Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celebrating the Season

Spending time with Aunt Audrey and Uncle Brian. Emerson can't wait until they give her a cousin!!! :-)

Emerson in her pretty Christmas dress.

Our family after Christmas Eve service.

Emerson has learned how to suck her thumb. It is pretty cute!

Emerson loves her new exercise mat. She is a pro at kicking the ball. We think that she is going to be a soccer player like Uncle Brian.

Posing with Crazy Uncle Tyson and Aunt Courtney. No....Tyson and Travis are not twins just cousins.

Emerson being a HAPPY GIRL!!!

Another new favorite....Miss Bunny.

Ho Ho Ho....Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookies Galore

Emerson invited some extra special friends over this weekend to help bake some cookies for her favorite NICU nurses. Each person brought a different recipe of their favorite cookie. We had so much fun that we are going to make this an annual tradition.
*We missed Megan and Heather in our group picture.

Hanging out with the girls!!

Don't they look cute in their aprons? I had to get a picture of Jennifer and Christina!

Emerson and I had to pose for a picture with the beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby of Winnie Palmer. We were able to go back into the NICU Pod 6 to visit with some of Emerson's nurses. The nurses were thrilled to receive all the yummy cookies and to see Emerson. It brought back a lot of emotions walking back into her "home" for the first 39 days of her life. Like always, we were greeted with smiles, hugs, and caring people! Our family really appreicates NICU Nurses!!!!
*Ms. Cassandre.......It was great to hear from you! Sorry we missed you tonight. Emerson still LOVES her baths.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Sleeper!

Last weekend we went to see Santa at Cypress Grove Park. Emerson wasn't fooled by the fake Santa. She tried to pull his beard off. I'm sure she will get more excited next year!!!

SHE DID IT!!! Last night Emerson slept from 9:30 pm to 7 am! I woke up at 5 am and was so excited that I couldn't fall back asleep. She is growing up so fast. I had to take her picture in her jammies this morning after such an eventful night!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2nd Cardiologist Appointment

This morning we had a follow up appointment with Dr. Fleishman. Emerson is now weighing in at 10 pounds 6 ounces!! She put on 2 pounds from last appointment. Her saturation levels are still in the 90's and we have not seen any "blue" spells. Dr. Fleishman was impressed with her color and activity level. So, now we wait until next appointment in January. Dr. Fleishman continues to think that we will perform surgery in the Spring. I've talked to many other mom's who have children with Down Syndrome and heart defects. They all are amazed how quickly the children recover after the surgery.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Road Trip

This weekend we packed up the truck and headed to Tallahassee. Grammy had a garage sale before her big move to Orlando. We went up to help with the garage sale and say good-bye to 3417 Foley Drive. Emerson slept the whole way to Tallahassee and most of the way home. We had to stop once on the way back for a feeding.

Emerson and Grammy next to the Sale Pending sign! We can't wait for Grammy to move to Orlando!

Our Family

Being silly with Grammy!

My first trip to a resturant. I slept the whole time!

Watching football with daddy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SMILE for the camera

I finally got the smile on camera! Emerson has been social smiling for the past week. Travis and I are having so much fun watching her smile. She is such a happy baby!

I had to post this picture to show the huge resemblence between Emerson and Travis. I seriously don't think she looks one bit like me. Emerson has her daddy's nose, lips, eyes, and hair line. She is a little mini-daddy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gobble Til You Wobble

Four generations of Trapp/Forster/Frosch family women.
Great Grandma Trapp, Grammy Forster, Mommy, and Baby Emerson

Emerson had a blast at her First Thanksgiving! This year we were with mommy's family in New Smyrna Beach. Grammy told everyone the great news that she will be moving to Orlando in late December!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pretty Girl

Sweet Baby Girl on her 9 week birthday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

9 pounds 5 ounces!!

Today Emerson had her 2 month vaccinations. She cried for about 30 seconds until mommy was able to pick her up. She has been sleeping ever since we've gotten home. Dr. Carr was very impressed with her weight gain, 22 ounces from last appointment (2 weeks ago). She has put on about 2 ounces a day, which indicates that her heart is not working too hard/burning too many calories! Dr. Carr graciously offered mommy use of his scale anytime we would like to drop in and weigh Emerson!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Younger Men

Today we met up with Emerson's new boyfriend. It seems to me that she is interested in younger men! During her stay in the hospital, she had many younger boy roommates but they all left her to go home. Hopefully, Will will be sticking around for awhile. Will is the son of a co-worker of mine. His mom Angel was also due on October 9th. Emerson was born on 9-27 and Will on 10-07, so neither of us made it to the 10-9 due date.

