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! πŸ˜‚ No but really we are enjoying her petite little size a lot! Easier on our backs! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ™„She always needs to have at least one arm out to be comfortable. She’s a wiggle worm big time! πŸ’ͺ

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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 LilliΒ πŸ˜‚ 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! πŸ¦…πŸ‘€

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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!Β 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! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜»
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) πŸ˜‰ Makes me feel so much better about going back to work knowing she’s in his capable hands! She loves her Dada! πŸ’žπŸ€—πŸ’œ

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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! πŸ˜‚Β 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! πŸ‘ Another favorite of Lilli’s is being outside.Β 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! πŸ’—

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Home Sweet Home

There is truly no place like home!Β 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 allΒ 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!) πŸ’ͺπŸ˜πŸ’•

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. πŸ˜‚Β She really only cries when there is good reason, for food, diaper change or snuggles! Can’t really complain! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘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! 😻

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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!!! βŒπŸ’‹

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!

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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.

564C197A-49FA-4064-920D-F8DE033AEAB8(Red headed spit fire!) πŸ’‹πŸ˜πŸ”₯ ❀️

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) πŸ’–πŸ΅πŸ’€

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!Β 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!Β πŸ˜‰πŸ’ͺ
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! πŸ–€Β We’re all officially set and ready for her homecoming! πŸ™

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

Movin’ On Up In The World

Silly Lilli is always so animated and expressive! We just love that little lady sooooo much! She is seriously the light of our lives! She is great at funny face pictures already…

IMG_0525hmmm wonder where Lilli got it from?Β πŸ€”πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ

Lilliann is still doing awesome without herΒ morning caffeine and breathing well on her own without the help of any oxygen! Lilli is also gaining weight well and keeps getting increases with her feeding volume, and tolerating it well. She does spit up from time to time but she is a baby after all and it really isn’t affecting her weight one bit! We are so blessed that she hasn’t had any serious complications from being so small and premature! This has been quite the adventure for all of us but she is our hero and our SUPERGIRL! Nothing can stop her! She is destined for big things in her life we just know it!

1498324040009(Our SUPER baby girl!) πŸ’žπŸ’ͺπŸŽ€

I am feeling rather super human myself lately by my new daily routine! Just as everyone is done with school for the summer I’m going back to work. You get some kind of crazy motherly strength to do the things you need to, to make an easier & better life for your children.Β I wake up early to pump and get ready for work. I go to the hospital to visit Lilli and nurse her for 30-45 minutes at her 9am feed then make it to work by 10:30 where I stay all day and pump every break I get. I get off work by 7pm go home and have dinner then go back to the hospital for her 9pm feed where we nurse again! Then home to finally get some sleep, if I can and repeat it all the next day for the whole week. My patience has been tested time and time again but I’m making it through just fine which is making me such a stronger person/Momma for our baby girl. I’ll get the hang of this routine and just as I get it down she will get released I’m sure! 😳 Then I’ll have more time off with her then. I am glad she has one of us parents to look after her while I go back to work for now.Β I am still using a nipple shield when I nurse her which is going well so far. She has gotten most of her feed volume through it. I’ve mentioned it before but can’t thank God enough that we live so close to the hospital/NICU, yes it still takes a lot of time to finally get up to her room but other families aren’t so lucky by living out of town or have multiple kids to care for. I couldn’t imagine not being able to see her every day! I miss Lilliann horribly most nights and honestly look forward to our middle of the night feeds when she is finally home! Right now we feel like we are just renting a baby and can’t wait to take on parenting full force! The nurses are amazing and honestly the best baby sitters while we prep for Lilli’s homecoming. We are trying to get all we can out of the way before that happens. No more lake or river days or fun for a while. Premature babies really should avoid the public for a while at first once they are home, that’s where they should stay for the most part except for doctor appointments. We want to protect her as much as possible and don’t want any germ to harm her once she is home! She is just to innocent and precious! She’s our miracle and can’t let anything knock her down! πŸ™…

IMG_0402(Prettiest little face on the planet!) 😍🌎

My 6 week post partum visit went well with my doctor I’m healing amazing and am right where I should be. My blood pressure readings have been doing just fine without blood pressure meds they are around 98/60 now where when I was in my worst stage of preeclampsia they were around 180/108+ I was close to stroking out. It’s so weird having my post partum visit already when I really would have a few more weeks before her arrival. Fastest pregnancy ever!!! I do from time to time get a little jealous/envious of other girls healthy pregnancies since mine was cut so short but then I remind myself we all come into this world the same way just in different situations. We’ve just got to know Lilli and love on her sooner than most.

When I am home watching TV I’ve noticed a commercial on tv that really gets on my nerves. It’s the commercial about smoking during pregnancy and babies in isolettes here’s the link to it…

There is almost a stigma on preemies and it’s annoying because I have NEVER tried a cigarette my whole life and there’s nothing I could have done to cause her premature birth or really prevent it from happening.
Every preemie is born because of different issues so I’m hoping to educate people on those issues so there isn’t as much judgement. Like when I tell people I have a daughter in the NICU when they ask where my daily visitor pass on my shirt is from, either they don’t know what a NICU is πŸ™„ or they look at me like I did something wrong but there are a few who are sympathetic and give their well wishes. This world is a funny place full of interesting people I tell you! πŸ˜‚Β & I am lucky enough to work with the public dispensing their medications! πŸ˜‰ My goodness have I learned a lot medically while spending time over the last 2 months in the hospital, that may even help me with my job.

E262726E-24F2-4E16-B2A7-750C6587A363(I am going to miss this snuggle bug all day! πŸ’•)

Cruising On Autopilot

Lilliann’s gestational age is officially 34 weeks now, which it’s crazy to think they wanted her to try and stay in the womb for that long! I’m glad we have got to get to know our warrior princess for over the last month instead of me being miserable stuck in a hospital bed. πŸ˜‰
Things this week have been going very smoothly for little Lilli! Just keeping her on autopilot as one doctor says. She is growing well with no major setbacks. She was borderline anemic as of last week but is doing better this week without the help of a hormone booster. She’s well over 3 pounds now. Over 3lbs 7 ounces and keeps getting her feeds increased! She’s getting 30mls at each feed now and has outgrown her nutrients and is only getting a breast milk enhancer and will be weaned off of her one and only medication which is caffeine. (Aka her morning coffee), soon! Hoping her breathing and apnea continue to improve. Her oxygen flow is also decreased down to 2 which is a big change since she was at 4 earlier this week, doctors are talking about stopping it all together and see how she does next week! She would love it! The less tubes/wires the better! Ever since her Cpap came off again last week she makes the funniest and cutest facial expressions.

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IMG_9827(So much personality already!)😜

Lilli has officially fit into preemie diapers for a while now! No more micro or macro diapers for this little lady! Garry and I have been able to successfully (without any fuss or nurses help) take her out of her isolette and put her back after each hold and manage well around the sometimes twisted cords! Each day is a step closer to going home! One nurse said last week she has about 3 more weeks left in the NICU! Which is very optimistic and makes me kind of nervous but part of me thinks it will be closer to 4+ more weeks! She needs to safely fit in her car seat! Since things are moving quickly we have a few pediatrician interviews lined up in the next couple of weeks to find the right choice for our little family! Fingers crossed we fall in love with one of the 4 doctors we have lined up! 🀞

Next week will be very busy for us with baby shower prep and tons of appointments! We will manage just fine! It’s going to be chaotic at times but totally worth it in the end since we can relax and have a fun baby shower/BBQ party with our favorite people celebrating Lilliann’s birth!

Two major things that are big in my eyes is #1 -Lilli finally gets to start wearing clothes! She has been clothed for the first time this week and oh boy is pink her color! πŸŽ€ We have some preemie outfits we got her/were gifted but have been advised to not bring anything we love since they could get lost in the wash in the NICU. We can’t wait to officially dress her up! But she may enjoy being a naked baby after all this time with just a diaper on! (If she’s anything like her Mother that will be the truth) πŸ˜‚ From the looks of her growing so nicely she won’t need preemie sizes for much longer!

