Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Little Princess

February 29, 2012  10:00pm

Our daughter is now being referred to as the Little Princess!  Morgan has had a great day.  Again, there is not much to report, medically.  The one bit of news is that our Princess will begin to feed by bottle tomorrow. They are going to start her off slowly with a half of an ounce once a day. It is obvious, by Morgan's various cues, that she is hungry and likes to eat.  She loves her mouth care and the flavor of her oral medicines.  We are hopeful that the time and growth, since her last bottle in early January, will aid in her ability to take the the bottle.   Please pray for her feedings, swallowing, and sucking as she begins this process, again.  This is a big step in her journey to come home.

Thanks for all the prayers for her lungs and their healing, as well.  We know the Lord above hears our requests.  He is in the miracle business!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Relaxed Day

February 28, 2012 8:30pm

I am pleased to report Morgan's day has been very quiet and uneventful.  Medically, she has not changed.  She has spent her day playing on mat, watching her mobile, strolling and napping.   She has been awake and interactive with us.  Morgan has had a great day! 

Please continue to pray for Morgan's lung development, progress forward and healing. Also, please pray for her swallowing and eating, as they prepare her to begin that process again.  (We do not have a specific time frame, but we are hopeful it will be soon.)  Pray against infections and for her caregivers. 

Seth and I are thankful for your prayers for our daughter.  We know the Lord hears our prayers and is healing Morgan! 

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Monday, February 27, 2012

Work Out Day

Monday, February 27, 2012   9:30pm
Our little miracle baby has had a very busy day!   She is such a happy and relaxed baby most of the time.  She also had a several work outs today!

It is important walk the fine line that prompts Morgan to move forward, yet does not cause her to go backwards.  The doctor is proud of Morgan's progress in the last few days and is making adjustments to encourage to keep going.  We know these adjustments will benefit Morgan.

She continues to well on her oxygen dependency. She is holding her course. Ultimately, she needs to wean down further. Please pray for strength in those little lungs and for their life. I love to picture Jesus the breathing the breath of life into them! 

Morgan has been working hard today!  She has been visited by the physical therapist, who gave her a "massage".  The speech therapist came to work on her eating and sucking.  She also relaxed to the music therapist who sang her to sleep.  Each of the therapists has a gift and Morgan loves each one for a different reason.  Morgan's muscles motored, her taste buds blossomed, and her ears were elated.

Seth and I are pleased with Morgan's progress since her stint on the C-PAP last Wednesday.  We are prayerful that she will continue to get better. We are anxious to get her home, but we are patient .... well, sort of! 

Thank you for all your support!  Please continue to pray for her lungs, against infections, and for those taking care of her. 

As we left tonight, Morgan was sitting up in her chair watching the mobile.  As we kissed her good night and said our good-byes, Morgan's arms waved up and down as if to tell us bye-bye and good night!  That little pistol always has something up her sleeves, and it is not just her arms!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Strolling Outside

Sunday, February 26, 2012  8:27 PM

Morgan has put together a string of great days.  She is getting stronger each day and she is doing so well with her breathing.  We are so thankful for her progress, because she is so interactive with us when she feels well. Currently, there isn't anything complicating Morgan's battle, which is great, great news. 

Today was a gorgeous day in Birmingham.  It was so pretty, in fact, we were able to take Morgan OUTSIDE for a stroll.  It was her first time outside the walls of the hospital (other than her transfer to UAB back in October).  We bundled her up and headed down to the fountain outside the lobby.  She slept through most of the trip, but she reacted to the sunlight when the sun's rays peaked around the canopy of her stroller.  Of course, it was more fun for us than her, but the three of us had a great time together. 

Please pray that Morgan's great progress will continue.  We are so anxious to bring her home.  Please also continue to pray for Morgan's wonderful team at UAB.  Thank you all for keeping up with our daughter and thank you for your prayers.

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Thursday, February 23, 2012  9:15pm

What a difference a day makes!  Morgan was able to get off the C-PAP today.  The Lord is faithful and answered our prayers!  We are so thankful!

