Thursday, June 29, 2006

Keep it coming!

Just an update with Katanya once again. We went in today and her IV was gone! We were so excited. (Exspecially since the last few days it was in her head. It looked rather painful but wasn't. I guess the veins in the head are a little tougher and they last longer).

She is up to 38ML on her feedings and she has zero resididuals, which means she has digested everything. Her goal is 44ML which is her calorie intake. Then they will start trying the bottle and nipple.

This afternoon I got to give her a bath. This was a first time for me. It's so different when you have a premie baby and you are trying to be so careful with her. It was very special though and I am grateful for her progress! I never would have imagined that it would be doing this well after only eleven days.

Her weight as of last night was 2000 grams. This is roughly four pounds and 7 ounces. She has put on a little over an ounce a day. (an ounce is almost 29 grams). It reminds me of Kirsten and how she was 6.0 pounds when she was born and on her two week check-up she was a little over 11 pounds. I always say it's the "magic" milk.

Aspen is still doing good. She has lost weight the last couple of days. She was moved into an Isolette as well. She is now on the other side of the room so you don't "hear" as much. (The privacy act and all that good stuff). I haven't seen her mom for almost a week. We continue to pray for her though.

Someone (I think Eliza) asked where her name came from. Jake always like Katya and I loved Anya. So we combined them and came up with Katanya. We have had that name since a year after Kirsten was born. Jake just always likes to have his "secrets". Her middle names came from a few different ways. I always liked the name Isabelle. We just couldn't agree on how to spell it. We were just going to name her Katanya Isabelle when a few weeks before she was born we were watching Numbers and I liked the name Amida for a middle name. I told Jacob that I liked the name but I couldn't decide which one I liked so Jake suggested we use both. He has always wanted to have multiple names for our kids. I agreed and that's how we came up with Katanya Amida Isabelle Kerksiek. He then asked if we could change the rest of the kids names to four names. (ha ha).

We are very grateful for all the help. Especially for Maddy and Axel. She has helped me tons. It's nice just knowing that I can go into the hospital in the morning and evening and know my kids are safe. It has made my life a lot easier. Thanks Maddy! She has also helped me in all the "lifting" aspects. I didn't realize when they said you shouldn't lift it meant you CAN'T lift. (physically) It's almost impossible or you will be in pain. Thanks again.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Eighth day progress

I have to admit that Jake is a little better at blogging than me right now. He is more creative with the pictures and everything. It's late and I'm tired so mine will be short and sweet. Katanya amazes me everyday. It has been nothing but an improvement everyday. I know it's all the prayers and love that she has been receiving. No doubt in my mind. Anyway here is her update.

Today she went off oxygen completely at 11am. When I visited her tonight she had held her own all day. If she does well and continues they will take off the oxygen tubes. She is at 17ML and will be up to 21ML tomorrow. Yesterday when we visited her (our nightly visit), she had gained 105 grams. Thats a little over three ounces. Today she gained another 20 grams. She has exceeded her birth weight and is now a little over 4 pounds and 3 ounces. Another good thing is that she was able to be "introduced to nursing" today. (I don't know how else to put it). She would suck a few times and then look around. Then she would go back and repeat for about fifteen minutes. We will do that every morning for a little while.

Like I said, I am completely astonished at her progress. She is a strong willed person and we all love her. Kirsten loves to go so she can put her hand on her knee and talk to her. Every time she asks if she can go.

Maddy and Axel are also here. They have been a great help to us. I am very grateful for family and their willingness to help. I don't think I could ever say thank you enough.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Last night Katanya progressed to the point that they were able to move her to an Isolette (a small incubator box). She is off the bili lights now and is just using a trickle of oxygen. She looks so peaceful. We are so thankful that she is doing well.

Although now that she is in an isolette it is kind of strange to feel connected. We have our good days and our bad days but overall we are just happy that things are stable and progressing.

Opportunities at every turn.

