Friday, October 31, 2008

A Special Store

It is just a little before 10:50, and I know that it could be a lot later because my body feels as though it is. By Friday I am just exhausted. I look forward to Saturdays because I get to rest. Noah takes Magdalena downstairs and cares for her so that I can get some extra needed sleep. This is always greatly appreciated! Although I want to go to bed since Magdalena is sleeping I really feel like I needed some time to be awake but to just have some time to think, finish some laundry, and then, maybe I will go to bed.

I wanted to share a picture of the dress that we bought for Magdalena for the fall pictures that we will be taking next Saturday. Words cannot express how emotional it is to try to find an outfit for such a small baby. It is harder to find an outfit, not pjs, for a baby like Magdalena. They have tons of white and pink gowns out there but very few outfits, and then, sometimes the sales clerk may try to get you to buy a larger size saying that babies don't remain that small for too long....oh how little they know. I have gotten to the point of not letting it make me sad when hearing things like that, even though some times are harder than others.

Before Magdalena was born I was determined that she would have one outfit just for her. It made me feel as though that were the only real thing that I could do for her at the time. My mom and I searched everywhere, but there were few places that had long sleeve preemie clothes, until the day we "happened" to go into a store,. We passed by it and just thought we would see what they had. My mom and I went crazy! Ever since then we have always been able to find what we needed for Magdalena there. I wanted to say thank you to all of the ladies who work there for making shopping easier!
The dress looks huge, but I promise that it is teensy in person!

86 Baby Days

Some days are hard for Noah and me because we don't know when Magdalena's crying is because of "normal" baby issues or something related to T18. And for some things I need more than just my mom's advice because of Magdalena's special conditions. She has begun a fussy stage where she cries and there is no reason (that we know of) for it. She loves to snuggle, so we can normally calm her in that way, or her candy (Mylacon drops) always makes her mouth move into the smacking position instead of the screaming one.
Some wonderful news is that Magdalena is sort of getting back on her sleeping schedule again. She is resting during the night, which means that Noah and I are able to sleep in the bed throughout the night! This an incredible thing!

Here is Magdalena in a winter hat that her cousin Emma is letting her borrow!

Magdalena and her mommy
I realized that I had spent more time behind the camera than in the pictures.

This picture was not planned! Mimi and Papa were taking care of Magdalena and her cousin, Landon, at the same time!

Magdalena enjoys eating from the bottle as much as she can!

Look what daddy found in his spot when going to bed! She is thinking "I am not moving...find somewhere else to sleep!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

85 Soft Skin Days

Because Magdalena had such a low weight at birth, her skin was so dry and we continued to lather her up with lotion. We were so thankful that the NICU had a new prescription kind that smelled so good! But as she puts on weight her skin is naturally holding in moisture. Now her body, especially her hands, are so smooth. I now understand when someone compares smoothness to a baby's skin!

Magdalena has hit a few milestones that I must share! Because it is so late, I will have to post pictures some other time. First, she has outgrown her first item of clothing! Although all of her clothes are preemies, the sizes vary depending on brand and material. One of the smaller preemie items, and one of my favorites, no longer fits! Between her belly and long body there just is no more room for the little brown onsie with the pink polka dots! She fusses when I change her clothes, so I let her wear it for the last time on Wednesday and did not snap the bottom of the onesie. She would have been too upset if I had tried to change her clothes again.
Also, Magdalena wore her first big girl (newborn size) diaper while at Mimi's tonight. It was still too big, but we were so proud that she had the booty to hold it on her body for a short period of time. Yay, Magdalena!

