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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Update on Everything Briella

I haven't wrote about the particulars of Briella's care for awhile. 
I'm just going to get right into it. 

About 3 months ago we started Brie on Fish Oil therapy, in hopes that it would coat the receptacles in her brain and help with her speech development. 
Speech is pretty non existent. She used to say "Muah" when blowing kisses, but that sound has gone away. She has continuously said "dadada" and calls everyone dada. She signs for food & more. We have been approved for speech therapy but it has not begun yet but should start soon. 

Briella still takes Prevacid twice a day for her bad reflux. 

We have battled feeding aversions since the beginning. We were so happy when Briella started to enjoy food and that the aversion of bottles wasn't continuing into table food. We have started trying to get her off bottles & into sippy cups for quite awhile now. We use a straw sippy cup. We finally replaced her afternoon bottle with whole milk in a sippy cup with carnation instant breakfast in it for extra calories. Briella is still on high calorie preemie formula-Enfamil EnfaCare. She hasn't really gained weight in awhile, just holding steady around twenty pounds. But that is to be expected with her becoming more active now that she is a walker. 
We are so very proud of Briella and how hard she works to accomplish what she sets out to do. Both of Briella's knees are hyperextended. She does not act like she is in pain, she just keeps up with big sissy. Also, she has a lot of tone in her ankles & has learned to walk on the ball of here feet instead of taking a step with her heel first. The physical therapist stated that Brie will make an amazing Ballerina & that she will be able to rock a pair of 6 inch heels better than any woman. 😃 Briella will wear braces on her legs and feet to help with her hyperextended knees and to train her to walk heel first. 
We also recently found out that one of Brie's legs is significantly shorter than the other, causing her to have an akward step. That can be reduced when she's a little older with an insert in her shoe. She has tone issues in her hip as well, which might have to do with why that leg is shorter. 

Briella has become quite the little monkey and climbs everything all the time. Yesterday we had to take the end tables out of the living room along with lamps & pictures. Which leaves mom no place to put her Scentsy. We have a trampoline that she loves to jump on. Jumping is hands down her favorite thing and brings her so much joy. 
Yesterday we took her to a public park for the first time. I found a swing cover that we use so that she can't get any of the germs from other babies who have used the swing. 
Today we are going to have family pictures done and are looking forward to being outside again. 
I'm very excited for isolation to end and to start showing my baby the world. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I wish there was something I could tell every new mom. I have found TWO products that have given me peace of mind during Briella's first year. I have not been compensated in ANY way, and I actually paid for both of these items at full price.

First off, an infant bathtub. I purchased this while Briella was still in the NICU. It was most like the sling that was used in the hospital to give her a bath. This tub supported her body and kept her in place. She couldn't squirm down and I never worried about her slipping into the water. I placed the tub directly into the bathtub. My favorite thing about it is that when I'm pouring water over her hair to rinse, the water immediately drains through the bathtub holes instead of pooling in the tub. We hung it up on the wall when we were finished with the bath to store it out of the way. We just recently stopped using it at 16 months/20lbs as she enjoys sitting up and playing with toys now. I posted pictures from Briella's 1st week home taking a bath in this AngelCare bathtub.

(borrowed from my Feb 6th, 2013 post)

The AngelCare Monitor is a product that has allowed me to stay sane. Since my 23 weeker came home from the hospital without any oxygen or monitors I was terrified. For 120 days I was able to see her stats on the hospital monitors and now I was just supposed to not worry? I caught myself staring at her lips to make sure they weren't blue, I would obsess over watching her chest to make sure it was rising with each breath & when I would doze off I would have my hand on her to feel the movement of her breathing. After googling for a solution I found the AC1100 monitor which has video on top of the breathing detection. It also gives me the temperature in her room & shows me a swinging pendulum on the monitor that represents each breath. I couldn't tell you how many times a night I wake up to simply glance at the monitor to make sure I see that pendulum swinging!

My husband followed the instructions for installing it. He placed a piece of quarter inch plywood the size of her mattress under the crib mattress and placed the sensor pad on top. We put a little shelf on the same wall that her crib is on that points the camera at the crib. At 17 months old, we still turn it on as soon as we put her to sleep. I use it at naptime as well. I cannot function without knowing that the monitor is on. It will give a warning beep at 15 seconds of know breathing detected & a full alarm when there is no breath for 20 seconds. It has gone off and I've had to run into her room and stimulate her. Thank God she always takes a breath and is never gasping. I also am 100% sure it works because we have forgotten to turn the monitor off before picking her up. I have read reviews that say there a lot of false alarms. The only time that happens is when she gets tangled up in the slat of the crib. I just reposition her in the middle of the crib and she is fine. I truly believe that most negative reviews are from user error.

I count on this monitor so much that I am having one delivered to us on vacation. I simply cannot sleep without knowing my daughter is okay. My husband and I have decided we will use this for along time still. We can use it in her toddler bed also.

I know there was a recall recently but again I believe that it's 100% user error. I just thought that it would be nice if they weren't receiving all bad press because they have changed my life & given me rest since without their monitor I would still be sleeping sitting up with a child on me. <3

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