Tuesday, November 25, 2008

These Boots are Made for Walkin

I have had some requests from family to post a video of Annalise Walking around with her new found legs. So here is a video of her walking back and forth from Kev and I. It is a little long, so of course if you get board, move on to the next most interesting Blog. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A remarkable recovery

The Northeast Times ( a local newspaper here in Philly) did an article about Annalise. The article just came out today, so I thought I would share it with you all.  Enjoy! ~Kelsey
(For the original article you can go to: http://www.northeasttimes.com/2008/1120/baby.html,)
(Also for the pictures from the photographers blog you can go here: http://photogjenn.blogspot.com/2008/11/annalise-lawrence.html

A remarkable recovery for the miracle child

By Tom Waring 
Times Staff Writer

During her pregnancy, Kelsey Lawrence scheduled all her appointments with a midwife at the Birth Center in Bryn Mawr and was scheduled to give birth at the facility.
However, when she was two weeks overdue, the decision was made to induce delivery at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Lawrence prepared for an otherwise normal delivery. She continued to work as a musical therapist, and ultrasounds were good.
"Everything looked fine," she said.
Everything was not fine. Baby Annalise was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, a rare birth defect caused by an abnormal opening in the diaphragm, the muscle used for breathing. It is seen in one out of about 3,500 births.
The opening causes part of the abdominal organs, such as the stomach, small intestine, spleen, liver and kidney, to be pushed up into the chest.

After she was born, Annalise developed severe breathing problems and required emergency surgery.
The baby was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children within hours of her birth on Aug. 30, 2007. Kelsey Lawrence and her husband Kevin, of Bustleton, were obviously concerned.
"It’s shocking because you think you have a healthy baby, then they take her away," she said. "It was very overwhelming to see such a little person hooked up to all these things."
Dr. Matthew Moront, chief of the trauma unit at St. Christopher’s, explained to the Lawrences that he could do the surgery using the traditional method of making a large incision in the child’s chest and abdomen.
Or, he could do the surgery by inserting a 5-millimeter camera and two small surgical instruments in her chest and abdomen to push down on the bowel and suture the diaphragm openings from the inside of the body.
The incisions would be painless and a fraction of the size of the traditional procedure and would leave much less bleeding. The scarring would be minimal, the healing time shorter and the chance of infection less.
Moront said the optional surgery is not for everyone.
He would perform the surgery only if the parents understood the risks and benefits. He put the Lawrences in that category. He also would operate on an infant only if she had good vital signs.
"She was a very stable baby," he said of Annalise.
The Lawrences agreed to the surgery, which was performed on the fifth day of their daughter’s life. According to Moront, the surgery was the first of its kind in a Philadelphia-area hospital.
The surgery lasted for about two hours, but it seemed endless for the Lawrences. It was a success, and Annalise was released from the hospital two weeks later after her lungs expanded and recovered and she was able to breathe without assistance.
During her recent one-year checkup, she was found to be totally healthy.
"She’s just done perfect," Moront said.
Moront said the cutting-edge surgery was a success because of the combined efforts of the neonatologist, anesthesiologist, nurses and operating room staff.
"I’d definitely do it again and again," he said.
While all has turned out well for Annalise, her condition could have been life-threatening.
"It’s a very serious congenital anomaly," Moront said. "The mortality can go anywhere from twenty-five to sixty percent, despite our best efforts."
Though Annalise was recovering nicely for 15 days after the surgery, the Lawrences were overjoyed when they received word they could take their first child home.
"It was like we won the lottery," Kelsey Lawrence said. "We were so excited."
Kelsey Lawrence learned the seriousness of the condition while searching the Internet, after her daughter’s successful surgery.
"It’s a good thing I didn’t know that then," she said.
The Lawrences had a lot of support from their family and from fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who fasted and prayed for Annalise.
As for Moront, the parents call him an "amazing doctor" and appreciate the fact that he detailed their choices.
"He didn’t beat around the bushes," Kelsey Lawrence said.At 14 months, Annalise is a friendly baby who is walking, though she still likes to scoot on her bottom. She has two small scars, on her side and back.
"She’s very social," her mom said. "She loves to smile, talk and wave at anybody who comes by."
On Oct. 31, she attended the Phillies World Series championship parade and later that day dressed as a punk rocker for Halloween. She also attends a mom-and-tot group.
Most importantly, she is a healthy baby.
"Everything is now back where it belongs," her mom said. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twaring@phillynews.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


