11/25/1999

We took Carleigh to the doctor on Tuesday.

She gained 6 ozs. in one week!! The doctor was VERY impressed, as she is right on target. She is now over her birth weight.

Also, we "sneaked" out and got family pictures made at Sears. Grandad had made them of us at the hospital, but wasn't happy with the "wall background". You should have
seen the tears in his eyes when he saw those pictures!!

Thanks, Sears, for accommodating us! (They made us the first appointment of the day and didn't book any others right behind us!)

11/22/1999

Things have really changed today - for the better! I received a phone call and an email concerning Carleigh. I won't say exactly who from, but I will say that there are some very special guardian angels watching out for my little miracle. Our "angels" are in the medical profession and have been following Carleigh's story for MANY months. They told me today that Carleigh's back needs to be fixed. Finally we have someone who has given us a new option!!

We are in process of figuring out where to take her. We will have to meet with many doctors to determine whether she is strong enough to withstand surgery. We also want to talk to a geneticist. Our doctors told us she has full Trisomy, but that was based upon three cells. I learned that 20-100 random cells must be tested to determine if a person has Mosaic Trisomy, which would be much better than full.

We see the pediatrician tomorrow. Hopefully we can fix our little girl's back soon, and the big risk of infection will be gone! :o)

11/20/1999

Wow! Two posts in the same night! Carleigh's friends won't know what to do! :o) I just remembered that I forgot to mention that the APNEA monitor has not gone off
for the past 5 or 6 days! It's quiet during the night too!! We are so happy that since we left the hospital, the APNEA has mysteriously disappeared. We hope it stays
away!

Also, I want to send big Internet hugs to Carleigh's Daddy. I give him hugs at home all the time, but I want the whole world to know how much I appreciate him. He is up EVERY time that Carleigh needs a late night feeding - which happens every 3 hours throughout the night. He could very easily make me do it alone, but he's right there,
supporting me all the way! Love ya John!! :o)
I took Carleigh for an echocardiogram on Thursday. We didn't want to know her "specific" heart problems, but just if they could be treated with medicine
or not.

The doctor said that her heart is off-setting itself now and creating a balance. He said if we give her medicine it will hurt her more than help her. So we have decided with her pediatrician not to give her medicine for her heart. We don't want to mess up the good things we have going now.

Carleigh is staying awake more often now. She is getting VERY spoiled :o) and even has a little "attitude" now and then. She seems to think that Mommy needs to sit up and rock her for an hour after each late night feeding, but Mommy does good to even GET UP, let alone STAY UP!! Mommy's learning to take naps during the day when Carleigh does!

11/16/1999

We had our first well-baby visit to the doctor today.

Carleigh weighs 4 lbs. 14.8 ozs, up from her 4 lbs. 13 ozs. at discharge from the hospital. Her doctor was happy to see she has gained weight, rather than losing it.

The SB lesion is doing ok, no signs of infection. We discussed starting proflactic antibiotics, but her doctor was concerned that Carleigh would become immune to antibiotics if we did that.

We are supposed to raise Carleigh's milk intake to 20 ccs every 3 hours. I told the doctor that she gets a real "attitude" when it's getting close to time to eat. She sucks the feeding tube and cries!

We discussed having a heart check and also seeing a geneticist. Our next appointment is next Tuesday.

11/13/1999

Carleigh is doing great! She is taking 15 ccs of milk every 3 hours through her tube! We have cut her IV to 7.5 ccs. Hopefully we will be off it soon.

Carleigh is now viewing the world through both eyes. She only opened one eye for
the first few days, but is now beginning to look around more. She has been enjoying lots of hugs and kisses from her big brother!

We go to the pediatrician on Monday. I hope she has gained some of her weight back. She weighed 4 lbs. 13 ozs. when we left the hospital, so we'll see. Thanks for your prayers!

11/11/1999

On November 8, 1999, we got up bright and early to prepare for the birth of our daughter. We arrived at the hospital at 7:30. After getting "settled" in, I was hooked up to Pitosin, a drug that induces labor. At that time, it was between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.

I came to to the hospital already dilated to 2. When my doctor came in at 10:00, I had already moved to 3. I was happy this labor was progressing faster than my labor with her brother!

I was at 3 for a few hours. During this time, the neonatologist came in and told me about what was going to happen with my daughter. I was not at all happy with this conversation and am not going to ruin my daughter's beautiful birth story by telling about it here. I will just say I was very upset and called my Mom. She told me that she would come be with John and me if we wanted her to. We finally decided that she and Dad would bring our Blake to the hospital when Dad got off work at 2:30.

It took awhile before I was feeling contractions, but when I finally did feel them, they were pretty powerful. I refused Stadol at first, thinking that I could handle the contractions awhile longer. By the time I decided I wanted Stadol, the contractions were coming very close together and were very strong. I didn't panic because I knew I was only dilated to three.

