Monday, November 30, 2009

Hat Trick

I was prepared to call this blog post today, " All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth." Nick got another tooth this weekend. Two bottom teeth.However, today during his ECI therapy appointment, Nick decided to show off. I knew he was ready to crawl and he showed it today. He was crawling for toys left and right. Then as the appointment was ending, he crawled over to me and pulled up. I couldn't believe it! My big boy. He just wanted to show off and get lots of presents for his birthday! I did manage to get some crawling on video, after many attempts. When I try to get one of the "milestones" on video, he just looks at me like I am crazy. Now, if you will excuse me, I must remove everything from the ground to 2ft. high....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All in Good Time

Nick had an eventful weekend. First, he got his first tooth! You can't see it that well yet (so no photos), but you can definitely feel it. He has been drooling and chewing for MONTHS. He truly hasn't been difficult, so I was slightly surprised to feel that little tooth. He thinks he is now ready for steaks!

Also this weekend, Nick displayed a new talent. He can now, go from sitting, to laying, to a crawling position, and then back to sitting. This is a big step for him. He has demonstrated that his little shoulders are strong enough to get crawling. He has been getting on his hands and knees more and more, and has even made a few "steps" forward. It won't be long before the headline for the days blog is "Mobile".

That being said, I am NOT READY TO BABY PROOF! I started looking around at the house, and oh my, I have my work cut out for me. So, I thought I would ask you... any baby proofing tips? I know the standard, remove anything they can reach, cover outlets, etc. I also know that kids have a great way of teaching you things you should have baby proofed. So, I thought I would learn from you! Please share!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I began the most terrifying journey of my life. I went to the doctor for a (somewhat) routine ultrasound. Two minutes after beginning the ultrasound, the tech left the room and promptly came back with a doctor. He began telling me that the baby was measuring small, there was very low fluid around him, and the blood flow between myself and Nick was very low. He wanted to admit me to the hospital for some monitoring.

I was scared, but optimistic. I remember thinking, "Okay, I will go into the hospital a few day, everything will be fine, I will be home by the weekend."

Upon getting to the hospital, tests were done, I was put on a monitor and sent straight to labor and delivery. They immediately started giving me steroids to strengthen Nick's lungs in case he had to be delivered that day, or soon there after. I spoke with numerous ob/gyns, and they brought in a neonatologist to tell me what I could expect if he was delivered at 26 weeks. I remember hearing many scary words. At that point, I honestly thought, this conversation was useless, because I was not having him now.

I knew there was no way I was having him that day. I begged and pleaded silently with Nick to hold on. I prayed and prayed. I COULD NOT have him this day. See, 5 years ago tomorrow (the 20th), my father passed away suddenly. My grandfather passed away 3 days later. There was no way I was going to have a baby at 26 weeks, this week.

Through sheer will, and a lot of prayer, Nick held on. Sometimes I think he knew just how badly I didn't want to have him in November, so Dec. 1, he said, "Okay, here I come". Probably the only time in his life that I was more hard headed than him.

The next few weeks were a blur. I was in the hospital vacillating between a regular hospital room and a monitored labor and delivery bed. Sometimes, I would go down to L&D for a few hours, sometimes overnight. Finally one day after a week of this, I had an ultrasound that showed a worsening condition. I was sent to L&D permanently, and told that Nick would probably be delivered in the next 7 days. Again, meetings with neonatologists, and now they brought in anesthesiologists.

I became so close to my docs and nurses. They were all wonderful. They even offered to share their Thanksgiving meal with me. It was the most scary time in my life. I am thankful everyday that it turned out so well. There are many moms who don't have the same outcome.

It is still a hard thing for me to think about. I still get very emotional as I remember the hell that started on November 19th, and didn't end until March 21st when I was finally able to bring Nick home.

I can take comfort in the fact that I have a healthy, happy boy. He continues to be the absolute BEST thing that ever happened to me. I would do all of it all over again to have him. It was all worth it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pushing Forward

I have pretty much abandoned the recommendations of the docs from preemie clinic with regard to Nick's food. Not totally, but I figure, what they were asking him to do wasn't working, so we might as well try our own thing. They wanted him to have a set amount of formula (24-28 ounces) and 2-3 jars of food.

Nick doesn't take 24-28 ounce of formula. I think he has taken that amount maybe twice. He is usually at an average of 20 ounces. That is his normal. So, while I still am insisting that he take somewhere between 18-20 (more if he will indulge me). I do allow him as much jar food as he wants. I offer him a bottle, if he takes more than 3 ounces, he can have a jar of food. The other day, he took 6 jars! That is a lot of food for such a little guy, but he loves it.

We started meat as well, which is great because it has so many more calories and protein than the regular food. We will see how it goes.

In other Nick news, he has started waving. I will post a pic soon of this cute new addition to his repertoire. He loves to wave "Hi", however, he doesn't seem to understand the concept of bye. He looks at me like, I have already said Hi to you, why are you waving again.

