Henry Michael Casten.
Born: October 20, 2008
Lindsay's blood pressure was extremely high two days before his due date. For several weeks it had been creeping up. It brought with it much emotion.
When the doctor took a second blood pressure reading on Lindsay that day she immediately sent us over to the hospital to have Henry born via c-section. The risks associated with high blood pressure and pregnancy demand quick action. Emotions were high that day.
Henry has continued on his road of emotions. He is a "spirited" boy and find the highest highs and lowest lows in his life. He expresses them equally as high and low.
The picture above is one of extreme excitement, pride and overall good feelings.
We love our Henry.
Henry was with Ella this morning while she had her first Early Intervention Physical Therapy session. He knew the therapist was here for Ella and he retreated to his room, feeling a bit sad and perhaps , left out. He gathered his "Taggie" (small blanket surrounded by tags) and his "paci" (Pacifier) and sat on the stairs, looking meekly out through the spindles as we chatted on the floor below with Lynda (PT) about Ella.
I saw him and motioned him down. He returned his paci to its place of rest (his dresser drawer) and he came down and joined us. Ava awaoke from her slumber and joined us as well.
They played with the toys Lynda had out for Ella and behaved beautifully. Until...
Until they no longer felt they were getting the attention they wanted. I pulled him and Ava aside, not knowing if a two-and-a-half year old would understand what I was about to tell him, hoping the four-year old would.
I pulled them aside and told them that Lynda was here to help Ella learn how to move, to learn how to stand, and to learn how to use her arms and legs. His big brown eyes fixed on mine and he nodded his head. Ava took it all in like a sponge. I went on to tell them that she will be here every Tuesday and that they could help her to help Ella. He smiled. Ava nodded. I was on a roll. I told them that they could play with Lynda's toys but they had to ask and only play with one. His little raspy voice said, "ok."; Ava followed suit.
He understood that his little sister needed help. He understood that he could be a part of that. He understood.
What he didn't understand was that his parents were flooded with emotions. Sitting and talking with Lynda was good. She provided hope and assurance. At the same time, our conversation was one of stark reality. Ella needs help. We've known that. The route of our coversation took us into discussions about orthotics, adaptive equipment, wheelchairs, and home modifications.
We don't even have a confirmed SMA diagnosis yet!
She needs help from us. She needs help from her brother and sister. She needs help from the professionals.
Lindsay and I, Henry and Ava, and Ella~~we will do whatever it takes to bring the best quality of life for all of us.
Henry's emotion will be a vital player in that help~~I know he will fight for both of his sisters~to protect them, guard them, and be there for them for their entire lives.
I saw that in his eyes today.