Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Church + TEIS

Wow, we have ACTUALLY been pretty busy lately!  On June 27th Emma Claire made her debut at church for the first time.  I wished I would have gotten some pictures...but shockingly we were rushing to get out of the door and I was not coming home after church since VBS started that night.  Oh well, we will get some this Sunday!  She did so well.  She stayed in the nursery and pretty much slept the entire time during Sunday School and during church.  Those ladies just loved on her which made me so happy and so much easier to leave her with them.

On Tuesday, June 29th TEIS (TN Early Intervention) came to evaluate Emma Claire.  They were very pleased with everything she is doing.  They basically tested her to see how she is doing developmentally.  They rang a bell on each side of her to see if she responded to the noise and she did.  She did well on showing how strong she is by holding her head up during her tummy time and while you hold her up.  She responded extremely well to my voice when someone else is holding her.  She is definitely starting to check things out more and is completely obsessed with fans and the movement on the TV.  The lady who did her test told us to be prepared to see a result of developmental delay since this is based on her chronological age and not her adjusted age.  However, the only thing she did not do so jazzy with was tracking an item side to side, so we will be working on that with her. All in all, the lady was very impressed on how much Emma Claire could do.  We work with her pretty much daily on everything we can to make sure she does not fall behind.  Based on everything yesterday, the lady does not think Emma Claire will need any OT or PT at this time and will only need a teacher to come out once a week to work with her.  The will continually evaulate her to decide if she needs the teacher on a monthly basis.  I was ecstatic with everything she had to say.  I have been waiting on this for a while now and it confirmed that we are doing what we should be.

Another GREAT note, we had to follow up at the pediatrician yesterday because of EC's reflux, nothing changed with it, just going to keep watching it and decided at her 6 month appointment if the medicine will need to be changed.  However, when they weighed her, she weighed....
8 lbs 12 ounces
What a BIG girl!  Dr. Collins said if she continues to gain weight like this, she will be physically caught up by 12 months.  We still have to be cautious to make sure she is gaining healthy weight and not set her up for childhood obesity or diabetes which is common when they try to pack on weight on preemies.  This is due to rapid weight gain they believe instead of a slow normal weight gain in a term baby, which I found very interesting (definitely some material for reading). 

That is about it for now.  We just continually pray Emma Claire stays healthy and PRAISE GOD for all the progress she has made. 
Emma Claire and Keith...she loves her poppy!

I meant to put in our last post, we went by the NICU for a visit after our BPD appt last week, but I forgot to bring in the camera.  We were so excited to get to see so many familiar faces and I know EC was loved on by everyone!  I PRAISE GOD to be the expection in this case and come out the other end of this very well.  We were/are so fortunate and Emma Claire brings us so much joy.  I cannot imagine life without her!  After leaving the NICU we decided to make a trip to Antepartum and they loved on her so much!  They asked us if we would mind talking to one of the mom's on the floor who is about 27 weeks at the time, but she was put in the hospital at 24 weeks.  We went to talk with her and she looked and was doing great.  What a sweet couple and we wish them the best with everything.  Hopefully their little boy will stay put for a while.  It just came back over me, how crazy our time in the hospital was and as we were leaving I just prayed over all of the babies and families in the NICU & Antepartum.  What an AWESOME staff in both of those areas and we are forever grateful to them.
Kendall, Ronnie and Emma Claire.  How excited does KK look to have EC laying all of her and her pappy! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BPD Clinic Update

We had our BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia; chronic lung disease) clinic appointment June 22nd.  It worked out really well since Heather was working a relief shift, she was able to go in early and meet me for our appointment.  It went really well and now Emma Claire has been completely off Oxygen since June 3~4.  She was ripping the cannulas off her face in the middle of the night and during the day...she's a strong little girl!  So I have been keeping the O2 off of her and just doing spot checks with our pulse-oximeter and she sats in the high 90s (95 and greater) on room air for the time we do the spot checks.  The BPD and Pediatrician's office was very happy with the information and we have one more appointment with the BPD Clinic and hopefully they will release us unless we need to come back for any reason and we PRAY we will not need to.  Most of the time EC sats around 98 or higher which is awesome and we will just continue to monitor her at home.  I need to do better and journal the times I monitor her and what her sats are to provide to her doctor's but they seem happy with everything.  As long as she is not losing weight and continues to do well, she can stay off the oxygen...PRAISE GOD!  
It was also pretty neat to see her growth curve based on her adjusted/corrected age and not her chronological age.  On her adjusted age Emma Claire is 6 weeks old and she is in the 5th percentile in the Weight-for-Age; 13th percentile for Length-for-Age; 9th percentile for Weight-for-Length; 4th percentile for Head Circumference-for-Age.  All in all, she is doing so good and it's great to see her on the curve even if it's only based on her adjusted age.  As for her chronological age, she is not too far off the curve.
We really don't have too much more going on, just starting VBS on Sunday at our church and it always makes my heart happy for this time of the summer.  I remember when I was a child I always looked forward to this time of year and especially VBS!  Please pray VBS will turn out great for HIS GLORY!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Daddy's Day

