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

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Girl

when I pause and consider with what feelings I was swamped this time last year it is all a bit scary. In the early hours of this morning I have been considering before the Lord the straightforward birth in the cool of the day and then the gradually unfolding drama beginning with Victoria's not crying and then her arms and legs 'falling out' of the blanket she was wrapped up. Lucy's taking Victoria to the lounge to greet her waiting brothers, David's comment, some time in the first hour, 'she reminds me of someone'. The words 'we'll have to transfer you by ambulance' and the feeling of hopelessness as I struggled to keep walking down the hall, looking at James and saying 'I'll be back later' as he asked how long I would be (and whenever he sees an ambulance he always remembers the pain of seeing me being 'taken away'). My feelings of guilt because I wasn't saying 'where's my baby' while I was lying in hospital 'starving' while (as I later found out) my personal fate was being decided - whether surgery was going to be performed on me. the feelings of it all being like a horrible dream too unreal to be life and wondering whether it would ever get to an end. The immense joy I had seeing Timothy lead a band-of-4 in to see me later in the day - including Lucy who took my neglected condition in hand and saw to it that a bath was arranged and a wheelchair so Timothy could push me up to see Victoria. The amazing warmth, kindness and confidence of Dr Otunla as he showed Timothy and I what he was looking at on the echo he was doing on Victoria. The gradual turn-around in my feelings and beginning of connectedness with Victoria when the nurse looking after her gave me a photo of MY BABY. The look on David's face when I handed it over to him and he later said 'this is all we HAVE' 'she's the most beautiful baby in the world, I can't wait for her to come home'. All these thoughts are accompanied by 'photos' in my head and with the photos tears, frustration, pain, hopelessness, peace, joy and laughter. What a day that was! Of course, we don't expect Victoria to remember any of it but as she grows up I will always try to help her learn about it and the way that so very many people all over the world sustained us through prayer and the Sovereign Creator, who planned it all though it was a surprise to us until the it began to unfold, has done such amazing things that we can't begin to understand the wonders of it all - but we PRAISE HIM all the same.

Hoping for a less dramatic year but resolute in our confidence that if the Lord could get us through this last year, He can be depended on with all the future years, He won't let us crumble.
Last night before I went to sleep I read in Daniel 10 : 19 And he said, "O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you: be strong, yes, be strong!", when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, "let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The new scheme of things is for Victoria to be awake more than James used to be in the day. Given the opportunity to have a nap in the morning - or in the afternoon - she generally scorns it in favour of seeing what everyone else is up to. Victoria now often prefers to sleep on her back (that's fine by me - at least she hasn't been compelled to lie like that all the time her skull was softest leaving her with a deformed head like many of her contemporaries.)
yesterday I was in Morrisons and the check-out lady (one of those commonly found in Woking, with head all wrapped up for religious purposes) commented that Victoria was such a lovely baby (and V. hadn't so much as looked at her - never mind flutter her eyes!). Another reminder to me that Victoria seems to have come pre-loaded with something irresistably special which complete strangers find attractive.
Yesterday was the first time that Victoria had something other than milk more than once in a day. We have a box of bananas (it was insantity to buy a box of bananas this time of the year....) which is suffering from the heat. Could be that V. will get mashed banana again today - twice.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Good news from the eye appointment. She doesn't have a squint. WE got there a little bit late because the height barrier in the hospital carpark meant we had to drive over to the neighbouring Tesco - that saved money too, though. We were seen straight away by a lovely consultant who when I told him I had eleven children responded, encouragingly 'very good' - he told me that this was his 'record' since he had met a mother in Limerick while he was training who had 21 children! I told him that I felt pretty good about having 11 children! Victoria was still drinking her milk while he checked her eyes for a squint and compared her pupils. One of them was slightly smaller but they have evened out and while we have been waiting for this appointment her eyes are a little less unruly. he wants to check more thoroughly when she is a bit older - in November. So she is OK for now and we will continue to give her lots of 'tracking' opportunities with children running about all around her. I was blowing bubbles in the garden for her yesterday and she followed some of those. it is still a disappointment to me that she didn't look at many of the animals when we went to the zoo- esp. the elephants - I mean, how can you NOT see ELEPHANTS!

You be the judge, is Victoria not the most beautiful baby in the world - all her brothers are sure she is. One of them suggested, at the end of last week, that we should find out if there is anyone who is expecting a baby with down syndrome that they don't want and then we could offer to have him/her and adopt that precious little person.
It's sure hard to believe that it is almost a year ago since the birth of Victoria. What seemed on that day has proved daily an astonishing, unutterable blessing.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Here is a picture of Victoria in the Hat Museum in Stockport - she tried on quite a few hats, but this one seemed to suit her best.

I just found today that the appointment with the cardiologist has been changed to the week we were on holiday, so I will have to phone and hopefully change that for the week following.
this coming week we have the long-awaited eye appointment on tuesday morning. On Thursday we have the physio coming - she will see quite a bit of improvement from when she came last.
I weighed Victoria yesterday and she was 7.54kg which means she continues just above the 25th percentile.
At the moment she is sitting out in the pram in the garden enjoying all the movement caused by the wind in the trees. She's delightful, I am often astonished at how lovely she is, what a blessing!
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -