Wednesday, October 26, 2005
My baby, Lincoln, turned 2 today. As with his last birthday, I have done lots of laughing and lots of crying. This birthday is waaaayyy different than his last, however, in so many ways. And it is because of those ways that I am most thankful to God. But I will get to that later.
First, I want to do a quick re-cap of his unique entrance into this world. I'll be as brief as possible, because I'm tired. I've waited until the kids are asleep and I picked up the house to sit down and take the time to write this. Here is what I wrote in my online journal: (easier to just cut and paste)
With NO warning, after a really easy pregnancy, Lincoln was born with horrible complications. I knew the minute I laid eyes on him that something was not right. I can't explain it. They barely let me hold him before he was whisked away to the nursery. He was kept there for 10 hours. I was allowed to visit him, but not hold him. Aaron left to go check on Abbey and Luke. During that time, the Neonatologist and a nurse came in with Lincoln (I was alone) and handed him to me. The Dr. rattled off around 10 things that were wrong with Lincoln. I was in shock. They said he had low muscle tone, a simian crease in his hands, large fontanel, dysmorphic features, low-set ears, protruding tongue, micrognathia, and windswept hands. Am I forgetting anything? It's been so long - I listed that from memory. Anyway, though he never went in the NICU, he began turning blue and passing out whenever he ate. They sent us home anyway. ??? 2 days later, we went back to the ped. to get checked on and ended up at Vandy for numerous tests, because the doctor witnessed Lincoln turning blue while attempting to eat. We left home that morning (Oct 31)not knowing we wouldn't return for a week. Once we got to Vandy, he received Chromosome tests, Metabolic scan, EKG, met with a dozen doctors in 5 or 6 hours, then we finally got admitted into the hospital on Halloween by a guy dressed in a Davey Crockett outfit. It was weird. When he was a week old, they dropped an NG tube down his nose and wouldn't let him take anything by mouth until they could figure out why he was having trouble eating. For 5.5 weeks, we attempted to get a good swallow study done without suffocating him. Finally ,one was done, and he was also seen by an ENT who told us that Lincoln's soft palate was paralyzed and that he had life-threatening reflux. Every time he would try to swallow, milk would go up his nose and down his windpipe and choke him. Likewise, everytime he would reflux, because he couldn't swallow, it was choking him. Poor guy!!!! At 10 weeks of age, he had a surgery to put the feeding tube in his tummy instead of down his nose, and they made a "sphincter" at the top of his stomach so he couldn't reflux anymore. He also couldn't ever burp or throw up... but that was alright!
OK, this is turning out to be a NOT so short story, isn't it??? Let me cut to the chase! After many many months of battles and doctors and specialists (tube feeds, surgeries, trying to get him to like a bottle on my own once he could eat by mouth)... the Lord did what the doctors said couldn't be done for my baby. He is totally healthy and normal and ALMOST too normal now! ha ha ha He's the most rowdy of my 3 kids now! They thought he may never hold his head up and if he did it might now be until he was 18 months old. He was sitting up at 6 months old. Walked at 13 months. Now, he's running, climbing, getting into trouble. Oh, I totally forgot to mention that his palate began moving when he was 5.5 months old and he started eating on his own and now he's a human garbage disposal. He'll eat ANYTHING. It was hard to get him used to taking a bottle at first - he did not have anything in his mouth except a pacifier from 5 days old to 5.5 months. But once he got the hang of it, he really liked it! The doctors say there is no known cure for "hypotonia" (low muscle tone), and yet we had a Neurologist deem him CURED of Hypotonia. Hallelujah!
OK, so that is a very basic synopsis of what we went through. It leaves out a LOT... but it gets the job done.That's what life was like for us then.
NOW is soooo much different! I really thought every minute of each of those days would be seared into my brain, torturing me forever. I was wrong! God is so good. I'm only reminded of those days when I need to think of them in order to properly give thanks to God. I don't ever really want to forget what He brought us THROUGH.
There was a time when I would have to explain Lincoln's "condition" to people when I would leave him with a new nursery worker, etc. (Lincoln has low muscle tone, so don't let the other kids knock him over. or Lincoln is fed through a tube, so beep me at feeding time. etc!) However, it just occured to me that I put him in a Mother's Day Out that he went to for the past 2 months, and I never had to say a thing to them! It just rarely comes up! It doesn't have to, because he is healed. He is a miracle and an inspiration.
All 3 of my kids are miracles... I really believe that. They are so special. I tend to think that my kids ROCK and that they are the most amazing humans on the planet. Most people would agree with me. (Especially family members, and those who do not have children of their own, ha ha!) I am blessed and I know it.
And let me just add this: I know that if Lincoln had not made the progress he has, God would still be God and He would still be good. I came to a point rather early on, where I stopped really wanting Lincoln to get healed and just fell in love with him for who he was at that moment. Yes, it was hard going... but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Perhaps we put too much emphasis on physical healing. I mean, God can do it, there's no doubt about that. But in instances where a particular ailment is not terminal, who's to say that this being needs to be healed to be normal. For instance, I know of a person who has a child with a noticable deformity. After bringing the child to the alter week after week after week, with people laboring in prayer over him, I heard that he finally looked up at his parents and said "What's wrong with me?" It was as if he was saying, can't you just enjoy me for who I am and let that be that? Ouch. He was happy - why couldn't everyone be? I'm just rambling. Don't hold anything I say against me. It's late and I'm tired.
Anyway, I'm so thankful. And blessed. And I'm going to bed. Happy birthday, Lincoln. Thank you, Lord, for an uneventful, normal year! I look forward to many, many more.