Friday, September 14, 2012

Six Months with Addie

This past Valentine's Day, our seventh baby was born, a second girl we named Adah Marie, after our grandmothers in heaven that have been praying for us.  We call her Addie, and she has cystic fibrosis.

Like her eldest brother, she needs pulmonary therapy thrice daily (gentle patting on her chest and back to loosen thick mucus for coughing up), digestive enzymes before every nursing session, extra salt, probiotics, albuterol, and antibiotics.  She will never know differently unless a drug is discovered that targets the genetic defect (Let us pray...).

Even though I understood the genetics, thanks to great high school biology classes on Mendel's pea plants and I knew there was a 1:4 chance that CF could resurface, I nevertheless fought near constant nauseous panic the first few days and weeks as the symptoms became clear.  When the results of the genetic test returned Two copies of DF508 mutation.  Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosed, I cried.  Bawled, really, because this is where the theological truths of our Holy Faith crash against the anguish of heartbroken parents in a battle of weeping, fighting, swords, and clubs.  It felt like that, anyway.  I didn't want to visit friends with healthy children; maybe because I was jealous and maybe because I didn't want to be a downer.  I didn't want anyone else to hold her.  I told her I'm sorry a million times (I counted.).

But I've gone through these wranglings before and this time I have 2000 years of Church teaching and a Holy Mother to help.  Catholic theology holds that children are a gift, not a right; that suffering can bring us closer to Jesus; and that people are made for God.  Did I really believe what I'd been writing about on this blog for the past year and a half?  (Of course, thanks be to God and the prayers of Saint Therese!)  The Holy Spirit reminded me of the embarrassment of riches I have in our sacramental marriage blessed with so many children, and graces pouring upon me; so I picked myself up, made a morning offering of thanksgiving, called my friend over to tea, and proudly passed off my pretty daughter for auntie-ish snuggles.

We've figured out a good daily groove for Addie's care (Which basically means a chart for the others kids to keep track of who gets to do her therapy and squirt stuff into her mouth.) and we're delighting in the cuteness of our little girl; for CF chores and all, she is our own baby with her own personality ~

Spitting raspberries.

She slides down just enough to read the instruction stickers.

Loves to jam her hands into her mouth.

She especially digs her bouncy seat ~ see her feet in the air?

Quiets right down when Ken plays his guitar.

Clare and Addie ~ my girls!

Big Red is her friend.

Be still, my heart!

Happy six months, Adah Marie!  We are so thrilled and thankful for you!