Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Difficult to Accept (a note from Mom)

Acceptance - it's the 7th and final stage of grief. I don't know that I've been through each of the infamous 7 stages in the past year and a half since we learned that Cicily had brain issues in addition to her craniofacial symptoms. And, I'm quite certain that I'll randomly travel back through the irritating 7 stages in the years to come. However, I have started to feel the first honest feelings of true acceptance.

Accepting that Cicily, due to the lack of white matter in her brain, is not improving in how signals are sent to parts of her body.

Accepting that her gross motor control is not improving and she will very likely need a wheelchair to get around (sadly you can't crawl everywhere).

Accepting that Cicily may never learn how to breathe without a trach. This one is much easier to take now for me after seeing how hellish her life could be without a trach. I also do think she could still learn to cough and swallow and breathe without a trach, but don't see it happening until she's a lot older.

Accepting that her brain may never solidify the correct pathways to obtain speech. I'm SO happy we taught her sign language and she uses it.

Accepting that eating via your mouth is over-rated. Cicily doesn't feel she's missing out by only getting to taste food, why should I care?

These and others are things I've begun to accept. Some days it's easier to do than others. Other days like when I read a report detailing how Cicily is not meeting any of her therapy goals, or when her big sister Maya asks if Cicily will ever talk like we do, or when Maya goes to a friends' house to play and I wonder how or if Cicily will ever do the same, or when I worry about how Cis will feel when her baby sister can start walking away from her.

-Ok, I'm back. I started writing this post a couple weeks ago and then started crying and didn't feel like finishing it. That's why I try to stay positive. It's much more fun to focus on good things in life instead of miring in the not so good things.

So I'm accepting that this is the way my Cicily was meant to live. She'll have a trach, g-tube, and wheelchair. But, she'll also continue to be happy and determined. Watching Cicily live her life and taking care of her with all her extras has taught me a billion and one things. I'm honored to be her Mom and to hopefully make her life a little more enjoyable.

animals, colors, and shapes - oh my!

Next time you see Cicily you'll have to ask her to demonstrate her vast knowledge for you. She's known animal names for a year or more now, but recently we just discovered she definitely knows all her colors and shapes. Around a year ago she could get the right color or shape about 50% of the time you asked her, but now she can identify them all and sign the correct sign for them. It's not something we've overtly "worked" on. Most of the adults in her life (mom, therapists, etc.) just point them out as she plays and she's officially picked them all up now.
As we've said before, Cicily's mental abilities seem to be right on track. It's nice to have her prove that every once in a while with things like this though.
Other smart things she's demonstrated lately - Cicily can tell you which emotion should go with which situation (ie. happy when you see Sophie). She also can identify some letters. She's also great at remembering books. She'll sign something that's going to happen on the next page when we're reading. If you recite a line from one of her books just randomly as you're playing with her, she'll get a knowing smile on her face and laugh.
It's nice in the midst of all the things she's not doing well to remember all that she can do!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Big Sister Cicily!

Introducing Cicily's new baby sister - Sophie
The first of MANY kisses for her little sister.

This is the first time Cicily got to meet her little Sophie. Cicily couldn't quite smile big enough to show how happy she was! She wanted to hold her immediately and hasn't stopped wanting to hold her since. Occasionally Cis will get to hold Sophie for over 20 minutes and finally she'll say she's done and want to go play.

Yesterday I was feeding Sophie on a chair and needed a blanket for her. Cicily was wanting to come see Sophie, so I tried to distract her and asked her to get Sophie's blanket for her. Cicily was quite happy that I had asked her to help. She crawled right over to the couch where the blanket was. On her way there she had to crawl over a pillow and toppled on her head. She lost her hearing aids and started crying (not sure if she got hurt or she was upset to be deterred from her task). She brought me her hearing aids so I could re-place them for her. Then she crawled right back over to the couch and got the blanket down. About 5 minutes after I had asked her for the blanket, Cicily held it up to me. She was beaming! She had succeeded in helping her baby sister and her Mommy. It was so sweet and took so much effort, I cried.