Monday, May 19, 2008

Sarah-week 5

Our little girl is 5 weeks old today and she is finally back to her birth weight. That seemed like a minor miracle two weeks ago.

Here she is:


I think I have rubbed off on Andrew in a number sort of way.

I told you how I have a thing for even numbers, weird I know. My bloggy friend, Jennifer had a good point, even numbers are just so divisble, which makes them neat and tidy, and I like neat and tidy.

Well Andrew loves numbers in a different way, he loves all of them. He can remember any random fact that involves a number, he has been known to sit for hours and read the Guinness Book of Records.

Yesterday when we were talking we made a few observations, they all seemed to involve a 9

-He was turning 9
-At birth he weighed 9.9
-His bday is the 18, a multiple of 9
-He was born in 1999
-At 9:07 pm

He loves that kind of thing.

The best news is Sarah is just shy of 9 pounds, weighing in at 8lb 15 oz this morning. That's right folks that is one ounce more than her birth weight. I will post pictures of the little fatty later. I know you don't believe me, I really will try. This mama is one busy woman and I really do run out of time or just plain forget.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy 9th Birthday Andrew

Today our little man is nine years old.

It is hard to believe. I remember when he came into the world tipping the scales at 9lb 9oz, he was one big boy.

He has grown to be a caring and sensitive young man. We are so proud of him. I love to see him caring for his sisters. At this point in time he has a soft spot for his youngest little sister. He loves any chance he gets to hold her in his arms.

Andrew has a great sense of humor and has been known to play a joke or two on us. In short, he is just one great kid.

We love you to pieces and our so glad to have you as our one and only son.

Happy Birthday Andrew.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sarah 4 weeks

Our little girl is tipping the scales today at 8lb 2oz. She should be up at her birth weight in no time.

Here is her 3 week picture from last week. It was hard to find the time to upload this last week. You can already see the difference in her weight from this picture last Monday.

I hope all of you mothers out there had a great Mother's Day yesterday. I have found the transition to the mother of four to be a fun but challenging one.

I can't promise much on the blog this week but will try. If you haven't checked in on the Stringer Zoo in awhile, they are on the move again. Go pay them a visit, tell them 60 toes sent you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Life School Musical

I knew once we got home it would be harder to find time to blog...and it has been. I haven't even had a chance to upload the three week pictures of Sarah. One of the reasons we have been so busy is because the kids were all in a big musical at church. The put on a great show called Life School Musical which was a take of on the ever so popular High School Musical. All three of the big kids had special parts and they did a great job.

Emma was one of the main characters and performed the sign language to one song that was so graceful and beautiful.Laura was the cutest "bug" you have ever seen.
Andrew was the friend of the healed man and had another part where he was part of the basketball team.

All the kids did a great job. If you would like to browse more pictures of the show you can view them here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Packing on the ounces

We took Sarah in this morning for a follow up with our pediatrician.

She was up to 7lb 12 oz. Although she is not yet up to her birth weight, she is getting closer with every ounce.

I never had a chance to post the three week pictures, but I will try to get to that today. I knew things would get crazy once we got home, but it is great to be home. Crazy but good. It doesn't help that we are getting our house on the market later this week. If you know anyone moving our way, send them over. We are motivated sellers. :)

Have a great day and look forward to some more pictures of our little one.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Homeward Bound

We are going home today, yahoo!

Our little Sarah has gained two more ounces since yesterday. We are so thrilled.

There is paperwork to do and orders to follow, but we are on the way home.

I expect the blogging to slow down a little bit when I get home. After all, I have three other kids to take care of and I am thrilled to do it. I am so excited to spend time with them and find out what has been going on in their lives.

I will try to post a three week picture at some point today. This little girl has had a busy three weeks, that is for sure.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

4 ounces

The doctor came in this morning with a big smile on her face. Our little Sarah has gained four ounces since yesterday. We are all thrilled. We thought she looked fatter but then again it is really hard to tell.

If she continues her trend to gain weight we will be going home tomorrow. That is great news!

