Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween


I am not a fan of Halloween.
Not even a little bit.
It started when I was young...in the first grade to be exact.

Every year one of the 6th grade teachers dressed up as Frankenstein.
He was tall to begin with, and with his mask and costume, he looked like a giant.
He wandered the halls traumatizing the younger students.
I remember one time hiding in the girls bathroom, not wanting to leave for fear of running into Frankenstein.

Our class was having our Halloween party and I was dressed as Little Bo Peep.
I had on a blue dress and a blue bonnet.
I'm quite certain I looked really cute.
I had just taken a bite of my cupcake when Frankenstein came into the room.
I ran looking for a place to hide when all of a sudden Frankenstein picked me up.

He lifted me until I was face to face with him and said, "Gotcha!"
I started to cry...probably scream even...and knew my life was over.
The boys in my class came to my rescue.
They pounded Frankenstein in the legs, over and over again saying "Let her go!"
He let me go eventually and I spent the rest of the day in tears.

I was in the third or fourth grade when Frankenstein was fired.
Obviously I've never fully recovered.

* * * * *

If on the chance you are in need of a reminder:
There ARE good people in this world.
Jason, Emily, and I met one of them this weekend.

In response to my search for a photographer, I received many emails and links and phone numbers.
"Check out this website."
"Call this person.  They might be able to come."
Etc. Etc.

And then I received an email from Brady...from BW Sterling Photography.
Brady heard from his friend (thank you Becky) that we were looking for a photographer.
He had been directed to my blog and after reading a little bit of it, he sent me an email.
Not only was he willing to come to the hospital, he offered his services free of charge.

Brady spent part of his Saturday afternoon with us, taking pictures of Emily and of our little family.
I am truly touched and humbled by his goodness.

Here is a peek at our photo shoot...with more to come one of these days:




My little brown eyed beauty is going to spend her Halloween here at the hospital...without a costume.
I couldn't find one small enough.
Here's wishing all of you lots of chocolate! ...if you like chocolate.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Heart Is Full


There is nothing in the world more healing than to hold my baby girl in my arms.


I love you Emily.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Bit of Light and Laughter

Do you know my friend Joann?  She blogs at Laundry Hurts My Feelings.  Joann has dogs and ducks and daughters, and a pond with crocodiles.  Maybe they're alligators...I never remember.  Any day now Joann will publish her first novel, and her daughters will nominate her for Mother of the Year.  Joann has a heart of gold, she calls me 'darlin', and she's one of my favorite people.  When I asked her if she would write a post for me she agreed, in spite of her crazy busy life.  Joann, thank you!  You're just what the doctor ordered for this blog.


(If you're reading this in your reader, and the format is messed up...sorry...I spent an hour fighting with it and finally gave up!)

* * * * *

Noelle sent me an email recently, asking me if I wouldn’t mind cheering up her blog with a few laughs.

A few months ago, I would have told you that I would do anything for my sweet, wonderful Noelle. But now, as I helplessly watch her and her lovely family walk down this dark, rutty path, so nobly and graciously waiting for the light to come their way, I will tell you that if I could, I would lasso the moon and hand deliver it to her, if it would bring the light her way. But since the best I can do is pray for beautiful Emily’s healing, if Noelle wants a few words, a few words, she will get. Or maybe a little more. My only hope is that I can coerce a smile out of Noelle.

I dedicate my silly post to sweet, baby Emily. May you gain strength and health in every single moment. You have a whole universe of love pulling for you, Baby Girl.

Going around the blog world right now is a writing prompt created by the always-inspiring blogger, Mama Kat. I usually don’t participate in writing prompts, but this one intrigued me.

Name 22 things you’ve never done.

This is actually a difficult task for me, since I’ve lived a life stuffed full with nonsense.

I am also an eating adventuress. I’ll try anything you put in front of me. I can’t even say I’ve never eaten tripe on a bed of arugula.

Because I have.

And if you don’t know what that is, don’t Google it because you will never look at me the same, again.

