Thursday, July 30, 2009

5 AM blog

Before Buddy I knew having kids would mean giving up sleep. My beloved sleep. But I didn't quite understand how much sleep I'd give up.
11:30ish PM - Buddy begins sleeping - This is the long stretch tonight for which I am thankful
2:30AM - Alarm goes off for my appointment w/ Medela
2:35 - Finally have things set to go - I move slowly in the middle of the night.
2:40AM - Buddy cries,Hubby  changes diaper, I clean up what I have barely started
2:45 - I feed Buddy
3:05ish - I attempt to burp Buddy (and yes I burp him midfeed too - doesn't help)
3:15 - Buddy stinks... for the record I change the nastiest diaper thus far.
3:25 - Back to bed, but not for long. No sleep - fussy baby. Another eruption occurs
3:45 - Diaper change
3:53 - Attempt sleep, baby is not allowing this to happen. More burping attempts, binky rejected, snuggling rejected
4:20ish - Still cranky (both Buddy & me), more poop (that's Buddy, not me), diaper change (these are not little poops either)
4:30ish - Buddy still refuses to sleep. He is not out of control fussy, but fussy none the less. Nothing works,
4:45 - Decide to try feeding again since he is rooting. Bottle made, Buddy fed, burp attempt again
5:00 - I figure since I have to get up in 30-45 minutes for another appointment with Medela, I might as well just take care of business early.
Thank goodness for facebook and blogging or I would have just fallen asleep hooked up to my machine.
5:20AM - Finishing blog on my night and cleaning up before going back to bed. I will probably see a precious little baby sleeping away as the birds are now chirping.

2 Months Old (Yesterday)


Buddy turned 2 months old yesterday. Technically he is still negative one and a half weeks! :)
Here is his picture. Look how happy he looks that I am taking it. (By the way, I am completely stealing the idea from a couple of friends of taking his picture every month in the same chair with the same stuffed animal to show his progress. Hope you don't mind, girls!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Up 9 ounces

Things are starting to fall into place a little bit here at our house. We had a pretty relaxing weekend at home - as relaxing as one can get on interrupted sleep and no sleeping in on Saturday. A trip to the Muddhouse (to go) was made on Sunday. I figure if Buddy is getting a daily dose of caffeine, I can indulge on a Death by Chocolate muffin and an Elvis frozen coffee every now and then.
Yesterday I was very productive, and it felt good. My "control binder" of things to do each day is working. Now I don't have a lot of things to do yet because I don't want to be overwhelmed and frustrated, but I am managing to keep up with laundry, the house doesn't look like a complete disaster, and sometimes there is dinner. I am also trying to do a little something each day that didn't get done in the nesting phase which didn't happen since I missed out on most of the third trimester! This week's task is cleaning out the dressers in our room, and maybe the closet. Two drawers were cleaned yesterday, none today so far. But I'm okay with that because today I accomplished something extraordinary...
I went out with Buddy and his monitor by myself! It is quite the task to get us ready to go the doctor since I never know how late the doc will run. Feed and change Buddy, pump, pack last minute things in diaper bag, load car. We arrived on time and with no crisis. The monitor only beeped once, and that was at the elevator in the doctor's office, not in the car. And the bad drivers of  Missouri were apparently off the road this morning. The slow drivers were still out, but the scary bad drivers were at work or sleeping or something. Another good thing is it didn't rain, as I thought I heard it might today. Thank you, Jesus. Seriously. I prayed for the rain to stay away this morning.
Buddy gained nine ounces in a week. The doctor was pleased. He is now 6 pounds 3 ounces. She doesn't need to see him again until his 4 month check-up in 2 months, unless I wanted to do a weight check in a month. I did. I made that appointment already. She hopes he is in the fifth percentile by his 4 month check-up. I am not concerned with the charts. As long as he is gaining weight and healthy, I know that he might not be on the charts still in two more months. If he has my genes, he will catch up because when I was two year old the charts said I was the size of a three or four year old, and I was predicted to be at least 6 feet tall as an adult. I am 5'7". So the charts are a nice guide, but they aren't everything, and in our situation they really don't mean much at all to me.
Well, that was a very long post about our regular, boring old life. I LOVE that it is a regular life now, and I am good with boring for awhile. Boring is a blessing. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

video

I think the video should work now. Apparently the default setting is to private instead of to share, so I'll look into fixing that.

