Wednesday, August 17, 2011

4 months!

Austin is 4 months old already!  I know I've said it a million times, but time is flying!!!   He is doing great.  He is where he should be for his age in all areas.  Gross motor he is really improving and really starting to stretch out and use the right side.  We started infant massage last week as well, which he really enjoys.  He is laughing now (still waiting to get that on video).  He actually began to laugh at Jake initially, just out of the blue.  He is infatuated with Jake...loves him and just stares at him.  He's still eating like a champ too....almost too much.  He eats every two hours (although we've been trying to stretch him out a little more), about 5 ounces a clip!  And boy if you go 10 minutes past that that two hour mark, he's screaming like he's never eaten before!!!  He continues to sleep through the night (from about 9:30pm to 5:30am).  Its all a matter of routine now, which he has taken onto very well thankfully.

We met with the neurosurgeon last thursday to go over the MRI results.  She showed us a comparison picture from Austin's brain at birth to his brain now and the back of his head has a lot less fluid. There is still quite a bit of fluid in the front part, but since they turned up the settings on his shunt, we anticipate that by his next MRI in six months, that fluid should be down as well.  The report read that he is missing his septum pellicidum (which is the membrane between the ventricles and brain) and that only part of the corpus callosum can be viewed.  Both of which may still be related to the increased fluid in his brain, but its too early to tell.  Either way, he continues to do fantastic, so the findings don't really matter that much. 

I tried him in the baby carrier (facing me) and he hated it.  I thought he was too little to be facing forward, but I decided to try it that way....and he LOVES it.  So much so that he wants to stay in it for hours....hurts my back though so we do about an hour.   And boy is he cooing and "talking".  So funny!  Loving every minute of him.

Here are some recent photos...

Talking to "Mr. Sheep"

Tummy Time

Showing off his "Looking to the right" skills

Happy Head

Some lovin from the Big Bro

The boys and their "Yankees"

More brotherly love

Lovin mommy time in the carrier!

Monday, August 8, 2011


For those of you "non believers" (in signs of course!) out there, you have to re-read my original "Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs" post here:

Now that you have a sense of how powerful Signs can be, I have to tell happened again!!!  No lie!!!

Yes, I am the first one to admit that Austin is doing amazing...perfectly...and is a pure miracle, for which I am extremely thankful and grateful everyday.  And when Kevin begins the paranoia, I am the first one to tell him that God is not going to let anything happen to Austin and that we have to continue to put our faith in him first, that he has never let us down.  With all of that said, I am human, and have had my times where I still find myself praying for a "sign", just to reassure me once again that Austin will continue to do amazing!  Its a little bit comical and I often feel like the Lord is listening to me thinking "Is she for real?  How many SIGNS do I have to send her?"  Nonetheless, he came through again for me.

The other night I was watching a movie and it ended a little before midnight.  I switched off the DVD player and the TV came back on.  I wasn't really paying attention, but happened to look up and see this man on the TV, talking.  It was a close up, you could only see the man from about his shoulders up and he was the only one on the screen.  He was talking to me....well, talking to the camera, but it sure seemed like he was talking to me.  At this point, it became obvious to me that it was some sort of religious show and this person was a preacher.  I took a minute to listen to him.   I listened to him talk about how God is a healer and all you have to do is ask him to heal and believe that he will heal.  And this man talked at great length about miracles and all things being possible through Faith.  He went on and on and honestly, I was so taken back by what I was hearing that I don't even remember everything he said.  I certainly got the jist though. 

After a few minutes, the camera panned back and now appeared a woman along side the man.  The two joined hands and said "Let us pray".  I lowered my head and prayed with them.  Prayed as they asked the viewers to put their hands over the body part that needed healing (I of course just sat there dumb-founded and listened).  They said a prayer about healing and miracles, and then the man said that there "is a man out there right now, who had trauma to his head, and there was hemorraging which resulted in a lot of fluid around his brain.  God is healing you right now. Right now as we speak, the fluid is disappearing and the trauma is now gone".  The man and woman continued to talk about different viewers whose prayers were being answered but at this point, I was in tears and just sat and cried....a happy cry.  This was my sign.  The sign I had asked for yet again.  I quickly went into Austin's bedroom, where he was sleeping peacefully, put my hands over his head and said another quick prayer.   Then I went over to Jake, placed my hands on his ears and prayed for him as well.

