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Tag Archives: preemie

Alison’s Story

14 Jun

Alison is my oldest child. She was born severely premature and has some cognitive delays along with Cerebral Palsy.  Our church put on a special senior service for all our high school graduates.  The families had the opportunity to put together a display of photos and academic, sport, etc. accomplishments.  Our journey has looked different therefore trophies and other such accolades haven’t been a part of her life.  Alison decided to share her story because it is her greatest accomplishment. Our display was a modest piece of tag board with some pictures and her story. I am so proud of her and her resilience and positive attitude, she is my hero! With a little help from mom…here is her story.

MY STORY

My name is Alison Jordyn.  I was born October 31, 1995 at 7:51 PM.  My mom is Rebecca and she was just 17 and 24 weeks pregnant when I was born.  I weighed 1 pounds 12 Oz. I was born so premature that my eyes were still fused shut.  My mom told me what a whirlwind of doctors and nurses there were, all working hard and fast to give me the best shot possible.

I had open heart surgery when I was only two weeks old weighing 1 pound 10 oz.  From brain hemorrhages to dangerous blood infections I fought through each one becoming stronger each day.  My mom told me that she should plan on me being in the hospital for at least 6-8 months but since I am stubborn (I get that from grandpa) I decided 2 1/2 months was long enough.  One month and one day before my due date I was discharged weighing a hefty 4 pounds 7 oz.

When I was born they took my mom aside to prepare her for what life would be like for us.  Because of the grade 4 brain hemorrhage she was told I would never walk, that I would never talk, and that I would be plagued with illness, allergies, and asthma.  Fortunately, my mama has that same stubborn attitude as grandpa and me and never gave up hope.

I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when I was five months old.  Two months later I rolled over for the first time.  At ten months old I said my first word, “hi”.  On December 28, 1997, I took my first steps and I never stopped moving!  I am now 18 and still haven’t been plagued with illness, asthma, and allergies.

When I was in kindergarten my mom was taken aside again and told that I had learned all that I would ever learn. She told my mom that I was incapable of learning new things and maybe school wasn’t for me.  That didn’t stop us!  I have learned so much and I have accomplished and done more than anyone ever thought possible.  We wish we remembered her name because we would like to send her a graduation announcement 🙂

My mom says that I am proof that God is still in the miracle business.  With God, even the impossible becomes possible.

I know my accomplishments seem ordinary to most and that’s OK.  I don’t have many earthly awards and that’s OK too.  You see, my biggest accomplishment is that my life saved my mom’s life.  God chose to use a sick little baby to save my mom from a life of addiction and instead led her into a life of salvation.  Now that my mom knows Jesus my whole family knows Him.  It’s pretty cool to think that I am the reason my whole family will go to heaven.

I am excited for what the future holds because I know the One who holds it.  My future is bright and the opportunities are limitless and I look forward to seeing where my journey takes me……..because my story is just beginning!

Our display

Our display

Thanks for reading!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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The Original Teen Mom

31 Oct

18 years ago today I was 17.  It was my senior year of high school or at least it should of been. I was that girl. You all knew her. That girl in high school who suddenly disappeared from the halls-the girl who got pregnant in high school. Let me tell you, it wasn’t trendy 18 years ago to be that girl. There were no television shows or magazine covers to glamorize it.

At 23 weeks pregnant I went into preterm labor. For a week they were able to pump enough medication into me to delay delivery. Halloween 1995 at 24 weeks pregnant I welcomed my 1 lb 12 oz baby girl into the world. The doctor laid her briefly on my chest before being whisked away by a team of doctors and nurses. Hours later I was wheeled down to get a glimpse at my daughter. She was covered in tubes and wires and her eyes were still fused shut. She was beautiful despite it all.

Her outcome was bleak. I was told to prepare for wheel chairs, feeding tubes, extreme mental impairments and the list went on. Some said it was what I deserved for being a teen mom, others said that I got myself into this so I would have to deal with this on my own, and I was ridiculed by the rest. Let me tell you, it was a dark, terrifying, lonely time.

