New look

Do you love the new look of my blog as much as I do?! Well, if it weren't for Heather over at Live.Love.Laugh and her giveaway, I wouldn't have it. The designer of this new look is Danielle over at Danielle Moss Graphic Design and Photography. Thank you both Heather and Danielle for my new look!


Survival Straps for the March of Dimes

Chad has started making Survival Straps. What are they you make ask? They are a bracelet, anklet, etc made out of paracord that, in an emergency, you can unwrap and use. However, there isn't a lot of it so there isn't much point in undoing it...But they are pretty cool! He is making purple ones, with proceeds going to the March of Dimes.
Each bracelet will be $10.

If you are interested, leave a comment or email me at kyndallssmile(at)yahoo(dot)com


March of Dimes Monday

Please welcome guest blogger, Tifani.

Okay, so this is my first attempt at “blogging” so hang with me. I honestly don’t know where to start. I could start from the beginning of the year and a half of trying to become pregnant. I can start with going to a fertility specialist only to realize that we could not afford to have IUI or IVF. I could start with April 19th 2010, the day we found out we were pregnant against all odds. But, none of that has to do with my dear little one and her early arrival.

My husband and I (dare I say this) prayed our little girl would arrive before Christmas, as she was due on December 30, 2010. We only wanted her to come a little early due to the fact that my grandmother died unexpectedly in July and we wanted to have something to celebrate and to help ease that empty feeling of the first holidays without her. We will be very careful what we pray for from here on out.

On September 13th I was starting my bout with student teaching and excited because the end of it marked a life with our new little one. After the first week of this venture my blood pressure would sky rocket. I would go to the hospital for monitoring and the go home. Next was the diagnosis of Pre-eclampsia, however I was missing some symptoms so they weren’t concerned. I was put on modified bed rest and quit student teaching. On October 11th my husband and I were going to go eat with his parents. Before we left my blood pressure went up to 154/107 so I sat down for a while to get it down and we went out. While out eating I got this terrible pain in my stomach. I was doubled over in pain and we came back home, my husband went to the store without me, when he returned it was not any better. The pain continued and at 3:00AM I begged him to take me to the hospital. They did an ultrasound and determined that my gallbladder was acting up and after the pregnancy they would need to remove it, they also decided that I would stay in the hospital for observation for a few days.

On Thursday my doctor came in and said to me that she was going to send me home the following day, and everything looked great. I had no issues with blood pressure and no more pain. My mom made me ask (even though I knew the answer) if I was going to deliver that weekend and she said there was a 1% chance. That night everything went down hill. The pain came back; I was vomiting, and have never felt that kind of pain in my life. They ran blood work and said it was just my gallbladder and I would have to push through it. At 5:00AM Friday morning they walked in to do more blood and test my urine. At 7:52 AM my nurse walked in with several others and told my husband to gather our stuff we were moving to Labor and Delivery. All the sudden things started moving quickly. They said they would have to deliver the baby as soon as possible and an emergency c-section was necessary. I did not know until afterwards how dire the situation was.

Little Haven Grace was born that day October 15th at 10:10AM and weighed 2lbs. 8oz. and was 15in. long. I remember waiting to hear her cry and being so relieved when I heard her. I got to see her as the doctor held her up and then she was taken from the room immediately and my husband followed. I did not see her again for 36 hours. I was told I developed HELLP syndrome, which is in a nutshell where your organs start to shut down.

I was not prepared for the first time I saw her with all the machines. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that it was a week and a half before I got to hold my baby for the first time. I wasn’t prepared to watch other mothers leave with their babies, and to be wheeled out to the car empty handed. I wasn’t prepared for the roller coaster that the next 2 months brought. I wasn’t prepared for all the alarms. I wasn’t prepared to watch 16 NICU babies come and go before I finally got to bring her home.

I found comfort in being able to find information (although ignorance can be bliss at times) and support through the March of Dimes website. There was no other NICU parent there like me so I had no one to talk to. The MOD website gave me valuable information and guided me to know what questions to ask, let me know what my rights as a parent are, and most of all let me know that I wasn’t alone. I learned that if you sit at the hospital like I did, you need to have a hobby you can take with you or you will go crazy. I taught myself to crochet. Even if it is just writing in a journal, you will need it to keep your sanity.

