Saturday, July 28, 2007

Human Growth Hormone

I know, I know. I've been neglecting my blog! After 45 hours a week on the computer at my job, I find that the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer at home. Last night, a segment aired on 20/20 about the importance of height. They posed the question from the point of view of a dwarf and from a giant. The show later chronicled the journey of 2 short teenagers who made the decision to take human growth hormone (HGH) in order to make them taller. Owen has an apointment with an endochronologist (hormone specialist) on the 13th. Originally we were told that HGH would not make a difference to Owen's dwarfism. It would get him to his maximum height faster, but would not make him any taller. However, our genetisist told us that recent studies have shown that HGH can actually add inches. He suggested we see the endochronologist for a consultation. This possiblity of HGH for Owen changed our question from "could" to "should". Dan and I are now pondering some big decisions. If it is a reasonable option for Owen, should we give him human growth hormones? From where Dan and I stand, we have serious worries about how this decision could effect Owen. Would giving him HGH cause him to think that he is not good enough because he is short? Dan and I NEVER want him to think that he is anything less than perfect just the way he is. Will he see his height as a problem that needs to be fixed? How would HGH effect Owen's character? If we try to remedy Owen's short stature, will he be unable to fully accept who he is? Will he never find the peace that being comfortable with who you are provides? Will Owen's height amoung his little people peer group matter? I have not yet learned enough about the culture of little people to know what effect height has within their own community. Is it an advantage to be a tall dwarf? I would think not, but people are still people - little person or not. If we are being honest, height is generally and advantage. And the really big question... Just because we can do something should we do something? On the other side of the spectrum, perhaps HGH is a good thing. Medical technology is available for the betterment of human health. Why should I refuse medical advances based on philisophical doubts? Perhaps the inches HGH will add would give Owen more confidence as it did with the teens from the 20/20 show. Is there anything wrong with narrowing the gap between Owen and his friends. Maybe Owen will see that we love him enough to do whatever it takes to make him happy. Maybe there are medical benefits to HGH (I do not know yet). All these questions still leave one enourmous factor out of the equation... What will Owen want? Ultimately it is Owen who will have to live with the decisions we make on behalf of his body. Maybe this is something that he will have to decide somewhere down the line. In this grey area of ethical decisions, he is the only one who can determine whether or not they are right or wrong. Perhaps I'm copping out or maybe this is truly the right thing. Either way, all these questions are currently theoretical. However, with these types of questions looming on the horizon, it doesn't hurt to gather my thoughts. I would love to know what everyone's thoughts on this. Please post a comment and tell me what you think. On another note, there will be a National Geographic special on "The Science of Dwarfism" on Monday, June 30th at 9:00pm. The 20/20 segment was done in conjunction with this piece. Click on the link and the video is on the right hand side.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I promise you Owen Christopher.... allow you to make mistakes. No doubt you will make them, but we will always love you no matter what. teach you to be open. You should never ever be embarraseed of who you are. If you are open, people cannot be ignorant. always laugh with you. We will have fun - lots of fun. I want you to always rembember a home full of laughter. provide you every avenue of support that you need. You are not alone. I will make sure that you have other little people to grow up with. instill in you a sense of self. You get to decide the things that define you as a person. No one else can do it for you. help you see dwarfism as a gift. With your big smiles and big personality, you can let others get a glimpse into the world of little people. always cuddle you. You can't escape it, not even when you are a grown man. "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." make you strong. You will inevitably face cruel people. I want you to know that they can only hurt you if you let them. foster your dreams. There are no limits for you. Your height will be a challenge, not a dead end. love you unconditionally. That will never change.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cousins and Tigers and Solids - Oh My!