I love it when my little man learns new things!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dissappointing Preemie Clinic

I don't even know what to say. Nick had preemie clinic today. He weighed 15lbs, 3 ounces. Basically, he gained 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces. As you may imagine, docs were not happy. Not even a half a pound in 4 weeks, was to say the least, unacceptable. We discussed it, and they docs agreed to give him 6 weeks. At the end of the 6 weeks, if he has not gained a sufficient amount of weight, he is going to be admitted to the hospital for a week for monitoring, and testing. They will do a host of metabolic testing to see what the problem may be.

Nick's growth curve has flat-lined a bit, causing much concern. Each previous preemie clinic, the doc would always say, "I am not worried, I am just concerned". Today, he said "I am worried, very worried." They started talking about "failure to thrive". I know some about failure to thrive, but will probably learn more about it in the next few weeks. I am trying not to worry too much about the failure to thrive. He is not there yet. They said that the only reason they aren't admitting him right now for testing, is that he looks so alert, healthy and happy. They said if he was lethargic, they would probably admit him now, but since he seems to be fine, they are going to give him 6 weeks to pack on the pounds.

I know that right now, there is nothing that I can do. I have to just keep doing my best to make sure he gets the maximum amount of food that I can get into his body. If that means waking 1 - 2 times a night, that is what it takes. Bottom line, I just want him to be healthy, and if we can get some answers, I want that. As a mom, you don't want anything to be wrong with your child, that alone is scary and frustrating. For now, I will wait and see what he can do. When the going gets tough, the one thing Nick can do is rise to the occasion.

Now for a little comic relief so to speak:

Things I learn/ponder/question while waiting in the doctor's waiting room:

  • If your child is sick, please keep him/her out of the "well" child side. They have a sign there for a reason, and I am here with my child just for a check up and don't appreciate your kid coughing all over me and my child
  • If you let your 6 year old drink and entire 20 ounce bottle of mountain dew (which I think has about 6 million grams of sugar), they will NOT stop climbing over the chairs, yelling, or sit still no matter how many times you ask.
  • Asking why your child is acting like a maniac after he drank a 20 ounce bottle of mountain dew will result in dirty looks from most others in the room.
  • If you are trying to get an accurate weight on a child, might I suggest allowing the parents to take off the wet diaper.
  • Telling me that you are worried about my child, and may put him in the hospital for a week should never be followed by the phrase "but I don't want you to worry, enjoy your holiday"

Just a few of my observations today....

Monday, November 9, 2009

On the Cusp

I don't have much to report right now. I am on the cusp of a few posts with events from this weekend and upcoming events this week. Saturday morning, I brought Nick with me to work. We did our annual park day shoot, so Nick came along with me to do a few photos. I only saw what was on the back of the camera, and I only saw a few of the shots, but I loved the few that I saw, so I will definitely be posting photos soon.

Tomorrow is another preemie clinic appointment. While I could freak out because I know he hasn't gained near the weight that they want him to, I am remaining calm. He eats, he grows and he develops. Beyond that, I can't change his appetite, despite what they think. And he is growing. I was looking at him today, and he looked so long. I can't believe my baby is growing into a little boy. I am anxious to see how tall he is.

As for now, I am just in the cusp of writing all these thing to update everyone. I will write more this week. Have a good week!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hard Headed

I have no other words, but HARD HEADED! I knew when Nick was in the NICU, he was a strong willed little boy (he pulled out his own vent tube at 17 days old... he didn't even weigh 2lbs). Anyway, yesterday was another ECI appt for Nick. Ms. Mandy came in, and I was so excited to show her what Nick could do... sitting up, all on his own. Did he do it? Of course NOT. It took 20 minutes, 3 adults and about 10 toys to finally convince him to show his skills.

Everything else went well. I am a little concerned with his development. It seems like the gap between his adjusted age (8 months) and his skill level is increasing. I am trying not to compare him to kids his own age (more on that incredibly hard task later), but when compared to other 8 month old babies, he is clearly behind. Right now he is more like a 6 month old when you look at his skill level. I know that each kid develops on their own time, it is just hard to see him behind. I don't really know how to explain it. ECI is going to do another evaluation in January, then we will re-access our plan.

I have also noticed some other issues with Nick, things he should be doing, but isn't, like clapping. We are working on it. Ms. Mandy feels he may have some sensory issues. So we are going to start working on that. He doesn't want to open his hand to clap. There are some other signs that he may have sensory issues, but all are very minor.

Next week is another preemie clinic weight check... so we are concentrating on "fattening up". Nick had his RSV shot last week. His weight at that appointment was only about 3 ounces heavier than he was 2 weeks ago. Preemie clinic docs are NOT going to be happy with that. So, we are going to work very hard on adding some weight this week. Mainly that means I have to be more hard-headed than he is.

I can't believe Nick is 11 months! I almost have a 1 year old. I am starting to think about his party, which is exciting. I just can't believe it is almost a year. Where did this year go?