Posted (Tina) in All Posts on May-5-2008

Ella has experienced a lot more congestion the past few days. This has increased her respiratory rate and is making it tough for her to work on her feeding skills. Imagine sprinting around the block and then trying to drink: you would need to stop to take breaks and breathe. That is what it feels like to Ella when she is trying to take the bottle.

Ella decided that she likes peaches…she tried them for the first time yesterday and finished them off today!

Aside from trying peaches, we have hit a plateau as far as forward movement on Ella’s feeding skills. Things aren’t really showing huge signs of improvement, like they were initially. The good part is that she has gained enough skills to actually enjoy eating. Now, the biggest thing that will help her is simply getting bigger and stronger. All of it goes back to her underdeveloped lungs and having a tough time breathing.

Her PT session was good. It was hard for Ella. She melted down a handful of times. The good news is that she was able to settle down and collect herself within a few minutes each time. If you remember, she used to meltdown once and it would take her a long time to recover. This is a huge area of improvement for her.

The PT discussed that even over this past week, Ella has shown great improvement. She confirmed that Ella’s physical/developmental skills are at ~ 3 months. We have known this for a while, but the reality just sunk in deeper today.

We’re praying for the day that Ella gets bigger to where some of these basic things, like holding up her head or breathing, won’t be so tough for her.

Above all else, Ella is happy. She is happy a lot of the time. So maybe there is a lesson to be learned. Regardless of her challenges, Ella thinks that life is peachy keen.

Wow, she is already teaching me so much.

Joel Snyder on May 5th, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

Ella, Keep up the steady progress and before you know it you will catch up. This is not a sprint but a long race and you have plenty of time to catch up and you will. I am glad you like peaches me too. I am also glad that you are so happy and full of smiles. I am on my way to work and will check on you later. Love,Grandpa!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Rainey Family on May 5th, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

She is such a doll! I love that bow. Too cute. It is so great that she is happy often now!! It is the best feeling as a parent to know your child is happy. You guys are doing great!!

Steve and Joan Odell on May 6th, 2008 at 6:03 am #

It isn’t the age that matters – it’s the steady improvement – she is so awesome — I know the Lord has great plans for Ella – One day at a time – Lord Bless – Steve and Joan

Anne & Bob on May 6th, 2008 at 6:07 am #

Just watching the progress that Ella has made is inspiring to me. Many years ago, one of our twins started out life at 4 lbs as opposed to her sisters 5 lb 10 oz. Cheri was much slower in development–obviously didn’t have the challenges that Ella has experienced, but it was significant along side her twin sister. She didn’t smile like Ella does for many months. We were scared that she had significant impairment. However, a little over a year, when her little legs were too short to climb on the couch like her sisters, she dragged a chair over and got up. She didn’t have to study as hard in school as her sisters to do well. So, even though things may be slower for Ella, she has wonderful potential and her smile says it all. She is a very happy baby with a wonderful Mom and Dad who are supporting her all the way! Many blessings to all three of you. Anne & Bob

Lesli on May 6th, 2008 at 6:19 am #

Luke was 11 months old developmentally at 3 1/2 years old. I remember reading that on paper and totally having a meltdown. It’s hard having those numbers in front of you. But fast forward 5 years…he has really made so much more progress than anyone ever predicted. Ella has proved that she has a fighting spirit and will work hard to exceed everyone’s expectations. You are doing a great job at giving her everything she needs to succeed. Praise God that he has given all this strength to this precious little girl and to her mom and dad! Love, Lesli

Kuhn Family on May 6th, 2008 at 9:01 am #

As a mother of an Autistic child, I know that it can be hard to see those numbers on paper; they seem so much more “real”. Seth is 6, the Autistic one and his younger brother is 4. Seth is pretty much 3 in all areas but growth (he weighs 60 pounds!). It just seems so normal until we go to an evaluation or something similar. But, we are blessed that he cares about us and his two older brothers and one little one, as most Autistic children don’t really care, or have the ability to care, who is around them. So, there are sad and rough issues with a silver lining in other aspects. That is what I see in Ella. She may be behind in so many areas, but the ones that she is up on are great. To have a child that responds to you with such smiles can never be a bad thing, even if you would have to carry her on your shoulders for the rest of your life! The Lord is carrying you all right now and it is so evident in your blogs. God Bless, LoriAnn, Tom, Tyler, Zackary, Seth and Jonny

Kara on May 6th, 2008 at 12:44 pm #

I love that she is getting those round baby cheeks. Such a sweetie.

Michelle on May 6th, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

West family! It has been some time since we last spoke, but I think of you often. I’m wondering as you write of Ella’s congestion, do you think she may be allergic to cats or maybe just has allergies in general?

Don’t worry about her developement, she’s beautiful and it will all come in time 🙂

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