Temple Times

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My how a year has flown...

Wow - as I sit here and stare at this screen. It finally dawns on me that almost a year has past since Mia was born and I started this blog. A year?! Goodness, when I look back, those days seemed to endlessly drag on and now here we are, about to celebrate her 1st birthday. So much has happened over the past year to get us where we are today. We look back now and can with certainty say God's hand of provision has definitely been on us from her first breath up until today.
So much has changed in our lives ever since that 1 lb 15 oz 13 3/4in little girl came storming into our lives 11 weeks early. And we wouldn't have it any other way. Those first few weeks were scary to say the least. Mia was perfectly healthy but seeing all those around her who were not, was very humbling. Mia had babies next to her who 1 day would be fine and then next day we would hear that they had to have emergency surgery, or worse, they hadn't made it through the night.
Everyday spent in that NICU felt like a lifetime, but everyday was a step closer to home. When we finally brought Mia home on October 13 - we were terrified. She was coming home on an apnea monitor and oxygen (granted only 1/32 of a liter but still) and while we'd been trained on how to use and what to expect, we were still scared.
With every passing day, Mia did better and better. Soon she was off her apnea monitor and her oxygen and doing well. She made her first trip to Huntington for Thanksgiving. Mia met lots of family and friends!
Soon Christmas came! I would love to say Mia loved her first Christmas, but she grew tired of the flannel jammies and endless pictures and slept right through Christmas Morning and Christmas Eve service at church.
2012 came and has been such a whirlwind! In May, on Mother's Day, Mia got dedicated at The Church At Martinsburg. Drew's parents and my parents were there to celebrate.She received a certificate and a Jesus Storybook Bible which she loves to hear stories from.
Now here we are at almost a year old! Looking back at this past year, I can not fathom how we made it to this point without God's hand over every second of it. So many things could have turned out differently but they did not. Each hurdle was a lesson learned and a reason to bring Drew and I closer as a family. So, as we come upon Mia's first birthday on the 25th, all thanks and praise on such a wonderful year go to Jesus. So happy birthday Mia! You are such a huge blessing to everyone you meet!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My name is Cherry, and I'm a jealous momma.

There. I said it. Put it out there so ya'll could read it. I am a jealous mom. I'm one of those Mom's who looks at other parents babies and wonder why mine isn't doing what theirs is.

Isn't that horrible of me? I mean, I at least feel horrible doing it. My baby is amazing and awesome and she's such a spunky little bullet and I'm so proud of her so why do I constantly compare her?

I've worked in child care for over 10 years now and I have never once compared a child to another so yet again, why do I do it to my own?

I'm sure if I were to ask, I wouldn't be alone. I'm some one of you have done it a time or two, perhaps not. I could be wrong.

All I know is having a preemie is rough.

Aside from all the time in the NICU, the emotional ups and downs we as parents go through, the battles for weight gain, eating, etc, there's the age factor.

Yes, Mia was born August 25, 11 weeks early. Mia's due date wasn't until November 8

Everything Mia accomplishes developmentally the first year of life is based on her "adjusted" age and not her actual age. This is rough for this momma.

So while all our friends with tiny tots are accomplishing these 6 month milestones, Mia is developing her 3 month one's.

Which by the way, she has hit them all and some 4 month one's as well.

 I do apologize to all those mommas with babies I've watched and wished Mia were doing that. I am trying to do better. I love my little tiny peanut just the way she is - as you love yours and I am working every day and celebrating her mile stones as they come, not wishing they'd come sooner.

Mia Update:

At her 6 month well visit yesterday, her pediatrician assured us she's doing amazing. She was quite proud of her accomplishments.

She is now 11lbs 2oz and 23 inches long. She is 5% in height and weight and 10% in head circumference (39inches). Her Pediatrician says she's growing just fine in her own little small way. She's still gaining and growing at a consistent level ( she hasn't lost weight yet ) and she's perfectly ok with that. We are switching her formula (again! ugh) to Similac Allimentum. She thinks the reason she's getting constipated so much on these past 2 formulas is because she could be allergic to the milk protein. So we are making the switch and if this formula doesn't work and she is still constipated 90% of the time, then we make the final change to soy formula.

