Monday, August 31, 2015

Answers for Gwenna

I had this beautiful picture in mind for this afternoon- the girls would nap/have quiet time, and I would curl up serenely with tea, a little treat, and the computer to blog for the first time in awhile. I wanted sit back and reflect and then share a little bit of this journey we've been on with Gwenna. 

As it happens, I live in reality land, so  I am exhaustedly cranking this out on my phone so it just gets done so I can take a nap. Amelia finally fell asleep, G is having a not so quiet alone time. So humbling(: 

Anyway, for the past year I have known something was up with G. I had her tested for celiac and it was negative. We decided to see if things resolved themselves but in the past few months her discomfort had grown considerably. Finally I took her in ready to fight to the end to get her doc to test her some more... Thankfully I didn't need to. After I explained her frequent abdominal pain and indigestion, he kindly affirmed my panic that this wasn't normal. 

He agreed to test her for fructose malabsorption because my gut told me that was the problem. Fruit seemed to be a big trigger for G, so much so that she usually have Amelia her serving of fruit at lunch because she was afraid of the stomach ache. Also, Rhodric's sister has it, and it seems to be genetic. 

When I called to see if her test results were in, I was told that it was negative for fructose malabsorption but she did have SIBO (bacterial overgrowth in her small intestines). Ok I thought, I suppose that explains a lot of the abdominal pain.. But what is causing the SIBO? 

We had a few days to wait before seeing the GI doctor- when we finally got in to see him, he looked at her test results and declared, "well there is no doubt, she definitely DOES have fructose malabsorption." 

Talk about whiplash. 

So the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster, but we are happy to have some direction in how to get our Gwenna girl healthy. 

Through it all; the tests, the waiting rooms, now the new restrictive diet and gross antibiotics, she has not complained even ONCE. She has been incredibly brave and determined to do the work to stop the discomfort. She is asking me to teach her how to make her own food that is on her safe list, she's asking to do preschool everyday so she will be ready for kindergarten next year, she is reminding me that she needs her antibiotics at certain times, she overcame her fear and rode a pony at the fair (if you know her, you know this was a HUgE step!). Basically, we are bursting with pride and thanking God for giving her such a brave and determined spirit! 

We have a lot to learn about how to help her heal her intestines and eat in a way that will maintain their health. 

Please pray for our family as we are trying to educate ourselves on this new twist of life, while working on a kitchen remodel. 
We want to include G in the process  so she feels empowered to feed herself and make food choices that make her stronger but in a way that doesn't make her life revolve around food and diets.
Pray for us as we encourage both our girls to live life to the fullest by growing their faith, loving and serving the people around them, and embracing and valuing and caring for the unique person that they are. 

Such a rambling post that's really just a giant prayer request! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Stepping Into Two: Buckle Up!

So Amelia has been two for about a month now. Last Sunday a friend asked me how two was- my honest feelings slipped out of my mouth before I had a chance to decide if I wanted to sugar coat it, "oh it's terrible." 

Now of course I adore the child- from head to toe and back! With Gwenna, three was so much more difficult than two- so I had been telling myself that's the way it is, that "two isn't so hard." But I think I had forgotten about the turning two adjustment period. 

So now I am regaining my footing after one of the most intense months of motherhood- trying to put on a. New perspective and embrace the crazy of a new two year old. Accepting the fact that if I let her out of my sight, trouble is most likely to follow. Enjoying the chubby armed hugs squeezing my neck, while also prepared to deflect a shoulder bite. Not being defeated when I walk into the bathroom and it's painted with toothpaste- and the toilet seat a demonstration of Crayola's "washable" markers. Or when you manage to survive pacifier weaning, but the biggest side effect is a new wake time: between 5 and 6 daily to be exact. 

So this new perspective- it isn't expecting these things and saying they are okay. It's expecting her to grow, but not being surprised by failure. By having grace to give her as we discipline and talk through (often for the 10th time that day) why we don't pull big sister's hair. It's about love being the reigning motive for my words and actions towards her. 
It isn't just a perspective for parenting but for living in a world of flawed people. Giving grace because I need grace. Amelia is just giving me a chance to take a crash course in it! 

5 am play mobiles and cup of cereal- learning to play quietly so Gwenna can sleep!