More Photographs of Baby Girl

Sarah Jayne Ames (see her website at was at our house again today, working on her project with the baby for her finals.  Here are some of the photographs she sent us tonight…

There is this one, which shows the cavern inside her cleft palate mouth:


I promise she didn’t make the baby cry.  The baby fell over, all on her own, and we just worked quickly to capture the moment!  She also got this shot of the grafted tongue sewn to her lip in a tongue-lip adhesion:


Here she is with her ever present oxygen tubing that stretches out all over our house, wherever she goes, so that now she is trying to crawl we can find her by following the cord!  This is maybe one of my favorite shots of all of them, because it captures her world as it is, and those eyes that know so much.


This picture was so lovely to me that it almost made me cry.  Pierre Robin Sequence babies are often nicknamed “cabbage patch kids” because of their tiny chin and big eyes, and this one with her head full of hair.  It’s urban legend that the lady who created them had a PRS child, but there’s no documentation of that (the Xavier guy stole them from the lady, but no one knew that until after the fad was over).  This particular doll was sent to us by Kirsten, our heroine friend who has PRS but has already made it to her 20’s (and has another surgery scheduled between college semesters at Christmas time).


As the baby played with her doll tonight, she kept trying to share her oxygen with her doll.  It was both tragic and adorable, that moment of normalizing her struggle.  Next time we finish tubing when she can’t use it anymore, I will totally make it into tubing for the doll.

In the meantime, we are unexpectedly headed to Utah due to oxygen issues and the ongoing to-trach-or-not-to-trach and gtube or not gtube issues, and hoping to connect our hero-expert there with local providers to help her more consistently instead of arguing over what she needs or doesn’t need.

Cincinatti called today also, confused and upset that more hadn’t been done sooner.  They agree a blue baby is not okay.  Ever.  They were in shock when they received her latest test results, and ordered more tests and pictures and procedures and the flexible bronch scope and pulm and cardio testing while we are there anyway in January, so we have to report there sooner than expected.  They may or may not trach her, may or may not do another distraction, but still plan to do the cleft palate repair and the release of her tongue – both of which will shut off more of her airway.  Gtube is still on the table, but now that she is back on oxygen again she has gained three pounds in two weeks so is back to the one percentile, so hopefully we can avoid that.  We will see.

For now, here are some more pictures with the doll she loves:

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


More Photographs of Baby Girl — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post Emily! I really needed it today, as I am struggling myself with my little family and their pasts and problems and my shadows too. I needed to be able to think of our situation in a different light, and your post has helped me do that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      • And exhausting, even when you have good health and strength. I can’t even imagine trying to do it at the same time as trying to overcome cancer at the same time! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily!

        • So glad you are out there with us in these mine fields. We pray for you, also. So grateful for your husband as home teacher!