Friday, September 21, 2012

Very special addition to the family

I know, I know, you probably thought I had abandoned this blog long ago but alas I am back with a very important post.  More important than the post on what Karl should be for Halloween 2011, how could that be?  I know it is hard to believe that anything could take precedence over that but this does.

We have a new member of the family.  My sister Ashley and her husband Ryan welcomed their second daughter into the world yesterday.  Baby Penelope was born early in the morning on September 20th.  This little fighter did not have an easy go coming into this world.  A few months into Ashley's pregnancy she found out that baby Penny was diagnosed with spina bifida.  To explain what that is I'll go to the always trusty Wikipedia; 

Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, this allows a portion of the spinal cord to protrude through the opening in the bones. There may or may not be a fluid-filled sac surrounding the spinal cord.       
As you can imagine that is a completely frightening thing to hear about your unborn child.  After getting the diagnosis Ashley and Ryan were set to go out to Philadelphia for a surgery on the baby while she was still in the womb.  That was the plan but as everyone knows sometimes plans don't work out like we expect.  While in Philadelphia they were told the baby was too sick and not strong enough for them to preform the surgery.  They told them that the baby was so sick that she may not live long after birth and they may want to consider terminating the pregnancy.

Ashley and Ryan decided to go to term with the pregnancy and see what happens.  It was a very long pregnancy with so many questions and so many conflicting answers.  After one doctor's visit they would say the baby was actually looking relatively healthy and then the next visit they were told the baby did not look healthy at all.

After months of flip flopping diagnosis the due date was finally here.  Penny was born via c-section and has been doing well since coming into the world.  Because of the spina bifia she had to go into surgery today so they could operate on her spine.  The surgery went well and she is off oxygen and breathing on her own.  She is at the hospital and hopefully can come home in a week or so.

It has been such a hard few months for the family and I am so impressed with the strength Ashley has shown through out this entire process.  She has stayed so positive and strong and Penny is lucky to have her as a mom.

Here is a picture of her right after being born looking just like her sister Sofia.

So you can thank Penny for bringing me back to blogging because this post is welcoming the latest Olson girl into the world (well technically Olson/Pedersen but you get my point).