Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
My baby is officially halfway between one and two! I know I say it every month, but time really flies. Brooklyn has found her little toddler attitude this month. She is a pouter, much more than Savannah ever was. When she doesn't get what she wants, she lays face-down on the floor and wails. It would be quite comical if it wasn't so bad. She wants to do things independently and wants to imitate everything Savannah does. She is quite mischevious.
She started using two new words this month, "go" and "more". I love it when she says "more" because she has quite the southern accent, pronouncing is "moe". She also is using the sign for "eat" on occasion. She is also starting to nod "no" and "yes" appropriately, although sometimes she starts nodding one way and then changes her mind and shakes her head. :) It has been fun to see her do a few new things.
Favorite toys in this house are Barbie and baby dolls in the baby stroller. The girls love playing with them, and Brooklyn loves to imitate Savannah pretending with them. Brooklyn is also quite attached to her blankie, which she refers to as "buh-buh" and likes to drag it all around the house with her.
Brooklyn has just become aware of her ability to entertain people and will do something over and over again for a good laugh. She is forever affectionate, which her Momma thoroughly enjoys. Her joyful spirit is a continual encouragement. She has proven once again this month that she is a hard worker and has a fighting spirit. She is such a trooper.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Isaiah 43:1-2, 7, 11, 18-19
"Fear not: for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers and they will not overflow. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. I have called you by name, created you for my glory. I have formed you. I have made you. I am the Lord, and beside me there is no other. Remember not the past, or dwell on the things of old. I will do something new...I can make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Friday, August 19, 2011
Savannah was seriously pumped about this.
We thoroughly enjoyed it... what a nice place!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
As many of you know,
The trip was long, the tests were no fun, and we returned home exhausted. But we have answers. And we LOVE Cincinnati Children's Hospital!
On Monday, Brooklyn had MRI and MRS scans of her brain done under anesthesia. They also drew blood for lab tests while she was unconscious (thank you!).
On Tuesday morning, she got up at 4 am for a sleep-deprived EEG. The EEG is a painless procedure but is no fun for a girl who does not like things stuck to her head. Fortunately, we had a great team who got the procedure done quickly and without incident (but not without a few tears, sadly enough).
Tuesday afternoon, we met with a team of neurologists. We were at the hospital from 3:00pm until 7:30pm... they were very serious about spending quality time with our girl. They observed her playing, walking, babbling, looked over her medical history, read us results of testing, did a physical exam on her, checked her reflexes, measured her head, etc.
She may have gotten so bored that she invented her own game with the empty laundry hamper... pushing it around the doctor's office.
On Wednesday morning, Brooklyn met with a speech pathologist who assessed her speech and feeding skills and made recommendations for future treatment.
The doctors and nurses at Cincinnati Childrens were AWESOME. We were so pleased with every single professional that we dealt with. They were kind, compassionate, thorough, patient, and explained things extremely well. Even the parking lot attendant stopped to ask how we were all holding up as we exited the hospital on Tuesday. Our experience there could not have been any better.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development. It is not genetic or hereditary.
CP is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy or childbirth. Typical causes include problems in intrauterine development, birth trauma during labor and delivery, and lack of oxygen to the brain upon birth. Between 40-50% of children with CP were born prematurely. Because premature babies have underdeveloped organs, they are more susceptible to brain damage.
As they explained to us at Cincinnati, Brooklyn most likely had an intrauterine stroke that led to her premature delivery. Because she was tiny and her lungs were underdeveloped, they could not get enough oxygen to her brain fast enough. Anytime that your brain is deprived of oxygen, damage occurs. We are fortunate that we were surrounded by a fabulous NICU team who was able to keep the damage to a minimum.
All types of CP (and there are several!) are characterized by abnormal muscle tone. In
Resulting movement difficulties can also be accompanied by disturbances of sensation, depth perception, communication ability, and sometimes cognition. It can also be accompanied by epilepsy in 40% of children with CP. Brooklyn falls into that 40%.
Symptoms of CP are typically first noted when the baby is 6-9 months old and begins to mobilize. Asymmetry of limb usage and/or gross motor developmental delay is typically noted. Other symptoms noted can be epileptic seizures, communication disorders, sensory impairments, and learning disabilities. Brooklyn had all of those symptoms.
Speech and language disorders are common in people with cerebral palsy. Due to abnormal muscle tone, control of the oral-facial muscles becomes quite difficult. Also, feeding, biting, and chewing are sometimes difficult tasks as well. While in Cincinnati, we learned that Brooklyn does not chew or swallow properly.
CP is typically diagnosed through a physical examination and detailed history of the patient. CP has no known cure, but it can be treated. Treatment for CP is a lifelong multi-dimensional process focused on preventing the brain damage from prohibiting healthy development. Because the brain is not concrete in its development up until approximately the age of 8 years old, early intervention has proven quite successful in milder cases, such as
The prognosis for CP varies greatly depending on severity. The intellectual ability of the child is often not known until they enter school, and can vary from genius to impaired, just as in the general population. The ability to live independently also varies with severity, and is more likely in cases where the person can ambulate and self-feed, both of which
All in all, cerebral palsy doesn’t always cause profound impairments. Some children may require therapy and be slightly disabled, while others may be confined to a wheelchair for their entire lives. We are quite fortunate that
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Then we kept on driving to the Cascades and began our hike.
The entire hike is about four miles and its not too challenging, which I can appreciate. I did, however, still complain about the exhaustion of my leg muscles. I'm just not a hiker.
Big D, on the other hand, needs to be on man vs. wild.
I like to think our differences compliment each other. I'm so un-coordinated that I make him look awesome. Right?!
And then we rounded the final corner, and the view was breathtaking.
The Cascades is a 66-foot waterfall, and its gorgeous.
The coolness was refreshing.
The power of the rushing water left me in awe.