Interestingly enough I have found another great opportunity arising from Katanya's premature birth. Last sunday morning while the doctors were doing their final tests on Amy and Katanya there was another woman in labor giving birth to a 10 week premature baby. She gave birth to Aspen at 9:30 AM weighing 3 lbs 9 oz. Later that night around 10 pm we were in the NICU watching Katanya and Aspen's mother came in sobbing. I guess she had given birth that morning and was checking herself out of the hospital that night. She introduced herself as Niokole and we talked for a few moments. I guess that she did not have insurance and had a 7 year, and 10 month old little boy at home. She lives with her boyfriend (who is the father of her 10 month old). As it turns out she lives about 1 1/2 miles from my house in the next ward boundary over. She did not seem to be the active member type ... if even a member at all. Her boyfriend came in and said hello ...they seemed very nice ... just seemed like they were really struggling.
The next day in the hospital I noticed that Nikole did not come in to see her baby. I figured I would try to track her down to see if she needed any help.
Tuesday morning I had to go out to our new house to pick up some things so I figured I would stop by her house to make sure things were ok. Turns out they live in a 1960's double wide trailer that looks like a hurricane hit it. I knocked on the door a few times and finally a 12 year old boy answered ... he was Nikole's little brother and was there trying to help her. Nikole was in bed so I told him who I was and said I would return later.
Later that night Kirsten and I swung by their house. She let us in and was happy to talk to us and have visitors. She said her boyfriend worked late but that they were going to go in to see the baby later that night. I asked what the neighbor's had said when they found out she had the baby so many weeks premature. She responded that no one even knew. After about 10 minutes her boyfriend came home and we talked for another 20 minutes.
We left and I drove down the road to the church house to see if I could find anyone in the bishopric. All I could find was the young woman's leader but I gave her all the info and said that it might be a great time to get to know the family bette rand that they could probably use some help.
Thursday night at the hospital I ran into her and asked if she had any pics of her baby ... she said no because she did not have a camera so I said I would take a few for her. She came back to the NICU with us and we took a few pics for her. I dropped them by her house on friday and she
was so excited.
I just really feel like it is more than a coincidence that two neighbors have premature baby's on the same day in the same place. I am excited to see where our friendship might lead. Sadly though her baby has a few heart problems and she stops breathing every so often. Her baby is down to 3lbs 1 oz. Hopefully things will get better for her.
Friday night we brought the family to see Katanya. Me missed McKay ... she is in Utah. Kirsten enjoyed holding her leg and feeding her, Cruz really did not know what to think of the situation.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Karl's Visit

Karl came to help this past week and we are so greatful for his help. Cruz and Kirsten really like him. Here area a few pics of Cruz learning the ropes of Karl's analyst job:

Karl also had some serious issues that needed resolving. I guess when I was in high school I picked on Karl a little too much. Now that he has 30lbs of muscle on me he decided to show me who was boss. I felt like a rag doll. Amy was watching and took a few pics. Later she asked why I didn't fight back harder. I told her if I had I just would have got hurt vbecause the hardert I fought the harder Karl would retaliate. I guess it is true .."WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND". I am sure that I have a few more beatings in store before Karl will forgive me. Rightfully so!

Counting My Blessings!

I would have to admit that I have been pretty overwhelmed by the events that have happened in our family over the past week. Although last night I found out some news that really put my trials into perspective. I learned that Randy and Star had a little girl 12 weeks premataure at 1 lb 6 oz. The moment I heard that I forgot all of my worries concerning Katanya and my heart just went out to them. Here I have been "uber" concerned about my baby thinking that we had it rough. Life definitely is not easy but it could be worse. I feel so blessed that so many people have excercized their faith and prayers on Katanya's behalf. I know that it has made such a difference in the outcome.

