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

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Victoria's cold is depressing her normally sunny disposish. She slept better last night and fed well at 11pm. The early-mng feed didnt' go at all - she had 30mls then gave up getting quite upset if I offered her the bottle again. She is having trouble breathing through her nose. STill, I am thankful I have a freezer into which I squirrel away the surplus and look forward to hungrier days.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


On Tuesday I decided against taking Victoria to hydro since she seemed a little under the weather - other children were developing colds, starting with James. On Wednesday I went with the children and Lucy to Lymington for a wonderful day kayaking and sailing (I observed!). The weather was glorious and Victoria's breathing, which had been a little noisy overnight on Tuesday remained noisy - I thought 'this must be croup' - but I've never had a child with croup before. We got home about 5.30pm and I fed her. In the lounge Victoria's breathing sounded much worse and she was obviously getting a bit distressed about it. I took her in the bathroom and ran the hot water into the bath, resting the carry-cot on an upturned laundry basket. After 5 or 10 minutes Victoria fell asleep but her breathing remained noisy. Then she woke up, thrashing about and evidently panicking and when I picked her up and looked into her eyes I thought it was probably time to stop faffing about and take her to A and E. Lucy came along, for company, and Ron dropped us off to a very crowded A and E. My first-aid training tells me that breathing is a priority and as I stood in the queue (the man ahead of us whose daughter had broken her arm motioned me to go before him when he turned round to look on hearing Victoria's loud efforts to draw in breath). I kept reminding her (she had her eyes fixed immovably on my face from the minute I picked her up in the bathroom until we got to see a nurse) that she needn't panic, God was with her. After some 'time', which didn't seem measurable in the stress of its passing, we got to see the receptionist who seemed unfamiliar with the computer system..... At that point a very nice nurse came past and told me that I ought to go with her because that baby sounded like she had a problem. I thanked her repeatedly. Victoria's sats were down to between 81 and 85 (I think she had forgotten how well she coped at that level before October!) and she was looking a bit blue around the eyes. She also had a temperature - it was only just over 38 though. Anyway, the Dr. came pretty promptly and prescribed steroid medicine and calpol. Because Victoria has had no vaccinations we had to move into solitary (I supposed it was for HER protection, Lucy thought it was for the protection of the vaccinated children in the waiting area.....). After half an hour Victoria's breathing was a lot easier and although she was still sweating she was evidently more comfy. By 10.30pm we were home again and although Victoria was still having difficulty getting air into her lungs it wasn't nearly so bad as earlier and she slept pretty well - unlike me who woke at 2.30am and couldn't get back to sleep until 5am at which point I got another 2 hours.
I left a message to put off the portage lady since Victoria was miserable and sleepy all morning but she was a bit better this afternoon and went to bed at 5-ish considerably improved with her breathing almost normal. so that was the scare.
Richard is now ill and lingering on the settee.... Lucy has gone to leicester for the day (by train) for a lecture (well, it was cheaper than paying for a whole week of rent in her lodgings).

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Yesterday I took two of the boys into Addlestone and as we wandered around Woolies we looked at the little-girls' stuff. A party-dress caught the eyes of us all but the tag said £20, then it became aparant that it was reduced to £10 so one of the boys said he would like to buy it - there was a pink party dress in a larger size at the back, and the other boy wanted to buy that for Victoria too - for her BIRTHDAY 9in a couple of months. This afternoon David took Victoria out on the trampoline in the sunshine, she had a lovely time and came back with daisy adorning her hair. It is impossible to measure how much joy victoria brings without even trying very hard at all, she really is delightful and so happy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Yesterday I went out again with a view to trying to find a suitable high-chair for Victoria. The one we used for all the other children has had no tray for the past 18 years and since the main use for a highchair at the moment is for learning, a tray is essential. I wanted one which would be able to go at various heights. There was one in my least-favourite toy store but after ordering it online and the system not liking my address (and their being no way of faxing the order....) I went into the shop to have a closer look at the one I thought would be ideal. Then what with the noise played over the speakers in the shop and an impending migraine I decided against buying it (all I could think of was that there were lots of little cracks into which food could dribble and be a breeding ground for germs...) so I came home without one. Yesterday in Argos, I came across just the thing - I'll take a picture of it one of these days. It fastens on to a chair, so I could vary the height like that - also it has feet on it to vary the height that way and, in the end, it will do as a booster seat for the table (with the advantage of a fitted seat-belt and bump at the front to stop the child from slipping forward).
My search for a sand-pit took a positive turn yesterday, also at Argos - I am having it delivered, along with a quantity of sand, which will save me the bother of carting it.
When Jane (physio) came yesterday she was full of praise for the progress which Victoria is making. We are aiming now for a controlled departure from sitting - this afternoon when she was sitting on the bed she actually DID put out her arm as she was falling sideways from sitting. At least she has the good sense not to just keel over backwards, thereby saving damage to her little noddle.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rejoicing in the Resurrection

Here's a Happy Easter picture of Victoria sitting patiently in her bed waiting for her breakfast - she is a daily example to us of patience and trust. She wakes up and smiles then I sit her up and give her something to play with and she waits...
The other one is of her thinking about shaking her maraca (assuming that is the singular of maracas!).
Happy Easter!

Monday, April 10, 2006


This morning, at 9 months, Victoria weighs 6.98kgs - she is staying on her line and is developing nicely. This morning I awoke to her trying out some babbling sounds - she has about 4 different ones.
When Victoria saw Lucy again (after about 3 months) she DIDN'T cry at her, which was a great comfort to Lucy !!
We all have enjoyed a visit from some old friends on Friday evening (only two) and then on Saturday afternoon (a family) and yesterday (two families - the children tell me there were 23 people for dinner....). We face the prospect of a series of 3 families staying in the cabin over the coming month - so there will be more large(r) scale catering - good thing Lucy's home. The icecream Sundaes which Lucy created yesterday went down very well.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


We have our precious Lucy back home again (hooray!) the boys made a poster for the front door welcoming her. Her first trial was to tackle the kitchen and then she tried to get some clothes out of the cupboard she shares with Joanna for clothes... I think she is getting over that. All the boys are out working on the nursery and I have a plan to move my desk round and put away stacks of books which have been accumulating hopelessly on the floor - must be Spring or something....
One really exciting development in Victoria over the past couple of days is that she is getting very vocal one thing which is transposable into phonetics is 'blaa blaa blaa' - it is fun to watch her making new discoveries with her vocal cords and tongue! Pity I can't take a photo of it!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I've just been to the Early Learning Centre website and ordered some toys for Victoria after reading the 'fine motor skills' book for children with Down Syndrome. I also bought her a water table at Costco - Joanna and James have tried it out. What I should really like to buy is a climbing frame - they have a brilliant one at Costco - it is £800!!!!! don't think I will be putting that in my shopping basket.
The rest of the children have swimming lessons over these two weeks and yesterday we listened to nearly all of the Gospel of Luke on the trip to and from Reading. This was for David because of his RE exam but I think we all enjoyed it. Schoolwork is continuing round swimming this week but holidays start on Friday with the long-looked-for return of Lucy.
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -