Thursday, February 28, 2008

2 Months Old!

Everyone said - wait until she's 6-8 weeks old - things will get easier. I think its right. We've seemed fall into our new "normal" around here. I'm getting used to working a few days a week, Josh is getting used to changing diapers and feeding a baby, and Eden is finally getting used to her "routine". Next we've got to get working on her sleeping through the night! I can't wait for that day (or night). Its hard to believe she is already 2 months old though. She seems like such a big girl now - its kinda sad how quickly they grow. As much as I want her to start playing and interacting - I'm going to miss those "newborn" days.

Eden had her first real visit from Nana and Papa Joe and Aunt Staci this weekend. I said "real" because the first time they came Eden was in the NICU and they couldn't really see her much. We had a great time just hanging out and making faces at Eden. There are more pictures at the link to the left (Eden's 2 month photos). We were so glad that they all got to come and visit for a few days. Now we just can't wait to meet the rest of the Carroll family - Skype will only suffice for so long.

I've never been one for journaling (that was my sister's forte), so you'll have to bear with me. This blogging thing is harder than I thought. My life seems so busy at times, but when I sit down to write about it, nothing comes to mind. I'll get better - just give me time.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who hates the flu??? We do, we do!

So the flu hit our house:( Josh definitely got the worst of it and THANKFULLY Eden hasn't gotten any of it. (Again, must I say that God's hand is all over this child).

Monday night we both started getting sick, Tuesday started the sore throat, aches and fevers. Wednesday was a day of complete laziness and resting (as much resting as can be done with an 8 week old at home). Josh went to the doctor and was told they thought he had the flu. $120 later and Tamiflu onboard, I began feeling better. Josh on the other hand seems to have a few days left of feeling crummy. So I spent all day lysoling everything in sight and keeping Eden quarantined to her nursery and Josh to our bedroom. I told Josh I feel like I'm back on the bone marrow unit taking care of my two patients all day and washing my hands non-stop. I'm praying that Josh feels better tomorrow since Nana, PaPa Joe and Aunt Staci are coming in town to visit. We can't wait!

On a happier note, I can't believe our little miracle is 8 weeks old!!!! CRAZY! Here's an 8 week picture, requested by her Aunt Jessica. Thanks for checking in on us - hopefully our next post will bring some brighter news!

I have to share a little story about the following photo. Eden's usual routine for falling asleep include - being swaddled (Yes, Aunt Linda, she likes being swaddled!), lying on her side, and sucking on a passy. However, little miss Eden tends to let the passy fall out and then call her mommy (or daddy) in to put it back in her mouth, only for it to fall out again a few minutes later. This cycle could go on for minutes. Its quite humorous at times because she gets so frustrated when she cant get it back in her mouth herself. So, in attempted to limit my number of times I have to go in the nursery (especially since the flu hit), I started placing her little pelican friend next to her with its beak in the passy hole so that if she let it fall out, it won't go anywhere. Clever right!?! Well - its not fail-proof, but its made for some cute pictures. I caught this one yesterday where she had her hand around the beak and passy in her eye. She fell asleep thought and doesn't seem to mind.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

First Smile!!!!

So I've been waiting for the past few weeks, hoping every day that Eden will smile at me. There have been a few half-smiles, but today I think I actually saw the first real smile. Then I was taking her picture this afternoon with the package Gigi sent and when I looked at the photo I realized I had caught it on camera!!! Josh says its not a real smile, but I think it is. I think he's just jealous that she smiled for me first!

I had my first moment of panic today also! After getting out of the car to check the mail, the doors locked on me with Eden still inside the car! Luckily, Josh's keys were at the Y just a few miles away and his boss thankfully brought them to me in just a LONG ten minutes. Thankfully it was a cool day, the car was on and Eden just slept right through the whole thing. Hopefully she wont remember it, but I surely will... and you can bet I'll never do that again.

Happy Valentines Day to all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back to Work

This was my first week back to work:( I wasn't thrilled about having to go back so soon, but it wasn't too bad. It definately helped knowing that she was in good hands. Josh gets to keep her in the mornings and then friends are keeping her in the afternoon (thanks Heather and Jen!) I thought I'd post a picture of Eden on Monday - my first day back to work. Keep in mind that daddy got to dress her!

I weighed her at the office on Monday and she was 7 lbs 15.5 oz - we're about to break 8 lbs... YAHHHH!

Friday, February 8, 2008

6 Weeks Old and Still Seeing Answered Prayers

Welcome to our blog! I will try to be brief as I know many of you won't read this if its too long. Hopefully with this blog we can update frequently and avoid having to send out VERY LONG emails!

