Five Pound Wonder Child

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Lilliann is officially 5 pounds!!! Which it’s great seeing her gain weight despite being a spit up machine! She’s the hardest baby to burp we’ve only heard a single burp or two out of her since she’s been feeding orally. The neonatologists did an Ultrasound on her stomach to rule out pylorus stenosis. This was the first time we were informed of anything before they did a scan. Felt great to be in the loop for once. Lilli’s results are normal, she’s fine and has a functioning tummy, just has baby reflux and will hopefully grow out of it and not have it chronically like her Dad. She also has an umbilical hernia (outie belly button) from all of her straining, she should grow out of that too! Prematurity is so crazy how all of these things that could be wrong tend to go away on there own thanks to time.

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This NICU experience has been grueling and rewarding all in one. Garry my husband has been my rock, my voice of reason through everything! I would not have survived this journey without him! He’s been so helpful and I haven’t given him enough credit for what he does and has done for us. He has set up every piece of baby equipment with ease and chauffeured me around to the hospital, work and home every day for the last few weeks without complaint. He would visit her daily while I worked and spend hours bonding with her, feeding and listening to music and singing her songs! It has really helped me be able to work without stress or worry knowing he was around her and her being in the best hands, he would even send me daily pictures to make my days away that much better!

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Lilli is 39 weeks gestation today! Now that she is a solid 5 pounds, we feel even more comfortable taking her home finally! We technically will still be bringing home a preemie not just a newborn, newborns can’t usually go home unless they are over 5 lbs, she just hit that mark this morning. She has more needs than an average newborn (medication & etc.) We can’t wait to not have alarms and codes going off all of the time, the NICU seriously can leave you with ptsd, it’s an intimidating place. We kind of relied on machines to make sure her stats were all ok so it’s a little nerve wracking that she won’t have those but not having any cords in our way will be amazing! We are so used to loud sounds and machines so it will be strangely quiet and peaceful when she is home, it will be like a vacation for her with no random people messing with her constantly. We’re thankful she has a strict manageable schedule, hopefully it will make our lives easier. We’re ready to be done with the hospital life and be home with Lilli and do nothing!!! Not having to leave anywhere will be amazing! We can’t wait to fully focus on her and only her, it will be great! It’s going to be crazy to take her home and adjust to our home life. Our cats can’t wait to meet their two legged sister! PJ our youngest kitty has been testing out all of her baby gear and keeping it warm for her. 😻

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Our moms (Lilli’s new grandmas) have and will continue to be be a huge help in making sure we have everything we need! Including constant amazing support. My mom is willing to take time off of work to help us once Lilli is home. Garry’s mom is having surgery soon so we’re praying for an easy healing process for her. Once Lilli is home we want her to get in all the snuggles she can before she won’t be able to until she’s 100%. Once she is better she will be our full time care giver for Lilli so Garry can get back to work eventually. Preemies are advised not to go to any day care until they are over 2 years in age. So we are blessed Garry’s Mom can help us out there when we need it. For now I’m glad Lilli and Garry will build a strong special bond once I go back to work in a few weeks he will be Mr. Mom! 😉💪
We can’t wait to go on walks and take Lilli out when she’s a little stronger in a few weeks. I’m glad she’s going home in the summer time where illness is less and weather is nice for going outside. It will be such an amazing thing for her to be outdoors and breathing that fresh Pacific Northwest air into her little lungs for the first time in her few short months of life! We Love our stroller and infant car seat combo, we ordered them separately not realizing they connect and match perfectly! I love when things like that happen! 🖤 We’re all officially set and ready for her homecoming! 🙏

28ECDEFF-1E07-4E53-A8A5-C56AB861A861(Jogging stroller/carrier combo ✌️)

