Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm calling this a non-update because thankfully there isn't much to tell. They did monitor Gaines' heart rate this morning and it still looks good. Again, I know that I don't know what they are looking for, but the last few have really looked good to me. It looks like his baseline heart rate has slowed down which from what I understand is a sign of maturity. It seems to me to be a little more consistent and not all over the map like it has been. It still has the expected dips from time to time. They tell me its him "stepping" on his cord because he doesn't have much fluid. All in all I think things are pretty good with him. I hope that he stays happy where he is.

I am still not showing any signs of infection. Please pray that this keeps up. I SO want to make it to at least 28 weeks. As of tomorrow we will be over halfway to making our original "best case scenario" goal of 28 weeks. I think tomorrow I may start counting down to 28 weeks instead of up to it...if that makes any sense. Let me be clear, we would love to surpass 28 weeks but since that was given to us as best case scenario originally, it would be huge to us to make it at least that far. After that we'll reassess and come up with a new goal.

I let a little fear creep in last night about what will happen after Gaines does get here. Please pray that I don't let my mind go there again until it has to. Right now I try not and even think about that part of this journey. I try and remember that this part is so integral to what that part will consist of. The longer I stay in this bed the better off we will all be. I just know that is so not good for me to get that stuff stuck in my head. I really feel like part of this could be mental.

I guess that's about it for now. Wasn't that picture Beau posted cute? I wish we could have made it bigger but it came from a cell phone and got too fuzzy when we enlarged it. I can't wait to see that little boy again on Friday. It's been a long time. This will be his first time flying and I am a little nervous about that. Please pray for my peace of mind and for Reed's safe travels...and safe travels for my in-laws as well. Keep up all the prayers against infection and for Gaines' health. You have no idea how much they are working. It is so encouraging to us and our families to see everyone out there praying for us. We are so thankful for you all.

Love to all,

As many of you know, Reed is now with my parents in Birmingham. This is a picture of him and his cousin Kathryn eating lunch yesterday. I'm not sure Kathryn knows what to do with him. She is sitting so nice and sweet. Maybe she will rub off on Reed.


26 Weeks!

Well, it is official. Brittany is 26 weeks pregnant. We can mark one goal off the list. The new goal is to make it until Friday, when Reed arrives.

The nurses checked Britt's temperature at 1:00 AM and it was 97.9. They checked it again around 6:00 AM and it was 98.1. So far, so good as we begin day 13.

When Britt posts, she likes to mention our visitors. Well, yesterday a good friend of mine visited us for the second time since we have been here. She came to pick up our laundry. This is the second time she has done this and I can not thank her enough. A task as simple as doing your laundry becomes a real question mark when you are living in a hospital. Thank you Elizabeth.

I'm sure Britt will post later.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Fact or Fiction?

We are halfway through day 12 and so far so good. I took a little nap this morning and feel so much more rested. I guess my late night and early mornings kind of caught up with me. I didn't even realize I was tired.

There isn't much to report. I had my blood tested this morning. My nurse thought it was ok when I asked. I feel like it is or a team of doctors would have been in here by now. We did have a little visit with my attending physician (top doctor here) last night so I thought I'd fill you in on that.

She came in last night and was exchanging pleasantries with us but I think Beau and I were both thinking...what's up? She just doesn't come in at night. I finally asked her if something was wrong. I told her she made me nervous coming in at this time of day. Basically she meant to come earlier but got sidetracked and finally made it down. Either way it was good to talk to her.

I apologized to her for my reaction when she told me I wasn't going home and then we had a fairly candid conversation about my situation. I learned somethings from talking to her that I need to correct from earlier posts. First, I may not have a c-section. Apparently when an infection does set in, it usually causes labor to start. If Gaines has turned and is no longer breech, they will let labor continue and he'll be born normally. There is also a chance if labor is fast and he's still breech he'll come that way as well. I think it all depends on how quickly things develop. I was under the impression that a regular birth would be too stressful for such a little baby but she said that really there is nothing to support that theory. She also confirmed our thoughts that things will be going along as normal one day and something will happen and they'll take the baby. Most likely because labor will start. Apparently labor can happen really quickly in a case like mine. I assume because the baby is so small.

I asked her if I she thought I really could make it to 28 weeks. She told me I absolutely could. She couldn't predict that but knowing that she thought it could happen made me feel like its a little more doable. Here are the parts that Beau and I interpreted differently. I choose to believe my version as it is more favorable. I can't remember her exact words but I think she said something to the effect of the longer you go, the better your chances of going longer...if that makes sense. I so hope that is true. Also, we were telling her about our blog and about how many visitors we'd had and how many people were praying for us and she was blown away. I swear she said that there were a lot of people in the hospital praying for us. Beau thinks I totally made that up and I guess I could have, but I choose to believe it.

She was looking around our room at all of the things people have sent us and listening to us telling her about the blog and she said it made her tear up. Anyway, I really think our visit last night went a long way on our relationship with her.

Let's see, what else...Gaines' heart rate sounded good this morning. Tomorrow is 26 weeks. I can't wait to scratch that little goal off the list.

We just got a picture forwarded to us of Reed eating lunch with his cousin Kathryn. It was so funny. I don't think sweet little Kat knows what to do with this wild boy. During the day in Birmingham Reed is staying at Beau's sister's house with her youngest and the nurse that keeps her. Beau's mom told us that when she dropped him off this morning Kat had just woken up and Reed came in full force. She said Kathryn looked at him like what are you so happy about? She said her mouth dropped open when he came in. He is just so full of energy. I think our families are getting a good taste of why we go to bed so early at our house.

All right...I guess that's about it for now. Please pray for an un-eventful rest of day 12 and that we make it to 26 weeks (and beyond) tomorrow!

