Ella Brooke is BLOOMING...and Carter is too!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support! Trust in the Lord...







Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oxygen Hood

Ella has had a good day, according to her nurse and doctors. Miss Ella is currently under an oxygen hood. She actually loves it and seems to be much happier under it, because she can move all she wants. She is not hooked up to anything to help her breathe. Instead, she is in a little "bubble" that is blowing humidity and oxygen inside. There is a spout that it is blowing from, and as she is lying there, she "smiles" as it is blowing on her. She wiggles so that is blows at different spots on her face. I am not sure when she will change back to C Pap or nasal cannula, I am just happy she is happy and comfortable for the time being.

She is eating again. So glad! She is up to 2 pounds 11 ounces. All the grandparents have seen her this weekend and they all agree that she is filling out more and you can tell she has gained a little.

She had another blood transfusion today due to her blood gas levels being low. She tolerated it well and her coloring was better when we saw her today.

They are treating her as if she has an infection, although it is not a positive from the lab yet. She acts as though she is not feeling well, so they are going to keep her on the antibiotic to stay on the safe side. They also pulled her PIC line yesterday, because bacteria will stick to any foreign object so they pulled it to make sure it is not the source of the infection.

I look forward to holding her in my arms in the morning.

Thanks for the prayers!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Challenging Day

Ella had a challenging morning. She is currently on the ventilator to help her breathe. She is not taking deep enough breaths without it, and she is having a lot of alarms going off. The doctor also noticed some swelling around her neck area. He also ordered for the nurse to start her on an antibiotic, because her body is acting like it has an infection and they want to catch it before it becomes a problem.
Her sugars are high and they have reduced the amount of sugar that is going into her fluids. Her sugars will continue to be checked regularly throughout the day. Labs are ordered for the morning to check her gases to see if there is a concern for infection.
Her afternoon is going better with no alarms going off since we were there. She is resting comfortably. Good news for now!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Steps Back...

Sleepy Girl Picture

(Please read BOTH posts from today--this is the 2nd/later of the two)


The Doctor called this evening and said that Ella was having trouble taking deep breaths, and she was concerned and going to make some changes. She was going to put Ella back on C-Pap (which Ella is going to hate because she is not able to move very much while on the C-Pap apparatus). They are also going to give her a blood transfusion because they know her blood gases are going to fall from being switched back to C-Pap.


They are going to hold one of her feedings, because she will be under a lot of "stress" using the C-Pap again...
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I just spoke to the nurse and she said Miss Ella is resting, the blood transfusion is going well and that she is comfortable and sleeping right now on the C-Papa. I will call again before I go to bed for another update.

Please pray that things turn around and we head in the positive direction again, soon!

Two Steps Forward...

Ella weighs 2 pounds 7 ounces and is 3 weeks old!!

(Read BOTH posts from today)


Ella has had a good week, taking little steps in the positive direction.

Her bilirubin level has gone down, so she was able to go off the jaundice light on Tuesday. Yea, Ella! She has also been weaned off of C Pap and is currently on nasal cannula only. Wednesday was her first day on full nasal cannula and she did great. She continues to have monitors go off, telling us she is not taking deep breaths, so we verbally remind her to take deep breaths. She listens to her mommy and daddy and the monitors stop. She also continues to have the occasional “B” episodes and resolves them on her own.

They have determined that her tummy is not able to digest the amount of sugar in breast milk, so she is currently on a pre-digested formula. This will be used for a few days until her stomach is working better and able to fully digest food on her own.

The NICU staff also moved her feeding tube from her mouth to her nose, so that her mouth is free. So this week we have been able to see her without her jaundice protection glasses and without her feeding tube in her mouth! We can actually see her face and she looks so much like Carter.

Carter is adjusting well…we have taken two steps back on potty training(forward steps now), he has not been eating well, he is very clingy to us….all we hear is normal and he is just adjusting. He always said Ella was going to, “ROCK HIS WORLD!”

