Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

We were a 50's family (missing one little greaser) for Halloween. Bella thought it was so cool that we were both wearing poodle skirts. Even her build a bear had one on!

Our little pumpkin

Ezra continues to do well. His feeds are increasing every day and he is doing well in the poop department also. We are actually hopeful to have him home within 2 weeks. He'll need to increase to full feeds (which will take another 3 or 4 days) and then he'll need to do well on full feeds for another 3-4 days before he can come home. We are allowing for some setbacks also but so far, so good.

Witches Night Out

The other night a bunch of my witch friends all went out to dinner at Chilis (yes, we went out in public looking like that). We got a lot of stares but we had a total blast...cackle, cackle, cackle.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Got Poop?

Ezra does! We don't mean to make light of this bodily function but this really is a highly important feat for our little guy. Of course, we aren't totally in the clear yet being that his poop was like a pea size today but it does mean that something has gone completely in and completely out, which hopefully means that he doesn't have a blockage in his intestines. We'll learn more as the poops progress. :)

The surgean explained today that we are feeding him (yes, the feedings are back on...this status seems to change from hour to hour though) only 4 cc's every 4 hours (which is less than a teaspoon full) not to give him nutrition but to make sure that his intestines receive nutrition and continue to function. Ezra is basically still getting all of his nutrition intraveniously, which can get dangerous after awhile if his liver stops processing it well. But, we continue to hope and pray that he can hold the little feedings down and that he will start pooping more so that we can increase feedings gradually and decrease TPN over the coming days. So, that's the scoop on the poop...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

1 teaspoon full at a time

This is one of those very small hospital bottles and the amount in the bottle is how much formula Ezra is taking every 4 hours. It is about 1 teaspoon full. Although he has spit up a few times, it hasn't been anything too concerning. Just in case, they are starting him on zantac for acid reflux. He sucks down his little teaspoon full of formula so quickly now and then he licks his lips for awhile afterwards. He must be so hungry! We are hoping that by tomorrow they will start to increase the formula, but of course, it will just be a little bit at a time. And, still waiting on the ever important poop to make sure that what goes in, can come out and that he has no blockages in his intestines.
This is where Ezra lives for now...

All of the nurses comment on what a sweet little guy he is. They say usually babies that don't get to eat are very fussy but he just takes it all in good stride.

Thanks for checking in on the Ezra updates. We've been told by so many people that you read our blog frequently to know how he is doing and we so appreciate your love and concern for him. He is one loved and supported little guy and we love you all back!

*UPDATE* I guess I spoke too soon. I called the hospital before going to bed as usual and found out that Ezra had thrown up quite a bit and it was brown (like old blood) so they have suspended his feedings once again. Luckily, they did not put the tube back down his throat as they actually believe that is the cause of the blood from the tube irritating something. Once again, it is discouraging but we know that this is just an uphill battle that eventually we'll win.

Friday, October 26, 2007

So far so good...

Today I was able to feed Ezra twice. Both times it was just about 1 to 2 teaspoons full of that predigested formula but he did so much better today than last Sunday. And since he started nearly 12 hours ago, he has only had one very little spit up, which isn't much to worry about. This is great news! He will continue on this feeding schedule of just a little bit of formula every 4 hours just to stimulate his intestines, and we will gradually work the feedings up. So far so good and we are so very happy at his progress...After 3 weeks of nothing in his tummy (just the lipids and TPN that go straight into his blood stream) he is anxious to eat. He is also 4 pounds, 8 ounces already. He is getting to be a "plump" kid :).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A better day

Today they took Ezra's tube out again and we will try feedings again tomorrow. We are hopeful that it will go better this time around. Honestly, feedings are the riskiest part about this whole process. If his intestines aren't ready, he could get a blockage in his intestines which could kill a portion of them and require surgeries to cut out what is dead and possibly to lengthen the intestines, etc. Or he could be allergic to the different formulas. There are so many variables. What we are hoping for is the following: 1) that he will take his feedings with a bottle and not have to have an NG tube down his nose 2) that his little body will tolerate the feedings and he won't spit/throw up the formula or bile and 3) that as he tolerates feedings, he can work up to a regular full feeding schedule and 4) that his bowels will work and he will start pooping. After all of that happens, our little Ez will come home. We expect this process will take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks.

