Sunday, August 31, 2008

BEEEP....

That is the noise that makes us jump quickly to our feet. We were glad to have gone without it for two days, but then, in one night it just couldn't stop. Last night we woke a few times to the sound of the noise because Magdalena's heart rate dropped lower than it should. Even this morning it went off again. We enjoy not hearing it for awhile, and it means that her little body is getting rested up for the time when it does.
Right now her little body is resting up for the rest of the day. By her breathing I can tell that she is sleeping well, the way that I really like for her to sleep. With her eyes open or closed she is beautiful in every way. Even the parts of her body that show her syndrome just make her life obviously special.

GUSTAV...
Also, we are unsure of how the storm will affect our electricity, etc. here so we may not be able to blog for a little while.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Bath at Home



These were taken after Magdalena's first bath at home on Monday, August 25.

A Mother's Love

Yesterday was a good, calm day. Being able to rest my mind was an incredible blessing while Magdalena rested all day. She was tired from the day before, which kept her sleeping most of the day, but a few times in the day she would keep her eyes wide open for about an hour. It was sweet as though she were talking with me. Her little mannerisms let me know her better like poking her lips out at me or giving me a little sligh grin. I did not bottle feed her all day in hopes of preserving any little bit of energy she should have. Still at the end of the day Magdalena only had her heart rate drop once in the day, and it was still a little episode. She is just SO beautiful, and I love her so much!

I am hoping to add more to this later, but I did want to share Magdalena's good day....and possibly more pictures!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

God's Timing...

I am able to take the time to post right now while my mom is holding our precious Magdalena. Before her breakfast this morning her heart rate lowered too low, but with a little reminder it resumed to a good speed. When her apnea monitor sounds I am always on edge not knowing, but at the same time, on many occasions she pulls up her heart rate and breathing herself. Then, during breakfast I noticed her color changing so quickly. I jumped up and began to pat her trying my best to remind her to breathe, but no matter how hard she was trying, she just couldn't do it. I ran to the oxygen machine and while hitting her back I waved the oxygen in front of her face until her color returned.
I thought to myself "ok, I knew that this would happen", and I called Noah to let him know the situation. I continued to feed her breakfast when it happened it again, but I had a harder time getting her color to return. After calling Noah again he began on his way home. Something just wasn't right....
Instead of her color getting better it continued to get worse. She had stopped breathing and her heart rate had lowered. As I sat there in tears I kept begging for her to fight, I realized that she had already done that for so long. I had gotten everything that I had prayed for already. We were able to spend time with her, know her, love her, baptize her, and bring her home with us. We were already given much more than we expected when first entering the delivery room.

When all of this flashed through my head I realized that I was ok to let her go. I didn't want it, but I knew that I didn't want her to continue to suffer. By this time Noah had arrived at the house, and just by his presence I felt stronger and that I was not alone. Then, by the grace of God, Magdalena came back to us. It was slow, but her daddy kept giving her a litte oxygen, and we both could tell when we were in the "safe" zone. She was so tired after this entire experience that we didn't even try to bottle feed her, but we simply gave her milk through her NG tube so that she could heal. Noah put Magdalena in one of her favorite positions, which is her laying on his chest, and she rested for a few hours. God has given us another day. I am not sure if I will be ready for the next episode and have any form of strength, but we will just have to take one day at a time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Today Lori, my oldest sister, took the day off from work to help me with Magdalena. It was definitely a restful day, and we were able to spend some time together working on some obvious changes in the blog. Magdalena hung in there with us! Although Magdalena smelled the room up with her gas, we had a great time with her. Because of all the fun that I had with Magdalena last night and today I decided to title this blog after one of the songs that will play on the blog, Girls just wanna have fun. Even through a few of her apnea spells (her heart rate drops too low), I really enjoyed my sweet daughter using only laughter and not tears. Her long feet with her wrinkly knees are always so cute as she streches, and she enjoys for me to rub her legs. I don't think that I will ever be able to express how precious she is to me. God has been gracious to give this much time to us, and we do not deserve it.

