Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Busy Bee

Today was a good day! Even though I slept a little late this morning, I ended up getting a lot accomplished. After many phone calls, I found out Addi's formula will be mostly covered by insurance. What a blessing! It's not as expensive as we first thought, but at least we won't have to worry about the extra cost. Today, they took out her PICC line and moved her to a crib!! We are so happy to see that line come out. Now we can hold her as much as we want and not have to worry about accidentally pulling the it out. They are going up on her feedings tomorrow too. She is making so much progress and we are getting closer to bringing her home! Once we get her home, we were told that we should keep her in for a while because her immunities wont be built up yet. Also, I'm going to become a germ freak and make everyone wash their hands before they even think about touching her!

Before this whole situation with Addi happened, I was a VERY trusting person - almost to a fault. I never asked many questions b/c I just trusted what the doctors told me. I figured since they went to medical school for so many years then they should be able to give me accurate information and know what they are doing. However, I've learned that from now on I have to go with my gut feelings. I need to always ask questions even if I feel they might be "stupid" questions. From now on I'm definitely not going to be afraid to speak what I feel to doctors, nurses, etc. This experience has taught me a lot!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. There really hasn't been anything new to update. They started feeding Addi again on Thursday. So far, so good. Tonight, she ate 60 ML. Hopefully they will increase it again tomorrow and turn off her IV fluids. She also had her first "poopie" diapers this morning since they started feeding her and they were both negative for blood! This is good news!!! Hopefully this new formula will do the trick.

Brad and I moved out of the hotel this morning. We decided since she is doing better we would just travel back and forth from home to the hospital. Plus, living in a hotel for over 3 weeks was a little much! We are VERY thankful for the hospital, family and friends for helping us stay there all of that time. It was very convenient - especially when she wasn't doing so well. We are very hopeful that she will come home with us soon!

Please pray:
* There continues to be no blood in her stool
* There is no permanent brain damage
* The swelling continues to go down

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poor Pitiful Me

Lately, I have been in a "down in the dumps" kind of mood. I tend to get in these moods where I'm basically in my own little world and can't seem to cheer up. I'm just tired of basically living at a hospital and I am ready to get our little girl home! Instead of focusing on the positive, I have been looking at everything that has gone wrong. One of my prayers tonight will be that my attitude changes. I need to be thankful for all of the blessings we have been given and not the hardships that have come our way.

During our visit with Addi tonight, one of the babies in our "pod" stopped breathing. I looked over and saw the nurse pumping oxygen into the lifeless little baby. It scared me to death. I began praying for the parents and the baby b/c I know what they are going through. They quickly pulled the curtain and finally got the baby to breath. I don't see how those nurses work in the NICU without being sad all of the time. If I worked there, I would be a basket case! I believe you definitely have to have a special calling to be a nurse. I've gained so much more respect for them since Addi has been here. All of her nurses have been amazing and she has received the best care possible.

The doctor told me today as long as Addi's x-ray looks normal in the morning, they will start her on light feedings with a different formula. Hopefully her little tummy can handle it! We are still waiting on the EEG results. Other than that there is no new news!

On a side note, I have been reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and I can't put it down!! So far, I highly recommend it!

Please pray:
* For a change in my attitude
* There is no more blood in her stool
* There is no permanent brain damage
* The swelling continues to go down
* She tolerates the new formula better once they start feeding her again

Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

I woke up so excited this morning b/c I couldn't wait to go see Addi. I went in with my boppy in hand b/c they said if she was moved to a crib then we could hold her as much as we want. The nurse saw me walk in and she came up to me and said that after Addi had been for her tests this morning that she had a poopie diaper and there was blood in it. My heart sank. I just knew she had NEC again and we would be here for another 10-14 days. I spoke with the doctor and he said the X-rays came back normal so they don't think it is NEC. Her blood work also came back normal, but he went ahead and started antibiotics just as a precaution. They are thinking that she has a feeding intolerance to the food they were giving her. The GI doctor is supposed to come see her in the morning and give his opinion. Meanwhile, they have moved her back into the warmer bed and stopped feeding her again in order to let her tummy rest. The nurse said she might have to be switched to a more sensitive formula and warned me it was really expensive. I was thinking - how expensive could it be?? She informed me it was $200 a can!!!! A can will last a week. This means her formula is going to be about $800 a month!!! That's crazy expensive. Thankfully, we both have good jobs and can afford it, but we will definitely have to cut back on other things. Hopefully insurance will cover some of it. I really don't care how much money we have to spend b/c I just want her healthy.

