Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
On my way home tonight, I realized that Carson and Cooper have never stayed more than 2 nights away from me. My precious baby girl has stayed 27 days away. Maybe a 7 day cruise should be in the works for next summer for Jason and I :)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Carson and Cooper go to Mother's Day Out once a week. They absolutely love it! I was so torn taking Carson out of daycare, but I am so glad I did. These are their school pics. I was super lazy and took a picture of the picture (I didn't feel like scanning them in). Family, you'll get the acutal pictures one day :)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Ella had another good day eating. She finished 2 whole bottles in a row. Hopefully her feedings will go up tomorrow. We'll see. The neurosurgeon will look at her MRI's and ultrasounds tomorrow. Then, we'll know more about when she'll get her shunt. I'm typing all these big words like neurosurgeon, neurologist, neonatalogist....whew, I'm becoming a doctor wizard :)haha! I have a tendency to look at her charts and try to read them like I know what I'm doing. I'm waiting to get a slap on the wrist :) Hopefully I can post more news tomorrow!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Hopefully Ella will keep up her eating after her surgery. Then, maybe we'll be home within a few weeks. Her due date wasn't until November 21st, so my goal is for her to make it home by then. I can't believe she'll already by 4 weeks old on Friday. The time is going by fast, yet slow at the same time.
I had my 3 week checkup and got to talk to Dr. Hager a little more on what exactly happened. My placenta completely abrupted. It just happened! The only risk factor I had is being a red-head. I guess besides being know for having tempers, we bleed weird :) After talking to her, I realize more and more what a blessing Ella is. Dr. Hager did such an awesome job. She had an angel on her shoulder telling her to get my baby out when she did. I guess I had a blood clot half the size of my head. When she did the c-section, out came Ella, the blood clot and my placenta. My uterus was was black because it was so bruised. I am so thankful for my precious doctor! If any of you are looking for an OB/GYN, get her NOW! She is awesome!
Lots of Love to All!!!!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Ella's ultrasound did show that her ventricles aren't shrinking. I wasn't there when the Dr. explained this, so I'm going on what I heard from Jason and Connie. I guess the bleeding caused scar tissue which is keeping the spinal fluid from being reabsorbed (therefore, the ventricles are swelling). It looks like Ella will probably have to have a shunt put in. Mercy doesn't offer this procedure, so Ella will have to be transferred to Children's sometime next week. I thought I would have to be in a waiting room for 6 hours while my daughter is having surgery, but the procedure should only take about an hour. She'll probably stay at Children's for a few days, and then hopefully she can be transferred back to Mercy. I originally thought that she would only need the shunt for a couple of years, but she might have it for the rest of her life. I wish her ventricles would just shrink, but I'm trying to remain optimistic since there is treatment for her. Our nurse tonight told me that maybe Ella will eat better after she gets some of that pressure off of her brain. She can't eat any better than she did tonight!!!!
Jason went car shopping all day. His little Honda Civic isn't quite big enough for 3 kiddos. I feel sorry for him having to deal with car salesmen all day. I told him good thing he didn't take me. I probably would have punched a few of them :) It would have been a bad day for me to do some wheeling and dealing. He has the car here at the house. The contract was written with a "wife contingency". My contingency is yes as long as I get to drive it :) J/K.
Lots of love!
Ella decided she wanted to be lazy last night and only eat 11cc (she's supposed to be eating 42cc) - Mom, that is no where near 5 oz (inside joke). I got her to eat 25cc in about 5 minutes today, though. I think I might have to start feeding her every time. I told Jason he could use this as an excuse so he never has to get up in the middle of the night with her when she comes home. She has been crying a lot more lately. I guess she likes to hear her voice now that she is finally using it! She weighs 5lb 2.7 ounces today.