It is so hard to know the correct feedings to give Magdalena, but as she grows she will continue to increase in the amount of intake. We are in the middle of that change time, so please pray that we don't overfeed or underfeed her. She eats half of her feeding by mouth and the rest by the feeding tube, so we can't just stop when she stops eating. She becomes tired out before her body has taken in enough. We have called the doctor to know what to do for now, and on our next appointment on Tuesday, election day, we will further discuss it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

82 Princess Days

Loli excitedly came by today because this was a present that she just could not wait to give. Loli said that "every girl should have a crown", and this is so true! Look at how cute she is in her crown! She was very alert and had fun playing today! Praise God for a good day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

80 Day Birthday Celebration

Our sweet girl, Magdalena, turned 80 days yesterday, so today we had a little time of celebration. She looks as though she is having so much fun, but towards the end of the party she was definitely ready for her nap! Thanks Gigi for making Magdalena a delicious cake!
After her party Mimi gave her a bath, and she loved it! She put lots of bubbles in the big bath tub, and inside of it put the sponge-like baby bath helper. She just relaxed and enjoyed it. It was the most incredible time that I have seen Magdalena truly enjoying herself.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Look at our Big girl!

When we went to the NICU last week they gave us an official weight of 5 pounds 15 ounces (with clothes on). She had the best time snuggling with all of her old friends who are the most incredible nurses. After having a baby in the NICU I firmly believe that a special person works there, and God gives them the most amazing personality to love on the babies and to help the parents during such a difficult, emotional time. Sending lots of love to all of those nurses who will forever and ever have a place in our hearts.

On Friday Magdalena had an obvious personality change around. I could see before that she was beginning to feel better, but on Friday her eyes were wide opened. We sang, danced, and had great discussions. She sat in her boppy swing while I did a bit of preparation for spaghetti. Then, she helped me make it! Because Magdalena was doing so well and enjoyed her outing we went out again on Saturday! We were looking for a dress that would fit her small little body for the fall pictures that we are going to have made. And we were not surprised at all to have found this at Sweet Dreams in Madison. (Thanks for helping us so much!) She was such a big girl, and enjoyed looking around at all of the lights! She didn't enjoy riding in her car seat like she used to though because she is so used to being held. I love that she is so spoiled.

One of the strange things for us while we were out on the town was that so many people stopped us to talk about to Magdalena. She is so small so and beautiful that everyone was wanting to ask questions and look at her. Thanks to Karen who gave us the great idea of making the cards with our blog address on it. That way it made it easier to share Magdalena's story without having to give emotional details with complete strangers, yet continuting to share God's love and mercy.

Magdalena snuggling with her Mimi on one of the days that she doesn't feel so well
Magdalena loves being in the water, but after her bath it is so cold!! Here she is crying
Mimi trying to help Magdalena cough up some of that gunk inside of her
Magdalena's faces while Mimi was doing this to her.
Gigi came to see and cuddle with sweet Magdalena

Our special visitor, Katie, came to snuggle with Magdalena

Daddy and Magdalena sleeping last night.

Laura and Magdalena hanging out today at Gigi's house.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sweet Magdalena Time

It's about time that I finally got back to blogging! Julie had been doing such a great job of updating everybody that I got lazy, but recently I have been feeling guilty about leaving it all to Julie so I am going to do my best to give a good update of where we are.
Right now, Magdalena is resting on my chest. I love having her here in such a peaceful state. I am studying for my Hebrew test in the morning and I just fed her by tube so that she wouldn't wake up hungry and fussy.
Magdalena's cold seems to be getting better, but she still has a ways to go. We are doing our best to keep her chest from becoming too congested, but there is only so much we can do until she completely gets over this cold. Her lungs are already at risk because of the Trisomy-18, so we want to do all that we can to keep them clear. Please pray for her and for us. Thanks!
Yesterday we went back to the NICU where some of the greatest nurses in the free world work. We were so impressed with them while we were living in the hospital after Magdalena was born and we are even more impressed with them now. We were having trouble getting the right sized NG tube for Magdalena through the hospice ministry (a wonderful ministry that has been an incredible blessing to us...thanks Rosa!) because of a technicality with the maker, so we called the NICU to see of they would be able to provide us with more. They told us that we could bring Magdalena in to be weighed so that they could then provide us with more supplies. We had a list of things that we knew we could use, but really didn't expect for them to give us all of it. They did, and then some. They also loved on Magdalena for a while and were very sweet to us. We are so thankful for them.
This afternoon the three of us were sitting on the couch together and something funny happened. Magdalena had just finished eating and she and Julie both got the hiccups at exactly the same time. It was so funny to see them hiccupping back and forth.
Thanks so much for all of your prayers and encouraging comments. May God bless you richly and satisfy you deeply!