Matt is a WONDERFUL daddy and husband!  He has been such a trooper during the last few months and it makes me PROUD to call him Emma Claire's daddy!  I love seeing those two interact together and I know he loves her so much and would not take back a single day.  I cannot wait to see her grow up and look up to her father and have as much love and respect for him as I do for mine.  
We had a wonderful day.  Since Matt's parents and brother were coming over for dinner as well as my parents,  mom and I started prepping every thing to get ready for dinner.  We had steak and chicken kabos with vegetables, baked potatoes and corn.  We made home made ice cream with home made chocolate sheet cake for dessert and it was delish!  All in all it was a nice and relaxing day and I think Matt even got a good nap in for once.  It was well deserved since he has been working so hard during the week.  

 Daddy I love you and I hope you had a wonderful day!  I cannot wait to be able to go outside and play with you and ride this tractor you always tell me about.  I hope to be just like you daddy when I get bigger and especially have your sense of humor!  I cannot wait for momma to tell me the stories of how you cleverly kept my paci in when I was a baby and I'm sure there will be more stories like those as I grow bigger!
Love, Emma Claire

Friday, June 18, 2010

5 Months Old

Okay, so we tried to get a mini photo shoot done for some 5 month pics, but EC was not having it as you can tell in some of the pictures.  

At 5 months, Emma Claire
  • Weights 8 lbs 4 ounces
  • 20 3/4 inches long and head circumference is 14 inches
  • Will roll from her back to her belly and then back 
  • Takes 80cc of milk (2 3/4 ounces)
  • Extremely observant of her surroundings, especially if she has not been there before
  • Starting to smile more and actually finding her voice
  • Loves attention 24/7 (but what baby doesn't)
  • Goes down to bed fairly easily after her 9 PM feeding.  We have been letting her wake us up for her middle of the night feed to see how she does and it is going very well.  
  • Loves to look at books and be sung to
  • Loves tummy time most of the time
  • Making tears when she cries (she might have been doing this for a while, but I have just noticed this)
  • Holds her head up pretty good and has great control 
  • EC wears a size 1 diaper and moved up to the next notch in her carseat
  • Emma Claire is also wearing mostly 3 to 6 month clothes in most things. She can still wear some 0 to 3 month sizes as well.
 Emma Claire is definitely starting to develop her personality and that is AWESOME to see!  I love seeing her interact with others and I would love to know what she is thinking about when she sees other little ones.  When you talk to her, she just smiles and and tries to talk back to you.  Who would have ever thought, MY child would try to talk! At least she gets that honest from me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I've had this post on my mind for a while, but I didn't know if or when to share it.  I started this blog to keep everyone in the loop when Emma Claire was in the hospital fighting every day.  We KNEW God would bring our family through everything and PRAISE GOD, we brought home a healthy and beautiful baby girl!  I have been thinking about making the blog private, but I know there are so many readers out there that have prayed for us during this journey and that keeps me from going down the private road.  I want to continue to this blog and document our lives.  

I know there are SO many families of preemies and and it is such an inspiration to me to read those blogs.  Eventhough I know I will probably never meet the families of the blogs I follow, I feel like we have a bond without even knowing the situation or family, just we are bound together in the preemie world. 

This has definitely been an interesting journey for us and I would have never thought we would be going down this road.  From our time in the NICU, which was an amazing time from having Emma Claire at home, we have and continue to love every minute of it.  I know all of our stories are different, but every day in the NICU we made the best of it, we treated it like a party and celebrated every day because it was one more day closer to bringing Emma Claire home!  We have a lot of good memories from our NICU friends and staff and they made it so much fun during our time there.   

