Friday, July 27, 2012

A New Day Has Come

We had a doctor's visit on Monday and Sarah weighed in at 5lbs 1oz!  She's on track to be about 6lbs (if not a little more) by her due date!  We also had a quick blood test to see how she was doing and if she needed to continue on her iron supplement, and she passed!  When we finish up the bottle of vitamins she's on, we can move over to regular plain ole vitamins.  Yay!  She's sleeping a little better this week, too.  The last two nights in a row, she's had a 5 hour stretch of sleep.  Jim and I have been happy with that.  Though I must say it's a little disconcerting waking up and realizing how late it is.  She has been eating normally and happy in the mornings, so I'm not too concerned about it.  I'm not really willing to let her go past 5 hours right now, though since her belly is so little and she needs to eat.

In other news, we're officially moving on from Preemie sized things!  She started leaking out of her preemie diapers like crazy earlier this week.  So I'm trying out newborn sized diapers.  They seem to hold better and aren't too ridiculously big on her.  The newborn sized clothes are a big leap bigger from the preemie sized clothes, but she really doesn't fit in the preemie sizes anymore.  The sleepers are falling off her shoulders because when she stretches out her legs, it pulls to tightly.  I never thought I'd be so sad to move out of the preemie sizes.  One one side, it's SO exciting that she's starting to be the size and temperament of a full term regular baby.  On the other, she's starting to feel heavy and not fit in one arm anymore.  She's getting so BIG!

Pictures from this past week.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sweet Sweet Baby

I've always heard that having a child of your own quickly starts teaching you about the love that God has for us.  I would agree with that, and I would say that it on gets more distinct as you continue - and she's only been home a week!  When she's been crying uncontrollably, I find myself saying "I'm right here."  "I know you hurt." "I have your food right here."  "Stop crying, Momma's here."  "I know what you need."  "I need you to calm down, please."  How often is it that God is saying those exact same things to us, as we're screaming and crying and not REALLY listening?  There's a lot to chew on there, and I'm sure that will be another entry for another day.

Earlier this week, we had one completely sleepless night.  She was crying out in pain from gas.  She was belching and tooting like you wouldn't believe and would cry out in pain right before doing so.  We've had nights like that most every night since, with only a couple nights of "normalcy".  We are praying for patience and that the sleep we do get will be restorative.

This past Thursday morning, after one of our worst nights of pain and being up all night, we made our way to the eye doctor.  We had to be up there at 7:30 at Centennial.  Talk about an early morning for a family with no sleep!  I really wanted Jim to go with me, as I wasn't sure how emotional I would be.  Sarah took the check-up like a champ.  She pretty much stayed asleep during both sets of dilating drops.  When it came to the actual exam, it was the doctor and two aides that came in.  The girls helped take notes and open her eyes up.  The actual exam probably took less than 60 seconds all together.  They were only looking at the blood vessels that grow from the back to the front of the eye to make sure they're developing properly.  He said she looked absolutely great!  She needs no follow up visits at all.  Now, she could still be near or far sighted, but we won't know that until she's older, like any other child.  We are so thankful that nothing is seriously wrong with her vision.

Tomorrow we head back to the pediatrician for another weight check-in.  I am now armed with a few more questions, as I really didn't know what to ask at our last visit.  Now that we've had over a week with her to get to know her quirks and specific things that I want his input on.  I'll have to update you on how she's doing!  I'm thinking she might even be over 5lbs now.  She's feeling quite heavy these days.  Since she was 4lbs 10oz last week and she's supposed to gain about an ounce a day, that is completely doable!

7-22-12: Making silly faces!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Well life is starting to settle into a routine around here.  Starting.  But life with an infant is never quite in a routine.  Luckily Sarah is still pretty firm on her every three hour feedings that the hospital put in place.  Every once in a while, she wants to eat after only two hours or occasionally will sleep for four hours.  We never let her go past four hours right now.

We went to the pediatrician on Monday for our first routine check-up.  She was "perfect" as he said!  She weighed 4lbs 10oz and was 17.5 inches long.  We aren't on any type of quarantine situation with her at all.  We just need to limit the people who touch her and for few that get to hold her right away, we have to make sure their hands are clean!  We're going back to the doctor on Monday for another weight check-in just to make sure she's continuing to grow properly.