So, for today, I humbly give you my offerings.

v      I have never attended a professional football, baseball or hockey game without saying at the end, “Hold up. Who won?” Because that’s the kind of serious sports nut I am. In my eyes, attending a sporting event is all about the socializing and food.

v      I have never changed a tire on a car. I prefer the alternative method of crying and calling my husband.

v      I have never whistled because I’m pretty sure my whistle is broken. Seriously. I’ve tried to whistle my whole life. People, far and wide, have tried to instruct me how to hold my mouth, what to do with my tongue. My daughter once, in a grand gesture, even tried to hold my tongue for me in the whistling position while I blew. Nothing but air. So, yes, I have concluded my whistling parts are broken. I can, however, do a mean wild turkey call.

v      I’ve never been arrested which seems to shock most of the human race. Even my best friend was all, “YOU’VE never been arrested? Really?” And I’d like to thank everyone for their deep-seated belief in my goodness.

v      I’ve never danced with Bono . . . Yet.

v      And speaking of dancing, I have never danced a line dance because me and synchronized dance moves, we’re just not friends. The likelihood that I will fall over during the Electric Slide is enough to keep me from jumping up at wedding receptions.

v      To this day, I’ve never been able to eat Bugles without giving myself some awesome Bugle fingernails.

v      I have never bought a National Enquirer or anything of that tabloid nature. But that sure doesn’t stop me from snatching that tabloid up and speed-reading through it, when waiting in line at the checkout, especially when it’s a “Guess Whose Cellulite” issue.

v      I have never been able to make pork chops for dinner without saying “Pork chops and applesauce” out of the side of my mouth—even though, we never have applesauce with our pork chops. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, get back in your crib, young one. It’s classic Brady Bunch.

v      I have never worn an article of clothing that involved camouflage of any kind. And I sincerely hope I don’t, one day, lose my mind and decide to start wearing camo. Green forests do NOT look good on me.

v      I have never had a sniffle or an ache without thinking this was it, the big disease that would inevitably kill me.

v      I have never successfully navigated us anywhere with a map. I just don’t get all those squiggly lines. Now, a nav system? That’s a different story. I’m a pro at getting us there with a nav system.

v      I have never haggled with a car salesman. Car salesmen freak me out. As do ferrets.

v      I have never met a president. Although, I have met John Goodman, Roseanne’s TV husband, in New Orleans, once. And this past summer in a restaurant in Nashville, I sat at a table next to Adam Arkin. So, it’s not like I don’t know people.

v      I have never been able to take to the sea without getting very ill. I wouldn’t be a very good Somalian pirate.

v      I have never been able to carry a tune, but that doesn’t stop me from bursting out in song on any Karaoke game I find. Word to the wise, hide your game if you see me in town.

v      I’ve never been able to fix a computer problem without crying.

v      I’ve never been able to drive anywhere with my husband without, at least once, giving him a handy driving tip.

v      I’ve never had a single moment where I thought, “Wow, I can’t wait to clean my house!”

v      I’ve never been to a World Wide Wrestling Federation match and I pray that I never will. The same goes for a Monster Truck Rally.

v      I have never answered the door to my UPS man in anything but pajamas. One of these days, I’m going to freak him out when I greet him in actual clothing.

v      I have never picked my kids up from school like a “normal mom.” A constant quote my kids use on me for all facets of our life. I prefer rolling down the windows and blasting the music, while giving it my best car dancing routine. And if you haven’t tried it, let me tell you, kids LOVE that sort of stuff.

Thank you, Noelle, for having me. May the Dear Lord keep you in the palm of His mighty hand during this time. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. XXXOOO







Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Finally Getting Cold In Utah


Meet Emily.
Without a feeding tube.
AND with her eyes open.


Emily's Daddy spent the day with her today and when he sent me this picture I got a little teary eyed.
I miss my baby girl when I'm at work.

Tonight I suggested my brother and sister-in-law go out to dinner so that I could hang out with my nephews and niece for a little while.
My sister-in-law is a new mommy for the third time and she deserved a night out.
My nephew Josh is five...I think.
Dear Amber, is he 5?
Maybe he's 6.
I have no idea.

ANYWAY...
Josh spent the evening preparing his emergency pack just in case he needed to 'get away.'
Inside his backpack he had a sleeping bag.
Tied to his backpack he had two extra blankets and some shoes.
In a pocket of his backpack he had two stuffed dogs because "I CAN'T sleep without these", and a Lego magazine.  Josh showed me what he wants to buy from the magazine.  He wants a bus that costs $120.  Josh knew the price.  He has to save eight thousand one dollar bills in order to buy everything in the magazine.
Don't worry, he's going to rake leaves to collect the money.
The final thing in Josh's backpack?
Ties.
In case he's gone on a Sunday and he happens to find a church in the mountains.