I know I get asked a lot about "If the doctor's ever found out why I had EC early" and sometimes I feel like I could write a book on the things people ask me, but I know God did this for his GLORY!  I was the one HE chose to carry Emma Claire and bring her into this world.   HE has been with her since she was conceived and I knew beyond a shadow of doubt HIS healing hand was upon her every day in the NICU, healing her tiny body and making her stronger each and every day.   I would not want to go back and do anything different, I never felt like 'Why Me', I just  accepted it was God's Will and moved forward.  God knew what was going on and I believe this was HIS way of taking care of Emma Claire and giving us a PERFECT & HEALTHY baby girl to bring home. 

My prayer is for God to use this experience for his GLORY and HONOR!  I will keep this blog public as I feel GOD will use this as a testimony of our lives and hope other's will be touched through our experience.  We never know what tomorrow holds and again, we definitely never expected this road, but we know GOD's plans are bigger & brighter! 

I love everyday with Emma Claire.  I love seeing her daddy hold her and remembered those days of sitting at her bedside longing to hold and love on her.  We feel blessed God chose us to be her parents.  I'm so blessed I get to work from home and see her all day everyday.  We are blessed to have someone come to our home and watch her.  Even though we all go through different struggles and obstacles in life, please remember  

I love reading others stories, so if you would like leave me a comment with your blog. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

EC's Buddies

Emma Claire loves her paci!  I think she looks like Maggie Simpson when she is sucking on it and it gets me tickled. HeHe. 
Emma Claire now weighs.....
8 lbs 4 ounces, 20 3/4 inches long and her head circumference is 14 inches!  EC is a growing girl and we could not be happier.  PRAISE GOD!  Her pediatrician appointment today went very well and Dr. Kastner was very happy with her and she has now been of O2 for about 14 days completely.  We follow up with the BPD clinic next Tuesday (June 22) and I am going to let them know what we have been doing and EC seems much happier without it on.  She is gaining about 1 ounce every day and that is what her pediatrician and BPD want her to gain so we are right on track.  I was so happy to be able to see Dr. Kastner today and I felt complete peace when he walked in the room. I knew right then and there we had the right one and he was very supportive of what we have been doing.  Dr. Kastner said her strength and tone was wonderful and she kept her color and just looked PERFECT!  We give GOD all of the glory for everything he continues to do in our lives.

TEIS (TN Early Intervention) did our intake meeting yesterday.  They just came out to the house to fill out paperwork and a nurse will contact us to come out to the house for an evaulation and meeting with us.  We work with her on a daily basis, so hopefully we are right in line with what they will be looking for as far as development concerns right now.  She continues to love her tummy time and we have noticed she is starting to focus on us more and follow the sound of our voices.  She is definitely getting more responsive to things and really trying to figure out what we are doing and trying to mimic us.

I love it when Ethan and Brendan come over for a visit.  Ethan just wants to look at her in her bouncy seat and I finally was able to get a picture of them sitting 'still' for a minute.  Brendan is all about helping feed, change her and loves to see her closet of clothes.  They are both so cute and very special to us!  I bet they are going to protective of EC when she is bigger.  EC just watches them when they are around.  I cannot wait for when she is bigger and wants to play cars with them, that will show how much they REALLY want to be around her!

Heather was holding EC and I asked Brendan if he wanted to hold her and he was ALL about it!  If he was a little older, I would employ him at night to feed and change EC (HaHa)!  He just loves on her and is so funny to see him interact with her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Emma Claire's Boyfriend

So Christin totally stole my thunder in posting first....Just Kidding! We met Justin, Christin, Calee and Cohen for dinner Friday night.  I was bummed to not see Ames, but I'm sure Justin and Christin enjoyed the break for a bit!  We always would joke and called EC Cohen's girlfriend and she was just mesmorized by him Friday at dinner.  She would just stare at him, it was too funny!  

I think every time we get together with the Bryant Clan (yes, Christin you are a clan with three kids in tow) we have a GREAT time and Friday night was no exception.  I swear we laugh the entire time we are together and some times get some interesting looks from others around us.  We are talk about some crazy things, let me tell you.  I think Christin and I ought to write a book about the stuff people will say to us or the looks you get when you tell them the kiddos are 5~6 months old.  I wish I would have gotten a pic of me and Christin, but hopefully we will get more pictures in July when we go for a visit (if everything works out) for a weekend!
My necklace from Christin.  If anyone is interested you can check out other designs at  Just scroll through her blogs and see other designs which she has done. 
Emma Claire thinking about holding Cohen's hand

