Feb 15 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Jan 19 2013

7 months!

7 months!

Yikes! Where does the time go? Abilene is 7 months today! She did have a visit to the pediatrician this morning for a vaccine but I asked the nurse to check her weight and they are always so kind to oblige. She weighed in around 19 pounds! Healthy baby girl! She is VERY long and wears 12 month clothing. She is a true joy to have in our lives. She is the most relaxed, laid back and easy going kiddo. She just rolls with the punches and only gets mad when she is hungry and/or super tired. She does have her particulars: like NOT taking a bottle or formula for that matter. She has forced mama to jump through NUMEROUS hoops to keep her supply but I have been off meds for just under a month now without any drop in supply levels! Yippee! Especially since the medication I was taking made me gain about 20 pounds. Yuck. Anyway, when she sleeps she never liked to lay down. So she slept in a reclined position (thank you nap nanny and rock n play). Whenever she feels kinda yucky, she wants back in that position. Once she is up, she is out!

Little Miss Abilene has now settled into a pretty good routine with sleep. She wakes around 9 am, goes down for her morning nap between 10:30 and 11 am, wakes again around noon-ish or so and hangs out until about 3:30p and crashes again anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. She then is ready for night time sleep around 7 to 7:30 pm. Pretty regular schedule.

She absolutely LOVES to eat. Nursing is okay but FOOD (fruit to be precise) is her passion! She eats an entire packet (around 4 oz) of food 3 times a day! Plus her cereal and snacks! This little lady just gets so much enjoyment from her feeding times.

Abilene loves bath time. I did not have experience with a baby with hair and she has a ton of it. So this was a bit new to me. We have to actually dry her hair every night before bed! She loves it:) It is so cute to watch her watching herself in the mirror. She also loves her excersaucer and jumperoo. She has very strong legs and uses them every chance she gets.

Tummy time was not a fave of this gal’s. So we didn’t do much of it. She has really had NO interest in rolling. But she will go from tummy to back when she gets tired and will get on her side to get at toys.

Teething. Oh the joys (pain) of teething. We are pretty sure she has been experiencing some teething pain. Poor baby. It has been kinda rough but thankfully it comes and goes.

Abilene loves to chew/taste/manipulate/swing/bang/bat/grab/hold onto/smash just about anything within reach. It is so sweet to watch her interact with her brothers. She has the 2 best big brothers in the whole wide world (of course I am not biased or anything:)

Sitting: Ah yes, the “sitting” milestone. She does quite well in the highchair and in the bumbo but no, she is not sitting on her own. Not really her thing right now. She is quite content being waited on hand and foot.

Oh, I almost forgot, she is SUPER DUPER ticklish! I love it, daddy loves it, the boys love it and we exploit it frequently! And now without further ado, here she is!

Loving eating all the toys!

Ooh, squishy turtle, he is super tasty!

Hmmm, what part should I taste next?

Thanks Mom! New toys to munch on!

She got to spend the evening with her Great Grandma Brown and celebrate her birthday. (And yes, Abilene just gets super comfy wherever she is)

Sep 19 2012

3 months

3 months

I know this blog has been tumbleweeds lately but we have been crazy (to put it lightly). I made a promise though (to myself) that I would get her 3 month post up today!

So, little Miss Abilene is 3 months old today! She is so sweet and by far the best baby I have had (stage for stage). We are in a great groove although I think she sleeps a bit more than I am comfortable with but who am I to complain? Her smile will melt your heart and she is just a jabberbox! She loves to coo at you and “talk” with you. She also has a favorite toy, Mr. Froggy. Man, she goes NUTS over him! Abilene is definitely a flirt. I have to keep my eye on her. She adores her daddy and brothers. She likes me but she is definitely different with them. I am just the milk maiden. The boys and daddy are barrels of fun! We are working on tummy time and that has been a bit tough since she absolutely HATES it plus she sometimes struggles for air and that makes me a bit apprehensive. Other than that we are totally on par for her milestones! At last weigh in and measurement which was just last Thursday, she weighed in at 13 pounds 9.6 ounces. She measured 23 1/2 inches. Her head was a ginormous 17 inches! Whew! This little lady is still tiny even though she is a big girl. She has been in 3-6 month clothing for quite some time now and even stretches into some 6-9 month clothing:) She is our joy and it is amazing to be her mommy! Here she is!

