Thursday, March 18, 2010
Featured Child: Autumn
Our little Autumn is an inspiration to our family. Before she was born we knew she had spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and ACII Malformation. We trusted God from day one that He would take care of our daughter and never questioned why this was happening to our baby girl. We felt blessed that it was "just" spina bifida and felt we could handle taking care of a child with special needs. After she was born, Autumn had her back closure and shunt surgery and was doing pretty well. About 2 days later though she would desat anytime she was fed by mouth and having episodes at night where she would completely stop breathing, turn blue, and the nurses would have to bag her until she would start breathing on her own again. We then realized her ACII was very severe which only happens in about 5% of babies with spina bifida. She was put on CPAP and then we did a decompression surgery to see if that would relieve some of the pressure on her ACII and stop the episodes. Well, it did not and we could not get her off the ventilator after the surgery. We then had to make the dreaded decison to give her a trach so that she could come home with us. We were ready to deal with a child who may or may not walk or who may have some bladder/bowels issues but taking care of a child with central apnea and who stops breathing at any time was a completely different story and one we were not prepared for. After 4 months in the hospital and living 6 hours away from home for over 5 months..we were finally able to bring Autumn home. We were concerned how it was going to be caring for a baby with a trach and who was on a ventilator 24/7 and also taking care of the needs of our other 2 children. We had been trained well though and we were ready to set out on this new calling God had placed in our hands. Autumn though has made this journey such a sweet one. She is truly an inspiration to us and always has a smile on her face (even through her tough therapy sessions). She is one determined little girl and finds a way to get what she wants and communicate her needs to us. She is such a joy to be around and touches every heart that she meets. As soon as you look into those big, blue eyes and she flashes her toothy smile you instantly do not feel sorry for her but know that she has been blessed with the strength,love,and joy that most of us spend our entire lives searching for. We are amazed at what she has taught us in her short 16 months of life and can only imagine what she's going to conquer in the years to come. We thank God everyday for our daily reminder by Autumn to choose to be happy in every situation we are given and to live life with a smile on our face. If she can do it daily, so can we! Thanks for letting me share my special girl with all of you.