Monday, October 20, 2008

75 Absent Minded Days

I am going to excuse myself from giving false information because my brain shrank during the pregnancy, or maybe I am just a little crazy! I don't know how I counted wrong! Anyways, today Magdalena is 75 days old, and on Wednesday she will be 11 weeks! Yay!

Since Saturday Noah and I knew that Magdalena was going to need some special help to feel better. Also, we were uncertain if her problem was only a cold or if her heart problem was beginning to show. So we began to take turns staying awake to hold her. Usually I take a good nap and wake up about midnight when Noah goes to bed for the night. Then, on days when he doesn't have class until later I may go back to bed for another nap. However, tomorrow will be the first day that I won't be able to take that second nap, but I am sure that it will be fine. My body is beginning to adjust to the change, and also, nothing like a STRONG cup of coffee to keep you going.

Magdalena has practically stopped coughing in the last few days and her snot has lessened, and maybe this week we can get back on our old routine of sleeping at night. I have really enjoyed being up with her at night. Although she sleeps most of the time, while I am holding her it has given me great time to really read God's word and afterwards a good book, like Harry Potter.

Well, I am off to bed for now. Thanks so much for your continual prayers.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

77 Days

Magdalena is still not feeling well. I thought that she was improving, and in some ways she is, but I can still tell that she is not feeling well. She was up practically all of Friday night crying. We have spent the last few days constantly trying to keep her nose clear of all unwanted snot, but it is hard to keep up with it. She sleeps best when she is snuggled with someone, so that is how it is going to be. Noah and I have always agreed to keep her as physically comfortable as our hands allow. She stayed in someone's arms all day today and her crying was minimal because she was so comfortable, and I am staying up the night to be sure that she continues to be that way. For a few minutes she is in her Boppy so I have time to write a little. While trying to stay awake with her I am drinking lots of coffee and water, and I realized a few moments ago that I had to put her down to go to the bathroom. I was scared that she might begin to cry her sweet, sad cry. But she didn't wake up while she stayed in her Boppy swing for a few moments, so now I am just watching her sleep until it is time for us to snuggle again, which I know will be soon. I put her head right below my neck while her little booty is bunched up on one of my arms. As she sleeps she loves for me to pat her back, and I enjoy to rub her head and face.
Oh, time to snuggle again...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Seventy Days, Baby Girl!

Wow, as I think on how much time has passed and how many things have happened I am amazed that God has blessed us so much to be able to celebrate this day. She has been open-eyed today, not cheery eyed, but she is definitely breathing and feeling better. Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

69 Days with a little sniffle

Thank you to all of the prayers that you have said for our little girl. I wish that I could have written earlier to give a specific request that she has been sick, but because of that reason I haven't been able to write. On Sunday Magdalena was fussy all day, and her tears are always so sad. We noticed that she was had a runny nose, but we didn't know if it was because of the crying or if it was a cold. She didn't have a temperature. Thankfully, Mimi and Papa came over to help me while Noah went to worship, and Mimi noticed that the color of her mucus could mean that there is an infection somewhere in her body. I had no clue! We gave her some saline drops and continued to use the "red dragon" to clear out her nose. After a really good sleep in her boppy swing, she woke the following morning looking as though she felt much better. But when Mimi came over late in the afternoon she discovered that Magdalena had a fever. I felt completely helpless and horrible that I didn't know about it sooner. I had been with her all day and had not noticed that she was much warmer. Thankfully, the fever came down with time spent rubbing a cool wash cloth on her head and upper body. Her sweet little personality just isn't quite back today because it is still obvious that she doesn't feel well. There isn't a fever but her little cough and congestion is keeping her down. Please pray that she will feel better and that her body will fight the infection.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

67 Love-Filled Days

67 Love-Filled Days

This weekend Magdalena had some very special visitors come to see her. First Kim came to play with Magdalena and to help me around the house. She was an incredible friend who scanned all of my sonogram pictures into my computer, dusted, changed diapers, and just spent time hanging out with me. Thanks, Kim! Then, Aimee, my freshman year college roommate, who introduced me to Kim, came through our town, and for the first time in a long time we were together. What fun!

