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

Friday, June 6, 2014

Briella is 20 Months!

I thought I'd write just an all around update on Briella. On June 4th she turned 20 months. She should only be 16 months old if she was born on her due date. Briella is walking much better these days with the help of some cool new shoes called DAFO's. They are braces that go to just under the knee. They help her right leg have a nice long stretch, as that hip is pretty tight and she is much shorter on the right side. It will hopefully also help with her knees being hyperextended. The main reason she is wearing them is because she needs to learn to walk heel first. She walks on the ball of her feet. But the braces force her to walk heel then ball each step.

Pretty girl and her DAFOs


Briella weighs 21 pounds and is about 29 inches long. She isn't on preemie formula any longer. We have switched to whole milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast added to it, as she doesn't drink enough volume a day to get enough calories she needs to grow. She also has one bottle of PediaSure a day for added calories. Briella loves all food. She will eat anything we put in front of her. A week ago she are BBQ ribs! She's becoming a perfect Kansas City girl :)
Briella caught a virus and ended up with a two day hospital stay. She was spiking fevers to 105 & was refusing to drink. So she had a continuous iv until we could get her to drink enough to come home. Thankfully it never made it to the respiratory system or it wasn't a respiratory virus. 
Briella playing Peek a Boo in the hospital

Briella has had a lot of firsts since we've been out of isolation. This summer is the time I will show my pretty baby why she fought so hard. I want to spoil her and Aubrey, so that we shall do. 
Briella still has the blondest hair and the most beautiful light blue eyes with a rim of dark blue all the way around them. 
She says "hi," "done," "dada," and she moos at every animal. She is starting to say meow for kitties but not every time yet. She signs "more." 
I'm so proud of how fantastic she is doing. She is a little delayed in speech but I could care less because she is HERE. She still receives occupational therapy weekly, physical therapy & speech therapy. 

C'est Briella!

March of Dimes 2014

This year has been such a thrilling year for our family. We were so honored to be named Kansas City's 2014 March of Dimes Ambassador family.
We started off the year in February speaking at the Corporate Kickoff. Brian and I both took turns telling our story, Briella's story. Brian doesn't speak of the night Briella was born, it's very hard for him as he had no idea she was being born as the staff told us I was just in pain not labor over and over and he believed them. So while he was speaking about how he turned around and there was a tiny baby on the warmer, he had to take a moment to get himself together as he started to get emotional. It's tough reliving the hardest moments of our life, but if by doing so we are able to raise awareness and funds so that it might not happen to another family then it's so worth it. 
We had three or four interviews with local news stations. One which Briella cried the whole time and another which she stuck out her tongue the entire interview. Never a dull moment with Live tv & toddlers.
Live in studio interview with Briella crying
Interview day of the walk
The day of the walk went by so fast. We arrived early, did two interviews, stopped by the Overland Park Regional Medical Center's booth to visit with Briella's nurses, then we went to the stage area to get ready to speak. While we were speaking, Briella kept pulling her purple onesie over her face as she was trying to find her belly button. It was hard not to laugh. After speaking we were taken by golf cart to the front of the line at the race. Briella was able to take the first steps and walk a block herself in this years walk. How cool is that?!
We had so many people put in a lot of work fundraising this year so that Briella's Journey could be one of the top family teams in KC. I'd like to give a huge Thank You to Becki Gadino, who raised $1,000! And to my parents who donated $600+ donated lots of hours on various fundraising activities also. Also thank you to the Heartland Youth Foundation who chose March of Dimes as their main sponsor for their 2014 Charity Challenge girls ASA softball tournament. They helped us raise an additional $1100!
 And on a very cool note, Chris Pratt & Anna Faris donated $1,000 to our team this year! They have a son who is a micro preemie as well so the cause is very near and dear to their heart. So thank you Chris & Anna for being a part of our mission!!!!
Together we raised over $6,300 for March of Dimes. So incredible. Thank you all for putting up with all of the Facebook requests and talking about this cause, because without the March of Dimes research and development of Surfactant, little Miss Briella would not be taking a nap on the couch next to me this morning. 💜

Brian & I speaking at the Corporate Kickoff Breakfast

An article in The Independent

Briella on set at Fox 4 getting ready for a Live interview

Briella at the walk


Briella looking for her belly on stage at P&L

Team Briella's Journey

During an interview

5/4/14 The King's

Briella out in front dancing

Last year vs this year (Briella's NICU nurse)

Interview, see Briella's tongue?!

2014 March for Babies

HCA Flyer

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