Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rolling on....'Progress is Beautiful!'

Our little girl, there is hope for America's children! We will not look back, and from now on we will keep rolling forward!

The 'whole' view of little Danielle's precious face!

Our First Family, 2009!

Today is 'a defining moment in history' for ourselves and most importantly our children.

We don't get to riled about politics at our house, but recently have been talking as parents about what political views and policies would help make America a better place for our children. As we awoke this morning we had been thinking and talking the past few weeks what today would mean for our children, today is the beginning of the future for our children and our children's children. Danielle is dressed in red and white today in her patriotic attire. The Inauguration of the Nations 44Th President, what a moment in history as this president is the first African American President of the United States. It truly brings tears to my eyes to even think about what this means for the future of our children. I think it can be best stated by a piece of the Inauguration speech by our new president Barack Obama ": the God-given promise that all are created equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

There is no question in our minds that God has something special in store for Danielle. She is such a miracle in itself and if you take a few moments to watch her and what a happy baby she is and how you can look at her precious. little face and just smile. She warms our hearts daily, what a wonderful surprise God gave our family, our precious daughter. As every parent thinks and wants the best for their children, no matter your political views, you as well as us, have to be so excited as parents, to think about what this new Presidency means for the future of our children. The world will hopefully be on the way to a better, peaceful, more whole world. It brings tears to my eyes when I look at the first daughters and think about how their father is literally going to do everything in his power to ensure that during his presidency he will begin to form the future and help it be a better place for his children and our children as well. "Starting today we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." If you read the letter that Barack Obama wrote to his girls, it will melt your heart probably the same it did mine and Brads. The publication, Parade, published this last week. Amazing and so meaningful!

Danielle is doing so many wonderful things these days. The most exciting milestone for Danielle came last weekend. Saturday night Brad and I were eating dinner and all of a sudden Danielle rolled over, we were THRILLED! She.....was not so thrilled, I think it scared her because she started screaming! (as you can see in the picture above) But after the first shock she did it again a 2nd and 3rd time! We are SO proud of her. She is now rolling and rolling! As we reported on our last post the poor little girl is battling her 4Th ear infection. We were really wondering because her cough kept getting junkier and her buggery nose was not going away, then she developed a wheeze. Lo and behold, another ear infection. So we are praying this is on the mend, we still have a few days of antibiotics left and a re-check next week.

As I tucked the kids into bed tonight I gave them an extra squeeze, a tear ran down my cheek as I whispered to them that this world will be a better place, we believe it can. We can truly see through our children's eyes the importance of family and togetherness. It is our love that helps them thrive and grow and succeed. And as we go forward with a new President we really feel that Barack Obama wants nothing more, than for everyone in America, to feel this togetherness as a country as well. As I watched the Inauguration today, I could not help but have my eyes well up with tears and think about the hope that we have for our children that they will continue to feel this kind of love and togetherness from our family and their country for the rest of their lives. We are SO blessed to be their parents and have them as our children. And that they will be able to achieve their hopes and dreams and see the good in others and themselves as they grow and succeed. Life for our children will be different than our childhood once was. Technology and the world around us is ever changing, but with our help as parents, and a President who promotes and tries to instill core family values, we can instill wonderful values into the hearts of our children, help them to feel equal and they can carry that on with them to future generations as well.

During the Benediction at the Inauguration today, Rev. Joseph E Lowery prayed, "we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."

Congratulations to our children and fellow friends and family members, we made history! Thank you lord for blessing our family and allowing us to embrace this momentous day for the future of our children!~

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dr. Visit....

All bundled in her sweater outfit to stay warm!
How cute is this?! We put her in her boppy for tummy time and she fell asleep holding onto her mirror, awww!

Well despite the -51 degree weather today we decided that we better get Danielle in to be seen by her Pediatrician.
She has been acting just fine, and battling this bit of a cold for the past week and a half or so. We wouldn't say it is getting a ton worse but we have noticed some retracting below her chin, more wheezing and we really can't identity if the nebulizer treatments are really working. And its hard to tell if the wheeze sound is coming from her mouth or her nose. The past 2 nights she has had a few Apnea alarms on her monitor during the night, which she never has, the alarm stops on its own so we don't know if it is a 'true' Apnea spell or not because she is breathing when we check on her. So better safe to have her checked out than to be uncomfortable.
Well good thing because this poor little girl has an ear infection again. Poor thing.....this is her 4th ear infection since she has been born 6 months ago :( So she is on a higher dose of Amoxicillin this time than last and an oral steroid to clear up the wheezing, the doctor did verify it was not coming from her nose but indeed her lungs. So little girl is being such a trooper. Daddy did great with taking Danielle in today and getting her all checked out and on the road to feeling 100% again.