Ezra was so smiley today as we held him. It was so obvious how happy and content he was with out the big tube down his throat. He looked so comfortable and like such a little angel. We just love this little guy. He is a bit camera shy though and hates the flash so we usually only get pictures of him asleep or with a really bothered or surprised look on his face. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two Steps Forward...One Step Back

Well, yesterday Ezra had his first feeding. I was happy to be there and to be able to give him his first bottle. It was about 2 teaspoons of predigested formula and he took it pretty well. We were so happy. I tried again at his next feeding, and he didn't want anything to do with it. He was breathing heavily and acting agitated. They decided to give it to him through an NG tube in his nose. Later he started throwing up what little formula he had taken and a lot of green, mossy bile. So, they determined that his little body was not ready for feedings yet and the big, yucky tube was replaced in his throat and into his tummy to pull out the bile. We were pretty discouraged today when we saw him. He was visibly uncomfortable and kept gagging. The medical staff keep reassuring us that this is normal for these babies to have these ups and downs but we were hoping that he would be one of the few that just do exceptionally well. Anyway, we are back to waiting until they think we should try the food again. Blaine gave him another priesthood blessing today and I am so grateful to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life that gives me so much comfort and hope. I am also so grateful for all of your wonderful love and support. It is just a bump in the road and hopefully we will find smoother pavement soon.
These first two pictures were of him yesterday, before they put the tubes back in.

Bella had a fabulous birthday weekend. We went to build a bear on Saturday and to dinner and then on Sunday her cousins, Aunt Tiff, and Grandma were here to help her celebrate. We had pizza, cake and ice cream, a pinata, and presents.

Isn't her build-a-bear cake so cute?

Bella got her bear, chocolate (pronounced in Spanish), lots of new clothes and accessories. Way too cute!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday, Bella!

We love our sweet Bella Joy. We can hardly believe that she is 3 years old, but then again, who can remember life with out her? Happy Birthday, Bella!

Friday, October 19, 2007

No Tubes! No Tubes!

Today we arrived to visit our little Ezra just as they were pulling the tube out of his throat. This is a great sign! The tube has been down his throat and into his stomach since day 1. It has been pulling out all of the bile and gunk in his stomach that isn't being processed naturally. Now that it is out, he can start feedings soon (like maybe tomorrow). I know I told you all to pray for poop...but the doctor had it all wrong. The doc didn't realize that Ez had pooped his first few days and since he has only been on TPN and lipids, he won't have anymore poop until he starts feedings. But, poop is still a big deal and once he starts feedings it will be a big indicator of when he gets to come home. So, your poop prayers haven't been in vain.

Here are some pictures of him WITHOUT a tube. And, some short video clips of our visit today. He LOVED his pacifier now that he could actually suck on it. When he had the tube down his throat, he really wasn't that interested in a binkie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting to know Ezra

Today I got to spend time all alone with Ezra. Blaine is now sick so he is staying away for now (hopefully we can all get over the sickies before Ez comes home). It was incredible spending some snuggle time with him and getting lost in his new baby smell, sounds, and sweetness. I have loved him for so long. I have hoped for him for so long. Today as I held him, I had this overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude wash over me and I felt as if I've always known this baby and that he has always been mine. As I studied his little face and imagined what he'll look like as he grows, I thought about how his tiny body is housing a great, big spirit. He is one perfect little guy. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to have both Bella and Ezra and I just hope these next few weeks will hurry on by so that our little Ez can come home and we can just be a family together.

Ezra is gaining weight with just his lipids and TPN. He is now at 3 pounds 15 ounces! Yeah. After he hits 4 pounds, he can get out of his isolette and be in a regular crib in the nursery. This will make things easier for taking pictures! The doctor also told me today that Ezra will not start feedings until he poops first so....PRAY FOR POOP! :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Day 8

Ezra was moved from the level 3 NICU to the level 2 NICU last night. That is great news. He is stable and doing well. His body just needs to figure out what to do with his intestines. He continues to have a tube down his throat that is pulling out lots of green, yucky bile from his stomach. When that starts to clear, hopefully within a few days, then they will start trying to feed him formula. The doctor said to expect feeding to have lots of ups and downs and to also expect Ezra to continue to be in the hospital for the next 3 or 4 weeks. It just takes awhile for the intestines to figure out how to position themselves right in his stomach and to figure how to work. So, although he is doing great with everything else, it is just a matter of time for his little body to start working well enough to come home. He has regained the weight he had lost and is back to his birth weight of 3 pounds 13 ounces. The following video is from today. He is making lots of new baby sounds, even though it sounds like he is weezing or choking. He was just squeaking. :)

Aunt Tiff got to visit Ezra today for the first time.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

So, what's in a name?

Ezra was put on our list about a year ago. The list I am referring to is in my journal where I write down possible names for our future children. Names are constantly being added and scratched out over the years. Anyway, for some reason, the name stuck out to me and so it was added. This summer as we felt we may be getting closer to adding a baby to our family, we got serious about “the list”. Ezra was not the name that was number one on our list. But, then through a series of experiences that I won’t go into detail here, I really felt like our next child would be a boy and that we would call him Ezra. That experience gave me comfort as we experienced a failed adoption this summer with a baby girl.

