Thursday, April 2, 2009

Xavier's first year :-)

In honor of Xavier's 6th birthday today (yay, Xavier!! :-), I thought I'd reminisce a bit with pictures from his first year.

For those of you who know us well, you know that as a family we have faced a multitude of challenges because of Xavier's diagnosis - a type of Congenital Muscular Dystrophy called Muscle Eye Brain Disease. He is developmentally disabled, yet healthy medically (except for his seizure disorder). Xavier's strength, patience, and pleasant nature allow us to face all the adversity with a blend of hope and humor. Our little boy is ornery, particular, giggly, persistent, and above all - lovable.


Xavier was born April 2, 2003 at 5:59am, at Akron General Hospital. He was born at 37w5days, in thankfully, a very uneventful fashion. I had gone into labor on my own, and the delivery was quick and (relatively) painless. At the time he was born, we knew he had hydrocephalus, which had been diagnosed by ultrasounds. The neonatal team was there just in case Xavier needed them upon delivery - but he was a champ, with apgars of 8 and 9. He weighed 5lbs 13oz, and was 20 inches long.

Xavier was immediately whisked off to the Special Care Nursery, so that he could be assessed and monitored, and supportive care in form of IV and temperature/humidity control was begun.

New Daddy Nick, along with his mom and dad, and my dad:

X and I meet officially for the first time:

In the afternoon of his first day here with us, he was transferred over to Akron Children's Hospital, in order to prepare for his surgery the next morning. At 10am April 3rd, Xavier had a VP (ventricular-peritoneal) shunt placed surgically by a neurosurgeon. It is still in place today, and drains the fluid that builds up due to a blockage in his brain into his abdominal cavity.

In this photo, he is under the bili-lights for jaundice. You can see the shunt tubing going down his belly, a dressing over the surgical incision on his belly, and (obviously) a scalp IV. Despite all that - doesn't he look relaxed? LOL.

Our little baby glow worm in a "Wallaby" blanket, again to deal with the jaundice. For my coworker friends, and anyone who knows about bilirubin levels - he got up to 22. Yeah. 22. Scary.

You can really see the shunt tubing running down his chest wall under the skin in this picture. And his IV has been rotated to his right arm.

Finally, after 16 days in the hospital, he came home. :-)

With Daddy, at his baptism. He's wearing a baptismal gown lovingly made by Nick's mom out of material from my wedding dress.

At my sister Kelly's wedding (which Nick and I were both in), 2.5 months old.

Glasses! 4 months old. Severe nearsightedness and retinal dysplasia are part of his diagnosis.

Physical Therapy - Xavier received services from Wayne County Early Intervention from 2 months of age through 3 years. The ladies there are nothing short of extraordinary and we love and appreciate them to no end. Not only are they skilled at what they do, but they care so much for the kids, and develop relationships with them and their families. I am a better person and mom to Xavier for knowing them. Here he is with Kathy U., who worked with Xavier for 2 years. :-)

I remember this moment very clearly (8 months old)- we'd just arrived home, and I set Xavier on the couch to take off my coat. I came back to find him being entertained by Ruby the dog, who was chewing on her bone and making the couch jiggle. He was laughing like crazy.

Helping decorate the Christmast tree:

Him in this snowsuit brings to mind "Randy" from "The Christmas Story", right? ;-)

With a Christmas gift -

Blanket ride!

In his beloved (and now retired, because he's enormous) "ducky tub":

Corner sitter built by the lovely ladies at Wayne County EI.

More PT:

At about 11 months, he learned how to hold a small bottle:

Happy 1st Birthday! Here he is at his party - positively glowing because of all the cake, presents, and love in the room :-)

He still loves cake this much.

This is one of my all-time favorites of Xavier. What a handsome, happy baby he was :-)

Thank you for all the special memories you've given us, my sweet baby. You amaze and inspire me daily, and I love you to the moon and back. XO.


Melanie Hitchings said...

What a nice little tribute to Xavier... as I sit here with tears in my eyes. What a long journey you guys have come through!

( p.s. I am laughing at how young you and Nick look in the pictures. There is something about kids that ages you. Thus, I look the way I do now!)

Kristy said...

Thanks, Mel :-)

Yeah - Nick and I were also laughing (not really all that hard, though. HA!) about how young we look in the pictures. X and B have positively beaten us up over the last 6 years! LOL. (but I wouldn't change anything.)

Trent said...

That made the tears well up!!!! Now I cant type! ................
I LOVED seeing all of those pictures of Xavier. The one on the couch with your dog made me laugh...that was so cute. It's so weird to see him so small much easier it was to move him around.
The shunt & his little body. Although there were lots of tough and scary moments, you can see there was so much happiness too. Those were wonderful pictures and a great tribute to his first year of life.
He's such a handsome boy.
I'm so glad you posted it!