Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good News

Thursday, December 29, 2011  10:00pm

Morgan has had a very big day.  We are so proud  of our daughter. 

First, she had her Swallow Study this morning.  All went very well!   She ate her bottle and the team was able to get the information they needed.  The results of the study are the best case scenario for Morgan. The team was able to draw the necessary conclusions to help Morgan take her feedings better.  The goal is to make feeding time an enjoyable experience and something she looks forward to.  They have implemented a plan that will be to Morgan's advantage.  We are so thankful for the positive news and the plan going forward!  Morgan will have to get eat from a bottle consistently every meal before she can come home.  However, we are on the right track to make that happen!  Please keep her feedings in your prayers, as that is one of the hurdles she will have to jump before her trip home. 

Secondly, Morgan got a new room with a view!  The doctor wanted Morgan to have a room with a window.  The purpose is so that Morgan will begin to learn the difference in day and night!  (Selfishly, Seth and I are hoping she learns to sleep through the night!)  She tolerated the trip down the hall very well and will spend her first night tonight in her new digs!  She moved from the Green Hall to the Blue Hall.

We continue to keep Morgan's lungs in our prayers.  Her dependency on the oxygen will have to improve before she can home.  We prayerful that she will make strides forward.  We also believe that her new feeding plan will help with her breathing.  If she is not struggling to breathe while eating, then the stress on her lungs will be reduced and ultimately her need for oxygen is lessened.

We are so thankful for the care Morgan is receiving.  Please keep her caregivers in your prayers, as well!

Many thanks for your prayers and concern for our daughter!  She is blessed and we are blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people!  Thank you!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wiggle Worm

Wednesday, December 28, 2011  9:30pm

Morgan has had an uneventful day!  She rested well and was very content. 

The team did not want to change too much in regards to her feedings until after the swallow study that will be preformed tomorrow morning.  Seth and I are prayerful the study will reveal what is necessary to give the doctors a plan and, ultimately, help Morgan feedings to improve.

While Morgan is still petite, it is very obvious that Morgan is growing.  She is gaining weight and beginning to look bigger.  I seem to notice it most when we are changing her clothes.  She is getting rolls on her thighs.... the very, cute, baby rolls!

Today I witnessed Morgan rolling around.  While we have seen her scoot around in her bed, we have never seen her make an effort to roll.  Today I placed her back in her crib on her back.  After a few seconds, I noticed that she was rolling to her left.  I guess that little wiggle worm wanted lay on her side. Instead of crying to get what she wanted, she just did it herself!

Recently we got a peak at her lung x-ray.  We have been told numerous times that the lungs heal very very slowly.  We had wanted to see the comparison from last month to this month.  We were able to see a very slight improvement!  Seth and I were thrilled!  Any improvement is a giant leap for her lungs.  We knew her lungs had improved some, due to her progression to the nasal cannula, but we had not seen it, physically, until night before last.

Please pray that the swallow study will be informative tomorrow.  We also continue to pray for her overall healing, growth, and development.  We pray her feedings go well and her dependency on the oxygen continues to decrease.  Please pray for her care team, as well.

Many thanks for all your prayers, love, and support!  We are grateful!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Excitement of Sharing

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 9:30 pm

As of this morning, Morgan continues to struggle with her feedings.  The staff at UAB wanted a closer look into what was going on, so what better way than sticking a camera in her tummy?  The technology available to our daughter constantly blows me away.  Anyway, this morning, the speech therapists stopped in to do just that.  We found some problem areas and they want to get a better a look on Thursday. They will place Morgan in front of an x-ray machine, dye her milk and watch it as it flows down to her little belly.  This will provide amazing insight in how to treat Morgan better, from a medical standpoint.  Her feeding is the largest hurdle before we are able to welcome her home. 

We truly hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas.  We know that we certainly did, as we cherished our sweet Morgan and remembered our precious Houston.  Elizabeth and I were able to spend time with both of our families and we were so appreciative of them for making this Christmas so special.  Each family member, on both sides, were able to share in the joy of holding this precious child...and we were able to snag a couple of photo ops, as well. 

After the Christmas Eve service, the Hassinger's came to see Morgan:

And on Christmas Day, the McCoin's went to visit:

This little princess is, obviously, surrounded by love.  We were so thankful to share her with our families and we look forward to sharing her with all of you, very soon. 

As we pray, we will continue to pray for Morgan's strength and ability to take her feedings.  We will also pray for those taking such wonderful care of her, that we have grown to love so much.  Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. 