As much as I am excited to get home, it is a little nerve wracking. We will be taking her to the doctor often when we get home to ensure the weight gain continues.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, I know they have been heard. I feel much more encouraged today and feel confident our little girl is going to be alright.

Time to go fatten up our little angel.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Wow, we are so blessed to have so many people helping us. As hard has this time has been we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love shown to our family. From the practical needs that are being met, to the encouraging emails and blog comments, to the prayers being lifted up.

We are truly humbled by your generosity. We can not say thank you enough.

I have an amazing nurse for the night who is ready and willing to help me with the feeds, yea!!!

I am going to pump one more time and then hit the hay. I am praying about heavy things and "super sizing" as one friend put it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you. We feel so loved and it has been a better day thanks to so many of you.

Good night, I am hoping to bring you some great news in the morning.

Sweet Sounds

The sweet grunts and groans of a baby feeding are music to my ears.

Sarah has given me the oppotunity to enjoy an aspect of being a parent none of our other three children gave me. She has given me the opportunity to feed her. Charlotte always talks about how much she enjoys the time she gets to spend with our infants when she feeds them. It's an opportunity for her to slow down, sit, relax and just plain love on them. Our other children never took a bottle. Which was fine but this meant Charlotte was the only one who could hold them close and watch and hear them eat as infants. Well, Sarah has given me a treat. She takes a bottle and I have regular opportunities to feed my little princess.

The sounds she makes when she's taking a bottle make me smile. They are very rythmic and soothing. The sound of her suck, suck, suck, exhale, inhale, suck, suck, suck, take a rest....

Now the question becomes, where are the calories going in running off to? Our prayer is that they run off to be stored and to make her a healthy fat little infant.

In the Hospital

Our little sweetie

Laura after her spill.

Teamwork, I tell you. Adam feeding Sarah and Emma feeding Dad. :)

Laura enjoying some ice cream.

Sarah 2 weeks

I know these are late, but better late than never.

Baby steps

Well, the good news is...she did not lose weight from yesterday.

The bad news is...she only gained about a half an ounce, not as much as the doctor would have liked to see.

Today we will add some calories to the breast milk she is getting in the bottle and go from there. What we are looking for is a more substantial gain tomorrow. Like I said before, it is good she did not lose. Just maintaining weight takes calories so we are hoping that is a good sign that her body is processing the calories. The real concern is that she has a rare metabolic disorder in which her body can not process the calories and absorb them. That fact that she did not lose is good and makes us feel better about the metabolic disorder, it is not entirely ruled out yet. There was blood work sent to Baylor Medical Center that takes a couple of weeks and they are analyzing her blood for that. If she gains in the hospital it will rule that possibility out as well.

So today we feed and wait. The scales don't lie, now that they are using the same one.

If we have adequate weight gain tomorrow, there is a chance we could go home Monday if the trend continues.

If we are at the same place tomorrow she will be put on feeding tube where the food will go directly into her stomach. We are hoping this will not be necessary if she beefs up today.

I must admit, I am discouraged. I miss the big kids. I miss home. I miss my normal life.

Please continue to pray for her to gain weight and strength.

Some good news is my milk supply is slowly increasing, keep praying that I can supernaturally produce milk. She loves the breast milk and gobbles it down much faster than the formula.

Well, I am off to pump.

There should not be much else to report today, I may even try to post some pictures if I can.

Adam is threatening to take away my MacBook if I don't get enough rest. You know how I feel about that.

Friday, May 2, 2008

No real change

The doctor came by this morning and there has been no real change, good or bad.

There is some debate about her admit weight and the scale that was used. At her stage it is very important to get an accurate weight and the only way to do that is to use the same scale each and every time. There has not been considerable weight gain either way.

The new plan is no more feeding at the breast. It may be more taking more energy for her to nurse than she needs to expend. So today I will pump and she will take all of her calories from a bottle. This way we will know exactly how many calories she is taking in.

Not much else to report. I am not sure if we will see the doctor again today.

Rest for mom is at the top of the doctor's orders, so we might not answer too many calls.

Andrew joked this morning that he would try not to fall down and need to go to the ER. It is nice to see we all still have our sense of humor.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

When it rains it pours

and sometimes there is even a tornado.


