Happy 2018

Happy New Year!!! 2017 was a bittersweet year for us but we are looking forward to what 2018 has in store for our little family! ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ’ž
December was a very busy month for us just like so many others, so itโ€™s taken some time for me to get around to updating with a monthly blog post.
We had a wonderful holiday and will love experiencing the years to come as they will only get more fun now having a child around. Right now Lilli was mostly interested in trying to eat the wrapping paper her many gifts came in.
My Mom (Lilliโ€™s Grandma) and I went to our annual girls night out to the Nutcracker Ballet by the Eugene Ballet Company here at the Hult Center in town. This was our 26th year of going, itโ€™s so special to me I hold each memory close to my heart… Weโ€™ve gone every year since I was 3 years old. Itโ€™s so fun to get dressed up and go out for dinner and drinks and enjoy a magical Christmas ballet. Really gets you into the holiday spirit. It also got me really excited because Lilli will be able to join us on our amazing yearly tradition in just a few years! ๐Ÿค— We had a low key new year. We are kind of in isolation mode since itโ€™s been a really bad flu/RSV season so far nationally. The less weโ€™re exposed to people the better right now for Lilliโ€™s premature lungs. We are her first line of defense and we are trying and so far successfully have kept her healthy. I seriously wash my hands probably over 100 times a day when Iโ€™m working, I canโ€™t even begin to tell you how much tamiflu my pharmacy has dispensed. ๐Ÿ˜ทย She does get a monthly vaccine that introduces her to RSV antibodies called synagis which would make it less harmful if she were to ever contract RSV. It would hopefully limit her chances of being admitted back to the hospital and or being life threatening. She handles the monthly vaccine just fine but last month she had to get a couple others too and she got another fever. No ER visit this time since we now know Tylenol is our friend when she gets multiple shots at once! Sheโ€™s a trooper and is handling vaccines better and better each time! ๐Ÿ’ช

57DC8954-0B87-420F-928C-318DDAF28D0D

If you told the 18 year old me that in 10 years I would be walking around with a baby girl, dried drool on my shirt, hair undone and makeup not finished that you were crazy. Children make you so selfless. Yet make everything worth it! It blows my mind she is closer to being a year old each day that passes! Time to start planning her birthday party! Sheโ€™s such a miracle and blessing added to our lives! We canโ€™t imagine life without Lilli in it! โค๏ธ

-How preemie Mothers are chosen ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ’•

http://thumba-lea.blogspot.com/p/how-preemie-moms-are-chosen.html?m=1

A few weeks ago Lilli was weighing in at 13 pounds 7 ounces and is still gaining at least a pound every month! Sheโ€™s our tiny but mighty warrior princess! Sheโ€™s solid, long and skinny (just like her daddy.) Most babies weigh that months ago so of course itโ€™s hard not to compare Lilli to other babies her age. She should be full blown crawling, maybe even starting to talk or getting ready to walk. But I have to remind myself she is actually only 5 months developmentally not 8 months. She was born weighing 1 pound 12 ounces remember so she has truly come a long way! She amazes us though she really isnโ€™t far off of doing any of those things sheโ€™s getting caught up. She even only has to do early childhood intervention once monthly rather than twice monthly since she is considered average with no major delays. She does things at her own pace and always has! We will only continue to be there to encourage and help her anyway we can. Lilli is also officially released from OHSU nephrology! Her last blood pressure check was totally normal and the only long term problem she could face which really is unlikely if she stays healthy is high blood pressure in her adult years. Lilliann is our rare gem and I think she will defy any odds that gets thrown her way. She is definitely unique, one of a kind. She inherited my universal O negative blood type (maybe she is meant to help others in the future) and we are still amazed by her ever growing red hair and still not sure how she got it other than it barely runs in both sides of our families. She also has beautiful ice blue eyes like her daddy which is very rare to have both red hair and blue eyes. Only 1% of the worlds population has this and she only had a 25% to get it with our DNA, since they are both recessive genes. We wouldnโ€™t trade our lil red headed spit fire for the world! She was hand picked by God and chosen to be our princess for a reason! ๐Ÿ‘‘