The past few days spent with Magdalena at home are what Noah and I have desired and prayed for, and as in many situations I desire even more now. The past two weeks have been emotionally and physically hard as I spent my days in the hospital trying to be a mommy and heal too. The NICU nurses were amazing, and I believe that these women are created for their job. They were patient with me as I sat there waiting for any information that I could get for Magdalena. Even though I didn't hold her all day so that she could keep her strength, it helped me to just be there for her.

Although I do not understand and may not know how her life is being used, I know that it is beautiful and has a purpose. Throughout her time with us, no matter how long or short, I pray that God will allow us to glorify him and have fun together doing it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blog Update

Lori and I have obviously been playing with the blog so that we can share more pictures. There are three posts for August 24th, and since we have learned this new trick more pictures have been added to previous posts to show off Magdalena's sweet life being born. I am sorry if this is confusing. Please be patient with us as we learn new blogging techniques.

Magdalena's Baptism

Peace


Magdalena wore this outfit to celebrate Caroline's (her cousin) birthday on Aug. 21.

Mommy's first time to bathe Magdalena.


Please forgive us for the last blogging that Noah and I tried to do together. After a long week in the hospital we finally had time to discuss and update the blog. We wrote it together with much thought, and then, the internet from the hospital rolled over to the next day and cut our connection off. We had no idea, and it was too late to write as much as we had initially done. Noah was so tired, and yet, was so helpful to me to rewrite it for me.

Peace...I know that I should be feeling a load of this since we have had a HUGE prayer answered being able to spend 19 wonderful days with our daughter and bring her home. As you will read on many T18 blogs, this is very uncommon. When I was about to go into surgery I had no idea how long I would know my daughter, if at all, and God has blessed us with 19 wonder days with our sweet daughter. Yet, because each day is unknown I find myself watching her constantly, and if one thing seems wrong I wonder if this is it....the time that I find myself dreading more each day as my love grows even stronger for her. She amazes me... My mom and sister have come to watch her so that I can shower, take a nap, or just do a few things around the house so that I don't feel bad for leaving her alone. I am hoping that if God should grant me more time with her that I will gain the confidence to trust others with her, but for now she is my little bundle of joy to pour my time into.

Please pray for Magdalena's strength to increase and that her life her on earth will be enjoyable. She has had a few apnea spells while at home. Usually she struggles to bring her heart rate back up when she is going to the bathroom or in a deep sleep. It is always so scary, but she so far has pulled herself out from her spells.

Because we are uncertain of the number of days that we have with Magdalena, the church graciously fit us in the service so that we could baptize Magdalena today. It was our first day as parents to get ourselves and her ready without anyone leaving, and we fed her before leaving home. Magdalena's family along with her mommy and daddy were so happy to have been able to celebrate such a glorious day with her. On the previous post Lori figured out how to create a slide show with the pictures from the Baptism. (Thanks, Loli!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We are Going Home

Noah and I have spent some time over the last few days trying to find words to add to the blog, but it wasn't until today that we felt as though we were ready to share all that has happened this week. We arrived to the hospital on Monday thinking that we would be bringing Magdalena home Wednesday or Thursday, and we would spend the night in order to learn how to best care for her. By Tuesday we knew that the earliest day would be Friday so that the hospital staff could have the time to get us ready for the big day.

Tuesday night we had our first "real" encounter with what Magdalena's syndrome consists of on a daily basis. We had just begun to feel comfortable with the type of feedings that we would give her. The day was ending when Magdalena's apnea alarm sounded to let us know that she was not taking in the amount of oxygen needed. After giving her a second to pull it up on her own, which happens frequently I began to rub her to help her a bit. I picked her up and rubbed her harder, but her oxygen levels and heartrate kept going down to dangerous levels. I really began thinking that this was it. This was the time in her life that I had dreaded. She looked as though she was a complete shade of blue. Everything else happened so quickly, but basically Noah called the NICU. Before I knew it the nurses were here giving her a little oxygen and getting her lungs and heart going strong again, as I sat on the couch crying and watching it all happen. She started breathing on her own, but the nurses decided to leave her on the oxygen for the night, and Noah and I agreed that would be good. Then, she became fussy to a point that Noah and I knew that something was wrong. After talking through it, we decided that she must be constipated which had caused her to drop in her oxygen level as she had to push so hard. This got her to the point where she was unable to recover her level because of her apnea.

