Monday, January 25, 2010

March for Babies 2010

Hi everyone! I know it's been a long time since I last posted, but I wanted to encourage everyone to join Laurie's Team for the March of Dimes "March for Babies". After the last year and a half this organization has become very close our hearts...without previous research by the MOD babies born at 23 weeks gestation like Laurie would not survive! This is the reason we have joined with the March of Dime as the 2010 Wiregrass Ambassador Family to bring awareness and attention to premature babies. We would love for as many of you who can to join us on April 17, 2010 at Landmark Park in Dothan for the Wiregrass March for Babies. You can join our team by going to or contacting me directly.

Now let me update you all on Laurie's progress. She is now 21 months old and is reaching all the developmental milestones of a "normal" toddler! She is getting into EVERTHING! She is walking, running, and climbing. Her vision and hearing both seem to be great! We will go back to Birmingham for the Newborn Follow-Up clinic again in April and her hearing will be tested again at that time. She will see a pediatric opthamologist again in June. Although she loves to eat, she still weighs only 20 lbs.--probably because she is always moving!!! She doesn't care much for T.V., but will stop briefly if "Mickey Mouse Club House" is on! She loves clapping to music and playing "chase" with her big brother, Cole. She also "jabbers" all the time, although we don't always understand what she is saying. But, somehow she gets what she wants!!! We continue to be thankful each day for our tiny miracle!

Thanks to all of you who continue to remember Laurie in your prayers! Hope to see you all on April 17th as we march for premature babies and celebrate Laurie's survival!

Todd, Leah, Cole, and Laurie

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009
July 3, 2008

Todd, Leah, Cole, and Laurie Killingsworth
would like to show our appreciation for your prayers,
support and generosity in helping us

"Grow a Miracle"

Join us as we praise God and
celebrate Laurie's first year!
June 28, 2009
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Hillcrest Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Enterprise, Alabama

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Pictures 6/3/09

Easter 2009

Laurie playing with Daddy!

March for Babies 2009!

June 3, 2009

Laurie's March of Dimes Team

Enjoying Disney!

Hello to anyone out there who is still checking in on Laurie! I apologize for not updating in so long—I’m still not sure where April and May went? Things are finally getting into a new normal for the four of us now that we are able to get out with Laurie! So, let me catch everyone up on our family happenings for the last two months.

April began with Laurie’s big “coming out” party for Easter weekend! On Good Friday the four of us traveled to Atlanta for my cousins wedding and then for a fun day with family at the Georgia Aquarium on Saturday. We were also blessed to take Laurie to church for the first time on Easter Sunday! I can not explain how much it meant for all four of us to be in church together! Later that afternoon, Todd’s family enjoyed seeing Laurie at “the big pond” for the annual Easter egg hunt. It was a wonderful weekend for us to finally be able to get out as a family and to share our little miracle with our extended family who has been anxiously waiting to see her in person!

On April 18, 2009 Todd and I celebrated our 11th aniversery by taking Laurie off the oxygen!!! She has been doing really well until this last week when she began having more frequent de-sat spells (I’ll explain more later). On April 25, 2009 approximately 30 family and friends joined Laurie’s team for the March for Babies. Thanks to all of you who walked with us and/or made donations to this great cause on Laurie’s behalf. Her team raised over $700 for the March of Dimes!!! We were not sure what to expect going in, as this was our first time walking, but we were so impressed by the large crowds and all teams who were there walking in honor or memory of a precious baby! This will definitely become a family tradition for us! I can’t forget to mention that Cole also played soccer at the Y this spring and we were even able to get Laurie out for a few games!

In May we made another trip to Birmingham for the Newborn Follow Up clinic and saw several different specialists there. We were blessed with good news in that Laurie appears to be right on track developmentally. The audiologist will continue to monitor Laurie’s high frequency hearing over the next few months. We also had another very special day on Mother’s Day when we were finally able to have Laurie’s baby dedication. Again, much of our extended family was there to help celebrate and it was apparent that Laurie has come so far largely due to the love and prayers of our church and extended family! Although Todd and I realized in the first few moments of Laurie’s life that we must turn her over to God’s plan, we were so thankful that we could publicly dedicate her to Him and praise Him for all that He has done already done in her life. What a special day it was!!!
Later in May, Laurie and I went with Todd to the Alabama Athletic Trainers state meeting in Destin. It was so nice to get away for a few days and Todd received a much deserved honor—Athletic Trainer of Year! I have been amazed by how he has continued to perform his job so well with all we have been going through this year—he truly has a calling! I am so proud of him!!

