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Amanda’s Smile

When I found out I was pregnant with Amanda, just 2 months after suffering a very traumatic miscarriage. Knowing this pregnancy would my last, I was thrilled .We felt three children would complete out family.. . Though early on, it became a threatened miscarriage again. For 3 months I was on progesterone every day. Thankfully it worked and the pregnancy went great. With my scheduled c-section scheduled for August 9th, we were getting ready for a busy week ahead. Little Amanda had other plans.. On the very early morning of August 4th my water broke.  After arriving at the hospital we prepared for the surgery. My husband and I were shocked that her weight was 8lbs 2 ounces. Our largest baby at birth. She had a little trouble breathing at first but all was good. It was on the fourth night we were in the hospital and my husband and kids had gone home and I was alone with Amanda. My wonderful nurse came in and suggested I get some rest . She would feed Amanda and try to figure out why she started not to eat much. A short time later,  the nurse returned and her voice said softly, “Milinda I know why Amanda won’t eat.”  I sat up and she came over with Amanda and says, “She has a cleft palate”.  Well, I was a bit taken back since I had every high level , high tech ultrasound and nothing and no one predicted this. All the doctors that had examined her in the past 72 hours and no one knew? I was blown away. But I had no time to dwell on that. The nurse brought in a feeder that would help and over the next 10 hours there were countless doctors and nurses coming thru. Over the next week or so we were able to get her to eat and eat well. At least that’s what I thought. Then the weight issues began. Over the next 5 months we went to the pediatrician once a week for weight checks and constant ear infections. Ear tubes surgery at 2 ½ months. At 4 months of age Amanda weighed 14lbs. (her before picture) With the suggestion of her pediatrician we added pediasure to her feedings and it made a world of difference. At 8 months she had her cleft palate repair surgery and it was difficult but things got to be so much better with her weight, ears and everything seemed  to be going well. As days and months past, we knew there were other issues. Soon we found out about Amanda’s hearing loss and then her vision. Amanda  has been thru many surgical procedures. Some more invasive than others. She amazes me everyday.. The amount of organizing of medical appointments, school meetings, therapists, emails and phone calls I deal with, are nothing compared to the strength my young daughter has.  Her self advocacy of her own needs,  it just awesome. Will there been more surgeries in her future? Possibly. Will her hearing loss continue to fluctuate Could be. Will her vision continue to decrease? More than likely. Our beautiful Amanda  is  everything we ever wanted.. Amanda is a very strong willed, smart, ,and beautiful little girl and I know she is going to do such wonderful things in her life.  Along with my two older children, all I can hope is that she will continue to advocate for herself as she does now and make her life and great as I know it will be.

Milinda Catalano


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Site last updated December 5, 2016 @ 3:07 pm; This content last updated June 2, 2011 @ 6:20 pm