Danielle is so amazing though because she has still been sleeping thru the night despite probably feeling icky, and, she is still eating decent, just smaller amounts every 2 hours versus 4. So it was hard to make the decision to take her in because we don't want to expose her to a germy doctor's office if its not necessary, but a mommy and daddy's instinct is always right. So she has gotten her RSV shot for the month with our wonderful in home nurse and is set to feel better soon, she has already started the antibiotics. Tomorrow we will take Dylan in also to be checked out because his cold and nasty cough has lingered for the past 2 1/2 weeks, and we don't want them passing something back and forth.

Unfortunately, with another ear infection, it is looking like Danielle will probably need tubes. Bummer deal..... We really wanted to potentially do Chiropractic treatments which is just as good as getting tubes placed, and most times even more effective and then the baby doesn't have to go thru the sedation etc and no tubes. But with Danielle having the shunt and with the shunt being so sensitive in her head this means the Chiropractic treatments will not be a possibility for her. So we will take her down to IC on the 29th to see the same Odo doctor that Dylan sees. He is wonderful and we will see what he says. He will also check her hearing this day as well.

So, Danielle is doing great, just getting her over this ear infection is our goal for this moment as well as helping her stay healthy and continuing to grow stronger and stronger every day. She is such a little Star, and a wonderful baby girl. Lord, please protect our children and keep them growing healthy and strong.~

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wonderful checkups today!!!

Starting to love her bumbo, giving daddy a big smile off to the side! She is still a little small for it so we have a small blanket tucked in behind her to 'fill in the extra space'! The bumbo is now a part of our daily, evening, play time!

Dylan checking out out his little sister and touching her 'tickley toes' as he calls them and even giving her a nice kiss!

Today was a very busy day for Danielle. She had a few follow-up appointments at the University.

Danielle has been battling a buggery nose for the past few days. The other day we actually turned her oxygen up to .75 because we were thinking that her nose was so plugged, the suction machine was not even getting it all so the oxygen was probably not all getting to her either. They told us we could turn up the oxygen if needed when she had a cold so we did for 24 hours or so. She has been pulling out her canula in the night so we have been thinking over the past few weeks that she probably is getting close to no more oxygen. We still have her on the monitor at night and it has never gone off even with the oxygen out of her nose during the night. So today I was going to request that we take her off the oxygen a few hours before the appt to see how she would do for a long period of time. Well then after this buggery nose set in and has not gone away and has now caused a cough we decided that we would not request this long room air test.

So Danielle's first appointment was with the High Risk followup and our Neonatologist. The appointment went very well. Danielle is now 13 pounds!!! This is very exciting, we had a feeling but today it was confirmed. Also she is now on the growth chart for her corrected age. This is amazing and SUCH wonderful news. Not just at the bottom of the chart but fully on the chart! This is going by her age of 2 1/2 months based on her due date. They will use her corrected age until she is 2. Then for her Developmental Testing she did SO good. She is getting very close to rolling over and today she almost did it for her evaluation. She is also scooting backwards when on her tummy and she showed those skills too. At the very beginning of the appointment they took Danielle completely off her oxygen as they do every time, hooked her up to the oximeter to see how long she will go before her sats drop. During this time I give her a bottle so they can see how she saturates during feeding, then they play with her for the evaluation etc so they see how she does on her tummy and during play time. Well we are VERY proud to say that Danielle was completely off oxygen for 50 minutes today and did not drop her sats below 92%, this was SO exciting. At one point when I was feeding her for the second time, she at that point had been off just over 1/2 hour, I lookd over at the oximeter and saw that she was sating 100%, I asked the ARNP, 'did you put Danielle back on her oxygen' she said 'no', she too looked over and said, 'wow, that is great, during a feeding and buggery nose, I am pretty sure she is close to ready, this is remarkable'!!! The only reason they put her back on the oxygen is because the appointment was over! So the doctor came in and was very very excited and happy with Danielle and how she did without any oxygen support. Realistically they could have taken her completely off today for good but with it being winter and being she has not had the 4 hour room air test they would like to do that 6 weeks from now, and if she does great then, then NO MORE OXYGEN!! So after today's appointment they lowered her down to .25 liter for her oxygen. This is the absolute lowest they would go and they don't usually go this low at all, Dylan was never on this low of a setting. This is just wonderful news.

