Sunday, January 27, 2008

home at last

There's no place like home!!!!!

What a happy new year we have had. On January 3rd we were able to bring out little Elliana home. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. The thought of caring for her without the nurses was a bit paralyzing to me. But it hasn't been bad or as scary as I though it would be. She is such an amazing little girl! We spend a lot of time just holding her and watching her. She is a beautiful little girl!

As you can see, Elli is still on oxygen. She came home on 1/16th, but we had to raise her back up to 1/8th the next day. That was because the hospital air is very oxygenated from all the patients who are on oxygen, so adjusting to the air in our home took her a few days. By the next week she was back down to 1/16th, and the next week she went down again to 1/32nd. That is the lowest it goes, so the next step is to take her off completely. We took her off for about an hour and half last Friday and she did really well. It looks like it won't be much longer, as long as we keep her healthy.

Elli now weighs 8 lbs. 8 oz. and she has really grown. Her voice is getting louder all the time, but she still has the sweetest little cry you've ever heard. We are just so proud of her and her fighting spirit.

Being home has been wonderful. Is isn't easy to be stuck here all the time, but it is worth it if it keeps her healthy. Bradley is so sweet to her. As soon as he wakes up in the morning he looks for her. When he gets home from school he quickly changes his clothes and washes his hands 3 times (I don't make him do it 3 time, he thinks it's better that way) so he can hold her. The first few days after we brought her home we couldn't get Bradley to stay in bed. He kept coming out to give her just one more kiss, or to tell her just one more thing. He is the best big brother! He even loves helping me change her diapers. Although I'm sure that one won't last forever.

We are all just so happy to have her in arms reach all the time, although it has been a little exhausting. After 7 years, I had forgotten how sleep deprived you are with a newborn at home, but we are adjusting. She sleeps for about 6 hours at night, so Wayne and I are trying to get to bed right after we put her down to take advantage of those 6 hours. Wayne is very kind to me and gets up for the early morning bottle. He just feeds her, then showers for work. It might actually help him stay ahead during tax season to get into work a little earlier.

We want to thank the staff at the NICU. You are all angels!! We certainly wouldn't have our miracle without you. We love you all and miss you terribly! You are like family to us, and we feel a little empty now that we don't see you everyday. I look forward to stopping by as soon as RSV season ends.

Thanks again to all our family and friends. We got our miracle because we had so many people on our side. We are so grateful for all the prayers that have been offered in our behalf. We have been strengthened, and Elli has been healed and protected from many things. It has been so comforting, for me especially, to know that I wasn't going through the last 5 months alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

light at the end of the tunnel....

Ellliana is doing really well. She still gets a little sleepy when she eats, but is getting more consistent in taking the amount she should. She no longer has her feeding tube, and looks so cute without tape across her cheek, and a tube down her nose. She is still on oxygen, but her settings are really low. The nurses have told me that if we lived at sea level she would probably be breathing on her own. We will find out today what the doctor recommends, but there is a chance that we will bring Elli home within the next couple of days. It is a little scary for me to think of caring for her without all the wonderful NICU nurses helping me. I am really going to miss them!! We are excited to bring her home though. It has been a very long 4 and 1/2 months, but they have been amazing months filled with so many answers to prayers. We have all witnessed a miracle.

I will post some new photos as soon as things settle down. You'll all be amazed at how much she has grown.