Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Rachel turns 3! And Dad and Mom say, "Whew!" Thanks to God and our supportive community of family and friends, we can celebrate Rachel's special day. She is dealing with a cold right now, but she is still in good spirits. I have to admit, it seemed odd to put work into making a cake for our tube-fed daughter, but her big sisters expect that Rachel's birthday should be like anyone else's. (There was some talk about blending the cake and feeding it through the tube....)

We are still trying to find some routine here. Janneke has pulled on her g-tube a couple of times, causing anxiety for her parents and pain for herself, but so far, no extra trips to the hospital. Both Rachel and Janneke had a visit with their orthopedic doctor on Thursday. We learned quickly that at this time, taking both girls to Mac is a two person job! The doctor and her team at the fracture clinic gave the girls lots of love, and it was established that Rachel (and later on Janneke) be in a stander as often as possible.

A stander is a piece of "medical" equipment that allows the child to put weight on their feet while being safely secured. We think it looks a little funny; we have used a stander in the past on loan. Now the push is to acquire one for the Pot family -for keeps. We are not surprised about the push for Rachel to be in the stander, but it was disheartening to hear that Janneke should also be in one (when the time is appropriate). We both know that Janneke may have her own difficulties with weight-bearing and mobility, but we don't like to think too much about it right now. We still see time on our side.

Aside from weight-bearing issues, Rachel has made steps in developing some eye-hand coordination. She now follows a ball on her tray, and, given lots of time, will attempt to pick it up. Though some of her fingers cannot completely extend, she is able to use both hands together in her own way to touch the ball. This is a big deal! And, big sister Emily has been teaching Rachel how to play with dolls. It has been priceless to see the reaction on Rachel's face as Emily gently pushes her to touch the baby and feed the baby.

So, another year for Princess Rachel. And she is a princess - of the King of kings.

(May the 4th... makes me think of Yoda's words to Luke - Well...May the 4th be with you too.)


Anonymous said...

Hello Sara & Ralph
Pass on a happy Birthday to Rachel from me. I am thankful that you are all home together as a family and I will keep you all in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I came across your blog while searching for information and hope regarding my own daughter's g tube. She just had it put in a week ago and we are home already. Her case sounds a lot like your youngest...aspirates while eating, but they have no idea why. My daughter was full term and they have run every test they know how to and her results are all "normal". We are still waiting on results from the genetics testing. They are hopeful she will develop these skills at some point. I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty and your hope for your children. This is our first child and while we know and have seen the hand of God in her life already, some days are just so hard. Thank you for remaining encouraged and sharing that with others.
God bless you and your family. we will be praying for you.
The Key Family

MM said...

Way to go Rachel - play is a hard job and I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Happy Birthday to all of you,

Michelle M.

Carolyn said...

Happy 3rd Birthday Princess Rachel!
With love from the Elzinga's

Heather Baarda said...

& congratulations Ralph and Sara!

May you enjoy Rachel's special day, and continue taking one day at a time, praising each milestone!
Thanks for keeping us up to date, so we can continue to pray for your family's specific needs.

The Baarda's

Doreen Breukelman said...

Happy Birthday, Rachel!! It was very nice to see you the other day. We loved watching you reaching for your little baby sister, Janneke. We could see that you love her very much. Be a good girl for your mom and dad and try to save your "excited" noises for during the day. ;)

R&S - We hope you had a nice day together yesterday. Thanks for posting the pics!

love you all,
the breukelmans

Anonymous said...

A Happy Birthday to you!
A Happy Birthday to you!
May you feel Jesus near everyday of the year!
A Happy Birthday to you!
A Happy Birthday to you!
And the best year you ever had!!!
You, You, You!!!!!

Blessed Birthday Rachel!!!

Congratulations Pot Family!!!

lots of luv the jrlrj clan

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday, Rachel!
Sounds like your day was a full one!
Surely there might be a teeny, tiny taste of the icing for your tongue? The icing is the best part anyway!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Rachel! I'm glad to see that you were able to enjoy Rachel's special day with her! Have a good day yet! Love Kirsten

Dina said...

I heard of your blog through a friend. Please know that you will be greatly upheld in prayer. Days in the NICU are a familiar one for us, though it's been 3 years past. Your faith and hope is such a courageous testimony to your belief that God will provide sufficient grace. God bless, Dina

Anonymous said...

Emily looks like the picture of patience in that pict!

superstarmom said...

Way to go Rachel! Did you get spoiled today? It sounds like you need a lot of new toys to play with ;) I love your sunglasses you're wearing. As for the stander, for both you and your sister, you remind mom and dad that even 6 months makes a HUGE difference.
Congratulations Sara and Ralph. All 4 of your girls are so beautiful and sweet. Keep doing a great job. Remember, God is on your side.

Rhea said...

Happy Birthday Rachel! Love the pictures.

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday Rachel! You've come so far in 3 years and your mom and dad must be proud!
I hope you had an awesome day and I know your parents are SUPER happy they got to celebrate today with you and your sisters!
ps-nice shades :)

Jess Brand said...

We love the photos! Happy Birthday, Rach! We love you!

Aunt Jess & Uncle Tim, Caleb, Nella, and Aleah

The Vanderlee Family said...

Happy 3rd Birthday Rachel!
Awesome pictures!
Hope she had a good day!

Michelle, Bob, Marissa, Ethan, and Marlee Vanderlee

Carla Eenigenburg said...

Happy Birthday Rachel! Next year, tell mom to make you each cupcakes, less work and still fun. Then have them put frosting on your tray and let you squish your fingers in it! =)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ralph & Sara!

So glad to hear that Rachel had a great birthday. If you need an extra hand to do a doctor's visit let me know. I'm home right now for bit.

Also can you email me? (it should be in the 2008 church directory).
I have a picture from Sunday School i want to send you!

Allison B.

groen said...

Thinking of you on this Mother's Day-may the year ahead bring you peace, joy, and many blessings as you care for your girls. Happy Mother's Day!
Steve and Karen Groen