Friday, November 20, 2009

Welcome to Holland!!!

Grace had her check-up with the Neurologist yesterday. We were excited for him to see the progress she has made since her last visit in March. He had to look at his chart to see which side was her "weaker" side. He couldn't tell!!! Amazing!!

He also said that if he had predicted this kind of progress 10 months ago he would have been stretching it!! We couldn't have been happier or more proud of Grace than we are today! She has overcome so much and we love her so much.

I recently came across a short article that really touched me and I'm sure will be a comfort for many years to come. I feel honored and excited to be both Grace and Reese's mother. I have no idea what the future holds but I can't worry about tomorrow or I might miss out on all the wonderful things today!

Welcome to Holland- by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome To Holland".

"Holland?!?" you say, "What do you mean "Holland"??? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy"

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned".

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Post c-section recovery!

I can not believe how quickly these past 6 (7 weeks tomorrow) have flown by. Not only is Reese nearly two months old but I am over the worst part of a c-section. The long recovery. I was dreading it weeks before I had it because I knew that my life would change drastically.

Here are a few of the post surgery restrictions and situations I faced these past 6 weeks.

1. No lifting anything over 10 lbs (Grace weighs in currently at 25 lbs 13 oz) How do you explain to a 18 month old that Mommy can't pick her up?? Broke my heart!

2. One trip up and down stairs for first two weeks and then limited trips for following four weeks. I would have to make sure to shower and have everything I needed for the day to take with me downstairs each day. This is difficult when I had to carry Reese at the same time.

3. No exercise of any sort

4. Blow drying the incision after shower to make sure it was completely dry!

5. Lots of pain meds. I tried to stop taking them early but soon realized that if I was in pain I was of no good to either of my children. Oh yeah..and found out I'm allergic to perkasets. Had really bad rash develop on my stomach, butt, and upper legs. NOT FUN!

6. Clothing was interesting as I couldn't wear anything that sat near my bikini area incision. Lots of PJ's and elastic waisted shorts pulled up to my belly button. I couldn't be stylish if I wanted to be.

However, as bad as I'm making this seem it really wasn't that bad at all. No perinatal stitches and less bleeding are both perks. Not to mention God protected Reese by keeping her breech so that I had to have a c-section due to her low blood platelets. So overall, I'm very happy about having a c-section and the recovery went by faster than I had initially anticipated.

So if you have to have a c-section or you deliver naturally (as I have done both) neither are better than the other. Ultimately it is what is best for you and your baby!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Today Matt and I attended our first meeting for new parents with the DSAHR (Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads). We were both excited to meet other parents and to gain some sort of wisdom and insight to what it means to have a child with Down Syndrome. We decided to keep Reese home with Grace and Aunt Jenn just because she isn't quite 6 weeks old yet and the H1N1 epidemic. However, we were fortunate to meet a little girl named Tori. Tori is 2 years old and a complete cutie. Her mother Karen was very candid in sharing her experiences, emotions, hopes, and love for her daughter. I think both Matt and I were amazed by this and especially with this little girl!

For the first time I saw past the diagnosis and saw the potential for my daughter. There are so many rescources, programs, and support out there for children with Down Syndrome and their families. It was strange how we had an instant connection with these parents. I'm very excited to get involved and educated. We know we have much to learn but it's nice to know we don't have to walk this path alone. We can look to those who have and are walking it now. What a blessing and an encouragement.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I can't believe Halloween has come and gone already. This year was a lot of fun as Grace was old enough to go trick-or-treating for the first time. Grace was a sweet little strawberry and Reese was a little daisy. We had record high's of 84 degrees here in VA Beach. So we didn't stay in our costumes long cause the girls would have overheated.

Grace had an entourage following her around the neighborhood. She was having a blast!! She didn't understand the concept of going to someone's door and not going in but after a few houses she caught on and started grabbing a handful of candy and putting it in her bucket.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Here is Grace ready to get going.....

and she's off!!

first house....

A movie star and her Strawberry...

our little daisy's first Halloween...