Morgan's was able to rest well last night and, as a result, her levels decreased.  The doctor was comfortable taking her off the machine.   He worked a deal with Morgan... if she starts to struggle to breathe again, he will put her back on the C-PAP for a short stint to help her recover.  Morgan's current nasal cannula settings are higher than they have been in the past, but the doctor is okay with that.  She is much more relaxed, happy and comfortable on it.  He is willing to let her work on her own.  Being back on the nasal cannula also forces to use her lungs and not become dependant on the C-PAP. 

We are still praying for the complete healing of her lungs.  The immediate goal is getting rid of the infection and the long term goal is total healing.  We pray that will be no future infections either.

Her diaper rash continues to heal.  It is not completely gone, but looks much, much better. 

She continues to have bouts with a fever.  They attribute the cause to two areas: the infection and her chronic condition.  They are able to treat it with Tylenol or ibuprofen. 

Morgan was alert today.  She sat up in a new chair the nurse brought to her and she played on her play mat.  She sat in my lap for about two hours tonight, as well.  She was wide awake, alert and in tune with her surroundings.  She is content.

We are thankful for your prayers and the Lord for His healing.  Please continue to pray for her recovery and those charged with her care. 

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 1:30pm

Calling all prayer warriors.... Please pray for Morgan's lungs and their healing.
Our little Morgan has had to return to the C-PAP this morning. This step backward was caused by a combination of the urinary track infection and the extra fluid that is within her little body. This combination caused her to breathe harder and need additional assistance. Over the last few days, it has been obvious that Morgan has been working harder to breathe. Early this morning the nasal cannula could not provide enough additional help, so they had to put her on the C-PAP. After being on the C-PAP for a little bit, her little body relaxed and it is not fighting to breathe anymore. Her various levels began to improve, as well. We do not know how long she will be on the C-PAP. We are prayerful it will not be long. The doctor feels she has gained lung strength and momentum in the recent weeks, so he feels she will handle this well. Seth and I are concerned and just want her to move forward, not backward.
Please pray against infections. This is exactly why it is so critical for Morgan not get any infections and inflammations. When we, with healthy and strong lungs, get inflammations/infections within our body, our lungs can handle the extra labor needed to breathe. Since Morgan has a chronic lung issue, her lungs do not always have the strength to fight off the inflammation.
I wanted to briefly update everyone. Thanks for your prayers and support!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Monday, February 20, 2012

Not Much Action But Getting Bigger

Monday, February 20, 2012  10:30 PM

There is not too much to report on Morgan today.  She slept soundly most of the day and we always love her to sleep.  Not because we want a quiet baby upon her venture home, but because her precious little lungs grow when she sleeps.  Tonight when we were visiting with her, she was much less "fussy" than she has been.  It is always so much fun to see her with her eyes wide open and feeling calm.  She is simply an angel and such a joy to watch.  

We did learn that Morgan's urinalysis came back positive.  Of course, the medical world's positive relates to our world as negative.  As we have suspected, Morgan has an infection.  At this point, we are not terribly worried and believe the circumstance to be highly treatable with antibiotics.  Sweet (and sneaky) Morgan should be up to her old tricks again very soon.  We pray that our inclination(s) are accurate and that she will feel much better as fast as possible.

"...And in this corner..." our chunky monkey is weighing in at a whopping 8 lbs, 8 oz!  Her weight is currently a bit askew, due to her retention of fluid, but coming from 1 lb, 5 oz, that's pretty good.  While the fluid is providing some smoking mirrors, we are still excited about her overall ability to gain weight.  

Please continue to pray for Morgan's care team.  They are constantly providing us with confidence and peace.  

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Sunday, February 19, 2012

First Dance

Sunday, February 19, 2012  8:30pm

Morgan has had a great weekend.  She has rested, played, and strolled. Morgan even had her first dance with Daddy!

