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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The past few days

Well now that we are all back in town so are Grammy (Daddy's mommy) and Granny (Mommy's mommy). Grandpa (Mommy's Daddy) was here since Thursday but he went home today. Garet will especially miss him as they were late nght snacking buddies in Pensacola for the days she was down there. Today Granny and Mommy took us for a walk and there were some girls selling cookies at Walgreen's. We got some....delicious! Hopefully one day we will get to sell cookies, too! There are some pictures below of us over the past few days. We wanted to be sure you got to see our new cloth diapers. Well, actually we've had them for a long time, but we're just now really big enough to wear them and Mommy is glad that Granny is here to wash them!!!! In other news, you will all be so happy with our new weights. Kitt weighs 9 pounds, 9 ounces and Garet weighs 10 pounds, 2 ounces! Must have been all that late night snacking with Grandpa.

Remember Kitt has her surgery on Tuesday and there won't be any pictures until she gets her new eye but there will still be updates. Enjoy these pictures. There were so many that Mommy started a new Snapfish album so feel free to check them out at:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My heart and mind....

It is time for me to be honest. I have sugar coated so many of my emotions throughout this ordeal. How do I even begin to describe what I am feeling? I am angry, disappointed, frustrated, mad, anxious, confused…..the list could go on. I am not saying that any new mother or her family should have to experience this but I am angry it has to be me and mine. I am angry that we spent 72 days in the NICU, came so far, fought so hard and now this. I am mad that my daughter has to go through this and in all honesty, I am mad that I have to go through it.

At the same time, I am relieved. I am relieved that my sweet girl is not feeling pain in her eye right now. I am relieved that this cancer is confined to her eye and the eye wall. I am relieved that she will have the eye removed in plenty of time for her brain to accommodate it. I am relieved that she will function normally and that no one will know she has a fake eye unless she chooses to tell them.

While I have not responded to many of you, I have read every blog comment, every Facebook message, and every email that has been sent to me. In all honesty, the words do not make anything better, but they have been such an encouragement. I am fully aware that you all hurt with me. You all wish things were different. You all wish you could take this pain away from me and my daughter. I know that one day I will go back and read all of the comments that have been left here and the emails that so many have sent me. I am so thankful for the support and friendship of each of you and of so many others.

While I know this is difficult for me and for my family, I know that it could be so much worse, and that things have been worse for so many other people that I know or that I hear of through other people. For that, I am grateful and I do not take my daughter’s life and health for granted. Clearly, just like any parent, I want what is best for my child. I want her to be healthy; I want her to be happy; I want her to be compassionate; I want her to love all people; I want her to know that she is loved; I want her to be accepting of people who are different; I want her to make a difference in her world somehow and in some way. While the dreams I have had for my child may have to be re-cast in some ways, none of those dreams do. She can be all of those things and do all of those things despite this bump in the road, and most likely will be able to do so even better than her own mother!

As for the update, we have decided to have the surgery here in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 2. She will spend Tuesday night in the hospital and then will come home on Wednesday. We will most likely spend Tuesday night on the cancer ward of children’s hospital. I will be reminded of just how lucky and blessed we are on that night. We will get to go home. She will be fitted for her new eye about 6 weeks later. Of course, I will continue to put updates here but wanted each of you to know what is going on and to also know what my heart and head are feeling tonight.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not what we wanted to hear

We had a very long and good visit with Dr. Carol Shields today who is the “world’s best” in eye cancers. After about 6 hours of testing, examinations and evaluations, she concurs with the doctor at Emory and recommends removal of the eye. She said a few things that gave me a sense of comfort and assurance in this decision. One is that the eye is not causing her any pain right now, but it won’t be that way for long. Clearly we do not want our girl in any pain. Another thing is that there is nothing they can do to remove the tumor and with it being there, even if it is not malignant and does not spread, she will never have more than about 10% vision in the eye. She said the left eye is in excellent condition and she can see me (and others) just like any other baby. We were initially concerned about the cosmetic appearance of the eye and without removing the eye, the appearance is bad. A prosthetic eye will look better than her eye in its present state. She added that Kitt will be fine and that the only thing that will be broken is our hearts as parents.

We are still trying to decide when/where we will have the surgery done. We really would like for the lady here to do it, but she wants it done in no more than 2 weeks but cannot get Kitt on her schedule that quickly. The alternative is the doctor at Emory who we know already has it scheduled for a week from tomorrow (March 2). We are hoping Dr. Shields can somehow squeeze her in but it would involve another trip up here next week (if she can get us in).