 She is such a funny little girl. She loves the men at church. It's quite hilarious. Women could talk to her all day and not a twitch but a man talking to her? Oh she will smile, laugh, charm him through and through.

Her newest thing is eating her hands. All. Day. Long. It's her newest fascination and if there's not a pacifier, bottle or spoon in her mouth, you can rest assured her hands will be in there.

She also loves to stand if you hold her up. She'd much rather stand all day then lay on her back and stare at the ceiling. She loves to sit supported. She is such the nosey little girl

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Almost 5 months old...

That's right! Next Wednesday, Mia will be 5 months old! Where is the time going? My sweet girl is growing up right before my eyes! It seems to Drew and I that everyday she is discovering something new or doing something new.

Mia's new things in the past few weeks include:

- She can now sit in her bumbo seat without any help with her head

- She has mastered head control! No more wobbly head!

- She can also sit in between our legs as well

- She is becoming more verbal everyday. She's quite the susie talks a lot these days! She loves talking to her blue octopus

- She is sleeping longer stretches. (Now that I say this - she will prove me wrong!) She sleeps a good 6-7 hrs a night without waking up for a bottle

- She is drinking 5oz bottles

-  She is slowly starting to reach for things

- She still hates tummy time but now she sways from side to side - we feel rolling over is just around the corner!

- We have graduated into 0-3 and mostly just 3 month clothing and size 2 diapers!

And the big one?! We started baby food this week!! We had originally planned to hold off on baby food until she was 6 months, but since I am no longer able to breast feed, we made the decision to begin to introduce food to her.

This was day one of our test and as you can see, she was clearly interested in what her poppa was doing rather then eating. She did well though! We tried oatmeal cereal with some carrots and formula.

Now we're an eating machine! Carrots were a big hit on day 2 and then last night we introduced a fruit and went with bananas. Needless to say she gulped those bananas down!

We unofficially weighed her this morning on our scale and she came in at 10.2! Wow! We'll find out for real when we go back to the dr on the 6th of February!

Each new day is something new and fun for us with Mia! She's such a happy, good natured baby and we are truly blessed.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year...

Wow - first off let me apologize for not updating this nearly as much as I should have. Secondly, wow! Thank you all SO much for all of your prayers! We would not of known what to do without them. God has been so gracious and loving to our family over these past 4 months. His love certainly knows no bounds.

Thirdly, wow! Time flies right? So here's a little recap of what's been going on with us since Mia has been home.

Mia came home on October 13th. She came home weighing 4.8lbs, on oxygen at 1/22 of a liter, caffeine and an apnea monitor. Looking back now, it's hard to even remember it all, but I do. We were so nervous bringing her home. The NICU had been her home for 49 days and they had done a fantastic job with her but now, she really felt like she was 'ours.' We were now solely responsible for her and her care and boy were our palms sweaty!

I mean, look how little! She didn't even meet the weight requirements for the car seat! We had to roll up receiving blankets under her just to get her to sit in the harness comfortably. Once we got her home though, we slowly fell into a routine. She had to eat every 3 hrs on the dot and so in turn - we became exhausted very, very quickly.

We were at her pediatrician in Harpers Ferry every week for weight checks and reflux checks. It soon felt like we no longer lived at the NICU but now at Harpers Ferry Family Medical. We couldn't ask for a better pediatrician though. She not only has experience with preemies, she worked in the NICU where Mia was for her residency. She is kind, sweet and cuddles and loves on our little girl and genuinely has her best interests at heart.

Time passed and it seemed that little by little, Mia grew. She was slowly starting to develop her own little personality. She loved attention and she loved being talked to and cuddled.

2 months came and went and then 3 months were upon us. Mia was almost 6 1/2lbs. We made the trip to Huntington for Thanksgiving so our family there would finally meet Mia. She was a hit. I'm pretty sure she wasn't set down for hours but she loved every minute of it.She got to meet her cousins and Aunts and Uncles including her Auntie Meghann, Aunt Kate and Auntie Patti.

