The Lost Journals

Once upon a time, in a land far far away...I kept a journal.

And then one day I stopped.

The end.

Here they are. Never seen before. The lost journals:

April 13, 2004 – (6.5 months) I can’t believe how much you have changed in the past 6 months! You are an amazing and beautiful little girl and I’m lucky to be your mom! You continue to amaze me. This past week, you have started to stand in our laps, when we hold you. You just want to look all around. You have also started to become aware when I leave the room – you hate to be left alone! When I come back in the room, if you are in your exer-saucer, you’ll start jumping up and down and give me big smilesJ! You rolled over last week –your Dad got it on video! You love Dalten, your German Shepherd, when you see him, you grab his face and give him lots of smiles, he will usually lick your face and you giggle! We call you Natalie Bear, or sometimes just Bear! It seems to suit you – you’re like a cuddly teddy bear!

April 20, 2004 – You had an amazing weekend! You love the sound of your voice, and have been squealing just to hear yourself! This weekend, I held you in the grass in the front yard for the first time, you seemed to like it. We planted a tree for you this weekend, it will be cool to see it grow big and strong just like you. You had a new baby food this weekend – Chicken and Apples (your first meat) and you seemed to like it. I think that you liked the taste – but you weren’t too sure of the new texture.

May 11, 2004 – You keep growing and surprising me! This past weekend was my first Mother’s Day, thank you so much for making it an enjoyable dayJ! You and Daddy bought me a beautiful necklace with a heart that says, “My Daughter My Joy,” and it’s true you are my greatest joy. You recently started cuddling, and I love it!! When you snuggle up with me, putting your head on my shoulder, you just melt my heart. I love your toothless smile – it’s so cute and I love the way that you smile with your eyes at me, with you pacifier still in your mouth – you do this a lot when I come in to your room each morning.

June 1, 2004 – A day over 8 months old!! You are teething, and boy, are you grumpy!! You still don’t have any teeth yet, but I think that they are causing you some pain. This morning you woke me up at 3:30 and you were in a great moodJ. Daddy woke up to get ready for work, and after I was done feeding you, the two of you played!

June 4, 2004 – Still teething and still no teeth. This has been going on for two weeks now, you poor girl.

June 15, 2004 – We brought you back to Children’s Memorial yesterday and today we learned that you have a severe case of Cholangitis. Your teeth are finally coming in. I checked and you bit my finger. Daddy checked and you bit his finger too!

June 17, 2004 – You had a PICC line put in today. And for the first time in 3 weeks you smiled and squealed with joy! Daddy was leaving the hospital tonight, to go home for the night, and you flashed him the biggest Natalie smile!

June 18, 2004 – You love the camera. You smile when I turn it onJ!

July 14, 2004 – (9.5 months old) This past weekend we entered you in the New Star Discovery baby contest held at Byron Fest. You won in your age category!!! J On Monday July 12, 2004 we went to visit Grandpa Dempsey and you started “scooting” backwards. In fact, you got stuck under a chair and I had to rescue you! Yesterday, you had another appointment at Children’s Memorial. They did a cholangiogram. The surgeon that performed the Kasai thought that perhaps the reason for the latest infection was due to a narrowing of the portion of intestine that they attached to your liver. Yesterday’s procedure was to go in and see if there was something that could be surgically corrected – and prevent further infections. After performing a cholangiogram (injecting dye and then watching it travel), they inserted 2 catheters into bile ducts (with drains and bags attached to the outside of your tummy). The purpose of this was to see if we could enlarge some of your bile ducts. But we learned that there is nothing surgically that can be done to help. Your prognosis hasn’t changed – they say that it still could be years before we need a transplant.

July 20, 2004 – You tried pizza (well the crust anyway) last night and you really seemed to like it!

August 17, 2004 (10.5 months) – You have grown and changed so much! You have started, within the last week, getting up on your hands and knees. You haven’t crawled yet, but you are rocking back and forth a whole lot. You have also recently started (beginning of this month) saying “dada” and “bababa.” Your favorite thing to do its “people watch.” You will stand up on the love seat and look out the window at every one going by and giggleJ! Last week you got a squeaky toy when the Nurses at Swedish American took your blood (through the PICC line) and now that silly little bear squeaky toy is your favorite!! I leave it near the changing table and you giggle whenever I squeak it! You also love your Barney doll, the crawling Mickey Mouse, and the Baby Einstein bath books. Today you and Daddy went to Children’s Memorial and they took that pesky PICC line out!! Yeah!!

August 24, 2004 – Today I heard your liver disease (Biliary Atresia) described as a “sleeping monster” and it is so very true. We look at you all happy and smiley and sometimes I think that I drive myself crazy wondering what is going on in your little body. I find myself examining the corners of your eyes, looking for the slightest hint of yellow, indicating that your bilirubin might be going up. I study your every move, thinking, “Is this normal, is she acting sluggish?” Or “Is her skin a little more yellow today than yesterday?” I wonder what is next for you, what more will you have to endure. You have been through so very much in your short little life and for as much as I want to pretend that you are just like every other little 10 ½ month old – you’re not. You are tougher and more resilient. You have angels constantly looking after you and God giving you strength. And it is the strength that you have that gives me strength.

September 7, 2004 – (11 months and a few days) You started crawling last week. You get up on your hands and knees and rock, but then if you really want to move you’ll “Army crawl!” You love just sitting and playing and you are content to play with your Noah’s Ark set for at least an hour at a time (which is a very long attention span for an 11 month old)! This weekend, we went to Ladd to have chicken at Rip’s. You ate French fries and pickles!!! You loved to suck on the pickles! You also ate sherbet with Grandma. Mmm….you loved it!! (She was going slow feeding you and you threw a little tantrum!) This morning you woke up at 5:30 and giggled at Dalten when he came into your room. You ate really well – 8 ounces – then you leaned back against me and snuggled. I love our mornings together.

October 4, 2004 – (12 months and a few days) You began “big girl crawling” last month and you are moving all over! This past weekend was your birthday party. There were so many people that showed up to tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You got lots of presents and seemed to have a good time. We had a “Finding Nemo” party theme. We had a Nemo piñata, Nemo balloons, Nemo party hats and favor bags, a Nemo cake, Nemo streamers, we sent out Nemo invitations (I think that your Dad is a little sick of all the Nemos in the house!!).