A view into the life of a family who encountered a different future than expected, but has become all the richer for it.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Checkups Galore

Today I took Victoria and Natalie for their yearly checkups with their pediatrician. Here are the results!

Victoria now weighs 15 lbs 2 oz, which is a milestone for her! I was so excited to see that she had gained more weight! She continues to gain, although it is slowly. But, I'll take it any day! She has definitely gotten longer in size and while we were in the doctor's office, she actually held her bottle for the first time! It was the cutest thing! I took a photo of it when we got home so you could see her doing it!
Dr. Faye was very pleased with all the progress Victoria has been making with Early Intervention. Victoria is now sitting up on her own! She is still wobbly, but she is beginning to catch herself when she starts to fall. We are excited to see her gaining strength and doing more and more. What a blessing!

Natalie totally acted like a big girl today at her doctor visit! She is usually my screamer and rebels against doing anything closely resembling a doctor visit. However, today on the way to Dr. Faye's I talked to her about all that Dr. Faye would be doing. I tried to prepare her and I also bribed her with gummies if she acted like a big girl! And, apparently ... it worked! She did so well! She didn't scream the first time (well, not until she got a few shots!!)!! I was so proud of her! She is really growing up! And, the girl weighs close to 31 lbs! She almost weighs as much as Elyssa! Yikes! But, Dr. Faye said proportionally ... she is right on track!

So, all went well at the doctor's and we couldn't feel more blessed!

PS - Since I don't have a good recent photo of Natalie, I've uploaded a video so you can see all three girls playing together!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Victoria!!

Are you in as much disbelief as we are that a year has actually passed by already and Victoria is turning a year old today?? So much has happened this year that I'm surprised we don't feel like she is turning two instead of one! However, it has been such a blessing to go through everything we have been through with her. She is such a joy and we feel so very blessed to have her in our lives.

When Victoria was first born, I questioned what God was doing and wondered why He chose us for what seemed like such a difficult task. Now, I realize that He extended His wonderful hand of grace to such an undeserving couple. We didn't deserve what He gently laid in our arms, but He decided to trust us with such a sweet angel anyway.

When Victoria first arrived into this world, I grieved over the fact that I didn't have a "normal" child. I grieved that she wouldn't do some of the same things that other children might do. I grieved that the rest of my life had suddenly changed so drastically. Now ... I would grieve over NOT having Victoria. I couldn't imagine my life without her in it! She is such a precious little girl and I love holding her and experiencing life with her. I told Mark that God has given us such a wonderful gift in Victoria. God is letting us experience a side of life that many will never know.

There are so many times that we might not understand why God does what He does. Maybe we question His actions and wonder, "Why did this happen to me?" Maybe sometimes we need to stop and think that God could actually be blessing us! What we thought to be a curse or something that would hinder our lives might actually be the best gift we could have ever been given!

I thank God that He gave grace to me during the times I questioned His hand. He was patient with me (and still is) and let me express my deepest emotions to Him when I was in such distress. He just comforted me and I believe He waited excitedly for the moment that I would realize what wonderful favor He had placed on Mark and me. He is so good and I could not be more thankful for His special gift to us!

Happy Birthday, Victoria Jayne!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Congrats From The Cardiologist!

Victoria had her 6-month checkup with Dr. Mayer today. He listened to her heart and said that he heard a slight murmur, but mentioned that was normal with the type of surgery that Victoria had. He said she sounds great!

After Dr. Mayer examined her, we were sent to the "heart echo room." The technician did a quick echo. We watched the screen during the echo and boy did we see a lot more in Victoria's heart than we had seen before! There were 4 chambers and we could see both valves moving blood through the heart. It was amazing to see all that Dr. Knott-Craig (the surgeon) had created in a heart full of fatal defects! Dr. Mayer came in to talk to us after he reviewed the echo. He said, "Remember when I told you that I'd see you a lot during Victoria's first year of life?" We said, "Yes." He said, "Well, Victoria looks so good that I don't need to see her again for a year!" Basically, from here on out, Victoria will visit him yearly for a quick check-up!
Hallelujah! What another reminder of what a miracle that God has done in Victoria's life!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We're All Ears!

Today Elyssa and Natalie had to have their adenoids removed and tubes put in their ears. Natalie had tubes put in her ears last April but they came out. Elyssa has never had tubes, but had at least 11 documented ear infections this past year.

We were told to arrive at the surgery center at 6:30am. The girls were still sleeping soundly so we grabbed them up from a dead sleep and put them into the car. They, of course, woke up but were okay with being awakened early.

We had reminded them that Dr. Bryars was going to fix their ears today. We encouraged them by letting them know that they would feel much better after Dr. Bryars put tubes in. We explained that they would get to smell funny air and it would make them feel sleepy. We wanted to prepare them as much as we could for everything.

Elyssa was so brave and volunteered to go first. Natalie was hanging onto Mark and me for dear life, so I didn't think she would want to go unless taken from our arms by force. We bragged on Elyssa and her bravery! She did wonderfully! She never cried at all! She even told us that she had been so brave after it was all over with. She reminded us that she didn't even cry. It was cute. Natalie, on the other hand, screamed bloody murder which is what we expected from her. In the end, she went to sleep just fine and that was all that was needed.

Elyssa's tubes went in just fine. Natalie's were more of a challenge. She had a LOT of puss that Dr. Bryars had to suck out. He said her ears were really bad.

They were kind enough to put Elyssa and Natalie beside each other. Elyssa rolled out in her bed and Natalie was screaming so they put her directly into her daddy's arms. She quickly calmed down once Mark was holding her. I've already told Mark that I think she is going to be a "daddy's girl." Natalie did get sick twice while Mark was holding her and they eventually gave her some medication to calm her tummy. Thank goodness, that did the trick!

We were released to go home around 12:30pm. The nurses came to take out the girl's IVs. Elyssa didn't even cry and Natalie, of course, screamed. It was over quickly, though. Both girls were still very sleepy, so they slept some of the way home. We immediately put them into the bed once we arrived at the house. They had long naps and woke up hungry! They seemed to do okay on ice cream, juices and such. Already they seem to almost be their "normal" energetic selves! I'm sure tomorrow will be an interesting day since I'll have all three girls to myself! I'm sure things will get back to full swing and that will be just fine. I might gain a few more grey hairs, but I'll just be glad to see my little girls playing again!

PS - Keep Victoria in your prayers! Dr. Bryars, the ENT, says that her ear canals are the size of a pencil lead. He is dumbfounded each time he tries to look in her ears. He has to try to look with his microscope and can only see a small part of her eardrum. He told me that he has never had a child with such small ear canals. Victoria still has an ear infection, but her ear canal is not big enough for an ear tube to fit into it. At this point, she will be treated with more antibiotics. This may be a regular thing for her until her ears grow enough for a tube to be inserted into it.

PSS - Here is a video of Elyssa after her surgery. She said she "didn't even cry."