Home Sweet Home

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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!!! โŒ๐Ÿ’‹

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

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

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

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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!) ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ”ฅย โค๏ธ

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

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

Lilli is 39 weeks gestation today! Now that she is a solid 5 pounds, we feel even more comfortable taking her home finally! We technically will still be bringing home a preemie not just a newborn, newborns can’t usually go home unless they are over 5 lbs, she just hit that mark this morning. She has more needs than an average newborn (medication & etc.) We can’t wait to not have alarms and codes going off all of the time, the NICU seriously can leave you with ptsd, it’s an intimidating place. We kind of relied on machines to make sure her stats were all ok so it’s a little nerve wracking that she won’t have those but not having any cords in our way will be amazing!ย We are so used to loud sounds and machines so it will be strangely quiet and peaceful when she is home, it will be like a vacation for her with no random people messing with her constantly. We’re thankful she has a strict manageable schedule, hopefully it will make our lives easier. We’re ready to be done with the hospital life and be home with Lilli and do nothing!!! Not having to leave anywhere will be amazing! We can’t wait to fully focus on her and only her, it will be great! It’s going to be crazy to take her home and adjust to our home life. Our cats can’t wait to meet their two legged sister! PJ our youngest kitty has been testing out all of her baby gear and keeping it warm for her. ๐Ÿ˜ป

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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!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’ช
We can’t wait to go on walks and take Lilli out when she’s a little stronger in a few weeks. I’m glad she’s going home in the summer time where illness is less and weather is nice for going outside. It will be such an amazing thing for her to be outdoors and breathing that fresh Pacific Northwest air into her little lungs for the first time in her few short months of life! We Love our stroller and infant car seat combo, we ordered them separately not realizing they connect and match perfectly! I love when things like that happen! ๐Ÿ–คย We’re all officially set and ready for her homecoming! ๐Ÿ™

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

True Boss Baby

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

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

B06FA4B6-9392-4931-8EA8-7112F3BEA908.jpg๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’–(Sweet little Lill in yellow)๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’›

Garry is so calm with her and was holding her when her Brady episode happened and knows just what to do to get her out of it, I’m the one who goes in freak out mode so I’m glad he’s always there to help. Garry keeps telling me whenever I feel discouraged that it’s ok, Lilli isn’t even supposed to be born yet and is still kicking butt! I told him after going home without her and crashing out for a well needed nap Sunday after the failed discharge that look at it like I was having a false labor since I still would be super pregnant. Many women go to the hospital thinking it’s baby time only to be sent home with no baby yet. That was what we experienced, I’m thinking. Lilli will
be ready on her time and we want her 100% ready and healthy for going home. She is truly the boss after all, in charge of everything!
This last week really has made us turn on turbo speed and get everything we need officially set up this week we are just fine tuning! So to our prayer army please continue to pray for our little family that we can finally go home here soon with Lilli on board! I was supposed to start my parental leave this week but because of the events that happened over the weekend I decided to keep working until she is officially discharged. As hard as it is to keep up the busy weekly schedule it will all be worth it in the end. I’m glad I’ve got at least 3 weeks in of work (toย help our finances) until her homecoming. I’ve got to keep myself distracted otherwise I might go crazy. ๐Ÿ˜œ

60556FEF-80BF-4B44-B852-E01A1C91D2C8.jpg(Happy tube free face girl cheesin’) ๐Ÿ˜

If we survive the NICU stay we can survive anything! People think they can relate and unless you’ve been in this situation you really can’t. We are still parents and get no credit sometimes. We will cherish our baby even more now thanks to working so hard and fighting to get her home! Last week we got out for a while and enjoyed the Fourth of July for the last time just being the two of us. We so badly wished Lilliann could be around all of our friends and family for the annual parade and firework show, next year we will celebrate big time! It was hard seeing all of the cute babies and pregnant women walk around since that should have been us! Oh boy do some babies look huge compared to our Lilli bug! We also had our last date night until Lilli gets discharged. Since we couldn’t celebrate Garry’s birthday a few weeks ago, months ago I got him tickets as his present for a meet and greet concert to one of his favorite rappers B.o.B! We had a blast! We’ve been wanting to see one of his shows forever and so glad he came to town and we got to meet him and hang out up close and personal before the show! It was totally worth it and he is an awesome person! It was truly our last hurrah! ๐ŸŽถโค๏ธ๐ŸŽค

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Happy 2 Months Lil One

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

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

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

A52F8376-547F-4FBE-A2BA-69D0F0CC6948(Sweet praying hands) ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜

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

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

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

IMG_0591(This is in all rooms and boy is it true!)