Medically, Morgan has stayed about the same.  She has been able to maintain her new level of dependency on the oxygen.   We are thankful for that.  We continue to pray that she can maintain and ultimately decrease her need for the oxygen assistance.

While Morgan's blood pressure is usually on the high side of normal, recently, it has been higher than it should be.  As a result,  they are watching her blood pressure closely and have also given her medication to help with it.

Morgan weighs 8 pounds 8 ounces today!  She has grown a good bit over the weekend.

Her hiney diaper rash continues to get better.  While it is not totally healed, it looks much better than it once did.  She does not seem to be as agitated by it.

Today, Seth and I spent a good bit of time hanging out with our daughter.  She slept next to Daddy in the recliner and played with me on the play mat.  We put her in the exersaucer to play, as well.  The seat she sits in can spin.   Seth pressed the music button and began to spin the seat back and forth with Morgan.  Seth and Morgan danced together.  It was so fun to watch!  I know Seth looks forward to many more daddy-daughter dances. He will cherish that moment forever.  I took a video of it the dance.  When some little fella comes to dance Morgan away, I am sure Seth will show him her first dance with Daddy! (Right after he greets him at the door with his rifle.) It was a special moment!

Many thanks for all the prayers and support!  We love you all and are so blessed to have your prayers and friendship!  God Bless!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Long Lashes

Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:45pm

Our Morgan continues to do well. It has been one week since she made a giant leap forward with her oxygen dependency. I was describing to a friend today what that meant. Last Thursday, Morgan's lungs began to work more independently and she reduced her need to support by almost half. Yay! She has been able to sustain this for a week now. That is big, big, big for our baby girl! In reality, they probably could have decreased her dependency more. However, at this time, it is important to let her lungs adjust to this level of work before reducing the oxygen again. Eventually, they will try to encourage her to work more and, therefore, need less assistance.

Morgan got another stroller around the NICU today. Due to our crazy schedules today, Seth and I could not make it for a stroll.    Her sweet nurse did the honors and took her around.  They said she loved it.   When I called in to check on her, the unit secretary told me she had seen her ride by the desk during her adventure.  Everybody loves our Morgan!

Morgan's tee-tiny-hiney continues to improve.  The diaper rash is clearing up, slowly.  It is still painful, but mending. In general, she cannot stand having a dirty diaper, and a raw hiney adds to the discomfort.

Through Morgan, I am often in awe of the amazing pieces that knit together to create a human baby.  Our Creator is so good!  Over the last week, I have really noticed her eye lashes. I am in awe!  They are long, curl upward, and a rich dark brown.  Beautiful!  I am amazed that our God thought of so many details of our body, inside and out, that make us who we are.  Even though Morgan was born at 26 weeks, it is amazing to me that she is perfect! Perfect! Perfect!

Thank you for your continued support and prayers for all three of us!  We continue to press forward, though beyond exhausted.  I selfishly ask for prayer for Seth and me.  We are weary and tired.  Tax season is upon Seth, which adds to his exhaustion.

Please also pray for our wonderful caregivers.  They take care of our daughter, and they take care of us! They are wonderful friends, well actually, they are part of our wonderful family!

Elizabeth and Seth McCon

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Post-Cookie Workout

Wednesday, February 15, 2012  8:30 AM

Morgan continues to do well with her breathing.  While she made some major steps over the weekend, she has reached another plateau.  She is staying steady, but in better shape than she had been for the past month or so. 

Further, on the medical front, Morgan's tee-tiny-hiney is slowly fighting off her diaper rash.  It is improving and we know that she can't wait for it to heal.  As for the infection issues, we are still waiting for the cultures to run their course and tell us if there is one present.  Sweet Morgan is showing signs that she may not have one, so we are hopeful that she will skate through this episode with no harm done.

In other news, our little cherub gave us a Valentine's Day to remember.  Her Pappa (Elizabeth's father, David) stopped by the hospital with her first heart-shaped cookie from Savage's Bakery, the best bakery in Birmingham.  Elizabeth broke a little piece off and let Morgan lick the icing.  As she tasted it, her eyes became as big as saucers, and she entered diabetic bliss, yet again. 

