Thursday, June 22, 2006

Doing SO well...'s the latest:

We went to the pediatrician on Tuesday and it went SO well!!

Ella was 8 lbs 6 oz as of Tuesday...which is better than on pace. They want her to gain about an ounce a day...which means she's 8 1/2 pounds by today. We increased her feedings from about 2 oz to 3 oz, but changed it to 7 times a day instead of give me some sleep at night.

Dr. Nale says that she is doing really well with her movements. She can pick up her head and move it to the other side. Also, if we put her in the middle of a blanket or her play yard...she ends up on one side or the other...scooting herself around. She can even roll over to her side!!

We are a little concerned about her eyes (she doesn't track very well) so she is going to see a specialist in the next couple of weeks.

So far we are on track. Dr. Nale didn't seem to be concerned about anything. He said not to worry if she doesn't poop for a couple of days...most babies at this age will go a while without. (He said his record is a baby that went 3 weeks!!) We know things are working bc she is tooting up a storm...literally. She still isn't crying much or making loud noises with her vocal cords...all of her noises come out the other end!!

We are going on our first road trip next weekend for our good friends Jeff and Jennifer's wedding in Austin...we are so excited to be on a mini-vacation and get to show off our bundle of joy...and a miracle of God.

For those of you who have asked...breastfeeding still isn't going well. I'm still pumping and she is taking everything by bottle...not sure how much longer we can keep that up, but it's working for now.

Thankfully I have my mother-in-law here for now and she's helping me out a ton...even doing the 2 am feeding...thank GOD for mothers-in-law!

Also my soon-to-be-nephew is now breech again and will be entering the world on July 12th...Sara and Mike are SO excited for Micah's arrival, but Sara is a LOT nervous about a C-section. Please be in prayer for them all.

Oh, great Mitchell family news: Josh is engaged!! He met a wonderful woman named Wendy while in Hawaii (he's preparing to go to China as a missionary). We are so excited and can't wait for the big day!!

Love you all,
The Mitchells

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tummy Day

Thank you again for your prayers. Again, God has been faithful to us in our request. We went to the doctor and she said that everything looked good except her tummy was really tight and distressed. After poking (and poking in places Ella didn't like) we finally got some gas and poop moved around enough that she filled up two diapers right there in the room!! When we ask for poop God sure does deliver. We've had a couple more large ones since we came home and the funny thing is that we aren't complaining...we are grateful and excited about them. The doctor gave us some things to watch and what to look for in case we need to call again.

We have our first real check-up with her actual pediatrician (who was out of the office today) next Tuesday.

Oh, and she weighed 7 lbs 14 oz today!!

God bless you all,
The Mitchells

Friday, June 09, 2006


All 3 of the Mitchell's are under one roof. We brought Ella home today at noon. She doesn't seem to be real impressed with the world outside of the hospital. We took her on a tour of our house and she yawned and fell asleep...guess we don't have as many gadgets and noises as the NICU.

We are loving the fact that we don't have to go ANYWHERE for the next few days...and we get to just love on her as much as we can possibly fit in (who needs sleep at this point?!?).

We follow up with our pediatrician next week. Neurology in 3 months. Developmental doctors on July 12th. And that's about it for now.

By the grace of God we have overcome more than anyone thought we would...well, anyone who hadn't already witnessed the miracles of God.

Thanks again for your support, phone calls, letters, gifts, and most of all prayer. We will continue to update, but hopefully not as often as life will calm down. It's been amazing being able to share this first crazy month of Ella's life with each of you...I hope each of you will get to meet her soon.

Love in Christ,
Joe, Andrea, and Ella

Pictures to come....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

On our way home...

Well, we are on the way to getting home this weekend!! Your prayers have worked and continue to work as you keep us in them.

Ella pulled out her feeding tube this morning and practically handed it to the nurse in a way of saying "I don't need this anymore and I'm ready to go home". She took 5 of 8 full feedings yesterday by bottle. Today she has taken all of them (5 so far since 9am) and even breastfed twice. It's been a long and exciting day. We also moved rooms and now we are in an area that is pretty much the step before getting out of the hospital. We will most likely go home either Friday or Saturday if she keeps eating this well!!

