Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guess who is CRAWLING?





Yes, you read that correctly! Ariannah crawled on her hands and knees for the first time this weekend. She is still military crawling the majority of the time, but is able to go about 5 feet at a time on her knees. She is progressing so quickly. She is also able to tolerate Derek and I making her stand. We have to support her under the arms or on her bottom....but she doesn't scream anymore when we do it. She is growing too quickly!

On a less positive note, Derek's brother was killed last week in a car accident. He was only 29 and was hit on the driver's side of his car by a drunk driver. It was a tragic accident and his family (especially his mother) is heartbroken. Please keep our family in your prayers. video

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Whoops...correction!






In the previous post I meant to say that she gained 5 lbs in a year....and then gained almost 5 lbs in just the 4 weeks we have had her! At birth she was 5 lbs and then she wasn't even 10 lbs on her first birthday. When we got her she was 15 lbs on November 3rd and then was up to 19 lbs on November 27th!!!!

Here are some more pics too :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What a crazy month - finally an update!




Where do I even start??? I am kicking myself now for not updating this sooner, lol.

We received placement of Ariannah on Friday October 30th. We went to pick her up from the previous foster parents in Indiana. I sat with her in the backseat on the car ride home. It was so surreal that I cried the whole trip. It was just like bringing a newborn home from the hospital. Ariannah did great the first weekend home with us. She was somewhat lethargic and fussy….but we assumed it was because she was scared. Who wouldn’t be in her situation??? She was in a new home, with new parents, and two crazy dogs kept trying to lick her!

Little did we know that she was VERY sick. On Tuesday (barely 72 hours after we got her) we took her to a visit with her biological mother at the social worker’s office. The social worker commented to Derek that Ariannah looked “swollen” and that her belly was very large. He suggested we take her to the local Children’s Hospital. We knew her stomach looked large, but we thought it was because she was on 23 hours continuous feeding through her G-tube. We didn’t have much to compare her to.

We soon found out that her liver was the size of a grapefruit and that she could have died in a few days. Her white blood cell count was elevated, she had blood in her urine and bowels, and the liver caused her stomach to be pushed up through her esophagus (it is called a hiatal hernia). The stomach was now pushing against her diaphragm, making it hard for her to breathe. The cause of all this was a medical error by her pediatrician! Ariannah was getting 3000 calories a day pumped into her stomach using 120 cc of formula per hour for 23 hours out of the day. Her body could not process all of the food and therefore she was losing weight. The doctors kept increasing her feeds…making her sicker and sicker!

We were at the hospital for 5 days. They drained her liver and gave her antibiotics. Luckily she recovered quickly, although they say it will take months for her liver to heal itself. She was such a trooper and I couldn’t believe how much strength and determination something so small could have. The 5 days in the hospital were great for Derek and I. It gave us all a chance to bond and Ariannah learned quickly that she could trust us. By the time we left the hospital she was already calling me “Mama” and would cry anytime I left the room. She is definitely a mama’s girl.

Ariannah is now hooked to the feeding machine for 10 hours every night and then we feed her through the G-tube 4 times during the day. She is down to only 1000 calories a day. And still gaining weight! When we got her she weighed 15 lbs 11 oz and she is now weighing 19lbs 1oz. When she turned 1 she was less than 10 lbs. Then she only gained 5 lbs in 6 months. She has now gained almost 5 lbs in the first 3 weeks we have had her! She is growing so quickly!

In the past two weeks she has started scooting more and can even get herself from the sitting position into the scooting position without help. She is active and such a joy to be around. She has a silly personality and loves to make people laugh. Her favorite game is “Fetch”….she will throw anything you give her and then laugh hysterically while you have to bend over to get it. She also likes to shake her head no when you are scolding her. Such a feisty thing she is!!! But more than anything, she loves to cuddle and give kisses. Derek and I are truly blessed and couldn’t have asked for a more perfect daughter. Derek texted me at the hospital one night and told me that he already loved Ariannah like his very own. The pain from my miscarriages will never go away….but in all honesty, I understand now why they had to happen. I can’t imagine a life without Ariannah. I hope you enjoy the new pics of our beautiful princess.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

She's Home!





I am so sorry for not updating this more frequently! Ariannah is home with us now!!! We have had a rough first two weeks (most of which was spent in the hospital!) but we are all home and doing well now. I promise I will update this soon with lots of new pics and the entire story about the hospitalization! We are having a baby shower on Saturday so I will update this weekend. Please come back and visit next week! It will be a long read, but well worth it. Ariannah truly is an angel.

Thanks everyone!

P.S. Danielle – thank you, thank you, thank you! I was so surprised and very appreciative. We plan on taking her shopping tomorrow so I will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

She's Coming Home!





Friday is the big day. Derek and I could not be more thrilled. The tough part is that I only get Friday off of work but luckily that gives us three days to bond with her. I will post pics as soon as she gets here!

We finished the nursery today. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We got to visit Ariannah!




Many of you have been asking about updates from this weekend….so here ya go!
Derek and I got to spend about two hours with Ariannah. It was supposed to be longer, but we could tell she was getting sleepy and was definitely confused about who we were! The foster parents waited in the other room, so she was probably a little terrified. I think I would have been scared too if some crazy woman I didn’t know started smothering me with kisses and snapping pictures of my every move, lol.

Ariannah was beautiful. She is so much smaller when you see her in person. I guess the camera really does add ten pounds. Her hair is growing in a whole lot and the foster mother even put a little bow in it for the visit. It was precious. She is getting more teeth too. Her top front tooth is almost completely black, most likely from the drug usage her mom did while pregnant. We will take her to the dentist when she is older to see if they can buff it or fix it somehow. Kids are mean and I don’t want her to be made fun of. If they can’t fix it….it will fall out!! Either way, she is beautiful.

The visit made us more aware of how fragile she is and how far behind she is developmentally for 17 months. We have been doing a lot of research and started to find local therapist, since her ones from Indiana most likely won’t want to travel twice a week to where we are. We also got to see her feeding tube and learn a little more about how it works. It looks more intimidating than it is apparently. Ariannah didn’t crawl or babble at the visit, but like I said…she was TERRIFIED! The foster mother said once she gets comfortable she is always talking.

The nursery is almost done…pictures of that to come soon. But here are some of my favorite pictures from last weekend!