Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Ava!

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Hello Ava friends! SO who turned 7 yesterday? Ava did!! I can’t believe 7 years ago she came into our lives. Iowa doctors only gave her a 30% chance of surviving her birth defect. She fought so hard, more than anyone I’ve ever known. We stayed by her side and cheered her on!. If you’ve been with us from the beginning you know her strength. We thank God everyday for letting us keep this feisty little lady.

We woke pretty early yesterday to get a jump start on the lower temperatures so we could take a few pictures. The pictures turned out better than I ever imagined. I love that she loves getting her picture taken! The picture above was the very first picture taken of her. I had just given birth to her in this very small surgery room. The doctor held her up so we could see her little face. The first thing I remember thinking is… “They were wrong. She’s not sick. Her color is so good.” She didn’t take a breath or even cry. She just looked at us. The doctor then quickly handed her to a nurse and the nurse headed for the room next to that one. They immediately put her on the ventilator and started suctioning our her stomach and intestines. Brian got that picture (she is holding) when she was about 20 minutes old. Before they took her to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia they took my bed to the door and I got to see her. I knew her fight had begun. We prayed that God would save her. Look what He did!

A few of the pictures…

One of most loved Bible verses. Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. How perfect is this for Ava?

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A few artsy ones…

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We love this fountain and she asked if she could stick her feet in… Oops a bit more of her feet went in!

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I couldn’t resist this one. I don’t ever think of Ava as an Angel. A friend of mine bought Ava these angel wings a few years back. I think I captured the perfect picture.

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I loved this one as she looked at herself at birth. I wonder what she must be thinking?

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She’s my Sunshine!

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She had an awesome birthday. We had a small party for her last night. Here was her Brave cake. Merida is known as “a fearless beauty” That describes Ava to a Tee! I still can’t believe she is SEVEN! Where has the time gone?


A few pictures from her party. It’s been so hot here in Iowa so naturally her party became a pool party after!!



Pool FUN!



What an AWESOME day. We always look back on her birthday as a reminder that no matter where you start you can finish strong! I know why she’s here… she is meant for bigger things. I can’t wait to see what her life brings. God has done great things in her. I look back over all the surgeries she’s been through and think… WOW! She’s so strong. She loves life and she knows what she wants! I strive to have her spirit.

Ava is loving school and is doing great. We pray she stays healthy and that God protects her. Each morning as I drop her off I tell her what a wonderful day she is going to have and that God has placed a bubble around her so that she will be protected from germs. Positive thinking is a MUST!

Thanks for stopping by. We love that you still think and pray about Ava. She’s quite the little girl!

~Terri Helmick

1 comment:

Raelyn said...

That first picture touched my deepest, most heartfelt emotions!! She's "come a long way, baby", as the phrase goes!! ;-D
Then the "fearfully and wonderfully made" plaque!! Love it!! ;)
Ava looks like an angel in that picture.... Representing those who lost their battles with CDH.
What breathtaking pictures!! Every. Single. One!! ;-D
"I know why she’s here… she is meant for bigger things. I can’t wait to see what her life brings. God has done great things in her.". Mmmm. ;)
Happy, happy, happy birthday to Ava, my Kindred Spirit CDH Friend!! Here's to many, many, many more!! ;-D