Eden is doing WONDERFUL and has been such a joy. She has had many check ups the past few weeks and we wanted to fill you all in on what has been going on with her and how you can continue to pray for her and for our family.

First off, Eden did not pass her hearing test in the hospital. We had a repeat screening last week and she passed in one ear, but still failed in her right ear. We go back on March 11th for more testing to see if she does have some hearing loss. The audiologist was reassuring though that even with hearing loss in one ear, as long as the other ear hears normally, it can acomadate. We are thankful that at least one ear is working well and we pray that God would allow her the ability to hear His Word spoken clearly.

Second, Eden had an ultrasound done on her spine because of a sacral dimple that was found at birth. What they found was that her spinal cord is "tethered". What that means is that the spinal cord is attached to something (bone/muscle/skin) that is should not be attached to. Normally, the spinal cord is hanging freely in the spinal column. When it is tethered, tension is put on it and can cause problems such as numbness, tingling - these can lead to decreased movement in her legs. It can also cause bowel and bladder problems (problems potty training if we hadnt caught it early). Good thing is, we did catch it early and they think that surgery will prevent any of these problems from occuring. The nurse I spoke with siad they usually do the surgery within the first year of life. We will meet with the neurosurgeon sometime in March and talk with him more about all this. They will also do an MRI of her spine at that time. Please pray that there will be no damage to her spinal cord or her limbs. We will even pray that the results of the MRI will come back normal (we KNOW this is not impossible for God!).

We praise God that He continues to show us grace and compassion with this sweet baby. We did get some "good" news this week. The pediatrician had ordered some lab work to make sure there wasnt any genetic or chromosomal abnormalities going on that would link together all these "quirks". Praise the Lord that they were all normal! Also, Eden began breastfeeding out of no where this week! I had been bottle feeding her since the hospital and really didn't expect her to take to it. She acts like she's done it her whole life. This is a HUGE blessing to me and I praise the Lord that He taught Eden how to do it! Please pray that she will continue to eat well and gain weight and that I can stop pumping and bottle feeding soon.

So, I lied, this wasn't short. But we had alot to share as its been a while since we've sent out an update. Thanks for checking in our family and thank you for praying!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


We wanted to send out a quick update to let you all know what has been
going on the past few days in Eden's life. I think you all got the
email Josh sent out to let you all know that she was born on 12/26 at
4:54. As you all know, they were planning to do surger on 12/31 to
place a shunt to improve the hydrocephalus they saw on ultrasound. We
had been told that the assessments and the CT scan done at birth would
be determining factors in her care.

Her assessments at birth were great - she was able to stay in the room
with us and not have to go the nursery. Her head size was normal and
there were no signs of hydrocephalus from a "clincial standpoint". On
12/27, Josh went with her to have the CT scan done. We waited all day
do to know the results. Finally that evening the docctor came in to
tell us that the CT scan looked "COMPLETELY NORMAL" and there was no
evidence of any hydrocephalus and even more impressive, they could not
find the Dandy Walker Cyst anywhere. She siad that they had been
calling the technologist that read the test to confirm the results
becuase everyone was so suprised that the cyst was no where to be
found. Though I must say, at first I was a little suprised myself, but
really - we were amazed at the the power of God! The doctors wanted to
do an MRI just "confirm" that there was no cyst from a second study.
So, last night Eden went for the MRI - this morning the results came
back - NORMAL again! Praise the Lord for He is good. He is able to
more than we could ever ask or imagine!

These past few months have been the most incredibly trying months of
our lives. God has revealed so much of Himself to us and I am so
thankful for each and every struggle becuase it brings me closer to
Him. We may never fully know why we went through all this, but I will
continue to trust that God has huge plans for this little girl. My
prayer continues to be Colossians 1:9-12 which asks that the Lord
increase her knowledge and understanding of Him.

Thanks for being patient with this email. I know it was long, but we
have so much to be thankful for and so much to praise God for. May
this encourage us all to believe the Word of God - to pray it and
claim it. He is faithful to His Word and He is powerful to ANYTHING!
Thanks to you all for all the prayers you have prayed. We will not
stop praying for this baby because she has been healed. It is so
evident to me now how important it is to pray for her every day of her

Josh, Steph, and Eden Carroll


This may be the last update before Eden makes her grand entrance into this world! We are at week 37 and only have a week and a half until the induction date (Dec 28th). We are so excited to meet her, yet so anxious about what lies ahead. I want to again begin with a passage that speaks loudly to what my heart is feeling right now.

James 5:11, 13 says “We counted those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is compassionate and is merciful. Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.”

