Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look at What I Can Do

Emma Claire's RT: Stochia; Primary: Stacy and Secondary: Suzannne (day time staff)
They take such great care of Emma. She does have other RT's, but they were all matching yesterday, so we had to take a pic!

Look, no vent tube!!! Emma Claire self-extubated on Tuesday morning and has been on the nasal cannula and Vapotherm since then.

I love my 'binky'. Since she keeps her mouth open all of the time, she likes to suck on her 'binky' and helps keep her mouth closed a little bit!

Emma Claire has a good day and night on the vapotherm. Dr. Rojas is going to keep her on the vapotherm and IF she needs to go back to the ventilator we will address that. She lost a little weight last night, but only back down to 2 lbs 2 ounces (just about 20 grams), but that is probably due to her working harder not being on the ventilator. When I talked with Dr. Rojas this morning he had not done the calculations to determine if he will increase her feedings.

Dr. Rojas has noted the PDA (murmur) does sound softer and we continue to believe God is closing it. They are not worried about it, so we don't worry about it and I don't even ask about it anymore unless one of her nurses gives me an update from the doctor of the week.

Emma continues to have wet and poopy diapers. They are going to give her three steroid shots to help with her trachea swelling which was caused from being intubated (on the vent) for so long. We heard her cry for the first time yesterday when her RT was giving her a breathing treatment and using a small tool to vibrate her chest and back to loosen any mucous she might have. This helps since they can no longer suction it out of her lungs. She is able to cough it up and get it out that way. In the midst of this, she started to cry since it makes her mad, and it was such a sweet sound eventhough it was a little squeal, it was good to hear her make noise.

1 Samuel 1:27 ~ For this child I have prayed and the LORD has given me what I have requested.

The above verse is so special to me. I have prayed for this child for sometime, eventhough it did not take us long to get pregnant it seemed like such a winding road, through my miscarriage in March of 2008 and going through different test to find out I had a clogged fallopian tube from the D&C. I was ecstatic to find out I was pregnant and I just knew everything was happening in God's perfect timing and everything was going to work out this time. I thought, "This is perfect for my work and personal schedule" for travel and everything else I am involved in, but God had different plans laid out for us. In all of this, I have not thought 'Why Me', but thank you God for choosing us to be the parents of this special little girl. How lucky we are he choose us as he choose Hannah to the the mother of Samuel. We never know about God's timing, but one thing we can know is that it is PERFECT, no matter what. His timinig has always been perfect in my life and I take heart in knowing that and he will never let me down.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Strong Girl

Diaper on the left is the one she was in when she was born and the diaper on the right is the one she is in now. Her next size up will look like an actual diaper. This is a good picture of how much she has grown in the last 5 weeks.
I wanted to do a quick update since I just got off the phone with the doctor this morning. Dr. Rojas picked up the phone as I was waiting for Emma's nurse this morning. He said about an hour and half ago, Emma pulled out her ET tube. This is the tube down her which is attached to the ventilator. Since she had pulled it part way out, they decided to go ahead and pull the tube and let her breath completely on her own today. As of right now, she is no longer connected to the ventilator, they just have her on Vapotherm which gives her oxygen. Please pray, she can stay on Vapotherm and does not have to be re-intubated and go back on the ventilator. We know everything happens in God's perfect timing and we are praying that she is able to maintain on her own.
Leading up to this from yesterday, they lowered her vent rate to 10 early yesterday afternoon, so she was doing most of the work herself and the vent was only giving her 10 breaths every minute. We continue to pray she is able to breath and her lungs are strong enough to stay open without the help of the ventilator.
Emma had a good night last night and we pray for a good day today. When they weighed her last night, she was up to 2 lbs 2 ounces which is a lot of weight gain for her at this point. Typically when she gains this much weight in a day, she might lose a little bit, but we are so happy she is gaining weight and getting bigger each and every day. Everything else is still the same and she does continue to have wet and poopy diapers.
Phil 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Milestone

Emma Claire resting in her favorite position. She is getting so big!

Matt's hand over Emma Claire at 5 weeks old

I'm 13.5 inches long! Emma Claire has grown a 0.5 inches in 5 weeks!

Just let me say, GOD is GREAT! Sorry I have been away from the blogging world last week, but I just got a little lazy and didn't post. We have so much to be thankful for in the last week. Emma Claire continues to grow and we hit another milestone (at least to me), she is now 2 lbs (920 grams)!!! We serve an AWESOME GOD!

