Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Our Big News!

     So a lot has happened since I last posted on here. While writing my last blog post, little did I know that I was actually pregnant! I found out about a week later, and I was truly in shock! I had just decided to put that part of my life on hold. I was training for my first marathon, and Josh and I had booked a cruise for the following June. I still of course had that strong desire to have another child, but I just decided it wasn't meant to be right now. Little did I know, that God again had different plans for me for the next nine months!
     I was actually almost angry when I found out I was pregnant. I guess I already had it in my head that I was going to miscarry again, and I just could not go through that again! I felt that I couldn't get excited about it, because I was counting on being disappointed.  We finally went for our first appointment at 6 weeks, and I was a nervous wreck! Right away though, the ultrasound tech found the heartbeat! I burst into tears right there, because I was just convinced we were going to have a repeat of our last two ultrasounds. However, she did tell us the heart rate was a little low, and they were going to see me back in a couple weeks.
     I did a little research, and based on what I found, it looked like there was a 50% chance that I could still miscarry. Great, I thought. I was just going to hold off on the inevitable. Two more looong weeks went by, and here we were again in the ultrasound room. Lo and behold, our baby had a strong heart rate in the 150s, well within the normal range! It was still early though, and I didn't let myself get too excited. My OB was very cautious with me, and said to really take it easy and take care of myself.
     By this time, I was in the throes of terrible morning sickness. Actually, it was more like all day sickness. It was a constant feeling of severe nausea, no energy, terrible weakness, and of course, I was getting sick almost daily. It almost put me into a sort of depression. Before the pregnancy, I was very active, running, working out at the gym. I was training for a marathon! And now, not only did I not need to be that active, but I didn't feel like doing anything but lying in the bed. I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't do what I wanted to do.
     It was during this time that I realized I was being completely ungrateful. This is what I had been praying for for years. This is what we had been trying unsuccessfully to do for the past two years. So what if I couldn't run a marathon this year, or go on a cruise next year. God was showing me that it's not about me. I can make all the plans that I want, but He is going to ultimately give me what is best for me at that time. I was being selfish, and not full of overwhelming gratitude like I should have been.
     I began to change my attitude. I rejoiced every time I got sick. I praised the Lord for this little being growing inside of me, altering all my plans. I just began immersing myself in thanksgiving to the Lord. I knew that I was not guaranteed anything, but I had faith that the Lord would bring this child into my arms.
     Finally, our 20-week anatomy scan was here. We were seeing the high-risk OB that I had seen so many times with Breckin. They were going to do a detailed scan of every little body part of this baby. There was a higher chance that this baby could be born with a heart defect, or some other anomaly due to us already having one child with several birth defects. Like I said before, I had faith that this baby was going to be in my arms one day, but I still thought there would likely be something wrong. I was reminded of the verse in Daniel Chapter 3. I've blogged about this verse before, but this is where King Nebuchadnezzar is threatening to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the golden image he has set up. They proclaim that the Lord will save them from the furnace, but verse 18 states," But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." They knew that even if the Lord did not save them, they would still worship Him only.
     I had a "But if not" moment before this appointment. I knew there was a possibility that this baby would have some type of problem. I also knew that the Lord could allow this baby to be perfectly healthy. But if not, I was still ready to worship and praise Him anyways. This was a long appointment, and the ultrasound tech was very thorough. She would silently scan a certain body part, and make all kinds of measurements, and notations. Then after holding my breath, she would say, ok that part looks good, and I could finally breathe again. She went through every body part, and did a fetal ECHO on the heart, and told us that everything looks normal! Wow! Praise the Lord! I was really not expecting this, so as soon as Josh and I got into the car, I burst into tears! I said, can we just stop for a minute and soak this in, and thank the Lord! We stopped and prayed right then for this baby and thanked the Lord for all He has done!
     We found out later that weekend, that we are having another girl! I was so excited about this, and so were the girls. Josh was very happy, but I knew he felt a tiny shred of disappointment that he wasn't going to have a son. That whole weekend was just surreal for me, and still sometimes is. When I think about what all we have been through to get here, and how God has just worked everything out according to His plans, it brings me to tears. He is so good, and truly brings everything about in His time! Our family cannot wait to meet this sweet baby girl soon, and I cannot wait to teach her about our Lord who is so good, and who loves her more than she could ever imagine!
     So, if you're reading this, and you're waiting on something, or things just aren't going as planned, know that the Lord is working. He loves you, and He is good. And also know that it's not about you. The Lord wants honor and glory brought to Him above all. If you are truly following the Lord, and fearing Him, then your desires will line up with His will. And he wants to give you those desires of your heart.
 Those sweet little hands
Soon to be a family of five!
Love,
B

