Saturday, January 31, 2015

Omphalocele Awareness Day 2015

Happy O Day 2015!  The support group is petitioning to get January 31st recognized nationally as the official awareness day.  [Before I was a member] they adopted the cow print, cows, and black/white theme because the group is called "Mothers/Moms of Omphaloceles"  = MOO's.  hence, the cow.   New members will ask what's up with the cows when they join.  Last year, the group had close to 1,000 members (including a few relatives, fathers, grandmothers, etc) and this year it has risen to almost 1,500 members.   We wear black/white or cow print clothes to bring awareness to ALL the people that have never heard of this birth defect.  We support you but I/most of us are also "pro-O" in that obviously none of us chose to have an abortion.  We want you to give them a chance at overcoming their obstacles.  No its not fair.  Yes its the hardest thing any of us has ever done.  Its heartbreaking.  Its soul-wrenching.  Its faith-testing.  But its also a miracle.  And we are stronger mothers and individuals because of the journey no matter how it turns out.

Here is this year's Awareness Video on YouTube.  The second link is the music.  The video alone has no music so you must play both links at the same time (something about copyright issues).  You should be able to access the music link through this one.  Merritt's page is around the 9:30 mark I think (close to a 40 min video total).

Merritt is 2 1/2 years old and doing wonderful!  She weighs about 24 pounds now.  Not really sure how tall she is but I'd say average.  Her height has never been severely affected.  She takes a daily dose of OTC Miralax for chronic constipation and Rx Prevacid for reflux.   Her VSD (a hole in her heart) has never caused any major issues and last we checked (over 6 months ago) it was so small the cardiologist could barely see it.   She sleeps on her belly all night long.

She is petite for her age.  Nothing holds her back.  Small girl with a BIG personality.  Where there is a will there is a way!  She has always eaten well and better than my other 2 "normal" kids.  I won't lie - we live in the deep South - and I let her eat pretty much whatever she wants.  Mainly because I know she still likes her veggies and healthy foods, but I don't think twice about giving her fattening foods.  I still give her whole milk for the fat and calorie content (pediatrician agreed).   She is like her mommy in the way she loves southern-homestyle cooking.  She loves her casseroles, mashed potatoes, chicken of any kind, green beans, etc.

Here's to another great year for our miracle Merritt.  There were SO many O babies born this past year that we know about thanks to social media that has brought about awareness.  Even 3 years ago when I was pregnant, there was not much information out there.  I came across a few blogs and then found the Facebook group that only had about ~400 members at the time.  One day, I will get to meet the other wonderful O mommies I call friends now.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing their stories and answering my questions when we were going through the valley.  To Danielle, Kelly, Brooke, and a few others:  xOxO!

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