Right now in th NICU at our hospital there are 5 babies. One is a little boy that has been there almost 3 months ... he was born at about 2 lbs and is now at about 4 lbs. Another is a little boy that has been there about 2 weeks and has some problems. Another is a little girl .."Aspen"... that was born just a few hours before katanya ..she was 10 weeks premature and weighed in at 3 lbs 9 oz. She has a severe heart murmur and her heart stops beating about every hour. Another is a full term little girl at 6 1/2 lbs who came into the NICU 2 days ago with severe seizures. Then there is Katanya ... she is doing so well. The doctors have basically told us that at this point she is the least of their worries among the patients in the NICU ... in fact they said that she was doing amazingly well. We feel so blessed. I know that it is only because so many have prayed on her behalf ...thank you so much.

Back to my original thoughts though ... I have spent the day having good thoughts and praying for Star's baby....Emily. I hope that I can share some of the great love that I have felt others give to our family over the past week.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A new day

Katanya improves everyday. This morning when I went in they had her at 21 on her oxygen. That is the air that you and I breathe. They still were blowing it at a lower level but she was breathing room oxygen! She started feedings two days ago thru a tube in her nose that goes to her stomach. She was at 6 ML yesterday and today they were going to up it to 8 ML. They say her IV will come out soon as soon as she digests everything. I am amazed at what a strong girl she is! We love her.
Everyday I have been amazed at the progress that Katanya has been making. I have counted my blessings. I used to want my "schedule" planned out or at least try to be planned but lately I have been content with just living day by day. We have felt the prayers and know they are being answered. I just want to thank all of you again for everything that you have done. We love you all!

Katanya at four days

This was Katanya as of last night. She has started taking breast milk thru a tube in her nose. She is digesting almost all of it. Daddy's little girl. It was his first time holding her.
She was doing really well last night that we both got to hold her.

Katanya at three days old

This was the day that I was discharged from the Hospital. Katanya had been off the ventilator for about 16 hours.
Small hand. Small head. Small everything. She is a fighter though.

This was at three days old.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Katanya's day

Today, I was able to come home from the hospital. It was hard to go home without your little one but the nurses and the hospital were wonderful! As Jacob said, Katayna went off the ventilator yesterday. She had a good night and was doing well in the morning. She was put on a "billy" blanket because of a little jaundice. It is very typical for premies though. This afternoon I went back to check on her and they had taken out her belly tube that acted as an IV and other things. I was able to hold her for the first time! It was so special! They are going to try to give her her first breast milk later tonight. I didn't even think I would be able to hold her today so I didn't have my camera with me. I was unprepared but the memory is there. I am so amazed at technology these days. So much has happened in her last four days that has been amazing!

Jacob has been great! I could not ask for a better supporter, husband, or best friend. I am really grateful for all that he has done for me and our family. It's late but Happy Father's Day Jacob! I love you!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Things looking up!

On a postive note ...they removed Katanya's ventilation tubes tonight. We were surprised that it was so soon. She still has little oxygen tubes in her nose but her little lungs are doing all the work.

ON a bad note ...the women who hit Amy did not even spend 3 hours in jail before she was bonded out. She was originally booked on driving with a suspended license. I wonder if she even has any idea of what she caused to haapen to my family guess is that she has no clue.

I spoke with the county prosecuter this morning and he said that the lab results came back and it is now a DUI officially. She will be re-arrested and then arraigned in about 2 weeks.

Unfortunately 1st time offenders in Idaho get a maximum of 6 months jail and a max fine of 2000 plus restittuion. The prosecuter told me that if you were pulled over for weaving and turned out to be drunk the judge would generally give you 2 or 3 days in jail and a 1000 dollar fine with 2 years probation.

He said that since there was bodily injury and premature birth the woman is more likely to get in the 3 - 6 month range. It is sad that my little girl will spend more days in the hospital than this woman will spend in jail. The law needs to be changed.

Amy is right ..I am a FADD advocate. I now have a zero tolerance attitude towards driving while drinking ... especially when you are underage. Harry keep locking them up ...even little dui accidents can lead to dire consequences. $10 in booze can cause $500,000 in damages.

Humbled by your love.

Jake brought his laptop to the hospital tonight and took me to a Wi-Fi spot and I looked up the blogs. I am so appreciative by all the thoughts and prayers by everyone. I married into a great and loving FAMILY!!!! No one could ask for a better one. I appreciate everyone and their actions on helping and being so caring. It makes everything a lot easier on us.

