Monday, July 25, 2011

Beach Baby

We took our first vacation as a family of 7 this past week to the Texas beaches.

The first day Ruth wasn't too impressed. She had a hard time figuring out the sand wasn't good for eating.

The next day was much better, she enjoyed digging in the sand and playing in the water.

She also crawled all over the place!

With all the sisters!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Party

We had Ruth's birthday party last weekend with all the family in town for the Walk n Roll. It also happened to be my niece's 2nd birthday, so we doubled up the party for twice the fun!

Ruth LOVED her cake.


So much, that she felt she needed to share it with her cousin. In her hair.

Presents were fun too. Lots of sisters/cousins/friends helping.

Happy birthday baby girl!

Team Ruth - Walk 'n Roll for Spina Bifida

Last weekend we participated in the SBANT Walk n Roll for Spina Bifida!

We got there bright and early, so Matt could help with the registration.

Team Ruth raised over $1800, and we had over 20 walkers there for TEAM RUTH that morning, comprised of family and friends, plus much much more support from afar! Thank you everyone!

Matt also ran another team for the walk, Team OCC! His team, comprised of his coworkers and their families, was able to raise well over $8,000 - which I believe was the highest amount of any team, plus most of his team arrived very early to volunteer! How awesome is that! I am SO proud of him!

After the walk we got to enjoy Burger Lake, a spring fed lake with lots of fun activities!

Ruth enjoyed swimming, and all the excitement wore her out!

I felt like I didn't get to visit with fellow SB families as I was so busy keeping up with my girls, so hopefully at the next gathering I will get more of a chance to meet more people :)

One year ago...

One year ago, my sweet baby girl Ruth arrived via emergency c-section during the middle of the night, at only 31 weeks gestation. It was a surprise appearance, but I couldn't be more blessed. Happy Birthday baby girl!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grandma's story

Last summer, with all of the uphevel of our stay in San Francisco, and my care after fetal surgery, the care of my other four girls while I was away, we had a LOT of help from friends and family. Matt's mother, Ruth's grandma, came to stay with me in San Francisco most of the month of July. She helped with the girls when they came to visit, and was my support person. She was also in the delivery room when Ruth was born, since her entry was a surprise, Matt was not able to be there on time. She was kind enough to write out her experience. Here it is:

Oh, How My Prayers Were Answered
by Ruth's Grandma
I found out you were conceived in love and Mommy and Daddy announced their pregnancy.
I thanked God for the precious gift of life given to you.

Daddy let us know that you were a girl by the miracle of a sonogram.
I thanked God for the precious gift of my seventh granddaughter.

By the first trimester Mommy and Daddy found out something was wrong.
You had Spina Bifida--part of your spinal cord was exposed and your feet were misshapen.
Mommy and Daddy prayed to St. Philomena and put her precious oil over where you slept. They laid a medal that touched the glove of St. Gianna Molla as well, asking for their intercession that our prayers would be heard.
You were named Ruth--a very strong woman in the Old Testament.
I prayed for you and your parents, putting my trust in God.

An opportunity to be included into the MOMs study was a hope that came your way.
They said YES, so Mommy and Daddy were off to San Francisco--carrying with them you and all the loving concern, yet apprehension and anxiety of not having enough information.
Mima took care of your sisters and
I prayed for you, your parents, Mima and your sisters, asking for whatever He willed to happen.

Daddy called to let us know your case had been accepted and surgery was going to happen that Friday.
As we prepared for Grandpa's Deacon Ordination
I prayed for the success of the fetal surgery to repair your spinal cord, again putting my trust in God.
I thanked Him for these prayers were answered. You and Mommy were doing fine.

Now all of us San Francisco and Keller and San Angelo...taking turns and coming together for your family so that you could heal and await that great day--at 36 weeks.
And I prayed you would wait.

Your sisters came to San Francisco to be together with Mommy who missed them so much.
Daddy took on the responsibility of caring for them and provided all of us joyous and wondrous activities discovering San Francisco--oh, and I helped, too, because I was there.
I prayed for safe travels when it was time to go back to Keller. They got home safe and sound.
And I prayed you would still wait.