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Boundaries

       Just two posts ago, I wrote about our second miscarriage. And now, here I am again, writing about a third. It happened three months ago, and only six months after the second miscarriage. Again, we got pregnant on our own, and I surprised Josh by putting the phrase, "You're going to be a Daddy (again)" on a piece of paper, and leaving it in the kitchen where I knew he would see it first thing in the morning. I convinced myself that I was already feeling early signs of pregnancy: fatigue, cravings, nausea, and thought this is it! We learned the baby would be due in December, and since we've had a November and a December baby already, we weren't super thrilled about the birthday. However, we thought well, that's just our luck!
       A few days before my scheduled first ultrasound, I felt those early pregnancy symptoms halt. I had a terribly uneasy feeling and just knew we had lost the baby. My fears were confirmed when they saw nothing in the uterus. My hcg levels had been going up, but that day, they were not as high as they should have been for a 6-week fetus. After more tests, another ultrasound, and many hours waiting in the doctor's office, they confirmed that this was indeed another miscarriage.
       Three. Three miscarriages. I never imagined in a million years I would have one, let alone three. I was so angry and just done! Done with fertility doctors, done with spending money and still having no baby, and done with trying to get pregnant. I didn't understand the purpose behind it. I felt like I was putting my faith in God to answer our prayers, and instead of giving, He was just taking away. I honestly felt a little like God had forgotten about me.
       Two days after we had the last test that confirmed the miscarriage, I was at church in our Bible fellowship class. Our teacher had us turn in the book of Isaiah. There was a verse he read in Chapter 49. It states,"...Though she may forget, I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." (Isaiah 49:15b-16) The Lord has me engraved on the palms of His hands! He has not forgotten about me. In Hebrew, the word used here for wall means, "wall of protection." The Hebrew word for engraved used here means, "delineate." If you're like me, I had to look up the exact definition of delineate, and I found it to mean: "to indicate the exact position of (border or boundary)."
     The Lord has put his wall of protection around me. He has indicated on His palm the exact place where I need to be! Another verse that comes to mind when I read this is Psalm 16:6. It states, "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places." I love this so much! Again, it's saying that the Lord has placed me where I am in life, and it is pleasant! It is good! As difficult as it is to comprehend and accept sometimes, I am exactly where God wants me to be.
      I have finally come to the place where I am okay with not being pregnant right now. Josh and I still have the desire to add another child to our family, and we still believe that God will fulfill this desire. However, we realize that it may not be in the way that we had planned. Nothing in our lives since being married has gone according to our plan, but we can always see that it has been God's plan. I don't know why we or any couple has had to go through losses like this. Sometimes, it's to prepare us for something in our future, sometimes, it's to help us grow, sometimes it's to teach us something. But it's always to bring glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. We continue to be in prayer for God's leading, direction, and wisdom on how He wants to grow our earthly family ❤

