Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
That's right, Gideon himself. He got the ok to come home early today. Right now, he is swinging away on his favorite chair. His recovery is nothing short of miraculous. There are no evident signs of swelling and he's smiling from ear-to-ear. His scar, which is also ear-to-ear, is getting better by the day. It will be there for quite some time, but as long as we are careful with it, he should be fine. The doctor wants to see him in two weeks just to see how's he doing.
He should have been visibly swollen for a number of weeks, although not as bad is it was in the last three days. What we see is a baby with minimal swelling in the least, but in reality is hardly noticeable. In fact, he's back to his old self smiling, crying, eating and pooping; all good things. Your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated. Our future posts will continue to highlight the life of Gideon and our family including Miggy the cat. As always, stay tuned.
For your delight, here are some recent pictures of Gideon. We love you all.
A number of you told me that my previous post made you well up in tears and cry.
No, I am not one who finds joy in making and seeing others cry. I am not a bully, though some of my grammar school acquaintances may tell you otherwise. What I am is a person that loves to share his stories with others in a way that people can relate to and truly understand, emotionally.
Today, I have a happier story. No need to worry about your mascara. Push the tissue box away. No sob story here - unless you cry at happy endings.
Yesterday, the doctors and nurses told us that things would get worse, in terms of his swelling, before they got better. But when Alexa and I arrived to Gideon's room in the morning, we were ecstatic to see that he had both his eyes open. The night before his eyes were so swollen, that he couldn't see out of them because he couldn't muster enough strength to open them. There was still some significant swelling earlier today, but as the hours progressed, it subsided.
There were moments where the swelling moved from one side of the head to the other, enabling him to open only one eye. If we had a patch he'd be the cutest pirate ever. But, we left our pirate patches at home today as we ran out the door of our apartment.
So what does it mean when the doctor's say one thing and God does another? It says that everything in life is not under our will, no matter what kind of control freak you are. Surprises come when you least suspect them. The doctors tell us one thing and God does another. Did God work a miracle in Gideon's life? Were your prayers regarding Gideon’s return to health answered? Here, see for yourself. Compare yesterday's pictures with the ones below, which were taken today.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
For those of you reading this today, I forgot my cell phone at home, so I will not be answering calls that way. Feel free to call the hospital and get our room number. Thank you to all of you for your prayers and offers to help. We already had someone at our church make us chicken soup. (thank you Mary who is 8 months pregnant!) I will write more as soon as we have more updates. Make sure you read Alex's post below. There are some recent pictures. I will post some more once his swelling has gone down. We do welcome visitors, so please come see him. Love you!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
When Alexa and I first discovered that Gideon had craniosynostosis, we knew we were in on a journey. While we are not adventurers in the tradition of Lewis and Clark, Alexa and I have driven to places we've never been before. So we have experience. We've traveled all the way from Dallas, TX by car. In this trip I overcame my fear of getting stopped in the wrong part of any town south of the Mason Dixon line and have a cop ask me "Ya nat from around her boy are ya?" A few years ago we traveled from Fair Lawn, NJ to Port St. Lucie, Florida where I drove through two torrential rainstorms of two former hurricanes. During this trip, I experienced my fear of tornados first hand. Recently, I rediscovered a disability I had long forgotten when I threw up on a boat off the rocky coast of Maine.
Throughout the years we've taken many impulsive adventures across the Eastern US singing to a variety of music from gospel choir music, to Prince, to Aretha, to Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Good times. Good times.
Now we are part of new journey we never imagined. The past two days have been heart wrenching to say the least. I remembered his beautiful smile when they took him away from us. As the nurse walked away, his smile blurred, like a mountain scene in a Renaissance painting. After surgery, when I saw him wrapped with the bandage my initial reaction was mixed - one of joy because he made it through the surgery just fine like we knew he would, but also of sadness. You see, I remembered the smile on his face when they took him away and was hit the reality of his innocence. He was smiling because he had no idea what was going to happen. He didn't know he was going to be forced to sleep by a plastic mask held by strangers. He didn't know he was going to be cut open. He had no clue as to what he was in for.
And, at the moment of seeing him all bandaged up and remembering his cute smile, my heart sobbed because I let it all happen to him.
I know that emotions can get the best of anyone and they surely got the best of me. I was overcome by a father's unique instinct that compels him to protect, protect and protect his family by any means necessary. And because I felt that I couldn’t protect him from this difficult episode in his life, I became downtrodden for a brief moment.