On Friday Magdalena got to see her Aunt Sarah again and meet Uncle Gabe and Lindsey. We both had our first visit to a Bass Pro Shop, and she loved it! There were so many things that caught her eye that she was so happy to be there!

Here are some fun pictures of Magdalena and all the people who love her.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

63 Fabulous Days = 9 Wonderful Weeks

Sweet Magdalena is resting right now after eating her breakfast. She didn't get a good nap this morning because her tummy doesn't seem to be feeling well. It is so sad when she is upset because her cry is soft, not loud and annoying, so everyone just feels even worse! She can get whatever she wants, but I have a hard time figuring out what it is she wants sometimes. Mimi stopped by this morning to hold Magdalena before work because she had called her Mimi wanting to be held by her. Magdalena has been having a little bit of a problem sleeping at night, and I think that I have just figured out why! I have been spoiling her during the day by always letting her take naps in her swing, which she loves (really there is no way to describe how much she likes it). Now, she doesn't want to lie still, but who can blame her?
We are so excited that one of my friends from college is coming to visit for a few days! She is one of those people that can come visit, and I don't feel as though I have to entertain her, so I am excited that I don't have to worry about the dust on my tables and the dirt on the floor! I will post some pictures soon of her hanging out with Magdalena!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

62 Super Days

Today we went to the pediatrician just to have her two month check up. Noah and I really like Magdalena's doctor who helped us with her feeding and gave us signs to look for if the feeding should cause her breathing to worsen. Magdalena now intakes 60mL every three hours (-ish....depending on hunger), and she will continue her nightly feedings. Magdalena now weights 5 pounds 8 ounces and is 18 1/2 inches long!! She is getting on up there!! She was such a sweet girl as Dr. B looked her over! Yay Magdalena....62 Days!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Family Time

Before I begin posting I just want to make a quick facebook statement to the general public. Secure your pages!! So many times I have been able to view someone's page before an invitation has been extended. Please be careful out there! Crazies do exist! Also, we have a group entitled "Magdalena's Feet". Please join it!

My family loves to celebrate birthdays, so they have been bugging me like crazy to celebrate it! We were in the hospital over my real birthday and anniversary, and with all that was happening I just couldn't bare to celebrate either one. I didn't care if they gave me gifts. I would have preferred if the day had passed by unacknowledged this year, but my family would not let me get away with that. So last night I finally did it, and our family had a blast getting together. Usually when we all get together at Mimi's house the grandkids bring their p.j.s so that they can all take a bath together. Last night I took Magdalena's so that she could participate in the fun of it all! We got pictures of all five grandkids in the bathtub together. They have so much fun, and in the picture everyone is smiling, even sweet Magdalena enjoyed being in the water. Caroline, Magdalena's oldest cousin, did a fabulous job holding her. She understood the responsibility and enjoyed it! My heart swelled up that Magdalena could be a part of this special moment, and when I saw it happening I knew that this would be one of those moments that I will always remember. Because of the girls' ages I didn't want to post this picture. However, I had to show you Magdalena's expression while in the tube with her cousins, so I cropped her head out for you to see it.

Look at that face! You can tell that she is having fun!

Magdalena has been looking forward to her time to snuggle with Loli.

Landon and Magdalena after taking a bathGigi rubbed Magdalena's leggs with lotion, and she loved it!

Magdalena's first time to have her nails clipped! Isn't Gigi doing a great job?

Look how pretty!! Magdalena's great-grandmother's friend made this dress for her!

And Mimi gave her this bonnet that matches it perfectly!