I never realized how hard a C-section would actually be. I have always bounced back from normal deliveries and had no problem getting around. Boy, do you take your stomach and all the little muscles and skin for granted. I was shocked and put in my place last night when I went to walk for the first time. As was I this morning when I felt better and walked to the nursery a couple times. Needless to say I had to swallow my pride and take the drugs for pain and allow myself to be pushed around in a wheelchair. I am still doing really well though as like Jacob said, It could have been A LOT worse.

Katanya has gained an ounce back and has been stable most of the day. Her breathing and respitory count have been what they expect for a premie. The say it is possible for her to be off of it at the end of the week if everything keeps improving. We will finally be able to hold her for a little bit then. It's a day by day progress and we will take it that way as well.

Kirsten and Cruz don't really understand what has happened but they are doing well. They were fine and walked away from the accident without any pain or scratches. I know see the great importance of safety seats. I have always had my kids buckeled up but you still never think it could be you. Especially thinking you will be the victim of a drunk driver accident. Jacob is a new member of the F.A.D.D. program. (ha ha).

We have felt your prayers and I just want to say THANK YOU for everything once again. WE ARE TRULY HUMBLED BY YOUR LOVE!!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

God's hand in all things!

Amy and I were looking retrospectively at the events of the weekend today and we realized just how lucky we are. God truly had his hand in our lives ... protecting us from something so much worse.

First off for those of you who are interested I will give you a first hand account of the accident. Our new house is about 1/4 North of the major highway (HWY 26) to Jackson Hole. Our old house that we rented is on the same street just about 1/2 mile on the same street on the south side of the highway.

I was working out at the house on saturday and Amy was going to bring me dinner at 6 pm. At about 5:45 pm I realized that I needed a drill bit from the Shop that we still rent at our old house. So I got in the truck and headed down to the shop. I got to the stop sign at the highway and there was tons of traffic both directions. It is a very busy road and is only 1 lane each direction with no turn lanes. The speed limit on the highway is 65mph. As I waited to cross I saw Amy coming up the highway bring me dinner. She started to slow down so that she could turn left. There were about 5 or 6 cars behind her. Finally it was almost clear for her to turn when I looked to the right and saw that an old brown car had come up on the 5 or 6 slowing cars and had decided to not slow but to pass them all. Knowing that Amy was going to turn left I frantically began waving my arms at her trying to get her attention and motion for her not to turn ... because she would be hit by the car trying to pass. Amy looked at me in confusion and slowly proceded to turn left ... she had no idea that a car was approaching her from behind doing between 60 and 70 MPH.

Her suburban was at about a 45 degree angle to the highway when the old brown car realized that she was turning left and tried to swerve around her to not hit her. She could not make it and the front right side of the brown car clipped the front left side of Amy's suburban. Amy's suburban just deflected the brown car into a spin and her suburban stayed put.

I jumped out of my truck and ran to my family dialing 911 at the same time. The suburban did not look too bad and neither Amy or the two kids were visibly injured. The air bags did not deploy. Amy immediately began complaining of excruciating back pain and severe contractions. An off duty firefighter stopped and rushed over. Then immediately someone said a doctor had stopped and came over. When i looked over from Amy I realized who that Doctor was ... it was Amy's very own OB / GYN. Amy said that she hadn't felt the baby move since the accident. He looked at her and immeditaly said she needed to be taken to the hospital and checked out. The ambulance arrived and were were wisked away. I left the kids witha neighbor that lived on the corner.

