Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ansley Update

Well it has been about 4 days, so we figured that we would post an update. The last few days have been very tough, but we are dealing with everything much better than initially. We are so grateful to have Ansley be a part of our family and cannot wait to bring her home. No matter what happens Ansley has brought so many blessings into our lives and we know that she will continue to bless our lives.

Thursday morning I was able to talk with the Doctor that was over Ansley, and I was able to ask her some questions. One that i think most everyone is interested in is her overall well being. I asked from the time she was born until now (thursday morning) if you were to draw a line graph in relation to her progress what would it look like, and she did her hand in a downward motion (the birth) and then a line straight across. That was hard to hear after over 30 hrs in Children's and on the cooling cap.

She explained that Ansley had not urinated except for a few drops that morning, and that they are really hoping and expecting her kidneys to start working a little better to start filter out some of the wastes in her body. She told me that her blood pressure was very low and that they were putting her on 2 different medicines to try to raise that, and suspected that she has pulmonary hypertension, so they were starting to treat her with nitric oxide (20 ppm) to help dilate her veins, to help with the pulmonary hypertension. The Dr explained that in the womb having higher blood pressure on the right side of the heart (pulmonary hypertension) is normal, but when the baby comes out and takes its first breath it usually switches over to having higher pressure on the left. They performed an Echocardiogram and confirmed that was the case. They suspect that all of her abdominal organs took a hard hit similar to the kidneys so they will not attempt to feed her anything for at least another week, maybe longer depending on how she does. All of her nutrients will continue to be supplied through an IV straight into the blood stream. I asked about potential pneumonia from the fluid in her lungs and she said that she looked at the chest x-rays from that morning and that there is fluid in her lungs but no more than you would find in any other C-section baby, but that they would continue a normal antibiotic treatment. But she said "we are definitely not out of the woods yet" in regards to overall health, however she expects Ansley to make some big improvements in the next 24 hrs.

Also Thursday afternoon is when they performed the Echocardiogram, and every 12 hours they remove the cooling cap message her head, and flip which side her head is leaning on, and at the Thursday afternoon removal they performed an ultrasound on her head to look for any bleeding, swelling, or pockets of fluid. The Dr told me that she expected to see all of the above.

Fast forward to Friday, I talked to the same Dr and she said that she is making small improvements, that she is urinating a little more, but still not where she needs to be. The blood pressure was still giving them trouble, that they kept having to go up on both medicines to try to maintain the proper blood pressure. She told me that the chest x-rays from Friday morning and that it looks like she might have some small pockets of pneumonia, so that they would keep a close eye on that and continue the antibiotics. She also told me the results of the ultrasound, and said that it looks like a normal baby's brain, no bleeding, no swelling, and no pockets of fluid. Yes that is exciting however, that does not show any brain activity, so we will have to wait until the cap comes off and the perform the 12 lead EEG, CT scan, and MRI to get more conclusive results, which will still not be conclusive, the best indicator will be the first 6 months of development says the Dr's.

Friday evening they had to give her more platelets and another blood transfusion, I believe that puts us at 4 blood transfusions. However they were able to start weening her off of 100% oxygen. By the time Rachel and I left the Hospital last night at midnight they had stopped weening it at 65%.

Now Saturday morning Rachel and I went in and the cap was removed early this morning, so they were able to take the sheets down from around her incubator so we could actually see her. Her reheating went well, the Dr said that she responded well to reheating, not to fast or slow. Unfortunately her oxygen had to come back up to 80% and she needed a little higher dose of blood pressure medicine. She also needed more platelets and another blood transfusion. She is still not urinating like she should, a little bit better, but still far off from where it needs to be so they are going to be starting some diuretics to pull the fluid from her tissues to try to get rid of it, and to try to help reduce her swelling and puffiness. We have never been so excited to see pee before! So the Dr said 2 steps forward 1 step backwards. But overall, we are happy with PROGRESS! Also one last thing, they will be performing all the major tests (CT-scan, MRI, and EEG) on Monday.

We hope this helps anyone who is/will be fasting and praying for our little Ansley. We really do appreciate all the fasting, prayers, and kind thoughts that have been sent our way. We definitely would not be able to make it through all this without yalls love and support.

Here are the pics from the camera so they are a little better than the pics from my phone. However I want to warn you about the 1st picture, it is a very sad and to me, graphic picture. But the reason I wanted to post it is to show the progress (look at her color change) that she has made and the AMAZING work that all the Doctors at UAMS and Arkansas Children's Hospital have done!