Fun facts about some of our names:

Ezra is Tirsa’s 3rd Great-Grandfather’s name. This grandfather’s wife’s name is Tirzah.
Tirsa is a modernization of the Hebrew name, Tirzah
Ezra is also a Hebrew name, which means “helper”.
Bella (Isabella) is named after a Great-Grandmother.
Blaine is just a cool name. Don’t know where it came from but when I was set up with him on a blind date, I remember thinking, “Cool name…” and the rest is history! ☺

Here is a scripture from the book of Ezra that applies to us…

“So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.” Ezra 8:22

We are so grateful for the power of fasting and prayer. We know that so many of you have exercised your faith in our behalf and we are truly grateful. We did fast and pray and ask God for this, and He lovingly provided. We feel so blessed. Ezra continues to be doing amazingly well and he should start feedings soon.

Ezra Day 5

Look how small his head is compared to Tirsa's hand.

Ez holding on to Mommy's finger. He did not like the bright lights of the camera flash!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bella Meets Baby Brother

Yesterday we needed to go to the hospital registrar's office to transfer things over to our name. My throat had started to hurt and my glands were swollen (BAD TIMING TO GET SICK!!!) so I knew I couldn't hold Ezra. So, we decided to take Bella with us to at least show her where baby brother is staying right now. Once there, I couldn't help but go peek in on him quickly and so we let Bella do the same. She talked about how "cute and tiny" he is and she cried when we said it was time to go. She kept saying, "I want to go back". She already loves her little brother and she will be a great big sister to him when he comes home.

I feel like crying with Bella..."I want to go back" because I really want to see him and hold him but I can't chance getting him or the other babies in the NICU sick so I have to stay away. Blaine will go to the hospital by himself today to have some daddy/son bonding time. I'm glad that at least he can go. My heart aches to be there too though.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Placement Day

Today was a LONG day but a great one, too. Papers were signed and he is ours. We are so grateful to his birthmom and birthdad and birthgrandparents for their loving and courageous placement of this child in our lives. We know it hasn't been easy but they have assured us that they know it is right and that we are his parents. What a precious gift.

Ez continues to do well. He is off the ventilators and it seems that every day he has less tubes and tape and less medications. He is doing so great!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In our arms...

Today we were able to hold baby Ezra. We didn't think we would be able to for a few more days but he is just doing so well (better than expected) and so they let us hold him for about an hour and a half. He had been so heavily sedated since surgery yesterday and hadn't been moving much but he peaked his eyes open at us while we held him. He is so sweet and such an angel. Blaine was also able to give him a priesthood/father's blessing today while I held him. It was so special. We also learned that his birthgrandfather gave the birthmom a priesthood blessing before her c-section and blessed the baby through her. How grateful we are that both of our children received priesthood blessings from their birthgrandfathers. We think that is so special.

Prognosis is good although it is so hard to say when he will come home. He should go off of the ventilator tomorrow as he is mostly breathing on his own anyway. He starts TPN feedings intraveniously tonight and in about a week, he will start formula feeding first through a feeding tube and then with a bottle. Basically, he'll be able to come home when he has good "input and output" which is the nice way of saying "eating and pooping". Two weeks from now would be miraculous. We are preparing ourselves for 4-6 weeks though.

Bella is only allowed one visit to the NICU while he is there so we are saving it for a few more days when he is off most of the machines and stuff. Bella is so mad that we won't take her to the hospital! She carried around his picture today and she drew him a picture that we put up in his incubator. We also put up a picture of her in her Big Sister shirt and a picture of us holding him.

Is he cute or what?

"Is that you, Dad?" Heavily sedated, Ez tries to pry his eyes open to check us out... :)

It was so awesome to hold him. Light as a feather and such an angel.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Introducing Ezra Blaine Allen

Ezra was born at around 1:45 today. His intestines looked great and we were able to see him before he went into surgery.
Look at that hair!

Close up of Ezra.

Daddy, Mommy, and Baby Ezra.

Ezra post-operation.

Ezra is 3 pounds 13 ounces and 17 inches long. Tiny little guy. He was born at 35 weeks gestation. He has a great set of lungs though as we heard him crying. He is such a little fighter and the surgean said that he did so well. They were able to reinsert all of his intestines...sometimes there isn't enough room in the abdominal cavity to put them all in and sew it all up...but they were able to do it on him. Basically, he is doing as well as these babies can do and so the prognosis is really good. THANK YOU to all of you for all of your prayers, good thoughts, and support. We are so happy to be his parents. We know we have some long days ahead of us but we are so hopeful.
Bella is thrilled to finally be able to wear her Big Sister tee shirt! Not a great picture but we'll get a better one tomorrow.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Well, we got a phone call today saying that our baby will be born either THIS coming Monday or THIS coming Thursday. This is a whole month early from his due date and about 3 weeks early from what we have been planning. We are very excited and VERY nervous. The sudden urgency to deliver him arose after the birthmother's doctor appt. today in which they noticed that his intestines seem to be swelling more than before. We get our information third hand so I don't know too much about what that means except it obviously isn't good. We hope and pray for the best. After her appt. on Monday, they will either deliver him via c-section that day or wait until Thursday. So, ready or not, here he comes...