We moved our eye appointment to Thursday morning so that it didn't conflict with Jim's work schedule this week.  Hopefully that goes well!  We're praying for a good report.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Feels Like Home

Wow!  It's been such a whirlwind start to our weekend!  We are so beyond THRILLED to say our sweet baby Sarah is home with us.  We no longer have to make multiple daily trips to the hospital nor do we have to handle her through holes in a plastic box.  We can cuddle and hold and feed and burp to our hearts content.

Friday morning, we saw the nurse practitioner around 9 am or so.  She said that she looked great!  She did make an appointment for us to go visit a specialist to check her eye development.  Since she was born so early, she has a higher risk of eyesight issues.  We're praying and believing that there are no major issues found!  She has such beautiful and expressive eyes - I find it hard to believe that anything could be wrong with them.  I guess we'll find out on Tuesday.

After our final session with the Lactation Consultant and working out a feeding plan for our little one, we waited until about 11:30-12ish until we were released.  The hospital has a policy that they have to wheel you out in a wheel chair - even for us who didn't just give birth.  The volunteer came, and we loaded up and headed to the car.  On the way out, we stopped and checked out at the nurses station.  It was so exciting to tell all these nurses who had gotten to see us checking in daily that we were finally going home!  We also went past one of our favorite NICU nurses on her way to lunch, and she was congratulating us and telling us how happy she was for us.  It was impossible to contain the tears of joy as we rolled onto the elevator together.  The moment that I never thought we'd reach was here.

The drive home was uneventful and Sarah did well in the car.  She was a little fussy getting into the car seat so I was worried that the whole ride home was going to be so.  Once she was settled and buckled in though, she did great.

Our first afternoon was spent figuring out how we were going to start doing some things.  I placed her in her crib and about had a panic attack that I couldn't see her - even with the monitors going.  Being at higher risk for apnea I was afraid she'd stop breathing and I wouldn't know it.  Between that and the fact that she sleeps better with noise, I set up the Pack-N-Play in the living room so she can sleep out there while we're up and moving around.  The crib is only reserved for when we're all asleep currently.

She's done great sleeping and feeding at home.  I found a handy journal at Target a few weeks back, a "New Mom" journal.  It helps us keep track of her feedings and her diapers and anything else significant that goes on.  It's my lifeline right now as we try and figure out what works and what doesn't.  It also helps communicate between Jim and I while we're getting up at different times through the night.  That way we don't have to wake each other up to report what she did last.  I absolutely love it.

Our first night was excellent.  Jim took the first shift and just stayed up until her 1 am feeding, while I went to bed around 10.  I then had the 4 am responsibility.  She ended up waking up an hour early for the 4 am, but she was ravenous and gulped down a sizable bottle.  I went to bed and reset my alarm to be ready for the 6 am feeding.  Next thing I know, I rolled over and the clock said 7 am!  Oh no!  It had been 4 hours since our last feeding and we'd been going every 3 hours.  I quickly asked Jim if he had gotten up with her at 6 to let me sleep, but he hadn't.  Neither one of us had heard the alarm.  I ran in to make sure she was still breathing and she was just laying there - blankets kicked off, wiggling and looking around content as can be.  So we got a little more sleep than I had thought we would!

Saturday was great as well.  Jim's parents had been planning on coming down to bring us a rocking chair.  It belonged to Sarah's great-great grandmother - used to rock her Great-Grandmama Nally to sleep in as a baby.  What a special furniture addition to her room.  It's already been well loved in the last 18 hours it's been here!

I should probably head back to bed.  I got up to give Sarah her 3 am feeding and wanted to get all these thoughts out of my head before I forgot.

Thank you all for your constant prayers, love and support.

Before I shaped you in the womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you.
-Jeremiah 1:5

Sleeping peacefully in her bed!  A special thanks to Christine and Eddie for handing down the swaddler.  It's been awesome!  Makes her stay bundled up while she sleeps.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Here Comes The Sun

Well, we're all dressed and busting to get out of the hospital.  The NICU currently has 9 babies in there.  I've been told that they normally only have 2-3 babies - so, they're a little busy!  Since Sarah is the most stable out of them all, we're last on the list...  It might be a while before we get out of here.  I'm itching to go home, put her in HER bed and piddle around in her room organizing with her actually there!

