Bradyen's Actual Age

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Bradleigh Nicolynn Dowdney

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bradleigh's 1st Birthday!!!

Bradleigh turned 1 on the 22nd!! 

Here are a few pics of her along with a description of what's she has been up to recently (the pics and the tidbits are not related in any way...just wanted to put them together in 1 post):

- Bradleigh can now walk with ease...she has been able to do so since she was 11 months. 

- She LOVES to swing. She will laugh really cute if you bump her feet as she get close to you.

Our little Valentine

- She really wants to talk and I think she will probably be an "early" talker. She makes all kinds of sounds and tries very hard to mimic what we are saying to her.
- She is hard headed and a little of a Diva. She will cry Crocodile Tears if you tell her "no." I mean, mouth wide open, tongue quivering, crying like you've never seen. (it's really cute...most of the time).
 Introspective Bradleigh
(she had just woken up from a nap and wasn't too keen on going to the park)
Miss Priss in her Birthday Tutu!!

This was on Valentine's Day and Momma wanted a pic of her in her new jammies (sorry it's sideways...don't know how to rotate it)

- In the last 3 days she has started throwing tantrums when she doesn't get her way. These are still relatively rare, but she throws herself down on her tummy (kinda strange) and kick her legs straight back while she looks up at you crying.

- Now, don't let me fool you -- this girl is VERY SWEET, has a smile that LIGHTS UP the room, and is in complete and total infatuation with her Nana and Mimi. She can be very snuggly at times, and others she does not want to be "held down" and will kick so you will let her run and play in the floor. She is a hoot

This is the Birthday Tutu Aunt KK (Kaysi) bought cute!!!

- She is bowlegged when she walks and if she is unsure about her footing she almost waddles as she walks. She takes tiny steps and shuffles her feet. It is AWESOME!! Makes me smile everytime I seee her do it.
More of her in her Bday Tutu


- Now that she has hit the 1 Year mark, we are introducing her to MILK.  We give her 4 ozs of milk and 4 ozs of Toddler Formula for each bottle.
- She has been eating "solids" for about 4 months now.  We started with baby food, and have gradually moved her up to more and more "solid" food.  She is now to the point where she can just about eat anything, but of course, our kiddos only get the BEST ...organics, fruits, veggies, and the like, but every once in a while she will get some chopped up chicken nibbles.  :)
I think that's about it for the updates...Happy 1st Birthday Miss Bradleigh!!  You are a joy and a blessing to our family!!   Love you -- Momma and Daddy

Friday, January 25, 2013

Welcome our newest additon!!

So, as you can see, we posted all of 2 blogs for 2012 -- wow, pretty lame.

I think it'd be best for me to just upload some pics and maybe give a quick update on what's been going on around those pics, so here we no particular order  :)

This is a picture we took around Halloween of 2012 and I think it's pretty awesome!  This is the whole Dowdney Family...looks pretty "complete" to me!?!?!  lol

This year, on June 1st, we welcomed the newest addition to the Dowdney Family
Bradleigh Nicolynn Mary Dowdney!!! 
This pic was taken as part of her "baby" pictures, even though she was probably about 5 months or so in this picture (rough estimate)...we think she is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!
More pics of most kids, she loves putting stuff in her mouth, so she decided to chew on this marker until I got my pic, and then I took it out of her mouth. :)

This is just too cute not to post!! Pretty sure she is on her way to the park in this one.

Again, another one too cute not to post!  Momma loves Ms. Bradleigh in little bitty bows -- HA!!  This girl has a gorgeous smile that just has to be shared!!!
This is Brayden at Easter in Palestine -- if you can see, he has a nice gash/scar in the middle of his forehead from trying to bring down our mantle with his head.  Bummer, but he got over it quickly and no stitches...this boy is a MESS!!!!  (and we love it)
Okay, so random pic here, but Mimi and Papa bought OUR KIDS mini-horses for Christmas (2012). Just don't tell Kelli they are for the kids.   LOL
This is B dressed up for the cold in Palestine on the day he met "Shake" -- his mini-horse!
We love this jacket on him and he has a couple really cool hats we put him in when it's cold outside.

Okay, I know this is sideways, and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to rotate it, but again, this is too cute not to post.
This is Brayden in his "blue car" at Mimi's house -- he loves to drive this around and this time Mimi found a wig for him to wear -- he LOVED it!!!

This is B at school for Thanksgiving and his teacher (Mrs. Sheikh) sent it to us. 

