Seven months old!!

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Height: 22 inches

Weight: 11 pounds! ❤

Likes:
-To be talked to, and she will SMILE so much!! I know a laugh is coming soon!
-To chew on her hands..could a possible teeth be forming?? Ah so fun!
-To eat.  She has increased her feedings by 1 oz. and she is tolerating it pretty well! It’s the small things, y’all!
-To be in her swing looking around!  You can definitely tell she is seeing color which is awesome because she looks so intently at objects and pictures now.
-To be outside.  Big new favorite thing of hers!
-To be with Brielle.  They are seriously two peas in a pod!! She smiles so big every time Brielle is around!

Dislikes:
– Tummy time.  She really doesn’t like it very much, but she is gaining so much core strength and can last much longer now! So proud of her!
– Sleep (at times).  She is now at the age where she is fighting sleep! SO crazy how you forget these moments, until they happen again!

Teeth: No teeth! Assuming it will be quite some time before we get those in!

Language:
She is SO precious how happy she gets when we are around! She is definitely communicating through her actions a lot, and babbles, coos, and blows SO many bubbles! She will melt your heart in a minute.

Upcoming:

Family visit (1 hour every week, on Tuesdays)

MD appts: Cardiologist (Oct. 20th)

Bi-monthly visits with ECI team

Weekly visits from infant massage therapist

Monthly visits with team (now just legal worker and case worker)

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©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

I see clearly now.. because I graduated!

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So let me first start off by saying that God is so so good! We can’t believe what has truly happened to baby girl, and all the healing that has taken place.

If you don’t remember my first post, explaining her Retinopathy of prematurity, this post should  help you understand it a little bit more.

We have brought baby girl to our church for them to lay their hands on her, to pray over her healing, all throughout her body, and to restore her body from within.  God just keeps blessing her with all the little things, that are going to make such a big impact on her, as she grows.

It’s amazing.  And we will have to follow up with her eye doctor in 1 year, and from there, they will test her eyesight and see where we go from there!

Thank you for all the great prayers, and the goodness from the Lord! Hopefully her vision will continue to get better, over time! 🙂

After 5 doctor visits, SHE HAS GRADUATED!! (below is a picture of her eyes and the results from the zones and stages)

 

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©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

I can see clearly now..well at least better

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When baby girl was born, she had to be put on the ventilator to be able to breathe and sustain life.  Eventually, as her lungs matured, they weaned (decreased)  her off the ventilator and on to high flow oxygen (CPAP).  Since she was only born at 24 weeks gestation and only 1 pound 3 oz., they had to give her lungs a lot of oxygen (help) to be able to function properly. They were able to eventually put her on regular nasal cannula and able to completely wean her off the oxygen 2 weeks before discharging home.

When a baby is given too much of anything, it can be bad.. and that was the case for baby girl.  She was on oxygen for too long, causing damage to the vessels of her eye.  Here is a textbook definition of her diagnosis:

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disease caused by abnormal development of retinal blood vessels in premature infants. The retina is the inner layer of the eye that receives light and turns it into visual messages that are sent to the brain.

Basically, she could have been blind.  There are five different stages in which the doctor is able to determine if her eyes are getting better or worse at each visit and draws a picture for us.  Here is a description of the five stages:

Stage I — Mildly abnormal blood vessel growth. Many children who develop stage I improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. The disease resolves on its own without further progression.

Stage II — Moderately abnormal blood vessel growth. Many children who develop stage II improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. The disease resolves on its own without further progression.

Stage III — Severely abnormal blood vessel growth. The abnormal blood vessels grow toward the center of the eye instead of following their normal growth pattern along the surface of the retina. Some infants who develop stage III improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. However, when infants have a certain degree of Stage III and “plus disease” develops, treatment is considered. “Plus disease” means that the blood vessels of the retina have become enlarged and twisted, indicating a worsening of the disease. Treatment at this point has a good chance of preventing retinal detachment.

Stage IV — Partially detached retina. Traction from the scar produced by bleeding, abnormal vessels pulls the retina away from the wall of the eye.

Stage V — Completely detached retina and the end stage of the disease. If the eye is left alone at this stage, the baby can have severe visual impairment and even blindness.

Baby girl had stage 3 when we took her home from the NICU. They were VERY concerned about her and wanted to make sure we did NOT miss her first follow-up appointment, because she was only 2 stages away from having her retina detach, causing blindness in both eyes.

We prayed, and prayed and prayed more over baby girl.  Even our pastor prayed over her for complete healing in her body.  God is so good (even in the bad times), because let me tell you at the first follow up appointment from being released, the Ophthalmologist thought he was looking at a different baby.  He called her a “miracle” and how her eyes have gotten so much better, so fast!

Let me show you a little of what we were looking at in the beginning from her first appointment from when she was first born, to now.  Her eyes are not completely healed, but we are getting so close and know it’s in her future!

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She left the hospital at Stage 3, zone 2

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2nd appointment Stage 1 zone 3 (getting better!)

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Same result at 3rd appt. no major changes

All  I can say is, wow! She is doing amazing and she is able to follow without straining of any vessels and she really works hard to listen to everything going on around her!

**Please say a little prayer for complete healing of her eyes, and the damage that was done due to being so premature, to be gone and have no lasting effect!**

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

2 months!

 

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On this day, two months ago, Shane and I took a leap of faith and followed what God has finally called us to do.  Foster/Adopt a child.   He was brought to us the day after Brielle turned 3 and it has definitely been a whirlwind ever since!

I used to say “time flies” all the time for Brielle when she was growing up and it feels like that is all we same for him as well! He literally came to us at 14 months non-verbal, not able to walk, and just overall developmentally delayed.  He has come SO FAR is such a short amount of time and even started calling us mommy and daddy (he hears Brielle do the same) and we are just amazed at how much he can verbalize now!  He also has started this little crooked run when he thinks we are playing hide and seek/chasing each other.  It’s beyond precious and it’s so unique just for him!

He had his 60 day hearing Aug. 11th and that was a very interesting hearing to determine where the court system thinks he should be placed/is any family members have stepped up and shown interest in wanting him placed with them.  Well, turns out an aunt (of course, always an aunt, right?) stepped up and now little mans legal worker has to submit a home study on the aunt to see if she has a clean background/place to live to be able to provide for him.  We won’t know anything more, until after that is completed.  Something was said in the hearing that did really bother me though.. the lawyer stood up and asked the legal worker if “the foster family is becoming too attached too quickly”, and he said yes.. then she proceeded to move up the home study date to be completed within 2 weeks, in hopes that he is removed from our house and reunified with his family.

THIS right here.. is why the system is crazy!  We will forever continue to show him the same love, affection, and protection as we do with Brielle.  He is in our care at this time and we are going to do the best we can to make sure that he succeeds and he gains confidence and independence, so that one day he will be able to contribute to society, instead of following in mom and dads footsteps.

He will do amazing things in this life, and we just hope the little bit of time that we do have with him, sticks, and he knows what real love and affection is.

Cheers to two months with the Johnsons, little man!!

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(I REALLY wish I could show y’all his precious and adorable smile! He is SO photogenic)

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.