We are working on her wrist and that will be something that we continue to work on for quite a few months still.

PLEASE keep Ella's eating in your prayers these next 48 hours so that it really catches on and we can go home!!

Write back with ANY questions so I know what I haved caught you up on or what questions/concerns you might have. It might actually help me ask questions as we have the nurses and doctors for another couple of days.

Love you all...keep praying.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Update

Our little girl is an EATER!! She took 3, yep...count 'em...3 bottles today. The first feeding was at noon and she took 30 of her 65 cc feeding by bottle. Then dad gave her a bottle at 3pm and she took 47 cc of her 65 feeding. Finally she took her third and largest bottle...53 cc at 9pm from me!!

We are SO excited, every bottle is just that much closer to walking out that door and bringing her home where she belongs.

Tomorrow we are having an ultrasound on the left wrist bump just to rule out any problems. Also, we are DONE with the antibiotics...goodbye to Group B Strep and Meningitis. God is so good to us!!

We'll update again tomorrow as we always hear more from the doctors on weekdays.

Love you all,
The Mitchells

Saturday, June 03, 2006's the latest!!

I've been told that I need to keep everyone updated a little here goes on a lot of praises!!
  • NO MORE SPINAL TAPS!! They decided not to do a final spinal tap this week because her last one was so clear. They mainly extended the antibiotics a week just as a precaution...if we had been ready to go home they wouldn't have done it, but since we aren't leaving yet they thought it was a good idea.
  • We are DONE with anitbiotics as of tomorrow, Sunday morning. This is great for a couple of reasons...first of all being that the initial infection is GONE. Also, this means that as soon as we are ready (and eating on our own) we can LEAVE!! Also, Ella will finally not have any more IV leads in her arms and feet...they had one in her right arm and moved it to her right foot...and I think she's ready to be free of them all.
  • WE ARE EATING FROM A BOTTLE!! Okay, first of all let me explain her previous/current eating routine. She takes 65 cc/ml (a little over 2 ounces) 8 times a 520 cc/ml per day. On Wednesday morning she took 20 cc/ml from a bottle and the same thing on Thursday...THEN yesterday, Friday, she took 36 cc/ml when I finally got to give her the bottle. Last night Joe and I fed her again and she took another 35 cc/ml. We have to be 100% on the bottle before we can go home so that she's still getting all 520 cc/ml, but it's looking really good.
  • Her body is adjusting to the seizure meds and starting to dilute them. After talking to the neurologist yesterday he says that it's fine as long as her seizures don't return. They are still looking at sending her home on the meds for 3 months, which is a blessing because they usually have children on them for at least 2 years after a seizure.
  • Her left wrist (and the weird bump) came back looking fine according to the x-ray. They think it is some kind of build-up under the skin and over the next several months her body will just absorb it and the nodule (as it is now) will just go away...they will continue to monitor it in out-patient care.
  • She now has her tumb loops on both hands...I'll take pictures of this so you know what I'm talking about. Or, you can ask a physical or occupational therapist as they usually know what they are all about.
  • Our little pumpkin is gaining weight!! She was born at 6 lb 12 oz and on Thursday before her bath she was 7 lb 2 oz and yesterday was already at 7 lb 4 oz!! This is great, it means she's growing as she should be. They also added some calories to the breast milk she's getting to help her with weight gain.

We are very encouraged with all of the progress and the doctors and nurses seem to be very impressed with how much she has managed to come out of in the past 3 weeks. She is a fighter and God has protected us through so much. He gave her a determined spirit and we are so excited to see what plans He has for her over her lifetime. Thank you for taking this journey with us and for lifting us up in your prayers. Prayer is an amazingly powerful thing. I knew that before, but not with the conviction that I do now. Ella is an example to even her parents of what God can do when you have the faith and the trust that He will do it. We may not have enjoyed this lesson, but it's made our family stronger for having gone through the trials. Please continue to pray as Ella learns to feed and that we can soon head home where we belong. We love each of you and can't wait until you can all meet this little angel.

God bless,

Joe and Andrea