Love,
B


Friday, January 19, 2018

Snow Day Blues

     This past week has been a little bit of a whirlwind in our family. With the snow last Friday came sickness to the Helms household. In the early morning hours, Harper woke up throwing up in my bed! She slept with me because Josh was gone duck hunting, and she was complaining of a stomach ache all evening. Little did I know, that it was a stomach virus! So after cleaning her up, washing bedding, and getting her back to bed, I tried to get a little more sleep. A few hours later, Breckin woke up burning up! I checked her temp and it was 100.4 under her arm, meaning it would likely be one degree higher if taken orally. I called in to work saying even if I could make it through the snow and ice, I couldn't come in since I had to take care of two sick kids.
     With Breckin's heart defect, I am always extra cautious when she gets sick or runs fever. A little virus could impact her greatly and make her very sick. So, as soon as I could, I started calling around to find a clinic or doctor's office open since her pediatrician's office was closed due to the snow. I took her to an open walk-in clinic and she tested positive for the flu! So here I am with two sick kiddos and a husband out of town.
     Harper, bless her heart, still wanted to go outside and play. So, while Breckin slept, we went outside and attempted to play in the snow. We basically just walked around making footprints in the snow, and trying to find icicles. After about 10 minutes we came back inside because we were freezing, and Harper wanted to lay down. I was done with snow after that and ready for it to be gone! However that was not the story. After a long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend of staying in trying to stay warm and entertain the kids, it snowed again! By this time, the stomach virus had moved past Harper to Josh, and while he was recovering, I got it. So I spent all of Tuesday in the bed sick as a dog.
     By Wednesday, even though I was still feeling puny, I wanted to get out of the house! The snow had not been fun, we had watched every movie, played every game, and read every book in the house. But, since we were all likely still contagious from either flu or the stomach virus, we couldn't go anywhere! I love spending time with my girls and my husband, but when I can't get out of the house, I go crazy!! I was feeling down, and being very negative about everything!
     I write all this not to complain about how terrible our week was, or to say "woe is me," even though that was the attitude I was having. I write this to show God's glory and goodness! Through all this bad stuff, sickness, cold, negative attitude, and downright depressing mood of mine, God's glory shone through! I've been reading a chapter every evening to my girls out of their new bible they got for Christmas:
The past few nights of reading have all emphasized the glory of God. I have been teaching my girls what this means and how we can in our regular lives show God's glory. Last night, I realized that God wants his glory shown even through this.
     Yes Breckin did get the flu, but she had a mild case! She only ran fever for one day, and she didn't end up in the hospital. We had to stay in the house all week, but God provided us with a working furnace, a working fireplace, hot water, and warm blankets. I had just gone to the grocery store before the snow came, so we had plenty of food to eat. The kids were out of school all week so they didn't have to miss any school due to being sick. Even though we were stuck inside, we were all together! I got to spend six days with these precious girls and my wonderful husband. The more I thought about the week, the more I became aware of all the things I had to be thankful for. I had been so focused on myself and my circumstances that I wasn't seeing the goodness and glory of God!
     So if you, like me, didn't have a magical, wonderful time of making memories in the snow, and are going stir-crazy from being in the house, just know it's ok. Try to find all the things there are to be thankful for in your life, because there's always something to be thankful for! God is so good!

Love, 
B
A few pics showing it wasn't all bad! :)








     
     

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

School Time!

     I just recently went back to some old blog posts I wrote when I was pregnant with Breckin. I love having a record of what God has done in my past, and seeing how far we have come! Those days before she was born and even after she was born, there were so many unknowns. Looking back, I can see how God has been so faithful! Today is Breckin's fourth day of preschool. I can't believe that we have made it here.
     Months before she started school, I was already a nervous wreck. I would cry every time I talked about her starting school. I was so worried that she wouldn't be ready, that she would fall behind, that she wouldn't have any friends. I shared my concerns and fears with others, and I knew several people were praying for her. I myself prayed as well for her future at school. We had our IEP meeting (which is the big meeting with all the teachers, therapists, and principal at Breckin's school, where they went over all her developmental tests and set learning goals for her) and it went extremely well. I could tell that every person in that room was concerned for Breckin's education, her well-being, and her growth and development. I left that meeting in tears, not because I was upset, but because I had such a peace about her going to this school. God had answered my prayers beyond what I could have imagined!
     A few weeks before she started, her vision therapist, Ms. Lou, met me at school a couple times before class started so Breckin could have some orientation to the room. On those days she was able to get to know her teacher better, Ms. Jaffe, and meet some of her classmates. A couple days before school started, the wonderful ladies with the TN Deafblind Project gave a training to all her teachers and therapists specifically on Breckin's needs. A slideshow was prepared full of pictures and videos of Breckin! It has been so amazing to see how God has orchestrated all these people to be in Breckin's life and to see it all fall into place.
     She has had a great first few days of school and everyone has gone above and beyond to make her feel welcome. Her vision therapist filled the room with tactile symbols and labels so Breckin would know all the parts of the classroom. She brought her textured paper to use in art class, and the school ordered a walker for her to use at school. Her teachers have sent me pictures and videos and updates, so I don't have to worry at all! I am so thankful that we are at this school and so thankful for her amazing teachers and therapists. I also just want to thank everyone who has been praying for this transition with me!
     You would think I would know now not to worry and be afraid of what the future holds for Breckin. Looking over these past three years, God has had a hand in every step. He constantly tells me to trust Him, and He's right! Even if things don't go the way I plan or want them to, they are still the way God intends them, and His ways are perfect!

Love,
B
     Just a few pics from her first couple days of school
 So excited for her first day!
 Here's her walker which has a little seat so she can take a rest :)
 Got kisses from big sis at school
 Dancing during music class!
     The beloved beanbag!