We went to see her again at 8:00 and apparently she had been VERY irritable and had just fallen asleep. Not wanting to disturb her, we just sat and watched her sleep. We ended up leaving after only an hour b/c I wanted to leave when she was content and asleep rather than fussy and crying. That would break my heart!

How about some good news? Both of her tests she went for this morning came back normal. That means there is no sign of stroke or blood clots!

Please pray:
* There is no more blood in her stool
* She doesn't have NEC
* There is no permanent brain damage
* The swelling continues to go down
* She tolerates the new formula better once they start feeding her again

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Day of Firsts

Today was such a good day! First of all, we slept in until 8:00 and then went to see Addi. She is now being fed by a bottle and is doing so well! I fed her for the first time last night and Brad was able to feed her at her 9:30 feeding this morning. He also hogged her all morning...
We ended up going home for a little while this afternoon and I was able to do some laundry. We managed to sneak in a little nap too! We went back to see her at 5:00 and the nurse told us that they were going to let her go "ad lib" on her feedings - which means they will let her eat as much as she wants. If she sticks with 75 ML then she has to eat every 3 hours, but if she takes in over 105 ML they will let her go every 4 hours. AND this is the good part - they will move he to a crib AND take out the PICC line!!!! This means I get to dress her!!! FINALLY!

During our 8:00 pm visit, they went ahead and moved her to a crib. They are leaving the PICC line in until she finishes her tests that she has in the morning just in case they might need it. Here are some pics of me holding her tonight and her with clothes on. She was not a fan of me putting the clothes on her at first. She pitched a little fit :)
This outfit is almost too small for her! Sorry the pictures aren't the best in the world, but they are off my iPhone b/c I hate dragging around our big camera. Hopefully I can get some better pictures tomorrow. I almost forgot - I changed my first ever "poopie" diaper tonight! Haha!

Please pray:
* Her tests go well in the morning
* She continues to eat well
* There is no permanent brain damage
* The swelling continues to go down

Friday, March 19, 2010


I was in the NICU this morning bright and early ready to meet with the Neurologist. Brad wanted to be there so bad, but he couldn't get off work. Without going into all of the details he basically said that the swelling had significantly decreased, but we still aren't out of the woods yet. I had a million questions and he was patient with me and answered them all. Obviously, this isn't the news we wanted to receive, but we still have hope that no problems will occur later on. She has 3 tests to go through on Monday - she will be a busy girl!

They started her feedings today and so far so good. She has taken her bottle so well and we are very proud!

Brad is feeling much better and was able to see Addi for the first time in 3 days tonight. He got to hold her for about 30 minutes. He was so excited!

I'm sorry this entry is so short, but I'm exhausted and about to fall asleep!

Please pray:
* No problems occur later and Addi leads a normal healthy life
* She has good results on her tests Monday
* She continues to respond well to her feedings
* The infection in her stomach doesn't come back
* That Brad and I are able to get some rest this weekend

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two Weeks Old

Today my sweet little girl is two weeks old! This has been the hardest two weeks of my life. I know she is my baby, but it doesn't seem like it b/c I haven't been able to care for her. The nurses here are amazing and I couldn't ask for better care for my daughter. I just can't wait to get her home so Brad and I can do everything for her!

This week has been really rough on our family. Addi, my dad, and grandmother, were all in the hospital this week. My dad was released today and is resting at home. Grandmother, however, is still here at St. Vincent's. I know my mom has had a lot put on her this week, so please pray for her! Brad has been sick for the past 3 days and hasn't been able to see Addi. He's taking meds, but they don't seem to be helping. Hopefully he will wake up in the morning feeling better!

