Thursday, April 26, 2012

Selah In Action!!!

Hi! I am not going to lie and tell you I figured out how to get the videos from my phone to my computer...because I didn't. I do know how to get them from my camera to the computer though...can I get some applause..haha! Anyway, here's a short video of Selah using her sweet voice and just having a fun time while we were looking out her window. She's not as loud as she can be but if you listen closely you'll hear her "talking." And, I sound like a dork so please just overlook that...ha! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good Report

Thank you for your prayers! Just wanted to let you know that my doctor's office called to let me know that the breast ultrasound didn't show a mass or mastitis. They said it showed that my ducts are dilated and there is inflammation going on. I'll keep taking the antibiotic and go back for a follow up visit in May. They said at this time there isn't anything to be too concerned about.
I was thankful and relieved to hear this report. I don't know why I think I should be immune to a sickness. This experience was a humility check and a reminder that no one is immune to tragedy, heartbreak, My mom always said while we were growing up, "Life isn't fair." I didn't really grasp the concept until I've gotten older and lived happens and it's not fair. And although it's not fair, I'm learning that as each day brings circumstances that are unexpected and that take us by surprise, things that turn our world upside down, things that we may never understand, it also brings blessings and reasons to be grateful for how blessed we are...reasons to smile and just soak in the moment. I'm also learning that the more I seek God and the more I try to trust Him and hope in Him, then the more I'm filled with His peace and joy. I am truly joyful for this good report. I only pray that with each day to come, no matter what it presents, that I will stay close to Him and be overflowing with joy...with thankfulness...
Thank you for continued love and support!! You're a blessing to us!!! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Always and Forever

This post is gender sensitive...if you're a male and maybe some modest will probably want to pass on reading this post. If you proceed then it's at your own risk... :)

I have to start with a bittersweet goodbye to my favorite hobby...pumping that hooter milk! For the past year I've been able to pump milk...hooter milk is what Spencer calls it...and am so thankful I could do this for Selah. She is having to transition to other feeds now and so I must say goodbye. I have so many memories that have to do with pumping and if I could only tell you in person, you'd be smiling too. I've had Spencer on one hooter and my mom on the other, both kneading and trying to get the hooter milk to come out, after I had Selah and was engorged. I would hold the pump bottles while they each massaged...this happened for several days. And, I bet if you asked Spencer if he'd ever imagined that was something he and his mother-in-law would join forces in doing, he'd laugh and firmly say, "no." But, as we've learned...never say never. :) I've pumped in so many places...spreading the love, ha....Ross bathroom, dentist office bathroom, backseat of the car, front seat of the car...Lindsey :)...and the list could go on. I've pumped while Spencer has walked around singing the Black Eye Peas song...Pump it Louder. I've pumped night and day for the past twelve months, but now it has come time to say goodbye to my hobby. I say with excitement for the freedom from it but also with sadness in knowing I won't provide Selah with it any longer, goodbye dear friend...hooter milk...:)
OK, well now that all that is said I'll go on to say I've been trying to dry my milk up over this past week. I found a lump that has been there but was much more noticeable. I asked my doctor about it and she worked me in for an appointment to check it out. She examined everything and she agreed with me that it makes sense that it's mastitis...since I'm concluding pumping and trying to dry up the milk. She gave me an antibiotic too to treat any infection. She is thankfully very thorough and didn't want to dismiss it so she referred me for a breast ultrasound to make sure it's not anything to be concerned about. I had that done on Friday and I am waiting to hear back on the results. The ultrasound tech wouldn't give up any information but she did say it's usually a good sign when they let you go without a biopsy or mammogram...which I didn't have to have either one. So, I'm just waiting on the results.
I can't say it didn't take me by surprise. I heard that drying up the milk is not fun...painful, etc. I thought I probably had mastitis and that I'd need an antibiotic. When she examined me though and thought it was better to confirm it wasn't anything else I was not expecting that. Thoughts and emotions began whirling around in my mind. I mean how can that be...the possibility of me getting can't be...Selah needs me and I need to be strong and healthy for her and Spencer. I left the doctor that day and just felt...humbled. I looked at her sweet smile and her beautiful blue eyes and I just cried. I am so thankful and honored to be here with have this time. I talked to Spencer and heard his strong voice and felt such gratitude that I'm blessed with his love. I have kept going through all the reasons that this wouldn't make sense.
I went for my breast ultrasound the next day and Selah had to roll with me. She of course won all the nurses over...they don't have many babies come there. I saw older ladies, middle age ladies, young ladies...all ladies that were a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend...a beloved child of God. I saw them and wondered what each of their stories were...what season of life they're currently in.
So, I had the ultrasound done and now I'm waiting to hear back. As I mentioned earlier, they let me go without further assessment so hopefully that's a good sign. I've tried to just not to dwell on it or what could be. I've tried to pray about it and to ask for prayer from the precious prayer warriors in my life. I've asked God to just take all that's not of Him and to fill me with only Him...His peace, His trust, His hope, His faith, His joy. As I've prayed and had quiet time with Him, He's been speaking to my heart and quieting all that threatens to start raging in me...worry, despair, helplessness, uncertainty. I was reading in my devotional this morning and it was further reassurance from God that He's working and orchestrating it all for His good...for His glory. A verse that has been consistently presented to me over the past several days is found in
Psalm 13:5 "I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." I was reading this morning and again this verse presented itself. God spoke to me that He is my perfect...savior, friend, Heavenly Father...and that I am His beloved daughter...always and matter all things. I read this with the reassuring hope of His presence right this moment...whether it's as I plan on or the moments to come...always and forever...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Update and More Pictures :)

