Monday, August 31, 2009

Lemon Face

Sunday, Nick's Aunt Crystalle decided that Nick wanted to try a lemon. He tasted it, made a face, then kept wanting to eat it. He would pull the lemon to his mouth, then make a face, then do it all over again. The faces were too funny not to post!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Preemie Parent

I saw on a friend's blog (who had preemie twins as well) an article about post traumatic stress in parents of children who are in the NICU. I started reading it, but had to stop. So many times, when I look back at photos of Nick, or view photos of other kids in the NICU, or read stories about experiences in the NICU, I get very emotional. Sometimes, I can't even do it. It is just too hard. I cry just seeing a photo of a child I have never met. It is such a hard thing to explain, and for others to understand.

While I am not sure that I would classify my emotions as post traumatic stress syndrome, I don't know that I can fully classify my emotions. I know I felt an overwhelming sense of dread when I was discharged from the hospital. Not being right down the hall from Nick was extremely hard. I know that I called the NICU first thing every morning, and last thing every night to check. I often called during the day, especially if he was having difficulties, or procedures. I often called in the middle of the night when I got up to pump. I remember being so incredibly careful with my cell phone, as I felt that was my only life line to my son. I would sometimes check my phone numerous times in an hour to be sure they didn't call. I went to the hospital every day, all 111 of them.

I remember jumping, and my heart leaping out of my chest when my phone rang, and I saw the hospital number on the phone. I remember reading every thing I could get my hands on about preemie babies, what to expect, what could happen, and looking for the ominous signs in my own son. I remember his bad days where his heart rate would drop in the 40's and my heart would drop then race, watching the monitor every second to see him recover. The hardest days were his bad days. The days when he would have multiple apnea spells a day.

It was the most incredibly hard time in my life, and I never want to relive it. I sympathize with every parent who has been through that, is going through it, or will go through it. I wish that I could say something to make it better, but I can't.

The only thing I know for sure, is Nick is okay. He is home, where I can be with him hours a day, instead of minutes. He is home where I can hug him, love him, kiss him, and care for him every minute of the day if I choose.

There are after effects of the NICU. I know that any type of sniffle sends me almost into a panic. I know that certain things can be so much more dangerous for Nick, but despite all that, he is here. I admit, I still go check on him every night, put my hand on his back to feel his breathing, and maybe I will do that for a while. Everyday, I get a little more confident that everything will be okay.

While I sometimes grieve the loss of things "normal' with bringing home a baby, I know that for both Nick and myself, this whole experience has meaning. I have faith in God that there was a reason, it can only make us stronger. At the very least, he will have a great story to tell when he gets older. How many kids can say I only weighed 1 pound 8 ounces. That among many other things makes Nick incredibly special!

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping Like A Baby

Friday, August 21, 2009

Now for the post I was going to write before Nick took a header off the bed...

The other day I was cleaning out Nick's closet. Getting rid of some things that he has grown out of, and trying to find things that he has grown in to. I ran across an outfit that my boss bought for Nick just a week or two after he was born. I remember loving the outfit, but thinking it would take FOREVER for him to grow into it. He finally has. It is sometimes funny to think back to those first days, when he was so incredibly tiny and fragile. How a simple outfit made me long for the days when I could bring him home, and dress him daily. I am so happy and blessed that this has become a reality.

While it has taken 8 months for my little guy to grow into his outfit, despite the tags 3-6 month size. The most important thing is that he is in it, and apparently happy about it.

The other day, I was in Carter's. They had a good sale, and I was trying to get a jump on some fall/winter clothing. Anyway, I saw the most adorable birthday outfit for Nick's one year. I started through the rack, looking for the 6 month outfits. When I voiced my displeasure that they had none, my mom reminded me that they would not have any. They don't make 6 month birthday clothes. As I was voicing my displeasure, another woman overheard us. She asked why Nick was so small. When I told her he was a preemie, she started talking to me about her preemie. She had a son as well. She was actually at Carter's looking for t-shirts and shorts. Her son was 3, and potty-training, but he only fits into 18 month clothes, which are still a lot of onesies, with snaps. Not a good combination for a potty training child.

It occurred to me, after going back and reading Cindy, AJ's mom's comments, that AJ, who was only slightly smaller than Nick at birth, can fit into 18 month clothes at 5. I guess what strikes me, is all the doctors say that 95% of preemies catch up by the time they are 3. Somehow, I think their statistic may be a little off.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hard Head

I get off work yesterday and call my mom to make sure she has picked up Nick, and that he had a good day etc. When she answered, she was all out of breath. She said that my son had just scared her to death. I asked why. Apparently, she put him in the middle of her bed, then went to go let the dog out of the kennel. Before she even got to the kennel, she heard Nick crying. She ran into the other room, and he was on the floor. She said she hadn't even left him for 15 seconds. He does roll over, but generally he doesn't do it quickly. I know my mom would never do anything to even remotely put Nick in danger. She felt so bad, I felt bad for her.

Anyway, I asked a lot of questions, he seemed to be ok, but of course I was freaking out. I thought about taking him to that urgent care clinic. I decided to call his doctor's office and speak to the nurse on call. It took a while for her to call me back. In the mean time, I had arrived at my mom's house, and he seemed fine. He was talking, kicking, smiling, etc. He had no signs of bruising or anything like that. He really seemed fine, but I couldn't get it out of my head that if something happened to him, I would never forgive myself. I went back and forth debating on taking him for like an hour. I finally decided to take him home, keep him awake for a while and wait for the nurse on call to call me back.