That kid's mind works 24 hours a day.
He's amazing.

As I held my sweet niece, who is just over a month old, I couldn't help but think of Emily.
Once in a while I have a very clear vision of just how sick my baby is.
Tonight was one of those times; yesterday when the nurse practitioner used the word 'tenuous' to describe Emily's life was another of those times.

That little lady of mine...
I love her.
More than I ever thought possible.
And I'll appreciate every single day I have with her...forever.


A Small Break

We took the little miss for a walk yesterday.
Her daddy picked her a flower.


Emily's doctor suggested we take her feeding tube out.
They won't try giving Emily milk for seven days and the doctor thought it would be a nice break for all of us to have Emily tube free for a little while.
Jason and I don't love that Emily will be traumatized when they put the tube back in, but for now she doesn't have any tape on her face, and that makes it worth it.

Speaking of not having any tape...

Do any of you know any local photographers who might be willing to pay us a visit at the hospital and take some pictures of our little miss?
We have such a small window of tubelessness and I would love to get some professional pictures taken.

Emily's favorite thing in this world is to snuggle.
She buries her little face as far into our arms as she can get, and then she sleeps...peacefully.

In case you didn't know, we love our baby girl.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Emily's Gut Hates Us

I've had nightmares the last few nights.
Real, honest to goodness nightmares.
They are always of Emily throwing up and choking.
Yesterday when we got to the hospital Emily was asleep.
She slept 90% of the day and her color didn't look quite right.
She was hours away from being back up to the full amount of milk she needed, and we were all hopeful.
Every x-ray was clean.  She showed no signs of gut problems, and if things stayed the way they were, we would have Emily home again on Tuesday.

My phone rang this morning.
It was Emily's nurse.
"Noelle, I don't want to alarm you, but Emily started throwing up again this morning."
"And her x-ray wasn't clear.  The infection is back."

Emily's feeding tube isn't in her stomach.  It goes directly to her intestines, and so when she throws up she's throwing up bile...which for Jason and me is traumatizing. 
It's even more traumatizing for our baby.  She gets scared, and panics, and chokes, and turns ghost white and can't get her breath, and then whimpers for a long time.

We're not sure what Plan B is.  We're not sure if there even is a Plan B at the moment.
All we know is that Emily is off of milk...again.
She gets other nutrients that go directly into her blood, but no milk.
She'll be mad about it because the little lady gets hungry.
And she'll now be in the hospital AT LEAST seven more days...but probably longer.

At this point everyone tells us that Emily will either 1. grow out of this or 2. it will go away when her heart gets fixed and her blood gets oxygenated the way it needs to.
We'll meet with Emily's doctor later today and hopefully know more then.

I'm going to ask the hospital if I can re-paint Emily's room...maybe bring her crib in.
Okay, not really...but we've got to do something for the little miss. 
At the very least we're taking her fancy swing her daddy bought her.  She loves that.

Room 3085.
Feel free to visit.  Or send cookies. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tomorrow Will Be Better


*Disclaimer: I'm having a small pity party*

To those of you who have commented on how strong I am, I'm here to tell you it's probably not even a little bit true.  
I'm a mess a lot of the time.
This post will prove that.

If there is one thing I've always been it's involved.
In everything.
Before I got married I spent three or four nights a week with friends or my family.
If I had free time and the weather was nice you would usually find me on a hike.
I worked long hours but I loved my job and was okay with my schedule.

Fast forward through a wedding, a long run of bad health, pregnancy, and the little miss.

As I drove to the hospital this morning I balled my eyes out.
I cried with worry for my baby.
I cried because I'm exhausted.
I cried for the loss of my easy life.
And I cried because of the incredible loneliness I feel.

I rarely see my family.  I never see my friends. And the four walls of this hospital room are a far cry from  a mountain trail.

BUT...I'll do whatever I need to for Emily...I always will...even when it's hard.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Not Much To Report

We're still hanging out in room 3085.
Jason is rocking Emily and they are watching cartoons.
I've been working away on my computer, trying to get caught up.
The nurse in charge of Emily is bored.
And we bought the nurse practitioner brownie bites from the bakery because she needed a pick me up.
That pretty much sums up our day.