We have so much to be cheerful about and so much to praise God for! I have felt the Lord’s compassion and mercy in our lives – it is very evident to me as we watch how He is answering prayers for our Eden. We had another ultrasound today and everything has remained stable again – nothing has really changed (worsened) since our initial ultrasounds. I know this is due to prayer! Her head size remains normal and we are still able to plan for a natural delivery. My doctor today reminded us that there is still a chance that Eden may not need surgery. I somehow forget that in the midst of everything going on. We continue to pray that her mind would be protected from harm. We pray also for healing, that she will not need surgery and that she will not be affected by the Dandy Walker cyst. We do pray above all these other things though, that God would do what brings most glory to Himself. We know that His ways are grander than ours and we trust Him with what the future holds for our family. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

We will update again if there is anything that changes before now and the 28th. Otherwise, be expecting an update shortly after the 28th!!! We will keep you all informed on what God is doing in Eden’s life and how you can pray for her. Thanks again!


"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in
the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

Hello to all!

This verse seems to be where my heart is right now. We had another
doctors visit today and wanted to keep everyone updated on whats going on with Eden and how we can all pray. First, I will start with great news that we got today. Eden's head size is NORMAL! We are cleared to go ahead and birth naturally instead of scheduling a c-section. This was so exciting for me to hear and was such a blessing for me to. This is definately an answered prayer and we thank God for His grace on us! I had crossed that out of my mind a while back when they pretty much told us we would definitely have to have a c-section (the only problem now is squeezing into a birthing class in the next few weeks - the only opening I've found is mid-January!). With regards to the rest ofher head/brain - the ventricles are "stable" which means they have not gotten any smaller, but not gotten any larger. They said it was "neither good news nor bad news". I took it as good news that things were getting worse and the face that her head size is normal excites me and reminds me that God does hear our prayers. On another note - they did have a little concern with the size of her femur (the long leg bone). Hers is measuring slightly shorter than normal. They said this could be insignificant or it could be a result of "chromosomal anomalies". The nurse practitioner that we saw said that her son femurs measured short throughout her pregnancy and now is is 6 ' 3" (On a lighter note - i know many of you are getting a laugh out of the though of Josh having a short child - the doctors also told us that I
was "short" - and that made Josh's day - he is always trying to
convince me of this). Back to Eden, many of you may remember back to our first visit where they told us there is a slight correlation
between Dandy Walker and two different chromosomal anomalies (i can't remember the names of either right now, sorry). They said at that time it was not very likely considering our family history and that Josh and I were young and health. Chromosomal anomalies had not been mentioned again until today, and just the thought of it makes my heart prone to worry. So, all that to say - I was reminded that I must continue to trust in the promises of God that He "has formed Eden's inward parts and woven her together in my womb. I will give thanks to the Lord, for she is fearfully and wonderfully made." I will also pray and trust in Jeremiah 29:11 which reminds us that "God knows the plans He has for Eden, plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her a hope and a future."

Thank you so much for all your prayers and the encouraging
emails/cards that we get. They are very much appreciated and they
always come at the right time. We know that God is hearing each of the prayers lifted by you all and that He is faithful to answer those
prayers prayed according to His Word. As I mentioned in the the past
two emails, please pray the promises of God for Eden. We know that God is able to heal, and we will continue to ask God for healing. More
importantly though, we are continuing to pray for Eden's mind and that God will protect it from harm so that she will be able to KNOW and UNDERSTAND Him one day. That is our ultimate prayer. If He chooses to heal her in the meantime, all the better and all the glory to Him.

Josh, Steph and Eden


of this we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even to life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises from the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will deliver us, YOU ALSO JOINING IN HELPING US THROUGH YOUR PRAYERS, SO THAT THANKS MAY BE GIVEN BY MANY PERSONS ON OUR BEHALF FOR THE FAVOR BESTOWED ON US THROUGH THE PRAYERS OF MANY” 2 Corinthians 1:9-11

Hello from the Carrolls!

We hope that this email finds you all well. We thank you all so much for the prayers you have lifted up for Eden. I am so excited to share how God is answering those prayers and how we have seen Him work in our lives and in Eden’s life. First, I’ll start with our last visit to the “regular” doctor. There were NO CHANGES on the ultrasound last week. This is good news to us because it means that things are not worsening as they might have expected! We had been praying and will continue to pray that the Lord would stop the accumulation of fluid on her brain. –We also met with the Neurosurgeon at Duke this week to talk about the surgeries that are possible when she is born. We also talked in detail more about the hydrocephalus and dandy-walker cysts that are present. He sounded very optimistic that even though they cannot tell us at this point what effects she might have, he said it was not one of the “more severe” ultrasounds that he had seen. This was encouraging for us to hear. It is likely that she may need to have a shunt placed soon after birth. (at three or four days old) However, we were under the assumption from previous visits and ultrasounds, that this was a “must” when she was born. The neurosurgeon said however, that it was completely dependant upon her head size a birth and if there was any evidence of hydrocephalus that needed correcting. All that to say, she may not have to have this surgery – we will continue to pray and wait patiently until January to know if this is going to be necessary. Another assumption that was made was that I would have to have a c-section because of the size of her head. Again, the neurosurgeon said this was totally dependant upon her head size and at this point, her head is not enlarged enough to make them think I will definitely have to have the c-section. I would love to be able to avoid surgery and have Eden “naturally”. It was an amazing answer to prayer for me that things are not progressively getting “worse”.