True Boss Baby

After 70 days in the NICU, what a humbling experience and week it has been! Lilliann is over 38 weeks in gestation and was unexpectedly on her way to discharge over the weekend. Lilli has not had an apnea episodes since the 29th of June and after having her NG tube removed Thursday morning. Unfortunately she had a Brady/apnea episode not related to eating a few hours away from going home…therefore our apnea watch restarted and she can’t go home for about a week now, as long as she is free of any more episodes during this week. She is the boss and showed us right in time she really wasn’t ready to go home, she must have felt rushed, like we thought. As frustrating and upsetting as it was to finally be there and after being there all night with her for it to happen last minute, I’m glad if it did have to happen it was there and not at home. NICU babies here can’t be discharged on a monitor, that got discontinued about 5 years ago one nurse told us. Thanks to parents who relied too much on the monitor itself rather than their own baby and body language and would think all of the false alarms weren’t the real deal once it really happened. We pretty much can tell when Lilli is going to have a Brady and can usually proactively prevent it.

9B47D25B-5A6E-4C30-B28D-7D1A4E463859.jpgLilli passed her car seat test by sitting (mostly sleeping) in it with no issues for almost 2 hours! We are also all trained in infant CPR and choking now. Lilli had her 2 month vaccines last week and did just fine with them, no breathing complications one bit! She’s really close to hitting 5 lbs which is almost big enough for her amazing nesting days wrap we have for her and can’t wait to use (the company is awesome and reached out to me via Instagram regarding our situation.) Lilli is also close to fitting into her ergo 360 carrier too! It’s amazing watching her grow and see how far she has come. A few things we have to keep an eye on is Lilli had a hearing test Sunday and barely failed in her right ear but the equipment they used had been acting up. So she will get checked again in a few weeks. She also has higher blood pressure for a small preemie, a normal sized adult its normal but higher than it should be for her age and size so she is on a small dose of daily blood pressure meds with her vitamins and fortifier for the breast milk. We have to take a trip up to OHSU in Portland in 3-4 months to see a specialist about it. Her kidney scan was totally normally so they don’t think that is the issue, they are just being cautious and preventing any long term issues she could have from uncontrolled blood pressure problems. We were left in the dark and didn’t even know about them monitoring her BP until they prescribed her meds (which is expensive and has to be compounded due to the low dose), that is a little frustrating. Sometimes we aren’t informed/told about things going on with our child and have to always ask questions to get the answers. We as parents are Lilli’s voice and have to put our foot down for her when we sense something isn’t right, like her being over fed a few times (hello spit up!)

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Garry is so calm with her and was holding her when her Brady episode happened and knows just what to do to get her out of it, I’m the one who goes in freak out mode so I’m glad he’s always there to help. Garry keeps telling me whenever I feel discouraged that it’s ok, Lilli isn’t even supposed to be born yet and is still kicking butt! I told him after going home without her and crashing out for a well needed nap Sunday after the failed discharge that look at it like I was having a false labor since I still would be super pregnant. Many women go to the hospital thinking it’s baby time only to be sent home with no baby yet. That was what we experienced, I’m thinking. Lilli will
be ready on her time and we want her 100% ready and healthy for going home. She is truly the boss after all, in charge of everything!
This last week really has made us turn on turbo speed and get everything we need officially set up this week we are just fine tuning! So to our prayer army please continue to pray for our little family that we can finally go home here soon with Lilli on board! I was supposed to start my parental leave this week but because of the events that happened over the weekend I decided to keep working until she is officially discharged. As hard as it is to keep up the busy weekly schedule it will all be worth it in the end. I’m glad I’ve got at least 3 weeks in of work (to help our finances) until her homecoming. I’ve got to keep myself distracted otherwise I might go crazy. 😜