I have loved spending so much time with her and holding her. Ella is such as sweet baby.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hiccup Girl

Ella had the hiccups today while we were there. Soft, sweet, squeaky hiccups!

This is a VIDEO that you can watch. Click on the "play" button under the picture to view it. Make sure your volume is on so you can listen.
video

Sweet Ella Time

We were able to hold Ella for over an hour today! I loved every minute of it!
Carter was tired by the end, and fell asleep in the car.

The pictures above are of the big brother and little sister, Daddy and Carter in Ella's room, Mommy holding her with Carter and Ella's board in her NICU room. We have decorated her board with a family picture and a picture of Carter. Today the March of Dimes staff had a family activity making valentines. The pink heart is the one Carter made for Ella....with mommy and daddy's help.

Ella has had a great day. She is up to 5 cc's on her food, and it is increasing every 12 hours. She is also able to be on the nasal cannula 6 hours a day! I am so glad because we can tell she is much more comfortable on it, rather than the C Pap.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

1-23-10

Miss Ella had a great day today! We hope we have many more like today in the days ahead.

She was able to be put on Nasal Cannula for 3 hours today and did great! I think she loved being off the C Pap- she is able to move so much more on nasal cannula. They will continue to do it for 3 hours every shift (12 hour period) and slowly increase the time she is able to be on it.

Her blood gases were good and she is eating well! Thanks be to GOD!!

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Friday, January 22, 2010

1-22-10

2 weeks old and a big yawner!

We were so happy to finally be able to go see Ella yesterday and celebrate her 2 week birth day! We had not seen her in 4 days, although we had called the NICU often for updates. We had all been well for a few days, and were sure we were not going to spread any germs to her.


She weighs 2 pounds, 3 ounces--the most she has ever weighed!!


Ella is doing very well. She continues to be on C-Pap for her breathing needs. She hates it! The somewhat large apparatus does not allow her to move her head much, without the prongs coming out of her nose and the alarms going off on the machines. When she is awake and moving, it always comes out and one of the nurses has to come and put it back in. When she is sleeping and not moving much, it does not bother her. I am glad the nurses keep an eye on her and change her position often to keep her comfortable.


She is eating well and her feeding amount was increased from 1CC to 2 CC's every three hours. At times she has residual, that shows her last feeding was not fully digested, but the residual amount is decreasing so she is able to have all 8 feedings a day.


I was able to go up today and spend a large chunk of time with her. It was great just to sit and marvel at her. It is hard to believe a week ago was her PDA surgery, two weeks ago she was just one day old and we really were not sure what to expect... GOD is GOOD and taking care of her and us!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1-20-10

It is hard to believe Ella will be two weeks tomorrow. I wish I could say things were getting "normal" here at the house, but they really are not. We have all 3 been hit now with the flu/food poisoning thing. I AM SO BLESSED to have my mom here to help! She has been washing all our sheets and blankets today. She is such a help!!



Our neighbors and the HTS staff have been bringing in meals-which has been such a help, as well!! We really appreciate it! It is so nice not to have to think about cooking....such a blessing!!



Ella is doing well today. Her feedings are better, but she is still getting used to them.
She is also having a little trouble on the C Pap (breathing) and some slight modifications have been made, but nothing major. So today, we are praying for her nutrition and breathing concerns to improve, and thanksgiving for GOD's blessings....and that we all start feeling "normal" again soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Updates as of 01-19-10

Ella reminds us of how Carter looked when he was first born!
Our baby girl holding onto Daddy's pinkie! So sweet!! (This is her on C-Pap)

Ryan and I have BOTH been down since Sunday afternoon with what we think was food poisoning. We both had the same exact symptoms and it hit us at the same time. Not fun. We are both still very sluggish. We hope to feel well enough to go see Ella tomorrow.


