Thursday, March 12, 2015

a round of applause...

"Oh clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph." 
Psalm 47:1

The month began with Baby Jude graduating to his big brother's upstairs bedroom. After a huge endeavor that was long overdue, we purchased a new bed for sister so the crib, once again, was made available. Brother John had patiently waited 10 years for this event. I'm unsure if it was the particular timing, hormonal activity, or the combined circumstances of his disabilities, but Mama didn't rest easy that night. I slept in three different places, none of which were my own bed.
Jude survived. John rose up early to greet little brother with cheerful smiles. It took Mama three more nights to adjust to the sudden emptiness of the pack-n-play in her bedroom.
Physical therapy has finally begun and Jude fusses during much of each session. He strongly disapproves of "tummy time." He prefers lying on his back to play with his toys. Unable to support himself with his arms, he's unsure of what to do. No matter how many times we place him in the correct "tummy time" position with elbows bent under his chest, they quickly find their way back to his sides. The therapist stated he may not be aware that he has them. Sigh... 
We work with him approximately two hours daily while therapy is generally once a week for one hour. Fourteen therapy hours per week can be taxing for Jude.
February 17th, Jude contracted the RSV virus. It is highly contagious and appears to be the same symptoms of a bad cold but more serious. For children under the age of one, hospitalization is usually necessary. By Friday, Jude was really worn down and having trouble taking a breath. In five degree weather, we drove to the closest ER. Jude's X-rays revealed pneumonia in both lungs and RSV was confirmed. Several hours later, after drinking all of his milk, he began to perk up so we were released to come home and instructed to bring him back if he began to turn blue. (I know??)
Once home, however, Jude continued to struggle. He became less engaged and unwilling to eat. Though he never turned blue, by Saturday dehydration and lethargy had set in. His pediatric doctor proved little help so we switched offices that day making phone contact with a new doctor. Once we introduced Pedialyte, he began to improve quickly. Monday morning we saw the new doctor and Jude was prescribed breathing medication.  
I can't say we have ever worked so tirelessly to keep a baby alive. If I had to do it again, we'd go to the Children's Hospital. RSV can be very serious for kiddos with impaired lungs or compromised immune systems. Though our other children also contracted it, their symptoms weren't as serious. 

On a brighter note...
Jude's x-rays revealed that his once, extremely impaired left lung has fully developed. This wasn't expected to happen until the age of 2, so this  is entirely remarkable!   

Our therapist recommended an eye appointment to determine if Jude's tracking was off. After seeing an ophthalmologist, it was confirmed that he did not need glasses at this time. The bridge of his nose is wider than usual giving the impression that Jude's eyes turn in upon certain angles. Learning that he would not need glasses brought an indescribable heaviness as glasses would create a "quick fix" for some of his issues if they were indeed necessary. But long term, the fact that he doesn't need glasses is very good news because it indicates that Cerebral Palsy is not impairing his eye muscles. 

Just two weeks ago, upon turning 8 months, Jude at last met another milestone. He flipped from his back to his tummy several times. Out of sheer excitement, he clapped for himself for the very first time. It was so rewarding to witness his little happy hands trying to figure it out. With the brightest smile, his left hand gently patted his right fist. It was so precious to see his little mind working correctly despite his vast physical limitations.  

In that sweet moment, I had a glimpse of how the Lord must see us. We are all impaired in more ways than we are finitely aware. In our own strength, apart from our Father's will, we are all gravely handicapped. Yet, as we learn to solely rely on Him, He showers us with a waterfall of infinite grace, allowing us to overcome our obstacles for His glory.

Jude brightens our days as he joyfully discovers with triumph the abilities he has been given. We are eager to see what the Lord has in store for him in the days ahead.  ~Jen           

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