Also, Noah and I want to use this blog in any way to help show Christ's love through the unique, special life of our daughter. We have made little cards to pass out so that when someone asks questions about her we can easily share her story, and through this tiny little one they can see how big our God truly is. If Magdalena has ever been used in a conversation to share Christ or just to love on someone and you would like some of these little cards, please, email me your address and I would love to send some to you.

Here is a pic of what they look like...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Magdalena's Cotton Candy

Magdalena LOVES to have her Mylicon drops! I know all mothers out there know how useful this gas medicine is, but Magdalena smacks her tiny lips together like she is eating cotton candy. It is so cute, and our family loves to give it to her because it makes her so happy. I am happy to say that she has officially been spoiled. She loves to be held and stay in her swing. The two are much more exciting than sleeping in her bassinet. I know with normal babies you want to teach them to be able to sleep on their own, etc., but we are not so much worried about this because we always want her to be loved on.

Please check out the "Songs of Love" website at to learn more about the organization because Magdalena has just received her song! There are a group of volunteer writers who go through the information that is sent in about the child, and they write a specific song for them. I want to be able to share it on the blog, but I am not sure how to add a song. Give us a little time, and hopefully we can figure it out.

Magdalena went to her first bible study on Wednesday night, and she stayed on her best behavior the entire time! She even allowed me to try putting a little bow in her hair. It didn't stick as I would have liked, but it remained there "floating" in her hair, which is getting a little longer. She loved meeting everyone who had been praying for her.

58 Beautiful Days

This week we haven't followed our normal which has been nice, and while Magdalena is snuggled in her favorite spot, her swing, I thought that I would write a bit. This week I have been reminded of a special thought numerous times, so I thought that I would finally share it. As you have noticed from the pictures, my sisters and I are very close. We each have our own look, way of speaking, and personality, but being sisters makes us very near to each other. Jennifer and I had a true bonding time being pregnant at the same time because we could complain about aches together without sounding as though we were complaining, and practically everyday we were discussing what we were going to eat that day. Lori, my oldest sister, and I really bonded when I felt so emotionally weak that she would become my strength for me to help me get ready for Magdalena's arrival. Before she was even born Magdalena made us closer. And as weeks passed we decided to celebrate Magdalena's life after every doctors appointment, so our family got together once a month, and it eventually became once a week when we got closer to her arrival. I remember someone in the family saying how close Magdalena has brought us all together because we are going through the pain together.

I say all of this to show only one of the few things that Magdalena has accomplished so far in her life. Although I would love to see Magdalena graduate high school, get married, and speak Spanish perfectly, that is not what she is called to do. When Jennifer, my middle sister, was going to the hospital to have Landon I just couldn't go up there to see her. My heart was selfishly broken because I could not understand the diagnosis of my daughter's life, which I had just found out one month prior to Landon's arrival. I was terrified that instead of loving Landon I would be jealous of his health. I think that I finally went up there the next day, but I still waited hours before I really felt as though I had the strength to hold him. (I know that sounds horrible of me, but be patient with me and slowly I will get to the point of telling you all of this.) I cried while he was in my arms. I knew that he would never really know Magdalena, but I know that he will be my sweet reminder in all the many years to come. Every time he hits a marker stone in life I know that I will be reminded of what might have been if Magdalena had never had Trisomy 18. I will cry, but I will never forget that was not her purpose. God did not create her for me to keep but for His glory. And as I watch Landon grow I think he will be "my son" and my reminder of how God blessed us the same year he was born with a special baby.

So, my sweet reminder over the week has been that I truly believe that God created these babies in a special way. We are not to play God and terminate them when we choose because they are not as we think they should be, or try to make them something they are not. They are here on this earth for however long God grants us to be loved and through that love God will teach each of us something. I thought the mother was supposed to teach the child, but I am wrong because she has only been teaching me. For this reason, I try to not be TOO overly protective of her so that many can love on her and be reminded of God's providence. I do believe that God gave us this sweet little girl for many reasons, many of which we may never know. Thank you to the numerous people throughout this week who through indirect ways have reminded me of this.

Luke 18:15-17
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."