Tuesday, May 31, 2011

through fields of grass

This picture was taken in a large grassy field just down the street from our house when Luke was about two weeks old (thanks, Shauna Maness).

On the day that Luke was born, as I prayed for him, God gave me a vision of my little man, as a one or two year old clumsy toddler, running through this field.

He was playing, laughing, throwing a ball, smiling, falling and getting up, shrieking with delight.

He was happy, loving life, loving the outside.  And he was running.  Running on two beautiful, healthy, chubby little legs.

My sweet little man was born with posterior medial tibial bowing and calcaneovalgus foot displacement of the left lower extremity.  These are big words to mean that his left tibia is bowed at the distal end, forcing his little foot up and out.  So on his birthday, his left foot was in a position that the top of his foot literally rested upon his left shin.

We had no idea that he would be born this way.  And "they" have no idea what causes this problem.  It is a rare congenital anomaly and most research blames it on intrauterine positioning.  He grew this way inside of me.

I have kept fairly private about the issue until now.
There are several reasons for that.
Fear.  Pride.  The desire to protect Luke and our family.  The desire to not feel exposed.

But in my efforts to hide what was really going on in our house, I have hidden the goodness of the lord.  

This is our road.
This is our journey.
To have a child with some special needs.
Lots of doctors appointments.
Splints, casts, and shoes made just for him.
Questions, answers, and more questions.


Luke's prognosis is good, though slightly uncertain.  Our orthopedic surgeon tells us that his foot will be in a more natural position by the time he is one.  And that his bone will be straightened out by the time he is eight or nine.  And in the meantime, he will meet his milestones - including walking.  He will probably limp.  He will probably have a leg length discrepancy that will need to be corrected surgically, with a halo cast.

But my vision for Luke is more than good, and faith alone makes it not uncertain at all.  The Lord will heal his foot.  The Lord will straighten his leg.  The Lord will perform miracles on my little man and he will not only walk, but he will run through fields of grass.  

We believe in the healing power of God's hand.
We believe in the strength of prayer and petition.
We believe that Luke is our son for a reason, and that God has given him to us for the sake of an incredible journey, and this is just part of our road.  

I want to document bits and pieces of this road so that we can look back and see how God has worked in our lives.  I want to remember these early days and weeks and months so that we can praise God for his goodness and great gifts.

Like this one.

I confess fear and doubt.  I confess anger and frustration and sadness and disappointment.
But I declare a love for God and a love for His plans for us.

Join us in praying healing over our little man.

Monday, May 23, 2011

luke's first swim

I've been waiting and waiting for the water to be just warm enough to take Luke for his first swim. 
Today was the day.  And he loved it!

I thought he would cry at first, but he didn't! 

Honey bought him a really cute little swimsuit. 
I tried it on him today and it fell right to the floor.  Still too big.

 But that's okay.  He just went skinnydipping instead.  :)

Happy summer!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

jennifer martin, rn, msn

 Graduation last night was a blast and I'm so thankful to be finished with school! But the studying is not over, now I have to pass the board exam! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

my first mother's day!

What a sweet celebration!  We had dinner with Adam's mom on Saturday night and lunch with my mom on Sunday afternoon.

Where would I be without my amazing mother?  Her strength, grace, and selflessness are truly an inspiration to me.

And just in time ... our friend Laura came for a visit from Pittsburgh last week. 
She was a second mom to me growing up, and I cherish her wisdom and friendship to this day.

In other news, I got a Vitamix from my amazing husband for my first mother's day!
I've already made breakfast shakes, milkshakes, frappes, carrot juice, and broccoli cheese soup!

We didn't get an actual mother's day picture.
Mostly because Luke cried from two o'clock until eight o'clock with very few breaks. Whew!
Out of frustration and exhaustion and fear that there was something wrong with my little man, I cried right along with him.  Just not a great photo op.

But today, he's been an angel. 

By the way ... we're both losing our hair.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

where were you when ...

I have vivid memory of where I was when I heard about the 9-11 attacks on our country.
I will always remember that day, and parts of the days that followed.
The media, the sounds, the words, the stories, the tears, the patriotism.   The war.

I was talking to my neighbor the other day.
She has four kids and we were talking about the newborn phase, baby blues, breastfeeding, and adjustment.
She said that 9-11 happened right after her first son was born, which had dramatic effect on her emotions.  Can you imagine!?

I am fascinated by how these national events shape our seasons.  Where I was physically during an event is only the tip of an iceberg.  Where I was in life is the far deeper subject.

When the Columbine massacre occurred in April of 1999, my brother was in the hospital.  We watched it all unfold for hours as we sat around his hospital room.  Blake was sick, but others were dead.  Blake was hurting, and so was the entire country.  Interesting memories.

Adam and I stayed up late on Sunday night because we rented March of the Penguins on AppleTV.  Great movie, by the way.

When it was over, we shut down the house and went to bed.
Completely clueless.

Luke woke up at 4 in the morning to nurse.
I was exceptionally exhausted from staying up late, watching the penguins.

In an effort to stay awake, I played Words with Friends on my phone.
When that got boring, I tapped on Facebook to read the news feed.

There were several status updates about USA, Obama, Osama ...
My stomach turned and I knew.  Something had happened.

So I went to FOX news (how did people function before iPhones?) and read the real story.
Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. Navy Seals in a top secret military operation.

I was overwhelmed.   There I was, in the quiet of the morning, sitting in my big leather nursing chair, holding my newborn, shocked by the news I was reading.  And all of a sudden, exhaustion was no longer just physical.  It was emotional, spiritual, real. 

I was flooded by memories of my brother in camo, coming home from Iraq.
We had watched the news faithfully for his sixteen month deployment, and all I could think about was him, the dust, the guns, the boots, the explosions.  He was a soldier in the war against terror.
Pride and sadness.  Both, together. 

And I was flooded by worry for my son, who nursed peacefully in my lap.
He was so innocent, so unprepared for this world.  I spend every minute these days nurturing, nursing, rocking, loving, playing, reading.  But someday, this little man will be a soldier in his own right.  On his own.  Fighting for place in this world. 

I woke Adam up to tell him the news.
He thought I was dreaming and talking nonsense.  It took a few minutes to convince him I was lucid.

He, too, thought of my brother right away.  Interesting.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

march of dimes 2011

We actually walked twice this past weekend for the March of Dimes.  On Saturday we walked here in The Woodlands for Chesmar's team.  And on Sunday we walked in Houston for Team Kyle, a precious miracle!

Luke did great on both walks.  I'm loving my jogging stroller more and more every day, and he loves it, too!

Honey walked with us on Sunday.  Kyle was excited to see her.

Our friends John & Kelly Sherrill delivered their third son, Kyle, at 23 weeks gestation.  His story is a miracle, a true testimony to God's healing power -- both physically and spiritually.  This family has taught me so much over the last seven years.  They are a beautiful example of faith, belief, love, and growth.  It was truly an honor to walk with them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

she is Honey

She was in love with him from the moment they met. 

They will be the best of friends.

To me, she's mom.  To Luke, she's Honey.

And I think her name fits quite well.