Monday, November 6, 2017

He is Still Good

     Ever since Breckin was born, we have wanted a third child. I know it sounds kinda crazy, as if we didn't have enough to deal with just with her. But, even when we were in the NICU with her, in the midst of so many overwhelming circumstances, I still pictured us having another baby. I imagined that we would have three little girls, with Breckin being our middle child. So, when she was a little over a year old, we started trying for another baby. At first, it was a little scary imagining another baby when Breckin was still a baby herself. But then, it became exciting, waiting every month until I could take a pregnancy test. However, the excitement started to just get frustrating because a year had gone by, and we still were not pregnant.
     We decided at that time to see a fertility specialist. She recommended we both undergo testing and labwork, which we did, and everything came back normal. She also recommended that I see Dr. BK, our high-risk OB that followed me throughout my pregnancy with Breckin. My visit with him was basically a set of statistics-how likely our chance of having another child born with a heart defect (2.5-5%), how likely it was to have a child born with Breckin's same brain malformation (about the same percentage), and how likely it was that we were to have a healthy, typically developing baby (about the same as anyone else). We knew the risks were a little higher for us to have another child with special needs or health problems, but this was the desire of our hearts, and we put all our trust in God. 
     Finally, we had our first IUI. This is a rather expensive procedure (several hundred dollars), but I had been working more, and we had the money saved up. It's also a simple, quick office procedure with no downtime, so we went for it. Throughout this whole process, I had been praying for God's guidance and wisdom; for Him to lead us down the right path, and for Him to go before us. We both felt right about this decision, so we continued down the path. Unfortunately, two weeks later, I got a negative pregnancy test, and plans were made to do another IUI the next month.
     This next IUI, however, did not feel right. The finances weren't there, the timing wasn't right, and I just felt uneasy about going through with it. So, I called and cancelled it. I was disappointed, but I immediately felt a peace about the decision. Later that same day, I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw a post that just said,"If not, He is still good." I realize that a quote from someone, though inspired by the Bible, is not as good as God's truth. But it was still a good reminder that even if things don't go your way, God is still good. 
     So, the next month, it was a few days past my normal cycle time, but I didn't think anything of it. We didn't do the IUI, so we couldn't be pregnant-I was just late. After another day, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! God had answered our prayers, and He chose to do it all on His own. He didn't need any medical procedure to perform this miracle! Josh and I were over the moon, but we wanted to keep it a secret from our families until we went for our first ultrasound. So at seven weeks pregnant, I had my first ultrasound.  Josh was running late, so it was just me in there with the ultrasound tech. As I watched the screen, I didn't see the familiar heartbeat sign. The tech was silent for several minutes, and I knew from experience that this was bad news. She told me that she only saw a gestational sac, measuring 5 weeks and 5 days, but no baby. She told me that sometimes this happens if your dates are off, and you're not as far along as you think. But I knew my dates were not off. This baby didn't make it.
     I had to relay the news to Josh when he arrived, and we both just sat in silence. I was crushed, and angry that we were losing another baby. Two days later, I was helping to lead children's worship at church, and we led them in the song, "Good, Good Father." Again, another reminder that God is still good! However, it was very difficult for me to accept that right then. That first week was terrible, and I struggled with accepting God's goodness, and accepting that this was His perfect plan for me. But eventually, after several days of grieving, I gave everything back over to Him. We had an altar call at church that Sunday night, and I laid my burdens at His feet. I immediately felt a peace after doing that, and just felt relief wash over me. 
     Several weeks later, I went back to that Instagram post, and looked up the passage of scripture that inspired that particular quote. It took me to the book of Daniel chapter 3-the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were three Jewish men who were not worshipping the golden gods that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; they worshipped the one true God. King Nebuchadnezzar made the proclamation that anyone who did not worship these gods would be thrown into the furnace to die. The king confronted the men and they told him that the God they serve would save them from the fiery furnace. But, that even if he didn't, they would still not worship the golden idols. Anyone who knows this story knows that they did get thrown into the furnace, and that God did indeed save them. However, they were still willing to worship the Lord and honor Him even if He didn't answer their prayers in the way they wanted Him to.
     I still believe that God is good. Some days it is harder than others to believe this, but I know it to be true. Josh and I still have a desire for another child, and that continues to be our prayer. I may never know or understand why God has allowed us to experience the loss of a second baby, but I do know that He is good, His plans for us are perfect, and He can still be trusted.