Friday, July 24, 2009

:) More Video for Mimi and Papa (and anyone else)

Having some trouble using iMovie - first because my camera wasn't compatible with a mac (I think I overcame that) - and now iMovie won't let me edit things. Grrr. So here are a couple of clips from the other night, uneditted. :(
Cranky Cole:




Thursday, July 23, 2009

June Cleaver is Over-rated

Tired.
Our family took a road trip to Chick-Fil-A (ate in the car) and Andy's tonight. Yay giftcards! Because I was certainly not June Cleaver today. June Cleaver is highly overrated.
Words cannot describe my day. Buddy kept me on my toes. (Or should I say he kept me on my heals since I naturally am on my toes, haha.)
We used his new bathtub (thanks 2nd Cousin Missie and Great Aunt Bonnie!), and he survived his first "real" bathtime experience. He smells so good and he looks so sweet when he was all dried off and in a clean pair of jammies. He is sleeping for the next hour (???), and we are hoping tonight is less stressful than last night. Being pooped AND peed on at 5 AM (after being up since 4 AM) is not a great thing for a non-morning person. Luckily Buddy is so stinkin' cute that I have ALMOST forgotten about last night's events. Almost.
Today officially started around 4 AM. Diaper change & feeding and still a fussy Cole. I had to replenish Cole's food supply so about 5 AM with Cole still fussing I did a handoff to Mike. 5:30 AM - Cole is still fussing. He ate an additional 20 mL of food at this time and went to sleep. I think I fell asleep around 6 AM.
8 AM - Amazed Cole slept this late, but all his fussing and that extra snack he demanded must have helped. Diaper, get meds prepared, feeding, more fussiness as I again try to "do my thing" (as my friend Erica calls it), and a second diaper change.
9:30ish (I think) Eat a bagel breakfast thing my mom left (very good, Mom, and super convenient) and clean up morning's mess and last night's mess.
11:00ish - Quick check of email/facebook & start laundry
11:30 - Cole is up and ready to eat again. Similar routine to 8 AM. He is less fussy at this point. I think I did something else after this. I think I ate something around this time.
12:50?? - Fall asleep on couch while Cole naps in his room.
1:20 - Forrest calls to come over to mow our yard. Thank you!
1:30 - Again, the Cole routine. I might mention here that having the monitor/wires adds some extra time because the wires want to always get in the diaper change, and I have to unplug/plug in the monitor in each room we go.
2:20 - Change the laundry. Hang up the laundry. Wash bottles.
3:00 - Make sandwich. Check internet. Think about plan for dinner.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look out June Cleaver

Today is the day I am officially calling my first day as a stay-at-home mom. No NICU, no mom ("Babushka") - just Buddy and me. He made the day fairly easy for me, and saved his fussing for this evening while Hubby was home. I got a couple of "household" things done, but the majority of the day was baby stuff - diapers, feeding, bottles, etc. I did have a June Cleaver moment. Dinner was cooked and on the table at the exact moment Hubby came home from work. That will probably never happen again, but I was pretty proud of myself. (I might add that the two veggie items were cooked in the microwave, so June Cleaver/Martha Stewart I am not!)
It is a strange feeling. All of my teacher friends are on facebook writing about their upcoming school year, and I am not. Instead I am making a scope and sequence for housework that never got done regularly while I was working outside of the home. Yes, I am a nerd, and since I can't plan out a school year this year, I am typing up schedules and spreadsheets for a variety of things that now fill my life. I may have to make a Staples run in the next few days for a binder for my new paperwork. I can't let the end of July/beginning of August go by without SOME back-to-school shopping...even if I am not going back to school!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pediatrician Appointment

