Best Yet

Shirley is breastfeeding like a champ as I type this! She has been at it for a solid 20 minutes and doesn't show signs of wanting to stop! Brianna has been working so hard with Shirley ever since she has had the opportunity to attempt nursing around 3 weeks old. It has not been easy. There have been a lot of tears and mixed emotions surrounding nursing over the last two months but right now it's euphoria. For a mom who wants to breastfeed, not being able to do so is extremely challenging. There have been times that Brianna wanted to throw in the towel. Failed attempt after failed attempt took a toll on her but she never stops trying and it paid off big tonight! Hopefully this is just the first of many nursing sessions for this little girl and her mom.

Other Shirley News

She is a whopping 9lbs, 8oz as of her last appointment! That is a full two pounds more than her birth weight! When we first got home from the hospital Shirley was just about 8lbs and during the first few weeks we could literally feel her gaining weight everyday! The doctors want her to pack on as many pounds as possible. In the event that something unforeseen happens, they want her to be stout and able to handle whatever intervention she may need. Each Dr. appointment goes better than the last it seems. Each cardiologist raves about how great she looks in light of her heart failure. There was also some concern about her hormones being out of whack but the endocrinologist ran some tests and said that she has no concerns for Shirley and doesn't expect we will need to visit her again! 

Shirley was enrolled in "early intervention" which is a program for children that helps with developmental delays. Because Shirley spent so much time on her back the first few weeks of life she still has rather poor head control and will behave much like a rag doll if we don't support her. She is also going to get some help with her oral skills due to the fact breast feeding has been such a difficult task for her. It's unlikely that Shirley will have any pressing developmental delays and even if she didn't go to her little appointments she would probably be just fine. Cognitively, Shirley seems to be doing very well. Her drugs can make her drowsy at times but when she is awake she is alert and very interactive! 

New Work

We have been very busy over the last few weeks and its been hard to do much writing. I started a new job a few weeks back! No more UPS!!! No more brown! No more packages! UPS was a great job for what it was and I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to work there. UPS bought us our house, put food on the table, and paid our medical bills. I didn't love my job but that didn't matter. Our needs were met and sometimes thats all you need to get out of work. 

During the majority of Brianna's pregnancy I was interviewing with different local law enforcement agencies. The week after Shirley was diagnosed I had an interview with the City of Federal Way. The interview went well and a few weeks later they called me in for a background interview. A couple weeks after that I was sitting with the Chief of Police and some of the command staff. My first interview was Oct 10th and I had an offer of employment on Nov 29th. I related the complication of Shirley's condition to them very early on and they were more than willing to work around Shirley's birth and hospital stay. Four and a half months after being offered a position I started as a recruit police officer. There were a few times I thought that I was making a mistake and being irresponsible by leaving my job at UPS during such a critical time in our lives but I'm very glad I did. It wasn't ideal quitting while Shirley was in the hospital recovering form open heart surgery but sometimes you just have to take risks. The Federal Way Police Department has been unbelievably supportive of our needs over the past few months and I couldn't be more excited to start a new career with such a great agency. 

Brianna has been a trooper taking care of Shirley on her own over the last few weeks. It certainly hasn't been easy for her but She really is doing a remarkable job! 

Not sure how many of you saw this but Jimmy Kimmel recently had a son the was born with CHD his announcement on the show was tear jerking. 

Thats all for now I think! Enjoy this little video of Shirley being adorable!