She continues to have poopy and wet diapers and she is now getting 16 cc every 3 hours of 29 calorie breast milk. She has not gotten formula in a while since I am pumping and my milk has definitely increased. They are now freezing my milk since I have more than she needs right now. GOD is so GRACIOUS! I know many of you have asked and her PDA is still open, but the doctors are not going to do anything with that unless it causes her an issue. They believe it will close on its own and we know GOD will close it in his time.

Emma is still on the ventilator, but she is down to a rate of 25 which means they ventilator gives her 25 breaths a minute and she continues to breath on her own over those. They changed her vent settings last week to put her in a different mode called MMV which allows her to do all of the work and the vent would only give her breaths if she needed it. She stayed on that mode for 48 hours and then they put her back on her current mode of PCV to give her a rest/break. They were really happy with how she did in the 48 hour period and it is a good indicator of how she will do without the ventilator.

Emma Claire is no longer on any antibiotics and she is not getting the breathing treatments anymore. She has to be suctioned less and less each day and we praise GOD for that! The RT today said her lungs sounded better and very clear. She is also having less spells which means she drops her O2 sats and heart rate. She typically only has 1 or 2 in a 24 hour period, which is AWESOME in my book.
Since they were not able to do the routine head ultrasound last week because of an IV in her head, they are going to have it done this week and expect everything to be normal. Nothing else scheduled for her at this point, she just continues to grow.
My milk production is definitely picking up and that is an answer to prayer. After talking with lactation, I added another herb called Blessed Thistle and this helps the Fenugreek cause my body to produce more milk. I am now taking 3 capsules of Fenugreek 4 times a day and then 2 capsules of Blessed Thistle 2 times a day. Since I have started this routine, I am notice a jump in my production.
Overall, we are all doing very well. Emma Claire continues to amaze us each and every day and her nurses love her to pieces which just makes my heart melt. Matt and I recorded books and songs for her and they play that for her during the day and she really responds to our voices when we talk to her in the afternoons. Our schedule continue to works for us and I love it!
Thanks for everyone's prayers and kind words. We are truly blessed that God has put so many people in our paths and lives during this time and continues to provide us what we need when we need it. We continue to covet your prayers for Emma Claire as well as us and she continues to grow healthy and strong each and every day.
Psalm 91 ~ 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day - 1 Month Old

Emma with her finger wrapped around mine. I love when I am in there changing her diapers, she loves to grab our fingers! It is absoultely wonderful!
Sweet sleeping baby. You can definitely tell she is starting to fill out and gain weight!

Emma Claire's little toes
Emma turned 1 month old on Sunday! Her hand is a little fuzzy in this picture, as she is such a wiggle worm.

When we got to the hospital yesterday, Emma Claire (with the help of her nurse) had a valentine waiting on us. It was her little precious feet on a valentine day card and it was so sweet. I will have to take a picture of it and include on the next post.

Emma Claire is up to 1 lb 12 ounces (800 grams) and doing well. They did another sputum and blood culture last night as the doctor thought she was being symptomatic of an infection. Her WBC count was a little elevated (25,000), but not too high and not as high as it was with her first chest infection a couple of weeks ago. As a precaution, they started her on the antibiotics she has already been on and will await the results of the cultures to make sure she needs to stay on them or tailor them for a different type of infection. God is GREAT and will continue to heal our little sweet pea!

Emma Claire is now getting 14 cc every three hours. She gets her caffiene in her 11 AM feeding and gets 0.5 cc of vitamins in her 5 PM feeding. She is still having poopy and wet diapers, PRAISE GOD!! She continues to get her breathing treatments every 12 hours and is doing very well with those and that helps with her secretions. When the RT suctions her, they are getting thick white mucous and no signs of green or yellow which can be indictive of an infection. Her sodium and potassium were a little out of range, but as of yesterday, everything was back to normal. She had another chest x-ray this morning as the doctor's want to see what her secretions look like and to also look for infection. We pray this x-ray will be clear and she will be infection free.

She will have her 2nd Hep B vaccine today and then do a routine 30 day head ultrasound tomorrow. We continue to pray the ultrasound will be clear and she will continue to grow healthy and strong. We also pray if she does have a slight infection, they antibiotics they have her on will clear it up.

I know several people have mentioned to me that I see so calm and collective with all of this. By nature, I always take the positive approach to everything whether it be with work or just our lives. There is no good found to live in the negative and 'what if' side of life. God did not intend for us to live that way and I continue to know and have faith he gives us only what we can handle. Yes, by anyones measure this is a lot, but I have and know Emma Claire is receiving the best care possible and it was and is completely orchestrated by God. She is in his hands and he is our GREAT physician. PRAISE HIM for that!!! Every day when I wake up, I feel completely at peace and rest knowing I am shrouded by his mercy and grace every minute of every day. I know God hears and answers every prayer that is lifted up to him and Matt and I both see those answered prayers each day we see Emma living, breathing, being a wiggle worm, opening her eyes and grabbing our fingers every day! I cannot say it enough how GREAT our God is because he reveals it to us each and every day.