My mom left to go back to Illinois this morning. I usually get a little teary-eyed when I say good-bye to her, but today was a hard good-bye. Two other hard good-byes were when she left my dorm my first year of college, and when she left my apartment when I moved out to Yuma. I do think I cried the least with this one of the three, but probably because I am too exhausted to cry! :)

Later this morning Buddy had his first pediatrician appointment. My sister-in-law was kind enough to go with me to be an extra pair of hands, which was definitely necessary with his monitor, the rainy morning, and the lack of close parking spaces. I didn't know what to expect, but when I got there I was informed that it would be treated as his 2 month check-up. I know he had around the clock medical care for the first several weeks of his life, but I feel a little ripped off that the literature I received when I left the office was about my 2 month old child when developmentally he is still in negative weeks. The doctor also pointed out where Buddy is on the growth chart. Not on the chart, really. She said he says some catching up to do. Duh. The doctor was really nice and answered the questions I remembered to write down; I guess I just expected something a little different, a little more individualized since he isn't your typical baby. She also thinks he should be gaining more weight, so we have to go back in a week for a weight check. He is 5 lbs 9.5 oz today. He received his immunizations. I hated watching him cry with them, but he got over it pretty quickly. Then we were sent back to the hospital (grrrr) to get a state-required blood test where Buddy had his foot pricked and pinched for the millionth time in his life. The shots have made him very sleepy, not very hungry (great for the weight gain, right?), and a little fussy - sad, pitiful fussy not angry fussy. He is passed out here on his boppy looking so cute that I must log off and go over and kiss his sweet little head.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Apnea Dr. Appointment

Today we met with the apnea doctor. I'm sure he has a different title, but that is what I call him. He said it looks like Buddy is doing pretty well. However, since Buddy was on caffeine in the NICU, taken off in the NICU and put back on in the NICU, he would like him to stay on caffeine and the monitors another two weeks. Apparently premature babies normally do not have to be put back on caffeine because once they are off. So the doc wants to be safe even though things look good. We have had a few monitor events - 2 in the last 24 hours. He is fine, but they are scary when the machine starts beeping while he's sleeping (even scarier at 4 AM when we are all sleeping.) So long story long - we go back in 2 weeks.
I was told the doctor was a character, and it is true. I really liked him. Lots of information, but very friendly. He told me with a name like Buddy has,  he will either be a lawyer or the President. That's all part of our plan! :)
Buddy weighed in at 5 lbs 8 oz today and was 19 inches long! That is over two pounds in less than two months. We are so thankful - especially considering how much he has spit up this week!
Tomorrow we head off to our second adventure outside of the house- the pediatrician. My mom leaves in the morning, so "Auntie Missa" is coming to be an extra pair of hands.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"homecoming" pictures






I am having a difficult time emailing pictures from my account, so here are a couple of pictures from Buddy's homecoming for those of you who are not on facebook to see them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"In moments like these, I sing out a song...

...I sing out a love song to Jesus."

Yesterday and today my mom has been out of the house in the afternoon, and it gives me a trial run at being alone all day with the baby for when she leaves next week. (Scary thought! She has been such a help with the baby and laundry - which has increased by 500%.)
I have found my favorite time with Buddy. He is fed and snuggly, and I am trying to burp him (which is quite the process). I have realized that as I am burping him I end up eventually burping to a beat which means I must sing. I start off with the upbeat songs to match my "burp beat" and then slow it down as he gets sleepy. It is the most amazing praise and worship time I have ever had - just me and my boy in the living room singing any song that pops in my head, mostly hymns instead of newer songs.

One song has been sort of my anthem the last year. It was in my head all through my miscarriage ordeal, then through this pregnancy, and during our NICU days. It has been a struggle to trust God some days these last months, but He has not and does not give up on me. He has still been there even as I have yelled and cried and barely hung on some moments. I am so thankful that even still when I mess up and say and do the wrong thing, He will never leave me or forsake me.