Haven was a lucky little girl. She never had any serious complications, of course there were good days and bad days but each day was a gift. On December 5th she was released from the hospital and has been thriving ever since. She is now just over 5 months old and weighs over 11 lbs. Whenever I think that things are difficult I look at her life and the little miracle before me, I remember that I too was close to death and almost never got to see her. Had I not been at the hospital that night I would have died along with her the next day. Each day is a gift and every minute a blessing.

Thanks Tifani for spreading the word and helping raise awareness on premature babies!
If you would like to help, please do to the Team Kyndall page or click on the widget on the right sidebar. Every little bit helps!



Be on the look out tomorrow for a guest blog post from my friend Tifani who had a preemie!

Also, be thinking about how you can support the March of Dimes so that "one day all babies will be born healthy."


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

All pictures were taken at the same park, in the same swing, in the same month.

March 2009:
March 2010:
March 2011:


Katie's Give-a-way

Hey, you should head on over to Life in the Fulmer Lane, and check out the giveaway Katie is doing.

It's for some pretty cute things!

Boys and girls!

Check it out.


17P, pass it on

As a mother of a baby born early, and a believer that all babies should have the right to be born full term and healthy, this makes me so mad!

As some of you may know, "KV Pharmaceuticals has received FDA approval
to be the exclusive distributor for P17. They are planning to charge $1500 per
injection for a total cost, per pregnancy, of $30,000!!!!

The current cost is $10 per injection, or $200 per pregnancy.

There are several points that I would like to emphasize.

The rationale for a commercial manufacturer is to ensure a standard
concentration. In theory, this can be a problem with compounding pharmacies
although the vast majority of the compounding pharmacies producing this product
that present have extremely exacting standard. The March of Dimes has,
unfortunately, bought into this rationale with absolutely no proof that a
variation in strength is of any clinical significance. By law, once a drug is
commercially available, compounding pharmacies must stop production of that

We have been using P17 for the past ten years from these compounding pharmacies
with obvious beneficial effect. So where is the rationale for this change?

March of Dimes receives several million dollars a year in support from KV
Pharmaceuticals - I wonder why! This suggests to me that March of Dimes can be
bought. I, personally, have informed the March of Dimes that I am ceasing all
support of their organization, financial and otherwise, until they divorce
themselves from KV Pharmaceuticals and support for Makena. They do not realize
that they are going to cause an increase in the preterm birth rate, not a
decrease. At best, there will be no change other that a massive over-expenditure
of health-care dollars.

You have seen the propaganda stating that no-one will be denied the medication
because of ability to pay. However, what they don't tell you is that they are
going to use very strict criteria. In essence, the only women who will qualify
is those who have had a prior preterm birth before 32 weeks secondary to preterm
labor. To illustrate this more fully, Aetna/US Health care (one of the largest
insurers in the country) covers this therapy when patients meet their strict
criteria. Currently, they are paying for P17 for only 1,000 women nationwide per
year! There are 4.2 million births in the US annually. 10 - 15%, or 420,000 to
610,000 are premature. And Aetna is only going to cover 1,000 of these women.

30% of all prenatal care is covered by Medicaid. An additional 10% is covered by
charity care. KV is going to insist that since this care is not coming out of
the patient's pocket, the cost should be borne by Medicaid and charity care.
Currently, we can provide good prenatal care for about $2,000 per pregnancy. So
for every patient placed on P17, we have to somehow find away to cover an
additional 15 pregnant patients. And who pays the medicaid and charity care bill?
We all do through higher taxes and higher healthcare premiums!

Studies show that approximately 30 women need to be treated with P17 to prevent
one preterm birth. At $200 per patient, this is very cost effective. That is an
expenditure of $6,000 to save the average of $51,000 per preterm delivery. With
current pricing, we will have to spend $9 million dollars in P17 therapy to save
$51,000. Does this make sense? And people want to know why health care costs so

Most of you (greater than 90%) who will be on P17 now will be faced with doing
without or paying $1500 per injection out-of-pocket. If you are currently on
this medication, make sure that your doctors order enough for you right away to
cover the entire pregnancy. You could have as little as one week. If you are
early in pregnancy or planning a pregnancy soon, talk to your doctors about
getting this now to have on hand. Most suppliers warrant the drug to be
effective for one year.

