Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Due Date

Today,January 28 is my due date...the day I believed Ella was due to be born. Monday, February 2, was the due date the doctor's office gave me. October 25, 2008 is the date that Ella was born. So, today is a bit odd for me. Whether my date or the dr.s date was right, Ella is here...i guess she had the last word. I think we will see that throughout her life. Already, that little firecracker seems to do things in her own way . We are still at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. Ella is ready to come home in that she has hit all the markers she needed to, as far as being premature....she is eating well (45 cc breastmilk every 3 hours). Her nurses all know what a champ she is at eating...she guzzles that bottle down in about 5 minutes. She is breathing just like she should be without anymore "bradies"-drops in her heart rate. Every now and then when she gets too excited while eating, she'll get choked and will "brady", but no biggie. She is gaining weight...4lb.7oz and maintaining her temperature on her own in an open crib. For whatever reason, she is having some liver troubles. The dr. is not too sure why. They are following her closely and taking urines every other day. She will have a full liver panel tomorrow. Her dr. said yesterday if her liver enzymes and bilirubin look about the same or less, they will do another full panel Monday. If they are again about the same or less, we will be able to go home to follow up on an outpatient basis. If they are elevated, we will be staying and probably have to look at doing a liver biopsy. This little amazing, precious angel has been through so much...and come through it all. I am so in love with her. She has touched my life in so many ways in her little 3 month life. I know bringing her home will be exciting and scary. She will face many more challenges, I'm sure, in the year to come. She still has a open heart valve (PDA) that will be followed by a cardiologist. Her eyes will be routinely checked, but her eye surgeon gave her a passing grade today, saying they looked great! We will keep her as safeguarded from germs as we can, knowing she is at a higher risk for RSV and other respiratory issues. She will have in home occupational therapy for the first year of her life. Her occupational therapists should feel proud because they helped her become the sucking champ she is today! For several feeds, they helped me with cheek compressions and jaw support to help Ella better with "nippling" the bottle. What wonderful nurses, therapists, and docs we have had during the last 14 weeks- 6 at Forrest General and 8 at Ochsner. As I reflect on all we have gone through, I can not believe it. And what overwhelms me so much is the love of dear friends, family, nurses, drs.,strangers, and especially my Father in Heaven. We have been carried every minute of this crazy life we've been living. I would not recommend this to anyone, but I do hope that everyone will look to Him for comfort, peace and love. He is there. He lives. He loves me. He loves you. Thank you for your constant thoughts, prayers, fasting, meals, donations, firewood, manual labor, babysitting, rides, dinners,texts, hugs, gifts, visits, etc...the list goes on...etc.....We are so blessed to have the ginormous support system we have. But if you don't mind...don't stop now...keep praying. We are close. Let's bring that wildcat home! Love to you all....emily

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!!

The holidays have been nonstop, as we celebrated Christmas at the RMcH (Ronald Mc Donald House-what a special place) and started a brand New Year.
We have met great workers at the RMcH, friends, and medical staff at Oschner Hospital in New Orleans. We also have had numerous visits from family and friends.

When we last blogged, Ella was whisked away to Oschner (pronounced "Oxner" within the past 2 years...”Oshnuh” if you lived in N’Awlins pre-Katrina) Hospital. Ella came to Oschner because she had NEC- a serious bowel infection. The dr. at FGH wanted to be sure that Ella had a neo-natal surgeon nearby for surgery, if necessary. Ella was put on bowel rest for two weeks. She didn’t require surgery (what a miracle). During this time Ella went from being on a nasal cannula to breathing on her own without any ‘breathing tubes.” Last week, Ella had laser eye surgery to get rid of her stage 2 ROP-retinopathy of prematurity. She came out of surgery on a ventilator; however, quickly returned to breathing on her own once again. She has a follow-up eye exam this Wednesday.
My, o my, oh how Ella has grown. She is now 3lbs. 13 oz. She continues to amaze us all. She is taking two bottles of breast milk, 34 cc’s, twice a day. She also takes a special formula coincidentally named “Elecare”. I believe it was made just for her. The same thing I think of when I stay at the “Hilton” hotel.

Anyhow, this is just a quick blog update on how are precious little Ella is doing. I am sure Emily will elaborate when she gets the time to blog on a computer. Emily’s full time job right now is taking care of Ella everyday in N’Awlins for feeding, bathing, and loving only the way a mommy can.
We have been grateful for all your prayers, cards, calls, and visits. I have been touched by all the acts of not random, but consistently acts of kindness from friends, family, and our little Sumrall community. We have been blessed to have you all in our lives during these tolling, trying times.
Disclaimer-Photos published with permission from Sam Boover Photography ©-since Christmas Day 2008.

My little family

My little family
This is my beautiful, little family- Hilton, Emily, Jack ( 7), Sophie (4), Maddie (9) & Sam (11). Aren't the azaleas gorgeous? This was taken Easter sunday at my mom's house. The dogwoods and azaleas were in spectacular bloom.