Sunday, January 24, 2010

Updates and Thanks

Hi there everyone,
I just wanted to get an update to everyone on how the baby is doing. Many of you are on facebook and have already heard, but for those of you who haven't this is for you.
Emberjayne came home on Jan 15th after seven days in the NICU. All her blood work and cultures taken from the spinal tap came back negative. She did not have a skull fracture- it was simply a line on her skull that is actually part of the way her skull is formed. She did have a subdural bleed but it will go away on it's own.We still don't know if this caused the seizures or the seizures caused the bleed or were completely unrelated. CPS did try to make a home visit, but were called off as soon as the x-rays were officially confirmed by an expert at Loma Linda. The EEG did show spikes of activity that could be evidence of current seizures or simply "left-overs' from the ones she already had. We will learn more at our neurology follow up visit on February 4th. In the meantime she has already seen our local pediatrician who told me that if I had not handed him the doctor's reports regarding this whole incident, he would never have been able to tell she ever had any issues at all.Neurologically she seems perfect. She has already gained a pound over her birth weight and has grown two inches.We are still working on nursing, but I am pumping well and she is not being supplemented with any formula. She will have to remain on anti-seizure medication for the time being, and despite my initial fears that she would seem drugged and sleepy all the time, she has gotten used to the medicine and has very normal alert times for her age. She is very wiggly and almost wiggles off her play mat on the floor, not to mention out of her swaddling blankets!
God has been so amazing through all of this. Just when we thought we couldn't take anymore, my husband's truck broke down. Since he is self-employed and uses that truck for work, it was another major setback for us. God however uses these "setbacks" as an opportunity to show us His grace, which he most certainly has. Baby Ember is living up to her middle name! The truck was towed(free of charge) and fixed with help from others and now runs better than ever. We felt that the storm had lifted and the sun was shining the moment we were told we could take our little girl home, and that was enough for us. God how ever has continued to provide. Wonderful families from our church have provided us with dinners all of this past week. On top of that, other friends are providing dinners all of this week.
In the middle of the storm, we were so supported by the love and prayers of so many people. Literally there were people around the country and around the world praying for Ember and for us as a family.
Please know that I really could feel that and without it, I might be writing a very different story. My mom-in-law deserves a sainthood as she took care of all the needs of our older three kids so that we could be with the baby as much as possible and My sis-in-law made a 400 mile trip just to help out as well. My family near the hospital put us up for the week so we could be closer to the hospital as well as provided us with amazing emotional and prayer support. It is times like these that we truly learn about our dependence on God and upon the body of Christ- and wonder why we would ever try to manage on our own.
At this point we don't know exactly what the future holds for us- as if anyone does- but we are confident that God will be there loving and supporting us come what may- through His own sovereign grace or through the amazing actions of prayer warriors, neighbors, friends, and family members in Christ!

Love In Christ,
The Moses Family

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let the Praises Ring!

Baby Emberjayne was discharged from the hospital early this evening and she is now home!! She will still have to be on anti-seizure medication for the time being, but praise the Lord she is sleeping in her own bassinet with no tubes or wires! The skull fracture was not a fracture but simply some unique feature on her skull. The line was perfectly symmetrical on both sides which does happen with a fracture. CPS will no longer be an issue. The cultures taken from the spinal tap all came back negative as well. She was the healthiest baby in the NICU the whole time. We are so thrilled to have her home. Thank you everyone who prayed for her and our family. God is so good and so mighty and your prayers are very powerful things. Keep us in your prayers as we now face what might be next.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ember Update