D32F27B0-9EF6-4376-8BE5-6E1288FD41F3πŸ’•Β (Pretty In Pink!) πŸ’•

The Second big thing is that we have officially started practicing breast feeding! We call it nuzzle nursing for now while she gets the hang of it! I think she will pick it up officially in no time, especially now since I’ll be going in for at least 3 of her feeds to try it and see if she is getting any milk via mouth after they weigh her before and after. It’s amazing seeing such a small baby know what she’s doing already! She impresses me everyday! We are such proud parents, Lilli is truly our HERo! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘Œ Watch out Wonder Woman, you’ve got nothing on little Miss Lil! πŸ’ͺ

25B5A7D8-0D50-41FB-9986-2D8BD07E3575(Lilli still LOVES her kangaroo time!)πŸ’

Her little smile lights up our world/lives! Lilli smiles with her eyes, just like her Mama! I think she has my eyes, and hopefully inherited my long natural eye lashes! They definitely look to be growing that way and are very curly, which makes me semi jealous since mine are so straight!
Some nurses say she looks like me but I don’t see it. I see a miniature Garry when I look at her big time! She is all his and there’s no doubt about that! 😘❀️
Lilliann’s hair color is ever changing! It started out very blonde and turned strawberry. We could have a spit fire red head on our hands since it does run in our families! But now it’s getting much darker! We shall see what it turns out to be especially by week 40.

Lilli’s new friend finally was delivered and she seems to like it! We still need to give it a name! Any suggestions?!

7AE399B7-A3A8-47BD-A439-10F7421AEA95(Nameless knitted octopus friend!) πŸ’œ

My follow up appointment went well last week! I’ve been off of my blood pressure medication for officially a week now! Seems to be normal and going just fine! My weight is staying stable at 114 pounds and I like it! I was worried I would lose a ton since I pump so much but I eat a lot to compensate! I really don’t ever want to be as small as I was when we got married last year. Barely hitting 100lbs is not a good look for me and isn’t very healthy either! Healing from a C-section isn’t that bad! It was honestly very easy and not as painful as people make it out to be, maybe it’s just my high pain tolerance but I would totally do it again if I had to.
I am unfortunately running out of short term disability pay in the next few weeks. I will only have up to 12 more additional unpaid weeks of parental leave after the end of June. So basically no paid time off with Lilli when she’s officially home. Which really sucks because my short term disability runs out before her release, when most Moms have that paid time off to be with their babies at home recovering that first few weeks of life with them to bond especially. The USA is so behind in parental leave laws, it isn’t even fair, especially for a well developed/established country!Β I want to be able to spend everyday & all day with her! She’s just so dang precious! πŸ’•

IMG_9824(Smiley girl and her OG baby hat – photo cred goes to her Daddy!) πŸ’—πŸ“Έ

Meant To Be A Mother

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Happy Mother’s Day! It’s my first Mother’s Day to be exact! I didn’t think I would be officially celebrating this year being I was still supposed to be 30 weeks pregnant! My goodness can God change those plans with a snap of a finger! Being a Mom has changed me for the better! I also have a better understanding of how much my
Mother loves me and my siblings. The sacrifices we’re willing to make for our children speaks volumes! Today is special because my Mom and I are visiting with the newest princess of the family. What a special day it is! πŸ’•

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3 generations of strong women!Β πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ

I want to give my husband a giant thank you for rewarding/helping contribute by making me a Mother, my new favorite role, my new permanent job! Lilli is my hero! That baby girl is a tiny fighter and for that I admire her tremendously! She makes me recognize the finer and little things in life now! I appreciate her so much more, & I cherish every kiss and cuddle!
Lilli has many nicknames already, my favorite one I came up with is Lillar Lillar Caterpillar, since she is turning into a beautiful butterfly! She floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee, most definitely! Her daddy already wants to get her into martial arts and the art of fighting! Her Grandpa (my Dad) would love that since he is a black belt in taekwondo. I grew up watching him kick serious butt! Excited to see Lilli do the same thing! πŸ₯ŠπŸ₯‹

