Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
So I love these flowers that bloomed this month, because one year ago today these flowers were blooming at home while we sat in the hospital at MUSC waiting, and waiting, and wondering, and waiting with great anticipation for little Brandt's arrival. This year, not only did the flowers bloom early, but we have survived an entire year of the treatment of a severe congenital heart defect and all that involves, as a family. And survived isn't the right word I know...the difficulties of this past year have produced a "blooming" in our hearts--gratitude, appreciation for important things in life, increased confidence in God's character, to name a few. We just started an amazing series at church on the book of James, and the first couple verses discuss viewing difficulties in life as "joy." And that doesn't mean fun...but God does promise that the end results give an endurance we wouldn't otherwise have. And so, our flowers symbolize both the lessons and joy of this difficult year to me.
As does our handsome birthday boy's smile--he is so full of life, and fun, and mischief! May has been a great month for him. He gave us a little scare with the first cold/virus of his life. After getting safely through flu season, he came down with fever, runny nose and nasty sounding cough. But he checked out fine with no secondary infections, and in the meantime has moved from crawling to almost walking with no time wasted! He loves making any kind of mess, and has even started babbling some consonant sounds at us. We were thrilled to see all this progress at once from a developmental standpoint. Everything is "baba" and "dada" right now, and he wants to share these "deep baby thoughts" with anyone and everyone who might be around. Anyone who even walks by when we're out in public is fair game for his piercing stare and the ensuing flirty smile and baby babble. But let me tell you, his brothers are his favorites. Now that he can follow them around the house, he feels they are dutybound to include him in all activities, and wails if they dare to close a door on him to keep him out of trouble! He's a little daredevil with endless energy. Several people have remarked to me that we will really be in for it after his third surgery. Well, bring it on--this kind of mischief we couldn't be happier to see. We also welcome another nephew/cousin to the family this month, Mark Judson Grover, born 5.10.2011, and look forward to the "babies" being able get into mischief together.
So happy happy birthday our sweet heart baby--we treasure every minute!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Yesterday was Brandt's 10-mos birthday, and we celebrated with a trip to the zoo with the whole fam! With the older boys on spring break, we were incredibly excited to take our first "fun trip" with Brandt able to enjoy being out and about. Glenn and I both had the day off--my first since going back to work that was not connected with a dr visit! Brandt got his last RSV shot this week, and being past the official flu season and so many germs, we feel able to relax about having him around crowds. Plus the weather was gorgeous, and Glenn's parents were able to join us for a great day.
We were thrilled to learn that Brandt has surpassed the 20th % in weight...that's a lot of growin' for a tiny little fellow below the 1st % when we came back from Charleston right before the New Year. What a huge joy he is to us every single day...just loving life, loving his brothers, and reminding us how God answers prayer. He also had a follow-up cardiology visit, and his heart function continues strong as far as no additional leakage or narrowings. Next visit will be 3 months out...we will hardly know what to do with ourselves!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Sheba tolerates me, and I LOVE to pull her ears or tail.
He also started sitting up all by himself at about 8 and 1/2 months...still not really trying to crawl yet, but every time I start to get concerned about his progress, I think how mind-boggling it is that his little chest has been completely opened 3 times and he still has come this far.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
He also had a good pediatrician appt (despite 4 shots) and is back to his 5th percentile for weight--yippee. We are able to start weaning him off the reflux meds, and Dr. Stoeber also gave me some help to continue supplementing his calories. He has really taken off with his solid foods--doesn't care for just the cereal but gobbles it down when mixed with a little bit of fruit or sweet potatoes.
And--we all survived my return to work last week. I miss him terribly but he's doing really well with Glenn's parents and sister all doting on him and eating up his back-to-normal bubbly ways. He continues to wake up at least once through the night, so the schedule has been pretty rough to date. I'm hopeful as he continues to heal completely he can return to stomach sleeping and at least be able to get through seven to eight hours...although after everything he's been through I have no complaints about an extra feeding through the night. Just much thankfulness for the continuing miracle of his life...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
We were supposed to have an echo and get his blood levels checked again today, but we have SNOW here and almost everything is cancelled. This appt is rescheduled for Friday, so I continue to reserve judgment on his status until then, but we are REALLY encouraged.
Also here is an encouraging story about the oldest survivor of HLHS...I've mentioned before that we're so thankful for all the advances in treating this condition, and at the time she had her surgery, only one in 10 babies lived!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Monday he had a follow-up cardiologist appt, and that did put my mind at ease as everything looks good with his incision. He'll finish his antibiotic course tomorrow, and we'll have another check next Monday. The doctor ordered a blood draw to check for inflammation and white blood count for infection, and everything came back normal! What a relief...and I'll feel even better if his white count stays low after he gets done with the antibiotics. His weight has taken another dip, which is probably to be expected after all the procedures and sedations, but I still hate hearing that he's now below the 1% in weight...we're trying to get all the food possible into him. Another plus is that the reflux seems to be almost completely gone--one less challenge, even though his lack of appetite is unusual for him.
Glenn and I also celebrated our 13th anniversary this week...I am so thankful for all his love and support through this journey...God has been gracious to grant us a wonderful friendship and growing love even while life presents challenges we never imagined or prepared for!