It is a well-known fact that we can make our plans, but reality often turns those plans on their heads. Surviving is a delicate dance between making decisions and rolling with the punches.
When it comes to raising a family, that is multiplied by ten. You have little human beings messing with your most carefully laid out plans on top of everything else.
Those surprises aren’t always comforting, either. Take the case of Melanie Kretschmer.
Melanie and Joe were expecting their third child. The baby girl — dubbed Naomi — had been fine, and there hadn’t been any red flags for Melanie.
She’d been here before — she knew what to expect from pregnancy and childrearing, and if everything had gone normally, she would have been perfectly prepared to welcome her daughter to the world.
She had some concerns, as all mothers do. Her particular concern at 36 weeks pregnant revolved around the fact that her baby didn’t seem to be moving as much as she thought she should.
“It was a mother’s instinct,” she said, “and I couldn’t shake the feeling something wasn’t right.” She was worried. She hadn’t felt her baby kick for 24 hours, and the worry started to eat at her.
Despite the doctors assuring her that she was fine initially, a visit to a medical center revealed a more sinister diagnosis.
While they didn’t say exactly what was the matter with her unborn child, they told her that her child was not doing well, and that they needed to intervene immediately.
Melanie said, “They just told me she needed to be born and born urgently.” Not what an expecting mother wants to hear.
But she’d been right to be worried: it turned out that her daughter had suffered a stroke.
Even though the doctors worked quickly, baby Naomi was still having seizures even as she was delivered through c-section. The parents were terrified. They waited helplessly by as medical staff worked to revive their infant daughter.
But Naomi pulled through. Because of the complications, she has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. At first, her parents wondered what kind of life she could possibly lead, but she continues to astound them at every turn.
She has already made progress that the doctors doubted would take place. She can speak and move, and there has been evidence that she has been able to begin using the damaged side of her brain.
Her seizures have lessened, though she still experiences them occasionally. This family has a new way of dealing with it all and their miracle child: one day at a time.
“We’re learning to live life day by day,” Melanie related. And really, what more can we do than that anyway?
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