Okay, so I know this doesn't really cover the whole year, so here is a quick rundown of what happened in 2012
In June Brayden had his semiannual MRI and it was discovered the cyst on his spine has grown 2mm.  We freaked out and broke down in the office, so Dr. Roberts decided we would run some tests first before we dove into surgery.  We had his bladder tested and all came back normal!!!  No tethered spine and no blockages so we continued with our semiannual schedule. December came around and no changes to the cyst were noted, and no changes in B's demeanor was noted, so no surgery for now -- Jesus please heal our little boy so he never has to have back your Holy, Powerful and HEALING Name, Jesus, AMEN!! (feel free to pray for this alongside us)
I transitioned into a new job in Jan of 2012, leaving the Federal Reserve and moving to PlainsCapital Bank.  This allows me NO TRAVEL and my office is only about 15mins from the house!!  So far, so good!! I'm a Senior Compliance Analyst for them, conducting audits of Consumer Bank Regulations to ensure compliance...I know...snoozer.
I mentioned we brought Bradleigh home on June 1st, and her "Gotcha Day" was December 7th...the day we finalized her adoption.  We are so blessed to have her, as she is an awesome baby, and has a wonderful smile!!  We love you Bradleigh...welcome to our Family!! Oh, and as of January, 2013 -- this girl is UP and WALKING!!!  ...gonna be a marathoner very soon (wink, wink)
Brayden was accepted into an Early Learning Program with Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD (E.L. Kent Elementary) which is where that last pic is from...his teacher is Mrs. Sheikh and he is making big strides with learning his letters and numbers, as well as learning to write.
So...Brayden is doing or is working on the following:
     - He knows his letters and loves to sing the ABC song
     - He knows his numbers up to about 20 in both English and Spanish...we are trying to push him past 20, but it's a process.
     - He loves music, but has only just started "singing" songs.  He knew the words to a bunch of songs, but since a little after T-giving (2012) has he started inflecting his voice to try to match notes in the song -- SO CUTE!!  He sings Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABC's, This Little Light of Mine, You Are My Sunshine, Do You Know the Muffin Man, and several Go Diego Go songs.
     - He has begun to try writing...probably starting "squiggling" around August, and is now able to write a few letters on command, but I think sometimes he just writes something, and if it looks like a letter he'll call it as that letter.  :) 
     - He also knows all his colors and likes to call things by their color -- Blue jacket, Papa's Gray Truck, Nana's Green Car...etc.
     - Brayden has had to wear an eye patch since about November due to his eye muscles not matching with his brain communication.  If the patches don't work, we may be looking at surgery -- please Jesus, heal Brayden's eyes so he won't have to endure surgery -- in Jesus name, AMEN!
What is Bradleigh up to?
     - Bradleigh can now stand up as she pleases
     - She can stand up and walk wherever she wants to, but normally takes about 10 steps or so and then sits down to crawl the rest of the way.  She has great balance and can even walk backward...albeit slowly.  She can also change direction if she needs to with minimal falling.
     - She's gonna be a talker -- she makes all kinds of verbal noises, and we've somewhat taught her how to "get it" and "uh-oh."  I've even heard hear mimic a word here or there, but can only think of about 3 times that's happened thus far.
     - Otherwise, this little girl LOVES her big brother and wherever he'll find her.  She loves to be right up in his lap (to his shagrin) and lights up when she sees him, if they've been apart.
     - Momma puts this girl in the biggest bows she can find and the cutest outfits available...but she is 11 months and fits into 18 month clothing.  She is 1 diaper size below Brayden, at this point...granted he is super skinny, so not sure it that's her fault, or his.  :)
I think that's about it.  Kelli and I celebrated 12 years of marriage at the beginning of this month. In 2013 I am looking to go to India on a Mission Trip to help out an Orphanage. We are also talking about going to South Bend to watch my Sooners play Notre Dame, and heading to Baton Rouge to watch the Aggies play LSU.  No concrete plans have been made as we have some time before football cranks back up, but we are hoping to makes those 2 games.
At this point, there will probably be 4 people who still follow our blog, but that's our 2012 recap and look into 2013.
Love you all,
David D


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Updating on Brayden

We wanted to post some details on our blog that we had emailed out to our freidns and family. We figured there might be some people that we didn't have their emails for that follow our journey on here. 

Sent December 3, 2012

To my most beloved friends and family,

  I wanted to take a moment and send you a personal email asking if you each wouldn’t mind taking some time this Friday morning to pray for our son Brayden. As most of you know, back in June Brayden’s MRI showed that the Arachnoid cyst on his spine (found at birth) had started to grow and compress on his spinal cord.  Our neurosurgeon told us at that time that his spinal cord was 7 mm in diameter and the cyst had compressed in 2 mm.  This could, in turn, decrease blood flow and oxygen to the brain, affect his neurological response in his extremities, and affect the function of his bladder and kidneys.  At first Dr. Roberts suggest that we go ahead and schedule surgery, but after an additional consult with the radiologist we determined that we would look to see if it was actually having any of the above mentioned affects first.  After thorough testing, we learned that his oxygen saturation in the brain was normal, as well as his bladder/kidney function and neurological responses. We were given a 6 month pass and asked to come back in December for another MRI. This was great news as this surgery is extremely high risk. I will spare you of the risks during surgery and the survival stats but it is a very complicated surgery that he could have a hard time pulling through and recovering from.  

 My precious Aunt Nette often posted and shared throughout her battle with Ovarian Cancer and I have recently began to go back and read her words to draw strength and encouragement from. During her battle, she continued to give thanks and praise and glorify the Father, despite her struggles.  Her words have of late become some precious to me. I share “We go before His Throne with petition, to learn His will and to give Him thanks for His hearing our prayers. We are dependent moment by moment upon Our Lord. He graciously tells us “whatever we ask in His Name, He will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 and “Those who Trust in the Lord, shall not be disappointed” I Peter 2:6  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 This is where I plant my feet and take my stand. The circumstances are too bizarre to try to untangle. All that matters is that I keep my focus on Jesus and to know He is with me to deliver me from all of my trouble.” She once told me that what kept her going was keeping her eyes on Jesus and His calling for her life and not on her circumstances.

 This Friday morning, we will be taking Brayden back to Cook Children’s for a repeat MRI to see how the cyst has developed over the last 6 months. If there is still compression, we will go fairly quickly into surgery.  We have recently had some very sweet moments, surrounded by friends and family, just covering Brayden in prayer, laying of hands, and anointing with oil; that our gracious Heavenly Father would hear our cries and heal our son.  We have directly prayed that this water filled cysts would just rupture and be absorbed by the body so that Friday morning his MRI would come back clean and normal. We have specifically prayed that no surgery would be required.  We have been comforted by The Spirit as David and I have been lifted and covered, experiencing the unexplainable “the peace that passeth all understanding.”  We now would like to call you stand firmly with us in the Victory that we claim through the blood of Christ. We realize that no matter what the outcome, this Victory remains; when Jesus defeated the  grave and our eternal salvation was won. We would like to ask that you boldly approach our Father’s throne and pray for the dissolve of Brayden’s cyst.  We also ask for peace and comfort for David and I as we go through the day on Friday. If you would please commit to praying for us for just 10 minutes anytime from 8:00 am – 11:00 am, as Brayden will be under during this time.

We can not express our utmost gratitude and thanksgiving for having the ability to live in a nation where we are free to call friends and family to prayer and having the blessing of people in our life that we can call on during these times. Many of you have given us so much courage and encouragement over the last 3 years, .  Thank you for continuing to laugh with us in the hysterical moments, put your arms around in the tough moments, and love and pray with us through it all.  

