We Are Walking in Honor of Briella. Please Help Us Meet Our Goal.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eye Exam Day

Today, Briella & I ventured out by ourselves to go back to Kansas to see her retina doctor. I was very nervous. I had forgotten how much stuff a baby has to have with them! Here in Kansas City, we are preparing for a winter storm that is calling for 6-10 inches of snow & ice. I packed as if we were going to be stranded on the side of the road for days, ha! SO many blankets, food, diapers, changes of clothing...and we were home 2 hours later.

Driving to the doctors, I realized I was getting off the exit right before our hospital. A wave of emotion came over me and I though, am I having an anxiety attack? Next thing I knew tears were streaming down and I didn't even know why. I had to tell myself that Briella is in the car WITH me and NOT at the hospital anymore, and everything was okay.

Once we were at the doctors office, waiting in the waiting room there were people sniffling and coughing. I wanted to run out. I politely asked if there was an empty room we could wait in and was told no. I just bundled her up against my chest. While filling out forms a man asked if he could hold her while I filled out paper work & I just smiled and laughed, thinking NO WAY! When the assistant came to get Briella, they do not allow parents in the room for the examination because it is hard to watch, heck its hard to hear, he took her in his arms and all I could think was "Did he wash his hands? Can I ask him to go wash his hands?" About 10-15 minutes later I was told the doctor was ready to see me. He told me that Briella's eyes have COMPLETELY matured! No more ROP. Everything looks completely normal and functioning. She is not blind. AND he never needs to see her again! I started crying and he asked me if this was my first child, I replied, "No, but it is my first preemie." Micro preemies are a whole new ballgame. A whole new world, with their own time frames and their own schedules. We will have a visit with a pediatric optometrist at 6 months old. Which by the way is only like a month and a half away!!!

We are so completely blessed and thankful. I cannot believe that my 23 weeker is doing so well. We are lucky. God has blessed us!!!!

We still NEED your help!!! We are only in first place by 2 votes! We really need to win this so that we won't have to worry about how to afford diapers & baby food!!!!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE vote once every 24 hours!!! And be sure to click VOTE, not just "like".
Click Here------>      http://bit.ly/WU6H6p

THANK YOU  for the continued prayers & support!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hy-Vee Baby Contest PLEASE HELP!!!

This is a local grocery store that is putting on the contest, so there IS actually a chance that we can win this!! With your help, our family can win a year supply of diapers, wipes & baby food!!! That will help  our financial issues immensely!!!
PLEASE vote once every 24 hours now-March 4th!!!!!

Click Here------>      http://bit.ly/WU6H6p


Wish Upon a Hero

If you wish to make a one time donation of $5, please text the word "wish" to 80077 . You will receive a confirmation text and you must reply "yes" for the donation to count. You are able to do this up to 5 times. The gift will show up on your cell phone bill. Remember this is a 1 day campaign only!! It will run from midnight to 11:59pm Tuesday night. THANK YOU so so much in advance!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oh how nice it is to be home!

I cannot even put into words how much we have enjoyed being home with Briella! We have our routine down & I'd say it's working great. Brian feeds Brie at 6am before work, so I get a stretch of sleep between 4:30am-7:50am & when he gets home I am able to take another nap between 3-4pm. It's so nice to be home & actually able to keep up with housework. This is the cleanest my house has been since August when I went on bedrest! When Briella was in the hospital, when I was at home in the evenings I just wanted to be spending that time with Aubrey. Then would wake up & rush to the hospital. It just feels good to be home.

Briella is gaining weight perfectly. They would like her to gain between 18-30 grams a day. The first week home she gained an average of 33 grams a day & the second week an average of 29 grams. As of her last home health visit on Valentine's Day, she weighed 8lbs 13 ounces!!!!!

I want to thank "Just Between Friends-Lees Summit" for the fundraiser!!! If you have never heard of JBF, you need to google it & like them on facebook (JBF Lees Summit). It is a HUGE high end consignment sale that has absolutely everything for kids!!! I mean more clothing than ANY retail store would have!! On top of clothes they have absolutely everything you need for a child from birth through Tweens. Toys, furniture, strollers, swings, maternity clothes, bottles, diapers, Boppys, ect. When I was pregnant with Briella I went to my first JBF sale. I got all the basics, lots of sleepers, gowns & winter outfits. I remember seeing a cute onsie that said "Miss January" & wanting to buy it but wondering if she would be a December baby so not getting it. I had no clue she would be an October baby!!! Anyways, JBF let us organize a group to work a couple of their shifts to raise money!! I am so thankful for them & for all my friends & family who helped out & donated their time! My birthday is in April so I talked my mother into letting my bday gift be clothes for the girls from the sale. It is such a thrill to find clothes that look brand new & great brands for CHEAP! I even got things that were new with the tags still on them! They only have the sales seasonally. This was the spring/summer clothing sale. There is a fall/winter & I believe a holiday sale.