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fussy, yet Feisty

Friday, December 23, 2011 9:30pm

Overall, Morgan seems to be feeling a little better.   Her total recovery is a slow process. We think she is moving in the right direction.     The doctor believes what she is experiencing this week is contributed to her overall lung condition.  Due to the cronic lung condition, this spell is not uncommon.  We just hope these incidents are few and far between. 

While Morgan ate the entire bottle last night, she has not eaten a full bottle by mouth since then.  The nurses will feed her by mouth until she tires out.  What she doesn't eat my mouth is given to her through her feeding tube.

She is still a little fussy and not resting well, however, Morgan was a little more alert today when I visited her.  We are certainly glad this is the case. 

Even though our little Morgan is not 100%, she is still up to her antics. Morgan is being administered antibiotics, as preventative, via an IV.  Yesterday, Morgan pulled a stunt and pulled the IV needle out of her left hand.  Naturally, the nurse moved the IV to her foot.  Today, she pulled the same stunt and the IV was out her foot.  As of this afternoon, Morgan's IV was in her right hand with extra straps to keep it from being pulled out!  That is our little, spunky and feisty little girl!  Start praying for us now... what stunts will she pull as she grows! 

We are prayerful and hopful that Morgan is feeling better and moving forward. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.  Pray for her overall health, against infections, her lung development, and for those taking care of her.

Thank you for all your love and support!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rally Girl

Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:30 pm

Morgan has had a pretty rough few days.  She continued her struggle this morning and into the afternoon.  At some point, this evening, our little miracle began to rally.  She had been refusing to take her feedings from a bottle, but her 6:00 pm feeding was taken from a bottle and at 8:30, tonight, Elizabeth popped the bottle in her mouth and wolfed it down like a champ.  We came to be a little at ease and the worrying subsided in that moment.  She is looking better and is, noticeably, more alert.  She's still not out of the woods, but we are so proud of her for turning the day around and acting more like the lovable, personable baby we love so much. 

Keep praying for this baby to keep growing stronger and to keep up her fight.  Please, also continue to pray for the wonderful people at UAB that care so much for our child. 

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Spunk Today

Wednesday, December 21, 2011  9:30pm

Today, Morgan did not feel very well.  She continues to be fussy and she does not want to eat.  She has also become a little more dependant upon the oxygen. She is just not her spunky little self.  Her nurses have kept close eye on her condition and are making sure she is not getting any worse.  At this time we do not know exactly what is causing her to feel this way.  And, in reality, it could just be that she is very tired.

While we feel she is in great hands, it is hard to see her and know she is not 100%.   We are confident she will get the care she needs.  This is when Seth and I want to crawl into her little body and make her feel better!   

Please pray for healing in her little five pound body, as well as, the wisdom of those taking care of her.    We want her well, especially for Christmas!  All of the McCoins from Nashville will venture to see her on Christmas and we want her 100% for their visit!

Despite all of this, she sure is cute dressed in her Christmas gowns.  She has four sweet outfits that she has been rotating the month of December!  We love celebrating her first Christmas! 

Thank you for all of your love and support!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tired Little One

Tuesday, December 20, 2011  11:15pm

While Morgan has a fairly uneventful day, she has been very fussy and irritable.  The doctor does not seemed worried, as she is not showing any typical signs that something might be wrong.  Twice today, Morgan did not eat all of the bottle that was prepared for her.  They believe Morgan is very tired and just not in the mood to eat.  We do hope this is an exception and not becoming the norm.  Please pray that her little body will find rest and that she will resume eating full meals each feeding time.  We also pray that there is nothing hidden that is causing her not to feel well.

Other than that, there is not much to report on Morgan. She continues to capture our hearts and we love visiting with her.  She is truly a miracle and we are so blessed!

Thank you for your love and support!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Monday, December 19, 2011

Morgan Accessorizes Her Crib...

Monday, December 19, 2011 8:15 pm

There is not much medically to report for our Morgan, which is great!  She is staying the course and passed the 5 pound mark over the weekend!  She is currently 5 lbs, 1 oz.  She looks huge compared to her first day with us.  To be honest, I saw a newborn, recently, that weighed almost 8 lbs.  I was so in shock that I had to ask the parents when the little rascal was going to be starting Kindergarten.

While Morgan continues to take her feedings from the bottle, we are noticing that she is becoming much more alert to her surroundings.  She is looking around, waving her arms and beginning to whimper and cry more.  Due to her continued improvement, she was awarded an addition to her crib...she got a new mobile!  She loves to hear the noises it makes and she watches so intently as the objects move and spark her little imagination.  Look at those eyes, as her mouth flaps wide open...

