Sunday, September 27, 2009

What a handful!

When we got to the hospital today, our favorite nurse told us that Sharon had pulled out her breathing tube this morning at 6 AM. I guess she just got tired of it again (since this is the second time she's pulled it out). They put a different breathing device on her that just goes over her nose & pushes oxygen mixed with regular air down her nose, and requires a lot more breathing on her part. She has to breathe in order for the oxygen to get all the way into her lungs. We think she looks like a very strange elephant, but she seemed a little happier to have more room in her mouth. She's lasted about 12 hours this way, rather than just the 6 hours that she lasted last time.
She's up to 2 lbs 6 oz now, but will probably have lost some when they weigh her again because of how hard she's having to work to get enough oxygen. She definitely looks a little chubbier & we love seeing her grow!
So, there's the update on our ornery little girl.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sorry it's been so long since I updated. I've gotten requests for an update, so here it is, along with some pictures from this week. You can see in them that Sharon has started filling out, mainly due to her good digestion of the milk she's getting. Here's a picture with her little dog beanie baby, just to show a bit of scale.
On Monday, Sharon reached her highest weight ever of 1050 grams, which is around 2 lbs. 5 oz. They started weaning her ventilator support as well, to try to get her to start breathing on her own more. Unfortunately, the bacteria in her throat and lungs is causing extra secretions & Sharon was struggling to keep up her oxygen saturation. After a couple of very stressful days of having her crash on her oxygen, they bumped her vent support back up, and she's had two great days. She certainly is more active when she's got more oxygen, and it's good to see her moving around a bit more.
I like this picture of her with the hat on, mainly because I think it makes her look like a grouchy old lady. They have started treating her with an antibiotic for the bacteria in her throat, since it is basically acting as a pneumonia by causing all the congestion in her lungs. Hopefully with this treatment it will help her be able to breath a lot better.I took this picture yesterday when she had her eyes open really wide. You can see how light her hair is, and we are kind of wondering if it might have some red in it. It's hard to see how cute her face is with it all taped and squished like that, but take my word for it, she's the cutest baby in the world (and I'm not biased at all!).
She is now up to 19 ml of milk every three hours. She's doing well digesting it, and has very interesting looking poop because of the milk (it's totally normal, I just hadn't ever seen breast milk poop before).
This picture is of Ammon looking through at Sharon. She was all bundled up like a burrito with her dog today. It was cute. Her nurse also stuck a little bow to her head & she looked so sweet!
I don't remember if I said that she is now 14 1/2 inches long and I will get an updated length on Monday. She is doing well, even with the bacteria problems. We love getting to see her & are amazed at her growth & strength! Thanks for all your love, support & prayers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just an update

It's been a few days since I posted an update, so I thought all of you might enjoy some news & a few pictures. Sharon is doing really well. She's been getting steadily larger amounts of breast milk each day & she's been doing a great job digesting it. She is up to 15 cc of milk, which is about half an ounce (I know, it doesn't seem like much, but she is pretty tiny). I called for an update this morning since we aren't going to be able to make it down to visit her today. This will be the first day I haven't seen her since she was born!
This picture was taken right after we got her settled into my arms to hold her yesterday. That is her "leave me alone" sign. She tends to do that, or put her hand up with the palm out, which means "stop." This is just her way of telling us that she doesn't like it and wants to be left alone. She will also get the hiccups if she gets too stressed, which the nurse told us is fairly common.

