April Showers Bring May Flowers

I always thought the phrase “April Showers Bring May flowers” was a silly one mostly because growing up I was ready for sunshine and was over the Oregon rain and didn’t want to wait for the weather to improve for a whole month! Who am I kidding nice weather doesn’t hit Oregon until July. In all seriousness the phrase now has an entirely different meaning to us because reality last year was that the April Showers and bad news clouded the month and by May our forever joy and sunshine arrived and we got our most colorful Lilli bug in early May 2017! I can’t believe a year ago I was incredibly swollen that it hurt to walk up stairs, my shoes didn’t even fit and I carried so much water weight and had sky rocketing blood pressure. I was officially diagnosed with preeclampsia admitted and lying in an ICU labor and delivery room/hospital bed being closely monitored and facing the complete unknown on if my health or the baby’s health was going to turn out ok. Well look at us almost a year later just thriving!!! Thank you Jesus and for all of the thoughts and prayers we receive! 🙏

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Lilli has been doing great this month! Other than a first little cold she got then gave to me that was way worse for me which I’m honestly glad for. Lilli had many firsts over the last month. She had her first trip to the Oregon Coast, first Easter and first trip to Costco! We are also busy preparing and prepping for her first birthday party which is this upcoming week! I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact our micro preemie miracle is so close to being a little toddler!!! Time seriously flew by, you just blink and babies are now big kids! Time is such a funny thing, as a child it seems to move slower compared to how fast it feels like it moves as a busy adult. 🤔

Lilli still isn’t walking but her early childhood intervention teacher thinks if we work diligently with Lilli she could be walking shortly, in a few weeks even. She’s standing well just has to get more steady to take her first steps alone. I mean that’s amazing considering she is technically 9 months adjusted. Early childhood intervention also mentions that once Lilli Starts to walk and talks even better she will be DNQ (does not qualify) from early childhood intervention and will be considered caught up milestone wise! Lilli is a rock star and know she is destined to do big things in her lifetime, even if she started out very small!

Garry and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary together by having our first date night out with dinner and a movie completely baby-less. It was nice to get out just the two of us but we missed Lilli. She is such a small being but a big piece of us now, couldn’t imagine life without her, we would be so incomplete! I’m so incredibly thankful and grateful she has only thrived with no real set backs since making her appearance almost a year ago. I’m proud of ourselves for reaching our own milestones of a decade together and surviving the first year with a new baby. That first year with a baby especially a micro preemie like in our situation will either make you or break you as a couple. You literally only have each other to relate to and you have to leave your hope and faith in the Lord and doctors and nurses and losing control of that first time protection with a tiny preemie newborn is so hard! We did it! It wasn’t easy and I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy. I’m pretty sure I have many grey hairs now going through this journey so far! & What a joy it’s been to watch her journey unfold! 💞