We are so thankful for her and her progressive steps toward coming home.  We are looking forward to having her with us, but we will miss the wonderful nurses and doctors that are taking such wonderful care of her...especially at 2:00 am when she decides it's the perfect time for a fire drill...

Merry Christmas,

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Miss Personality

Thursday, December 15, 2011  9:45pm

Again, today, we are thankful that there is not much to report about Morgan's condition.  She continues to show her feisty self and draw the affection of many. 

The doctor said today that he is very pleased with Morgan's progress.  She is doing very well.  He noted that Morgan will get stronger each day as she puts on weight.  Time and nutrition are what she needs most.  We are pleased with the progress report! 

She continues to do well with her feedings.  Morgan has been eating most of her milk by bottle, but there have been several times, lately, where she got tired before finishing.  As a result, the feeding tube is back in.  It is only used when she does not eat an entire bottle.   While this is not ideal, Morgan has progressed very well, and quickly, with bottle feeding. 

Morgan had visitors today from The Bell Center.  Morgan will attend their program when she gets out of hospital.  The Bell Center will help Morgan developmentally, and, allow the gap between her gestational age and birth age to close.  These ladies wanted to come meet Morgan and begin to learn her personality.  In her typical fashion, Morgan showed her personality by pitching a royal fit and she wanted to be held.  While they where not there to do therapy, they were very impressed with her movements and her physical disposition.  I am excited about this program and the help that they will provide our Morgan. 

Thank you for all your continued support and prayers.  We know Morgan is a true mircale! 

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whopper Jr.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 9:45 pm

Morgan had a much better day today.  She seems to like the medicine that provides her a burst of caffeine.  This allows her to breathe much more comfortably as it opens up bronchial tubes.  She seemed very content during our after-dinner visit.

She continues to take her feedings from a bottle.  We are so thankful for this progress, especially.  Further, there are swirling conversations of our little girl coming home.  We are not sure how close we are, actually, but the the simple idea of having her home is quickly becoming a reality.  We are absolutely beaming at the prospect and everyday is one day closer.

There is not much more to report at this time.  She continues to gain weight and strength.  She is turning into a little whopper.  Today's weight was 4 lbs, 13 oz.!  Yep!  Three measly little ounces away from five pounds!  We could not be more proud.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Morgan and her wonderful nurses that scratch and claw to be assigned to her room.  We are also thankful for the wise and thorough doctors that are calling the shots. 

Much love,

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fussy, Fussy

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:00pm

In the past few days, Morgan has been very quiet, resting, and eating!  She had even done so well eating, that they had removed her feeding tube! 

Today, she was a little irritated and fussy.

The doctor discontinued one of Morgan's medicines yesterday and that seems to have been too much too fast.  Morgan was uncomfortable and would not eat all of her meals from the bottle, today.  As a result, the doctor re-administered the medicine.  Going forward, the doctor will wean her little by little.  Her little body needs to gradually get used to not having this particular medicine in her system.  Obviously, if she does not feel well, she is not going to eat and not going to progress.  As her weaning continues in the next few days, please pray her body will react accordingly and get used  not to having it in her system.

Amongst her fussiness, I caught Morgan smiling at me!  Her precious little smile makes my heart melt!  Everyday we get closer and closer to bringing her home! We can hardly wait!  Yet, we are anxious with anticipation and nervous about really being in charge of her care.  Please pray for us as we begin this transition in our minds and move toward bringing our little girl home!

Everyday I am reminded of the fantastic care Morgan is receiving and the loving hearts of her caregivers!  Not only do they perform their duty, they truly love Morgan.  This interest in our daughter is humbling and overwhelming!  We have been so blessed through this entire process with wonderful people who want Morgan to get better and who also care for her parents.

In your prayers, please keep Morgan's lungs, growth and development. Please pray for her body as the doctor begins to wean her from the medicine.  Also, please pray for wisdom for her caregivers.

We are grateful for such wonderful friends and family who continue to support us through this journey!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chip Off The 'Ol Block!

Sunday, December 11, 2011  6:00pm

Morgan has been a very good girl this weekend!  She knows Santa is keeping his watch on her!

Every meal for two days Morgan ate the entire bottle during her feeding.  This is very big news.  We are excited that she had enough strength to do so!  This is a big step towards her ultimately coming home!  While, she was not able to sustain every meal, we are very encouraged that she has been able to make it as far as she has.  Morgan has picked up the eating from a bottle very well!  All the nurses agree that she is doing remarkably well with it.  Of course, with parents who love to eat, we knew Morgan would have no trouble being hungry!  She must be a chip off the 'ol block!