With sincere love                                        David & Kelli
Emailed December 13....with joy and thanksgiving!!
First and Foremost, David & I would like to express our most sincere gratitude to the overwhelming words of encouragement, prayers, and love that we are continually humbled and blessed by. On our drive home Friday from Cooks, I asked David how do you even begin to say "Thank you" to someone who selflessy gave up their time to pray for your child? Please know that we do not take that lightly and are so grateful for your prayers. We both experienced an overwhelming peace even before we started on Friday and we know that was a direct result of many people interceding for us, on our behalf! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I pray that one day when you have a burden and need a prayer warrior to walk with you that you allow David & I the opportunity to return the favor and intercede for you.
I know that some of you may have seen the status on FB, but I did want to follow up with everyone that we had asked to stand with us. David, my dad, and myself took Brayden to Cook Children's in Ft. Worth Friday morning. The MRI went rather smoothly, however it did end up being a little longer scan that usual. Brayden came out of anesthesia fairly well and was soon eating a popsicle and snuggled on my lap talking to Daddy and Papa. We were dismissed from radiology in the prefect time to walk upstairs and check in for appointment with our Neurosurgeon, Dr Roberts. Before he gives us the results, he always give Brayden a very thorough neurological assessment and does a clinical evaluation. He spent some time measuring neurological responses, oxygen saturation, and watching him walk, move, talk, and sing the ABC's. He said "I think we are looking very good. The cyst is still there but it has stabilized. There is not new growth or change and from the clinical evaluation, he seems to be improving. There are no visible signs that we are in any danger and I'm not thinking that the cyst has had any affects up to this point. Yes the cyst is still compressing, but I can not suggest a complicated surgery just from a scan when what I am seeing is a healthy 3 year old!" We talked for a while an we all asked a lot of "Maybe this or that" and "What If" questions just to ensure that we were all on the same page. We are so blessed to have this doctor that has been with us since Brayden arrived at Cook Children's just a few hours after he was born. He has a great bedside manner with David & I and takes time discussing and educating us. We recently learned from a contact I have at work, that he is highly regarded by his peers on the industry and is known for his continued involvement in research and development in his field. He even shared with us that Cook Children's is preparing to launch an new focus on Gate therapy, especially for children that have had a brain injury. He said that research shows that this Gate Therapy has significantly improved the stability and mobility of kids and he said that Bradyen was one of the first kids that he really wants to work within the program. I am so thankful that Dr. Roberts has a heart for our son, and we feel that he generally has a compassion for our family.
The plan is that we will repeat the MRI in another 6 months, no surgery for now. He said that he did notice that Brayden had a large growth spurt and it was interesting that the cysts had stabilized during that period. We are scheduled to go back in June 2013 and in the meantime, we monitor his behavior, reflexes, and oxygen saturation. We feel that every 6 months is more time for The Father to deal with this cyst in his time, in his way. Dr Roberts even said that if we can buy ourselves enough 6 months increments, you never know what kind of procedures or medicines will be developed between now and then. He assured us that even though he is a surgeon and he loves to do surgery, he will not carry us to that point until we are out of options and he will continue to explore ALL options for us.
David & I slept very good Friday night! :) And Saturday morning, I was suddenly ready to celebrate the Birth of our Savior! We enter this Holiday season with such an awe of who our Father is, the sacrifice that he gave so that we might become His children and heirs, that I have a certain reverence entering into Christmas this year I don't think I have had before. It's a small quiet place that the more I begin to understand the depth and unconditional love I have for my children as a parent, the more I understand my heavenly Father's love for me. This Christmas we will celebrate the birth of King that brought us hope of a future that one day we will be in eternity with Him forever. That same hope, carries our family through this journey, sometimes 6 months at a time! We pray that you and your family have a blessed Christmas. And just in case you may have stopped believing, He is still doing Miracles. We get to tuck one in bed every night.
Much love,
David & Kelli


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Needing to be Carried

I know it seems like The Dowdney's exited the bogging world, but lately I have felt a calling to be more committed in writing. So here is my attempt.  Over the next few months, I am going to to try to write from my heart but at the same time catch everyone up on where we are.  Yes, I know, I need to pen the amazing story of our new little gift Bradleigh Nicolynn Dowdney and update on Brayden. I promise I will get to that! 

 In this walk, I think I have been fairly transparent with my consistent need to lay my anxieties at the foot of my Savior.  It is something I struggle with on a daily basis, yet is something that I have a very hard time being completely transparent about.  I have a fairly strong personality, high energy levels, and extremely task oriented.  So to ground myself and share honestly "I really struggle with this inside battle of anxiety and fear." is hard to put to paper.  However, I have felt a tremendous transformation beginning and I feel that The Lord is taking this from me and teaching me about trust and complete dependency upon him.  In these very intimate conversation with Father, I hear him telling me to share. How many other people are out there that struggle with fear and anxiety. Maybe it is not as "in-your-face" as mine is. Maybe it is something more quiet. But I am going to try to share from my heart as the Lord walks me through what really leaning into Him looks like. 

Today I read this and wanted to share.  Very poignant .  Talk to ya'll soon. 

Who Is Carrying You?
Scott Hamilton - Senior Pastor - Harvest Glaskow, Scotland
Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
-Isaiah 46:1-4

As you woke this morning, was it with the realization that God’s unbreakable promises to you in Jesus are designed to produce unimaginable salvation in you through Christ? It is easy for us to live out our salvation with some sort of diminished reality which in turn diminishes our capacity to live for God’s greater glory. Isaiah 46 speaks to people for whom such a diminished reality led to captivity. And we should learn from their mistakes. Think on these five truths.
Truth #1: The greatest of strength and the deepest of knowledge will end up face down before Jesus. The gods of their captive world were shown to be intergalactically weak. Literally, they sink to their knees, stooping, crouching, and cowering before the living God.
Good news right? Except that there was a further reality at work here:

Truth #2: The people whom God called His own had made Bel and Nebo their gods too. That meant they were broken people with broken gods who had broken relationship with the One true and living God. Rather than being carried through life by faith in God, their spiritual loyalties were very divided, resulting in both spiritual and physical captivity.
So who’s carrying you?  Or, more correctly, what are you carrying? Their gods were only as strong, responsive, or mobile as they were. Does that describe where your trust is today? The things you are trusting in are carried on your shoulders in your strength. Eventually, they become a burden that weighs upon you. Has it occurred to you that is why you are finding no peace or rest? Has the reality hit that this is the cause of the heaviness felt today and for quite a few yesterdays?

Truth #3: We need to realize in a fresh way today something about our god-alternatives. If you can carry it, there will be a day when it can’t carry you. Further, if you have to carry it, then it’s already crushing you. It’s time to give up investing such massive amounts of energy and emotion propping up idols. This passage speaks of three things sinking to their knees. Do you see it? The idol, the animal, and the one crazy enough to entrust their life to something made from the same raw ingredients as them.

Truth #4: God is saying, “Listen to me: while you are trusting in Disney characters, I am still speaking. While you are walking straight into captivity with whatever you have replaced Me with tucked under your arm, remember this—I have carried you from birth.” God is speaking of Jesus shouldering the burden of your sin, carrying your load, taking the strain of all that weighs you.