Lilli’s 11 Month Update

  • Has 4 teeth (2 top front and 2 bottom front, cutest smile ever) 😬
  • More teeth on the way! 😖
  • Sleeps all night and wakes up everyday at 7am ⏰
  • Still fits in infant car seat but near 20 lbs now 💕
  • Blows some crazy big mouth bubbles 💦
  • Sippy cup master (necessity for the car) 🥤
  • Signals when she’s hungry 😋
  • Loves shredded cheese 🧀
  • Loves peanut butter 🥜
  • Has a Potato salad obsession 🥔
  • Loves Yogurt 🥛
  • Loves her snacks 💜
  • Loves goldfish crackers 🐠
  • Loves Ranch baby puffs 💙
  • Loves rice 🍚
  • First cold virus for Mom and Baby 🤒
  • Pulls herself up to stand from sitting 💪
  • Can stand up on her own without help for a good period of time 🚶‍♀️
  • Waves like a princess 👋👑
  • Working on clapping but she will clap on your hand 👏
  • Climbs daddy, mommy, grandma mountain ⛰
  • Makes kissing sounds with mouth 💋
  • Says Mama, dada, baby, yeah, yum almost says uh oh (says mama non stop) 🗣
  • Crawling better and better 🚼
  • Crawls all over you and the bed/pack n play aka pig pen 🐷
  • Plays with moms belly button ring 💍
  • Takes steps well for long distance with help 🏃‍♀️
  • Played with pots and pans for the first time 🍳
  • Does the zombie baby trick her dada taught (Video posted below) 🧟‍♀️
  • Demands to eat what you have 🤤
  • Loves ripping up grass 🌾
  • Loves Tearing things off the fridge 🤦‍♀️
  • Loves watching family feud 📺
  • Watched Moana for the first time 🌊
  • Sits straight up when she wakes up 😳
  • Throws things for you to pick up 🤽‍♀️
  • Loves putting things she isn’t supposed to in her mouth like phone charger cables 📲
  • Took first trip to Costco loved looking up at the big fans on the ceiling 🏦
  • Unbuckles her self from her bouncer and chair 😱
  • Plays the where’s Lilli game with her blanket the best 🙈
  • Tried a cupcake and wasn’t a fan 🍰
  • Ticklish on her neck, back and back of thighs, mostly on left side 🤗
  • Sticks her tongue out at you 😛
  • Tugs at your pants when in walker ✋
  • Kicks her feet when she 💩
  • She thinks it’s hilarious when you snort 🐽
  • She is a dare devil and is standing up on everything 😈
  • Gives the best saddest pouty lip 👄
  • Thinks it’s funny when you blow your nose 👃
  • Being held is still her favorite ❤️

 

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Groundhogs Day! 🦔

February has come and gone along with the time once again! This time last year we found out we were having a bouncing baby girl! Blink your eye and a year just flies! Our lives are finally pretty normal for once! Which is nice after the year we’ve had! There hasn’t been much excitement this month which is fine with us! No news is good news! Still counting our blessings each and every day! So thankful Lilli has stayed and continues to stay so healthy! 🙏 We’ve just kept on with our routine, doing our own daily Groundhog Day thing. Same ol’ thing day after day! The Willamette Valley did get it’s first snow of the winter season! After having what felt like early spring weather the few weeks before (Thanks little groundhog). Oregon is just a bi-polar weather state. Wait 5 minutes and it changes again. So unpredictable! Lilli got to experience (eat and squish) the snow briefly for her first time! ❄️☃️

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Lilli loves her fur siblings and they truly love her! Pj is always trying to give her kisses (or eat her leftovers) and Kona is always sniffing her out 😂 Mostly Kona stands guard protecting Lilli like a gargoyle. Pj likes to borrow and play with Lilli’s toys. Lilli is very gentle most of the time with furry critters. Loves to pet them and get ticklish kisses. 😘 Garry is such a trooper watching and caring for Lilli and the cats day in and out! He does a great job with little complaints. He’s a rockstar Dad for sure! Being a stay at home parent is one of the hardest and underpaid jobs that ever existed! I feel so blessed one of us at least gets to be home with her during this crucial growing stage of life. 💙 Plus the constant updates and pictures/video help me get through my long hours at work. 👌

Lilliann had a wonderful 9 month wellness check up with with her amazing pediatrician. Her pediatrician loves how social and calm Lilli is. She is advanced with her social skills. Lillis iron levels also are great. Lilli is tall and skinny she’s still in the 2 percentile for her height and head circumference for her actual age. If we went off her adjusted age charts she would be in the 65 percentile for everything (weight, height, head) Lilli weighs over 14lbs (14.4, she’s gained 6oz in less then 2 weeks) and is 25.5 inches long with a 17 inch head. She’s our petite little string bean! Her size charts are incredible to look at. Her progress graph since birth to now just sky rockets! So amazing! I forgot to ask a question during our appointment and her pediatrician gave me her email a while back and I wrote her one and got a response very quickly. We are very happy with our choice with Lilli’s doctor! Our monthly early intervention educator is also always so impressed with how well Lilli is doing and does and says how blessed/lucky we are that she is doing so well from what she’s seen with preemies in her career and that Lilli is lucky to have us as parents, means a lot since she’s seen a lot over the years. Really makes us feel even more blessed than we already are. Lilli isn’t showing much delay as far as her development goes. We have a follow up appointment next month with our local child development research center at the university in town for OHSU. Last time she went she was 22 weeks old (10 adjusted) and was doing things 20 week old babies should be doing with their fine motor skills which is AMAZING for a micro preemie! Hopefully the up coming visit is just as smooth. Lilli is always so observant of her surroundings and is always studying everyone and everything. She’s so incredibly smart! You can’t trick this baby with anything. You can’t hide anything from her. If you put a toy in front of her to crawl to she will pull the blanket towards her to get it. 🤯 It’s so cute, there’s a family caricature drawing at my Moms house, Lilli always point and stares at the image of Garry and I. Lilli is now extremely active! She gets up and off of things easily and is moving all over and can’t ever be left alone! She gets into trouble too easily! 😉 Lilli is the light of our lives and our world would be so dark without her! 💕 She is growing quick and since she was born has and will continue to keep us on our toes. 💜 We have an almost 10 month old (7mo adjusted)! 😲 WE CANNOT BELIEVE THAT! 😱

