Sam. Conqueror. Overcomer.

On the 15th May 2009, Samuel Christian made his way into this world...two month's premature and in severe respiratory distress. Within hours, Sam was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome - a very rare congenital disorder, of which little was known. The diagnosis together with the immediate challenges Sam faced to thrive became our core focus and it was with joy and thankfulness that we eventually brought Sam home, after nine weeks in the NICU.

As time pressed on, it became obvious that Sam's development was falling behind that of his RTS peers. Shortly before his 5th birthday Sam underwent a brain scan and it was confirmed by a paediatric neurologist that in addition to Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, Sam also has Cerebral Palsy related to his premature birth, as well as Autism.

This blog chronicles our journey through these challenges...
Our world has crashed, been blown apart.
This can't be happening....why us? Why now?
Your fragile life shaken before it could barely start,
How do we get through this...please, Lord, tell us how?

Drowning in our sorrow, waiting for answers that just don't come.
Our baby "special needs"? It simply can't be true!
The heartache overwhelms us, we're left feeling cold and numb.
The diagnosis tells us little - these children are so few.

But then we finallyget to touch you, to see your precious face
And all the heartache and questions fade, replaced with love and pride.
It's obvious from the very start you're showered in God's grace,
And with His love and guidance, we'll take this challenge in stride.

When once we couldn't pronounce it, Rubinstein-Taybi's become our norm.
When once the future seemed dark, we now welcome the journey as having an RTS angel brings lessons in unexpected form.

Our world has crashed, been blown apart!
This IS us.....right now!
We've been blessed with a gift, so precious from the very start. How do we get through this? Here's how.....
By believing in a God, so merciful and great,
By trusting that He's right beside us as we journey through the narrow gate.
By believing His love for us is not determined by a human frame,
By trusting that we draw Him near by merely calling His name. This precious baby we asked God for,
Prayed he'd be perfect and complete.
And, as Samuel means "God hears", He's laid His answer at our feet.

(Nicky de Beer : 27/05/2010)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bathing Bloopers

I never imagined bathtime could be such an incredible source of entertainment. On Friday evening we tried out Plan A which was that I would put Sam in the bath with me then, once Sam had enjoyed some bathtime playing and had been washed, Chris would take him out and dress him. Within minutes I was silently  "Whoop Whooping" to myself as, after not a moment's hesitation to get into the bath, Sam lay back, super-relaxed kicking and sing-songing away to himself while he played with his foam numbers. Ahh...the sweet joy of success. And then Chris came to take Sam out to dry and dress him and Sam screamed BLUE murder....literally - he turned blue from all his screaming. So...on to Plan B.

On Saturday evening Chris got into the bath with Sam. Although taking Sam out at the end of the bath was pretty uneventful, Sam refused to sit down in the water. So Chris ended up having to hold him upright while I washed him...which is just about as effective and successful as Chris simply holding him over the bath like we found ourselves doing last week.

On to Plan C : last night we tried Plan A again with a slight modification. Instead of Chris taking Sam out of the bath and, obviously the problem, away from me...I would try and get both Sam and I out of the bath at the same time. It would of course prove a logistical nightmare with me having to hold onto Sam while lifting us both out of the bath. Still, I thought it was worth a shot and had the bath been a little shallower, Sam been a little smaller, me been a little stronger and ever-so-slightly more like Mr Fantastic from the Fantastic Four, Plan C could well have worked. Unfortunately it was just plain ol' me, Sam and our thirty-something year old, metre deep bath (well at least that's what it felt like). So after an almost dislocated shoulder and knee, it was decided that Plan C is not do-able either.

If it wasn't so frustrating it would be unbelievably hilarious! What am I saying? It's still hilarious! Especially last night's episode. So...on to Plan D tonight which is a plain and simple shower for me and Sam. We've done it before, we know it works and, although it means that Sam has to skip out on his playtime in the bath, it's the best we can do for now. In any case, if all goes well and Sam's surgery goes ahead on Friday we'll be doing about two weeks of "bed baths" regardless of sensory issues. There's always a Plan E....

Which in our case would be the BAD method! Just kidding!

Speaking of an already unsure mind as to whether Sam will be good to go for Friday because of his fairly congested nose and up-and-down temp again over the past couple of days (high enough for me to have to give him some meds on Saturday and yesterday) Meg, unintentionally of course, has us even more concerned as she is in bed today with a stomach bug. Keeping her mostly confined to her bedroom is not proving to be too much of a challenge as she's feeling quite miserable and is quite happy to just lie in her my plan to tape up her doorway and feed her her meals from outside the house, through her bedroom window might not be necessary after all. Which is really quite a pity as I imagine it would have caused quite a stir with the neighbours.

In closing, some random pics (some already seen by my FB friends) :

Who needs those R299 "crawling buddies" from Toys R Us when you have a Meg
(when she's healthy of course)

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