Lilliโ€™s 8 month update

  • Belly laughs hard coreย ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • Teething galoreย ๐Ÿคค
  • Ready to pop some teeth ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
  • Wearing size 3 diapers ๐Ÿ’ช
  • Very ticklish, especially her feet ๐Ÿ‘ฃ
  • Likes belly raspberries ๐Ÿ˜
  • Sucks her toes ๐Ÿคข
  • Easiest & Happiest Baby Iโ€™ve met ๐Ÿ’•
  • Yet has the most heartbreaking pouty lip ๐Ÿ˜ซ
  • Very expressive with her many faces and noises ๐Ÿ˜œ
  • Growls and squeals very loud at you ๐Ÿ™‰
  • Still a major thumb sucker usually when tired ๐Ÿ‘
  • Likes to pull her socks off ๐Ÿงฆ
  • Bath nights are her favoriteย ๐Ÿ›
  • Plays hard and Fights sleep even harder ๐Ÿ™„
  • Grabs your shirt and pulls you in to snuggle close ๐Ÿ˜
  • Needs her thumb and blanket like Linus from Charlie Brown โค๏ธ
  • Still rubs her eyes all cute when tired ๐Ÿ’ค
  • Likes to โ€œshake her buttโ€ ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป
  • Sings to you with the radio in the car ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽถ
  • Still sleeps all through the night (10:30pm-7am or later most nights) ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ™Œ
  • Loves her morning bottle and long nap right after ๐Ÿผ
  • Loves to hold your hand ๐Ÿคš
  • During the day still eats about every 3 hours ๐Ÿ˜‹
  • Takes short tiger snoozes during the day ๐Ÿฏ
  • Blows serious raspberries at you especially changing her once she has gone number โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฉ
  • Kicks her feet when she needs a diaper change ๐Ÿฅ‹
  • Starting to sit up all by herself ๐Ÿ’œ
  • No more baby swing now in a big girl chair ๐Ÿ’บ
  • Rolling & ready to crawl ๐Ÿค—
  • Scooting galore, scooter power! ๐Ÿ‘Œ
  • Likes to kick and slide off her chair ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
  • Loves animals, they make her smile and giggle the mostย ๐Ÿ˜ป
  • Likes to pet (and kick) her kitties ๐Ÿฑ
  • Always touching your face โœ‹
  • Loves to watch Sesame Streetย on TV ๐Ÿ“บ
  • Cookie Monster is her favorite ๐Ÿช
  • Likes to have water in her sippy cup ๐Ÿฅค
  • Likes the remote and daddyโ€™s Xbox controller ๐ŸŽฎ
  • Always grabbing at your food and drink ๐Ÿ•
  • Jumps like a maniac in her jumperoo especially if you say โ€œbounce bounceโ€ ๐Ÿธ
  • PJ kitty is her homie and Kona kitty is finely warming up to Lilli ๐Ÿ˜บ
  • Loves eating sweets like peaches ๐Ÿ‘ย (Her daddy let her try a tiny bit of some whip cream from his milk shake) ๐Ÿฆ

 

 

Advertisements

Half A Year

6D09C93A-7F80-4225-862B-FE030D5DBF48

It feels like just yesterday that Lilliann was born but also feels like an eternity since she spent time in the NICU. Sheโ€™s meant to be home and thatโ€™s where she is happiest! Itโ€™s been 6 whole months since she blessed earth with her presence and the world is a brighter place because of it. We couldnโ€™t imagine life without her! She steals the hearts of everyone she meets and we just love her to pieces! A year ago I found out we were pregnant with our blessing so it just blows my mind sheโ€™s been alive for over half a year already! Blink your eyes and they grow up! November is prematurity awareness month. I never noticed before but prematurity is discussed in television quite a bit. One of my favorite shows growing up โ€œRugratsโ€ has a preemie baby by the name of Tommy Pickles on it.

