Friday, June 11, 2010

Welcome Baby Zach!

Tuesday June 1, at 8:07pm...we welcomed our beautiful baby BOY into the world! What a wonderful surprise that it was a boy!

After a 12 hour labor and virtually no pain meds (my epi didn't take) our baby was born!

Leah is loving Zach! She's a great big sister!

We are just taking things one day at a time, trying to get used to being a family of four!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Botox and Casting!

A brief update for the 2 of you that still come to this blog! :)

Last Friday Leah had her first round of botox. I have to admit that I was horribly nervous about it, to the point where when the doctor walked into the room I broke down in tears. I often HATE that Leah has to go through these painful things, but I have to remember that in the end 9 times out of 10 they are worth it. I had spoken to many parents who were very pleased with the outcome of botox with their hemi-kids, the therapists were encouraging it and I completely trust our physiatrist. So, with all that said we went and did it. It was over in about 20 seconds, Leah sat on my lap, got one botox shot in her calf and one shot in her forearm. She screamed, I cried, then I gave her a large chocolate lollipop and all was forgotten! Thankfully, she had no reaction to the botox and no pain. We started to see results 2 days later. Her hand has a beautiful relaxed position--the tone is almost completely gone. We are now able to stretch her foot into a neutral position, where before we could only get it to a 90 degree angle. She looks great and her therapists are overall very happy with the way she is looking.

When we decided to do the botox, Leah's doctor suggested that we do a round of casting right after the shots. So, today Leah started another round of Constraint Induced Movement therapy. I always get incredibly anxious before the casting happens because I never know how he is going to react. She is so amazing! She sat through the casting process beautifully, laughing and talking the whole time. She has had the cast on for about 7 hours now and has not complained once. She is such a trooper! I'm looking forward to seeing how the therapists work with the botox and casting together! Hopefully, this will have great results!

As for me, I'm now almost 8 months pregnant and getting ready for the baby! Leah is SO excited and loves kissing my tummy and telling the baby "I love you". When we ask her if she wants the baby to come out she lifts up my shirt and tells me she wants to pick up the baby, while trying to lift my tummy. She's going to be a great big sister!

I know I say this every time, but hopefully I'll update sooner rather then later! Thanks for the few of you who still come and check up on us!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


We had our "big" level 2 ultrasound on Tuesday, thankfully everything looks great! We are so relieved, but we still know that in the 20 weeks I have left things could happen. The doctor has decided that we are going to do monthly ultrasounds just to keep an eye on things and then at 34 weeks we'll do another Level 2 ultrasound.

The level 2 ultrasound was the coolest thing ever! We saw every single detail of the baby--well, almost every detail--we're still keeping the sex of the baby a surprise!

I'm feeling a weight lifted as I was very nervous about this ultrasound. Until the next ultrasound, then I'll be nervous again!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Physiatrist Appointment

Today Leah had her appointment with her physiatrist. It went really well! I really like the Dr we see, she is always so positive!

She thinks Leah looks great and loves seeing her improvements! She does feel like her leg is getting a bit tighter and thinks that is because she is growing. She feels like Leah could benefit from some botox in her leg, within the next couple of months. She also said that she recommends if we are going to go ahead with the botox in the leg, that we do a bit in her arm as well. She wants the arm botox to be followed by Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (Casting), she believes we will see the best results by doing it that way.

I did get a chance to discuss my questions about Cord Blood. We didn't bank Leah's cord blood, but thought we'd look into banking this babies. I wanted to discuss banking this babies cord blood and possibly using it for Stem Cell Therapy for Leah. She said that she has not seen results from doing the Stem Cell Therapy on someone as high-functioning as Leah. She encourages us to research and make the best decision, but she went on to say that we really need to weigh the amount of time, the travel, the expense etc. She said that she has seen many parents go into the SCT thinking that their child will be "cured" and in turn the results are very minimal. She believes that Leah will be able to do everything a typical person can and at this point in time does not believe that stem cell therapy is the way to go...although she highly encourages banking the cord blood. Anyone have any thoughts? Or experiences with any of this? I'd LOVE to hear it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What's The Word?

Well, it's been a little over forever since I've last posted! Many things have gone on in since I last updated, so I'll try to recap!

Leah is little miss personality these days! She is talking SO much lately. She did start speech therapy about a month ago--but missed 3 weeks due to the holidays, so she really only had two sessions of speech. Today was her third session. In the first two the speech therapist said she is talking a lot, but that she needs to work on putting two words together. Well, the three weeks she was off she started on her own putting two words together and is doing it consistently now. The ST, Christine, was thrilled to see the progress today, and now said to work on putting three words together! It's always something...oh good you got this, now work on this! Anyway, Leah is non-stop talking to us, but her teachers are still not hearing her talk, which is frustrating since I know she can do it! Hopefully soon she'll open up to them!