We have a couple of exciting things happening tomorrow!!!! First off, Wish Upon A Hero picked Briella's Journey for their Text a Wish program! It is a 1 day event happening tomorrow Tuesday the 19th. Anyone can text the word "wish" to a certain number from their cell phone to make a one time $5 donation to Briella's Journey! I will post the info tomorrow.
Also, tomorrow starts the beginning of voting for Briella's Cutest Baby Contest. This is a local contest, one that just needs the most "likes" on her picture on facebook to win. I know with all of you that we can do this!!!! I just have a feeling that this is an answer for us. The winner receives a year of diapers, a year of wipes, a year of food, a photo shoot & a huge teddy bear. I feel if we can win this, it would take away a HUGE stress financially & let us just enjoy our daughter without worrying about money. It's $1100 for diapers, $200 for wipes, $1000 for food, a $300 photo shoot & an $80 teddy bear. This is a contest put on by Hy-Vee, a local grocery store. Could you pretty pretty please just take a moment tomorrow & like her picture on corporate hy-vee's facebook page? I will post a link tomorrow when it is published. The picture is a split picture of Briella the day she was born & her now in an aqua outfit.
Let's make Briella the cutest baby :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dear OPRMC NICU family,

Let me start this by saying that everyone in the NICU needs to have their salary tripled. They are not just nurses & doctors. They were my therapists, my teachers & my friends. They were my "constant." I got to a point where I realized that my child was okay at the hospital without me because she was loved by her nurses. I knew that they took care of Briella like their own.
My day would start out by getting off the elevator & seeing Dana or Kim. Dana offered hope with her story of a micropreemie daughter who had graduated college & was a beautiful young lady. She knew exactly what every parent there was going through. What a perfect job for her I thought many of times!!!
I would fill out the daily checklist of the many symptoms & illnesses that I was free of. I would then "scrub in" which consisted of putting my bag of milk down, taking off all jewelry, taking my coat off & pulling up my sleeves, doing my ritual of 3 pumps of avaguard spread all over my arms and hands, picking up everything with wet hands & hustling over to Briella's room. I would walk over to her crib & tell her "Mommy's here baby girl. "
In the early days following Briella's birth, she started having repeat nurses who we quickly started referring to as her "A team." Belinda, a night nurse who was just so kind and made everything less scary just by her calming voice & manner. Audrey, Charlotte & Diane who seem to be every Nicu graduates favorites, as I've gathered from facebook & Nicu reunion photos. Lori who also had micropreemies always was there to check on Briella & explain things in a way that I quit worrying. Melissa, a Respiratory Therapist who even long after she no longer saw Brie would still chat with me in passing. Jay, a tech who (has GREAT hair, lol) would always greet us with a smile & ask how we were doing. Larry, he always made me chuckle. Hearing his voice, even if he was just talking to other nurses on our row, was a constant, something that was comforting. I would often chuckle just listening to his conversations. He was like the great Oz. The dish soap we used to clean our pump parts never went down & was always full! Kelly, I swear they hired her to pretend to work the front desk but to actually befriend the parents to make them feel at home. It was so nice to have someone daily say "Hi Stacy! How's it going?" Funny story. Kelly was working the antepardum desk the day i arrived by ambulance. For those that have been reading along for that long, that was my post about the magnesium & how agitated I was at everything. Well she remembered me coming in & being awful lol. I was embarrassed to learn she was around then & I tried to convince her that I really am not mean & that it was the drugs. :)
The group of doctors were so amazing. I felt like we honestly had a personal connection to each one. Dr Schooly who was the Dr who came in to the room right after Briella was born & was able to save her, was also her discharging Dr 19 weeks later. It felt so appropriate to have her be the 1st & last Doc. Dr Simpson who was the dr that came to talk to me while I was still pregnant. She was there when I was on the magnesium & feeling like death, to explain our odds & what would happen. And even came back down the next day when I was off the magnesium to explain everything to me again when I could concentrate better. Dr Lancaster, Dr Hubbard, Dr Castro & Dr Stapley were all favorites. I even enjoyed the ultrasound tech, Innocence!
And then there was Sara. She was a nurse who stole our hearts. I think in a past life we were bffs. She was just so easy to talk to. It wasn't like having a nurse, it was like your sister being with your child when you couldn't. You just had zero hesitations & could talk to her about anything. I've read at other NICU's across the US that they allow the parents to decide if they want their child to have a primary nurse. If we had that opportunity we would have asked Sara. I felt she loved Briella & Knox like her own!
Jesse, Beth, Tabitha, Monica (also has amazing hair!), Alex, Colleen, Betsy, Larissa, Alyssa, Jenn, Beverly, Megan (I think it has a different spelling) & Tiffany also faves! Melissa & her massages will be missed (Briella's massages).
When it was finally time to go home in the evening, Nikki would be there to sign me out & ask how everything was. When we were discharged, I joked to Brian that I was still going to call Nikki every night just to talk instead of calling to check on Briella.
Briella got to spend time with a great lady, Karen, during her N Trainer therapy sessions.
I miss my Wednesdays scrapbooking with a lovely volunteer who's daughter in law was due right around the same time I should have been due. It was so easy to sit down & just talk to her. It was like my therapy session. (I hope you enjoy spoiling Eloise!) She actually spoiled me & on several occasions and got me scrapbooking bundles to do at home on my own!!! She made me cry!
The lady in the gift shop also made me cry. Her daughter had made these adorable cake pops for Briella's baby shower. When I went to pick them up, she gave me a blanket for Briella. I am just overwhelmed at the kindness of strangers!!!!

