Update on Nola - 10/15

Just a quick update in between feedings...

Nola gained 2.3 ounces on Wednesday (GREAT), and then lost about 1/2 an ounce on Thursday (okay). However, on Thursday, we stopped doing supplemental feedings through her feeding tube (feeding her an additional 20 cc's of milk after she nursed) and exclusively nursed - so losing 15 grams isn't too bad.

She had three of her blood-oxygen desaturation episodes between midnight and 8am this morning (she had only had one in the previous 24 hours). We haven't talked to the doctor yet today, so not sure what his take is on that.

Overall, she's doing better. I had hoped that we might get to move to the next stage in the going-home process today, but it's not looking too promising. That's okay though - I know the Lord has the perfect timing for when we get to go home together, and I'm happy to wait on that.

Other than that, nothing to really report. My mom is headed back to Columbus today, so would appreciate prayers for her safe travel. It'll be great to have "Gran" back with us, and I know our poor cats will be happy to have some company at home again - though I'm sure the Burkes (especially Hannah) have been spending lots of time cuddling with them. haha :)

Thanks for the continued prayers and support... Off to feed my baby girl! :)

-Bobby and Emmeline

Nola Hope McWilliams

An email update on our sweet baby, Nola Hope, that I sent out two nights ago (I think - the days are all running together!):

Hi everyone!

I wanted to send an update email about Nola. For those of you who haven't heard, Nola Hope McWilliams was born on Saturday, 10/9 at 11:14am. Labor went well - just came three weeks early! I was able to do it without any pain meds (yes, I'm quite proud of that), which is what we wanted - so that all went really smoothly. She was 7lbs. 14 oz. at birth, 19 1/2 inches long, and absolutely beautiful!

(I know Bobby sent an email to a few people - so forgive me if you know some of this already!)
She came out a bit quickly in addition to being early, so she has had some issues. After being with us for about four hours after birth, they took her and put her in the nursery because she was spitting up a lot of amniotic fluid, etc. Put in an IV and feeding tube and hooked her up to a lot of monitors.

She has some problems with her blood-oxygen levels desaturating (meaning there isn't enough oxygen in her blood and she turns a bit blue) as a result of acid reflux issues. Basically, she has the reflux, which shocks her system, which then doesn't recover on its own like most people's (similar to diving into a cold pool - you get a shock, heart slows and then speeds back up -- except hers has a bit of trouble recovering). They won't let her go home until she stops having these desaturation episodes.

I was discharged on Monday, so we've been shuffling back and forth to the hospital to manage her feedings every three hours. Last night they put a feeding tube back in (they initially had this and then took it out because she was eating well), which was a really good thing overall... I didn't want it at first, but it helps a TON as we can get a bit of sleep instead of basically one hour naps a few times a night, and it allows her to eat better and expend fewer calories. She's also lost 10% of her birth weight, which is more than they like to see, so that is another complication.

Things change rapidly - today was a thousand times better than yesterday, both for us and for her. A lot of this she may just grow out of. They did put her on some medicine to help lessen the acid in her tummy, so there's less of a shock when she does have reflux, and that seems to be helping. She only had two episodes today so far (she was having many more than that).

Anyway, I wanted to send an update to y'all. We are so grateful for the care we've received from those of you who have visited, called, texted, brought food, given us a place to stay in between feedings, etc. etc. etc. Despite the difficulties and the scary-ness of all this mess, God has abundantly blessed us in showing us the beauty of good friendships and the people who care about us so much, so THANK YOU a thousand times.

It's unclear when she will be released. There isn't a lot of danger - it's more just a waiting game at this point. They've told us at the earliest, we could hope for this weekend sometime. In the meantime, we would appreciate your continued prayers for endurance and strength, patience with each other and continued trust in the Healer of all - the God who knit her together in my womb and loves her even more than we do.

I have definitely felt the prayers of our loved ones and friends - and seen already how God has used this to pull us together in our marriage and as parents. Baptism by fire! :)

We'll keep you posted - next time it won't be so long, I promise! Thanks again.

-Emmeline and Bobby McW.

PS - more photos are on facebook! :)


spring flowers and michelle's wedding

well, i've not been a very good blogger, have i? that said, it has been a very busy several months!

i got a new job at our church - & i love it! i can wear jeans every day (or sweat pants), work from home some days, i rarely have to be up before 8am or so, and i actually have the energy (sometimes) to make dinner at the end of the day!

spring has sprung here in columbus. it's a beautiful sunny friday, and our garden is beginning to bloom! the vegetable garden seedlings are doing well (though it's still not warm enough to be put in the ground outside)! bobby has started or will be starting from seed: morning glories, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, basil, swiss chard (that will have gorgeous pink and orange stems - can't wait!), tomatoes - roma and candy cherry, onions, marigolds, green beans, mixed lettuces, corn, and a few other things too! he built a gorgerous raised bed out of field stone right next to our kitchen, and i can't wait to start actually planting stuff in it!

here's a few pictures of the flowers coming up.... the larger landscape is from someone's house just down the street -- they have great landscaping!

in other news, bobby's sister, michelle, married her boyfriend, bolivar (he's from ecuador) earlier this month. i only took a few photos as i was busy most of the day, but here are a few getting ready and detail shots:

the beautiful bride (left) before the transformation!

shoes and earrings

antique family necklace

and the dress:

i wish (as i always do) that i'd taken some shots at the wedding! oh well! here's the link to the photographer's site for a slideshow. it was a beautiful wedding, and we had a lot of fun seeing all of the family!

that's about it for now! check back in a few weeks for another update -- i promise to come back! :)