This picture was shortly after birth still at UAMS, when we were not allowed to go back so the nurse took our camera and took a few shots for us (pay attention to her color)

Right before she was transported to Children's we got to say goodbye

And she opened her eyes to let us know everything would be ok

This is where she will spend the next few weeks (as a friend of ours described this place to Rachel: "a little piece of heaven here on earth" and where miracles happen)

Her with her cooling cap, she is our little solider just fighting away!

While she had the cooling cap they had to keep the blankets around to try to keep her body temp up, so we could only make brief peeks through the blankets, but that didn't stop us from going up and just sitting next to her and Avery colored a picture for her:)

She is SO cute. No more cooling cap, although we were SOOO grateful she got that treatment we were glad when they took it off so we can see her more


Our personal little Angel

Thanks again so much for the love, support and prayers! We can not express our gratitude for everyone's thoughtfulness and kindness; we will continue to keep everyone updated.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Miracle Baby

***Long and uncensored***

As many of you know Rachel delivered our second daughter Wednesday July 28, 2010 at 12:50 A.M. It was an emergency C-section, her water broke around 5:15 pm Tuesday so we gathered everything dropped Avery off with a friend until Rachels mom could make it here, and then headed to the hospital. We were in our own room being monitored by 9:00 pm. Everything was going fine, with the exception of meconium (baby's first stools) in the womb, and potentially a little in the babys lungs, so they notified the on-site pediatricians to be on hand. Then Rachel got up to use the bathroom and passed a rather large blood clot. The doctors were a little worried about the clot and Rachels bleeding, however they said that we would go forward and just monitor the bleeding. Then a little while later the baby's heart rate dropped drastically and over 10 nurses doctors, residents, students etc. were in the room working on Rachel, they were able to get the heart rate back up in a very short period of time, so they said they would monitor her closely and if it happend again we would have to go in for an emergency C-section. In the mean time Rachel was able to go ahead and get her epidural. However her heart rate did drop again, and the same thing happend, a ton of people came running in and the main doctor started barking orders to get the OR ready etc. That all started happening at 12:40am, they came and told he that Rachels epidural was not taking correctly and that they would have to put her completely under to hurry and get the baby here, and then I heard someone yelling about the heart rate dropping to a very low number, and so there was a lot of running etc. they were able to switch Rachels anesthesia and have the baby out by 12:50am.

When Ansley was delivered she tried to take her first breath on her own but there was too much blood and meconium in her lungs so it was just a gargle. What had happend was the placenta separated from the uterus and ruptured. This caused Ansley to loose lots of blood, and was also the reason for all the blood that got into her lungs. The loss of blood deprived her of oxygen, and most importantly to the brain, it also caused the heart to stop beating because there was not much for the heart to pump. The doctors were able to suction a lot of the blood and fluid from her lungs, and get some fluids in her and do chest compressions and dose her with epinephrin to get her heart beating, until they could get some blood from the blood bank which only took a few minutes. While they were working on her they came and got me and brought me back so i could see and they could explain to me what was going on (also i think so i could see her while she was still alive in case they couldn't save her). There was again 8-10 doctors, nurses, residents etc in the room actively working on Ansley, 3 of which were directly working on her, others helping with supplies, monitoring her, etc. They worked on her for a solid 2-2.5 hours, they were able to stabilize her enough to transport her to Arkansas Children's Hospital which luckily is only about 5 miles down the street. It is one of the best children's hospitals in the country. I am convinced that the only reason that she is still alive is because the pediatricians were on site waiting to take Ansley as soon as she was born. The doctors also told me that the OB/GYN know how to deliver the baby, but after that they are very limited in what they can/will do.

After transporting her to Children's they have put her on something called a cooling cap that is supposed to help tremendously with any potential brain damage. That does not mean that she will be brain damage free. We are really not sure to what extent her brain has been damaged. However these cooling caps are supposed to be amazing, and in research studies the children that used the cooling cap in similar situations had vast improvements over children that did not, and that is with no side effects. Another miracle/blessing is Arkansas Children's Hospital is the best and most experienced hospital in the country with this treatment, they have treated more babies with this than any other hospitals in the country.

