...

It seems like I was writing about this time last night, telling you all about how we were going to try and get the labor and delivery started. Well, whatever they did that night, it worked. And did it work! Whooie! Did it ever work! Anna came pretty quick, and rumor has it she had both doctors and nurses running around to get things ready for her arrival.

By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, this is Matt again. So if that is all you need to know, you can stop reading. I mean, about me writing. After all, who would want to wade through the countless pages of his random rambling?

Well, she arrived, she cried, she became stable on her own without breathing assistance, got put back on breathing assistance, got transported to Seattle Children's, got inspected by a plethora of doctors. There were also a lot of nurses, and even a fellow. Don't ask me what a fellow is or what he does, but I met two today (one was a guy, and one was a girl - go figure!). They (meaning the doctors) told us they can move forward, and we gave them the blessing (gulp!). She had the surgery, came off the bypass machine for 15 minutes, got put on ECMO, and went into recovery process. Now she is sleeping peacefully, (heavily sedated of course) with at least one, maybe two nurses who are watching her 24/7. Literally. The ECMO tech can't even leave her station to go to the bathroom unless someone relieves her (no pun intended...).

Anyway, I sit here, writing through a false fire alarm. Flashing lights, dinging bell, the whole works. At least we didn't have to evacuate (yes, it is after 12 am...(sigh)). Oh - wait - it just got over, so I'll try and make this quick so I can go to bed.

Alissa stayed at UW since we understood we may not be able to see Anna until late in the night/early in the morning. So we decided it would be best for her to stay there where she would be cared for and could rest as much as she could. As far as I know, she is doing so. Turns out, we were able to see Anna at about 10:30. And when I say "we" I mean myself, my mother, my brother Joe, his wife Pam, my sister Heidi, and Cara and Mel. Wait - Cara and Mel weren't there, were they? That's right, we got rid of them a couple of years ago.

Where was I? Oh yeah, seeing Anna. Sorry. My brain is a little frazzled. I think I still have about three gallons of adrenaline coursing through my veins, too. Well, we did get to go see her. Yes, her chest is still open, and she has about 19 dozen tubes coming out of her from various parts of her body. But she seems to be doing good and the nurses, doctors, therapists, and fellows are all telling me she is doing good. Since they seem to know what they are doing, I'll believe them.

Since one of my eyes seems to be turning black like I'm about to pass out, I think I better go to bed. So this is all you get for now. Also, it appears we will be here in Seattle for a few months at least, so I'm guessing we will have lots of time to post some more posts.

Thank you. Let me say it again: Thank you. There were several times today that I should have been a blubbering fool, but I didn't turn into a Joe. And in case you think I have a heart of stone, I did cry, several times. But all in all I maintained my composure (I think...anyone who was here today can contradict me...). And I am confident that the main reason I was able to do so was because of your ever-increasing prayers for our little family. God is good, all the time, and I haven't ever felt His goodness like I did today.

Okay - sorry - I already said I was done, and then I added something more. But now I truly am.

...I think.


  1. I'm so happy for you. My father just emailed me about you and he just saw your story on the news. My 5 month old's heart also has a defect (found in utero) and was born at UWMC.

    By the grace of God and prayers of many, she doesn't need any surgeries and was born breathing and getting stronger and stronger.

    While anticipating a heart defect, I was referred to another mother who's son has hypoplastic left heart. The doctors told his mother she may as well have an abortion because he'd die right after birth. This boy's name is Hatcher, he lives in Idaho and goes to Stanford for surgeries. He just turned 4. He's a fighter. Read about them here:

    I pray for your Anna Joy that she is, too. It's a long road.

  2. Praise the Lord!!! Thank you for the updates, it has been a blessing to follow your journey and see God's hand at work. May the blessings and miracles continue to flow!

  3. I don't know either you or your wife but your story has been impossible to miss. What a blessing it has been to me to pray for your family. What a reminder of who God is. Thank you for sharing! I woke tonight to pray and am filled with joy at your reports. Know that the prayers will continue for all of you as you walk this journey.

  4. Thank you so much for the updates. Know that you have families in Texas praying for your precious family as well.

    One of our four was in the NICU for two weeks and we did not know if she would live. Even two weeks felt like an eternity and I cherished every single moment with my daughter. In the midst of the difficulty, I never truly knew God's "peace that passes all understanding" until that season.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you,

    The Goodman Family

  5. I'm SO SO SO thankful to read this update! Although ECMO isn't ideal, obviously, I'm so thankful it's there, as it saved my Annabelle's life too!

    A fellow, by the way, is basically a beginner doctor... they've had all of their schooling and are fully qualified doctors, but are serving their time to gain special experience in a subcatagory (you can have a cardiology fellow... a intensivist fellow... etc)

    Sorry, medical lesson aside, please know that we're praying hard for Miss Anna today, and for the doctors and fellows and surgeons and nurses, that they all have wisdom when dealing with miss Anna Joy!

