Isabella Danielle, born at 24 weeks and 1 day, 1lb 11oz, 12.5in

Zachary Michael, born at 36 weeks, 5lb 13oz, 18.5in

Alexander Charles, FULL TERM, 7lb 1oz, 20in

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baby Bella Day 111

PICTURE FUN...capturing each precious smile...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hello All! I haven't written in a few days...mainly from sleep deprivation...but wanted to give you a heads up on how GREAT Isabella is doing since today is her OFFICIAL due date according to sonograms. Her title(s) of princess and chunky monkey still hold true. She is eating like a football player in training camp and screams when she isn't being held. Really, she is doing her basic newborn criteria and growing before my eyes. We have gone through diapers and wipes like there is an endless supply out there in baby land. She has tinkled on me three times today (which Daddy has found hilarious) and required new outfits each time. When awake and calm, Bella is very attentive, tracks well with her eyes, and captures so much as she opens her eyes very wide. I try to do small amounts of physical therapy with her during and after feeds. Her body is still very tight and I have noticed more twitching and spasms than in days and weeks past (something I will try to bring up at her next pedis appointment). There have only been a couple of things that have brought a small amount of panic because they are out of her "norm"; and I don't have a monitor and/or nurse by my side to reassure me of everything. Luckily with the help of Facebook I can bounce questions off the nurses pretty easy; there is also my mom and Lauren that have been able to listen to me and give mommy advice.

Everyone here in town continues to be so supportive of Isabella and me while we are alone. They continue to check on us daily, offer advice and get us anything we might need while we hang out in the apartment. THANKS LADIES!!!

I also want to take the time to thank all of my fellow CMC employees that have sent their testimonials over the last couple of weeks regarding our sharing of Bella's story. I am so thankful that God has brought Isabella into so many lives. Chris and I would have never thought that a blog that was started to communicate her well-being to our family and closest friends would turn out to be a heartfelt, spiritual connection for so many people. We are honored by your comments and continue to be awed by God's glorious love. May God continue to open in your hearts as you continue to read about Isabella's life, her journey as a child, and her walk with God.

Peace & God Bless

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Pictures

Well, Daddy is back in Texas and we are on the final countdown to going home. I actually had tears of joy and sadness today about leaving. This next week at the apartment with a "newborn" by myself is going to be hard. But Bella and I already had two visitors today to keep us company. Lauren stopped by to bring me Starbucks, so that I can stay awake. Kam brought me a few essentials and dinner. I am so spoiled by all my friends up here. Lauren also uploaded all the pictures she took yesterday onto my computer, so enjoy the additional footage!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Baby Bella Baptism

We have been attending St. Paul's Memorial Church here in Charlottesville since the birth of Bella. Father David has been our spiritual rock and has helped guide us through one of the most difficult times in our lives. We are overjoyed that the Lord gave us such a wonderful man to help illuminate our path, through The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. The path is not over, it has simply begun, for we are now tasked with something even greater. We must now care for, love and raise this little miracle to love the Lord and attempt to walk this Earth living by the same virtues as Jesus. Love, Kindness, Forgiveness, Mercy, Compassion. We found our faith and were witnesses to the glory and greatness of God, we have a living miracle that the Lord has bestowed on us. With that we wanted to have her Baptised by Father David here in Charlotesville where our miracle occurred and our faith was taken to another level. Present were many of the wonderful nurses who cared for our little angel and watched over her as if she were their own. We felt it only right to honor their love and commitment to Bella and thank them for their tireless dedication by asking them to share this wonderful moment. We were also so thankful that Lauren was able to attend. She has been Machel's sounding board, friend and guide through these past 3 1/2 months. Lauren had a 23 weeker here at UVA 3 years ago and Abby is a wonderful little girl because she has a wonderful mommy!! Thank you all for caring for my daughter and my wife when I could not. I will forever be in your debt and if you ever need anything I will be there for you as you have been there for my family. We also want to give a special thanks to Jane, one of the St. Paul's parishoners, who has been praying and following Bella from the beginning of our journey with St. Paul's. Jane was also present and provided delicious treats for a reception after the service.

We will have another ceremony with our family and her godparents in Texas. We can't wait to get her back home in Texas!! Now, here are some pictures of the Baptism, we will add more pictures later too. (Lauren took a lot of pictures too with her camera and will be sending them to us, she is a wonderful photographer!!)

