Monday, January 18, 2016

Brandon is 1 month old

Time is going so quickly and just like that my baby boy turned one month old on January 14th!  At his one month check up he weighed 10 lbs, 7 oz and was 20.8 inches long.  He is eating well (3 oz of breast milk or formula every 3 hours).  He still sleeps a lot but when he is awake he loves to look around and be held.  He's so alert.  He is a sweet baby.  We have been so blessed with this little boy.  He is a miracle just like our girls.  He is just doing so well despite the spina bifida.  He is moving his legs, ankles and even wiggles his little toes. He is also peeing well on his own.  We are not having to cath him.  He does have an appointment on February 1st with urology to check the function of his bladder.  I hope and pray that all continues to be well and that his bladder is functioning normally and that he won't have to be cathed.  I am nervous for this appointment, but I just have to leave it in the hands of the Lord.

Here are Brandon's one month pictures.  I'm enjoying having another baby to take pictures of.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Family Pictures

It's just about impossible to get a family picture these days.  My girls just don't want to cooperate!  A friend of ours needed some pictures of all of us together (including Brandon).  So she came over and took some, but needless to say they didn't come out that good since my girls just didn't want to cooperate and the lighting in our house just was not working in our favor.  But since some of my blog readers have already asked about seeing a family picture that included Brandon I thought I would share these.  I hope that we will be able to get a better family picture in the future, but we will need a miracle and a photographer that can handle my wild family.  But for now these are all the pictures I've got.  Also we couldn't get a picture of the girls holding Brandon since they couldn't seem to hold his head well.  Brandon is just too little still.  We will eventually get a picture of just the kids together...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Brandon's Homecomming!!!

So I'm posting this a week late due to a lack of time now that Brandon is HOME!!!  Brandon came home January 7th!!!  He was doing so well at eating and had recovered well from his surgeries that the doctors allowed him to come home.  We are exhausted and lacking in sleep but we are so grateful and blessed to have our little guy home.

Car seat test the day before he went home.  He passed!

Dressed and ready to go home

In the car!  Lets go!
First bath at home
After his bath

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Update on Brandon

Since Brandon was born on the 14th, he has had to go through 2 surgeries.  He had the hole in his back closed up on December 15th and then he had to get a VP shunt on December 21st.  He did well with both surgeries.  After the surgeries he was having some problems with eating a full bottle of expressed breast milk.  A feeding tube was placed on the 22nd to help him get all his nutrition.  As of current, he is doing better and making progress with eating everyday.  We hope to get that feeding tube out soon!  Also Brandon wasn't emptying his bladder completely so he was having to be cathed every 2 hours at one point.  That was stressful!  Since then he is doing better at peeing in his diaper on his own and is only having to be cathed once a day.  Most likely the doctors will discontinue the cathing today.  Brandon is also moving his hips, legs and ankles so well despite his Spina Bifida!  Brandon has made so much progress since he was born.  We are are so blessed and so grateful!  He is a strong fighter!  With Brandon being in the NICU it has brought back memories of when Rachel and Haley were in there for so long.  Thankfully Brandon won't have to be in the NICU for that long.  We don't know for sure when he's coming home but it will be soon.  Here are some pictures since I last posted about Brandon.

Right before the shunt surgery (12/21/15)
His head after the shunt surgery.  They shaved off so much of his beautiful hair!
Me getting to hold him for the first time
Brandon eating
So awake and alert!
Sucking his thumb.  Sweet Boy!
Got a picture of him smiling!
Mommy holding Brandon

Christmas 2015

Well Christmas 2015 has come and gone.  It seemed to have just snuck up on me so quickly.  I was preoccupied with the pregnancy at the beginning of the month and then the arrival of Brandon on the 14th.  Now we are going to the NICU everyday to visit him.  It was so hard to not have had Brandon home on Christmas.  I will write more about Brandon on the next blog post.  Anyway the girls enjoyed Christmas morning and the toys that they got!  The girls got a Barbie house and it has been Kayla's favorite.  Rachel and Haley have enjoyed the Radio Flyer scooter they got.  It was so nice to see my girls so happy and excited for Christmas morning and seeing them unwrap the gifts that they got.  Christmas is not just about the gifts.  Its about the gift of our Savior and the celebration of his birth.  For that I am very grateful!  Also so very grateful for our family and the support they have given us during this time while Brandon is in the NICU.  Merry Christmas!!!

Kayla, Rachel and Haley opening gifts

Kayla all smiles for the Barbie house

Rachel opening a gift

Brandon on Christmas day in the NICU
Brandon's foot prints - MistleTOES

Friday, December 18, 2015

Brandon has arrived!!!

Brandon Thomas Stansel was born December 14, 2015 at 1:05 pm.  He was 9 pounds, 7 oz and 20.5 inches long.  I was 36 weeks and 5 days.  I was exactly that when I had Kayla.  He had to follow his sister in her footsteps, but Brandon was much bigger and longer than Kayla.  So in the early morning hours of December 14th I was having more stronger contractions and I knew he was going to arrive that day.  We got Rachel and Haley off to school at 6:40 am and then we headed to the hospital.  After arriving to the hospital I thought I would be able to have my c section right away, but we had to wait for an OR to open.  I was in so much pain from those contractions.  I was so happy when they finally gave me a spinal and did the c section.  The doctors had to really work to get him out of me due to his large size.  Also when the doctors got Brandon out he peed on them!  We were all laughing!  We are so happy he is here safely!!!
We found out that the open lesion/hole in his back was located at L5 - S1.  It was much lower than the doctors first thought.  Which is great news!  He had surgery on his back to close up the open hole on December 15th which went well.  He's going to have a big scar on his back due to the neurosurgeon had to pull extra skin from around the hole to be able to close it up.  He will heal and it will be ok.  His head is large due to the enlarged ventricles in his brain.  The doctors are watching them carefully to decide if he will need a shunt or not.  So far his ventricles have not changed significantly.  We are hoping he won't need a shunt. He has moved his legs and ankles some.  I have even seen some toes wiggle a little.  Which is a great sign.  Also he doesn't have clubbed feet which can happen to baby's born with spina bifida.  We have been so blessed!!!  Brandon is such a cute, adorable baby.  We are so happy he has joined our family and that he is doing well despite his Spina Bifida.  He will have to stay in the NICU for about 2 weeks or more depending and we look forward to having him home.  I hated leaving the hospital with him still there, but I know that he will come home in due time.  We won't have to wait as long as we did with Rachel and Haley.  We love our children and have been so blessed!

Me waiting to go to the OR.  I was smiling, but I was in a lot of pain  
Last belly picture.  36 weeks, 5 days.  I was huge!

Brandon right after being born
You can see the open lesion low on his back.

Brandon after his back surgery
Me getting to feed him.  He has to stay on his belly for the wound on his back to heal
Love all his dark hair!
Close up of his cute little ear

Sorry I didn't get this post up right after he was born.  I didn't have a computer at the hospital.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The girls visited with Santa!

So we were able to work in a quick visit with Santa and these are the pictures I got.  Rachel loved sitting on his lap.  Haley was a little apprehensive, but did great and Kayla was scared.  Somehow we got a forced smile from her verses a scared look on her face.  So glad we were able to get these pictures with Santa before baby boy arrives.  I really try every Christmas season to get the girls pictures with Santa.  Another thing crossed off my check list!