They took us directly to the Labor and Delivery ward at the hospital where they hooked Amy up to monitors, did a complete ultrasound workover and gave her drugs to stop the contractions. They drew blood for some tests and then thinking that they had everything under control sent Amy to the ER to have her back and neck checked out for injuries. While we were in the ER the Labor and Delivery Nurse came back and told us that the Baby's blood was mixing with Amy's and that we were going to have to spend the night in Lasbor and Delivery. Amy's doctor stopped by agauin the next morning at 6 AM on his way to church meetiongs (he is a stake president) and said she needed 3 shots of Rogam to offset the baby's blood. He also ordered another blood work up to see if the baby was still bleeding iinto Amy. At about 10 am on sunday morning the nurse came in and said things were looking better and that the original test showed 1.1% of baby blood mixed, while the second only showed 1.4%. She said things would probably stabalize but the Doctor would be in at 11 AM to make the final decision.

The doctor showed at 11:45 am and said that even though the baby monitor showed no signs of distress there had to be a problem in order for the baby to be bleeding out into Amy. He said we needed an immediate c-section. I had no time to get anyone to the hospital so he helped me adminster to Amy. We were dressed in scrubs and taken right into the OR. At 12:31 PM they started the c-section, Katanya was born at 12:35 pm and immediatley whisked off to the NICU. By 12:52 Amy was all stitched up and back in the recovery room. We did not even see the baby for about 2 more hours.

This evening Amy's doctor came in and told us the final blood mix count ... 3.4%. He said that had we waited any longer we would have been in a crash cart situation. We had made the right decision in taking the baby when we did.

As Amy and I talked over the terror of the weekend and the tragedy we realized how the lord had watched over us. Had I not been at that intersection to slow Amy's turn she would have been t-boned at 70 mph. Which would have caused severe injury to Amy, Cruz and the baby. As it was the car was barely deflected of the suburban. What was the likelihood of Amy's very own Doctor driving just 2 cars behind her? We are so greatful for the blessing we recieved. While we are not happy to have a baby in the ICU, we feel blessed that none of our other children were hurt nor was the baby killed.

We are so greatful to all those who have helped out, prayed and fasted on our behalf and expressed desires to help in any way that they can. Thank you all so much.

Amy is doing well and is recovering nicely. She is very apprehensive about having to leave the hospital without her baby. She feels awful not be able to take care of Katanya as a normal delivery would allow. But she is doing all she can. She stays by Katanya's side as much as she can.

Katanya is doing as good as can be expected. She is down to 3 lbs 15 oz but they say that is normal. She has a ventilator, 2 IV's and an umbilical IV thingy. She is seddated and is in stable conditon. They say she will be in the NICU for about 2 months ...Amy is praying for a miracle and is hoping for 1 month. I will keep you updated as the days go by.

Once again thanks for all your prayers ...they are felt and appreciated.

The Best Father's Day Ever!

June 18th, 2006 12:35 PM
4 lbs 2 oz
16 Inches

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Keep us in your prayers

Amy and the kids were hit on the highway last night by a drunk driver. The kids are fine but Amy had trauma to the baby so they had to do an emergency C section this morning. Katanya was born 8 weeks premature weighing 4lbs 2 oz and will be in the NICU for a few months. Please keep her in your prayers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Last but not least! Cruz was the hardest out of them all too. I would go to put him on the stand and he would flip out. I think it reminded him of the doctor's office or something. I tried three times total, each on different days. The third time, I picked up Jake on his lunch and he came along. I had Cruz's tractor to play with also. The only way he would sit on the stand was for Jake to lay down on his stomach and Cruz sat on his back. Hence the reason they are only mid-torso shots. We were happy for any smile at this point though! Posted by Picasa

Cruz again. Of course we did not pick this one, but I liked his smile. (Jake thought the spinner was too girly). Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

As you can tell, it's my yearly pictures mode. Kirsten had her pictures taken when we got back from the Memorial Day weekend. As Kirsten said, she was a lot 'easier' at taking pictures. Which meant she liked to smile. Posted by Picasa

Kirsten again. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 02, 2006

I had McKay's pictures done last week. She was very upset because I curled her hair and chose her new outfit. She is getting the teenager attitude already. I am sure I am in for it when she gets older! Anyway she tried not to smile on most of them but we were able to get a few out of her. I can't believe how fast they grow up! Posted by Picasa

Here is McKay's favorite picture.  Posted by Picasa