C479A476-4D8E-4CD4-908F-C1DA918DCDB9

If you told me a year ago our tiny premature baby would teach us so much in her short life I would tell you youโ€™re crazy. Having a premature baby teaches you patience, endless love, strength, faith, hope and courage. These tiny babies are the true heroโ€™s fighting for life everyday. They have such resilience! Lilli isย weighing in at 11lbs 7oz when she was checked last! ๐Ÿ’ช Sheโ€™s come a long way since birth, only baby we know almost 12x her birth weight at this age.

3E4C80B1-048C-48D0-89C5-0DA074C857A2DF5DAF7D-D5EE-4EB6-AB17-171E8E4B9DE9

Iโ€™ll be trying to post an update on a monthly basis. October was a busy month! With Work, Halloween, appointments and lots of snuggling! Weโ€™ve also tried oatmeal and banana for the first time with Lilli and it went pretty smooth but for now we just feed her oatmeal in her bottle. She loves it, and the cats love cleaning up after her food messes! She even helps hold her bottle sometimes…

56BFF999-68C7-44A2-AA27-8CFCB5CBDD6E

When you start feedingย real food and oh boy do babyโ€™s get messier and stinkier so she gets a bath every other day. She loves bath time! Lilli giggles lots when she splashes us especially! We met with an early childhood intervention pediatrician, occupational therapist and physical therapist who are amazed at how well Lilli is doing! She wonโ€™t need to be seen by them for a while! We still meet with an educational therapist twice a month who sees no delays with Lilliโ€™s development so far! ๐Ÿ™ย  She is reaching milestones for 3 and 6 month olds. We also got her eyes checked again by the specialist and she is right where she should be for her age and wonโ€™t need to be checked again for 9 months! This appointment was much less invasive than the last appointment thank goodness! Lilli also had her first dose of synagis which is a vaccine that gives her anti-bodies to RSV which is just usually a cold for adults or full term babies but for preemies itโ€™s deadly and if contracted almost always results in hospitalization and well we spent 75 long days already with her there and never want to go back. Lilli will have her 6 month check up this week. She will have her 6 month vaccines and lab work to check her hormone levels. Weโ€™re hoping they can split up her shots so she doesnโ€™t receive such a heavy โ€œcocktailโ€ at once, since last time resulted in a high fever and an ER visit so we will see what her pediatrician suggests. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿค”

Lilliโ€™s 6 month update

  • Giggling harder ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • Blue eyed red head cutie ๐Ÿ’™โค๏ธ
  • Still drooling a lot ๐Ÿคค
  • Growing into size 2 diapers ๐Ÿ’ช
  • Loves to eat new things ๐Ÿ˜‹
  • Major thumb sucker ๐Ÿ‘
  • Still enjoys family walks if weather is nice โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒž
  • Blows raspberries, chatty and mimics you ๐Ÿ’‹
  • Loves standing and dancing with Daddy ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป
  • Rolling a little from tummy to back and back to side ๐Ÿ™Œ
  • Fights her sleep hard but sleeps at least 7 hours if not more every night ๐Ÿ˜ด
  • loves to wake up and eat then have her morning nap ๐Ÿผ
  • Found her toes and pulls her socks off ๐Ÿงฆ๐Ÿ‘ฃ
  • Now likes her binky if she is extra tired ๐Ÿ’—
  • Likes to play in her walker and jumperoo ๐Ÿต
  • Plays with her toys & light up ball ๐Ÿšจ
  • Loves her Sophie giraffe teether toy, it goes everywhere with her ๐Ÿฆ’
  • Playing with her kitties &ย getting head kisses from her little fur brother PJ ๐Ÿ˜ป
  • Loves to be called beautiful or pretty and I love you, she will smile like crazy ๐Ÿ˜
  • Umbilical hernia is completely gone ๐Ÿ™
  • Fitting snug in 0-3 month clothes and perfect in 3-6 month ๐Ÿ˜ซ
  • We have too much fun playing dress up but her Dad doesnโ€™t like all of her bows ๐Ÿ™„๐ŸŽ€
  • Lilli loves her ducks! ๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ’›