Last night was a little longer than I expected.  I knew we'd be up about every 3 hours, but it was about an hour and half between starting the feeding, doing the feeding, pumping, diaper changing, getting her settled back down... and then it was time to go to sleep... for an hour and a half!  I only got about 2-2.5 hours of sleep last night with all the activity.

We had bath lesson at 3 am last night.  With her being so small and her skin is so delicate, she only needs a water bath and only gets a soap bath every 2-3 days or unless she has a major blowout and gets extra dirty.  She got her hair washed and a bow put on for her big day!

We also did her final weigh in and measuring!  She weighed in at 4lbs 8oz as of last night and is now 17 inches long!  She's grown 2 inches in length since birth and has gained 2 full pounds from her lowest recorded weight.

I must say, despite my lack of sleep, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the sun come up with my little girl in my arms.  Watching her face light up in the morning light was something I don't think I'll ever forget.

Hopefully we'll get out of here by lunchtime, but I'm not expecting it.  We'll definitely keep you updated as we continue our journey at home!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Southbound Train

It's the guest post you've all been waiting for! Amanda is taking a break from the blog to allow her husband to fill you all in and give a few thoughts of my own.

We are finally rooming in! We are spending one more night in the hospital and then going home sometime tomorrow morning. Sarah is in the room with us without any monitors or restrictions through the night. This is the last piece of the transition and is as much for us as it is for her. This is the time to make sure we know how to care for Sarah on our own throughout the night. It's hard to believe that Sarah has been here just over 6 weeks and we are finally getting our first night together.

These past days and weeks have been a bittersweet journey of the joy of Sarah's arrival and the pangs constant separation. A couple times a day and every single night we've had to leave our precious baby girl in a plastic cage and in the care of strangers. Don't get me wrong, we've been so blessed to have the wonderful care we've had and this period of transition has certainly had hidden blessings of its own, but nothing has been able keep the pain of going to bed every night not being under the same roof as our struggling child. We've heard the "Just imagine that she's still just not been born yet" line a lot, and that's true. However, when Amanda was still pregnant, while we couldn't hold Sarah, we could see the results of her presence; we know she was healthy and growing. Even though we couldn't hold her or know exactly how she was doing, at least we knew she was close and in our care. To lay there with no baby in the belly and nobody else in the house every night was devastating.

All that to say, God has provided through it all. He's brought blessings out of this trying time beyond what we could have hoped for. We've certainly grown closer to God, to each other, and to our amazing family and friends. We are incredibly excited to finally be bringing her home. We've been crying out for the day when we'd be able to go home with our healthy baby girl. Now that glorious day will rise with the dawn and we wish to give credit where credit is due. The following passage has been weighing on my heart lately:

12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah.[a] He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” (1 Samuel 7:12, NLT)

We may not have a towering stone to stand upon a hill, but we have Sarah and our own lives to live in constant testament to the unceasing joy and unending grace of our Creator. It is our hope and prayer that, as a family, we may use our times of trial, failure, and prosperity to learn, grown, and share in all the love that has come before and all the hopes and promises that go ahead.

I'll leave you back in Amanda's capable hands from now on. We'll be sure to update and let you all know how Sarah is settling in at home. Thank you all for your many gifts, thoughts, and prayers!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well, yesterday when the doctor and nurse practioner made their rounds, I kept hearing the phrase "in preparation for discharge".  When I asked the nurses about it, they said it would most likely be Thursday night for us to "room in" and Friday we would be going HOME!

Today, I spent the morning at the office trying to tie up some loose ends before I disappear off the work radar again for a while.  Later, when we were getting ready to leave the hospital, Jim asked some questions about what to expect for our evening rooming in on Thursday.  The nurse brought it to our attention that the doctor and nurse practitioner were talking about us actually rooming in tomorrow.  So.... I need to call first thing in the morning to confirm the plans, but it is looking like we'll be doing our rooming in TOMORROW night and we'd be going home Thursday morning-ish (or whenever we're comfortable to leave).

Part of me is so, so very anxious to get her home, and another part of me is completely freaking out.  Are we ready for this?  She wasn't supposed to be here until August!  Well... ready or not, the time is here!

Hard to believe just 6 weeks ago, we were in the Emergency Room being told our little one was about to join the world.  My, how far we've come in such a short time.