John had been watching the contraction monitor and nothing was happening. He couldn't understand why I was in so much pain when there were no contractions on the monitor. He called the nurses for Stadol and it took FOUR calls to finally get it to me! Within minutes of the shot of Stadol, my water broke!!! The nurse checked for dilation and I was to five.

During this time, Mom arrived at the hospital. She, Dad, and my in-laws had a meeting and decided that I needed her with me. I was happy to see her! The nurse left the room saying she would get me my epidural. Mom could tell that I was close to delivery and ran out the door to get the nurses.

After that a flood of medical people came into my room. They checked to see where I was dilated to and were shocked to find that Carleigh was RIGHT THERE!! There was no time for the epidural. In fact, they had to think of creative ways to keep me from delivering. My doctor was in surgery, the on call doctor was in surgery, and another doctor was on the way.

After what seemed like forever, Dr. Campbell appeared. I was so happy to see her! In just three pushes, I delivered the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen.

John and I were immediately worried because she was not crying. I started yelling, "Carleigh! Carleigh!" Dr. Campbell told me that she wasn't supposed to be crying that in fact, Carleigh was biting her finger! I wasn't sure if I should believe her or not, so I kept calling for my Carleigh.

Dr. Campbell passed her to the neonatologist and his assistants and they started working on her. I could hear them suctioning her mouth and finally, my sweet baby cried! It was music to my ears!!

We knew that Carleigh would have special needs, even before she was born. She did make it through the delivery without going into distress, but had to have blow-by oxygen in order to breathe. Before they wheeled my precious baby off to the NICU, they brought her to me in an incubator-looking contraption that was filled with oxygen. They opened a little window and I touched my miracle baby for the first time.

Carleigh Lauryn Grace is the light of my life. My family is complete - I have a son AND a daughter.

I was TOLD that I would never hold my daughter...
I was TOLD she could be stillborn...
I was TOLD to terminate my pregnancy...

I CHOSE to believe in miracles and in GOD.

Thank you, Dr. Campbell for taking the time to deliver my baby. And most of all, thank you, GOD, for choosing to give ME a miracle!
We are finally home! Actually, we got home tonight around 7:30 p.m. It has taken me forever to get on the Internet. I am so busy being Mommy to TWO kids!! :o) It is very overwhelming, but I love it!! I will work as much as possible on Carleigh's site. I have to find times when both kids are sleeping!!

We are currently giving Carleigh tube feedings every 3 hours. So far she has been
tolerating them well. We will gradually do larger feedings soon. Keep checking this book for daily updates on Carleigh -- there will be new things appearing on her site
too! :o) Thanks for all your prayers -- we truly do have a miracle!!!
Posted by: Grandad

Nov. 11 - 1:55 P.M. cst ======= Carleigh had her first feeding of milk through a tube in her mouth at Noon and will have her next feeding at 3:00 before they can start home. They need to watch her for a while after eating to make sure she is ok. She is also to have an Echocardiogram before starting home, so it will still be a while.
Posted by: Grandad

Nov. 11 - 8:25 A.M. CST ========= I'm on the phone with Andrea as I write this. Carleigh had a pretty good night, she did have a few APNEA attacks. John & Andrea think she was just testing their endurance & showing them who was boss. They took care of her on their own, and the nurses only checked her vitals (which is the way it was supposed
to be). They are still coming home sometime today.

11/10/1999

Posted by: Grandad

Nov. 10 - 11:20 P.M. CST ========= Just got home from the hospital. Carleigh, Mommy, Daddy and Blake are spending the night in the Care By Parenting Room. Christmas Pictures are made (hopefully they will be good, Grandad made them) Carleigh is having fewer APNEA attacks and the plan is still for them to all come home tomorrow. It will probably sometime afternoon.
Posted by: Grandad

Nov 10 1:35 P.M. CST ---------- I'm having problems with the Dreambook, thus all the multiple entries. Maybe before long Andrea will be able to take over and fix all my messups.
Posted by: Grandad

Nov 10 -- 1:15 P.M. CST ------- Just talked to Andrea, Carleigh is still doing ok. The doctors are putting an IV Pick Line in now. It will be able to stay in longer than a
regular IV and Carleigh will be coming HOME tomorrow. So if all goes as planned she will get to be home with her family. She had pictures made today in clothes and the
Christmas pictures will be tonight.
Posted by: Grandad

Nov. 10 - 8:45 A.M. CST ------ Just talked to Andrea and Carleigh had a GOOD night, only 2 APNEA attacks. One she corrected herself and the nurse stimulated her to get her
going on the other one. Still planning to move to a Care By Parenting room sometime this afternoon. Also we plan to make Christmas Pictures tonight.