Lilliann loves to be outside especially staying active with her Daddy! He helps get all of her energy out, so she sleeps well for us at night. It was nice to enjoy the outdoors as a family since the weather WAS cooperating! We arenโ€™t looking forward to the cold months ahead where we will stay isolated at home away from all of the germs that come along with the season! ๐ŸŒงโ˜ƒ๏ธโ„๏ธ

As Lilli gets older the less she looks like her dads twin and more of a perfect mix of the two of us! She is just beyond perfect for all the odds that weโ€™re against her. She exceeds our expectations day after day. I may be biased but she is the cutest, smartest, happiest baby Iโ€™ve ever met. I love that she isnโ€™t as needy as we were warned preemies could be. Sheโ€™s truly a miracle baby! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘ผ

(Lilli compared to Momma & Daddy, Lilli and I were wearing the same knitted outfit 27 years apart)

We had a fun Halloween and look forward to eating our little hearts out for Thanksgiving! (Our favorite holiday) Canโ€™t wait to feed Lilli mashed potatoes for the first time! We also have a lot to be thankful for this year! ๐Ÿ’•

Happy October!

Happy 5 Months to our Warrior princess! She’s reaching milestones for her adjusted age which is 2 months. She’s smiling all the time and giggles at you if she finds you really funny (like when mom and dad dance or make weird noises, which she likes to imitate.) She is scooting (you place her vertically and she makes her way horizontally) and loves playing with her toys and swing. Lilli is getting into that really fun stage which is nice since it’s felt like we’ve been in a forever newborn stage. She’s growing like a weed!!! She is growing out of her newborn clothes quickly and is wearing size 1 diapers! She loves to eat what more can we say?! ๐Ÿ˜‚ย We love this time of year and Lilli will be a cute skeleton for her first Halloween! โ˜ ๏ธ๐ŸŽƒ

Lilli’s 5 month update

  • Smiles & giggles ๐Ÿ˜
  • Starting to drool a lot ๐Ÿคค
  • Loves to eat ๐Ÿ˜‹
  • Still loves car rides (mostly daddy’sย car) ๐Ÿš™
  • Loves family walks outside ๐ŸŒฒ
  • Loves music ๐ŸŽถ
  • Eating her hands ๐Ÿค™
  • Hates her pacifier โŒ
  • Hates getting woken up by her kitties ๐Ÿ˜พ
  • Hates getting boogers removed (so does Daddy) ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • She is imitating noises ๐Ÿ‘‚
  • Loves her swing โค๏ธ
  • Loves to be held ๐Ÿค—
  • Sleeping most of the night (for now) ๐ŸŒš
  • Follows you and her toys with her eyes ๐Ÿ‘€
  • Loves to play with her piano mat & kick ๐ŸŽน
  • Holds head high especially in her bumbo chair ๐Ÿ’ช

E5A69443-AC6B-45E1-B4B6-91585943F07B

The pediatrician gave us the ok to start introducing food flavors to her. Like tastes of avocado and other veggies! I can’t wait for thanksgiving this year to give her mashed potatoes! We already have most of her holiday outfits purchased and can’t wait to put her in them! We got her newborn photo shoot pictures back from our photographer and they turned out great! Since we didn’t get a maternity shoot we had to go all out for her newborn pics!

(Lilli was only 5 1/2 lbs here & technically 2 weeks old)

Lilli recently had a few big appointments last month and has one more eye exam here locally thank goodness there’s a pediatric opthamologist in town so we don’t have to make another Portland trip to OHSU. We went to her nephrology appointment already up there and everything went great! Lilli no longer needs to be on blood pressure medication (cut off cold turkey!) She will only need one follow up BP check in a few months (they are coming to us thankfully.) The reason she had BP issues to begin with is honestly shocking! We met with a specialist who only deals with this specific problem in babies and he’s the best in the world at it! Apparently it’s caused by the plastic fillers or plasticizers they use in medical equipment to make the plastics soft, things like IV bags, nasal cannulas, etc. These poor little babies systems can’t process the chemicals which then leads to BP issues. Once they are away from the medical devices and hit 20 weeks they tend to outgrow the issues thank goodness Lilli did just that! It’s so sad to think that some of these tiny babies have to deal with stuff like this when they already battle so much! Europe banned these plasticizers in 2004. Get with the program America!!! There was a giant spike in the late 80’s-90’s of these BP issues in preemies and they finally found the culprit recently and are hoping to phase out of the use of such plastics! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ™Were praying Lilliann has no long term issues with it! Here’s an article if you’re curious about it more.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296504.php