While this was a great reminder to us of how fragile Magdalena is, we are so thankful that we get to keep spending time with her.

We are Going Home

Tomorrow morning we will be taking Magdalena home for the first time in her little life. We are so excited to be able to take her to her own room, but we are also a bit nervous about what will happen there. We know that God is sovereign, good and faithful to us, but we need the faith to trust Him fully. Please pray for us that we will be ready for whatever is to come!

We are also very excited that this Sunday, August 24, Magdalena is going to be baptized.  Please come and celebrate with us! While we are eager for this day, we will also need to be careful with Magdalena. Although we would like to share our precious miracle with everyone, please forgive us for being overly protective of her. It may not be best for everyone to meet her just yet.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers that have sustained us through these very trying times. Your prayers are God-honoring and we are so blessed by them. Dr. L, one of my professors, asked me about Magdalena yesterday and then said, "That little girl has mobilized more prayer from people all over the world than any of the rest of us ever could have." He is so right! What an amazing blessing she has been. May God be glorified in her!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Little Sleep with a BIG blessing

We are in the hospital for a few nights so that we can learn how to care for Magdalena with her special needs. Tonight we have learned to feed her by using a syringe, and tomorrow the at home health center will come to the hospital to show us how to use the mechanical pump. I was so excited that there was an alternative way to feeding her for the times that we would be at church, Mimi and Papa's house, etc. Although tonight has been tiring, it has been fun and emotional with so much enjoyment. Through this short time already I feel more comfortable with many things that I have to do. However, when she is taking in less oxygen or her heart rate goes down my heart just sinks as the loud buzzer sounds realizing how much I will have to learn how to recognize it without all of the hospital machinery.

Earlier this evening Magdalena's heart rate continued to rise, and I realized that this had never happened in front of the nurses. I had no idea what to do! We called the NICU nurse who has been teaching us, and after checking her diaper we realized that she was just making a big present for her daddy!

Tomorrow is a big day for Noah and I as we have to have many emotional discussions that will remind us that our daughter is sick, and we will be learning more technological things associated with caring for her. Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

When looking at her I am shown what a blessing it is to be a parent, and that she is a gift from God made especially for us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Baby Magdalena





Yesterday we took this picture, and I am so excited how well it turned out. Her eyes are open and looking to show you a little of her personality. The meeting with the doctor went well yesterday, but I no matter what we are discussing the tears tend to fall. I am so thankful that we have the chance to know our daughter more, but now there is a different pain/fear. In my mind I know that none of us know the amount of time here on earth, but my heart just doesn't understand. I never knew that I would love her this much.


I have just attempted, and finally, with Noah's help, put together monitors in hopes that we will bring her home this week. It is hard to believe that this possibility exists, but I am so excited. Magdalena is digesting the amount of calories necessary, and as of yesterday she had put on a little weight. She now weighs 3.13!



Because of Magdalena's size and apnea she had a pass a test to be able to ride in a car seat. She did so well and passed!! We are so proud of her fighting so hard!
P.S. from Magdalena - Thanks Loli for letting me borrow Caroline's carseat! Thanks Uncle Stephen for making sure it was super clean for me!
-Julie

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Today's Visitors and Tomorrow's BIG meeting


