Updates on Victoria Lily Joy van den Broek, born 120705.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


It could be that Victoria has teeth 'budding' as David puts it! I couldn't feel any mind you - it is just that for the past couple of days she has been exceptionally sad. Last night she was up at 2 and then again at 3.15 - I took her in bed with me after that and she would drop off to sleep for a little then wake up crying. I suppose it is about time she got some teeth - she is now about 7 months. She weighs 6.2kgs - still on the same line on her growth chart.
Victoria is getting much more stable and can sit up on her own for a few seconds before tipping over. She can stay up if she is holding someones hand, for a bit longer. If I put her on her back on the floor she swiftly turns herself over. We have been helping her to turn over so it is encouraging to see that she a) shows a preferance and b) is able to act on it.
We didn't go to church this morning because the thought of jigging her out in the back hall when she really wanted to sleep was more than I could cope with.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

early raspberries

In the night when I was changing Victoria I laid her on her back and she blew a raspberry - in her sleep! When I put her (still sleeping) into her bed, she continued to blow rasperries for a couple of minutes - with the kind of lack of vigour which indicated that she really was sleeping all the time!
What a funny little person!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

hydro pic

Victoria enjoyed herself very much. As you can see, Thomas was her escort. She tried to drink the water quite often - this, after spending all morning trying to blow out her milk!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

good night

Unexpectedly Victoria didn't have another bout of pain in the night. She slept well and woke up only for the 1.30 feed. She is still coughing but a bit less than she was, thankfully.
Today the oldest three boys are out on one of Timothy's planting jobs and the next clump are out workign on the nursery. From Simon and downwards are 'clearing up' - how come we have to spend so much more time clearing than we seem to spend living without clearing, will always remain a mystery to me.
Well, they are also helping with dinner - it will be baked potatoes.
This afternoon Thomas has the exciting prospect of going flying for the first time. he has all his equimpent together and has been invited out to fly this afternoon. Victoria and I are glad to see signs of spring - she loves the outdoors. I am thinking that it woudl be a good idea to try and figure out how to raise her cot so that while she is lying down she can see out - she strains her neck at the moment in her eagerness to see the branches of the trees bobbing about in the wind.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Last evening Victoria was uncharacteristically grumpy and didn't got to sleep until 8pm. she slept OK but didn't have her normal quota of sleep during the morning. As dinner time approached she was definitely bothered about something and watching her raise her hands to her ears made me suspicious. Well, if I took her to the Dr. he would look in there and would, perhaps, say that she had an ear infection, then prescribe antibiotics. This wouldnt' stop the pain straight away and would have some negetive side effects. Consequently I did what I normally do with children who have earache - used verbascum oil which I buy from the homeopathic pharmacy. Usually it stops the pain within a minute of hitting the sore spot and normally the pain re-curs within 12 hours when I repeat the treatment. I also gave Victoria colloidal silver. She still has a bad chest (though still not a temperature). Since she was miserable even after the verbascum oil I also gave her ibuprofen. Then she eventually fell asleep and I was able to give her her bottle while she was sleeping. Once she woke up she was as happy as could be and has been exceptionally jolly for most of the afternoon. She is sleeping again now but will soon need more milk so we shall see how she is progressing. She has had the cough for a couple of weeks now and I would be very grateful if it would clear up, the longer it stays around the more likelyhood there is of it getting complicated and needing antibiotics.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Here's a recent cute pic of Victoria - she was either just starting, or just finishing a smile - they don't last long!