So, what can you do?

Firstly, contact KV Pharmaceutical and voice your displeasure:

Second, notify your local media outlets about this issue.

Third, write or email your congressman and senator.

Fourth, contact the FDA and find out why they elected to give KV exclusivity for
this product. Competition will bring down the price dramatically.

Fifth, write to the president.

Sixth, contact your state Medicaid offices and your insurance carriers. Get them

Seventh, get as many of your friends, family members, co-workers, etc. as
possible to do the above.

Eighth, feel free to cut/paste/email the above to as many contacts as you can.
Let's make this issue go viral!

If we can get enough of a protest mounted, we stand a chance of averting this
"rape" of the healthcare system that is motivated almost entirely by a profit
motive. Even if KV decides to not manufacture the drug for fear of losing money,
we will be better off than with what they are currently planning. "

(Copy and pasted from Four walls, a roof, a door, some windows)


March of Dimes Monday- November Showers bring February Flowers…

Today is Monday, and if you've been keeping up, it means its March of Dimes Monday. Today, we have a guest blogger. Mary Kate and her preemie son Eli.

“Are you sure?” “We are sure, the blood work shows that you are pregnant. You need to call an OB and make an appointment to go in.” When I hung up the phone I was dumbfounded… I was standing in the bank waiting for the pouring rain to stop. That is when I first heard about our miracle to be… Little did I know that less than 6 months later I would be in the hospital with a disease that my mom had fought 3 times before…

Rick and I were so excited when we finally got to see our baby at the ultrasound. We decided that we didn’t want to know the sex of the baby, whatever the baby was the baby was! We spent weeks deciding how to tell our friends and family… Finally at 12 weeks we told everyone and they were all ecstatic! Weeks and weeks went by with absolutely no complications… Not even an ounce of morning sickness! It was a dream pregnancy… I adored being pregnant! Then October came.

In October we went on a camping trip with our youth group I work with at church. I was really tired when we got back but just attributed that and all the swelling in my legs and feet to sleeping on the hard ground at 6.5 months pregnant! Everyone started commenting on my swollen feet very soon after that… My mom even had me sit on a pumpkin and took pictures of my swollen feet on another pumpkin! :o/

During my routine November OB appointment my DR said I was spilling protein and my BP’s were high. So at 27 weeks I made my way to my first hospital stay. They kept me for 3 days and I did a 24 hour urine test to see what my protein count was. It was 666 when I left the hospital that Wednesday. I left the hospital with a follow up appointment at my OB's office and an appointment with a high risk neonatologist after being diagnosed with mild toxemia.

The next Monday (after being on BP meds for a week) I went to the OB's office and I was still having high BP's and protein. On Tuesday we went to the neonatologist office and he sent me back to the hospital for observation. I was admitted that day again. They started another 24 hour protein test and when it came back it was about 1500 and they said I had to stay. I knew then I would not be leaving the hospital till I had the baby. I was getting ultrasounds everyday to monitor the baby's growth and the amniotic fluid. I was being put on a baby monitor at least once a shift to watch the baby's heartbeat and movement. I got a round of steroids to help the baby's lungs and waited. They had decided to do another 24 hour protein on the following Monday. On Saturday night my BP skyrocketed and they took me down to labor and delivery for continuous observation. My BP went down and the baby's stats looked fine so they sent me back upstairs.

They started another 24 hour urine test on Saturday night. When I got the results on Monday morning it showed that my protein level had increased to over 8000. Protein levels at 5000 are considered sever! So my OB came in on Monday and said we are going to have this baby sooner rather than later. I was scared and called Rick and my family to come. They all came right away and they took me down to L&D again, this time to prep for a c-section. They hooked me up to an IV with magnesium sulfate (gross!) and they told Rick, "If her BP goes over 200/100 we are going in right away so please watch it." They planned the c-section for 8:00 pm. By 7:30ish they said we are going, my BP was up to about 210/100. They pushed me back to the OR and did the prep for the c-section. By 7:53 they had the baby out. Eli weighed 2 lbs. 11 ozs and was 15 1/2 inches long. I had to ask what the sex was! lol. They said it's a boy! I got to see Eli for about 20 seconds before they rushed him to the NICU. But I did get to hear him cry... That made me feel like things would be ok.