(We celebrated by pigging out at the Cheesecake Factory!) ๐Ÿ˜‹

Lilliann also recently had her 4 month exam and vaccines and we were so shocked at how much she weighs now! We both thought for sure she would be in the 8lb range…NOPE…WRONG! She weighed 9 pounds and 2 ounces! ๐Ÿ’ช She is probably pushing 10lbs by now since that appointment was over 2 weeks ago! Lilli is in the 50th percentile for her combined weight and height and her pediatrician is so pleased with her progress! She will have her 6 month appointment in November and will get updated lab work done and will receive her 6 month vaccines including the flu shot and RSV antibodies called Synergix. The vaccine cocktail makes me nervous so we may split them up monthly. Poor Lilliann had her first fever and ER visit after her 4 month shots. Her fever spiked over 103 degrees (she was burning up pretty rapidly) and was having issues breathing so we were advised to get her evaluated. After a few doses of Tylenol she was golden! ๐Ÿ™ Thank goodness! Her little body got 4 month shots when she was technically only 6 weeks old. It was a lot for her system to handle! Her shots were way worse than the blood draw they did at OHSU. She’s such a champion! We are so proud of our little HERo!

Lilliann is sleeping better and better each night which is amazing! Her Dad helps a lot by keeping her awake and active during the day! So round of applause for Daddy Garry! She loves him so much! They have a special bond! When she fusses he just has to pick her up and she falls fast asleep in his arms! They are so cute to watch together! Really melts my heart into a little puddle! We are so blessed to have such a caring, loving and helpful man in our lives! Our world would be so lost without him! We recently celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary! It was low key which is just what we wanted after our crazy year! ๐Ÿ˜œย We watched movies as a family and ate home made enchiladas! ๐ŸŒฏ I’ll try and update this blog monthly! ๐Ÿ’• Until next time! โœŒ๏ธ

Video of Lilli smiling ๐Ÿ˜

There’s No Place Like HOME

Happy NICU awareness month! ๐Ÿ’œ I never once pictured myself being a NICU Mom, granted I don’t think any parent expects or wants their little one to be a NICU baby but I’m thankful it’s there helping keep these precious lives safe! It takes so much patience, energy and faith to survive that NICU journey, for some it’s short for others it’s long and for whatever reason it instantly bonds some families who have been through it and can relate. Thankfully our miracle graduated from the NICU and came HOME where other angel babies aren’t so lucky! ๐Ÿ‘ผ So I now make an effort to pray for families going through the rollercoaster of a NICU stay.
I’ve been slacking on posting updates but there really isn’t much to update on our warrior princess (no news is good news) other than the fact she is growing amazingly and is thriving! Lilli is 4 months old now & 6 weeks adjusted! At our last lactation appointment 3 weeks ago Lilli was 6lbs 12 oz! We know for sure she’s well over 7 lbs by now! The lactation nurse was so proud of us and amazed how healthy Lilli looks for being a micro preemie. We can’t wait to see how much she weighs at her next doctor appointment in a a little over a week! Not looking forward to her 4 month shots but she will be fine! She’s a trooper! That’s the least she’s had to endure in her short life so far. We’ve been home for well over a month now and she’s happy, healthy and ALIVE! It was so much easier to keep up this blog and with her progress when we spent so much time in her hospital room but since we’re home and I’m officially back to work there is no time to write when all my spare time is soaking up all of the baby snuggles I get before and after my shifts! Thankfully for now she gets to stay home with her daddy which makes me days at work easier with daily updates from him. It’s so nice not having to go to the hospital daily to see our daughter. Now we just love on her constantly each and everyday, during every waking (sometimes sleeping) moment! I’m writing this as she sleeps on my chest. Lilli loves to pretty much always be held, we can’t blame her though when she had spent 75 days in a place where she was almost isolated all the time. She loves being home and has officially started smiling at us and giggling in her sleep! She’s such a miracle! Lilliann is eating 4oz at each feed which is amazing since she barely was eating an ounce when we first brought her home! Our chunky monkey loves her food! We comfort nurse (without shield) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ช when she’s done eating her bottle of my pumped milk to get her sleepy. It really doesn’t bother me that she never got her full feeds from me since I know she was getting my milk in other easier ways for her. ๐Ÿ˜ No shaming on a well fed baby, we still have a good bond!