All 3 of my sweet babies.

Abilene’s first jeep ride

Don’t mess with the do!

All ready for bed. Goodnight!


Aug 21 2012

So Proud

So Proud

Abraham was so proud he wrote his name with no help from mommy or daddy. We were proud too!

Aug 4 2012

Going Home!

Going Home!

Yeah! We are released! We are going home!!!!

Aug 4 2012

Whirlwind days

Whirlwind days

Wednesday was not a good day. I was excited to get up in the morning and get the day going as we were to be released! I got everything packed up and the great waiting game began. I had to wait for the pulmonologist to come around and tell me the results of all the tests and give me the plan of action and send us on our way. I was happy to be going home because sleeping on a couch in Abilene’s room isn’t exactly quality sleep. Docs usually made their rounds by 9 am and when the clock struck 10 am and still no doctor. I asked my nurse to look into it. She did and said they were still making rounds. Then it was noon and then 1 pm. I made it very clear at 2 pm that if I hadn’t seen the doctor by 4 pm, I was discharging us. We were going to leave. Dr. C came to see me at 3 pm. She apologized and then started in on the findings.

Abilene’s echocardiogram, bronchoscopy and sleep study all came back negative. Her chest CT also was read as negative but it did show some collapsing of the posterior lung tissue and a diffuse haziness throughout both lungs. Nothing super worrisome but not conclusive to determine anything either. All common causes of tachypnea were ruled out. Now they have to look for the less common causes. So the next course of action was to perform a lung biopsy. My jaw hit the floor. This is not a simple procedure. She would have to be sedated. She would have an incision made in her chest and pleura and the tissue removed. Then she would be placed in ICU until she recovered from the procedure which could be a couple days or weeks. It just depends on her ability to recover from the trauma of the surgery. This was horrible news. We had 4 options:

1. Do nothing. Get discharged and move to OKC and wait this out.

CON: Her body may fail her at any time and/or she will suffer from confusion (which means she will not be able to control breathing/eating properly and she will aspirate).

2. Move to OKC and have the procedure done there.

CON: I have NO help with the boys during this.

3. Wait until we get back from OKC to have the procedure done.

CON: She may not be thriving by that point. This problem could progress.

4. Get the biopsy done as soon as possible.

CON: Aaron has to go to OKC by himself and we figure out a way to join him after she is better or Aaron cancels starting the new job altogether.

Aaron and I both were very much against the biopsy. Having to have her sedated and her pleura punctured is just not good for a baby so young. I just couldn’t consent without seriously praying about it. Our doctor was very kind to allow us to sit on the decision overnight and get back with her in the morning.

Sit/stew about it is what we did all night long. We did some internet research and have some more questions for the doctors and will most likely resolve to have the procedure done here at Riley while Aaron goes off to OKC.

So now it is Thursday morning. I get to meet with Dr. C and we discuss some of the questions we have. I get some answers. I still don’t feel like I can say “go ahead” and fortunately Dr. C had contacted her dept head who was coming into the office and wanted to meet to discuss our case. She is from North Carolina and recently came to Riley. She might be able to offer another perspective and possible alternative treatment plan. So we put the decision on hold until that meeting takes place. In the mean time, Aaron and the boys come up to Riley to hang out with me and beans. Dr. C returns and we are able to hear the results of the meeting with Dr. D (the dept head) together. It turns out that due to our delay in response some of the lab results from Abilene’s bronchoscopy sample started to come in. There is a bacteria culture that is GROWING! She has a bacteria in her lungs!!!! With this news, the biopsy is put on hold. Abilene will be put on an antibiotic and start steroids to help her expand her lungs. They will also be ordering a feeding study to see if she is aspirating milk (which could be the cause for the bacteria in her lungs).