I went to see Addi this morning at 8:00 and she wasn't there! They had just taken her to get an MRI. I went back at 10:00 and they were admitting a new baby. When they have a new baby, all parents have to leave until the admission process is finished. As soon as I got there at 10:00, I had to turn around and leave! Finally, around 12:00, I was able to see her. She was wide awake and sucking on that passy! Actually, it was more like smacking! Also, she had pulled the tube out of her nose and they decided not to replace it. It's nice to see her without any tubes in her nose and mouth and no tape on her face!

My cousin and I were at lunch when I received a phone call from the doctor. She said the Radiologist had reviewed the MRI and said it looked better! This is good news!!! We will talk to the Neurologist at 8:00 in the morning and hear the details. The doctor also said they will start feeding her tomorrow!! She has to be hungry! I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Brad and I are so grateful for all of the prayers and support we have received over these past two weeks. We have so much to be thankful for. I couldn't imagine going through this situation if I wasn't a believer. God is the only One who has helped us through this. We know he is the great physician and the reason Addi is continuing to heal!

Please pray:
* Addi's head continues to heal
* No brain damage
* Addi responds well to her feedings
* The infection in her intestines doesn't return
* Brad starts feeling better

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 8

Not much has changed since my last post. Today is day 8 of 10 of Addi's no eating. She continues to do well and sleeps most of the time (at least when I'm there). Brad has gone back to work and I just spend my days going back and forth from the NICU to the hotel and taking as many naps as possible! Brad woke up sick yesterday so he wasn't able to see Addi at all. He ended up spending the night at our house last night so he wouldn't get me sick. Pray he feels better today so he can see his little girl! My dad got admitted to UAB w/congestive heart failure Monday, so I went to spend the night with my mom last night so she wouldn't be lonely!

I did have a fun little outing yesterday afternoon - my sweet cousin took me to Yogurt Mountain and then to get a pedicure!! I've decided I need a pedicure once a week from now on. Haha! I didn't want to get out of the chair!

Addi's MRI is scheduled for tomorrow morning, but we still aren't sure exactly what time yet. Hopefully the Neurologist will be able to review it and give us the results on Friday. Please please please pray for a reduction in swelling and NO damaged cells or tissues!

I have recently come across a bible verse that has encouraged me a lot of the past few days:
"God is able to do immeasurably more then all we could ask or imagine"
Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Five of Ten

This weekend has been pretty quiet for the most part. During the week there are so many people at the hospital and on the weekends it's like a ghost town. Brad's 30th birthday was Saturday. I know this isn't the way he wanted to spend it, but I think he still had a pretty good day. Saturday night we went to see Addi and I asked the nurse if he could hold her b/c it was his birthday. Of course she said yes! Brad was thrilled! They don't really want us to hold her a lot right now b/c of the IV in her head. I think this was the best birthday present he received...
Not much has changed with Addi over the past few days. She is on day 5 of her 10 day bowel rest. The nurse said she has been really good considering she hasn't eaten in 5 days. I get ill after skipping just one meal so I couldn't even imagine not eating for 5 days! Saturday they should start slowly introducing food back to her. Pray that her body responds well to it and the infection doesn't come back. If it comes back, then they have to start the 10 day bowel rest all over again.

Brad took a few pictures on our visits we had with her today. Here are my favorites...

This week is going to be really hard for Brad and me. He has to back to work tomorrow morning, so I will be making trips to see Addi by myself. I know this is killing him and it's going to be hard for him to concentrate on work since all he will be able to think about is his little girl in the NICU. He's going to try his hardest to make trips over here at lunch to see her. The visiting hours in the afternoon are from 4-6 and then 8-10:30. If he gets off work at 5:30, he wont be able to see her until 8 b/c there's no way he could get there in enough time to see her before 6. Please pray that he adjusts well to going back to work and maybe it will help him get his mind off of everything.

Friday, March 12, 2010

MRI results

We were told to be at the NICU at 8:00 am this morning. Well, we were there but the Neurologist wasn't. He decided to show up around 11:30. The nurse called to see where he was and he basically told her that he would be there when he got there. Of course we are about to throw up we are so nervous about hearing these results. But, we waited patiently for 3 1/2 hours until he arrived. I understand he's a VERY busy man, but these results were very important to us and a little bit of compassion would have been nice. I'm not trying to complain, but I just had to vent for a second :)

Once he got there and reviewed her MRI, him and the neonatologist on duty called us in the conference room. He basically said that the swelling was still there. There is some type of imaging that shows if there has been any damaged/dead brain cells or tissues and this test didn't show any of that, so that was good news. BUT, he said the brain cells/tissues could still become damaged or die b/c there was still swelling there. Of course this isn't what we wanted to hear, but we are still hopeful that the next MRI they do will show a reduction in the swelling. This test is scheduled for next Friday.

