Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Big Brother

I was given two wonderful presents for my 34th birthday. One was that Elliana was put back on CPAP Saturday morning at 11:30, and she is still on it right now. It has been more than 72 hours now. She's doing great!!! The other was seeing Bradley hold Elli. She is much easier to move now, and that gave him the chance to hold her without us worrying about her tubes coming out. Bradley was a little nervous about holding her, but once he did, he was hooked! He is looking forward to his weekend visits a little more than he used to. He was so sweet and tender as he held her and spoke to her softly. He is a very happy big brother.
UPDATE: Elliana had her eyes examined again last Thursday, they are developing normally. The diagnosis was that there was no ROP*, which is wonderful! Her bones are still fragile, but all her levels of calcium and phosphorus have gone back to normal, which is a good sign. We will still have to be very careful with her for the next few months as her bones regain their density. She weighs about 3 lbs. 8 oz. now.
* ROP is when the vessels in the eye grow abnormally. If it goes on too long and nothing is done about it, it will detach the retina. It is diagnosed in stages, and Elli was at stage 1 a couple of visits ago, but is back to normal again. For babies who reach the highest stage, which is stage 4 I think, they will do laser surgery to stop the vessels from growing further.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Elli's birthday pictures

Elliana is now 2 months old. HOORAY!!!

The light above her bed was too bright for her, so I shaded her eyes a little so she would open them. When the overhead light is off, Elli will look around at her world. She is starting to have her little moments of interaction with us. They only last a few minutes, but she is oh so cute when she looks up at you. Underneath Elli's bow is an IV. She is being treated for a mild pneumonia right now, and is doing well.

Isn't this so sweet! I love how her tiny fingers curl around my finger.

I think we tuckered her out, poor little thing. Actually, preemies let you know that they are done by yawning, or with hick-ups. They will even stick their hands stright up in the air like they are saying stop. We try to pay close attention to her behaviors so we can do the right thing for her.

These 2 pictures are great to compare to her pictures from her one month birthday. You can really see how much she has grown. She is about 4" longer and is getting close to tripling her weight. We are grateful that she hasn't been very sick, and we are working hard to get her off the ventilator. We continue to see miracles with her. We are so blessed!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


How many people does it take to give Elli a bath?

Answer: Three. One mommy, one nurse, and one respiratory therapist.

Elli did love her first tub bath. I would too if I were her. We wrapped her up in a nice warm blanket and then put her into the warm water. She seemed very pleased as we cleaned her up with cotton balls. She didn't fuss until we had to take her out of the blanket to put her into a dry one. It got a bit nippy for a few seconds, but in no time she was back in her heated bed, cozy and warm in her cute pink blankets.

Birthday pictures are still coming..... I promise!

Monday, October 22, 2007

2 months old!!!

Elli is now two months old. She is now almost 15" long and about 2 lbs. 12 oz. She has a couple of moments of being very alert each day now. They only last about 10 or 15 minutes, but we enjoy the time we have to visit with her. She is such a miracle, and we have all of you to thank for that. We wouldn't be where we are without all of your prayers and fasting. We love you all!!

Elli looks so cute in her little Halloween onesie. We do have a Halloween costume for her, you'll all have come back again to see her all dressed up. I am also going to have some birthday pictures taken. Hopefully I can update you in a couple of days.

Elli does have a few challenges to overcome right now. We have been assured by the doctor that all she needs is time to grow and mature. If you could remember her in your prayers, she needs her eyes to continue to develop normally, as of right now she may end up with with little or no peripheral vision. She also has the fragile bones, and needs her ability to absorb calcium to increase. And she simply needs to grow and gain weight to help her come off the ventilator. We are grateful for your love and willingness to remember us. With everyone's faith combined, miracles are happening. Thank you!!!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007


We have reached a few milestones with Elliana. The first one is that we have finally been able to hold her. At first it was just at the edge of the bed, with our hands underneath her as you see below. She was still on the ventilator they call the "jet" and there are too many risks in holding her in your arms. We were just happy to have her in our hands at least. We knew that holding her in our arms would come shortly.

Elli was switched to a traditional ventilator on October 2, which meant that we could actually hold her on our arms. HOORAY!!! She looks like a little pink burrito all wrapped up cozy and warm in her daddy's arms.
Some other milestones that have been reached are:
  • Elli weighed 1 lb. 2 1/2 oz. when she was born. She doubled her weight the first week of October. She now weighs 2 lbs. 12 oz.
  • She breaths on her own about 95%, she stills needs a little help from the ventilator when she exhales. And when she is tuckered out. It's hard work for her, but she is doing great!
  • Last Friday they pulled her breathing tube and let her try what is called C-PAP (I'm not sure if that is how it is written). Basically she had a little help taking a breath, but did everything else by herself. She stayed on the machine for about 6 hours, which the staff said was a great first try.
  • I don't think this qualifies as a milestone, but her hair is getting thicker and longer. I just think it's really cute!!

This is the photo taken by the nurses for the cute scrapbook page they made her for her one month birthday. Knowing that Elli's daddy is an accountant the scrapbook page read: "This darling little dividend is worth more than 100 grand. She will bring joy throughout the land. (And a tax deduction)" We got a good laugh out of it!

Elli's 2 month birthday is coming up next week, we will post some birthday pictures again soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Glimpses....

Bradley has enjoyed his weekend visits. Sometimes he draws Elli pictures to hang on her bed, other times he will reach in to touch her while he talks to her softly, or he will read to her. Go Dog Go was Elli's first bed time story. Well, the first 5 pages or so anyway, after that Bradley was ready to do something else.

She really enjoys listening to her big brother. If she is awake she will look in his direction with the sweetest contented look on her face. If she is asleep while he talks you can watch her stats stay level or sometimes they even get better. She knows who he is, and is happy when he's around.

Elli was transported by ambulance to McKay Dee hospital in Ogden where she had her PDA repaired. (her heart murmur) She was 2 weeks old and only weighed around 1 and 1/2 pounds. We were really nervous about the whole thing, but in the end it wasn't as scary as we thought. She did marvelous. She now has a very healthy heart with a little tiny piece of titanium hardware that shows up on her x-rays. These 2 pictures show the life flight team placing Elli in the portable incubator. It took about 45 minutes to get her into the bed and stabilized so they could go down to the ambulance. It is very nerve racking to watch your baby drive away, but we couldn't have asked for better people to care for her both in the ambulance and at McKay Dee. We were very glad to get to our NICU though. It is our second home right now, and we really enjoy the staff there.

We will have some up to date pictures soon, please come back again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I'm growing

Although Elli is still tiny, she is making significant progress. Elli is 10 days old is this picture. Her eyes were still fused and she was still just over 1 lb. Her eyes opened 5 days later, the day she came back from her surgery up at McKay Dee. We were standing next to her bed after she had just settled down from her transport when she looked over at us for the first time. It is so wonderful to watch her grow.
This is our bright eyed birthday girl. This was taken on her one month birthday. She weighed nearly 2 lbs, and her skin has improved tremendously. Her lungs are making steady improvements, and she remains very stable overall. Elli now weighs just over 2 lbs. We are so blessed!!