This morning Victoria was reluctant to drink her milk, so I took the opportunity to weigh her. She was 6.02kgs. I thought it would be worth checking what Joanna weighed at the same age (though admittedly there was an 8oz difference in their starting weights - in Victoria's favour). Joanna was 6.5kgs at 6 months. So Victoria is not doing too badly - for a vdb!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


After the trauma of yesterday Victoria spent from about 3pm until 5am asleep apart from feeds. I hope that while she was sleeping, she was forgetting. It will be a shame if her memory jogs her quickly into trauma-mode again when we get to go to the Brompton for another echo on her aorta. The problem is that she needs to have her head dropped back so that the operator can get the probe directly at the top of her chest - it is not that it hurts, only that she would a)rather not be lying down and b) rather not have her head back....
She didn't feed very well this morning either - please pray that her cold will soon be gone, the cough is still troublesome although she doesn't have a temperature so I am not taking her to the GP for antibiotics.
As for me, I'm looking forward to going to the dentist - my tongue hurts!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


When we got to the hospital there were no carpark spaces so I drove right out again and parked on the road. It didn't bode well...
Then we went to the newly refurbished x-ray dept where there were ominous notices about 'delays expected due to a new computer system' (there WOULD be...). As we sat down (Thomas and Richard were with us) I thought, obviously this is what the Lord wants for us today, to sit, passing the time, in the x-ray department. Victoria went to sleep and, after an hour of waiting, we were called in for the x-ray. This took (as they do) a matter of seconds but the experience THOROUGHLY woke Victoria up. Then we waited "while the head of the department puts it on the computer" for another 15 mins. Then on to the ecg where there were (what seemed to me) 3 young lads playing about with the machinery (one of them described it as doing a demonstration!). When they had finished Victoria was called in and the sticky pads were lavished on her little body. She laid beautifully still and the reading and print-off were excellent. Then came time for removal of the sticky pads. I asked, as the pain was about to be inflicted on her, 'are these the sort of sticky pads which come off easily if you make them wet?'. Well, here was something they HADN'T taught these lads in university. Water was duly applied and the pads removed without tears. So, I taught 3 young chaps a valuable lesson this afternoon!
Eventually we got to the Children's Outpatient dept (I had kept on sending boys to give them an update in case they thought that we were not coming!) where Victoria weighed in at 6.02kgs and measured quite long (can't quite remember what). Then we eventually got to see the cardiologist who straight away led us to the room where the echo could be done. Sadly this was the last straw for Victoria - she was well and truly fed up of the whole visit and made a lot of noise which meant that the information sought was not gathered. however, a brief check of her pulses showed that they were stronger in the top of her body than the bottom - suggesting that the coarction of her aorta is, as was suspected, a problem. So, the next appointment we get will be for a visit up to the Brompton where a good look will be taken at Victoria's kink and it will be on the basis of these images that corrective measures will be taken if necessary.
So, Victoria is sleeping solidly after all the excitement of the day but I daresay she will be back to full strength tommorow.
Philip has gone out to collect the little ones whom Timothy dropped off in Knaphill early this morning. Jackie tells me that they have been discussing 'discipline' at the table - comparing notes!
As for me, my tongue feels like it is fraying a bit and I resorting to sign language where possible - roll on tommorow 11am. It did occur to me that I might stick a bit of bluetac over the offending sharp bit....

Monday, January 16, 2006

like buses

This is prob. going to be another one of those cases where, blogs having been conspicuous by their absence for a while, there will be a clutch of them.
I DID try and upload a picture last Saturday, but it didn't work.
Victoria has had a bad chest. When the physio came on Thursday she showed me how to help to loosen the phlegm. Victoria was better yesterday (could it have been because of the aged garlic capsule I mixed in with her nutrivene?!). Anyway, she certainly didn't care for the taste of it and I thought it would be mean to continue the experiment.
I've been reading 'angel unawares' which is about Robin, the daughter of Roy Rogers (the one who was associated with Trigger - who I believe was taxidermified after death). It is a lovely book, a reminder that there is more to what is going on than we know. It is always helpful to remember the eternal perspective, especially when there are grievous and baffling things in life (and Victoria is only a small part of that!). She is in the good habit of being in sleeping mode from abour 6pm until about 5am. Everytime I get her up she is sleeping. When I change her on my bed she quite often is trying to smile while she is asleep, which is very endearing. She IS very endearing. Tommorow she will be 26 weeks old and she is as precious to her brothers and sisters now as she was then.
Tommorow, also, Victoria gets to see the cardiologist (after an x-ray, ecg, weighing and measuring). there are two questions I have to ask. One is whether the situation with the coarction of the aorta (kind of like an ox-bow lake, if you remember your school geography!) has changed, or is likely to. The other is, is she OK to go for hydrotherapy. If so, that will be the next exciting event - on Tuesday.
As for me (sorry Lucy, people may be interested!) I've had tooth trouble - I got a second temporary filling while the underneath continues to normalise - all looked well until lunch time when, while eating salad, beetroot and sliced beef, I had a crunchy experience. I would have rather it HAD been a piece of snail-shell, but, alas, it was a piece of tooth. So guess where I am going on Wednesday? Well, the dentist is a sweety - the nicest one I ever encountered - so that it some consolation.
all things being equal, there should be another post tommorow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

