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

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sweet face

She looks great! She is so close to going home....can't wait!

Her swallow study today showed she is aspirating when she eats and the milk is going into her lungs. She will need to be bottle fed so that they can thicken each feeding. So no matter what she is eating (milk, formula, vitamins...) thickener has to be added. They will recheck this in about 3 months to see if it has corrected itself. No more nursing for me....we will see if I try again in 3 months...Our nurse, Kim, was able to take her down to radiology today for the test. I trust her so much and I am so glad she was chosen by God to guide us along the way...

Ella continues to take her bottles great! They tell me she is a vigorous eater and eats real fast. I hope to give her a bottle tomorrow.

Monday (3-29-10) update

Ella is so sweet! I love the noises she makes and the way she smells...I cannot wait for everyone to meet her!

Her blood pressure has remained high. It is fluctuating-which is a good thing. It is not quite as high as it was, but they are still keeping an eye on her and have consulted a doctor at Children's Mercy. I will talk with the doctor later this morning to hear what he/she suggests. Her urine, blood and abdominal x-ray all seemed normal.

She definitely has reflux. She has this "retched" cough at times. I can tell she hurts. Her bed is elevated and the medicine has kicked-in and it is working. They are continuing to do another test today called a swallow study. They want to make sure she is not aspirating when she is eating. So they will take her down for a x-ray and feed her during the x-ray to see the path the milk follows. Then they will thicken the milk, and see if it helps her eat without coughing...

Daddy fed Ella her first bottle on Sunday, with the help of the Amazing Nurse, Kim. Kim is so knowledgeable and is another one of the nurses that help make this road more enjoyable. She is great!! She is feeding her in the picture above.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The roller coaster continues

The doctor called this morning and said that Ella's blood pressure is high. She has ordered an ultrasound of her abdomen, a urine analysis and a blood test. I will keep you posted...

Her Reflux test showed that she does have reflux. They have elevated her bed and she is sleeping on her stomach (prone position). They have also began giving her a medication. They hope that reflux is the reason she has not been eating and that these steps with solve this problem.

Her eye test was this morning and I am anticipating results soon. I hope they have not changed and they are still both at stage 0.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

over 6 pounds

Our baby girl is 76 days old today and weighs 6 pounds one ounce! She is getting big!!

They are doing the reflux test right now. They began it at 10:20 am yesterday and it will last 24 hours. She has a small tube with a wire in it going down each nostril. It looks similar to a NG feeding tube.

She really did not want to nurse yesterday...I think she may have been uncomfortable with all her tubes.

Ella had a great day yesterday because she got to spend her day with Nurse Kim and her night with Nurse Alisha. They are both AMAZING and talented and take such good care of her. We are very fortunate to be at St. Luke's on the Plaza!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ella Girl updates

Off to be with Ella.... or Ellie, or Elle, or Ella Bella...whatever you want to call her!
She is gaining an average of 1 ounce a day. The doctor is happy with that. She is eating better, although she is tired and does not want to nurse sometimes. They say she is acting normal and it will come with maturing. She is going to be tested soon for Acid Reflux. I do think she is a candidate for it. They would most likely give her medicine for it and it should be cured by about 6 months of age.
Can't wait to see her!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I am LUCKY to have these special people in my life!

Carter and I went to the KC Parade. It was fun to do something special with him. We were wearing our green!

Ella got a special shamrock hat from her Guh Guh (my mom). It says, "Kiss me I'm Irish".

Ryan (and Carter) have been getting Ella's room ready. He is almost done painting her room a "baby pink" color. Have I mentioned what a wonderful and great daddy Ryan is? We can't wait to get Ella home.

Ella updates

Ella is 5 pounds 10 ounces! She looks like she has a belly and chubby cheeks! We are so happy she continues to gain weight.
She is slowly thinking about nursing...the doctors assure me it is normal "preemie stuff" for her to be taking it so slow. They said it will 'click" soon.

She has not had any red alarms/drops in her heart rate since Monday.
She had her first bathtub bath and LOVED it! Alisha and I gave it to her on Tuesday night, 3-16-10. She did not cry or whimper once. I think she loved being submerged in the water. I think she is a bath girl-just like her mommy!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

36 weeks and 5.5 pounds!!

Ella is doing great and doing everything she should be doing at 36 weeks. She weighs 5 pounds 5.4 ounces! (Carter came home from the hospital at 5pounds 5 ounces).

We had a team meeting on Thursday, March 11th. The doctors, our primary day nurses Kim and Sandy, the OT, the lactation consultant, the Social Worker, a representative from the outpatient clinic and the discharge nurse were all there with us. They all agreed she is doing great. There are two things she needs to do before she can go home.
* MRI of her head-it is scheduled for Monday or Tuesday of this week. This is routine for any baby that was born before 30 weeks or has had a brain bleed
* car seat check- 1 1/2 hours in the car seat without any dips in her heartbeat or desats with her breathing
* sleep on her back without any bradycardia/too many desats (she started this today and is doing well)
* EAT BETTER! She continues to gain weight, which is good. She is nursing 2 times a day, but is too tired to nurse anymore. She needs to mature and build stamina so she can nurse more frequent. Once she does this, they will pull her feeding tube and introduce the bottle.

