Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter 2012!

Happy Easter to all!  He is Risen!!!!

Can't believe its Austin's 2nd Easter.  I feel like I say this in every post, but honestly, WHERE IS THE TIME GOING??   He just so busy lately...just go go go.  And when he is home, I'm lucky if he'll take a 30 minute nap.  Its like he doesn't want to miss anything.  So cute.  And what a lil babble boy he is.  You can talk to him and he just babbles back.  I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is!! 

Other than that, same old round here.  Just getting ready for the big ONE YEAR party on saturday!! 

Here's a clip from the other night of the little babbler (eating his cheese doodles :))

And some pics from today...(couldn't get Jake to pose for a good shot, but he LOVED, LOVED, LOVED hunting for all his eggs this year that the Easter Bunny left!)

Hard to believe that tomorrow Austin will be 1!  I remember preparing for his arrival one year ago tonight, being so nervous, excited, and anxious.  I remember moving our "Countdown to Austin's Arrival" sign that Jake and I made from 1 day to 0 days.  I remember checking my bag over and over, making sure I had everything I needed.  I remember actually getting a decent night's sleep and then waking up in the morning and being excited.  And of course I remember everything that happened on April 12, 2011.  Hearing Austin's cry at 1:28pm, seeing him briefly all wrapped up so only his puffy lil face was showing.    I remember exactly what I was doing when I got the picture text from Kevin when he was up in the NICU, all cleaned up, and just the overwhelming sense of joy I had.  I could recount every moment of that day....and just remember feeling so blessed by this little angel. 

One year has come and gone in a flash!  Happy, Happy Birthday to my lil man!!! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How life prepares us...

I left the house at 6am to go to a training about 2.5 hours away from my house (with rush hour traffic).  Always fun.  As the training began, the trainer explained that she was hearing impaired and to excuse her if she had to get really close to us as she was teaching because the room we were in was not condusive to a hearing impaired person.  And then, it hit me...

So many things have occurred in my life to prepare me for my children, well before they were even thought of.  You see, I started my job August 2003.  At that time, all new workers had to go through a significant training period over several months.  And of course, all the trainings were no where near where I lived, but all at the same place.  The same place I was at today.  Which just so happens to be the State School for the Deaf.  Coincidence?  I think not.  

Of course in 2003, I didn't know anyone who was deaf.  And I remember being sad for the children who attended the school...because at the time I thought it was a school where the children lived (I have since learned it is just a day school).  I remember looking at the kids as they were playing on the playgrounds and walking from building to building and wondering what their life must be like.  Now of course I see life so much differently and realize that all of those children are the same as any child....they play, they learn and they have friends.

And in the course of my work, I was forced to work with Early Intervention, schools and IEP's, and numerous medical professionals.  In my first few years I became somewhat of an expert on early childhood development, milestones, common and not so common medical name it, I probably encountered it.  And I spent many long hours in emergency rooms and doctor's offices, including the two major trauma hospitals in our of which Jake would go on to have his surgery and the other where Austin had his.  It was like life was just preparing me so I knew what to do, where to drive to, what doctors to use...for both of the boys.

In 2005, one of the homes I went to for work, a young child had some serious medical issues.  I wasn't directly involved with him at the time, but remember that he had surgery for something involving his head and had a lot of doctor's appointments for different issues.  I saw that child a few months ago...and wouldn't you know, he has a shunt.  He got it when he was about 6 months old, is still on the same was put in by Austin's surgeon.  WHAT??!!!  It was nice to see how perfect he is!  You wouldn't even know that he had any issues at all when he was younger.  I'm sure back in 2005, I did know he had a shunt.  But I probably had no idea what a shunt was, what it did, and why any child would have one.  But for me to then see this same child years later, now that is something....

Then I get pregnant with Jake.  In 2007, I was a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding when I was 9 months pregnant (37 weeks).  I walked down the aisle with the groom's brother.  When I met him, he mentioned that he was couldn't hear out of the ear (side) I was on and that I had to speak up a little.  He then proceeded to tell me that he had a cochlear implant.  (He lost his hearing in an accident)  Had no clue at the time what a cochlear implant was, how it worked, or anything at all about hearing loss.  I just figured it was like a hearing aid. Never did I realize that the following year, MY son would have a cochlear implant!!  Crazy....

