I had several e-mails yesterday asking for the reason I decided to homeschool, some were very surprised they were ever in public school at all. So I have decided that I would explain the details behind our decision. First off you should learn more about Madison.
You see Madison is a very special and intelligent little girl. When she was born she was the largest of our four, eight and a half pounds. Now it isn't unusual for a baby to lose a little weight after birth, however Madison continued to lose and grew weaker and weaker. At three months after numerous (and by numerous I mean sometimes more than once a day) doctor appointments, we were really scared. The doctor kept telling me I just didn't know what I was doing. (The fact that her brother was a year older and extremely healthy and sitting next to her meant nothing. I was nineteen and so I must just be stupid right?)
I didn't sleep for ten days straight after waking up to find her blue, and still the doctor told me I was just too young to be a mother. So I did something I should have done sooner, I walked into a well known peds office asked for a doctor, handed her my daughter and said, "Now you can either help me or if she dies it will be on your hands." She seemed shocked and started asking me what the problem was. When she found out Madison's weight and age (three months, and around five lbs) she instantly flipped. My daughter was so weak she couldn't lift her head up or roll over! After examining her and checking reflexes and watching her nurse, she first was angry-at Madison's doctor. She wasn't just mad she was furious. She not only called him she had him pulled from the registry at the hospital. Then she cried, she cried with me over the torment of watching my daughter grow weaker, and the injustice of being judged for being young. (I might mention here that Honeybear and I married when I was seventeen and Martin followed exactly nine months and five days later at thirty-seven weeks.)
After the emotions were spent, she gave me strict orders to quit nursing. Madison was just to weak for that. They put her on a calorie rich formula, and then another and another and another. Then they tried meds, and more meds, and more meds. She was finally diagnosed with Rheyes Disease. An inability to digest certain grains and grain products, and severe reflux. She also had terrible digestion which caused horrible gas, which in turn did not let her umbilical cord close and she got a huge hernia. At a year old she needed surgery to fix the hernia because it just kept getting bigger. There was a catch she had to be ten pounds. She had just managed to stay out of the hospital by gaining a few ounces then losing a few. She was weighed daily. Sometimes if she had lost too much she was weighed again and somehow always managed to just barely squeak by.
The day of the surgery was postponed twice, because of her weight. Finally they said she could have her surgery. A month after the original appointment. When we got there the nurse took her to weigh her and brought her back. She said "We have a problem. She's nine-twelve." I instantly started bawling I knew she was going to die, if we had to leave again. (The hernia was starting to cut off digestion from getting to full. She was constantly having to take meds to move her bowels.) She went and got the doctor. He knew her history, when he looked at us his face was absolutely determined. He asked me to trust him, and then he said "We are doing this today." They took my daughter from my arms, and all we could do was sit there and wait. (The stress caused some horrible Braxton-Hicks.)The surgery went well although the hernia stretched her skin so badly that they had to surgically remove and enclose her belly button, basically they had to make her one.
After her surgery she gained weight quickly (at least for her) by eighteen months she weighed eighteen pounds. However her immune system and digestive system were still not great. And still are very sensitive to this day.
She started developing quicker and catching up with others, but something was noticeably different. She didn't talk like others and some days she wouldn't talk at all. Even to us. She didn't react like other children, and she seemed to be in a world all her own most the time. Oh yes and she hated to be touched. But her eyes never seemed to miss anything, she always seemed to be following us with her eyes. Several doctors and several years later, we still don't know why she is different.
After several hours of OT, PT, speech and vision therapy she is happier and healthier. If you met her today she would seem just like a shy sweet little girl. This is the history of my beautiful Madison, tomorrow I will tell you the reasons that lead to homeschooling.