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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tyler!


It's really hard to believe that our youngest child, Tyler, is seven years old today!  From two years on I've thought at each of his birthdays, "I'll never have another 2 year old, 3 year old, and on and on."  I have to work on not being sad about that and just enjoy the time we have with our children.  It goes by soooooo fast.

In August, I wrote about losing a baby due to stillbirth.  (Click here for post.) That little boy, Caleb, was due in December.  December was the one month of the whole year that I really had never wanted to have a baby - just because of the busyness and the presents all at one time of the year.  But after we lost Caleb and then got pregnant again the next year at the same time, I was thankful we were going to have a December baby.  And, from each birthday on, I've continued to be thankful.  December/Christmas babies and birthdays are lots of fun!

Although we love all of our children just the same, everyone in our immediate family will tell you that Tyler definitely adds something special to our home.  Tyler's three siblings each have their own talents, gifts, and abilities and so does he.  I suppose if I had to list one thing that is special about him is that he makes life fun (and funny).  If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you've seen "The Chronicles of Biscuit" posts, which are all about Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.  Hardly a day goes by without him saying something that makes us laugh.  Most of the time he has a happy disposition which overflows into our family life and into his first grade classroom.

A note about this sweet little picture.  It's taken by Blunck's Studio in Clinton, Oklahoma.  They have awesome photographers there and I loved how they captured Tyler's personality in this picture and all of his one year pictures.  They even used one of them in their store window the next season, so I guess they liked it, too.  Just now as I uploaded it I noticed Tyler's left eye.  It appears larger than the right, although I never noticed it at the time.  To read why it really is later (which we found noticed about six months later), click here.

When Tyler was born he was jaundiced.  That was no surprise to me since two of our other children were, too.  We brought him home from the hospital with a bili-blanket and treated him at home.  A home health nurse was sent out to monitor his progress and take his blood.  After the first few days at home the nurse noticed that he wasn't eating.  I was nursing him just as I had all of the other three and I knew he was eating, but after several days and onto a few weeks, it was obvious he wasn't gaining weight. 

We took him into the pediatrician and after a few visits, it was finally suggested that maybe he had a condition referred to as "failure to thrive".  That was scary, but it just didn't seem right. Tyler seemed to want to eat, but he just wasn't growing like he should.  The lactation consultant mentioned that a rare type of problem is that the roof of the mouth (palate) is so high and arched, that sometimes a baby wouldn't be able to suck properly.  My husband and I decided that was probably the problem and we talked to the pediatrician about it.  He had us finger-feed Tyler every hour every day for several days.  We would tape a little tube onto our pinky finger and feed him that way.  We could make our finger go further up to the roof of his mouth and he could suck better.  Of course I would have to pump every few hours, too.  I remember that first Christmas Day of 2002 when he was just 20 days old.  I was exhausted having to feed every hour (all day and night).  My husband would help too, but he had to go to work, too. 

It was an extremely difficult time, but thankfully everything worked out for the best and Tyler began to   grow. He was about two months old before we were able to go back to regular nursing.  The roof of the mouth seemed to flatten out a bit, making nursing easier for him.  When I look back at pictures of those first few months of his life - especially around Christmas time - it makes me sad.  Instead of seeing a healthy filled out little boy that we had at birth and even when he came home at two days old, I see a scrawny, unhealthy looking little baby.  It's amazing that I didn't notice that he looked bad at the time, but I didn't at all.  That part makes me feel bad now.  It's kind of scary to think how little nourishment he was getting in the beginning.  Apparently just enough to keep him alive.  God blessed us during that time by helping us through it and for restoring Tyler to his normal weight.


Yesterday at school, a friend bought Tyler a sucker at the cheerleader's candy sale.  After school Tyler was eating it and when he bit down on it (Why do kids BITE a sucker?  They're to be SUCKED on...hence the name!) it made a bottom tooth loose.  He promptly pulled it out.  He already has three on the top missing, now one on the bottom, too.  He's singing, "All I Want for Christmas is My Four Front Teeth!"

Thank you, God, for Tyler and for his life.  You have blessed him through his growing struggles at the beginning of his life, through his problem with his eyes, and continue to bless him now.  Through his life you have blessed us, too.  Thank you for the blessing of children.  Tyler brings much happiness to all of us and it is our prayer that he always uses that bright-shiny attitude and happy dispostion to Your glory and in service to You.

Happy Birthday, Biscuit!  We love you very much.

3 comments:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Such a sweet story about a sweet boy! You give hope to those who are experiencing similar circumstances!

Lori said...

Thank you and thank you for his birthday money. He was excited!

Paula Harrington said...

This is a very sweet post. Thank you for it and for your kind words at Forthright. I appreciate you and your influence for Christ!

 
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