 

Lilli’s 9 month update

  • Gives high fives 🖐
  • Got her first tooth (bottom) 😬
  • Working on waving 👋
  • Working on words 🆒
  • Makes engine noises while going for rides in the car 🚘
  • Starting to crawl (mostly backwards) 🚼
  • Opens mouth for kisses 💋
  • Throws toys hard 🤽‍♀️
  • Walks all over in her walker 🏃‍♀️
  • Loves eggs 🍳
  • Tried lemons 🍋
  • Loves pickles & peas 🥒
  • Sweet tooth monster (like her Dad) 🍭
  • Also likes salty and savory (like her Mom) 🍿
  • Squeals, loves her baby remote, also steals your phone 📱
  • Talks going to sleep and waking up 🗣
  • Sitting up pretty well on her own 💛
  • Pulls her self up to sit up, she’s tiny but mighty 💪
  • Raspberry blowing machine 😜
  • Thinks it’s funny to pant like a dog 👅
  • Professional cat napper 😴
  • Sits still getting her nails trimmed ✂️
  • Loves having the bathtub faucet run on her toes 🛁
  • Poops while jumping in her jumperoo 💩 it’s like her toilet 🚽
  • Loves to eat her baby snacks (mum mums, puffs) 🤤
  • Drinks water well from her sippy cup 🥤
  • Doesnt mind getting her hands dirty 🤲 (Mom does so they get cleaned often)
  • Always playing with her toes 👣
  • Still a major thumb sucker 👍
  • Very sweaty baby 😓
  • Hates blankets pushes them off ❌
    (Runs warm like her dad)
  • Loves watching disney & nick junior on tv 📺
  • Still sleeping through the night, takes 2-3 naps a day max (short naps, less than an hour, she’s got FOMO 😂)
  • Loves her family and jumping on laps 💞
  • Loves all animals ❤️
  • Such a good snuggler 🤗
  • Loves to “fly” in the air 🚀
  • Loves her furry monster friend toy we’ve named Melvin 💜
  • Always quiet as a mouse in public 🐭
  • Obsessed with sweatshirt strings 🧥
  • Starting to love story time 📚 (especially 5 little monkeys 🐒 jumping on the bed)
  • Has the best smile & laugh 😁
  • Loves tummy time 😍
  • Hates being hungry or having the slightest wet diaper 👎
  • Wiggle and kicking monster 🥋
  • Very ticklish from her Dads facial hair 🧔
  • Shakes when she gets excited 😂
  • Takes her hats off all the time 👑
  • Hates wearing shoes, takes them to chew on 👟
  • Strong noggin 🤦‍♀️
  • Stands with help/support 🚶‍♀️
  • Eats anything and everything great with help & spoon 🥄
  • Tried chocolate ice cream 🍨
  • Obsessed with sparkle and jewelry 💍 (like her Momma)
  • Loves putting anything metal in her mouth 🔗
  • Social butterfly, hardly ever cries 😍
  • Steals the hearts of everyone 💖

