Monday, November 14, 2011

Illinois in the Fall

Here are some pictures from last week. Lovely time of year. I just adore Fall!

Caleb loved being up high in the tree :)


Luke getting buried in a pile of leaves...and loving it!

They had so much fun!

Gather 'em up and then .....


And now for the beautiful colors of Carbondale........

Climbed to the top of this water(?) tower--quite the view!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

One Giant Leap

One small step for most toddlers, one giant leap for Luke!!

Caleb's first steps were exciting. I'll never forget them. But it never once crossed my mind that Caleb WOULDN'T walk. There were no tears when he took those first steps. Just lots of smiles and laughter and encouragement. And actually a sigh of relief from this twin mommy who was tiring of carrying one baby on each hip. I remember thinking, "Oh, finally...Caleb is walking. Now I only have to carry one baby."

But Luke. Oh, sweet Luke. On Sept. 29th, 3 days after the boys were born, the phone rang in our hospital room. A request was made for us to come down to the NICU asap. We knew something was wrong.

"It's routine procedure for us to scan preeemies' brains 2-3 days after birth to check for brain bleeds."

Andrew and I nod.

"Caleb looks ok. Luke, unfortunately has suffered a brain bleed."

Our hearts drop.

"There are varying degrees of severity when it comes to these things. We rate them from 1 to 4. A Grade 1 bleed is the least severe, often resulting in very little noticeable side effects. A Grade 4 is the most severe. We have to tell you that both sides of Luke's brain have bled. Grade 3 on one side. Grade 4 on the other."


"We can't really tell you for sure what this means for Luke long term. We can only say that because he's has suffered a Grade 3/Grade 4 bleed, the chances of long-term complications are greater."

trickle down.

"But no one knows for sure. The brain is an amazing thing. So, hope for the best and prepare for the worst."

I'll never forget how sad and just....strange that moment was for us. There we sat in this tiny room...with very disorganized shelves and random stacks of idunnowhat sitting in the corners. The doctor scrambled around for chairs for Andrew and me. The whole setting was just....haphazard. Like a "oh, and by the way.....your son has significant brain damage."

Anyway....I sort of digress here...

The point is, the future was pretty unclear at that moment. And for a long time afterwards.

As you know, just when Luke did start to make some progress around 1 year of age, the Seizure Monster moved in.

We sat in a different little room and heard, "This is catastrophic epilepsy. We want you to understand that if these seizures are not controlled, Luke's prognosis is very, very, very, very, very, very, poor." (and yes, he really did use that many "very"s)

So, clearly any milestone for Luke is just...well, miraculous. I mean really truly...miraculous.

On October 1st, five days after his 3rd birthday, Luke took his first steps all by himself!!

And, oh my, were there tears.

We saw it coming...the walking I mean.

Sort of.

Although, not really. We still stood there, holding our breath, wide-eyed...watching our little man take those beautiful steps

Some of you reading know that exhilaration. You "special folks" who have to wait a little longer for your miracle milestones. :)

Here's a video. It's already very outdated. Luke has taken off!! I'll have to get new video footage soon.

Thank God for His work in Luke's life!!


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