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...
SAMUEL - COMPLETE IN GOD
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 happening....to 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)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A quick update on our bathing saga : after my last post I decided to just persevere with getting Sam into the bath so for two nights, although it took a fair amount of time, I patiently tried...and re-tried...and tried some more until I eventually managed to get Sam sitting. There were moments of hairpulling, neck-clutching, skin pinching panic...from both sides! Just kidding! Of course just from Sam's side! And one near-accident when the mat I was twisting and contortioning on suddenly slipped, but after a moment or two's uncertainty, Sam would start his usual sing-songing bath routine as if he'd been placed calmly and happily there. Tonight, low and behold, he went in with about half a second's hesitation! Woo Hoo...bathing fears conquered...just hours before we're about to subject him to another traumatising surgery, which will leave him bathless for a couple of weeks and we'll be right back at square one. *Sigh*

We almost didn't get the go-ahead for Sam's surgery tomorrow. I mentioned in my last post that Meg was down with a pretty potent stomach bug and that I was a little worried that Sam might catch it. I was quite firm about Meg staying pretty isolated in her room, at least until yesterday when she was feeling well enough to go to school. Last night, at about 9:20pm Sam started throwing up and carried on until the early hours of this morning. By about 5:00am I had almost decided that actually going in to Dr S to have him check Sam out for sugery was nothing more than a waste of time. But by 8:30am this morning Sam had managed to keep in the better part of his bottle as well as a little bit of porridge so off we went to see Dr S. Dr S was initially also fairly unsure about whether Sam would be okay for surgery, but by the end of our consult he felt that we should give Sam a few more hours before cancelling, with the help of some Zafron Wafers and Stopayne for the cramping. Sam had one or two gag episodes in the afternoon, possibly due to his swollen glands and slightly red throat but there was no vomiting and although he was battling a little with his bottles, he was mostly finishing them. So just after 3pm it was decided that we would not cancel tomorrow's op.

At the risk of sounding a little prone to MBPS (Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome) I have been quite desperate for Sam to undergo the orchidectory, not because the fact that he's having his fourth surgery in just a mere 19months doesn't bother me (because it does - a whole lot) but, as I've often shared, I have a feeling that some of his SPD could be related to the sensitivity or just plain discomfort of where that right testicle is sitting. Having said that, though, I would detest to make the process even more traumatic for Fearful Smurf by having him try to recover from both the surgery and the nauseau and tummy cramps associated with the tummy virus at the same time.

Thankfully Sam does seem a little more comfortable than he was this time last night (and just as I typed this line he started crying, probably due to his having just vomited in his cot - oh dear, Murph, gimme a break why don't you). So a quick ending to go clean up some puke! Yay!

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