There is joy here! There is growth and exploration and happiness and joy. There is normality and comfort and love and warmth. There is courage and blossoming confidence and just thankfulness and delight taken in being together and watching Bede grow. There is so much joy here.
Bede has been busy mastering lots of new skills.
He has been babbling more.
First he regained neck control, which was amazing. He lost it when the disease doubled and he got so sick. Now he is nearly sitting up all on his own.
If I let him hold onto my little finger just as a point of balance (he usually chews it) he will sit up for 5 minutes or so. If I sit him on my lap with absolutely no support he will sit upright for 20 seconds or so. I just can’t believe how far he has come. He seems to be only a couple of months behind some healthy babies which is incredible! We have graduated up to the next kind of chair and soon enough will be on to the bumbo which is a regular baby seat.
Bede’s first unassisted sit up but no one but me to take a photo
Bede can play! wooooohooooooo!
He has been teething and while eventually, the novelty wore off I think at least in the beginning he quite enjoyed it. Finally here is an itch he can scratch, a pain he can self soothe, something he has some input over. He has had his fingers in his mouth rubbing his gums constantly and yesterday, finally, it broke through.
He’s eating ‘solids’!!! Just rice cereal to start with but this week we introduce his first flavour. I haven’t completely decided what it will be yet but I’m thinking sweet potato. He’s doing so well at it. Opening his mouth, chewing, swallowing, and coordinating himself. Some people thought he may never eat solids so this really is awesome. I’ve been super unorgnaised with it to. I think if I’d been more onto it he’d be even further along so I’m going to get on top of it this week.
He is smiling again! For the first time since the meningitis took hold! He gave his daddy a massive smile for father’s day. The perfect gift.
long before his diagnosis and long after Bede’s nickname was smiley. We love seeing him happy but he won’t take his fingers out of his mouth!
He is so alert and engaged all the time. He’s taking everything in and participating and my thankfulness and joy run deep.
We went toy shopping for Bede the other day and got him a wonderful stash of toys that his brother is delighting in playing with with him. We bought 3 rain makers because they are his favourite; he goes still listening to them.
He tried out his newest therapy tool today which is especially designed for kids who may be vision impaired. It’s a box that has all bits and pieces dangling around him. It’s hard to explain but the idea basically is that it allows him to explore texture and feel and sound without having to move very far and he gets a lot of feed back for not too much effort. It also amplifies the sound of the rainmaker so he fell asleep. (He’s completely undressed because we kept trying to wake him up and he would only stay awake if he was cool.)
So despite the cancer, despite the meningitis he is growing. I love that. I love what an amazing soul he is. I love that he does things on his own terms and surprises us at the least expected moments.
His face is swollen again from the drugs but we are weaning off them again. 8 weeks ago Bede’s neck was stuck arched back and to the side there is no way he could have done this.
I can’t even put in to words all that Bede is at the moment. He is growing and evolving and reaching but not really changing. He is all that he has always been just more so.
I feel I have come to know him so much more over the last few weeks and goodness I am so incredibly fond of who he is growing in to and yet he is just the same.
All that he has always been remains but now I see how, with control and agency, that converts to his day-to-day approach to life. I suppose I’m seeing things that I always innately knew about him but now I get to really watch in action. His determined gentleness as he masters a new skill, his calm as he tries something scary, his tenderness as he strokes his hand over the top of mine exploring my being and my soul.
He is resilient. Despite the cancer he is developing and growing and that is really quite remarkable.
We are hoping our doctor gives us the all clear tomorrow and we can steal away down south to our dear friends’ property for a few nights tomorrow and maybe visit some other friends. There are chooks, vegetable patches, a trampoline, lots of trees, yabbies, clear stars and as much fresh air as you could possibly hope for. We are really excited to get the boys down there and sit by the fire.
We have had two weeks at home now while we postpone the chemo and treat the meningitis and despite some hospital stresses and mistakes it has been absolute bliss. It has felt close to normal. It has been enough time for him to develop a sleep routine which is such a normal thing but I have relished in it. I have loved the normality, we all have.
brothers checking out the chocolate factory during a wonderful day trip to the swan valley
Tuesday was another MRI we’re not expecting anything earth shattering either way. Sometimes that’s when you get sucker punched so that makes me slightly nervous for the results in an irrational way.
Tomorrow we tap Bede’s shunt again, which involves inserting a needle into the lump on his head and removing some brain fluid. There is a lot riding on it. If the three weeks of IV antibiotics haven’t worked and any meningitis remains Bede will need multiple brain surgeries, ICU time, lengthy admissions and a massive delay on chemo which may allow the tumour to grow. Roy and I will really be left questioning how we should move forward.
We are hoping, and praying and thinking positively and just really wanting that sample to come back clear of meningitis.
He is growing, he is loving, he is living. He is evolving and consolidating and smiling. He’s been knocked down but he is getting back up.
It has never been truer…
Through it all he is small but he is mighty.