Though we were so encouraged this week, we want to continue to trust in the Lord only. Modern medicine is a wonderful blessing and I know that God has skilled many people to do it, but may we never trust in it – it can never provide the hope and comfort that we find in God’s word. Over the past few months (and even before then), God has been teaching me about His Word and the need to treasure it in my heart. I was reading something on prayer the other morning and it said, “young man, learn to plead the promises of God.” I have begun to learn that the promises of God are the most amazing prayers we can pray. Lately, when I haven’t known what to pray, Scripture has proved to be the beast prayer guide. These are the prayers we can pray with confidence because we know that God will follow through in His promises. I love the verse in 2 Corinthians, 1:20, ‘For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are YES!”

So we ask that you continue to pray the promises of God for Eden. You don’t have to pray eloquent prayers or find something “new” to say to God. Just keep praying as you have been and He will answer. As I wrote in our last email, our verse we pray often for Eden is this:

“For this reason, since the day we heard of Eden, we have not ceased to pray for her and to ask that she may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to that she will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience, joyously giving thanks to the Father.” Colossians 1:9-12

We know that this promise is true and that God will protect her mind from damage that will interfere with her ability to know Him one day.

Again, thank you so much for your prayers for Eden and our family. The Lord hears our prayers! Praise Him.

Josh, Steph, and Eden

We are less than 10 WEEKS from delivery!


I'll begin with a verse:

"For this reason also, since the day we heard about Eden, we have not ceased praying for her and to ask that she may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that Eden will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience joyously giving thanks to the Father." Colossians 1:9-12

Many of you received our email a month ago regarding our baby girl Eden. This past Monday, we had our follow-up visit at Duke and we received some hard news. Eden has been diagnosed with Dandy-Walker syndrome. I could go into a long explaination of how they got to that and what it means "medically", but I dont even know where to begin - I'm still trying to understand it myself. I will say that it is a malformation of the ventricles in her brain and also includes a cyst on the back of her cerebellum. This can mean a wide spectrum of things for her and at this point, no one can tell us how "affected" she might be by all of it.

We have been doing alot of praying the past few weeks and God is reminding me daily that the need to pray for my child will NEVER cease. I am so thankful that He has reminded me of this early. With news that there may be something malformed in her brain, it causes me to fear that she may never know the Lord. However, praise God that He has given me numerous Scriptures to claim regarding God's desire for all men to KNOW Him. I know that God hears prayers and I believe that He is able to completely able heal Eden. However - I also want to accept whatever He sees perfect for Josh and I's life and for Eden's life. As much as I want to pray for perfection in a medical sense, I don't see anywhere in Scripture that God promises that. Yes - He does answer those prayers, but it is not always His will for us. There are many promises however that reinstate God's desire for us to KNOW Him and UNDERSTAND Him. This is our Prayer for Eden - that no matter how He has formed her in my womb, He would mold her MIND in a way that she will KNOW Him one day as her Savior. We continue to pray for healing, knowing that He is able, yet understanding that His ways are not always what we see as best.

So we will continue to send out emails as we know more and let you know how to specifically pray - but as always, we continue to ask for prayers for her mind and that she will come to KNOW the Lord one day. We have two appts tomorrow - one with the Pediatric Cardiologist (hopefully our last) and my regular OB appt. Please pray that everything is going well. We will also be traveling home next week (yaahhhh!!) - please pray for a time of refreshment and rejoicing with family and friends.

I have also attached a link at the bottom for those of you who would like to know more about Dandy-Walker. This is a link that the doctor gave me, so I know it is reputable. Please be advised (as I was in the doctors office) that if you do a search, you will most likely find the "worse case senerios". We have done some searching ourselves, just to make ourselves informed, but we dont want to be discouraged by these stories either, because we know that our God is Good and we will continue to trust Him.

Thanks again for all your prayers. We have been greatly encouraged this week!

Steph, Josh and Eden Carroll