IMG_1794

We received a statement from our insurance about Lilli’s bill during her hospital NICU stay! Let’s just say she is our almost million dollar miracle baby and worth more than any house we could ever afford! Holy moly is intensive care expensive but worth it! I’m in the wrong career apparently! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚ We are thankful Lilliann qualified for assistance to help us during her hospital stay so hopefully we won’t have to pay much out of our pockets since she met the mark by a few hundred grams weight wise! Pays to be small I guess! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
My hospital stay wasn’t very cheap either! It’s expensive to stay alive and bring a little human into the world! ๐Ÿ™„

Lilli makes so many sounds and chats all the time! Gives high pitch squeals when she wants your attention and she grunts a lot and sounds like a goat, a “Lilli goat” get it?!? ๐Ÿ˜ She has long arms like her Dad and long legs like her Mom! So curious how she will grow into everything!
Lilliann is fitting in all newborn clothes and we are having to retire all of her preemie outfits! She is even fitting into some 3 month clothes! Which I honestly can’t believe, time seriously flys! Lilli’s umbilical hernia is healing well and hopefully will be gone in the next few months! ๐Ÿ™๐ŸคžThis month we have to take a trip to OHSU nephrology in Portland to make sure Lilli has no underlying issues (kidneys) with her elevated blood pressure and other lab work that didn’t seem perfect from her newborn screen. I’m sure all will be well since she really is overall healthy! Most things they question at first these little humans typically grow out of. So keep us in your thoughts and prayers for our next adventure. ๐Ÿ’— Also happy first duck football game of the season! Can’t believe it’s that time of year already! I love this town during football season! Until next time! โœŒ๏ธ GO DUCKS!

๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ’›

3mo=1wk

Guess who is 3 months old now?!? (As of yesterday!) Lilli is still a tiny little peanut weighing in over 5lbs 11oz (checked late last week, she’s gaining close to an ounce a day!) Lilliann is still in preemie clothes and diapers, newborn sizes are still a little baggy! Crazy to think that right? How is a 3 month old not even in newborn sizes yet?! At this rate she won’t fit into her 6 month clothes probably until she’s a year old! ๐Ÿ˜‚ No but really we are enjoying her petite little size a lot! Easier on our backs! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Having a preemie is crazy because you have the actual age which is 3 months but her adjusted age is 1 week old! Always have to remember that as she reaches certain milestones later than other babies her age. She’s still a little too small for her bouncer and swing and doesn’t really like them yet, she would rather be held. Lilli is certainly tiny but mighty! She is so very strong! She can get out of any swaddle, velcro and zippers you name it! We call her Houdini or should we say Loudini! ๐Ÿ™„She always needs to have at least one arm out to be comfortable. She’s a wiggle worm big time! ๐Ÿ’ช

