Thursday, November 17, 2011

eyes wide open and names

Virginia has had her eyes open for a week and a half now, but we finally caught it on camera. They are dark right now but they will certainly lighten up in the coming months.

Virginia has had a steady, uneventful week, both very good things in the NICU. She has gained some weight and is up to a hefty 1lb 12oz and 13.5 inches long! Her progress on the vent has stalled a bit, but we are hopeful that her consistent growth helps her get stronger and off of the vent very soon. We have learned that patience is a virtue and "2 steps forward and 1 step back" is not necessarily a bad thing as long as there is consistent progress. The highlight of each day continues to be kangaroo care time. Virginia settles right in and we all are instantly relaxed and happy.

Norma Jean's comment in the last post reminded me to write about Virginia's namesakes. Many of you may know of either Virginia Klem or Kathryn Buckley, but I dont think any of you know of both of these special women.

When it became apparent to us that the baby was going to come early, we decided that strong family names were especially important to us. We figured that such a little girl was going to need a big name and some extra help from some very special angels.

Virginia Klem is my grandmother, my father's mother. She lived to be exactly 91.5 years old and was legendary in Greenbelt. She raised 5 kids, cared for my Pop Pop during his fight with MS, cooked killer spaghetti and fried chicken, was a regular at the Greenbelt Municipal pool, and never complained about the ruckus that her grandchildren would make each night after blackout at the Greenbelt Labor Day festival.

Kathryn Buckley is Heath's great grandmother. She lived to be 99 years old! She played a mean game of rummy and spared no mercy on her opponent no matter their age. Kathryn always had a dish of M&M's on the table, little debbies in the cabinet and Stewarts sodas in the fridge as a treat for anyone who stopped by.

Virginia and Kathryn both valued family, community, and faith above all. We wish for our Virginia to covet these same values.

Specific prayers that we could use this weekend:
That her doctors are able to further lower her ventilator settings and make progress toward getting off of the Vent.

That Virginia continues to steadily gain weight.

That her lungs continue to clear excess fluid.


  1. Alyssa - I think about you guys often and wow, so amazed at your little miracle. Let me know if I can help with anything from afar and know Pittsburgh prayers are in the mix too :)

  2. Thanks for the beautiful pictures of Virginia and the background on Heath's great grandma - sounds like she and your grandma would have been good friends!

  3. We love that eyes-wide-open sweetheart. The story of her name is just perfect.