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) 🍦

 

 

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Lucky # 7

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First off how is it already December?! Second, how is our baby 7 months old?!
How is our tiny 1 pound 12 ounce baby so big now?! Can’t help but look back and see how blessed we are. Power of resilience in a preemie is STRONG. At under two pounds you were poked, prodded with tubes, needles, constant handling. You dealt with more than I have my whole life. Yet you still have the biggest smile on your face because you are happy to be ALIVE! We are very lucky Lilli had no ventilator, surgery or blood transfusions. Lilli thankfully made it out with no issues or delays. As she grows you can’t tell she was a micro preemie. The only battle wound she has is a small scar on her foot from the tiny IV she had in the NICU to prove she is a strong warrior princess. 👑

Lilliann is well over 12 pounds when last checked almost a month ago and recently she Gained 6 ounces in 4 Days… By now she is probably close to 14 pounds! At her last check up she is officially on the charts for a 6 month old!!! Granted it’s in the low 1-2% but she’s ON the charts when she was technically only 3 months adjusted. It’s so cool to see her chart rate sky rocket! Amazing progress I must say, her pediatrician agrees! Lilli also had more vaccines and did just fine. We are spacing them out a little so her little body doesn’t take on so much at once. She also had some lab work done to rule out any hormonal conditions and anemia. Everything came back totally normal and we cannot thank God enough! Lilli just has a blood pressure check (OHSU is coming to us this time!) 🙌  in the next week to make sure that’s still regular since she’s been off any BP meds for 3 months now. 🙏

We had a busy month of November! Started off with my birthday and we had a nice dinner out with family celebrating my 28th year on Earth I just don’t know how I made it so long without Lilli in my life! I couldn’t imagine life without her now, she’s our everything! Lilli is seriously a flirt, she smiles and giggles at everyone! The best baby therapy there is! She can put an instant smile on your face no matter how awful your day is going! 😍

Lilliann experienced many of her firsts this last month! She had her very first pedicure done by yours truly! I used a non toxic baby polish called piggy paint and she did pretty well and sat still! There will be many more in her future! 💅🏼 I love to paint nails and do nail art it’s a huge stress reliever for me but since Lilli has been born I haven’t been keeping up on my favorite hobby which is ok and honestly she will be made up more than me! It’s amazing how mommyhood makes you so selfless! It is hard seeing my closet full of nail polish go untouched! One day she will be in heaven! 💕 She also got dressed up and experienced her first wedding and long road trip! She did amazing in the car (slept the whole way there and back) and was mellow during the wedding! She impresses us every day! Such an easy going baby! I am not sure how we got so lucky! 😍

Our thanksgiving was very busy! We spent it between 3 different gatherings and Lilli got to try mashed potatoes and gravy at each one! We were all pretty stuffed! Next year will be even more fun when she can try all the goodies Thanksgiving has to offer! It’s crazy last year at thanksgiving I announced to our family that we had a little turkey in the oven! Time seriously can slow down! 🦃❤️

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It’s so fun that Lilli gets to experience all these holidays now! Which makes it more fun for us too! We are so thankful we aren’t in the NICU anymore but I do pray for current families going through that journey because being away from your baby is hard enough and adding joy that holidays bring and not having your baby home would be so incredibly difficult. 💔 This year we are incredibly thankful for Lilli’s health! Being a parent makes you humble and teaches you so much humility time and time again. Nothing ever goes as planned when you’re a parent but things have been going our way as best as they can! 👼🙏 Garry is an incredible Dad to Lilli! I work 10 hour days and he handles them alone most days like a champ! I get a break daily and he rarely complains about staying home with her. We’re blessed! Financially it is hard but worth it to us since she won’t be in child care for a while. Why work to pay someone else to raise your child?! Im glad we have the option to do it this way. ❤️

Lilli’s 7 month update

  • Starting to belly laugh 😂
  • Pre teething 🤤
  • Way too smart it’s almost scary 🤯
  • Loves to eat, sweet potatoes, carrots, pears, green beans, apple sauce, butternut squash and only fresh bananas! She has liked everything we have given her, hopefully that trend stays!🍠🥕🍌🍐
  • Wipes her own tray and mouth off 😋
  • Grabs the spoon if you don’t feed her fast enough 🥄
  • Strong grip and grabs everything hard including mommy’s hair & daddy’s beard 🧔 💁‍♀️😫
  • Blows major raspberries at you 😝
  • Has great eye/hand coordination 🤗
  • Likes to beat on you like a drum 🥁
  • Still a major thumb sucker usually when tired 👍
  • Thinks it’s hilarious to gag herself with her fingers 🖐🤢
  • Likes her diaper changed but stiffens her legs out so you can’t get a new diaper on 🤦‍♀️
  • Will not pee in a 💩 diaper and will not 💩 in a pee diaper
  • Tells (yells) @ you when she has to do one or the other 🤔
  • Loves “spa” bath time 🛁
  • Hates bright lights 💡
  • Loves Christmas trees 🎄
  • Plays hard and Fights sleep even harder 🙄
  • Rubs her eyes all cute when tired 💤
  • Talks herself to sleep some nights 😂
  • Loves to be rocked to sleep while you stand 🤱
  • Sleeps all through the night (10:30pm-7am most nights) 😴🙌
  • Squeals LOUD and shakes especially when excited 🤩
  • Loves balancing/acrobatics with Daddy 🤸‍♀️
  • Loves singing and dance parties with Mommy 💃🏻🎤
  • Scoots and turns herself around 💪
  • Doesn’t like story time yet, she gets bored 😑📚
  • Still Likes to play in her walker and jumperoo 🐵
  • Loves to play and throw her toys 🤹‍♀️
  • Obsessed with her Sophie giraffe teether toy, it goes everywhere with her 🦒
  • Laughs, smiles & stares at her kitties and animals 😻
  • Loves to watch the baby channel on TV 📺
  • Fitting well in 3-6 month and 6 month clothes 😘

December should be a fun month! Lillar Lillar Caterpillar got her first hallmark ornament, its of course a beautiful butterfly! Start of a series until she can pick them out herself and of course got a baby’s first Christmas one! It’s a tradition my Mom started growing up she gets us an ornament every year! It has so much meaning and sentimental value to me. & Of course there is Christmas and this year I’m sure Lilli will like the wrapping paper over any gift she receives! She is our gift this year, without a doubt! 🎁🎄 We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you next year! 🤦‍♀️😂🎉

 

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.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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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! 😂 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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Home Sweet Home

There is truly no place like home! 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 all 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!

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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. 😂 She really only cries when there is good reason, for food, diaper change or snuggles! Can’t really complain! 😉👌 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!!! ❌💋

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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