1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

7 weeks old


The first two pictures are from a few weeks ago during and after Rachel's first "baby tub" bath. She loves being in the water and is looking forward to when she can have a "baby tub" bath again.

Last week she had head and hip ultrasounds done. Her head ultrasound came back normal- her vents continue to measure normal with no signs of hydrocephalus. Yeah!!! Rachel's neurologist gave her the thumbs up and she does not need another head ultrasound until December.

The ultrasound of her hips did not contain as good of news as her head ultrasound did. Her hip dysplasia is worse than what was originally expected. Her hips are riding along the posterior edge of her pelvis. Her "german tourist" brace did not make any improvement in her dysplasia (which I kind of suspected would be the case). Her ortho doc discontinued the brace and we are going to revisit her hip issues in the future. (She is going to be following her daddy's road with hip issues) The ortho doc started Rachel with her first set of casts for her clubfeet. I think the casts almost weigh as much as she does. As heavy as they are - she still kicks her legs up in the air and holds them there. On the bright side her quads and knees appear to be quite strong. Yesterday she had the first set removed. Her ankles were more flexible than what they had been but within minutes her muscles pulled her feet back into the starting position. She slept through the application of her second set of casts. Her ortho doc is planning on four more weeks of casting and then we will evaluate her progress. She is most likely going to need to have surgery to release the tendons at some point. In the picture of Rachel in her car seat with her first baby doll, she has on a pair of aloe infused spa socks over her casts. They keep her toes warm and are so much cheaper than buying baby leg warmers- at $3 a pair (Walmart) you can't go wrong. I tuck the tops of the socks over the top of casts also to prevent rubbing and to keep any tinkles or poopsies from getting into her casts. Needless to say- she has a few pairs- right now she is wearing stripped ones that look like candy corn.

I was able to meet another mom at the casting appointment. Her very adorable baby girl Gabby also has spina bifida and was getting her clubfeet casted. They are located in a town near by our town.

Rachel is now up to 6 lbs 4 oz. She feels so big in comparison to how small she started out. She frequently makes big toothless smiles and makes noises like she is trying to laugh. I wonder what she is thinking. I think we may have another class clown in the family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 weeks old


Rachel is doing well. She has increased her feeding amounts to 2.5-3 oz per feeding (about every 3.5-4 hours). We can tell she is gaining weight and growing. I can not get the straps to attach anymore on her German Tourist Outfit (yes- I will be calling her ortho doc for them to reevaluate the size of it- she currently has the preemie size and is probably ready for the newborn size). She is now able to fit into newborn size clothes- yes they are still alittle big but she will be able to wear then for awhile. I had a hard time trying to find a fall jacket for her to wear- everything I found was sized for 3 months and looked like it was made for a giant baby. Her cheeks are getting chubbier and she is now finally starting to grow buns (I am sure she will be mortified when she is older that I wrote that). In the middle picture that I posted- to me her facial features look similar to a picture that my mom has of me (only in mom's picture- I am about 6 months old around Christmas time). The beautiful dress Rachel is wearing was kindly knitted by our neighbor Bev and we absolutely love this dress! I will be saving it for her for when she has her own family. I have one blue knitted dress that my Grandma Scherer knitted for me when I was a baby. We can't seem to figure out her hair color- today it looks reddish, other times it looks brown and in some lights it looks blondish--hmm . . . . . Her eyes are still a dark blue but I am not sure how long it takes for a preemie's eyes to change. I remember it took Alicia almost a year before her eyes finally settled into hazel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Pediatrician appointment


Rachel had her first pediatrician appointment today. She now weighs 4 lbs 10 oz and is 16 inches long. We do not know what her beginning length was but I do not imagine it was that much shorter than her current 16 inches. She checked out well at the pediatrician's. No immunization though until next month's appointment. We are to continue on with Rachel as we currently are. She is still to receive Neosure as an added supplement to the EBM until she gets alittle bigger. Her bottom looks great- I highly recommend using Triple Paste to others battling diaper rashes. You can find the Triple Paste at Walmart in the baby dept by the other diaper creams.

I am not sure if I had previously mentioned that Rachel's name was biblical and translates to sheep- which are symbolic of God's children. We feel truely blessed by how well she has done with the fetal surgery and there after. Thank you heavenly Father for laying your hand upon our daughter.

Monday, September 5, 2011

She's home!


We were able to bring Rachel home on Saturday. She just made the 4 lb weight limit of her car seat. She is sitting on a blue foam ring to avoid pressure on her lower back during the drive. The nurses also rolled up two blankets on each side of her for extra support. It was hard to find car seats rated for 4 lbs and up in our area- we had only one to chose from at the Target in Menomonee Falls. (For others with preemies the brands Safety First and Chicco make the 4 lb car seats). She tolerated the ride home with no problems (even with Breanne and Alicia in the back seat with her).

We have a ton of doctors' appointments coming up this month and next month. I believe the first two are with Neurology and Orthopedics. She will be having an ultrasound of her head and her hips again.
All of her head ultrasounds have been normal so we are hoping to have dodged the bullet for a shunt but I know it is still early. Hopefully her hip ultrasound will show some improvement in her dysplasia.

Rachel has been feeding every 3 1/2 hours and has been taking in an average of 45-50 ml at each feeding. She rarely spits up which is a great treat for us as both Breanne and Alicia use to spit up nonstop. (We had stock in the Hoover steam vac carpet cleaner back then-lol) I think she has spit up twice so far- the first time landed on the wooden floor in front of us and had our black lab Dixie (10 yrs old) running for cover. Dixie runs for cover if Rachel cries at all. Dixie also hides under the table while Rachel gets her diaper changed too and sighs deeply like she is missing out on her sleep too. Maybe Dixie is having flashbacks of when Alicia was born??? Lucky on the other hand growls whenever Rachel cries- I am worried he is going to come bite in me in the pants when she does. (He will grab your clothing with his teeth if Breanne or Alicia squeal when you are playing with them or if you try to carry them around- very protective watch dog)

Rachel has adjusted well from her quiet hospital room to a house full of noise from her sisters, dogs and parents. She sleeps right through it all - I am hoping to push the bassinet in by my treadmill and get her use to the noise it makes. I had been running 2.5 miles when I became pregnant and am desperate to get back to running again ( I am sure with the all the bed rest and surgeries it will take me some time to get there).