God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
(2 Corinthians 1:3b-4, NLT)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Look who's 3!

 Sometimes it's hard to remember where she started...
It's hard to remember because Faith is doing amazingly well. She is pretty much completely caught up with everything developmentally; her latest skill is jumping!
On a slightly less positive note, we found out this week that Faith's little sister, Selah, has Vesicoureteral Reflux. Basically, the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters) are supposed to be one-way, protected with a valve-type system where they go into the bladder. Selah's ureters apparently go into her bladder in a different way, so the urine is able to travel back up to the kidneys from the bladder. She has about a 30-40% chance to grow out of it, so for now she is on antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent her from getting UTI's (because they could cause kidney infections/damage/scarring). In 6 months, she'll have testing again to see if it's gotten any better, and if not, we'll talk about options.
And, because Faith has also had at least one UTI, she will need to have the same testing done ASAP, because there is a 1 in 3 chance that she actually has the same thing. I am finding that to be the most disturbing part of this... Selah will get better, whether she grows out of it or has a procedure to fix it, and she won't remember any of it, so I'm really not worried about her. Faith has been through so much already, and thankfully to this point she has been too young to really remember any of it. I'm afraid she will remember this testing though... it was traumatic for me/Selah, and I'm imagining it will be significantly more traumatic for Faith :(
The test is a VCUG, where they put a catheter in, then fill her bladder with contrast, then take pictures under fleuroscopy as she pees to see if it is refluxing up to the kidneys. Not fun. Holding her down for testing as a baby was one thing, because babies have short memories and the hugs at the end of the test usually erased the trauma. Holding down a (really strong!) three year old is my idea of torture, for both of us. I am crossing my fingers that we might be able to get a sedative for her to take before the test...
Anyway, I will post her results after she has the testing!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Big Sister!

It's a little belated, but we are happy to announce that Faith officially became a big sister on July 21!

Selah Jean was born in our bedroom at 2:18 AM on July 21, after a quick 3 hour labor.
Faith celebrated with a delicious piece of chocolate Birth Day cake at about 3:30 AM :-)

Both kids are enjoying their new sister very much, and Faith is such a great big sister :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A long overdue update

It's amazing to me to look back at this blog and everything we've been through in the last 2+ years... reading my post from September 11 makes me cry, so I don't even want to go back and read the posts from the beginning, and the times when Faith was the sickest... Instead, let's focus on the positive, the happy news, everything that's good, and how far we've come :)

Faith turned 2 in November. We had a small party this year, nothing major, and I actually was late getting to it because I was at a birth (working as a doula). Thankfully, Dave and a couple of very good friends were able to get everything done while I was working, and it all went smoothly. I don't honestly remember much of the party, because the birth I was at had been over 24 hours, and I was totally exhausted... but we were surrounded by family and good friends, all of us thankful for the new milestone Faith was reaching. And, she didn't throw up her birthday cake this year :)

In December, a number of friends and loved ones donated to help us get to Boston for Faith's scheduled check-up, and her surgery to remove her g-tube. On December 10, 2010, for the first time in her life (except for a couple of minutes right when she was born), Faith became 100% tube-free! She did remarkably well with the surgery- originally they had said we'd be admitted and staying overnight, but she was barely in post-op recovery when Dr. Puder told us he thought she'd be able to go home. We stayed an extra day in Boston just in case, and then made the LONG drive home. Yes, we drove from Colorado to Boston. In December. Yes, we are insane. No, we will probably not be driving that trip again, at least not in December... On the bright side, it cost us about half as much to drive as it would have to fly...

Faith recovered well from her surgery, and happily showed off her tube-free belly when we got home to CO. It was cute, if anyone asked her where her button was (that's what we called it), she'd lift her shirt and say, "Gone!" And then she'd say something about how buttons are for babies... She's gotten quite a bit more vocal. Before her CAIR appointment in Boston, we were able to go out to lunch with some short-gut friends, and one of them asked how long it had been since we'd used her tube, and Faith responded that she eats with her MOUTH! Pretty amazing for a little girl who just barely a year ago would gag and throw up if she had any real food in her mouth...

She also started walking sometime this past fall. I can't remember exactly when it was, and with her being the second child and all, I'm sure we didn't write it down... She stood on her own for the first time over Labor Day Weekend, so I know it was after that, but before Halloween, because she walked for this cute picture of her in her costume...
Faith as Madeline!
It wasn't too long before Halloween though, because she was pretty unstable still...
Anytime she falls, she acts like it was on purpose and starts paying attention to whatever is on the ground, like she was just trying to sit down and look at something...
Other big news we learned in October- Faith will be a big sister in July! Other than lingering morning sickness, this pregnancy has gone very smoothly and I am very healthy. We heard a strong, healthy heartbeat at our 12-week midwife's appointment, and I've felt the new baby wiggling around in there a bit. I'm in my second trimester now, and thankful to be having such a peaceful, non-stressful experience with our wonderful midwife again, like we had for the first 2 trimesters of my pregnancy with Faith.

We are planning another homebirth, and I am confident that everything will go as planned this time. I've heard that a lot of women who've had babies with gastroschisis or other birth defects or complications are considered "high-risk" in subsequent pregnancies, and I'm so thankful that we are able to skip the high-risk route. We will be having an ultrasound in a few weeks, just to be sure everything is good, but everything feels completely different this time, so I'm sure it will be fine. With my pregnancy with Faith, something just felt "off" the whole time... I never had the confidence that I have this time around that I'd actually have a homebirth, I just knew deep down that something wasn't right. And, in retrospect, we're able to say that I wasn't high-risk last time, Faith was. Sure, at the time we were afraid I had a serious medical condition, but now we know that my symptoms were diet-related, and since I changed my diet and the symptoms are gone, I'm not high-risk.

Faith and Noah are both excited to have a new sibling, although I don't think Faith really understands... she loves babies though, and anytime she sees my belly, she yells, "Hi Baby!" One of her favorite games is lifting my shirt to see my belly, saying "Hi baby", "I love you baby", and then pulling my shirt down again and saying "Bye baby". She talks right into my belly button, just like Noah used to talk to her :)

Another big update, and one that is very recent, is that Dave has finally gotten a permanent, full-time job! You may remember back in February of 2009, while Faith was still in the NICU, that he lost the job he had then as a DUI probation officer. Then in the end of May 2009, shortly after we returned home from Boston, he left for his basic and advanced training for the Army National Guard... he got home from that last February (2010), and was able to work a seasonal job with a friend's landscaping business over the summer, but we were really struggling with trusting God to carry us through the extended unemployment... Thankfully this past Thursday, he was hired to a full-time position with the National Guard! This will be a great step forward for our family, as well as a huge weight lifted from our shoulders. One of the benefits of this job is that we will have the active duty army insurance, which will actually pay for our travel to Boston for check-ups! Most likely, they'll pay for it as reimbursement after the fact, since the one time we had them pay for it up front, they flew us on United and it was a NIGHTMARE (remember that?). That's not an experience I'm looking to repeat... especially considering the next time we go for a checkup, I'll have a newborn as well...

Other than that, there's not too much to update about. I guess that's why I don't update often- Faith's healthy, growing very well, doing regular 2 year old things, and there's just not that much exciting to say... Hopefully the next update will be in a couple of months to announce that she's potty trained- that would definitely be nice!

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