After we heard the results, we just needed time to ourselves so we could take it all in. We ended up going home for a little while. This was the first time in a week we have been home. Winnie (our cat) was glad when she saw us! Don't worry, my mom has been making trips to our house to feed her and everything so she is not neglected.

We came back around 4:00 to see Addi. She was sound asleep. The nurse said she had been taking her passy. She never takes it when we are there! After our visit with her, our friends Janna and Jared came to visit from Huntsville. We all went to the Fish Market. It was so nice to spend time with friends and get out of the hospital for a little while! I wish they lived closer!!

Around 9:30 we made another trip to the NICU to see our little girl. She was wide awake and squirming like crazy! Because there is a tube in her mouth she is constantly rubbing her tongue up against it to get it out. She looks like a little lizard! Brad asked the nurse if they could take the tube out for a little while b/c it seemed like it was bothering her so bad. The nurse said it wouldn't hurt just for a little while. As soon as she took it out, Addi calmed down and closed her eyes. I'm sure when we go back in the morning the tube will be back in, but it gave us peace of mind to know it wasn't bothering her when we had to leave!

Our sweet nurse that we love so much reminded us of a bible verse today:
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself."
Matthew 6:34

We know in our hearts that Addi will be healed and God is taking care of her. There is no need for us to constantly have this fear that something bad is going to happen. It's not going to do us any good. We just need to continue to give her to the Lord!

On another note, tomorrow is Brad's birthday!!! The big 3-0! Our plan is to sleep in for a little while. This is something we haven't done in long time :)

Please pray:
* She has no more seizures
* Her infection continues to heal in her tummy
* The swelling in her brain decreases
* No brain cells or tissues get damaged or die

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Addi can't date until she's 30

We went back to visit Addi around 4;00 this afternoon. They had already performed another x-ray and the doctor said it was looking normal. The way we understand it is they will do one more x-ray in the morning and if that one is normal then they will start the 7-10 days of no feedings.

When we went to see her at 9:30 she was wide awake! We love it when she has her eyes opened looking around. She was moving her arms and legs. I thought she looked so cute with her legs up like a little frog :) Below are a few pictures of our visit...

Tonight Brad had a little talk with Addi. He told her if she scared us again like she did last night that she wouldn't be allowed to date until she's 30. Haha! I think he's already scared to death of the day when she starts to be interested in boys!

We still aren't sure if they are going to do the MRI tomorrow like it was originally scheduled. I guess we will find out in the morning. Please pray that the swelling or any damage done to her brain will be healed. Also, we are still waiting on the EEG results from Monday. Pray for good news!

We don't understand why or how things happen the way they do, but we do know that God's plans are greater than our own. He is the great physician and will heal our little girl - this we are sure of.

One Step Back

Last night around 11:30 we received a phone call that Addi had some type of infection in her stomach. The doctor talked to Brad, but we still needed answers so we rushed over to the NICU. They wouldn't let us in at first and made us stay in the waiting room until they came to get us. The nurse came out and attempted to explain what was going on. She has an infection in the lining of her intestines. There's a huge 40 letter name for it, but they refer to it as NEC. The good news is it's treatable, but the bad news is she will be in there for AT LEAST another 10 days. This breaks our heart. They have put in a more permanent IV that goes in at her head and down to her stomach. There is also a tube going down her mouth to basically vacuum out her stomach. They don't want anything getting to her bowels so she will stop being fed and put back on IV fluids. An X ray was taken and the nurse practitioner showed it to us last night. You could see little air bubbles that were in the walls of her intestines. She explained that once the "air bubbles" were gone they would stop feeding her for another 7-10 days and then do some more x-rays. If they looked good, then food would be slowly introduced back to her.