Beau just called parts of this post fiction but I swear that's the way the conversation went. Men...

Love to all,


Day 12

Apparently, the resident doctors at G.W.U.H. only stay in a "department" for a month. So, this morning we were woken at 6:00 AM by new faces. They took Britt's blood this morning just to check her white blood cell count (this was scheduled). Other than that everything is normal. We will post the results of the blood test as soon as we get them, but we expect the results to be normal.

By the way, the new chair was like sleeping on air.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gestational Diabetes?

Thankfully the answer is no but I had to be tested for it again today. I already passed this test once at my doctor back home but my nurse had reason to believe that I could have it from another test they did this morning. After giving more blood, they determined that I did not have it. The good news is that even if I did have it, it wouldn't affect Gaines or cause an earlier delivery. The bad news is I would have had to control it with my diet or possibly insulin. I wasn't too keen on giving up my sweet snacks so I was thankful for negative results. I celebrated with a Reese's peanut butter egg. Four grams of protein so don't judge.

They also weighed me this morning. While I'm sure part of it was a difference in scales, this scale showed that I had lost 5 pounds from my last appointment at home. One of my doctors was in here while they did it and she didn't seem really concerned so I guess I'm not either. I assume some of it was from a loss of fluid and some could be some muscle loss. I don't really feel weak but I have been in the bed 11 days now so I guess its possible. Because of Gaines' gestational age, they don't really expect him to change a lot in weight right now. If I was further along that would be another story and would probably more of a cause for concern.

Thankfully we have made it past day 10 and are well into day day 11. I was just shocked to see that its almost 4 here. Its amazing how the days are going by. I pray that it stays that way. Now that we have hit and passed day 10 my next goal is to make it to 26 weeks (that's this Tuesday). I don't remember all the details as to why but I remember it being a significant point when my sister-in-law was going through this. I won't let myself ask or research on the internet how the statistics change for fear of freaking myself out but I think its a pretty big deal.

In other news, I finished my book so I'm back into reality. Also, from what I hear Reed is having a great time in Birmingham and has even been saying Mama. That's a big deal because it seemed to be the one word he had absolutely no interest in even trying to say.

One other quick thing, Beau got upgraded to a better chair. One of the nurses snuck him a better one this morning. I hope because they feel like we'll be here much longer. This chair has an ottoman and even reclines.

Please keep praying for us. Pray that we make it to week 26 and beyond, no infection and a baby that is happy staying where he is. We are still so thankful and overwhelmed at all of your support and prayers. Please keep it up!

Day 11

Everything is still good as day 11 in DC begins. They are about to measure Gaines' heart rate.

When Britt and I woke up this morning we talked about how many people will say a prayer for us this morning at Church. We talked about how awesome it is going to feel knowing so many prayers are being said. Then we opened our blog...typically we have 10-15 comments per post. Our post from last night had 32 comments! It was so weird to be talking about the number of people that would be praying for us and then read 32 comments (A God Thing).

It is so humbling to read that many comments from complete strangers. To know that we are being prayed for by so many people that have never met us. We know that God is with us and that God is answering our prayers.

Thank you to everyone who is praying with us and for us.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Evening

I wish I was more creative with these blog titles. It's actually weird to me to even be thinking of blog titles. Until this little curve ball God through us I'd never considered myself a blog person. I enjoy reading other people's blogs but never dreamed I'd have one of my own.

I don't really have a lot to report medically which is a good thing. Beau mentioned earlier that we thought my temperature might be going up today, so I thought I'd explain that. My temperature was only 98.7 but mine always runs low so that was high to me. Apparently Beau and I were the only ones concerned. We kind of looked at each other out of the corners of our eyes when that reading came up. Neither wanting to overreact, but both knowing that could be the start of a bad thing. My next reading was back to "normal" for me so we breathed a sigh of relief. I think it kind of reminded us that no matter how long we are here, at some point something will happen to get things in motion and our whole little world will change.

Right now we've sort of settled into our new world as best as possible. Doctors in early, back to sleep for a while, breakfast, make-up, etc. Blissfully more of the same everyday. I'm not sure how we'll react when something actually happens. I think I went into shock when they told me I was staying here. I started shaking and couldn't stop...so many things running through my mind. I wonder if I'll react the same way when they tell me its time? The words of the doctor from the first full day keep ringing in my mind..."This is going to happen". Let's just hope that's several weeks from now.

I also thought I'd fess up on my little blog hiatus. Beau has been putting most of the updates up lately because I've been stuck in a book that I can't put down. A person who shall remain nameless to protect her non-fifteen year old identity, sent me Twilight to read. Well that has occupied most of my day. I'm debating right now on if I stop for the night or stay up late and finish. Anyway, that's where I've been. It's really a pretty good book.

In other news, the mail came yesterday...and came and came and came. I don't know if they'd been saving up my mail until Friday or what, but I got so many cards yesterday. We also got a couple more packages of many much appreciated items. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has sent cards, packages, commented on this blog, sent us emails and called. There is no way we can respond to all of them but please know that each one is so appreciated. We look forward to reading the comments on the blog and checking our emails several times a day so please keep it up. They really keep our spirits up.

The days start to run together here and I can't remember which of our visitors I've told you about but we've had a few the last two days. Each time the door opens an unfamiliar face comes in but they always leave feeling like old friends to us.

I had a pretty good little spell yesterday of missing Reed. I know that we are doing the only thing we can right now but its hard not to feel like the two people who are supposed to be there for him and take care of him have abandoned him. I pray that this isn't affecting him. My mom says its not, but I wonder if she's just trying to spare my feelings.

Reed actually went today to stay with Beau's parent's for a little while. They are bringing him back up here next Friday and I can't wait. It will be his first plane ride which makes me a little nervous but that's just my nature. Pray that he makes an easy adjustment to his Birmingham life this week.

