Monday, October 27, 2008

May 1st 2008 - Mayday

A few days ago I was watching the video tape of Maddy birthday. My mind was kind of fuzzy right after she was born and I didn't know exactly what happened in the minutes after birth until I watched the video. The video starts right after she was born. She is laying on my chest and the nurses are rubbing her vigorously trying to get her to cry. After about a minute they take her over to the incubator and are working on her. I hear little tiny cries coming from her, and one of the nurses repeating "come on baby, breath! Stay with us baby! Come on! Come on!" When Tony goes over to get a picture of her the nurse sternly says "You will need to stop taking pictures NOW" the video goes instantly blank. I felt my own heart skip a few beats while watching this. I though to myself that it was like watching a sad movie because that is how the nurses talk in the movies when a baby is in trouble. Thankfully I know this movie has a happy ending!

The video picks up again the next day at Childrens hospital in the NICU. We did alot of taping in the hospital, I wanted to have a good record of everything so Maddy would know her birth story, and with everything happening so fast I didn't trust my memory. We have done alot of video and pictures since we got home, every first has been recorded, just as it was for Tristyn when she was born.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Visiting Lucky

We were able to go & see Lucky today. He is walking a little better, there might be some nerve damage to his back end. His tummy is still bloated on one side, but they don't think it's internal bleeding because he wouldn't have survived this long. They said he has been eating & drinking just fine. He will see the vet again next week to rule out worms in his tummy. We were able to hold him for almost a half hour & he loved all the attention. Tristyn loved petting him, she was so gentle. We pray that he keeps improving so he can come home with us. Even if he ends up with a bum leg or hip, we'll love him anyway.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Lucky" Update

The humane society doesn't open until noon, in the mornings they take care of all the animal needs. So I called them as soon as they opened. Lucky survived the night! He had an x-ray and there are no broken bones, but his rear legs are still very weak, and his stomach is bloated which may be from worms, malnourishment or internal injuries. I will keep checking up on him.

Poor Kitten

My husband brought home a surprise last night. On his was home he noticed a kitten sitting in the ditch. He stopped the car, this poor little kitten had obviously been hit by a car. So, he gently scooped him up and brought him home. If he had left him, he would have certainly died, the nights have been getting colder, in the low 30's, and we've gotten some thick frost. He's cute little orange and white kitten about 3-4 months old. First thing we did was get him some food and water, boy was he hungry, I filled the food bowl 3 times. Then we warmed him up, all he wanted to do was snuggle! He has a good gash on the side of his face, and he's having a hard time walking, his back legs keep giving out, as far as internal injuries, we don't know. He used the litter box right after eating and there was blood in the urine. We can't afford emergency vet bills right now, so we got a hold of the humane society and they sent someone out to get him. 1st they had to get permission from the chairman of our township, stupid red tape! So they didn't get here until around 11pm. The girl who picked him up was very nice and I know they will take good care of him. She made it clear that if his internal injuries were bad they would have to put him to sleep. We told her that if he pulls through we would like to adopt him, she said she would keep us posted. If your an animal lover please pray for little "Lucky" that's what we named him. We have 2 female cats now, and would love to add to the family. Besides, right now Tony is the only male in a house with 5 females (Me, Maddy, Tris, 2 cats: Jasper & Spunky) So I think he would love to finally have a boy in the house. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Trip

Tristyn got to go to the Pumpkin Patch yesterday with her pre-k class. She was very excited. The place is really cool! It has a large pumpkin patch, a large corn maze that takes about an hour to go through, a small kiddie corn maze, and goats that the kids can feed & pet. Closer to Halloween they have a haunted maze. This place is only 2.5 miles down the road from our house, I pass it everyday on my way to work and it's always busy this time of year. Tris got to pick out her own pumpkin to bring home, and we are going to carve it this weekend.

Maddy has been eating infant cereal for about 2 weeks now. The fist couple times she only ate a few bites and was like "what is this goofy stuff" Well, last night she decided that she loves the stuff. I couldn't shovel it in fast enough. By the time I reloaded the spoon she had her mouth open waiting. :) She's learned how to blow bubbles now, and she tried to do it a few times with her mouth full. So, instead of blowing cute bubbles, she blew cereal all over mommy. Oh well, it was so cute that it was worth it!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


For all who see her
faded line,

I look to them and smile.

You see, my child is
loved so much,
I would face ANY trial.

That scar I trace with
my finger,
It's the door to her

beautiful HEART!

God must have known how
much we'd love her,
Just as He loved her from
the start!

Do you have a favorite poem? Please share!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Photos

Just wanted to share a few favorite photos of my girls:

Here is Tris feeding her baby - just like Mommy feeds Maddy.

Here is Maddy - deep in thought? 8 weeks old

Sisters forever!!

Look how nice my boo-boo is healing - 16 weeks old

Yep - that hair is RED

Monday, October 6, 2008

All about Madilyn

Madilyn Ann Carpenter was born at 10:40pm on Thursday, May 1st, 2008. Within a few minutes we knew something was wrong. She was very blue and her breathing & cries were very shallow. I remember the nurse asking my husband to stop taking pictures. I watched the nurses working on her, and over heard one say “Come on baby, stay with us”, it was like watching a bad movie. She was taken to the nursery to have a bunch of tests and we were given the preliminary diagnosis of a congenital heart defect. She would need further tests to find out the extent of her heart defect. At this point we were very scared and all we could do was pray. I had an ultrasound around the 20th week of pregnancy and was told everything looked fine, so all of this came as a sudden shock to us.