This morning we were there to see Addi when visiting hours started at 8:00 am. She was wide awake and looked so normal and content. She's so sick, but still looks so happy and has no clue what is going on. They performed another x-ray on her at 7:00 am, but the results weren't in yet. So, we just sat there and talked to our baby girl for about an hour. As we were leaving the neonatologist motioned for us to come look at the newest x-ray. He sat down with us and explained again what was going on. He then showed us the difference in last night x-ray and the newest one. There was improvement! Praise Jesus! We aren't out of the woods yet though. They are going to do another x-ray this afternoon to make sure nothing else has come up. Please pray that this infection disappears and she reacts well to the antibiotics. She will start getting more fussy the next few days b/c she will realize she isn't eating.

The doctor seems to think that whatever caused the seizures might some how be related to this even though they are completely different vital organs. They are thinking all of this might have happened before she was born. We will more than likely never know the cause. I never had any complications during my pregnancy, which makes this such a mystery. Right now I'm not worried about what caused it, I'm just wanting her to get better!

Yesterday, one of my best friends sent me an e-mail of a devotional she gets everyday b/c she thought of Addi when she read it. There was a poem in it that really helped ease my mind about everything. While we were in the waiting room last night I kept reading it over and over. Because it affected me so much, I thought I would share it with you.


When your heart is heavy and burdened

And you can't see your way through,

While you're going through trials and testings

And you don't know what to do.

There's a friend above who watches

And He cares what happens to you;

This wonderful one is Jesus

And He will see you through.

He cares when your heart is troubled

And the tears come falling fast,

He will come and heal your broken heart

And make it a thing of the past.

When the battle seems too great to win

And hard the enemy's blast,

Remember the battle is not yours but the Lord's

And againstHim Satan can't last.

So keep your eyes upon Jesus

And your troubles on Him roll;

He will fight your battles for you

And His love to you unfold.

He is a great and wonderful God

And His love as pure as gold;

Put your trust in Him today

And you will find rest for your soul.

Linna L. Lyle

Please keep praying for the healing of Addi. We want her to come home so badly. I know God has a reason for all of this, but it's still hard for us to understand. This situation has not only brought us closer to Him, but closer to each other. Thank you again for all of your love and support during this difficult time in our lives.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Evening Visit

I just wanted to post a quick update on our sweet angel. We went to see her this morning and we were able to meet with the neurologist. I'll be honest when I say that I understood hardly anything he said. Next time I might have to ask him to literally explain things to me as if I'm a 5 year old. Haha. He basically said that he feels like she will be weaned off her seizure meds over the next 4-6 weeks. This is good news to me b/c I was scared she would continue to have more seizures. Of course, all of this is based on the results we get from today's EEG and Thursday's MRI. He said she clinically appears to be a healthy baby. I hate to try to explain the rest of the things he said b/c I'm still a little confused and I don't want to pass along information that could be incorrect. Over all, he seemed to be positive about everything.

Tonight, when we went to see her at 9:45 pm, there were still no results on the EEG. She was sound asleep when we got there and the nurse let me hold her for about 30 minutes - I will try to post pics tomorrow b/c I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open right now! We also got to watch her get a bath and be weighed. She was not too happy with the bath! I know it might seem weird but we loved to hear the sound of her cry/wimper during her bath b/c we haven't heard much noise out of her since the night she was born. She weighed 8 lbs. 7.9 oz. Of course we video taped everything! She is now eating 50 ML every 3 hours and they have capped off her IV. It's only going to be used for her antibiotics and seizure medicine for right now.

We are so overwhelmed with the prayers and support for Addi! We are beyond blessed and we can't wait to get our little angel home!!

I hope this post makes sense....I'm too tired to write anymore tonight. I will be sure to update whenever we hear results from the EEG.

Please don't stop praying.