The children were all given money for Christmas (including Victoria) and Simon bought a very shiny playmobile knight and a sort of canon. He has been having great fun with this and all his other playmobile. When I had to go out to the post office this morning i took the precaution of sending Richard to his room (to minimise trouble..) so what was my horror when I found, upon my return, that James had fired the aforementioned canon at Victoria! I have told him (as he pointed out yesterday at the table) TWICE about how the Lord wants us to look after Victoria - admittedly he DID look repentant as he confessed - but it is getting a bit difficult to protect Victoria from the hazards of living in a medieval war-zone with rebellions and counter-rebellions going an all around her.
Victoria is not seriously harmed by her experience - perhaps it will be a good incentive to her to become mobile sooner than later - so she can escape the missiles (or eat them - that will make sure the boys take care to stage their wars elsewhere!).
This afternoon is the first hydrotherapy session but Victoria is not going becaue I haven't yet asked the cardiologist whether it is OK for her to go. I plan to do that at next week's appointment.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy New Computer

Thanks to Paul my computer is now working much better - thanks for your patience and expertise Paul. So although I don't have a 'new' computer, it is as good as new.

Victoria is doing well, she is almost over her cold - just a bit of a cough first thing in the morning. She is feeding well (from the bottle of course) and is almost 6kgs. She is supposed to be about 6.25kgs at 26 weeks (she has one week to go) then she will be keeping on the line, on her weight chart, she has been on since surgery. She's going to need a haircut soon (actually, so are most of the boys too).
Victoria is getting better at sitting up - she can manage a few seconds before keeling over. On good days she is beginning to think about crawling - she gets the top half of her body - right down to her tummy button - off the mat, using her arms. She can take her weight on her feet in a standing position for a few seconds too. The problem is that she gets very tired very quickly. She spends from 6pm to 6am asleep as well as quite a bit of the day. We try and make sure that when she IS up she is busy exercising - either rolling over, sitting up or sitting in her chair swatting her toys which are suspended above her.
She is very thankful to the Lord for her hands and fingers - they give her endless pleasure as she clasps them together and grabs hold of different fingers. Victoria is missing Lucy (who went back to Leicester on Friday - for a rest!) and was sorry that Timothy was sleeping this afternoon and therefore was not able to offer her her usual Sunday cuddle - she hopes, sincerely, that he will make up for this deficiency later in the week.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Victoria hasn't put on any weight this past week - she's now 5.82 (she lost 20gr) - could be due to the extra energy involved in keeping warm recently. We spent the New Year in Taunton - staying in the caravan in the barn. The mud was a problem (though not to Victoria) and the cold was bad to start with then it warmed up a bit.

We had a very encouraging time with friends down there (thanks again Sue!) and are looking forward to going again (but I don't want to go until there is a toilet and a sink with at least cold running water...). It was particularly good to have everyone down there - Lucy and Timothy saw, for the first time, what they have invested in.

Simon is 9 today and is having a very happy day. He's the sort of boy who loves to collect things from in the garden so I bought him a purpose-built bug-conservation box with interesting terrain (hills and what-not) which he is very excited about. The doors look secure - so we ought to have seen the last of the days when we had beetles running loose around the house after escaping from jars!
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -