"God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family."
" Faith makes life possible. Hope makes life workable. Love makes life beautiful."

The Winwards

The Winwards

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tanner's Story ......

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Routine ultrasound on 7/24/08 - scan was going good and then the tech got real quiet and said she would be right back.  The doctor then came in and said that my new baby boy growing inside me has spina bifida. What he said next, I will never forget. He said "Your baby has spina bifida, he will have no quality of life, when would you like to abort?"
I first felt shock, and disbelief. But the disbelief soon turned into massive sorrow. I don't think I've ever cried so hard or long in my life! He is my first child, so I was already scared, but now I'm terrified.  We were offered termination many times, and each time we said no.  We were going to let God decide. 
There were times I blamed myself, or thought God must be punishing me for something. I spent many sleepless nights crying and agonizing over all the unknowns and what-ifs.  
I tried so hard to put up a strong front and tell myself that there are worse things that could happen to my son. Trying to convince myself that I could do it, and it won't be as hard as the doctor's say it is. Or at least I'm hoped that it wouldn't be.




Csection was scheduled for 12/18/2008, but Tanner decided to come 3 days earlier on 12/15/2008.  Turning the scheduled csection into an emergency one!  Already showing off his stubborn side.....
The hardest part was that he would be transferred to the children's hospital while I stayed at the birthing hospital.  I got to spend 6 blessed hours with him and hold him for a couple of minutes before they took him away.  
Tanner was 14 hours old when he had his back surgically closed.  He had his first VP shunt placed at 9 days old. He also got his first set of casts to for his club feet at 11 days of age.  He spent 14 days in the NICU, including his first Christmas, and then we were able to take him home!


(Don't mind date on pics - new camera - and hubby forgot to change the year!)





Tanner had 4 addtional surgeries by the time he was 7 months old, but none of that has ever slowed him down!  He also has had casts on his feet a total of 18 weeks so far. He sat independantly at almost 9 months old, army crawled at 11 months old, 4-point crawled at 12 months, and pulled to stand at 13 months!





Today Tanner is almost 3!  He is smart, outgoing, funny, cute, strong, stubborn, and courageous!  He never lets anything get him down!  He talks up a storm, and will copy anything you say!  He still primarily crawls everywhere, but is learning to take steps in a reverse walker.  He also gets his first wheelchair on Monday 10/17/11!  He is going to be a big brother in November, and will be starting preschool in January.  



As I look back on our journey, I honestly wouldn't change anything for anything!  Tanner is who he is, and spina bifida is just a small part of him!  He lights up our life with his sunshine, and is our little miracle from God.  The struggles have made the triumphs so much better!

2 comments:

Cassie said...

You should send a picture of Tanner to that idiot doctor who suggested abortion. Let him see how beautiful and perfect your son is. These doctors make me crazy, I share a very similar experience.

Jamie said...

He is so sweet!! Thanks for sharing his story.