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! 👨‍👩‍👧💞
December was a very busy month for us just like so many others, so it’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 (Lilli’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, it’s so special to me I hold each memory close to my heart… We’ve gone every year since I was 3 years old. It’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! 🤗 We had a low key new year. We are kind of in isolation mode since it’s been a really bad flu/RSV season so far nationally. The less we’re exposed to people the better right now for Lilli’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 I’m working, I can’t even begin to tell you how much tamiflu my pharmacy has dispensed. 😷 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! She’s a trooper and is handling vaccines better and better each time! 💪

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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! She’s such a miracle and blessing added to our lives! We can’t imagine life without Lilli in it! ❤️

-How preemie Mothers are chosen 👇💕

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! She’s our tiny but mighty warrior princess! She’s solid, long and skinny (just like her daddy.) Most babies weigh that months ago so of course it’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 isn’t far off of doing any of those things she’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 wouldn’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! 👑

Lilli’s 8 month update

  • Belly laughs hard core 😂
  • Teething galore 🤤
  • Ready to pop some teeth 😬
  • Wearing size 3 diapers 💪
  • Very ticklish, especially her feet 👣
  • Likes belly raspberries 😝
  • Sucks her toes 🤢
  • Easiest & Happiest Baby I’ve met 💕
  • Yet has the most heartbreaking pouty lip 😫
  • Very expressive with her many faces and noises 😜
  • Growls and squeals very loud at you 🙉
  • Still a major thumb sucker usually when tired 👍
  • Likes to pull her socks off 🧦
  • Bath nights are her favorite 🛁
  • Plays hard and Fights sleep even harder 🙄
  • Grabs your shirt and pulls you in to snuggle close 😍
  • Needs her thumb and blanket like Linus from Charlie Brown ❤️
  • Still rubs her eyes all cute when tired 💤
  • Likes to “shake her butt” 💃🏻
  • Sings to you with the radio in the car 🎤🎶
  • Still sleeps all through the night (10:30pm-7am or later most nights) 😴🙌
  • Loves her morning bottle and long nap right after 🍼
  • Loves to hold your hand 🤚
  • During the day still eats about every 3 hours 😋
  • Takes short tiger snoozes during the day 🐯
  • Blows serious raspberries at you especially changing her once she has gone number ✌️💩
  • Kicks her feet when she needs a diaper change 🥋
  • Starting to sit up all by herself 💜
  • No more baby swing now in a big girl chair 💺
  • Rolling & ready to crawl 🤗
  • Scooting galore, scooter power! 👌
  • Likes to kick and slide off her chair 😱
  • Loves animals, they make her smile and giggle the most 😻
  • Likes to pet (and kick) her kitties 🐱
  • Always touching your face ✋
  • Loves to watch Sesame Street on TV 📺
  • Cookie Monster is her favorite 🍪
  • Likes to have water in her sippy cup 🥤
  • Likes the remote and daddy’s Xbox controller 🎮
  • Always grabbing at your food and drink 🍕
  • Jumps like a maniac in her jumperoo especially if you say “bounce bounce” 🐸
  • PJ kitty is her homie and Kona kitty is finely warming up to Lilli 😺
  • Loves eating sweets like peaches 🍑 (Her daddy let her try a tiny bit of some whip cream from his milk shake) 🍦

 

 

Half A Year

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It feels like just yesterday that Lilliann was born but also feels like an eternity since she spent time in the NICU. She’s meant to be home and that’s where she is happiest! It’s been 6 whole months since she blessed earth with her presence and the world is a brighter place because of it. We couldn’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 she’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 “Rugrats” has a preemie baby by the name of Tommy Pickles on it.

