Brooke Makenzie McLarty's journey from the NICU to our home.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The beginning...

I met Mark in April of 2005. A few weeks later we started dating. Shortly after celebrating two years together, our first daughter was born. Sydney Mikayla made her grand entrance on May 24, 2007, at 6:45 am. She was the perfect first baby. Now at 4 years old, she's a sassy little drama queen. She loves everything from princesses to snakes. She is the perfect combination of girly girl and tomboy. Mark is able to enjoy playing cars and outdoor sports with her while I enjoy the dress up and girly stuff. She will be attending her second year of preschool at the First Presbyterian Church.

Brooke Makenzie arrived 14.5 months after the birth of Sydney. I had very easy pregnancies and loved being one of the few who didn't have to spend quality time with the porcelain bowl. The labor and delivery of Brooke is where everything was different. The thought that she wouldn't make never crossed my mind. I just wanted to get through the days as they each passed. She received excellent care while she was at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Children's Home of Pittsburgh. She was born on August 12, 2008, and came home with us on October 1, 2008.

After being home for a couple weeks, she started physical and occupational therapies through Early Intervention. They each came to the house once a week. In January 2010, she started speech therapy. The therapist worked with her on feeding on a weekly basis. Due to weight concerns, we added a dietitian in the fall of 2010. She came to the house twice a month, weighed Brooke and helped make suggestions.

Brooke has a milk protein allergy and has had it since birth. Whenever she comes into contact with a milk product, she gets a rash and has trouble breathing. Thankfully her reactions aren't too serious but we did take her to the ER in June 2010. Sydney is very good about not sharing her food. It's been very hard finding nutritious food that doesn't contain milk but will help her gain weight. We had some problems with people thinking we were neglecting her but they've realized that there isn't too much that can be done. We can't give her too much food in one sitting because she will end up getting sick. She drinks soy formula and soy milk. She's currently on stage 3 baby foods.

At the end of the month, Brooke will be attending the Easter Seals school. Transportation will be provided so we don't have to worry about taking her and bringing her home, especially in the winter. Her class will be set up like a preschool and they'll do things like circle time. She'll get a snack and I'll have to pack a lunch for her. She will also receive therapy at school. I'm actually very excited that she's going to school because I never thought she would be able to go school.

I'm going to save her cloth diaper adventure for another post. Now I need to go make a late lunch for my girls.