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Our Christmas Blessing!!!


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Some of you may remember that my daughter-in-law, Shannon, was expecting another child. The pregnancy has been very difficult, especially knowing the child would have spina bifida.

Jessica Lee Dolan was born this afternoon by emergency c-section weighing 2 lbs 1 oz and measuring 14-1/2 ins!!! She is alive, fighting, and holding her own at this time! All of her vitals are completely stable. The amazing thing is that we can touch her feet and she recoils (she has feeling) and she can fully extend her legs (she has movement in a gravity environment). There may be a weakness but she definitely is NOT paralyzed!!! Her bladder is working as well which is not always the case with these children.

She has been transferred to Children's Memorial Hopsital in Chicago who are experts in surgeries for spina bifida. She may be having her spinal surgery to close the gap tomorrow but we're still waiting for final confirmation. I'll be going with Shaun tomorrow to see her and to help with paperwork and if the surgery will take place near the time we're there we'll stay through it. If you would be kind enough to throw a few prayers her way for the next few days we'd be most grateful. I'll let you now how things turn out but for tonight we're celebrating our tough little titanium rose!!!

P.S Shannon had absolutely NO complications and is recovering comfortably.

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A special thanks to each of you for your warm wishes and prayers. They are more appreciated than I can say. I'll be sure to pass them on to the kids.

Jessi had her spinal surgery yesterday and it's a miracle this child is still alive and doing better than expected! LOTS of mixed feelings in this whole process. I can't give you much info yet because she's still pretty much out of it from the anesthesia. When she regains full consciousness we should know more about her responses like legs, bladder/bowel, risk of hydrocephalus, etc... She's under the lights for jaunice and hasn't been fed because they have to wait for her bladder to kick in. She's still intubated and on a respirator but it's believed that will come out soon. Hopefully we'll know more in a day or two. In the meantime, Shannon went home today and is doing just fine.

Grammy began having a good time today! I started researching preemie clothing and found hundreds of patterns online so I've already started sewing and crocheting. The clothing is too expensive for the kids (she's not even classified as a preemie but rather as a "micro-preemie" which are the 1- & 2-pounders.) I'm working on something they can put on her on Christmas Day when they go to visit her!

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We couldn't be having a merrier Christmas --- the news is all good so far!

Jessi is awake, flapping, and kicking! They have her little legs tucked under her frog-style to keep her spine still. She's off the breathing tube and respirator. happy She's also off the jaundice lights. They're feeding her through a feeding tube 5 ml at a time. The catheter should be coming out soon. They were able to remove the dressing from her spine and most of the bruising has already faded. We still have a long way to go but for now we're celebrating! The whole family is going to take turns visiting with her tomorrow for Christmas. santa

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Hi there Peachie, Laura --- thanks so much for the encouragement!

Tony, I'd love to send you pictures (and anyone else who might be interested!) but I don't want to take up site space. Would you like to send me your email address and I'll forward you a few?

News is still good but cautious. Jessi's cath is out so the only thing left is her feeding tube. She's up to 13 ml at feeings and has gained a whole whopping ounce!!!LOL Our concern at the moment is that her head is showing signs of very slight fluid buildup. Hydrocephalus is a risk with spina bifida but she is too small for a shunt so we may be talking about something called a "resevoir" so I need to get busy researching just in case it comes to that. In the meantime we're just celebrating the rest of the news. My daughter and daughter-in-law went to visit her on Christmas Day in reindeer antlers!LOL (great photo!)

As far as the clothes go, I haven't done this kind of work in a few years and NEVER anything this delicate!!! We actually found some clothes that would fit her but you'll die laughing when you find out where. I was at the craft store buying yarn for these hats and booties when Annie asked me to follow her. We found sweaters, jackets, dresses all in Jessi's size --- in the teddy bear collector aisle!!!LOL Yep, bear clothes!

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