Her current condition, she still has the respirator breathing for her, the cooling cap has to stay on for 72 hrs, after which they will perform EEG, CT scan and MRI to try to determine any damage etc. That will not be conclusive at all, the only real indicators will be within the first 6 months of development, and how she develops. She has had 2 blood transfusions, but seems to be ok with that and should not need another. Her blood gas levels are still being monitored and manually maintained. She is still in critical condition, but her outlook is positive.

Lets not forget about mom, what happend is what kills some mothers during birth, sometimes the doctors are not able to stop the bleeding and the mom bleeds out. Fortunately Rachel is a fighter just like her daughter and is recovering from the surgery well, and cannot wait to be able to go see her beautiful daughter!

Rachel, Avery, Ansley and myself are so grateful for all of our wonderful friends and family we have, and for all the thoughts, prayers, comments etc. We cannot make it through this without all of you. We love you, and will try to keep you updated.

Here are a few phone pictures, I will try to get some better ones, they are also in reverse order, oh well.

This is a close up of Ansley with the cooling cap on and all the machines hooked up to her

This is a shot of her in NICU, she was 8 lbs 4 oz, and 20 in

They draped these blankets over the incubator to try to keep her body temperature up, but brain temp down with the cap

This was as she was being transported from the UAMS hospital to Children's

She even briefly opened her eyes to tell us goodbye and that everything is going to be OK!

(this is Rachel now)
Today they are going to do an ultrasound on her head to check for bleeding and pockets of fluid, so please continue to keep her in your prayers. We will continue to keep everyone posted and thanks again for all the love, support and prayers that are being sent her/our way! We feel so blessed for every bit of progress we continue to watch her make. Joey has been more than AMAZING running back and forth between hospitals. Yesterday he went over there 5 times to check on her and was able to give her a priesthood blessing with another brother in our ward. He also took Avery to see her and she keeps telling us that she will help take care of Baby Ansley and wants her to come share her room with her. This whole process will take time and I am definitely learning patience as each new step and hurdle our new baby girl gets through is such a miracle! I hope to be out of here (hospital) some time this afternoon; it has been so hard to sit in this room and here babies crying in the rooms next to mine... I can't wait to hear our baby cry!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Not long after moving here some of our friends from back in Athens came and visited with us for a day on their way to Missouri! It was perfect and Avery was so excited to see them. Upon arriving Avery had to make sure Logan was ok...

Time for the defibrillators!!!

This is the morning they were leaving. I don't think Avery was ready for them to leave...

Our life here in AR: First can I say that anytime I ever make jokes or poke fun of something I always tend to eat my words... and this is the case with my Arkansas jokes! It has been FABULOUS here and we couldn't have asked for an easier transition. I take back the mean jokes I made! Of course we miss Georgia and all our family and friends there but we really like it here:)

We've been to one Travelers game, which is a AA minor league baseball team here and although it was blazing hot had a lot of fun! While there watching the game they introduce the lead off hitter ... MICHEAL DEMPERIO (sp?) Joey and I instantly looked at each other as we recognized him from when he played at UGA!!!! We were so excited and are excited for more games so we can go cheer on an old Georgia b-ball player!!! After the game we went and walked down on the trail that goes along the Arkansas river and it was BEAUTIFUL!

After church one Sunday we drove to a nearby state park called Petit Jean. The story and history behind it is really cool! It was beautiful and will definitely be a future camping spot for us this fall:)

At the top at Petit Jean (no we didn't hike it, we drove) and my huge 37 week prego self! (check out those cankles!!!)

Old historic part of a house

My little Avery

If you hike down to the bottom of this there are Bear Caves. Avery was disappointed we didn't do it, but I don't know if I would have made it back up all those stairs!

Lucky for us, we moved into an apartment complex where another family in our ward lives and they have twin boys Avery's age! She loves playing with them and we have play dates with them on a regular basis.
Another perk to moving here is we get my family just 3 hours away! We made a trip down there and spent the 4th with them. It was a lot of fun; here is Avery going shopping with Uncle Ryan.
Avery helping Daddy with the fireworks
Avery and Grandma (They had a really good time with each other and I can tell my mom is really enjoying her role as Granma!)
Avery and her "Sprinkler" (aka sparkler) It was raining that night but we still had fun.
This is my new neighbor, Emily with her twin boys that are Avery's age! We love them:)
Our ward has been nothing but FABULOUS! 3 sweet ladies I met at book club threw me a shower. I could not believe the turn out for me (such a new member) and can not put into words what a great time I had and how loved I felt! This new baby is going to be so spoiled!!! The shower started at 7 and it was at Copeland's. We all enjoyed delicious desserts and I did not get home until close to 10pm! **On a side note-- I love that I now have the time to get to book club. We have some great discussions and read some interesting books even if they are not my fav. Last month we read Shanghai Girls by Lisa See and I loved it all but the ending. This month we read Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks and it was not my favorite but very informative on the life of Islamic Women. My biggest problem with this book is that it is not written by a Muslim but a women journalist who spent time over there. Still it wasn't a waste of time and I feel better informed.**

