Thursday, May 28, 2009

It won't be like this for long----so true!

Seems like only yesterday---Kyleigh at only a few weeks old asleep on her daddy's chest after daddy had a long day at work. She was so little and she is getting so big now in comparison. 

Today at her check-up with the pediatrician she weighed in at 10 lbs 8 oz, with clothes and diaper. Her ear infections have cleared and he said she looked great! 

I was going to take a pic of her tonight to post in comparison but I just couldn't find my favorite. You will just have to wait on another post for that!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A crossroads---

It is that time again where I feel like I'm standing at a crossroads without a road map. What should I do? Why is it a hard choice? I once again question if working as a full time teacher, being full time mom and full time wife is really the road for me right now. Or should I concentrate on just 2 at a time. Yes, I know there are only 18 days until I can focus on 2 at a time. But, then what? What after summer vacation has come and gone. Does Kyleigh miraculously stop having doctor appointments and therapy appointments that are inconvenient to my working schedule ---- ummm NO! She is a baby and she needs to have her check ups and her therapy schedule. Should these appointments occur without one of her parents present because we have to work? Ummm....seems quite unfair! 
Prime example, tomorrow when I should be with my baby girl for her OT evaluation, I will be administering the math EOG to a group of students. Now, I have an obligation to the students I teach to be there for them tomorrow and support them through this difficult day. But I have a responsibility to the child I birthed to take care of her needs too. Roadmap or not, this example leaves me standing still in the rain without an umbrella. My only saving grace is that my mother can accompany Kyleigh to the appointment and it is at our home. But again, I feel like I should be there. 
At night I feel rushed to feed them, bathe them and put them to bed so we can rush to do it all over again the next day. WHAT??? Is this normal? Does every family in America feel this way? Does every mother that works to help support her family feel torn between helping financially and emotionally raise her family? We've looked at our finances and we could trim them to the point that it is not impossible for me not to work for one year but it would be very difficult to maintain Kyleigh's medical needs (formula, medicines, upcoming surgery and post surgery bills) as well as keep Kaitlyn in the activities that are strengthening her ability to persevere past her disabilities as well.
 So as I sit at this crossroad and look both directions - home for one year or keep pushing through and working-- I still don't know the right answer. My heart says one way and my head says another. I haven't heard God's undeniable and clear voice telling me what to do. Neither has Dennis unless he just hasn't told me and I would dare to say he would withhold such great news from me if it was given to him straight from above. 
I watch her sleeping soundly in her crib and I just melt. I hold her close as she drinks from the bottle (although a struggle it is at times) and I just can't help but want these moments to last. I look at Kaitlyn and see that she has come so far and is doing great. Then I think, "hey, Kaitlyn went to daycare and she has turned out just fine". But they aren't the same exact child either. They have many similarities in personality and health history but yet there are some differences too. 
This past week people have questioned my "feelings" at work and noted that I have been different. It is because I am so lost right now and I am not the same teacher I use to be. I don't feel like a good mom. I don't feel like a good wife. I react to this stress by eating and shopping, neither of which helps me or our finances. 
Oh well, sorry to vent on everyone but I just needed to get this off my chest. It hasn't changed anything and no decision has been made- left or right- but at least I feel better just letting it go. Now if I can just "Let go and let God" then maybe the crossroads will all work out. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Strawberry Picking

Saturday morning we planned a family outting to the strawberry farm. So glad we went because the girls were sick afterwards and a trip to the doctor proved a sentence of staying home for the weekend (pink eye for Kaitlyn and sinus/double ear infection for Kyleigh)- poor kids. 