She is gaining weight well. She was born at 1 lb 12 oz and is now up to 2 lbs 4 oz. Her arms and legs aren't as scrawny as when she was born, and her little tummy is filling out as well. Her head is also looking so much better, since she's well hydrated & the bruising is gone. Her black eye is also almost totally healed.
She measured 13.5 inches at birth, and is now 1 inch longer at 14.5. She continues to do well, though she is up and down on her oxygen saturation, which is totally normally for a baby this small. She is still very grouchy when it comes time to change her diaper and other things that require her to be moved around.
We were comparing some of the first pictures we took of Sharon with this one that we took yesterday. You can tell that she has grown because she fills out her skin better. Her arms and legs are bigger & her stomach is definitely rounder. Her skin is also not as translucent as it was.
We are excited for her progress & continued growth. Thank you again for all your help & prayers.
Also, a special thanks to the Relief Society sisters in both the Hualapi Foothills & Kingman Wards for their gifts. You have no idea how much they are appreciated, and how they fulfilled specific needs. We love you & are amazed at your willingness to help so freely! Thank you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Joy & Sorrow

This morning I was reading a post from one of my friends about joy & sorrow, & I really got to thinking about our current circumstances. I know that a lot of you might read my blog posts about Sharon & think, "Wow, she's taking this really well!" Yes, it may seem that way, because I really do try to think positively, but I want you to know, that in those quiet moments during the middle of the night (usually while I'm pumping), it is hard to keep those nagging, terrifying thoughts from creeping in. Those are the hardest moments, when I start to worry about the future & whether I will have my little girl much longer. I am constantly amazed at her strength & fight, & hope that I can be half as strong as her! I know that Heavenly Father is most definitely in control of things, but not having a crystal ball that allows me to see the future makes it hard to keep from worrying.
I pray every day that this beautiful girl will be allowed to stay with us for a very long time. I can't even imagine the pain I would feel if she were to be taken back after such a short time. Even just thinking about it has brought tears to my eyes. But, I also know that we are an eternal family. Just because I am in a tough spot doesn't mean the truths learned in Holy temples stop applying. I know that my sweet Sharon is mine for eternity & that if I don't have the opportunity to raise her now, I will later. I don't believe that a loving Heavenly Father would take her away & not let me see her again. I have never known the kind of love that I feel for this amazing child! My heart has grown beyond measure in the last two and half weeks & I know that I will never be the same.
I am grateful for my husband, for his strong testimony, & for his ability to keep me grounded when I feel like everything is beyond my control. I am grateful that he understands that sometimes I just need to cry. The crying doesn't mean that I have lost faith, or that I am afraid, it just means that I have too many emotions & thoughts & feelings inside & crying seems to be the only way they are able to be released.
I am also grateful for the church hymns & the children's primary songs, because I know that they teach basic gospel principles that are true. Music has always been the fastest way for the Spirit to touch my soul, & I know that I have gained my testimony largely through melody & harmony & eternal lyrics. They speak peace & comfort when nothing else can!
Sorry for this long post. Conversation of joy & sorrow just got me thinking about this time of life. I have felt the greatest sorrow, fear, & worry in the last two & half weeks, but I have also felt the sweetest joy & happiness & peace. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, & loves Sharon. I know that this experience is changing me, shaping me into something better. It surely hurts, but I can tell that I am going to be so much better off when it's all said & done.
Thanks Angela for reminding me of the blues!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hello Daddy!

Yesterday was a good visit to the hospital. It was Ammon's first time holding Sharon, & it was so exciting! He is such a good papa! He was kind of scared because she is just so tiny, but I think he was able to get over than after holding her. It looks like the weird bacteria has disappeared. We will know for sure today as this is the last day of the culture, so we are hoping it is gone so we don't have to wear the gowns, masks and gloves anymore. Shari's belly button scab fell off, so now we can see her cute little belly button. She lost 5 grams yesterday, but is still at 895, which is right at two pounds. The echocardiogram showed that the vein in her heart is still open but is small to moderate size. We are hoping it will still close on its own, and the doctors are keeping an eye on it for the next few days. She was doing really well. They are going to be slowly increasing the amount of milk she gets after every third feeding. She is pooping well on her own, and actually filled her pants just before we left yesterday. Good girl! We love our tiny baby & thank you for all your prayers on her behalf! We know that those prayers have been heard as she has been doing so well!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A good way to lose weight