Friday, October 23, 2009
There isn't much to update on Ella. Her only orders today are for another head ultrasound tomorrow and for another blood test (because I keep insisting on it). Ella still isn't wanting to eat much. She had a couple of good days, but she was very sleepy today. I was very hopeful that she would eat well for her Daddy tonight, but she only ate a small amount before she fell asleep. Jason said she was crying quite a bit before he got to feed her, so he thinks she wore herself out crying. Oh, Ella has finally reached 5 pounds!!! And, she passed her hearing test. Her hearing could have been damaged during the brain bleed, so we're pumped that she passed! Carson flunked this test 3 times :)
Keep praying that Ella will increase in the amounts she eats!!!! Then, we can increase the frequency of her feedings! Then we can bring her home!!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
On another note, we had another good day. Ella is definitely getting interested in eating. She is showing strong signs. Now, she just needs to eat more at each feeding. She also learned to cry. It is sweet music to our ears! (at least right now it is :)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have so many people that I personally want to say thank you to. However, if I start listing personal names, I will definitely leave someone one out! So here our my shouts out to all of you! (I feel like I just won an Academy Award and I'm trying to not leave anyone out) Thank you to both of our families. Grandparents have helped us so much with Carson and Cooper and loving on Ella. They've been there at our beckon call. Our siblings have checked on us so much and love Ella just like she was one of their own. Our cousins constantly check on how we are doing and how sweet Ella is doing. Our church family has more than amazed me. We have been provided meals, love, visits and lots of prayers! Our co-workers have checked on us, taken care of insurance issues and provided us meals. We are both blessed with incredible jobs and incredible co-workers! Our friends (everyone fits into this category) have given us more love than we've ever known. We have received so many calls, emails, facebook messages and blog comments that are SOOOO encouraging. We have had so many people offer to do so much for us (including cleaning up our poopy boys). We love you all so much! As I have said before, I know our journey isn't close to being over, but you guys have made the ride so much smoother. Thank you for your constant thoughts and your constant prayers! To God be the Glory!!!!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Yesterday when I went to see Ella, they had messed up her feeding (bottle) schedule again. She hadn't been given a bottle overnight, so her her bottle times had changed. It stinks because we plan our schedule around Ella's eating so that we can give her the bottle. Once again I insisted that I get to give her a bottle. When I fed her, I had the occupational therapist and nurse hovering over me. Fun times :) Ella started out great, but she just tired out. The occupational therapist said she did a good job. I've decided to try to feed her every chance I get since they don't seem to want to do it overnight. So, I decided to go feed her last night at 11:30. When I got there the nurse had already fed her at 8:30. I was so mad! I asked if I could feed her again since I drove all the way up there. Her nurse said Ella was just so alert at 8:30 that she went on and fed her and she ate almost all of her bottle. I couldn't be angry at that! Anyway, after some convincing, I did get to feed her. She ate awesome! I think she's getting the hang of it!
Ella does have another MRI today. Last time she got so cold and her temperature was already a little low yesterday. Please pray that she stays warm and that the MRI goes well!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Grandma Susan came and visited this weekend. She helped take care of these crazy little boys!
I seem to always be talking about Ella and Carson on this blog, so I thought I would share something about my little Cooper. He basically was born smiling. Cooper has the best personality and can cheer you up in a heartbeat with his ornery smile. He is so easy going! He's my baby boy and will probably get by with anything from me! My mom has told me that you love all your kids the same, just in different ways. I completely understand this now! They are all my favorites!
p.s. Pray for our sweet girl to EAT, EAT, EAT!!!!! (from the bottle) & for the ventricles to shrink on their own!
Friday, October 16, 2009
I had a great day hanging out with sweet little Ella. I kangaroo held her for almost 2 hours. While I was there for 4 hours today, that girl pooped at least 5 times!! I never had the boys poop during the middle of a diaper change. She ate 25cc from her bottle tonight. I am proud of that. She is officially in a "crib" and out of the warmer. Praise God! So, as soon as she decides to eat more from the bottle we'll get to bring her home. Oh, and she did gain back some weight yesterday. She is 4lb 9oz.