Before we knew it Christmas was upon us! We were so excited to celebrate our 2nd married Christmas and our first Christmas with Mia! We're pretty sure we over did it on the gifts part but, you have have your 1st Christmas once! :) Mia met Santa too! We struggled a lot with the whole Santa issue, but we have decided to do our own family thing and as Mia gets older teach her that St. Nick was a real person who helped people, etc.

We went to Christmas Eve service at church and Mia did so well. She slept right on through, but she sure looked cute! :)

Christmas was great! Mia turned 4 months on Christmas Day we had a wonderful time with our family in Martinsburg, yet we missed our family in Huntington too. We made a trip back down to Huntington for New Years Eve and had our late Christmas there. We got to ring in the New Year with Charles and Katie and Keeley and little Cailyn! We had such a good time.

And now we're at a new year! Wow! 2012! We're sure things year has a lot of exciting things for us and for Mia! She is growing so much! As of January 4th - she weighs 9lbs and is 21 inches long She hates tummy time, loves to talk to her stuffed octopus, loves her pacifier, loves snuggles with her poppa, is learning to tolerate her bumbo seat and more often then not you'll probably catch her smiling at the shelf behind our couch. (weird, we know!) Is Mia where she should be for a 4 month old? No, however, for her adjusted age (7weeks) she is exactly where she needs to be.

We know it is hard for our family in Huntington to watch her grow via face book. It's hard for us too, but please know that we honestly 100% without a doubt feel that we are exactly where God wants us to be and that is such an amazing feeling. We feel at home in Martinsburg. We belong to an amazing church that has helped us grow and has become our faith family, we have made friends that are like family, and we have family here as well. And as hard as that is for our Huntington friends and family, we do ask that you respect that and try to understand. We love you no less and neither will Mia. She loves you all :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How time flies...

Time has a funny way of creeping past you here. One minute, one day has passed. You look again, and nearly 10 are gone.

On Sunday - Mia turned 1 month old. It's hard to believe that a month ago Sunday at 5:10 I was laying on an operating table having an emergency c section. So much has happened in a month. It literally seems to have just flown right by us.

Mia has come such a long way since those first few days of life. She came out fighting and she's fighting still.

She now weighs in at 3lbs 6oz. and is now taking bottles! Yeah! We started this the other day and while her first attempt was a no go, every bottle since then has been a success. She takes them like a champ. Her Dr. has put no limit on the ounces in her bottle, curious as to just how much she'll drink. Well, today at her noon feeding I fed her and we put 55mls of breast milk in it, just to see how much she'd take. Well, she fooled us all when she drank the whole thing! (fyi - 55mls is ONE ml shy of 2 ounces!) Such a champ, as her Dr. calls her!

Starting today - she's on 3 bottles a day and the rest are her ng ( feeding tube ) feeds. Judging by how well she does with those, they'll eventually do away with the feeding tube. Woo hoo!

They also wanna try and wean her off her O2. She's on the last possible setting on the machine ( 1/32 of a liter) and they really can't figure out why she wants to hold on to it so desperately. She'll be having an echo tomorrow to make sure her valves in her heart are all closed. One could possibly still be open due to her being born so early. They don't think so - but they say it could be the reason why she destats everytime they try and turn off her oxygen.

She's still in her isolette ( or her incubator as I call it ) but even that should be changing in the next couple of days. She should slowly be making the move to being able to be dressed and bundled and then after that she should be able to be moved to a crib.

Everyday we get better and better news and everyday we are one step closer to home! This journey has been a crazy one but one we couldn't of done without every ones support and their prayers. God's definitely had His hand in all this and that's been evident from day 1.

Prayer Requests:

- Mia's bottle feeds to continue and for her feeding tube to be taken out
- Continued weight gain
- A good report from her echo
- Weaned off O2
- Mommy and Daddy to begin mentally and physically preparing to take Mia home

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Long overdue update! :)

We have had a crazy past couple of days! I apologize for my lack in blogging these past few days. The days start running together and before you realize it, 4 days have passed or more! We've had grandparents visiting and friends, etc.