Miss Ella continues to do well. She pulled out her breathing tube on Sunday night, so they put her on C-Pap. She did not do so well, so they put her breathing tube back in. Yesterday, she was doing well so she was purposely put on C-Pap and is doing well. ( As I understand it-the breathing tube breathes for her, and the C-Pap pushes air in, but she is doing the breathing). Her blood gases are a little lower since being put on C-Pap yesterday, but not enough to change her back to the breathing tube.

She is eating! They are only giving her a tiny bit to get her used to it--but she is eating and doing well. I know it will get some getting used to for her insides before they will increase the amount.

She is jaundice again, so she is back on the beach with the "glasses and heat lamp". The doctor seems to think once she gets eating, it will improve.

Her ultrasound of her head came back unchanged. So--it was not good/bad news. Nothing to worry about, yet. They will repeat it in about a month.



Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update 1-16-10 after surgery

Ella continues to do well and is in stable condition. She is very sleepy and continues to receive pain medicine. She only wants to lay on her back and lets her nurses know that she does not want to be moved, especially to lay on her tummy. They hope to take out the breathing tube later tonight (Saturday, 1-16-10) if her 8pm lab work is good. She will be put back on the C Pap breathing . She continues to be on 21% oxygen. They have lowered the amount of pain medicine that she receives and will continue to lower it. Her 2pm labs today were good and when I called this evening, she continues to do well and was sleeping comfortably.

Someone asked me how exactly they did the surgery. They actually did the PDA surgery right in her NICU room and the PDA team, surgeon and his assistant, anesthesiologist, and others all came to her. They said that is a "blood-less" surgery. They made an incision on her left side up by her heart. They actual move two of her ribs up out of the way (her ribs are very flexible right now )and go in through that space to perform the surgery. The surgeons part took only about 10 minutes. There are NICU nurses on the PDA team that are trained just for this type of surgery. She has had one on one care since her surgery and her (Ella's) roommate will hopefully be moved back into her room tomorrow.

Thanks for your prayers. We can feel them!! We hope for more good posts in the days head...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Surgery went well and we are off to see her!!! They said all went well!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ella will have surgery tomorrow 1-15-10

Ella will have surgery at 8am tomorrow (Friday, 1-15-10). Her heart PDA did not close with the second round of medicine, and the surgery is needed. It should last about 30 minutes. I will post after I have word that everything went well.
Thanks for the prayers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ella updates as of 1-13-10

Look at how much Red-ish hair Miss Ella has! Her white eye mask is to protect her eyes from the light, as she is being treated for Jaundice.

Ella received a PIC line so that she does not have to be "stuck" so often. Her heart murmur did not close with the first round (3 treatments) of antibiotics. The second round was started Tuesday. If this round does not work, we may be looking at a surgery this Friday morning to correct it. We will keep you posted and thank you for your prayers!!!

Yesterday (Tuesday, 1-12-10) Ella was on her nasal cannula and she kept pulling it out quite often. She also had a few "B's" ( when she has to remind herself to breathe) that did require mild stimulation (a tap) to get her to breathe. Because of these two, so was placed on a Nasal C Pap at about 1am today, Wednesday. This is like a straw applying gentle pressure to help her breathe. Since inserting this. she has only had 1 "B". She will have a head ultrasound on Monday. This will be repeated at 1 month of age and before discharge. Please pray that everything comes out fine with her scan.

Dr. Anderson is her amazing NICU doctor and we really like him. He continues to say that all of this is typical for a 27 week old and that none of it surprises him. He is not worried, because they can treat/help fix all of her needs. This is reassuring for us.

I tried to get up yesterday morning, get cleaned up and head to the hospital. I got cleaned up, and then became exhausted and had to go back to bed. I was happy to see Ella in the evening with Ryan. I think I need to rest, knowing Ella is in good hands and God is watching over her.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Pictures of Ella Brooke


Carter got to see Ella for the first time. I love her little, hairy body. I got to hold her tonight before being discharged, as well. So special for Ryan and I.

Our Sweet Girl

The picture on the bottom, right is of Ryan's hand next to Ella. She is so tiny, but doing well for her age.

