Monday, June 25, 2007

Sandy is back!!!

Well today Karter's physiotherapist returned from her seemingly long 8 week vacation. We were so pleased to have her back to assist us with Karter's motor development. The long and short of our visit was that we will continue to focus on the rolling. In addition to that, he will continue to work on more head and trunk control, weight baring on his hands and arms and grasping and grabbing at objects. We will also start working on sitting. Sandy gave us about five or six excercises to focus on each day to aid in all these areas.

I asked once again for some guidelines for realistic expectaions for Karter's development, a timeline of sort. Of course we cannot predict with any child when they will do something becasue of all the external factors like sickness and such, but I wanted to have some sort of idea of what was realsitc for me to expect in six months etc. Sandy of course was hesitant to say in a year he will walk in six months he will crawl etc., but she did say that it would be realistic to think that in six months he could sit on his own, hold his head up and support his body weight on his tummy by his hands while playing with toys etc. That of course also can depend too on if he remains healthy and has no other major set backs physically. We have been told to look at surgery as kind of a "re-birth" for Karter. A starting place for his development. Of course Karter could do things quicker than that depending on how motivated he is too. We are praying that he will amaze us!

Now that surgery is over and we have not seen any seizures, I am comitted to go hard at it each day with is therapy. He is showing progress in many areas outside of his motor development and that leads me to know that he is fully capable of learning and retaining new things.

The feeding is still going exceptionally well. This evening for dinner he ate the same supper as the family...meatballs, whole wheat pasta and corn (chopped up of course). I am thrilled with how well he is doing in this area. The gag reflex has really dumbed itself down PTL! He has fully been switched to milk and we seem to have not irritation or reactions to this point, so we are happy about that as well.

Well I think that is it for today, just thought I would let you know what has been happening this past while with Karter.

Thanks for your continued prayers, they continue to sustain us in this new journey of recovery. Our prayer as we lay Karter to rest each night is that the Lord will continue to heal his body and bring it back to its fully restored self. We also ask each night that Karter would rest peacfully so as to give him strength to take on the next day and that all his hard work that day would be rewarded by the strengthening of each muscle in his body the next day.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's been a month since surgery

It is hard for me to believe that the time has flown by so quickly. Last Friday was four weeks since Karter's surgery. It really feels like I have a lot to share this week.

First of all we are so thankful that Karter is officially on the IDP (Infant Development) case load. I got a call from our Supported Childcare consultant, Sharron, last week. Karter has been on the waitlist since November. He has been receiving weekly physio visits through the program while we have been on the wait list, however, with this new development, we can now access more resources on Karter's behalf and have ongoing support as we work towards each new milestone in development. I am thrilled to have these services available to us. I am quite familiar with IDP as I worked very closely with them when I worked in the field, but of course for our family and our circumstance this is still uncharted territory.

We are happy to report that Karter is still maintaining all the new things he is learning. As you recall, before surgery, he would learn to do something and then forget for weeks and have to re-learn each thing. Since surgery, each new thing he has learned, he retains. I find myself resting more easy when his nap time comes around because I know when he wakes he will still be able do the same things he was doing before his sleep.

This past week we have been very successful with the introduction of texture while feeding. You may remember that I mentioned that Karter would gag to the point of vomiting if anything went in his mouth that was not warm or smooth. This past week we have successfully introduced grated cheese at lunch, rice at dinner and oatmeal at breaskfast. He even seems to have a great interest in food now. We have also been successful with the introduction of a sippy cup, my hope is to have him off the bottle by 1 year. Also, we are switching from formula to milk over the next week. So we are defiantly making some progress in the area of feeding.

There has been small progress in motor skills. Karter is still rolling from his tummy to his back. This past weekend he has started, while on his back, to use his feet to move him around his blanket on the floor. He is also rolling to his side more often and trying at times to get from his side to his back. Our prayer is that he can roll both ways by his birthday. He is still lacking control over his left arm and is not really grasping or grabbing objects yet, but as each week passes, he seems to become more aware of his hands and what they do, so hopefully it won't be long now.

