30 January 2009

I am so proud of my little Liam and wanted to brag. This first photo is of him using his arms to push his chest off the floor and to get his head up! He JUST started to do this this past week. I am so very proud of him. I am only holding his left arm in this photo in order to steady him! He is trying to see his new toy in front of him.
And this photo may not look like much but it is a big deal. Liam is eating face up in my arms just like you would regularly cradle a baby to feed it. Liam has NEVER eaten like that. He normally lies cradled in my arms but he is chest to chest with me and his head is cocked back on the crook of my arm so that his head is in the CPR position. Very strange, but it was the only way he could coordinate and organize himself to eat. He has a very weak suck and with the coordination he could never get the hang of eating like this. He still isn't great at it but he's doing it!!

25 January 2009

We started with another therapist this past week. For anyone keeping count, Liam now has 5 various therapist, and all of them doing things a bit different but with the same goals. We are now taking Liam to Jacksonville to visit a therapist there who uses cranial sacral therapy. This therapy came to my attention due to the small flat spot on the back of Liam's head. The spot isn't bad so he doesn't need a helmet but his face has shifted slightly out of alignment. The right side of his forehead juts out just a bit and his left cheekbone is slightly back farther than the right and his right ear is about an inch farther forward than his left. I had noticed the slight bulge in his forehead and the flat spot but never noticed the ears until Carla (therapist in VA) mentioned that his ears were out of whack. She suggested CST which I had never heard of. We ended up finding a PT nearby who does it and we had our first appnt this past week. Janelle was very nice and had a lot of information about the way the therapy works. It sounds intriguing and seems like it can have multiple benefits other than just the reshaping of Liams head. We are going to meet with her once a week for a while and see how it goes. But at the least it should help us get Liams head back into alignment.

Liam is doing fabulous this weekend on using his arms to lift his upper body. It's a new skill for him that Cathy has been working on and he seems to slowly be getting the hang of it.

I bought Liam some new board books based off of the brand that Ashley bought Liam all those months ago. It was the first book that Liam attended to. I got four of them and loved all of them but one. I didn't think it had very good pictures. And wouldn't you know- it's the one Liam absolutely loves! He grins from ear to ear and watches the entire thing. I love that he loves to "read". It will help him in so many ways. We are looking at using pictures now for communication for him (to pick out what song he wants to sing, what he wants to eat, etc...).

And Liam finally got his first tooth! Actually he is getting both of his bottom teeth at the same time. Other than one day last week when the buds appeared under his gums and he was a total bear, he has been his normal easy going self. Just the tiniest bit of white is showing right now. I always hated it when my babies got their first teeth. It was a sign to me that their babyhood was offically over. Liams are late in coming and I am sad to see his gumless smile have teeth but it is a milestone that I enjoy seeing as his babyhood has lasted longer than it should (he is 14mo old or 10 mo adjusted)!

16 January 2009

I've been working on this post for a while, formulating my words and deciding what exactly I wanted to say. So-Here goes...

My son, is not a punishment. God is not punishing me or my family for wrongs committed today or in the past.

Liam is a joy to us. He's one of the greatest gifts we have ever received and if he is supposed to be a punishment from God then we don't feel very penitent.

Liam's struggles and our struggles with his impairments do not make God less worthy of our praise and love. No matter how tough things get in life we can always pull through and handle it with strength knowing the Lord has placed us in that position because he trusts us to pull through it. And he trusts us to benefit from it and to be an encouragement to others who face trials and struggles. Do we like where he puts us? No- it isn't easy and it isn't fun at times. It's hard being human. But- We can endure the pain knowing we serve an amazing God. We can get through the tough times knowing there is purpose and peace at the end of the day.

Shawn and I have always joked about how God never guarantees us an easy life. It's made us look at the tough times in a different way. And I've always said that the Lord doesn't owe me anything. My children are here because he decided to let me have them for a while. I had nothing to do with creating them, placing them in my womb and growing them. I am not a god that can achieve creation on my own. The lives created are miracles of God's own doing. Why he would give me children in my womb but not let me have them here on earth, I have no idea. I don't understand it. But I trust that He is still a sovereign God who knows much more about how things should be run than I do. And at the end of my life, I will surely see how he laid everything out perfectly.