Love,
B
   


    

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Letting God Lead

     I want to share a little story on here of a recent doctor's visit. So, we have been followed by a certain ENT doc since Breckin was born. She has put tubes in her ears twice, and is scheduled to do Breckin's cleft palate repair this summer. However, all through these visits, something just kept tugging at me making me unsure of her. We haven't really had any issues with her, she has great bedside manner, and she has been very cautious this whole time with Breckin, considering her heart defect. Just recently though, I have come across a few moms whose children had their cleft palates repaired by Dr. Wallace, a plastic surgeon. They highly recommended him. One of the moms even told me about this cleft clinic that involves a panel of doctors that sees your child.
     All through our time with this ENT doctor, we were never told about a cleft clinic, and I came to find out that she is even one of the doctors on the cleft team! So, with Breckin's surgery continuing to be pushed back for one reason or another, I thought this would give me a great chance to seek a second opinion. So after much prayer, I decide to call and make an appointment with Dr. Wallace. Shortly after that appointment was made, Breckin had her second set of tubes put in by this same ENT. Everything went great, she answered all our questions, and we even talked a little bit about the upcoming cleft repair. So I left that surgery thinking, Hmm, maybe we don't need a second opinion. Maybe we'll just stick with her. I continued to pray for wisdom, because I felt like I was just not getting a clear answer on what to do.
     Fast forward to a week before the appointment. I am seriously considering cancelling the appointment with Dr. Wallace when I see a friend at the gym that just so happens to be a nurse at LeBonheur. The topic of Breckin gets brought up and I just casually mention the ENT doctor that is scheduled to do Breckin's cleft palate surgery. My friend looks at me and says, "You need to see Dr. Wallace." She tells me that she has just seen higher complications from our ENT doctor's patients. She told me if it was her child, she would get Dr. Wallace to do the surgery. Finally, I felt like I had a clear answer! I felt a total peace about keeping the appointment now because I felt like this was the wisdom I had been seeking.
     So Breckin and I show up to the appointment, and who walks into the waiting room? Our ENT doctor! Talk about awkward! I think we both try to play it cool, she says hi, I say hi. Then she tells me she will be presenting Breckin's case to Dr. Wallace. What?! We are finally called back, and a whole team of doctors and nurses all walk into this exam room at once. Our ENT doctor takes the lead, and gives Dr. Wallace some facts about Breckin, gives him her plan, and then she asks me if I have any questions or concerns. Uh yes I do, I have questions and concerns about you! I was dumbfounded. I felt completely backed into a corner. There was no way I could state my concerns in this setting with all these doctors in the room. Dr. Wallace pretty much said ok sounds good, we'll follow up in a year once your palate is repaired. The visit was less than five minutes and all doctors walked out the door and we were free to go.
     I left there that day feeling angry, upset, confused, and completely defeated. I just prayed to God asking again for wisdom. I felt like He lead us there, and then we just completely hit a dead end. After some prayer, I talked to my husband and a couple friends to seek some Godly advice. They all suggested I call back and talk to his nurse to try to make her understand the situation better. So, that's what I did. Thankfully she called me back the same day, and when I explained the reason for us wanting to see Dr. Wallace, she completely understood. She told me that when I initially called to make the appointment, there was a miscommunication. She thought I wanted to be seen by the cleft team, not to see Dr. Wallace for a surgery consult. So, we made another appointment with Dr. Wallace only, and we will see him at the end of this month.
     Every step of Breckin's journey has to be completely covered in prayer! There are so many doctor's visits, surgeries, procedures, therapies, medications, etc. that are part of her life. And I make it a priority to take everything to God. I want Him to lead us every step of the way. So, with this particular situation, I struggled because I just wasn't getting clear answers. I was consistently praying for wisdom and guidance, but it just has not been an easy situation. I completely believe that God led me to that friend in the gym that day to say the exact words that I needed to hear. I also know that just because God leads you down a certain path, it doesn't mean it's going to be a smooth ride.
     So now with a new appointment with the specific surgeon we want to see, I feel like I will be able to voice my concerns, and I will be able to get my questions answered. I'm sure I will be put in awkward and uncomfortable situations in the future with our ENT doctor, but I want my daughter to have the best care possible. This is a major surgery, and just being a nice person does not ensure that a surgery will go well. So if you think about us, please pray for this upcoming appointment and for continued guidance throughout this process. Your prayers, as always, are greatly appreciated!

