Thursday, October 24, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness

In this month of Down Syndrome Awareness, I'm reminded of a day almost 2 years ago, well before the words Down Syndrome were in our everyday vocabulary and my daughter Heather was scheduled for a routine ultrasound. Though we did not hear the words Down Syndrome at all that day, we did hear other words that we learned meant there was an increased chance she'd have DS. As I've read articles and blog posts this... month about parents' experiences I'm very thankful for Heather's experiences under all her doctors' care. I'm particularly thankful for that day of the ultrasound when Heather's regular ob/gyn was off and she was just seeing the ultrasound tech. Whatever the ultrasound tech saw that day brought Heather's ob/gyn to the office to tell Heather personally what was seen and what it meant. I am thankful through all the doctors and care that not once did any of them pressure her to consider abortion and all of them honored her wishes not to have an amniocentesis with no pressure for that either. I know some believe in her shoes they would have wanted to know for sure and many would have chosen abortion rather than face the "burden of raising a child with DS." I know all our lives have been greatly affected and changed by the arrival of Charli, but a burden? Heavens No! A blessing always! #downsyndromeawareness

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Home At Last!!!

Dear Charli,
It was Saturday, May 12 and the day was finally upon us that we could take you home!!! You passed your carseat test,

 you were tolerating bottle feeds and had been weaned off tube feedings, and you were maintaining your own body temperature and gaining weight. You were 8 weeks old and you were being released from the NICU! Your mommy, poppy, and I kept it a secret from everyone that you were coming home. Your family from Missouri were on their way to spend Mother's Day weekend with us but they thought they were going to visit you in the hospital and we didn't tell them they would be seeing you at home instead. Your church family would be surprised too, but Pastor Mitch was let in on the secret.

We were so excited to arrive at the NICU to prepare to take you home. Many of your NICU nurses dropped by your bay to tell you goodbye. Your mommy was so excited to tell you about going home that day:

One last bottle feeding before we put you in the car:

Your mommy let me get you dressed to go home while she finished everything she needed to do to take you home:

Ready for your next adventure!

LOVE the look on your face as we bundled you up, almost as if you knew excitement was coming!

Your nurse put you in a bassinette to wheel you downstairs with Mommy while I went to pull the car around:

Getting you ready to get in your Mommy's car:

Mommy secured you in your carseat:

And off we go!

First stop Grammy and Poppy's house to see POPPY!!!

To finally have you home was the answer to so many prayers and what a blessed blessed day that was!

A Grammy's Love

Dear Charli,
It seems my favorite pasttime these days includes this:


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grammy and Poppy

Dear Charli,

Although the NICU seemed a scary place with so many tiny babies who needed such special care, it was your home for almost 2 months. Your first home didn't get to be in a cradle at your mommy's bedside, it was in a specialized basinette high up off the floor attached to so many monitors and wires. I was so fearful of picking you up from your bed so most of my visits your mommy handed you to me or one of the nurses if she wasn't there. Most of the time I visited with your mommy, but a couple of times I was able to see you with Poppy. Those were such special moments, sharing our granddaughter and getting to know you. What a sweet sweet baby you are, and how very much we love you. My heart melts anew when Poppy looks at you, and when you look back at him, there are just no words to describe what my heart does. You have stolen our hearts for certain.

We love you,

Grammy and Poppy

Friday, June 22, 2012

Visits to the NICU

Dear Charli,
Your Mommy visited you in the NICU every single day you were there. Some days being able to do so was crazy for her schedule when she started her new job, but even then she never missed a day. I am so proud of how well she has taken care of you and how very much she loves you!

I visited a few times a week and loved those times with you and your mommy. The last week before you finally came home was the hardest on everyone. The traveling had taken its toll and your mommy and everyone else was exhausted. We were anxious to bring you home and tired of the hospital and the drive. You made it all worthwhile though and we wouldn't have missed our chances to hold you and cuddle you and read to you for anything!


Charli's First Easter

Dear Charli,
I am way behind in journaling our journey! I can't wait to post all the things that have happened lately, but I don't want to leave out some important steps of our journey so the new stuff will wait.

We all had high hopes (albeit unrealistic) that you could be home for Easter. It was not to be but I ordered you a dress anyway. Your Mommy, Poppy and I drove over to the hospital to spend the day with you as soon as church was over that morning.

You looked so pretty in your Easter dress!

And so tiny in Poppy's arms!

Snuggling with Mommy

Happy Easter Charli!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Every Good and Perfect Thing....

Dear Charli,

Months before you were born, your mommy gave me free reign to decorate your nursery. Her only preference was that she likes dark wood and for the walls she wants photos of babies in sepia prints. We haven't added any photos to the walls yet (I've decided I want those photos to be of YOU!)

We are still contemplating printed canvases vs. framed prints. We've chosen some of your newborn shots we'd like to use but that's all that has been decided.

Poppy and I purchased your crib for a Christmas gift for your mommy. Soon after, your mommy purchased some dressers at a really great price. The furniture didn't match but I assured her we'd make it work.

Your mommy and I had been searching for quotes and scriptures for me to paint on your walls. We narrowed it down to your Mommy's favorite choices. How perfect that the scripture your Mommy chose was James 1:17 "Every Good and Perfect Thing Comes from Above." God certainly sent us a very good and perfect thing when He sent you to our family!

The far wall above your crib says:
Sometimes the smallest things
take up the most room in your heart--Pooh

The words on your bookcase say:
Child is a
Story Waiting to be Told

Your room is finished except for a few minor finishing touches and pictures and decorations to hang on the wall. It's all waiting for you to come home, and then it will be complete.

I imagine one day that your mommy might come into your room and find you coloring on your walls. I wonder if your response will be "I'm painting like Grammy does!"

Every day brings us closer to bringing you home and we so look forward to that day.
We love you bunches and bunches!