Sunday, May 31, 2009

A few new pics to share...

Mommy's little (or should I say BIG!!) bow head!!!!

Can't find Grady? He's probably with his sissy, giving her lots of love!

In her Sunday dress after church...
Taking an afternoon restie with big brother...Grady insisted on patting his sissy's back to help her fall asleep!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

AWESOME visit with cardiologist at Children's

We had a great visit with our cardiologist today at Children's. Miss Ella was her usual wonderful self as the sonographer performed the echo. The doctor wanted to sedate her, but we didn't know that we couldn't feed her for 6 hours prior to sedation, so we chanced it and she did awesome. We gave her a bottle of formula to make her tummy happy, and off to sleep she went! She was content for an hour while the lady explored her chest and abdomen with the transducers. She's such a good baby! I also need to add that she's up to 8 1/2 pounds now! She likes eating as much as I do!! (this is mommy talking, of course...have you seen daddy lately?)
The result of the echo...the cardiologist was very pleased with her heart. He said the left side looks promising! GOD IS GOOD!!! I asked him when he thought we would be "out of the woods", and his response was "You're in the edges of the woods!" I cannot explain to you how much of a relief that is for us! I was physically sick to my stomach all morning from nerves and anxiety over this appointment. He also said that he felt 90-95% confident that she was going to be okay (meaning that the left side will continue growing and will be able to function well) I could have kissed him!!! That was the best news I've heard in my entire life!! His thoughts on her future are that she'll need a catheterization to open up the aortic valve down the line, but the chances of additional open heart surgeries are very slim. I can't think of a better example of the power of prayer! We are SO blessed!!!
A lot of you have mentioned that you are having a difficult time posting comments on the blog, but please don't worry about it. We know that you are keeping up with her and we are SO thankful for your prayers and support, and that's all we need. We can feel the love without having to read it!
I'm going to work on her announcements in the next few days (do you think it's time?!?!). If I don't have your home address, please email it to me at I'll be sure to put one in the mail for you. I'll also try to post newer pics soon.
Again, we THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your love, support and prayers during this journey. We are SOOO blessed to have you in our lives!!!
Love to all,
The Morrison Family XOXO

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You've come a long way, baby!!

April 29th...that's just 3 weeks ago!!!
Hanging out this morning with one PROUD mommy!
It's hard to believe that Ella is 4 weeks old today. She has been through so much in her short lifetime, and she has taught us so many lessons. She has taught us how precious life really is... How leaning on our faith can get us through even the most challenging times in our lives...How thankful we are for our wonderful family and friends.. How grateful we are for our health and the health of others... How wonderful it is to be parents to two beautiful children... To appreciate one another everyday... And, of course, the most important lesson she has taught is to stay focused on the absolute most important things in life: our faith, our family and our friends.
Now that we are in somewhat of a routine, I've had a little bit of time to digest what has actually happened in the last 4 weeks. I know in my heart that we couldn't have remained strong without our faith, and with out you all. We are forever grateful to you for praying for our sweet girl. As Nana says, there is POWER in numbers, and Miss Ella has had hundreds (if not thousands) of people across the country praying for her. What a lucky girl to be SOOO loved!!! She is going to continue to make you all very proud of her!
Love to all,
The Morrison Family XOXO

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Update from home and Dr. appointment

We've all adjusted well to having a newborn at home. We are SO thankful that Ella is doing great! This little peanut LOVES to eat!!! I thought we'd have to set an alarm every 3 hours to feed her, but she wakes us up to let us know when it's time. The doctors lwould be happy with her consuming 55 ccs every 3 hours, but according to Ella, that's simply not enough! She prefers 65-75 ccs minimum. Her face is really filling out and her thighs are looking scrumptious!!!
Our doctor appointment last Thursday went really well. Her blood work and chest x-ray were fine, and we had some promising news from her new cardiologist. He has many years of experience and is highly respected at Children's. We chose him because he is the one who studied and wrote the report on Ella's echo cardiograms before and after the surgery. When he stopped in to check on her at the end of the appointment, he stated that he felt she has an 80% chance of being okay...meaning an 80% chance of her left side growing with her, and not needing the 3 staged surgeries! We were SO happy to hear that!! The tears immediately started falling!! This is just another example of how our prayers are being answered for our sweet baby girl! God is good!

We don't have much going on this week except for an appointment with the pediatrician. I'm amazed at how calm we are with Miss Ella. I honestly thought I'd be a nervous wreck at home, but she's giving me so much confidence and assurance that she's going to be okay. She's an angel!
Enjoy the pics and I'll continue to take more and post them.
We love you all!
The Morrison Family XOXO

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We LOVE being home with sissy!!