Thank you for your continued prayers. Although my head totally confirms this decision and knows it is what must happen, my heart is screaming something else.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Road trips

Yesterday, my (Brittany's) mom and dad came from Pensacola to pick Garet up. She will stay there until mid week. She kept them up a good bit last night but today they have had a leisurely afternoon. They went for a walk and hung out at home. I am sure they had a couple of visitors, too, as Granny is glad to show her off.

As for Kitt, the three of us left Atlanta yesterday and went halfway to Durham. We stayed with a friend, Jane, and then left this morning for Philly. We arrived after about 8 hours in the car and are getting settled in now. MaryAnne met us here and will be with us the entire time.

We know that there are so many people praying for all of us across this country and I have word of people in Egypt, Afghanistan and Swaziland as well. We are praying for a miracle but know that we will get through this no matter the outcome with the support of so many people who love us and our young daughter. We thank you now for your love, prayers, support and encouragement.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A change in pace

Hi Friends and Family-

This is Brittany, and while this blog has always been about ways you can pray for my girls and support my family, for the next few days and weeks (if necessary) I will be writing to update Kitt's situation and also give you specific ways to pray for me and my family.

As I have mentioned before, Kitt has a mysterious problem with her eye. We have been frustrated because doctors have not known what it is, and therefore have simply prescribed various eye drops to try to fix it, or at least keep her pressures in a normal range. Long story short, we finally got to an excellent eye doctor on Monday who expressed concern and then sent us back to Emory but with a different doctor. That doctor spent a good deal of time with us, did a thorough examination of the eye and brought in two additional experts to look at the eye. The three doctors are nearly sure that the condition is called Medulloepithelioma and is so rare that in the history of opthamology there have been fewer than 50 cases reported. The only option for treatment is to remove the eye which is what we are considering at this time. We are going to get a second opinion in Philadelphia but would have the surgery done here in Atlanta. In any case, please keep us all in your prayers and check here regularly for updates.

For now, please pray for safe travel for the trip, for Garet as she goes to Granny and Grandpa's while we are with Kitt, for some level of acceptance on our part, for the doctor who will examine her on Monday, and for healing of the condition.

In other news, both girls are over 9 pounds now! They sure have come a long way and I couldn't be prouder of them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More visitors!

So not much new has been going on around here. It is very cold outside so we haven't been going on walks. We have had a couple of visitors. There are pictures below of our visit with Todd and Allison last night and with Brittany today. I (Garet) have been getting up at 1:00AM to eat and then not going back to sleep until around 4:00 or 5:00. Mommy and Daddy have been very frustrated so last night they kept me awake from 6:00 until bath time and the last feeding of the day. (Actually, Allison kept me awake the whole time!) Well, the good news is it worked! We both slept all night long, until 6:00AM. Mommy and Daddy were so glad because they got to sleep, too. In other news, we are both doing a good job with gaining weight. Garet weights 9 pounds, 1 1/2 ounces and Kitt weighs 8 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces. So close to 9 pounds....maybe tonight!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

So today is our first Valentine's Day and we had a great time! GAMA sent us these really cute outfits to wear today and our Great Aunt Joan sent us these cute heart socks. Of course, Mommy dressed us up and took lots of pictures as always. Here are some but the rest are on the Snapfish page (the link is below). On other news, one of us hit 9 pounds last night.....Garet! Kitt was 8 pounds, 14 ounces. I (Kitt) slept through the night all night last night but Garet did not. I am going to try to teach Garet to do that one day soon. Also, Mommy's friend, Sherri, came to visit us. She loves babies and had a great time holding and feeding us. We sent Mommy some flowers for Valentine's Day (Daddy helped us) and there is a picture of them below. We also talked to GAMA, Granny and Grandpa through Skype today. There is a picture of us sleeping while we were waiting for the call! Enjoy the pictures....we will see you later this week.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Seeing Red

So we have not had any more visitors lately but we have been busy around the house eating and growing! Mommy wanted us to be able to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics last night but they started later than she thought. There are pictures of us below "waiting" for them to start . When we were first born, Mommy's friend Courtney (who came to visit us earlier in the week) brought us the red outfits in the picture below. They are not specifically for Valentine's Day (we will wear those outfits tomorrow) but Mommy thought all the red was appropriate for the day. Aren't we cute in them? This is also Mommy's attempt on having us sit up on the couch. We are progressing well but not that well! Mommy went and got her toes done today so Daddy had us on his own. Great job, Daddy! We will see you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another visitor

We had another friend come by to visit us today, Jillian. There is a picture of us below. There are also a couple of pictures of us just hanging out. We were both a whopping 8 pounds, 12 ounces tonight! See you later.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Too cold....