Maddy was taken by the Spirit of Marshfield ambulance to St. Joseph’s in Marshfield, she arrived here around 4:00am. Tony left and met Maddy in Marshfield, I wasn’t able to leave the hospital yet, so I had wait. Before she left, the nurses gave us some Polaroid pictures they had taken. I later learned that these are called “just in-case pictures”. In Marshfield she saw Dr. Dyke, he did several tests, ultrasound, echo, etc. and she was officially diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA).

In a normal heart, oxygen-depleted "blue" blood is pumped from the right side of the heart, through the pulmonary artery, to the lungs where it is oxygenated. The oxygen-rich "red" blood then returns to the left heart, via the pulmonary veins, and is pumped through the aorta to the rest of the body. With TGA, blue blood from the right heart is pumped immediately through the aorta and circulated to the body and the heart itself, bypassing the lungs altogether, while the left heart pumps red blood continuously back into the lungs through the pulmonary artery. In effect, two separate circulatory systems are created. Maddy was born with "Simple" TGA, meaning TGA was the only heart defect. Although it may seem illogical, babies born with "Complex" TGA have a better chance of survival. This is because with they have other defects such as a ASD, VSD (holes in the heart) which allow for mixing of the blood. Maddy did not have this advantage, she had no mixing of the blood and her PDA was very small. Therefore she needed an emergency stent (hole) put in her heart, just to survive long enough to have the surgery to correct her TGA.

A few hours later she was then taken to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. The doctors really wanted to air lift her there, but the weather was just too foggy. She arrived in Milwaukee around 9:30am on May 2nd. She immediately had a Balloon Atrial Septostomy, and Dr. Berger put a stent in her heart, she was about 11 hours old at this point. A stent is a man-made hole between the chambers, this allowed her blood to mix. This stabilized her and we were able to wait a few days and let her gain some strength before surgery. This is where I was finally able to catch up with her again. I was discharged from the hospital and we made the 3.5 hr. drive to Milwaukee, not very comfortable only 10 hrs after giving birth! We arrived shortly after her stent was put in. We were later told that the ambulance ride was very tough on her, she coded twice and the attendants were afraid she wasn’t going to make it. The stent made a world of difference, the next time we saw her she was nice and pink. The day after the stent was put in she had an episode of apnea, where she stopped breathing. I have never heard so many alarms and seen so many nurses come running. They determined that this was a side effect of one of the drugs she was on. To keep this from happening again she needed to be put on a CPAP machine. This stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This is a small device that fits over her nose & was held in place by a fabric, helmet like, harness.

On Monday May 5th Dr. Tweddell preformed the Arterial Switch Surgery (Jatene procedure) and put the arteries back where they should be, she was 4 days old. It was a long surgery, almost 7 hours, but she came through with flying colors. She recovered very quickly and on May 13, at 12 days old, Maddy was able to come home.

Maddy is now a happy and healthy 8 month old who just celebrated her first Thanksgiving and Christmas. She will need life long cardiac care to watch for leaky valves, narrowing arteries at the re-connection sites, and irregular heart beats, but her outlook is great thanks to the wonderful care she received. Tristyn is 4 years old & loves her little sister, the first thing she said was “Mad-o-lin is shiny and new”. Poor Tristyn was a trooper during all of this. She had no idea why she was suddenly abandoned at her grandparents house for almost 2 weeks. She was able to come & visit us once and that was wonderful, because I really missed her. Maddy and her sister Tristyn are both precious blessings from our Lord Jesus. Our family has been blessed with two beautiful daughters and we treasure each day.


Friday, October 3, 2008

All about Tristyn

The next few posts will just be a catchup on the last 4 years since Tris was born. How do you summarize 4 yrs? I'll try!

I'll start with Tristyn since she is the eldest. She was a very easy baby, and it started with a very easy labor & birth (only about 3 hours). She was always very content and slept through the night starting at 8 weeks. We became concerned about her gross motor skills when we noticed she was way behind other babies her age. She didn't roll until 5 months, sit up - 9 months, crawl 13+ months, walk 18+ months, etc. She was enrolled in the birth to 3 program and they helped her out alot. One of the problems they found was that her joints were hyper flexible. At 2 1/2 years old she was still only using simple words - mom, dad, ball. So we also started speech therapy for her. She graduated from the program at age 3 and we started her in a early education program. This was the best thing we could have done, in 1 years time from age 3-4 she has progressed so much. Last year she went three 1/2 days a week, and this year its five 1/2 days. Since we live in the country she gets to ride the school bus and she is so excited for it every morning.

When Maddy was born Tris was a little traumatized. I believe it was mostly because all of a sudden Mom & Dad disappeared for 2 weeks and she was sent to Grandmas house. Tris was able to make the 4 hr trip to Milwaukee to visit us 2 times, which was nice. It amazed me how much I missed her, and it seemed like she grew a whole lot in those few days I didn't see her. Maddy was 7 days old when Tris got to meet her. The first thing she said was "baby Maddy is shiny and new" it almost made me cry. Since bringing Maddy home Tristyn has adjusted, she is learning how to be gentle, but still needs to be reminded often. She is very good at making Maddy giggle, it is so neat to watch the two interact.

Take care & God bless!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Here are some photos of Maddy's Journey: The photos pretty much say it all.

These first 2 are the 1st pictures we have of Maddy. They were taken by the nurses and we were given polorids when she left so we would have something to hang on to,

This picture was taken after the stent was put in, you can really see the differance in her color, she is much pinker!

A few minutes after this was taken to get ready for surgery.

Here are some post surgery pictures

Tristyn meeting Maddy for the 1st time

May 12, getting ready to come home


1 in every 125 babies is born with a heart defect?
What if that one was yours?

1 in every 166 children is diagnosed with some form of Autism? Help us put the puzzle back together!