Anyways, we went to a small farm just out NC 150 in Browns Summit. It was a nice farm and they weren't busy probably because of the threat of rain. It was slightly muddy but we were prepared with shoes for mud and a new pair to change into afterwards. This was Kaitlyn's first time picking strawberries. She only ate one which was a shock to most but not to us. We told her she could taste one and then she had to wait until we got home to wash them. They picked an entire flat and then Dennis bought some more just in case that wasn't enough. We ended up with plenty. We have strawberries coming out of our ears - not literally but you get my drift. I made a strawberry cobbler that was divine and we froze about 5 pints Then we shared the wealth with neighbors and friends that stopped by. Here are a few pics from the day. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

You win some, You lose some-It's always a mystery!

So today we took both girls to see Dr. Sharon Freedman at the Duke Eye Center. She has been Kaitlyn's doctor since her Chapel Hill doctor moved away before she turned 2 years old. Dr. Freedman is amazing with kids. She has always been able to get Kaitlyn to cooperate. She has been Kyleigh's doctor since her diagnosis by Dr. Young at birth. So we absolutely adore Dr. Freedman and appreciate her work and compassion for our children. She is always looking out for their best interest. 

Today she saw both girls to check their eye pressure and determine if any future procedures are needed. Turns out that Kyleigh is doing great. Her eye pressures are equalized at 13 and 14. Despite the extra puffiness surrounding the eye, her eye appears healthy. Dr. Freedman wants to continue monitoring her closely since her cornea on the right eye is still cloudy. So that is our point for the winning team! 

Now Kaitlyn on the other hand brings a different story. For a long time now she has been getting her pressures read and we were unsure of the accuracy because the older she gets the more resistant to pressure checks she becomes. For those that have never experienced it before they use an eye drop to numb the surface of the eye and then a topapen to tap on the surface of the eye. The pen measures the pressure and beeps as it is working. You don't necessarily feel the pen touching your eye but the anticipation is horrible even for adults--I blink so much they can't hardly get a measure on my eyes either. So I totally understand the fact that my child doesn't want a doctor coming towards her eyeball with a beeping pen. 

I stepped out of the room with Kyleigh in the hopes it would help Kaitlyn remain calm. Dennis said that Dr. Freedman was almost magical with her words and approaches to getting her pressure reading. She was forewarned by her associate that Kaitlyn had a difficult time and a full tantrum minutes before when he tried to check the pressure. 
Dr. Freedman began by examining "Polly". For those of you that don't know, Polly is Kaitlyn's baby doll. She got it last year for her birthday, it is her first American girl doll. Anyways, Polly insisted on coming along to the doctor's office today so she got her eyes checked too :) 

Dr. Freedman went through the whole charades of washing her hands and helping Kaitlyn give Polly eyedrops, check Polly's pressure, and so forth. Then it was Kaitlyn's turn to do the same. It was perfection at it's best. 

Unfortunately, the pressure check confirmed the suspicions of her associate. The associate had gotten a reading of 38---way too high! Dr. Freedman was able to do 6 different readings and the best was in the very high 20's. This is better than high 30's but still not good considering she was calm and it was accurate. 

We asked if she thought Kaitlyn was a candidate for the lens implant now since she absolutely hates the contact lens and has trouble on bad allergy days. She said from first glance that she did not think her eye had the correct formation for an implant. Nor did she like that her pressure was high, this could complicate the implant surgery. So for now, we wait. 

We will come back in a month with both girls. At that time she will schedule an exam under anesthesia (EUA) for Kaitlyn. This is the only way to get an ultimate eye pressure. During this exam if her pressure is good and her eye has good formation of a "shelf" then she will and can do the implant. Otherwise, we can look into the option of using glasses only to help her sight. But like we were told in the beginning, glasses don't give her the best vision because it doesn't make her left and right eye equal because her right eye has it's natural lens. 

For now, we just don't know what the future is for Kaitlyn's eyes. She may or may not have to have a surgical procedure for the pressure. She may or may not be a candidate for the implant. She may or may not get to stop wearing a contact and just wear glasses. This is the mystery. 

We only pray that both girls eye pressures stay at a healthy level so that no more damage is caused to their optic nerves. We pray that Kyleigh's cornea clears up. We pray that a solution is come to regarding the best for Kaitlyn's vision needs whether it involves a contact or not. 