Everything about Emily is healthy...amazingly so...
...except her gut.
She's so healthy she's not even hooked up to any monitors.

But her gut?
We can't figure it out.
A reaction to long-term antibiotic use?
Maybe.
An allergy to her milk?
Maybe, but not likely.
Her third round with NEC, an infection in her gut?
This time not even that has shown up.
All we know for sure is that babies with heart problems like Emily's often have problems with their guts, due to poor blood flow.

We've met with a GI specialist, someone from immunology, and someone from infectious diseases.
The conversation always ends the same: Emily is a mystery.
They started her on milk again today and they will watch her for the next few days to see how she reacts...if she reacts.  The little stinker hasn't shown signs of a single symptom since she was admitted.

The nurses love our daughter.
They all look for excuses to visit her, and love when we leave so that they can hold her.
In fact, when we got here this morning Emily's nurse had her dressed in the cutest little outfit.

At this point it looks like Emily will be in the hospital until Monday or Tuesday.
If there is one bright spot?
When she's here I don't worry.

Trust me, when she's at home I'm a walking ball of stress.
What if we pull her feeding tube out?
What if her oxygen levels drop?
What if I fall down the stairs while I'm holding Emily?
What if I don't sanitize her IV line enough before I give her the medication?
What if we pull her feeding tube out?

I know I already said that one, but her feeding tube is going to give me an ulcer before all is said and done.

And there you have it.
It's an exciting life to be sure.









Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yet Again


Where I should be?

Where we are?
The hospital.

Emily is having a bad day...
...a bad few days really,
and we're here to figure out what is going on.

The nurse practitioner and I spent a few minutes crying about Lucy...
(because the cardiac unit of Primary Children's Hospital is like a family)
I told her Lucy looked beautiful.
And now we're waiting for a bunch of tests to be run.

Lucy really did look beautiful...heartbreakingly.
And I cried.
A lot.
And between worrying about Emily and thinking about Lucy it was a sleepless night.

It was a sleepless night for Jason too.
He held his baby girl most of the night.
He wanted to make sure that if she threw up again she wouldn't choke.

We'll be here in room 3085 if you need us.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Woe Is Me


I fell down the stairs.
I guess it was my turn.
I am so sore.

That is all.

Oh...here's this:


You are welcome.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Wonder If This Will Even Make Sense

One night several years ago I stood in the hallway of a care center, outside the door of my grandpa's room...the room I had moved him in to only a few weeks earlier.
A nurse was getting him ready for the night: putting on pajamas, etc.
Grandpa was just cognizant enough to know that he should be embarrassed by what the nurse was having to do for him.
He cried out a few times asking her to stop, and then he said in a scared and frustrated voice, "Just wait.  Noelle will be here and she will take care of me.  I just need Noelle."
Out of respect for my Grandpa's privacy I had stopped in the hallway when I realized that the nurse was taking care of him.
After the nurse left the room I stayed in the hallway until my emotions were under control.

It had been a hard few months for my grandpa and me, culminating with the recognition that I could no longer care for him the way he needed me to.  And with my mom living outside of the country, I had been given power of attorney for my grandpa, and the hard decisions were left to me.

I paced the hallway of that care center crying, and praying to my Heavenly Father.
It had been three or four weeks since I had moved Grandpa out of his home, and in that time I had been to see grandpa every single night.
We would talk, and then say a prayer together, and I would sit with him until he fell asleep for the night.
But this particular night I was tired: physically and emotionally. And I couldn't see how I was going to continue this routine, night after night.
Regardless of the exhaustion, I couldn't leave my grandpa, and the routine continued until he passed away two months later.

* * * * *

Not too many nights ago Jason and I were talking about the experiences in our lives that had prepared us for Emily, and we expressed our gratitude for a wise God who allowed us those experiences before He sent Emily to us.

It's not always that we are given a clear picture of how something from our past helps us with something in our today.  But as Jason and I were talking, I saw that night in the care center clearly in my mind, and I knew that in a small way my experience with my grandpa had given me  some of the strength I would need to face Emily's challenges.

* * * * *

Jason and I visited my cousin and her husband this weekend...oh how my heart aches for them.
While we were there my cousin's friend also stopped to visit.
There we were: my cousin, her friend, my aunt, and myself.
All four of us have given birth to babies with heart defects.
And of the four of our babies, Emily is the only one still with us.
My aunt let Emily know that she had better exceed our expectations.