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

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I’ll be trying to post an update on a monthly basis. October was a busy month! With Work, Halloween, appointments and lots of snuggling! We’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…

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When you start feeding real food and oh boy do baby’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 won’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 Lilli’s development so far! 🙏  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 won’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 it’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. We’re hoping they can split up her shots so she doesn’t receive such a heavy “cocktail” at once, since last time resulted in a high fever and an ER visit so we will see what her pediatrician suggests. 👩‍⚕️🤔

Lilli’s 6 month update

  • Giggling harder 😂
  • Blue eyed red head cutie 💙❤️
  • Still drooling a lot 🤤
  • Growing into size 2 diapers 💪
  • Loves to eat new things 😋
  • Major thumb sucker 👍
  • Still enjoys family walks if weather is nice ☀️🌞
  • Blows raspberries, chatty and mimics you 💋
  • Loves standing and dancing with Daddy 💃🏻
  • Rolling a little from tummy to back and back to side 🙌
  • Fights her sleep hard but sleeps at least 7 hours if not more every night 😴
  • loves to wake up and eat then have her morning nap 🍼
  • Found her toes and pulls her socks off 🧦👣
  • Now likes her binky if she is extra tired 💗
  • Likes to play in her walker and jumperoo 🐵
  • Plays with her toys & light up ball 🚨
  • Loves her Sophie giraffe teether toy, it goes everywhere with her 🦒
  • Playing with her kitties & getting head kisses from her little fur brother PJ 😻
  • Loves to be called beautiful or pretty and I love you, she will smile like crazy 😍
  • Umbilical hernia is completely gone 🙏
  • Fitting snug in 0-3 month clothes and perfect in 3-6 month 😫
  • We have too much fun playing dress up but her Dad doesn’t like all of her bows 🙄🎀
  • Lilli loves her ducks! 🦆💚🏈💛

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 aren’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! 🌧☃️❄️

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 we’re against her. She exceeds our expectations day after day. I may be biased but she is the cutest, smartest, happiest baby I’ve ever met. I love that she isn’t as needy as we were warned preemies could be. She’s truly a miracle baby! 🙏👼

(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) Can’t wait to feed Lilli mashed potatoes for the first time! We also have a lot to be thankful for this year! 💕

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?! 😂 We love this time of year and Lilli will be a cute skeleton for her first Halloween! ☠️🎃

Lilli’s 5 month update

  • Smiles & giggles 😁
  • Starting to drool a lot 🤤
  • Loves to eat 😋
  • Still loves car rides (mostly daddy’s car) 🚙
  • Loves family walks outside 🌲
  • Loves music 🎶
  • Eating her hands 🤙
  • Hates her pacifier ❌
  • Hates getting woken up by her kitties 😾
  • Hates getting boogers removed (so does Daddy) 😂
  • She is imitating noises 👂
  • Loves her swing ❤️
  • Loves to be held 🤗
  • Sleeping most of the night (for now) 🌚
  • Follows you and her toys with her eyes 👀
  • Loves to play with her piano mat & kick 🎹
  • Holds head high especially in her bumbo chair 💪

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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! 🤞🙏Were praying Lilliann has no long term issues with it! Here’s an article if you’re curious about it more.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/11/13/363734004/preemies-may-be-exposed-to-high-levels-of-phthalates-in-the-nicu
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296504.php

 

 

(We celebrated by pigging out at the Cheesecake Factory!) 😋

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! 💪 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! 🙏 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! 😜 We watched movies as a family and ate home made enchiladas! 🌯 I’ll try and update this blog monthly! 💕 Until next time! ✌️

Video of Lilli smiling 😍

There’s No Place Like HOME

Happy NICU awareness month! 💜 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! 👼 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) 👍💪 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. 😍 No shaming on a well fed baby, we still have a good bond!

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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! 😉😂 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! 🤷‍♀️
My hospital stay wasn’t very cheap either! It’s expensive to stay alive and bring a little human into the world! 🙄

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?!? 😝 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! 🙏🤞This 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. 💗 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! ✌️ GO DUCKS!

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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! 😂 No but really we are enjoying her petite little size a lot! Easier on our backs! 😉 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! 🙄She always needs to have at least one arm out to be comfortable. She’s a wiggle worm big time! 💪

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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. 😝 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 Lilli 😂 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! 🦅👀

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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! 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! 😉👌😻
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! 😍 So glad Lilli already has a good man in her life who takes good care of her! (She never needs to date after all) 😉 Makes me feel so much better about going back to work knowing she’s in his capable hands! She loves her Dada! 💞🤗💜

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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! 😂 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! 👍 Another favorite of Lilli’s is being outside. 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! 💗

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