One of our friends mentioned how we basically get whiplash from being told one thing and have it changed when the next shift starts. We’re always adjusting. You have to constantly let everyone know your wants and needs, it really trains you communication if you lacked withย it before. There used to be a window the nurses would write on for Lilli’s care needs, info, requests and the head of NICU made them quit doing it so there has been a lack of knowledge based on her care without it. We enjoyed seeing her progress with it so it’s sad they took it away.ย Some nurses don’t listen to us or care what we have to say it seems like at times. Some also take more charge than others, with things we can normally do ourselves and others give us independence and privacy to parent on our own. So it really is a day by day process, one day you get it right other days you want to scream and run away with your child. It tests your patience, big time! No one wants to be told when/what you can and can’t do with your baby or when you’re right or wrong really. We’re learning though and do appreciate most of the help and advice we receive. Myย Mom works for peacehealth so she wrote head of women’s care at the hospital and just gave some ideas and insight on NICU parents lives and how they could really make it easier during our long term stay! Little Lilli is blossoming into a very strong flower!ย If one thing in our life finally had to go right we’re glad it’s her! ๐Ÿ’ž

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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?ย ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜œ

Lilliann is still doing awesome without herย 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!) ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸŽ€

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.ย 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! ๐Ÿ˜ณ 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.ย 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! ๐Ÿ™…

IMG_0402(Prettiest little face on the planet!) ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒŽ

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 ๐Ÿ™„ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‚ย & I am lucky enough to work with the public dispensing their medications! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ’•)

Fatherly Love

Happy Fathers Day! All of my life I have been blessed and surrounded by AMAZINGย men! My own Dad is simply incredible! My world would be so lost without him in my life. My Daddio has accepted Garry as one of his own and has set a great example to us on how to love and raise a daughter right. By always being there and being the one to wipe away her tears but be stern when needed to establish strong roots in her to build a solid foundation she needs to grow independently on her own. A father is truly a little girls first love. All while Dads are supposed to be a girls first home, the place she feels most loved, safe & secure. It’s a rewarding job for sure! My dad always prays for us and with me when I lose my direction of faith. I’ll always be a daddys girl. He is truly one of a kind and I am so thankful God chose me to be his one and only daughter. Lilli is lucky to be his first grand child! ๐Ÿ’—

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I was also blessed with amazing Grandfathers who are so strong and have been great examples on how men should treat their children and wives. I am forever thankful for having Garry in my life as my loving husband and now an amazing Father to Lilliann (and our fur babies!) he’s a natural, we are lucky ladies! I am so proud at how he has taken on this new role as a Daddy! He’s so supportive and caring for our little lady and he just impresses me every day! He is our world! โค๏ธ๐ŸŒŽย Garry’s a pro at taking Lilli in and out of the incubator. I’m still a little nervous doing it alone. I am always worried about and intimidated by all of her cords and wires. So I’m glad she’s always safe and secure in his arms during transition time.

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I like to call Garry Daddy long legs! He hates it. ๐Ÿคฃ His 1 step is like 3 steps for my little legs. Hah! I’m going to teach Lilli to give all of her long French fries to him like I did to my Dad as a little girl. I Called them daddy fries since they were “tall!” Garry is such a fun loving Daddy to Lilli! I can’t wait to hear the voices and ways he will act out her nightly story time, she already loves his silly ways! ๐Ÿ˜
Lilliann is a spitting image of Garry, she even sleeps just like him! Like father like daughter. Maybe she will even be tall like him too, one day. It’s amazing and kind of unfair since us Moms take the time and go through pain to grow these little humans only to have them end up looking like the Dad. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‰
My Mom says sometimes those who haven’t had the best parental role models in life, turn out to be some of the best parents because they know and can give to their children what they wish they had growing up. I believe it to be 100% true! So happyย first official Father’s Day to my handsome husband! He finally has a reason to celebrate! ๐Ÿ’ž

IMG_0297(Poem given in the Father’s Day goody bag by the NICU to all the preemie Dads) ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Its the 18th and Lilli is now over the magic 1800 grams!!! Almost 4 lbs! If she maintains her weight for at least 2 days she gets graduated from her isolette and into a crib!!! This little baby girl is something else! Growing so fast and making amazing progress! God knew what he was doing when he created her! Our Miracle baby! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‘ผ๐Ÿ’—
Lilli was a bit on the stinky side last night so we gave her a bath. She loves being clean! She is just the prettiest little baby girl without her NG tube in.

IMG_0303(Chubby baby hands! ๐Ÿค— Just want to eat her up! ๐Ÿ˜œ)

One thing that’s weird is when we check in to see Lilli everyday she’s listed under my name, Garry is not listed so he has to spell out his name every time which is getting old and they even ask for the last name which is obviously the same…we are married and share this child together he should be listed on her hospital profile! He deserves credit too, without Garry’s help she wouldn’t even be here! Oh well… just more security hoops to jump through. Wish they seriously had long term guest passes for NICU families.
While we sit and wait at the desk some days to check in behind the long lines sometimes, there is at least a really cool sculpture outside the woman’s care floor has to look at.

