Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's start at the beginning

Charlotte Kenlyn Cornell graced us with her presence almost three weeks early on June 9th at 4:05pm. I started labor with her on my 30th birthday—what a birthday present! She was 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long.

The day after her birth, Charlotte was diagnosed with Down syndrome. This came as a shock to us, as we did not have a prenatal diagnosis. A few days later, while still adjusting to the Down syndrome diagnosis, we found out that our little girl also has heart disease. She has a condition called AV Canal, which will require open-heart surgery on October 14th. As of right now, Charlotte's health has been pretty good. She is a darling baby with quite the personality. Charlotte smiles easily, is really laid back, and her new favorite trick is rolling over. She is also a champion sleeper (which Mike and I appreciate!).

We have been through many doctor's appointments the past few months. I feel as if we have visited almost every clinic at Children's hospital! Well, not every clinic--just Cardiology, Gastronology, ENT, Plastic Surgery, Genetics, and Pulmonology. Add in a barium swallow, a few chest X-rays, a sleep study, a bunch of blood work, a couple echos, and a CT and it makes for a fun summer!  However, from all of these appointments we have learned more about Charlotte's heart condition, as well as a few other minor health issues. Right now the biggest concern is obviously her heart, but also her Pulmonary Hypertension. Hopefully both of these things will be improved after surgery. Eventually she will also need surgery to separate two fingers on her left hand and two toes on her left foot that were still fused at birth (this is not related to Down syndrome, she just got lucky...insert eye-roll here!)

 Check back frequently, as it is easier for me to update here then to send individual emails or calls. We truly appreciate all the support--through calls, emails, gifts and meals, and your thoughts and prayers. I also would enjoy any comments left here, those of you who know me know how "web obsessed" I am! We blessed to have so many people that care so much for Charlotte. 

I will update later tonight about her appointment today. We are off to dinner and to shop for the multiple birthday parties Katherine and Will have to attend in the month of October! 

Oh yeah, and just because I love this beautiful girl:


  1. You are a beautiful writer Em. I am so proud of Charlotte, she is amazing, and strong, and will continue to break all barriers. I love all of you. I will do do anything and everything I can to support, help, and protect all five of you.

  2. What a beautiful picture of Charlotte! I will let my mom know the surgery is the 14th, not the 15th like she told me. I will share your email with Lisa, so she can follow your blog also.....Love,Claudia

  3. Emily, that little girl of yours is solid gold! Thank you so much for starting this blog. It's just what those of us who love you need to stay connected, and hopefully it will allow you a little more freedom, as well as space to connect and rejuvinate. We love you! Jeni

  4. I love that beautiful photo of Charlotte and I think starting this blog is a great idea and I look forward to hearing your updates! We are all thinking about all of you and hoping these next few weeks speed by quickly.

  5. This is wonderful Emily. You are amazing and so is Charlotte. Although I am not able to physically be by your side often, know that your family is continually in my thoughts and prayers. I love you!!

  6. Emily,
    This site is just wonderful. I have wondered so many times how Charlotte is and hate to bother you or your mom with phone calls. Now I can come here, thanks to your Dad. Charlotte is such a doll, and the eyes!!
    We wish we could have walked with you, just didn't know about it. Our love and prayers are with you each day. Jo


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