Truth #5: We need to realize when we are trusting in an idol and heed the warnings God is sending us every day!
Almighty Father, I am no different than the Israelites of old. I make and carry idols every day. Sometimes it seems like half of my life is spent guarding against the idols that creep up on me.  Please forgive for not throwing them down and jumping back into Your loving arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Onto the New Year!

So, here we are, moving into 2012...but before doing so let me recap Thanksgiving and Christmas for the Dowdney's in 2011.

We had Thanksgiving at Kelli's Parents house in Palestine, and Kaysi and Robbie met us there.  My Mom and Dad drove down to meet us too and stayed for a couple days, and we ate wayyyy too much and watched a bunch of football.  It was a great time of family and fellowship and we always love getting everyone together.

We decided to do Christmas at our house this year, what with having a 2 yr old and all. So, Mimi and Papa (Kel's parents) stayed with us for a few days, and Nana and Pawpaw (my parents) came over to hang out on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Bent Tree Bible was having their Christmas services on Christmas Eve to allow the Church Staff time to be with their families on Christmas morning.  So, we headed over there to enjoy their services. As usual, it was a lovely service, although our parents aren't real keen on this new way of doing worship music...they're a little more used to the traditional hymns, but c'est la vie -- we made the best out of it.  :)

Christmas Day got started a little late, as with all the excitement from Christmas Eve, Brayden slept in on Christmas morning.  I guess at 2 he isn't too keen on all the things that await him on the morning of Christmas, but that may change after this year.  Once we got to unwrapping presents, after praising the birth of Jesus (of course), it wasn't long before Brayden started figuring out this was pretty cool.  We saved his biggest present for last, but I don't think we quite made it to the end before he found it...a kitchen that we had covered with blankets so he wouldn't see it.  Once he found it, I've never seen him so excited about something!!  He was beside himself trying to figure out everything he could do with it, pushing buttons, opening doors, getting the ice maker to work, and "cooking." He walks around now talking about "cooking" and when we ask him what he's doing he says, "I cook." It's hilarious and we are eating it up right now (pun intended). Of course, he got a whole bunch of things for Christmas and we are so thankful for the family and friends we have that shower our son with love and affection, but the kitchen took the cake (again, pun intended). We also ate til our stomachs hurt, but it was sooo good to see our family again, and be able to spend time with them. We try to never take for granted the times we are able to spend with our families. 

Otherwise, we all shared in many blessings this Christmas...not just Brayden. :)

Since our last post, I have been able to go hunting twice with Kelli's Dad...Papa (to Brayden).  He and I have gone out to ranch just him and girls or little boy.  I have always had a very good relationship with my FIL and I appreciate him for the man he is, the child of God he is, and the father figure he has become for me. I have been blessed with 2 father's here on earth that any man would kill to have, and I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for providing these two men to emulate. 

Kelli and I celebrated our 11th Wedding Anniversary on Jan. 6, 2012!!!  Woo hoo!!  It just so happened that I had a little time off, and was able to convince her to go to Lake Tahoe with me for some skiing and a little time away from the daily grind.  We had a great time, albeit the mountain there (called Heavenly) was only operating 20% of their slopes as they had 0 natural snow thus far in the season.  However, they did a great job with the man made snow they produced, but we both noted how we would really like to go back when they had gotten a good snow storm blow through.

Below is a video I took of Brayden as he's playing with a Book Reader he got for Christmas...he is laughing at one of the noises it makes and I thought it was cute enough to video...enjoy.

This is a picture of Kelli on top of the mountain in Tahoe...note both views!

This was us out on the town in Tahoe...we had just watched 2 movies back to back.

This is me in my ski outfit...yes, really.

Brayden likes to ride the rides at the this is him in his truck

Just a cute one of him getting a drink

This was him in his T-giving outfit, playing outside.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Is That Your Final Answer?

As many of you may know, we have been having Brayden tested periodically since he was born for Hepatitis C. His birth mother contracted HepC when she was carrying the twins, and although the transmittal rate is extremely low, Brayden was considered high risk becuase of his exposure.  See, during the pregnancy the twins underwent a placenta ablation surgery in order to correct the Twin-to-Twin Transfusion that was threatening their lives.  During this surgery they were exposed which leads to the high risk.

The first 3 test were negative and then last October, a day that I will never forget, the doctor called with some devastating news. Brayden's Hep C test had come back positive. David & I did a lot of research and I even contacted a hospital in Sydeny, Australia that specialized in Mother-to-Infant HepC transmissions.  We were told to wait and they would retest 6 months later for confirmation.  Our doctor told us that it was very unlikely that the test would change but there was a .006% chance.  GOD DEALS IN THE .006% MARGINS!!!

Early last spring we were tested again, another day I will not forget.  When Dr. Mazade walked in he had tears running down his face.  Of course, my heart sank and I expected the worse!  His voice cracked as he tried to mumble "It was negative."  He said that in all the years of his practice he had never seen a child test positive and then come back with a negative.  But it was definitely a negative.  However, he said that we still were not out of the clear until we received a test confirmation. The dr. wanted to wait another 6 months and we would retest again in October.  Last week, we got the results of his final test.  STILL NEGATIVE!

God's timing is so.....undeniably orchestrated.  I am a worrier! Yes, I know that is a lack of faith and I really struggle with the battling voices.  The Word grounds me and speaks over the voices of the enemy but sometimes i succumb to the anxiety of the unknown. Will Brayden be ok? Will he grow up and be happy? Will he be able to walk and run and play with his friends?  The unknown.  But then I remember that my obligation is not be sure Brayden grows up to be happy or to have friends but to grow up with the Word of God hidden in heart and a love for His Savior.  Then I see the visible hand of God moving in my little boys life. Protecting, providing, and healing!  It is amazing at how quiet the voice of the enemy grows in the shadow of The Almighty.  I am thankful, and humbled, that God has allowed me to see His Sovereignty and Providence!  We are completely overjoyed for this news and just wanted to share!!

David, Kelli, & Brayden Jackson

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Just a quick update on some things since it's been awhile...

Made it to the G.I. Specialist, who ran a few tests and took a few images and found nothing of concern in Brayden's bowels. He said there is no tethered spine, so that is good, and he feels that Brayden is just one of those kids who will have some constipation.  We told him we give Brayden "half a cap" of Miralax everyday, and that seems to help things move thru, so he told us to keep doing that and we should be okay.  This was great to hear, as he said the laxative won't hurt his system, and as long as it works, we should be good to go.  We haven't heard from the Oncologist yet, so we probably need to follow up on that just to cover the bases.