Last spring Todd and I had promised Cole a trip to Disney World, but with Mr. Rex’s health declining and my pregnancy complications we were not able to make the trip. So, since he has been such a trooper this year we were finally able to take him in May. He was so surprised and although it rained the whole time, we had a ball!!! Yes, can you believe I finally got brave enough to leave Laurie for a few days?

As May came to an end, it was time for me to begin thinking about next year’s plan. In August I will be going back to work and moving to the new Kindergarten school. Although, I will miss my friends at Harrand Creek terribly, I am looking forward to a new beginning in a new building. But along with changing schools, comes the inevitable chore of packing up my classroom. So, I spent last week packing up my classroom and also realizing how much I have missed teaching this year—yet I would not trade this time with Laurie for anything in the world! Well, Laurie must have known my plans and decided she wasn’t thrilled with the idea. So, she let us know that she could still get my attention!

On Tuesday night when I put her to bed and “plugged” her into the pulse oximeter, I noticed her sats were very low and sure enough she had 4 de-sat spells throughout the night. After several days with low sats, a trip to the pediatrician, blood work and chest x-rays, the pulmonologist decided that we should put Laurie back on the oxygen for a few days. So, she is currently on oxygen and we are trying to wean her off again. Laurie did not protest about the nasal canula as much as I thought she would, but it is much more difficult than previously because she is more active now. She is almost crawling and we have spent all week unwrapping the cords from around her little body! I’m so scared that she will choke herself on her own oxygen cord!!! Although we are still having a little trouble with the breathing, she continues to grow and weighed 15 lbs. 1oz. at the doctor’s office last Thursday.

I’ll never forget when Laurie was moved from an isolette to an open crib and I could just walk in to pick her up rather than touching her through the porthole, I thought this is just like a “real” baby. I had that same realization of a “real” baby many months later at home while walking around my kitchen with Laurie on my hip as I unloaded the dishwasher and not being limited in the number of steps I could take by an oxygen cord or pulse ox monitor cord. We were just beginning to enjoy the freedom of having a “real” baby, but we are now seeing that although Laurie is a “real” baby, she will always be a special baby who has special needs for a little while longer!

We have so much to be thankful for the last two months and have celebrated lots of “baby steps”!! Please continue to pray that Laurie will come off the oxygen for good! Thanks for continuing to remember Laurie and our family!

Todd, Leah, Cole and Laurie

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009

Laurie enjoying her cereal!

Cole loved his present Brayden!
Hello everyone! Laurie celebrated her nine month birthday on March 28th and Cole turned six yesterday! Needless to say, we have been “birthdaying” for several days!! We have also been in somewhat of a holding pattern for the month of March with ear infections slowing Laurie down a bit:
A week after finishing the antibiotics for ear infections and starting to wean off the oxygen again, Laurie had yet another ear infection. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to start another round of antibiotics and had to stop the weaning process. Last week we finished the second antibiotic and began aggressively weaning her oxygen again. On Monday, Laurie had her 9 month check-up and her ears and lungs were clear!!! She continues to grow and weighed in at 13 lbs. 4oz. We have now worked up to being off the oxygen for 6-8 hours a day, which is a good thing because Laurie constantly pulls the nasal canula out! We also saw Dr. Thompson, the retinologist, earlier in March and got a great report! We were able to hold Laurie for him to get a good look at her left eye and the blood vessels are beginning to grow in normally!!! We do not have to see him again until November!!! However, Dr. Thompson does want Laurie to have a pediatric ophthalmologist to follow her vision. We will see Dr. Suggs in July.

Next Monday we will go back to Birmingham for a follow-up ABR (hopefully Laurie’s ears will stay clear, so that we can get an accurate reading) and pulmonologist appointment. We should know more about when Laurie will be completely off the oxygen after that appointment. Thanks again for your continued love, support, and prayers! We realize that God has blessed us with amazing friends and family who have helped us through this long process.

After such a life-changing event, we would now like to do our part in helping prevent other babies and families from being affected by risks associated with prematurity. Our family is forming a March for Babies Family Team to help the March of Dimes work towards the day when all babies are born healthy. We would love for you to join us!