Mia has been making great progress! She has moved to a smaller isolette now that she's 'gotten bigger'. She is completely off her nutrition through her veins because she got her picc line out yesterday!! She was one happy girl. She kept raising her arm up and bending it back and forth. One less thing tying her down! :)

They are trying to wean her off her oxygen as well. She is on the lowest setting, 1/32 but everytime they try to stop in she destats. Her Dr. says he's not all that concerned because she's still only 33 weeks and by all intended purposes, she'd still be swimming. He says there's plenty of time to wean her from it.

Our little girl is also eating like a CHAMP! She is now getting 30mls (1oz!) of breast milk / formula every 3 hours! We've come such a long way from the days of 6 and 7oz every 3 hours! She also now knows hen it's time to eat, the closer it gets to her time to eat, she starts getting fidgity, starts sucking her lips, sticking her tongue out, etc.

This coming week we are going to try and see how she does with nursing / taking a bottle. The past few days I've been kangarooing her, I've been laying in the middle of my chest. Normally, she lays still and sleeps but the past few times she's started to sniff really hard, stick her tongue out, smack her lips, etc. Her nurses say it's a good sign it means she can smell the breast milk and she's getting a tad frustrated she can't get to it.

Speaking of breast milk, please be in prayer about that. Now that she's eating so much, I can't meet the demand and they are having to either give her formula when I tag team and do breast milk one feeding and formula the other. I'm slightly discouraged by this but her Dr. says once we let her start nursing, my supply should go back up.

After 3 days of suppositories and a week on erythromyicin, Mia is now pooping on her own, and pooping alot! We are SO excited about this! It's funny - as a parent, what excites us now! :) Her nurse made the comment today that every diaper she'd changed on her she had pooped. Guess that's what you get when you text everyone asking them to pray for poop! :)

Mia's also gained on the scales! It fluctuates from day to day but as of last night, she weighs 3lbs 4oz! She has to be a little bit bigger before we can dress and bundle her but she's gaining weight amazingly!

Without her picc line in, she's started on vitamins today too. She'll get those through her feeding tube for now and it's a good thing because judging by the other babies in her room, those vitamins don't taste so good :)

Prayers for Mia for the upcoming week:

- continued weight gain
- to be able to be weaned off oxygen
- to do well with nursing / trying a bottle and to keep tolerating feeds
- Overall continued improvment with her health - growth
- keep on pooping!
- less apnea spells ( she seems to have 1 a day and they seem to be really early in the morning. from like 2am - 6am. she never stops breathing completely but her heart rate drops into the 30s. she does however , bring her self right out of it )

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 17-19th

It's been a busy, busy past 3 days!

Saturday - My parents, Beth, Matt, Meghann, Garrett and Dylan came up to see us and Mia! They were all very happy to see how well she's growing and progressing! We all had a nice lunch out and just enjoyed the time of talking and catching up.

Sunday - Our friends from Martinsburg, Phil and Sarah and their 2yr old daughter Amelia, came to visit us. They came to see Mia, took us to lunch and hung out with us for the day.

Mia's had a pretty good past couple of days. Yesterday - her Dr's told us she was having some issues pooping. She didn't poop at all Saturday and didn't poop at all yesterday morning. Her Dr. told us that with her being a preemie, sometimes their bowels aren't up to what they should be and they need that little push. He said sometimes they can hit a plateau but once she's over it, she should have smooth sailing. It just takes patience on our part. Her erthromycin is helping some but the other things we have started doing is giving her a suppository at her 11am feedings as well as upping her feeds.

Yesterday she pooped 3x and today she pooped at least twice by the time we left at 7pm. Tomorrow morning we're hoping to hear she pooped more! Wednesday is her last day of the suppository so please be in prayer that her bowels "kick" in so to speak and start working full time on their own.

Other then that, she is great. Tonight she was up to 10mls every 3 hours and every other feed they plan on upping it a ml. Her short term goal is 13mls and to tolerate it.

Looking at her now - it's so easy to see how much she's progressing. She's almost a month old and she's come such a long way!