Monday, April 30, 2012

Emily Kendra Duncan is rocking our world!

Whew...what an insane 9 days it has been! We are so thankful and excited to welcome Emily Kendra Duncan to our family.  She made her grand entrance on Saturday, April 21 at 10:57 am, weighing in at 7 lbs, 1oz and measuring 20 inches long.  She was born exactly 3 weeks early and is absolutely precious! 

We, of course, fell in love immediately.

Elijah is a little undecided, but we know he loves her deep down inside :).

Leah is completely smitten with her little sister and wants to hold her constantly.

And Daddy has yet another little girl to spoil and love.

My labor and delivery was smooth and easy overall and we could not have been happier to have her here, as the last several weeks of the pregnancy were quite uncomfortable.  We spent the standard 2 days in the hospital and left without a concern.  They mentioned when we left that her bilirubin level was right on the line, but wasn't enough of a concern for them to treat it right then.  We headed back in to the pediatrician for a check up last Thursday, 3 days after we had been discharged and the DR said she thought Emily looked a little yellow (we agreed). She ordered some blood work, which we did immediately.  We got a phone call just an hour later from our pediatrician saying her bilirubin # was high enough that we needed to pack a bag and head back to the hospital to have her treated.  I was bummed we had to go back, but I knew this was a very treatable thing and we would hopefully be out of there soon.

They treated her with what they called the "triple light system", and she looked (and acted) as chill as can be.  It actually made me want to sunbathe just looking at her.

The goggles took up most of her face.

The DR came into my room on Friday morning and said she had good news and bad news.   The good news is her Bilirubin numbers did exactly what they needed to do, and she was in the range she needed to be.  Praise God! It only took about 18 hrs for her to get those numbers worked out.  The bad news was that overnight, the nurses had noticed that her oxygen level had dropped numerous times, causing periods of apnea (when breathing stops) and she needed to be monitored more closely to determine what was going on.  As a parent, you never want to hear that your baby is having trouble breathing.  The DR ordered what's called a pneumogram, which she would be hooked up to for at least 18 hours to determine the issue.   When they got her all hooked up, she looked like this:

...which broke my heart a little bit.  She was FURIOUS when they put that probe up her nose and down to her esophagus, and I found myself hating the nurses a little bit too (only kidding...the nurses were fabulous...I just hate when my baby screams!). 

After that monitoring, it was determined that she was having a combination of issues.  Central apnea, which is just immaturity in the brain and lungs due to her being 3 weeks early.  Basically, her brain forgets to tell her lungs to breathe.  We are treating this with a small dose of caffeine each day, which gives her brain a jolt and reminds her lungs to do their job.  The other part is obstructive apnea, which is when she is trying to breathe, but something is blocking the airway.  When this happens, if it lasts long enough, Kirk and I have to stimulate her by rubbing her hands or feet until she comes out of it (although 9 times of 10 she gets herself out of it within seconds without needing our help).  The way we know she is experiencing a period of apnea is she's hooked to a monitor and it alarms when her oxygen level dips below a certain point.  We came home around lunch time today, with the monitor in tow, and she has not had a single alarm since we've been home.  We are thankful for that! The first night at the hospital she was alarming several times an hour and by yesterday, she had only had 3 the entire 24 hour period, so she is definitely moving in the right direction! We are expecting to have her on the monitor for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

So, all in all, it had been a crazy 1st 9 days of life for little Emily (and the rest of us!).  However, we are so thankful that the issue is treatable and temporary.  The first night Emily was born, Kirk and I spent some time in prayer for Emily and asked the Lord to keep her in the palm of his hand all the days of her life.  We know that is where she is and she is safer there than anywhere else.  I am so happy to be home with my whole family of 5 and excited to get adjusted to our new normal.  Thank you for all your love, support, prayers, and encouragement since her birth.  We are truly blessed! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sprinkler Fun!

Yesterday the temps were close to 90 here...I could not believe how hot it was on a mid-April day! My mom pulled a sprinkler out of her shed and Jess came over with her kids to have some splashing fun. Unfortunately, Charlie and Leah wanted nothing to do with it, but Cam and Elijah played in it for quite some time and had a blast. It got me really excited to for summer...I can't wait to sit by the pool and enjoy the warm sunshine!

