I am hitting a milestone and I don't like it. I am only 33, why do I feel so old?
I think it is because I am facing the hard reality that my oldest will be 16 soon. Her and I have had our ups and downs, but what is awesome about her is that she talks to me. Devyn is a great kid. I could not ask for a better one. I just hope the other 5 follow in her footsteps. The problem is, she has set the bar HIGH. I am afraid that here on out I will be comparing the rest of them and secretly saying "why can't you be more like your sister". Devyn is more like me than she or myself want to admit. Extremely strong willed. She has no problem telling you her opinion or how she thinks something should be handled. She is a Christian, she professed the Lord at the age of 5. She amazes me, her walk with the Lord is evident. But I do pray that she will learn that a wise person doesn't always speak.
Devyn is really into her school work. That is where we are different. Gosh, I met her dad when I was 14 and married him when I was 17. I had her when I was 18. She is not really into boys and dating. Yeah, she has some secret crushes, that as her mom I can point them out and she will laugh at me, but her father and I have told her when she does start dating "if he doesn't treat you better than your dad does, he ain't worth it". I guess we have drilled that into her head. She thinks it is pointless to date guys at her school, she says " you are never going to see them again anyway, we are at school to learn and prepare ourselves for the future, why bother?" Wow-that is one way she is different than me. I could not wait to get out of school. I had planned on going to college after I got married, but Devyn came into my life.
It was the blizzard of '93. I was a week past my due date. We were snowed in our apartment for the weekend. It was awesome. Michael has pictures of me walking around in it with my huge belly. I stepped off in a snow drift and snow came up past my belly. That Monday, March 15th was my birthday. I had an appointment that morning at the doctors office. There was still ice in the complex so I had called and had my appointment changed to that afternoon. Michael and I went in and it was just a normal appointment. Dr. Bardwell wanted to do a stress test because I was past my due date. Everything went fine. Then he said he would like to induce on Friday if I had not had the baby before then. We didn't know what we were having because every time I had an ultrasound the baby's legs were crossed. He told me that he wanted to do an ultrasound just to see how big the baby was. We went to the room and the tech started the ultra sound. She started asking me questions. like "did you have the spina bifida test?" I said yes, and it was fine. She got up and said that she would be right back, to stay there , she needed to get the Doctor. He came in and looked at the screen. He asked me the same question and looked at my chart. He told me to get dressed and meet him in his office. Mike and I just glanced at each other, scared. When we got to his office, Doctors Bardwell and Harvin were waiting, we came in and they said, "you are having your baby today. We have already called the hospital, they are waiting on you. You are going to have an emergency c-section because we believe your baby is hydrocephalus, in other words a water head" I immediately burst into tears. I had always heard stories about water head babies. We started calling family and letting them know what was going on. Michael did most of it, it was so hard to talk. We drove to the hospital where they were waiting. I got ready, they dressed mike in scrubs and we went in to deliver our baby. Praying that everything would be ok. On Monday, March 15, 1993 at 5:52 pm Devyn Ashleigh was born. 8lbs 5oz. She was beautiful. I remember the doctors tugging. and Michael stroking my hair as he sat at my head. They hollered "It's a girl" and Michael followed them to her little bed where they cleaned her. I started crying, I was so happy and scared at the same time. I had prepared myself for a boy. I wanted a little girl so bad, but as luck would have it I figured it was a boy. Michael turned around and said "is it Devyn Ashleigh" and I said crying, "YES". We had two boy names picked out and only one girl, they stamped her footprints on Michael's scrubs. I still have them.
I did not get to see her until about 11:0o that night. She was beautiful. The doctors were baffled because her head circumference was fine. They wanted to run more test. She had a ct scan the next day and the neurologist at Kennestone wanted to do more test. Our insurance wanted us to take her to Scottish Rite with a neurologist there.
When she was almost two weeks old, we went to see Dr. Cheng, a neurologist at Scottish Rite. He would do all of these crazy reflex test on her and finally he concluded that she had had a stroke. The CT scan had showed that she only had half of her brain. He wanted to do an MRI to see how much and what parts of her brain were affected. At three weeks she had her MRI, she was so tiny in that huge machine. This was on a Wednesday. Dr. Cheng called on Thursday and said "Mrs. Hill, Devyn did not have a stroke, she has a large arachnoid cyst on the right side of her brain. Tomorrow Dr Boydston, a neurosurgeon will be calling you to set up an appointment to see you on Monday and he wants to do surgery on Tuesday. How scary!
When we met with Dr. Boydston he explained to us that the cyst on her brain was taking up half of the cavity. She actually did have all of her brain, it was just squished to the left side of her head because of the cyst. She was probably having headaches. The surgery consist of putting a shunt on the side of her head and letting the fluid drain into her stomach cavity. It will be a small tube under the skin and just look like a vein. The chances of it getting infected were in her favor and we should not have problems with it since the fluid was contained. So when she was four weeks old she had surgery. She came through great. Within six months it was completely drained. We still go do Dr. Boydston every year (which reminds me I need to make an appointment) This past time he said 18 months, which is the longest span on seeing him. She has never had a problem with it. Praise God.
I was not a Christian during this time in my life. Michael says that when he went in to scrub up before meeting me in the delivery room, that he just prayed, "Lord please don't hold my sins against my baby." I was saved a year later, but really did not start living it for another three years. I look back and see how God was right there. I never had the first contraction. Dr. Boydston said that if she had been born naturally it would have killed her from all of the pressure in her head coming through the birth canal. God used a blizzard to change when I would go to the doctor, I was suppose to see a different doctor that morning, who more than likely would not have done an ultrasound. God protected her, and made me realized that I needed HIM.
Devyn is awesome. She is very smart. She started Target in the first grade. She is all Honors classes and has one AP class. God has plans for her.
I guess what has me in the "blues" is that tomorrow she leaves to go on a college tour with some juniors and seniors from her school. She is in the Magnet program at her North Cobb for International Studies. Her Magnet counselor suggested the trip. She will visit UGA and get to eat lunch there. Georgia State and Valdosta State. I am not ready for her go off to college, I believe God is preparing me. She is my baby, even though she is a daddy's girl. She made me a mother. She didn't fit the mold, she broke it. Devyn is my hero.
Yes, I am a proud mom, but I am also humbled that the Lord allowed me to be the mother of such an awesome kid. Thank you Jesus, for this gift.
" For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all of your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13