Friday, October 30, 2009

Emersen Montana Leonard

Our sweet little girl was born on October 17 weighing in at a whole 5 pounds 11 ounces. The labor wasn't too bad and my shortest by far. I had to wake Eric up to tell him to move his bed because the doctor was on his way in so I could start pushing.... oh to be on the other side of things :).
After Emersen was born, the nurses seemed a little concerned about her color and so dad accompanied her to the special care nursery for some oxygen. Not long after that, while I was back in the delivery room all alone, Eric called to tell me they thought something might be wrong....she had some features consistent with down syndrome and they were going to send off a chromosone test right away for further testing. I'll never forget the way I felt at that moment. I was terrified and instantly started to pray that I would be able to handle whatever was about to come my way. It seemed like forever until Eric and the nurse came back to talk to me....she explained their concerns and after she left Eric and I cried. Not because we were sad or dissapointed, but because we were so afraid of what the future held for our sweet girl. It was the longest night for us both...lots of tears and no sleep. The next day, when we went to see Emersen again, we found out that she has a heart defect common among children with down syndrome, which would require open heart surgery at the age of 4 months. About 1/2 hour later, we found out that she had a possible bowel obstruction and we would be flying to Phoenix for surgery that night. We were very fortunate that once we were in Phoenix, the doctors thought that her tummy was fine and the surgery wasn't necessary. While we were there however, we met with the pediatric cardiologists that would be performing her surgery and got lots of great information! We are now back in the Flagstaff NICU where she is learning how to eat better and get stronger. Because of her heart condition, eating for her is like running a race....very tiring! Her stamina has to improve and she has to have all of her feedings by mouth before she can come home. She is such a tough girl and I know she is trying hard. I don't know how long we will be there but I try to be grateful for the time I get to cuddle her and bond with her without the normal interruptions of home.
Eric and I feel so humbled and blessed to have Emersen with us. I look forward to learning about down syndrome and being an advocate for my sweet little angel. She has blessed our lives already...she has shown us how much love is around us. I continue to be overwhelmed everyday at our friends and family and their support. I think she has only begun to touch those around her and remind me of what is truly important. We are so thankful to all of you who have prayed for us and continue to encourage us every day. I can't wait for you all to meet our precious girl and feel her amazing spirit. I know she is going to be a source of great joy to our family and we thank our Heavenly Father every day that we get to be her parents.


Amanda L

That sweet little angel is blessed to have you as parents also! You have amazing strength and love and I've been amazed at your loving spirit. Thank Heaven for Little Eme!

Matt and Heather

thanks for sharing that Lani. She sure is a gorgeous little girl. Look at all that hair!!!
She's precious. Congratulations!


Congrats on your sweet little girl! I can't wait to meet her. She is so lucky to have you guys as parents-you're the best. We are praying for her to come home soon. Oh, and you rock at picking baby names!!


Come home soon! We're excited to meet her and continue praying for her!

The Moss Family

Oh. my goodness she is beautiful, and all that hair!!! I can't wait to meet her, and hope your home soon!


She is so beautiful and you CAN feel her amazing spirit when you are around her. We fell in love with her the minute we met her. Thank you for sharing that story and we are all excited to get to be around her more in the future. (And we of course can't wait to have you back home where you belong because we are super selfish.... :)

Corie Green

Lani she is so blessed to have you for parents! You are absolutely amazing, you have really helped me be an advocate for my boy. She is so beautiful I cannot wait to meet her. Thanks for writing this.


What a sweet little girl! I love all that hair. I can't wait to meet her!

Melissa and Travis

Congratulations!! She is beautiful! She is very lucky to have such wonderful parents and siblings! :) What an amazing experience to be blessed with such a special child of God! :) I wish you the best of luck and hope you get to go home soon! :)


Love that sweet picture of baby Eme and can't wait to see more. She is truly an angel and reading your story was really touching. You and Eric are amazing parents and are so strong. I hope that she will continue to fight hard and grow so you can bring her home to her family. Keep us posted. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you.