Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some Pics from the Wisner/O'Shea Wedding

Here are some pictures from Stacey and Darryn's wedding last weekend. We had a great time!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Madi is Rolling Over!!

Madi has learned a new trick...she is now rolling over. Of course, I haven't caught it on film yet but will have the camera ready tomorrow! I was so excited the first time and Madi just looked at me with a look of wonder on her face...she was probably wondering why I was clapping and yelling with excitement! Dave and our good friend Claire were there to catch the big moment as well. It is amazing how much joy and excitement you find in watching your child accomplish something new! Hopefully we will have it on video soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Enjoying Life

Love that contagious smile!
Hanging out with Daddy in her camo

Visiting Teresa and Andrew

Madi loves her tummy time

Jut wanted to write a quick update on what has been going on with the Kangs. Madi attended her first wedding last night. Stacey and Darryn tied the knot and all three of us were there to share in the occasion. We had a great time and Madison was quite the trooper. She was all dressed up in her charcoal and pink dress. She slept through most of the reception but was awake enough to stare at the beautiful room and she even made an appearance on the dance floor with Daddy! She met quite a few new people and had a great time.

Madi also went to the Dr last Friday for a weight check. She now weighs 10lbs 10oz...she gained 10 ounces in a week!! I guess the extra calories we have been adding yo my breastmilk did the trick. We have also gone on a few walks over the past couple of days and have enjoyed the sunshine we have been blessed with!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Our New Blog

Thanks for bearing with us while we make the switch to using blogspot. It is an easier blog to use and will keep our entries more organized as time goes on. Sorry it has taken us so long to update our blog...I can't believe it has been a month since we wrote something!

Time sure does fly by...especially once you have a baby ruling your universe. We wouldn't have it any other way! :) I can't believe Madison is already 3 months old. She is doing great and is continuing to grow and develop. She is a very active little girl and has become quite the squirmy little baby. Madi just had her 3 month check up and all is well. She recently has not been gaining quite as much weight as she was before so her Dr recommended that we add some formula to my breastmilk. We had been doing this when she was in the NICU and a few weeks after and it worked wonders. She is eating enough volume but seems to be burning too many calories to pack on the pounds. That is most likely attributed to her heart condition and is not a major concern. She weighed in at 10lbs and 22.5 inches long. Children with down syndrome have their own growth chart so according to that chart she is 50th percentile for weight and 75th for height (definitely didn't get that from her dad)! :) She also saw her cardiologist in January and he was pleasantly surprised at how well she was doing. They did an ultrasound on her heart to check the structure and functionality of her heart and all looked well right now. She does not need to go back to see her cardiologist until March 2nd and most likely she will be having surgery in April or May. We will know more in March. Other than that, Madison is enjoying life as a typical 3 month old baby. She is smiling more and more each day. She is also quite the talker with lots of cooing and grunting. She is a very expressive little baby with so many funny facial expressions. She has recently decided that her fists are about the coolest things...she loves to play with them and suck on them. She has even started to suck her is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen! She even rolled over from her tummy to her back. She was laying on the soft bed, so that may have helped her out a little, but she did it nonetheless!

We recently made a trip down to Sacramento to visit Jenn's relatives. We packed up the truck and 12 hours later we were there. Madison did great on the drive down and back. While there, Madi met her aunts, uncles, cousins, great grandmother, friends, and Nona's co-workers. She was quite the social butterfly! Baby Madison also accompanied her mom, dad, Nona, Grandpa, Tom, Dawn, and Lauren while wine tatsing in Amador County. The weather was beautiful in Sacramento...68 degrees the first few days we were there. Madi and Jenn went on a lot of walks and Madison was introduced to the sun. She loved it! Dave even got out for a few rounds of golf with Jenn's dad. It was a great trip and we loved sharing our little angel with everyone.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Many Thanks!

We just want to take the opportunity to thank all of our friends and family for their love and support. The holidays are always a time of reflection for me and this year I feel so blessed to have so many great people in our lives, especially Madison. They say it takes a villag to raise a child...and I see truth in that statement. Madison is so lucky to have so many amazing people who will influence her life in such a positive way. She is already so loved by many and I know she will grow to love all of you (she still has to meet most of you)! :) I find comfort in knowing there are so many people who will take part in her growth both spiritually and emotionally...she is one lucky girl. I also know that Madison will bless our lives and teach us so many things...she already has taught us a thing or two. As her mom, Madison has already taught me to appreciate the little things. She has taught me to notice and cherish little ordinary things that I may have otherwise overlooked. I have also learned to live in the moment. That has proven to be the most challenging thing for me thus far. I don't worry about Madi as an infant or a child but I do tend to worry about life as an adult with down syndrome. What will school be like, will people tease her, will people judge her before they even get to know her, will she ever can go on and on. I worry about the times that I won't be there to protect her and stand up for her. In these times, Dave reminds me to take one day at a time. It is also during these times that knowing all of you are supporting her (and us) means so much to me. I know Madi is so loved and she will always know how special she is to each and every one of us...and I want to thank you for that. You all mean so much to our family and I find comfort knowing Madi will be surrounded by so many loving people. I know Madi has a bright and exciting future and I am excited to see what God has in store for us. We love you!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Welcome To Holland"

We were given this by a friend in the immediate days after Madi's diagnosis. I immediately found comfort and read it many times...usually while I was crying, smiling and thinking of how much I love our little Madi. Although we have only known sweet Madi for 6 weeks, I already see the beauty in Holland and am so excited to explore it even more! I wanted to share this with you and hope you enjoy it...