Basket full of complete outfits for the new baby!
All the sweet ladies who came!!! I can not say thank you enough!!!
One of the awesome forts Avery and Joey built in our living room! (don't worry he didn't drop her on it, just pretended to)
With the arrival of this baby quickly approaching I'm trying to make the most of all my time with Avery. Tea parties with her are some of my favorites! & of course Sunshine, teddy and pinky pie have to join too!
This is our fav place to go after we pick up daddy from school. Its a sno-cone shack that has the finest shaved ice around and very inexpensive. Its the best on those days when the temps are over 100 degrees!
We told Avery she was a beach babe and now when she gets ready to go to the pool she makes sure to tell us she is! & now Granma's got her saying she is stylish too; She is too much!
We love her!
Baby Update: Went to the Dr. yesterday and NOTHING!
Not dilated at All!
In the words of my Dr. "I can't even lie to you, you're not dilated in the slightest!"
She then said she couldn't even feel the head and was worried the baby was breech...
She did an ultrasound and the baby wasn't breech...whew!
But she is measuring a couple weeks small (but so did Avery)
As for me I'm ready for her to come any day now...
But I guess inside my womb is pretty nice b/c its not looking like she's coming anytime soon (or as soon as I'd like!) 9 days from my due date and counting...

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am such a "wanna-be" when it comes to sewing. I always see friends and family create such beautiful things from sewing and I'm completely addicted to browsing ETSY looking at all the beautiful handmade things. Joey got me a sewing machine this past Christmas and I have been so excited to use it, although I'm a complete amateur. Lucky for me there are so many online tutorials for sewing different things that I have been able to teach myself. This is what consumes my time during Avery's naps, well and reading.

When I had Avery, my Young Women back in Athens surprised me with this beautiful rag quilt and I love it! Its such a good size for newborns and perfect for letting them crawl on when on the floor. This is very basic and to get more acquainted with my sewing machine I've made a few myself.
This baseball one was my first one for a friend of mine and I underestimated on the fabric:( When I went back to Hobby Lobby in Athens they were out of the printed material. My friend was nice and still loved it but I wished I could have added another row or two. All in all I was pleased with it for being my first one!

This one is probably my favorite! My friend just had her baby girl and I made this for her right before we left Athens. I tried over and over to tell her that pink is a MUST when you have a girl... I ended up loving purple and lime green together by the time I finished this.

I made this one for a new friend here in Little Rock and I was so surprised at how fast I finished it! I made it in a day; Practice does pay off:)

This one I finished for my sister's new baby and I am embarrassed it is not in the mail yet!

My new nephew Jordan William Boyd!!! He is so angelic in this pic; I already LOVE him!!!

& my most recent attempt that is leaving me frustrated!!!!!!!!... Minky fabric was on sale at JoAnn's and I had to have it! I have been wanting to try one of these blankets but am intimidated by this stretchy, slick fabric. I decided to give it a try and make it for the baby on the way. {that way I'd be less stressed if it didn't turn out right b/c its for me} I followed an online tutorial and went slowly but the lines are very crooked and the binding was hard for me. Here is how it turned out

I definitely need more practice at these before I try to make one as a gift! I'm thinking that pillowcase dresses will be my next project... maybe I'll come back to this in a few months!

Baby Update: NOT DILATED at all but my cervix is softening. I'll be 38 weeks on Monday and that's when I had Avery... I don't see that happening but that's ok! They're easier to take care of "in the oven!" My next dr. appointment is next Wed. The weather here has been cooler (upper 80s) so I won't complain:) As far as material things go, we are definitely ready for the baby to come. I pulled out all the baby stuff and washed it. Avery keeps telling me that baby Ansley needs to share her stuff with her!

I keep telling her she already had her turn with this stuff:) My dr. here has been Fabulous and let Avery move the dopplar around on my tummy to hear the heartbeat. Ever since Avery has told us daily, "I am so excited for Baby Ansley to get here!" We shall see...