Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10, 2008

Cole enjoyed opening his and Laurie's presents!!

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We had a very special Christmas at home with Laurie. It's hard to believe that she was discharged three months ago today --she has made so much progress since then! Todd and Cole returned to work and school this week, while Laurie and I spent the week at doctor appointments. Here is a quick update!

On Tuesday, we saw Laurie's pediatrician in Dothan for her 6 month check-up. She weighed
9 lbs. 8 oz. and was 22 inches long (she is now double her birth length)! Laurie also had her 6 month shots and a flu shot. Dr. Brown is happy with her growth and development.

On Wednesday, we went to Birmingham for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Feist, the ophthalmologist. Laurie's right eye is developing normally, but there is still an area of her left eye where no blood vessels have grown. Dr. Feist does not believe that the left eye needs further treatment at this time, but wants to continue watching the area. He felt comfortable referring Laurie to a retinologist in Dothan to continue monitoring this area in her left eye in order to help limit trips to Birmingham. However, we will probably go back to Dr. Feist if treatment is needed later. We will see Dr. Thompson in Dothan in three weeks. After her eye appointment, we took Laurie back to the RNICU and CCN units at UAB to visit her nurses, therapists, and doctors. It was wonderful to see everyone who took such great care of Laurie during her first months of life! Todd and I will always be thankful for those who cared for and loved Laurie while she was hospitalized. That evening we also saw my friend, Amy Sims, who was also at UAB while we were there and another one of Laurie's night shift nurses. We enjoyed the time we able to catch-up with friends!

Then on Thursday, we took Laurie to the Newborn Follow-Up Clinic. This is a clinic for babies who had extremely low birth weights and other high-risk conditions. We saw a team, consisting of a developmental pediatrician, developmental therapist, nutritionist, and audiologist, who specialize in the care of premature babies. The pediatrician was very happy with Laurie's growth and was able to answer questions about developmental milestones and feeding. The therapist did lots of physical tests and gave us several activities/exercises to do with Laurie to help with rolling over, head and trunk control, and her ability to bear weight on her arms. The nutritionist discussed when to begin cereal and other options for helping Laurie continue to gain weight daily. Finally, the audiologist repeated the hearing screening and Laurie passed for the first time!!! The screening did show there is a loss at high frequency levels in both ears. We will do further testing to determine the degree and further options. Overall, we were very pleased with Laurie's development and it appears that she on target for her "adjusted age" of almost three months. We will go back to this clinic in May. Although the trip was long and very busy, we got good reports and enjoyed seeing all our Birmingham friends!!!

Next week, we see the cardiologist, go for her monthly synagis shot, and have an appointment with Early Intervention. Please continue to pray for Laurie's growth and for all four of us as we continue to make adjustments at home! Also, please continue to remember Josh and Amy Sims as they continue to cope with the loss of their baby, Gabe, who passed away December 26, 2008.
Hope you all have a great week!
Todd, Leah, Cole, and Laurie