Proud Papa

One thing I know for sure is that this little girl already has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. I have never seen Brad more in love than he is with her. Last night, we got back to the lodge from dinner and Brad grabbed his bible and headed to the Prayer Room. When he returned to our room, I asked him if he would share with me what he read. He told me I would find out a little bit later. I didn't really understand what he meant, but I just said o.k. Later that night, around 11:30 pm, we went to see our little girl. When we got there Brad asked the nurse if he could have some tape. He proceeded to hang up a piece of paper with the following scripture on it:

"O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me". Psalm 30:2

She now has this verse hanging up next to her in her crib. I about lost it!! I am so thankful to have such a wonderful husband who is so strong in his faith and Addi is lucky to have him as her daddy.

Also at our 11:30 pm visit, the nurse let us change her diaper!! (Actually Brad changed the diaper because I was too nervous about pulling her IV out) She then asked if we would like to hold her and of course we said YES! Since she can only be away from the blue light for a limited amount of time, I let Brad hold her and I just sat there watching them. He was grinning from ear to ear and talked to her about all of the things they are going to do once she gets better. Of course he told her he was going to take her hunting! Haha! I just shook my head.
Before Addi was born, I wanted to buy her a special dress to come home in. Brad kind of put a stop on that one b/c the dress I was looking at was $70. He just didn't see the point in spending that much money on a dress she wouldn't be able to wear for very long. Well, guess what???? He told me the day she went in the NICU that I could buy any dress I wanted for her because her going home day was going to be very special!!! She is going to be spoiled rotten!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making Progress

Since my last post there have been many improvements! First of all, the social worker at the hospital offered us two nights stay at the hospital hotel free of charge. This is such a blessing! The hotel is connected to the hospital, so we only have about a 5 minute walk to the NICU. Thanks to many other generous people from both St. John's and Ridgecrest we have 4 more nights for us to stay here in addition to the first two! We will be basically living in the hotel until Friday. I can't stand the thought of going home without our little girl.

This morning we woke up and went to see Addi at 9:00 am. We had taken several stuffed animals to keep in her bassinet/warmer and we noticed one had a bandage on his foot and blood pressure cuff on his arm. The nurse wanted to get the stuffed animals in on the action! It made us laugh and we immediately fell in love with this nurse! Because Addi is under a "blue light" for her jaundice, the nurse also made little gauze sunglasses for the teddy bear. Below is a picture of Addi with her "sunglasses" on and then a picture of little bear in his.

I truly believe the nurse that had Addi today was a blessing from God. She was amazing. She took time out to show us everything she was doing while she was checking Addi's vitals. I even got to get in on the action! She let me take Addi's temperature. I was so excited b/c I have felt so helpless just going in there to watch her sleep. It's amazing how such a small
thing like taking your child's temperature could make you so happy!
There was one point when I got really upset and just broke down. This nurse came and put her arms around me and it just let me know that she really cares and wants to do whatever possible to make us comfortable. Before we left she asked if she could pray with us. We all gathered around Addi's bed and the nurse led us in prayer. She truly is a blessing and I hope Addi has her again this week.

Dr. Bruce (the neonatologist) happened to be there when we arrived this morning. He said they were going to cut Addi's ventilator down and if she could breath on her own for an hour without it then they would take out her breathing tube. As we were eating lunch, the nurse called to tell us she was breathing on her own and the tube was out AND we would be able to hold her at the next visiting hours!!!! We couldn't wait to get over there and hold her...we were shaking with excitement. :) We were only allowed to hold her for 30 minutes b/c she couldn't be away from the light for that long. Brad and I split the time up and we each got 15 minutes.

The only tube she has in now is her feeding tube. They are gradually increasing the amount of food she is getting. The difference in the way she looked this morning versus this afternoon is amazing. She is so much more active and she had her eyes open the entire time we were holding her.
They also suggested we carry around little stuffed animals in our shirts and later put them next to her head so she can start learning our "smell".

We are continually amazed by the support and prayers we are getting. We love the phone calls and visits. There is a family room right across the hall from our room and it has been filled with people at all times today. Please pray for the EEG tomorrow. Our specific prayer is that they find no brain damage or increased swelling. Thanks again for your love and support.

We are going back to visit her at 11:30 pm. Hopefully I will have more good news to share!

A Bump in the Road...