So Sharon has some kind of bacteria growing in her throat that isn't really supposed to be there, so she is in isolation until further notice. What does that mean for us? That means that we have to wear gloves, gowns & masks. I did get to hold her yesterday (which is when this picture was taken), though not today because she was getting a blood transfusion. All the stuff we have to wear makes it even hotter in the room, & makes us sweat a lot more. We haven't stayed very long lately because it is just so hot in the room & under the plastic gowns. She is still doing well, & weighs just under 2 pounds right now. She is being fed 2 cc of milk every three hours now & she is doing fairly well. The vein in her heart is still open & causing some problems with her oxygen saturation, but that's fairly normal. We have to wait until Monday to find out if this bacteria is something to worry about, since Infectious Disease Control apparently doesn't work on weekends. We are still positive & love seeing our little girl! Her eyes are opening more frequently & a bit wider, & she looks so sweet with them open! Thanks for your continued prayers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Her eyes are open!

When my mom and I got to the hospital to visit Sharon today, the nurse told us that her eyes are finally open (they've been fused shut since she was born). We were so excited & just hoped she would open them while we were there!
We got our wish & got to see her little eyes open a little bit. She didn't like the bright lights, so the nurse shaded her face a little so I could get a picture. She had them opened more, but squeezed them shut with the lights on. So, this picture is as good as I got today. Doesn't she look sweet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A wonderful Labor Day!

I got to hold my baby for the first time yesterday! It was amazing! She is so tiny! You can see how light her hair is in this picture. I loved feeling her breathing & moving against me. They also finished with the photo therapy yesterday, so they removed the big ski mask & we could see her face a lot better. She hasn't opened her eyes yet, but you can see her moving them under her eyelids. She is quite expressive when she decides to be! Anyway, just wanted to share my happy news!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A fun post!

Just to show you that we do still have other things going on in our lives, I thought I would post a picture & share a funny story. Last night we had dinner at my mom & dad's house. I was the first one done, so I took my plate into the kitchen, rinsed it off, & put it in the dishwasher. Then, I got an evil idea! I grabbed a rubberband & tied it around the sprayer that is next to the sink, which would keep the button pressed down. Much to my enjoyment, Ammon was the next one to take his plate over to rinse it off. As he tried to rinse, it took a second for him to realize what was happening & to figure out why no water was coming out of the regular faucet. Then he said, "Who did it! Who was it!" I had actually forgotten that I'd done it, & didn't remember until I heard him say that. I started laughing, & my family couldn't figure out why until Ammon stepped out of the kitchen looking like this!
I was laughing so hard I was crying! It was great to laugh like that, since I haven't had many reasons to this week. Ammon wasn't exactly thrilled about it, but it was pretty hilarious! I have done this one other time & my mom ended up being the victim of that prank. Oh, good times!

Some neat pictures

I hope you aren't getting sick of all these blue pictures because I have some that we took yesterday that I really love! They really show just how tiny our little Sharon is. This first one is Ammon holding her hand & his wedding ring. Her hand is just as big as his fingertip. In this one she actually has his wedding ring on her arm. It could go all the way up to her shoulder, & was still extremely loose! Oh, my tiny little baby! It will be an exciting day when that ring no longer fits onto your arm!

Friday, September 4, 2009

She's just so tiny

We took this picture of Sharon & Ammon's hands on Wednesday. I just thought you all might like to see a picture that shows just how small she is. Those are Ammon's hands, which are just average sized for a man. Just thought it was a good picture. This picture is of the nurse's hands inside the incubator with Sharon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thanks everyone!

I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments & especially your prayers. I know how much they are helping not only Sharon but Ammon & I as well. I know that we would have a much harder time remaining calm & positive without all the love & support of our family & friends. We are constantly amazed at how well things are turning out, not just with Sharon, but with our circumstances & other things going on. We have been so blessed, & I am sure there are more miracles to come. I will try to post updates every once in awhile on my blog, so keep watching. Thanks again! We are so grateful for all the prayers!