Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New Bottle

Shortly after writing the last post I called to check on little Abby. She is going to be fed alternately between bottle and tube to build up her strength. At 8:00 she nippled 50cc-which is her full feeding amount. (a little below 2 oz, which would be about 60cc) She did it in 15 minutes. That was pretty much the most she had ever eaten and in record time. Of course I just hung up crying and went and hugged John-- and had to reassure him I was now crying tears of joy. She did it trying out a new kind of bottle.... This morning she ate 32cc in her 20 minute limit (and was tube fed the rest), but that is still more than she was eating with the first bottle we thought was working. The tube will stay in for a little bit, but she is already making progress. I forgot got to ask how she did through the middle of the night....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Tonight I write with a sad heart. I have tried to keep my bad days from the blog because I didn't want to dwell on them, and I didn't want to search for sympathy. I have so much to be grateful for, and that is what I wanted to focus on. I have mentioned some of those days, and have clung to our baby, my husband, and many family and friends. (Thank you!)

Well, the tears are gone for a little bit.... but we thought Abby was going to be coming home today. Wow!! the emotions. She will probably be there another week. She needs more eating strength, and they ended up putting the feeding tube back in her. She just wouldn't eat today - after her 9:00 feeding. She just slept and slept - I couldn't really wake her. We had started discharge paper work and made doctors' appointments. The oxygen was delivered to our house. I had been trained in a few things like the monitor and fortifying milk....

A part of me is worried, but the doctor thinks everything is fine, but that we just need to build up her endurance.... Needless to say, we are very sad.... However, I am glad we discovered the problem before leaving, because we would just be bringing Abby back to the hospital - which I really don't want to do....

In the long scheme of things these extra days will seem like nothing, but right now they are long -- We have already made it twelve weeks. (counting when we first went to the hospital).... I just get more anxious.... We are so blessed that Abigail has had almost no real setbacks in all of this - just kind of sailing through.... I just want to bring her home and love her. I can't wait to hold her with nothing attached to her. I feel blessed that we were able to have Abby live, but I really want her home with John and I.

Staying at the hospital the last four days has been tiring, but wonderful. The first night was the roughest, but we were starting to get used to each other. It has been so great to hold her and put her to sleep and sing to her -- just be her mom and not leave her each night.... I cried as I held her at the end of today, told her how much I love her, and told her to sleep and get energy. I told her I was sorry that I had to leave her again....

I talked to a couple of friends today as I tried to keep myself together- one who has also ridden this roller coaster.... I love that the Lord has blessed me with some wonderful friends. Thank you! Thank you!.... Thank you to everyone for your love and prayers through all of this. We look forward even more to the day we get to bring our Little Abby home with us.

Happy 11 Weeks my Angel

Abigail with the feeding tube taken out the first time -- the tape kind of irritated her cheek, poor girl

Spending time with Daddy

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No More Feeding Tube - Hopefully for Good!

Abby got a nice surprise yesterday -- the doctor had her feeding tube taken out. She has been kind of doing so-so without it. She still just lacks stamina. I spent the night there last night, and will probably be doing so most of the time for now-- John is trying to keep up with work, school, and hospital visits. It takes a lot of time to feed her - and it looks like she does better when John or I are doing it.... Needless to say, I am exhausted. Between feeding Abby and pumping more milk, there was not much time left for sleep. I will also probably not post pictures very much for a little bit. I am home for a few minutes today, and just don't want to be blogging at the hospital computer (unlike when I was in the hospital and got my laptop set-up there.) Plus, now that Abby is older - I have more opportunities to take care of her. I can almost do all of it now.

So, we may get Abby to come home in just a matter of days. She is currently weighing 5 lbs 11.5 oz, but may lose some weight as we make her work for her food more.... Mommy and Daddy need patience and Abigail needs stamina.... Here is hoping for a good week.... We hope all of you are doing well!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Farewell Grandpa Riding

Grandpa and I at our family reunion in Greer, summer 2004

My sweet and wonderful Grandpa Riding passed away today. He was 81 years old, and he and my Grandma had been married for 57 years. He was such a great example of holding fast to the Gospel. A lot of things happened when he was younger - in which he could have easily lost his testimony, but instead he and Grandma have clung to the Gospel. They now have 8 kids, 40+ grandchildren, and a few great-grandchildren to share in their joy.

Grandpa's health hasn't been the best the last few years, but it really took a dive when he fell soon after Abby was born.... I was hoping he would hold on until Abigail got to meet him, but he was already called home. I told Abby to go tell him "Hello" if she still has any connection to the other world.

It was very sweet to be there for some of this and also hear of his passing. Grandma thanked him. She also told him that he got to come home - even if for just a little bit - like he wanted (wasn't liking the care center for his rehab) before "going home".

It is times like these that make me ever more appreciative of the Gospel, The Plan of Salvation, and Forever Families. In some ways we cry happy tears for him - he gets to see his parents, who had both passed away by the time he was a teenager. He is also free from the pain he has been in. His passing was one of those things you knew was coming, but you still are not ready for.... Watching him and Abby has also really made me stop and think about the full circle of life. Some of the things Grandpa was struggling with are things Abby has been struggling with - like eating.... Our bodies really are amazing!!