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Sunday, July 8, 2012

To Cover You

Well, it's been an exciting 24 hours in the Nally household.  I'll start with the minorly frustrating, yet exciting news, that Sarah had another minor little "spell" yesterday when Jim was holding her after her bottle.  The nurse came over and was incredibly sad and said... "Well... it'll be at least another 5 days now..."  The babies have to be spell-free for at least 5 days before they'll let them come home to make sure they aren't going to do it when we come home.  It was a little sad to see her have another one of those spells, BUT the way the nurse said it, Jim and I both looked at each other like... There was a chance we'd be going home that soon??  The exciting part of that is, we're getting SO CLOSE to coming home!  The nurses and the doctors have all commented on how well she's doing and it gives us hope that we'll be under one roof in the very near future!

We also went on "as indicated" feeds yesterday, so that means, any time she indicates she wants a bottle - she gets it!  And golly, she's indicated every time!  Normally they have to eat every meal for 24 hours straight to consider taking out the feeding tube.  Yesterday she ate 4 bottles in a row and then pooped out on us at the 8:30 pm feeding. Needless to say, I was completely shocked when we came in today to see NO feeding tube!  Apparently, the doctor thinks that part of her reflux issue that she's been having, and that most likely caused her little spell yesterday was due to the feeding tube.  So they took it out to see what she does.  She's also been put on what they call "ad lib feeds", so they make up a bottle and see if she'll eat it all.  She determines how much she eats right now.  Usually they mix up a bottle a little more than they expect her to eat and see if she'll eat it.  She's been eating a little more than her previously prescribed amount, so she's doing great!  That also means if she tuckers out in the middle of a bottle, she is likely just to make it up at the next meal instead of putting the rest of it down the tube like we had been doing.

So...  Right now she's at the weight they would let her go home, at 4lbs 5oz. Yippee!!  All she has to do is to continue to eat on her own and demonstrate that she can continue to gain weight based on how she's now eating (more like a normal baby).  If she can do that... Then...  We come home!  It will be a minimum of 5 days from now based on her spell...  But in light of her accomplishments so far and as excited as she is about eating...  There's a decent chance that we might be home as soon as next weekend!  Ahhh!!!!  I'm SO excited.

Sarah is also having a small procedure this evening.  She's going to have a frenulotomy.  The frenulum is a small membrane that connects your tongue to the floor of your mouth.  Sarah's is a little tight and they think it is causing the issues that we're having with nursing.  She will suck consistently for 20-30 minutes at times and not really get anything worth noting, though my milk supply and availability is not the issue at all.  They are going to go in and basically snip with scissors which will allow her to move it more and be more able to suck, especially while she's breast feeding.  The only use a little sugar water to numb the area and do it right in her bassinet.  They say it's not a very painful procedure and she should be able continue eating right away. It sounds incredibly painful!

7-8-12: First time seeing her beautiful face without tubes and wires.  I'm overwhelmed.

Tonight's song is a recommendation by my wonderful dad.  One that he used to sing to me as a little one.  It's now even more special to me as I have a little one to sing to.  Thanks, Dad!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Light Up the Sky

Oh my goodness!  Apologies that I haven't updated in the past few days.  It has been an incredibly busy whirlwind.  Since Sarah has been eating more regularly, it means a lot more back and forth for us and a lot less time at home.

7-6-12: Trying out being swaddled for the whole day!
Weight update:  Sarah was 4lbs 2oz on Wednesday and Thursday, and has been holding stead at 4lbs 5oz yesterday and today.  We just keep on growing!

Feeding update:  She has been doing excellently on her feedings, taking almost all her bottles (I think there's only been one she hasn't finished!).  The nurse this morning said that she was going to talk to the doctor to issue a "as indicated" order for her bottles, as she is constantly asking for bottles, but it's not always an option for her at this point.  That would be so EXCITING!  That means, any time she wakes up at meal time and is asking for a bottle she could have one.... Which practically would be every time!  She's still not getting anything at all when she tries to nurse.  We're thinking that since she got used to the bottle, she's not sucking as hard when she nurses.  We've switched her over to a slow flow nipple on the bottle to try and encourage her to suck a little harder and work a little more for her food.  The lactation consultants all say we're doing everything right, it's just up to her to start sucking a little harder...  So wait and keep trying, we will!

Bed update:  As of Wednesday night they started trying her without her lid on her isolette.  And as of last night, she's now in a regular bassinet!  We are so excited to be continually moving towards home!

