It's been a long time since my last post. Needless to say, things have been very busy in the Ashford home. Brace yourself.....this is a long one!
I honestly believe I have been at some doctor's appointment every week since the beginning of January. We have caught up with dentist appointments, eye appointments, check-up appointments, and many newborn appointments and specialists for Gracie. I will welcome March with open arms as we only have two appointments that entire month (as of now)!
We are continuing to remain busy with all three kids. Amber is constantly on the go with chorus at school, youth group at church, and either having friends here, or she's visiting friends elsewhere. William, well, he's our precious William...always making us laugh and into something. He is learning so many new words (more, Elmo, love you, apple juice...just to name a few). He adores his sisters, and give Gracie super wet kisses several times a day. Gracie is now sleeping 5 to 6 hours most nights which is a welcomed blessing. For many weeks, she and William were on completely different schedules at bedtime and naptime. Hence the gap in posts...I've been exhausted. She continues to bless our home with her precious smiles, cooing, and giggles. She loves to talk (mmmmm wonder where she gets that)! We could not be more proud of our three kids.
We did meet with the ENT for Gracie. He's a wonderful doctor and we trust his professional knowledge regarding Gracie's hearing. We did get a final determination there is no fluid. So we are continuing to test for hearing loss. We were also able to determine that at certain decibles in both ears she shows a hearing loss. However, these are strictly "sound waves" and we cannot really determine much more until she can communicate with us. Since she failed in the hospital, it was reported to the State of Georgia as a hearing loss, therefore, there are guidelines for her ENT. He is required to administer his own ABR as a follow up to the hospital's administration. (Thank goodness for good insurance....these appointments add up!) We will take Gracie to Scottish Rite on March 22nd to have the ABR done. As of now, they plan on doing it while she's napping to avoid sedation. We are hoping this remains the case. This will determine in a little more depth her degree of loss. We do know she can hear, we are just looking at a loss at certain decibles.
William was diagnosed with Ptosis as a preemie. This is a condition where one of his eye muscles was weaker than the other. This has been monitored since he came home from the hospital. At his 18 month check up with the eye doctor he was released! His eye looks great, and they no longer feel they need to continue to monitor him. However, he does need to see a pediatric orthopedic doctor next week who will check his legs and feet. His feet are slightly turning in and his legs are also turned a little at his knees. The pediatrician thinks it could be positional from the womb and could correct in time. However, she wanted him to see a specialist in case there needed to be some interventions to help them correct. It doessn't slow him down, that's for sure.
Amber is doing GREAT! She had her routine eye appointment and will need a slightly stronger perscription, but other than that, she's in great health and BUSY BUSY BUSY! She continues to be such a light in my eyes and often I lean on her for so much support. She's simply so sweet, and always willing to help with the little ones. She is getting ready for D-Now next weekend with the youth group, then the big New York trip the end of May with youth choir. I have to say...I'm jealous. New York!!!!!! They will be singing at a national monument in D.C., then heading to New York!
As you can see, the kids keep me busy. I'm gearing up this week and next to do some serious Spring cleaning which is long overdue. I'm feeling good these days and have recovered well. I will most likely require a minor surgery in the weeks ahead due to some minor complications from bedrest and the c-section. It's nothing major, and quite common, but still surgery and I'm tired of doctors and hospitals. I finally started teaching the 2's Sunday School class at church and it has truly been blessing my heart. I spent today decorating my room. There are times I do miss the "boring" days where I could get countless hours of sleep. However, chasing my kiddos, teaching Sunday School, and working on the final coursework for my doctorate keeps me busy in the most rewarding ways. As tired as I have been, and continue to be, I could not feel more complete and more blessed.
It would be unfair to say all of this, without saying there have been challenges in the past few weeks. The psychological, emotional, and physical impacts of 4 1/2 months of bedrest have proved to have lingering challenges. I often become very anxious about Fred going to work each day and I don't like to be alone. My doctors have reassured me this is normal and with time my hormones and emotions will return to normal. I have spent these weeks trying to regain my sense of independence which I lost for 4 months and am finally feeling "normal" again.
So, as I wrap up this post, I hope you and yours are well. For months, my post centered around a weak, humble, child of God crying in need for prayer, strength, and courage to face each day. I saw God reveal in me strength I never thought I had, courage to face each day with praise despite the storm, and a new revelation of the power of prayer. Now, I return to an ordinary woman striving to walk an extraordinary life with Christ. Each day brings the reminder of God's Love and a chance to get it right all over again. I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, and some days, I loose all my Grace, however my God forgives me, loves me, and continues to carry me through each day as only He sees fit. Not sure about you, but I find that to be very comforting.