So, then came the Eye exam with the Pediatric Opthamologist, the same doctor that Dylan sees as well. Again, another wonderful checkup! Danielle's eyes look great, I asked if the ROP was still 'regressing/getting better'. He said 'better than regressing, I don't see much there at all from what was there before'. Wonderful, wonderful news. He said what was there before is virtually gone now! Of course as with Dylan there are still risks and we do not ever take anything for granted but as of now we do not have anything currently to worry about unless a new issue were to arise! Danielle doesn't need another eye exam for 6 months!!!!!!!! Very, very exciting news also! We are hoping our appointments are getting a little more spread out. She is still getting her monthyl RSV preventative, Synegis, in our home with the in home nurse, next week she gets her second dose of the flu shot but we don't go back to IC until 6 weeks from now for High Risk Clinic, then in May for Neurosurgery and MRI, and July for eye exam. She will go down for a hearing screen sometime within the next month when they call us and make the appt. So we are very, very happy.

We are very proud of our precious little princess. Needless to say this evening she is pooped out. She was totally out of her routine today, didn't eat much, had a bath tonight and her and daddy fell asleep, before half time of the football game tonight, on the couch together! We have so many wonderful things to be thankful for and we pray that 2009 continues on this pace! The lord has blessed our family and our children. We had a couple very encouraging reports today and we will continue to Believe in our little girl and keep encouraging her to Believe in herself!~

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009....

Our 2008 begun with this......a complete surprise pregnancy, our precious baby Danielle!

And look at this precious baby girl today, parenthood is completely amazing!

Happy New Year!
We are really looking forward to the wonderful things that 2009 will bring for our family and Danielle. It is pretty amazing to look back at everything that 2008 brought for our family......the first amazing thing was a precious baby girl.
It was the beginning of 2008 when we found out that I was pregnant. Wow, we thought, are we ready for this? The answer was 'yes'! We got thru mommy having surgery at 12 weeks to hopefully prevent pre-term labor. Then at 15 weeks it was bed rest! Thank you to my employer who really worked with us on this in order for me to keep working. Bed rest was interesting and definitely a necessity. There was no other option and Brad and I were as prepared as we could be. Thank goodness that Dr. Olson had told us after Dylan that the next pregnancy would bring bed rest, that was in the back of our minds. Daddy took over duties, chasing around an 18 month old, doing all of the taking baby to daycare duties and cooking as well as taking care of mommy. This worked and things were going great, baby girl was growing strong. Then at 24 weeks gestation, our little Danielle arrived into the world. I had just been at the doctor 24 hours before I went into labor.....talk about frustrating. But once again, unfortunately the pre-term situation arised, the NICU was ready for us and quite frankly very surprised to see us in a similar situation again. Dr. Barden came down minutes before I had Danielle and grabbed our hands and said 'don't you know what gets you here'. We smiled, and asked him to do everything for our little girl, he said' oh yes, for sure, 1 week further along, whole different ball game.' And from then on the rest is the story of little Danielle born 6.27.2008 ; 1 pound 11 ounces and 100 % miracle, & 2 weeks after the flood as the hospital was still on generator power. WOW, I had been at home on bed rest watching all of the TV coverage on the flood thinking that this is NOT a good time to have a baby.....then look what happened!
2008 was not easy for our family. It brought us many unplanned surprises, but that is what makes us stronger. We thought we wanted to try and 'plan' for another baby, but what we realized is that there is no such thing as 'planning' we need to be happy for what we have and this was chosen for us for a reason, and we are SO happy with how it turned out. A complete total surprise pregnancy and we wouldn't have it any other way. Danielle has touched our hearts and Dylan's also and brightened up our life even more than we thought possible. God has surely blessed our family with 2 happy, healthy, 100% Miracle children and we thank him every day. Our angel is definitely looking down and holding our hand each and every day. Brad and I are much stronger as a couple than we ever thought was possible and hopefully much better parents also. Danielle has been a blessing in disguise, Dylan LOVES his little sister and we can't wait for them, next year at this time, to be running and playing together.
We ring in the New Year with hopes of a happy, healthy, safe family for the whole year in 2009. We do not want to take any day with our children for granted. We want 2009 to be a year of new beginnings for our family. Bright days, new starts and togetherness. Time surely does just fly by, in June Danielle will already be 1 year old. It is hard to believe that today she is just over 6 months old. She is thriving, growing strong and being such a good little strong girl. We truly love the gifts that god has given to us in 2008 and we are excited to watch that gift, our little girl, grow and learn new things in 2009.
From our family to yours, Happy New Year! May 2009 bring health, prosperity and togetherness for our family and yours.~