All signs are pointing to sooner than later for going home!  We have had such a BIG week.  So many milestones have happened in quick succession.  It seems once we hit that 4lb mark, life got so much easier for our little one.  She hasn't had a "spell" since the last one we had on Sunday night and she hasn't had any further complications with her reflux. The nurse today even asked if someone had talked to us yet about "rooming in".  Ahh!!!  Rooming in is when I get admitted back into the hospital and spend one day and one night there in a room with Sarah.  No wires, no cords, no tubes...  That's the day before we come HOME.  It's starting to enter our vocabulary.

An update on our friend, Alli who we mentioned earlier, she's pregnant with twins and is currently 27 weeks along.  They have moved her into labor and delivery and it looks like her boys will be joining the world today.  Please be praying for her as she has these boys and becomes a mom for the first time!  Also be praying for these little boys as they are estimated to both only be about 2lbs each and are 3 weeks younger than Sarah was when she was born.  They have a long NICU journey ahead for them.  Please send them some prayers and love as they enter this very special and unique time in their lives.

7-7-12: It's here!!  The bassinet!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Day!!

Well... the exciting day has come!  We're officially FOUR POUNDS!  And that's not all, folks!  Oh no... We're also trying life without our oxygen cannula!  She's been doing SO well today off of it!  Only having dips in her oxygen level when she gets all wiggly, which is totally normal.  STILL not all you say?  She also was giving all the signs that she wanted a bottle this morning and so the nurse humored her and tried it out.  She ate 25mls of her 35ml bottle all by herself!  Today is such a happy day!

She was a little too worn out and uninterested when we tried to nurse this afternoon, but as soon as she laid back in her bed she was wide awake and ready for action.  I'm looking forward to the day that they let her decide when she eats.  I feel like she's not always quite ready when the 3 hour mark rolls around and so it makes trying to make her eat really frustrating.  If I had gotten her up 30 minutes later, she would have probably eaten pretty well.  As she gets towards going home, they will start to let her decide when she eats.

I'm honestly a little shocked that they'd try this right after the few little scares we had on Sunday evening, but it seems that it was just a normal dip in blood level, etc that caused it and they don't seem terribly concerned about it.  They have left the cannula sitting there next to her in case she needs a bit of oxygen.  I'm also thankful that she's not exhibiting any real symptoms of the reflux that we had been seeing over the last few days.

All in all, it's been an excellent day.  We're also allowed to try and feed her four times a day, twice per shift.  So it really works out to every other feeding we're trying to get her to do something.  Yay!  Unfortunately that doesn't work out so well for Jim's schedule to try and bottle feed her, but we're getting there.  (Since the bottle feed during the night shift will most likely happen at 2:30 a.m.)  Soon he'll be able to hold her all the time!

Monday, July 2, 2012

All This Time

This is a long post.  It's been a long 24 hours or so...

I just walked in from literally being at the hospital ALL day, with a short break at lunch to grab lunch with a good friend, and a quick blitz into the mall to grab a few items that I've been desperately needing.  The nursing staff made fun of me because I was out and about before lunchtime... haha.... :P  Usually my mornings are devoted to working from home and a few house tasks around lunchtime.  Today was a different story though after last night.

Last night I went back for our evening feeding.  Jim wasn't feeling great and decided to get some rest at home for the feeding.  They had told me earlier in the day that she had a few "spells" of DSAT-ing and turning blue.  (Basically, her body wasn't getting enough oxygen)  Thankfully I hadn't ever seen one of these spells.  Last night that changed though.  She started setting off the monitor like normal, but this time her color started changing.  Luckily it wasn't as bright of a blue as I expected, but she was blue none-the-less.  The nurse rushed over and started beating on her back and rubbing on her to wake her up and get her to start fighting for the oxygen she needed.  She cranked up the oxygen and came back to continue "stimulating" her by rubbing and beating on her back.  This all of course is happening right in my lap, which is incredibly disconcerting.

Sarah finally did wake up and start coughing and breathing deeper again and regained her color almost immediately.  Obviously she wasn't very happy about being so rudely awakened, so it took her awhile to get her calmed back down and settled into her bed for the evening.  The nurse also in her haste to make sure she was alright ripped off her outfit and told me she needed to go back on the heater and be just in the diaper so she could better see her breathing.  She hasn't had any problems DSAT-ing like that at all today, and luckily the nurses today felt she was ready to head back into outfits and towards room temperature.  I am so thankful for both of the nurses that were there today.  Both have been incredibly helpful and and supportive as we journey through this unknown time.