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I seriously give single parents so much credit raising children on their own. I would be so lost without Garry by my side through everything! So major props to the Moms and Dads doing the parenting job solo! ๐Ÿ‘ Garry’s Mom raised her son right! She is not only his amazing Mother but his Father all in one. (She could kick most kids Dads butts) ๐Ÿ’ช the best male figure in Garry’s life was his Grandpa Garry (His moms Dad & Lilli’s Great Grandpa) Wish he was around to see her grow and celebrate his birthday on Friday during the BBQ bash. We know he is all of our guardian angel looking down and making sure everything is always alright. So thank you to the parents raising children alone to be respectful adults in this crazy world. There is always room for good humans out there! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Simply Blessed

Since Lilliann has been born we’ve been given an endless amount of love, support and prayers from some amazing angels on Earth we call friends and family (and new nurses and doctors!) We had a successful, awesome and fun day yesterday at our BBQ/Baby shower! We felt so loved and feel so blessed bringing Lilli into this amazing and generous group of people! The food and desserts were so delicious that I even dreamed about it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was nice to actually have an occasion to wear pants rather than sweats and put on perfume after almost 2 months!

7C485753-4AE8-4D2C-A882-418D2D9DBF8A.jpgIt was so great to socialize and share about our NICU journey so far with everyone and can’t wait to share our little baby blessing with all of them once Lilli is finally home! We may have to do an encore welcome home bash once we are all settled later this summer! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜€๏ธ

Lilliann is still growing like a weed and her weight is up everyday! She is currently only 3 ounces away from graduating out of her isolette and into a crib! ๐Ÿ™ Her red blood cell count was down again this week so to help with her anemia she received some iron and a hormone booster injection called darbepoetin that will be given one time weekly to help boost those red blood cells so she won’t need any kind of future blood transfusion. I jokingly mentioned if she did ever need one just hook us up together and I’ll donate my blood directly to her since we are Both O negative! ๐Ÿ‘Œโค๏ธ
Lilli is still practicing her nuzzle nursing and I feel she is going to honestly be a pretty natural breast feeder! She shows very strong cues and seems to get the idea of what to do! By 40 weeks we should be golden! ๐Ÿ’• I love trying to nurse because it’s such an amazing bonding time between Moms and Babies. I love using that time just admiring her perfect features like her ears, nose, toes, fingers & nails and round little head! She’s just a miracle in our eyes! Last week we did try nursing during three of her feeds all while starting to wean her out of her incubator, she got no swaddler or gel pillow but it all really wiped her out and she lost a tiny bit of weight after one day of solid attempts and had to go back up on her oxygen flow. She’s doing better now that we haven’t approached it so aggressively. She’s good at telling us when enough is enough and if things are moving too fast for her! ๐Ÿ‘ It’s a day by day process and her flow can go up and down and she will let us and the doctors know when she’s really ready to be off her HFNC.

We’ve spent well over 45 days now in the NICU caring for our sweet little Lilliann and haven’t missed a day in her short life. Let me tell you we are slowly getting burnt out on this hospital life. Writing this blog gives you some insight on the NICU life but you can’t get the full experience until you have seen it all in person. We want some friends and family to visit to see what our lives are currently like on a daily basis now. It can be frustrating and exhausting at times. It’s hard parenting when you have a different nurse almost every day and get told different things all the time. You have to use your best judgement and speak up if there’s something you don’t agree with or are confused about. We can’t wait to get her home and just RELAX as much as we can. Doing simple things like just laying on the couch with her and watching tv or a movie will be Heaven on Earth! We did get to have a little excitement in all of our lives recently in her NICU room…as new parents we gave her an official first bath! Oh my goodness did Lilli do amazing! She’s a water baby all the way! She showed us how strong she really is by pulling herself up on her daddy’s fingers and rolling all around the scale when we were done. ๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸŽ€ It was so much fun to get her all clean and interact with her. Bath time will be a favorite for all of us! Garry and I both loved baths as kids, playing with our toys and singing are great memories in our minds and can’t wait to share that experience/bonding time with Lilliann. Plus clean babies are the best smell in the world!

IMG_0170.JPG(So fresh and so clean!) ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ›

We are currently on the hunt for an amazing Pediatrician to care for our little Lilli once she is home. So we had an interview with two this last week and have another this coming week! As new parents we have to make decisions on who will be the best fit for our little family! We really liked one we saw so far. These are doctors you will have a long term relationship (sometimes frequent) so in a way you have to choose who is the right fit for your lives. Lilli will need someone very caring and knowledgeable for her medical care. Preemies grow and mature differently from one another and definitely from full term babies. They don’t really fully catch up until age two so we don’t want any doctor who isn’t educated in prematurity who could discourage us at all in her growth progress. We’ve got to make the best decision soon especially if she goes home next month! ๐Ÿ’—

IMG_0213(Who wouldn’t want to care for this sweet lil lady?!) ๐Ÿ˜