What a week Owen has had! His first Independence Day was celebrated at Comerica Park. It was however, his 2nd Tigers game. This kid has a more active social life than I do! Tigers beat Cleveland - YAY! Owen was actually really good! He sat in our seats with us (awesome seats, by the way, right behind the bull pen) for 4 entire innings! I don't think even the players can watch the games for that long. My sister Anne and Drew headed back to Florida :(. Everytime she leaves I never feel as if I've had enough time. I cannot believe the irony of our situation. After so many rough sibling years, we are finally at the EXACT same points in our lives only now she lives in Florida! I'm so proud of her though. She moved strictly for her career and ended up creating an entire life for herself. When she moved down there, she knew one person and she now has a complete support system including a fiancee, the best friends anyone could ask for and wonderful soon to be in-laws. I'm glad she's happy, but I'd still rather Anne was here with me.
Now for the really big news - I probably should have dedicated and entire post to this, but I couldn't wait to reveal the big news. Owen has started solids!
Yesterday, we served up a little yummy rice ceral to our big boy! He was so stinkin' cute. Dan and I can tell he's been ready for a little while now. He's doesn't seem to be satisfied with just his bottles anymore. He chews on the nipples when he eats (uh, just to clarify, I mean bottle nipples, not mine!). He can hold his head up pretty well. He just seems ready. The first feeding was nothing spectacular - Owen kept letting the cereal spill out of his mouth. Today however, he really made some improvments. When we would bring the spoon up - he would actually open his mouth! Is that a really genius thing to do? I think it is. He's really advanced isn't he?
Anyway, below is his first foray into the world of solids (although I'm not quite sure why they are called solids - I've had thicker milkshakes than the rice cereal crap).
Oh and in case you are wondering - yes, that bib does say "Hoops" which is a sports bar. Does that make us bad parents?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Angel or Devil?

Well, it's official. My little son officially no longer bears the mark of original sin. Ok, ok, that's not entirely true. Owen was baptised in the hospital so he's pretty much been clean as a whistle in the eternal soul department since his birth. What we celebrated on Sunday was just the ceremony for his baptism. Basically it was our chance to get up in front of our congregation and say "look how cute our baby is and aren't we good parents by getting him baptised." It was a great idea in theory - not so great in practice. Owen was having none of it.
Owen Christopher, normally our good natured little boy, was so awful on Sunday my husband actually wondered out loud if he was the anti-Christ. "Maybe the holy water hurt him because he is the devil" he said.
Of course, we say this all in jest and we love Owen very much but LORD ALMIGHTY! Owen was a handful. He was absolutely no better at the party thrown in his honor either. He cried so much for so long that he was actually hoarse the next day!
Actually, come to think of it, almost the entire after party was a total bust. We threw a welcome home Anne and Drew / Happy Engagement Anne / Happy Baptism Owen party after the mass on Sunday. Anne was sick with the superflu and was in bed almost the entire time. Owen was up in my parents nursery screaming his lungs out. Drew was the only one who pulled through in this whole scenario.
My poor mother! I think she was about to have a nervous breakdown. She's a total rock star though and I'm devoting an upcoming post entirely to my parents!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Drew's Home!!

At last, my sister and her son Drew are back where they belong in Michigan! My sister Anne had a son 6 days after Owen was born. What a story that was! I found out I was pregnant on June 11th of 2006. A week later I flew to Florida to see Anne. I wanted to tell her in person that she was going to be an Aunt and I bought her a personalized key chain that read "Aunt Annie". She picked me up from the airport and we both cried when I revealed my news. We then drove straight to the CVS to buy a pregnancy test as Anne also suspected she was knocked up. The strip turned pink and so began the most stressful year of my parents life! Anne and he fiance Steve gave birth to Andrew James 6 days after Owen was born. It's horrible having to be so far away from my nephew and sister but webcams help a little. Drew and Owen could not be more different. Drew is huge! He is 4.5 months and in 9 month clothing. He is 18 lbs and 27 inches long. 27 inches! He is the sweetest most laid back kid though (obviously aside from Owen of course). Anne and I actually got a sister bonding night on Friday. She happened to time her arrival to coincide with the Buick Open which means one thing - Beer Tents! We went out together for the first time in almost 2 years. We had a blast and were sisters in rare form.
This is from our first vistit to Florida in April. We call this "Gilligan and the Skipper"
Cousins gotta hug!

United in cuteness, bound by the common goal of making their parents crazy!

Doctor's Appointment

Owen had his 4 month check up on the 27th. He weighed in at a whopping 14 lbs and was 23 1/2 inches long. He was 21 1/2 at his 2 month check up so he's growing! His head was 17 inches which puts him in the 95th percentile but once again, all those brains need room to grow! His length put him in the 10th percentile and weight was 25th. I was really anxious to start him on solids soon but our doc wants us to wait another month :( I think he's ready. He doesn't seem to be satisfied with just a bottle any more and he LOVES his prune juice (what a wacko!). We'll see, Maybe I'll sneak him some rice ceral a little early! Our next appointment will be at U of M for a sleep study in August.