Ella's eyes improved to stage 0 zone 3. This is great news! They have resolved themselves and matured. We will follow-up in two weeks. The doctor even said this may be an outpatient appointment....so close to going home!!!!!

They require parents to take infant CPR, which Ryan and I completed today. There is a video that you can rent from the library that they recommend to anyone who wants to brush up on the CPR training...

We are so close to having our baby girl home!! I can't wait to be close to her all the time. I hate leaving her at the hospital. I am off of school on spring break this week, so we will get a lot of cuddle time in. I hope she makes great progress this week and we are one step closer to her being home.
Ryan started painting her room this afternoon. Her crib is in and is ready to be put together. We are slowly getting her room ready.... I love the pink walls!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I love my sweet girl! xoxo

5 pounds!

We have reached the 5 pound mark! She is a chunk with a double chin!
Ella had "her last", I am told full blood work up this morning. Everything came back good! SO GLAD!
She is gaining an average of 35 grams a day. She has the occasional desats 3-5 an hour. She has passed her hearing test. Her eyes will be re-examined tomorrow (Thursday) morning. We are praying for them to continue to be at stage 1 or no concern/immature...As of last week they were both stage 1. She continues to do great on room air with no oxygen! Yea Ella!
In the picture she is being weighed on the scale. She has on her monitors that are attached to a probe around her foot. It measures her breathing and heart rate.
She also has another monitor around her other foot that would go off if she left the NICU, or someone tried to take her....(I am very impressed with their safety measures). On her knees is a clear band-aid that protects the delicate skin.
She is still continuing to learn to nurse. She is doing better and better each day. I think she is going to be on the road home sooner that we thought! I cannot wait to have her home....
Ella looks so cute in hats! I love dressing her up already! I am so blessed to have a girl and a boy! Our family is complete. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jay's Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday Jay! We celebrated with him on Sunday, 3-7-10.
Jay is my nephew (Ryan and Jennifer's son). Devin is his big brother and Elaina his big sister. Carter and Jay look like cousins with the red hair. You can definitely tell they are related! :) It was fun to be with family. My parents and Kyle came in for the celebration. It was at The Crayola Cafe at Crowne Center. I couldn't help think..."maybe someday Ella would like to have her birthday here?" The chocolate cake was SO DELICIOUS! I am sure Ella will have her mom's sweet tooth!
After the party, we went up to the hospital to see Ella. She was decked out in an adorable yellow outfit with matching hat. I was surprised when I went to change her that she had a onesie on underneath for warmth. The onesie said, " Does this diaper make my butt look big?" SO FUNNY, considering she really doesn't even have a rear yet!

Look-No Oxygen!

First picture without Oxygen! She looks great!!! Her feeding tube will remain in until she is feeding well.


We are BLESSED to have Ella join our family. We are BLESSED by the amount of prayers, love and support we have received over the last 8 weeks.
I went back to work on March 1st. I was greeted with flowers, balloons, a sign on my door and cookies for the class! It was amazing to feel the love shown by my class! Mrs. Bleything has been a WONDERFUL addition to the class as the substitute. I never had to worry knowing she was there with them. Celeste and Lisa are GREAT and AMAZING co-teachers! I knew they had everything under control...SO BLESSED!
I have also received some special things from students at HTS. Sophie gave a prayer/good luck medal for Ella. It is from Lebanon and it is attached to her crib. What a special gift I can't wait to tell her about as she gets older! Two families made cookies for Ella's nurses. They were decorated with pink icing and cute, fun sayings-for the nurses! They were excited to have the special treat!
Our Principal's grand-daughter was at the NICU at St. Luke's on the Plaza a little over two years ago. Katie just turned two and is doing great! Her sister, Laura, made a beautiful purple and white hat for Ella. It is adorable and so soft! Their mom, Jessica has been a blessing for me along the way. It is nice to have someone to e-mail that has been through a lot of the same things. Blessings along the way....

Carter's first graduation

Carter graduated from his Parents As Teachers Program. He was adorable on stage! Janet was an amazing educator for us. We enjoyed meeting with every 3 months during the last 3 years. After the ceremony, we had some play time in the playroom (notice the fireman costume).

Friday, March 5, 2010

She is doing SO WELL!

Ella is doing great(for a preemie at 34 weeks)! She is TOTALLY OFF her nasal cannula, as of noon yesterday. Her night went well and only had her normal desats. She is eating well and continues to gain weight. The last two nights she has only gained 10 grams (1/3 of an ounce). They would like her to gain 30 grams a night. So we will continue to work on nursing and adjusting her feedings to keep her gaining more and more!
I will post pics soon. She looks so great without her nasal cannula!