I cannot tell you how much I appreciated all the prayers from everyone. We know that this test result coming in when it did was God answering our prayer for wisdom not to open her up. The lung biopsy is no simple procedure and we REALLY didn’t want to do it unless we ABSOLUTELY had to. Thank you Lord for showing us the way!

Abilene was put on a course of antibiotics, steroids and Zantac for reflux. She does not like the Zantac but will easily take the other meds (which are more important anyway!). Now we wait and see how she responds. We are also going to have a feeding study done to see if she can protect her airway.

Friday was awesome. She definitely has started to respond. Her respiratory rate has dropped into the normal. She is in the 60s when excited and 40s or lower when sleeping! This is normal!!! We are so excited that the steroids are working! She is so happy too! This little lady has been smiling and playing games with me. I even got some shots of her smile on camera! I notice a HUGE difference with her. Granted she is becoming more mature every day but I honestly think she feels better to not be panting.

On Friday morning, Dr. C came in and let me know that she is noticing an improvement and to let me know the feeding study will be done today.¬† I get word that the study will happen at 10:45 am. Poor beans can’t eat 4 hours prior except for just a little to get her through until study time because they need her hungry. Let’s just say Abilene didn’t much care for that. She wanted to eat when she wanted to eat. But thankfully, she was hungry enough to drink from a bottle (which she has had NO practice) and did it well! She protected her airway perfectly although she did have a little bit go up into her nose/nasal cavity which explains what Dr. M saw on the bronchoscopy:) We are getting somewhere! The plan as of Friday was for us to stay the weekend to monitor Abilene’s progress and make sure she has no reaction to the meds. We would be released on Monday. That was doable. We could still take off to OKC as planned and follow up with the pulomonlogist out there. As of Friday afternoon, Abilene was doing so great that our release time had been upped to Sunday! Yippee!!

Saturday morning: Now it is Saturday and I met with Dr. T who hasn’t met Abilene yet. He listens to me and I ask to be released today. She is doing AWESOME. She is eating. She is gaining weight. She is happy as all get out. She is breathing NORMALLY!!! Let’s go home! Dr. T sees no problem with that. He just wants to check with everyone else (nurses and Dr. P) to make sure they agree that she is truly doing great. I am super stoked that we may be home today!! And that Abilene is responding to the drug treatment and that we did NOT have to send our baby girl for surgery. Seriously, this big of a change and turnaround is nothing short of a miracle. God’s intervention is written all over this and I know it is because we have been surrounded by loving prayer warriors who were petitioning on our behalf¬† – THANK YOU!!!

I will keep you posted on our departure:) In the mean time, enjoy these pictures.

**pictures will be forthcoming as my computer is acting silly!

Jul 30 2012

Hello Riley

Hello Riley

I am sitting here in Abilene’s hospital room. We had our appointment with the pulmonologist and it landed us an admittance to the hospital. Abilene’s respirations should be around 40 to 50 but she runs about 100 to 120. That is not good. She does have good oxygen saturation, so she is getting the O2 she needs but she has to breathe a whole bunch to get it. We are currently working to find out why. She had a CT scan performed tonight and tomorrow she will have a sleep study performed and on Wednesday she will have a bronchoscopy. We still are waiting to find out when the EKG will be performed. The tests are being run to find out what exactly is going on. She could have lung disease, a heart problem or “floppy” cartilage that is blocking her airway.

I am tired. I am discouraged. We are leaving in a mere 7 days and I get to spend the next 3 of them at Riley Children’s Hospital. Not exactly what I had planned. But I know God is in control. We are doing the right thing by getting her into the BEST place possible with the BEST doctors and right here near home. It is just tough to do and be away from my husband and boys especially when I have TONS to do…like PACKING!!! Oh well. It will happen when it happens. Please pray for all the testing to be done quickly so we can be released and sent home. Also, please pray for a good outcome/results and to have this resolved quickly or at least be something easily treated out in OKC.