I went to church this morning with my Mom and her husband, her church is really a wonderfully great place! I don’t normally go and worship our faith at a formal establishment because I personally feel my own relationship with God is sacred and in a way I don’t like to follow preachings of others because I feel like it’s their relationship I’m intruding on or butting into. Call me crazy but that’s just my opinion and what I believe. Plus we haven’t found a church where we don’t feel judgment in some way shape or form. People really get turned off by all of my husbands tattoos and our piercings. I am thankful my family doesn’t mind Garry’s edgy appearance. They never have because they know his personality and know he loves me unconditionally no matter what! We have been through a lot together and have been tested many times in the game of life but we always stick by each other’s side through it all. We are inseparable and unstoppable! I was thinking how funny it would be if Lilli doesn’t like tattoos and doesn’t want them, maybe she wants pure, clear skin. We will never be those parents that tell her what she should and shouldn’t do appearance wise.
Speaking of appearance, I can’t wait to get pampered and get some major TLC on my hair aka mop! I had to cancel my appointment I had set because I was in the hospital having Lilli. I may also even schedule a massage because well I deserve it for all I’ve been through over the last month. Moms need to take time for themselves, it’s important to, so it helps make you a better person/mom overall. When you look good you feel good!πŸ‘ŒπŸ’‡πŸ˜˜

I am trying to enjoy this time off being a new Mom. It is hard though because there isn’t a whole lot I can do to care for Lilli right now as she grows on the outside in the NICU. So I’m pondering going back to work so I can be home with her when she finally gets discharged. Once I’m fully recovered of course from the C-section and preeclampsia (which the after affects terrify me, praying I don’t develop any long term issues) It would be reassuring knowing she’s safe in the NICU while I work.

Saturday-Sunday Update:
Lilli is doing great! Still increasing feeds & still gaining weight. She did have to go back up a little on her oxygen to help support her since she is still having minor episodes of apnea here and there but that’s totally expected with her size and age. That’s really all there is to report this weekend! She’s still beautiful of course and that won’t change! πŸ’•

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Here’s the angel baby herself, just a little milk drunk on some boob juice!
πŸ˜‡πŸ€—πŸ‘ΌπŸΌ

Road To Recovery

Writing this blog has been VERY therapeutic for me. My mom got Garry and I a journal to share, to jot down our thoughts and feelings through this new journey of ours. Garry has already wrote Lilliann the cutest poem! He’s such a good Dad already! I don’t have a lot of sadness regarding having a premature baby, I think because I know one day she will be coming home soon (time will fly) and until then she’s in the best hands being cared for while growing big and strong! The only emotion I’ve had to put myself in check with is agitation. Little things like loud noises get to me really easily. Maybe it’s the protective mama bear coming out, nobody better wake up my baby! πŸ˜‰ For example I wanted to rip the yard maintenance guys head off for being loud and annoying with his equipment while I was pumping, the poor guy is just doing his job I should really take a chill pill. Or the downstairs neighbor with the little yappy dog could really keep a muzzle on that thing, so unlike me since I really love animals and usually don’t care about barking. At my check up Monday after being discharged Saturday I let the midwife know of my angry emotions and she reassured me that it’s all totally normal! I was robbed of pregnancy! It’s ok to be mad! When the placenta gets removed especially unexpectedly your hormones plummet leaving you in almost a state of instant menopause while your hormones regulate. Hello hot flashes! How could the amazing life source for my baby over the last 7 months make a Momma so sick?! Dang you placenta! Overall my check up went great, my blood pressure is still pretty stable, not as low as it was before baby. I am still on 1 BP medication and hopefully can be taken off of it soon. My surgery incision is healing great and I’m back to 118lbs like I was a month before I developed preeclampsia. Talk about mostly all water weight I had! All the swelling is now magically gone. Granted I didn’t get very big but it’s nice that I escaped this pregnancy without a single stretch mark (thank you coconut oil) and getting back into shape will be easier for me, got to focus on the positives vs. negatives!

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I thought it was interesting to see these posters on the wall of the exam room at my checkΒ up appointment…

172BE881-F825-4043-90E2-E33D800D38B0.jpgI only made it through the the first poster and still had all of the second poster to look forward to! One friend of mine mentioned how cool it is that we get to watch her grow on the outside vs the mystery going on inside during that last stretch of pregnancy. Good way to look at it! We just got to meet her sooner and love on her a little bit longer! πŸ’•
If we do decide to have more children, I have a 25% chance of getting preeclampsia again and to try and prevent it, I would have to take 1 baby aspirin daily during my next pregnancy to help the blood vessels flow better. One thing my body can do is make milk! Not really slacking in the milk department. By day two I was a pumping machine! Nurses are saying that I am pumping more than most full term Moms! Thank you Jesus! At least my body isn’t failing me there! Thanks to my mama milk aka “liquid gold” that’s all she needs right now with added nutrients and a little caffeine that she would normally be stealing from me, not the caffeine part since I don’t drink it. 😜
My milk is best for Lilli to grow big and strong! πŸ’ͺ🍼 She is up an ounce from her birth weight! I am so glad and blessed that we haven’t really seen any set backs with her! I know with preemies it’s a day by day process.