I can't imagine being at any other place during Briella's journey. All of these people have become our family. We cannot wait til RSV/flu season is over to come visit!!

*I am sure I am leaving a bunch of people out, I am sorry!! We love you too. Forgive me in advance but its 5:01 am :)
Also, we LOVE all of you night nurses that I never met but took care of my baby, thank you!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

YOU can help us out by shopping!

We have had many businesses offer to donate their profits to Briella's Journey! Please take a moment to visit each business to see what they have to offer. There are many things that are perfect for Valentine's Day gifts!! We would much appreciate your support!!!!

*There are also other ways to help! If you do ANY online purchases, you need to check this out! Let's say you want to order something from macys. you would just go to this website 1st, then type in Macys & Macys webpage will open. BUT you will get cash back for every purchase! Macys gives YOU 6% cash back! They have almost every website out there! So PLEASE sign up at my link:
If I can get 400 people to sign up & then make 1 online purchase, we can earn $7000! That would pay off a big medical bill!!! Please remember the next time you are making an online purchase to go through that link 1st & you will also earn money back!

Also, there is a ad below for Target under Sponsors. If you ever make online purchases at Target, if you click my link first we make a percentage of the total!

OK, now on to the fundraiser...Please share with family & friends! Your shopping makes a huge difference for us! Thank you!!!!!

Tastefully Simple

Click on Briella's Journey

Velata Fodue

At the bottom move the cursor over the brown footer & click on MicroMiracle King

Origami Owl (Amazing personalized necklaces!)
You will need to enter Party ID #59466 during check out

ThirtyOne Gifts

You need to go to "My Parties" & click on Briellas Journey
If you host an online party, Lindsay will donate her profits from your paty also!!

Dove Chocolate Discoveries

Just click Shop Now


Pampered Chef
Just search host name Briella

Perfectly Posh (Spa Products)
Click on Shop Now then Briella King's Fundraiser

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


After 120 days in the NICU, we came home Thursday!!!! My parents brought our oldest, Aubrey up to the hospital for Briella's discharge. I wanted Aubrey to always remember her homecoming. We had Jessica Strom photography there to capture Briella's first moments outside the hospital. Aubrey was immediately the best big sister. We couldn't get out of the waiting room without Aubrey wanting to rock her sister in the car seat. I cried the whole time. We were home around 2pm & starting with her 6pm feed she screamed and refused the bottle. About 8pm I was terrified that we were going to be re-admitted to the Nicu. Brian ran up to the store to get pediatric suppositories which took about an hour to work. After that all was well.

It's taking some time getting used to our schedule. We feed her, then we have to sit her upright on our chests for 30 minutes to an hour due to her bad reflux. If we Lau her down too soon, she will spit up so much that she chokes pretty bad. I am not sleeping because she makes noises when she sleeps & every noise I'm afraid she is choking. The feedings take at least 30 minutes, plus the 45 minutes of holding, then pumping = hardly any sleep time.

Briella has Children's Mercy Home Health Care a couple times a week. Today we had our first visit with First Steps, a program where an Occupational & Physical Therapist come to the house weekly until Brie is 3.

When Briella was discharged she weighed 7lbs 14 ounces & was 19.5 inches long. She has came so far!! As of Tuesday she is now 8lbs 3 oz!!!!

She enjoys taking baths, being rocked in her room, tummy time, being read to by her big sissy, & swinging.

When Brian held Briella for the first time he stated that he couldn't wait to hold her at home snuggled up in the recliner while watching football. Well Brie came home just in time for the Superbowl! Perfect snuggling day!

I want to thank each an every one of you for your continued prayers. I started this blog when I was still pregnant as a way to keep family & friends updated on my rough pregnancy. I never imagined it would reach 17 countries & we would have the prayers needed to bring a 1 pound baby home. I will continue to post updates here, just bare with me as I will do it as I have time.

You can also follow at www.facebook.com/briellasjourney

Please continue to pray for Briella's continued development. Pray that she continues eating well at home & stays healthy!

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