Later in the day I read the latest from a girl who is bitter...bitter because her life has not turned out like she thinks it should have.
She's young; she's beautiful; she has the world in front of her...and she dwells in bitterness.
I read another story...of another woman who allows a portion of her heart to remain bitter due to the experiences she's gone through.
As I read I thought about the women I had just interacted with...about the fact that they had gone through the one thing no mother should ever have to go through.
I thought of their attitudes and the attitudes of the two women I had just read about...and there was no comparison.

I realized that dwelling in bitterness...holding on to the hurt and the anger...that's easy.
The much harder part is to let it go....to allow your heart to be open...even at the risk of it being hurt.
Being able to take the good from even the worst of your life's experiences, and use it to bless your life in the now...is perhaps the hardest part of it all.

But in the end isn't it worth it?
Worth it because once you've reached the end of 'hard' there is still room in your heart for more...
And if you're lucky enough to have your 'more' be someone like Emily...you'll take it...the hard parts and all.



 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Perspective


Tonight I sat on Emily's bedroom floor and watched as she and her daddy danced.
Jason is teaching Emily how to break dance...or maybe she is teaching him.
I laughed at Emily's facial expressions.
I laughed harder at Jason 'shaking his booty.'
And although I laughed, my heart was hurting.

As I kissed my little angel goodnight, my thoughts were with another angel.

A little over a year ago my cousin gave birth to twins.


Little Lucy, the sweet girl in pink, was born with the same heart defect Emily has.
I've written about Lucy before.
Lucy and Emily were practically roommates in the CICU...and for a few days they even shared a nurse.

While Emily was in the hospital Lucy got to go home for a week.
It was the first time she had been home in two months.
At the end of her week at home Lucy was readmitted to the hospital.


My incredibly brave cousin sent me a text tonight telling me that their sweet little Lucy passed away.

That saying: "There but for the grace of God go I" has been running through my mind all night.
I don't know what my cousin is feeling...not entirely.
But I know the fear...the possibility of losing my child...the pain of watching my child suffer...
And that is enough to cause my heart to ache for my cousin.

I have never known two stronger people than Lucy's mommy and daddy.

I believe that my cousin will see her little Lucy again.
I believe that Lucy will one day spend forever with her mommy and daddy and brother and sister.

My cousin and her husband believe that too.
And that belief is what will get them through this hardest of times.







Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Doctor Kept Her Word


Emily's Home !

Here's hoping we can keep her here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Something Small


I laughed this week.
True, honest to goodness laughter.
More than once.

Before this week I can't remember the last time I truly laughed.

The tape holding the pieces of my heart together must be sticking.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Biggest Blessing Is Emily

Last night before I went to bed I made one last phone call to the hospital to check in on my little one.
"She's asleep," the nurse told me.  "But I can't get the nurse technician to put her in her crib.  She's been holding her for an hour."
The nurses love Emily and I'm quite certain they look forward to when we leave so that they can get in their cuddle time.
When I called this morning I was told that the nurse technician held Emily for almost two hours.
"Will that nurse technician be coming home with us then?  So that when I can't get Emily to sleep in her crib at night someone will be there to hold her?"
The nurse laughed and said, "Sorry.  We really have spoiled your baby."
If there's anyone who deserves spoiling, it's probably Emily.

As we expected, they pushed Emily's release day to Monday...maybe.
This time the delay is actually a small blessing.
One of my best friends is getting married tomorrow - in Idaho.
With Emily in the hospital, I can make the trip to the wedding, worry free...and Jason can have quality Emily time, thus guaranteeing his role as the favorite parent.

(sorry for the grainy quality...the picture was taken with a phone)

This little lady has managed to work her way so far into my heart I'll never be the same.
She is such a good baby, and every day I'm inspired by her strength.  For what she's been through, she is entitled to a bad day once in a while.
And yet she smiles at everyone she sees, and patiently endures every poke, every x-ray, every check of her vital signs...

Her appointment with the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist went mostly well.
She has nothing wrong with her anatomy that would prevent her from eating from a bottle.
She simply isn't strong enough to coordinate her sucking and swallowing.
They're going to give her 6 weeks to regain some of her strength before they test her again.
The speech therapist isn't totally optimistic that Emily will have improved in 6 weeks.