Last night, our tiny, eight-pound cupid shot her arrow and hit us dead square in the heart...we got to stroll her throught NICU!  It was so much fun.  I've never enjoyed a simple walk so much.  As Elizabeth pushed the stroller, I followed with the oxygen tank and mind went numb.  It was so much fun to watch Morgan react to the simple, slow movement as the lights passed by her.  We had to make multiple stops as every nurse we passed by had to come out to the hall and play with her.  She definitely stole the show...and our hearts.  Morgan did well with her travel setup and we look forward to doing it again, soon. 

We have mentioned, before, that we have fallen in love with the staff at UAB.  As some of them came out to see Morgan, I was able to snag a picture.  Each individual in this picture has taken care of Morgan at one time or another and we are so appreciative for each of them.  Of course, there are many others that were not on duty, but there is no camera lens large enough to snap a shot of all of those that have loved Morgan through this.  Thanks to all of them!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for our amazing daughter. 

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Relay and A Rally

Monday, February 13, 2012  9:45 PM

As some of you may know, Morgan was represented by three wonderful relay teams in the Mercedes Marathon yesterday in Birmingham.  The runners ran staggered legs and all fifteen runners did great, as they covered a staggering cumulative 78.6 miles, with each step taken with love and care.  We were so honored by them and proud of our daughter for reaching the hearts of others.  It is very obvious to Elizabeth and me how special this child is and it is absolutely overwhelming when we are able to see how many of you see her the same way.  The messages my heart sent to my brain during the race were indescribable.  One of my favorite moments was watching Team GO MO GO run toward the finish line to cross and finish together:

Thanks to all the runners for their physical effort and for helping us in our initial fundraising efforts for the soon to come, Houston's Hope Foundation. 

We are also happy to report that Morgan rallied this weekend and her oxygen dependency improved dramatically!  She took some substantial steps and we are so proud to report her improvement.  Further, as of a few minutes ago, Morgan has reached the Eight Pound Mark!  She is exactly 8 lbs, 0 oz.  Her progress with her breathing and getting bigger, stronger and cuter are all major pieces needed to solve her medical puzzle.  We are so excited for her and we look forward to great improvement in the near future. 

The main focus of Morgan's current medical care is a terrible case of diaper rash.  The poor thing must be in so much pain.  Please pray that this does not lead to an extremely unwelcome infection.  As of this afternoon, we found that there has been an increase in her white blood cells, which may be an indication of an infection, but it has not been determined that an infection is present.  We have been waiting on a urinalysis all day and mischievous Morgan keeps finding a way to play a joke on her nurses and "miss the target," one way or another.  Her tricky personality is super cute, but I'm sure my tune will change when the joke is on Daddy!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Morgan and her medical team.  And, if any of you cross paths with any of this past weekend's runners, please thank them for all they did for our precious Morgan!

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Future Field Trips

Thursday, February 9, 2012  10:00pm

Morgan has had a wonderful day!  She has improved and her oxygen dependency has decreased today.
Praise God!  To say we are thrilled is an understatement!   We have had an extra pep in our step today! 

Also, we learned that Morgan is going to get to go field trips... around the NICU.  The doctor thinks it would be good for Morgan's overall health to take trips around the NICU in her stroller.  When it gets warm enough, he is going to let her go outside to the fountain out front!  Yes, yes..... that is right... Morgan is going on field trips!  We are so excited!

Morgan had a "massage" today. Physical therapy came to work with Morgan.  She stretches her muscles with her fingers, but to Morgan it is like a massage.  Morgan was totally relaxed, calm, and, eventually, fell asleep.  She was loving it!