Baby Bella Day 106

Well, we gave the baby a bath today and tried on her Baptism dress!! We are going to St. Paul's church this afternoon with Bella and our Charlottesville Crew to have Father David give her a blessing! He has been such a spiritual inspiration to us and we are thankful that the Lord has brought him into our lives. Enjoy all of the pictures of our fun filled morning. We will add more pictures from church this afternoon!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baby Bella Day 105

Yesterday was daddy day!! I got to spend the entire day with the baby and took her to get an MRI. We enrolled her in a study and it comes with a free MRI, so we took advantage of it. Other than that, we just hung out and she is eating like a champ!! We are heading to the pediatrician today for a weigh in and to check her bilirubin levels. We will have another update this afternoon. Here are some pictures of our little precious angel!! God is great!! Thank you and God Bless.

The MRI was loud so I got some cute earmuffs!!

I am super cute, but sometimes I get fussy too, FEED ME!!!

This is when I am the most precious, too bad this doesn't last long enough for mommy and daddy to get good sleep!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baby Bella Day 103

Our little angel is so amazing!! Being a parent is incredible. Machel and I sit and stare at our beautiful little miracle and thank the Lord for answering our prayers. It is so much fun watching her sleep, make cute faces, eat and my favorite is watching her grunt and her head turn red as she poops!! It is so funny!! She is so curious and loves looking around. She loves laying on her little playmat and looking at all of the neat Baby Einstein toys. She loves hearing us talk and music, she absolutely loves music, we have bought her some CDs already. She is such a wonderful baby and we are so thankful to the Lord, thankful for such wonderful family and friends and thankful that she is such an amazing little fighter!!

So we went to the Pediatrician on Monday and she lost 1 oz, but no big deal. Everything else looks great. She is eating very well, about 50-60ml every 3 hours. Her poop looks very good and she pooped twice during the doctor visit!! Then we took her to the NICU and Bella got to see a bunch of the nurses and doctors who took care of her. It was really strange "visiting" the NICU from the outside. But so great seeing all of the nurses and doctors, they have been so fantastic!! We really will miss it here! The following day we saw Dr. Carter, her opthamologist, he said her eyes looked great and it appears that the surgery was a success. She is still at a high risk for needing glasses and having some minor sight issues, but it appears that the major risks are behind us!! Tomorrow we have an MRI and Friday a nurse visit at the pediatricians for a weight check and to check her bilirubin levels.

Here are some pictures of our baby girl in clothes that were given to us by Carla, thanks!! (She has so many great clothes from so many of you, thank you!! My fellow COP class of 2002, we all started working at COP at the same time, sent an unbelievable package of really cute outfits!! Thank you so much!!! And Machel has already bought her several cute dresses, we will definately be taking more pictures for you all to see her in these adorable outfits!!) So here are the pictures!! Love you all and God bless!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baby Bella Day 102

Lots of staring at our little princess. Lots of bottles, lots of poopy diapers, lots and lots of kisses!! Enjoy the pictures we will write some more later, when we get some time. We have been to the pediatrician, visited the NICU, been to the opthomologist and changed lots and lots of poopy diapers and warmed up lots of milk!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baby Bella Day 100 (Day 1 at home)

Sleep?!? Did someone say sleep? What is that? Did I do that at one time?

Daddy and I have been tending to Isabella plus some. It is so great to have her here at the apartment with us and we cannot stop looking at her. We occassionally get tears in our eyes just looking at her, realizing all she has been through and what it took for her to be so strong. We are both so blessed that we are in aw of what God has given us.

Isabella is doing very well, with the exception of quite a bit of gas. Other than that she is eating like a champ, keeping a good temperature, and sleeping when she feels like it. She has her first pediatrician appointment today. We don't expect anything out of the oridnary, hopefully just a brief assessment.

Oh, for those of you who are curious, we are staying in Virginia until March 31. We had set a tentative leave date of Easter weekend (at the latest), not knowing when all of her follow-up appointments were. We got all of the dates and times of follow-up the middle of last week and decided it was possible for us to go home earlier. Both of us are very excited and anxious to get settled in back home.

Best wishes to you, Peace & God Bless!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Bella Day 99

The day is here, after 99 days our little princess got to come home with Mommy and Daddy. I can't remember a happier, scarier, more exciting moment than walking out of the UVA NICU. We are so thankful to the Lord for being our strength and giving us a precious miracle. We are so thankful to our family and friends for all of the prayers, support, gifts, kind words and love. The NICU staff was amazing and filled with so many loving people, we are truly blessed! Now, the pictures!!!