This week was monumental for our family as we took a huge leap into a new world…preschool! Malachi is not going to be attending school full time this year so our personal family goal is starting at just three hours a day from 10am-1pm. We simply want him to get to spend some time with other children and have something that is “his” to look forward to each day.
I am attending school with Malachi for now until everyone working with him feels 100% comfortable and confident when caring for him. Malachi has been his normal quirky self giving them lots of exposure to his seizures and personality. All of the adults in the classroom have been ready and willing to learn, which is something that is so important to Jake and I. Sometimes in the special education world you can run into professionals with egos who aren’t willing to listen to your specific concerns about your specific child. Everyone we have talked to this week has been wonderful to work with.
So what does Malachi think of school? He loves it! The concept of going there every day seems to still be sinking in, but when we talk about school and his friends he gets so excited! I took this sweet video at 6am Thursday morning:
The hidden benefit is that Malachi has been sleeping more soundly at night! I think all the activity is successfully tiring out his brain! His therapies will be started this week and we would really like to get him in some preschool inclusion (where he joins a class with other kids his age) during his day there as well.
Just for you curious folks, let me tell you a little about Malachi’s classroom. Malachi falls in the “severe and profound” category for special education which means he will spend his educational time in a Comprehensive Development Classroom (CDC). He is eligible to start school at three years old and remain in a CDC classroom until the age of 21. The tricky thing about CDC rooms is that they are a melting pot of disabilities and ages. Malachi’s classroom has a teacher, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and two paraprofessionals. Our goal is that each of the four adults in the room will become Malachi experts.
I want to make sure to protect the privacy of the other children in the classroom, so please understand that anytime I talk about his education I will be speaking in very broad terms! I would want the same respect from others!
By the end of the week both Malachi and I were absolutely exhausted. We spent most of Saturday staying in our pajamas and trying to regain some energy. Malachi got spent some time in his canoe watching Elmo and playing with his keyboard.
We also spent some time working on core strength and head control. This is always so hard for him, but lately he has shown us so much eagerness. He will always work for compliments, as you can see in this video haha!
Cognitively he has continued to amaze us this week. He listens to every word we say, a fact we sometimes forget. On Friday I was speaking with his therapist and I said the name “Jake” several times in the conversation. Malachi was listening in and started saying “Daddy” which absolutely blew me away! His ability to make connections is such a fun thing to watch.
Wednesday we went to see the high risk doctor to check on baby Levi. A little background…a few weeks ago I had some blood drawn to check levels. Unfortunately I got a phone call a week later that my Alpha-fetaprotein (AFP) came back a little elevated. High levels of AFP can point to neural tube defect like spina bifida or anencephaly, so that was the first thing to look at. We had already checked for these things in our last ultrasound, but they wanted to check again to be confident they had not missed anything.
Wednesday’s ultrasound verified that there was NO evidence of either of this neural tube defects, praise God. So what do the elevated levels mean? They can indicate placenta problems like preeclapmsia, IUGR and other growth disorders, or low amniotic fluid. With protein levels like mine, the protocol would be to start doing weekly ultrasounds at 30-32 weeks…that is already the game plan for us anyway so it doesn’t necessarily change my course of treatment but rather changes the things on our radar to watch for. They also are scheduling me more frequently with high risk to keep an even closer watch on things. We will be watching the babies growth VERY closely to make sure he continues to progress like he should.
As of now Levi is measuring 14 ounces, which is on target. Everything appears to be progressing as it should. We will be seeing our regular doctor in about a week and will see high risk again in two weeks.
Levi is still as wiggly as ever! He is kicking with such force these days that you can see the movements on my belly. We never got to see that with Malachi, so this has been extra-special to share with Jake.
Let’s do a brief flashback to a picture of little Malachi from three years ago:
Jake and I have had so many conversations this week about how blessed we are to have Malachi in our lives. It is absolutely astounding how far he has progressed and all we can do is give glory to God. Seeing him comprehend so much is something we couldn’t even fathom just a few years ago.
As we prepare to move into our new home in a few weeks, we are starting to think about the type of environment we want to create in the brand new space. As we thought about every little detail, something that has continually come up in conversations is our mutual desire to cover our new home with God. We buried Bible verses under the foundation, spending time in prayer over each of the rooms that would be housed above it.
Something else that was pricking at my heart was making sure that our living environment would remind us to stay close to God. A few weeks ago we had a family member generously give us some money towards a housewarming gift and I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to spend it on! I waited patiently for Hobby Lobby to run its deals and this was the week!
Our decor in the new home will be covering the walls in scripture. The Bible talks about hiding God’s word in our heart (Psalm 119:11), meditating on it day and night (Joshua 1:8), and using it as a lamp to our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). My prayer is that these reminders of God’s word being visible on a daily basis will help us keep our eyes focused on Him.
Like we read in Matthew 14, Peter was able to do the impossible…to literally walk on the water…when he had his eyes and mind focused on Jesus Christ. When he allowed himself to be distracted by the wind and the storm around him, he began to sink below the surface. My prayer is that these scriptures will remind us to keep our eyes on Christ and away from the storms that may be brewing in our everyday.
Thank you for taking the time to check in. My biggest prayer need right now is for our pregnancy, that it will continue to progress as it should. We are in week 22…just steps away from the very important age of viability. Please continue to pray blessings over Levi!
Jake, Leah, Malachi, and Levi Carroll