Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nature Therapy

I looked up the seven stages of grief because I am sure I have experienced all of them over the past week. Sure enough, it was clear that I went through disbelief, denial and bargaining right in the doctor's office when Oliver's pediatrician said, "It looks like Oliver has craniosynostosis, we should order a CT scan." What?! His head is like that because he was a preemie! I don't think we need to do anything. I'm sure he will grow out of it, he just needs more time.

Next, after Oliver had a nervous breakdown when he saw the CT scanner, dodging technicians as he ran the halls of San Luis Diagnostics, I felt depression and anger set in.

Then, because I had the whole weekend to do research, I oscillated between guilt, depression and anger. How did I not notice this when Oli was a baby!? Why did his pediatrician think he was fine, too? What will we do if our baby needs surgery?

One support group and two specialists later, we have some preliminary answers. Oliver does most likely have craniosynostosis. He does not need a CT scan (I'm so happy he ran from that room) and according to the top craniofacial doctor in Dallas, he probably will need treatment to relieve the pressure on his brain (separation and removal of a fused suture in his skull: a craniectomy).

So, how have we been coping? The only way I know how: nature therapy! We have spent the week splashing in big puddles, going on hikes, and boating and fishing for leaves in the "river" near the road.

Oliver, the paleontologist, acting like a T-Rex.

Sleep Hiking

Pearl worked up an appetite from all of her strenuous sleep hiking.

Oliver's pirate ship trailing my party boat.

This leaf fish tasted delicious with a little lemon and olive oil.

Finally, yesterday, as Pearl and I watched the boys bake a pumpkin pie,
I felt some acceptance start to creep in. Stage seven arrived with a wave of peace and relief. I have so much to be thankful for this year. Pearl was born easily, on time and has been the picture of good health. And I'm thankful for Oliver for putting a smile on the face of nearly every person he meets. Each challenge he has presented to our lives has made us better parents and more thoughtful people.

Either way this thing goes, I know Oliver will be fine. He's got the personality to pull of a slightly different head shape and gumption to make it through a difficult surgery. After all, how many four-year-olds can dress a baby AND bring sexy back? See for yourself!


  1. Gosh, Jess, I was so scared when I read your first few lines, so that I went right away to your previous post to see what I had missed...

    I'm so sorry to hear that about Oliver! I will pray for you. He's such a sweet boy and I know you are doing the best you can.

    About the video: As soon as Oliver flips Perl around (LOL) the picture goes black for a while before it comes back on - did you notice that too? ... maybe it's just my computer. I also watched it on You Tube and it did the same thing, but for the most part, it was so cute how Oliver struggled to get Pearl's pants on and she's just cool as a cucumber - going with the flow. Babies are a riot!

    I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving in spite of it all.

    God bless you,

  2. Get well soon,I hope everythinh all okey now,we want to hear nice news everytime.Best wishes.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about Oliver but I know he has wonderful parents and doctors who care about him so in this I am most grateful!

    I will light a special candle for the whole family tonight as I say my prayers ... that the Highest Good of all concerned be put into action. I send my blessings and loving healing prayers to you all of you are such a beautiful family with such loving spirits!


  4. Doris: Thanks! The video turns black because I tossed my camera into a pillow when Oli turned Pearl over. I left it that way because I liked the conversation we had when the screen was black! :)

    Akasa: How very sweet of you! Your prayers mean a lot to us!

    Thanks so much Ilhami Uyar(forgive me, I don't have the right keys to spell your name correctly!)

  5. I am overwhelmed as I read your blog and wish you and your beautiful family everything you need.

  6. There is no doubt about Oli's strength and resiliency, nor his ability to make everyone smile:). He also has the benefit of two strong and resilient parents and a host of family and friends who love him to back him up every step of the way, which is at least half the battle. Love to Bubs and Pearlio!

  7. Jess: I'm a little behind on blogging and reading others posts, and I just happened to catch your latest about Oliver. I think you have a wonderful attitude about it. Scared? Of course you all are, but I think you already know that he'll be just fine. He's bright, funny, and he'll do great. Truthfully I think its tougher on the parents when they find out their child is sick, maybe harder on them than the child. But with the support of your famly and many friends, I have no doubt that whatever procedure it takes to straighten this out, he'll be back to his old self in not time. Keep your chin up and hang in there! Keep us posted. You have my best wishes and prayers!

  8. Thank you the bees house!

    So nice of you, Erin! The bubs and Pearlio send you their love as well.

    Mark, well said (as usual). Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.