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Day at Home

I am doubtful I will be updating quite as frequently now, but I will still update as often as I can. Some highlights from our first evening/morning at home:
-Buddy did great on his car ride home from the hospital. Pretty much slept and made funny faces at all the potholes in town. And every idiot driver was on the road yesterday at 3:45. Seriously.
-Buddy had his circumcision at the hospital yesterday morning. Horrible for this momma to see the pain it caused her baby once the drugs wore off. He was not quite himself yesterday or even this morning, I think because of the ordeal.
-Just after we swore we would not be at St. John's for a very long time, I found myself up there last night a) to get my car and b) to get a prescription filled even though we were told get it filled at Walgreen's because they were the only one who had some of his stuff. (They lied - Walgreens did not have most of it anywhere in town, but St. John's did. Grrr... Oh well.)
-Buddy has slept a lot. But it always seems when we are about to sleep he gets fussy or his monitor beeps.
-His monitor helps give me peace of mind. I was able to sleep soundly from about 2-4 AM. Exhaustion overtook my worry.
-Our dog E LOVES Buddy already. Every time he cries or fusses, she is there. She "leads" the way for me when I put him down to sleep. She cried when he had a painful diaper change yesterday. She is very gentle around him. I seriously think she thinks SHE is the momma.
- My mom is here helping me learn the ropes of this stuff. I am so thankful. Her dog, Bear, is also a big fan of the baby already.
-Buddy does not seem to mind the dogs sniffing him.
-He likes to spit-up. A lot. He has acid reflux and the medicine doesn't seem to make much of a difference. He does not like to burp. He does like to poop. A lot.
-I am off to try to take a nap while he does.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 47 - Last day at St. John's

We FINALLY got home about 4:00 this afternoon. Yay! Some day I will write about that experience, but not tonight. I am happy and thankful to have Buddy home, and I am exhausted. That's all for tonight.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 46 - Care By Parent

We are in Care-by-Parent, which means Buddy  should come home sometime tomorrow. It was quite the day of "hurry up and wait." I have a feeling tomorrow will be more of the same.
I am loving that I got to hold him earlier when he was fussy, and it wasn't a "touch time." I will love it even more when we are in the privacy of our own home without interruptions (vitals being taken, meds being dropped off, me having to report to someone about mL, pee, and poop.)
I would love to write about today, but I am exhausted. We are about to begin the first of many sleepless nights, I think. No complaints.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 45 - Test, Test, 1,2,3, Test


Here is a picture of Buddy passing his second test in life - the carseat test. Doesn't he look so tiny in that big seat? Last night he weighed 5 lbs 2 oz.

If all goes well, Hubby and I get to go to Care By Parent sometime tomorrow. Also sometime tomorrow we will be getting training on the monitor for Buddy's apnea. So it seems that hee may get to be home Tuesday (?) or Wednesday(?). I'm not really clear on how long we do Care By Parent.
We also got permission from the doctor to try Buddy at feeding how I originally intended to feed him if all had gone according to plan. He will get to do this at least once a day, but the nurse is thinking twice a day because Buddy did such a great job his first time at it. He will still have to be fed by the bottle a lot for his calorie supplements, vitamins, iron, and medicine, but twice a day is much better than not doing it at all.

