I know many of you read this blog to get updates on the kids and how they are doing. Thank you for loving them and praying for them, especially during the last 7 months. This last week was an important week for Layla. We had her 18 month check-up with the pediatrician - it was an important one for several reasons.
A few weeks after Layla was born, she developed a benign tumor on her lip (a hemangioma). It was a relatively common birth mark that is usually untreated and goes away on its own. But when they are on the face (especially the eyes and mouth), treatment is needed to prevent complications. Since we caught Layla's hemangioma early, her treatment was easier than most, but did involve giving her strong medication for 9 months. The medication was a steroid and had some harsh side effects on her little body. Most of the side effects went away when she stopped taking the medication, but steroids can stunt your growth. (We Keldies are vertically challenged people anyways...) When we took Layla off her medicine, she quickly fell off all growth charts. She lost weight. Usually, parents feel like their babies are outgrowing their clothes too fast. We were concerned because Layla actually went back in sizes and wore her clothes for much longer than she should have. For the last 10 months we have been monitoring her growth very closely and her 18 month check-up was a marker too see if she had caught up.
Also, in the months and weeks before Barry died, Layla was babbling a lot. When I came home from the hospital after Barry died, Layla said her first two words - "daddy" and "momma". They were not accidents. She said them repeatedly when she needed me or was looking for her daddy. A few days after Barry died, Layla basically went silent. For almost two months, she did not make any vocalizations except crying and laughing. After two months, she began cooing again and eventually started babbling. At her 15 month appointment, she only said one word. I knew her delays in verbal development were part of her dealing with losing her daddy and the doctor agreed. We decided to reevaluate her at 18 months to see if she improved and to decide if she needed therapy.
Needless to say, I was curious and a little bit anxious to see how she was doing at her appointment. I was confident that God was in control and was taking care of her. But I was anxious about what role I needed to play to best care for her.
Her appointment was wonderful. She is finally back on the growth charts (!!!) and is very advanced in her physical development (she has her daddy's coordination!). The doctor was impressed with how healthy she has been. And, drum roll please... she is exactly where she should be in her verbal development. She is not nearly as talkative as her brother, but she does have the verbal skills she should have and is improving each day.
Aside from the development side, Layla is doing wonderful. She embodies her middle name, Joy. She is full of laughter and joy. She adores her brother and wants to go everywhere he goes and do everything he does. (If William gets put in time out, Layla goes and sits with him.) She loves to dance and read. She has recently started to spend lots of time "taking care" of her baby dolls. She loves to kick balls and run.
Layla is a daily reminder of God's generous provision in my life. When He gave me her, he brought into my life a joy that I had never known. He has been faithful to care for her every day of her life and I know that He will continue to do so. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for my sweet girl - I know it will be big and beautiful.
Sweet Father, continue to bless Layla Joy. Bless her with good health and a joyful heart. Protect her from evil, fear and harm. Reveal yourself to her little heart and save her at a young age. Thank you for the beautiful blessing that she is to our family. I love you and trust you with her life. In your Son's sweet name, Amen.
I'll do an update on William soon...