Monday, January 30, 2012

Our temporary home

We made it to Philadelphia and have settled in (as much as possible). We are staying just a few blocks from the hospital, which takes my swollen, sore feet about 15 minutes to walk. From the few days that we've been here I can definitely say Jeremy and I are meant to live in the south! Its soooo cold here! But, one great thing is the food...there's tons of places to eat! Yesterday we ate at a small little creperie inside one of the academic buildings. Oh goodness I was in heaven =)

We had a long day of appointments at CHOP starting at 9 this morning. Jensen looked great on the ultrasound; kidneys, liver, brain, etc. are all functioning properly. We watched him practice breathing for a few minutes. And guess how much this boy weighs now?? 6 lb 15 oz!! Everyone is very pleased with his growth.

We also had another fetal echo. Nothing new has popped up and there is no fluid around his heart, which is everything we hoped for! I was also put on oxygen for about 15 minutes and then had another fetal echo done. This measures how the blood vessels in his lungs react to oxygen vs room air. He passed with flying colors! I love hearing the words "stable" and "looks good" when they talk about our boy =)
 Views from our hotel room of the city. Yea, not nearly as pretty as TN.

 Out exploring the campus, notice the 50 layers I'm wearing!
 The atrium at CHOP, this pic doesn't do it justice. Its really cute and colorful!
This was Jeremy's diagram of the surgical approach at CHOP. Dr. Rychik was impressed!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One day closer

As Jeremy and I frantically prepare for our trip, I'm becoming more and more anxious about everything. I'm nervous about labor, seeing Jensen for the first time, how stable he will be at birth, finding any new abnormalities on his first echo, the surgery itself... I could go on forever. Although there are so many unknowns coming up, I am also one day closer to seeing our little guy =) I can't wait to "kiss his face off" as my family would say!

Our plans for the last few days at home are: take the dogs to Jeremy's parents house (we're going to miss them so much!), finishing packing, have the car seat installed, cook a few more meals to freeze, go to the insurance office (AGAIN) and of course, frantic nesting!

In other exciting news, I finally was able to set up a PayPal account for the Willis Family Heart Fund! We are PayPal verified and can accept donations directly from the blog. Once a donation is made, that person will receive a standard receipt through PayPal but I will also email them a copy of our receipt with the tax information on it.

We are so grateful for all the well-wishes and prayers as we begin this crazy roller coaster journey!
Our next post will be published from Philadelphia! Whoohoo =)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blankets, Hats, and More!

The countdown has begun! We have less than two weeks until we leave for CHOP! On the to-do list this week: fetal echo in Cary, OB appt, growth scan, and dealing with more insurance (ughh). I've also got to start cleaning and packing for our trip, since the only cleaning/organizing I've done is in Jensen's room. Let's face it: Jensen's mess is much cuter than our mess.

As far as the fund goes, we've had people asking us questions about how to donate. If you are writing a check, write it to Willis Family Heart Fund. If you want to make a deposit, contact Jeremy and he can give you all the info you need. We have a button on the right side of the blog with contact info (under our awesome new Heart Fund logo!). 

In other news, another one of my sisters, Jeri, has decided to sell her beautiful blankets and baby hats. The money will go to the Willis Family Heart Fund. This blanket is beautiful and it is already packed in Jensen's little suitcase! The hats are also packed and ready to go to keep his cute little head warm in Philly =) She and my niece Jordan hand-make each one of these. If you would like to order, contact Jeri at or contact me for more info. I'm posting pics of the ones she has already made but if you would like specific colors, let her know! The blankets in the pictures are folded over twice, so they are a perfect, large size for bundling! These blankets are so soft and the best part?? 
They are washable! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Willis Family Heart Fund

We have been working hard getting everything together for our trip, I feel like there are not enough hours in the day! Things are coming together and we are making progress, we even bought our plane tickets yesterday! Only a few more weeks until we relocate to Philadelphia =)

Since learning of Jensen's diagnosis, people all around us (and far away) have poured out their love and support. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives that have taken time to send a card, buy Jensen gifts, say a prayer, or even just read this blog. One of my sisters (Sandi Hall) used her Scentsy business to do a fundraiser for the expenses we have encountered. She raised $300 for us, which we used to purchase our plane tickets! Everywhere we turn people are offering support in various ways and we can't say thank you enough to everyone. Our good friends Roger and Michele suggested opening a non-profit organization so businesses and individuals can donate to Jensen. With the help of Jeremy's mom and Ms. Vicky the tax goddess, we were able to set up a charity!

We are still working out the details, and I will post more as we get things finalized. So far, it is called the Willis Family Heart Fund and is a tax-deductible non-profit. We have a local bank account set up for donations and a tax ID number for your records. This fund will go toward the non-medical expenses of this journey, which could include: travel, lodging, meals, etc. If anyone is interested in donating or have questions, you can contact myself or Jeremy. Once we get the logo and mission statement finished, we will make a permanent link to this blog with all the info.

My email is