Friday, December 31, 2004

4 Months Old!

I can hardly believe it, Rachel is 4 months old today!! And to mark the special event, she's starting to roll over...from her back to her tummy! She's done it a couple of times in the past few weeks, but now she's doing it over and over again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

An Encouraging Post...

I was lurking a cleft lip and palate message board on iVillage this evening and came across a very encouraging post. In all my research and message board reading, I've never once heard anyone mention that their child needed a cleft lip adhesion surgery, at least I hadn't read or heard of anyone until I found this post!!

This poster is a mother to twin girls, one in which has a unilateral cleft lip and palate just as Rachel has. And in her post she mentioned that her daughters' cleft lip was so bad that she had to have a lip adhesion surgery! This is exactly what Rachel's surgery in November was. I was so encouraged to read of another child having had this done. There have been times when I wondered if our plastic surgeon knew what he was doing having to do two lip surgeries. LOL.

The other thing that was so encouraging was the time frame of this baby's surgeries. One of the most disappointing things has been Rachel's lip adhesion surgery being unsuccessful, which pushes the all the other surgeries back. We're back to square one in waiting for a surgery date and Rachel will be 4 months old on Friday. Well, this baby didn't even have her lip adhesion surgery until she was 5 months old, her formal lip repair at 8 months, and her cleft palate repaired at 11 months. I can't tell you how encouraging and refreshing this post was for me. I know in my head that everything will work out, and everything is happening in God's perfect timing, but it's just frustrating sometimes.

For me, it is a tremendous source of encouragement and inspiration to read of others who "have been there, done that". All I have in regards to knowing people who's lives have been affected by a cleft of some sort is through the message boards I read and through the web sites of cleft affected children that I visit. While we're fortunate to not know anyone in real life who has dealt with a cleft, it's a lonely journey sometimes, and there are times I just feel so connected to complete strangers simply by reading their web sites and of their struggles and of their victories.

When I say it's a 'lonely journey', in no way do I mean that I feel like I'm alone on this journey, that's not the case at all. We have a tremendous support system in our families and friends. But none of them truly know the hurt, guilt, and sorrow I have as a mother who's child was born with a birth defect. Like I said, no one we know in real life has been down this road and it's comforting when I find people who have traveled this road or are traveling this road.

Rachel's 1st Christmas

The evidence that Christmas was just a few days ago is surely disappearing at the Fraser House. I've been working on finding homes and places for all the toys and gifts the girls got. And the decorations are all put away except for the tree. This is the first year in the 8 years we've been married that the Christmas tree wasn't down with a day or two of Christmas. To be honest, it's the first year that our tree hasn't been a fire hazard. Gotta love artificial trees! :)

Rachel's 1st Christmas has come and gone. It's hard to believe she'll be 4 months old this week. Where has the time gone?? Needless to say, she was VERY spoiled by all her loved ones over Christmas. Both the girls were spoiled. This time next year, Rachel will not only be celebrating her 2nd Christmas, but she'll hopefully have had a successful year of surgeries. Her lip and her palate should be totally reapired by then. She has quite a year ahead of her.

Still no word from Dr Lehocky's surgery scheduler. I'm sure they have this week off. I've left several messages and haven't heard back at all. I'll try again come Monday, when hopefully everyone is back from holiday vacations and hopefully they have authorization from our insurance to redo the surgery.

Baby in a stocking...

Inside the stocking that Gramma handquilted for her!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Rachel with her mouth taped...

Here's a picture of how Rachel looks once we put the tape on. Dr Lehocky, Rachel's plastic surgeon, says this will help stretch those muscles out and bring her separated upper lip towards one another which will hopefully make the next surgery successful.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

All dressed up...

All dressed up for going to church.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Happy Girl!

Quickly approaching 4 months old!!

Our Girls

Hannah, 4 1/2 years old, Rachel 3 1/2 months old
This picture was suppose to go in Christmas cards this year...but I just never got around to getting reprints made. So I hope you enjoy the picture online! :)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Almost 4 Months check up

Rachel had her "almost" 4 month check up today. She weighed 14 pounds and was over 23 inches in length. She was in the 75th percentile for her weight and 25th percentile for her length... in other words, she's short and chubby. :) She's meeting all the developmental milestones for her age and is otherwise doing great. She got 4 shots today, but tolerated them well and had no reactions.

We're still waiting for a surgery date. I haven't called and bugged the surgery scheduler anymore because Rachel has had a cold and I knew she couldn't be put under if she had a cold. So no sense in calling and bugging for a date until she is completely better.

As for the attitude with the bottles, it's getting better. It's there sometimes, but nearly not as bad as it was. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A Trip to the Pediatrician

Rachel has been putting her hand up to her ear a lot over the past day or two, so I thought I should take her in to see Dr Berry, our Pediatrician, to get her ears checked out. Praise the Lord her ears were not infected, nor did they have any fluid in them!! Just a little wax build up that might be bothersome or itchy.

One of the side effects or common ailments when having a cleft palate is increased ear infections. And because of that, we try to feed Rachel in a somewhat upright position, when she cooperates that is. I'm so thankful her ears were clear, it's one of the things I have on my list of prayers for Rachel.

Rachel's been a little difficult when it comes to giving her the bottle lately. She'll cry and throw a fit for a while, but eventually eats and finishes it. But it's just so frustrating. I mentioned it to Dr Berry today, and he said since her ears checked out and her throat appeared fine, it's probably just her having an attitude. I hope her attitude changes soon. LOL.