We have the preliminary report on Morgan's eyes.  While the official doctor's report is not in her chart, we have been told that her eyes are developing normally.  Due to some of her oxygen requirements in the first weeks, there was a real risk of correctable damage to her retina.  Morgan does not have any damage to retinas.  Her eyes are where they are supposed to be for her age!  Praise! Praise!  Upon hearing this news, several of her caregivers from both hospitals have portrayed to us what a real miracle this is!  Praise! Praise!

Other than that, Morgan is resting well and growing. Due to the calories she is buring while eating, she is gaining weight very slowly.   That is normal!  We are pleased with her continues progress and are really beginning to vision her coming home!

Our prayer requests continue to be her development, her nutrition, her growth, against infecitons.  Also, Seth and I are battlting our allerigeis this week.  Please pray that we will not get sick, because, if we do, we cannot go see Morgan.  Please keep her doctors and nurses in your prayers, as well!

Thank you for all the kind words, prayers and support of our Morgan! In a season where we celebrate our Saviors birth, we are also rejoicing in the birth our baby girl! 

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Strong Arm

Thursday, December 8, 2011  10:00pm

Morgan has had a very routine day!  These proud parents are pleased to write that there is not much to report tonight!

She has eaten well, slept and interacted with us today.  She did have an eye exam, but we do not know the results, yet.  Hopefully we will learn tomorrow. 

Our little baby is loves her passy very much!  When we arrived tonight to visit Morgan, the nurse was near her room standing in amazement!  She told us that she found her pacifier five feet from her bed just few minutes before we got there.  This means that Morgan threw her passy five feet across her room towards the door! Morgan was just telling her nurse that she wanted attention!  The way she got it was flinging her pacifier!  Our little girl has a very strong arm, already!

Thank you for continuing to pray and keep up with Morgan!  We pray for her lungs, her development, her feedings and her overall growth!   Also, keep those at UAB in your prayers.

Thank you for supporting and loving us all!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guess Who Came to Visit Morgan!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011  10:30 pm

Morgan just keeps on impressing her Proud Poppa!  She continues to improve and we are so thankful.  As I listen to Dean Martin singing Christmas songs to me, I truly understand that this is the absolute best Christmas I'll ever have.  Of course it's not because I believe Dino sings, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" better than anyone has ever's because of my sweet, precious gift, Morgan!  I have finally been able to open my Christmas present early without my mother's eyes rolling and being disappointed I found "the stash."

Sweet Morgan continues to take a few meals, per day, from a bottle.  This is very encouraging since it is the last major hurdle in front of her before she is able to come home.  The better she feeds, the bigger she, she is 4 lbs 8 oz!  While her weight and ability to take a bottle carry an homogeneous relationship, there is much more focus on her taking a bottle, for so many reasons.  We are thankful for her progress. 

Further, on the up-slope, Morgan moved back to the regular-flow nasal cannula today.  While she has been reliant upon the high-flow nasal cannula, she would still be able to come home and meet her pooch, Wagg, if she can sustain the "regular-flow."  Of course, it is much more preferable if Morgan comes home without having to rely upon oxygen, but the switch back to the regular-flow nasal cannula is another big step toward her "furry, anxious friend." 

All of that said, Morgan is simply improving on a daily basis.  We are so proud of her progress and how she continues to amaze us with her endurance and will.  I have never seen such a bundle of fire in a package as small as this one.  Of course that is a blanket statement, from me (who appreciates the detriment of such statements and the simplicity of Hemingway), but it is absolutely the truth.  She's a tough little booger that just won't quit.  I have so much admiration for this child. 

On the heels of my bragging, I will, now, unfurl the curtain in front of the mysterious visitor...I will provide three hints:  1) HO!, 2) HO!, and 3) HO!  You got it!  Ol' Saint Nick paid a visit to Morgan today!  We had an inclination that he may drop by for a visit, so she had a bath this morning and her sweet grandmother, Augusta, found the most adorable outfit for their first introduction.  Further, since Morgan can't write her own "wish list" to Santa Claus, we recruited a precious, sassy, 5 yr. old angel to help her write it out.  Morgan's first list to Santa included:

          1 Dandle-roo (a swaddling device), 1 Moma-roo (the amazing swing we continue to
          reference) 1,000,000 pacifiers, 1 new blanket and 1 TRIP HOME! 

The list was appropriate and very well hand-written...

