Monday, September 7, 2009

A Step Closer to Home

Our hearts are heavy as we write tonight. Our church family lost a three month old baby boy last night. Please pray for the Farmer family as they grieve this incredible loss. We would also like to ask for prayer for Marshall and his family. He is in the NICU right beside Aleah! His extended family goes to church with us. His Daddy is fighting for us all in Iraq. I can't imagine how hard that must be for his Mommy.

Aleah Kathryn is doing great. She continues to make strides toward a full recovery--such a different story than what we were experiencing last week. In just a few hours she will be one week old. It is hard to believe that it has only been a week, for so much has happened in the past seven days. Thank you for those following our story and for the continued prayers. We firmly believe that you all have been a part of making her first week possible.

Today Aleah began nursing, decreased her need for oxygen and spent most of the day in Mommy or Daddy's arms. She is becoming quite accustomed to being held. We are trying to make up for the lost time from her first few days of life when we were not able to hold her. Meme and Papa also got to hold her today.

She is showing her "spirit" more and more. She reminds us so much of Avery (well, and her Mommy, too.) She is fiesty and determined to have things her way. While nursing, she decided she no longer needed her feeding tube and she pulled it out and then proceeded to try hard to get rid of the oxygen cannula. She must have tried 25 times to pull that out, too. When her nurse tried to replace the feeding tube, Aleah pulled it out at least 4 more times while the nurse tried to get it taped in place, until finally Daddy had to hold her hands down. After many trys and through her crys of protest, they successfully got all her tubes back in place! Did we mention it is great to hear her cry! Today was the first time we have heard her cry since just after she was born.

Thank you Dory for helping Alivia and Avery have a great day. We heard stories of playing hide and seek, making cards for Aleah, playing babies and dress up, and on and on.

After dinner tonight, Kristen and her Dad went back to the hospital and were thrilled to find that Aleah had been moved to the intermediate stepdown unit. This is still technically the ICN, but is one step closer to home. And, since Aleah spent some of the day without her extra oxygen (while she was trying to pull it off her face), her nurse tonight was going to try an "air" test to see if she would tolerate breathing without any extra oxygen! (Determination ultimately gets you where you want to be.)

Thank you Christa for helping out tonight. Alivia had fun having big girl time with you painting finger nails and doing "girl stuff."

We finished the night with a trip to Krispy Kreme for hot doughnuts to celebrate. Papa was the hero when he walked in with hot doughnuts and of course a couple of chocolate covered sprinkle covered versions for Alivia and Avery. This was a middle of the night tradition that my Daddy started when I was little. Anytime he was out late at night after a rescue call or other trip to Raleigh, he would return with hot doughnuts. I carried this tradition with me through my college days introducing it to many close friends and now Mark helps the cause on occasion when we need a sweet treat late at night. Our girls love it, too! It was another full day and we are all exhausted. Happy Labor Day!

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