Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Disturbing News Article...

I was browsing the internet this afternoon, in search of other blogs about cleft affected children, and I found something disturbing. According to this news article, Cleft Lip Abortion Done in 'Good Faith', two doctors in the U.K. escaped prosecution for authorizing a late term abortion on a woman who was pregnant with a baby who would be born with a cleft lip and palate. Their arguement in favor of allowing the abortion was that "in good faith, that there was a substantial risk the child would be seriously handicapped."

A cleft lip and palate is not a handicap. Both are totally fixable...as evident of Rachel's repaired lip, and evident as Emily's repaired palate. Sure, having a cleft palate may require some speech therapy along the journey, but by no means is that a handicap.

Abortions in general are disturbing to me, but this news story really hit home. Rachel despite being born with a facial birth defect, is just as perfect as any baby who is born without a facial birth defect. She's babbling, eating, crawling, walking around the furniture, and getting into everything just as a "normal" baby does, just as any other baby who is aborted would do, if given the chance.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

1st trip to the Beach!

We went to the beach today! I wasn't really sure what to do with Rachel, so I took the pack n play with us. She didn't exactly enjoy that, and wasn't it in much, but it worked great for holding up the umbrella!! She played on the blanket and stayed in the shade. The sand in between her toes really didn't seem to phase her. Didn't seem to phase Hannah either, she had no problems with being covered in sand from head to toe!

Gotta love the Sunscreen Stick!

For some reason, Rachel just loves the sunscreen stick. Whenever I apply it to her lip, she opens her mouth really wide and thinks it's something to eat! LOL

Friday, June 17, 2005

Latest Scoop on Rachel's Next Surgery

Yesterday, we received a form letter in the mail thanking us for our interest in the Plastic Surgery Department, and that at this time appointments to be seen are 6-8 months out, with surgery dates another 4-6 months out from then. Upon reading that, I wasted no time in calling the phone number to the nurse practioner who had sent the letter. Waiting 6-8 months just to be seen is just not acceptable. I had to leave a message on her voice mail.

I was suprised when I received a call back from the nurse practioner first thing this morning. I'm not used to getting such promptness in having my calls returned. :) Anyways, she said the plastic surgeon filling the opening on the craniofacial team wasn't expected to start seeing patients until August. I expressed my concern for Rachel to getting her palate repair fairly soon as I don't want her speech to be severely affected. The nurse assured me that Rachel is in the books as one of the patients to be placed on Dr. Martin's schedule as soon as he arrives and starts his clinic hours.

But at this point we're looking at palate repair to be end of August, possibly September.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Driving Miss Rachel...

Just hanging out on the preschool playground one last time, as today was Hannah's last day of preschool. We won't be back until Rachel is old enough in the Fall of 2007!!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Rachel's 1st Camping Trip

We just returned home from a camping trip to the Eastern Sierras. We went with my brother and sister in law and their two daughters, as well as my uncle and his girlfriend. This trip is becoming an annual trip, as everyone went last year and I opted to stay home as I was 7 months pregnant and didn't really want to rough it in a tent! But we went this year as a family and had a wonderful time!

It was a long drive to our destination...about 5 hours. And Rachel did awesome! She slept and took her naps as expected and was entertained by her older silly sister sitting beside her.

As for the rest of the trip, Rachel was a trooper. She wasn't quite acting herself on Friday night and Saturday morning. I wasn't sure if her ears were bothering her due to the elevation (8600 feet), or her teeth were bothering her, or she was just plain being a punk. But after an hour of just roaming and crawling and having her freedom in the tent Saturday afternoon, she was back to herself. We came to the conclusion that she is so mobile at home, crawling about, and walking around the furniture, that she just didn't like being confined to being held.

First Time Camping...

Not only was it Rachel's first time camping, it was also her cousin Haylee's first time to camp as well. Rachel and Haylee are just under 6 months apart.

Up to her elbows...

...in socks!

Rachel slept in her pack 'n play. The first morning, her hands were like ice despite all the blankets and heavy sleeper she was wearing. So the second night, I put mittens on her hands, and then a pair of Hannah's socks over the mittens to keep them on. And despite doing that, she still woke up Sunday morning with cold hands! She looked as though she had arm restraints on!

Rachel and her Silly Sister

We were there for two nights. Upon returning home, Rachel was happy to be in familiar surroundings, and was happy to have her freedom to roam and be free.

We really did have a great time. We're already talking about future camping trips we'd like to do and things we should purchase and add to our camping gear. I know as Rachel gets older, camping will only get easier.

If you'd like to see more pictures of our trip, you can visit the link to the pictures in the links section!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Update on Next Surgery

I started the process of calling Loma Linda this week in anticipation of Rachel's next surgery. Given past history, it sometimes takes weeks for my calls to be returned.

I decided to call the appointment desk and ask if our plastic surgeon had left the practice, he has. So I asked for an appointment with the plastic surgeon taking over Dr Lehocky's patients. Rachel's records will be reviewed by the nurse with the doctor and I'll be called for an appointment later next week.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

My Lil Climber...

Rachel seems to be much more of a climber than Hannah was. This picture is of her using the big throw pillows as stepping tools to getting on top of the coffee table. Yesterday, I looked up from the laptop to find Rachel sitting in the middle of the coffee table and just as proud as she could be of herself.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Gitty Up Horsey...

Went to Disneyland for a few hours this evening with my brother and sister in law and their daughters. Here's Rachel riding the carousel for the first time!She loved it!!

9 Months Old

Rachel turned 9 months old this past Tuesday and this morning she had her 9 month well check up. Which went well as expected. She has slowed down in gaining weight and weighs 21lbs 6 oz (just below the 90th percentile) and her length 27 1/4 inches (still in the 25th percentile). She's meeting all the developmental milestones she should be meeting and only got one shot today! Next well baby visit will be at 12 months old!!