Howdy all –

Almost a month ago, we brought our daughter Harper home from the neonatal intensive care unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.  While she was hospitalized, we used the site to keep our friends and families updated on her status. Now that we’re home and Harper is doing so much better, we decided to create a family blog to keep our far-flung loved ones informed about our adventures. We’ll keep this site updated weekly with news about Harper’s progress and other happenings in our world, so please visit often.

First off, we have an update from Harper’s visit to the dermatologist on Friday. Dr. Sago examined her nevous sebaceous birthmark and said newer research indicated the birthmark might not need to be removed too quickly because the indicidence of associated skin cancer is much lower than once thought. However, because nevous sebaceous birthmarks can be indicative of other neurological problems, Dr. Sago suggested we go for a consultation with a pediatric dermatologist and pediatric plastic surgeon who she knows at Duke. At this point, we have no reason to believe Harper has any problems other than those associated with the spina bifida, but we are relieved our docs are aware that other potential neurological issues could be present. We’ll let you know as soon as we know when we’re headed to Duke.

Harper also went to the pediatrician last week. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. She’s a growing girl! Dr. Makres said her incision is continuing to heal well and her shunt appeared to be working properly. She also had physical therapy last week and mom learned some exercises to help stretch her feet and legs.

In other news, Harper’s Nana and Aunt Ashley visited this weekend, but their trip was cut short by Hurricane Gustav. Nana and Ash headed back to Louisiana a day early so they could get home before the storm hits. We pray they have a safe trip and our loved ones in Louisiana are safe in the coming days.

Until next time, here are some new photos of our precious little one.