But, I know it had to be done and he will be better off. Thank God he was in the prayers of so many people across many states and countries that love him and that he was placed in the hands of caring professionals.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This past Sunday we had a dedication ceremony at church for Gideon. Basically, a baby dedication is where willing parents are charged to raise up their child in the ways of God, with family, friends and the church congregation as witnesses. Additionally, we ask God to bless our child. I guess you can say that it is similar to a Christening or Baptism. Well here is picture of Gideon on that day.
Just 2 days later, which is today, Gideon is wearing something entirely different. Our day at the hospital started at about 6;45am, where Alexa and I found our pastors already there. They were great. They stayed with us all the way up to the point where, Gideon's surgeon, Dr. Arno Fried, told us about the success of the surgery.
As the hours progress and the swelling becomes more notable, my heart becomes a bit sad to see my baby boy in such a helpless condition. I wish he didn't have to go through this. I would take his place if I could, but this is his battle to overcome -- which he is winning. Alexa and I have noticed many positive things to come out of it and we're glad that Gideon's story has touched so many lives already. I am so proud of him for being so strong and I am confident that it is only a matter of time before he is back to his normal, smiling self. Here are some pictures of Gideon after the surgery today.
Again thanks for all your prayers and support.
The surgery went better than expected. While he has tubes of all kinds connected to his little body and is going to swell up to the point where he'll look like a beaten up boxer, he's recuperating just fine. We'll most likely be able to take him home this Friday.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. God has once again worked a miracle in our lives.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Yesterday we celebrated A.A. Milne's 120th birthday with a Pooh Party at the library. My sister brought Gideon over so he could be Pooh's Honeypot. Obviously, he was the cutest honeypot that ever was. Below is the evidence:
I am dressed as a chubby Hispanic Tigger.
Shinae is Pooh and Gideon is the honeypot!
The "Hunnie" Pot is staring into the camera
as Mama Tigger stares adoringly at the honey pot.
I am pretty sure that I lost about 5 lbs in that outfit.
Gideon is staring at the windsock craft that we made.
He is obviously already artistic.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Gideon is already starting to show the many sides of his personality. If we were to show all the pictures we have of all of his expressions, this page may never download. For your enjoyment, here are some examples of my favorite ones.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Happy New Year!
So, Alexa has been doing most of the posting lately. This is ok. She is a much better writer than I am, even though it is what I do for my career. I know this. You know this. However, she doesn't seem to know this. So please her encourage her to write more.
This New Years Day, Gideon was all about business. While Alexa, her parents, her sister and I were counting down the end of the year, Gideon was nursing. About 5 minutes before the end of 2006, he squirmed around and cried incessantly letting us know that he was hungry. I joked that day saying that he's been eating since last year.
Now that it's 2007, I realize that I've been a SAHD (Stay-at-Home Dad) for about 2 months now and counting. Balancing work and Gideon has been challenging. Thank God I have a flexible work schedule and lots of help during the week. Alexa's mom comes over and provides relief and Andrea baby-sits 1 to 2 days a week.
Gideon and I have sort of come to an agreement. I feed him, clean him, play games (mostly peek a boo) with him, read him fun stories (mostly peek a boo again) and let him see episodes of the Backyardigans and something else about Super Pet Heroes.
In turn he naps for a few hours at a time, which allows me to complete about 3 - 5 hours worth of work from 9 - 5pm. Of course, the whole day I have sing-songy kids tunes stuck in my brain. Plus, I am forced to question the logic behind some of the adventures of some of his favorite shows. Like for example, if a baby dinosaur who is stuck under a big rock and is need of help (to make matters worse, a clumsy Pteranodon sits on top of a huge boulder which precariously hangs off the edge of a cliff right above the location of the baby dinosaur) why would one waste time singing about the situation contemplating what to do and what can happen? Of course, the animal in danger always gets saved, but still.
I keep it all to myself. I just want my son to have fun and learn something everyday. I can only hope that behind Gideon’s outward signs of pure enjoyment and glee that is revealed as the cutest smile the world has ever known, is the same logical conclusion that I have come up with.
Anyway, Alexa comes home to feed him during lunch and we all spend time together. I complete the rest of my work after Alexa comes home between 5 – 6 pm.
So it's all working out fine. And work is doing better than ever. I have more than enough to keep me busy and have extended my working relationship with a major client. Once again, blessings are pouring upon our lives.
I truly enjoy the time I spend with Gideon. I would not have it any other way. There was a time where I was tempted to re-enter the full-time, on-site job workforce once again, but glad I kept the faith and remained strong believing everything was going to work out just fine.
Enjoy the "Pistachio Baby" picture above. Gideon, Miggy, Alexa and I wish the very best in 2007. Thanks for continuing to support our small little corner on the Internet and for your continued prayers for Gideon.