The nurses the past 2 days have both commented on Ella's physical improvements. I guess last week her muscles didn't have much tone. She is responding and moving just like she is supposed to be now! She did have an ultrasound today, but we haven't heard the results yet. I was told that no early results is good news. I feel confident in positive results. I keep hearing over and over how resilient kids are! Our little miracle is beating all the odds! Thank you so much Jesus!
One last thought, BOOMER SOONER!!!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Ella was wide awake when I went to feed her at 2:30. She makes the cutest faces all the time. I hope this little personality she's developing stays with her. It really looks like she is laughing at us for all she has put us through. She's like, "that's right, I'm the princess." The nurses up there all think she needs a tiara :) She made a lot of eye contact today which was awesome. She ate pretty well from the bottle. She is using so many calories trying to eat from the bottle that she lost weight yesterday. That's not so good. So, for specifics, prayers for her eating and prayers to keep her temperature up are much appreciated. She is having another ultrasound tomorrow. I thought she was having an MRI today, but I must have made that up. Oh I love Mommy fart brain :)
When we were leaving, there was this cute little 4 year old girl in a tie-dyed sweat suit. I thought it was pretty cute, but Carson had to ask "Why does that girl still have her jammies on?" I told him to be quiet, but louder he said "Look, that girl forgot to take her jammies off." Hopefully her Mom didn't hear him :) It was pretty humorous, though.
Jason said that Ella moved on up to Intermediate care this morning. I'm not quite sure why she didn't move sooner. Anyway, she is completely off her oxygen again. They had to decrease her bottle feedings to every 3rd feeding. She was just getting too worn out. She is also still in the warmer to maintain her temperature. So, I guess we won't be coming home this weekend. I'm hoping for next. Jason said Ella was very alert today. She's been so sleepy.
Mercy is opening up their new NICU unit next Monday. I get to go tour it this afternoon. There will be actual rooms for the babies - 2 babies per room. We're pretty excited because Carson will get to come visit his baby sister now! Both of the boys have been looking forward to meeting their Baby Sister!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Ella is totally off of her IV fluids. Her ultrasound came back good today showing what the MRI had confirmed. Ella's doctor said this was good news. She didn't try to nurse today. I'm going to meet with a lactation consultant tomorrow. Nursing isn't a big rush at this point. She did consume about 1/2 of her bottle this afternoon when I fed her. The rest of the nutrition came through her NG tube. She will definitely have to be able to consume a lot more by mouth before she gets to come home. She just gets so tired trying to keep warm and trying to eat. She's missing all that good ole fat to keep her warm! She has had to stay in the warmer to keep her temperature up, so this will have to improve too before we come home. We did get some good cuddle time in today, though.
I definitely want my baby girl home... now! But, I feel so comforted with her being hooked up to all those monitors. I know you Momma's of preemies know this feeling. We are exhausted from all the driving, but at the same time we're getting good sleep at night. I think the doctor might have been a bit optimistic about coming home this weekend. Ella still has a bunch of hurdles to jump over, but not near as many as she's already jumped. I was reminded that she still has 5.5 weeks before she was supposed to be here.
I told a good friend yesterday that I feel like I've matured about 10 years over the past week and a half (spiritually, mentally, physically). I had a couple of flashbacks today of being young and having no worries. A ton of my memories are at my Grandparent's house with Deana, Mark, Cindy, Joe and JC. There were no worries out on the farm! I sure do miss those days!!!!
I haven't been to see Ella today, so I don't have any updates on her yet.
That's all for now!
Monday, October 12, 2009
I guess I'll spill the beans for the really good part. The Dr. today told us that Ella can come home this weekend if she keeps up her eating. Yes, you did read that right! I think my jaw is still on the floor at the NICU. I was in total shock....I'm still in total shock! Not sure why I'm in shock after all the awesome prayers that have been lifted up for sweet Ella. My baby girl has made more than strides since Friday. She has made huge leaps. She is a fighter! Carson and Cooper better watch out! They've got one tough sister!!!