There are many memories of my Grandpa, but one is his passing out Werther's candy. He would regularly "sneak" them to you-- usually had them in his pocket. I have not been able to eat the last few he gave me, because I knew I would eventually not get anymore.... We love you Grandpa! I look forward to seeing you again soon....

Here we are with all of our living grandparents at our wedding (Ridings - far right)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Five Pound Baby - Happy 10 Weeks

Little Miss Abby just keeps growing. Here are her current measurements that I know:
Weight: 5 lbs. 3.2 oz
Length: 17.4 in
OFC: 12.2 in (I think that is meaning her head.)

She is on oxygen, using a feeding tube, and receiving iron supplements. She only needs to be rid of the feeding tube to come home. She could possibly be okay without oxygen, but we are trying to give her good chances of keeping her lungs from being distressed and not getting RSV. She does a great job eating, but she just gets tired.

We are getting very excited, anxious, nervous, overwhelmed - to name a few. We continue to feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.... Thank you! Thank you!

Someone asked me what I thought I was learning from this experience -- a list can be made: The first thing that came to my mind was patience; I have also learned what a greater miracle-than I thought before-life is; It is a miracle that we can breath and eat (and the list goes on).... Abigail is a beautiful miracle, and we are so grateful that she is a part of our little forever family.

Look how much she is filling out and starting to chunk up....

Getting a back rub from Daddy--It helps her with her gas.

Enjoying her pacifier

Modeling some of her cute outfits....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Abigail is weighing in at 4 lbs 8.3 oz now. She is able to drink from the bottle whenever she shows "cues" - as compared to more limitations before. I know she was able to drink at least two full feedings yesterday. They also reduced her oxygen to the setting it will be when she comes home - because they think she will come home on oxygen.

We had some quality "play time" yesterday.... She was awake for almost an hour - even with the bottle feeding. We even sent a little video clip, via cell phone, to show daddy our fun.

The doctor said we were doing everything we could be, and we are basically just waiting for Abby to get a little stronger. She does a great job eating, but needs more strength to do it more often. They are also trying to ween her from some of her medications.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy 2nd Anniversary Sweetheart!

Even though I have devoted this blog to sweet little Abigail...

With everything going on, it doesn't really seem like it today - but John and I have been married for two years now. We are going to one of our favorite restaurants (where he took me on our first date) on Saturday.... We borrowed the idea of switching who is in charge of planning the anniversary and who plans Valentine's Day, but we are putting that on hold until next year. (My idea because of our current life...) However, that wasn't good enough for my sweet husband. He made sure to wait to eat dinner with me (I am home late on Tuesdays - so we don't eat together), and he made sure to have things ready for our traditional rootbeer floats.... plus going out Saturday is all his doing (when I was supposed to be planning)....

Our first anniversary was a little more eventful. We took a great trip to San Diego. We went to the Temple, Sea World, Balboa Park, a fun outdoor mall, and visited his great-aunt. The only thing that held it up was my tired/sickness from beginning pregnancy number one.... We had a great time!!!

I just wanted everyone to know what an amazing man I married. Our first year we grew close together with mostly fun adventures - wedding, moving, honeymoon, and a few other fun trips.... This year we have grown closer together trying to start our family - and hospital visits.... I remember how sweet John was as I sat in the ER for the miscarriage. He didn't know what to do - and asked if he needed to get my mom. He was the only person I wanted by my side at that moment (even though I love my mom very much). I asked him never to leave my side during the experience, and we were both not happy when the hospital separated us for a short time. He stayed by my side and tried to think of whatever he could to improve the situation.

Then came our beautiful surprise and miracle - Abigail.... I obviously would not be in these situations without John, but I just yearn for him holding my hand and staying by my side through them. During these fun times he has been so attentive to my needs - even in the little things: eating Starbursts and giving me the strawberry ones because he knows they are my favorite.... He is just so amazing and wonderful, and I don't know what I would do without him now in my life.

He gets cuter and cuter with Abigail, and I know Abigail loves him, too. She will be asleep and wake up for just a little bit when she hears him.... Oh, I am so excited to bring her home - hopefully soon.

We were set up on a blind date - and now look where we are.

HONEYMOON TO COSTA RICA - where John served his mission

OTHER FUN ADVENTURES JUST BEING TOGETHER: Flying (just before we got engaged), building a home, Las Vegas - to see Josh Groban, Disneyland.... we had such a fun year!!

Hospital Trips and our Beautiful Miracle Baby

Happy Anniversary Sweetie!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Nine Weeks

Happy nine weeks old my beautiful angel!!.... Abby is getting closer to coming home. Tonight Abby was going to be reduced on oxygen (high flow to low flow) -- I'll be calling to check on her in a little bit.... They said that the only thing really keeping her from going home is eating all by herself. When she can master bottle feeding, she will most likely come home. She is doing a great job with eating, but it takes a lot of energy for her. She doesn't seem to have the energy to always be fed with a bottle. They don't want her burning too many calories, because then she will start to lose weight - which could keep her from coming home. Right now she is about 4 lbs 5 oz.

