June 29, 2011

From Four to Five times Two

Announcing Oliver Micah Nelson!
Oliver arrived on May 14th 2011 making our family of four into five. He has only been here for 6 short weeks and we can not imagine life without him. He is such a blessing to all of us. the biggest news is that he is a healthy boy joining us at an amazing 10 pounds and 4 ounces. (: I can not tell you the countless times we prayed during this pregnancy for a healthy and strong child. The results: Oliver. He is so strong he has already rolled over from his tummy to his back. He is an answer to all of our many prayers. Thank you for praying along side of us.

I can not explain to you what a gift a healthy child is. Now that I have experienced the difference on either side. A healthy child is EASY not to mention a tremendous gift. The list is limited as to why he is crying: dirty diaper, tired, burp, I don't even know what else! Shortly after he was born Matt was watching the nurse clean him. I will never forget watching Matt look at Oliver's back and giving me the non verbal nod that all was well. There have been times, however, that both Matt and I have thought, "be careful for his shunt" or "carefully burp him so you don't hurt his scar" or try to change his diaper while he is sleeping and forgetting that he can actually feel his little legs. Each time this has happened has been an opportunity to thank our God. Each time in my sleep deprived state I smile and thank him for another healthy child. It is amazing how perspectives can change. I have also caught myself giving him physical therapy! I realize what I am doing as he kicks me away.

I have only ventured out to the grocery store with all three once. It is a challenge to get them in the store but after that we are set. The girls are loving having a brother. The first few weeks we had to address a little jealousy but now both girls always want to hold him and see him. Matt was home for the first week and helped me in so many ways. One example is that he gave the girls chores which has helped them both be more independent. This has been especially important for Whitney. I have been forced to look at things a little different to give her more independence because I can't always do it anymore and it has been great for her.

Whitney has had a few appointments over the last few weeks. She is looking great overall. her walking has not increased too much since winter. She unfortunately has developed knee contractures in the past 9 months or so. This basically means that her knees are slightly bent at all times. We do stretching and massage to try to loosen the tendon but have come to the point where she will need to get a night knee brace. We also had her fitted for her first wheelchair. I had been dreading this appointment for years and there I was. The appointment went very smooth and it was really not emotional just factual. I think having Oliver helps a bit. Now he is the one who needs the stroller and Whitney is a big girl. When I told Whitney about the appointment the day before I was shocked that she was the emotional one. We talked it through and the next morning she was excited to go and told me that she wanted a pink one. She has such a personality. I wish you all could meet her. The other day I referred to her walker as a him and she corrected me saying that it was a her. I wonder what she will call her wheelchair. . .

May 16th our dear Fiona went from four to five. I was praying that I would not be in the hospital on her birthday and I was able to be discharged the afternoon of her birthday. We had a small family of five birthday party for her. She was so excited to be the birthday girl. Five is so much fun. Fiona has always been a delightful child and continues to be so. She loves to memorize, sing, help, and wonder how I know so many things. (: She is headed off to kindergarten in the fall and is very excited about it. She does such a great job being a big sister. Sometimes she will teach Whitney a song with the wrong lyrics insisting that they are right. She will answer Whitney's questions with an answer such as, "that is just how God made it Whitney, THAT'S why". She just had her 5 year well child visit. Here are her stats:

Weight: 41.2 pounds (70th percentile)
Height: 45 1/4 inches (93rd percentile)
This year she grew 3 1/4 inches! Just amazing.

I will end with a conversation Whitney and I had last week:

Whitney: "Is my scar still there?"
Susan: "yes, but that is okay."
W: "That's good. When I go to heaven God will take it away."
S: "That's right, God will heal you."
W: "Will you help me run to Him?"
S: "I won't need to. You will be able to do it by yourself."
W: (Huge Whitney smile) "I will run to Him!"


Jamie said...

Congrats, he is so perfect! I love your conversation about heaven too.

Trinity Sue Arthur said...

So happy for you guys! We have such similar stories and yet we have never met. Thank you for sharing your talk with Whitney about heaven, I always am wondering what Trinity is thinking.

La Pura Vida said...

Susan I am so happy for you and your family :). I read the end to my Mom and my sister and we all got the shivers and had tears. What a treasure is she??

Scott and Bekah Ruth said...

Susan, I just stumbled across your blog via Facebook. Thanks for posting such a personal, precious update on your family. God is so good. That sweet conversation with Whitney you posted at the end was just beautiful. Your girls have always been a joy to see at BSF - I hope to one day meet Oliver in person! (Bekah from BSF). :-)

Anonymous said...

So blessed by this post Susan, thank you! I totally cried! Happy tears. I can only imagine how very different and what a blessing this is for all of you right now! So thankful! Praying things continue to progress so wonderfully. Congratulations on Oliver! He is so precious, what a wonderful addition to your family!!

Becky said...

Congratulations on the arrival of Oliver! So glad to hear that you are all adjusting well. May God continue to bless your family- so sweet! Becky Verduin
PS- Do you have pearls on in your labor & delivery photo?!?!?! TOO FUNNY!!

Leigh and Andy said...

Congratulations again on your sweet Oliver! I'm so happy that I was able to meet him and snuggle him up! :) Whitney's conversations brought tears to my eyes...I sure love that little girl of yours!

Missie said...

We praise God with you for healthy little Oliver! I know that Aunt Melissa can't imagine life without my two beautiful nieces and handsome nephew! ;-) I have tears running down my face from your conversation with Whitney...what a precious little honey she is, her personality is just the GREATEST!!! Love the look on Fiona's face as you cut and served birthday cake! Love you all!

Joanna said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful little boy! I am so thankful he is healthy and home with his wonderful family. That last story/conversation with Whitney just brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing from God she is. A true inspiration. Praying my sweet Jet will have that kind of faith and love as he grows up. Thank you for sharing. :)

Courtney Beyer said...

Hi Whitney,

I stumbled upon your blog, and reading a few of the entries has given me a very meaningful inside perspective about having a child affected by spina bifida. I am inspired by your courage and touched by the pictures of your family that I had to reach out. My name is Courtney Beyer, and I am the new Study Coordinator at VitaPath Genetics. Earlier this year, we successfully completed the first phase of our landmark study looking at the genetic factors contributing to spina bifida. In conjunction with our academic collaborators at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCSF, we recruited over 1,000 women and their child affected by spina bifida to participate.

Our first phase produced promising results but, we believe that it is appropriate for us to replicate this study in a second, independent group of mothers. We are beginning our second study in early January and are reaching out to more mothers to participate. In order to reach as many women as possible, I would very much appreciate if you could include news about the study in your blog. I also have banners and buttons if you would like to post something on your site. In addition it would be great to connect with you via facebook (search SB Genetics) and twitter @sbgenetics.

I would like to get in contact with you to share more information and answer any questions that you may have. Please email me at CBeyer@vpgenetics.com and visit www.sbgenetics.org. This website gives an in depth explanation of the study as well as a link if you are interested in enrolling. Thank you for taking the time to read my note and I am greatly looking forward to being in contact.

Warmest regards and happy holidays,


Heather said...

Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! I have a question about your blog. HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com