I did a few things with Mommy to pass the time, but mostly tried to relax while waiting.
I prayed constantly that you would wait so you could heal and be a full-term baby.

You didn't wait.

Mommy was told to come to Labor and Delivery so the doctors and nurses could help keep you from being born just yet.
She spent the day trying to keep calm and I just tried to be available for anything she needed.
And I prayed, confident that God knew what He was doing.

Finally, I went back, hopefully to get rest...didn't happen.
Mommy was already prepped for a C-Section in the OR, and Daddy wasn't sleeping all the way in far away from the birth of his special daughter.
The hospital chaplain stayed and prayed. So did I, in between coaching Mommy to breathe so she would feel better because it hurt so much.

Then you were born, out of the safety of your Mommy's tummy.
I thanked God--you were crying and breathing on your own!

Mommy was crying. Consolation helped a little.
Then she said, "Go, bond with her! Someone needs to be there with Ruth!"
Mommy didn't have to ask me twice. I found you and blessed you and thanked God for you.

Your tiny hand held my finger.

You were still breathing on your own and your legs, knees, ankles and toes were moving! I thanked God and went back to let Mommy know. She cried again.
I prayed in thanksgiving, knowing that everything was going your way...God's Way.

Many opportunities for prayers of petition have happened in the first year of your precious and beautiful life.
I prayed for good reports in all the doctor visits and tests.
I prayed for the surgeons and technicians who took care of your in this first year.
I prayed for all the people and groups who helped in making this journey simpler.
I prayed for your Mommy and Daddy, that they would be able to handle all that might come their way.
I prayed for your sisters, too.

And each milestone...casting, bracing, surgery, crawling, standing, playing Peek-a-Boo, smiling...has constantly reminded me of the greatness of God.
And each milestone will continually remind me of the miracles of God--so close to home!

My prayers turn to thanksgiving.

Oh, how my prayers ARE answered!
I trust in You, Jesus!

Also, here is the photo slideshow I put together last fall of Ruth. Hard to believe my little miracle is almost one year old!

Photos Slideshow of Ruth from pregnancy to 1 month.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Visit to the Zoo

I don't often post much more than milestones and medical updates here, so I thought I would post a few fun photos instead. Ruth had her first zoo visit this past week. It was HOT, but she was a trooper. I think she enjoyed the trip ;-)

I thought this picture was hilarous. She was not amused! Lol.

A pic with all the sisters...

And a few others..

Pulling up to stand!

I wanted to share a more recent video of Ruth pulling to stand. Her legs still don't quite do what she wants them to, but she is getting stronger and figuring it out! She is really trying to cruise along the furniture, I won't be surprised if in the next couple of days she gets that figured out too!

Friday, July 8, 2011

One week to go!

Only one week left until the SBANT Walk and Roll! We still have a little ways to go to reach our goal, help us get there and beyond! All donations benefit the SBA of North Texas - which means it will help improve lives of those locally living with spina bifida (like Ruth!!). Please help, any amount makes a big difference! All donations are tax deductible, too!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Her favorite game

It still amazes me how far she has come in the month since her ETV surgery. She went from NOT babbling at all to saying momma, dadda, babba, and clapping her hands, to playing peek a boo with us!! Here is a super sweet video of her playing peek a boo with me.

First SB Playdate

Ruth had her first SB playdate with another sweet baby girl M that was born right around Ruth's due date (so they would have been the same age, had Ruth not been in such a hurry to get here!!)

We invited them to our house, the girls were busy looking each other over, it was so super sweet. Of course right when I pull the camera out Ruth starts hamming it up and that was that!

Isn't baby M just BEAUTIFUL?! I love those eyes!!

The playdate was going great until I discovered baby M's momma is allergic to cats (and I have two of them!). So we finished our visit out on the back patio, which is luckily shaded in the morning.

It was so wonderful to chat with baby M's mom and I hope to become great friends with her, and I hope baby M and Ruth grow up to be great friends too!! It was so nice to chat with someone that understands what you are going through, and I hope the girls have each other when they are older.

So this happened over a month ago, but I was waiting on permission ;-) to post the photos before I blogged about it,
because of course, both babies are super cute and I had to share the photos too!!