We are so very excited, but scared!! We have been continuing to get her room ready - setting up the rocker/glider, finding a dresser/changing table, etc... We also got the stroller and carrier all put together. I have been having a harder time leaving her again. I am sure it is because she is doing so well and so close to coming home.... She may come home with oxygen, but that is not a big deal.

We had so much fun with her today. We spent a few hours with her and got to do a lot with her. She got another good bath - She must really like them, because she tolerates them so well. We got to feed her a couple of times - including a little bit of nursing. (YAY!!).... I wouldn't leave tonight until I had her nice and asleep - it makes me feel better.

Modeling another cute outfit.... Green is such a good color on her! This outfit says "I Love Mommy"

Modeling the hat Mommy made for Abby. I was given hat looms while in the hospital. I had plans to make hats after receiving them. If I recall correctly, I started this hat, and then I went into labor. I barely finished it this week.

Modeling "my heart belongs to daddy" onesie

Friday, January 9, 2009


Congrats! my beautiful miracle!!.... It is hard to believe that Abigail is already two months old. John and I sometimes don't know where the time has gone. I was talking to one of her doctors today, and he thinks that we may be able to bring her home in the next couple of weeks!! Crazy!! She is starting to get the hang of bottle feeding. She was able to drink an entire feeding for me yesterday, and probably about half of another one later. We attempted to try a new bottle today, but it didn't go so well. She did better with the original bottle later, but wasn't able to finish the whole thing. It is fun to be able to feed her. When I take the bottle out of her mouth to give her a break or burp her, she is starting to search for it with her mouth and get mad it me for taking it away. Yay! Abby for liking the bottle! She may be able to start some nursing soon, too....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Abby reached four pounds today. YEAH!!! It was such a good day with her, especially after me having "one of those nights" last night and having to go to the doctor today (yeah for well woman exams -- hopefully, I will not have to do any more exams, poking, and prodding for at least a year - kind of tired of them after the year John and I have had trying to start a family).

I got to give Abby a bath all by myself today - kind of scary. I am sure I could have ended up asking for help, and someone got it ready for me and was in the room changing out her bed.... I was planning to wait for John, but we needed to do the bath before her 5:00 cares. She tolerated it really well. We didn't have to adjust her oxygen, and she stayed pretty calm. I was nervous I would end up having her slip out of my hand as I did what John and I did together last time.

Other than her weight gain, there is not much to report. We love being in the private room. It is nice to be able to watch a little TV while we sit with her. She continues to become more alert. Yesterday she ate 26cc out of her 35cc feeding with the nurse - before I got there. Today she got to try the bottle three times, but didn't get as much as yesterday. However, it was kind of funny when I got to try on time number three today: She ended up not really being interested - so we stopped; but we were all surprised when she had actually drunken 5cc. Good Job Abigail!!

Modeling one of her new outfits from Saturday's shower

Look what we did for Family Home Evening this week -- Abby won't be using her new room right away, but we have been working on getting it finished before she comes home.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We had a GREAT day with Abby today - she had a little bit of a rough day yesterday -- which made today even better. She was struggling with her levels yesterday, but was doing so much better today. It looks like it could have been a number of things - reflux, constipation, water in her oxygen tube.... She also apparently missed us coming in at our usual time. The nurse almost called to tell us, but she knew that I was at a Baby shower for Abby and I. (Thanks! mom and sisters -- and the many others who helped) We didn't stay with her long because she just needed to rest.

TODAY - Abby was alert and ready for us at our usual arrival time. She got to drink from a bottle for the first time today. She did a FABULOUS job!! The nurse even said she was impressed. We were ready for it not to go well -- because that is normal for these little guys. Abby was able to drink about 12ml of the 35ml she receives during a feeding. We also heard that the doctor said she could be moved to the Continuing Care Nursery (CCN) when a room was available.

Then, at the end of a family thing with my mom's family, I got a call that Abby had already moved to CCN. I was so excited!!! John was nice enough to let us go back to the hospital to see her. (It was getting kind of late, and he has to go to work in the morning.).... It is so awesome to see her in that room!!

Our little Miracle just keeps doing so well, and we just keep counting our blessings!! Thank you for your continued love, faith, and prayers!!

Abby's new room

The nurse showing us how to feed her.

Mommy practicing feeding Abby.

Finding a new position to help Abby get comfortable.

Hanging out in the bouncer chair

Happy Eight Weeks!!

Nite, nite Abby!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Bed for Abby!

Abby is still being her wonderful, little cute self... She was able to graduate to an open bed. It sure gives us more room in her little room.... We gave her a bath today, and she tolerated it really well. We didn't even have to increase her oxygen levels during it.

John and I have been busy at home getting her room ready. My brother put shelves in her closet, and her crib arrived on Monday.

For anyone in the "Twilight" craze, John and I have now both completed it. We received copies from two different people at the beginning of our hospital adventures. John finished his copy a long time ago, but I was finally able to complete it earlier this week.

Goodbye to the Isolette... Hello to the bassinet...