We thank each of you for celebrating all the joys with us!  We are thankful for this good day and we pray for more to come in the future.  Please continue to keep Morgan's overall health and development in your prayers.  Pray for continued lung stength and against infections. Please also keep her caregivers in your prayers. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Steady, With an Inspired Daddy

Wednesday, February 8, 2012  10:00 PM

Morgan hasn't budged much today.  She's still holding her course and going at her pace.  Not to get too medical, but we are very used to checking in on Morgan and seeing, or hearing, "4.0 liters and 100%."  This is the steady setting of her nasal cannula.  It really hasn't fluctuated too terribly much for more than two weeks.  She's made significant improvements but seems to come right back to this point.  She will have small setbacks but, quickly, comes right back to this point.  Just as Rome was built, it is, "brick by brick my citizens, brick by brick." 

As a "results-driven" man, it is more than frustrating to not see a tangible or visible progression.  However, I'd like to share something with you all that has gotten me through the current day.

I'm a "quote guy."  I like quotes and I love the inspiration I can feel from the split second of realizing the true meaning of perspective.  Last night, as I was longing for distraction, I ran across a quote from Theodore Roosevelt.  I have worries and amazing decisions to make on a daily basis, as many of us do, but I couldn't imagine the situations facing the 26th President of our wonderful nation.  Most of us are inspired by the strength he portrayed when he said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."  This is a pretty strong statement in our current world.  However, it was a massive statement in the world he lived in.  While pondering his role, I read another quote from him that read, "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on."  I can't tell you how pertinent this is and how it resonated with me.  So there was someone that portrayed great strength that got to the end of their rope, too?  It's encouraging to learn from our history.  While President Roosevelt was stamping his mark on our nation, he had no idea that he was inspiring meager ol' me. 

As many fathers do, I want to brag on my kids.  If you're reading this and you're in a tight spot, learn from the words of President Roosevelt, the four forceful days of Houston and the strength in every minute of Morgan's fight.  I'm so proud to place my kids in that sentence.  Maybe they're not in the same league, but you won't be able to convince me.  I share this because maybe, just maybe, one of you will be inspired by those three individuals, as I've been, by for that past twenty-four hours. 

All three of these McCoin's are going to keep fighting.  We don't like our battle, but we are proud.  We are proud of our helpers at UAB and we are graciously thankful for all of our prayer warriors.  We so wish we could reach out and touch each of you. 

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin


Wednesday, February 8, 2012 8:45am

Our sweet Morgan is so fun and interactive. Last night we walked into her room as she was joyfully playing on her mat. She was looking at the lights, listening to the music, and batting at the monkey. She was kicking and talking out of excitement! Her big brown eyes were so alert and engaged. We literally sat beside her and watched her play for an hour. She is so stinkin' cute.

Morgan pulled one of her houdini acts, again, yesterday. She found a way to pull out her feeding tube despite all the extra tape to ensure its security. She continues to pull stunts like this. She is letting the nurses know she is in control, and they better not doubt it!

Medically, Morgan is recovering, slowly, from Monday. Her fever broke, and they actually believe it was not a true fever. They think that her elevated temperature was a result of her, simply, working herself up so much. Her oxygen dependency has not improved much since Monday. However, she looks a lot better and is much more content. In a conversation with the doctor yesterday, he feels she is doing better, as compared to Monday. He is pleased with her response to the medicine(s). If he is pleased, then we can be, too.

It is hard for Seth and I to watch Morgan and not see much day to day improvement. While we know we cannot get lost in the day to day nuances, it still is hard. We are aware that overall she is improving, slowly. We often get frustrated that the treatment for her ups and downs are the same. There are not many other "drugs" to give to her that may help her. Time is the greatest medicine. As her parents, we want to go inside her body and fix it all now! Patience is very hard.  We know the Great Physician is the ultimate healer and He is working in her little body. Please continue to pray for life and healing to be breathed into her little lungs.

Seth and I are weary and exhausted.  Please pray for rest and energy for us both.  Seth is going into tax season, which adds to his exhaustion.  We continue to try to find the balance between work, home, hospital, and chores. 

Please continue to pray for those at UAB who are her caregivers. Each one has gift. They are wonderful friends!

