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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Monday, July 27, 2009

Crawling Critter

Victoria is going, going, going! It is so funny to see her scoot around the house, now. She is still slow, but every day I see her gaining strength. The once frail and weak baby is beginning to turn into an energetic explorer. When I see her doing new things each day I am, again, amazed at the goodness of God!

Look at my little scooter and be amazed!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eye See You!

Today was a long day for me and Victoria! I woke up around 4am and woke up Victoria at 5:30am to go have her eye surgery performed.

When we arrived at the doctor's office, it was pretty empty except for the receptionist waiting for us on the 3rd floor. I registered Victoria and waited a few minutes before being called back. We were taken back to a larger room with several beds in it. This was a prep room for all those having out-patient surgery. There were several other babies that eventually joined us in this room and Victoria out-talked all of them! I was shocked at how verbal she was while we waited on the doctor!

Once Victoria was taken back to surgery, I went back out into the waiting area. I was told that the surgery would only last about 5-10 minutes, if all went well. When I was in the waiting room for a while longer than I expected, I felt a check in my spirit to pray for Victoria. Finally, I was called back to see Victoria. She was crying pretty hard when I got to her, which is unusual for her normally. I hugged her and tried feeding her some juice. She was famished since she had not eaten breakfast. She would stop every few seconds to cry because she couldn't breathe well out of her nose while drinking her bottle. Because of the surgery, her nose was bleeding some and that didn't help on top of the congestion she already had. After a while longer, she finally calmed down as I stood up with her and rocked her back and forth. As the nurses watched me holding her, I wanted to cry. I felt such an honor at that moment to be Victoria's mother. I knew that God could've chosen anyone else to be her mom, but for some reason He chose me. It made me hug Victoria even tighter as I comforted her from her traumatic morning.

The doctor let me know that he had a difficult time getting Victoria's tear duct to drain and clear, but it finally cooperated for him. During the surgery, they had to end up doing an IV because Victoria's heart rate dropped really low. Once I heard this, I knew why I had a check in my spirit to pray for her! They were able to give her some medication that brought her heart rate back up. Because of Victoria's heart surgery last year, she is a bit of a high risk for any type of anesthesia. Thankfully, she stabilized and the rest of the procedure went well.

The interesting part of things is that God has given me several opportunities to share my "story" with a lot of people lately. From Victoria's consultation with the doctor the day before her surgery, to the day of her surgery, God has placed people around me in the waiting rooms that ask me about Victoria. The door has totally opened for me to share God's hope with people. What a wonderful thing to tell others that something I thought was a terrible thing in my life (giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome), has ended up being the biggest blessing I could've ever imagined! It excites me to see how God has used Victoria's life to minister to so many people already! May I never let an opportunity go by to share my hope with others!

Here is a picture of Victoria after we arrived home. Her right eye is a little swollen, but I expect that will be normal in a day or so. She is a real trooper!

Here is a picture of Victoria laying by Mark on the couch. Mark has been out of town all this week speaking at a children's camp. He was so glad to be home so he could love on his little angel!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eye Surgery

Please keep Victoria in your prayers. She will be having minor eye surgery in the morning to unclog her right eye tear duct. It will be a quick surgery and I pray it will relieve her right eye and the constant clogging she has had to endure for at least a year now. We will arrive at the doctor's office tomorrow morning at 6:15am and surgery will begin at 6:45am. While I ask you to pray that her surgery goes well, I also ask that you pray for her to not awaken during the night wanting to have another bottle. She cannot eat after midnight, so I'm hoping that she will do well during the night for me. I plan to feed her an extra bottle later tonight to help remedy any middle-of-the-night feedings.

Thank you for your prayers for my little angel! I'll send an update tomorrow to let all of you know how she did!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally ... A Tooth!

Victoria turned a year old on March 10th and she is just now getting in her first tooth! I was worried for a little while that she would be toothless, but thankfully, I have seen her first front, bottom tooth wriggling its way out of her gum. Unfortunately, Victoria has not gained a lot of weight lately because of the fact that she cannot eat substantial foods yet (because of her lack of teeth). At Victoria's last visit to her pediatrician, her doctor talked about referring us to an eating clinic to see how we could put more calories into Victoria's little body. When Victoria starts walking the extra intake of calories will be very crucial.

Victoria is now pulling herself up from sitting to standing! She is beginning to "cruise" while holding onto furniture and she is also beginning to crawl! So many exciting things are happening and I couldn't be happier. She is such a sweet girl who has been through a lot in her short life, so it is awesome to see her continuing to progress! God has and continues to be so good to her and our family!

Here is a video of Victoria pulling up from sitting to standing!

Here is a video of Victoria crawling in her own little way tonight while we were playing before bed!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Victoria's Story

Check out our "thank you" note to Rileigh & Raylee Angel Ride Foundation at http://angel-ride.com/AngelStories/VictoriaMessick/tabid/1353/Default.aspx. This foundation gave us money last year when Victoria had to be transported to UAB for emergency heart surgery. It is an honor for us to be featured on their website.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

6-Month Evaluation

Today, Victoria's physical therapist, Candice, and her Early Intervention service coordinator, Dianne (pictured to the left), came out to our house for her 6-month evaluation. Dianne had the long list of physical goals that we set for Victoria 6 months ago. We were so excited to see that Victoria has met every goal in her therapies that we hoped she would in the past 6 months! I felt like shouting today! It was such an encouraging EI visit!

I have seen the Lord take a little baby that could barely do anything because of such major heart defects and heal her with the help of surgeons! Then, I've seen the Lord carry that baby through a wonderfully quick recovery! THEN, I've seen the Lord help her accomplish every physical goal that her therapists and I have worked with her on all throughout her 12 months in Early Intervention! I tell you the truth ... every time I look at Victoria Jayne, I am reminded of what her name means: "victorious victory!"

God has been so good to our family, I cannot help but boast of His faithfulness! He has helped us in the toughest of times and I know that without Him we would've been lost. He took what felt like a helpless and hopeless situation and used it for His glory. I'm so thankful to the Lord for all of my sweet girls, but I especially thank Him for letting us walk down a little different path than most people get to. I never thought I'd be thankful to the Lord for giving me a child with Down syndrome, but now I'm convinced that we get to experience His glory just a little bit more than most.