Friday, August 26, 2011

Move More, Think Less

We started Ainsley in gymnastics in the beginning of the summer. She's definitely not a physical kid so I wanted to see what would happen when we put her in a really physical situation. She was in the 2 year old class and was the oldest one in there. The class was structured as a parent involved class. I thought this was a great way to get her started and then in the fall she could transition into the 3 year old class that was not parent assisted.

I bought her a leotard and got her dressed for class the first night. She couldn't have been more excited.

We met her teachers, Miss Lori and Miss Jasmine.  She instantly fell in love with both of them, especially Miss Lori.  She barely knew I was in the class with her.  She was attached to Miss Lori's hip.

Some of the skills were pretty easy for her.  The balance beam seems to be her best, followed closely by somersaults. 

But other things were really hard.  Jumping really wasn't her thing.  She would try and try but she really couldn't get off the ground.  It was then that I started looking around at the other kids in her class.  Most of them were young 2 year olds.  They seemed leaps and bounds ahead of her.  This was when I started to get concerned.  I started to pay closer attention to her skill level compared to the other kids in her class.  It was pretty drastic the difference. 

So Miss Lori worked with her every week.  She got a lot of one on one attention.  She definitely improved.  But not enough.

So this past week, I took her over to Physical Therapy.  They evaluated her and she is indeed behind.  But we are going to catch her up.

Then today we started the 3 year old class.  Where I could shield her from realizing she was behind before, I couldn't do it now.  I'm not in the class.  So I sat on the side and watched as she got passed by other kids in her circuit.  My heart broke for her.  Then after class her teacher approached me.  I hadn't warned the teacher but she figured it out pretty quickly.  She asked me if I thought she needed to go back to the 2 year old class. 

While it's one thing to know there is a problem, it's a complete other thing to have someone who has only known your child for 45 minutes pick up on it enough to say something to you.  Maybe it's hormones or maybe it's just my mama bear instinct protecting my cub.  Either way, it doesn't matter.  It still hurt.  But I decided to keep her in the 3 year old class.  I think the peer pressure will be good for her.  I think being away from me will help remove the crutch she leans on. 

And so we move on and get her to move more.  That might be a good philosophy for me too..."Move More, Think less"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Over the Place

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that it's been a rough week.  I actually can't believe that it's only been a week since it all started going out of control.  But in the midst of everything that's been going on, God has been faithful.  I am growing and He is showing me mercy.  So here's the time line of the past week:

  • Friday morning we went for our anatomy scan.  We found out the baby may have Down Syndrome.  While this was tough to hear, I felt a peace from only God.  
  • Friday around 6, I got a call from Ryan's mom.  His 91 year old grandmother was having a major episode and she was on the way over there.  We were praying that she would pass away before she had to go to the hospital again.  This may have been the hardest prayer I've ever prayed.  You never want to pray for someone to leave this earth but Grams has been suffering for a while now.  We were definitely praying for mercy.
  • Friday night I called my faithful friend Anne to watch Ainsley while we went to the hospital to be with Grams who had a major stroke.  What a blessing Anne has been in my life.  She loves me and Ainsley and that is a gift.
  • Friday night at the hospital Grams was responsive and was able to communicate in little bits and pieces.  I was able to tell her how much she meant to me and say the goodbye that I wasn't able to say when my grandmother passed away.  Another gift.
  • Friday night or maybe early Saturday morning, while we were drifting off to sleep, Ryan was able to feel the baby move for the first time!  Yes!!!
  • Saturday morning Ryan's mother had to put her faithful dog Sammy down.  He was 16 years old and had been around this family longer than I have.  We have known for a while that this has been coming but the finality of it was rough.
  • Saturday night we spent some much needed family time with Ryan's Dad.  He provided a fabulous meal and we just got to relax.  This dinner has been planned for at least 6 months and the timing of it was perfect.  
  • Sunday morning we went to church.  Worship was great.  We sang very appropriate songs to how I was feeling.  I was able to leave church with Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus in my head for the rest of the day.
  • Sunday early evening we kicked off another year of home group with a meal at our house.  It was a great time to fellowship with our friends and be with like minded believers.  This group, although different in so many ways from the start, has been a solid presence in our life for the past 4 years.  That is truly a amazing gift from above.
  • Sunday night I went up to see Ryan's grandmother one more time.  The end was near.  The closure of that visit was final.  She was entering eternity.
  • Sunday night shortly after we went to bed, we got the call from Ryan's sister that Grams had passed from this life to the next.  She was singing and dancing with Jesus.  Our hope is firm and our salvation is secure.  That is something to praise God for.
  • Monday morning on the way to work, Ainsley asked me where Great Grandma was again.  I told her she was in heaven with Jesus.  In her 3 year old logic, she asked me if she was driving there.  Oh how I love innocent children. 
  • Tuesday morning we went in for our repeat ultrasound.  We waited for what felt like an eternity in the lobby, or maybe just an hour, but were finally called back.  After 2 ultrasounds that morning, we were told that our baby is completely within the range of normal for all Down Syndrome markers.  Our odds are back to slim to none that the baby will have DS.  His Mercies are soooo good.  And while we watched our little child on that screen, it was such a great reminder that even in the midst of death, there is life.  Praise God.  Oh and baby has big lips.  Too cute.
  • Wednesday after work, I took Ainsley to a Physical therapy screen.  She has seemed a bit behind compared to her peers in regards to gross motor skills and I thought it was worth checking out.  She has been in gymnastics and that has helped but I wanted to see if I could help catch her up if there was a problem.  She is about 6-8 months behind but the therapist says that she can catch up easily with some sessions.  This has been on my calendar a while and it just so happened to fall in the middle of the crazy.  While I would have preferred to put this off, I'm glad that we didn't.  This news wasn't the greatest but it wasn't the worst either.  
So that brings me to now.  We have the funeral on Monday.  The weekend is going to be slam packed with other things that were previously scheduled.  But in the midst of the chaos of what is behind us and what is in front of us, we are continuously being reminded of His faithfulness.When it seems that we cannot bear one more thing, He shows up and gives us glimpses of grace.