We are all doing great! Ella is a really good baby! She has her mommy's appetite, so she's rockin' & rollin' on the bottle...yeah!! When she is fussy, she prefers to be held by mommy and daddy, and we're not complaining. We are so IN LOVE with this precious baby!
I'm so sorry for the delay in posting, we have just spent the last couple of days trying to establish a routine that works for everyone in the house. Grady has adjusted pretty well. I'm not going to lie and say that the first two nights weren't a little chaotic, but tonight was much better! Big brother is just smitten with his little sissy! (Abe tells everyone that he's too crazy about her because we can't get him off her!!!) She loves his company, but we still have to be really careful with him kissing all over her. The cardiologist said that a little cold or virus would land us back in the hospital, so we're being extra cautious.
We pretty much have an appointment with a doctor every week. Our first appointment is tomorrow, at Children's, with the surgeon's nurse practitioner. She is wonderful and we're looking forward to seeing her. Next week is with our pediatrician, and the following week we're back to Children's to visit the cardiologist. In between our appointments, we'll just continue counting our blessings and loving on this precious miracle!
I'll try to post pictures of us at home as soon as I can. Thank you for checking in on us. Take comfort in knowing that we are doing great!!
We love you,
The Morrison Family XOXO

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ella had a BIG day!!

Look everybody, no tubes!
Grady held her for the first time today! He LOVES his sissy!!
Dr Morrison kept a close eye on his sister all day!
We are inching closer to going home. We were both relieved when they extended our stay until Monday. Neither one of us was comfortable with leaving any earlier!
Miss Ella hit another milestone today. She had her NG tube pulled out. She was not happy when the nurse pulled it, but she sure looked great afterwards! She's knocked out both feedings since then, so there is a good chance that we'll go home without the NG tube. If she doesn't take the feedings very well between now and Monday, then they'll have us put it back in. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
The only line connected to her now is a probe on her left foot that monitors her heart rate and oxyen sats. Holding her without the lines is SO awesome!!
So, if she continues to do well, then she'll sleep with us in our home for the first time Monday night. Yay!!
I hope you all enjoy the pictures of Grady and Ella. We are proud parents of two wonderful children! We feel SO blessed!!!
For all the mommies out there, we wish you a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! We hope you have a wonderful day with your precious miracles!!
We love you all,
The Morrison Family

Thursday, May 7, 2009

There's a rumor that we're headed home soon...

I couldn't believe it when the nurse practitioner said that we could be home as early as THIS Saturday!!! I wasn't ready for the news, but Miss Ella has been doing so well that they don't see the need to keep us here. We were only on this floor to give her time to tolerate her feedings and to get educated on how to take care of her at home. Well Miss Ella is a CHAMP when it comes to drinking her bottles! She took two complete feedings by bottle today, and polished off the majority of the other feedings. They are considering pulling out the NG tube tomorrow since she has taken the majority of her feedings by mouth. We are SO thrilled that she's doing so well, because we were fully prepared to be here a minimum of two weeks to work on this. The doctors and nurses are completely amazed by this little one!
She did have here echocardiogram today, and she was a good baby during the entire thing. She just has the sweetest disposition! She sat on the table for an hour while the tech worked on her, and she fussed very little. I was SO proud of her! The results were good from the echo. Dr Forbess' nurse practitioner came in afterward and let us know that they were happy with their findings. I was thrilled! Then, I spoke to the cardiologist and asked him to give me his interpretation of the results, and he stated what we've known all along. His concern is the left needs to grow with her, or else we'll have to come back for the Norwood procedure. He mentioned that recovery from the Norwood down the line would be pretty difficult for Ella. Then he had to step out for a phone call, and he said that he would be sure to catch up with me in the morning. I'm going to choose to think that she will not be back for the Norwood, and we are all going to pray for her little heart to grow.
I'll keep you posted on our departure. I'm insanely nervous about taking her home. Oh, did I mention that she's not on ANY heart medications?!?!? I was shocked when I found out that the cardiologist discontinued her very last heart med yesterday. He simply thought she didn't need it! That also contributes to my anxiety about going home!!!
Wish us luck the next few days and we'll let you know when we're discharged.
We love you,
The Morrison Family

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

She likes the bottle!

I just read Abe's post from last night, and I'm thinking that Daddy is in for it! This baby girl is going to have him wrapped around her little finger!!
Here's what happened today...
Ella tried her first bottle at 3 o'clock this afternoon, and she knocked it out of the park! She finished off her entire feeding!! We tried twice more this evening, and she did remarkably well. She just continues to amaze us!
She has an echocardiogram scheduled for tomorrow. She was taken off of another heart medication today (not sure how I feel about that, but they're the experts) so they can see how she does without it.
We met with the cardiologist yesterday afternoon. I stated my worries and concerns about the mildly hypoplastic left side and smaller aortic valve. She understood my concerns and felt they were justified. She also stated the positives that are in her favor, but mentioned that we're not "out of the woods" just yet. She said that they will keep a close eye on Ella over the next few months, and we should have a really good idea of how well her heart will function by the time she is around 2 to 3 months old. So now we need to pray that her left side will grow with her and continue functioning well.
I will let you all know how the echo goes. Thank you for checking in on our sweet girl. She is so lucky to be loved by you all!
We love you,
The Morrison Family

