Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bath Time!

bath 3

Ella had her first bath on Friday (3/25) and was SUPER pumped about it! She played with her rubber ducky and we tried our best to keep her out of the deep end…actually she screamed practically the whole time (so I’m told). This is likely due to the fact that she was nearly 5-weeks old before she had water poured on her for the first time.  We’ve been giving her sponge baths prior to her belly button “stump” falling off a few days ago.IMG_3903

We also took Ella to church for the first time today! She did great and slept right through the sermon (just like her mama).  She was also presented with a bible from our Sunday school class this morning. After that our class surrounded and placed their hands on us as our teacher (Mr. Ed) prayed over us.  It was a very special moment for us and we love our church family! Bible From Church

On Sunday, April 17th we get to take part in “Baby Dedication Day” at church where we’ll stand before the church with other new parents.  This is basically the third of three steps designed to teach parents how to be become the primary faith trainer for their child and accept the long-term responsibility that comes with spiritual leadership. We’re excited about it and feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of Christians!

- Adam

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


IMG_3879It’s been a tough week so far for Julia & I and all of her family.  Her Father Bill passed away early Monday morning after a long battle with COPD.  Though we knew his overall prognosis wasn’t good, it still came as a shock to all of us.  Fortunately some of us were able to spend time with him on Sunday afternoon and he got to see Ella for the 2nd time. He was an incredible man and I personally could not have asked for a better father-in-law. If you knew him and feel like sharing a comment, please do so here…
IMG_3891With every tragedy comes joy and part of that was getting all of his family together, including Julia’s Brother & Sister-in-law from TX.  Family was of top importance  to Bill and he would have loved to see everyone together in the same place. IMG_3895

Ella continues to do well and turned 1 month on Sunday!  She saw her pediatrician on Friday (3/18) and is up to 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 20 1/2” long. She eats well (and often) and even sleeps around 6 – 7 hours a night. DSC_5266

The only one that isn’t as excited about her as we are is Issy (Julia’s cat).  But we make up for it by feeding her 12 pounds of food a day…
Just like with Ella’s extended stay at Camp NICU, we’re humbled again by the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family.  Though it’s been a challenging 4 weeks for us, we’re grateful that we don’t have to go through it alone. Again thank you all so much for your kind words, prayers, cards, calls, and compassion. It is such a blessing to be loved so much by so many. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

So this is what it's like...

Ella's Visitors

It's been a fun and interesting but frustrating and exhausting week. As Julia and I continue to learn how to function as first-time parents, we've some how made it through despite walking around in an utterly confused, zombie-like state. For the most part, Ella is doing well and still very healthy - her lungs especially must be in perfect shape, as her occasional cries have nearly made us completely deaf. However she's not sleeping very well, apparently due to some gas pressure in her stomach that makes her strain and grunt throughout the day and night.  After some research and speaking to the pediatrician, it seems that this is normal, as her digestive system hasn’t fully developed. We’ve tried the Mylicon drops but they didn’t prove to be effective.  We were told about ‘Gripe Water’ (thanks Rachel) and plan to try that soon.
It’s funny how you envision something going a certain way and it not going nearly as “planned”.  Of course, if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past three weeks, is that a “plan” is just that and won’t necessarily work out that way.  That said, I plan to lose 20 lbs. this month by eating whatever I want and avoiding the gym at all costs.
As I said, it has been a fun week and we’ve had many visitors – most of which brought food!  Thanks to everyone for your generosity.
We also took Ella out for her first restaurant visit to Chef's Market on Friday night.  Though she slept throughout our meal, we spent more time in the car before and after dinner feeding her.  It was a trial run and we quickly realized that it might be the last for a few weeks – mainly due to cold/flu season and her not having any immunity built up yet.  Her first shots will be @ 2 months, but I’m sure will get her out before that.  We were still able to take her for a walk (or hold) outside this afternoon, since the weather was so nice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Journey Begins...

We’ve had our sweet girl home since Saturday and are having a great time in our new role as parents (minus the sleepless nights).  Ella Kate was on a very strict schedule in the hospital, eating every 4 hours and sleeping most of the other time.  Since she has come home she wants to eat all the time, but only small amounts and then falls asleep again.  This has made for a very tiring past few days.
EK saw her pediatrician for the 1st time yesterday, and we went in with a list of questions (I’m sure she thought we were nuts!).   She weighed in at 7lbs. 9oz. and was given a clean bill of health!  Adam and I discussed with the doctor our issue with her eating and that we were waking her in the night to eat.  She gave us the ok to let her sleep during the night as long as she wanted and reassured us that she’d let us know when she was hungry.  Last night we tried it and hallelujah she slept 6 hours straight!  We were thrilled to say the least.

