Tuesday, August 25, 2009


When Kristell was still in the hospital, we noticed that one of her daily medicines was caffeine--and lots of it, too, every morning! I was curious and looked into it on the internet today. This article provides a good summary of what I learned.

So go ahead and enjoy your coffee. Kristell had the equivalent of 6 cups every morning!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home at Last

When Kristell was first born one of the nurses told us we would need lots of patience and lots of prayer while she was in the hospital. She also said that we should count it a miracle if she gets out of the hospital before her due date (September 24.) Thank you so much for lots of prayer. We have seen a miracle!The doctor was satisfied with her progress and discharged her even though she hasn't gained back to her birth weight of 2000 grams. (I think she weighed 1940 grams this morning.)

Shhhhh, baby. Don't cry!

The NICU and pediatric high care unit were all painted up with these wall murals. It was a cute place, but we are SO glad to be home with Kristell! We plan to spend a week or two with still here in Bloemfontein with the Louws.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Kristell gained 50 grams yesterday, and the doctor is pleased with her progress. Unless something changes, he plans to discharge her tomorrow. We can't wait to have our little girl home! Thanks for praying for us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kaitlyn's Favorite Day

Sunday is the only day Kaitlyn can go into the high care unit at the hospital, so of course they are her favorite days. Today she really enjoyed getting to hold her little sister for the first time.
Kristell is doing well. The doctor said she is "thriving" now. All she needs now is to gain weight. She weights 1870 grams and has to weight 2000 grams before she can get out of the hospital. On average the doctor expects her to gain 20 grams a day, so we're guessing that it will be around a week before she gets out of the hospital. Yesterday she ended up getting two baths, so she didn't gain any weight. (A bath uses up a lot of a preemie's energy just to stay warm.)

Thanks SO MUCH for your prayers!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kristell's First Bath

Kristell did NOT enjoy her first bath! She didn't mind having her hair washed quite so much.
Even though she didn't like the water very well, she was so content and alert when it was all over. A good scrub lightened her hair color quite a bit and brought out the reddish tinge in it more.
Thanks so much for your prayers! God is answering. Kristell is growing stronger and doing better every day. We hope that she might get to go home sometime next week, but she still needs to gain some weight.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MRI Results

The doctor told Steph this morning that the MRI showed two very small bleeds in Kristell's brain. He is 95% sure she won't have noticeable brain damage. If there is any problem it will likely be with her fine motor skills. We are praising the Lord that nothing too negative turned up. Thanks for praying!

A few people have asked how a newborn baby drinks from a cup. Here's one of the nurses helping Kristell drink.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This morning Kristell went for a brain MRI to determine what and if there is brain damage from the asphyxia she suffered at birth. We haven't heard what the results are yet. Yesterday morning she pulled her own feeding tube out, so she's only getting nutrition from nursing and from a cup the times when Steph can't be at the hospital. She gained 10 grams today. Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Somebody wanted a picture of Kristell with something in it to give a better idea of how big she is. Here's a couple. The Leatherman is about 4 1/2 inches long.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spotlight on Kaitlyn

Today we took Kaitlyn to a park not too far from the hospital. It's an old park and it has a HUGE slide in it. Kaitlyn loved it! (So did Daddy and Mama!)

Clothes at Last!

Yesterday Kristell was moved from the NICU to a neonatal high care unit. Now she gets to wear clothes! We looked in several stores in Bloemfontein trying to find clothes for preemies. There's not too much available, but we found a few cute things. This stage should only last a couple months, so she doesn't need much.Please pray that she will master the hard work of nursing. I think the stress of the move set her back a little, but also her sucking reflex hasn't developed yet, so she's still not quite sure what to do to get her nutrition. She has a feeding tube in again just to make sure she doesn't loose weight.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Yesterday was Kristell's first day without radiant heat. She was so snug and contented under the blankets that she didn't want to wake up to eat. She was NOT happy when we took the blankets off!
Today she's completely unhooked. All the IVs, the feeding tube, blood pressure cuff, and everything is off! We are praising the Lord that she is doing so well! The only thing still on is a sensor on her foot that monitors pulse and oxygen saturation of her blood. She had another brain scan yesterday that came back normal. We are so thankful! The pediatrician is very pleased with her progress, too.

Yes, I am proud!
Thank you so much for praying for us!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More Progress

Kristell is doing well and the rest of us have been busy! Sorry that it's been a while since I posted anything here. She's doing fine breathing room air. I didn't ask the nurse for sure, but I think she's off the phenobarbital because she's been much more alert the yesterday and today. Stephanie and I both got to hold her today, and doctor wants Stephanie to start nursing her starting tonight. She took about one swallow and fell fast asleep. (It's a LOT more work than having nice warm milk pumped straight into her stomach.) I'm going to try to post a video here from today. Thank you so much for praying for her and for us!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Today was a big day for both Kristell and Kaitlyn. Kristell is off all the breathing assistance, and Kaitlyn finally got to see her baby sister. Kaitlyn was very excited and I think a baby sister is now a reality in her mind.
What color is that hair? It's definitely brown, but it's still a little hard to tell exactly what color since she hasn't had a bath yet.
Here's a little better look at her face. Her cheeks and temples are still red and irritated from the tape that held the breathing tubes and everything, but she looks a little better than when she had on the alien helmet and sun glasses. Her grasping reflex still hasn't developed yet, but once in a while her hand will close over a finger, an IV line or something.

Answer to Prayer

Thank you so much for praying for Kristell and us. This morning they took her off the CPAP machine and she's breathing fine all on her own! This is a big step! She's getting a little more milk now--a teaspoon every 3 hours. I'll try to post some pictures later today.