No matter, everyday I was there mothering her as much as I could under the extreme circumstances. Two and half months later and one month and one day before her due date, Alison beat the odds and came home months ahead of schedule weighing a hefty 4lbs 7 oz. Not only did she come home but she stayed home. The first few months were rough. Sleeping for only 45 minutes at a time, countless doctor appointments, and financial hardship.

Alison beat the odds in ways that doctors can’t explain. It wasn’t an easy ride but we made it.

I could go on, the story is good….well, at least I think so:) I share the good with the bad. The triumphs with the tragedies. No, it wasn’t ideal to be a pregnant teenager. I see my daughter now at the age I was when she was born and she is such a baby still. I think back to the girl I used to be and I see a scared young girl in need of a little compassion, guidance, and forgiveness.

I think sometimes we dismiss people who are hurting when we feel like they brought it on themselves. We pick and chose who is deserving of mercy and compassion and when we do we are playing god. Loving someone who is hurting because of their poor choice doesn’t mean you agree with or support their transgression.  Indifference and humiliation further breaks the person. We serve a God of healing and mercy and sometimes that healing and mercy comes from you.

Today, I rejoice and thank God for the miracle who sleeps down the hall. I thank God for giving that 17 year old girl such love and compassion for that tiny baby, and I thank God for His compassion and mercy on me, and for being the God of second chances.

*Photo is of the first time I got to hold my daughter*

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

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Reflections

28 Sep

I am coming up on a big milestone in my life.  My oldest daughter is getting ready to turn 18.  I became her mama under the most unfortunate of circumstances.  I was a young, unwed, teenage girl with no money and honestly no clue.  What makes the story a little more complicated is that she was born not well.  I was only 24 weeks pregnant when she made her very small and very quiet way into the world.  I think we can all agree that even under the best circumstances having a baby is hard and having a sick baby is super hard.

The past several months has had me being very reflective.  Looking back on that hard first year and the subsequent years that were still a little hard but mostly joyful.  I keep thinking on all the things I should of done and the things I could of done better. I look at her now, a senior in high school, enjoying a life much different than my own.

I was the youngest in a blended family of five, actually I was a big oops!  My older siblings really gave my parents a run for their money.  It seemed one big problem kept overlapping the next.  I was often told to go play and probably unintentionally overlooked because I wasn’t causing any problems.  Fast forward to the really formative years of my life and I was still alone.  I was left to navigate these years with only destructive bahavior patterns leftover from my now grown but still incapable siblings.  It was now my legacy and I didn’t disappoint.  The only difference is that being left alone for so long, I was good at hiding in the shadows, therfore, I was able to avoid real trouble.

I really missed out on healthy behaviors being modeled for me.  When I became a mama, I ferociosly loved my baby girl with all that I had. I didn’t know what being a good parent looked like but I knew that I wanted to be one.  The first years were trial and error.  What I really lacked and really craved for was a woman who I could look up to and someone who could encourage me.  Self pity is an expesive trip to take and I certainly maxed out.  A time came where at a cross road I had to decide once and for all the path I would take.  Since I didn’t have the people I needed I could become the type of person I needed.  I love that even though I didn’t know God, He still had His hand on me.

Thus, the journey began. So here, 18 years later, I reflect on the journey and all that I’ve learned. That the brokenness of your past does not have to be the legacy of your future.  It is never too late to keep trying again.  That with God nothing is truly broken, that all the past wounds, heartaches, disappointments etc..are all God shaped.

So here we are.  I look over at the one who made me a mama and thank God for our journey this far.  She is learning to navigate this complicated world as a young woman with dreams and desires and she is trying to make a mark for herself despite the physical limitations of Cerebral Palsy.  She is walking with the one who loves her most and because of that she is OK and so am I.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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