Thursday, October 25, 2012

The begining

Our cleft journey began one year ago today. It was this day we received the news that our baby boy would be born with a cleft lip. As devastating as that news was at the time it makes me happy today. It brought us the most adorable, the strongest, and the happiest baby I have ever known. And THAT makes me one proud mama! I'm so happy he is ours no matter how he came to us! He's definitely an extra special boy.

Our journey has been one of tears and frustration but many many more smiles. If you ask me its all been contradictory. We were blessed with a perfect little baby and then told he needed a fixing. No, no he doesn't. He's already perfect. But we knew it had to be done. It wasn't an elective surgery because we wanted Hudson to look "normal". It was a very necessary surgery to improve eating and speaking habits which if not corrected could cause health issues and communication problems. If nothing else, that is the one thing I want other people to understand. We didn't need Hudson to look "normal" we needed him to eat with out problems and speak properly. Who wants to be normal these days anyway? Well it was definitely love at first sight when I first laid eyes on Hudson. And to think the face we fell in love with would have to be changed made me just a little bit sad. Ok so I was more than a little bit sad. But I have done my best to make this journey positive. So my come back to that is: we were lucky enough to be blessed with TWO adorable little smiles! Take that!

Hudson has seriously been the best baby I have ever known. And thats why I have to say, our cleft journey has really been a piece of cake. I feel totally and completely blessed to have been given such a cooperative baby with what lied ahead of us and him. We've had some rough spots don't get me wrong... don't make me have you go back a read our feeding difficulties, day 1 of the NAM, that moment when I watched my baby disappear behind those surgery doors and that heart breaking first cry when he was back in my arms. BUT in the big scheme of things Hudson has been a champ! He deserves an award! Although those trying times have made us all stronger (what doesn't kill you makes you stronger) I like to focus on just how amazing Hudson has been through what he has been faced with. I'm telling you he was MADE for it! I have definitely enjoyed our journey. Hudson has made it more than worth it.

Ok ok enough of how amazing and wonderful Hudson is, well you are reading my blog...

Hudson and I made a familiar drive back out to Phoenix for a check up with his surgeon Dr. Beals yesterday. I was rather excited to meet with him again after a long 3 months. I had a few questions and concerns I wanted to get out of the way. If you have not had the pleasure of looking into the mouth of Hudson then you don't know that he has 2, yes 2, uvulas. Dr. Beals assured me he would sew them together to make one. I was tempted to ask him to leave the 2 but decided against it. :-P He also explained to me how he would close his cleft palate, but to save you all from confusion I'm not going to try and explain it. Rest be assured it sounded good to me. He also wanted Hudson to meet with an ear doctor. I told him Hudson just had his first ear infection last week and that he handled it so well that we didn't even know about it! But by what he said to me I got the impression he wanted Hudson to have tubes put in. He told me cleft babies are more prone to ear infections and can't handle all the extra drainage caused by the cleft palate. Which I knew and thats why I was so impressed that Hudson JUST had his first ear infection. I'll still meet with the ENT but I almost want to decide against tubes since his ears have not been a problem for us but on the other hand since he is more prone to them I want to go with the ear tubes just as a precaution. Decisions, decisions... Hence why I will still meet with the ENT.

Hudson also had a mini photo shoot while we were there. If you know Hudson he loves having his picture taken. Which is why ALL my pictures of him are smiling ones. I assured the lady taking the pictures that he will smile for her. And sure enough he didn't let me down and right as she was about to snap a photo he flashed her one of this breath taking smiles. And continued to smile until he had to lay down. He wasn't about to lay down for nobody! She though it was so funny that he actually smiled for the camera. That's my boy! He knows how good he looks!

My main excitement for this appointment was to get an idea on when his palate repair will be. Dr. Beals does palate repairs between 9 and 12 months and said that Hudson is ready for it. So we spoke with his surgery coordinator. Although I knew what her answer would be for me. Since Curtis lost his job and has yet to get a new one we are in the middle of applying for AHCCCS. With surgery in our near future I wasn't about to go without insurance. So with that in mind the coordinator told me once we are approved to give her a call and THEN we can set a surgery date. I was hoping we wouldn't have to wait but we couldn't avoid it. She told me it would most likely be in January right after is first birthday. Awesome, Hudson will get to pig out on cake right before surgery. That should give him the extra weight he'll need!

All in all everything was covered and our journey continues.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

9 months and counting!

My little pumpkin is 9 months old today! Dang! And somehow I love him more everyday... This past month we've have been able to spend lots and lots of time with daddy! Hudson LOVES his daddy. Although I'd rather have Curtis at work, it sure has been nice to have him home with us. He's been a great help in so many ways!