I'll go for now. I don't think Beau is impressed with the content of my posts but I just try and offer a little insight to our life here. Hope you don't mind.

Please keep praying. If we make it through the night we've gotten farther than "most people do".

Love to all,


Day 10 continues

Around 10 AM this morning the nurses took Britt's temperature. It was in the acceptable range, although it was higher than normal. Obviously, we were very anxious for them to take her temperature again. They waited 4 hours and took it again and this time it was back to normal. Praise God for small miracles.

We mentioned earlier that a church here in DC has "adopted" us. Really, a small group from a church here in DC has "adopted" us. A few of you have asked questions about how the church found us.

A friend of mine from Montgomery has a friend that lives in DC. When my friend heard about our situation he contacted his friend in DC. The friend in DC is associated with a small group from Grace Presbyterian Church in DC.

This small group is incredible. A member of the small group has visited us almost every day since they found out about us. The visits are usually no more than an hour and always end in prayer. It is an awesome feeling to have this small group of believers pray for us and pray with us. They are supporting us with their prayers and their presence...and most of them have never met us. Its a God Thing.

Thank you for all the prayers...we can definitely feel his presence.


We have made it to double digits...Day 10

No news so far this morning. The nurses have taken Britt's temperature and it was fine. They will monitor Gaines' heart rate later this morning. The nurses monitored it last night and it was great.

Normally in Montgomery, we take Reed to Chik-Fil-A each Saturday morning. We have found a Chik-Fil-A nearby in the George Washington Student Center. For no other reason than to feel normal, I am getting Brittany and I Chik-Fil-A this morning.

Yesterday I spoke to our Pastor from Montgomery, Jay Wolf. He was calling to check on us and to pray for us. I told him that Brittany was in the bed and that I was sitting in my chair/bed. He then told me something interesting that has stuck with me. He told me to think of the chair that I was sitting in as God's right hand. He told me to think of the bed that Brittany was in as God's left hand. He told us we could rest assured that God's presence was in our room and that he had us both in his hands.

Please keep praying for no infection and that Gaines will grow to be big and strong.


Friday, March 27, 2009

A Good Report

They just got through monitoring me and Gaines' heartrate looks great. All of my vitals looked great this morning too. Really that's about all there is to report. I've just ordered my lunch and hope to get a little nap in this afternoon. Its so weird, we wake up with plans to do this and that each day and before we know it the day has slipped away and we haven't done any of them. I take that as a good thing. I'll post more this afternoon and give you more insight into our day. Thank you for all of your prayers!


Day 9

Just a quick post to let everyone know Britt and Gaines are fine. The nurses took Britt's temperature this morning and it was 98.1...perfect. Believe it or not Britt is actually still asleep. We will update everyone after the nurses monitor Gaines' heart rate. Hopefully, the monitoring this morning will be a normal 20-30 minute monitoring.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Winding Down On Day 8

Today has had many ups and downs but I think we are going to finish on a good note (unless Gaines decides not to cooperate on tonight's monitoring at 9). My parents set up a web cam tonight and we were able to see Reed and Jack! We don't have a camera here so they couldn't see us (not sure if that is good or bad) but it was so good to see them. Reed waved at us and did a few tricks like pat his head, point at his nose, etc. It did my heart good to see that little face tonight.

Today was a scary day for me. I pray that it was a fluke and that tonight's monitoring goes well. I've been so focused on just making it through each day that I don't really let myself think about Gaines too much. I just really can't because I get so scared. I know that whatever happens it will be God's will. In my heart I know that all of this is happening for a reason and whatever God has in store for us, will be for the glory of God. That said, I pray that God's will is for Gaines to be born healthy.

Interestingly, our SS class sent us a care package today and in it among other awesome things (like new pajamas!) was a little angel painting titled "God's Will". I love it and already have one other by the same artist. I just think that it was really appropriate that I got it today. Along with that package we also got a gift from some of my family members back home with lots of homemade goodies. Let me just tell you that I've been into those today. I also got a new book that I hope to be bored enough tomorrow to get started on. We had three visitors today, I never knew we were so popular in DC. They all brought much appreciated items as well. We are so thankful for all of our visitors and our gifts.

I feel this little guy kicking around there...pray that he just hangs on a little (or lot) longer. They are about to do my monitoring now so pray that he has settled down and we can get a good nights sleep. Got to run for now...


All Clear for Now

The doctors monitored Gaines' heart rate for almost 5 hours. After five hours, they stopped monitoring and said that everything appeared to be ok. I don't think the readings were great, but they satisfied the doctors that Gaines is ok.

We also got good results back regarding Brittany's blood work. Her white blood cell count is normal.

Thank you for your prayers during this time. Please continue to pray for no infection and for a steady heart rate. The day's events have been exhausting...we will post more later.



Twice per day, the nurses monitor Gaines' heart rate. Typically, they monitor for no more than 20 to 30 minutes. This morning, they are keeping Brittany on the monitor for much longer. She has been on the monitor now for over an hour. The biggest concern right now is that Gaines' heart rate is high. A high heart rate can be a sign of infection.

The doctors would like for his heart rate to stay between 120 and 160. Right now it is measuring closer to 170. Please pray for Gaines.

Day 8

Just a quick post this morning to let everyone know all is well. Brittany and Gaines are right where they are supposed to be.

This morning the nurses checked Brittany's white blood cell count by taking blood. We should know the results in a couple of hours. There are no other signs of infection so we expect good results.

To check for infection, the nurses draw Brittany's blood twice per week and take her temperature every 4 hours. If you do the math (we have been here one week), they have checked her 44 times for infection. I think we have started to take for granted the fact that it only takes one test to come back positive for infection and our world will get turned upside down. Hopefully, it will be a long time before that happens.

