Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February 27, 2008

Joe was trying to get the kids to smile by
making strange noises...Rylee didn't quite get his sense of humor!
Can I have a taste?

Yep...this is my girl!

Kyle and Rylee at 12 months...

Kyle and Rylee at 4 months...they've changed so much!

"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7
Reunited and It Feels So Good...Kyle and Rylee were able to have their “second date” in the hospital garden! It was SOOOOO good to see Rylee and her mom Breanne. Rylee is an adorable little girl, and although it is difficult to tell from the pictures, she is such a happy baby who smiled so easily for everyone at the hospital. She is so smiley in fact, she has been nicknamed “Smiley Rylee”. It was neat for me to watch Kyle and Rylee interact together during our visit to the garden...they were very curious about each other (and the grass!). Such a change from the first time we were able to bring them to the hospital garden. Both were still in the NICU and Rylee was even on oxygen at the time. They have both come so far, we are very blessed.

I’ll update more when we return from vacation. Thanks for checking in on us…

God Bless,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!


You have brought such joy to our lives, we can not even begin to imagine a life without you. You are an amazing, perfect little guy...we are so proud of you!

Happy 1st Birthday!!!


Mommy, Daddy and Madison

P.S. The video below is of Kyle's 1st year. He has come so far!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

February 17, 2008

What's this???

Umm...not to bad.


...and messy!

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy." Psalm 30:11

Yesterday was a great day! Pattie Cakes (Joe's mom) and Grandma Dottie (my mom) came over to celebrate Kyle's birthday with us. Kyle had his very own "smash" cake and LOVED it! I was not sure how he would do with it, as he has not had any "table food" yet, but as you can see from the pictures above, Kyle dug right in. We have been so blessed with such a happy, easy going little guy...who will be turning one in a couple days!

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day!

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." John 4:9-11

Doesn't Kyle look so cute in his pictures...not just any pictures - his ONE YEAR pictures! Our little man is going to be one on Wednesday, I can hardly believe it. I am so excited, not just for his birthday, but because a few days later we will be heading to Florida. I miss everyone there so much and I can't wait for them to see how big Kyle has gotten. Speaking of which, during his RSV appointment last Thursday, Kyle weighed in at 15 pounds 9 ounces. Still a little peanut, but growing steady. There really aren't any other updates to report, although Kyle has learned a couple new "tricks". First, he will give "high fives" to Madison. He won't do it for Joe or I, but EVERY time Madison says "high five Kyle" he raises his right hand to hers. Our other new adventure...this morning when I went in to get Kyle up, he was completely turned around in his crib and somehow his head was at the opposite end of the crib from where he slept. I'm not sure how he managed this one, as he sleeps on an inclined positioner made to help his breathing that is sort of difficult to get out of. Plus, he does not roll from his back to his stomach. However he did it, he looked awfully proud of himself and as he greeted me with the BIGGEST smile.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle
P.S. To my Valentine are my love, my hero, my best friend and the greatest Dad in the world. I am so proud to be your wife.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

February 7, 2008

"He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave." Psalm 107:20

Joe and I have been reflecting back to where we were at this time last year. One year ago today is when I went into labor while we were on vacation. Madison and I had spent the morning in the craft room at the hotel making Valentine cards. Afterwards, we headed back to our room so that we could get changed for the pool, which is when I noticed I was spotting. I immediately called my Obstetrician in Ohio who assured me that some spotting was completely normal and I had probably just overdid it being on vacation. It was recommended that I take it easy until our flight home the next day. I sent Joe and Madison to the pool and I tried to lie down. After about an hour I decided that I was going to the hospital anyways, hoping that they would just tell me it was nothing to worry about.

I left Joe and Madison at the pool while I headed to the hospital closest to the hotel. When I arrived at the hospital the nurse was so nice and chatty and explained it was probably nothing...they get this "all the time with expectant moms overdoing it at Disney." Then while doing my exam, her whole demeanor suddenly changed. She soon discovered that something was very wrong and started frantically paging a doctor, telling them there was an emergency. I was rushed to Labor and Delivery where I was allowed to call Joe. In the delivery room I was hooked up to monitors which indicated that although I could not feel them (yet!) I was having contractions. Once Joe and Madison arrived, the doctor let us know that the hospital was not equipped to handle my situation, but I was in too critical a state to be transferred to a large hospital. They decided to try giving me some medication to see if labor might subside. If they could get the contractions to stop, I would be moved via ambulance to a Level 3 hospital. It was a long day/night, as unfortunately, my contractions began to increase in both frequency and intensity. Soon they were coming every two minutes and we feared that the medicine was not going to help. Thankfully, at around midnight things started taking a turn for the better and I was stable enough that Madison and Joe were able to head back to the hotel.