Uncle Adam and Magdalena


Daniel (to the left behind wall), Carter, Katie, and Addie

Today Magdalena had some friends and Uncle Adam to come say hello and give her some sweet love, so I wanted to share some pictures. Today Magdalena is continuing to improve the amount of food that she digests. She has a small tube in her nose that helps for her to intake when she has trouble taking the amount of needed calories by mouth. Magdalena's sweet nurse for today, Sondra, sat and explained so much that will be happening in the upcoming days and some of the things that we might need for her arrival.
Tomorrow Noah and I will be meeting with Magdalena's doctor to learn about her home health care. On Monday night (and possibly Tuesday) Noah and I will be spending the night in the hospital to be able to care for Magdalena in a private room but having the nurses nearby. When everyone feels comfortable she will come home, which we are planning to be Wednesday, but we have learned that you just can't plan too much in this situation.
I hope to write you more tomorrow with more on Magdalena's sweet care and all that will be happening when I better understand it myself.

Please pray for both Noah and me as we learn the special care that Magdalena will need, that our minds will be at peace and that this will allow us some rest in the small amount of time that we will need, to remain relying on him, and that God will give us the patience, strength, and plenty of hydration (for all the tears that will be shed by me when trying to learn and thinking of how I am so inadequate for this special little baby's care). -Julie

Yesterday I surprised Noah with this sweet outfit on Magdalena, and look how sweet they are together! That sweet premie outfit just swallows her! We are hoping to bring her home next week, but she must be able to digest her food so that her calorie intake is up. As parents of a special child we will have to learn a lot of things about caring for her, so please pray for us. I know that God us with the strength needed, but I am nervous about all that will be expected of us. I went to Target to get a few things for her arrival, and I was definitely overwhelmed by what she may or may not need and all that is to come. I didn't think that we would have such a big blessing of even having the possibility of bringing her home, so we are definitely excited about what may happen next week. -Julie



Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another Great Day!

As Magdalena's father, I first want to say that I am so proud of her and so thankful to God for taking care of her thus far. She has been the most amazing blessing in our lives and every day with her is precious. She is so beautiful and sweet.

Today was a very good day. Julie visited Magdalena for several hours this afternoon and the nurses told her that because Magdalena had eaten and digested so well, they removed the IV that had been giving her nutrients and keeping her hydrated. This is wonderful news! I had the chance to spend a few minutes with her and she is more and more beautiful every day.

After visiting with Magdalena, Julie and her mother took a trip over to our special store to do a little shopping to expand Magdalena's wardrobe. They found the cutest little hat and booties and some tiny thermal underwear to keep her warm when she needs to be.

After some shopping, they went back to the hospital where Gigi (Jennifer), Laura and Landon met them to visit with Magdalena. Magdalena kept her eyes open for a long time and seemed to visually engage people and respond a good bit to Julie. This is so encouraging! Also, she ate more than she ever has before (about 28 cc's) and is digesting so well.

We are so thankful for all of the people that have done so much to help us in this time. Today, Mrs. P drove Julie to the hospital from home and has offered to do this on a regular basis when needed. Several other people have offered similar help and it is wonderfully overwhelming to have such great support from friends and family. Also, many of you have offered to provide meals for us which will certainly be eaten and fully appreciated by us. Thank you so much, Mrs. D, for the lasagna, green beans, salad and cake tonight. It was all delicious!

We are so thankful for another very good day with Magdalena. God is certainly answering prayers. Thank you for so faithfully praying for Madgalena and for us. God has met our needs every step of the way and has shown us over and over that His mercies are new every morning and that He is our true strength and source of joy, even in hard times. We also want to thank all of you for reading the blog and leaving so many wonderful comments. I have teared up several times reading through the comments when seeing how encouraging and thoughtful so many of you are. You are more of a blessing than you will probably ever know.

We know that every second of Magdalena's life with us is simply to glorify God. Our prayer is that we will know Him better and love Him more because of her, and that you will do the same. Magdalena's life is a great reminder that all of us are fragile and none of us has been promised tomorrow. May we glorify and enjoy Him today as we savor every precious moment with Magdalena.

~Noah

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Magdalena is one week old today!

Tonight I got to go with Julie to Magdalena's 9:00 visit. We got there at the exact time Magdalena opened her eyes and she was wide awake! It was so neat to watch her looking around. I was standing over talking to her while Julie was sitting in the chair next to her. As soon as Julie opened her mouth and started talking, Magdalena's eyes shot straight over to where Julie was sitting. She knew her Mommy's voice! I had to put this picture on though because she's had been sticking her tongue in and out and I just happened to catch it in action here!


How great is our God!!!

Update from the road!

I'm working away from the office today...so this post is coming from my Blackberry. Please forgive the short nature of this post and any misspelled words!! Julie just sent me a message that Magdalena took a full 23cc feeding earlier today. Right now she is trying to feed her using the bottle. More to come tonight!

Stephen

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Night

This post may not express all that is happening right now, but I wanted to say a few words because my incredible sister and brother-in-law have continued updates. I have just now finished reading all that they have read and all of the kind words that you have sent our way. Right now I can't believe that I am home, and I miss Magdalena. Noah and I are blessed to have an amazing doctor to help us through the situation, and upon Magdalena's arrival I was able to touch her. I thought that I loved her when she was inside me, but that does not compare to the love that I have for her now. Even seeing Noah hold her I see the same love expressed, and it makes me teary. Today she had a good day, and we are thankful for the NICU nurses who are so patient and give her extra time to learn daily functions. They put up with me being in there asking a million questions and falling asleep. Please pray for the strength for us to learn how to care for Magdalena with her special needs if she should come home, especially for Noah who went to work again on Monday. Thank you so much for all that you have done to support us and pray for us!

Julie's Home

I don't have much of an update tonight, but didn't want you to think something was wrong if I didn't update. Julie is home and is doing as well as can be expected. She was encouraged by Magdalena having a good day today. Magdalena's awesome nurse, Wren, had her drink 17 cc's this morning and 17 cc's tonight. She was very alert tonight and was focusing in on some of the different objects around her. Unfortunately, I didn't make it up to the hospital today so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of her myself. I will have you one tomorrow though because I am going up there!

Quick Update and Request

As many of you know, Julie has been able to extend her stay at the hospital a couple of times. It's been great for her to be close to Magdalena while she has been recovering. Well, she is currently in the process of getting her things ready to leave and go home from the hospital. So here's the latest request:

-Please pray for peace as they leave the hospital, drive home and walk into their home for the first time since Magdalena's birth. Also pray that the peace that God gives them tonight will allow them to receive some much needed rest!

Magdalena's Update

Magdalena has had a good day today. The nurses are trying to keep her off of the warmer today to see if her body temperature will hold. She also had a great feeding thanks to the patience of the amazing Wren, her NICU nurse. One amazing piece of the puzzle is that she does not have any of the major problems problems normally associated with Trisomy 18. The doctors are still trying to get her prepared to go home later in the week. Their goal is to have her bottle feeding more regularly before she goes home. She is still having a little trouble with the bottle and the apnea is still present.

More to come later!!

Stephen

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sneak Peak of Pics

Andrea just sent Julie a sneak peak of the pictures she took on Saturday. Julie asked me to go ahead and share them with you on the blog - They are gorgeous! Once again, if you are ever in need of a photographer, I highly recommend her to you.

















Happy Birthday, Julie!

Today there aren't really many updates about Magdalena. Julie and Noah are boarding at the hospital so Julie can visit with her, rest, and then go back. Magdalena's doctor did say that he would like for Magdalena to have a goal to go home at the end of the week. So, please pray that Julie and Noah will get some much needed rest this week and will be able to take Magdalena home at the end of the week.

Julie celebrating her birthday with Magdalena
As a side note, tomorrow (Tuesday) is Julie and Noah's 2nd anniversary. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, JULIE AND NOAH!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Peaceful Day

Today was an encouraging day for Julie and Noah. Magdalena had two dirty diapers this morning in a short period of time - so that showed she is digesting the food from the tube in her nose. Also, by the end of the afternoon, Magdalena had been taken off oxygen completely and her heartbeat was staying steady.

