otto craig 7 month update


February 27, 2018

i can’t believe it. my baby is 7 months old. i think i say that every month but i just can’t believe how fast and slow time goes at the same time. this past month we have made so many changes and steps and new milestones it’s unreal. i feel like things are just going at a rapid rate right now.

this month we had the g tube surgery which finally got otto a tape free face. i try not to be angry at the NG tube because that is what got Otto to where he is now. BIG. but i feel like it had so many things to do with his oral aversions and discomfort. not to mention having that pesky painful tape in the way of his sweet cheeks. the g tube surgery went awesome. we were grateful again for another amazing team of doctors. i constantly think to myself  i never imagined us having a “family of doctors” but man oh man i am so grateful for the people who care about otto. i don’t know if i told you but some members of his cardio care team came down while he was in recovery from G tube just to say hi and see how he was doing? that is how you know you are in the right place for care. when they remember his name and come and say hello. they care about otto and that puts so much of my mind at ease.

we have begun working with purees and thickened milk on a spoon. he doesn’t love it but he takes it. we have to work a lot with the back of his mouth and his palette because he has such a bad gag reflex from both the tube placement (the nose tube) and just associating anything by his face with discomfort. we are working with some amazing therapists and are making tiny baby steps forward but they are FORWARD.

i think otto’s biggest accomplishment this month though is sitting up without support. i’m starting to see signs of his independence because he gets mad if you try to help him while he’s sitting up or if you put a pillow behind him. he wants to sit up all by himself. even when he starts to topple over in slow motion he gets this little stubborn look on his face that says NO I WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS. i gently let him learn and he will slow motion fall until he is on his tummy. even then he will sit there for a bit trying to figure out how to get out of this. it’s hard not to laugh or jump and help but this is how he is going to learn how to support himself and learn to trust and use his body.

things are going really good right now. we are getting 6 week intervals in between our cardio appointments. nephrology appointments are getting farther and farther apart and we are in a stage right now where it just seems like nothing is wrong. i sometimes feel that when things are so good i’m just waiting for the bad news. waiting for things to turn the wrong corner and sometimes just get totally paralyzed by fear. i sometimes feel that my faith is tested more in the good moments than the bad. i have to stay focused and i have to stay faithful. i know that in my heart otto will be ok. he might have a different path than some kids but i know that he is so strong that we can make it through whatever is thrown at us. but for some reason the reality and the stress of his october surgery is creeping back into my life.

i have nightmares about surgery day. maybe i was just numb to it in the moment. like i just had to put my nose to the ground and get through it. but now the feelings, the suppressed memories they come back to me when i try to be quiet. it’s a constant mental game. i read in my devotional by ann voskamp and i’ve shared it before and i’ll share it again.

“fear is the FACADE of taking action when prayer is” – Ann Voskamp

and that is the phrase that i keep replaying in my mind. because..

prayer has

  • got us out of the hospital and out of a second emergency surgery
  • kept otto from getting sick (so far)
  • healed his nephrology issues
  • weight gain
  • maintained heart function despite valve issues
  • given us an amazing prayer team from around the world
  • given us  an amazing medical team right here in grand rapids
  • kept us moving forward

so as we continue to grow i pray and rejoice that otto continues to flourish. i saw a fellow “heart mom” post that she promised the doctors that if they could save her son she would give him a beautiful life. And isn’t that the truth?

so my dear otto for your 7 month of life.

i am honored to call you my son. my son, a phrase that is so special to me. i save it for the most specialist of times. when i say it i almost (ok i do) tear up because you are just that my son. you are the miracle, the gift, the joy that i never knew i needed in life. you are the source of so much joy and the teacher of so many lessons. your father and i have the highest of hopes for you and we promise to continue to raise you the best way we know how. surrounded in love, grounded in Christ and living the most beautiful life as humanly possible.

happy 7 months my sweet son.

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  1. Cassie Osborne says:

    OMG, he is so adorable! Blessings to your family.

  2. Sally says:

    Good morning, I have been following your journey right along. You and Joe are doing a wonderful job with this darling boy. He has come so far so fast! Becoming a parent is certainly a life changer, even with a healthy baby! Thank you for sharing this little guy with me. Otto looks so happy, strong and especially handsome. He is is good hands!

  3. Kelly says:

    Otto is so adorable and has certainly the luckiest boy having you all as parents! We will keep this sweet boy in our prayers as he continues to grow and become more handsome every day.

  4. Kelly Roberts says:

    Beautifully written! Celebrate everyday! My “baby” is 37, and I still have to fight not to fear when she is traveling or even just at random times! She had an accident at 18 that resulted in a miraculous recovery but I had nightmares. I asked God to weave a beautiful tapestry over that picture that kept coming to mind and he did! Prayers for Ottos healthy, happy,lovely life!

    • It’s so hard to move on and upward from those situations. I feel though that after these situations happen we have a tighter bond with our babies, no matter what age they are.

  5. Rita says:

    Otto is so adorable and we hope he continues on his path getting bigger and stronger every day. One day hope to meet you in person at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Florida.

  6. Carolyn Dorsett says:

    I continue to be impressed by the wonderful way you and your husband parent Otto! Your strength, humor, faith and intelligence is shaping this besutiful boy. He definitely chose the right parents for this journey. I am grateful that you share that jouney and I can add my prayers, healing energy and love❤️

  7. Lynn says:

    I’ve been following his journey and so happy for his progress …yay

    I related to your delayed fear response , in an area I’ve gone through this year … brace at the time afraid later … thank you for sharing

    • It’s hard isn’t it? You think you’ve made it past it and it creeps up at the worst moments. I just contacted a therapist because I want to get on top of it before it gets worse.

  8. Beth larson says:

    I love these responses you’re getting. Our first grandchild was born 5 months ago and it was a very difficult birth that left him fighting for life in the NICU. As a mother and now grandmother I was paralyzed with fear for “our” baby but also my daughter- laying in her own room recovering from an extra difficult C-section. Everything is going well but there are a few worries and unknowns that still remain and I loved reading the prayful reminders to give it up to God! Otto Man-you are just the bee’s knee and I adore your sweet family!

    • Thank you so much Beth. I know how that feels! I had a wonderful C section but the separation was so so hard! I’m so happy that things are going well for baby and mom! SAVOR these months they go way too fast!

  9. Susan says:

    Dear dear Abby and sweet little Otto. May God bring you healing and peace on this journey. Abby, you and your little family are inspiring, and your honesty and openness as you share your life with others brings me to tears. You and your family have been in my thoughts since I read your article in a magazine. I recently rediscovered you and became interested in your blog and follow you on IG. You have a quality about you that I can relate to as you remind me so much of my daughter. I lost her 24 years ago this month. I understand the fears you speak of. After she passed I went back to school for 8 years to become a therapist and help others with their fears. Even so, it doesn’t always keep them at bay. I can’t tell you what a blessing you are to all who follow your writings and baby Otto’s adventures. I’ve started reading your blog as I love babies, farmhouses, and everything you write about. You and Otto are filling my heart during this anniversary month and keeping my thoughts from turning inward. Lucky precious Otto as he has you for a mom. God Bless ❤️

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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