As always, thanks for all your prayers and support! We are so blessed!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Monday, February 6, 2012

Good Weekend, Slight Nervousness...and a Nap

Monday, February 6, 2012 8:00 PM

Our little "Simple Gift" had a good weekend.  She slowly tip-toed down on her oxygen dependency.  She seemed extremely comfortable and alert, all weekend.  One reason may have been because she is starting to get used to all of this.  How do we know?  Well, Saturday was her 150th day with us!  And do you think we could let that go by without a party?  We took cupcakes to the hospital and even shared some chocolate icing with sweet Morgan.  She seemed to really enjoy it as she licked and chomped the chocolate from her lips.  Just like most girls, this one is going to love chocolate for a long time...

Yesterday, we went to give Morgan a bath.  We like to be there when this happens because we are assured that she will be awake and alert for an extended period of time.  She is getting so big and you can certainly tell each time you "skin the cat!"  She tends to be fussy in the water until her hair gets washed with a little brush that must tickle like crazy.  At that point, she calms down and goes into a daze.  It's an absolute riot to watch.  Fussy to totally chilled out, faster than a light switch!

While the weekend went well, last night, Morgan seemed to be uncomfortable and couldn't find her "sweet spot."  Her oxygen dependency went back up and, this morning, we found out that she had a slight fever.  Of course, it's worrisome to hear, but it could be so many benign things.  As of this evening, her temperature had subsided by the slightest and we are hopeful that this trend will continue.

After work, I went to the hospital to see my precious girl.  As I walked into the room, I could tell that we were both exhausted, so the only thing I could think to do was this:

Thank you all for continuing to pray for Morgan and all those taking care of her.  Believe us when we tell you that she continues to grow bigger, stronger and, most definitely, cuter.

Seth and Elizabeth McCoin

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pistol Morgan

Friday, February 3, 2012  1:30pm

Morgan is doing well!  Not much has changed recently, medically.  Wednesday and Thursday, she was fluctuating on her oxygen dependency, but she seems to have settled down today. Sometimes, Morgan's lungs get a little "wet" (meaning a little fluid in them), and it makes it hard for her to breathe.  They believe that was the cause for fluctuations.  They can give her medicines to make her release the fluid and, ultimately, help her lungs. 

They have suspended her feedings until she gets stronger, and less dependant on oxygen, as we have described before. They can put milk on her pacifier and let her taste it.  This tasting is good for her taste bud development. The sucking on the pacifier is good because she can associate sucking with her tummy getting full.  Even though she is not being fed by bottle, there are measures taken to try to prepare her for when she can again.  She is certainly waking up to eat every three hours and smacking her lips asking for her milk. 

At lunch today, I went to visit her.  She was resting on her boppy on her play mat.  She was slowly waking up, but in a daze.  I leaned over to say hello to her.  I asked how she was doing.  Then I asked if she was being a little pistol today?  She immediately smiled at me!  I asked again, and she smiled again!  Please pray for us, she is going to be a little handful!  Pistol Morgan!

Please continue to pray for Morgan's lung health and overall development!  We also pray for the staff at UAB, for wisdom and knowledge as they make decisions about Morgan's care! 

Thank you to each of you for your love!  It sustains us!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ups and Downs

February 1, 2012  10:00pm

Morgan continues to be a very happy baby!  Today, she has been very tired.  She has a played a little, but mostly rested. 

Her oxygen dependency has ebbed and flowed today.  At times she required more, and at other times, she was back to the level she has been for weeks.  This, of course, makes her parents anxious for her.  We would like for her to be decreasing her dependency, not increasing.  We know, deep down, the decrease will come in time, yet it is hard to be patient.  Her lungs need to heal.

We are so blessed with a beautiful, happy, interactive and content baby.  We cherish our time with her and wish we spend every awake moment with her.  She is growing and progressing, and we are thankful!

Please continue to pray for her healing and her lungs.  Seth and I ask that you keep us in your prayers, too. This is an endurance race, and we are weary.  We need strength, perseverance, and peace to continue.  Also, please pray for all her caregivers!

Elizabeth and Seth McCoin