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If we survive the NICU stay we can survive anything! People think they can relate and unless you’ve been in this situation you really can’t. We are still parents and get no credit sometimes. We will cherish our baby even more now thanks to working so hard and fighting to get her home! Last week we got out for a while and enjoyed the Fourth of July for the last time just being the two of us. We so badly wished Lilliann could be around all of our friends and family for the annual parade and firework show, next year we will celebrate big time! It was hard seeing all of the cute babies and pregnant women walk around since that should have been us! Oh boy do some babies look huge compared to our Lilli bug! We also had our last date night until Lilli gets discharged. Since we couldn’t celebrate Garry’s birthday a few weeks ago, months ago I got him tickets as his present for a meet and greet concert to one of his favorite rappers B.o.B! We had a blast! We’ve been wanting to see one of his shows forever and so glad he came to town and we got to meet him and hang out up close and personal before the show! It was totally worth it and he is an awesome person! It was truly our last hurrah! 🎶❤️🎤

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Happy 2 Months Lil One

Oh my goodness where does the time go?! Today July 2nd was Lilliann’s original due date! & Now she’s 2 months old and 37 weeks gestation! How crazy?!

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She will be getting her 2 month vaccines here shortly while in the NICU so she can be monitored for any after effects like apnea & breathing, etc.
Lilli’s eye exams are still going well with no retina issues just prematurity, which is expected. She doesn’t need them weekly any more and will get them bi-weekly. She is over 4 pounds 8 ounces and still climbing closer to 5 lbs every day! One doctor said in a few days we may even remove her NG tube since she’s been feeding so well orally, makes me kind of nervous. Hopefully we will be going home with our little peanut in a few weeks at most! We just have to perfect the feeding and not have any Brady/apnea episodes for a solid week.

We have survived our NICU stay for over 60 days and still counting! My oh my are we exhausted though! My new work routine and hospital visits still are keeping us busy! This last week was insanely busy! Not only did I go back to work and had to work a shift on Garry’s birthday yesterday, all while juggling everything else, we got our kitten PJ fixed! So caring for him and dealing with everything else has been crazy! So thank you for the prayers just keep them coming! We definitely need them!

A52F8376-547F-4FBE-A2BA-69D0F0CC6948(Sweet praying hands) 🙏😍

If people knew the struggles and internal battles people face and fight on a daily basis they wouldn’t treat each other so poorly, everyone needs to try harder on making the World a better place for all! Everyone we speak to about our current situation says how we are doing this all so well and gracefully. We can’t be nervous wrecks, it would only make it worse. We have to stay strong even though somedays we do truly feel defeated and like we’ve failed some how! It’s such a crazy learning experience. This journey will truly make or break some couples. It has really only made Garry and I stronger, individually and together as a whole. We have our moments (we aren’t perfect) but at least they are minor and we keep reminding ourselves it’s only temporary and will be over soon and we will look back and think how amazingly fast it all went by!

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Lilli still has episodes of Apnea/Brady’s while getting bottle fed occasionally, she’s still getting the hang of it all. I read an interesting fact today…Until they’re 6-7 months old, babies can breathe and swallow at the same time. Adults aren’t even capable of that. It takes a lot of coordination if you think about it, breathing, sucking and swallowing all in one and she is doing it when she shouldn’t even be born yet! Preemies are simply amazing!

We love most of the nurses and have only had to ask to not have 2 be repeat nurses out of the 90 that work in the NICU, that’s not too bad. If you don’t mesh with certain ones it’s best to speak up since they are caring for our child for now & we only want the very best for her. It is hard co-caring for Lilli at times when you have different ideas and advice from all of the nurses and 4-5 different neonatologists that see her.

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One of our friends mentioned how we basically get whiplash from being told one thing and have it changed when the next shift starts. We’re always adjusting. You have to constantly let everyone know your wants and needs, it really trains you communication if you lacked with it before. There used to be a window the nurses would write on for Lilli’s care needs, info, requests and the head of NICU made them quit doing it so there has been a lack of knowledge based on her care without it. We enjoyed seeing her progress with it so it’s sad they took it away. Some nurses don’t listen to us or care what we have to say it seems like at times. Some also take more charge than others, with things we can normally do ourselves and others give us independence and privacy to parent on our own. So it really is a day by day process, one day you get it right other days you want to scream and run away with your child. It tests your patience, big time! No one wants to be told when/what you can and can’t do with your baby or when you’re right or wrong really. We’re learning though and do appreciate most of the help and advice we receive. My Mom works for peacehealth so she wrote head of women’s care at the hospital and just gave some ideas and insight on NICU parents lives and how they could really make it easier during our long term stay! Little Lilli is blossoming into a very strong flower! If one thing in our life finally had to go right we’re glad it’s her! 💞