This scripture has been in my head this week, especially the first 4 verses.   

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A Time for Everything
  1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Friday, August 19, 2011


With each step you take in life, God is there to meet you with joy and strength.  We went in for our "big" ultrasound today.  While most people go to this ultrasound focused on the gender of the child, we didn't.  We have decided to not find out the sex of this baby. 

When we went in for the big ultrasound with Ainsley, it was so exciting.  The anticipation of finding out her sex was all that we could think of.  She actually didn't "reveal" herself until the last 5 minutes.  I didn't really even focus on the fact that they were doing a clinical exam and actually were looking for the health of our baby. 

This time it was so different.  We knew we weren't finding out the sex so the focus became more intense on the clinical exam.  After she completed the exam, she said that our midwife would be talking to us more about a finding.  My guard went up immediately.  What could be wrong? 

And so we met with our midwife, Vicki, who by the way is my favorite midwife at our practice.  She explained to me that the ultrasound tech had found that the fold on the back of the neck was thicker than it was supposed to be.  That by itself is a "soft marker" for Down Syndrome.  None of the other soft markers presented themselves during the ultrasound. 

We had an ultrasound at 13 weeks that was specifically looking at these soft markers and none of them presented themselves.  At that time, our risk of Down Syndrome was somewhere around 1:1090 (I think that's close.  I don't really remember what the midwife said this morning as it was all such a blur and happening so fast).  Now that this soft marker has presented itself, our risk has increased to 1:170.  Those odds are still pretty good but they put us into a category of higher risk. 

We were presented with a bunch of options ranging from nothing to another ultrasound to an amnio.  We decided against the amnio since the risks are just too great for miscarriage.  We have decided to go for a more detailed ultrasound at the hospital next week.  They won't be able to give us a definite answer but it's just a good second opinion.

A friend of mine from high school, Gretchen, had a child about a year ago that has Down Syndrome.  She has been incredibly open and honest on her blog.  She has talked about the struggles and yet the place she lives in now is so sweet.  She loves Julian and is a great advocate for her little boy and others that are just like him.  Oh and he is one of the most adorable little guys you will ever meet. 

After all of this, I left the appointment in a state that actually shocked me:  calm.  After everything that I have been through in the past year and the insiders view into Gretchen's life, I think God really prepared me to be in this moment.  I have really learned in the past year that God is strength and He brings the grace.  We don't know what will happen with this child.  We do know that God does know.  We know that no matter what happens, we will love this child with an unimaginable love.  And God will give us the grace to handle whatever comes our way.

I was scanning the ultrasound pictures today and putting them in my little photo album that I used when we were pregnant with Ainsley.  My scriptures that I used in labor were still in there.  I found this scripture incredibly helpful today.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18.

Amen and Amen.

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