Love, B

Friday, January 13, 2017

Life Lately

     I hate waiting so long before I write a blog post. I feel like we have gone through so much and I have gone through so many emotions since I last wrote. I also feel like I have learned a lot too. Maybe my new year's resolution should be to set aside time every week or at least every month specifically to write. We'll see how that goes ;)
     Since I last wrote, Breckin was supposed to have had her cleft palate repair. However, it was cancelled due to a cough and nasal congestion that she had been battling for weeks before the surgery. We did everything we could do to get rid of it, including putting her on two weeks of an antibiotic. The day the surgery was postponed (a day before her scheduled surgery), I was an emotional wreck. We had been planning and preparing for this surgery, and we had met our huge deductible for the year! So, for it to be postponed until the next year was a huge disappointment!
     The only thing that got me through the next few days was reminding myself of God's sovereignty. There was no way I was going to understand why any of this was happening-why she was born this way, why she had to have surgery, why she had a cold, why her surgery was postponed. I just kept reflecting on verses in the Bible that speak of God's ways and plans being higher than mine, of His purpose being greater than mine, and of his timing being more perfect than mine. One of the verses I meditated on during that time is Isaiah 55:8-"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." I was not particularly pleased with my situation, but I find my comfort in knowing that God knows what's best.
     Now in hindsight, it probably was a good thing Breckin didn't have her surgery as planned. Her "cold" made a turn for the worse the weekend before Christmas. That Friday morning, after a restless night of what seemed like non-stop coughing, we took her to her pediatrician. Her breathing was labored, she had fever, and her oxygen level had dropped into the 60s. Our pediatrician called an ambulance, and I rode with Breckin to Lebonheur hospital downtown. At the hospital, they ran several tests, did some bloodwork, and got a chest x-ray. Thankfully, RSV and flu were negative, bloodwork looked good, and chest x-ray only showed an upper respiratory infection. However, she was still pretty sick and was requiring 10 liters of oxygen just to maintain her saturations in the high 70s. By the grace of God, she quickly improved, and we got to go home only three days later. She was still sick, but we didn't have to go home on oxygen, and we got to enjoy our Christmas at home as a family!
     Breckin is much better now, and only coughs every so often. As far as surgery goes, her cleft palate repair has now been pushed to June of this year! Our ENT wants all the flu and cold germs to be gone before attempting this surgery. However, we will have a minor surgery on Valentine's Day. She is requiring tubes in her ears for the second time. So, we are still trying to keep Breckin pretty isolated and trying not to put her in the nursery or settings where she will be around a lot of other children. A simple cold that a typical child gets can land Breckin in the hospital!
     We also saw the audiologist when we saw ENT, and she gave me a tiny lecture on Breckin wearing her hearing aids. I honestly had just stopped putting them on her. I felt like she could hear fine, and it was just a hassle to put them in, take them out for naps, baths, bedtime, etc. Then keep them clean and replace the batteries every few days. However, the audiologist let me hear an example of how Breckin hears compared to how we hear. She played a recording of a conversation at a normal talking level. Then she played what Breckin hears, and it was like the volume on the conversation was turned way down. So yes she can hear, but it's at a much lower volume than normal. Since Breckin is really starting to imitate words and talk more, it's important for her to be able to hear us say these words clearly. So of course I had some mommy guilt after this, and immediately went home to get her hearing aids ready to wear.
     Breckin's biggest milestone lately is standing on her own! A couple weeks ago at church, Josh was out in the lobby with her (since we're trying to keep her away from the nursery), and she just started standing. He tried to help hold her hands, but she pushed him away. When I got out of the service, he showed me what she could do, and I burst into tears! I was so overwhelmed with joy and amazement! God truly is so good, and can do way more than I could ever imagine!
     Breckin is also saying a few words, mostly people's names. She has been saying "mama" and "daddy", but now she says "Ha-ha" for Harper and "ah-ah" for Avery, her little cousin. She says several other words that don't quite sound like the word it's supposed to be, but I know what she's saying. Most of her words just don't have the correct beginning sound, but this could be for many reasons. It could be her lack of sight, her cleft, or the fact that she can't hear the words clearly. So once she starts wearing her hearing aids regularly, and after her cleft repair, I can imagine she will be talking much more!
     It's amazing to think that right after Breckin was born, I had no idea if she would be able to talk or walk. Now, I feel like those things are not only possible, but are right around the corner! As challenging as Breckin can be at times, it is so worth all the struggles to see her consistently meet these milestones. The joy she brings to our lives far outweighs the pain!

Love,
B
   

 She had so much fun opening gifts on Christmas
 Playing with her sweet cousin
 She loves rocking babies
She is so loved by her big sister!

I tried like ten times to upload a video on here of her standing, but never could get it to work! So, if you follow me on facebook, you can find it on there :)