When I got back to my bedroom, I looked in the guide channel to see what that show was (which by the way had just ended at this point) was The 700 Club.  I had heard of it, but never actually seen it.  At any rate, all I know is, for the show to be on the tv when I switched it over from my movie; for me to catch the last 10 minutes of that show; for them to be discussing healing; and for them to actually talk about a brain injury being healed.....all of that is not coincidental in my eyes.  Its just amazing!

Today we went for Austin's MRI.  He did awesome.  Brain is expanding the way it should, still some extra fluid in the ventricles, but they turned up the shunt a little and expect Austin to continue to do amazing!!  We go on thursday to meet with the neurosurgeon and go over the actual images....

Thanks again to all of you who continue to pray for Austin and our family.  Your prayers continue to be heard.  And I made a promise to share every bit of my story, my faith, my miracles and my hope....and so here it is, once thankful.

Monday, August 1, 2011

No rest for the weary in Weyville...

Where to begin??  Well, we took our very first family "vacation" to Delaware last weekend.  Austin did rather well for the almost 4 hour ride down there.  We stopped halfway at a rest area for lunch and Austin decided to have what some would call his worst blow-out explosion in his diaper ever!  Took me thirty minutes to clean him up on one of those tiny cramped changing tables.  I ending up throwing his whole outfit in the garbage!   All we heard for the remainder of the trip was Jake asking "Are we there yet?  Almost there mommy?  Mommy just a little bit longer?  Mommy, just about there?"  It was so annoying it was comical. 

On the way home, we stopped at the Please Touch Museum in Philly.  Jake had a BLAST!  I highly recommend it for anyone who has a young child and is in the area.  Austin didn't really enjoy the ride home that much, very cranky and cried a lot.  Who could blame him?  Its a long ride for a 3 month old!!

Then, last week, Austin surprised us all with a bout of THRUSH!  Yep, Thrush.  Jake never had it, but I knew enough about it that I knew the symptoms.  And sure enough, took him to the pediatrician and he had it, pretty bad.  So, he's still on meds for that.  Luckily its not really that big of a deal.   

Austin then had his evaluation for Early Intervention.  He did fantastic!  He passed all areas in the average or above average range.  In physical development, he scored a 98 (average is 85-115)!  Not too shabby!  (Jake coincidentally failed almost every section for his EI evals, his highest score out of all areas was 77!)  Normally, Austin wouldn't have qualified for EI with scores this high, but hydrocephalus is an "automatic qualifier" for services.  So, he will be getting physical therapy once a week.  They even agreed to give him infant massage!  I'm excited about that.  The little bugger still clenches his fists, but didn't clench them at all while they were evaluating him!  Wouldn't you know thats how it always goes, right?  Great to hear how well he is doing though!

Today I had to take Austin for bloodwork (for his upcoming MRI on August 8th).  Poor lil guy.  It was so traumatic for him.  The techs were literally squeezing and holding his arm so tightly, and then his blood wasn't flowing out, so they had to twist the needle!  I thought they pulled his arm out of the socket (flashback to visions of Jake's nursemaid's elbow when he was only 10 months old!) because Austin just kept screaming.  Thankfully he seems to be fine now and has been a little happy head since.

Kevin and I are really enjoying having a son who coos!  Here's a cute clip from today of Austin "talking" and enjoying his bouncer...(I apologize about the crummy taping..the cat was attacking my legs!)

Jake writing his name....

And in closing, here is a CLASSIC Jake-ism.  Before viewing, let me give you a little synopsis of the situation.  I am videotaping, Kevin is sitting on the couch next to me holding Austin.  Jake climbs up in between us, puts his hand in front of the camera, realizes "oh, hey, there's my hand....and THUMB"...and the rest is just classic (complete with Jake's own twist of the song at the end).  Gotta love him.....