Happy Birthday, Molly!

January 25, 2010

Today is a big, big day for our Molly! She’s turning 10! I can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that we’ve been on this journey with our special gal for an entire decade. Molly is in every way a blessing to our family. I’m so not worthy to be her mother (or Parker’s or Lilah’s for that matter, but today is Molly’s day).

Many of you know Molly’s story. In the spirit of reflection (which is such a wonderful thing and so necessary, really), I’m going to re-cap our journey with her which began in September of 1999 at my 20 week ultrasound when the radiology tech noticed that Molly’s head was somewhat “lemon” shaped. A follow-up two weeks later revealed slight hydrocephalus and a myelomeningocele at the L5/S1 level of Molly’s spinal cord. In layman’s term, this birth defect is known as Spina Bifida.  Wow. Not what we were expecting.

Throughout the rest of my pregnancy we saw specialists, had level 2 ultrasounds, did our own research, and prepared for what this diagnosis would mean for our family. We received the news on a Friday and I had my weekend of tears, but by Monday I was at peace with it. I can only attribute that peace to knowing that God was in control of this situation. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t fix something. No amount of bargaining, coercing, or manipulating was going to heal my little girl.

I did however spend lots of time digging for information (thank goodness we were already on the ole information superhighway). I learned what sorts of outcomes we could predict with a lesion at this level. I was comforted to know that my baby girl would likely be able to walk with bracing or a walker and that she would generally have all of her cognitive abilities.

Molly spent 17 days in the NICU being cared for by the most amazing medical staff in existence. She had two surgeries: one to repair the lesion and another a week later because the incision was leaking fluid. We kept waiting for the hydrocephalus to increase to the point that she needed a shunt to relieve the pressure, but it never did. She’s never had a shunt and that is a huge blessing.

Fast forward 10 years later…Molly is thriving. She walks without the aid of braces or walkers or crutches. She does have bladder/bowel issues, but she’s handling those on her own now. Molly has done well in school, but 4th grade seems to be more challenging than expected. We will take her to Children’s in March to undergo her third surgery related to SB, the first since leaving the NICU 10 years ago. Understandably, she’s incredibly anxious and nervous about it.

Molly, I hope you know that you have been an amazing blessing to me. You have the sweetest spirit and that truly sets you apart from others. I love you. I love you. I love you.

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  1. Hello, my name is Tiffany Whalen. I just wanted to stop by and leave you a comment! Theresa Hudgens referred me to your blog. I have a 15 month old boy who was born with Myelomeningocele. This was so very sweet to read!! You have a beautiful family. :-)

    Feel free to stop by my blog at atalw.xanga.com!!


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