Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fundraising, surgery and a helmet

A gigantic thank you to friends and family near and far for another successful Walk for Will and Hope. This year, we drew about 75-80 walkers for a picture-perfect 2-mile stroll. The weather was unseasonably warm. The leaves were magnificent. The company was terrific. Hope and Oscar were in fine spirits. We really couldn't have asked for much more.

We're happy to report we raised another $4,500 for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation, pushing our two-year total past $10,000. It means so much to us that we could do this to honor Hope and Will, who would have turned 6 five days after the walk. It's hard to believe it's been that long. We miss you, pal.

It's also hard to believe it's been 18 days since the walk. A whole lot has happened since then. About five days after the walk -- two days after we put my parents on a plane -- Hope had her supraglottoplasty surgery. That's the surgery to correct her laryngomalacia, a floppiness of her airway that made her seem like she was wheezing or snoring when she breathed.

Laryngomalacia is fairly common and benign among newborns. Most outgrow it in about 12-24 months. But most aren't nearly 3 and still about 16 pounds. We worried Hope's breathing was compromised by the floppiness of her airway and that she had a tougher time getting over colds because of it.

The surgery involved cutting floppy skin from her windpipe that caused the wheezing. It required anesthesia and putting an oxygen tube down her throat during the procedure. So naturally, we were freaked out. We were doubly freaked when we decided on the eve of surgery to read medical studies about what could go wrong. Never a great idea.

Hope was a champ. She left the hospital that afternoon, was a total pill that night, but bounced back to her old goofy, sweet self the next day. Her breathing improved immediately. It's odd not to be able to hear Hope from 50 paces anymore, but wonderful.

Both Oscar and Hope are doing great. We realize how infrequently we've updated the blog when we look back and realize what we've neglected to mention.

Hope started school in September. I drop her off about 9 and Mo picks her up about 3. We were dreading it. But Hope seems to be doing great. In a little more than a month, she's begun potty training and is weaning herself off bottles. It's five days a week and Hope is usually pretty exhausted -- no naps for little girls -- but she's been really happy since she started.

Oscar got a cranial helmet to correct a flat spot on the back of his head about three days before the walk. We were bummed, of course, that he'll need to wear it 23+ hours a day for the next 2-4 months. He may look like Spaceman Spiff, but he is utterly unbothered. His attitude seems to be: Hey dudes! I'm wearin' a helmet!

It's ironic, after nearly three years of fielding questions about Hope's size or her glasses, to answer questions about Oscar's helmet. The other day, in the Post Office, a clerk asked Mo if it was a fashion accessory. A few weeks ago, a girl at a toy store pointed at Oscar and screamed: Look! A baby in a helmet! Her embarrassed mother found us later and tripped over herself apologizing. I told my daughter, some kids are just born sick. We don't make fun of them.

Lordy, lordy, lady. Quit while you're behind.

There's a whole lot more, but not enough time. We're busy making cupcakes and preparing for Hope's third birthday on Halloween. She's a fairy princess. Oscar is a monkey. We think they look pretty cute. But neither seems thrilled by the prospect.