Family / Parenting

Get out the Vote for Richmond Supermoms

One of our Facebook fans asked us to help get out the vote for the 1st set of lesbian moms to be nominated in Richmond, Virgina’s Supermom contest.  The catch?  All votes must be cast by Tuesday, April 30th!  That said, it is pretty easy and only takes a few minutes.

Below is the nomination blurb about them from the Supermom contest site:

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Shirley Lesser & India Lipton                                      Click to vote for any nominee!

We are nominating a pair of supermoms raising a miraculous son!  Dylan was born 11 weeks premature. In his brief life, he has recovered from 3 months of sepsis & has had 12 brain surgeries. He spent 101 days in the NICU & hospitalized weeks more with all the surgeries. Through all of this, his moms have rarely left his side; India with him daily in the hospital & Shirley with him in the evening while maintaining her job.  Despite the doctors’ initial prognosis of severe disabilities, Dylan’s moms are determined to provide him with every opportunity to lead a happy & productive life. India now stays home with Dylan performing physical & developmental therapy with him several times a day. Shirley works during the day, but continues with his care and therapy at night & weekends. Born on Valentine’s Day last year, Dylan is now a very happy, seemingly healthy 1 year old! If you met Dylan today you would never know how sick he was or that he has 2 VP shunts to manage his hydrocephalus.

Not knowing the couple, I did “research.”  Ha!  I am the mother of an over-active toddler.  So research entailed going to the couple’s Facebook page and reading about their story: Sir Dylan Eli the Dragon Slayer.   Here are a few highlights for those of you who won’t click over:

Dylan Eli Lipton-Lesser was born on Valentine’s Day 2012 at 10:22 am weighing 3lbs, 3oz, 15.75” long. Today he weighs nearly 19 lbs and is just over 29″ long. The journey to today has been nothing short of miraculous!

Dylan spent 101 days in the NICU, taking 3 months on near constant heavy antibiotics to clear out the Pseudomonas infection. The list of ailments Dylan has overcome is long, but most very common in premature infants. Dylan was unable to breathe on his own, called neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and required a ventilator to first help him breathe; he was not able to maintain his body temperature without assistance, was not able to eat – first due to being premature and then later due to a complete GI system shut-down. He sustained bilateral Grade 3/4 brain bleeds in the first few days of his life that then caused Hydrocephalus. The Pseudomonas infection likely is the reason brain cysts have formed. He has had 12 brain surgeries that included permanent placement of 2 Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts – a shunt is a tubing system to drain excess cerebral spinal fluid from his brain down to his abdominal cavity.  Most recently, Dylan has had surgeries to place two shunts in new locations, then he had those shunts removed when we received a call saying that it had been found that he had new infections in his cerebral spinal fluid (might have been a false alarm).  On 11/14/12 Dylan had his 12th brain surgery to put both shunts back in once we knew it was safe.  He has had a central line placed and removed 2x, numerous spinal taps, reservoir taps and taps directly into his brain, had multiple blood and platelet transfusions, was jaundiced and then had other liver problems due to his medications, had anemia, lack of platelets and immature immune system, PDA (blood vessel issue in lung due to prematurity), a heart murmur, immature eyes and a lack of proper sodium.  Whew, I may have even have missed something!

Now you ready for the amazing part?  Out of all that, a year later, nearly all issues are resolved!  Dylan still has the Hydrocephalus and brain cysts and will have the shunts in for life, but he’s doing great!  He’s generally on the slow end for his adjusted milestones with some concern for motor skills since he’s not great at rolling over and sitting yet, but he is improving each day we can keep him home and is actually much more skilled in his cognition and communication ability!  The many hospital stays have delayed him a bit more.  He passed his hearing test and he’s had surgery to correct the crossing in both eyes (pretty common surgery for preemies), since the eye surgery we have seen much improvement in his motor skills and he’s much happier! He’s now only on Mamma Indy’s breast-milk, baby foods, crackers, puffs and vitamins with new foods being added all the time.  He enjoys eating!  We occasionally pump milk so now he can both nurse and take different bottles (no easy feat!), he coos, babbles, laughs and looks at people, does baby sign language, smiles and tries to mimic sounds quite well, he can move all his limbs and digits, can pass an object from one hand to the other, plays with toys, sucks his fingers and brings things up to his mouth, is starting to hold his bottles and sippy cups and tries to feed himself solids (not so fun for his moms!  lol), and his GI system is normal for his age,  He tracks objects with his eyes and seems to hear just fine, he is easily comforted by his moms and is an overall easy, happy baby.  He loves to cuddle, which is unusual for a preemie, and stuffed toys have a special place in his heart.  He breathes perfectly and wears normal clothes, the only equipment he needs are the shunts inside his head/belly!  His strength goes without saying, he’s a spunky little fighter and earned the title Dragon-Slayer for beating the Pseudomonas “Dragon”. Since he was born in the “year of the dragon” (odd coincidence, it’s water dragon year and Pseudomonas lives in water) and his Mamma Shirley collects dragons.

 Now that you have read that, I am hoping you are hooked.  The facebook page has more to their story (including the couple meeting and their wedding).  It also has amazing photos of the family and little Dylan’s progress.  Definately worth a visit.

To vote go to http://richmondmom.com/2013/04/17/vote-here-for-our-richmondmom-com-2013-supermom/ and vote for Shirley Lesser and India Lipton.

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  1. Thanks. Me too.

  2. I cant thank you enough for posting this and it warms my heart to know other folks are voting for us and have never even met us! We are quite fortunate, our family motto is Celebrate Everything! and we always enjoy more friends so feel free to add me on facebook so we can share in each others adventures. http://www.facebook.com/CharltonDaneMamma

  3. Thanks to all who voted for us & invited friends to join in.
    We did not win this contest but we will always be winners with friends like YOU!

    http://richmondmom.com/2013/05/01/announcing-our-2013-richmond-supermom-winner/

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