*Emerson is now sleeping 5-6 hours through the night. We put her down at 10 pm and she sleeps straight until 2-3 am. She has adapted to home life beautifully.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enjoying the Cool Weather!

Emerson got all bundled up to go walking with mommy. Actually, Emerson got all bundled up to fall asleep while mommy walks!
*Today I noticed some green in her eyes. I think they might change to look like daddy's!

Our cute little froggie! Too cute!!

Travis was so excited that he finally got to build his baby her first fire in the fireplace. I came out from the bedroom to find Emerson in her Boppy admiring the fire. Travis was a proud daddy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Cardiologist Appointment

Today Emerson had her first cardiologist appointment to discuss her heart defects. She has a combination of two defects that will need to be corrected with surgery. Luckily, the doctors will be able to fix both at the same time. The first defect is called AV Canal which is common in Down Syndrome children. Basically, there is a hole in the middle of the heart in between all 4 chambers. This is causing blood to transfer rapidly through the heart. To repair they take a graft from the pericardium (the sack that surrounds the heart) and use it to divide the hole into 2 separate chambers. The second defect is called Tetralogy of Fallot. There are 4 components with this defect. From what I understand this is thickening of muscle in the valves leading from the heart to the lungs. The doctor said that Emerson is "fortunate" to have both defects because they are counter-acting with one another. He predicts that her surgery will be sometime in the Spring depending on her symptoms. We are to be looking for loss of appetite/low weight gain, blue spells, and trouble breathing. Travis and I had many questions in regards to crying and holding. Dr. Fleishman reassured us that we need to treat her like a baby! That was very reassuring to hear! We will visit the cardiologist every 4-6 weeks to monitor any changes. We are praying that we can prolong this as much as possible so Emerson will be strong for her surgery. She is a champ!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Weekend at Home!

Emerson had an eventful weekend meeting many of her relatives. My uncle took a few pictures of the cutie and we wanted to share them!

*Emerson went to her pediatrician today for her first check up. She has already put on 10 ounces in 5 days! She is weighing in at 7 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 21 3/4 inches!!! With her heart condition we were told it will be harder for her to gain weight, so we were extremely grateful for this news. She has an appointment with her cardiologist on Thursday to discuss upcoming treatment.

We have overcome the first hurdle, on to the next!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome Home Emerson!

On November 5, 2008 we finally brought home our beautiful baby girl! We have been having a great time introducing Emerson to all of her fun things! She has had many "firsts" in the past two days. I've attached pictures of a few:
All of the cards she has received from friends and family, nap with mommy on the couch, walk in my stroller, tummy time (which she loves), and bouncing in my Boppy!
Although she had wonderful care in the NICU and met some extraordinary people, she is happy to be at home with her family!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A+ on Car Seat Test #2

EMERSON PASSED HER CAR SEAT TEST!! We are so proud of her! I placed Emerson in her car seat at 6 pm and had to leave (I was so nervous). Being the anxious mommy that I am, I called at 7:30 on the dot! Her nurse gave us the good news that she passed!!!
Her x-ray that was taken today also looked great! Her doctors have told us that she will be able to go home on Wednesday if not late Tuesday night. Travis and I are so excited, it feels too good to be true! We can't wait for everyone to meet our little angel!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

Emerson was a huge hit on Halloween. When I got into her room at 7:45 am, she already had 5 staff members waiting to see her costume. She was the "Happy Ghost" unlike many babies dressed as pumpkins. We had the lactation specialist come for our 2 pm feeding but she was NOT needed. Emerson had no problem remembering what to do! She has been fully breast feeding as of Friday at 2 pm. The breast feeding has allowed her to get more on a baby schedule. Lots of eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom!!!

