Monday, April 25, 2011

12 years ago

As April 26th rolls around each year, I never quite know what I'm supposed to do, how I am supposed to reflect on probably the most difficult day I have ever lived on this earth. 12 years ago I gave birth to our first born child, a son, Billy. But God's plan for Billy was different than mine. Billy was born still. He never experienced the tragedies and disappointments of this life, but rather went straight to the arms of Jesus.
12 years ago I felt as though my life would never be the same - and I was right.It wouldn't. What happened that day has changed my life forever. Although it took much time for me to see what those changes would be, God used that tragic day to help define who I am today. I was taught the fragileness and value of life. I was taught not to take anything or anyone for granted. I learned, over time, that God can get me through any situation, no matter how difficult. I learned that God loves me and that He needed to teach me some things before I could be the mother that he wanted me to be. He was teaching me to love and appreciate the future children I would have, in a way deeper and more complete than I ever could have if I had not experienced the loss of my son.
He was preparing me to love a special child, one with a disability. Not that I couldn't have loved Katie without losing a child before her, but because of my loss, my love for her has come without question. As I often say, I am thankful that God gave her to me so that I could love her and try to be the best mother I can be to her.
He was also preparing me for Miss Mary, the child that I believe God allowed to heal my broken heart. She continues to be a reminder to me of God's love and faithfulness to us, even 10 years later.
I write this mainly for myself, to look at and reflect on. Maybe that is the best thing I can do, look back and be thankful for all that God has given me. I can hardly believe that my precious baby would have been 12 tomorrow. I am thankful that he is in heaven and is enjoying God's presence where I know that one day I will join him for eternity. Happy birthday, Billy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Sunny Afternoon

Well, living in Michigan, March can be an unpredictable month for weather. Thankfully, the sun is shining today...but it's just a little cold for my liking. I can't complain though. It's a pretty quiet afternoon here. We have been struggling with sickness (strep, bronchitis, ear infections, etc.) all month. Most everyone is feeling better, except Miss Katie whose cough is keeping the house at a moderate noise level even though she and I are the only ones home.

Katie is doing really well. We were finally able to slowly take her off all of her medications, and she is definitely a new girl. Believe me when I say that removing the meds hasn't changed her autism....but it has definitely given us back the "real" Katie. She is "talking" more (I use the term talking loosely...she is babbling a a one year old would.), she has a range of emotions back....happy, sad, excited....she didn't have any emotional range when she was medicated. She is also sleeping better and has lost almost 10lbs. since stopping the meds. Those are all great things for her. My hope is that we will be able to keep her off medications indefinitely...which would be great.

Not too much else happening in our world. Just taking it a day at a time. Spring Break is now less than a week away....maybe we'll try to do something exciting! Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Back Again

Well, eight months have passed since my last post. Thanks to a new laptop and wireless in the house (finally) I may be able to get back into the habit of blogging more often. One good thing about blogging for me is that it allows me to keep a record of how Katie is doing. It was good for me to read my post from last summer and see where she has come from that point.

We actually did go ahead and buy her a protective helmet to help prevent injury to her head when she has a self-injurous behavior episode. Unfortunately, self-injury is very common in children with autism and in some cases can be quite severe. Thankfully, we believe Katie is making good progress in this area. We recently went through the process of getting her weaned off of all of her meds and she is now a med-free (and much happier) girl. Her "speech" is returning, her smile and laugh have returned, and now we only see the self-injury when she becomes frustrated and unable to communicate her needs effectively. I am thrilled to see the progress she is making after making these changes.

She also needed to have extensive dental work done last month. This included removing 2 abcessed teeth along with many fillings. Unfortunately, her dental work had to be done under general anesthesia at the hospital, but Katie has a wonderful dentist who was extremely patient with her. I am just glad that her tooth pain has been relieved and as a result of the dental work and changes in her meds she is back to sleeping through the night on a regular basis.

That about sums it up for Miss Katie. I hope that when I post next time (with wishful thinking that it will be sooner than later) I will see the continued progress that she is making. I am also hoping that warm weather decides to show up soon so that we can get the pool open and let Katie return to her happy place of swimming and the sandbox.