  6. Hey there from Tijuana (pronounced Tee-hua-na for all you gringos who pronounce it wrong)!  We've been constantly thinking and praying for little Anna Joy and you two.

    I've been super excited from the news so far and can't wait to hear more. 

    This is when I especially love technology. Through medical advancements we can give human beings a chance at life! Also of networking technology where we can share news instantly anywhere on this planet!

    Anyways, we love you guys and are in it for the long haul in prayer and support! And know for a fact there are many others who say and will do the same.

    This, my friend, is Jesus in action. Loving relationships for the win!

    ~ J. Kent & S. Chandell

  7. Still praying for Anna, her daddy, her mama, her Papa and Grammy, Peppley Grandparents, and all of her Aunts, Uncles, and big brother Isaac. Love to all - sneak some rest when you can and know that you are still supported in prayer. Thanks for the updates, everyone!

  8. I am so incredibly happy for you. Tears of joy are flowing! Thank you for letting strangers (like us) in to follow you on this journey. Anna has filled our families hearts with joy this morning. Our prayers continue.

    The Woodruffs (in Seattle)

  9. Matt,

    Much love coming your way! I loved reading your last post, it sounds just like the way I remember you talking. Anyway, it goes without saying how much we are earnestly praying for all of you. I don't think you can even begin to understand the range of emotions you are experiencing unless you are a parent. As a father of four (2 boys 2 girls), it becomes so real, and we are just overwhelmed with your story. Anyway, now I'm rambling...and you're tired of reading...say "hi" to Joe (haven't seen him in a while) and know that we are entrenched in prayer for you. Blessings....

    - Bryon Knight

  10. We will continue praying for your family. God bless you all!

  11. Our God is AWESOME! Keeping you all in prayer!

  12. I am continuing to pray for you all. The lovely Anna Joy sounds like she is a fighter and I am so glad she is doing well. What a miracle! I will keep praying!

  13. May the Lord bless Anna and keep her, make His face to shine upon her and may he give you all peace.
    We will continue to lift your family up in prayer.

  14. Praise God!! We were far along in our pregnancy when we were told our girl wouldn't survive. By the grace of God and prayer she did! We spent three months at Seattle Children's. It was a very hard adjustment and getting used to ALL nurses, fellows, attendings, and more. It is though the BEST place to be. Continuing to pray!!

  15. You and your precious baby girl have been in my prayers since I saw you on the news! What a beautiful little girl you have, I am so glad you have been able to have cuddles with her. Please know I will continue to send up prayers for you all, and for the doctors caring for Anna. Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season.

  16. Anna is just beautiful! I was so thankful to hear that she made it through her 1st surgery and is doing well. Such a precious little angel she is, and I can't wait to hold her in my arms some day soon.

    Love you Anna Joy...your great-aunt, Jaime

  17. Sending prayers from Newnan, Georgia. A facebook friend had a link on her page yesterday to your blog. Immediately started reading and couldn't stop!!! I pray that God gives you guys the strength to continue on in the sweet spirit that you have faithfully had in your previous posts! Prayers to all of you and for sweet baby girl!!!!

  18. Praying hourly for your sweet baby. She is a miracle. May HE be your strength and peace throughout the coming days.

  19. Your family has incredible strength and I know you are there to see them through this. I am amazed by you Pep! You are in my thoughts and prayers and I am here for you for whatever you need, brother.


  20. Matt and Alissa,

    Nazarene connections (Shawn's Aunt and Uncle Shafer) made sure we were on the prayer chain for you here in Arlington. Just read your blog. Sending prayers and much care your way. -Sara Sterner

  21. Matt and Alissa - I am a friend of Heidi's from Spokane and am earnestly praying for you, Anna Joy and all of your family. Your faith is inspiring and I am amazed at how God is using your story to reach people - Anna Joy is a little miracle and we are so grateful you are sharing her story with everyone. You are such an example of strength and faith and I just wanted to let you know that we are among the many prayer warriors for you. Get some rest when you can....Blessings to the Peppley family. Love, Jill Pittmann

  22. God is sovereign! You are shining examples of faith through hardships! May God be glorified no matter the outcome. Praying for you and the precious baby girl :)

  23. My friend Angel posted your blog on facebook a few days ago. I'm so happy to see Anna Joy doing so well. I have your blog pinned to the start tab on my web browser so when I go online I remember to pray for your family.

    I don't know if this is God or not but I have this very strong feeling that your daughter will be ok and this will be a testimony to your faith in God for others to see. There was a reason Anna Joy was born. Don't lose faith in that or that God has a purpose for her life.

    I will continue to keep you in my prayers.