Hi! I know that many of you are praying for us and we cannot tell you how much you are blessing us...thank you! I also know it's been a little bit since I filled you in on what's up with us so I thought I'd do that. :)
Selah had her CT scan done in March. God worked it out and it went so smoothly...thanks to our faithful prayer warriors too! We will go to UMC to meet the Craniofacial team and doctors to discuss the jaw surgery and their recommendations, timeline, etc...based on the updated CT scan images they have. Our appointment with them is the first week in May. If we aren't on the same page with them then we will probably look into a consult with the team at Arkansas and possibly another location. We aren't really ready to start the jaw surgery process but we are also unsure about what's best for Selah. She is doing so good and staying healthy and it's such a blessing to have this time with her. We dread the surgeries, hospital stays, pain for her, etc. But, we also want her to be able to open her mouth though and to maybe be able to have her trach removed eventually...hopefully. She's getting teeth in now...two currently...and we can't get into her mouth to check them out...unless you pry her mouth open and really upset her and are possibly hurting her. She does have an aversion to touching her mouth or putting food to it, especially here lately, but then at times she can be so interested in food too. We want her to be able to taste it and try eating one day.  I just don't know if these outweigh all that is involved with surgery. It really weighs heavy on my heart. I want her to not have any pain, to be able to just be a kiddo, to know that we don't want to have to cause her any know we love her just as she is. I know it can be so much worse and I try to be thankful for how blessed we are. I just have moments of wanting it to be all "ok" and just as I'd prefer...just as I'm comfortable with. God reminds me though, that He continues to have His hand on Selah and us and that in all of it He is working and He is enough.
On a lighter note, Selah is now clapping and has learned to shake her head "no." We are working on standing. She requires some assistance but she is doing much better with bearing weight on her feet. She has some neon blue "hot pants" that are super tight and they keep her hips close she doesn't stand with her legs so far apart. She does not love tummy time but is rolling from her tummy to her side...with some prompting. We saw her arm/hand doctor recently and he said that because of varying factors that she won't crawl but will sit and scoot and eventually stand and then walk. This made me feel relieved because she doesn't tolerate her tummy time or doesn't show any interest in crawling. It makes sense though that she won't because it is physically not possible...basically. She has learned she can stand though and she is getting more confident in it. She does not mind the praise that comes along with her accomplishments. She is also hearing and listening better, especially with her aid. We still have a loaner aid and are in the process of seeing if insurance will help cover it. Selah pays a lot of attention to the sign language we use. She doesn't do the signs yet but she is very attentive to them and responds so well. She is also very indpendent and knows what she likes...she gets this honest! Each morning we give her a choice between two outfits and she'll usually smile and reach for the one she wants. One morning though I was standing and holding her in her closet while I picked out two outfit choices. I stood there and showed them to her and she shook her head "no" and looked up over them to her other clothes hanging up...with a look like, "I'm not impressed with either of these choices." She eyed a particular dress and when I gave it to her she was very excited...she knew which she wanted to priss around in that day!
Selah is also working on tolerating her speaking valve. It's the little purple piece you'll see on the end of her some of the pictures. Normally she breathes in and out of her trach. When we put the speaking valve on though it changes it up for her. The air comes in the valve but then forces it up through her vocal folds and into her mouth and nose. The air can only come in the valve and only out this other way so it's different than when she doesn't have it on and she doesn't always tolerate it. Sometimes I put the valve on and she immediately begings crying and gags and coughs it off. Sometimes I'll put it on and she's fine and she makes vocalizations. The valve amplifies the vocalizations and its so sweet to hear her's just little squeals and groans she makes. It's like she's talking though and she'll get loud and quiet and raise her eyebrows while she makes different facial expressions. I'll try to encourage her to make the sounds by saying, "oh really, I hear you, oh wow" or so on. She responds and will continue to vocalize. Yes, I'd love for her to be able to open her mouth and say words...for her to say "mommy"...but that's not where we're at right now and I'm so thankful to be able to hear those sweet squeals! I took a video of it on my phone but can't figure how to get it on the computer...I'll work on it. ;)
She has her speaking valve on and her hearing aid...tolerating them both!

We were blowing bubbles and she somehow ended up with the bubble wand. When I tried
 to take it to blow more bubbles she would let me know she wasn't happy :)

She's standing on her own...just got her hands resting on me for stability. She's wearing her "hot pants" too.

In her car seat and I just got a sweet pic. The doll she has is one of her favorites. She just looks at it and "talks" to it.