The next morning I was transferred to Orlando Hospital South. We sort of naively thought that since my contractions had stopped, everything might be okay. Our plan was that Joe and Madison would fly home, and I would wait things out either on bed rest in Orlando or until I was allowed to fly home. At noon I was examined and it was discovered that my water had broke. We were devastated as they went over our chances. My due date was still 121 days away. We had a 90% chance that the baby would die in the delivery room. They told us that IF the baby would survive the delivery that there was a 50% chance he would then die during his NICU stay. If he beat the odds and survived, it would almost surely be with severe disabilities and a very poor quality of life. All of this is happening just two hours before Joe and Madison's flight was scheduled to depart for Ohio! We decided that Joe would go to the airport, and if they would let him take Madison to the gate and get her on the plane, we would allow her to fly home by herself and Grandpa would meet her at the gate at Akron Canton Airport...which is what ended up happening. After getting Madison on the plane, Joe rushed back to the hospital. On top of everything else, on the way back to my room the hospital elevator Joe was riding in broke, and Joe ended up stuck in it for close to half an hour!

My medical records from my OBGYN in Ohio were transferred down to the doctors in Florida and I was admitted to Labor and Delivery. The doctors really felt that I was going to deliver the baby in the next 12-24 hours and we were even offered medication to "speed up the inevitable." Thank God we declined!!! The next couple days were probably the hardest of our lives. I was only 23 weeks along, and although it was not hospital procedure to resuscitate a baby born at 23 weeks, we had the option to have them try. How do you make that decision??? We would ask every nurse and doctor that came to our room what they would do if they were in our shoes. We also were asked if we wanted to hold the baby when he was born, keeping in mind that there was only a 10% chance that he would be born alive. We were told that if Kyle was born at 23 weeks it would be considered a miscarriage, and we would not get a death certificate, but if he was born at 24 weeks the hospital was required to file one. Did we want to have a funeral? What did we want to do with the "body?" We planned for the worst.

Finally, we had two breakthroughs. First, according to my due date I was only 23 weeks and 2 days pregnant...BUT we had conceived Kyle through in vitro-fertilization at the Cleveland Clinic so we knew the exact date of conception, which was September 11, 2006. Joe and I figured out that this technically made me 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant. After verifying this date with the Cleveland Clinic, our doctors in Florida agreed to "age" Kyle by this date. It may have only been a three day difference, but we were at such a critical point that every little bit helped. If I could stay pregnant until 24 weeks, the hospitals whole course of treatment would change and I would then be moved from Labor and Delivery to the Perinatal High Risk Unit where they would strive to keep me pregnant longer. Our second breakthrough happened around the same time when we had a new night nurse named Tammy. Remember when I said that we would ask each doctor or nurse that came in our room what they would do if they were in our shoes – regarding whether or not to resuscitate the baby. Every one had told us, that if they were in our situation, they would not have the baby resuscitated. They said that it would probably be our only chance to hold the baby and so rather than immediately trying to have the doctor revive him (which most likely would not have worked anyways, we were told) we should just hold him and love him as he died. This is what we had decided to do, UNTIL we met Tammy. She told us that she had actually had a baby born at 23 weeks who had survived and was now 9 months old. For the very first time since being admitted, we had hope…!

As I said when I began this blog entry, Joe and I have been reflecting back to where we were this time last year…our heads were spinning! If you would have told us that a year from now we would have a happy, healthy baby boy, we would have been doubtful, yet here we are. We had a great appreciation for Kyle even before his prematurity because I had such a difficult time getting pregnant, so even his conception was nothing short of miraculous to us. But everything now is even more precious to us and we take nothing for granted. We have learned some valuable lessons through this trial and we’ll never be the same. You never know what a day will bring, but God promises never to leave us, nor forsake us. I know I have said this before, but we would not be where we are today without the prayers of so many people - thank you, thank you, thank you! We are truly rejoicing in God’s faithfulness and Kyle’s health.

God Bless,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Friday, February 1, 2008

February 1, 2008

On May 7, at 11 weeks old, I was finally deemed stable enough to receive my first bath!

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:3-5

Kyle is sitting so well we decided to try him in the "big boy" tub and he loved it! He was splashing around and laughing, it was very cute. He's come a long way since his first bath! Another new "trick" of his, he is starting to crawl BACKWARDS. Well, it is more of a scoot, but somehow he can move across the room backwards. Tuesday we had his meeting with his developmental specialist, and towards the end of the appointment, Kyle must have had enough because he literally scooted out of the room!

There isn't much else to report, but I thought I would post a couple pictures of our little man for all you devoted followers of Kyle. We love you!

Have a great weekend!

God Bless,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle