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20131123-200101.jpgA portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013

We went to Target the other day, for the first time in a while. They had these gifts books out for the holidays, puppies, dogs, cats. She spent our whole shopping tripping flipping through the one on puppies. Sadly the book was ridiculously overpriced(seriously Target? $19.99?), so we snuck the book out of her arms before hitting the checkout.

She is inches away from walking. She’s taken a few tentative steps here and there, but seems to prefer the speed of crawling. Her vocabulary has gotten bigger too. I can discern dog, book, and duck although to most they probably sound the same. She’s had mama and papa for quite sometime, and recently has repeated single words here and there, buckled after being strapped in to her car seat, Rocky after I say our dogs name. She can tell you what sound a dog, cat and cow make. She’s growing by leaps and bounds daily and it’s an amazing process to witness. Even when the teeth trying to make their way out keep her up until 11:45.

My favorite from last week comes from a frequent favorite. This girl, in black and white is quite stunning.

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A day at the hospital

This past week we spent a day at the children’s hospital. It was a routine, scheduled visit, but it was extremely taxing. I’ve talked about my girls heart before but she also has an issue with her kidneys, called hydronephrosis. She has vesicoreutal reflux, meaning a bit of urine goes backwards towards her kidney. It’s very mild and they believe will self correct with time. The doctors are simply monitoring it. So this last Friday, she had the unfortunate experience of being drugged up to be catheterized, have her bladder pumped full of sterile dye and x-rayed. She wasn’t allowed food or drink before the procedure, which she handled surprisingly well. However once at the hospital the tears began to flow. We were there for 4 hours total, and she spent 75% of that crying. Being a mama who does not let her child cry, does not believe in cry it out, that was extremely rough. She did not sleep at all while there either, and was exhausted. There was about a 30 minute span where she was totally stoned from the medication where she enjoyed herself. They gave her a moving light up toy and she was like a hippie on acid. Other then that she was miserable.

I struggle with days like this. I went into pregnancy expecting an intervention free birth, preparing to vaccinate sparingly and hoping to be hands off medicinally.

Then she came and her perfect little heart was broken and I was terrified. I had to put all of my hope and trust into a medical community I previously feared. I had to believe they would save my baby. And they did. And ever since I have listened to almost everything they have told me.

On days like this I wonder if I should question more. Refuse tests. Decline procedures. I wonder if any of this related to her kidneys and bladder was even necessary. If she will simply outgrow it. If so many kids have it and don’t even know, because they didn’t have abdominal ultrasounds at birth. Then why was all of this necessary? Her results came back in favor of her outgrowing the issue, the reflux now gone, the hydronephrosis lessening. I question myself, and my decisions for my child. Was putting her through all of that worth it? But it comes down to trust. And trust these doctors and nurses I must. Without that I am left with far more questions. So I give in and let them take control. We’re lucky. We live in a community with amazing hospitals, researchers, doctors and nurses. They are always up on current research, and much more progressive then you might expect. So trust them I do, and hope that they continue to deserve that trust.

Here’s a glimpse of what that day looked like. These photos don’t tell the entire story, as most were taken in the few moments we weren’t busy comforting her.20131118-225946.jpg20131118-230658.jpg20131118-230009.jpg20131118-230021.jpg20131118-230032.jpg

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20131117-085150.jpgA portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013

We had a very full week, had her first dentist appointment and spent some(planned) time at the hospital. It was a long week and I’m glad it’s over. I’ll post more about it later. For now I leave you with with this girls giant cheeks.

My favorite last week can be found here.

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20131108-154439.jpgA portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013

I am so grateful we have still been lucky enough to have some warmth left in the air. Soon the snow will start to fall, the golden afternoons will have left us and we will be huddled indoors for the coming months. But these last precious beautiful afternoons are more then I could have hoped for.

This photo may be my favorite of the series. It is everything I love of fall and this child all wrapped up into one. The leaves, her skin, those cheeks, her eyes. I am her mother so I must find her beautiful, but in this photo she is simply stunning.

With the few weeks left in this project I am hoping to make better and better images. We shall see if I accomplish this task.

My favorite last week was this sleeping babe.

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20131103-192414.jpgA portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013

I’m feeling especially grateful again this week. For so many things. The wonderful people in our life, the gorgeous fall weather that is hanging around, my husband who learned how to make brownies this weekend, and of course, this girl.

This week she had her 1 year follow up with the brain clinic. In our health care system it’s standard for all kids with heart issues like hers to be followed developmentally until they’re six. So off to the clinic we go, where people far smarter then I watch her play and decide if she’s developing normally, and on track with her peers. And although I had no worries that she wasn’t on track, hearing a professional tell me she is perfectly normal is a great feeling. Reading about other kids like her, understanding that periods of low oxygen saturation can impact brain development, it’s hard not to wonder sometimes. But she did fantastic. She scored particularly high in language, something those of us who know her well were not surprised by. This kid likes to talk. And she learns words so rapidly, she seems to understand everything we say. Of all the ways she’s not like other kids, I was so relieved to find this was one way she was.

This week my favorite photo can be found here.