Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!
I hope you will indulge me a stroll down memory lane. It's good for me to look back and see how far we've come, and how blessed we are to have such a healthy and vibrant little girl. (warning: this blog entry is long)
Here is Elli about 9 days old. She was 10 inches long and weighed 1 lb. 2 oz. Her eyes were still fused shut at this point, and we couldn't wait for them to open. It was just a few days after this photo that she was taken by ambulance to another hospital for her PDA surgery, after which she contracted pneumonia for the first time. She was so beautiful, it broke our hearts that we couldn't pick her up and cuddle her.
This is Elli when she turned 1 month old. We celebrated her birthday each month while in the hospital. She was a little bigger at the point, but still so tiny as you can see by the 5 dollar bill next to her. She had finally gotten over her pneumonia, but we had a bit of a scare when her doctor wanted to test her for meningitis which would have likely been fatal in her case. The test was negative, and I can't tell you how relieved we were. She was having a little trouble with her tummy. It is hard for these little ones to digest their food because their bodies just aren't ready for that yet. It wasn't long after this that we were finally able to hold her for the first time.
Here is our sleepy little 2 month old. She was starting to digest much better at the point, which helped her to grow. You can see it in the clothes she's wearing. (This green onesie is the same size as the one it the previous photo.) They aren't quite as big on her. They still didn't fit, but they were getting closer to fitting. It was just a week after this that she was put on the C-PAP to transition her to a nasal cannula. It took her 3 tries to be able to stay on the C-PAP but before her 3 month birthday came around she was on the nasal cannula. She was the cutest little cheerleader for Halloween, I bought an outfit for the American Girl dolls for her costume. It was darling!
Here is our big 3 month old girl! She was doing well enough to start learning how to nurse. It was wonderful to snuggle her close. There was a lot more freedom in loving her once she was put on the nasal cannula, plus we were finally able to really see what she looked like. She is nice and plump in this photo from all the calories they were pumping in her, I loved all her rolls! We were transferred into nursery B which is where the babies go that are getting closer to going home. The end of the hospital was in sight now.
Elli is 4 months old and dressed in her pretty little Christmas dress. We had learned that she had a paralyzed vocal chord, a side affect from her PDA surgery, which made nursing nearly impossible for her. So I continued to pump and fed her by bottle. She was the delight of so many nurses. I loved that there were so many that wanted to care for her. We were finally able to bring her home right after the New Year.
Here is our sweet little One Year Old. She had really weak muscle tone still, but had made tremendous progress in so mant areas.
She wasn't doing well with solid foods yet, so we didn't even do a birthday cake for her. Her brother and cousins were all given a cup cake with one candle and they all blew them out after we sang to her. She did enjoy her birthday ice cream though.
She would have days where she didn't feel well about every 1 and 1/2 weeks, and sadly she was in that cycle over her birthday. We called it "crooked" because when she didn't feel well she couldn't support her torso and would lean over to the left.