Vivienne and her very special feet

I don't talk a whole lot about Vivienne's special need because, well, most days it just doesn't come up. She's an amazing kid - bright, silly, happy. With the sassiest comebacks ever. And physically, despite her skeletal dysplasia and bilateral arm deformity, she's quite capable. She does pretty much whatever she wants, in her own special way. But recently her mobility has decreased. She's growing and her legs are tighter. Her heel doesn't touch the floor any more, making it increasingly more difficult for her to go up stairs or climb hills. In the last few … [Read more...]

the deal

A few weeks ago, Jude came to me and told me there was something he really wanted. So we looked online, and found the ones. Because there was no way I could say no to a boy in a wheelchair with casts up to his thighs, I ordered them. And yesterday, they arrived. Jude's casts came off one week ago. But he is really struggling with walking. More a fear of walking, and stretching that achilles tendon, than inability. So I figured I'd make him a deal. If he walked for me - there and back - the shoes would be his. And you can … [Read more...]


Yesssss. Jude's casts came off yesterday. And he wanted to celebrate with a long-anticipated soak in the tub. Not surprisingly, a few of his younger siblings wanted to witness the event. Thank goodness for bubbles. I can only imagine how good it felt to soak the legs that have been stuck in casts for six weeks. But that sweet smile hinted at his joy. Now he has to relearn to walk. The doctors have suggested we let Jude set the pace, and that it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Knowing Jude, I'm going to bet on the short … [Read more...]

three little words…

casts off today. And he can not wait. Six weeks is a long time to not be able to scratch your toes. … [Read more...]

Jude :: one week later

This time last week Jude was still sleeping off the anesthesia from his surgery. Oy. So glad to be on this side of his surgery. He's struggled so much with his Rx meds that he requested - and the doc agreed - to forgo both of them. Which means no muscle relaxer (for the constant charlie horses). And no painkiller. But our Jude is one determined little guy. He's been doing better every day. Even occasionally maneuvering around the house in his tiny wheelchair. When he's not in his favorite leather chair watching TV. Legs propped on his … [Read more...]

one step closer

Oh my, y'all. Yesterday, when Jude woke up? Oh my. His caudal block had worn off completely and, let's just say, he was in more pain than he's ever experienced. And he had no idea what to do with himself. Evidently, this surgery causes uncontrollable leg cramps. And he was convinced his casts were too tight. It was heartbreaking. After a few hours we were able to get on top of his pain, thanks to lots of prayers, some morphine and lortab, as well as a muscle relaxant. And then, other than a few moments of pain, Jude's been a pretty happy … [Read more...]

he sleeps

He's out of surgery and in his own room now. All cozy under a bunch of blankets, he woke up long enough to ask if his surgery was over, request some apple juice and tell me he loved me. *sniff* Next up, we'll need to manage his pain and then get him back home. But for now, I am rejoicing that all went well today. So grateful for your prayers, y'all. I can't tell you how much they mean to me. oxox, One Relieved Mama … [Read more...]

six percent :: surgery

He in surgery. All has gone well, so far. They gave him the "goofy juice" and he proceeded to get very, very goofy. Then they wheeled him back to surgery. And I held his hand until he fell asleep. Then I walked out, down the hallway, and proceeded to bawl like a baby. Many here enduring surgeries for reasons so much more pressing than Jude. But somehow, my heart still hurts. So grateful to know that the Lord has him in the palm of His hand. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not … [Read more...]

six percent :: the final frontier

Tomorrow we head out. Jude, Victoria, Zach, Poppy and I will leave in the morning, to arrive in Iowa on Wednesday. Which means that, right now, I'm running around like a crazy person. Trying to remember what to bring, and what to leave. Thinking about how terribly I'm going to miss my kiddos. And, most of all, praying that all goes perfectly in Iowa. Turns out Jude will need surgery on both feet, which means two thigh to toe casts. Oh my. Thankfully, we've got the best orthopedic surgeon on the planet set to operate on Jude's feet. And … [Read more...]

six percent :: it’s go time

Today marks the beginning of Jude's treatment to correct his relapsing clubfoot. He'll get his first of two casts to prepare his foot for surgery. He is, in fact, at his appointment right now with his dad and a few of his siblings. But I am here. At home. Holding down the fort with the other kiddos. Wishing I could be there with him. Chris, Jude, Sophie, Dalton and Shepherd headed out on Saturday for the long drive to Iowa. They'll be staying for a week to complete the first and second casts. Then they'll come home for about a week. On the 24th, … [Read more...]