Since our last post we've had a few things going on that we probably need to relay...

A few weeks ago we had a little accident where Brayden fell into some water and I had to revive him with CPR...we were rushed to the hospital in Palestine, and then ambulanced over to Dallas, where we were able to get stabilized and on the road to recovery.  I don't really want to relive all the details, but let's just say it was a traumatic day and one I hope to never experience again.  Thank you Jesus for gifting us our boy back that day, and please watch over him and keep him Jesus name.  This incident has caused us to take a step backwards in our progression with Brayden to get his right arm and leg to work "properly." Our neuro-therapist thinks this may have injured the brain some, and we will need to take extra care in our rehabilitation efforts moving forward.  Needless to say, my guilt has been overwhelming at times, but I have to remind myself to be thankful that we dodged a bullet, with Jesus as our ARMOR, and not consume myself with the "what migh've beens."  It's hard, and I told Kelli the other night -- this incident has left a scar on me that will never heal, and thankfully it is a scar that could've run deeper, but it will be there until Jesus takes me home.  Okay, so enough with the bad stuff...let's focus on the BLESSINGS we have been given.

Brayden is getting to be such a big boy...see the pictures below.  He is saying more and more words everyday, and he loves to be outside and he loves being around other kids.  He has never really been shy, but he really seems to come out of his shell when he gets around kids his own age.  We are so excited about that, as social skills are one of those things I think each parent worries a little about.  He has finally begun to say "hi" and it's so cute -- he says it really high pitched, and I guess I need to capture it on video and post it so you can appreciate it.  He says "thank you" anytime you give him something...which is alot, so he says it alot.  He was taught by another little boy (Justin) how to say "yee-haw" and the "yee" part he also says really high pitched, so that's been fun, but he hasn't seen Justin in a while, so he isn't saying it nearly as often as he used to.  Otherwise, B is doing all the things B normally does...he plays like a champ (as I'm sure most 2 year olds do), goes thru phases of good eating and bad eating, he sleeps so good (usually), and he loves to be outside and explore. He still has some delays, and we are still working on straightening out his right arm and leg, but all in all, this little boy is a trooper and has been such a blessing to me and my family -- g'parents included...he has his Mimi and Nana wrapped around his little finger...and I am so happy for that.  I love that our whole family has come together around this little boy and loved on him from the word "go."

By the way...BRAYDEN TURNED 2!!!  On Sept 19, Mr. B had his 2nd Birthday, but due to Daddy having to be in Detroit for close to a month now, we haven't had a chance to get his Bday Party put together.  So, I will be in town this weekend and will try to get that put together. 

Kelli, Patricia (Kel's Mom) and I got to take a quick vacation to NYC.  I was there for work, but Kel and Tricia came up the last weekend I was there and we had a great time checking out a lot of the things NYC has to offer.  We stayed at Hotel Mela, which was a block away from Times Square. We saw the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Billy Elliott (on Broadway), Central Park, Freedom Tower, the largest retail store (Macy's), Coney Island (in the rain), and just about every square inch of Times Square...I'll try to find some pics to post as soon as possible.

Lastly...Kaysi and Robbie are getting married this weekend (Oct. 2)!!!!!  I am honored and humbled they asked me to perform the ceremony, and I am nervous and excited all at the same time.  I am just praying the Lord would allow me to remember all my lines and "cues" so it runs smoothly, but at the end of the day -- they will be married and that's all that matters...screw up or not.  :)

That's pretty much it...enjoy our most recent pics of Mr. B:

Brayden loves to be outside, and this is a pic on our deck in the backyard...and yes -- Boys will be boys!

This is Brayden as he's out to dinner with Kelli and Patricia (Mimi) -- he loves chocolate pudding!!!

This is Brayden and his new buddy -- Justin.  Justin is the one who taught Brayden to "Yee-Haw!!"

We got B a Monkey Backpack that uses his tail as a "leash" ... B loves it and wears it all the time.

Okay, so isn't this the cutest pic ever!!  He doesn't normally get to bang around on our "gadgets," but Momma relented and he is one super excited boy -- LOOK AT THAT FACE!!!!   :)

Mr. B ... just being Mr. B

Another dinner pic...but you can see we are trying to teach him to eat with a spoon (or fork)...he loves to "dip, dip"


Monday, June 27, 2011

MRI Results

We got our MRI results on Friday and it was a mixed bag of good and not so good results. 

As far as the cyst on his spinal cord is concerned, it has not grown any larger and is not constricting the growth of his spine.  So, that's good as we don't want to see the cyst grow, nor do we want it to contrict his growth.

However, (and I'm laying it all out just be warned you may not want to know some of this) he did see that Brayden is constipated and his kidneys and bladder were pretty distended, so he's concerned about how Brayden passes "waste."  We have been referred to a Gastro-Intestinal (GI) Specialist and a Urologist to have his kidneys, liver, bladder, intestines, etc. checked out to see what's going on in there. This has pretty much been a problem with B since he was born.  If any of you have seen his pics from birth, there are a few with him that his belly is really distended and this is from him not passing his food the right way.  The good news is that we have him on a pretty steady regimen of Flax Seed Oil and Laxatives that as long as we continue to put those in his food, he will have a bowel movement everyday.  The problem the Dr. wants to find out more about is to see if this is a result of the cyst on his spine and the hole in his brain not allowing for proper communication to occur between B's brain and his other organs to process his food.  So, please lift this up in we are back to praying for his bowel system (we used to pray that he would poop, as it was so hard for him, now we just need to pray for his entire system, that Jesus would set it straight). 

Going forward, the concern is that B may not have control of his bowels, to include bladder control, which at his age is very tough to determine.  This could lead to any number of things, from just having to maintain the laxative/flax seed regimen, to him having to wear diapers into adulthood...not fun.  So, again, we will hope to see these 2 Dr's as soon as we can, and we'll update you as to how this progresses.

All in all, the Neurologist said he was pleased with the results and is hoping for good news from the GI and Urologist.  He said he doesn't feel like he needs to see for another 12 months, which is a good sign.  Of course, he said if we see any negative developments to get in immediately, but at this point, he thinks things are going well. 

