April Showers Bring May Flowers

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

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

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

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

Lilli’s 11 Month Update

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

 

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No March Madness for the Percell’s

 

 

It’s amazing how much a child changes in one years time, especially Lilli. Babies learn and grow so much each and everyday. It’s a joy to watch and observe the magic. We love looking at older pictures of Lilli to see how far she’s come! She does not even look like the same baby! Lilli has multiplied her birth weight 15 times (15lbs 4oz), she’s more than double her length (26.7in) and her head has also almost doubled in size since birth (17in). Lilli’s growth curve is insane to look at, she’s in the 7 percentile (vs the 2% she’s been at) for her actual age now. She has surpassed any and all expectations anyone had set for her. We recently had her CDRC (child development and research center) visit at our local university who partners with OHSU for another re-evaluation on her progress and we are happy to announce she will never have to go back! She meets or exceeds all tests she was given! There is no concern for ANY delays for this micro preemie. We cannot thank and praise God enough for blessing her life with all the tools she would need to succeed. In fact Lilli exceeds her social skill ability than most full term 10 month olds so the occupational therapist told us we will have a chatterbox in our life. Watch out world! They told us they are always here for us if we have any future concerns but she doesn’t need to go back according to their standards regarding delayed development. She’s fine! Her vision and hearing is great, she has no lasting pulmonary, renal or heart issues. We are are so grateful! There are so many parents who have sick children and I couldn’t image what they go through. 75 hard NICU day’s seems like enough stress for a lifetime for us. It’s amazing looking back at our tiny baby who weighed less than a pineapple in an incubator fighting for life and facing the unknown that prematurity could mean for her. Well she’s kicked butt and is truly a tiny but mighty miracle warrior princess. Another last thing Lilli had to do this month is get her last monthly synagis (RSV) vaccine. She had 5 total shots and stayed clear of catching RSV thanks to our diligent hand washing and prayers. Having a baby get a monthly shot that increased in the amount and volume as she grew was hard! I wish I could have done it for her but she only became even more strong because of it each and every time.

 

Having a daughter/princess in our life is such a blessing. Girls are so much fun!!! Shopping is a blast but is dangerous on the wallet because there are so many cute outfits and accessories for girls. I always wanted a boy but girls really do rule the world. 😉 We got Lilli’s first Easter basket done and outfit all picked out for her first church outing, thank goodness flu season is getting better. It’s been a relatively smooth month for us, there’s no madness going on in our March! We’re excited it’s almost spring so we can be outdoors more as a family! My Mom is awesome and ordered Lilli’s first birthday outfit already since it will be right around the corner before we know it! 💜 We plan on doing a small cinco de mayo weekend party equipped with lots of yummy Mexican food and a smash cake! Lilli is going to have a blast! Lilli still hasn’t quite crawled forward yet but she likes to stand any chance she gets. I think she will be walking before she masters crawling honestly. Lilli constantly wants to be busy and keep moving! It’s exhausting! Lilli learns and does something new every single day and it’s such an honor to be her parents! What a fun and rewarding almost 11 months its been! 💕

Lilli’s 10 month update

  • Lilli loves brushing her teeth, fluoride drops 😬
  • She can hold her bottle but is a princess and likes you to do it for her 🍼
  • Red Hair growing quickly (can’t wait to do pony tails) 💁‍♀️❤️
  • Has the two cutest bottom teeth (loves to show you) 👶
  • Top teeth are almost poking through ❕
  • Loves kissing the cute baby in the mirror and her stuffed animals 😘
  • Grabs and feels anything and puts everything in her mouth 👄
  • Eats anything we give her with no complaints 😍
  • Her favorite food is officially anything that’s green (avocado, pickle, pears, apples, peas, green beans, zucchini, etc.) 🥒🥑🍏🍐🥦
  • Practices her ninja skills well 🥋
  • Likes peekaboo 🙈
  • Sippy cup pro 🥤
  • Grabs your cell phone any chance she gets 📱
  • Always gibbering and jabbering
  • Says some words (Ma, Dada, Yum) 🗣
  • Working on clapping 👏
  • Sits up all by herself like a big girl 💖
  • Loves holding your hands and taking steps “walking” 🚶‍♀️
  • Standing alone with object support for small amounts of time 💪
  • Takes a minimum of 2 naps a day now, still sleeps all night 😴
  • Looks at her kitties when you say where’s the kitty?! 😻
  • Loves jumping and being thrown up in the air (the higher the better) will Scream and giggle so loud and hardcore 😂
  • Very vocal (will have all kinds of voices like her Dad) 🤩
  • She finds diaper changes funny and makes gross noises and blows raspberries and screams at you during them 😝
  • Growls and can sound like a dinosaur real well 🦖
  • Claws you and herself way too good (no matter how often you trim her nails) 😫💅🏼
  • Has a hard right and left hook 🤜🤛
  • Studies everything new intensely 🤓
  • Loves being tickled and belly and neck raspberries (left side is ultra ticklish) 🤗
  • Snorts & sniffs and think it’s funny 😜
  • Had her first homemade chocolate chip cookie 🍪
  • Tried her first French fry 🍟
  • Tried a bite of pizza 🍕
  • Squeals and laughs at animals 🤣
  • Greatest expressions 🤪
  • Splish splashing fool in the bathtub 🛁
  • loves to snuggle and hold your hand 🤚
  • Can’t take things away from her, but will give you things when you ask 😭
  • Dancing and singing machine 💃🏻🎤
  • Climbing and rolling off of things 🤦‍♀️
  • Loves playing with plastic water bottles 💧
  • Copies a lot of what we do ♥️
  • Slams and drops toys/objects all over the place 💥

 

Groundhogs Day! 🦔

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

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

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

 

Lilli’s 9 month update

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

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! 💕

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!

💚🏈💛

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!) 💋😍🔥 ❤️

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!

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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! 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! 😉💪
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! 🖤 We’re all officially set and ready for her homecoming! 🙏

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

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! 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) 🙏😍

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 they’re 6-7 months old, babies can breathe and swallow at the same time. Adults aren’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.

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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 with 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. 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. My 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! If one thing in our life finally had to go right we’re glad it’s her! 💞

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