Yesterday, a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in DC came to visit us. It seems that this church has kind of "adopted" us. Anyway, our visitor was praying for us and said "God, I know Beau and Brittany appreciate everything you have given them, especially this specific time in their life when you are reminding them that you are in total control". Hearing these words put our hearts at ease. God knows exactly where we are, what we're feeling, and how long we're going to be here. He will provide everything we need and see us through this time in our lives. What an awesome feeling to know we are not in control.

Continue to pray, we are seeing miracles happen everyday.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today has been kind of a blah day. So far so good...no signs of infection and Gaines' heart beat sounded good. We had two sweet visitors, one a guy we didn't know before and an old friend of Beau's from home. We enjoy the visits it makes time go by faster...and when they bring gifts we love them even more. Just kidding...that sounds terrible. The first guest brought some books and magazines for us to read and (which Beau is loving by the way) and he brought me some oatmeal cream pies. I'm so thankful for those...my stash had run out. And yes, I keep a stash. When Elizabeth came she brought our laundry. Beau sent it with her last night and she washed it for us. How awesome is that? It seems so small but you really have to humble yourself to ask someone to do your laundry. And its a huge thing when they do. We are so thankful to have people willing to do this sort of stuff for us.

As I said earlier, other than our two guests today has been a blah day. I feel like I'm in a little bit of a funk. Although I now have plenty to do, I haven't felt like doing much of it. I think this day 7 business has gotten me scared and all I want to do is curl up and lay here. I'm not letting me feel sorry for myself because I know this is partly a mental thing. I don't mean I can control it with my mind, I just think that keeping my spirits up helps.

Since I don't have much else to say today, I thought I'd fill you in on Gaines' name. Thomas is after my great, great grandfather on my dad's side. He's the dad of my Papa who I dearly loved and have so much admiration for. Just a good man that loved his wife and family. Gaines is after my sister (weather she knows it or not). My mother's maiden name is Gaines but it is my sister's middle name as well and that who we named Gaines after. I was telling Beau today that I think that is a good sign because my sister Abby is feisty to say the least. They told us going into this that a good sign from these babies was how much they fight the doctors when they are first born. If Gaines is anything like his namesake, I don't think that will be a problem at all.

I guess I better run. My dinner has been sitting here for almost an hour. It's crazy here, you eat breakfast and lunch late and then they want you to eat dinner at about 5. Please keep praying against infection and that I will be able to sense what my body is telling me. I'm so afraid I'll miss something that I should have told my doctors about that now I'm so hypersensitive about every little thing.

I also wanted to quickly mention how great Beau has been through all of this. He's been awesome. He's so good about getting me anything I ask for and having a good attitude about it. I'm sorry to say that I probably would have rung his neck by now if it had been the other way around. So strong, and reminding me to trust in God through all this. Sometimes its just his calm demeanor that keeps me at peace. I know that the peace comes from God but I think he's been using Beau and all of you supporting me as his little helpers.

Much Love and Keep Praying,


Day 7

Fortunately I have no medical news to report. However, we do have some good news.

Brittany got to take a shower this morning. This was the first time she had done this in five days. It made her feel a lot better. When she was done she dried her hair and put on her makeup. I think it gave her a little bit of normalcy. She is now going to spend the rest of the day in bed.

Soemthing else interesting happened this morning. GW Hospital has many security "checkpoints" in the hospital. Each morning I go to the cafeteria on the first floor and get my morning coffee. When I return, I have to pass through the main security "checkpoint" in the lobby. When you approach the security desk, you have to sign in, identify why you are there and show a picture ID. As I approached this morning the security guard waived me through and said "Good to see you this morning, Alabama". From day one all of the secuirty guards have commented on my Alabama driver's license. I guess we have been here long enough the hospital staff is starting to know who we are. It sounds weird, but simple things like that make you feel at home.

Thanks for all the prayers. We can certainly feel God's presence in our room.


Day 7

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we had an uneventful night. Brittany's temperature was perfect this morning. No signs of infection. We'll post more later.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evening Six

For a day that started out so busy, its ended up being a fairly long day. Its crazy how something is always going on here but then it doesn't really seem like it. Beau's given a mini-recap of the day, I'll see if I can offer anymore details.

One of our guests from this morning has also offered his home to us. I just cannot believe the people willing to do this for us. I think no matter what, we'll stay at an extended stay place near the hospital for the first two weeks. I'll be coming off of a c-section and we think it will be worth it to stay close to the hospital until we figure the whole NICU business out. He also mentioned something that we hadn't thought about before and I'm not sure how it will work with such a tiny baby so if anyone knows, fill us in. He has a connection to a cord blood storage company that has offered to store Gaines' cord blood. I think it is an awesome idea considering we have no idea what we'll be dealing with once our tiny one arrives. Does anyone know if there is a minimum age for this?

Let's see, what else...Beau mentioned all of our guests but he didn't mention the gifts they came bearing, a sister of one of our SS class members brought us some snacks from Trader Joes...we aren't familiar with Trader Joes but I imagine that we will be very soon. One friend brought us muffins and flowers, and Mrs. Bright came with flowers as well (ps..pizza was delicious). Anyone who knows me knows how much I love fresh flowers...I bring them in from my yard all the time. I'm so sad to be missing spring at my house, the azaleas had just started blooming. One set of flowers didn't come in a vase so Beau had to arrange them himself. He did a pretty good job. I just thought it was funny watching him arrange flowers. He'll love me sharing that with the world.

We got one other package today from two of my oldest friends. There was all kinds of good stuff in there but I think I am most excited about having my most favorite cereal (Oh's for anyone out there that's never had them).

Also we are now the proud owners of a deck of cards so if you can think of any good card games for us send them our way. I know there are some good ones out there I just can't remember any of them.

