Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm 5 months old and growing!

Sweet Elizabeth Rose is 5 months old and she has finally started to grow!!  She has weighed about 10 and 1/2 lbs. since she was 2 months old and yesterday we got the good news that she has finally made it to 11 lbs.! 
So here are her stats:
Weight:  11 lbs.  (less than 5% - not officially on the growth chart yet)
Height:  24 1/4"  (10-15%)
Head:  15 3/4"  (less than 5%)

Ella's doctor at UNC took some other body measurements yesterday and determined that she is proportionately small which is a good sign!  She has made some improvements developmentally as well.  A couple of days before Christmas she started reaching for things and holding them.  By Christmas Eve, she was helping to open her own presents and even playing with toys!  On Dec. 28th, her 5 month birthday, she rolled from her tummy to her back.  She is also trying to sit up and pick up her head more.   These are all great signs that she is building back the muscle mass that she lost and gaining new strength.  We have two more appointments scheduled this month to monitor Ella's growth, but it seems she is really doing well!
We had to redo one test yesterday so we are still waiting for some results, but the rest of her recent tests have come back within normal ranges so that is good news as well.
Since I have been force feeding Ella a little bit to help her gain weight, her reflux has been really bad.  She is constantly spitting up lately.  We started a new medication today so hopefully that will make a difference.  I have been breastfeeding her exclusively, but this week we are going to try some cereal and within the month we are going to try some sweet potatoes. 

Ella also got her first tooth!  Her bottom left front tooth broke through Christmas Eve morning.  Note the drool dripping from her chin in the picture below :).  Her bottom right front tooth and her two top front teeth will not be far behind!  So now I will be wiping up gallons of drool along with spit up...how fun!   

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

We spent Christmas at home this year.  We went to my parents house on Christmas Eve and ate lots of yummy food and sweets and opened lots of presents.  On Christmas Day Clint and I and the girls had a quiet morning at home.  We exchanged a few more gifts to each other and started some new family traditions.  We missed seeing Clint's family in Arkansas, but we are planning a trip there in the spring.  Here are some pics...

I know...very silly.  The hat was for Ella, but she was busy nursing at the time so Clint thought I should wear it :)
Papa handing out gifts
Aunt Allie and her boyfriend, Raimel, opening a present from Sophie :)

Our tree on Christmas morning

Sophie really wanted make up this year...what a big girl!!!

Look at my new toy!
Playing is hard work...I need to relax now (look at how she crosses her legs...too funny)!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

May all the seasons of your lives be filled with His
peace, love, joy, and hope!

Much love, 
Kristen, Clint, Sophie Grace, and Elizabeth Rose

"For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not die, but have everlasting life!" - John 3:16

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weighing In...

We have had a couple of frustrating months with our little baby girl.  Ella has gone through many tests and doctor's office and hospital visits and has seen more specialists than I have in my lifetime!  The awesome news is that we have ruled out some pretty serious causes for her failure to thrive and she is at least maintaining a weight of 10 lbs. and 9 oz.   At this point, the most likely cause of her lack of weight gain is a severe case of gastroesophageal reflux and an underdeveloped/weak lower esophageal sphincter muscle.  This muscle is supposed to keep my breastmilk down in her tummy, but it is not doing a very good job so instead my breastmilk ends up all over me in the form of vomit most of the time :).  Since Ella is experiencing some major heartburn on a regular basis she is limiting her milk intake.  My lactation consultant told me that we have a very smart baby and she knows when to stop eating so she doesn't experience the heartburn from reflux.  I guess she would rather feel hungry than have heartburn.  I know how she feels!  In the last few months of my pregnancy with her, my heartburn was so bad that I dreaded eating. Even water caused me pain.  I just hate that she is feeling pain :(.  It is so sad to see it in her face.

We are hoping to find a safe and effective regimen of medication that will reduce the heartburn and vomiting and make Ella feel comfortable enough to take in the milk she needs to grow.  She has lost some muscle mass and is behind developmentally.  We love having a little peanut to snuggle with, but we want her to grow and be healthy!  She is currently the size of an average 2 month old baby.  Next week she will be 5 months old.

Even though Ella is not quite out of the woods just yet, I am confident that she will be soon! We trust the Lord and His healing hands!