Friday, April 23, 2010

Have you met my miracle?

My pregnancy with Abby was uneventful, if you don’t count my insatiable cravings for Sonic Corn Dogs.  She was born the day before her due date on November 30, 2001.  She was a healthy size, very alert, and actually smiled upon entry into the world.  Our first few weeks together were much like any new parents with their first baby - unsure of EVERYTHING!  After getting breastfeeding figured out and learning the ropes of daily baby care we felt good about our progress as First Time Parents.  It was at about three weeks old that Abby began getting what seemed to be a little cold coming on.  We consulted our parenting books and our parents and started trying some home remedies.  After a few days she did not improve.  She became more and more congested and we became more worried.  I resorted to sleeping sitting up on the couch with Abby sleeping upright on my chest so she could breathe.  When we woke in the morning about 5:00 am we knew immediately that something was not right.  Abby was very pale and almost lifeless.  Over the next few hours things would quickly go from bad to worse as our tiny baby girl would begin a fight for her life.  

At our local ER they quickly noticed that the "soft spot" on top of her head was bulging.  A CT Scan showed her tiny brain covered in blood, creating a tremendous amount of pressure on her brian and thus her soft spot to bulge and her body to seize.  Abby was Life Flighted to Texas Children’s Hospital where we spent the next 2 weeks watching God perform one miracle after another.  The first miracle being that the surgery team awaiting her arrival by helicopter was not needed!  They were able to remove 90% of the blood from her brain with a tiny needle.  She would not need to have to undergo surgery!  Her body would be able to take care of the rest of the blood on it’s own.  From that point it was like starting all over.  She had to learn to breathe on her own again.  We had to learn to hold her again, given her fragile state and lots of tubes and monitors.  She had to learn to suck again from a bottle and then my breast.  As our checklist came closer to being completed, we looked to the doctors for answers about Abby’s future.  

They were never able to determine the cause of the bleed.  They did determine that the blood had been sitting on her brain for maybe up to a week, thus causing severe damage to the left side of her brain.  They had very few answers to give us, but the look in their eyes said it all.  She was paralyzed on her right side and would likely have a limited quality of life was all they would say.  We refused to “hear” any negativity, but trusting that “with God ALL things are possible.”

Contrary to what you might think the difficult part was not our time at the hospital, it was the weeks and months to follow.  Not only did Abby have the obvious physical delays she was also EXTREMELY sensitive to EVERYTHING.  She screamed all the time.  The dishwasher running would wake her up.  We could hardly take her out of the house.  The most difficult thing to handle was that she cried and cried to be held, but then cried more because our touch overwhelmed her.  We later found out she has Sensory Integration Disorder and in addition she suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder until she was about two.  

And so the journey began.....
We engrossed ourselves in learning everything we could about the brain.  We did all kinds of therapies to help her development and her sensory issues.  In addition to that I began supplementing my diet (so that she would receive it through my milk)  with high quality, all natural supplements specifically directed at the brain.  I read all the latest on brain health research and relied heavily on the testimony of a mother with a similar story to help me.  

During this time we were continuing to take Abby back to Texas Children’s for follow-ups.  We were given the same “look” and story at each appointment - “don’t get your hopes up” was the general idea.  And then everything changed.
After being on the supplements continuously for a month we had a follow up cat scan scheduled and an appointment with the Neurologist.  We will never forget the look in his eyes or the words he said that day as he entered the room holding her scan.   He was grinning from ear to ear as he said, “Whatever you are doing, keep it up.  I will not need to see her for anymore follow ups.”  

Fast forward eight years.  Abby is a happy, well-adjusted eight year old.  She has a natural athletic ability, an affinity for technology, and a true servant's heart.  She has regained most of the use the use of her right side, except a slight weakness in her leg and ankle.  She’s got an amazing smile, an incredible attitude in the face of challenges, and an understanding of God we cannot comprehend.

Hiking with American Heritage Girls

Her Amazing Smile

So Silly

I thank God everyday for letting me be a part of Abby's life and watching "her story" unfold. 


singedwingangel said...

That is just an amazing story.. God can do anything but fail..

Robyn said...

You are right, Abby is such a miracle. Thank you so much for sharing her story and your beautiful heart. I am crying with thankfulness for your family.

Abby and my son are so close in age. Born the same month and year. God blesses us with our children and allows us to enjoy Him so much through them.


jro27 said...

I never knew that. That is an amazing story.. Thank you for sharing..

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