Anywho...Kelli had to go to Lubbock for work this week, so we shipped B over to Mimi and Papa' are a few pics of their first evening together, playing in the sprinkler!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Yesterday was Brayden's MRI to image the cyst on his spine.  We checked into the hospital at 8:30am and we left at close to 3pm.  It was a tough morning and resulted in a long day, but he made it through like a champ and by about 5:30pm we had our little boy back.  Anytime you put a 21 month old under anesthesia, it's a scary process.  His momma was in the room while they put him under (they only let 1 person in the room), and that whole thing shook her up pretty good.  It's tough watching your baby go limp as he's crying because he's scared.  The above pic was before he knew what was going to happen and you can see him cheese it up for the camera behind his pacifier.  Anywho, he made it through okay, and the nurse said he did a great job, so we are proud of our little man.  He had a hard time coming out from the anesthesia, but we got some juice down him and got him home to "sleep it off."  Not sure he slept too much, but resting in his crib did him some good and by dinner time he was back to his old self. 

We sure do love that little guy and watching him experience pain and fear is not fun for us, but we are hoping his results come back with good news and that our Lord has removed his cyst for us...but only His will be done in our lives.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Pics

Hi...wanted to get out a couple new pics of Brayden, on the day before we go to the Dr for his next MRI. Please pray we get great results, and that his cyst has been taken away!!  We trust in the One who can do that on His own...Jesus.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Yeah, we know...

We aren't very good at keeping this thing up to date anymore, mainly because we're so busy trying to keep up with Brayden!

In the past month this little man has decided he wants to walk, so he is up and around and getting into everything he can get into!  Hopefully in some succeeding posts I'll figure out how to post video's 'cuz this little guy is blowing and going.

Since our last post we have been getting acclimated to Kelli going back to work part-time.  This was an adjustment at first, but many THANKS go out to my mom, "Nana," for helping to watch Brayden for 2 days of the week, and we have Christy from Wyldlife babysit for the other day Kel is at work.  We are also looking into some programs that could allow Brayden to get some "teaching" during the day, even prior to going to preschool.  Given his low birth rate and prematurity the State allows for him to qualify for educational access as early as 3 years old, so we are trying to get on the ball before that time so he, and we, can be ready when that time comes.  We also feel that he is a little behind the ball when it comes to social skills with other kids as the only time he is really around other kids is at Church, when he is in the nursery.  So, we're exploring a few options to see how we can help develop those skills necessary to transition to a school setting as he gets older. 

On a side note, I had to travel to Chicago for a class at work, and while I was there Kelli was able to come up for an extended weekend that we used as our Anniversary Trip since we couldn't get away in January.  This past January we celebrated 10 years of marriage and delayed our "trip" to February where we had a really good time together in Chicago.  We were able to see the Blue Man Group and Les Miserables as "shows" while we there.  We explored the Shedd Aquarium and Millennium Park as some local attractions, and we even made it out for dinner and a movie the first night Kel was in town to allow us a little date before we got into the meat of the weekend.  We also ventured out to Giordano's with a co-worker of mine to enjoy some deep dish pizza famous in Chicago, and we met a fraternity brother of mine to enjoy Piece, another pizza place, and Hot Chocolate which is a really swanky restaurant and hot chocolate bar...that's right...they serve many "flavors" of hot chocolate - really neat place.  Needless to say, we were both pretty exhausted from our Chicago trip, but we had a blast and got to do a bunch of fun things.

This is my last semester in graduate school, and it couldn't get here sooner!!  I'm ready to be through with this experience, as it's been good, but very taxing on my free time.  Counting down the days until May when I can finally say I'm a "Master" of something.   :)

Anywho, that's all I can come up with for now, but hopefully we'll have more extensive updates in the NEAR future.

Thanks for stopping by,

Mr. Man got a swing for Christmas and we have just recently been able to get outside and enjoy it.  Thanks to Papa and Mimi for helping us get it up in the tree, as Brayden loves to get outside whenever he can and swing!!

Kel and I ventured out to Carter's to get Brayden some 18 month clothes as he's right in the middle of 12 month and 18 month clothes, but we don't have enough 18 month clothes.  So, while we were there they had this table that let Brayden play with Lego's and he LOVED IT!!!  You can see the sheer joy on his face as he get to play with the Lego's.  We sure do love our sweet and smiley little boy.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Yesterday was such a fun day!  David & I have begun to treasure our Saturday mornings at home as a family.  Since David works downtown he usually leaves the house around 6:45. This means that Brayden very rarely gets to see his Daddy until he gets home.....EXCEPT on Saturdays. I usually bring Brayden downstairs to our bedroom and for the next hour we cuddle and play and laugh! It's is SO SO much fun. 

So that's how our day started yesterday and then it was up to try to put our house back together from the Christmas party we had the night before.  All the WyldLife Student Leaders gathered here Friday night to eat, play games, and hang out. I just LOVES those kids!!!  We did a few chores around the house and then Mimi (my mom) got here about 11:30 and it was off to meet Kaysi and Kristi for a fun afternoon of wedding stuff.  Kaysi found THE DRESS and it was absolutely beautiful!!!  It is perfect and looks JUST like her!  I am so happy for her! It was good to spend some time with our cousin Krisit, who lives in Waco, and for us to all be together again. 

Mimi stayed with us and so we went out last night do a little Christmas shopping for Brayden. It was fun to be out and just be together. We missed having Papa (my dad) with us but they will be back up here in 4 days to celebrate the birth of our King!!  Tonight is the YL staff Christmas Party so David is straightening up, Mimi is playing with Brayden, and I'm setting the table and getting food prepared. 

Yes, It's starting to FEEL a lot like Christmas......


Saturday, December 18, 2010


I am just so overwhelmed at the Grace and Mercy that the Father has showed us this year. Just reflecting the on the miracles that He has allowed us to be a part of this morning. I guess I am a little bit like David, this time of year just gets me all sentimental and gushy. But then again, WHAT part of the year am I not sentimental and gushy!  Just thinking about how amazing our little boy is...I wish you could see how hard he works and with such joy.  Our therapist says that she has been doing this for 13 years and Brayden is one of the hardest working little boys she has ever seen.  We teach him something new and just studies and works and works until he can do it. It's like he has his mind set that there is NOTHING that he is not going to do. I wish I had that spirit...unwilling to give up. How often do I give in to the voices in my head telling me I can't or I will never do this or that!  And he works so hard with joy and laughter. How often do I complain about having too much to do or something is too hard?  This little miracle has taught me so much. I am starting to understand what Jesus meant when he said "Let the Children come to me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them." 