Matthew 17:20 ~....I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ~

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wrapped Around Daddy's Finger

Emma Claire already has her Daddy wrapped around her finger!

Emma Claire had a GREAT night and is having a GREAT day! The doctor saw her this morning and her blood gas came back really good, so they are going to lower her vent rate down to 30 this morning. Her weight gain was still 1 lb 10 ounces, but she is up to 750 grams (up 10 grams from yesterday). PRAISE GOD!! She is still getting 12 cc every 3 hours and they have only had to suction her a couple of times last night and once today during her breathing treatment. Her mucous secretions are not as much as she was having yesterday and her sputum sample has not grown anything in the first 24 hours, GLORY to GOD!

My milk supply is getting better everyday which is an answered prayer. I have started to take the Fenugreek (natural herb) to help increase my production which I started yesterday morning and I can already tell a difference each time I pump. Thanks for everyone's words of encourgement, they kept me pressing forward.

Emma's PDA is still open, but she continues to gain weight and it is causing her no issues at this point. They will evaluate the PDA if they cannot get her off the ventilator and determine if she will need to take a trip over to Vanderbilt to have the ligation and then come back to Baptist. Please continue to pray for healing of her PDA.

Overall, Matt and I are doing well. We went back to church last Sunday and it was nice to be back with our church family. Our schedule is working out GREAT and it is good to be home relaxing and running errands during the day and then going to meet Matt in the afternoons and not spending the entire day in the NICU. I feel better and more rested and I know Boomer appreciates me being home with him during the day (our sweet dachshund). I call in the mornings and check in on Emma Claire and make sure she is doing well and had a good night and that works out so good for me. Again, thanks for all of y'all's kind thoughts and words and keep them coming!

Matthew 11:28-29 ~ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 25

Today I spent a couple of hours this morning with Emma Claire. She was very active this morning and loves to look at the pages in her book. I met the final doctor today and she was great. The plan for today is to keep her on her feedings of 12 cc every 3 hours. They are not going to lower her vent rate today and they are going to get a sputum culture since there was a slight increase in her mucous secretions this morning.
Emma's weight gain was GREAT yesterday. She is up to 1 lb 10 ounces (740 grams) and the doctors are really happy with her weight gain. We continue to pray she gains weight each day! GLORY to GOD!!!
Mom and Matt are going to get tested to see what their blood type is to donate blood for Emma. I can donate, but I have to wait another 31 days before I can. This will allow us to do direct donations for Emma and she will not have to get random donor blood.
Psalm 139:14 ~ I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well ~

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three Weeks Old

Emma turned three weeks old on Sunday. She is still doing very well. As of today, they have lowered her ventilator settings to 35 which means she is only getting 35 breaths a minute and she is having to breath on her own. She continues to be around 22 to 25 percent oxygen. (22% is room air). GOD IS GREAT!! Her PDA is still open, but the doctors are focusing on getting her off the ventilator right now. Her PDA is not causing her any issues and if it does, they will evaluate what they will need to do next.
Emma Claire is also getting 12 cc every 3 hours of breast milk/formula. They are still fortifying it to 28 calories which is helping her gain weight. She has been around 1 lb 9 ounces (710 grams), but you can tell she is beginning to get a little 'fatter'
Eventhough she made her appearance a lot sooner than we expected and for those of y'all who know me personally, I am completely 'Type A' and lilke to have everything happen in an organized fashion, God has been so gracious and awesome. I know he is there every step of our journey and I constantly feel his comfort and peace every step of the way. We know all blessing come from God and Emma Claire is truly one of those blessings.
Please continue to pray her PDA will not cause her any issues and we know God will close the PDA when the timing is right. I am reminded of a bible study we did at church with our women's group about Esther and God's PERFECT TIMING. We think things ought to happen in our time, but God's timing is perfect and that is what I believe about her PDA being closed. Also, continue to pray for her as they are weaning her off the ventilator and everything will be a smooth transition during this process.
1 Peter 2:9 ~ But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light~