Addison Kerr Alston arrived 3/4/10 at 5:02 pm. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 9 oz. and 22 1/2 inches long. She has a head full of hair and is absolutely perfect! I think she has a tint of red in her hair, but of course Brad disagrees :) It's really a light brown color. Here is a picture right after she was born...
The night she was born the nurse wanted to take her to the nursery so Brad and I could both get some rest. She brought her back into the room when it was time for her feedings. So, she came in and fed about 3 times during the night. The next morning, she was brought back to us so we could care for her during the day. Brad had gone home to shower and to bring a few things back to the hospital that we had forgot. While he was gone his mom came to sit with me. The pediatrician from Peds East came to check on Addi. After taking her vitals and changing her diaper, she said she was a healthy baby. About 5 minutes later the RN came in to check on Addi and she noticed Addi had turned a blueish color. She immediately took her to be examined and they quickly got her to the NICU.

My OB-GYN came in to tell me the situation. I tried not to panic, but I was scared to death. Another nurse came in to tell us that Addi had started having seizures while in the NICU. These seizures cause her to loose Oxygen and therefore stop breathing and turn the blue color that we had all seen earlier. I immediately called Brad and he quickly came back to the hospital. When he got there they allowed him to go see her in the NICU. I couldn't go because I was still hooked to an IV getting antibiotics. Plus, I had to get myself and my emotions under control. I needed to be strong for our baby girl.

Our parents and other family members and friends began piling in the room. There was A LOT of prayer going on! They finally let me off the IV for a minute so I could go see her. It was the most heart breaking moment standing there looking at our baby girl who had been perfectly fine the night before now having to be in a warmer with IV's stuck everywhere and hooked to all different machines.

The Neonatologist came to talk to us and of course told us the worst case scenerios. He felt that the seizures could be caused by a sub-hematoma on her brain - this is what we would want it to be b/c it would just go away in a few weeks - or the seizures could be caused by her having a stroke. He said only an MRI would give us some of the results we needed. Once they gave Addi the meds she needed to calm down the seizures, they took her back for an MRI. She began having the seizures again once the MRI was over with. The pediatric radiologist noticed swelling in her brain from the MRI results. I about lost it. Actually, I did lose it! All I could think was "my barely 1 day old daughter has swelling on her brain?? Why? How? What happens next? What can I do to help? I need to fix this!" - These were all the things running through my mind.

Brad and I went down to see her again once visiting hours began and they had put an oxygen tube down her throat. That killed us inside to see that. The neonatal nurses are amazing and they have done everything they can to help us understand what is going on. They have been VERY patient with us.

When Brad and I went to see her this morning, we found out she hadn't had a seizure since about 1:30 am. This is a great improvement! It seems like they finally have the right amount of seizure meds in her system for them to stop right now. Also, she is relying a little less on her ventilator. Hopefully these seizures will stay under control with the meds and she will be able to breath completely on her own! This is one of our many many prayers right now b/c once she is off the ventilator and her seizures are under control, we can actually hold her! They have allowed us to touch her, but we can't hold her until these things have been accomplished.

We have been taking pictures of her and video taping her like crazy! Here are a few that we have taken...

These past few days have become a blur to us and we figured this would be the best avenue to keep people up to date on what is happening. I'm sure I have left a lot of things out, but I will have to update later b/c it's all I can do to keep my eyes open!

We do want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We know that we will be taking Addi home one day (hopefully soon), but until then God has her in his loving care. Thank you.

Mary Beth and Brad

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

39 Weeks

Well...I was supposed to have my 39 week check-up yesterday morning, but that didn't happen! I woke up around 4:00 AM with the worst stomach bug I've ever had in my entire life. I called my doctor's nurse and she said that there was one going around and I just needed to let it run it's course. She also said it could last 2-3 days. Last night, I took some phenegrin and it knocked me out and took my nausea away. Luckily, I woke up this morning feeling 100% better. I still went ahead and took the day off work just in case. I seriously would not want to subject this mess to anyone. Lets hope Brad doesn't get it!

I started having contractions yesterday and it really freaked me out at first. First of all, I wasn't sure if that's what was happening b/c I have never had them before. But, the nurse said since I had been throwing up that it was common for contractions to start. I haven't had any more since the last time I threw up. Gross, I know.

My 39 week appointment has now been rescheduled to tomorrow morning and I'm hoping some sort of progress has been made!