We'll have another MRI on Thursday to make sure that the ventricles haven't swelled anymore. It will check for any possible damage that the 1st MRI didn't find. Please keep this in your prayers (I know you will!) In the next few weeks after we're home, our regular pediatrician will be measuring Ella's head size weekly to make sure it is not growing abnormally. We had an occupational therapist work with her today, too. She was doing everything he wanted her to be doing.
I can't say thank you enough for all of your prayers and all of your support! Seeing God work through each and every one of you has been so amazing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!
Please sing with me "God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He's so good to me"!!! I've been singing this all day!
Lots of love!!!!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Dr. Hille discussed her prognosis saying that he believes she will do well if this is only a grade III ICH without the need of a shunt. Dr. Hille stated that the question of oxygen deprivation is not so much after birth, but rather before birth. Ella did receive CPR immediately following birth and was receiving oxygen as her heart was pumped. He says that this provided oxygen delivery. His question was how oxygen deprived she was before birth depending on if my placenta completely abrupted/partially abrupted and for how long.
The MRI was suggestive of an acute injury to the brain. He did not see a major diffuse area from the lack of oxygen, rather small localized areas. He stated Ella is becoming more responsive. For prognosis, he said she may have mild to moderated injury. If the injury was only bleeding than he believes that there would be no permanent damage. He doesn't want to speculate on any impairments for the future. He did say we are not out of the woods, and there is a possibility of long term permanent injury.
This is a very medical post. Hopefully it will explain things a little more. Dr. Hille's attitude seemed optimistic to Jason and I, and these results are much better than we (probably more me) expected. Continue praying for Ella's complete healing. God has shown His miraculous healing already. God is so good to us!
Please lift Jason and the rest of the MacKinnon gang up in prayer. His great grandpa died this morning. He was such a spunky old man, even at the age of 102.
Friday, October 9, 2009
When they took her off my chest, she started crying again. But, she got to snuggle up with Daddy for about 30 minutes. She immediately quit crying when Daddy held her, too. She loves her Daddy time!
I'm missing seeing my boys. I'm so torn between going to see Ella and spending time with Carson and Cooper. I did get some good hugs from Carson when I got home tonight, though! He's such a sweet boy! Coop was already asleep. I'm tempted to go sleep in the bed with both of them :)
I'm feeling 100% better physically which makes me a better mom. I was beginning to think pain after a c-section and post spinal block headache epidural would never go away. I'm sleeping like a champ....I know, I know, I've always slept like a champ! My milk supply is in full force (this might not be important knowledge to all of you, but it is something that is definitely going well). I woke up in the middle of the night and pumped 12 ounces!! We will have a heck of a supply when Ella gets home.
The boys are adjusting well. They have been so exhausted that they are sleeping incredibly well (naps and bedtime). We decided to put them both in the same bed last night. It worked awesome. They both came running into our room about 8:15 this morning. I consider that a successful night! My parents have been awesome being at our beckon call and taking care of our boys.
Jason is my support right now! I know I could not endure this without him. I knew I married an incredible guy, but he is beyond incredible!
Thank you dear friends for all of your comments and emails. I cry with each one I read. These are good tears. God has given each of you the perfect words to say to me.
I guess that's it for now. I never realized that blogging could be so therapeutic. I should've started this years ago :) Hopefully I'll post some pictures soon. Love you all!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I'm trying to remain optimistic. Holding sweet Ella lifts up my heart so much. She looks so good and in every other area she is rocking right along. I've had some very encouraging verses and words sent out to me today. Thank you dear friends! I know God will be glorified. I keep seeing this image of little Ella being like 6 years old and telling her awesome story. I see her being loud and spunky ;)
Sorry if I don't answer phone calls or respond to messages. Right now, its not easy to talk about it. Thanks for your continued prayers. Love you all!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I also had a couple of other neat things happen today. I was needing to talk to my doctor about some pain I was still having. We went to see Ella this morning, and there was Dr. Hager. Perfect timing. Dr. Hager has been so wonderful to us and is praying for us. Then, I was having a little pain from the epidural procedure. The anesthesiologist had left me a voice mail while I was seeing Ella and gave me his cell phone number to call him back. How often does an anesthesiologist personally call you to see how you are doing? Then, at the end of our conversation, he asked how Ella was doing. And, he told me he was praying for her and thinking of us. God has put amazing doctors in our lives! Christian doctors!