For the first time in a gazillion years (ok, so maybe just over a year), Kevin and I got  a weekend to ourselves. We drove up to Columbus, Ohio for Kevin to spend the weekend checking out OSU and their MBA program. 
My parents met us in Columbus and took Annalise for the weekend to play with Grandma and Grandpa near Cincinnati. Yay!

Although I spent most of my time by myself, it was still quite the adventure. Especially when the power went out on Friday night and didn't come back on until Saturday morning. So besides hanging out in the dark I also got to go walking around the city and I can tell you one thing I discovered, Columbus is not Philly. It was so strange walking around a city where everything closes at 5 and the streets are empty. How weird. (This would definitely take some getting used to if we moved here.)

Well all in all it was a very nice weekend (despite the freezing rain and snow.) I got to sleep in for the first time in a long time, and I also got to sit and relax in hotel that I didn't have to worry about doing the dishes or vacuuming the floor or picking up toys. How great is that. Kevin also enjoyed himself, especially learning about the MBA program their. He said the only thing they did not sell him on was the city of Columbus and Buckeye Football....
 can you blame him, he will always be a true Hokie Fan!!
Speaking of Birds.......I can't wait for Thanksgiving! Next week we get to fly down to Georgia to spend time with Kevins family, and I hope it is warm, because I am so not ready for this cold stuff we are getting here right now. Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone (well next week that is,...... since Thanksgiving is so late this year). And we all know what Thanksgiving is really about.......Food and Football. So I hope you all will enjoy your turkey and your turkey bowl games as much as I do! TTFN

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our Collection of Cousins!!

I love that all of my siblings are all grown up and married now, because we all get to have babies together! For anyone who has not met my whole family, I have a twin sister- Corinn 
(Here is her cute family dressed up for halloween) 

 and I have three younger brothers, Steven Brandon and Matthew.

 Stevens wife Ellie had an adorable little baby, Lilly, born one month ago: 
Then Brandons wife Heather had  cute little William just today (Nov 5th):

It is so exciting!! They are both so precious, and I can't wait to meet them. 

So Matt............You are next in line! 
Well, congrats to the new parents, and I am looking forward to many fun holidays with lots of kiddies! 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Punk Rock Princess!!

Halloween has come and gone........and I didn't get to carve a pumpkin!!! Oh well, we have been busy keeping up with life. We had a great Halloween and I enjoyed dressing Annalise up in her cute little Punk Rocker outfit. I was inspired by her wild hair and her whild personality, and you can see why:
Well this last week we have been busy playing all over the city. We had mom and tots on Tuesday and got to dress up in our halloween costumes,

 all of our little tots were adorable.

 Then on Wednesday we had our Hallween Party at church, which was a great little party. We had all kinds of events and of course trunk or treating. But most importantly on Wednesday night the Phillies won the World Series!!! That was awesome!!! I didn't get to watch the whole three and half innings that were played on Wednesday, but I caught the end. 
Then on Friday Annalise and I went into the city to join all the other crazy people going to the Parade. It was a whole lot of people, and the subway was stuffed full. Luckily I had a cute little person....which meant people treated us really nice. 
Annalise wasn't really into the parade, especially since we were all so squished in there and you couldn't really see anything, but she loved being in Center City and walking around and talking to people. 
So the parade was the same day as halloween, whew. So we eventually got home later that afternoon and got all ready for trick or treating. Annalise got to go with her little friend Oakley who is 4 1/2 months, and the cutest baby ever. Now you can't really tell from these pictures, but I promise Oakley is in that little pea pod.  

Today we got to take a walk in Pennypack Park and it was gorgeous. 

The trees are beautiful this year

 and Annalise loved playing with the leaves. 

This is such a wonderful time of year.