We are headed back to the hospital in a few minutes, and then I have last minute things to do tonight that I thought I would have another few days/week to get done after Friday didn't turn out how we planned. Because of course I didn't do any of it this weekend! :) Nothing major - just a couple of small purchases to make and a few household things to do if I can. We are praying everything goes well tonight. Buddy has been doing SO much better since they put him back on caffeine and switched the bottle they were using. We are thankful.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 44 - Sleep Study Results

According to the sleep study results, Buddy has apnea. They have put him back on his caffeine and will do another test probably tomorrow. When he comes home (we don't know when that is now) he will come home on caffeine and a monitor. This is apparently a normal thing to happen when a preemie comes home. Having the monitor will also put our minds at ease until things really "click" for him developmentally.
Buddy was also given blood, and they have started him on some vitamins and iron. He seems much better today at all of our visits so far. Today's nurse has shown us a new way to feed him - on his side, and we are trying out a different bottle because he may have "outgrown" the one he was using. So far his feeding today has had no choking, and we are thankful for that.
Today is a much better day for our little boy. His color is back a little bit, and he is starting to seem like himself again. We continue to pray for his development, his health, and those who are in charge of caring for/making decisions for him. We are thankful for the phone calls and emails we have received encouraging us and reminding us how much our family is loved and prayed for.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 43

Buddy is having a setback today. He continues to have breathing issues today - issues that had been gone for awhile. He is having a sleep/breathing study for 24 hours. We are waiting to see what tonight's doctor says and if they will run some tests. It appears he may have gotten sick. They also may move him back to the regular NICU. Not at all how I envisioned tonight 24 hours ago. There is definitely something wrong with our little boy. He is a different baby tonight.
Please pray they figure it out ASAP. Please pray for complete healing for Buddy.

Venting Post - Read at your own Risk

I am frustrated this afternoon. The last 3 days we have been hearing how great Buddy is doing and how we will be going to Care-by-Parent soon (the final step in the NICU process). I was told to take my CPR class to be ready (you have to take it within a week of leaving the NICU). I was told bring up his carseat.
Apparently last night (late/early morning after our last visit) Buddy had another episode while he was eating - oxgyen levels dropped, this time so did heartrate, and he went a little blue. So today it seems they are on hyper-senstive while he is eating. I was told at my 11 o'clock visit that we will not be doing care-by-parent, and not given a projected day that we will. He also is not getting his carseat test.
I am just SOOOO frustrated. I want him to be as safe and healthy as possible, but I wish they would not have gotten my hopes up. I also am frustrated because I feel like we are just told stuff but we aren't part of the discussion. And today I saw a parent take their baby to care-by, and if you were able to eavesdrop on the whole situation as I have been able to the last couple of days you would be thinking the same thing as I am thinking. "That baby gets to leave, but Buddy doesn't?"
I had a breakdown on the drive home just now (not the car, me). Crying about the unfairness of it all. Why some people have it so easy and have so little to deal with, and other people get dealt more then their fair share of trials. And this trial pales in comparison to some of the trials we have seen friends/loved ones go through. I don't get it. I need an A+B=C type of life. Do the right things and good things will happen, do enough bad things and you will have bad things happen to you. It doesn't seem to work that way. There is no logic to life, and today I am annoyed by that. My optimism from earlier this week is on vacation. It will return, but I just need to have an Eeyore kind of a day.
I am tired. I am whiney. I am up at the hospital at least four times a day now because I am tired of seeing my baby so little, but it is exhausting. I am tired of not being the one who gets to make decisions for my child. I am tired of having different nurses all of the time instead of some consistency for Budd. I am tired of trying to hold it together when I get disappointing news at the hospital when what I really want to do is yell at someone. I've had some really good days lately, but today I just feel frustrated and low.
I'm sure I will be better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 42

This afternoon I was asked to bring the carseat up for the carseat test, so we did that tonight. Hopefully he will get that done tonight/tomorrow.
We have been getting a lot of conflicting information lately, so I am waiting to get a call back from a supervisor. We went to talk to her but she was out, not to complain - we just want to make sure we have the right information on a few things. This drives the control-freak/organized side of me CRAZY. I am not organized in the "Martha Stewart" type of way, but the way I run my life is definitely structured. I just hate feeling out of the loop on my own life.
I took my infant CPR class. It went well, and I feel that I could administer it if I ever need to do so. Let's pray that I don't. So we are just waiting to hear the words, "You're going to care by parent." It is kind of our equivalent to the phrase "My water broke" since we didn't have the typical labor/delivery/bring baby home experience.