Overall a score of 1-1 isn't so bad for a full day at the doctor's office. Let's just pray that come June 16th at the re-check we get a score of 2-0! 

Mother's Day

We had a great Mother's Day weekend. I was able to see my brother Chris, he lives in SC, but he came down Friday night through Saturday night. We missed seeing Liz because she was home studying her tail off for her new life endeavor. We wish her luck and can't wait until she is finished so she we can see more of her and possible enjoy some of her well learned knowledge of massages! 

Anyways, Sunday we had Kyleigh's baby dedication at church. Family members that could get away from their church came to our church and we were surrounded by church friends as well. It was a beautiful moment and we were so thankful that Kaitlyn was able to join us as we stood and made a promise to put God first in the lives of our children. I found myself crying tears of joy and elation as we heard the congregation recite back their pledge to serve my children as well. How awesome!! 

We were supposed to go out to eat afterwards but many people ended up making other plans so my parents and Dennis' Aunt Zan, Uncle Terry and cousins came over to the house for a cookout. It turned out much nicer as we were able to relax at the house and not feel so overwhelmed at a restaurant. We finished dinner off with a celebration cake, as it was also my parent's 34th wedding anniversary. Congrats mom and dad! 

Pictures of the dedication and the day spent together will be shared later- stay tuned. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Prayer and Uncertainty

I just found out last night that someone my husband and I know is expecting their second child soon and they have been told that the baby will only survive for a short period of time due to a genetic disorder where the baby's heart did not develop correctly. This news was disheartening to me and I felt my eyes welling up with tears. All that I have dealt with in the recent birth of Kyleigh and her many medical concerns is nothing compared to this mother carrying her child knowing she will not get but just a short time on this earth to hold the baby. If you have a daily prayer time in your life, please say a prayer for this mom and any mother that is facing challenges today with their children regarding healing and health. I do not have her permission to share her name at this time but just pray and God will know the need. 

On another note, at church this morning I became overcome with the spirit of God as we worshipped. I recently said to a friend of ours, it amazes me how so many people take good health and perfect births for granted and have no idea what it is like to face complications during pregnancy, moments after birth and constant medical challenges. Yet, these are the parents I have noticed do the most whining and complaining of life in general. I just want to say to anyone that fits this description, "Wake up! Your life is blessed and it could be so much worse!". 

Don't get me wrong, I question God almost on a daily basis why Kyleigh was born with so many uncertainties and medical challenges. But I also praise HIS NAME that she was born! Praise HIM that she is growing and gaining and smiling! Praise HIM that I am given strength by him daily to face another day of challenges in raising her. PRAISE HIM for my own mother giving up of her time to watch and take care of her on a daily basis while I work to help provide financially for our home! PRAISE HIM that despite her medical challenges she will overcome and she will lead a fulfilled life one day! 

Just this week our family was touched and blessed by a church that felt led to send us a love offering to help with the expenses of Kyleigh's formula. The money they sent will buy her almost 3 cans!!!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!! 

We are so blessed!!!! We are so blessed!!! We are so blessed!!! 

The closing song at church today was "I'm counting on God" and it speaks volumes as to what my heart feels each and everyday. Just read the words below and if you have never heard it find it online and listen to it--You too will be blessed! 

Counting on God by the Desperation Band

I’m in a fight not physical
And I’m in a war
But not with this world
You are the light that’s beautiful
And I want more
I want all that’s Yours

Joy unspeakable that won’t go away
And just enough strength
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
‘Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

I am counting on
I am counting on God

The miracle of Christ in me
Is the mystery that sets me free
I’m nothing like I used to be
Open up your eyes you’ll see

I guess all of this was to say, despite the weariness of day in and day out trials we face, if we can and will count on God he will give us the strength we need to get through any day! Have a blessed week! 
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