Melissa Kerkhove was born on July 28, 2004 after what seemed to be a normal labor and delivery. From the get go I questioned if she was OK. She slept from birth 10-12 hours straight without eating. She had very poor head control and she would always try to arch her head back. She was [...]
August 7, 2008
Well, Melissa is four now. She celebrated her birthday on July 28th. I can’t believe she has been with us that long especially since she seems so small. She reminds me of Shelby and Lindsey when they were about 1-2 years old in the way that she looks and how wild and crazy her hair is. She still has that rooster tail on the top back of her head that she was born with. Her hair sticks straight up and flops over just like a rooster tail (Yes, we live in the country and have chickens).
I can’t get over how muscular her arms and legs have gotten. Every night when I put her to bed I am amazed at the size. I can’t even get my hand around her thigh anymore. Just a year ago her legs were just bone not a lick of muscle. They were so small I could overlap my hands around her thigh. Now that she has muscle in her thighs and butt cheeks I think one of these days she should figure out what to do with them.
She is getting so strong. When we sit with her in our laps she will pull herself forward into a sitting position as long as we have our hands on her side but really our hands are just there for balance. She is also consistently for the last month or so rolling onto her left side and holding the position on her side. At her last pool session her PT had her push up to a sitting position from her side and she did so well with it.
Melissa is still doing pool and we are so grateful for the opportunity. Melissa is more motivated in the pool then anywhere else and the I think a lot of her strength has come from being in the water. She loves being able to move herself around it gives her a freedom I can’t imagine.
I am noticing that her bite pattern is changing and that she is better able to chew up bigger pieces of food. She has been enjoying when dad feeds her grapes lately. She is still trying to help us feed her and is still getting covered with food by the end of the meal.
She is back at horse therapy with the STARS program in Brookings, South Dakota, this summer. Other then the first time she is really enjoying riding. Her big sister Shelby volunteers with STARS so Melissa gets to ride with Shelby. Last summer we used a life jacket upside down on Melissa to get her stable enough to sit on the horse along with a neck brace. We put her legs through the arm holes. This year all we need is the neck brace to make sure she doesn’t come down and hit the horn on the saddle. What a big improvement! We are so grateful to all the people who volunteer their time to make STARS happen. Thank you to all of you!
Yes, Melissa is still seizure free without medication!!!!!!!! Praise God! We are going on two years!
She continues to thrive spending time with Tucker, Lindsey, and Josiah. She eats up the attention that the three of them give her. She also loves taking 4-wheeler rides with dad and being outside.