She hasn't been doing well with nursing the last few tries.  She has not been interested, nor awake for the most part when it was her meal time that I was there to nurse for.  Both sessions yesterday and again this afternoon were not productive in the least.  Tonight Jim and I will go back and try a bottle instead and let him have a little daddy-daughter time.

All that to say, in my discussions with the Nurse Practitioner, she said what is going on is likely this:  They have noticed that Sarah is having quite a bit of reflux, which we did notice.  She's been spitting up a lot more and has had a few times of actual "throw up".  She said that for reflux to start showing up now is completely natural and expected based on her size and age.  She also talked about a nerve (forgive me that I don't remember the technical name for it...) that is in the esophagus that is particularly sensitive for babies that you or I would never notice.  When the acid in the reflux and the nerve interact it causes their heart rate to slow down briefly.  The heart rate slowing down then causes the oxygen disbursement to not be as effective.  Normally it wouldn't be a huge issue, but as all babies have a decline in blood count after birth, she thinks Sarah's just hitting her normal bottom of her blood count.  So between the reflux and a low blood count, her "spells" are appearing worse than than they have been.

There's really not much they can do for the reflux other than incline her bed (which she already has), slow down the rate at which she receives her food (which they have done off and on), or decrease her feeds (which isn't a real option since she needs the calories to grow).  They also could thicken her food to help it stay down better, but that's one of those... last resort type options, as it makes eating from a bottle a lot harder for her.  They could also resort to medicine, but studies show that reflux medicine doesn't consistently work enough to validate it's use.  They will try it only if the other options don't work and she continues to have unbearable issues with it.

Please pray for my little girl as it is so incredibly hard to see her struggle and be in pain.  I am believing for full healing from her reflux issues so that she can continue her growth journey with no more complications!  Will you join me?

7-2-12: After getting clothes back on today and resting finally.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Strong Enough

Last night was excellent.  We tried our hand at nursing again, and Sarah ate HALF her dinner all by herself.  16mls was eaten, and she took 17mls through her tube.  I was very impressed!  She was awake, responsive, and actively nursing for 30 minutes.  They only stopped her because they didn't want her to wear herself out too much and also didn't want to get her off her feeding schedule too badly.  Yay for small (or big, depending on perspective) victories!

Today, we've had a decent day.  Church this morning was great as always.  I'm really enjoying starting to get to know more people and feeling even more part of the family.

Our feeding session this afternoon was a little rough, though.  She fought me the entire way.  She was obviously frustrated - I'm not sure if it was that she didn't understand what I wanted her to do, or if she just wasn't hungry yet.  I also think she might have been uncomfortable.  Her little body felt warm and a little sweaty under her onesie, and I was quite warm as well, so being held close to another warm body might have been too much for her.  Either way, half the feeding session was her getting latched on and then just wiggling and falling off and crying and not being happy about anything.  I finally pulled her away from me and gave her a paci to calm down.  Between the cooling off and paci, she calmed right down and was sucking strongly on that.  So I did a switcheroo and she did start eating at that point.  However, we only had a few minutes left at that point and so she only got a couple mls worth.

I'm really hoping that our feeding tonight goes well.  She's up to 3lbs 15oz today, so tomorrow might be the day we reach 4lbs!

Jim and I are really starting to get frustrated and drained from our daily hospital visits.  It's been over a month of this back and forth rhythm.  We are praying it's not much longer.  Everything is ready and waiting for her to come home!  Luckily we have wonderful, empathetic nurses (mostly) that help make this process bearable and breathable.  They always seem to know when we're having a good or a bad day and let us know that we're not crazy and that everything we're feeling is normal.  Thank GOODNESS!

I took some of the pictures over the past few weeks to show off just how much she's changed.  I hope you enjoy them.

Roughly a picture from each of her first four weeks of life, shown left to right.  She's grown so much!

6-30-12: First day in clothes!

7-1-12: Bright eyed and excited about having clean britches!

I know I'm not strong enough to beEverything that I'm supposed to beI give upI'm not strong enoughHands of mercy won't you cover meLord right now I'm asking you to beStrong enough, strong enoughFor both of us