Thursday, April 30, 2009


Emerson and I had so much fun today! I decided to bring out her pool and let her splash away. It was great to see her playing in the water. Travis and I wouldn't know what to do with a child who didn't love the water. Now, I can't wait to get her into swimming lessons. Looks like we're in for a lot more fun in the future!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Many people are wondering if we have seen changes in Emerson since her heart surgery. I would have to say that the biggest change that we've noticed is in her personality. She is much more of a smiley and giggly baby these days! Her little giggle melts my heart.
She was having a lot of fun getting her picture taken today and I was having a lot of fun watching!! Enjoy :-)

Just 1 week

It's amazing how quickly things can change in one week. This is Emerson after eating a whole plate of squash and sweet potatoes. Just last week it was a fight to eat a few spoonfuls!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Emerson's Entourage

Emerson's Entourage is in FULL FORCE!!

With heart surgery and recovery out of the way, we have officially started planning for the 2009 Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida Buddy Walk. I know that it is many months away (October 17), but we want to make a HUGE impact this year! Emerson's team placed second last year for the most walkers...this year we are going for the gold! I've attached the donation website for those of you who are interested. We are hoping to provide shirts for all walkers this year (design is hot off the press -- thanks to Aunt Audrey)!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day with Daddy

Today Emerson spent the majority of the day with her Daddy! I was able to go swimming, get my hair cut, and simply take a few moments for myself! Thank you daddy!!
For the special occasion, Emerson got dressed in her "Daddy attire." She looked too cute in her pink Guy Harvey and mini skirt! The guys at Boater's World thought Travis was too cool. I wish I had a picture of Travis with his camouflage diaper bag!!

This last picture is of Emerson and Lucy (Grammy's crazy dog). I'm not sure if Emerson has more fun swinging or if Lucy has more fun trying to get to Emerson's feet in the swing???

Yummy Carrots

After many nights filled with screaming, crying, and refusing to eat we have finally found a food that Emerson enjoys....carrots!!! Thank goodness for this yummy vegetable.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Hoppy Easter

Even though Emerson wasn't allowed to do much, we still had a beautiful day! We're looking forward to many more Easters with the little bunny!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Welcome Home Baby Emerson!!

This baby has led us to places that we never could have found alone. This baby is full of goodness, light, and love. This beautiful baby has touched so many lives and hearts- most of all, my own!

After 8 long days in the PCICU at Arnold Palmer Hospital, I am happy to announce we are HOME! She is already rolling over on her belly which scares me to death. The doctors warned us that she would go back to her "pre-surgery" activities as soon as we got home.

Travis and I would like to send our sincere gratitude to all of our friends and family who have sent prayers, cards, e-mails, gifts, etc.... You all have made this tough time a lot easier on 2 first time worried parents!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PostOp - Day 7 (Pic Added)

We were a little disappointed to learn that Emerson would not be going home until tomorrow (Wednesday). She had her echocardiogram done this morning and the heart repair looks great. We were even able to see the patches. She has a small amount of fluid around her heart and surrounding her left lung, which is very common and will dissipate in time. The medical staff wanted to wait until she had been off of oxygen a little longer, which is why they are waiting until Wednesday. All of her stats are great and Emerson has been very communicative today with her eyes and even some smiles. As anxious as we are to have her home, we consider ourselves so fortunate to live 3 miles from such a first class facility that was made just for babies like Emerson, Congenital Heart Institute at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Post Op - Day 6 (pic added)

Emerson is on track to be released tomorrow. She still has chest x-rays today and tomorrow and an echocardiogram later today. We will learn how to do "chest poundings" to give her respiratory therapy at home. She is eating more and the oxygen has been turned off. A central line and the oxygen tube will be removed today also. It will be so nice not to have tubes!!! And even better to have her out of the ICU.
Thank you for all your interest in and support of Emerson. We hope all our Seminole County teacher friends are having a happy spring break :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Post Op - Day 5 (pic added)