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Once Upon A Time…

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It was early spring 2008 I was 18 years young and was still a senior in high school getting anxious to finally graduate and be DONE with school! This is when I met my future husband Garry. We met on MySpace of all places! Hah! He had already graduated high school the year before in 2007. He was a busy working man at the early age of 19. (I knew him before all of the tattoos and mustache rockin’!) 👌 When we first met there was just something different about him compared to the other guys I had previous relationships with. He grew up an only child so you would think he would have selfish tendencies like the others I had dated…but no he was raised right by his wonderful mother who I have an awesome relationship with! He treats me with nothing but respect and he makes me laugh like no one else which is truly the key to a girls heart. I always felt like I could let go and be free around him and he would never pass a single ounce of judgment towards me. I can be a handful to deal with at times being full of energy and tendencies of being a high strung, over analyzing, control freak (definition of a Scorpio woman). I like to plan and have never been big on surprises…little to my knowledge I would get the biggest surprise of my life many years down the road. Fast forward 6+ years later and he finally popped the question to take my hand in marriage November 25th 2014 and we got to planning the wedding of our dreams right away!

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We officially tied the knot September 10th 2016 and finally sealed the deal in front of God, family and friends! Best decision of our lives! I love being married!

http://www.jaymeandruss.com/real-weddings/chateau-lorane-winery-wedding-rebecca-garry

We didn’t take a honeymoon per se (we both don’t like to travel much) we spent a long weekend at the Oregon Coast which is our favorite place to getaway! We stayed in an awesome ocean front suite with a jacuzzi, and had a blast! We weren’t planning on having kids right away we thought it would take us a while to conceive but God had other plans for us. I found out I was pregnant late in October/Early November. I had been off the pill and just thought my cycle wasn’t back up and running yet…hah! Little did I know I already had a bun in the oven!

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I have always wanted to be a mother but I was nervous because I had the best Mother and Mother in law in the world and they set the bar high. As a little girl I always thought of my birth plan and how cool it would be to give life to something…my Mom did it three times without drugs and said there is no better natural high then when you finally meet your children and become a mother. Garry has always wanted kids he was the one who couldn’t care less if we waited until marriage or not, he wanted to be a Dad! He grew up not knowing who his was so he wanted to be the father he never had. Once we found out it was finally our time to become parents he put every fear and worry I had in mind to rest. Things were going super smoothly and I did not really have any morning sickness until I hit about 8-10 weeks then I only had a few episodes of it here and there I was totally healthy, pretty in shape and ate well and didn’t even ever have caffeine. Doctor visits went great and everything! This little baby was going to be the first grand baby on both sides, Can you say spoiled?! We finally told family and friends the news on Thanksgiving!

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Everyone was thrilled! Mutually thought wow that was fast. I guess we just don’t waste any time now! Our little bundle certainly was eager to come into the world! Due date was set for July 2nd 2017 a day after Garry’s Birthday! He was pretty tickled. We also shared this little poem with the custom onesie to Announce with the family.

I do not have a face to see,
Or put inside a frame.
I do not have soft cheeks to kiss,
I don’t yet have a name.
You can’t yet hold my tiny hands,
Nor whisper in my ear.
It’s still too soon to sing a song,
Or cuddle me so near.
But all will change come July
That’s when they say I’m due.
I’m your new grandson or granddaughter,
I can’t wait till I meet you.
All I ask between now and then,
Is your patience while I grow.
I promise I’ll be worth the wait,
Because of all the love we’ll know.
So what I have to give you now,
is a wish to you from me.
I cannot wait to be a part
Of this wonderful family.

Little did we know we really wouldn’t have too long until we met YOU!