11/09/1999

Name: Grandad

Nov. 9 - 10:50 P.M. CST ----- Talked to Daddy at 9:30 and Carleigh is doing fine. Hasn't had an APNEA attack for quite some time. They are looking foreward to moving to
the other room tomorrow so the whole family can be together. I'm working tomorrow so I will update ASAP. Thanks for the continued prayers and support for Carleigh and her family.
Posted by: Grandad

Nov. 9 -- 5:20 P.M. CST ------- Carleigh is about the same, still has the APNEA attacks, but didn't have many today. She has a nasal cannula with 200cc of oxygen, which is less than yesterday. Tomorrow they plan to move her to a Care By Parenting Room (still in the hospital and close to, but not in ICU) Andrea, John, Carleigh and Blake can all stay together. Not like being at home , but at least all can be together.
Posted by: Grandad

Nov. 9 - 8:30 A.M. -- Carleigh made it through the night, but she did have several APNEA attacks where she quit breathing. Each time they were able to get her to breath
again. She is not on a ventilator, only oxygen. Gram and I will be going back to see her soon and I will update later today or tonight when we get home. She's really a
beautiful little girl.

11/08/1999

Posted by: Grandad

Monday Nov. 8 -- 11:30 P.M. CST Carleigh arrived at 2:28 P.M. she weighed 5# 3 oz. and was 18 1/2" long. She does have spina bifida and also Trisomy 18. The doctors tell us we may have her for a few hours or maybe a few days, they really don't know just how long she will be with us. They are not going to do surgery to correct the spina bifida as they say she might not survive the surgery, instead they will do everything possible to keep her comfortable. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and please continue to remember Carleigh, Andrea, John and Blake in your prayers. Gram and I will try to keep you posted until Andrea is able to take over.
Posted by: Grandad

The time is 1:00 P.M. CST Carleigh has still not arrived. Grams is on the way to the
hospital to be with Andrea and John. I will update as soon as possible, but I will be going to the hospital also around 2:30. PLEASE KEEP CARLEIGH, ANDREA & JOHN IN YOUR PRAYERS.

11/06/1999

I thought I had better update and say that Carleigh hasn't come early... yet. I am on pins and needles wondering if I will go into labor before Monday. It's a strange feeling sitting around just "waiting" for your water to break. You're afraid to go too far from home, ESPECIALLY in the opposite direction of the hospital -- but then as soon as you stay home, nothing happens!

I forgot to mention that when I went to the doctor on Thursday I showed her my feet. They are VERY swollen. Most of me is VERY swollen! I told Deb that it's a good thing they are delivering on Monday because I would probably explode from all my water build up! LOL Anyway, back to the feet... I have what is called "Class 2 Pit Edema". I'm not sure on the spelling, but what it means is that if you push on my skin it leaves a pit! It reminds me of the divots that are left on a golf green after the golf ball hits. Once the "pit" is there, it takes it awhile to fill back up. I am guessing that's where the "Class 2" comes in. It doesn't really hurt -- it looks worse than it feels. Even sitting with my feet propped up usually doesn't help. At least I know that my feet will be "normal" again someday. I won't feel like a moose forever! :o)

Carleigh is doing just fine. Moving around... having a great time...

Please note: Carleigh will be in the NICU after she is born. We don't know how many days she will be there, but Mommy is staying with her till she comes home! Since I am the only one who does her webpage, it may be awhile until the next update. :o)

Carleigh's Daddy just had a wonderful idea! I have placed special "Dreambook" links on each page of Carleigh's site. Please pay close attention to Carleigh's Dreambook, because Daddy, Grams, or Grandad will be posting updates until Carleigh and I are out of the hospital! This way our Internet friends can keep track of our progress and I don't have to teach everyone how to make a web page!!

11/04/1999

Well, today is the due date, and Carleigh's still in the tummy. I went to the doctor today. Carleigh's heartbeat is 154 and I'm dilated to 2! I never made it to two with Blake until they hooked me up to the Pitosin. She was sleeping (I think!) until she was rudely awakened by the doppler! LOL Now she has been moving like crazy ever since! I think she is taking after her Mommy -- NOT A MORNING PERSON! :o) Since she is taking her time about arriving into this world, the doctor has decided to "roust" her out of there. Carleigh's birthday is going to be Monday, November 8, 1999. I kind of like knowing, so I can be prepared, but I'm not looking forward to inducing. It took such a long time with Blake and I don't want Carleigh to have to endure that. So Monday is the day, unless, of course, she comes this weekend. So to all of our family, friends, and new-found Internet family and friends, send lots of extra
prayers our way. Our little miracle is about to arrive!

11/01/1999

Posted by: Daddy

Well it is about 6am and we are getting ready to go to the hospital. Andrea didn't get much sleep last night between being nervous and having cramps. (I was just nervous) We
ask for your continued prayers for Carleigh. We know that it is in God's hands and he well do what is his will, but he does create miracles Carleigh is one of them.