EDIT: The supervisor got back to me and cleared up the conflicting information. She was so helpful and kind. I am thankful for that.
"It may be miles and miles before the journey’s clear
There may be rivers, may be oceans of tears
But the very Hand that shields your eyes from understanding
Is the Hand that will be holding you for miles"

~Nichole Nordeman "Miles"

(Thanks, Heather, for sending me this song.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 41

It has been 40 days and 40 nights in the NICU. This storm seems to be lifting, though. I have been told that I should take the required infant CPR class tomorrow. It has to be taken within a week of leaving the NICU, and so if all goes well, Buddy should be home in a week or less! We are hoping to hear that we can go to Care-By-Parent soon (which is the last step before leaving), but we want to be certain he is ready, so we will wait as long as it takes to keep him safe. He is still learning to pace himself when he eats. Buddy is very eager at feeding time, and he would suck down the whole bottle without a breath if it was possible. We have to help him especially during the first part of feeding, but usually by the end he remembers to stop and take a breath without us reminding/making him.
I made a list of things (cleaning/organizing mostly) that I must get done before the baby comes home, and then another list of things that would be nice to get done before then. I have the biggest items off the "must be done" list, and just a few things left on that list. I keep looking around and seeing other things that I want to do to get ready, but I refuse to add anything else to those lists until everything else is crossed off. In the big picture, it really doesn't matter if these things don't get done.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 40

There has been talk by today's nurse that Buddy could home in a week or even less! All of this of course depends on how he does. His NG tube came out this morning, and this afternoon he was able to start "all you can eat" feedings. He has a minimum he has ot eat, but they aren't going to limit him any more. This afternoon he took 50 mL for me, 60 mL at 5 with the nurse, and 40 mL tonight with Hubby.
Please pray that our little guy can come home as soon as it is safely possible. Pray that all of the things he has to do and we have to do to make that possible go smoothly.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 39 - NICU Too

Today was a pretty good day. Buddy continues to do well at eating. He is taking almost or all of his feedings each time. There have been only a couple of times he has to have a little go down his tube, and it isn't very much. The nurse today was talking about him getting that NG tube moved in the next couple of days. His IV fluids were removed tonight, and he has just a couple more rounds of antibiotics. Although bundled up like a little burrito baby, Buddy is keeping his temperature high enough to keep staying in his "big boy bed."
Tonight when we got there and called in to get admitted to the NICU, they told us Buddy had been moved to NICU Too (I always thought it was NICU2). Apparently this is a good thing. He is well enough to be in an annex with about 5 other babies and 2 nurses. It is just around the corner from the NICU. We are excited because all of these things mean he is closer to being able to come home.
We are praying he continues to breathe well and maintain his temperature. We are also praying that he really gets the sucking/swallowing/breathing thing coordinated. He had a choking spell while the nurse was feeding him today that was pretty scary to watch (though the nurse did a great job during it). He is 4 lbs 14 oz tonight, so in just a couple of days he should hit the 5 lb mark! I can't believe it
Please pray that there are no more setbacks to Buddys progress. I would love to bring him home before his due date. I am ready to hold him when I want rather than just at touch times.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 38

I am tired. Friday, Saturday & today I thought I found balance between festivities and lots of Buddy visits each day. Now that he's doing well on the bottle I want to be up at almost all of his feedings - which means every 3 hours. Also fit in pumping, driving, & trying to do some normal life things and that leads to tiredness. It is completely worth the exhaustion to see him, but it is still exhausting. Welcome to motherhood. :)
Buddy is trying out a "big boy bed" tonight - basically a smaller bed in the NICU where he will have to regulate his heat instead of having his own personal heater on/in the bed. He is bundled up like the little brother in the snow on A Christmas Story. We shall see if he gets to stay in this bed or if he'll have to try again when he is a little bigger.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 37 - Fourth of July

Buddy had visitors at each of his touch times throughout the day. Each time today either Hubby or I was able to give him his bottle, which he took very well each time. We are trying to help him pace himself to remember to breathe because once he gets going he wants to gulp it all down.
Buddy can't wear clothes again until we get permission from the doctors again, but we were able to get a couple of pictures of him wearing a patriotic outfit.