Jennifer, our other sister, was feeling excluded because I have not put a picture of her with Magdalena on the blog. Of course, until today they had all been taken with her camera so I didn't have one of her. This afternoon, we were able to spend a little sister time in the room with Julie. It's always nice when the three of us get together - it just has a calming effect.

Julie, Gigi, and Magdalena
A Special Friend
One of my friends, Teresa , and her daughter, Macala, came to the hospital this afternoon with a special project in mind. Teresa had the clay and got Magdalena's handprints and footprints so Julie and Noah will have them as a keepsake. She also brought some tiles and painted the bottom of Magdalena's foot to get her footprint. It was so sweet of her to take the time to make these special gifts for Julie and Noah.

Magdalena's footprints
Getting her handprint

The awesome nurse Diane jumping in
to help with painting Magdalena's feet.
Capturing her footprint
Noah's Family
Noah's family have been here since Monday night and Sarah, his sister, arrived on the Thursday before that. They left this afternoon to go back home. I know that Julie and Noah appreciated them being here so much and glad they were able to spend some time with Magdalena.
Paul, Bonnie, and Sarah with Magdalena
Special Note:
As a side note, tomorrow (Monday) is Julie's birthday. It will be such a bittersweet day for her as she spends the day Magdalena. Please pray that they will have a special day together and create memories that Julie will always remember.
And, finally, tomorrow (Monday) is also our parents' anniversary and our grandparents' anniversary.
So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND DAD AND GRANDMOM AND GRANDAD!

Thought for the Day

I just saw this quote on a website http://www.stringofpearlsonline.org/ and thought it was perfect for Magdalena - so I just had to share!

There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on the world.
—Anonymous

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sorry to Keep you Waiting...

I apologize for falling down on my job today and not updating you on yesterday's events. It was very late when I got home from the hospital and just didn't know where to start.
Update on Julie and Magdalena's Health:
As you know, Magdalena has an IV to make sure she is staying hydrated. The doctors/nurses have also decided that although she was drinking from the bottle, she was burning more calories trying to suck than taking them in so they have stopped most of that for now. She is mainly being fed from a tube going up her nose. Yesterday, her heart rate kept going up and down so this afternoon the nurses put her back on the oxygen line and it's helped keep her heartbeat steady again. Julie was very sore yesterday but is feeling a little better today. She is still not getting as much rest as she should - but it's understandable. Julie will be discharged from the hospital on Sunday. Please pray that she will have the strength to leave the hospital without Magdalena - I'm sure it will be extremely difficult. It's amazing how God gives mothers an unconditional love for our children immediately after they are born.

A Priceless Gift:

Yesterday was Magdalena's 3rd day to be with us. So, on the way to the hospital my girls and I stopped by the store and got Magdalena a tiny cake with a "3" on it to celebrate her being with us for 3 days. Julie and Noah were so excited when I showed them the cake and Julie wanted to take it down there to her immediately. So, Julie and I went in to give it to Magdalena (and take pictures) and Mimi, Caroline, Uncle Stephen, and Emma stood at the window to watch. For those of you that don't know, NICU has a few rules. 1) Only two visitors at a time. 2) Unless a sibling, no child under 13 allowed. As we are taking the pictures of Magdalena with her cake, Magdalena's nurse for the day asked if we wanted to let the girls come back and sing "Happy Birthday" to Magdalena! Julie's eyes and my eyes immediately welled up with tears as we realized that this was such an unexpected surprise and a precious gift. So, we all gathered around Magdalena and sang Happy Birthday to her in our whisper voices as all the nurses took pictures and videoed it for us! It was such a special moment that we will all remember - Thank you so much Wren, Samantha, Stephanie, and Cindy for making a special memory for us!