IMG_1214

We are all doing well keeping her on the NICU 3 hour schedule, diaper change, feed then sleep! She occasionally wakes up early since she’s a growing hangry baby sometimes! Garry and I try our best to take “shifts” every 6 hours or so that way we can get a good block of sleep. Sleep is so important for your sanity!!! We’re a pretty good team I’d say! Exhaustion is no joke. There has been a rare time I thought about wanting to take her back to the NICU to get some good sleep.ย ๐Ÿ˜ We do miss the nurses during the night and they have a strict return policy one nurse told us as we were leaving the NICU with Lilliย ๐Ÿ˜‚ I have no idea how single parents or how people with multiple kids do it! That’s impressive! We occasionally are getting help from family with rest and food! Which is so important to survive the newborn stage! We are pretty much handling everything very independently. We are enjoying this private time as a new family of 3 (actually 5 if you include the cats!) as much as possible and adjust before I go back to work in a few weeks! Surprisingly we are used to no monitors now. Thought we would have a harder time, we’re not even using her motion monitor right now and are fully focusing on her. You could say we have been watching her like a hawk! ๐Ÿฆ…๐Ÿ‘€

3F1E3F36-E11E-4368-BB7C-A49589C5DD97

All of her appointments she’s had since being discharged have been smooth for the most part! Lilli has checked out well with the pediatrician and lactation. We had a newborn photo shoot done a few days ago which was a lot of fun, can’t wait to share them eventually! She was surprisingly wide awake for most of it! Lilli also passed her hearing exam! Wahoo!!! She had an eye exam that was pretty traumatizing for all of us! She’s had them before but we stayed clear from the NICU while she had them previously. This one we couldn’t avoid so we got to see it all up close and personal! They basically use a metal tool to pry her eyes open and then use a long q-tip to roll her eye balls all around to make sure the retina is still attached, which hers are and her eyes are also looking mature and we won’t have to get a follow up for a few more months. Seeing her in discomfort and not being able to do anything to help her was seriously heartbreaking! Tears were shed by all of us!ย We have some busy upcoming months coming our way! We have 2 Portland trips to OHSU in September and October! That should be a crazy little family adventure! Thank goodness she loves car rides and her car seat! I think the sound of her dads motor is soothing like a kitten purring! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜ป
We are also starting to meet with a early childhood intervention specialist to track her progress and milestones twice a month! If time didn’t already fly by it especially will now that we’re staying so busy! The specialist mentioned how calm and natural Garry is with little Lilli! It warms my heart to see other people notice what I have all along. He’s such a good Daddy! It’s so cute! He never missed a visit and saved every single day pass to the hospital since I was admitted up to day 75 in the NICU and put them all in a little book with notes on them. I just love this man to pieces! ๐Ÿ˜ So glad Lilli already has a good man in her life who takes good care of her! (She never needs to date after all) ๐Ÿ˜‰ Makes me feel so much better about going back to work knowing she’s in his capable hands! She loves her Dada! ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’œ

IMG_1191

Lilli is a pretty easy baby! Thank goodness! She really only cries when she’s hungry, dirty and wants to be held. Can’t complain about that one! Lilli hates vitamins (they are gross I don’t blame her) but loves her blood pressure meds and loves bath time! She likes to watch tv and yells at us when we’re in the way of her view! ๐Ÿ˜‚ย Lilliann makes so many noises and it sometimes sounds like she laughs at just the appropriate times, we can already tell she has quite the personality! ๐Ÿ‘ Another favorite of Lilli’s is being outside.ย We’ve taken many family walks outdoors so far and they are the best! We feel so complete being able to finally do that! There will be plenty more in our future! ๐Ÿ’—

9CB33727-5F94-485A-9503-E0DAFC79276E

Home Sweet Home

There is truly no place like home!ย After 75 days our baby girl Lilliann got to come home and make our family complete! She will get constant snuggles and attention. We will cherish every kiss, hug and cuddle for the rest of our lives! It’s been a long time coming, a rewarding and frustrating road we will never forget. We will never take this journey for granted and will truly miss all of the staff in the NICU that cared so much for Lilli and taught us newbie parents a ton! We are looking forward to the NICU reunion next month! It was very bitter sweet leaving the NICU. It’s like we’re removing a security blanket, we are going to face the toughest challenge of our lives by caring for our baby girl 24/7. There is so much to look forward to in our future and what a special time to finally privately bond with our daughter. The journey has made me a stronger woman/Mom and has made my love grow endless. We will look back one day and realize how fast it all really went by.