I need to sleep…thank you all so much for your prayers.

Jul 25 2012

Update and prayer request

Update and prayer request

Abilene is 37 days old! She had her “1 month” appointment today. She weighs in at 11 pounds 2.5 ounces. She is 22 inches long (not 100% sure as I didn’t get to see the measurement). Her head is 16 inches in circumference! She is one big girl:)

All went well. We have had some concern over her breathing ever since she was born. She pants. Also, her chest cavity just doesn’t look right. We mentioned this at her 2-week appointment but all was considered normal. Well, it hasn’t stopped. She still pants. The nurse and doc were able to see it today and ordered a chest x-ray just to be sure. They called me tonight at 6:15 pm to let me know that a radiologist from Riley had reviewed her x-rays and they have determined she has low lung volumes. She is not fully inflating her lungs. Not sure why but that is causing the panting. We will be seeing a pulmonologist ASAP. Please pray that we are able to get answers quickly and are able to help her to live a full life. We don’t want her to be restricted in her activities due to her breathing. Please pray for peace for Aaron and me as we make decisions and go to the doctor appointments in the midst of us moving 700 miles away from home.

We have had lots of visitors since my last post. Abilene got to meet her Great Grandpa Shinkle and Mary, Great Aunt Connie and Great Uncle Robert, attend her first wedding and meet her Great Aunt Brenda and Great Uncle Jerry and Great Grandma Fern! Abilene also got to travel outside Indiana before she was 4 weeks old! She also got to meet her Uncle Adam and celebrate her Grandpa Daniel’s birthday:)

Anyway, here are some cute pictures! **No, I haven’t forgotten the boys, this post is just for my beans (aka Abilene).

Love how she looks like she is giggling with her Grandpa

Loving the popeye look while she is sucking on her fingers (a fave past time).

Her first trip to Incredible Pizza Company

Our snugglebug

She is so alert at times and just loves to take it all in.

This is the dress she wore to the wedding. She is so stinkin’ cute! I wish the weather weren’t so hot because she burns up in most outfits…so she spends many days in just a diaper or diaper and onesie!

LOVES BATH TIME! **side note** creepy resemblance to Fargo…anyone watch Eureka?

One of our rare trips OUTSIDE. As you can see, she was NOT happy about the heat.

Cuddling with her pops

Uber side note*** I have started riding again! Yeah!! I have 19.5 miles under my belt since returning to riding on Monday:) It is awesome! I can’t believe how much I have missed it. It would have been a year in September since my last ride. Craziness. I look forward to riding out in Oklahoma:) Also, I am 2 pounds LIGHTER than my lowest ever (besides being a kid) and I am well below my starting weight from Abilene’s pregnancy! I am within 3 pounds of saying I have lost 85 pounds! Woohoo! Thank you Jesus!


Jul 21 2012

Abilene’s pictures!

Abilene's pictures!

Here is the link to her newborn photo session! Please feel free to let me know if you want me to send you any of these photos and what sizes you would like. I will make an order in the near future and send them out. Love to you all:)


Jul 10 2012

3 weeks today!

3 weeks today!

Goodness, how can she be 3 weeks already? Time sure is flying by! We even celebrated her first “first” holiday – Independence Day! Here are some pictures but pictures are so much fun!

Hilarious sleeping position

She really enjoys bath time

Our family – now 5! We were decked out for Independence Day

Our little girl’s first 4th!

Mommy and Daddy

Sweet baby kisses

Abel wanted to give Abilene kisses

And Abraham had to give Abilene kisses too!

This is how we have been beating the heat…indoor pool (kinda)!

I am how old??? 3 weeks today little missy!

We don’t venture out much these days between the heat and my immuno-suppression going on right now (which affects Abilene). Hanging out at home has been tough but worth it for sure. Still trying to catch up on everything and get into the new “normal” for our family. Abilene still wakes to eat about every 2 to 3 hours so sleep is few and far between. That’s okay. Life will go on! This mama needs to crash as the baby is now asleep. Goodnight!