Our All-American Boy

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 36

We arrived this morning to see Buddy had his NG tube back. This is a good thing because it is used to check residual in his tummy and to feed him when he is too tired to coordinate his sucking/swallowing/breathing. He apparently started food last night. The night nurse said she almost called us last night at 11 when they got the news he could have food, but she didn't know if that was too late to call. Isn't that nice of her to have thought about calling us with such news? She is a great nurse, and she has Buddy again tonight.
This morning I was able to give him his bottle instead of the nurse. This is huge because the nurses had been told to take over, but apparently we are given another chance to see if Buddy is developmentally ready enough to handle it. I think he is taking about 13 mL now for food (he has to start off slow), so when his bottle is empty he looks at us as if to say, "Hey, I was just getting warmed up. Bring on the rest of the meal!" He has taken ALL of his feedings so far by bottle instead of needing the NG tube. Even though the amounts are smaller, we think this is a huge step towards his independence and getting one step closer to coming home.
My aunt is in town from Nevada. We have taken to calling her "Karin the Great" since she is Buddy's great aunt. Tonight Buddy, due to his need for caffeine, was given his first Starbucks mug. Thanks Aunt Karin!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 35

Buddy is a trooper. He was a little fussy today (as he is still going without food), but not too bad. He slept a lot during our visits, but I prefer that to him being uncomfortable. Our day nurse today did not give us a lot of information. Some nurses are really good about giving a lot of information and just go above and beyond to be kind and helpful. Tonight's nurse let us know that tomorrow the doctors should take/look at some x-rays of his tummy in the morning, and that will determine if he can start eating again soon. Tonight Buddy weighed 4 lbs 9.7 oz (so the nurse rounded to 10).
Hubby got home safely from his quick trip. I had a good visit with a friend and her children this afternoon. This was our day. They all seem to run together lately, but it was a pretty good one, all things considered. We are thankful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 34 and a story

*I am thankful today that although Buddy is hungry, he has not been very fussy, at least while I have been visiting.
*I am thankful today that my sweet boy is still "smiling" and making sweet faces at me even though I am not allowed to hold him or feed him.
*I am thankful that when Buddy got blood taken (again) he did not cry - just made one little small noise as if to say, "Ouch!"
*I am thankful for a very sweet nurse who suggested I give my baby a bath. She knew that would be the next best thing to holding him (and I even actually got to hold him for a moment while she changed his bedding).
*I am thankful for the way Buddy snuggled into me for that brief post-bath moment. He smelled so sweet.
*I am praying the next day or two goes quickly and the remaining cultures/labs come back okay so he can eat and continue on the road to recovery which leads him home.
*I am thankful that a lump on my neck that looked suspicious (especially with some bloodwork I had after Buddy was born) turned out okay. The neck ultrasound shows it does not look cancerous or suspicious - just an infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Praise God!
*I am praying that I will be at peace with some other personal news I received the other day. It was hard to hear, but I know God has a plan for my family and for me. And sometimes (okay, most of the time) that plan is not what I envisioned.
*I am SO THANKFUL for my friends and family. I know I write that a lot on here, but I could not get through the ups and downs without them.

And here is a story I saw on another preemie mom's blog. I especially like the last couple of paragraphs.

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen
(by Erma Bombeck )

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to take notes in a giant ledger....

"Armstrong, Beth: son. Patron Saint: Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie: daughter. Patron Saint: Celia.
Rutledge, Carrie: twins. Patron Saint: ....give her Gerard; He's used to profanity."

Finally, God passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, " Selfishness ?! Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "momma" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see-- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice-- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint ?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."