Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"Madalyn, come here!" yelled Maria, Nate's therapist, as she positioned her voice towards the opened door of the "baby room" at our therapy place. Madalyn, Molly (both front office personnel) and another therapist poked their heads into our door to see my little man showing off his newest skill. He sat without anyone holding onto him as he braced himself with his arms stretched in front of him: a tripod stance."And look what else he can do now" Maria said as she moved Nathan onto his belly and positioned his arms stretched out all the way to where he was putting his weight on them. A round of clapping and "Way to go Nathan!" erupted from the onlookers, and I immediately felt a sense of triumph. His shoulders gave way under the pressure after a few seconds and he started kicking against his therapist's arm to try to get closer to the mirror and see the handsome little boy who stared back at him. He smiled and cooed at the reflection while everyone around him laughed and stood in awe."Can you believe what he is doing?" Maria asked as she glanced at the faces in the door. "He is so much stronger than he was even last week!" As she said this, the area around his mouth turned indication that he has had enough. Not being freaked out by his blue episodes anymore, we calmly turn him onto his back and praised him over and over for his incredible accomplishment. He smiled in satisfaction at the faces around him, and Madalyn picked him up after his color came back. "I need to hold my boy for a few minutes" she said as she took him back to the front office. It was time for the session to be over anyway. As she walked out of the doorway, I heard "Gosh! He even feels different than he did last week." It makes my heart happy to hear those things.Nathan is going through what we have labeled a "strength surge". Since his hospital stay when he was 2 weeks old that prompted the endless supply of tests and Dr. visits to try to figure him out, we have noticed a cycle in his development...a cycle of periods of strength and periods of weakness. The periods of strength are simply remarkable to watch. They usually last about a month long with a great surge for a couple of weeks in the middle. During this time, he eats incredibly well, is alert and very active, and he gains all kinds of skills and milestones. He still has moments of weakness during this time when he tires out, but his stamina and energy seems to last longer.His periods of weakness last about 2 weeks long. During this time, it takes so much out of him to eat, and he seems to only be able to consume about 3 ounces of formula at a sitting. He sleeps more than he should and just likes to snuggle on your chest when he is awake. His head lags a lot during this time, and he generally feels more floppy than usual. His periods of weakness are a scary and unsettling time for us, no matter how many times we see it.
I left Nathan's physical therapy yesterday with excitement and elation. He did so well! He has had a great week! His heart rate is so much better than last week, and he is alert and active and just alive.I didn't really know what to expect when Nathan was referred for physical therapy almost 4 months ago, but I definitely didn't expect what we are currently experiencing right now. I didn't expect for him to respond so well to the exercises. I didn't expect him to smile at everyone the moment we walked into the door for each session. I didn't expect for him to be passed around and hugged and kissed by so many that work there. I didn't expect for them to care about his well-being so show sadness during the seasons of unsettling tests being run and show supreme elation when test results come back negative. I didn't expect for them to love my son, and I didn't expect to fall in love with them either. I am so thankful for the wonderful women who work with Nathan so closely over there. Tuesdays are a bright spot in our week because of them.


Toni on July 16, 2008 at 8:46 PM said...

Makes my heart happy too!!

That is just so amazing how well Nathan is doing and how wonderful to have such caring people in his life!!

Love the pictures!

Mom of TWO Princesses on July 16, 2008 at 9:32 PM said...

That is absolutely amazing, Amber! I love seeing him sitting up like that. Great news!

mollie on July 16, 2008 at 11:20 PM said...

I am sure that they love Tuesdays, too. What a swet face that boy has!

oh amanda on July 17, 2008 at 9:10 AM said...

Amber, it makes me so happy to hear good news! And I know it's because of the prayers of God's people! I'm always praying for you guys!!

Anonymous said...

WOW again...this time it is wow to the Lord. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works...I am so thankful for both you and Brother Jay...We love you all sooooo much!
Sister Dina

Kathy on July 17, 2008 at 1:36 PM said...

That's such good news! I was thinking of you guys yesterday while I sat in the dr's waiting room.
"I need to hold my boy for a few minutes"... This brought tears to my eyes thinking of my own son. My oldest who is turning 16. You always want a few more minutes to hold them. Hug your little guy as much as you can while you can!

Jill Chandler on July 17, 2008 at 3:16 PM said...

We're cheering Nathan on from here!
Love, Jill

skye on July 17, 2008 at 6:25 PM said...

I could just snuggle that little boy of yours forever! He is perilously cute!

I'm so thankful that he is gaining strength, and pray fervently that his periods of weakness will start to fizzle out.
He has made so much progress. There's something truly wonderful meant for him, Amber. He is SO special.

Danielle on July 18, 2008 at 9:05 AM said...

Amber, I am thrilled to hear how great Nate is doing... He is such a precious boy as all your kids are.

And as always your pictures are stunning...

Dana on July 18, 2008 at 9:08 AM said...

Seeing his face literally brings a smile to mine :)

That picture of him in the hat is just precious.

TracyVDM on July 18, 2008 at 11:20 PM said...

Wow, he is SO strong! Elise cannot even sit like that yet!

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