Medically, we've had another boring day. I did get my FIFTH IV today. Apparently I have sensitive veins...who knew? This one actually took 3 tries and they sent their best IV nurse in. I was wrong earlier on something...I don't lose the antibiotics yet. I have one more day of them thank goodness but I keep my IV. They like to keep acceess to a vein on all ruptured patients. I guess I'd rather have one and not need it than need it in an emergency and not have it. Right now I'm waiting to have my vitals done and heart and lungs listened to but thus far no fever so no signs of infection. It's also time to listen to Gaines again soon. I've felt him all day so I'm sure that will go fine.

A few people have asked why they don't keep me on the antibiotics. According to my nurses there are no studies that show that keeping you on them for longer keeps an infection away but more importantly when and if I get an infection, they wouldn't have anything to fight it with. I know there are people in the medical community out there rolling their eyes at my assessment of this situation. I just pass info along as I understand it.

Here is my request for today...please pray really hard tomorrow for no infection. Tomorrow is day 7 and the start of the 7-10 period that infection most likely sets in. I'm doing pretty good about not worrying about it but every so often a little fear sneaks in. I know this has been in God's hands the whole time but after tomorrow the doctors aren't doing anything proactive to prevent things. Also, please pray that if an infection does start I'll be able to notice it. They will be relying on me to report tenderness, cramping etc and I don't want to miss any of the signs thinking its nothing. As much as I want to keep Gaines inside, he'd be better off out here than inside with an infection.

I guess that's about it for me tonight. Beau asked if I wanted him to proofread this. A few of you have mentioned how good Beau is with words and its gone to his head. Told me its because of his private school education...don't even get me started on that. That may be a good topic for tomorrow...

Much love to all,


Day 6

We have had a busy morning...nothing regarding Brittany or Gaines. Believe it or not we have had 4 visitors this morning.

One of my friends who is in politics happened to be in DC today and was near the hospital so he stopped by in between meetings. It was very refreshing to see someone from Montgomery. We also had two "friends of friends" that stopped by. It is uplifting when people you don't know contact you through email, the blog, or a visit just to see if there is anything you need.

The fourth visitor was actually our US Congressman's wife, Mrs. Bright. Mrs Bright kept asking Brittany if there was anything she needed or wanted. Brittany finally broke down and told her that she really wanted a pizza. So, Congressman Bobby Bright and his wife are sending over a pizza for dinner. How Cool! I can't wait to tell Gaines that our Congressman sent us a pizza while we were in the hospital in DC (my apologies to the Brights for being politically starstruck).

Before I wrote this post, I checked the site meter on our blog. If you are new to the blogging world, you can click on our site meter and see statistics regarding the visitors of our blog. It is really cool. Thus far, our blog has been viewed by people in China, Germany, Australia, Canada and throught the US. It is so uplifting and humbling to know that people all over the world are praying for us.

I apologize that this post is so random and not much medical information but I guess that is a good thing. Remember, no news is good news. Please keep praying...miracles are happening.


Day Six-More to come this afternoon

So annoying...I just lost the post I've been working on the last 4 hours. We've had lots of visitors this morning so I haven't had much time. Quick update and I'll get more detailed this afternoon. Gaines and I are both good. His heartrate sounds good, no contractions, no signs of infection.

I'll work on a better post for this afternoon I promise. Its a shame because the last one was a good one. One other big thing...Gaines is 25 weeks today! Tomorrow is big day 7 so keep praying against infection. I'm getting close to coming off my anitbiotics. The silver lining to that cloud is no more iv. I'm on my fourth one already and these things aren't super fun.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 5 comes to an End

Thank goodness day 5 in the hospital is coming to an end. The end of each day means Gaines is one day stronger. Good news...nothing too exciting happened today, Britt and Gaines are doing fine. Tomorrow Brittany will officially be 25 weeks pregnant.

Britt's family left today around lunch which means Reed left as well. As you can imagine, Britt and I cried as they left the hospital. It was such a blessing to see Reed. He gave us much needed strength. We are now more determined than ever to bring home a little brother for him.

Tonight we had visitors stop by...or maybe they were angels. A couple from DC who are "friends of a friend of a friend" have been keeping up with our blog. They contacted us through our friend and offered to let us stay at their home once Gaines arrives and Brittany is released from the hospital. They made us this offer without ever meeting us, with no strings attached, and realizing we might be house guests for several months. We haven't made a decision yet regarding housing but it is amazing what God will provide. It was definitely a God Thing.

I truly believe this couple was sent to us to calm some of our fears regarding what we are going to do after Gaines arrives. I also believe they were sent to us because so many people are out there praying for us.

Please continue to pray...miracles are happening.


Day Five

So can you believe we've made it to day 5? Thankfully we are still here and Gaines and I are still together. As thankful as I am to be to this point, the closer we get to day 7 the more nervous I get. I know that is the start of the 7-10 day period that no doctor really thinks we'll get past (although I get the, but you could go longer, you can tell they don't really believe it. I pray that we'll prove them wrong. I'm nervous about the c-section as I've never had surgery and I'm really nervous because once Gaines gets here, the hard part starts. This business right now sure isn't easy but I know it will be harder once Gaines gets here and we are watching that tiny little one fight knowing there is nothing we can do. Not thinking about that today. Pray that those sorts of thoughts stay far from my mind.

I've had a few people ask what happens if infection never sets in. As I've said, no one here seems to think that will be the case but I asked a doctor this question this morning. According to her, different doctors have ideas on this but in general the benefits of staying in are outweighed at 34 weeks. However, the lack of fluid can start to cause problems around 30 days so they'd have to asses the situation after that point.