Other than that, the stitches are completely gone, the hair has really begun growing and the scar is almost unnoticable. This month has flown by so fast, looking back at what I have written it seems we could say he has come quite a ways since May 18th.

Please continue to keep Karter and us in your prayers. 1-that Karter's motor skills would come along rapidly. We have our first post surgery appointment at Children's Hospital August 1st, I want the surgeon and neurologist to be astounded by Karter's progress. 2Karter seems to be coming down with a cold, please pray that it will pass quickly and not attack his lungs as it has in the past. 3-If you could continue to uphold me in your prayers too. I continue to struggle daily with the anxieties of Karter's development. Because I am the one to work with and rehab him each day and because I see him every step of the way, it is hard for me not to think about where he is and get anxious about the speed and pace of his recovery. At times, I think I can drive myself a bit insane with worry. It is at those times I have to lay it at the cross yet again. Some days, it is twenty times...So please pray for continued peace and the reassurance.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Progress videos

I thought it was time to post a few progress videos. The first one shows Karter talking, moving around and rolling with help from his back to his tummy and on his won from his tummy to his back. We are so pleased!

The second is a bit long, you have to endure the annoying pony song but it is worth it because Karter breaks out into a laughing fit, thought you might enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

2 weeks post surgery

This past week has has been an interesting one. Karter has continued to find his voice. I can hear him even if I turn the baby monitor off now in the morning. He even had to be taken out of the church service because he was too loud. We love it, we see his persobality coming through more and more every day. He is happy, smiling and laughing all the time now. On the other side of things, last Thursday I noticed that Karter had felt floppy again, his head control was all over the place when on the floor and when being carried and the strength that I felt the week before seemed to have gone. Of course this was frustrating for me because I did not prepare myself for, what I felt was, going backwards so soon. We think that there was a possiblity that either he was fighting illness or (as suggested by someone) he maybe overdid it the week before and was just sore because he has since regained his strength.

I had called to make an appointment with the physiotherapist who was taking over while our regular one is on holidays. She came to visit this past Monday. She gave us a few simple yet important tips for Karter. I had expressed my desire to have a "workout plan" for him, something like you would get from a trainer at the gym, you know 12 reps of this, 24 of these etc, etc. She played with Karter for awhile and said that she felt the most important and only thing we should be focusing on right now is his rolling. He is so close and she felt that giving his the ability to roll would open the door for all the other skills to emerge naturally. So that is what we are doing. It has been three days since she visited us and he is already rolling consistently from his tummy to his back and with assistance from his back to his tummy, so we are pleased at his progress this week.

Finally I feel like we are on the brink of big things. I explained to the physiotherapist that I felt if he could just get the rolling down, it would be like a snowball effect with everything else. She agreed that would most likely be the case, how fast that happens is something that we cannot really predict, but we have not been given a reason to suggest that he would not meet those milestones in time.

So that is what this week has looked like. Karter's incision is healing rapidly, most of the stitches are gone and the hair around his wound is growing in very fast. The surgeon did a great job with it, looks like there will be a very minimal scar.

All our guests have left and the house is empty, the meals that have be so thoughtfully provided are allowing me some recovery time and have been such a blessing these past two weeks. Now it feels like we take a deep breath and move on. Such a weight has lifted in so many areas of our lives. If I can describe for you in a picture how I feel today it would look like this:
If you have ever driven for hours on a straight prarie road, you know that you can encounter sunny skies and then in an instant dark clouds. A few minutes down the road it can hail and you can't see where you are, in those moments you experience fear and the "what if" factor. A few minutes more the hail turns to a downpour and then to rain showers and then a light spinkle. Within a minute you can see the end of the black cloud, it is like a line in the sky. On the other side of that dark line is the hot sunshine beating down and blue sky for what looks like miles. That is the journey we have walked this past eight months, but I feel like we are emerging the line between dark cloud and blue sky. I am going to enjoy basking in the beauty of the clear hot sunshine...Thank you Jesus!!!