We really wanted to go for a walk today but it was below freezing when we were ready to go! We probably could have handled it all bundled up but Mommy wasn't sure that she could. Anyway, we had a visitor, Courtney, come to see us today and there is picture of her with us below. Other than that, there is not much going on. Mommy is going to go to BUNCO tonight with some of her adult friends so hopefully Daddy can handle baths, bottles and bed on his own!!! We also wanted you to see us in these cute outfits. They were a gift from some of Granny's friends....aren't we cute? Mommy also thought our reaction to each other in the same crib was funny. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This and that!

So not much new has been going on around here. We sort of watched the Superbowl. Make sure you check out the picture of Garet "watching" the Superbowl. She must take after her Mommy seeing as she is sleeping through the game! We did have a special visitor yesterday. Mr. Robert came over with lunch for Mommy, Daddy and Grammy while he fed us. He has been asking about us since before we were even in Mommy's tummy so it was nice to finally meet him. There is a picture of him holding us below. Yesterday was beautiful outside so Mommy took us on a really long walk all through the neighborhood. We were all bundled up but it wasn't nearly that cold. It is supposed to be the only nice day this week so that means we'll be cooped up in the house the rest of the week. Mommy keeps saying she can't wait until flu season is over. We guess we can't wait either! The other pictures are just from around the house. We are both gaining lots of weight. Last night Kitt was 8 pounds, 8 ounces and Garet was 8 pounds, 12 1/2 ounces. We'll be at 9 pounds before you know it! We were doing much better sleeping at night...usually only waking up once and sometimes Kitt wouldn't wake up until 8:00AM! However, last night sure was different. Mommy and Daddy fed us both at some point during the night and then Mommy fed us both two more times during the night. We guess it takes a lot of milk to gain as much weight as we're gaining, huh? Okay, that's all for now. We will see you again soon :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bath Time

Daddy took some really great pictures of us last night in the bath and we just had to share them with you. What's really special about them is both of us are so alert and content, which is rarely the case for Kitt in the tub! Here are two but be sure to check out the rest in the Snapfish album at:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Room for Mike and Ike

So don't get used to posts two days in a row! Mommy thought we were so incredibly cute in these outfits that she just had to show you. She can't remember who gave us these so if it was you, thank you! We also wanted to be sure that Granny saw the little pockets (in the last picture) so she can fill them with Mike and Ikes when she sees us next! We both went to the doctor today for Kitt's weight check. The doctor told Mommy she was really hoping for a weight of 8 pounds, 1 ounce in order for me to have done okay this week. The great news is I (Kitt) was 8 pounds, 3 ounces!!!! The doctor was so proud of me and also told Mommy to keep doing whatever she was doing. Last night I slept the whole night! Mommy and Daddy fed me at 10:00PM and I didn't stir until 8:00AM. Mommy said she could get used to this. I need to teach Garet how to do the same though. It has been nasty and rainy the past couple of days so we haven't been able to take walks but maybe next week will be nicer. Okay, that is all for now. We'll see you soon!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February already?

So Mommy has been so busy taking care of us, she just has not had time to log us in. Don't worry, though, we are back now and will tell you what's been going on. You might remember that on Sunday Granny left. Later that afternoon Grammy and Granddaddy came. Granddaddy didn't stay long....he drove Grammy up but then flew back to Florida. Grammy is still here helping out with us some. There's a picture of her with Me (Kitt) below. So let's see.....on Monday I (Kitt) had to go to the eye doctor but since both Mommy and Daddy wanted to go they took Garet, too. The good news is that the pressures in my eye, which had been very high, have come way down so everyone was happy with that. Still no one really knows what is wrong with my eye so I just have to keep going until they figure it out. Later that day Mommy and Daddy took us on a walk. It was Daddy's first time walking with us! On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mommy took us on really long walks. Wednesday's walk was not just us. We went with two of Mommy's friends and their babies. We hope we will be able to play with those girls when we get big. Yesterday, we had to go to a Pulmonologist because we are at risk for something called RSV. We look great, according to the doctor, but we did have to get a shot to prevent RSV. We got weighed that day, too, and we are both over 8 pounds! To be exact, Kitt is 8 pounds, 1 ounce and Garet is 8 pounds, 5 ounces! On Thursday we met a lady who might be coming to help Mommy take care of us. She was really nice and just kept telling us and Mommy how beautiful we are and how lucky Mommy and Daddy are. We agree with her! That's about it for now. We will leave you with some pictures from the past few days. Check out the one with us both curled up on Mommy's lap and also the one with my (Kitt) hand on my sister's head! See you soon....