Just an interesting observation...what in the world do doctors do the rest of the day? I mean it seems they get their rounds done by 6:30 a.m. There is no sleeping late around here. I understand about doctors who have offices and do that the rest of the day but as I understand it, these residents don't have that...what do they do the rest of the day? Who knows. Not a complaint, just a nagging question about this time every morning.

In other news, I won my first game of spider solitaire yesterday. Can you tell I'm getting bored? Thank goodness for that. I kind of feel like that this is God's way of letting me "rest up" before Gaines gets here. Any mother knows how hard it is having a healthy newborn and how precious sleep and rest is. I guess maybe this is a little "gift" God is giving me because he knows whats to come.

They'll check Gaines (who knows how to make that possessive? sorry old English teachers) heartbeat soon but last night's sounded great and I feel him wiggling around in there. So far today is off to another good start.

The sad news is that Reed leaves today. Did Beau almost rip your heart out with that post yesterday? Broke my heart to read it. It will be very hard when he leaves today especially since we don't know when he'll be back. Pray for that today too please. Last night when he left he didn't want anyone to take him from Beau. He's pretty hesitant around me but I did get lots of kisses blown at me and quite a few bye byes. I've only been away from him since Tuesday morning it seems like he's talking so much more. I think I'm the saddest about missing all of his new things, he has been so fun lately and I can't stand missing it. Luckily he's with my parents that he loves and I think they are going to set up a web cam when they get home so we can see him. I also miss my puppy a lot today. I tell Beau that Jack and I are soul mates...we both love to just lay around and be lazy. We can also both be a little high maintenance at times. I just know how much he'd enjoy laying around in this bed with me. Sorry I know that's random.

Finishing up here, let me first say that I apologize for anyone reading this that gets slapped in the face with my medical issues like fluid leaking and the various colors of it. I know that's gross and I'd never be posting that sort of information on the Internet if it wasn't for this situation.

I guess that's it for now...I'm hooked up now to check the heartbeat and its hard to type. P.S. Not that I know what I'm looking for but the heart rate looks good. Also no fever this morning...another very good sign.

Keep praying...we love you all for it!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Night

It has been a boring day for Brit...good news. After the scare this morning, she has calmed down and been able to relax. Right now they are monitoring Gaines' heart rate and everything seems fine.

Brit got to spend the day with her mother and father. Her sister and I took Reed to the Circus. Reed was so funny at the circus. He kept dancing in his chair. Whenever the elephants or horses would come out Reed would point and smile. He was so cute.

At one point during the Circus I had to take Reed to the concourse of the Verizon Center (a 17-month old's attention span is only so long). Reed ran up and down the concourse...it was virtually empty as everyone was inside watching the circus. After a while he got tired so we sat down on a bench together. He crawled into my lap and kissed my cheek. All of a sudden it hit me that he would be leaving tomorrow and I didn't know when I would see him again. I began to cry. The next thing I know, he is patting me on my head, as if to say"Its okay daddy". I had to smile.

My prayer tonight is for Reed. I know this time apart is harder for me than it is for him. He's so young, he doesn't understand. I hope one day he knows we scarificed this time with him so we could bring him his baby brother.


Test Results

We got the test results back from the blood test. Brittany's white blood cell count was normal. Good news.

Reed did arrive last night...Brittany's Parents and her sister drove him the 900 miles to see us (God bless them). I met them last night outside the hospital. I called Reed's name from about 30 yards away and a huge grin crept across his face. He is an amazing little boy.

Right now Reed is taking a nap in the hospital room with Brittany and I. Later this afternoon, I am going to take him to the circus. Ringling Brothers just happens to be at the Verizon Center in DC. Another God Thing (I like to refer to those times that are just too coincidental as "Its a God Things"). We have had many "God Things" since we have been in DC.

Just wanted to give everyone an update.

Sunday Morning

Brittany woke up this morning and had leaked fluid throughout the night. The doctors said this is a good thing because it means Gaines' kidneys are working. However, the color of the fluid brought some concern so they immediately monitored Gaines' heartbeat and it was perfect. They also took Brittany's blood pressure, temperature and pulse oxygen and everything came back good.

As I am typing they are taking blood from Brittany. I must keep typing and not pay attention to what they are doing. I am trying to be strong for Brittany in every way that I can, but I am not good around needles. I tend to faint when I give blood.

Whew, it's over. OK, they are testing Brittany's blood for the white blood count. They just want to confirm what her temperature reading told us...that there is no infection. We should know the results in an hour or two. They do not expect the blood test to be positive for infection but it scares us a little. They have always relied on the temperature reading so this is something different.

Last night we also got two surprises. First, our sweet nurse brought an "egg crate" for me to place on the "chair/bed" I am sleeping on. Second, the Nurse also brought Brittany these things that wrap around her calves. Brittany calls them her leg warmers. They actually massage her calves so she doesn't get blood clots. She likes them.

We are beginning day # 4 in the hospital. We will continue to keep you updated. Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Afternoon

It is Saturday afternoon and thankfully we are having a lazy, uneventful Saturday afternoon. It reminds me of what weekends were like before we had Reed. Brittany took a nap this afternoon and I watched the NCAA Tournament. Everyone is still doing fine...no news is good news.

It was just a few days ago that all this happened and everything is starting to calm down. It seems the shock of all this has worn off and we are experiencing the quiet before the storm begins (labor). Hopefully the storm is many weeks away.

I was talking to Brittany before she went to sleep and we talked about the one question that each of us had thought about but not actually talked about...Why is this happening?

We both came to one conclusion. We realized that God is using us and this experience to touch someone. We don't know who that person is and may never know. Maybe there is someone reading our blog that is not a believer. Every time I open our blog and read all the comments and prayers I can feel God's presence. Maybe there is a Nurse or Doctor here in the hospital that is not a believer. Many times the hospital staff has come in our room and we are reading the bible, listening to worship music, or talking about the incredible offers of kindness we have received from complete strangers.

I then realized that God is not only using us in this experience but he is also using everyone that reads or comments on this blog. This experience has already brought Brittany and I closer in our walk. I pray it does the same for you.

Please keep praying...Miracles can happen.


Good Morning From Our Nation's Capital

So here we are, another day thankfully. Gaines and I are still here and are still together so thats good news. He's kicking around a lot this morning...still reminding me that he's fighting too and not giving up. For some reason one of the things that brought me back from the "dark side" two days ago was seeing pictures of Reed and knowing that this is his little brother we're dealing with. Beau and I were so excited when we found out Reed was going to have a little brother. Ever since I had visions of my two little boys playing and growing up together and I'm not giving up on that.

While a long boring several weeks is what we want here I'm afraid of boring you all with out any details of our medical status but basically all seems to be going as well as possible. I feel great, Gaines is kicking around, no contractions, no infection at this point. Also, keep in mind that while I like to pretend I'm an expert on a lot of things I don't have any medical training so I may mess up any medical updates that I try and pass along. I hope that my nurses bear with my know-it-all-ness.

Twice yesterday when they monitored Gaines heart rate and while they noticed a couple of deceleration (which are normal as long as they aren't too low or too long...which his aren't), they also noticed some accelerations which are really good and I believe have something to do with a developing nervous system. Gaines is just starting to do this but it is something that a baby does more around the 28-30 week mark so I'm taking it as a good sign. They should be back in soon to check him again this morning. I'm always glad when they do and we get a good report although I get nervous when they turn the machines on around here. I listen intently to the heartbeat...for what I don't know but the ups and downs although normal will freak you out. Or they do me anyway.

I just had a new doctor that came in and asked the standard questions...contractions, pain, leaking, etc? When I mentioned no on the leaking he seemed mildly concerned. Told me that I should still be leaking some because the baby should still be making fluid. It could be because they didn't have me on IV fluids yesterday and maybe I just didn't drink enough but I am hoping with all my heart that maybe things are healing. I know thats a long shot. I think the chances of that are 1 in 300...but someone has to be that 1. I'll keep you updated.

I'll finish this up here...I know my posts are a lot longer than Beau's...go figure. Beau and I have been so touched by the people who have found us and don't even know us. I am just baffled by people offering us things through a friend of a friend of a friend. Big things...housing, cars etc. It is so just so incredible and humbling. Plus all of the people out there praying for us from all over the world it seems now. We are beyond blessed.

Keep us in your prayers...pray for healing, no infection, a long boring stay in a hospital bed, my family that is traveling today and for an easy adjustment for Reed. I "talked" to him on the phone this morning and Abby (my sweet sister) told me he kissed the phone. I cannot wait to see that boy's face.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Update from Beau

This evening they were checking Gaines' heart rate and the nurses said his heart rate looks really good. At some points, his heart rate was measuring readings typical of a 28 week old.

Brittany is still doing fine. We are getting ready to go to bed for the evening.

By the way, we love reading the comments and emails from everyone. We may not be able to respond to many of them, but please keep sending them. We aren't going to have very many visitors so emails and comments are wonderful.

Post from Beau

We have been overwhelmed with the number of emails and comments on the blog. It is amazing to know how many prayers are being said for us.

Many of your emails have asked about Brittany's condition. She is doing fine. She has an IV and receives antibiotics and fluids periodically throughout the day. She will probably lose the IV in 5 days as they do not give antibiotics after the first week. No studies show that continued doses of antibiotics after the first week prevents infection. She does not have any monitors or other devices hooked up to her. The nursing staff does monitor Gaines' heartbeat for 30 minutes twice per day. Brittany is supposed to stay in bed for the most part, but she is allowed to get up to use the restroom and shower.

Many of you have also asked how long I will be able to stay with Brittany in DC. Fortunately, I work for an amazing company owned by an amazing family. My boss has graciously given me as much time as I need to be in DC. So I am not leaving...I will be here until Brittany and Gaines can come home with me.

Many of you have also asked about the hospital. The staff here has been amazing and very professional. All of the nurses and doctors are aware we are far away from home and they are doing everything they can to accommodate us. One of the nurses heard that Reed is coming to visit us tomorrow so she went and wrote down activities close to the hospital that Reed would enjoy. Believe it or not Ringling Brothers Circus is in town and only a few blocks from the Hospital. I may take Reed on Sunday afternoon while Brittany visits with her family.

I will post more information as we get it. Please continue to pray...miracles do happen.

A New Day

This is Brittany by the way. Yesterday was a pretty hard day for me so I left all the posting to Beau. Today however I have a new outlook. I was doing fine yesterday until the NICU doctor came in. She didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know from our experience with my neice Kathryn but having someone say it to me about my child really hit home. From there I got really upset and wanted to find out what the possibilities of transfer to a Birmingham hospital would be. After an ultrasound and a talk with the Chief OB here I was told that wasn't going to happen. That brought on a brief cry...I was devastated but at least that was pretty short lived. One of the hardest parts of this for me is not being able to be with Reed. I can't talk about that too much without crying still. That is so hard. The super good news and probably the reason for my new outlook is that my parents will be bringing Reed up for a visit very soon. I know that I'll have to be careful with him and will be in bed and can't play with him the way I'd want but I cannot wait to at least see that sweet face.

Moving on...Gaines is still where he needs to for now. I decided last night that he his staying where he is until 28 weeks. I don't know that the doctors really believe that will happen as they are very cautious to call that the best case scenario. I think they believe it will be 7-10 days until delivery...well 6-9 now. One of my doctors yesterday really kind of hit home when she said, this is going to happen...he's going to be here very early. Anyway, the prayer is that we make it to 28 weeks. My doctor from home called last night and he thought that would be huge if I make it that far...huge for the baby. Basically the reason they think it will be sooner is that they expect an infection to set in around the 7-10 day mark. From what I understand, and infection will happen its just a matter of when. So prayers against infection too please.