Emberjayne is continuing to do well though we still don't have any definitive answers. We are trusting in God every minute. Currently we are waiting for interpretive results of an EEG test and X-rays. Her neonatologist believes the skull fracture seen on the ct scan is not really there and is simply the suture line where the skull plates meet. A preliminary report on the EEG did show increased electrical spikes but he would not tell me what that really meant. I have to wait for the neurologists to analyze this information. We probably won't hear anything before Friday. It also looks less and less likely that the seizures were the result of any kind of infection, but she does have to fininsh out antibiotics just in case.
The good news at this point though is she has regained her birth weight and then some. She is currently six ounces over her birth weight and eats like a little piggy. I have been able to nurse somewhat and she has not forgotten how to latch on. I have also been very successful with pumping with a manual pump. A wonderful friend has also loaned me her high end double pump, so nursing is something I can continue to do despite being separated from her for so many hours each day.
The bad news was that my husband's truck broke down two days ago. He uses the truck for work and was coming up to the hosptial as soon as he was done. He now has no truck to work in or come to the hospital in. We are not sure when it will get fixed though it is with a great mechanic who has blessed us in this trial.
God is good! Please keep praying.
I will post more updates as we get them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Please Pray for Emberjayne Grace

Emberjayne Grace was born on Jan 5th. She came home Jan 7th, a day late because Mom spiked a temp and had to receive 24 hours worth of heavy duty antibiotics to get rid of whatever infection was causing the fever.
Around lunchtime on Friday the 8th, Ember had her first seizure. It was short-only 20 seconds. We were not completely sure it really was a seizure. Twenty minutes later we knew for sure as she had another one, this time a full minute and with all the tell tale signs of a granmal seizure. She was taken by ambulance to the nearest ER. She was stable the whole time and not seizing anymore. Once at the ER, they wanted to put in an IV, draw blood, do a spinal tap, CT Scan, and chest X-ray. No one could get the blood draw.We had to watch them poke over and over. Finally my husband put his foot down and made them stop. Her veins were too tiny and dehydrated since this all started right around the time she was due to eat next. We were in the ER forever.They got nurses form peds and ICU to try and even t hey couldn't get the IV in. They finally did the CT scan and all we were told at that point was they thought they found the diagnosis and that the doctor would come speak to us shortly. My husband stepped outside to get my mom-in-law at my request. The doctor came in abruptly and without waiting for even my husband told me that she had a bleed in her brain which would require surgery. She would be airlifted to Loma Linda and that she would probably be ok. I went numb. I had to tell my husband and mother-in-law. The room was flooded with very raw and fearful emotion. The need to get the IV line in became imperative. The ER nurse finally got the IV. The peds nurses had given her some sucrose whihc helped plump up her veins a bit. They also got the blood draw finally. We spent the next couple of hours in utter fear and shock as we waited for transport to Loma Linda. Then a nurse came in to as fr signatures to approve transport to Riverside Regional Medical Center. Loma Linda had no beds and would not accept her case. My heart sank, but the nurse assured us that the facility was just as top notch as Loma Linda. I prayed that this was God's hand at work and that He was the one picking the hospital. They were also not airlifting but transporting by ambulance to RRMC. When the transport crew arrived God's hands started to become more and more evident. We were given more details on her condition. She did not have a bleed in her actual brain matter but the subdura which is in the layers between the skull and the brain and that it might NOT require surgery. More info would be needed to know for sure. They took our baby and we headed home to grab stuff as we waited to learn more in the NICU at RRMC.

What we have learned since then is this...

1. She does in fact have a subdural bleed in her left temporal lobe, but it is small and due to her excellent condition other than the seizures appears to be putting no pressure on the brain and is not going to require surgery at this point-only careful observation.

2. She does also have a skull fracture on the back of her head. It is no where near the bleed however and is most likely unrelated, however weird it is and again will not require immediate treatment. She did not fall and was not hit or mistreated in any way.She has no bruises or depressions or other fractures. The only explanation would be from some trauma she received in the birth process but there is no way to ever know for sure as her birth was normal and uneventful. We may still have to deal with CPS though which is policy when it comes to skull fractures and babies.

3. We will need to have a EEG preformed to see if there is continued seizure activity going on. This will most likely happen sometime Monday or Tuesday and we probably won't get results until later in the week. She is on a anti seizure medication though, just in case.