I believe in the power of fasting.
In our church one Sunday a month is set aside as 'fast Sunday.'
We are asked to fast and pray for those things that are the most important to us at that time.
This coming Sunday is fast Sunday for us, and my family and Jason and I are going to join together in fasting and praying specifically for little Emily: for her strength to improve enough to be able to eat a bottle safely.
In the big picture, drinking a bottle is a small thing, compared to the other things we have prayed for in Emily's behalf.
And yet even the small things are important to God, and I'm trusting in Him to help my little one once again.

Life, even when it's ridiculously hard, is made easier when you allow God to be a part of it.
I'll be forever grateful for that knowledge.

Have a fabulous weekend friends!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Emily's Lullaby


Jason told me that we needed to make a million dollars to have in the bank for when we retired.
'We can live off of the interest,' he told me.
I asked him how he suggested we go about making that million and he said that he would write music and I would write a book.
Jason's got the writing music part down...I'll see what I can do about the book.

Jason has written the little miss a lullaby while she's been away from us.
It's beautiful and it makes me emotional.
We're still working on the words, but in truth words aren't necessary.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

PS. If you listen closely, you can hear the rain in the background.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This Is The Song That Never Ends


The answer is no.
Emily is not home yet.
They've told us Friday, but we won't believe them until Emily is actually in her car seat.

To add insult to injury, Emily has been grounded from her bottle.
Indefinitely.
She has a feeding tube again and it goes directly into her intestines.
No bottle and no milk in her tummy.
Rude.

We have an appointment early Wednesday morning with an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist).
He will put a camera down Emily's nose and check things out.
Emily had a swallow study and she failed it, thus the feeding tube and ENT.
Are you wondering how you fail a swallow study?
Just swallow milk down your trachea instead of your esophagus.
You will fail...every single time.

One of these days the little miss is bound to catch a break.
I'm sure of it.
Kind of.

This is how sure of it I am.
Jason called me from the hospital and when I answered he asked, "Why don't you sound happy to talk to me?"
I thought about it and said, "Because whenever you call me from the hospital I think you're going to give me more bad news."

That's not very sure of anything is it?
I'll work on it.

Here's something else about Jason.
Hearing him cry from the bathroom made me think about it.
Every time he washes his hands he burns himself and yelps 'Ouch!' or 'Hot!'
And no matter how many times I remind him of the cold water tap, he still burns himself.
All I can do is laugh and roll my eyes.

So...
In response to the requests we've received, I've added a donation button to my blog.  It is linked directly to Emily's Heart Fund.
All I will say about it is this: I promise with all of my heart that every penny that is donated will go towards Emily's medical expenses.

Friends...you mean the world to me, and the love and support you have shown my family is overwhelming and humbling.

Thank you.

And when she wakes up the little miss will thank you too.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dear Lalis, I Stole Your Post

Emily had a visitor Thursday night.
Emily's visitor brought her a gift.
Emily's visitor is a blog friend...a blog friend I've yet to meet in person.
Emily's visitor, Lalis, wrote a letter for Emily and posted it on her blog.
I wanted to share it with you.


Color Pencil Goodness for Emily

I'd like to think that Baby Emily is my friend. She's really my friend Noelle's baby and she's a special little one. This post is for her.

Dear Emily,

A few nights ago you received a furry present. It looks something like the picture, but prettier. Much prettier. I picked a bunny because, well... bunnies are my favorite animal. But don't worry, when you grow up you can pick your favorite animal and I won't mind if it isn't a bunny.


This bunny is special because she has a heart inside of her.


Before I placed the heart inside the bunny, I had to do some special magic. I had to shake it to give it a heartbeat, rub it on my head so it will always have good thoughts, rub it on my heart so it will always have good feelings...


And to seal the magic, I had to give it a big kiss and make a very special wish. And my wish for you? That you'll always be able to smile.


Just like I made all that special magic for that little bunny heart, someone very special has made sure that your heart is perfect for you. Your heart is more than what the doctors will tell you. It's about your feelings and thoughts. In the eyes of your Creator, you are just what you should be. Beautiful, perfect Emily, with a Mommy and a Daddy who love you very much. And that is all that matters.

* * * * *

Emily snuggled with her bunny today.
I'm pretty sure she's going to love it.
Lalis, thank you for loving my little girl.