Before Ella arrived, I had began reading into 1 Corinthians 13 on "love". My friends and family have been the perfect portrait of "love" during these past few weeks. Thank you so much! All of you! We're comforted today because of your "love".
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Ella didn’t have a very exciting day yesterday, so sorry you didn’t get any updates on her. She got the tube out of her mouth and is now being fed through a tube from her nose to her stomach. She’s starting on 2ml of milk every 3 hours. It’s such a small amount, but hopefully she will tolerate it well. She had an EEG done yesterday that didn’t give us the results we were exactly hoping for. It didn’t show that she has had seizures, but it showed brain waves that could easily produce seizures. So, they put her on a large loading dose of seizure medication. She’ll more than likely remain on this medication for the first 3 to 6 months of her life. She will have an MRI done on Thursday and hopefully we’ll get some positive results on Friday. This test is to determine if any damage was done to her brain when she had the lack of oxygen to her brain. We’re not sure how long she was deprived of oxygen before she came out of my belly, but it was about 10 minutes or so once she was out. This test has me very fearful. The doctor seemed optimistic and said she bounced back very quickly after those 10 minutes. It’s been so easy for me to have faith in all of this so far, but right now I’m struggling. I keep telling myself that little Ella is our miracle and will continue to be! She wasn’t a planned baby and she’s very lucky to be here! God has provided us with this awesome miracle and He will continue to provide! Please lift this up in your prayers!!
I have totally neglected updating on Carson and Cooper. They are receiving lots of love and are getting spoiled by their Nana and Grandpa, Grandma Susan, and Papa Mac and Grandma Connie! We have gotten to see them about everyday. Carson keeps asking when he can see Ella. He doesn’t quite understand why he can’t see her. He asked me “is your belly not big anymore?” He’s so cute! Cooper doesn’t have a clue of what is going on. He’s been a little scared of seeing me with all my hospital gear on. I can’t wait to see them tonight and love on them.
We are now home. It’s bittersweet. We are so glad to be in the comfort of our own home, but its tough being away from Ella. Praise God we have little Carson and Coop to keep us busy and to cuddle with (as much as 2 little boys let you cuddle). Jason is off of work until the 19th, so that will be nice. Hopefully I’ll be driving soon so we can take turns going to see our baby.
We’ll update soon!
Ella continues to be doing well. They are going to do an EKG today to make sure her heart has closed properly. They are also going to do the CAT scan to make sure there is no seizure activity going on. They don’t think there is, but they just want to make sure her little fits aren’t little seizures.
I haven’t posted any updates on myself yet, but I do have a prayer request for me. I’ve been having some pretty severe headaches. We talked with the anesthesiologist today. He thinks I’m having spinal block headaches. These headaches aren’t very common these days, but since the whole procedure happened so fast, I am probably leaking spinal fluid. The first line of treatment is caffeine…lots of caffeine. But, it doesn’t seem to be helping much. So, sometime later today, I get to have a blood patch done. This has been explained to me as taking blood out of my arm and placing it in my spine to keep it from leaking any more fluid. They will do this much like an epidural. There are some risks, but hopefully it will be a quick fix.
I will update you later this evening. Hopefully it will fix it immediately and I can enjoy some precious time with my baby. I haven’t been able to spend much time with her today b/c the only way I find relief is lying down. I’m also anemic, but it’s not severe enough to treat. I could have had a blood transfusion a couple of days ago, but my doctor said I would build the blood back up quickly. It is slowly going back up.