Hudson has been on the move for a while now! He frequently rearranges our DVD's, changes channels, tips over trash cans, loves play with the toilet if we forget to close the door, and digs handfuls of dog food out of the bag if we forget to close the pantry door too. If he can't have it he'll find a way to get it! He's good at keeping himself busy for hours though! He'll only start to fuss when it's time for a bottle or nap time. He's pretty awesome. The dogs have become less of a fan on his though. Hudson fails to recognize their presence and steps all over them as he cruises along things. He also loves to hang onto their tags. He does think they are a hoot though! He'll craw up to them while they sleep and sit there and just chuckle at them. It's pretty funny.

Lately Hudson has become only a mama and daddy fan. All of a sudden he started to realize not everyone is his mom and dad. He only wants ME! I must say I've been waiting for this moment for a VERY long time... Ever since I was young I've always want a baby to want ME, and reach out for ME! How special it must feel! So since I had Hudson I've been waiting for this! It sure does make me feel special and wanted too. I love that I know Curtis and I are his favorite people. Selfish? Maybe. But what can I say he IS mine. :) Along with this he's also been oh so cuddly!! I love it! He just cuddles up right in my neck and I squeeze him so tight! I've rocked him to sleep a few times because I just can't let go!

He never ceases to make Curtis and I laugh with his goofy expressions and silly noises. He is definitely an added joy in our home. We can't get enough of him! I can't wait to hear what his surgeon has to say next week about his palate repair!

Since I had the opportunity to share Hudson's Story on the Cleft Palate Foundation's website I've had a few responses from other cleft moms. Some who just happened to find my blog. I love hearing how inspiring our journey is to them. That is all I have hoped for in sharing Hudson's story. It makes me happy that I can help out other moms who are looking for help or some reassurance. I've tried my best to make it a positive experience. I love that my baby is different and he will grow up knowing that he had a cleft. It's not something I want to hide from everyone because it's made him who he is! And I'm proud of all that he accomplished in just 9 months of life. THAT'S something to be proud of!

"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" Dr. Seuss

At "Hudson Park"

You can't camp without a hammock! 

Smile? Goofy faces, what I tell ya?!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why we do what we do!

It's 5:20 in the morning and I pray that the noise I heard wasn't the whimper of a little boy but it quickly grows louder. I rush into his room (seriously I run sometimes) to catch him before he stands up. If he is still laying down the chances of him going back to sleep for another hour are greater and if he is standing I know it's going to be an early morning... He usually cries harder when he sees me and desperately reaches out for me as if his teddy bear were about to eat him. He clings onto my shirt and I finally pull him out and give him a long squeeze and a few good morning kisses. As much as I hate getting out of bed so early I usually instantly forget about my anger once I hold that warm little body in my arms. And yet another day begins.

My impatience has won me over this past month as I have constantly battle over sleep with a little boy.  I've gone insane as I fight with him to stay on his back while I change his diaper or when his little hands are just too quick for me and knock a spoon full of veggie puree onto his high chair, and when he thinks he needs to stand up in the bath. I've been easily annoyed lately and I feel terrible when Hudson has to see me so upset. He never ceases to make me smile though.

I've focused more on the bad this past month rather than taking the time to enjoy the good. Like having the chance to spend the past 3 weeks (yikes) at home with Curtis and Hudson. I feel like I have made it more miserable than enjoyable for them both! Curtis lost his job the beginning of September which provided us with awesome insurance for ourselves and most importantly Hudson. It's taken a big toll on Curtis as he has stressed and worried over an income but somehow we have had more money in our bank accounts than we have had in the past few months. Since Curtis started school this semester we've be able to get grant money which has been a huge blessing! I also have a very strong testimony in paying tithing to the church and even though we are trying to save all we can I know it's more important to put the Lord first in our lives and have faith that everything will be OK.

So I welcome October with open arms, new goals, and a better outlook. October is kind of a special month to us. It's the month when we got married, the month when we got sealed in the temple and the month where we found out about Hudson's cleft. Amidst all our trials in life I'm thankful for special moments such as these to remind me why I do the things I do. To take me away from all my frustration and back to the things that mean the most, my family.

So it's Hudson's Story I want to share. Which I absolutely love to do. He has just been so inspiring to me. He always amazes me. His story is featured on the Cleft Palate Foundation website as their Story of the Month for October. And I'm so glad that it just happened to be THIS month. So if you have not already heard or read his story (or want to read it again, like me) here is the link to the site...

Hudson's Story

Like I've said before it hasn't always been easy but he has made it, oh, so worth it! Life could never be more meaningful with out these two in it!