12 August 2005

baby miracles

We took our daughter to the surgeon today for a follow-up visit regarding her brachial plexus injury. Earlier this week her physical therapist said there was nothing left for him to do for her. While the left arm is still showing a little weakness, everything else is in perfect order. Today, the surgeons and their physical therapist whole-heartedly agreed. She has healed. My beautiful, priceless little girl has had miracle upon miracle in my mind. God has been so faithful to hear the many, many prayers on her behalf, and He has graciously chosen to heal her.

Monday, I was thinking back to the day she was born, and how incredibly far she has come. Her small arm was limp and lifeless. Her fingers were able to grasp, and my mother says Miss C tightly grasped her finger within minutes after the birth (I wasn’t able to hold her right away, however, my mom got to be with her across the room. I’m so glad.). But, other than being slightly able to flex her wrist downward, there was no other movement, and she cried out in pain when it was moved around or bumped. Her collar bone was another point of pain. Today, I look at her and she grabs toys with both hands, reaches completely above her head for objects, and puts things to her mouth easily. No small feat for a small person with such an injury.

Today in the waiting room, we saw several other babies with the same injury. Two in particular are 4 months old—and at different stages of progress. One had traveled from another state to see this doctor. It brought back so many memories of the questions, the wondering. I could vividly recall being so pleased when she was raising her arm to her head, about eye level. I remember waiting, hoping, praying that she would begin using her deltoid, achieve shoulder flexion, wrist flexion, spread her fingers (thumb especially). How much I appreciate the ability of movement these days. For me and for her.

Our regular therapist and the doctors today all agreed that she does not need further therapy unless a problem arises. Wow. My heart stops when I really think on this. They encouraged us to do Occupational Therapy EVALUATIONS each year, but doubt she will really need the therapy. The team of surgeons would also like to see her in roughly a year or year and a half, also on an evaluation type basis. But, that can be at our discretion considering how well she is doing. Again, wow.

Truthfully, she will never be “100%”. But, hey, I’ll take 95 or 98 or whatever we are at. We all agree she shows weakness in weight-bearing (and we’re not yet crawling . . . so we’ll have to watch her on that), and her bicep is scoring 6+ out of 7 (it was a close call) because she wants to compensate just a fraction when lifting something straight up to her mouth. The only other thing they noticed was her left elbow doesn’t go completely straight, but it’s not a concern, obviously. It’s hardly noticeable, and she had to check it several times, comparing it to the right to see if she was seeing it correctly.

When the surgeons came to talk to us, they were a bit in awe, I think. They were so pleased with how far she had come. One thing they said was that if she was going to truly be 100%, it would have happened by the time she was 3 months—thus, this 6 month follow-up. But to have made it so far since that mark, appeared incredible to them. You could see the genuine pleasure on their face, the delight when she “showed off” by using it in front of them to grab something. While I was holding her in a way that kept her right arm down beside me, one of the surgeons double checked the chart and said, “I keep thinking, ‘Are we really checking for the left arm?’ But, we are! This is great!”

It is great. Her life is a miracle, her healing is a miracle. Baby-size miracles are still miracles. And I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I could weep with thanksgiving. And still may.


kim said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing your miracle! I understand to a point what your joy must feel like -- i have a sister who is 5 years younger than me, who was diagnosed with a mild case of cerebral palsy at the age of 3. The dr's said she would never be able to walk, much less ride a bike, write, read, anything that involved coordination. She surprised us all (but God, i suppose!) and began to walk at the normal age, ride a bike, write and read. She is still overcoming obstacles the dr's said she would never be able to do. Praise God for His healing touch!! I am rejoicing with you as a fellow sister in Christ!

Heidi said...

What a gift! Blessings, baby Charlotte! When you are older may you use this story about your life to point people to Jesus. Way to hang in there, Mom!

Jasmine said...

Thank you for sharing part of your journey with Charlotte. What a wonderful visit it turned out to be. I look forward to reading more and getting to know you. Glad you left a comment so I could stop by for a visit : )