Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Lesson In Faith

Has this blog really been viewed over 1,000 times in less than a week? Julia and I continue to be humbled by the amount of support we've received with our sweet Ella.  Thank you all again for your comments and especially prayers, because the updates continue to be positive.  Julia became concerned last night because Ella barely woke up all day while she & I were there.  The nurses told us if she continued that way for 24 hours they would run blood tests.  This morning we learned that she had been up most of the night, so apparently she has her days & nights mixed up (how exactly does that happen?). The point of this is to illustrate how Satan can toy with our emotions to make us lose or question our faith.  When Julia saw there was an issue that was out of the ordinary, her mind began filling with negative thoughts.  Even though God has been incredibly faithful to us, sometimes we lose sight of Him when seemingly bad news comes.
I spoke with the doctor this morning and Ella's last dose of Penicillin should be administered on Friday afternoon, which means we will likely be able to take her home after!  We're also considering the possibility of staying at the hospital that night with her in our room, should a question or complication arise. Regardless, we are thrilled our baby girl will be home this weekend!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

I can't believe our baby girl is already 1 week old! They grow up so fast (tear)! Ella's now up to over 3 oz . of milk every 4 hours and slept most of the day - kinda like I do after a huge Thanksgiving meal. Though eating so much is great news for her overall health, it's somewhat frustrating for her mommy, as Julia has become a pumping machine!  It's too bad that Full Service gas stations aren't so popular, because after demonstrating her skills, she'd be hired on the spot!  She did get to nurse Ella for the first time this weekend, which made her heart melt with pride.
I've heard that kids teach you things, and I discovered this is true, for instance: Ella taught me that her diaper is much more effective when pulled up high on her back, instead of halfway down her booty. Unfortunately she chose to demonstrate that, rather than explain it, but I got the point.
7 more days!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Time Lapse of Julia Pregnant

"I'll Eat Whenever I Want!"

Julia spent most of Friday afternoon holding and feeding Ella and then I came by after work to do the same.  They had to change the IV port in her hand because it was beginning to fail (apparently they only last about 3 days in an infant's tiny veins).  That took over an hour to do and clearly she didn't appreciate it.  As soon and they finished we got to hold and feed her in a quiet room that we had to ourselves - no cords, not beeping, and no nurses peering over our shoulder.  Just us.
They are also taking her off of "scheduled feedings" so she can now eat as much as she wants - whenever she wants.  She's now up to 2 oz. which is triple what she was eating just 2 days ago, which might explain why she's gained 2 oz. since birth.
We spoke to the doctor last night and he again confirmed that she's very healthy and just needs to complete the round of antibiotics before she can go home.  We're so looking forward to that...

Friday, February 25, 2011


"try not to pinch my cheeks"
After arriving this morning and scrubbing up (or is it down), I walked into Ella's room to find an empty bed.  Ah, hello?  What have you done with my child?  The nurse told me she "graduated" to a different floor.  Great, I missed the commencement.  Turns out it's a good thing!  She's now in an open crib and, though still in the NICU, she's in a room with more "well" babies.  I changed her...twice, fed her and swaddled her up (she's wearing a size 3-6 mo. onesie).  She ate well and they're increasing her milk amount from 30 ml to 35 (just over an ounce).  All excellent news and she's looking forward to seeing her mommy later today! She also acts much happier than she has and no-doubt is looking forward to going home.
Again, thank you ALL for supporting us so much.  We read each touching comment and your prayers are clearly apparent!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm Tubeless!

I love starting these out with "Ella continues to improve" :)  This morning I arrived to find her without the oxygen in her nose and UA in her belly and wearing a shirt (or something resembling it) and I was able to hold and feed her for nearly an hour.  She must have known that I was late for work, because she took most of that time feeding...I'm sure it won't be the last time she makes me late.  This was also the first time that she was able to accept 100% milk (no formula) and hopefully that will continue.  They also plan to put her in an open crib later today, as she continues to maintain her own body temp.
She does still have the IV in her hand and will continue to need it for the antibiotics - she's also receiving some nutrients through it as well.
I know I sound like a broken record, but your prayers work and we ask that you please continue.
Thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

9:00 PM

Just spoke with the NICU and Ella is completely off oxygen and the UA (IV in her belly button) is also out! This is a major accomplishment and means that they can now start to put clothes on her so she can regulate her own body temp. We're so excited to see her tomorrow without all of the tubes and be able to hold her again! We may have to put her on a treadmill too because the girl is apparently enjoying a little too much of the milk...