We are forming a team in honor of Laurie, who was born 17 weeks too soon. Although it has been a long nine months for our family, God has answered so many prayers and blessed us through this experience! Yet, ours is not the only story of frightening, touch-and-go days in the neonatal intensive care. Premature birth touches half a million babies and their families each year. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities. Birth defects pose another serious threat—taking the lives of many babies and cause lifelong disabilities for thousands more. So it’s important for us to help the March of Dimes help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

Won’t you join our Family Team at this wonderful event? Our walk is April 25, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. at the Troy University Campus in Dothan, AL. If you would like to walk with us, please call me at 334-347-0265 by April 9, 2009 for further details and so we can order t-shirts. If you can’t join us and would like to sponsor our team with your donation, just log on to our personal web page, or send me a check payable to March of Dimes. Thanks in advance for your help!

Love to all!

Todd, Leah, Cole, and Laurie

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009

Laurie's 1st Valentine's Day!!

Laurie loves playing on her mat and is learning to reach for her toys!
March 1, 2009--Cole and Laurie enjoy watching their 1st snowfall!!!

Hello everyone! We celebrated Laurie's 8 month birthday this past Saturday!!! She continues to progress, but we have had to slow down the weaning of her oxygen. She did well coming off the diuretics, but when we went for the audiologist appointment on February 11, 2009 we learned that she had fluid in both ears. This caused some discrepancies with the ABR readings, so we will be retest later this month. A few days after the appointment Laurie began having trouble sleeping, eating, coughing, and having more frequent de-sat spells. We were afraid this was due to the weaning of her diuretics. The pulmonologist started Laurie on a steroid and said to hold off on weaning her oxygen for two weeks. After several fussy, irritable days, we saw her pediatrician and discovered the fluid in her ears had developed into ear infections. So we also started on an antibiotic. During this time Laurie also had her monthly synagis shot and blood work. She weighed 11 lbs. 15 oz. on February 23, 2009.

This week we have completed all medications and have begun the weaning process again. Laurie is doing well with 30 minute intervals off the oxygen. We will steadily increase the time periods later this week. We will also see Dr. Thompson, the retinologist, on Thursday this week. Please pray that we are able to hold Laurie for the examination (without sedation) and that normal blood vessels have completed developing in her left eye.

Thankfully, our doctor appointments are slowing down. Later this month, we have her regular synagis shot appointment, second ABR appointment in Birmingham, and her 9 month check-up. Thanks for continuing to check in and pray for Laurie! Hope you enjoy the new pictures!
Todd, Leah, Cole, and Laurie

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5, 2009

Laurie loves her spinning light that Miss Susie with AIDB brought!

She also likes sitting up in her "Bumbo" chair!

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I last posted--I hear many of you are anxious for an update. January was a month filled with doctor appointments and we received encouraging reports at most of them.

On January 12, 2009 we saw a pediatric cardiologist from Birmingham in the Dothan office. This was just to check Laurie's heart to make sure there was no damage from her extended time on oxygen. All reports returned normal.

On January 26, 2009 we returned to Birmingham to see the pulmonologist. We are currently working on a plan to wean Laurie off the oxygen. The first step (we are currently doing) is to slowly wean her from her medications. Then we will attempt taking her off the oxygen for short periods of time and steadily increasing the time, until she only has oxygen during naps and night time sleeping. We should be able to get to this point by the end of March or the first of April. We also saw a nutritionist while in Birmingham and have started feeding Laurie cereal. She currently weighs 10 lbs. 12 oz.!

We also saw an audiologist, retinologist, and had several routine visits to the pediatrician's office in January. We will be doing further testing on Laurie's high frequency hearing with an audiologist in Birmingham next week. This is the area of the preliminary screening that she did not pass. The retinologist reports that there is still an area of Laurie's left eye where no blood vessels have developed. We will see him again in a few weeks to continue monitoring this area. At this time the right eye continues to develop normally. Please pray for normal blood vessels to begin growing in Laurie's left eye. At her pediatrician visits Laurie received her monthly synagis shot and flu shots. Dr. Brown is pleased with her overall development. She is rolling over from her tummy to her back, reaching for toys, and smiling when her big brother makes funny faces for her!!! Cole is so good with Laurie and loves entertaining her!!!

Hope you enjoy the latest pictures! Thanks for your continued love, support, and prayers!
Todd, Leah, Cole, and Laurie