Christin got me this beautiful necklace with Emma Claire's name on it with a pearl drop and I.LOVE.IT!  We love the Bryant's and are so glad we have become close friends.  They have a special place in our hearts and it is so nice to be close to someone going through the same things you are dealing with.  It is such a special bond and we are forever grateful for them and their friendship.  Even though we don't get to see them very often in person since we don't live near them, we talk about once a week and I always feel like I have seen then after talking with them.  I agree God puts certain people in your path for a reason and we are blessed beyond measure!  Enjoy the pictures below!
EC trying to tell Cohen how much she likes him and wants to visit him again
It's okay Cohen, Emma Claire just wanted a hug or may be she was trying to tug on you a bit!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Photo Shoot

Today I was so excited to receive the CD with all of Emma Claire's pictures on it from Tarrah!  She did an AWESOME job and I wanted to share a few.  These just make my heart melt and I cannot wait for Tarrah to do more pictures for us.  She really did a beautiful job of capturing our family.

Special Visitors

Emma Claire had some special visitors from Oklahoma last week.  We have been so excited and awaiting their arrival.  Her Aunt Lavae and cousins McKenzie and Rebekah came to see her and for a visit.  It was so nice to spend a few days with them before having to come back to work.  We shopped and played every day, EC was such a trooper each day!  

Last Friday was Mom's birthday, and we had a good time hanging out around the house and I know EC loved some lovin from her cousins and aunt!  I know my Mom could not have asked for a better birthday present than to have her sister and nieces here for a visit.  

Rebekah and McKenzie with Emma Claire

Emma Claire continues to get bigger each day (or at least I think so).  We have not had her weighed in a couple of weeks, so I'm eager to see what she will weigh on Monday when her Nurses for Newborns nurse comes for a visit.  Since our last visit to the pediatrician, we have started her on 22 calorie formula since Dr. Collins wants her to gain more weight than what she is currently gaining each week.  Since is gaining, but not as much as they would like, so that will be nice to see what her weight gain will be on Monday since starting her on the added calories.  Since I am still pumping milk for Emma Claire, we just mix her bottles 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula and she seems to do fine with them.  

Nothing else new to report right now.  I am now back to work full time and Keith is watching her.  It is such a blessing to have someone come to our house and watch her.  He is so wonderful with her and I know she secretly wishes he would stay and party with her at night!  Work is going good and I'm glad to be back in a work routine which is nice. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memorial Day

We pretty much just hung around the house this weekend.  On Friday, Emma Claire and I went to a follow up pediatricians appointment to determine if the Zantac is working for her reflux.  Dr. Collins wants to keep her on it which is fine with me as I think it helps her and makes her feel better.  After our appointment, we went for a visit to see Mrs. Barbara and check up on her.  She looked great and I know is definitely feeling better.  EC loves her Mrs. Barbara!

Saturday, Matt was itching to take the boat out on the lake so him and Jake went out on Old Hickory (aka Old Nasty).  He said there was so much debris and was not happy about having the boat out.  Since they were out on the lake, me, EC, Nana and Pa (matt's parents) decided to go meet them for dinner at Cherokee Steakhouse.  

Sunday, Mom came up and watched EC while Matt and I went to church.  We came home and decided to go get cupcakes from our favorite place, The Cupcake Collection and take them to Stacy and Stocia at Baptist and surprise them with treats.  When we were in the NICU, we would always have Cupcake/Coupon Sunday!  Since Stacy was going back to nights and Stocia is leaving, we wanted to have one more before they made their scheduling changes.  I was so happy to see everyone and it is so nice to go back to visits and catch up!  Everyone was amazed on how big she is getting and how well she is doing.  

After saying our good-byes we went to Nana and Papa's (my parents) for dinner.  It was nice to just relax and not have to be in a rush.  I sure do miss those home cooked meals every night at Mom and Dad's when EC was in the hospital.  We just want to say a HUGE thank you for doing that for us, it was a tremendous help and we are so grateful!  

Monday, I just stayed around the house and then went to Matt's parents for lunch.  Again, just relaxing makes it so nice and not having to be rushed around.  We came back home and had some visitors, Steph, John, Denise, Mason and Paige came to see us for a few hours.  I wished I would have gotten some pictures, but silly me, I forget and then it's too late when I do remember.  I will have to be better about this.

Speaking of visitors, we are so excited for next week when we have some special visitors from Oklahoma coming and then a fun lunch planned with Suzanne and Houston (we miss you guys)!  Stay tuned.....