01-08-10 ---- 01-11-10

Over Ella's first days, all of the NICU doctors keep telling us how amazing she is and how she is "not the average 27 week baby" in many ways. Here are a few reasons/updates on her:

*She is sucking on a pacifier. If you remember, Carter went to the NICU at 36 weeks because he could not suck to eat/use a pacifier.

*She has only been using a nasal cannula for her oxygen since her first day of life. At one point, she was using less oxygen than her mommy! She is now on 2 Liters of oxygen at 21% (room air).

*She did have a blood transfusion this morning 1-11-10 which is a common thing. They said it will probably not be her only one. The transfusion helped stabalize her blood gases and oxygen carrying capacity. She recieved about 1 Tablespoon on blood.

*She does have a heart murmur ( Patent Ductus Arteriosus ) and is on day 3 of the medicine to treat it. She will have another Eco Cardiogram on it tomorrow to see if it closed. This again is very common. We are hopeful the medicine will take care of it and she will not need another round of medication/surgery.

*She is experiencing Bradycardia (apnea). This is when she is holding her breathe and her heart rate dips. She is forgetting to breathe. However, it is positive that these episodes are fast and she is correcting on her own. She has not needed any stimulation to correct it. She had a total of 7/8 yesterday and had only 1 this morning as of 11am.

*SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL RED HEAD!!!

We know we are on a roller coaster and we will have positives/negatives along the way. I am so happy with the wonderful care she is receiving and the AMAZING staff in the NICU!!

I am being discharged tonight. It will be sad, but I know she is in good hands and God is with her. I am doing well, but really tired and sore.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Delivery Day Tuesday, Jan. 7th

One of Ella's first pictures.

I was in pain all night and into the morning of Jan. 7th. After none of the pain medicines had worked (there were a few they could not give give me due to my kidney/respiratory levels) and determining my water had broke, it was decided that it was time to deliver. I went back at 9:00 am, I was put under about 9:20 am and Ryan was told by 9:35 am that Ella was here and headed to the NICU. He was immediately taken to her and updated by the doctors. I was sent to recovery for a short time and then brought to see her.

My condition prior to delivery

** This well written note about my condition prior to delivery was composed by one of my co-teachers at HTS and sums it all up!

Tuesday ( December 29th) Megan began experiencing pain that was determined to be caused by an acute physical issue related to her pregnancy, which required what should have been a short surgery to correct the problem. (Not a problem with the baby, but one with her which was affecting the baby.) The surgery took much longer than usual—about 2 ½ hours, which started a snowball effect of difficulties for Megan health-wise (pre-term labor, pneumonia, kidney failure and more). All of this is what landed Megan in ICU at St. Luke’s on the Plaza. (She’s at 26 weeks and they want to hold the baby until at least 28 weeks.)

Let's keep pouring out prayers for her and Ella Brooke (which is what they will name this baby)!

P.S. Megan just called. She’s out of ICU, but very weak and worn out. Not ready for calls, and no visits, PLEASE. She’ll let us know. I told her I’ll check in with whoever is at her house tomorrow for an update

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas 2009

He was so happy on Christmas morning!
Carter LOVES Thomas!!

Carter and Jay (cousin and another red head) seeing Santa


This ornament hasa stocking for "daddy" one for "mommy", a green one for Carter
and a little red one that says "coming soon"! Lucky, our dog also has a spot.


We had great time with family and friends. Carter LOVED opening presents and playing with his new toys! Santa/family members loaded him up with Thomas the Train items, trucks and cars. It was so fun! He also loved decorating the tree this year. He was at a great height and you could see exactly which ornaments he put on the tree.

Carter is 3
















Carter had a construction party at home with a few neighbors and friends, a party at Debbie's with his daycare friends and a Thomas the Train party on the actual day (Thanksgiving this year) in Newton. Three parties for the three year old! He gets the opening present thing this year and loved being sang the Happy Birthday song to him!!