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Monday, August 24, 2009

Chance Hedger arrives!

It only took a couple of hours, and one passed out papa in the O.R., but Chance Curtis Hedger has officially joined our happy family. He was born at 9:11 a.m. Central, weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz., measured 20 inches long and has strawberry blonde hair -- which goes great with his Spartan green MSU hat.
Here are some pics from here at the hospital. I tried getting these up on Facebook, but alas it wouldn't let me post them. The O.R. nurses were kind enough to take a few shots of him in the O.R. for me, and didn't take any shots of me, laid out on the floor after the big passing out incident. Also, you will notice that it is rare to catch my son with his eyes open. He likes to sleep I think. He gets it from both of us.

Lisa is doing well in her recovery. Much more relaxed process than with Liz, but this one also wasn't an emergency C. Happy birthday, son. You're zero and counting, buddy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Talk about excitement.

Last week, Liz had her first day of Kindergarten and tomorrow we welcome the newest member of the Hedger family.

My c-section is schedule for early Monday and we hope to get pictures out sometime on Monday of Chance Curtis Hedger. He seems to be doing quite well and we're eager to meet him.

We've been lucky to have a lot of friends pass on boys' baby clothes so we feel very fortunate!

Our other excitement of course was Liz starting Kindergarten. This, as every parent knows, is always harder for the parents! Liz has been great at school. We walked the first few days and then she took the bus on Friday.

I was a bit nervous about her taking the bus with the first step being so tall. The bus system didn't impress me early on because they weren't returning my calls and weren't being proactive in coming up with a safe plan. Luckily, her principal Mr. D. is a tremendous advocate and even called the day before school to ask about the bus system's plan. When I told him what they had created - which was essentially nothing - he said: "that's not acceptable" and we chose to walk the first few days.

It was good to walk her because then we got to go to the classroom. On Thursday, Mr. D., her teacher Mrs. M, and someone from the bus system had Liz get on the bus several times to see if she needed a stool or other assistance. Turns out she didn't even need a stool.

Friday she took the bus both ways and didn't have any problems at all.

The bus situation is kind of funny because neither Brian nor I were huge fans of the bus as children, but this was important to Liz. So, we wanted to make sure that Liz had the same opportunity to use the bus as all other kids. And, of course she was quite proud of it and excited to do it.

Mr. D. also bought the stools for her classroom. Getting stools can be trial and error and a few of them didn't work, but they've gotten additional ones that are much better. We feel quite lucky that this principal realizes that Liz needs to do the same things as all other students and is making the necessary changes to ensure that happens. Of course, I realize that the law requires that school systems accommodate for all children, but I also realize that not all school officials are as on the ball and as helpful as Mr. D.

Her teacher, Mrs. M is also great, and we've met her several times. She's also e-mailed us and that's been a huge help to stay in touch with Liz's Kindergarten activities.

Next time I post, we'll have lots of information about the newest Hedger.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kindergarten here we come

It is truly hard to believe that Liz will be starting Kindergarten on Aug. 19. The last weeks have remained crazy as we've tried to hurry and prepare the house for Baby Chance's arrival and prepare Liz for school.

She had registration last week and Brian took her and it went as well as can be expected with him describing it as a nightmare panic-inducing trip. As I said, it went as well as can be expected.

On Friday, we met with her principal and did the "walk-through" to discuss what types of adaptations we'd need for the school. This actually did go quite well. I know Liz is the first Little Person student to attend the elementary. So, I was worried about how they'd react, but the principal even had considered some issues I hadn't - such as a stool by the chalk board if the teacher has students write on the chalk board.

I'd gone to the LPA website beforehand and saw a check-list of accommodation issues and modified that list and gave it to the principal. I also wrote a one-page letter to the teacher which he said he'd pass around to all of her teachers (music, PE, etc..). And, finally I gave them a one-page fact-sheet that I'd modified from several achondroplasia fact sheets you can find on the web.

May seem like a lot of paperwork, but it's only 3 pages and I tried to make it very easy to read and focused on simple concepts.

Everything in the class can be accommodated quite easily with step stools. For now, she's fine letting her feet dangle from the chair, but I think that will likely change. When it does, we'll just get a stool for her feed. She can actually even reach a few of the drinking fountains in the hallway, which is great too!

Our only two issues are the cafeteria and the bus. The kids slide their trays along this long counter in the cafeteria to get food and it's way too high for Liz to reach. If we had a stool, it would have to be about 6-feet-long to reach the entire length of the cafeteria counter, plus very wide so that she could walk across it. So, for now we'll have someone in the cafeteria help her. I'd prefer her to be independent but for now, I think this will work.

Now, the bus is another issue too. I'm concerned about the HUGE first step on the bus. We're still debating and might walk her to school because it's only a few blocks. However, she does want to take the bus so I'd like to figure out a plan so she can take the bus. Brian or I can help her on the bus from our home, but then someone would need to help her off when she gets to school and help her on again at the end of the school day.

Liz is very excited about starting Kindergarten and our school did something new this year which was a HUGE help for incoming Kindergartners. They held a weekly summer program for 2 1/2 hours and split the children by age. So, Liz got to meet lots of other students as well as the teachers. She spent time in the school and got a great feel for the school. She's also quite comfortable with the school and by the second week, the principal knew her name.

The principal is very jovial and approachable to the students -giving them high-fives and joking with them a lot. He was also very candid in saying that we might have to make adjustments throughout the year and we agreed saying that could likely occur too.

Ideally, Baby Chance will wait until Aug. 24 so I can be there for Liz's first day of Kindergarten or if he decides to come early then we want it to be this week so I'll be back home for Kindergarten, but you just never know!

My doctor has essentially said that now since I'm 37 weeks pregnant, Baby can come any day. So, we'll see. As you can imagine, Liz is just so excited about being a big sister! I'm not sure what she's more excited about - Kindergarten or being a big sister - probably a close tie.