But for now, I will rejoice in our struggles with our life here. Liam has blessed our family in more ways than you can imagine. And at the end of the day, when I look at my precious little boy... I thank the Lord all over again for his mercy in allowing him to make it through the NICU. For allowing him to come home so our family could get to know him. For giving him such a sweet personality that you can't help but fall in love with him every day. And for giving me a chance to show the world what an awesome God we serve in how he answers our prayers and how he grants his grace and mercy when we are undeserving.

I know it might be hard for some to understand how I can thank God in the midst of what we have been through. It is difficult when I have faced trials. I won't lie. I haven't enjoyed them. I don't look at them and thank the Lord for what feels like unbearable pain and unspeakable loss. I am only human. But in the midst of my trials I am still thanking the Lord for what he has given me. There is always something to be thankful for. Jesus Christ took my punishment. Liam did not.

Going for a ride in his stroller. He loved it. It's been so cold so this was a nice change!

Talking to mommy in his high chair. He loves to watch my mouth move.
And he thinks its funny when I tell him to say momma or "blah".

12 January 2009

Yea! Liam's up over 15 lbs finally. So, no talking about any tubes for feedings since he is still gaining even though it is slowly. Our Dr wasn't concerned about Liam's lower fluid intake with formula since he does get pureed foods as well. Calorie wise he gets more than he did before we started solids due to the fact that we add butter. So, for now, we just keep plugging on! I'm very thankful he eats from a spoon now because I know he wouldn't have gained weight if he was still only taking a bottle.

I'm giving a shout out to my awesome PT who said lovely things about Liam this week. Cathy said he was smart (which every mom wants to hear whether your child is disabled or not) and she said he moves really well. She's very positive anyway but it was nice to hear those things this week. Especially as Liam approaches his 1 year corrected age and he still can't hold his head up. But there are people I know whose children didn't hold their heads up until close to 1 1/2-2 years so I know it can take time for some. I just wish it didn't for Liam!

05 January 2009

Yes- I'm going there...

This is sanctity of life week and as we enter into the anniversary month of 35 years of Roe v. Wade I thought it more than appropriate to finally post my Horton Hears A Who post. And I know you are asking what those two things have in common, eh? Quite a lot, actually!

I found myself watching the movie with my kids recently and enjoying how much it followed the book. And it struck me how very important the message in that movie was. How many times have I read this book?? Why didn't I grasp it before? I realized how profound Horton is. Horton tries to get across to his neighbors that "A person's a person no matter how small!" but they don't believe there are even any persons on his speck of dust. Yet Horton risks his life and his reputation to make sure he does everything he can to save those persons that he knows exist. Now- these persons he wants to save are so little that no one else can see them and no one else can hear them, yet Horton KNOWS that their lives have value and meaning even though they are so small. Why? because Horton is pro-life! (Suck in a big gasp of air here) yes- he's PRO-LIFE (yes, I do know that Seuss said he did not want this story to be portrayed in that light)!

With the throwing around of words and making the issue of abortion being a woman's choice, we have mostly lost site of what it is truly about. It's about destroying a person. The bible says thou shall not kill. Our law says you must be punished, even with the death penalty, for committing murder, but by dehumanizing a person and giving them the status of fetus we have reduced the killing of people to "it's a woman's choice".

I know- some of you may be gasping at my words. You have bought the line about it being a woman's choice and you are pro-woman, pro-choice and you can't see what I'm really saying. All you can hear is that I believe in taking away a woman's right to choose. That's not what this is about. I am saying to you this: A person is a person, no matter how small. The sixth week of gestation (maybe only two weeks after most woman find themselves pregnant) the developing person has their heart and brain activity. By the end of the 12th week the little person is scientifically called a fetus. Fetus is Latin for offspring, by the way. And your little offspring is a person. That group of cells doesn't develop into a frog, dog or cow. What else is an abortion doing if not murdering a person?

Let's think about Horton and how hard he wanted to save the persons he knew existed even though they were so small he couldn't see them. It is no different today... for the world we live in doesn't see the tiniest persons of all, either. They are hidden in the wombs of women. They are tossed in the trash and pretended that they never existed. If only we could all believe like Horton does...because a person's a person, no matter how small.