Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Making Steps Toward the First Step

Our big boy turned one this month. Though I wrote a letter to him for his first birthday expressing my pride in him, I still find it difficult to sufficiently put it into words. He is a hard worker. He doesn't like doctors and therapists messing with him and making him do things with his body that feel uncomfortable to him. But I think on some level he really does understand that he is deriving benefit from everything he has gone through because he tends to maintain a tolerance that I find myself envying.

His newest challenge is in the form of a "supine stander," which will strengthen Liam's legs and teach him to become more comfortable with standing on his own. As you may recall, his legs had been in and out of casts (Ponseti method) for the first 8 months of his life. The primary objective of the casts was to straighten out his clubbed feet. They also served to initiate mobility in his ankle and knee joints which gives long-term benefit to his arthrogryposis.

As of now, we are still struggling with Liam being able to sit up completely on his own, unsupported. Also, we don't expect him to learn to crawl because his knee joints are still too stiff to bend fully. Now we are teaching him to stand, using the stander, hoping he will someday take the initiative to stand on his own; and eventually take his first step. Seeing how well he tolerates the stander, I believe we are well on our way in the right direction.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Liam!

To my Liam Solo on your first birthday,

Can you imagine the feeling I felt one year ago today when our Aunt Patty called from the hospital summoning me to the delivery room telling me “if all goes well, you’ll be new parents by noon?” The day had finally come! Yet how did it get here so fast? I was sweaty and cold all at once. I couldn’t make up my mind! So I put on my brave face and went in.

You see, the whole pregnancy was an entirely surreal experience. I knew you were there, I could feel you. I wondered what you would be like. You seemed so calm. Would you always be that way?

Aunt Patty was almost right; she only missed the mark by two minutes. You were born at 12:02 p.m. The doctors and their students were huddled around you for so long. I only wanted a peek. To pass the time, I maintained forced conversation with the anesthesiologist as I squeezed the life out of your dad’s hand. He suddenly fell quiet and beckoned me to turn my head.

There you were in one of the students’ arms. I met your gaze and I watched your tiny eyes dilate as they gained focus of mine.

While I was pregnant, I must have read hundreds of articles in baby books and magazines that buzzed about the connections a mother makes with her child during the pregnancy. I had thought that all of those article were preparing me; teaching me how not to drop my newborn child or giving some insight to just how many poopy diapers I can expect within a 12-hour period.

What I didn’t expect was for everything I read to no longer have any credence or value the moment our eyes met. Liam, you are my kindred spirit. I knew it the moment I laid eyes on you. I think you knew it too. What’s more, you are also your dad’s kindred spirit. You are so us. You get us and we get you.

God knew to give you to us. Somehow, He knew, in spite of our inexperience not only with parenthood, but also with the present special need, that we would be the right fit for you. He knew the whole family, as amazing as they are and have been, with their words of encouragement and their loving acceptance of you; that they would be the right fit for you.

You are an amazing child, a gracious soul, a kindred spirit; one that brings such joy to all of those that deserve it. My pride fills to burst for you.

Your first year of life has been met with many challenges that many adults have never had to face. Your strength and drive to succeed are incredibly admirable. It just comes so naturally to you. You are in the hearts and prayers of many. I see and feel the love around you every day.

In the face of challenge and adversity, you are a shining beacon that gives hope to the rest of us. Your life is truly a blessing. And may it always be.

Happy Birthday.

With all of my love and heart,


Friday, July 5, 2013

A Year in Review

1 day old
In just 15 days, Liam will be one year old. Time flew by quicker than I could have ever imagined. This little man has grown and changed so much over the year that I feel the need to review his pictures and videos in awe of his ever-going progress.

Now, in the midst of planning his birthday bash, I felt it prudent to share with you the joy we have experienced in the last year in watching our son blossom from a sleepy-headed newborn with a restricting joint disease to an intelligent and adaptive infant who is more than ready to jump out of our arms into a full run the moment he learns to walk.
13 days old
Going home - 8 days old

Even though his knees are still a little stiff, he is trying to get on them to crawl or maybe scoot around the floor. When he is in the pool, he kicks his legs like a little fish. This little man is going to be mobile very soon. Watch out world!

8 weeks
I hope this post properly conveys just how proud we are of Liam and how grateful we are to all of you who have supported us all in the journey on his road to progress.
(This blog is very unforgiving with picture placement. Apologies for the mishmash).
1 month

8 weeks
3 months
8 months
8 months
6 months
4 months
6 months
7 months
9 months
10 months
9 months
11 months