Blog Archive

Thursday, September 22, 2011


We've had Ava home for four weeks and our lives have been full!

First, the update on Elizabeth:

Since we might fall asleep if things got too calm around here...a week ago Elizabeth slipped and fractured her clavicle! She was incredible stoic and endured the X-ray (still one of her least favorite hospital procedures) and now wears a "figure 8 brace" whenever she's awake. Praise God for our sweet friend who has adopted our family and become our in-town Auntie, who rushed over so I could take E & A to the dr and hospital. All in all, it was not as traumatic as it could have been, and now we just try to keep Elizabeth from over-using it. According to her teacher, her classmates have decided it's a parachute!

In other news, what a difference a year makes! We had a wonderful outing to the hot air balloon festival last weekend and Elizabeth, though clearly uncomfortable, did a great job coping and was able to stay within sight of the ballons for almost an hour! The last two years we've tried to go to the balloon glow and Elizabeth has had major panic attacks so it was a huge relief to see how much progress she's made.

Last week Elizabeth had her routine ear and hearing exam. The great news is her ears look great from an infection standpoint. However her Audiogram shows she has mild to modate conductive hearing loss, and as a result, we'll be getting her fitted for hearing aides as soon as we can be worked into the schedule...probably a few months from how. In the mean time, we're working to get her an amplification system (a small speaker she'll carry around with her) which will hopefully help her with her overall understanding of what's going on in school.

She continues to love kindergarten and we are so thankful for her full time Aide, her teacher and the wonderful school that has done a super job so far providing support for our sweet angel. She's been in school for 4 weeks, and has yet to get sick with anything! Praise God!

Ava has been doing pretty well at home. She's 4 weeks adjusted (which means that although she's four months old, she's acting like a four week-old who was born on her original due date of Aug. 18) she's given us a few smiles and has started cooing! All these are reassuring signs in light of her MRIs) Sadly, she hasn't managed to coordinate nursing as well as we'd hoped. In addition to some behavioral things, she's dropped from the 50th percentile for weight (while in the hospital) down to the 15th percentile. (Harms babies don't do that!) The first half of September she only gained three ounces! So last weekend we started bottle feeding her at every feed and she took off, and in the last five days has gained almost four ounces! So as sad as I am to give up nursing her, I'm so relieved to know she's capable of eating what she needs to grow and thrive...even it it's from a bottle!

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. It has been busy and at times completely overwhelming but we have not been left completely alone. After my mom left, matt's mom came for a spell and now that she's returned home, we're slowly finding our footing. Thanks to the incredible generosity of many friends and family, we've been able to hire someone to help me a few hours here at home a few days a week. We've also been adopted by a few gals from our church who want to come love on the girls regularly and intermittently we are still humbled and blessed to receive a meal. God continues to take care of us and most often it's through you. We are eternally grateful.


Saturday, September 3, 2011


First outing with all four girls! (picking up Elizabeth from school)

First time Ava peed on me! Doesn't she look happy about it? (Can you believe she could have fit in my belly if she'd made it to term??)

First walk as a family of six.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Overdue Update

Every day I plan to post an update, and every night I fall into bed instead because I can't even put two words together! We are still happy and tired at home. Ava is three weeks old (when we adjust for her prematurity) and is doing a beautiful job of acting her age. She's really got the hang of eating and moves easily between nursing and bottle feeding...yay! She's still getting her nights and days worked out, (read: she sure likes to play around 2am!) doesn't like her car seat, sure likes to be held, but hates to have her diaper changed. Yep, she's acting like a newborn! She's gaining weight and so far everyone is happy with how she's doing...especially her sisters, who seem to think she's the best thing ever.

Grandma Harms arrived for a spell and is thoroughly blessing us...Matt and I continue to be overwhelmed by our parents' generosity in giving us so much of their time these days! Please pray for Grandpa who is navigating all of his cancer treatment and follow-up appointments without his sidekick this week.

Lastly, I must report that for all the worrying I did, kindergarten has turned out to be a complete blessing for Elizabeth and our entire family. She is amazingly happy, energetic and engaged and not one of the fears I had has come to pass. She hasn't shed one tear, has nothing but positive things to say about her days, is enthusiastic about her classmates and the variety of activities they do each day and is truly thriving. PRAISE GOD! Some of you have asked about her school situation: she's in a mainstream kindergarten class at a nearby Charter School, spends 74% of her time there, has 90min of special ed a day and then sees OT, PT and Speech Therapy throughout the week, as well as participating in a social skills practice group! Most importantly, she has a shadow with her all day, including at lunch and recess who is there to support her and make sure she's flowing with the class. Ms. R has been an angel and Elizabeth's successful transition to school is much to her credit. Feel free to email me if you have more specific questions.

Thank you, THANK YOU for praying and thank you for caring for our family! I'll try to post pictures soon...