Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Well, well, look who's back. I tought I needed to do a brief update since I've been on a month and half long blogging hiatus. The Carders are still alive and kicking. Seriously, what happened? No, I have not been in one of my funks, surprising I know. You know me and my funks. Again, can we just talk about how great the word funk is? You say it and...BAM! Instant better mood. Things have just been crazy here much like it is for everyone I'm sure and I've just gotten so behind on the ole blogging. So, don't be surprised in January when I do a post about Thanksgiving and our first family road trip EVER to Kansas City. Holla!! Just go ahead and throw me a bone okay?

So much has happened in the past month and a half so there is BIG news to update on. I'll do a more in depth post after Christmas but just a few praises are my parents moved to Fort Worth over Thanksgiving! Yeah, AAAAMMMAAAZZZIINNGG! What a blessing to have them here. The doors kept opening for them as they thought and prayed about moving here and now here they are. Sold their house in less than a week and bought one here the same week. Pretty awesome. The Lord is good.

Also, Ella is doing really, really well. Feedings are going great, there is NO vomiting. Praise the Lord! We went from vomiting every single day, multiple times a day for a year to now none. NONE! She is actually acting hungry for the first time in her life and sleeping great at night just to name a few positive things. Right before Thanksgiving we started her on an antihistamine purely for the side effect that it increases appetite. And lo and behold the girl is eating like you wouldn't believe. She is taking an average now of around 4 ounces in her bottle in like 15 minutes where as before it would take us about 20-30 minutes to get her to take an ounce and half. Yeah, the pace and volume have picked up tremendously. So, note to self, if I ever have to be on an antihistamine, this is not the one to take. You might stop sneezing but you'll gain 25 pounds. Not cool for anyone but Ella who actually needs to gain weight. We've seen a huge difference since starting her on the new medicine. We are still using the feeding tube for every feeding but feedings are not taking as long which is wonderful. She is eating more table food and isn't gagging like she was. She actually points at food and acts like she wants it and says "bite" or "baba" when she sees her bottle. I know, who is this kid?! This is just incredible since before this was the child who could go all day and not eat a thing and be the happiest kid on the planet. I don't know, feeding is unfortunately very complicated for most babies like Ella who were born with an omphalocele, but over time the prognosis is very good that they will eat. Ella has made tremendous progress and we could not be prouder or more thankful. It's not what you would call "normal" but it is big steps in the right direction.

Also, we cut out another feeding a week or so ago so now we are down to 5 feedings a day. WOO HOO! AND, she had her biggest weight gain yet this week even though we cut out a feeding. This is so exciting for us! She is eating more food by mouth as well and is very willing to try new things. She is such a little fighter! Our goal is still weight gain but now we are really trying to make her daily feeding schedule more age appropriate and we're working on getting more volume in table food wise. Things still are very micro-managed and it is definitely a team effort between us, her therapists, dieticians, and doctors but the hard work is paying off. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter for us. Thank you Lord! There have been plenty of days that I wondered if there ever would be light or if someone forgot to put an end to this dark tunnel we have been in this past year. The Lord is faithful in the good times and the dark times and we have never doubted His love for us. We have a lot to work on still but things have definitely taken a turn for the better so KEEP PRAYING!! Your prayers are life changing and greatly coveted, thank you for being so committed to praying for Ella. Keep praying for her, she's come a loooong way and still has a ways to go.

Anyway, really I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and let you know how much we love and cherish each of you. We're so thankful for you and how you bless our family with love, support, encouragement and prayer. I hope that all of you have a blessed holiday season celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. More details on Ella's progress and other news to come, check back soon!