I really like this picture if I may say so! :) Still in her car seat...striking poses!
I'm am humbled and thankful for this sweet time with her. A dear friend of mine shared with me something that I'm trying to all of it...the good, the hard, the tiredness, the uncertainty, and the time and blessings with Selah and each other...soak it all in, soak it up!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In Memory Of...

Hi! In a previous post I asked that you would come alongside a sweet friend of mine, Crystal Keller and her husband Dennis. At the time they were expecting what they thought was a sweet baby girl. There was also a lot of uncertainty that was accompanying her pregnancy and the baby's survival. Crystal went into labor early though and a month ago today, on March 14, 2012, Kelsey Nolan Keller made his early arrival and surprised them by not only being early but by being a sweet baby boy! Kelsey was only with Crystal and Dennis for a few precious minutes before he passed away. These minutes though are probably some of the most cherished and sweet moments that Crystal and Dennis will ever experience.
I debated on whether or not to post an update earlier but I decided to wait for various reasons...I also didn't want to take away from Crystal's story and heartfelt words...her blog is check it out to hear from her heart and to see pictures...
I want to say that anything shared in this post is from my heart and are my words and not anything Crystal has said.
I have had on my heart though to share this post as a reminder of Kelsey's life and in memory of him. I think that although it is not intentional, it is so easy for others to forget or to move past something like this...yet mama feels broken, stuck in the heartache and longing for her sweet baby's life. I just want to lift up the Keller family and to remind myself, others, and them that this sweet life is not forgotten and it is to be celebrated. It's a celebration of life that a month ago he blessed this world and the Kellers with his sweet presence. It doesn't need to be forgotten that Crystal carried this sweet life in her womb as he grew. It also doesn't need to be forgotten that it was a month ago that the Kellers got to cherish and yet grieve as this sweet baby made his arrival and then his precious life faded away.
I can only imagine the joy in seeing Kelsey and holding him, kissing him, smelling him, watching him breathing, hearing his heartbeat, and sharing all that love with him and yet having to let him go. I watched as Crystal and Dennis honored Kelsey's life with a sweet memorial graveside service...on a beautiful and sunny a peaceful and quiet country cemetery. I have also seen Crystal trying by faith, by trust, by hope to believe in God's promises and God's truth even though she is broken and her heart aches and longs to hold, to love, to see sweet Kelsey again...a month from delivery, on her due date, on Mother's day, on every day in between she longs, she aches for sweet Kelsey.
And although so many questions and so many...what seem to be unanswered prayers...surround the Kellers and surround this situation, it doesn't need to overshadow the fact that sweet Kelsey was here and his life is to be remembered. It is in memory of Kelsey that I say that he was so precious...chubby cheeks, head full of hair, and just had an angelic face. I know that he has no more weakness, no more hurt, no more sadness now. Although this makes no sense to us, he is with the angels and he is being held by God's loving hands...they sing over him, they hold him, they love him...until he meets him mama and daddy again...
Kelsey...just as I prayed this over Selah while she grew in my womb and just as we read it daily now, I pray this over you sweet boy and over your precious life. You were "knit" together just as God designed you to be and your sweet life, although to short, was ordained by God...who is holding you now...
Psalm 139:13-16
"For thou has possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works and my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance and yet being unperfect and in thy book, all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them..."

I ask that you continue to lift up the Keller family. I cannot thank you for your support and prayers...they mean so much more than you'll ever know!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fun Times!!

We've been blessed to celebrate Selah's first birthday! We are also celebrating Easter while remembering that on Easter last year she was still in the NICU at UMC. It's much different this year! We went to her first egg hunt this morning at a local park. Daddy is working so he couldn't go :( but we went with some sweet friends...Z, "Shell," and Garrett. Selah really enjoyed looking at the eggs and watching all the activity. She always enjoys being outside. As soon as we picked and egg up, she'd put it to her mouth and I'd quickly confiscate it because I know they've not been "sanitized" ;). She had lots of fun though!
On her actual birthday...just the girls because daddy was working...she wore her bday outfit again and posed with her "one" cookies while I sang happy birthday to her

Amazing cookies a local friend made...she's talented! We really enjoyed these!

Selah and I at her first Easter egg hunt...couldn't get the pic any "clearer"

"Shell" as she held the basket and put eggs in...Selah and I followed and helped

Oh, had to post this one...the first time she sat in a high chair when we were
eating out...she's "tasting" a chip...what a big girl! :)  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Picture Time :)

I've tried to pour my "hooter milk" or "liquid gold" while holding her and learned the hard way that it doesn't work. She karate chops or kicks and knocks it out of my hands. So, she was put in a new "seat" for the moment.

She's happy too...mommy spilled milk!
Birthday her little birthday celebration this past weekend. She'll be one on April 4th!

Fabulous if I may say so :)

Truly humbled and thankful for this sweet celebration!

Again a sweet moment...and a rare occurence...we all have our eyes open at the same time!
Her first birthday cake

She's holding a piece of a chicken nugget. We were eating them..gourmet, I know...and she's so interested in touching and putting food to her mouth...even though she can't eat it. She's digging this nugget though!

Much love from us!