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The second day on the Cardiac Floor

Ella is setting into her new dig's. Today was a fairly uneventful day. I received a Rainforest Aquarium from by brother today to keep myself busy inbetween all the feedings, medicines, labs, and x-rays that I have to endure every several hours. I'm also now getting my fortified breast milk straight into my stomach via my NG tube, and boy if this stuff is running through me. Mom and Dad are really getting a work out changing all my pee-pee and poopie diapers. But the best thing is that I'm progressing and making Mom, Daddie, and my brother very proud. I'm really looking forward to getting out of the hospital and being in my own room. I have been told it is really swank for my expensive taste that I will be acquiring and having everyone jump hoops for me.

From Dad, Ella deserves nothing but the best...

Love the Morrison Family.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Enjoying our new suite

This morning started with the nurse practitioner removing 2 IV lines, pacer lines, and the right arterial line. As soon as they were taken out, we were headed to the 8th floor! So, we are now settled in our new suite. We thoroughly miss the nurses in ICU, but this is the necessary step to take before we go home.
Miss Ella has already had several of the sweetest nurses visit her from ICU today. They are all so proud of her! It feels so wonderful to witness how much they care for Miss Ella. They're amazing people with a special gift!
We are expecting a visit from the Speech Pathologist tomorrow to work on feeding. Ella loves her pacifier, which has been great practice, so now we need to see how well she can suck and swallow. This might be somewhat of a battle because she suffered temporary paralysis of her left vocal cord during surgery, and feeding issues are usually a result.
Our goal now is to get Ella to drink from a bottle, put on weight every day, and stay on the road that she's on. Her oxygen sats, blood pressure and respiratory rates are all good. If she's anything like her mommy, feeding won't be an issue, and we'll be home in no time!
Thank you so much for your continued prayers, love and support.
We love you all,
The Morrison Family

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our last night in CVICU

Although Daddy and Ella have thoroughly enjoyed keeping you all up to date over the last couple of days, Mommy is back and I can't wait to brag about my sweet baby. I'm so excited to say that Miss Ella is going to upstairs to the 8th floor tomorrow!!! She continues to amaze us, and she is obviously doing SO well that she's moving up to the cardiac floor. This is the last step before going home! The thought of the four of us under one roof just warms my heart!!
We'll work closely with the staff on the cardiac floor in order to prepare us for taking care of Miss Ella when we get home. It's hard to believe that we're already at this point on our journey. It's been so incredibly smooth that time has just flown complaints here!
As a matter of fact, I have nothing but great things to say about our entire experience at Children's. The staff is absolutely WONDERFUL!!! They all have a special gift of taking care of these precious children. The ladies at Baylor were terrific, also. We have met some of the most incredible people since we've had Ella--beginning with our labor & delivery nurse through this last evening in CVICU. We have been so blessed!
It's after midnight now, so I'm going to catch a little rest before my party animal wakes up. She's in the pattern of sleeping all day, and being up for several hours in the middle of the night...we'll have to work on that!
Wish us luck tomorrow and please pray that her recovery continues to amaze us!
We love you,
The Morrison Family

My Elation

I'm one step closer to being held in the arms of my mom and dad. I'm resting peacefully tonight and getting fed continously via my NG tube. My plan is to show the doctors that I'm capable of holding my feedings. If I can do this, then I will be moving out of the CVICU and to the 8th floor. I will be attended by the grasps regularly by Mom, Dad, my brother and numerous family members. I have come a long way in such a short time, but I'm ready. I'm a strong and determined child and I have a purpose on this earth. I don't know exactly what that is at this time, but God will be with me to carry on my purpose.


Ella Mae Morrison

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Triumphant Progress

I have been enjoying my mom's milk for the last 8 hrs and I'm able to tolerate it. Granted I'm only getting about 6 cc every four hours through my NG tube, I'm working on 16 cc to make the doctors feel comfortable about having me moved to the 8th floor where my mom and dad will be working with me more to get me home. I got to see my brother earlier tonight and he brightened my mood. My daddy gave me a sponge bath/wipe down tonight and I enjoyed it. I even got Johnson's baby lotion rubbed on me. Ooohhh that felt good!!!
I just want each and everyone of you to know that I'm a true miracle and fighter and have a lot of gratitude for you all that have had me in your thoughts and prayers. I want you all to know that without you and my entire family I couldn't have been as strong as I am. Your prayers have been answered and I know that God will always be with me throughout my entire precious life. He is my maker and creator and I will walk hand in hand with him.

Love to all,

Ella Mae Morrison