Things went smoothly for the next few days. He was on CPAP for his breathing and an IV for nutrients. On day 3 things went south. Eli had something called "stiff lungs" which was basically an air bubble popping outside of his lungs and moving things. He had to be put on a vent and have a chest tube inserted. It was the hardest day ever to see my baby hooked up to all sorts of machines to help him live. I will never forget it. After 48 hours he came off the vent, and after 4 days he got the chest tube out. After that we had to deal with the tummy issues. He was not pooping spontaneously. After many enemas, they gave him a upper and lower GI to check and make sure things were ok. They were and soon after that he began to poop on his own. Eli also had a heart and brain ultrasound and things looked fine on both of those.

11 days after he was born I finally got to hold Eli. It was a wonderful day. Eli was on the CPAP for about 3 weeks and the IV for about 4 weeks. Eli had 2 PICC lines, 2 blood transfusions, countless “mini” bottles, and countless antibiotics and medications. He was on a NG tube (for feeding) till about Dec. 31st. He had some temperature issues and went from the iscolete to the open crib back to the iscolete back to the open crib. He failed the car seat test 2X and finally passed on the 3rd try. We were supposed to bring Eli home on Jan 2, but we did not get to bring him home till Wednesday Jan. 13, 2010. He came home at 7 weeks 2 days old after spending 51 days in the NICU. When Eli came home he weighed 4 lbs 15 ozs and was 17 inches long. On Eli’s “should-have-been-birthday” on February 2, 2010 he weighed 8 lbs. He has been thriving and growing since then.

We marched for the first time in March for Babies in the beginning of May 2010. Eli was 5 months old and we met with some of our friends from the NICU to march. March of Dimes has played a big role in our lives because they developed the surfacten that they gave to Eli to help his lungs open. Hopefully we will march again and again. My motto for marching is “I march so that someday other mom’s won’t have to!”

It has been a long hall (Eli had to have hypospadia surgery in August, has had 2 bouts of bronchiolitis, 1 case of RSV and countless colds!) but on Eli’s 1st birthday he weighed 19 lbs 11 oz and was 28 inches long! Now at 15 months he weighs almost 22 lbs! We have been so blessed and thank God everyday for giving us this beautiful miracle baby to enrich our lives.

Thank you Kim and Kyndall for allowing us to share our story! We appreciate the opportunity! :o)

xoxo- Mary Kate, Rick and Eli

"To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby."
Thank you Mary Kate for sharing your story!! Here is yet another reason why the March of Dimes needs your donations. You can click on the widget on the right side of my blog or go directly to the Team Kyndall page to make you donations. No amount is too small.



Saturday, a friend and I took the kids to the daffodil garden for pictures. Here is a very small sample of the pictures taken! When I say small, I took 190, whittled it down to 158, and am posting 5 on here. Like I said, small. Enjoy!

One of my all time favorites!

I'm not sure she liked the way it smelled.

My sweet baby girl!
She was pretty obsessed with this little blue bench rocker thing. It made for some cute pictures!

She may be a girl, and she may be in a fancy dress, but that won't stop her from playing in the dirt!

All pictures taken by me at Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden.



Happy Birthday Texas!

(I know I said I'd post daffodil pictures today, but I'll do that tomorrow)


A big day for a big girl

Saturday was a pretty big day for Kyndall!

It started off with breakfast at Whataburger and ended with dinner at Olive Garden for her Mimi's birthday, but the in between stuff was the exciting part!

After breakfast, we headed over to a small, local hair salon and got Kyndall's first haircut! They didn't take a lot off. Just cleaned up the ends and evened it out some.

Here is a before picture:

She did pretty well through the whole thing! Here is the first cut:
Here is the after picture:

Like I said, not a lot taken off, but it made a huge difference in the way she looks! And yes, we did save some of her hair in an envelope.
After the haircut, we headed to the mall to get a new washer since ours decided to go kaput on us. After we got the washer, we headed towards Claire's. We decided it was time to finally get Kyndall's ears pierced. It took a little while to get her still so they could do it, but once they did, she cried for about 30 seconds and she was given a sucker, said "tank eww" and was ready to go.
She picked out little pink flowers:

That afternoon, a friend and I took the kids to the daffodil gardens for pictures. I'll post those pictures another day, probably tomorrow.