As Morgan and her mother shared a moment, look who snuck in, quietly:

After the introduction, our Morgan wasted no time to have him take a quick glance at her precious list (we told you that she knows what she wants, when she wants it!):

We tried to explain what all was happening, so we stuffed her in a stocking to help drive in the point, while she listened attentively:

She continued to listen, in amazement, about how this guy brings her gifts (but her daddy still gives better kisses!):

She finally giggled and let us know that she had grasped the idea and that she was "okay" with it:

Later, we convinced the princess to try and go to sleep with sugar plums dancing through her head:

Of course, this portion of our fun with Morgan is, simply, focusing on the lesser importance of Christmas, but it was fun to watch our daughter interact with what lies ahead.  She was so much fun and so cute. 

We thank you all for continuing to care for her and keeping her in your prayers.  We, also, couldn't be more thankful for the wonderful people that have devoted their skills to caring for our precious Morgan at UAB. 

We thank you all and we hope you all have a wonderful start to your holiday season. 

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:00am

Morgan wants to wish her maternal Great-Grandmother a Happy Birthday! "Happy Birthday, Bet!" Morgan had a very quiet day yesterday.

As in previous days, she ate, rested and hung out! The doctors have increased Morgan's feedings significantly. They want her to gain more weight and have the strength to learn to eat. The additional food will help with her growth and overall development. Morgan, today, weighs 4 pounds 8 ounces. Recently, Morgan's weight has fluctuated. She will gain weight one day and lose a little the next. Each time she eats, which is every three hours, she burns many calories. Morgan is essentially doing an aerobic work out every time eats. She needs the extra food and calories to keep growing strong! Of course, Morgan loves the extra food. The lip smacker got her wish, more food! She is a hungry, hungry hippo!

Our prayer requests remain the same: Morgan's lungs, her growth and development, her feedings, against infections, and for those who take care of her.

We are often asked if we have a target date to bring Morgan home. At this time, we do not. The doctors have not mentioned anything about going home to us. There are several milestones Morgan will have to reach before they will consider it. The good news is that Morgan is slowly moving towards that day. Each day she continues to do well is one step closer to her arrival home!

Morgan is 13 weeks old today.

Thank you for all your love and support! Love, Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Monday, December 5, 2011


Monday, December 5, 2011 9:00pm

Morgan's day has been very uneventful!  She has rested, swung and eaten!  Same ol', same ol'! 

Morgan continues to learn to eat from a bottle!  Often times, before her meal, Morgan is waking up and fussing and letting the nurses know she is hungry.  I can just see her screaming, "Feed Me!"  Are we surprised Morgan continues to find ways to tell us when and what she wants? 

We also think Morgan is in a growth spurt.  Sometimes, Morgan will be smacking her lips after eating a bottle indicating that she is still hungry!  Even when she tires out and doesn't eat the entire bottle, she will smack her lips! 

Morgan has a great care team of nurses!  We are blessed to have many people who genuinely care for our daughter!  There are many nurses on the unit, who are not on Morgan's team, who come to see our cute little one.  She is defintely known around the NICU! These wonderful nurses are spoiling our little one!!  When they have a few extra minutes, they often go to Morgan's room to hold her and interact with her!  I have told each of one them that they will be on rotation to come hold Morgan when she arrives home!  This little one is spoiled!  And, we are spoiled with such wonderful caregivers!

Thank you to all of you for loving, praying and caring for our daughter!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Loving the Swing

Monday, December 5, 2011 8:00 am

Morgan has stayed pretty content and quiet over the past few days.  She is staying the course and not much, medically, to report.  Obviously, this is the equivalent of good news.

Her feeds continue to go very well.  Overnight and through Sunday, there were five feeds in a row that Morgan took entirely from the bottle.  Way to go, Morgan!  She is also putting on more weight.  Yesterday afternoon the little monster weighed 4 lbs, 7 oz. 

The ear infection that created some havoc last week has subsided.  The presence of any infection, in Morgan, is worrisome and we are thankful that her body was able to fight it away.

Morgan loves her swing.  It sits on the floor in her room and I think she may have spent more time in the swing than her crib this weekend!  She seems so content as it gently sways her back and forth. 

When she isn't knocked out in her swing, she is being more interactive with us.  She is recognizing our voices, curiously looking into our eyes and, generally, more cognizant of her surroundings.  We are having so much fun watching her develop and progress.

We are so thankful for all you and your continued prayers.  We are also thankful for the wonderful people that are taking such wonderful care of Morgan. 

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin