Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Brandon's checkup and Kambree's first two weeks

Here are some pictures of Kambree's first two weeks. The first one is of her on the day we brought her home, lying in the hospital bassinette. The next one is of Emanuel pushing the car seat out to the van. He came with Albert to the hospital to pick us up so he could help with carrying all the stuff you accumulate in the hospital....he suprised me...I didn't know he was comming. He was so excited to see his new sister that when he got to our room he ran in, whipped back the curtain...and there I was....breastfeeding the baby. Emanuel was horrified and immediately covered his face with his hands and dove into the bathroom yelling "ewwwww!"
The footprints are something the hospital does for all the babies born there. If you look close you'll see that Kambree's footprint is right next to Sydney's from last year. What you can't see is that right below those two are Isaiah and Alexandria's footprints from 2006. All four of them are together. So neat.

These are of Bree's first bath. Her umbilical cord fell off at 9 days. The next morning she got her first bath in the sink. Drew took the pictures.

This is Jackson's first picture holding Bree. The other one is from the day we brought her home and Alexandria held her. Hilariously, Alex was the first one of the kids to hold her. Note the look on her face!
Okay, so yesterday was Brandon's check up at clinic. We have good news and bad news. On the good side, counts are excellent so he remains in remission and doing excellent. His counts were all in the normal range. Platelets were 207,000. That is absolutely fabulous!!! His ANC was over 4,000. That is spectacular....there was a time when it was zero for months. His hemaglobin was 12.6. We couldn't ask for healthier counts. We are so thrilled.
The bad news....when we got there Dr. Rob came into our room to have a look at Brandon. I told him that I had called the cord blood bank on Thursday and that they didn't have our results but that they were expecting them any day and would he mind to give them another call since it was Monday now. He shook his head and said "I've already got them." I could tell by the look on his face that it wasn't the news we wanted to hear.
"Not a match?" I asked.
He shook his head again.
"Well, who does she match this time?" I asked.
"Emanuel and Sydney".
Seriously, this time all Albert and I could do was laugh. Dr. Rob printed off all the lab reports for all of us, the kids we tested at the time of diagnosis and the babies born since and sat down with us to show us how to read them. While he was showing them to us we realized that on Brandon's genetic report it shows that for his six HLA types that need to be matched, two of them are blank. Dr. Rob explained that this probably means that the lab just wasn't able to pick up on what those markers were but that it is also possible that Brandon's body has deleted those two markers. If the later is the case, we could be having babies for a while without getting a match. I told Dr. Rob that knowing which is the case is a big deal to me because while I would have a million kids to get Brandon his match as long as it's indeed possible to get that match...but if there isn't much hope of ever getting one, then we are ready to stop. So....we drew more blood from Brandon to send off to Labcorps to get a deeper screening done of his HLA typing so we can determine if he can indeed be matched and what the liklihood of getting that match is. We should hear something in a couple weeks hopefully. Then we'll decide what to do from there.
To say that we were sad to hear that Bree isn't a match for Brandon would be an understatement. Last night was not a very fun night at our house. We know that God has a plan for us and perhaps it doesn't include a sibling match. Maybe God has other paths for us to take. Maybe we should stop. Maybe we should just keep trying. I don't know.
In case you're interested and I know we is how the matches break down among the kids.
Drew, Jackson and Alexandria are all exact matches for each other.
Emanuel, Sydney and Kambree are all exact matches for each other.
Brice and Isaiah are exact matches for each other.
Brandon remains the only one with no match.
Okay, on to Kambree news.
She is growing wonderfully. She is so adorable and so cuddly. I love her so much. Breastfeeding is still a challange. I'd like to breastfeed for at least a year but at this rate, I'm not sure I'll still be breastfeeding in a day. Sleep is a struggle becuase it takes so long to feed her from one side, pump the other and feed her pumped milk from the other side. She developed thrush and we finally have that under control. Hopefully things will improve soon...or its good ole' Emfamil.
She appears to have her first cold. I keep suctioning out tons of thick, green gunk from her news. Gross.
She also FINALLY started sleeping in her bassinette!!! I am so happy. For the first two weeks she would ONLY sleep on me, in bed with me, or somehow cuddled up next to me. Now she sleeps wrapped up in her blanket in the bassinette next to me. I can sleep so much better with her in the bassinette. When she's in bed with me I constantly worry about her.
She was her two week checkup and weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces so I know she's getting enough milk. We go back at four weeks so stay tuned....
That's all the news here. Thanks for the prayers everyone. We really appreciate them. We'll put more pics up soon!


The Romero-Schroeder said...

Bree is beautiful.... i have no words to say about Brandon, im sad along with you and ever so hopeful that GOD will show you his plan soon.

Terri said...

Thanks for the update. So sorry she was not a match! I was praying for you. I will continue to pray for good news from the lab work that was sent off. What is the next step if it is impossible to get a sibling match?

The Rhoderick Family said...

Bree is just as precious as the others. She looks a lot like her siblings. It's amazing. Hang in there with the breastfeeding it sounds like you are giving her a healthy supply of milk. She will get quicker. Sorry to hear she has her first cold. Tis the Season!!! :) Love ya. Hope to see you soon.

BoufMom9 said...

Omgosh! Ang! I am so sorry about Kambree not matching Brandon. That is just heartbreaking. I know you were really hoping this was it....
How sad/amazing that everyone else has a match but Brandon. Maybe you are right, maybe it's not meant to come from a sibling, but instead a stranger.
I am always praying for you, but will say some special prayers for you today that you find the answers you need.

Bree is just lovely. A beautiful baby girl!

Sheri said...

Bree is just beautiful. I'm so sorry that she's not a match for you. I guess God does have a plan for you but it would be nice if he would let YOU know what it was.

Nana said...

Hi baby,
I called last night but Drew said that you were already asleep. I am so very sorry that I rushed thru our conversation yesterday - you needed me alot more than I need to be consumed with my job. But always remember that Brandon has and will always be in God's hands. Maybe He is showing us that he has given Brandon the ability to get well all by himself, without the match. Just keep praying and trusting.
I'll call you later on. Again, I'm so sorry for not being there when you needed me to be. But, I know you still love me!!

Anonymous said...

You know that's the kind of information you think they would have found out a long time ago.
Why do you have to pump one side? You can't just do some on one side and some on the other? Oh well, whatever works for you!

Christy said...

Im glad to hear Brandon continues to be in remission! The pics are beautiful and I love that wall of all the baby prints! So neat that the last 4 are all there together! Bree is just adorable and I love the one of Alexandra holding her!
I hope you get some answers soon about if you are able to achieve a match or not.
thinking of you...

The Eadle Family said...

She is beautiful, all your kids are. I'm so sorry she wasn't a match. But I am happy to hear the Brandon is healthy and in remission. I can't imagine what you are going through as parents, and to have to make the decisions you have to make.

ASHLEY said...


Sharlene said...

My heart breaks for you every time there isn't a match. God does have a plan. You are right. I guess time will tell what that plan is. Any news from the lab yet? Anything we can do? I am happy to start drives out in Southern California if they think it will help. Please, let us know.

Bree is gorgeous. You produce some very striking children Miss Thang

L I S A said...

I'm so behind on my blogs! I had heard about Bree not being a match and I'm sorry. Have faith, God has something planned for all of us!


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