And to see how quickly The Father allowed our family to move through Dad's fight against Cancer.  Many of my close friends know how much I revere and treasure my Dad.  I have never met anyone on this earth that is as pure, kind, generous, unselfish, strong, and honorable as my Father.  His character is above rebuke and he is so very bold in sharing the good news with all that God brings into his path.  I am just so grateful for his health and continued healing.

Both of our mothers have just been such a blessing to us this year. I can't imagine how we would have managed through all the hospital trips and doctor visits and...LIFE without our Moms!  They have helped us so much with Brayden and just loving and supporting us.  Then to think...we have wedding coming up!! I am so very thankful and excited for my sisters engagement! To see her and Robbie just make me smile. I am so thankful that they have found each other and pray for their future.

Then for all of our friends.....knowing when to call and encourage or just let us sit and freak out a little! Having such great friends and family that will speak truth to us and love us...despite that fact that hardly EVER really have things together.

Just wanted to share my heart this it is off to spend the day with Kaysi, Mom, Kristi, & Mr. B doing all kinds of fun, girly wedding stuff!! Love you all...


Thursday, December 9, 2010

What a Year It's Been...

Yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of bringing little man home from the hospital. If you've been reading our blog for any amount of time now, you probably know what our "rooming-in" experience was like at Cook Children's in Ft. Worth. What an amazing night that has led us on this roller coaster ride of raising a little boy with so many challenges laid out before him.

Over the past 12 months I have watched a little boy fight with all his being -- who was supposed to come home from the hospital on breathing machines, apnea monitors, feeding tubes; who may not see/hear/walk/talk/etc. Sometimes I feel like all we focus on is what he is/was not supposed to do instead of thanking Jesus for all the things He can do with those who have the desire to look defeat in the eye and overcome it. This baby boy has no clue that he isn't supposed to be doing these things. It is so much fun to watch him do things that Doctor's say he won't or can't do. He is very much an inspiration to me, as I like to put constraints on myself and then tell myself I can't do it. I'm not sure why I do that, but I just do. Brayden has opened my eyes to realize that without limitations, the human body (and brain) can do wonderful things. That's not to say that Bray J has no speed bumps ahead of him, but it gives me courage to stand beside him and fight with all my being to give him the best life possible. He will always have a "brain injury" as it will never heal (it's basically a "hole" in his brain, which is not fixable). He has a cyst on his spine that will more than likely need surgery as he gets older (a 15 hour surgery, no less). He has shown antibodies for Hep C...but we are hopeful that his body will "clear" (heal) this from his blood and he won't have to worry about all those things that come with Hepatitis C. So, again, these things would tend to put "limitations" on what he can and can't do as he gets older, but having seen him overcome so many things already...anyways, here I go again with all the things he won't be able to do or the challenges he has ahead of him.

Let me tell you what I've learned:

1. I'm not a perfect dad, but I LOVE being a dad.
2. I want to find BJ a "sibling" -- don't care about the sex...just hoping to find/make a healthy baby. :)
3. I have loved watching our parents (the grandparents) handle Brayden. They have showered him with love and affection and I am so proud of them for that. If I'm honest I can say that I was worried about what they would think about this situation when we first mentioned it, but it has been a miracle of God to see them welcome BJ with open arms to our family.
4. I find myself saying, "I can't wait until Brayden can do..." while at the same time wishing I had my little baby back. He has gotten so big, and Kelli and I have caught ourselves talking about how much of a little boy our baby has turned into. To me, this is a weird dichotomy of being excited about the future, while "missing" (longing for) the past.
5. It melts my heart when he smiles at me, hugs me, or laughs at me. I could literally just watch him all day long...he does some of the funniest and cutest things. His laugh is contagious to all who hear it...he scrunches up his nose and mouth when he smiles (we call it his Flirty Face). He always has a rebuttal for when we tell him "no." (that could be interesting as he gets older)

We have such a wonderful little boy, even if I am a bit biased. He does so well around other people, he really doesn't cry all that much (unless he's hungry or sleepy). I can't wait to watch his continued growth and development, and am doing my best to log all our wonderful memories with him so I will always have them to fall back on.

I never want to be the Dad that stays at work longer because I dread coming home to my family. I've encountered a few dad's along the way that would rather not come home due to selfish reasons of wanting to have "me" time. To me that's selfish, and they are missing out on so much love, joy, and happiness. I hope Brayden never stops "lighting up" when I walk in the room, and I hope I never stop yearning to come home to him to play. Of course, I can't neglect the wife, but once BJ goes to bed I try to do what I can to help with the house. I hope Kelli agrees with that statement, but I'm sure there's always something more I could do to help.

Anywho, another long post, but with Christmas right around the corner it has gotten me a little gushy, and I hope to carry that thru the new year.

Thanks for stopping by,

           Me and B at Paradise Canyon for T-giving!

                  We loved this outfit...had to show it off.   :)

Brayden on Nana and Pawpaw's ATV...he loves it!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Somedays I look at Brayden and how big he has gotten, all the new things he is learning, and I little baby is not a baby anymore! He is getting to be a Big Boy! He has a tooth on the top and bottom that you can clearly see when he wrinkles his nose and smiles at you. We also three more that we think will be visible by Christmas.

Then at night, when I place him in his crib and he flips on his tummy pulling his little knees up under him until his bottom is sticking up...I think, "There's my baby!" Nothing in the world like bedtime!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catching Up...

So, it’s been a while – how y’all doing??? :)

Sometimes life gets in the way of the good ‘ol blog, but we’ll see what we can do to bring you up to speed…

Since the last post Brayden celebrated his 1st Birthday. I’ll try to get some pics of that up as we had 2 celebrations – 1 in Palestine with Kel’s parents and the other in Addison at Kelli’s Cousin’s house (Lucy D.). We loved being able to spend time with all our family and the fellowship with others we were able to experience was so heartwarming and fulfilling. We have been blessed with tremendous friends and family.

We still haven’t had Brayden’s MRI that got rescheduled for a later date due to the discovery of HCV RNA in his blood (Hepatitis C). We are going to have him re-tested to find out the “viral load” of the Hep C to see how much of it is in his system somewhere around March. This will give us a better knowledge of what we’re looking at as he gets older – treatments, warning signs, eating habits, etc. He’s had an eye appt since our last blog, and it came back GREAT!! At the last eye appt the Doc mentioned he may need to have glasses when he goes to school, but it appears that may not be the case as of this most recent appt. So, we’ll see and pray that glasses would be one inconvenience he can avoid. He’s also seen a holistic doctor to help us with some good things to get Brayden to combat and hold off the Hep C. That Doctor was VERY IMPRESSED with our “25 weeker.” Kel mentioned that when he walked into the room he saw Brayden and his jaw dropped and he just wanted to hold him and love on him – he just couldn’t believe B was doing so well. He gave some advice for us to get B “creeping” – hands and knees crawling, and he’s referred us to a Private PT to get us another opinion to go with our ECI therapist(s) that come every month. This new therapist he’s referred us to is a Therapist who specializes in brain injured children…so we’re hoping they can help us with B’s brain injury and the repercussions.