Putting their toes in.
My parents yard is so awesome...and huge.
Aunt Jess and Charlie enjoyed the view of the sprinkler from a distance.
Splashing! They were soaked.
And this was Leah's attitude the whole time we were outside. This particular meltdown was because Charlie had just poked her. Spare me the drama, child!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

We had a really nice, relaxing Easter Sunday today! This is truly one of my favorite days of the year. Easter is such a refreshing holiday...a day to reflect on the victory that we have in Jesus, the Risen Lord! This past week, we've heard a lot of bad news...several friends and acquaintances who are walking through truly difficult times in their lives. It is easy to feel burdened by the darkness that is so present in the world. What a timely reminder this Easter Sunday is. Darkness and even death couldn't hold Jesus down! He is Risen! He's alive. I am so thankful for that glorious hope.

I pray that my children will someday accept the significance of the Resurrection in their hearts. I pray each day that their hearts would be softened to the truth of the Gospel and they would desire to know Jesus personally and follow Him. I am overwhelmed with joy that He saved me and continues to give me grace each day. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

This morning, as we were talking to the kids about what Jesus did on Easter, I tried to find a way to communicate Jesus's saving act in a way Elijah would understand. Since he is really into "rescue missions", I told Elijah that when Jesus rose up from the grave, he rescued us. This sweet conversation followed.

Elijah: Um Daddy, did Jesus rescue you?
Kirk: Yes, he sure did.
Elijah: Wow. That's a good rescuer.

Amen, Elijah!
I would be lying if I said dressing the kids up isn't one of my favorite parts of this holiday also :).
Probably my favorite of the day!
Thank you, Lord, for these 2 sweet kiddos!
Love this of Leah and Daddy.
And a "real life" photo for you...Leah's dress tucked up into her bloomers :).
Elijah is one cool dude.
Family pictures, as always, are tough.
But this is awesome!
Living the good life in the sun!
A rare shot of the 2 of us.
Later on this afternoon, we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Our kids can not get enough of outdoor play! With weather like this, we are happy to join them!

Leah doesn't stay in one place long. She just bounces around from one thing to the next.
Elijah and Daddy made up games with a tennis ball (Kirk will never outgrow making up games!).
Leah did some redecorating with the playhouse furniture.
And joined me on the lounge chair for some crackers.
Even if she only comes for the food, I love when she runs over to sit on my lap :).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2 Active Kids, 1 Lame Mom

Ok, I know I'm not really a lame mom, but I certainly have been feeling pretty lame lately. With just over 5 weeks to go in this pregnancy, the back pain has come on pretty strong. Since that is exactly what put me on bedrest with Leah, I have been trying to take it really easy this time around. I've been having contractions here and there as well as some back spasms, so if you think of me and could pray for both the baby and me, I would appreciate it! I am thankful to have family close by and a husband who is home during much of the morning! That has been a huge blessing when I'm feeling less than my best.

Anyway, even though I am much less active than usual, these 2 kiddos have not slowed down a bit. As a result, I've been trying to fill their days with activities that will occupy them for extended periods of time without putting too much of a toll on my back. Some days I am mightily successful. Some days I fail miserably. Here are a few of my success stories (I will spare you the failures...all you would be looking at is alligator tears and angry scowls!).

The other day Leah's crib was the place to be.
Such joy in the small things!
Then we put every stuffed animal we own in there with them. They stayed in there for at least 20 mins playing. Score!
A few days ago, we did a water station in the kitchen. Not only did the kids LOVE having their swimsuits on, they loved being able to splash freely because I was in too much pain to care about a wet floor :).
Elijah was playing "sink or float"...I can't even tell you how many random objects he pulled from this apartment to test out!

And, in my opinion, the best time-filler is bath time. The kids could just play in there until kingdom come. We've needed to do lots of these recently anyway since the weather's been nice and we've been outside a lot. My kids get dirty. Really, really dirty.
I think she is going to be a swimmer at an early age. She loves to lay on her belly and kick her legs.
Lovin life (as long as I'm not washing his hair)!
Hi, cutie!