Emerson continues to improve and almost looks like her old self (albeit with a big scar down her chest). Her oxygen saturation levels are awesome; she is being weaned off oxygen today. It also means that the lymphatic problem has not happened. YIPPEE! She had a little problem with vomiting her feedings yesterday, but with more careful feedings, she is doing fine. In preparation for going home, her lasix is being given by mouth now instead of through an IV line. We are probably going home early in the week, assuming chest x-rays and Monday's echocardiogram are good. Happy Palm Sunday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Post Op - Day 4

Emerson is now being fed on demand because she was starving! Her chest x-ray looks better (those poundings are working) and so far no lymphatic fluid. We're hoping today is a good day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Post Op - Day 3+

Not altogether boring today. Good, bad and ugly. Good is that Emerson was able to start 1 ounnce breast milk feeds at 5 p.m. and that she promptly pooped. Bad is that she had congestion in top of lung cavity. Ugly is the pounding treatments that the respiratory therapists have to perform on her to loosen up the congestion. However,the treatments are working and the chest x-rays are clearer. Poor Emerson is now starving and waiting for that miniscule 1 ounce bottle every 3 hours. No sign of lymphatic fluid yet -- hopefully never!

Post Op - Day 3

It's hard to believe that it is 3 days since Emerson's surgery. She is doing very very well. Last night Lauren and Travis were able to hold her and she was given a bath. She is coughing and crying, which breaks their heart, but is a good thing. E will be started on breast milk when her stomach wakes up a little more. We're looking forward to a smooth day in the ICU. A boring day in there is a good day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Post Op - Day 2+

One pigtail catheter in, one pigtail catheter out. 50 cc of fluid out. All body functions much better, Emerson resting much more comfortably. Parents too.

Post Op- Day 2

Emerson has been moved within the Cardiac ICU to a lower level room. She is doing very well for her second day after surgery. ICU is a constant balancing act -- one thing goes up and one thing goes down. Today, E has a slight temp and her heartbeat is a little fast, which the medical staff think is due to drier than normal body fluids. Yesterday she was swolen with too much fluid. So, she is getting extra Tylenol and some packed red blood cells to bulk up. It is amazing how fast things happen in Cardiac ICU. Her temperature immediately went down. She also has some slight fluid around her left lung. Of course, her pigtail catheter is in her right lung cavity. They will put another pigtail catheter in her left side this afternoon to drain the fluid and determine exactly what it is. We were very relieved to know this is a bedside procedure that will not require extubation. She is doing really really well and we are so glad that the medical staff anticipates things before they are problems. She is awake and somewhat feisty, which is so delicious for us.
I know I run the risk of giving you too much information in these reports. By the time some of you read this blog, things will be altogether different with Emerson's condition. But, I know all of you are curious and care about how she is doing.
Continue to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Post Op - Day 1+

Emerson is breathing on her own!!!!! Our little girl was starting to wake up, so the pediatric cardio-intensivist (Cardiac ICU doctor) decided to take out the breathing tube as opposed to giving her more sleeping medicine. It all happened rather suddenly and surprisingly. We held OUR breaths while Emerson breathed like a champ. Her blood gases are great, which is a huge relief and a big milestone in her recovery. She's still on pain medicine, which will thankfully keep her good and groggy. It is so good to see her moving and her eyes open :)

Post Op - Day 1

Emerson is doing well and as expected on her first day after major heart surgery. She had three tubes removed from her chest today and is being weaned from her breathing tube by substituting "sleeping" medicine for "sedation" medicine. So, she is being forced to breathe more on her own now, which doesn't seem to be a problem. The breathing tube will probably be taken out late today or in the morning. She is a bit swolen from the trauma and fluids, which isn't fun to see. But, she is in such capable and compassionate hands at Arnold Palmer Hospital.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Emerson is a spunky little girl who is certainly loved by lots and lots of people. We'll keep you all informed.