He ate dinner fine,(whole jar of peas, whole jar of bananas) and right after the nurse called. She got some info, and decided that she too felt like he was fine, but to not let him go to sleep until 8pm at the earliest, but if I could keep him up until 9 that would be good. Now, he had not had a nap since like 4:30, so you can imagine the pile crankiness that he was last night. Anyway, she also wanted me to wake him every two hours through out the night. Make sure he was moving ok, no bruising, opening his eyes focusing etc. So, I put him down at 8, then got up EVERY TWO HOURS. Yep, 10, midnight, 2am, 4am, and 6 am. I finally stopped worrying about him at 4 am when I woke him, he smiled, started kicking and decided that it was time to play, and he did not want to go back to sleep.

I believe the right term is "baptism by fire". Honestly, with all that he has been through you would think I would be used to this, but I guess you never get used to worrying about your child.

I know that just about every child has fallen off the couch or bed, and is just fine. My mom even pointed out, that when my brother was a baby, I dropped him, on his head. And he is just fine. (although some moments, I do debate that... love ya Uncle Brian).

This morning he woke happy, giggly, smiley, and hungry. I guess he just wanted to give us more proof that he has a really hard head!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What We Have Been Up To...

We have been working on our therapy. Nick has been doing well with tummy time. He does better with his tummy time when he wants to do it. He is also working on sitting up. He sits up in my lap, and with the assistance of a bobby.

He definitely does better when he has a toy!

Mocha helps with tummy time. Nick is always more likely to actually stay on his tummy when one of the dogs participates in tummy time.

Those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE shoes. It is a sickness that I am happy to own up to, but one I will never change. Have you ever noticed the adorable shoes for babies? They are sometime irresistible. While I love shoes, I fully appreciate the fact that babies, don't. So, Nick owns, 3 pairs of shoes. He owned 2 pairs until this weekend, when I saw a pair of shoes that I could not resist purchasing for him

I think they are adorable! (By the way, on my computer, this photo is horizontal, don't know why it is flipped) Anyway, had to get these. It isn't quite cold enough for them yet, and right now, when he wears them, his main goal is taking them off and putting them in his mouth, but the really were just too cute to not buy. Technically, they are slippers, so they aren't really "shoes" right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Day of Therapy and New Foods

Nick had his first day of therapy with his therapist from Early Childhood Intervention. He worked on tummy time, and sitting up. Mandy, his therapist was great. She layed on the floor and played with him. She helped him sit up, and played with him. At first he had so much fun, then he began to realize that while she was playing with him, he still was on his tummy. He tried to put up a fight, but Mandy persisted. 45 minutes of tummy time, and sitting up. It made for one tired little man.

Some friends at my exercise class suggested I try Nick with some "big people" foods, to try to encourage a little weight gain. I thought I might give it a try. I made some home made mashed potatoes. (With Nick's formula, not milk or butter.) He liked them. This weekend, his grandma offered him a little guacamole. Loved that too. I bought him an avocado, and he has added a half an avocado to his daily meals. He loves the avocado. It has good fat, and great vitamins. I hope to make him some homemade squash and peas soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Nick loves to laugh, but he reserves it for things he finds truly funny. (meaning, not me) I have tried countless things to get him to laugh. He usually smiles at me and might even give a little chuckle, but never really a laugh. When ever dogs are around, especially if they are playing, Nick laughs and laughs. I have tried to get it on video, but trying to hold a baby, hold a video camera, and get the dogs to play... hard to do. So, I decided to go to my neighbor, PD's house. Her dogs are smaller, and like to run around. (Mine just wanted to lay there tonight.) So, I went down to PD's house and between her daughter Laura and the dogs, Nick was laughing. Still hard to get it really well on video. And of course the minute the camera is turned off, he laughs more and more, but at least it is something. It makes me smile every time!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thyroid Results

Nick's doctor called this morning. She got the results of the blood work, and all was well. They did multiple tests of his thyroid function. No problems. That is a relief. So, we are continuing with the 24 calorie formula. He "weighs in" next week.
I don't know how his weight is doing, but I swear he is getting taller by the minute. I think he grew two inches just over the weekend. We even hit a milestone this weekend... we got rid of most of his 0-3 month clothes. He now wears 3 month and even some 3-6 month clothes. He never fills them out, but his body has gotten so long, he grows out of them length wise. At least I can honestly say he has gotten GOOD use out of his clothes! Most babies go through them so fast. He wore 0-3 month clothes for a good 4 months.
Photos from the weekend:

Nick loves his Uncle Brian! He will just watch him and watch him when Brian is around. He thought it was funny to wear his hat too.

He decided to put on a hat that fit better, and was a little more him. He also likes to wear that in front of my brother's girlfriend, (Aunt Chrissytoes). She isn't an Aggie fan, but we will keep her around anyway.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

8 Months

Dear Nick,

I am sorry I was a day late in posting this. We were so busy yesterday, running errands, and all that we do on the weekend. You are such a trooper to run around with me. I feel like you have changed so much in the last month. Do I say that every month?

I swear you grew 3 inches over the last two weeks! I know you probably haven't, but you have been growing. While your weight seems to never catch up to standards good enough for the doctors, your height is great. I think that is part of your weight issue, you just keep getting taller and taller. That and your CONSTANT movement.

You spend your time during the day playing, talking, rolling over to one side and back again. Your favorite time of day is breakfast and dinner. You are so social, that the opportunity to sit and have a "conversation" with me over peas, is fantastic to you. You always smile and laugh when I feed you.

It is always a toss up for me what my favorite part of the day is. I love feeding you, but at night, after you have had your bath, and bottle, and are just laying in my arms, words can never express the peace and love that I feel. You lay on my shoulder, and every once in a while, you will pop your head up and look at me and smile. You could probably ask for anything in the world at that moment, and I would get it for you.

You continue to be the biggest blessing in my life. You make me smile, you make me laugh. You are an amazing little boy. I can't wait to see what you do next.

Love you Nick,