Again, thank you all for your continued prayers - see, I told you they work! :)


12:33 PM

Great visit with EK - They have increased her milk intake from 15 ml to 25 ml (started at 5 ml yesterday). They will also be removing her O2 (as she is barely reliant on it) as well as the tube through her nose. AND they're taking the UA out of her belly button, but replacing it with a heplock in her hand so she can continue being administered the antibiotics - which is now Penicillin. So all great news!

After speaking with the NP, she advised us that the 14-day round of antibiotics actually began on Monday, so they would end on Sunday, March 6th. On that day Julia and I will have to stay overnight at the hospital with Ella in our room and then take her home Monday.

Julia was officially discharged yesterday but we were able to stay last night as a courtesy. Though we're obviously sad to have to leave our girl here, we're looking forward to going home and getting some much-needed rest.

All the above is a clear indication that the prayers lifted by you, our friends and family are powerfully working! Please continue them and thank God for what He is doing for us and you!


8:45 AM

We went to see Ella this morning and she continues to look good! We had to wake her up to eat but she did great and never cried. She must have enjoyed it because she hiccuped herself to sleep...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

4:00 PM

Ella continues to show signs of improvement and was laying on her side when we went in to feed her this afternoon, funny because I sleep in the same position. They have decreased her oxygen intake and hope to take her completely off within a day or two. She's not as fussy as she was yesterday morning and seems fairly content. She's also eating well which gives us great hope that things will continue to improve.
Julia has officially been discharged, but they are allowing us an extra night here for free, so we'll be taking advantage of that.
Again, we are truly humbled by the amount of support we've received and prayers lifted by so many (some by whom we don't know). Thank you and please continue praying for a speedy recovery and that we can take this sweet girl home in 12 days!

10:24 AM

This morning we went down to see Ella and were able to feed her for the first time! She is still on O2 but slowly being weened and hopefully will be off within a few days. She has the small tube in her throat but they are going to move it to her nose since she is not feeding.
We spoke with the nurse practitioner and they have narrowed her prognosis down to a single infection that will be rectified with antibiotics (she was receiving several but now only one).
So that's the positive, the negative is that she will have to remain in NICU for 2 weeks while the antibiotics run their course. Disappointing to say the least, but we know she's in good hands and confident she's getting the best treatment.
Meanwhile Julia is continuing to recover and handling everything like a champ. I could not be more proud of her as a wife and now a mother.
We'll be discharged tonight but were offered to stay in our room another night for free. Tomorrow night we'll be on our own and have to devise a schedule to come up here to visit and feed.
Thank you for your prayers - they truly work and we ask that you continue to lift her up.

Monday, February 21, 2011

1:00 PM

We can visit Ella whenever we want from 8 - 6 (am & pm) but try to visit every 3 hours so we can change and spend time with her while the lid to her bed is open. She just seems sick and irritable. They have her on 3 different antibiotics and are unsure of the exact type of infection she has. They performed also spinal lumbar puncture on her and will get the results from that soon.
Our NICU nurse Amanda has been incredible and really taken a liking to Ella...and us. She managed to convince the doc to allow us to hold her for about an hour - which was incredible!
This is our first family picture...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

7:58 AM

It's with mixed emotions that I write this:
Last night Julia went into labor at home and by the time we got to the ER this morning, she was fully dilated and ready to push - which she did for nearly 2 hours and had our sweet baby girl @ 6:23 this morning (pic attached). Never once did she ask for medication or to even go to the hospital while at home. She's absolutely incredible and I'm so proud of her.

Now for the "mixed emotions": when Ella was born, she didn't immediately cry so they took her to the warmer for about 10 minutes and she would only grunt - breathing, but not sufficiently.
So she's now in the NICU while they run tests to determine the cause (could be nothing or...). Regardless, she's going to remain there for no less than 5 days.
Obviously we're flooded with emotions but ask that you, our friends and family, pray now that everything is ok with her and that ultimately God's Will will be done.