4. The seizures could have been brought on by an infection. I did have one in the hospital and she did receive breast milk, as puny an amount as it might have been. She is now on 3 different antibiotics and one antiviral which she is receiving through an IV. Even though they don't know what is going on for sure, a treatment can always be stopped but it can never be moved back in time. The spinal tap was done at RRMC and the first indicator was that there was not any infection but test results are not complete yet.

5. She is doing unbelievably well. She is eating-alot- up to four ounces at every feeding and has already regained her birth weight. Her reflexes are all normal and she is very responsive. She is a fantastic and easy burper! I am still trying to nurse as well and pumping too.

6. She will be in the NICU for at least 7 days.

These are the things we need you and everyone you possibly know to pray for...

1. Above all else that God's hand continues to be in every aspect of this situation and guides all the doctors and nurses. Pray that He guides our decisions as well.

2. That she continues to be stable and doing well.

3. The bleed will disappear on its own and that the skull fracture will too. Our neurologist still wasn't convinced it was really a fracture because of its placement. It could just be at the suture line-the spots where babies skulls aren't fused together yet.

4. That the EEG shows no signs of seizures.

5. There will be no short or long-term effects from what she has already experienced and that she will not experience any new symptoms or complications.

6. That we can weather this financially. Our insurance should cover everything, but there are incidentals like traveling and meals that are not part of our budget.

7. That I will continue to be able to nurse and produce a sufficient enough milk supply.

8. Please pray also for her brothers and sisters as they deal with of all of this as well.

Thank you so much for your prayers in advance and for those of you who already knew and have been praying already we thank you as well. We know that it is God who is in control and that He answers those powerful prayers. There are so many who have already done things on our behalf as well and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Julie Moses- Mom of Emberjayne Grace

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Miss Julie's latest masterpiece
made her appearance on
Jan. 5th.
Emberjayne Grace was seven pounds five ounces and nineteen inches long.

This probably means this blog will be a little slow for a while.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chinese Dragon in oil pastel on 18" X 24" construction paper

With Chinese New Year coming up, here is an art project you can use to explore the holiday and traditions that go along with it.
I would suggest giving kids a square template to start so that everyone is "on the same page" in size and proportions. (Better to avoid the dragon that looks more like a tiny lizard- hey didn't Confucius say that too?)

You can click on any of these steps to make them bigger

Unit Study Ideas

Math- There is nothing better for fractions than doubling, tripling, and halving a recipe! So find a great(and simple) Chinese food recipe and try it out! Let your students figure out how much of each ingredient to use. If you don't actually need to do it for your own family- pretend that this is a meal for the court of Kublai Khan!(For a language arts connection, have them write a story about how the great Khan kept changing the party plans, and how the cook had to keep changing the recipes- include all the math work!)

History- Learn about these great historical figures- Ghengis Khan, Kublai Khan, and Marco Polo. You can also learn about the Silk Road and the Great Wall of China. (My boys like to use every lego they have to see how "great" a wall they can make!(Connect this back to math by measuring the space it takes up, counting the legos, and then estimating how many legos it would take to make a lego great wall a mile long.

Science-The Chinese are responsible for many great inventions, printing books, gunpowder, chemical fog weapons, and the weaving of silk thread from silk worms into cloth. You could learn more about any of these and maybe even raise some silk worms of your own! There are also many endangered animals from China, including the panda. You could learn more about them and what we can do to help.

Language Arts- Fairy tales seem to be a universal thing. There are many Chinese versions of fairy tales we know well, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella are just two that come to mind. Why not take an American Tall Tale and give it a Chinese spin!
You could even try your hand out at writing in Chinese with a bamboo brush and ink or make your own Chinese Printing blocks by carving letters in rubber erasers and then use them to print out your story. (As time consuming as that might sound- it was light years faster than it took monks to write out illuminated manuscripts by hand!)
Have fun!
If you have any other ideas(done or not done yet)
please feel free to leave them in the comments


Here are some book selections you may find useful,
check your local library to see if they have them.