I said I would not update the blog unless there was something noteworthy to report, well there is.

Adam called me on his way to the hospital with the big kids in tow for some "quality" family time. He said " I need to tell you something" in a tone where I knew there was something really good or really bad going on... I feared the latter.

He said Laura fell down at her friend's this afternoon and she might need stitches in her chin. To make a long story short, the nurses on the floor checked it out and we took her down to the ER, yes, the same ER that admitted us yesterday. They put some dermabond on and some steri strips and she should be as good as new.

So I was upstairs doing the feed, pump, repeat with Andrew as my helper, Adam was down in the ER with Laura and Emma. As if all of this was not enough the tornado sirens started going off, and I wondered what they would do with us on the 8th floor. Thankfully there was not a tornado by the hospital but it was nearby.

The good thing is, I am laughing about all of this.
What else can I do?

It is time to try to get some shut eye between the three hour feeds.

I will have some updates in the AM.

Nothing new

I know many of you are checking the blog regularly for updates. I wish I had one for you. There is a lot of waiting in this process.

They have removed her IV and now she is just on a few monitors. She is on a feeding schedule and it is breastfeed, pump, supplement with pumped milk and formula, repeat...

The doctors and nurses feel confident that I can get my milk supply up to meet her needs, it is not there now. She is not the most efficient eater and in turn not really stimulating milk production, that is the reason for the pumping. We are feeding her a higher calorie formula that is easier for her little body to absorb. We should see some progress by the morning. We are looking for some weight gain and for it to continue.

I was wondering if any of your lactating mothers out there have any experience with reglan? Did it help with your milk supply? I have nursed the other three for their entire first year so they know "the mechanics" as they put it, are there. I just need to get her latched on and nursing efficiently. I also need to realize when it is time to jump ship and give it up and switch to formula. As many of you know I am one determined, some would even say stubborn, lady. I am going to keep up the breastfeeding as long as the doctors encourage it and they are very positive about my tenacity.

Like I said at the beginning I have nothing new to report. There is nothing obviously wrong with her other than her lack of weight gain. At this point she should be back up to her birth weight of up to 9lbs, that seems like an impossibility right now, but I remain optimistic.

I will most likely not post again tonight unless there is anything noteworthy to report, which I do not foresee at this point.

Keep praying for our little princess.

Did you know that is what Sarah means? princess

Failure to thrive

The doctor came by this morning to check on Sarah. She has been on IV fluids all night and seems to be a little better. Today we will take her off the fluids and try to put some calories in her and see some weight gain. This is not a quick process.

We have a bunch of consultations today with nutrition, lactation and a few others. Her blood work all appeared to be we will wait and see.

I will update the blog as I have information to report.

Thanks so much for your prayers, please continue to pray for her weight to increase and my milk to be established.

Perspective today

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits
and in His word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:5

I can't encourage memorizing scripture enough. This verse has been rattling around in my head all day today. I have repeated it incessantly thinking through it and wrestling with it.

What do I wait on the Lord for?
Do I wait for the Lord to solve all my problems, certainly no. (Paul would say, "may it never be"). I wait for the Lord to fulfill His word and be glorified. Is He glorified in our day today, without question yes. Has today, or the past few days been fun, certainly no and I don't wish to repeat them but God has been glorified.

I have a wife and children who love their little sister deeply. Sarah's nurse said that most times she sees children come in losing weight like this it is due to neglect. Their parents simply aren't feeding them. This is not our case and I'm thankful for a wife who protects her children ferociously.

There was another lady on our floor who stopped in to see Sarah. She told me her baby was Sarah's size awhile ago. I asked if her baby was getting better to which she replied, no, my baby will never get better, he's terminally ill. At this point my heart sank. What do you say to that?

Philipians 4:19 promises that God will supply all our needs. Our family needed so many things today, and God was faithful to fulfill His word by meeting our needs. The nurse and the lady with the terminally ill child gave me perspective and that was something I needed today. Our problems aren't solved, and I wouldn't say this is enjoyable but I will say that...

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits
and in His word I put my hope.