 

We are so glad we do not have to wash up for minutes and fight over sinks with people, people didn’t realize there were two sinks outside of the NICU. One for the north bank and one for the south bank and they would always use ours (which seemed to be out of soap often) when they were a ways down the hall… People have no respect or common sense! We reached our breaking point a time or two. Little things would get on our nerves like awkward elevator rides and lack of communication sometimes.

Things We’ll Miss
-Some Nurses
-Doctors & daily checks/updates/questions
-Fresh amazing ice & water for my hydroflask

Things we won’t miss
-driving to the hospital everyday
-checking in daily/washing up
-starving ourselves for food for longer snuggles
-hospital alarms, codes and trauma alerts

We felt like kids on Christmas, waiting allย morning Sunday for the neonatologists to call and say it’s time to discharge and finally take Lilliann home! It felt like waiting on parents to say it’s ok to open your presents now! We have to be cautious and not expose her to too much to fast, it’s already going to be a culture shock for her. I am so thankful to be off of work currently and blessed to be able to do so right now, I will go back to work in a few weeks, once we’re settled. She does amazing in her car seat and on car rides and had a great check up with her amazing pediatrician! She gave us major kudos on how well Lilli is doing! Lilliann is the champ though! Gaining weight wonderfully which most newborns will lose weight when they first come home, not her she loves to eat! She’s gonna be our chunky monkey! We have a bath/scale at home to keep track of her weight progress too!

9F95C128-0DF8-4B46-87A4-406B142BC475(Baby rolls and double chin!) ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’•

We are soaking up everything, every moment! There’s so much to get used to, first being the lack of sleep, she’s worth it but no matter how much you prepare for it you will never be. Parents are true super heros in my eyes! It’s been overall quiet and just hearing constant baby sounds with no monitors is an adjustment too but I love hearing all of her coos and baby babble. She’s got some serious lung power and has a great newborn cry! She even squeaks and squeals! Makes the cutest noises and Garry doesn’t get too annoyed by her cries, jokingly it reminds him of a car engine starting. She also makes a funny sound that reminds us of predator in the movie. ๐Ÿ˜‚ย She really only cries when there is good reason, for food, diaper change or snuggles! Can’t really complain! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘Œ Garry keeps asking me if we have anywhere to go daily but it’s nice saying no, We have everything we need right here! No more daily hospital trips is just as amazing as I thought it would be! We are enjoying our new life at home with our princess, even her fur siblings are liking her! Kona has been a little stand offish as expected but PJ loves her! He guards her with his life! ๐Ÿ˜ป

710548E4-8EBC-4EFA-B094-4AA97CBDB290

We will try our best to blog on her progress and updates from home. We also will be accepting visitors soon, first we just want to get fully adjusted in a semi regular routine as a new family before we bring all these lovely people into her new world. Here’s a few links to read about what we’re going through and expect from our future visitors! Please take the time to read them and as hard as it is, remember no kisses!!! โŒ๐Ÿ’‹

http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/visitors-and-visiting-after-coming-home-from-the-nicu.aspx

http://handtohold.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Were-Coming-Home-from-the-NICU-1.pdf

Remember to “Wash your hands and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere!” Our new motto and sign for home!

IMG_0939

Five Pound Wonder Child

IMG_0802

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.

564C197A-49FA-4064-920D-F8DE033AEAB8(Red headed spit fire!) ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ”ฅย โค๏ธ

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!

74785D18-E940-4D38-B47E-1B3ECE01D99D(Cute monkey feet pic her Daddy sent me at work) ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿต๐Ÿ’ค

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!ย 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. ๐Ÿ˜ป

E7B2E1F6-BD7C-4BE9-A092-D2FA364DF913

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!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’ช
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! ๐Ÿ–คย We’re all officially set and ready for her homecoming! ๐Ÿ™

28ECDEFF-1E07-4E53-A8A5-C56AB861A861(Jogging stroller/carrier combo โœŒ๏ธ)