OT is going well, we have been taping Leah's hand in knesio tape for the past couple of months and I LOVE (LOVE, LOVE) the way she looks in it! Her movements are so natural and precise when taped! She still has no active grasp, but she does have full use of her arm and uses it as an assit. Just this week she started to initiate a grasp which is definite progress! We plan on casting again in the next month or two.

PT is fantastic! Leah is incredibly on point with her gross motors, which is always great. She is still wearing an AFO on her left leg and an SMO on her right. I had a lot of concerns in the beginning in regards to how she looked in the AFO, because she was turning her foot in SO much, but thankfully in the past couple weeks she has self-corrected and is almost not turning in at all anymore!

All of Leah's therapists have kicked me out of the room. We realized that she was using me as a crutch and actually does a lot better without me in the room! She goes to her OT and PT without hesitation, but her ST she is a little more weary of. I think once we get on a routine with the ST she won't be as upset to go without me.

We have an appointment with Leah's physatrist next week, so I always look forward to hearing what she has to say.

As for me, I'm now just about 19 weeks along and feeling good! We go in soon for our big level 2 ultrasound which is exciting and VERY scary at the same time. I'm praying for only good news. We won't be finding out the sex of the baby, so this ultrasound is strictly to make sure everything is looking good. As it gets closer, I get more nervous. I just don't know how I feel to find out if something (god forbid) is wrong. We already turned down all the prenatal testing, because I want to just enjoy the pregnancy and I worry enough without knowing what's going on. I'm praying for only good news...please keep us in your thoughts in the next couple weeks!

Other then that, I'm loving feeling the baby move all the time! I'm convinced that he or she is going to be born with dreadlocks all the way down to their ankles, with the amount of heartburn I've been having! (You know what they say, heartburn=a full head of hair!). We've been checking out double strollers and planning on getting the room in order soon (basically just cleaning it out!). We want to move Leah into a big girl bed in the next month or two, so we'll need a place for the crib and the dresser! We are also hoping to get Leah potty trained and RID OF THE PACI before this baby comes! God help us as the paci ridding is no easy feat! She's obsessed...anyone have any good tips? All day she asks for her "Faci"...she hasn't quite gotten the "p" sound down yet. So, lots to do before the baby is born in June!

That's about it for now!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Leah is going to be a BIG SISTER!

We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome a new baby into our lives!

So, June 2010 we will be a family of four!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009's been awhile!!!

Wow, I haven't blogged in FOREVER! I'm so sorry! Not even sure if anyone even comes around here anymore, but I thought i'd do an update and try to get back into posting regularly!

Things have been busy since Leah started school. She goes 3 days a week from 9-12. She LOVES it! I was, of course, worried about how she would do in school but her teachers are always telling me that she keeps up with the rest of the class perfectly! Which is great because on top of having her hemi, she is also by far the youngest in class. I love seeing all the great projects she makes and at the end of the day when I go in to pick her up she is always SO SO SO happy! Plus, I love the 3 hours to myself! :)

Three weeks ago we started another round of Constraint Induced Movement Therapy, where we casted Leah's good arm. This has been the most positive casting we have done yet. Leah has taken to having the cast on like a pro. Her movements with lefty are on point, thought out and almost typical looking. She struggles with eating, a lot, while casted and it has been the one thing that has been the hardest for her. She has been going to school and doing projects with lefty, her teachers have been fantastic in helping her.

We get the cast off today, which I'm thrilled about! I look forward to seeing all the gains she made while the cast is off.

About a month and half ago, we switched OTs. We love our previous OT but thought it was time for a change. We now see Laura, who is great. Leah responds really well to her. Laura is very big on knesio taping, so we've been taping Leah. The tape has been amazing in helping her to be less fisted and has helped greatly with supination. I'm loving the way the tape makes her look.

This past Tuesday we tried E-Stim on Leah. They first put it on me and it was not painful at all...almost felt like a little tickle. Then we put it on Leah. Basically the E-Stim sends electric "shocks" to the muscles in order to activate them. Since this was the first time we did it, we wanted to try it on the lowest setting, Leah wasn't bothered by it at all. We didn't see any difference either, but next week we will try it with the machine turned a bit higher. We are focusing on her thumb and her wrist muscles right now. Her thumb is always very tight and she lacks a lot of support in her wrist.

As far as PT, Leah is doing great. She walks up stairs without holding on and down holding on (thankfully!). She runs with the speed of light, so fast that we often have a hard time catching her! I'm convinced she is going to be a track star one day!! Every time I'm chasing her, I have to laugh a bit at the time when I thought she would never walk or run! Now, I'm begging her to SLOW DOWN!

I plan to blog a bit more these days, now that everything has started to settle into a routine. So, hopefully you'll keep checking in!