I am so thankful for my incredible husband. He has been right by my side through all of this. He is so selfless! So, continue praying for him and his strength too. He and Ella are getting to bond a lot. She’s going to have him so wrapped around her sweet little finger! I love it!!!
Thanks again for all of your prayers. We serve an awesome God!!!
Ella had another awesome day! She is doing great breathing on her own. We got to hold her twice today. She definitely has a little temper. Her face turns bright red and her pulse gets really high. She calms down pretty quick, though. She might start getting feedings through a nasogastric tube tomorrow. They will feed her milk through this. They also took her off of her blood pressure medicine today along with decreasing her oxygen. She is doing awesome with both!
Lots of love,
Ella pulled out her ventilator tonight! (this is good news). So, she’s breathing on her own. She is still getting a little oxygen from one of those nose thingy’s. We’ll probably get to hold her tomorrow!!! She has had her eyes open most of the day, and she has the cutest little cry. I love to hear it! Her kidneys worked awesome today, too. I can’t believe she’s not even 2 days old! This email is very random (sorry, too much Percocet :) Oh, when she pulled out the ventilator, she did it with her middle finger and showed it to the nurses….I guess that’s what she thought about that thing!!!
Here’s an update on our precious little girl. She had an awesome night and is doing very well. They are able to keep decreasing her oxygen, so hopefully she’ll be breathing on her own very soon. Her brain x-ray came back good with no bleeding on the brain. Her heart is slowly getting stronger. (I really want to say each day, but I realize she’s not even 2 days old, yet….) Her kidney’s decreased production last night, but the doctor isn’t overly concerned about that. Her blood sugar keeps flip-flopping between high and low, but that really isn’t of too much concern either. So, for specifics, her kidneys are the thing to be watching right now. She is so precious. They’ve had to tie down one of her arms because she keeps pulling on her breathing tube. They also had to give her some medication to keep her still. She’s already working on keeping up with her big brothers. She will have a CAT scan/MRI done sometime next week to check on brain activity. The doctor thinks this will turn out great, too, because she is reacting so well to everything (she went a little while without oxygen to her brain). Thanks for praying for our little miracle! I’ll continue to keep you posted.
Here’s the story on exactly what happened. I began having side cramping on Thursday night about 8pm. We had some friends over, but I dismissed myself to go take a bath to see if it would help the pain. It didn’t ever let up. Then I began having contractions about every 5 minutes apart which made the cramping hurt worse. I called the hospital and my dr. and they both decided it would be best to come on it. I thought I was being a wimp and didn’t want to be “that person” with preterm labor that’s nothing but gas :) My awesome hubby told me we need to go in and just get it checked out. Praise God for my hubby’s wisdom. My parents were able to come over quickly and watch Carson and Coop. Anyway, I got hooked up to the monitor and the contractions were showing up every couple of minutes. I was put on IV fluid and given medication for the contractions. At this point Ella’s heart rate was at 150 but wasn’t fluctuating at all. This became a concern. My doctor talked to me on the phone and realized she needed to come in. Soon it was decided I was going to need a c-section. The Dr. did an ultrasound and Ella wasn’t moving. The Dr. found a blood clot on my placenta. Then, Ella’s little heart rate dropped dramatically. All of the sudden, I was having an emergency c-section. When Ella was born, she wasn’t breathing. I was trying to figure out everything and looked over and saw many people working on my lifeless little baby. Then, I heard a precious little sound. She had responded to CPR and a shot of epinephrine. I don’t remember much from that point. But, I do know Ella is a miracle. My Dr. told me we are very, very blessed after everything that happened.
It’s going to be a journey, but thank you all for walking this journey with us! God has blessed us with such great friends and family. Thank you for all of your support, and thank you even more for your prayers!!! We love you all!
Jason, Traci, Carson, Cooper and Ella