Saturday, February 21, 2009

First Outing (ugh!)

Well, I ventured out with all five little ones yesterday for the first time. (well not quite, I had visited my friend Becky with them all, but she lives close and it's not the same as going "to town.")

We went to a local gymnastics gym where the kids can have playtime on their equipment for an hour. We do this with our home school group twice a month. We had planned on going to Papa's Pizza afterward with several families for continued playtime and food. (it wasn't to happen, however)

So, all went well until about 10 minutes before we needed to leave. Ethan took a dive off a bar onto a parallel bar underneath it, landing square on his little nose. He was out of my sight, but I recognized his scream immediately. Blood was pouring from his nose, and he was just miserable. The friends I had with me at the gym were angels, and helped me get him cleaned up and loaded all the little ones into my car. Ethan was pretty distraught, and in pain. I suspected he had broken his nose, as it looked a bit askew. :)

So, we went to Daddy's work, and he suggested we go to Urgent Care. Linda was available to help, so I picked her up (after swinging through Wendy's drive-through to feed the hoard) and she watched movies in the Yukon with Seth, Hannah, and Abigail while Ethan, Madison and I went into the care center. This is the first time I was actually glad to have a DVD player in the car. Also the first time we actually had a couple of movies with us. They can't tell if it's broken, so we need to wait a week and see if it still looks crooked.

He's feeling much better today, and though bruised, doesn't look too bad. His eyes aren't black. (yet)

It may be awhile before I venture out again... maybe when the warm weather comes, and we can just go to the park. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Appointments!! :)

I have a whole week ahead of me with no doctor's appts. Yay!! I don't know what to do with myself....

Life is going well. Tim fenced in the back yard so I can let Abby and Hannah play back there without someone to chase them down. It's a lifesaver! We've even had enough dry weather to enjoy it. Just need to get a few outside toys back there for them so they have something to do besides empty the dirt out of my flower pots. :)

Madison was 10lbs 1 oz at her doctor's appt. She eats great, and it shows. She's been sleeping better on her own (without being held that is). I think that's because I don't have the help 24 hours like I had the first few weeks, and she actually gets put down occasionally now. I put her to bed in her own bed to start the night, and she sleeps from 2-4 hours that first stretch. Then she spends the rest of the night with me.

Seth and Ethan are doing good with school. We had friends over on Friday for our "Literary Club" and they all shared reports or poems and things like that. My mom is tutoring the boys for me right now, and they are doing great with her help. I can't say what a huge help it's been to me. (she's amazing)

Tim is staying pretty busy in spite of the "economy." I'm thankful.

Anyway, that's a quick update on us. I pray you are all well. Thank you for reading, and for your prayers, once again....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

She Will Walk!!

We went to the spina bifida clinic yesterday, and it went really well. I was dreading it, because I didn't want to hear about her limitations yet. (I'm a wimp) But they were very encouraging, and although I was a bit emotional, I left feeling good about her prognosis.

She has good strength in her upper legs and knees. The muscles are well balanced through the upper calf. She will walk! Yay! They (the pediatrician and physical therapist) were both quite certain about it. She will need braces for her feet and ankles most likely, but it's still a wonderful thing to hear.

Her main issues long term will be urinary and bowel continence. So, we will see a urologist within the next month to get established there, and keep an eye on how that goes. Her head growth was normal, so the ped had no concerns about hydrocephaly (we knew that from our last ultrasound), and he went over the symptoms of problems with the AC II malformation. This is something that most SB people have. Due to the spinal deformity, the back of the brain gets "pulled" down during development. Most of the time, this doesn't cause problems, but sometimes babies have trouble with breathing or swallowing, and other things. Madison doesn't have any symptoms that would indicate a problem with this.

The therapist gave me some stretching excercises to do with her. She flexes her legs and feet all the time, and the extensor muscles are not developed, so we need to make sure she doesn't have problems due to the imbalance there. I figured we would be doing something along those lines.

We go in to see her regular doctor today, mainly so he can stay up to date on her and keep familiar with how she's doing. I'm very pleased with his approach to her care.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Up Early...

Well, I don't have much new to report right now, but I am up early and the house is quiet. I figured I better take advantage of it. :)

I read a quote this morning from Dorcus Smucker (a local writer and blogger);

“Often the things we don’t know we need come into our lives without knocking.”

It made me cry, because I've been struggling the last few days with fear and anxiety over what the future holds for us with Madison. But I was encouraged by her words, and I know that whatever comes, it is the Lord's mind for us as a family, and for Madison herself. I need to look past my own selfish desires, and remember that He is in control. A verse read on Sunday during our worship meeting also hit home. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Some versions read the last line "to give you a future, and a hope."

I do have hope, and joy. Life doesn't dish out what we want sometimes. I've been incredibly blessed in my life, in spite of my poor choices at times. I thank the Lord for that.

I'll update again soon. We have appointments today and tomorrow. We did have another ultrasound in Portland on Monday, and her ventricles are stable. We go back for another follow-up in 3 weeks on that issue.

Madison Walking 22 1//2 months old! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Madison and Mommy

Madison right before her surgery on August 25th 2009

Madison almost 6 months