All of us giving Magdalena her cake

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Magdalena

Two of Magdalena's cousins (and biggest fans) meeting
her up close and personal for the first time!
Magdalena at the end of her 3rd day with us

A Special Service:
There is an organization called "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" ( http://nowilaymedowntosleep.org/start.php) that has professional photographers volunteer their own time to take newborn pictures for people in the same type of situation as Julie, Noah, and Magdalena. The photographers do not charge anything for their services but come, take the pictures, and then give the parents a cd with all of the pictures. Andrea is the amazing photographer that was assigned to the Roberts family. She drove up in July and took prenatal pictures of Julie, Noah, Magdalena and the family. She was at the hospital on the day Magdalena was born and also drove up today to take pictures. She has been so patient with everyone and has given up so much of her time. It will be a few weeks before she has all the pictures together and on her website, but I did snap one picture of my own today to give you a sneek peak! Andrea defintely deserves a plug on this blog and I hope if you are in her area, you will give her your business! She is worth it! Thank you so much Andrea for everything!
Mimi's grandchildren

Friday, August 08, 2008

Afternoon Update 08-08-08

Sorry about taking so long to update today. Not a whole lot to report at this point. Here's what I have right now:

-Julie was told that she could be discharged today. However the insurance said that they would approve her to stay thru Sunday at this point. Great news, seeing that she can continue to recover and be close to Magdalena!!!

-Magdalena was put back on an IV to day. She is not digesting as much of her feedings as they would like to see and they do not want her to get dehydrated.

-Another concern is one of Magdalena's eyes. It has a glaze to it that the other does not. An eye doctor will look at it in the next day or so.


All for now! Lori will probably update with a little more detail tonight with some sweet pictures to look at!

Stephen

Thursday, August 07, 2008

And the Blessings Multiply

As you are probably aware by now, I don't have access to the this website during the day so my husband briefly updates it while I'm at school to makes sure everyone is aware of the latest news on Magdalena, Julie, and Noah - since it changes so often. I was awakened this morning (technically Thursday morning) by a text message from Julie at 6:34 am saying she had just finished feeding Magdalena her bottle. As you can imagine, I jumped out of the bed squealing that I had just typed that prayer request a little earlier and God had already answered it! I couldn't help but go back to school this morning with a bounce in my step! So, let me go in a little more detail about today's exciting events:
1. Magdalena drank her first bottle this morning (I believe around 11 cc's).
2. She has not had to get back on the C-PAP at all since last night.
3. Noah gave Magdalena her first bath and put clothes on her!
4. Although she only drank about 2 cc's each time, she still attempted to drink from her bottle at each feeding.
5. Magdalena doesn't have the hole in her heart that they thought was there.
6. Julie and Noah were able to stay in the NICU alot today to spend precious time with Magdalena!!!
7. At her 8:00 feeding she drank between 11 and 13 cc's.
8. SHE IS COMPLETELY OFF OF ALL BREATHING DEVICES (This happened after I left tonight!)

God is an amazing God and His blessings have continued to multiply with Magdalena. It's so wonderful to watch Julie hold her, rock her, and to just be a mother.

So, we ask that you specifically pray for the following:
1. Magdalena continues to breathe like she is suppose to without any devices.
2. Magdalena will continue to drink from her bottle - specifically that the nurses will be able to find some smaller nipples for the bottles. Magdalena's mouth is so tiny that we believe that is the hardest part of the bottle for her.
3. Julie and Noah will find peaceful rest.
4. Julie and Noah will continue to enjoy this time they have with Magdalena - most of it privately.
5. The doctors and nurses will continue doing such an outstanding job taking care of my girls.
6. Julie will be in the least amount of pain as possible.

Beautiful mother and daughter

This is from the 5:00pm feeding, not her first feeding - but it
is still an answered prayer!

A beautiful family photo

This gown is actually a preemie and it is extremely too big!

This is like a papoose that helps keep Magdalena swaddled.

Caroline and Emma getting to see their baby cousin, Magdalena,
for the first time. Once again, there is the amazing Diane holding
Caroline up to see!