She also got her first “sponge bath” at home today, since her umbilical cord still hasn’t fallen off.  She seemed to enjoy it, as she peed all over the place.
We continue to be amazed at the support from our family and friends – dinners, cards, and visits to meet our little girl!   We look forward to our journey with EK and what lies ahead for our new family of 3!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Welcome Home!

After some paperwork, an overly dramatic but informative CPR video, and one last dose of Penicillin Ella Kate finally got to come home today! We dropped her in her car seat, threw her in the truck and here we come! Actually we placed her in the seat gently, carefully pulled her belt snug, and slowly made our way home in the rain. We arrived to find a pack of diapers holding balloons that read "Welcome Home" thoughtfully placed on our front porch (thanks B & L) and dinner in the fridge (thanks J). Apparently we can look forward to this kind of treatment every time we leave the house for a couple of hours?
Ella also got to meet some of her aunts, uncles, and cousins tonight for a short time. When it was time for them to go, she let them know buy letting loose an ear-piercing cry that might have shattered a windshield or two.

It was a great day that we've been anticipating for a long time. There's no doubt in my mind that it was the result of many many prayers that were lifted on our behalf by family, friends, and even strangers. If you prayed for her - even once - thank you.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. God has been and continues to be so good to us and you - please thank him for your many blessings and trust Him when things don't go as you planned...we did.
Love to you all,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Let's Snuggle

On our last trip to hang out with Ella before bringing her home tomorrow, Julia and I again got to spend time with her alone in a quiet room - wireless. She continues to eat and sleep very well and there's no reason why she won't be home tomorrow and be healthy!  Julia nursed and rocked her to sleep before leaving late in the afternoon.  Though the heplock looked good during the day, it had to be taken out later tonight.  Ella was pretty pumped, since this latest poke in her hand brought her needle stick total up to a baker's dozen! Seriously, enough with the needles.
For our "last night out", Julia and I went to see 'Just Go With It' at the theater. The movie was great and we enjoyed our time together.  It was the first time we went to the movies - just the two of us - since our third date 5 years ago!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One More Day? Really?

So apparently the doctor treating Ella forgot how to count to 14, because she miscalculated her last dose of Penicillin  by 1 day - so we'll be taking her home Saturday afternoon instead of Friday.  A little disappointing but glad that she at least noticed it and didn't release her early. We decided not to tell Ella the truth and instead wished her a happy Wednesday :)
While she might not be aware of the extra night in the hospital, she couldn't help but notice them having to replace the heploc (IV) in her head because it went bad...again.  So, another needle!  Fortunately Julia got to spend more time with her this afternoon and they both enjoyed that. 
All of this got me thinking of what I'm looking forward to most about her being out of the hospital:
5.  Not having to wear the wristband that I've had on since she was born (those things are not designed to last this long).
4.  Not having to scrub up and put on a gown every time I see her! 

 3.  Not having to spend time with her while surrounded by nurses and other babies.
2.  No monitors that constantly check her heart rate, BP, Oxygen level, etc. (actually Julia is obsessed with these and will likely miss them the most).
1.  No more needles or wires that keep us from our baby!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So Comfy...With One Exception

Julia spent most of the day with Ella and I again joined them for lunch.  There's a small part of me that's going to miss seeing her for that hour in the middle of the day. Julia nursed her, gave her a "bath", and took this picture after she finished - FYI: that cute little bow on top of her head...isn't (see yesterday's post for further explanation). Both are getting used to nursing and I'm so proud of Julia for her determination...Ella's doing great too!
The hospital provided us with some educational resources for when we get her home and I'm sure that 20 minute video will cover us in any potential situation we might find ourselves in over the next 18 years.
Finally, it occurred to me that Thursday night will be mine & Julia's last night as a couple before we're 100% responsible for EK (scary thought) and I'm trying to come up with something we could do that might not be possible later.  If you'd like to offer a suggestion, feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Enough with the Needles!

Place food here.
Julia spent most of the day with EK and I joined them for lunch. Julia was able to nurse her as well and did great! She was awake for most of the day and continues to eat well.
The IV port in her arm went bad so they had to remove it - which was nice (temporarily) because we got to hold her without it. Unfortunately it had to go back in and the nurses spent over an hour trying to find a good vein. After 5 sticks, they resorted to (wait for it)...her head! Can you believe these crazies?! This girl is going to have the highest pain tolerance of any kid on the block! We're praying that this will be the last one and will hold up through Friday afternoon (her last dose). After that, I plan to put her in a steel suit that will prohibit anyone from sticking her with needles.