Sunday, March 30, 2008

Look what I can do now!

I pulled myself up in my crib! Watch out everyone...here I come! Big sisters, better put your toys up higher. Mommy & Daddy, no more moving things up on the couch out of my way. I can reach now!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Shelby!

March 21, 2002 I woke around 8 a.m. Riley and I had spent the night at my parent's house because Scott had to work late the previous night. I just wasn't feeling the best, so we all decided it would be best for Riley & I to be there. Earlier, the evening before we had taken Riley to see Bear in the Big Blue House Live at the Coronado theater and then Scott went back to work. My Mom had a meeting at the church in the morning and kept asking me to get up out of bed if I wanted to shower before she left. Riley was just 2 then and needed supervision; no showering while she played or watched TV. Finally, I mustered up the motivation to get out of bed. As I sat up my water broke and thus, our journey into our life with Shelby began. About 5 hours later she entered our lives. She came out of me as fast as you see her run around these days. We took our baby home a few days later, clueless as to what the next week would bring. Oblivious to what inner strength we all had that was going to be needed very soon. Shelby's first 10 weeks of her life were hell for us as her parents. We spent alot of that time crying, researching, asking questions of doctors and wondering if our baby would make it or not. "Transplant" was a word introduced in to our vocabulary that we only thought happened to "other" people. Not us; not anyone in our family.

Fast forward to 2008. Skip over all those awful memories that no parent wants their child to have of IV's, "sleep medicine," countless x-rays, blood tests, hospital stays, taking daily medication, broken bones, and more doctors visits in 6 years than 10 people have in their lifetime. Let all those wonderful memories of fun, joy, and excitement flood over you. Shelby is so special. I feel so honored that we were chosen to be her parents. She's not an easy kid by no means; challenging, yes, wonderful, yes, brillant, yes, beautiful, yes, a gift from God, YES. She is so strong, brave and very forgiving of all that she has had to endure. She knows no other way of life. All these experiences I wish she never had to know have and will continue to form her into the person she is. Tough as nails with a gentle, HUGE heart. God has big plans for her. She already is a child of our church congregation. Everyone's faith has been poured into that child. It has lifted her through many tough times and continues to hold her up in the good times. Quoting the African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child," is so true of Shelby's life. Thank you to ALL who have been a part of that.

6! Wow! What a huge accomplishment with all this kid has been through!!! SIX, SIX, SIX, SIX!!! Cool! We celebrated at Coco Keys with Shelby's best friend Kate, our friends TeriJo & Anika, and, of course, me, Scott, Riley and Avery. Lots of fun was had by all and, thank goodness, baby A was in a great mood. We kept getting compliments on what an adorable baby we have! She didn't like the water much, but liked watching all the action going on. She was a trooper especially since we were there during her prime nap-time. In the evening Shelby picked out a birthday supper of mini corn dogs, french fries and garlic bread. She also chose chocolate ice cream and the most chocolatey cake there was at the store. I think I still have a sugar buzz going this morning! We also watched the movie, Enchanted, per her request.

Enjoy the pictures of my beautiful 6-year-old's birthday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Definite Improvement

Yesterday Shelby had clinic in Chicago. The ultrasound showed no change in the cyst (yea!) and her labs are much, much better. She went back to school today b/c her immune system is working again! WBC in the 6 range! Woohoo! They are trying her on a new med for the re-occurring tummy pain. I don't have the name of it in front of me b/c I had my Mom drop off the script today at the pharmacy. Hopefully it will work. They were very impressed w/her growth and energy. They know that we had a rough week last week, but are very happy to see that she's bounced back, even if it did take a dose of Neupogen. She goes back in May to see cardiology and hepatology. Let's pray, hope, knock on wood, that no more icky viruses hit our house anytime soon!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thank you Mom!

For those of you who have followed Shelby's hospitalization this week, you know that my Mom did an excellent job of updating. THANK YOU MOM! Behind the scenes, she was also juggling the care of Avery, Riley and my Dad (and sometimes me) and trying to stay sane. She became a grandma again this week, too, and spent some time loving up her new granddaughter. SHE ROCKS! I am so lucky to be her kid!

Shelby's labs yesterday looked pretty good. Her WBC is up to 3.1 and her ANC is just about 1500. Is it the Neupogen or her immune system doing it on its own? Only time will tell. We head into Chicago on Tuesday for an ultrasound of her cyst and for liver clinic. We'll see if her labs hold steady. Please continue prayers for her.

The "bug" is making its way through the rest of the Martin 5 as Riley and Scott are now coming down with it. I hope its stay is brief.

Here are some pictures my brother took of Shelby when he could pry himself away from his new beautiful daughter.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Shelby being admitted

(I'm home right now for a few minutes gathering up some things before heading back to the hospital. This post is copied from my Mom's prayer e-mail group for Shelby.)

Dear family and friends,
Shelby is being admitted to Rockford Memorial Hospital this evening through the ER. Yesterday all day, she had a low grade temp, but it went away. It was the third time since she had strep throat in January that this low temp thing happened. Jenn emailed Chicago. Shelby has an appointment March 11th for an ultrasound and clinic visit, so they said to wait until then. Then this morning temp was back and went up to 103. She complained of her tummy hurting and her throat being sore. Of course, it's Saturday. Fortunately, both her pediatrician and ped gastro dr. are on call and suggested some tests at the ER. Several liver numbers are elevated, although Jenn said her bilirubin number was OK. Warrants an admit, so they are waiting to go "upstairs" to a room. Lots of "things" are going around, but with Shelby, you never know. Avery and Riley are here with Thomas and me tonight. Please keep Shelby and Mommy and Daddy in your prayers. Remember her sisters too. Grandma's is nice, but it's not home! I will post updates on Shelby as updates are available on my blog www.tchardwick.blogspot.com
Thanks,

Grammie Cori