"Welcome To Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michaelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome To Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say, "What do you mean "Holland"??? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around...and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of you life, you will say "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning that fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the VERY lovely things...about Holland.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our White Christmas

Sorry for the late postings but we still want to fill everyone in on Madi's first Christmas. We had a few big snow storms the weeks before Christmas so we had a beautiful white Chrsitmas...what a great first Christmas. Jenn's parents were in town for the Holidays so Madi spent a lot of time with Nona and Grandpa. We spent Christmas Eve with our neighbors (the McDonalds). Chrsitmas Day was spent with Aunt Amy (Dave's sister) and Uncle Jason, Aunt Sarah and Mia (Jenn's brother and family). Madi and Mia had a lot of play time together on Madi's new play gym. Madi even noticed Mia and very intently stared at her wondering who she was. They also cooed at eachother a few times and even held hands (well I think they both grabbed on to eachother at the same time). It was funny to see them laying on the ground next to eachother, kicking away, arms flailing and very excited about all the new toys around them. It was such a wonderful Christmas full of great friends and family...we are so blessed! Madi slept through opening her presents but we know she is loving all her new toys...especially the play gym! She loves to stare at herself in the mirror...well who can blame her, she is pretty cute! We have spent the past few weeks relaxing at home and avoiding the cold snow. Mommy and Madi stayed inside and watched Daddy and the neighbors have a huge snow ball fight! We have been enjoying a lot of family time before Grandma and Grandpa have to go home (on Jan 4th) :( Below are some new pics from the past few weeks. We hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We pray that 2009 continues to bless you all!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Madison's Story

She was sent to us three weeks early but we are joyful that we FINALLY got to meet our little Madison. Madison was born during the early morning hours of October 29th 2008 at 3:43 am; 19 inches long and 6 lbs 15 oz. The last week before Madison was delivered proved to be a mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting time for us. For those of you who we have yet to chat with, the following is an update regarding Madi:

Madi started her life as a fighter. Even before she was born, Madi fought to stay healthy in the womb. About a week before Madison was born, we found out via ultrasound and pure luck that Jenn's placenta was abnormally mature for being 36 weeks pregnant. This meant that there was a possibility that Madi wasn't getting all the nourishment she needed and that there was potential for her to be stressed In-Utero. Jenn was hooked up to several monitors so that Madi's vitals could be observed...this was last week, October 24th. After a couple days of monitoring, Jenn was admitted to the hospital on Sunday the 27th and the medical team that we were working with kept their eyes on her and Madi. After several more tests and bio-physical profile ultrasounds, the peri-natologist, mid-wives, and nursing staff all agreed that it was time to get Madison out. Jenn was induced on the evening of the 28th and Madison was born early morning on the 29th. *The above is the abbreviated version of recent events.

The day after Madi was born, we met with several doctors and found out several things about Madi that have recently proved to be emotionally challenging based on the unexpected nature of the findings. Madison has a heart condition called a Atrio-Ventricular Canal (or AV Canal). This means that she has two holes in her heart that are allowing oxygenated blood and unoxygenated blood to mix inside the heart. This condition will not significantly effect her at the moment, but she will have to have open heart surgery sometime during her 6th to 9th month of life. This heart condition is very fixable and is deemed to be 'routine'...compared to many other types of invasive heart surgery. Additionally, we have been informed that children at this age are surprisingly resilient when it comes to recovery post-surgery.

Additionally, after having discussed some other topics of interest with our doctors and nurses, we have recently been informed that there is a very good possibility that Madi has Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21). The doctors are suspicious that she has Down Syndrome because she currently has very poor muscle tone (Hypo-Tonia) and the heart condition mentioned above is apparently predominantly associated with children having Down Syndrome. Madi had some blood drawn for a chromosome test and we are awaiting the results to determine whether or not she will be officially diagnosed with Down Syndrome. So, this is the current update with Madison's status at the moment.

We want to thank everyone for their love and support and for taking interest in our lives and Madison's new life. Regardless of outcome, we have truly been blessed and we thank God for the gift of Madi in our life. She is a beautiful little girl and one thing is certain: she will be one of the most loved (if not the most loved) child in this world. Jenn and I are appreciative of your thoughts and prayers and would be grateful for your continued prayers so that Madi will be healthy enough to come home with us very soon....and, that her heart surgery will take place without issue sometime in 2009.

Many people have told us that there is nothing like the birth of your own child...that the event and the little child changes you. We now understand. The instant we met this little girl, we became different people...the change was much more profound than starting out as a married couple and becoming parents. The change we acknowledge is the kind that begins from the inner workings of your soul. This is a spiritual and life changing morph that leaves you wondering how you ever managed to travel through this world without this other little person in your life. Simply stated, Madison has become our purpose...we couldn't imagine loving someone or something any more than we love her...she is our Miracle Madi and our resilient little angel. We can all learn something from young Madi's will and desire to live. She has certainly taught us a thing or two already... :)

"Grazie mille" (a thousand thanks) to all of our wonderful family members and friends who have poured out sooo much love during this uncertain yet infinitely fruitful time. Many of our blessings are certainly the result of our beloved friends and family...we love you all.