Friday, February 5, 2010

Little Bitty

Emma Claire has had a great couple of days. Her PDA is still open, but the doctors are monitoring it right now. They want to continue to watch it and give the medicine time to work. Emma still weighs 1 lb 8 oz (680 grams) and we can definitely tell she is gaining weight, PRAISE GOD!!
Emma is now getting 11 cc every three hours with 28 calorie feedings. She is getting more breast milk than formula which is a HUGE answered prayer. Everything else is pretty much the same. They have gone down a bit on her ventilator settings, she is only getting 40 breaths a minute and they decreased some of her other settings as well which is AWESOME!!
We continue to pray she grows each and every day and cannot wait for the day we can bring her home and show her off to our family and friends....what a GLORIOUS day that will be!
Please continue to pray her PDA will close on its own and we will not have to have surgery to close it.
Psalm 30:5 ~ Weeping might endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Emma Claire's New Trick

Yesterday I picked up Matt from work and we went and spent a couple of hours with Emma Claire. When we got there her nurse, Stacy, presented us with the above picture! Our sweet baby girl has her eyes open now! God is so GREAT! Matt noticed her eyes coming open on Sunday, but she never got them all the way open, just a little bit. On Monday, Emma Claire was trying really really hard, but she finally got them open yesterday! When we talk to her, she opens her eyes and starts to look around. What a GREAT milestone to see her have yesterday.

I also got to hold our sweet pea for a few minutes yesterday while she had to have her bed changed out. It was within her isolete, but I still got to hold her and it was AWESOME! I cannot wait to be able to hold her outside her bed when she gets bigger and stronger.

Yesterday Emma Claire weighed 1 lb 8 oz (670 grams) and today she was up to 680 grams, almost 1 lb 9 oz. They continue to fortify my breastmilk to 28 calorie and she is getting about half of her feedings with breastmilk and the other feedings are formula.

All of her lab work came back good today and they are continuing the Neoprofen to close her PDA. We continue to believe God is going to close her PDA.

We continue to feel God's peace and comfort during this time and I am feeling much better not being there all day long. I can feel God's peace during the day that she is in GREAT hands. I am able to get through the day with his peace and comfort, PRAISE God!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quick Update

Today is another victorious day! Emma had an ECHO yesterday to check her PDA and it is still open, so they are going to start her on another round of Neoprofen to close it. We believe that God will close this PDA and she will not need the surgery. They did a another sputum culture and it did not grow anything, which is AWESOME! Emma continues to only get back to 10 cc every three hours and caffiene once a day. They continue to limit her fluid intake until the PDA closes up and then they will be able to increase her feedings again. She is now getting 28 calorie breast milk/formula.
This is day two of our new schedule and it seems to be working much better. I am able to be with Boomer (our dog) at our house and get in a better routine which includes more rest. I call in the mornings and check in on our sweet pea to see how she is doing and then we get another report when we get there in the afternoons. Please continue to pray this will work for us and help me to continue to rest which should increase my milk supply.
God continues to show us his healing power. He has healed her chest infection and we believe he will heal her PDA and move forward to get Emma Claire off of the ventilator. What a mighty God we serve!!
Jeremiah 29:11~~For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans for a hope and a future~~

Monday, February 1, 2010

Two Weeks Old

Since she pulled out her purple bow, she now has a yellow one in. This is her favorite position, on her belly!

God is so GREAT!!! On Sunday, Emma turned two weeks old. The doctor's stopped her antibiotics and increased her feedings to 11 cc every 3 hours. Emma still continues to get the caffiene in her 2 PM feeding once a day to help her keep up her heart rate. She is up to 1 lb 8 oz (670 grams) and we hope she continues to stay on the track of gaining weight each day. Emma's lungs sound clearer and the RT is getting clear mucous when she suctions her.

The murmur is still about the same and they started Emma on Lasix to remove some of the fluid to help the PDA continue to close. We know that God is in control and he will continue to close the PDA. Once her PDA closes up, then they will wean her off the ventilator and get her completely off.

They continue to fortify my breast milk. They are now going up to 26 calories to help her gain weight. We again are so happy with her progress thus far. Emma Claire continues to amaze us each and every day.

This week Matt and I are going to start a new schedule this week. I am going to stay at home and rest during the day and pump. I am going to meet Matt when he gets off work and then we will go to the hospital together to spend time with Emma for a bit in the afternoon/evening and then head over to Mom and Dad's for dinner. My milk supply tends to be better when I am not at the hospital during the day, so please pray this will work out for us.

I'm going to leave you with part of the chorus to a song which I love by Matthew West.

~~I love you more than the sun and the stars that I taught how to shine, you are mine and you shine for me to, I love you yesterday, today and tomorrow~~