Afternoon Update 08-07-08

After Magdalena was born yesterday morning, the doctors did a battery of x-rays, tests and blood work to find out what issues were present and unknown at that point. One concern that was present during a very early ultrasound was a hole in her heart. It was during this ultrasound that the determination was made to send Julie to have an amniocentesis done leading to the diagnosis of Trisomy 18. The x-rays taken yesterday show that that hole DOES NOT exist anymore. A definate PRAISE!! We are still waiting for more results from the rest of the tests.

Julie and Noah have spent a good amount of time this afternoon with Magdalena in the NICU. Julie is up and walking and made it all the way from her room to the NICU!!! She is in some pain after making that trip but is still in good spirits.

Please continue to pray that Magdalena continues to take her bottle. She did not do as well during her feeding this afternoon.

More to Come!!!

Stephen

Lunch Update 08-07-08

Here's the latest update from the hospital. Noah was able to give Magdalena her first bath this morning. Unfortunately, there will not be a picture posted since there was no camera around when it happened. She is still making progress in the NICU and is being cared for by a great group of nurses over there. Julie has started to move around a little more today. With that, she is starting to feel a little more pain. Dr. C informed her that she could possibly begin to do some walking today.

Just as a side note, Julie and Noah are being updated on your comments left here. So know that your thoughts are being expressed to them as they are received.


Stephen

Morning update 08-07-08

After a long day for Noah and Julie, both got some much needed rest last night. Last night, the NICU nurses let them know that they were going to try to feed Magdalena with a bottle this morning for the first time. And low and behold, at 5:30am Julie was able to feed her by bottle!!! Pictures will follow later since we were not at the hospital when this occured. She was taken off the CPAP after the feeding to see how she did today without it. So..that's two requests that can be taken off of the list!!!! Here are a couple of other items that we can add in their place:

- That Julie and Noah will continue to receive the rest they need.

- That Magdalena will continue to make progress, by way of continuing to take her bottle and staying off the CPAP.

- That Julie will have a speedy recovery from the C-Section.

- That Magdalena will feel no pain as she continues to progress.

I'll send another update a little later.


Know that you are loved!

Uncle Stephen

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Welcome Magdalena!




What an exciting day it has been! Magdalena Grace Roberts was born this morning at 8:18. She was 3 pounds, 15 ounces and 18 inches long. It was as if God had a list of each specific prayer request we have had about today and just marked them off the list.
Let me list some of them for you:
1. Magdalena is alive.
2. Julie was able to hold Magdalena and look into her eyes immediately after she was born.
3. She was breathing on her own.
4. Around lunch, Julie was able to go down and check on her for a little while.
5. Although she tried the pacifier with the C-PAP on, she still tried to suck on it.
6. She had wet and dirty diapers.
6. Magdalena and Julie had some AWESOME nurses and staff take care of them today.
7. At the end of the day, Julie and Noah were able to hold Magdalena.

When Magdalena was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, it seemed as though the cards were stacked against her. As a family, we have learned to appreciate each day and celebrate each milestone. While we would have loved to announce that the test was wrong, that does not seem to be in God's plan. He has chosen to show a huge amount of determination in one little bundle of joy. As I looked at Magdalena this afternoon and held her hand, I wondered how any person could ever give up on their child. Magdalena was created by God...and in His image! She is just as beautiful as her name is and I thank God Julie and Noah never gave up on her.

We appreciate your prayers so much. As you pray today, please pray that:
1. Magdalena will get off her C-PAP, try the bottle and be able to suck successfully soon.
2. Julie and Noah will continue to be able to hold her on a consistent basis.
3. She will be able to go home soon.

Below I have picked out some of my favorite pictures from the day. Everyone had already left the hospital when Julie and Noah found out they were able to hold Magdalena, so those pictures will be updated later.

What a proud Papa!


Opening her eyes the first time

Sweet little hand

Magdalena Grace Roberts

With her C-PAP and sucking the pacifier

Magdalena's AWESOME nurse, Diane. She came to give
Julie an update on Magdalena's care. She was a
very patient with everyone today!
Loli and Magdalena
And, since these are my favorite pics I had to include
one of myself with her!