FF8D7E23-C8DC-47B9-B3B2-57593B00DBA1.jpgI’ve got a nice stock pile going, already having to freeze a bunch. πŸ‘Œ

My husband likes to help pump, well as much as he can. He mostly cleans all the equipment for me every time. Gosh I love him! This whole experience is only making our marriage stronger, bringing us closer to our faith, and making us better people. Holy moly has a lot changed in one years time for us!
We were just getting ready to start the home buying process and got pre-approved for a home loan but that will have to be put on hold since our priorities are definitely somewhere else currently. It would be nice to get out of our outgrown and over priced apartment we’ve had for the last 6 years though!

DNA is incredibly amazing! What I’ve noticed so far of mine that baby girl has inherited is that Lilli got my universal O negative blood type and my weird long middle toe, taller than the big toe! It’s part of our Greek heritage I guess or I was told growing up it meant royalty (she is a little warrior princess after all!) πŸ˜‰πŸ‘‘ Our mother and daughter bond is going to be amazing! If you know me, her nails are always going to be stylin’! She will be in heaven with my polish collection! πŸ˜πŸ’…πŸΌ

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It’s been so fun to see who she acts and looks like. She is super alert, and is strong! She is already lifting her head by herself and lifts her booty up like she’s doing push ups! (Watch out Puddles!) πŸ€πŸ’šπŸˆπŸ’› I can’t imagine how big and strong she would be had she gone full term! #tinybutmighty. Like dynamite, big things come in small packages! She’s a fighter! (She would have sooooo much hair also if we did go full term) She definitely stretches and sleeps like her Daddy! I am almost positive she will look a lot like Garry when she gets all plumped up. She has his auburn hair color I can already tell.

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All of the doctors and nurses in the NICU love Lilliann and her feistiness (she gets it from her mama) but how could you not love that precious little peanut?!
NICU rules and adjustment has been as smooth as we could hope it would be. It’s not an ideal situation any parent wants to be in. We get one hold for usually a half-hour every 24 hours while she is still so little.
The first 2 weeks of life for a borderline extreme preemie are critical! There can beΒ no over stimulation to keep her heart and breathing steady. She still has episodes of baby apnea but she pulls out of it herself! It is so common for a baby of her size to have it, just something she will grow out of! We Can’t wait for the rest of the family to be able to hold this new member of the clan! πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§

IMG_8607.PNGFirst kangaroo time for Daddy Garry! 😍 Only took 6 days and lots of phototherapy to get to this point. She’s already got him wrapped around her little fingers! β˜οΈπŸ’ž

We get updated daily via phone by the neonatologists where they go over her progress and goals for the day and they will answer any questions or concerns you have about your baby. It’s so refreshing to get good updates so far! Her goals this week:

1.) Tolerate increase in feeds

2.) Decrease respiratory support

3.) GROW

I won’t get my hopes up but typically preemies go home at their due date but I think she will be home before that. I know it’s a day by day basis and that can change but she has made huge progression already for being a week old!

Most people hate it but we LOVE changing her diapers because we actually get hands on interaction with her! It is so hard to see her cry and can’t do much to soothe her but she does calm down to our voices immediately! πŸ™

IMG_8954.JPGMicro Diaper!

I was thinking lately about having a May baby and not a July baby like originally predicted. I just discovered howΒ cool it is that both months have a Lily as the birth flower. July being a water lily and May being a Lily of the Valley, pretty fitting since she was born in the PNW, the Willamette Valley to be exact! “April showers bring May flowers!” 🌧🌸

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The symbolization of Mays birth flower is happiness, humility and sweetness. Perfect symbols of our current situation. We are so incredibly HAPPY for our daughter and our health. We are definitely more HUMBLE thanks to the current events that have taken place over the last few weeks. And sweetness because well of course Lillianns SWEET temperament or the fact she loved sweets while growing in the womb. I am positive that she will have a bad sweet tooth just like her Daddy! 🍭
β€οΈπŸ’—πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›

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