Kelli’s dad, Andrew, was diagnosed with Cancer (Melanoma) since the last time we blogged. He underwent 2 surgeries to take out over 70 lymph nodes to try to remove all the cancer and avoid treatments. It was a pretty aggressive way to do it, but it was SUCCESSFUL!!! We got a report yesterday that the results came back showing no cancer in the 66 lymph nodes they took out at his last surgery. WOO HOO!!!! So very thankful for Jesus who watched over Andrew and Patricia thru that whole process and for allowing the Doctor’s to know the right procedure to clear this cancer. The “C” word is always very scary and the Dowdney/Overton clans have defeated it TWICE!!!! (Kel had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when we lived in College Station).

Otherwise, we’ve just been living life and taking care of Bray J. He is such a great baby and has so much personality. He loves to laugh and is very ticklish. He does really well standing at his table that he can play music on, poke buttons, and light up lights. He is crawling, but doesn’t use his right leg as well as his left, so we are continually working on that, and he doesn’t like to “creep” – the hands and knees crawling I mentioned before. These are crucial stepping stones he needs to master before he moves to walking. We know he has a little more time as he’s technically only 11 months old, but we want to do the right things and get him on track.

Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully we can update more often to keep you coming back!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Brayden's MRI on Friday

Thank you ALL for lifting up our little man on Friday.

Before all this stuff with HCV hit our radar, Brayden was scheduled to have an MRI done on his spinal chord. Brayden has a cyst that is growing on his spinal chord and we have it imaged in order to ensure that it is not putting any pressure or compression on the chord. This would decrease the amount of blood and oxygen carried to the brain and is extremely dangerous. We have had the cyst imaged twice, once in December right before we carried him home and then again last Spring. The MRIs did show that the cyst was developing and giving the spinal chord room to grow, without much compression. THAT IS GOOD!! We are needing this cyst to stay off that spinal chord until Brayden is late teens, due to the nature of the surgery.

When we arrived at the hospital, we were admitted due to the need for anestheia during the proceedure. If his heart rate or breathing fluctuated during the MRI they would keep him overnight for observance. A few hours after we arrived, the anesthiolgist came to talk to us about the proceedure. When she learned of B's recent blood work she said that she did not feel comfortable administering meds during this crucial time for his liver. Anesthesia alter the blood flow to the liver and is hard for the body to metabolize. She said that she would have to contact the Neuro Surgeon who ordered the MRI before she could cancel it and that she would try to contact him. PRAISE GOD..she was able to speak with Dr. Roberts and they did confirm that we were in a position to give his little liver some time before we proceeded with a MRI.

We were so very thankful that the Dr. was protective over our litle son's liver and agreed to give him some time to, LORD WILLING, clear this HCV. The Neuro Surgeon requested that we see him in clinic before we were able to leave and so we did have a very long wait to see him. After his exam of Brayden he discussed, at length, his concerns and projections regarding this cyst. He felt really good about the decision to postpone the MRI for 3 months and then we will see where B is with his blood work.

It was a double edged sword...we were so anxious to see how this cyst was developing however, so very thankful that we waited and gave B this opportunity to fight. So on the front of the spinal cyst, we will have to wait 3 months. In the meantime...that just give us all the time to lay this precious little one at the Father's feet and ask for healing. I would love for the cyst to just disappear! Wouldn't that be a fun conversation with the doctors?

David and I have come to remember one of our very first prayers for this little boy. We prayed that Brayden's life would point people to Christ and glorify the Father. We prayed that all that came into contact with him would hear of the healing, faithful, providing, and merciful Jesus that has worked miracles in this littles life and stand ready to do the same for all.

To God be the glory for all things He has done.....and will do yet again.


Update on Mr. B

On September 20th Brayden went to see Dr. Mazade at Cook Children's. We go to see Dr. Mazade every 3-6 months for blood work. Since Brayden's birth mom was Hepatitis C positive, we have watched him relatively closely. He has always tested negative and so David & I had just kind of checked this off our list as CLEAR! Dr. Mazade even mentioned that he really didn't intend to find anything this time around but we would test one more time at 18 months, as protocol.

On Monday, September 27th, a week later I had a message from Dr. Mazade and it didn't sound good. When we talked, he informed me that Brayden had tested positive for HCP RNA. We would re-test in 3 months but it was likely that it looked as if Brayden had contracted the Hepatitis C virus. After the call, David & I started researching and reading everything we could get our hands on about Hep C. Neither of us knew very much about it. It seems that out of all the Heps, it's the bad one. There is so much conflicting information out there and seems to be very limited on case studies actually done on infants. Mose cases were on adults that had either contracted Hep c from a blood transfusion or from shared needle use. Either way, the informatoin we were gathering wasn't very comforting.

Later that afternoon we had another consult with the doctor becuase we both had so so many questions. What kind of test had been done? Seems there are several ones out there. We found that B had had HCV RNA qualatative test. This means that it was a detection test only. There is a quantative test that tells how much viral load is in him and which genome type he has. Seems there are a few different variations of Hep C and this is important when it comes to treatments and liver affects. This will be determined by a liver biopsy later down the road. We asked about current treatment, however, the treatments that are currently available are too harsh for infants and there is currently no cure.

We are seeing a specialist this week that will help us with diet and some possible natural supplements that we pray will help support his liver during this time. There have been some case studies that have shown that infants do carry the ability to "clear" themselves of the virus, however, it is a very very small possibility. We are praying for that Jesus Christ makes that small possibility a reality in our little son's life.

Please pray that Brayden will clear himself of all HCV RNA.
Please pray that God will give us wisdom in caring for him and make evident any threats that we can protect his liver from and known any remedies that will support his immune system during this time.
Please pray for Dr. Bain and Dr. Masade as they make decisions for his health.
Please pray that Brayden will not contract Hepatitis C.

Standing in Grace,

Kelli, David, & BrayJ