When Jake was 2 months old, had failed two hearing screenings, including an ABR, his pediatrician referred us to an ENT, to check out if Jake had fluid in his ears.  At the time, Jake had just been diagnosed "deaf" a few days earlier and Kevin and I were in denial about it.  I called right away for an appointment with the ENT doctor, knowing the pediatrician had just told me that it would probably take a while to an appointment, and they happened to have an available appointment a few days later.  Kevin and I walked into the office for the first visit, not knowing ANYTHING about this doctor...and there on the wall in a frame was him with a big article about how he is the Director of the Cochlear Implant Foundation at that hospital.  I truly believe that we were given this referral to this particular doctor so that we would research Cochlear Implants and eventually decide to get them for Jake, who is no doubt a completely different kid since he got them!!!  :)

And Jake himself prepared us....prepared us for Austin.  Jake taught us hope, patience, gratitude, and appreciation.  Jake taught us what life is like to have a child who didn't always do things as fast as other kids.  When kids his age were sitting up, Jake was just starting to hold his head up.  When kids his age were walking, Jake was just starting to sit up/prop himself.  When kids were running, Jake was learning to put pressure on his feet.  And when kids were learning how to talk, Jake was learning how to listen.  We learned all about the ENT, the audiologist, the neurologist, the opthamologist, the genestisist, and the podiatrist, among other things.

And then Austin comes along.  We are told that there is a 25% chance he could have a hearing loss.  Ok we think, "we can handle that".  And then he is diagnosed with hydrocephalus.  We are told to see a genetic counselor.  Ok, "been there, done that".  And then we are told he will need to have surgery.  Ok, as much as we didn't like that, it certainly was not the first time one of our kids had to go through surgery to better themselves.  And then we are told to stay away from magnets along with a bunch of procautions.  Ok, we already have to do the same precautions for Jake.  And we are told that Austin may be behind with gross motor skills.   Ok, no big deal, we've been there before and already know all of the good EI therapists.  Then it turns out that Austin has to see an ENT and an opthamologist.  Just so happens we know excellent doctors in both fields.  The list could probably go on and on....

I guess what I'm trying to say is,  all of the times I thought to myself, I'm not prepared for this....I really was prepared for this.  I was molded to be Jake and Austin's mother well before they were even in my belly. 

Pretty awesome to look at life that way...

Pretty awesome (and perfect) boys I have...

Life is just pretty awesome.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On the move....

I haven't had a chance to sit down it feels like lately...and that is a good thing!!!  Austin is really on the move these days!  Along with the crawling, which has turned into "speed crawling", Austin now is pulling to stand and even cruising a little.  He picked it all up so fast, I'm so excited to see all his new milestones these next few weeks.  And with all of this activity, Kevin and I have had to do some major baby proofing around the house.  He loves Jakes toys....and Jake's playroom is his favorite.  He can get from one end of the house to the other if he sees that playroom door open, in two seconds flat.  So funny to watch him in super speed!  Love it!

Two weeks ago, Physical therapist was a little concerned that Austin's torticollis is still significant after all this time and wanted us to make sure his neck tubing wasn't getting stuck or pulled in his neck.  We went to the surgeon and she said it was fine.  His head circumference is measuring a steady 46 cm (it was 46 cm about six weeks prior), which has now taken him from the 75th percentile to the 50th on the charts.  Pretty awesome.  I also think the helmet shaping has something to do with the HC staying the one has said that, but it makes sense to me...that its rounding his head and would measure less.  I dunno.

He now has a double ear infection and is on medication.  But it sure doesn't stop him.  He cut his second tooth this morning and he is no longer interested in baby food.  He wants to have whatever we are having.  I'm getting better at giving him "big boy" food, but still give really, really small portions because he doesn't have that many teeth yet.  But hes doing awesome with the food. 

This week we go back for a helmet check.  I'm torn...I really like having the helmet for safety reasons, but really think it would be so much better for him with his torticollis if he didn't wear the helmet anymore.  Realistically though, we are only talking a few more weeks if the tech says that its not ready to come off this week.  So, I'm ok either way.

We're getting ready for his birthday!  I have lots of ideas and hoping the whole theme comes together nicely.  Can't believe he's going to be one already.  I remember vividly how I felt last year at this much anxiety, so much uncertainty, so much planning, and worrying, and crying, and praying....this year has been a whirlwind and every day I'm so thankful for the joy that Austin has brought into our lives.  Kevin and I got teary-eyed this morning just watching him, pulling up to look out the window because Jake was looking out the window.  What a blessing this little boy is....and miracle to all eyes....seems fitting that Austin's birthday is right around Easter. 

Here's a two minute clip into Austin's life....Mr. Busy....