I've had my two steroid shots for his lungs and I'm on antibotics now to prevent (or postpone it seems) infection. They do know from ultrasounds that the baby is breech so unless labor comes on really quickly Gaines will be here via c-section. The NICU doctor said the more he fights them when he gets here the better. She also said weight plays a big role in that. I keep asking the doctors if I should load up on the high calorie foods to help him pack on the weight...I'm waiting on one of them to tell me thats a good idea. Chocolate cake three times a day please...

Speaking of food that is one of the nice things about this hospital. I order my meals from a menu whenever I want. Also, I feel a little like I'm on Grey's Anatomy (which I don't think I've watched since Reed's been here). This is a teaching hospital so I've seen about 7 doctors...residents, attendings, chiefs. I have to think back to that show to figure how who ranks what around here. The good news about so many doctors is that you get a lot of different perspectives. So far they all seem to be right on track with each other.

I'm not constantly hooked up to a monitor of any sort but they check Gaines heart beat every so often. This morning it still sounded great and I still feel him kicking around. That's a big deal to me because it reminds me on days like yesterday when everything seems insurmountable I know that he's there and wants to fight this with me. I hope that's an indication of the fight he's going to put up when he gets here.

Usually when you wait on something you are impatient for it to get here. It's weird that that isn't the case this time. We want to wait as long as possible. That said, I think our goal today is to figure out or start looking at options on where we'll stay once Gaines gets here and I get released. If anyone has ANY ideas on this please let us know. Hopefully once he gets stable Reed can move up here with us and we can get into some sort of a routine.

I know this is long so I'll finish up here with a few thoughts. I have know idea why this has happened to us and it is SO hard but I know that God has a reason for this. We'll get through it and come out better on the other side for having to grow through it. Pray that I keep that in mind on the hard days. Also a huge thank you to so many people already...Beau for being here with me. He's been awesome and his presence has really calmed me down. My boss David for getting me here twice and staying all night with me the first night while we waited on Beau, Kelly for setting up this blog for us, my parents for taking on a 17 month old and bringing him to me, Kathryn who gives me faith in miracles, friends, family, co-workers for kind words, gestures and genuine concern. It really warms our hearts to know everyone out there who is praying for us. Especially since that is all we can do right now. Pray unceasingly.

Thanks to all who have joined us on this journey. You have no idea how much your support means.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gaines' Size

We had an ultrasound today...Gaines weighs approximately 1.3 pounds today.

DC is now our Home

We just met with the Head OBGYN. We had high hopes that if things kept going well there would be a chance that Brit could be airlifted back to Birmingham. The Head OBGYN told us there is no chance that Brit will be released until after Gaines is born. We also spoke to the NICU Doctor. The NICU Doctor also told us that once Gaines is born they will not release him until he is ready to go home.

Basically, it looks like DC will be our home for the next couple of months. This is very dificult considering Reed is 800 miles away. We already miss him so much. Please pray that the God comforts us and Reed as we endure this time apart.

1st Post from Beau

Our family consists of myself Beau Daniel, my wife Brittany, our 17 month old son Reed and our Maltese Jack. As you might be aware, another member of our family is on the way...Thomas Gaines Daniel. This blog is intended for anyone who wishes to stay updated on Gaines. Gaines' original due date is July 7, 2009.

Brittany left for Washington DC on Tuesday, March 17th for work. She was supposed to return to Montgomery on Friday, March 20th. Brittany called me from DC on Wednesday morning at 4:00 AM and told me she had fluid leaking. Her boss accompanied her to George Washington University Hospital in DC. The doctors didn't believe it was anything serious and discharged her.

Once she arrived back at the hotel, her water broke (she is 24 weeks pregnant). After arriving at GWUH again Wednesday night, the doctors told her that the best case scenario was to delay labor for up to 4 weeks but typically labor can only be delayed 7-10 days. Brittany was given one round of steroid shots on Wednesday night and will continue to receive steroid shots every 24 hours. The steroids are helping Gaines develop his lungs. She is also being given antibiotics to help keep any and all infections away. The chance of Gaines developing an infection is high. If he develops an infection, the doctors would have to perform a C-section.

Right now our dog (Jack) and our 17 month old, Reed, are with grandparents in Alabama. Brittany and I are in DC. Some of you may not be aware of our niece Kathryn. She was born at 24 weeks and is now a healthy two year old...miracles do happen. We will update this as much as possible. Please pray for our family, specifically Thomas Gaines Daniel.

Beau Daniel

Contact information

Hi everyone - one last bit of information. Beau and Brittany both have access to their email addresses if you have those. The easiest way, however, to communicate with them is by adding comments to this blog. Those comments will be emailed to them and they can check it frequently as they update us all on their progress!

Thanks so much for praying with our family. We covet your prayers!


The beginning

Hi everyone! This post is by Kelly Ellis, Beau's sister. Brittany was on a business trip in Washington DC this week and was admitted to George Washington University Hospital on March 18, 2009 at 24 weeks gestation with pregnancy complications. As of last night, her water has broken. Beau is now in DC with Brittany. The doctors plan to hold Brittany as long as her body will allow without going into labor. That could be a week or a month or more. Our prayer at this time is that baby Gaines stays with his mommy where he belongs for as long as possible. God is definitely in the miracle business. I have a 20 month old little girl who was born in July 2007 at just 24 weeks and 14 ounces. I just know that God has another miracle planned for our family. Please pray with us!

Faithfully, Kelly Ellis