At 6 pm the nurse was changing her octreotide to a half dose. She will be on that until the morning and then taken completely off of the medicine. We have a x-ray scheduled for Monday morning to check for fluid.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

7 lb. Baby

We've had some exciting news in the past couple of days. Emerson has been doing great on her breast/formula ratios. Each day they are continuing to add more breast milk and less formula. Last night, Emerson officially weighed in at 7 lbs. 1 ounce. Travis and I are so excited that she is finally getting enough food to put on some weight. Dr. Lipman came in this morning and gave us our "game plan" for the upcoming days. This afternoon we will be at a 60cc breast milk/ 20cc formula ratio. Tomorrow (Halloween) we will be able to go to complete breast milk! I am so thrilled that I have already called the lactation specialist to be at our "first" feeding. If all goes as plan, on Saturday she will decrease the octreotide (medicine) dose to 1/2 and on Sunday she will be completely off of her meds. Needless to say, I will be a mess all weekend wondering if her tear has healed. Dr. Lipman is very optimistic and feels that we would have seen reaccumulation already if her tear was not healed.
Dr. Lipman is getting things together for a discharge next week. "Emerson is ready to come home" he tells us! We are ready for her to be home too :-)
Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated during these upcoming days.
Attached are some pictures from throughout the week- enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Incorporating Breast Milk!

Today we were able to incorporate 10cc's of breast milk into Emerson's bottle. She is now getting 45cc's of formula and 10cc's of breast milk. We will continue to monitor her saturation levels and watch for changes in her x-rays. If all goes well, the plan is to add 10cc's of breast milk each day. She continues to be a great eater. She sucks her bottles down in less than 5 minutes with very few spit-ups or spills. The nurses are impressed with her determination!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BIG things happening!!

Emerson had an eventful Wednesday! We started the morning by getting a new "big girl" bed. Emerson was starting to outgrow her bassinet so her nurse requested that she be moved into a crib. She is very much a wiggly worm so she has plenty of room to kick around.
She took her x-ray at 10 am which looked wonderful! Dr. Phung moved her 35cc's for her 2 pm feeding. Emerson seemed to be confused with all the milk?!?! We are moving up 5cc's each day until we get to 55cc's (Sunday). If the x-ray's still look good we will start incorporating breast milk into the formula on Monday. Our wish is to get Emerson on a strictly breast milk diet.
Dr. Phung is going on vacation and has given our case to Dr. Lipman. We pray that he will guide us in the right direction!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

25 CC's and Loving It!

Emerson is becoming more active as she gets older. The nurses have brought in a swing to keep her entertained! She swings for about 5 minutes before she falls asleep. We have to put blankets around her to keep her in place. Her nurses refer to her as a "big girl" yet she is only 6 pounds 14 ounces.

UPDATE: Emerson's x-ray on Monday looked really good. The fluid was almost completely gone from around her lung. Dr. Phung increased her formula to 25 cc's with a follow-up x-ray on Wednesday. It looks like the octreotide is working! We are hopeful that we will be able to increase her formula feedings and gradually incorporate breast milk!

Having FUN in the NICU!!

Tonight I was able to get in the bathtub for the very first time. I had a great time! Daddy had to hold me up while mommy cleaned my body- we had to be very careful not to get her central line wet! It looks like Emerson is going to be a water baby!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Emerson's New Trick

We think she is the #1 BABY!!
Emerson's length was measured this morning. She has grown 2 inches since birth and is now 21 inches in length.
Dr. Phung was off this weekend so we will know more about adding to her feeds tomorrow!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Emerson is 3 Weeks Old!

This past week, Emerson has been receiving octreotide daily through her central iv. Yesterday, Dr. Phung increased her disage to 6 micrograms per kilogram. This was a significant jump from her previous 2 micrograms per kilogram. Dr. Phung seemed pleased with her last x-ray yet wants to be more aggresive with the medicine. Emerson's saturation rates have been in the high to mid 90's and has been in good spirits. She would like to be able to eat more than 15 cc's of formula but that will come with time. The 15 cc's really only holds in her stomach for 2 1/2 hours so she gets pretty angry before her next feeding. I am still pumping away hoping that one day Emerson will be able to drink breast milk. Our freezer is about to explode with baby bottles! The nurses keep reassuring us that we will go through all of the milk so DON'T throw it away!
Emerson is growing up so fast! Last night before bedtime she dropped her "soothie" on the floor so she put her thumb in her mouth and began sucking away. Pretty resourceful :-) She continues to be a lovable and sweet little baby! We enjoy any/all the time we have with her even if it is in the hospital!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life is Good

Grammy came to town for 4 days to get to know Emerson. Emerson has been back on 15 cc/3 hour feeds since Wednesday. Her xrays look good and her meds have been increased each day. We are on an upward trend!